Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Running Shoes Break-In

This is probably common sense to most of you but it's something that I just realized.  If you are like me, you hate breaking in running shoes.  My main shoe of choice, the Saucony Kinvara, doesn't feel good on my feet until at least 200 miles and it hits its sweet-spot around 500.

In the past, I've just sucked it up and tolerated the achey arches and feet for a few weeks until they were broken in.  But recently, I had a eureka moment.  For my short runs (six miles or less), I could wear my newish Kinvaras.  For my longer runs, I would wear my broken-in ones.  By the time my broken-in ones are shot, my short run shoes will be good to go and would be graduated to longer runs  Then, I will get some new short runs shoes.  This idea isn't Nobel Prize worthy, but it's not bad for a P.E. teacher.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Netflix Movie Monday

For this week, I decided to switch it up and go with a TV show. Yeah, I know it's "Movie" Monday but I've been patiently waiting for this show to come on Netflix for quite a while.  I started the 12 episode season on Friday night and by Saturday night (well, technically Sunday morning at 2:30am), I had watched it all.  It's definitely Breaking Bad worthy and way above The Walking Dead worthy. The storyline is great, the acting is top notch and you can't beat it's darkness and creepiness. This week's pick is:

The first season of American Horror Story takes place in Los Angeles, CA.  The Harmon family, who reside in Boston, are having some martial issues.  The wife (Vivien) busted her husband (Ben) having an affair with a girl who is less than half her age.  Shortly before that, she also delivered a stillborn baby.  Vivien wants to leave Ben, but Ben finds this super cheap house on the other side of the country and feel that it will be a fresh start for them.  After much reluctance, she finally agrees, and they take their teenage daughter, Violet, with them.

After one visit to the house, they decide to purchase it in and move in.  Sure, they know the previous owners died in a murder-suicide that took place inside the house, but hey, the price is good. Shortly after moving in, they meet their strange neighbor, Constanance, her daughter, Addy and her son, Tate, who Violet forms a bond with.

Unfortunately, there have been a lot more than just one death episode inside the house.  And nearly everyone who has lived in the house has either gone mad or died a horrible death.  And the former residents have not passed on, they still reside in the house.  At first, the Harmon's believe them to be normal people but it turns out not all of the main characters are living and not all of them are friendly.

As usual, I don't want to give too much away.  But I promise this is a show that is worth watching. And if you have F/X, season two is currently playing.  Each season of American Horror Story are unrelated, so you can pick right up on season two if you like.

Give it a chance and watch 8-9 hours of your life melt away.  And if you run at nighttime directly after watching this, you may become scared by hidden rabbits and deer.

First Official Trailer

 Better, Fan-Created Trailer

November 19th-25th

Monday: 5.7 miles (6:47); Skipped 2nd run because I felt sick/rundown

Tuesday: 3 miles (7:11). I was planning a 12 mile medium progression (4x3 miles@6:05, 5:40, 5:15) but I felt really weak from the get-go. Winded at a mile and tired at the end; Skipped 2nd run because I felt really sick

Wednesday: 4 miles (6:43); 8.7 miles (7:10)

Thursday: 11.6 miles with 5 mile race in 25:30. If I hadn't already preregistered, I wouldn't have run this because I still felt really rundown and the congestion has moved into my chest. Before the sickness, the plan was 5 miles tempo at 5:00 pace, but now, I was hoping to run it at 5:10 pace without falling apart. The course isn't certified and I came out at 5.24 on my GPS and 5.19 after I retraced it. Mile splits with Garmin distances: 4:54 (1.02), 4:57 (1:02), 5:03 (1.04), 4:52 (.95), 5:45 (1.22). 1st two were nice and controlled, struggled on a hill during the 4th and felt really good during the 5th. I felt like I could have done this twice in a row, if I would have had people to run with. I was alone after 1/2 mile and was glad to get the win, despite being pretty sick. Overall, I was happy with how I ran, considering it was controlled and that I was sick; 4.7 miles (7:16)

Friday: 6.3 miles (7:21); 9.2 miles (6:58). Went to the doctor today because my chest and my ears were really hurting last night. Found out I had a pretty bad ear infection in my right ear, so I'm on some antibiotics the next 10 days. 

