Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Out for the count

The sore throat extended itself into sniffles which turned into sore joints which turned into general unwellness. I received a flu shot back in October in hopes of avoiding the flu during the marathon training. So much for that plan.
I hope this clears up soon. I feel like a bloated beached whale, unable to move, dying ever so slowly......

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Sore throat

I felt recovered enough on Wednesday that I went to the gym early for a 30 minute swim. I was able to cover 1 K in 31 minutes. So it was nice and leisurely. Silly me. In the evening, I went back to the gym and worked on my weight training and stretching. I was planning for an hour and since I finished my routine in 50 minutes, I tried the stairmaster for 10 minutes. On Cassie's recommendation, I'm trying my darnest to try every glute exercise I can get my buns on.

As it turns out, that over indulgence yesterday might have been in poor judgment. I got up this morning to a sore throat. As I'm typing this, the whole body seems to be aching. Hmmm. Cold? A flu? Either way, if these symptoms don't improve by tomorrow morning, I will have to kiss the 21 mile long run this Saturday good bye. Oh well.

John Walk makes it into Houston Chronicle

Jon Walk is going places and hopefully taking us bloggers with him on his coattail. Check out this article from the Sports section of today's Houston Chronicle.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Houstonian Lite 30K Race Report

It was dark and a little cold at the start. The temperature hovered in the low 40's with a 10 MPH breeze. After locating the chip desk, Dave Smart and I headed right into the lobby of the Marriott Hotel, not to emerge until 15 minutes to gun time to go back to the car to shed all additional clothing.

I was worried about the knee again and wondered how long it would last before the pain. Not too long as it turned out.

At the start area, the bloggers congregated again. I saw, Joe Breda, Jon Walk, Jennifer Kim and David Smart. After as much laughter and shivering one can squeeze into 10 minutes, the gun went off and off went the runners. 18.6 Miles. Eeeck!

Mile 1: 10:22
Mile 2: 10:21
Mile 3: 10:07
Mile 4: 11:17 Knee pain starts
Mile 5: 13.04
Mile 6: 11:59
Mile 7: 11:48
Mile 8: 11.02
Mile 9: 11:03
Mile 10: 10:20
Mile 11: 11:34
Mile 12: 12:26
Mile 13: 12:34
Mile 14: 11:40 Met up with Vic Kaiser as he was trolling for injured runners...
Mile 15: 13:37
Mile 16: 12:03
Mile 17: 12:56
Mile 18: 14:18
0.6 Miles: 7:51

Total: 3:40:31

Elapsed Kayano Miles: 55.3

So the infamous knee pain through the way of ITB showed up at mile 4. I ran with Jon during the first 3 miles but I could not keep up anymore. First I started to seek relief by stretching every time the pain came back. But stretching in that cold weather did not seem to help too much. Eventually, I had to resort to walking "off" the pain and run until the pain was unbearable again. So the walk run cycle continued all the way to the end. As my strategy changed, my goal changed with it. Instead of running 10 minute paces, I was hoping for better than 13.5 minute pace as this would allow me to finish the run in regulation. So I made sure I ran enough between mile markers to keep myself under 13.5 minutes.

Quad cramps. The cramps started to show during the last lap. I could not shake it off. None of the stretching helped. So I had to walk this off also. Fortunately, walking did relieve the cramping and I was able to resume the run walk routine until on the way back to the finish area. The cramps got persistent. Regardless, not wanting to walk it in, as soon as I was on the shopping mall property, I ran it in. I gritted and ran the last half mile.

Kudos to the Houston Striders again. They had the best water stop in my opinion. Of course, it helped that Jessica and Cassie was cheering me on and on and on (yes, 3 times!! LOL). I know running was hard enough but I was wondering whether standing in that cold weather for 4 hours and getting splashed with water and Gatorade was harder. Thanks for the great support Striders!

Food! I was offered orange slices, chocolates, Clif bars, Carb Booms! and cookies. What a well supported race. Kudos to the organizers of the 30K, this race was very well managed. The t-shirt and the medal design was very nicely done. Again, big thanks!

So, where does this leave me for the Marathon? I am discouraged by the physical condition of my right knee. I don't think I have enough time to heel them properly. I think the best thing I can do for myself now is to take a 2 week rest from running and try a long 21 mile run. Then, I will rest up again for another 2 weeks and then run the marathon. If the pain persists, I think I can employ the same tactic and still finish in regulation. It won't be a fast time, but it will be a finisher's time non the less.

Saturday, December 10th

I opted out of the RTW 5K run. I had not run since the 6 mile run and had only done weight training and lap swims. I wanted to run but I was quite certain that the knee needed as much rest as possible before the long run.

I did go to the run to cheer on my fellow bloggers. After that, thanks to Jon Walk, we had a blast at his house not too far away. We have a very diverse group of runners in the HRB and I I look forward to every meeting we have. Going to races now is a lot of fun for me because I know I will meet up with fellow bloggers to support and cheer each other on.

December 4th Run

Foremost, I apologize for not updating this blog. I have not run much since the last entry in hopes of resting the right leg's ITB. However, I must now update the two runs I've had since the last entry.

I did my final run before the 30K last Sunday. I did not preset the distance except to run as far as possible before the knee pain started. It turned out to be 6 miles. So, depressingly, I only put in 6 miles, despite the fact that I had enough water and food prepared for an 18 miles run. LOL.

Time: About 1 hour.

Elapsed Kayano miles: 36.7

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Thursday Run

As we approach the winter solstice, the shortest "light" day of the year, it is becoming much more difficult to go for a run after work. Today was one of those days. Once I ensconced myself into the woods of The Woodlands, the clock approached 6:30. It was already pitch black. My desire to run went from gung-ho at 5PM to possibly skipping the run.....

I had to really drag my rear end out tonight. Thankfully, by the first half mile, I was glad I did. With the stars guiding me, I really enjoyed my 5K run even if they were really "junk" miles as I did absolutely no "pushing" of the limits.

Running data:

Mile 1: 9:40
Mile 2: 9:07
Mile 3: 8:59
0.1 Miles: 0:46

Total elapsed: 28:34

Kayano miles: 30.7

On the 3rd mile, I did partially step off the concrete pavement and kind of rolled the left ankle. So far, no swelling or pain so I must assume no damage was done.

Houstonian Lite 30K

The race packet finally arrived yesterday. I was getting a little worried since race day is less than 2 weeks away. Looking forward to seeing y'all (gosh, I can't believe I'm actually using this Texan phrase) at the RTW and at the 30K.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Final Vacation Post

Since Tuesday is my running day, I felt guilty about not running. Since I swam in the morning, I really did not have any runs planned today. Besides, I felt that I should rest the legs anyway, hoping it is best for the ITB to take it easy.

The weather was sooo nice, by 5 PM, I finally succumbed to the temptation and went for a run. It was sunny and probably in the mid to high 60's. A lady walking her dog asked,
"Isn't it cold just wearing a shirt and shorts?"
"Not if I keep running!"

Run Synopsis:

Mile 1: 8:17
Mile 2: 8:09
Mile 3: 7:55
0.1 Mile: 0:36

Total: 25:00

Kayano Miles: 27.6

I'm not sure why I ran so fast, but I was surprised to see my first split. I told myself to slow day a bit and I thought I did until I saw the second split. Strange as it may sound, I was mostly marveling at the near perfect weather conditions, a gentle breeze, a bright but setting sun, a crisp blue sky etc. By the 3rd split, I new I could bag an unofficial PR so I leaned as forward as possible and just let it rip as fast as my legs would take me.

25 minutes translates into a PR by 19 seconds. If I said last year that I will eventually run 5K in 25 minutes, I would have laughed myself silly. This is so cool.

More lap swimming

Alas, today is the last vacation day. It has been almost 2 weeks of down time. I took this opportunity to go back to the pool for another lap swim session. I dropped my daughter off at her school and went to the Y.

Distance: 1 mile
Elapsed time: 45:32

Hot tub after the laps were divine. It was a little chilly this morning you see....

Feeling good about burning them calories, I asked my wife out on a lunch date.

IT Band Wrap

I went shopping for a wrap. I don't know if it will help but desperate times call for desperate measures. I went to cho-pat.com and bought a Illiotibial Band Strap. Sadly for me, according to the website, one of the causes of this pain is "bowed" legs. Well, I got 'em, so I wonder what this means for the future. Will my bands eventually adjust and get stronger? Or will I be relegated to this type of pain for ever? I wonder why it is a problem on my right leg and not on the left? Why? Why? Why? I hope I bought the right size. If it comes in time for this weekend's run, I will attempt the long distance again.

Saturday Long Run

It was a rainy day for a change. Nice temps also. I wasn't able to make it to Tour de Memorial hosted by the Striders. I didn't even make it to the RTW race. However, after taking care of some personal things that has been festering for a while, I was able to get a break in the weather and from personal schedule to get on a run. It was already 3:30 PM when I headed out the door with 4 water bottles, 2 small packs of Gummy bears and 2 packs of Carb Boom! I figured if I got in all 18 miles, it would be 6:30 PM and very dark.

Unfortunately for me, the right knee pain manifested itself around mile 8 and got worse. So I quit at mile 9 and went home. Good thing too as the family was invited to a dinner that evening.

Run Synopsis:

Mile 1: 9:37 Started too fast
Mile 2: 9:36 Still too fast
Mile 3: 9:53 Getting around to mile 10 min. mile pace
Mile 4: 10:51
Mile 5: 10:05
Mile 6: 10:13
Mile 7: 11:19 First sign of pain, stretching started
Mile 8: 12:31
Mile 9: 12:35

Miles on the Kayano: 24.5

On the positive side, I was not at all tired after 9 miles. If it wasn't for the pain, I think I could have gone all the way.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Thursday run

As we were having 3 local families coming over for Thanksgiving dinner last night, wife had me on a tight leash to complete multiple chores around the house. It mostly involved cleaning and odd jobs around the kitchen. I was still able to sneak out for a quick 5K morning run though.

