Friday, December 22, 2006

3 Miles Easy

First run since the Sunmart due to the undying cold. I am almost over it now. It felt good to be running again. I constantly marvel at the flexibility of this sport. Anywhere, anytime, whenever you feel like lacing on a pair of running shoes, you can go running.


Merry Christmas everyone!

On Vacation

Back in Orlando....

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Eat Mor Chikin

Just because.

Puffy the Pine Cone

Yes, it is true. Disney has Mikey. The Woodlands has Puffy the Pine Cone.

Pretty Woman


Last week, there was this dinner in San Antonio I was invited to. It was an invitation from the CEO of a client company I'm involved with. They also invited my CEO and a VP. As I'm pondering transportation options, I get a call from our executive assistant with instructions to be at a certain FBO at Hobby by 5 PM. When I get there, I see our company jet.
Now that was pretty cool. Fly over to San Antonio, get met by a car right by the jet and off to dinner. Then back. Ahhh, life style of the rich and famous.

Back to reality. I've had a relapse since the Sunmart race. I've contracted a nasty cough that has been lingering all week. It's bad enough that I had to miss my 5K race this morning. This counts as the first paid race I've missed.

Next Race: Houston Marathon.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Southwest Flight 305

A quick in and out of San Antonio day. I don't fly Southwest that often due to Hobby Airport's distance from The Woodlands but for flying within Texas, I'll make that drive for the convenience of frequency of their flights. Anyway, I'm always amazed at the speed Southwest turns their flights around. They somehow do it with ease. I arrived at the gate 30 minutes before flight time and found no airplane at the gate. So I assumed my flight would be delayed. Heck no! Plane showed up 20 minutes before departure and we pulled away from the gate pretty much on time. We definitely landed on time.

It's good to see a marvel of modern efficiency. Kudos to Southwest. (I've probable jinxed myself for my return flight.)

Recovering nicely from Sunmart. Other than tender connective tissues around my ankles, nothing else hurts.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Epilogue: Sunmart 50K

My Official Time: 7:09:27 (according to Dirt Runner, a.k.a. Rick Cook, a.k.a. Geaux Running)

Running Huntsville trails are many times harder than road running.

Light softer running shoes do not stand up well in uneven, wet, tree root infested trails. My lower leg muscles and connective tissues took a serious beating. (i.e. Kayano's sucked)

Softer surface does not allow for nice rebound. Quads worked extra hard. It started to cramp during the last 12 miles. It's still sore today.

Groin pulls hurt a lot. Especially when you are very far away from the finish area and from any aid station.

Knees do not take a beating. Everything below the waist hurt but not the knees. Amazing. It is true, road running is hazardous to your knees.

Twigs, dirt, thorns, gravel and sand will make it into your shoes. I saw veteran runners with ankle wraps. I so wished I had a pair of those. I stopped at least 4 times to empty my running shoes.

At least for me, there is no such thing as getting into a "rhythm" in trail running.

50 milers with a smile and a bounce in their stride during the start of their last 12.5 mile loop are Super Human.

According to Cool Running website, I burnt 4295 calories.

Next year, get to the park early so I can park closer to the finish area. The half mile walk back to the car after resting, eating and cooling down was one of the most painful walking experience I've endured.

It sucks to have so many people pass you during the last 10K. And there was nothing I could do about it.

Crazy as it sounds, I think I can run faster next year.

Next year, I'm going back with a pair of trail running shoes and ankle wraps.

Finally, I am amazed that I can keep my body in forward motion for over 7 hours. Folks, that's longer than most Trans-Atlantic flights!! (I am also easily amazed.)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Sunmart 50K

Dear Readers,

I'm writing to you from heaven or maybe it's purgatory. Just so you know, there is no hydration issues, no hitting the wall and best of all, no injuries up here. You still have to work hard to get a P.R. though. I got here in a very circuitous way.

I decided to go to Huntsville this morning to "return" my timing chip. It said that I would be penalized $35 for not returning it. So despite my decision NOT to run the race, I went up to return it. Just so that I'd fit in with everyone, I did dress the part, with couple of technical shirts, gloves, hat and running shoes. Well, I met Jon Walk, Dirt Runner, Kieth Kellerher, Steve Boone, Ken Johnson and countless others. I also met two other readers of my blog and another person who flew in from London to run the race. All that excitement and Dirt Runner suggesting that I try the first 6 mile loop to see how I'd feel.

First 18 miles went very well. It passed in about 4 hours. Then everything went wrong during the last 12 miles. I rolled my right ankle 3 times, stubbed my toes on the roots several times and tripped over roots too many times to remember. I managed not to fall but with about 8 miles to go, got a seriously sharp pain from the groin. So, today, I also learnt what a groin pull feels like.