Saturday: 9.4 miles (6:34); 6 miles (7:23)

Sunday: 19.5 miles with 17 miles medium (5:36). Plan was 22ish with 18-20 at 5:35-5:40.  Took my time to get moving and ran some pretty big negative splits.  The pace felt really relaxed and controlled and I was planning on doing 20 at the faster pace but around 15.5 miles, I started to get really light-headed and it got progressively worse, so I called it at 17 and ran a mile cooldown. The dizziness was really random. I ate dinner about 13-14 hours before the run, with nothing afterward but I don't feel it was glycogen issues because my legs felt so good and relaxed and it came out of nowhere. Maybe my blood sugar was out of whack or something; 3.2 miles (7:23)

Week Total= 91.3 miles. I was hoping to get in 115-120 this week, but the sickness curtailed it. I'm happy with how Thursday and Sunday went, considering the issues I had. After Sunday's session, I feel confident I can run a controlled 2:25 at Rocket City because I'll hopefully be healthy, will have a big breakfast and take fuel during the run, and also will have two more weeks of fitness behind me.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Indian Lake Loop

I read somewhere that more people race on Thanksgiving than any other day.  I guess they feel guilty about all of the calories they are about to consume but running a few miles only burns a couple pieces of pumpkin pie.  Most Nashvillians head to the Boulevard Bolt for their annual Thanksgiving race.  I debated running it last year, but battling it out with 9,000 other people to find limited parking doesn't float my boat. This year, I decided to stay in town and run the Indian Lake Loop for the third time.

My first year racing it, I was a few months back into running, after taking a few years off.  I got beat by an out-of-town ringer, Brad Mason.  We hung together for a couple of miles before he dropped me like a bad habit and I came finished 2nd place in 27:14.  Since then, I've been waiting for my revenge but I haven't had the chance to race him yet.  However, I was hoping I would have the chance for redemption this year.

Last Saturday, I started coming down with some virus or something.  It's sapped all of my energy and has left me feeling really rundown and congested.  Part of me (and my wife) thought I shouldn't run but I already paid the $25 entry fee and if I won, I would get a few restaurant gift cards, that I could use for date nights.  Before the sickness, I felt like I could run 25:00 for the five mile course and keep it under control.  With this sickness, I felt like it was going to be tough to run 26:00 and I was scared that Brad would show up this year and I would get dropped again.

The weather was pretty cool (low 40s) and luckily, it was really foggy.  The fog seemed to act like my own personalized humidifier and made breathing a little bit easier.  I slogged through a little over a three mile warmup, changed my shoes, did some half-hearted leg swings and strides and headed to the line.  I didn't see Brad, which was somewhat of a relief.  I wanted revenge but didn't want to finally have my oppurtunity to race him and lose because I was sick.

When the race started, a couple of high school kids took off.  Normally I don't use my GPS when I race but since this course isn't certified, I decided to use it.  I was about to pass the overeager teenagers, but I saw we were going around 4:45 mile pace, so I waited a bit longer.  I passed one a little before a half mile in, and he sounded like he was about to go in labor. Guess he was about to find out that five miles could feel like a marathon.  I ended up passing the other one shortly afterward and while he didn't sound too bad, I knew he'd pay the price later.

My watch said I was around 4:50 pace, so I backed off some.  I was feeling much better than expected and went through the mile in 4:54.  The second mile has some climbing with a 180 degree turn, so I knew I'd lose a little time. During this mile, you also run against traffic, so I was able to cheer on my Monday Night running buddies, Max and Justin, as well as some other people I knew.  I ended up with a 4:57 that mile, and still felt pretty decent.  At this point, I was realizing that I had a shot at sub 25, so I tried to stay on rhythm, without overdoing it.

In the third mile, I began to get a little bit tired, but I didn't force things because I knew I had a lot of running left.  I came through in 5:03, which was still under 25 minute pace.  In the fourth mile, you run up a hill that you hardly ever notice while running easily.  However, it felt much bigger than usual and I struggled up (as I usually do on uphills).  I lost a good bit of time on the hill and my GPS said I was running over 5:15 pace for that mile.  I thought that was the nail in the sub 25 coffin because I didn't want to have to hammer hard. After another 180 degree turn, I was able to make up some time because the tough uphill was now a generous downhill.  The mile marker was a little bit short as I came through in 4:52.  At this point, I knew sub 25 was back in the cards.  I then switched over my GPS screen so I could see the overall time to let me know what I needed to do.