Run summary:

Mile 1: 8:57
Mile 2: 8:17
Mile 3: 8:15
0.1 Mile: 0:36

Elapsed: 26:07

Kayano: 15.5 Miles

Temp: 60?

It was a little passed 8 AM, the sun had peaked out and started to warm up the day. Again, another nice relaxing run. I'm continually amazed at my quick 5K times. I think I might be able to PR again should I decide to go to the RTW race this Saturday. I'm undecided at this point as to what to do for Saturday. I'm really tired and lethargic right now from all the food and drinks last night that lasted into the wee hours of the morning. So the motivation meter is currently reading pretty close to zero. Tour de Memorial is also tomorrow morning. I need to decide by dinner how I'm going to put in a 18 mile run. Whether it is with the Striders or by myself and do my own 5K course 6 times over. Decisions, decisions...

Hope everyone had a gastronomic feast yesterday. A run is the most perfect way to burn off all those excess calories me thinks. For me, that will mean Saturday at the earliest. :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Tuesday Run

Not much to report. It was another beautiful day, perhaps a little warm for a nice afternoon run.

Run Summary:

Mile 1: 8:45
Mile 2: 8:33
Mile 3: 8:14
0.1 Mile: 0:43

Total: 26:15

Kayano: 12.4 miles

No ITB pain today. If I'm not mistaken, the right knee pain caused by ITB is worst during cold weather. If so, I need to properly warm up before setting out for a run. During race day, I probably should keep my legs warm as long as possible.

Interesting how nice easy runs take me 26 ~ 27 minutes nowadays. A few months ago, this would be in P.R. territory for me. The new running shoes are working out fine so far. These Kayanos fit so well that it feels like they are already broken in. By the way, for all you Kayano lovers, Lukeslocker.com is having a sale on the Kayano XI. It is $105 plus shipping.

Good luck to all on your turkey day trotting.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Did the alarm clock go off?

I laid out all my running gear to run Knight Flight for Humanity race that Lance Collins posted on our Houston Running Bloggers Board. But it was not to be. I set the alarm for 5:30. I got up at 6:50. A slight disconnect. The drive would have taken about an hour. Bummer. Undaunted, I still put my gear on and went outside to run my 5K course twice.

Temp: 49 F

Mile 1: 9:52
Mile 2: 9:24
Mile 3: 9:29
Mile 4: 10:29 ITB pain - pulled over to stretch
Mile 5: 10:06 ITB pain - pulled over to stretch
Mile 6: 10:10*
0.2 Miles: 0:54*

Total elapsed time: 1:00:27

Total Kayano XI miles: 9.3

* I don't think I hit the split at the correct location. I doubt I could have ran the last 0.2 miles in 54 seconds. Although I did pick up the pace during the last mile.

The weather was cold enough that I barely sweated. I did not feel fatigued or tired, just refreshed. Too bad the right knee keeps bothering me.

Despite the long sleeved shirt, I never felt warm enough during the run. The hands felt cold all the way. I think I need to get some gloves to keep them warm.

One upside to being cold, the long hot shower afterwards felt divine.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Lap Dawg

I'm in the process of using all my "Use it or lose it" vacation I have left for 2005. My first day back to work will be November 30th.

After helping with getting kids off to school, I packed my gym bag for lap swim at the Y. At around 8 AM, the Y is pretty empty. I was the only lap swimmer and shared the pool with a bunch of energetic seniors doing water aerobics.

Distance: 1 Mile
Time: 42:27

My elapsed time for the mile swim is getting quicker. It is also aerobically easier for me to swim a mile. My cardio system must be getting better and better with the longer runs I've been putting myself through.

Now I am going to meet a friend at Starbucks for lunch at 11:30 AM. What a life style.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Back In The Training Mode

I did not get to run yesterday. The legs didn't feel right. The knees were still a little tight and certain parts were sore one time or another. Even so, by 7:30 PM last night, I felt so guilty that I packed my swim suit and went for a swim at the Y. I swam 1.1K in 30 minutes. I promised to run the following morning.

It was 35 degrees in The Woodlands when I rolled out of bed at 6 AM. So, the urge to run lost out to the urge to stay warm. After seeing both kids off to school, I went back to the Y. This time, I concentrated on weight training and stretching. Not bad. I promised myself to run in the afternoon when the temps got up to a reasonable warmth.

Here is the run down of the 5K.

Mile 1: 8:53
Mile 2: 8:41
Mile 3: 8:32
0.1 Mile: 0:34

Asics Gel Kayano XI Mileage: 3.1 miles

Nice negative splits. The weather was perfect. A little breeze and the temp was about 60. The new Asics Gel Kayano XI felt really good. After running in these, I realized how "done" my last pair of Asics GT-2100's were. To think I ran the last 25K in dead shoes. I've decided to keep a log of my shoe mileage on this blog. I think this will allow be to better manage my shoe replacement time table.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Arch Pain

Surprise! Surprise! The 25K race did not make my arch pain any worse. In fact, it is starting to feel almost normal now. I'm planning a recovery run for Wednesday morning on my new Kayanos. Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 14, 2005

HMSA 25K Race Report & Congrats to Jessica on her hardware!!!

3:02:30. My Timex time for the HMSA 25K run. (Gun time: 3:03:18 at 11:47/M pace) I ran the 20K race in October at 2:09. So how did I eat up 54 additional minutes to go another 5K? I suppose this is why running is never dull. No race is the same. Even if it is the same race, same course but on a different day, you can have a very different result at the end. I felt good and strong at the 20K. I was looking for almost any excuse to not run the 3rd loop at the 25K. Heat and humidity. Need I say more? Interestingly, the heat and humidity kind of crept up to you. During the first loop, the downtown skyscrapers kept the course under shadows and made running quite pleasant. By the second loop though, the shadows disappeared and we were running under full sunlight. This is where my race management went bad. I should have tried to adapt to this new condition and slowed down. But, I kept going at the same pace. I cruised during the first 6 ~ 8 miles or so, clocking around 10:00/M pace. Then a sudden wall. The second loop’s sun/heat caught up to me. It started to get bad on the back end of the second loop. By the time I entered loop 3, I was craving salty food pretty badly. I was desperate for some full strength Gatorade. But alas, even the watered down version at the water stations were out of it through out the 3rd loop! Arghhh. Luckily, I had an emergency Carb Boom! Pack left in my trusty Nike shorts.

I’m not sure how I finished the 3rd loop, but I know it was a combination of walking, running and sucking down as much water as I could. Also, I wanted to get to the last turn around point to see if Lisa was still there, hootin’ and hollerin’ at the runners. She was. I couldn’t help but run as soon as I got into her view and until I got out of her view no matter what. Good thing about the 3rd loop. The clouds rolled in and blocked the sun.

As soon as I finished, I went straight to the snack table and ate about 3 bags of pretzels. If there were salt cubes available, I might have eaten them also. Tell tale sign of dehydration I suppose. When I got home, I had a net 5lbs weight loss, and that is after gulping down 2 cans of Coke, 3 bags of pretzels, a banana, a 20 oz of bottled water and all the water and Gatorade I drank at the water stations.

As usual, it was good to see our blogging members at the race. Before the start of the 8.4K, I got a chance to talk to Jon, Waverly, Cassie, Mannie, Sarah and Sarah’s friend Chris. Before the start of the 25K, I met and chatted with Jennifer Kim. Oh, and congrats to Jessica whom I met after the run. She won 3rd place in her age group and had a nice piece of hardware to show for it. Way to go! During the 3rd loop of the race, a guy in a red Houston Fit running shirt came up and said,
“Are you Holden?”
“Yes….” (With a curious look on my face)
“I recognized you from your blog. Have a good race!”
Then he was gone.
By the Striders tent I met Steve Shepard. As usual, he was full of running wisdom. Not to worry too much about this race as the conditions were not so good etc.

Finally, sorry for all the rambling. It is hard to write well this early. But I wanted to get the post out. Next race: The 30K.

November Stridelines now available!

Houston Striders November newsletter is now available for your viewing pleasure. Down load here.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Asics Gel Kayano XI

With 5 minutes to closing time, I made it to the Woodland's Luke's Locker to shop. They were having 20% off anniversay sale (Thanks Jon! I guess it pays to volunteer at the RTW 5K). I picked up a Nike Running shorts with pockets (for my Carb Boom!) and a pair running socks. I saw the owner milling about and told him that I generated blisters on the pinkie toe after the 25K today. He examined my blisters and told me that it wasn't the shoe. Long story short, he concluded that my current Asics GT-2100 were done for, too many miles and that I should get a new pair real soon. Well, with 20% off, how could I resist them Kayanos? So I bought a pair. I must say, comparing them to the new Asics GT-2110, these Kayanos were much better feeling. Besides, with leesaleese and EQ wearing them to PR's, how could I go wrong?

My apologies to the cash register person, as she could not close the register until I was done (5:30). This owner person was very knowledgeable and helpful. I got a lot of interesting tidbits from him today.

Blue Bell Fun Run

I just signed up to run the Houstonian Lite 30K. All psyched up about this race after Steve Shepard's encouraging words during the 25K post race recovery party.

However, on a lighter note, I will be in Brehnam, TX next March 25th, to run the next Blue Bell Fun Run. This is a 5K and 10K event. I'll be running the 10K. Motivation? Free Blue Bell Ice Cream at the end of the race. Yum!