I crossed the finish line in 7:10, as in 7 hours 10 minutes. Which is kind of funny because when I saw Bill Cox (Humble Runner) at the 18 mile turn around, I was kicking ass and taking names.

Now, sitting in front of my laptop, I feel as if a truck ran over me. I am having difficulty getting up and generally moving about. This feels worse than last year after the first marathon. That and I'm still recovering from the cold. I think that had something to do with fatigue setting in early. I'm sure I'll get better. Now I can say that I ran 50K with a runny nose and an annoying cough. I hope I don't catch pneumonia or something...

Friday, December 08, 2006

Bleh....

Yesterday was not a good day. From cold spells to breaking out in cold sweat. I quit early and came home in the afternoon. I took a really hot bath and slept until 8PM. Got up, ate a little despite having no appetite and went back to bed after popping Nyquil.

I called in sick today, missing a meeting and a deadline. But due to modern telecommunication technology, I am still able to stare at an Excel spreadsheet and work. Yea! Hopefully, I can still finish one project. I'm taking a break right now to write this entry....

Benadryl seems to be the only thing that helps me keep my nose dry. So to counteract the drowsiness factor, I'm drinking coffee. Right now, I feel totally awake but not alert. A strange sensation.

50K is tomorrow. I'm angry at my current state. If I don't run, it will be my very first race that I'll miss. Other than $80 going down the drain, I am despondent because I trained for it and won't be able to reap the rewards. On the other hand, if I do run, I wonder if I'd finish. I wonder how much pain and agony I'd be in. I wonder how slow I'd be. I wonder if it's even worth it.

I'll go pick up my race packet during lunch anyway. It should at least feel like a mini therapy. If there is any anger left, I'll have to re-direct that energy into running a good Houston Marathon.

Bummin out in The Woodlands.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Leinenkugel's Creamy Dark

4 days before my big date and I come down with a sore throat. I'm popping vitamin c pills like they are M & M candy. I am hoping that this is all due to hard partying and lack of good sleeping last week. I'm just tired. I just need some good rest. I hope, I hope. I'll get a good night's sleep tonight. I'm sure.

Just to make sure, I'm enjoying a nice cold bottle of Leinenkugel's Creamy Dark, brewed all the way up North in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Breaking In

I'm breaking in a new pair of shoes. I ran with Asics Gel Kayano XII. I bought these about a month or two ago and am planning to wear these for the Houston Marathon. The 12 feels much roomier than the 11's that I'm currently wearing. Perhaps the cold weather shrunk my feet so much that it just feels larger. It did feel lighter but the shoe didn't seem to fit like a glove. That's how my 11's felt the first time I wore them. Again, it could have been the cold weather making everything stiffer. Overall, it felt good. (Maybe I should have bought size 10-1/2 instead of size 11.)

Run Summary:

4.4 miles: 37:11
Pace: 8:27/mile

I'm looking forward to next Saturday's Sunmart. I think I'm ready. I just need to stay away from common colds and twisted ankles. I guess that means I won't be wearing heels anytime soon.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Interesting Beer

In the most famous Jamoosh and Broadway Joe's fashion, last night, I got to experience a brewery dinner in Austin at a place called NXNW. It's a brewery restaurant. Unfortunately, since I'm only an amateur connoisseur, I only got to try two brews. One was their Duckabish Amber which was positively a delightful medium weight beer and the other was their Christmas Brew which came in a fancy wine glass looking beer glass. It's taste however was not as good as the presentation.

Next time, I'll have to hand my car keys to someone else and by golly go waaaaaay out and perhaps try 3 pints?

Recovery Run

After a long meeting in Austin and driving back home, it was nice to hit my favorite 3 miler around Alden Bridge. Legs felt decent but sluggish. Hitting my first mile marker, I realize I'm pretty slow today. Then I lose myself in the run. Mile 2 comes up and my trusty Timex tells me that I'm running faster. Unfortunately, I can't keep the pace, maybe it's the humidity, or maybe I'm still tired from the weekend running.

I'm developing a little Achilles tightness on my left leg. I've been noticing it for most of November. It isn't painful, just tight after running. The tightness is getting tighter and it is lasting longer. Perhaps it is another symptom of overuse manifesting itself. perhaps, I'm running one too many races. I'll have to take it easy until the 50K.

No more running until Saturday.

Run Summary:

Mile 1: 8:43
Mile 2: 8:14
Mile 3.1: 9:15

Total: 26:13
Pace: 8:27/mile
Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano XI (234.3 miles)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

New Look!