I noticed that there was a 1/2 mile to go marker spray-painted in the road, so I mentally focused on trying to hit that at 22:30. When I hit that in about 23 minutes, I knew something was wrong.  I tried to keep going and once my watch hit 24 minutes, I knew my shot at sub 25 was over. I crossed the line in 25:30 and was able to get a little over a five minute win.

I was a little bit bummed that my time was so slow but my GPS said I ran 5.24 miles.  Most of the other people I talked to had between 5.11-5.14 miles (which would be about right for a true five mile course), so maybe I bobbed and weaved too much or something. At one of the turnarounds, they didn't have the cones ready yet, so maybe I ran down too far...who knows? One of my Monday night running partners had 5.14 miles, and our watches always beep at the same time when we run together, so I figure I added on somewhere.

Overall, it was a pretty good day.  I had a lot left at the end and it felt like a good tempo run. I was happy to get the win but it's not the reason I run. I can tell some people that I had a good race but they will poke and prod to see if I won or not, like it's a failure if I didn't.  I've won several races that I considered bad performances and this past year, I finished 15th in a race, but was really pleased with the placing. You can't control who shows up, only your individual performance.  I felt like this race shows I'm getting my fitness back and will be rolling once this sickness passes.

Mile splits with GPS measurements:4:54 (1.02), 4:57 (1.02), 5:03 (11.04), 4:52 (.95), 5:44 (1.22)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Netflix Movie Monday (Tuesday)

Well, technically it's Tuesday but I had a fever yesterday evening/night, so I felt more like watching episodes of Criminal Minds than pounding on a keyboard. But Tuesday is better than never!

I've always enjoyed dark/black movies.  Maybe I'm in the minority and is why a lot of people hate my usual movie selection.  At least Vance Pounders and Justin Patterson enjoy a good movie!  But as you can guess, my pick this week is a dark comedy.  Not many people have seen it because it was released on a limited basis in the theaters.  But I heard some good things about it from a few people (well, message board people), and since it was on Netflix, I decided to watch World's Greatest Dad.

World's Greatest Dad stars Robin Williams, who I've always been a big fan of.  The movie is about a single dad/teacher/unpublished author (Lance Clayton) who is struggling at connecting with and raising his overly perverted/manipulative/moody teenage son, Kyle, who could very well be the evil twin of Napoleon Dynamite.  Kyle struggles in school, with academics and socially and the principal even suggests to Lance that his son may be better off in a special-needs school.  Well, that doesn't happen because his son dies in a freak accident.

To avoid the embarrassment of how his son really died, Lance stages the death to look like a suicide and also writes a fake suicide note. After the note is made public, all of the students in the school start to identify with and idolize Kyle.  Lance gets too caught up in the moment and also writes a fake diary that Kyle supposedly kept a secret.  After the diary does out, the legend of Kyle grows and he serves as an inspiration to everyone and develops a huge cult following.

His diary starts to obtain the interest of several book publishers, Lance is invited on national talk shows and the school library even gets named after Kyle.  But as always, I don't want to give away too many spoilers, so that's it for now.

Overall, I thought the movie was really funny (but it was funnier with Kyle) and it's definitely worth a viewing.  It does have a lot of middle school type humor and has a few vulgar moments, so it's not something you would want to watch with your mother.   And if it means anything, I didn't dare try to watch it with Mary in the room.

October 12th-18th Training

Monday: 4 miles (6:48); 10.1 miles (7:26)

Tuesday: 11.7 miles (5:38) with about 11.25 medium (5:33).  Got out the door pretty quickly, so I was able to squeeze in a little bit extra. Ran 5:45s on the way down with a headwind and 5:25s on the way back with an easier effort.  Felt good and smooth. 5.5 miles (6:49)

Wednesday: 4.5 miles (7:16); 9.1 miles (7:16)

Thursday: 4 miles (7:07); 13.6 miles with 20x400m with 1:00 jog rest. Total time was 22:13. Was hoping to run 70-71s and ran the first 4 in the 68-69 range, next four in 66-67, next five in 64-65, then 66 six times in a row and finished with 65. Because I have a hard, more important workout in 36 hours, I kept on making sure that I was relaxed and smooth.  The 'rasslin team came out for a while, which is probably why I sped up in the middle.  After they left, I made myself slow down.  Really good workout.  I felt like I could have easily done 10 more and I was never struggling during the workout.