#1 Cheerleader of 2005 HMSA 25K

I was very impressed with someone today. I have never seen anyone with more enthusiasm and endless energy as this person. She is a runner of course (BTW - she runs in Asics Gel Kayano XI... is that TMI?) In fact, she just ran the Marine Corp Marathon. She was not running the race today but from the looks of it, I think she ran on her own before the 25K. She was standing by the turn around point, in front of the Catholic High School. When I passed her the first time, she was clapping and shouting words of encouragement to everyone that passed by. When I looped the turn around the second time, I was surprised to see her still shouting words of encouragement and clapping just as enthusiastically as the first go around. Wow...I thought. She was still there when I made my 3rd loop, just as enthusiastically as the first 2 times. I'm quite certain she stayed over 3 hours cheering all the runners.

LeesaLeese, thank you so much for your words of encouragement today. It was hot and humid and running was particularly hard. Your encouragement helped me tremendously.

Race report to come later.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Getting psyched for the 25K

Looks like the weather is going to be a little on the hot side. Looks like I won't be 100%. But I am starting to get excited about the 25K. I think I can, I think I can.

I lifted the post below from Sarah's blog. Kinda touchy feely. Hmmmmm.

What does your birth date mean?

Your Birthdate: August 11
Spiritual and thoughtful, you tend to take a step back from the world. You're very sensitive to what's going on around you, yet you remain calm.Although you are brilliant, it may take you a while to find your niche.Your creativity is supreme, but it sometimes makes it hard for you to get things done.
Your strength: Your inner peace
Your weakness: You get stuck in the clouds
Your power color: Emerald
Your power symbol: Leaf
Your power month: November
What Does Your Birth Date Mean?

Monday, November 07, 2005

Arch Pain

This web link from epodiatry.com describes the symptoms very accurately.

Ramblings of a foot injured runner

Less than one week to go to the 25K race. Since the 15 mile run, I have been taking it easy as I nurse the right ankle problem. But as it turns out, I think it is more of the right foot arch strain than anything else. Perhaps this is another overuse issue. It started to feel strange at the last RTW race on the 22nd of October. The foot felt weird, minor pain issue on the right ankle area. But because the pain was so minor and as a new runner, you are always dealing with some kind of pain, I really didn’t think much of it. I continued to run my 5K runs on regular intervals and ran the 15 miles without too much problem. Well, it is now becoming an issue. It hurts more and more and it is not getting any better. I took last Tuesday off and ran an easy 3 miles on Thursday, then another nice 3 miles on Saturday and Sunday. I have added a 30-minute pool lap sessions on Friday and Sunday in an effort to maintain my cardio level.

Now that it is Monday, do I run this week or not? If I don’t, do I go to the pool or not? What would happen if I rested and went to the 25K run?

Monday, October 31, 2005

Surfside Beach Half Marathon

In lieu of the Freescale Half Marathon, I have decided to run the Surfside Beach Half Marathon. I think it will be pretty cool to be running on a beach. Also, based on the reviews posted to the Marathonguide.com, it should also be easy on the joints.

Burning calories

One of the side benefits of running gazillion miles is burnt calories. According to the cool running website, I burnt 2062 calories during yesterday's 15 mile run. How awesome is that? All the food I ate yesterday added up to net zero caloric gain.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

15 miles: Longest run to date

We fell back today. However, just to compensate, I went to bed an hour later so I feel I didn't really sleep an extra hour. No matter. As soon as it was light, I prepared 3 - 6 oz water bottles, 2 - 6 oz Powerade/water mixture and a Powergel I got from the Space City 10 miler. (Sidebar note on the Powergel: Yuck! On the positive side, it did not upset my stomach or made me sick. It just tasted bad. I didn't realize how well my CarBoom! tasted until I tried this thing.)

Anyway, ankle pain or not, I was determined to go 15 miles today in preparation for the HMSA 25K. The ankle hurt yesterday so I was a little worried. It wasn't painful today but it let me know that it wasn't 100% all through the run. Weather was great, a little warmer than I would have liked but with not too much humidity and a gentle breeze, the conditions were pretty good for an LSD run.

Timex Time:

Mile 1: 9:38
Mile 2: 9:43
Mile 3: 9:43
Mile 4: 10:25
Mile 5: 10:10
Mile 6: 10:54
Mile 7: 11:44
Mile 8: 10:35
Mile 9: 10:20
Mile 10: 11:01
Mile 11: 10:44
Mile 12: 10:30
Mile 13: 11:09
Mile 14: 10:32
Mile 15: 12:38

Total: 2:39:52 (Can you believe this? I actually ran for over 2 and half hours! Holy cow!)

I walked twice during the last mile. I was sooooo hungry at the last mile, I could only think about food. I ran a 3 mile loop 5 times and put all my provisions at the start point and alternated between water and Powerade. I should have brought more food. I was craving a chocolate chip cookie, a peanut butter sandwich and anything else sweet. I had to take 2 walking breaks during the last mile because I was having hyperventilating symptoms. I was trying to breath in air but couldn't. I had to deep breath through the nose to keep air in the lungs. Weird.

From this run, I am deducing that I am getting fitter. Despite the long distance, I did not feel too bad afterwards. I felt good enough to go on a 8 mile bike ride with the family for lunch (which was 2 hours after I was done with the run.) In the past, I would be passed out on the bed or a couch right after the shower.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


1908. The last year the Cubs won the World Series. They beat Detroit Tigers that year. Henry was busy that year and probably did not notice that his beloved Tigers lost. Henry was busy launching Model T Ford that Fall. (Actually I don't know if Henry actually liked baseball but who doesn't, baseball is as American as apple pie and Chevrolet....except Chevrolet did not exist when the Cubs last won the World Series... Sigh)

I arrived in Chicago on 8/1/1982. I was 16 years old and waiting for school to start in late August. I had no American friends that summer as I just came over from the UK, so during those hot summer afternoons, I watched baseball games. It was the Cubbies playing day ball at Wrigley Field on WGN. So I became a Cubs fan that summer. I had no idea about their curse or their losing streak.

Perhaps tonight, the 'Stros can put a W up on the board.

Tuesday evening run

Another glorious running day. After work Tuesday evening, I went for an easy 3 mile run. Then again, all runs at cooler temperatures seem easy now.

Mile 1: 8:55
Mile 2: 8:47
Mile 3: 8:24
0.1 Mile: 0:41

Total: 26:51

I played foot volleyball at our church picnic last Sunday. For those not familiar with this game, it is played on a volleyball size court with the net lowered to tennis’ level and instead of using your hands, you are allowed to use soccer’s rules on ball handling. Also, you are allowed one bounce per kick on your end as you set the ball for a spike. Anyway, I had a lot of fun playing 2 games but since, I have been feeling something in my right ankle. I wouldn’t say it is any kind of pain, more like it’s tight, a little uncomfortable. It didn’t bother me enough for the run last night but I’m wondering if this is something I should be worried about. I have never had an ankle injury in my life so I don’t really know what to expect. I still feel it this morning.

Tonight’s plan calls for weight training at the Y. I should take my swimwear and take a dip in the Jacuzzi.

This Saturday, I am shooting for a 15 mile LSD run. I have a 3-mile loop in my neighborhood mapped out. I’ll take 2 gels, 3 – 6 oz water bottles and 2 – 6 oz Gatorade bottles ready at one location and pick one up for every loop. The good part of this set up is that whenever I feel I can’t go on any further, I can stop at the end of any given loop and be close to home. The bad part is, I want to quite so badly at the end of each loop.

Monday, October 24, 2005

2006 Houston Marathon

My bib number for the Houston Marathon is 5949. After much pondering and despite my better judgment and the counsel of other wiser, much more experienced runners, I have decided to run the Full Marathon rather than the Half. I don’t know whether I will succeed or not, whether injuries will come knocking or not. I am throwing caution to the wind and going all out. I’m going with Teddy Roosevelt’s style. I just hope I don’t look back to this post next February and regret it.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Number 24! 24th finisher receives a Teva visor, courtesy of Luke's Locker. (Photo courtesy of RTW #140)

Running my heart out at RTW #140 on my way to a new P.R. I'm about 10 steps away from the finish line. (Photo courtesy of RTW #140)

Saturday, October 22, 2005


RTW 5K 10/22/05 Race Report

Today was another glorious day. The weather at the start of the 5K was hovering in the low 60's. (maybe even upper 50's) Anyway, I once again employed the, "Go as fast as you can all the way." strategy and was handsomely rewarded by breaking another personal record. To make the morning even more perfect, I won a Teva sun visor during the post run raffle sponsored by Luke's Locker.

Mile 1: 7:53
Mile 2: 8:17
Mile 3: 8:27
0.1 Mile: 0:41

Total: 25:20

Official Race Time: 25:19

The official race time recorded by Luke's Locker was a second faster than my stopwatch time. So, I am going to consider the official time as my record.

My previous record set at the last RTW even was 26:00. My goal for this race was to break into 25 minute territory and I set my goal at 25:59. I am thrilled to have broken the record by 41 seconds. Those long distance runs must help your aerobic capacity tremendously.

Friday, October 21, 2005


HMSA Classical 25K

I decided to go for my longest distance race to date. I just signed up for the HMSA 25K. I think Vic Kaiser is going to work as a biker CPR/AED so I know I'm in good hands should my body decide to keel over and crash. I hope to see some of you there! If you are a HARRA member, you get $3 discount. Way cool!