I'm messing around with a new template in Blogger Beta. Some of the stuff is kind of messed up, like my "Up Coming Races." I'll have to deal with that some other day. Anyway, it's different. Change is good.....

Who moved my cheese???

2657 Calories

According to Cool Running Calorie Calculator, I burnt an estimated 2657 calories today. Hopefully, that erases most of the gastronomic sins I commited on Thursday.

God Bless!

Holden's Tour de Woodlands

Well, I got my 19 miles in. It happened in reverse order from how I described it in the last post. The very last minute change in the plans were due to unexpected consciousness that descended upon me this morning around 5AM. I was really hoping to sleep in until around 6:30, get my self ready and just jog 3 miles to the RTW race. So rather than tossing and turning, I quickly figured that I could be done with the 13 miler in about 2 hours 10 minutes, putting me about 5 to 10 minutes before the start of the RTW at 8 AM. So with 3 Powergel packs and a 20 oz hand held Amphipod water bottle filled with Clif Electrolite mix, I headed for the door.

Dark foggy world greeted me. It was a bit eerie and in the dark fogginess, the street lights were casting strange shadows. But the wetness and the coolness of the early morning did wonders. The moisture kept my throat from getting dry and the cool moisture kepted my skin temperature under control. So I surmised this morning that high humidity in the 50 degree temperature range is not all that bad.

3 miles into the run, a lady in an Infinity QX56 SUV asked me where Skeeter's was. I think that was where the Woodlands Fit group was meeting today. Hopefully, I gave her good directions. 6 miles into the run, I saw TNT group's water jug. 4 miles later, I saw another one. My route must have overlapped theirs. The sky lightened but the heavy fog stayed. Being blanketed by all that whiteness, I felt I was alone in the world, alone but very peaceful. With 8 minutes to spare, I arrived at the Barbara Bush Elementary School for the RTW race. First person I see when I arrived was non other than Jon Walk. Soon I saw Bill Dwyer, Waverly Walk and Rick Cook.

My secret plan at the 5K was to hang around in the back of the pack, after 13 miles, there was not much left in the tank. Somehow that didn't work out. At the start line, I peppered Rick Cook (our resident Ultra Runner Extraordinaire) about the Sunmart race. He answered all of my questions with such detail and patience that I forgot all about my race strategy. When 1 mile marker came about, I realized I was running at 8:51. We kept on talking and mile 2 came by in 8:36. Holy macaroni! Soon thereafter, I did run out of gas. Rick went ahead and I slowed. Mile 3 came in 9:19, the last 0.1 in 0:55 for a total time of 27:42.

After more post race mingling, I took off for my last leg of the Tour. 3 miles to the house. I had cooled down too much after the 5K, I was shivering when I started the run. First 2 miles went by very well, the weather was still cool, the Sun was trying it's best to burn off the fog and I was running a little too fast for my own good. However, by the 3rd mile, I had to stop twice to take a walk break. I was hungry and tired. I had not eaten anything before leaving the house because I was literally going from bed to the streets as fast as I could. I didn't think solid food right before the long run was going to be a good idea. Anyway, as soon as the stretching was done, I headed straight for the kitchen and ate a bagel with peanut butter, soy milk and a piece of left over ham from Thanksgiving. All in all, a very nice morning run.

Long Run Summary:

13 miles: 2:09:09
Pace: 9:56/mile

RTW 5K:

Mile 1: 8:51
Mile 2: 8:36
Mile 3: 9:19
0.1 Mile: 0:55

Total: 27:42
Pace: 8:56/mile

3 Miles to home: 28:37
Pace: 9:32/mile

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano XI (231.2 miles)

I noticed that my total miles for this week (I go from Sunday to Saturday) was 42.8 miles. That's a lot of miles for me. Wow.

Next Race: Sunmart 50K. It should be a lot of fun.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Tomorrow Morning Run

Here is how I'm going to spend Saturday morning (Nov. 25th). It should all add up to about 19 miles of running.

3 miles: From my house to Barbara Bush Elementary School according to google maps.
3.1 miles: Run The Woodlands 5K Race
13 miles: Cool down run after the RTW 5K

So the whole thing should be around 19 miles. The first leg will be considered a warm up, the second leg, The Race (speed work) and the third leg will be considered a cool down (or a Long Slow Run.. ) Hopefully the weather will co-operate.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

2006 Run Through The Woods 5 Miler

Just a quick post as I need to get involved in getting the house ready for Thanksgiving dinner.

Another glorious running weather day. I think the announcer said that over 4000 registered runners participated today. I lined up where I thought an 8:30 miler should be at. It turned out to be pretty accurate. I passed as many as those that passed me and by the 2nd mile, not many passed me or got passed by me.