Friday: 5.3 miles (7:05); 8 miles (7:19)

Saturday: 15.7 miles with 5x2.1 miles at Moss Wright Park with 1k steady jog rest.  I'm starting to come down with a cold or something, so I just wanted to break 5:20s.  After the 5th recovery jog, I was going to add 3/4 of a mile close to 3:30.  Averaged 5:59 pace for my recovery jog. 1st loop=10:57 (5:15, 5:11).  Felt smooth and was surprised with the time.  2nd loop=10:57 (5:10, 5:14). There was a race going on, which made me get out too hard the first mile, so I backed off. 3rd loop=11:09 (5:20, 5:17). Felt a little flat from the last one 4th loop=11:08 (5:20, 5:15). Debated making this my last, but I was turning into a pessimist instead of gritting down and going with the flow. The hill beat me up on this loop. 5th loop=11:31 (5:21, 5:37). I could tell early on that I was getting drained and then fell apart after the mile. I crawled up the hill and was trashed after the workout.  Running just under 9 minutes for the cool down mile completely exhausted me. I had a low fever when I got home, which became higher throughout the day. Also ran this after eating very little for the prior 16 hours, so I may had been a tad low on carbs.  I don't understand why I crashed so badly/suddenly.  Normally it's a gradual process.  Skipped 2nd run

Sunday: 10.7 miles (7:15ish); 4.5 miles (7:16)

Week Total= 106.7 miles.  Eh volume, which would have been higher if I got in my planned 20 for Saturday. At one point during the week, I had 115 miles for the prior seven days, so I can't just look at Monday-Sunday.  Really pleased with the Thursday evening, Saturday morning combo.  I feel like I'm starting to get pretty fit and am close to my goal of being close to 65 minute half-marathon shape by the end of the month.  Hopefully this sickness/virus doesn't linger too long because now, marathon training begins.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Running Warehouse Gift Card Sale

I've been using Running Warehouse since college. You get free, two-day shipping, free return shipping, no tax and they usually always sell below retail price. They even don't frown when you are debating between 2-3 different shoes, order them all, and then send back the ones you don't want.

Another cool feature is the Shoefitr (one of my Hood to Coast teammates, Nick End, helped develop this). Stolen from the Shoefitr website:

"Shoefitr, an application that shows how a shoe will fit using 3D scanning technology to compare the internal dimensions of shoes. When a customer is shopping online and finds a shoe she wants to buy, she tells Shoefitr the size and model of the shoe she currently has. Shoefitr then compares the measurements of the shoe the shopper currently has to the one she wants and recommends the correct size. The application also provides recommendations of other shoes that would fit the same as the customer’s preference."

Basically if you are running in a certain pair of running shoes and wonder how a different pair compares, you can use Shoefitr to let you know.  Enough rambling.
The point of this drawn-out, off-task post is to let you know Running Warehouse is having a good sale on their gift cards until the 17th.  $25 gift cards are $20.  $50 gift cards are $40. $100 gift cards are $80. And $200 gift cards are $160.  

Here is where the fun comes in. Let's say you buy a $100 gift card for $80 and you want to get the latest color of the Kinvara 3 for $89.95 ($100 retail, plus tax, which will cost you about $110 in Tennessee).  Let's say you also are a member of a running club that gives a 15% or a 10% (runblog10) off code. You can order the gift card (can't use the code on it) and then buy your shoes with the card when it comes in.  After the 15% or 10% off code, you are now paying a little bit over $76 or $81 for your shoes, with about $24 or $19 left on your gift card that you paid $80 for. Not a bad deal!