Post 20K Recovery Run

Wednesday morning run

After letting our new puppy Hunter go potty outside, I went out for a “check up” run. This was my first run post-20K race and I wanted to see if there was any lingering bodily pain. The morning was crisp and cool, very conducive for running. (I love Houston Fall weather)

Mile 1: 8:59
Mile 2: 8:51
Mile 3: 8:38
0.1 Mile: 0:39

Total: 27:08

I was not trying for any speed or negative splits. I started out slow to make sure I was warming up my muscles properly and just ran with no cares in the world. Dawn was breaking and it just felt super good. I am quite pleased with the negative splits and the sub 9 minutes miles. For some reason, I felt I was going much slower than what the stopwatch was telling me. No ill effects. No pain anywhere. This is a very good sign.

Off to Indianapolis.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

2005 Luke's Locker 20K

For whatever reason, I was not very motivated to run the Luke’s 20K race. In fact, I was contemplating not going. Perhaps it was the puppy distraction. We brought home a cockapoo puppy on Saturday and the whole family spent Saturday afternoon and evening vying for puppy’s attention. This was our family’s first ever puppy. Kids were super excited. After much deliberation, Hunter became his name even though he is far removed from ever being a hunting dog or a tracker dog and despite the fact that our neighbor across the street calls their dog Hunter.

Back to the race, I got up at 4:30AM and found my way downtown. The weather looked to be almost perfect for running. The temps weren’t going to go over 80 for the duration of the race. I think the starting temperature was in the upper 60’s. It was still relatively dark at the start time and this prevented me from finding my running friends who I knew were there somewhere in the start area.

Here are the stats from the website. All are chip times:

Overall: 2:09:20 10:26/M pace.
1st 10K: 1:05:16 10:19/M pace.
2nd 10K: 1:05:21 10:32/M pace

I felt aerobically, I was ready for this distance and with weather cooperating, I felt I could run this race very comfortably. However, I was still worried about my right knee’s ITB and wasn’t sure if it was going to be an issue or not. Since the Space City 10 miler, I have only ran 3 mile distances in an effort to rest the legs up as much as possible. During those runs, it did not bother me except for that run in Milwaukee (previous posting).

Mile 1: 10:23 Traffic!
Mile 2: 10:02 Traffic thinning out, now able to run my 10/mile pace.
Mile 3: 9:59 Still doing great with pace.
Mile 4: 10:46 Not good. Right knee ITBS, pull over for a quick 30 second stretching.
Mile 5: 10:03 Cruising…
Mile 6: 10:37 Pull over again for another 30 second stretch. Change gait from ball strike to heel strike.
Mile 7: 9:50 Doing OK. Modified gait seems to help with pain.
Mile 8: 10:53 Pull over for more 30 second stretching.
Mile 9: 11:22 Stretch again, lose another 30 seconds.
Mile 10: 10:44 No more pain, but a little slow.
Mile 11: 10:50 No pain, this is cool and I feel great.
Mile 12: 9:56 I can hear the music at the finish. Pick up some speed and finish strong!
0.5 miles: 3:52 Keep on running, keep on running….

As I’m running loop 2, all of the elite running group pass me by as if I’m standing still. I’m on a 10 something pace and they are on a 5 something pace. I think about drafting behind them for a split second and only a split second. Sigh.

Just before the elite runners go by, Jon Walk calls my name from the back seat of a Houston Police cruiser. He yells encouragements. I think about getting arrested so that I can ride with Jon in the backseat of the cruiser.

During the last loop, while I was stretching against a tree, I hear someone yell “Holden!” It was Sarah the rocket scientist, freshly back from California and Saturday’s baseball game. What an energy boost to see a familiar face! (Even though I only met her once.) After quickly finishing my stretching, I sprint to catch up to Sarah. I almost run out of breath but I catch up to her. I’m not sure if I was coherent by then but I do remember making some small talk by saying, “Hi” and “When did you get back from California?” She got back Saturday morning (I think) and then went to the Astros game that late afternoon and her throat was still hurting from all the screaming she did at the game. As small talk died away, I pull ahead. I forget to say “Bye!” (Sorry for being rude Sarah!) I soon set my sites on an older runner wearing a white headband, white shirt and red shorts. I try to close in but cannot. I try real hard but nothing. I approach the last 2 miles and still have him on my sites. I slowly feel the energy level draining away and almost give up. I pass by Houston Strider’s water station (I think it was a water station). Someone is yelling encouragements at me. Who is that? Oh, Steve Shepard! I must look dazed. He comes out and runs with me for about 30 seconds and encourages me to press on! “Almost done!” He says. I feel renewed again and feel a surge of energy. I look for my white head banded pacer and find him. I press on, I get closer and closer. I can now hear his breathing. The last mile marker goes by and I can now hear the music from the post run area. I kick up another notch and finally pass the white head band. He stays right behind me for a while but I am now relentless and was determined to not let him pass me. His breathing fades away and I am now running as fast as I can. I see Vic Kaiser for the last time as he directs me into the finisher’s shoot. I did it! I finished a 20K race strong!

Words of encouragement from Jon, Sarah and Steve during the run helped me tremendously. I am really thankful for that. “Thanks guys!”

At the post race area, I meet Cassie, Mannie, Jessica, Waverly and Jon..

Friday, October 14, 2005


The plane finally takes off from Rochester around 7:20pm. Flight time is estimated to be around 45 minutes so I still feel good about my chances. We land in Cleveland and pull up to the gate. Time now is 8:10. There is no jet bridge available so we park and wait for the stairs. The stairs come but the door remains closed until our luggage can be unloaded. Door finally opens. It is now 8:17PM. I have 13 minutes to make it to the other gate assuming the doors don't close a little early. I run with my dress shoes, towing a carry on luggage bag and a laptop bag. I finally make it to the other terminal. Time: 8:27PM. I run again to my gate C7. Time: 8:29PM. Did I make it? I check to gate area. There are still a bunch of people at the gate. I look at the display by the gate. The flight is delayed until 8:55PM. All that running for nothing. Oh well.

For whatever reason, the right knee swells up during the flight. By the time I get home, it is pretty swollen. I iced it for about half an hour last night, worried about the 20K run this coming Sunday.

Even as I type this, Friday lunch hour, the swelling is still there. I'm having trouble bending it. I guess I'll have to ice it again tonight and take some more Aleve. Hopefully, it will fully recover by the Sunday morning race.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

6:27PM hopefully the last update

My flight to Cleveland just landed and is taxiing to the gate. Hopefully we can deplane and replane (is that a word?) in 15 minutes and take off. If not, at least by 6:50PM. Wishing myself luck....

6PM update from Rochester airport

Now the estimated departure time is 6:50PM. Arrival time at Cleveland is 7:53PM. I will have 37 minutes to connect.

Despite being a weather related delay, the gate agents here at gate B2 are issuing a $6 snack voucher and a Continental customer care kit which is a Continental coupon book with a few freebies.

Still in Rochester.....5:31PM update

Still hanging around Rochester, NY. My 3 PM flight will not leave until 6:45 PM. It is currently taxiing out to the runway at Newark (EWR). Gate agent promises firm update as soon as inbound aircraft (Embraer 145) is airborne. If it is on time to the latest revised schedule, it will get me to Cleveland (CLE) by 7:45 ish, arriving in Terminal D, gate D28. I need to run like I'm running a 5K race and get over to Terminal C, gate C7. If I make it to that connecting flight, seat 1F in the first class cabin awaits me. So there is definitely a carrot at the end of this stick. I wonder if I should take out my running shoes from the carry on luggage and really run.... I could pin a fake race number to my shirt to make it look like a real racing condition. LOL - How wondering minds wonder.

Beer report for Jennifer, part 2

Location: Erie, PA
Date: October 12th, 2005

Beer: LaBatt's Blue Pilsner

Taste like: beer
Temp: Cold
Drank: 2 bottles
Comment: Refreshing.... yea.

TAG! I tag Cassie!!!

TAG! I tag Cassie!!!!!!!!

Delayed in ROC (Rochester, NY)

I'm waiting for my flight to Cleveland to come in. Due to inclement weather in the east coast, the regional jet out of Newark is currently 2 & half hours delayed. I am now going to miss my connecting flight in Cleveland but Continental made it up by upgrading me to first class for a later flight out of Cleveland to Houston. Now I just need to hope that the flight from Newark is not cancelled.

Photo above is of Northwest Airlink's BAe 146 taxiing to its gate at Rochester, NY airport.

There is free wi-fi at this airport so it should make the time go fast.

O'Hare airport & International Terminal E from above


Looking out from Terminal E, IAH

Watching the busy airport activity while waiting for my flight to O'Hare (on my way to Milwaukee), sipping a Starbucks coffee.

Miller Park

Taken during last week's visit to Milwaukee. It was a gorgeous October day and the roof of the park was opened (probably to let the grass grow)

Cool morning run

I was going out of town Tuesday afternoon so I made a point of getting in a run before work. It was nice and cool and wanted to end the run at my son's bus stop.

Mile 1: 10:02
Mile 2: 9:16
Mile 3: 9:00

I have been thinking about how I became a runner (in regards to EQ's post) and it was not too far in my distant past when I considered 3 miles a "long" hard run. Now, 3 miles seem like a quick refreshing run, just to get the blood flowing etc.

I left with 30 minutes to my son's bus time (as I was not going to see him for the next 3 days) and took off. Easy at first, to make sure I was loosening the joints and muscles to avoid any kind of injury prior to this weekend's 20K. As I felt looser and looser, I picked up the pace a little by little and achieved a nice negative splitting. With all the parents and kids standing at the bus stop, it almost felt like a race day with spectators. :)

I've been tagged!

"Boating and swimming in Lake Conroe with friends and neighbors after running 10 miles on 4th of July, 2005."

That was my 23rd post from achive dated July 7th, 2005. Glad to see that I was able to run 10 miles in the middle of Houston summer without too much ill effects.

Looks like everyone I know in the running blogosphere has gotten tagged already so I can't really tag anyone else... Happy fall running everyone!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

5K PR!