Monday, November 12, 2012

October 5-11 Training

Monday: 5 miles (6:58); 8.4 miles (7:36)

Tuesday: 5 miles (7:26); 11.6 miles with 8000m tempo in 25:42 and 6x200m with 200m jog in 3o avg.  My tempo was right at my goal time and split: 5:11, 5:11, 5:07, 5:08, 5:05.  Kept the same effort throughout.  200s weren't bad at first but felt my muscles lock up a little bit on the 5th and 6th one.  Was planning on eight of them but I didn't want to overdo it.

Wednesday: 4 miles (6:52); 9.2 miles (7:35)

Thursday: 4 miles (7:11); 9.7 miles (7:23) with 6xhill blasts

Friday: 5 miles (7:02); 11 miles with 4800m (15:14), 3:00 jog, 3200m (9:52), 3:00 jog, 1600m (4:38).  Goal was low 15:20s, lower 9:50s and 4:40, so times were right on the money.  Ran in the rain the entire time but felt decent.  Was expecting to struggle on the mile but was surprised with how it felt. I'm getting there but still have some work to do.  Legs don't feel as "light" and quick as they did in the spring.

Saturday: 10.5 miles. Ran 1.5 miles warm-up and the paced my friend Jeff for 9 miles of a 10 mile race just under 7:00 pace; 3.4 miles (7:33)

Sunday: 22 miles (6:17). Felt really weak at first but felt better a few miles in.  Ran the same route as last week, except I ran the Boomer route backwards (which is harder) and added Country Hills (instead of going entirely up Saundersville).  The hills in Country Hills (go figure) put a whooping on me and I felt like I was walking at some points. After that, my butt and hips were tired the rest of the run.  I still need to work on my glute strength and hip flexibility.  Anytime I try to stand tall on hills, my hip flexors feel insanely tight and don't want to work.  I have a tendency to lean WAY too far forward on hills, so I need to fix that.  Was rolling low 6:00s by the end, even though it was in a headwind.  Felt ok running, but was really tired by the end.

Week Total= 108.8 miles. Decent week and a step in the right direction but I am still behind schedule. I feel like I'm 10-15s per mile slower than I need to be (if the marathon was next week) but then again, I'm still coming off an injury and am carrying a few extra pounds.

Power of Negative Thinking

I posted this article on my Facebook a while ago.  I consider myself to be a pretty strong realist.  I see things as they are.  I view optimists as strong willed people, as long as the odds are in their favor.  However, once the odds are no longer in their favor, they can fall apart.  Pessimists are more annoying because they never give themselves a true chance at success.  Sure, they appear to never be let down by lack of success, because they never expected it in the first place, but in reality, they constantly let themselves down.  If the odds are 99.99% in their favor, they will find the .01% reason why they should (and will) fail.

The article states research that says that people who viewed their success as already being accomplished can have that view backfire.  When they fantasized about achieving their goals, they became less energized because part of them felt the task was already accomplished.  This past spring, I became really focused on running under 14 minutes in the 5000m at the Music City Distance Carnival.  My "peak race" was the US Half-Marathon Championships but I really didn't have a time in mind for that race.  I just wanted to race hard and compete well because I was racing people, not the stopwatch.  However, running under 14 minutes seemed to take a lot of my focus because it had a tangible number to it and was against something real, predictable and controlled.  Not to mention, running under 14 minutes was my main goal in college, before I had struggled with mono and low iron.

Based off workouts, I felt that running under 14 minutes this past spring was my destiny.  I constantly visualized how the race would unfold...I would go out between 4:25-4:30 for the first 1600m, come through 3200m trailing the leaders in around 8:55, make a move with 1000m to go, before falling apart on the final lap, but finishing just under 14 minutes.  I knew it would happen and felt that it was just a matter of running the race.  Unfortunately, things didn't go as planned for myself, which threw me totally off my game and once I saw my "reality" slipping through my fingers, I fell apart mentally and ran 14:13 (and the leaders came through exactly as I envisioned, except I wasn't there). So much for optimism.

I don't know why I got so focused on that race and so obsessed with a time. In college, I followed that mindset and it led me to some great and also some terrible races.  Since my return to racing, I've taken a much more carefree attitude to training and racing and it's resulted in a lot of success.  I train in the moment, but with a long term approach.

When visualizing future races and performances, you need to visualize all the possible scenerios.  I believe (and the article states) that it's also important to envision things going poorly and working through them.  Heck, I feel it's even more important to view the bad things over the good because when things go well, it's easy to continue to stay motivated because you get the constant positive reinforcement.  But when things go poorly, it's a lot harder to continue to fight. Someone who is mentally tough isn't someone who can push themselves to achieve top-level performances, it's someone who can push themselves hard when things are going from bad to worse.

So many times, I've heard people say "the race was going well and then..."  Well,  the race didn't end when that happened.  In a way that's when the race really began. Before you find yourself in that situation, visualize it and practice it so you can get out of it.

I really don't know where I'm going with this post and have rambled a bunch of random thoughts.  But when you think about your future races or anything else in life, think about things going poorly and working through them so they go from a negative to a positive.  Also think about things going poorly and not getting better, but also continuing to work through them.

Netflix Movie Monday

Ladies and gentleman, I present to you the first movie in the greatest trilogy of cinema...The Evil Dead.  And unlike every other trilogy known to man, each movie in this series gets drastically better.  Does this mean that The Evil Dead is bad? Only if bad means super low budget but awesome (it's late, cut me some slack.)

I don't remember the first time I saw The Evil Dead.  I know it was in high school and I own the VHS tape. Well, I believe I do, but part of me also believes my old college roommate, Matt, borrowed it and never returned it.

The Evil Dead was filmed in 1981 (my birth year).  It was written and directed by Sam Raimi (who produced those Spider Man movies) on a budget of $90,000 and was even filmed in Tennessee.  In the movie, five college students are taking a little vacation in a cabin the woods.  Why the woods instead of a hopping town like Gatlinburg? Who knows? But in the cabin, they find The Book of the Dead an old audio tape that unbeknownst to them, releases demons.  Bad combination.

As you can guess, the demons wreck mayhem and pick-off the college students one-by-one.  The students also become possessed and attack the "normal" living ones.  It doesn't sound like your typical vacation to me, but lucky Ash (Bruce Campbell, my favorite actor) is there to save the day.  Ash does his best to put some whoopings on the demons and continues to do it in Evil Dead II and my favorite movie of all-time, Army of Darkness.

You owe it to yourself to check this one (followed by the other two in the series).  And if you need to borrow them because you don't have Netflix, ask me (or my old roommate.)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day 2012, an Old Man Rant

It's time for another Presidential election.  I'll be glad when this day is over because reading over the constant negativity of Facebook posts, etc. is starting to get annoying.  It seems like 99% of people who post about the election bash the opposing candidate rather than support their own.  I've learned time and time again that if you bash someone else, it's because you don't have much faith in yourself/your candidate.  If you want me to vote for your candidate, tell me why THEY are the best choice, not why the other guy isn't.  It seems like every election, people become more partisan and it feels more like an intense college football rivalry, rather than a presidential election.

I used to be into politics but now it just burns me out.  Obama will most likely win and I'll probably have to deal with another day of whining and gloating.  But I doubt who wins the election will have much impact on my daily life.  No matter what the results actually turn out to be, I feel a few things will happen in the next four years and like life, running, etc. it's just about learning to adapt to the stress.

  • The economy will not get much better but people will continue to live way outside their means.  Bush spent way too much money, Obama spent/spends too much money and odds are, you probably do to. So rather than blame the President, take a look in the mirror.  Just like the secret to improving your running is not a couple random big workouts, but consistent mileage day-in and day-out, so is the secret  to making ends meet.  People do blow their money on random, big money purchases, but what is much more common is people bleeding away their money one day at a time on mostly useless and unneeded crap.  I think most people will be amazed if they look at their financial statements and see how much money they spend on impulse food purchases (Starbucks, McDonalds, etc)., buying things on "sale" (if you only buy it because it's on sale, then you really don't need it anyway), huge cell phone bills and other little things here and there.  Heck, just driving around town burns up a pretty penny because gas isn't cheap.

  • We will probably still be in or enter into another war, because we are America and that's what we do. Since the birth of our nation, we have been in a war 91% of the time and if my internet data is right, there has never been a President who hasn't been in war. 