I did it! The weather was perfect. After that painful Space City 10 miler, I needed a rebound race for a morale boost. Today, I out ran my ITB pain. Here are the stats:

Mile 1: 8:09
Mile 2: 8:27
Mile 3: 8:36
0.1 Mile: 0:48

Elapsed time: 26:00. (I broke my record by 53 seconds!)

Today's strategy was to let it all hang out and run as fast as I could without worrying about negative splitting. In other words, I ran as fast as I could for 26 minutes.

I drove home listening to Queen's "We are the champions" and "Another one bites the dust!"

Brewtown Milwaukee

The weather in Milwaukee on Wednesday was not much different from Houston. Temperature in the upper 80's. A bonafide heat wave for that part of our Empire in October. Unfortunately, the temp was scheduled to dip into the 40's by Thursday morning. My running gear does not include a long sleeve coolmax so I had to go shopping. I found a nice Nike long sleeve shirt. I almost bought the running gloves too but decided against it. "How cold could it be in October?"

After sharing several glasses of beer (side bar note: Jennifer will be proud. I drank "Spotted Cow" beer which is apparently a local sensation in this part of Wisconsin.) with an old college friend of mine who recently returned from Iraq the night before, I stepped outside of my hotel ready to experience the great marathon temps... The temps were there with an unfortunate breezy winds that sliced right through my coolmax long sleeve shirt and shorts. Brrrr!!! After charting a course with the help of the gmaps pedometer, I set off on a 3.48 mile run. 1 minute into the run, I curse myself for not buying the gloves. 2 minutes into the run, I curse myself for not wearing something under or over the long sleeve shirt. 3 minutes into the run, I experience brain freeze. 4 minutes into the run, the fingers are definately numb and I wonder if I'll ever warm up.

It was an out and back course. The winds were with me on the way back so it was not so bad as soon as I turned back towards the hotel. I'm not sure if it was the weather or not but within site of the hotel, the right IT band struck hard. No amount of stretching helped. I was forced to walk the last half mile back.

Total distance: 3.48 miles
Elapsed tume: 37:52

The hot shower afterwards was divine. Ahhhh.

Friday, October 07, 2005


IT Band pain or no IT band pain, I'm gunning for a 5K PR tomorrow morning.

More update to come later. Enjoy this beautiful weather Houston runners!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Space City 10 Miler Race Report

First of all, it was great meeting you guys today. I got to meet fellow bloggers Ed, Sarah, Lisa and Gabriel. (Met Jon too but we've met before.) It was a very humid day today and conditions were very challenging. I might have to re-evaluate the 20K race should the weather conditions stay similar. I also had a surprise visit from my right IT band. Mr. IT band pain showed up during mile 8 of the Chicago Distance Classic back in October and hadn't been felt since....until today. It showed up at mile 3 and it showed up with a vengeance. It was excruciatingly painful. I seriously considered giving up since there was no way I could continue another 7 miles. After contemplating with my overheated brain for a few minutes, I decided to pull over and stretch the IT band (trick I picked up on LisaLeese's site a while back) as often as possible and continue the race. The stretching did help and allowed me to run for about half a mile at a pop. So every half mile or so, I stretched. The only bad side effect from stopping like that was that my body heated up even more during these stops because the puny wind effect you get from running has been removed. So I would go from unbearably hot to "can it be hotter in hell?" hot. So for 7 miles, I ran in this fashion. How embarrassing.

My Timex stats:

Mile 1: 10:22
Mile 2: 9:47
Mile 3: 10:10
Mile 4: 11:23
Mile 5: 11:04
Mile 6: 11:39
Mile 7: 11:42
Mile 8: 12:25
Mile 9: 13:20
Mile 10: 13:00

Average: 11:29

By mile 8, walking became part of the run as heat exhaustion started to hurt just as bad as the IT band. By the 9th and the 10th mile, I was also having difficulty breathing. It felt as if I was hyper ventilating which I could control by deep breathing through the nose but the effects didn't last long. Any way, I started to walk a lot during those last miles because I wasn't sure what was happening and I did not want to pass out.

The right knee pain stayed with me most of the afternoon. So, to relieve some of that pain, I thought a nice lap swimming would help it. So, I went to the Y and swam 1200 meters in 31:14. The knee definitely felt a lot better afterwards, meaning, I could walk without a limp.

Finally, please excuse this rambling entry.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Running in the dark

The Woodlands have been experiencing rolling blackouts since the end of the storm. I believe this is due to reduced transmission capacity coupled with record heat for the area causing a severe strain on the electric grid. I’m glad to have electricity so no complaints. It did make last night’s run very interesting though. Due to the heat, I decided to go out for a run around sunset. I finally left the house around 7:45 PM for a 3 mile run. I noticed right away how dark the streets were. I’ve ran many times in the dark but I did not realize what DARK really was until last night. Without streetlights and stray lights from houses, things get REALLY DARK. Fortunately, it was a cloudy night and the Houston city lights illuminated the clouds to the south faintly. With that cloudy illumination, I was able to make out the path I was running on. Unfortunately, it was still very hot and humid.

Mile 1: 9:01
Mile 2: 9:17
Mile 3: 9:26
0.1 Mile: 0:45

Total: 28:30

I was concentrating on not running into solid objects to worry too much about my pace.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Trying for normalcy

As the 10 miler looms, I am getting lazier.... hmm. I attempted a run Sunday late afternoon in that blazing heat and came up short. After posting 9:05 for the 1st mile, I slowed to a walk around mile 1.5 and walked rest of the way home. It was hot, I was tired and apparently very dehydrated. Oh well.

Feeling guilty about this apparent failure to complete a 3 mile run, I went to the Y on Monday evening around 6PM (we were out of power between 2PM and 6PM) to do some weight training. After that, I hit the pool for 30 minutes of lap swimming. I thought maybe I could get out for a run on Tuesday (today) but I was totally pooped. I couldn't get out of bed for the morning run and after work, I had zero energy for any kind of exercise. All this with the 10 miler coming up this Sunday.

I need to snap out of this doldrum. I must run tomorrow.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Back Home

We left Tulsa yesterday morning. We decided to skirt the storm by driving southwest towards Waco. Then looped back to the Woodlands through back roads. The roads were not that crowded. Gas was available at most places. We saw many tanker trucks heading towards Houston. We also saw about 20 electric utility trucks from Toledo Edison of Ohio heading into harms way. We arrived home around 10 PM and found my neighbors having a post hurricane block party. Lots of small branches all over the neighborhood. Other than that, everything looked fine. Thank Goodness. I hope to get back to normalcy as soon as possible. Kid's school is closed through Tuesday. I need to check to see when my work is going to open back up.

I need to get back to my running also. I did sign up to run the Space City 10 Miler next weekend.

I hope everyone else is finding their life getting back to normal.

Friday, September 23, 2005


Well, we made it. After hearing from Montgomery County official's recommendations for evacuation, we packed our Minivan to the hilt with family albums, camcorder tapes, insurance paperwork, 3 days worth of water, 4 days worth of clothing, 3 days worth of dry food, credit cards, $300 cash, full tank of gas, Garmin Street Pilot 2620 GPS unit, 2 State Farm atlases, 2 fully charged cell phones, all contact information, 2 sleeping bags, couple of blankets and my trusty Dell laptop, we took off at 10 AM.

We left through FM 1488 as I-45 was a total parking lot at that hour. This was not any better. From there, we turned north on 1774. We only made 26 miles for the first 6 hours. Temp. gauge in the car read 105 ~ 108 through that ordeal. I was very worried about dwindling gas in our van but also about the car overheating. By the time we passed rt. 105, we only had half tank left. We were seriously debating whether we should head back home and fend for ourselves. Apparently, some folks were making that decision as I saw many cars make a U turn.

We decided to press on and hoped to find gas further north. Well, we passed agonizingly slowly by several gas stations which were all out of gas. We reached Manville or Mansfield, and had to get out to go to the bathroom at a gas station that did not have gas. I struck up a conversation with a local guy who told me that further west from where we were standing, there was a gas station that was rationing gas so we could go over there and get some. We hurried over and sure enough, a gas station owner was pumping the gas himself and rationing folks to 18 gallons. We finally topped off and kept heading north. By the time we reached Corsicana, it was getting dark and then decided to join the folks on I-45. By then, the contraflow had reached beyond this point and traffic was moving slowly. Eventually, by the time we reached the outskirts of Dallas, traffic started to flow normally.

We pressed on to Tulsa, only because that was the only place we could get a hotel room of any kind. We arrived here around 3:30 AM and crashed.

Things I noticed:

There are still a lot of good people in America. We saw churches offering bathrooms along the route. We saw fire stations offering free cold water and bathrooms to us. Mostly, people were very courteous and considerate to fellow drivers and followed the rules of the road very well.

Now, all we can do is watch. I've been glued to Fox News. I hope all of you are safe.

We are contemplating how to get back now as the storm is supposed to linger in the north east quadrant of Texas. We might have to drive far west before we head south and eventually south east to Houston. Dallas is expected to get about 15 to 20 inches of rain. I doubt I can drive through that.

Adventure continues.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

To evacuate or not to evacuate

Half of my neighborhood has decided to stay. No windows are being boarded up. Kids are playing outside like it is Friday afternoon. School has been cancelled for Thursday and Friday. There is no bottled water anywhere in The Woodlands. Gas is scarce, in fact, some places ran out last night. We bought some duct tape and hoarded all the candles we could find in the house. Both cars are gassed up and ready to roll.

I have 2 hotel reservations right now. One in Dallas and one in Tulsa, OK.

The most important question right now is: Would it be appropriate to run 3 miles on Thursday afternoon? Just kidding.... LOL.

We are going to decide Thursday morning after a final check of the storm track to see if we should flee or not. If we flee, we are taking off around 3 AM on Friday. Hopefully, the traffic will be decent at that hour. We are taking our GPS unit with us so if I-45 is too congested, we will take local roads by programming the GPS to avoid interstates. If everything is congested, so be it. We will have our minivan stocked with water bottles and dry food.

Here's hoping that all my blogging friends stay safe and sound. Good luck everyone.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

6 mile afternoon run

This was the hottest run ever for me. The car thermometer read 98 when I got home. Undaunted, I changed, filled the fuel belt with water and took off.

Mile 1: 9:57
Mile 2: 9:23
Mile 3: 9:35
Mile 4: 10:45
Mile 5: 10:05
Mile 6: 9:34

Total: 59:23

I spent most of the run thinking about the hurricane. Our company is thinking hard about closing down on Thursday and Friday to let employees in the evacuation zone time to get out. I guess the decision will be made tomorrow morning.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Space City 10 Miler

I just signed up to run this 10 Miler. I hope I'm not too tired for the Koala 20K 2 weeks later.

Hurricane Rita

I just added a link to Dr. Jeff Masters' Hurricane Blog. It has very in depth data on the current Hurricane that might and might not hit Galveston.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Sunday morning run, Sunday afternoon swim

After the fun and festivities of the CCR, what is one to do the following morning? Go running of course. I intended to put in 6 miles but late evening coupled with not getting out of bed in time only allowed me to run a 5K. It was unfortunately very s l o w
g o i n g . . . .

Mile 1: 10:40
Mile 2: 10:23
Mile 3: 9:53
o.1 Mile: 0:55

Overall: 31:51

I finally got around to wearing my fuel belt to get a hang of it. I filled 3 six ounce water bottles up and put a Carb Boom in the front pouch. I first strapped the fuel belt just on top of my pelvic bone. Then at the half way point, I strapped in on the pelvic bone. The latter seemed to work better for me. It was a little awkward running with the belt but not uncomfortable. By the way, how do you wash these things? Even on that short 3 mile run, my belt got pretty wet with sweat. Do I just rinse it in water or do I put this thingie in the washer?

Oh, just one more note on the CCR. Obviously, I'm not used to running up and down hills, or, my normal running routes are just plain FLAT. My butt muscles are sore today.

I was channel surfing this afternoon and caught a half triathlon competition on OLN. Cool. I was watching that for maybe half an hour when I suddenly felt the urge to go swimming. So I quickly packed up the gym bag and went to the Y. I then proceeded to swim a mile. It took me 47:40. I've since been pondering whether I should try for a mini triathlon event. I'm now wondering why my mind's wondering all over the place, blogging this late on a Sunday....

2205 CCR

Photo courtesy of Vic Kaiser

This was my first Strider/HARRA event I have attended. One again, the unfamiliar felt familiar as I met my fellow bloggers (i.e. friends). It's a strange feeling only bloggers understand I think. You meet someone for the very first time (today it was Cassie) but because you've been reading their running blogs for so long, you feel like you know them so well. Except that social rules dictate that since you just really met them, you have to act a little more proper than you really want to. Anyway, Cassie is really cool and I was really glad to have met her finally.

Today's race was a little reunion for us running bloggers. Everyone on our "Blog this, Striders" team except me underpromised and over delivered. Our team captain Jon further handicapped himself by getting up 2 or 3 in the morning to drive over to San Marcos for a 10K race. Our number 2, Jen also decided that a mere 2 mile cross country was not challenging enough so she got up around 4 AM to run a 12 mile morning run with her marathon training team mates. Both turned in exceptional numbers. Jessica was our star runner. She clocked the fasted time for our team. Yours truly was almost 3 minutes over the estimated completion time. Bummer dude.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Another hot run

As soon as I got home, I changed into my running gear and took off for a quick 3.1 miler.

Time: 6:30PM
Temp: 92F
Humidity: Medium
Wind: Light breeze

Mile 1: 8:40
Mile 2: 8:41
Mile 3: 8:47
0.1 Mile: 0:40

Total: 26:49
Pulse: 180 (Yikes! very high. It was 156 during the last 2 runs)

I think I was definitely overheating during the last mile. The high heart beat attests to that I think. Anyway, I feel sufficiently prepared for the relay this coming Saturday as long as that potential "flu" I might have caught at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday night does not manifest itself by Saturday.

173 lbs.

I had to weigh myself twice this morning 'cause I didn't believe my eyes the first time. I've dropped another pound. Cool.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Take me out to the ball game...

I took some out of town customers to the Astros game last night. Home town team lost. Bummer. Worst of all, I sat next to these couple who coughed all through the game. I just hope it wasn't anything contagious. because if it was, I'm going to be a goner for the cross country run this Saturday.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Morning 5K

If it is Tuesday, then I must lace on my Asics for a quick run. I got out of the house today at 6:30 AM, the sky was starting to turn lighter as the day was struggling to get started. Twinkling stars fading by the morning light greeted me, the houses around the neighborhood were slowly getting up from their evening slumber. I set the Timex and off I went on my Tuesday morning run.

It felt good to be running after the long 10 mile run on Saturday. The muscles weren't really sore but it felt a little tired. Joints felt good today as did my breathing. There must have been just the ideal amount of humidity in the air also. Overall, a satisfying run.

Mile 1: 8:49
Mile 2: 8:39
Mile 3: 8:44
Mile 0.1: 0:41

Total: 26:55 (This time is only a few seconds off P.R.)

I'm hoping to run the XC Relay this Saturday at around 8 minute per mile pace. I hope, I hope, I hope.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

10 Miles

10 Miles.

I was torn between the RTW 5K race and a 10 mile run. Knowing that I have to run the Koala/Luke’s 20K in October, I opted to run the LSD this morning. Besides, wife wanted to run along for a couple of miles. So, we left the house around 7 AM with some water and a packet of CarbBoom and we took off.

Temp: Around 70 F, moderate to high humidity.

Mile 1: 10:16 (Fran ran with me)
Mile 2: 10:22 (Fran still holding up good)
Mile 3: 10:04 (Fran walks the 3rd mile, I say, “see you later!”
Mile 4: 10:21
Mile 5: 10:02
Mile 6: 10:02
Mile 7: 11:43 (I had to stop to get a small pebble out of the right shoe and stretch pelvic joints)
Mile 8: 10:28
Mile 9: 10:15
Mile 10: 10:45 (stiff right lower back, I had to stop to stretch again)

Overall: 1:44:22

Weather was very pleasant. It was sufficiently cloudy to hide the sun. This was the most pleasant long run I’ve done yet. Despite the cool weather, I still lost 3 lbs of sweat. I guess I’ll be drinking all day today to make it up.

Friday, September 09, 2005

174 lbs.

Good news from scale at home this morning. Having plateaued for a while, my weight has once again started its downward march. Once again, the goal is 170. Almost there....I can feel it.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Hot run!

I overslept today... actually, I was sore from last night's weight workout and did not feel like getting out of bed at 5. So anyway, I had to make it up. I got home a little early today and thinking that it would be a good training for the 2 mile cross country, I set off on a 5K run at 4:30 PM.

Temp: 92, Humidity: 35%, Very sunny, VERY VERY hot pavement.

Mile 1: 8:54
Mile 2: 8:57
Mile 3: 8:44
0.1 Mile: 0:43

Total: 27:20.

I definitely seem to run faster in the afternoon. Perhaps it was the low humidity today but my throat was parched by the 1st mile marker.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Early morning run

I've been noticing much more lately that the sun is coming out waaaaay too late for early morning runs. In fact, these early morning runs might as well be midnight runs cause all I see now are stars and more stars.

A somewhat of a chilled and less humid air greeted me this morning around 5:30 AM. Slowly but ever so surely, fall is creeping itself across this great nation. Except for the pitch blackness, it was a great morning. For the first mile or so, the only thing I heard was the "pad, pad, pad.." of my feet and the rhythmic breathing of myself, cutting through the darkness with cheetah like efficiency....(hmmm, well, maybe not like Cheetah, that would be more like Sam Rodriguez.... I would be more like, say, a wiener dog.)

It was still very dark when I finished, maybe with a hint of the morning to come. Just barely a hint mind you.

Stats for today:

Mile 1: 9:35
Mile 2: 8:46
Mile 3: 8:43
0.1 Mile: 0:52

Total: 27:56

Katrina Relief 5K Event

Copied verbatim from Cassie's blog.

Katrina 5K
October 1, 2005 8:00am from the Lake Charles Civic Center.
All proceeds go to the American Red Cross to help victims of Katrina. Appreciation certificates will go to the overall winners and 3 deep in 5 year age categories. All participants will receive a LAR Katrina 5K t-shirt.
We'll have a flat $30 entry fee for all participants. $100 entry available - this level of entry will get your name on the t-shirt!
Sponsors Needed!
Corporate sponsorships available in 4 categories:
$100 - name on t-shirt
$250 - small logo on t-shirt
$500 - large logo on t-shirt
$1000 - large logo central location on t-shirt.
All sponsors will be recognized in the American Press, on the t-shirt, in our e-mail network, and on the the lake area runners website.
Please contact Race Director Jerry Forest at runbluesrun@aol.com for more information about the race, how to help, or how to sponsor.
I'm looking for a lot of sponsors for this race, so please help.
More info: www.lakearearunners.com

Houston Half Marathon

After a refreshing 3.1 mile run this morning, I signed up for the Houston Half Marathon. Strange how you feel so much more committed when you put the money down. Regarding money, the full marathon at $70 is a great bargain compared to $50 fee for the Half. That translates to $2.67 per mile for the full marathon versus $3.82 per mile for the Half. This is more incentive to get to the full marathon fitness soon.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

9 mile LSD

Finally got a long run in. I was able to get out of the house by 6:30 AM. Frannie wanted to run at least the first mile with me so we took off together. The sky was just turning light at that moment. Its the part of the day when I feel most optimistic, as if opportunities are limitless...
Total time: 1:34:44

Mile 1: 11:14 (Running with the wife)
Mile 2: 9:58
Mile 3: 10:15
Mile 4: 10:52
Mile 5: 10:32
Mile 6: 10:30
Mile 7: 11:03
Mile 8: 10:26
Mile 9: 9:51 (Heading home, a little hungry, didn't bring any CarBoom!, kicking up a notch)

Average time: 10:31

Temperature: 73F at start, humid

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Afternoon run

I slept in today. I actually woke up at 4:30 in anticipation for a morning run. However, the Committee United Against Muscle Torture At Early Morning Hours (C.U.A.M.T.A.E.M.H.) got together and decided to picket the scheduled run and convinced the Running Muscle Union (R.M.U.) to not cross the picket line. So I turned the alarm off and slept until 6:30.....