  • We will become a more unhealthy nation and health insurance costs will continue to climb.  I read somewhere that this generation is the first generation that won't live as long as their parents.  And my health insurance went from no deductible, to a big deductible, to next year, a much larger deductible.  It's gotten to the point where I don't go to the doctor because I'm too busy paying for other people to do so.  We live in a society where people are constantly looking for shortcuts to health....sprinkling magic fairy dust on your food to make you feel more full, gluten-free diets (for people who don't have celiac), mail-order diets, taking "hcg" drops (which really isn's hcg) and only eating 500 calories a day.  Heck, you could replace those drops with pure bacon grease and if you only eat 500 calories a day, you'll still lost a ton of weight (a large part muscle and water).  And not to mention, you have to pay hundreds of dollars to not eat. Where's the logic there? But yeah, Wall-E could have had it right. If you are serious about your health, drink more water, eat a ton of vegetables and walk around your neighborhood
That's enough bitter old man ranting.  Maybe it sounds cranky, but sometimes people need to hear the truth.  Most people are the cause and solution to their problems in life.  There's no magic fix to anything.  Don't treat the symptoms, treat the sickness.

And since this is primarily a running blog, I need to have some running predictions until the next presidency.  Running can be a pretty unpredictable sport, but I'll take a stab at it.

  • The men's world record in the marathon will be broken at least 2-3 more times.  How fast do I think it will get down to before the next election? I will go with 2:02:15

  • Mo Farah will threaten but not break the world record in the 5k and 10k.  Maybe if he was four years younger, I could see him breaking Bekele's marks of 12:37 and 26:17 but I think he will move to the marathon in the next few years.  The 10k is slowly dying and there's too much money to be made in the marathon.  I'll go on record and say he will run 12:39 and 26:25 before moving up.

  • Mary Cain will make the next Olympic team in the 1500m, after overcoming her thyroid condition (did you see what I did there)

  • I will continue to lose more hair while Alan Webb's hair will still look exactly the same. 

Did you see what I did there?

  • Jake Krong, Connor Kamm and I will be kicked out of an Applebee's after the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials

  • Galen Rupp will break Ryan Hall's American record in the half-marathon on a course that is both USATF and Rupp certified

  • Adam Goucher will become the EliptiGO world world champion

  • The United States will become a greater world power in the distance events

  • The Flying Monkey and Boston Marathons will continue to sell-out in insane times. I have no idea how to increase your odds in the Flying Monkey lottery but if you want to greatly increase your chances at getting into Boston, don't wait until summer to start your training for your fall marathon.  Always be in training.  What you are doing now will help in a few months but it will also greatly help in another couple of years.  Don't take big breaks, increase your mileage and get out and race often.

  • I will still be complaining that I eat too much junk food and only get six hours of sleep a night. I will continue to state that I will improve upon it the following Monday.

So there you go.  I'll be sure to revisit this in four years.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Netflix Movie Monday

Saving Silverman is one of my favorite movies of all-time. Nine out of ten of you will absolutely hate it, but it's a movie I've seen tons of times and never get tired of it.  I saw it for the first time in college and have loved it ever since. It has some pretty famous actors: Jack Black, Jason Biggs, Steve Zahn and even Neil Diamond.

In the movie, Darren (Jason Biggs), Wayne (Steve Zahn) and J.D. (Jack Black) have been best friends since elementary school.  They share a strong manlove for Neil Diamond and even formed their own tribute band, Diamonds in the Rough.  Darren thinks he is moving onto greener pastures and falls for a psycho, controlling therapist.  Like a lot of women can be (except for my wife), she wants to separate him from his old life and mold him into who she wants him to be.

Wayne and J.D. do everything they can do try and get Judith (Darren's girlfriend) to break up with Darren but when that doesn't work, they formulate the perfect plan: kidnap Judith and track down Darren's old high school love, who is in training to be a nun (is that called training), to try and have them fall in love, so he will ditch Judith.

Since I hate spoilers, I'll let you watch the movie to see the rest.  And since nine out of ten of you will hate it, I only want to hear from the ones that appreciate the theatrical masterpiece that it is.

October 29th-November 4th Training

Monday: 5.8 miles (6:45); 6.6 miles (7:15)

Tuesday: 10 miles with 6 miles of 1:00 on/off at 5:49 average. One of my favorite speed workouts. I will usually start these around 10k pace and work down to faster than 5k pace and really make myself hurt the last few.  There were 25mph winds during this workout, so times were a bit slower than anticipated and I averaged in the mid/upper 4:40s. Since I'm not in good shape, I had to be patient with these and make sure I didn't get rolling too soon. When I'm fit, I can make myself hurt early on and recover in time to hammer again. I felt smooth but have a lot of work to do; 7 miles easy

Wednesday: 8.5 miles (6:59); 4.5 miles (7:07)

Thursday: 4 miles (6:57); 11.4 miles (5:50) with 10.75 medium (5:43).  Started out with heavy legs and had some trouble getting under 6:00 but after a few miles, I felt much better.  Ran the last 5 under 5:40 pace and felt good aerobically.

Friday: 5.5 miles (7:02); 6 miles (7:10)

Saturday: 7.9 miles with 5k in 15:37 (watch said 15:35).  My plan was to run just under 15:30.  I was alone the whole way and split a comfortable 4:51 first mile.  Mile two was 5:01 and since I only needed a 5:08 or so to break 15:30, I backed off a hair but I guess it was too much, as I split a 5:12 the last mile. I caught myself slacking a few times that last mile. The effort was harder than I would have liked but if I would have had people to run with, I feel like I could have run a low 15.  Legs have been really heavy lately as well.; 3.4 miles (7:37)

Sunday: 20.1 miles (6:18). I was expecting to feel like crap because my legs were tired last night and I've only had three easy days in the last nine days. Felt smooth the whole way and was rolling low 6:00s with very little effort towards the end.  Basic endurance is good, I just need some more race fitness.

Week Total=100.8 miles.  My first 20+ mile run in nearly two months and my first 100 mile week in about 1.5 months. My body is starting to get a bit worn down and I'm at the stage where I'm piling on a heavier workload than my body can maintain but I feel like it will "jumpstart" in about 2-3 weeks. Based on my timeframe, I have to rush things a bit but once I start adapting to the workouts, things will go much more smoothly. I'd like to be in low 65 or under half marathon shape by the end of the month, so I have some work to do.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Cougar Crawl 5k

I wasn't planning on doing a race this weekend, but one of my running friends, Jacob Carrigan sent me a message about this race, which gave $100 to the winner.  Since I was planning on doing a workout anyway and the race took place in the park that I do a lot of my training in, I decided to head on down.

My plan was to run it around 10k effort and run somewhere in the 15:20s.  This was one of the first cold mornings of the fall and it was right around 40 degrees.  The race seemed to be pretty low key but gave cool looking shirts. It was a fundraiser for and around 100 people or so where there.

Since moving to the longer races, I find myself sometimes getting too complacent with the faster intensities.  I can run half marathon pace all day (well, if 13.1 miles is a day) but if I don't focus on keeping my foot on the gas pedal in the shorter races, I lose a lot of time.  Because of this, I wanted to get out a little fast to try and keep me in the zone.

Some little girl took off at the start of the race and I didn't pass her until about a 1/4 mile later.  I didn't catch the first mile fast enough to split my watch, but I went through in 4:51.  I was surprised that it felt so nice and controlled.  After the first mile, you continue down the trail before making a 180 degree turn and go back the way you came.  I backed off some during the second mile and ran a 5:01.  I was getting a little bit tired and knew I had some time in the bank, so I backed off a little bit more.  At this point, I was running against traffic, which usually takes away a lot of my focus.  I could feel the tiredness start to creep in, but I felt I was going to hit my time without much issues.

I was surprised when I went through the third mile in 5:12 because I didn't realize I slowed down that much and it actually felt a little bit tough.  I crossed the line in 15:37, which was a little frustrating because the effort felt harder than that.  My GPS read 3.17 miles, which is about on par for a certified 5k, especially with the turnaround and winding trails.

I'm hoping to be in shape to run faster than this pace for an entire half-marathon in about a month's time, so I have work to do. For now, I'll just chalk it up to lack of fitness and tired legs from hard training.