I was actually a little sore from weight workout yesterday morning. So I ran this afternoon after work.

My commute home briefly takes me to I-10. Today, I saw buses as far as my eyes could see headed towards the Astrodome. I couldn't look inside but I'm quite certain it was filled with shell shocked people that has suffered tremendously.

The conditions were a little warm for a run. I saw many people walking their dogs but no runners. I guess most runners are sensible people.

Mile 1: 9:07
Mile 2: 9:23
Mile 3: 9:19

I miss hit the last 0.1 on the Timex.

The quads did protest by the second mile and was very tired by the 3rd mile.

Weight. I have plateaued at 176 lbs. For the Half Marathon, I think I will be much more comfortable running at 170, so I've decided to go back to my weight reduction mode that was so successful during spring and early summer of this year.

I'm going to attempt to go swimming early tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


I just joined Harra. The bloggers are running the CCR together. How cool is that?

Harry Potter and Lindisfarne College

I have mentioned in an earlier entry that I started reading the Harry Potter books. As of last weekend, I have completed the 5th book. One more to go. By reading these books all in a row, you can definitely see the progression of the 3 characters from being boys and girl to real teenagers. Quite interesting.

Much more interesting to me has been the familiarity of the boarding school lifestyle that the author conveys in her books and my experience. Here is a little known fact. I attended a boarding school in North Wales for 3 years. I was there between 1979 ~ 1982. My 13th, 14th and 15th year of my life was spent attending a boarding school.

Here are some of the similarities.

My school, Lindisfarne College was an old castle style building that was over 400 years old. It was apparently last occupied by a local coal baron before it was converted into a school. The building was built on a hilltop and the legend was that all land you could see from the building belonged to the owner of the house.

Ghosts. Yes, we had ghosts (stories). There is this man made lake about a mile and half in length by about half mile wide, with an island in the middle. The depth of the lake is perhaps 4 feet at most places. Supposedly, one of the daughters of the coal baron (don’t know which generation) drowned in the shallow water and she could be seen walking around the edges of the lake in the early morning hours. (Being UK, early mornings tended to be foggy and wet so it fit really well with the story.) Another girl fell to her death from the tower room (we had a tall tower which apparently were bedrooms for the family – gorgeous views of the Welsh country side could be seen from there) and she could be seen at night on the out side window ledge or on top of the tower, leaning outwards with her hand on the flag pole.

We had prefects. I believe each house had a head prefect and 2 additional prefects; the school had a head boy and a head girl (co-ed). Each house had a head of the house and just like the book; it was a member of the teaching staff. The four houses in our school were called, Cromwell House, Coxwold House, Peel House and Lancaster House. Each named after some famous historical figure. I belonged to the Peel house and it was named after Sir Robert Peel who apparently was a Prime Minister sometime or other.

We competed against other houses for the House cup. The house cup was based on academic points and athletic points. We competed in rugby, soccer, cricket, track & field and swimming. Academic points were based on actual grades by class. These were published so you always knew how you did against other students. My house won the house cup 2 out of 3 years I was there.

Each house had distinct colors. Peel house was maroon and gold. We wore Green wool sport coats with house color tie (navy background with maroon and gold stripe) and black slacks. The black leather shoes had to shine always, and there was a shoe inspection before breakfast every morning. The duty prefect was in charge of checking the shoes.

There was detention. However, points were never deducted from houses like they do in the Potter books. School cafeteria food was horrible. Plus we were never allowed to have seconds. Each house had a specific time to show up to the cafeteria. If you were not there when your house entered, then you had to skip that meal.

The teachers were called professors; they wore black robes over their suits and had to be at all times be addressed as sirs or ma’am.

Saturdays, we were allowed to get passes to go spend in close by towns. There were 2. Wrexham and Chester. Both were accessible by a train from the local town, which was about 3 miles away.

Oh, since the school was so far from London, I remember reporting to Euston Station in London to board the Lindisfarne train. Thinking back, the school chartered several train cars for the students. Last year I was there, this was changed to chartered busses.

The school was very strict. We were all young and long ways from home. Still, looking back, I have many treasured memories that I won’t trade for the world.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

Check out my new title block. I got the idea from Tiggs and then went to Lisa's site to grab Teddy's quote. I'm shameless.... :)

No worries

Not much to report this morning. Got up early for a quick 3.1 mile run. The sun must be getting shorter. It was pitch black when I started around 5:30 and it was still pretty much pitch black at around 6 AM. I came across one runner this morning. We both greeted each other. I only realized that the runner in question was a girl by her voice. (we passed each other under a heavily wooded bike path and even the street lights a block away was not illuminating the surroundings.)

I messed up on the splits so I can only give you the mile 1 split and the overall time.

Mile 1: 9:35

overall: 28:48

Much slower than last few 5K distances. Still, it was a really pleasant run. The temperature was a little cooler, not as humid and slightly breezy. I saw the stars and a sliver of a moon. It was just me and my thoughts with no worries.

Koala/Luke's Locker 20K

Just signed up to run this race. My goal is to maintain a 10 minute per mile pace for the entire 20K (12.5 Miles) and try out my new Nike Fuel Belt.

Monday, August 29, 2005

RTW 5K, Heading into second loop... Photo courtesy of Vic Kaiser Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 28, 2005

5K and pancakes

This Saturday's run at the RTW 5K was going to be a challenge. The weather was again typical Houston in August and I was adding my sleep deprivation handicap on top of it. I had trouble falling asleep Friday night and subsequently woke up around 7:15, which did not give me too much time before the race. After a quick warm up and sign in, I positioned myself in the middle of the pack and set off on the run. I took an agressive start, seeing mile one in 8:07, but soon there after, I had to back off. I could feel my heart pounding much harder than usual. So I eased back and saw mile 2 in 9:00. Then I started to feel hot and fatigued. A runner passed me at that point and I decided to use him as my pacemaker. He was on a 9 minute pace so it worked well. Mile 3 came in 9:04 and the final 0.1 mile in 50 seconds.

Overall time: 27:01

After the run, with the exception of Sam Rodriguez, we headed over to a near by Denny's for breakfast. I might have eaten more than anyone there, as I recall, my breakfast was a plate of pancakes slathered in thick syrup, 2 eggs, hash browns, bacon, sausages and 3 cups of coffee.

The next 5K reunion is set for December 10th. Meanwhile, I need to concentrate on the Luke's 20K race this October.

Lastly, I joined the Houston Striders after digesting that big breakfast.

It was great meeting you guys! Sam, Jessica, Jen, Vic and Jon. (I met Jon before.)

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Mr. Cybex and I

It was around Wednesday afternoon when my muscles stopped protesting. This was a good sign because I had to take Alex to the Y in the evening. So I went back to visit Mr. C. Only problem was that I was totally pooped! Except I didn't know it until I did the first rep. Every station was laboriously difficult. Them muscles weren't sore but they surely didn't have much juice in them.

I again had trouble falling asleep Wednesday night. This whole week has been weird. (I'm still up and its almost midnight.) So the morning run did not happen. When I got out of bed, it was already 6:30 and that barely gave me enough time to get out of the house on time. Because of that, I got to do something I haven't done since last Spring... Run after work. I left the house around 6:45 PM, and made a mental note to run a slow 10 minute per mile pace. It was 90 plus and humid but graciously, the cloud cover kept the sun off my back.

Mile 1: 8:51 (Wow! I said 10!!)
Mile 2: 9:12 (Hey slow down!! All the sweat must be pouring out of the head.... it feels waaaay lighter than normal....)
Mile 3: 9:02 (Well at least I am close to the house now, so if I pass out, I'm sure someone will recognize me....hmmm, why is the sky turning dark.......oh yea, night time...)
0.1 mile 0.54

Total: 28:01

Looking back, the run wasn't that bad although I do remember thinking about the heat stroke article Jon posted a few days ago. The cool (cool? did I say cool? There was nothing cool about this run..) thing was that I was comfortable with the pace. I went faster than I felt. I think this is the first run I felt this way. What's up with that? Am I making sense? Maybe I need another cold glass of water.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Early morning run

As promised, the alarm did go off at 5 AM and I did get up. It is amazing what one will do when one writes it down, in this case, on the blog. I had a difficult time falling asleep the night before. After reading up on some blogs last night, I went to bed. Unfortunately, I must have had too many things on my mind. I remember checking the clock one last time around 12:30 AM, so I think it was close to 1 AM when I finally dozed off. Last thoughts I had were of a flying Firebolt, Tom Riddle and Butterbeer. (My crash reading campaign to catch up on Harry Potter has me now on Book 5, The Order of Phoenix).

Needless to say, I think I’ll need a grande Starbucks by lunch today.

There was a full moon out this morning. It cast an eerie pattern on the sidewalk I run on. I’m still not sure whether the heart was pounding because of the run or because I was a little jumpy. Even at that hour, some of the houses had their lights on and their occupants already busy with the start of the day. Some homes were doing morning laundry, some making breakfast and some were already leaving for the morning commute.

As Mile 1 passed by, my worries were leaving me, the stress bleeding away, I was happy to be running and ready to take on the world.

Run conditions: Mid 70’s, humid and calm.

Mile 1: 9:26 - nasty shadows….are snakes early risers? Is that a snake or a shadow?
Mile 2: 9:05 - smell of laundry in the air….
Mile 3: 8:55 - is that bacon and eggs I smell? Coffee too?
0.1 Mile: 0:54

Total: 28:20.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Nothing like a nice XT

So now it has been 2 weeks since my half marathon. Unlike Jon who just ran 2 half marathons in 2 weeks, I have let myself get a little lazy. So to get back into the routine (so hard since the long vacation) I went to the Y on Saturday for a session with Mr. Cybex. It must have been about 3 weeks since I lifted anything heavier than a Grande coffee from Starbucks. Anyway, the repercussions from that session is still with me. I did the same reps and the same weights as the last cybex session, and yet, at this very moment, the muscles are way sore. Its been so sore that even during normal daily activities like passing gas cannot be acomplished without some of my muscles telling me precisely where they are located. (TMI perhaps?)

On Sunday, not wanting to run on sore muscles, I instead went lap swimming. That was pretty interesting. I got in 30 minutes barely. I was tired and hungry. Visions of every sweet things I've eaten during my life kept floating by. I took a quick shower and went home to attack a banana and a piece of bread slathered with natural peanut butter. What discipline! Ouch.. darn muscles still hurt.

Tomorrow morning, I'm getting up at 5 to go run a 5K, just so that I can get back into the groove.

Friday, August 19, 2005

30 minute run in Sacramento

6:30 AM start, high 50's, LOW humidity. I've forgotten how refreshing it can be to go out and run and not sweat like crazy. There was even a gentle breeze to help me along. Unfortunately, I only had enough time for a 30 minute run. I felt way better after the run than before. These Californian runners have it easy. Time for a quick shower and breakfast. Then, on to the airport for a flight back to Houston. I need to take Alex out to "Shogun" (Japanese steakhouse) for his birthday dinner.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

California Dreaming

It is not very often that I get to go west on business. Today was one of those rare occasions. I found myself on a 9:20 AM flight out of IAH to Sacramento, CA. Today was also one of those perfect days where nothing goes wrong. Well, almost nothing. I experienced a strong gravitational pull towards a Starbucks kiosk in terminal C. The aroma was just irresistible. Today's flavor was Ethiopian bean coffee and after succumbing to my weakness, a grande was ordered and taken into the plane for my ride west. I was luxuriating in the first class seat (complimentary upgrade) when the cup slipped from my hand. I didn't drop it but spilled some on my white shirt. Rats!
The Plane left on time and landed 15 minutes early. The weather in Sacramento this morning was just perfect. Low 80's, gentle breezes and no humidity. How great is that? After arriving at the plant on time, our customer bought me lunch at their company cafeteria which incidentally only served vegetarian lunch with bottled water (like, is this a California thing?). After a productive meeting, I set my GPS unit to find the Golden Gate Bridge and off I went to San Francisco.
San Francisco is really beautiful. I saw real runners running all over the place. The weather was perfect for running too. (60 degrees and cloudy at 6PM) I even saw folks running on the Golden Gate Bridge! Argh! Too bad I left my running gear in the hotel room. On my way out of San Fran, I crossed over the Golden Gate and drove through Marin County. I recall reading about Marin County and Mt. Tamalpais in Runners World magazine a few months ago and it felt really cool to be there. As I was thinking about all that, the exit to Mt. Tamalpais came up.
I have a noon flight back to Houston tomorrow. I hope to lace up my Asics GT-2100 for a nice morning run.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking, we are starting our decent into the Sacramento airport. If you look out of the right side window, you will see Lake Tahoe..." Posted by Picasa

The Golden Gate Bridge, shrouded in afternoon fog. When I left Sacramento, it was 90 degrees, when I arrived on the Marin County side of the bridge, it was 55 degrees. Brrrr!!! Posted by Picasa

Grand Canyon from FL280 Posted by Picasa

CO 1714: After 3 hours 16 minutes of flight time (That would be an awesome Marathon time...), our tired bird (Boeing 737-900) parked itself at gate A5 at SMF (Sacramento Airport). Holden deplaned fully rested and with a full tummy due to Continental's complimentary upgrade to first class. Thank you Continental!Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

ChiRunning Seminar is coming to Houston

Danny Dreyer is coming to Houston to offer his clinic. It is scheduled for 10/1 and 10/2. For more info, please click the link. http://www.chirunning.com/shopping/customer/product.php?productid=60&cat=2&page=1

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


13.6 miles. That is the distance from my office to the nearest Starbucks. How strange that the distance is sooo close to a half marathon. Since I cut out coffee from my diet, I have become a very irregular coffee drinker. Rather than several cups a day, I might have 1 or 2 a week now. I have been impressed with my discipline as I have been a habitual coffee drinker since 1989. Still, once in a while, I get in the mood for coffee. Good coffee. Today was such day. I drove 13.6 miles to get a grande Verona (flavor of the day) during lunch. Such a dweeb. I'm drinking it right now. Mmmmmm.

Other good stuff I quit. Regular Coke. Been drinking that regularly since I was 8 I think. Actually, I quit drinking carbonated beverages almost totally. My running mentor wondered why I felt compelled to ingest carbon dioxide when my body tries desperately to expel the same gas during my runs. How could I argue against that logic?

Sugar. Except for the 2 packets of brown sugar I add to my occasional grande coffees, I do not add sugar to any food I eat. Since most foods already have too much sugar in it anyway, this was no big deal.

White bread. I eat wheat instead.

Chocolates & Candies. Nope. I allow myself one right after a long run as a reward though.

Yikes, time to get back to work!

Crosstraining and Minute Maid Park

Sunday morning has slowly evolved into a bike riding session with Frannie. I got out of bed around 7 AM and rolled right on to my hybrid bike and pedaled. We usually set a destination within the Woodlands and this day, we set our sites on a donut shop located in Indian Springs Shopping Center. It took us 30 minutes to get there, pedaling as the sun rose over the trees. When we returned home, Allison and Alex was up, watching cartoons.

We went to catch a baseball game last night. Tickets were gifts from a friend of mine from previous place of employment up in Chicago. I need to thank him again. These were front row seats in section 110. To top it off, the 3rd base umpire came by and gave Alex a baseball! He was in heaven. We ate 3 footlong hotdogs, 2 soft drinks and 2 ice cream sundaes. Cost: $38. Too bad the Cubbies lost.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Run The Woodlands 5K

This was my first run since the Half Marathon. I had some reservations about the knees but I got up around 7AM and pedaled my way over to Barbara Bush Elementary School for the 8 AM start. It was a little hot and muggy for my taste but what the heck, this is August in Houston. My goal was to beat the previous PR time recorded at this 5K.

Race Stats:

Mile 1: 8:03

Mile 2: 8:30

Mile 3: 9:28

0.1 Mile: 0:51

Overall time: 26:53.

A new PR for race conditions! And it is only 4 seconds off my all time best of 26:49 that I recorded on a practice run a while ago. (It is written on a previous post somewhere...)

I was trying hard for a negative split but I got out of the gate too fast. By mile 2, I was fighting a losing battle against heat. I had stitches on my lower right abdomen which was unusual for me, plus I didn't even eat before the race. Then I started to overheat. By the last left turn on to Crown Ridge, I was fighting a desperate temptation to walk.

Never the less, the PR was sweet! After the race, the Luke's Locker folks held a raffle for a pair of running hats and a $25 gift certificate from Luke's. Yours truly won the gift certificate! (So I go to a race with $1 and come back with $25....) On Cassie's recommendation, I think I will be using that towards a water belt.

Friday, August 12, 2005

My office folk's sense of humor. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 11, 2005

A friend sent me this email today...


I woke up this morning and found myself......a year older. Now I am only a year away from...40. I need to get back into running. I think this Saturday will be a good day to restart my training and stop "recovering" from last weekend's run.

I woke up this morning and have decided to run the 2006 Houston Half Marathon in 2:15. Running has made me fitter, leaner and much more energetic than at any other point in my life. What a great gift.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

What to carry on a long race

I am always struggling with what I should carry on a long run. I don't own a fuel belt because I'm worried about carrying any extra weight during the later stages of a run. For my first half marathon, I decided to carry a standard 20 oz water bottle and 4 packets of Carb Boom. I carried the water bottle to avoid crowds during the first 3 water stops. That seemed to have worked well except that I had to hold onto a bottle for the first 3 miles in my left hand. The four packets of Carb Boom was in my running short pocket, 2 on each side. Besides that, nothing other than my stop watch, running shirt, short, socks and the shoes.

I saw many runners with the fuel belt. Strangely though, I noticed that even during the later stages of the run, most of these folks had full bottles. So I wonder, do folks carry these as emergency fluids? So are they still stopping at all the water stops? Then that seems to be a lot of weight to be carrying around.

The Carb Boom packs came in handy. I ate them at mile 3, 6 and 9. After that, I think I'd have thrown up if I ate one more.

At water stations, I initially started taking one cup (which incidentally was mostly half full or 2/3 full) and I was typically taking one gulp and tossing the rest. During the last 4 miles of the race, I was taking two cups and drinking the whole thing. Definitely bad water management on my part.

So, what's the point? None, just rambling, thinking out loud.