Summary:

Mile 1: 7:50
Mile 2: 7:53
Mile 3: 7:54
Mile 4: 8:50
Mile 5: 9:34

Total: 42:03:88
Pace: 8:24/mile
Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano XI (212.1 miles)

I thought I exerted the same effort for the whole race but my perception did not seem to jibe with my time. Consistent first 3 miles and slower last 2 miles. I've heard from Jon Walk that the course might have been slightly longer than 5. Perhaps 5.2. If it was indeed 5.2, my pace would have been 8:05/mile.

Met many folks today. But right now, I hear my wife calling me.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Listening to Another One Bites The Dust by Queen

Picked up my packet. Met Jon and Waverly. Back in my truck putting race number on and trying to stay warm. I love race day mornings. All the anticipation, eager volunteers, nervous energy, everyone just waiting anxiously for the start yet relishing the moment. This one's only a 5 miler.... Funny how that sounds. Two and a half years ago, the longest I'd run was 3.1 miles.

It's 7:37 AM. I better get to the starting line via a potty break.

Run well and eat well America!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Run Through The Woods 5 Miler

With 41 minutes left to go before on-line registration closes, Holden completes his! Procrastinators of the world unite! The weather should be perfect and it will be a nice way to burn off about 600 to 700 calories before sitting down to a gastronomic delight later in the afternoon.

Memorial Park

Recovery run day. I moved it up a day to burn some calories. My weight on Sunday morning was 174. This morning, it was 180. What the.... Not sure how that happened. Perhaps I'm retaining water. June & Erica, did I look bloated tonight?

It was a perfect early evening for a nice leisurely run. The temperature was perfect, the air quality was perfect, the sky was perfect. To top it all off, I ran into Erica and Junebug. I was settling into a nice recovery run when just after passing two ladies I hear, "Holden?!?!" I turn around and see Erica and June. Way cool. They were doing a 6 miler and were on their first mile also. After chatting for a few minutes, we parted companies and I lost myself in my thought about how I could have gained all that weight. Perhaps the scale is busted.

Run Summary:

5K (yes, I actually found the start and 5K marker today!!!): 29:42
Pace: 9:35/mile
Shoes: Asics Gel kayano XI (207.1 miles)
Heart Rate: 144/min.

Very slow and relaxed. I'm feeling really good right now.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Day After

Apparently an all out Half Marathon effort last weekend coupled with an all out 25K race this weekend wasn't that great of an idea as far as my body is concerned. My legs are still tired. I'm still tired. Perhaps I'll feel better tomorrow. Since I blew off the long run, I'll have to put together a 20 miler for this coming weekend. It will be Holden's Tour de Woodlands.

Stay warm Houston!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Hi June!

I forgot to mention that I met June today. So, I just want to say that I saw June today.

That is all. I'm about to watch Happy Feet with my family. It's been a very peaceful Sunday afternoon. Hope yours was too.

HMSA 25K

What a difference a year makes. My time from last year's run was 3:02:31. This year's time was 2:19:29. Of course, cooler weather makes a lot of difference. Today's weather was pretty close to being perfect.

Summary:

Mile 1: 8:41
Mile 2: 8:30
Mile 3: 9:01
Mile 4: 8:20
Mile 5: 9:29
Mile 6: 8:50
Mile 7: 8:40
Mile 8: 9:15
Mile 9: 8:56
Mile 10: 9:04
Mile 11: 9:02
Mile 12: 8:50
Mile 13: 9:23
Mile 14: 9:08
Mile 15: 9:36
Balance: 4:39

Total: 2:19:29
Pace: 8:55/mile
Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano XI (204 miles)

I'd like to take this moment to thank all those that read my blog and dropped by to say "Hi." You guys all rock. I'm always pleasantly surprised when a runner approaches me to say "Hi." I think I need to work on my manners when these situations present itself. Just so you guys know, the stunned deer in the headlight look is due to not being prepared to greet you.

I met Bill Cox today for the first time. First familiar face I saw today was Broadway Joe Carey. Then it was Steve Bezner and Vic Kaiser at the Strider tent. While waiting for my turn at the port-a-potty I met the famous Jon Walk and his daughter Waverly. Jon is still on injured reserve so today he had his reporter's hat on. Shortly thereafter, I bet Bar-Bar-A, Jennifer Kim and Steeeve. I was looking for Jessica as I was going to stalk her for the race and try to bolt out at the last half mile.

I never made the fourth loop. The pace I kept did not make it conducive for an extra loop.

The only bad part of today's experience came during the second loop. I started to feel the onset of ITBS on my right leg. It never became a full bore pain but it was on the periphery of my consciousness during the entire run. I'm thinking that I'll need to curtail a bulk of my running for the next few weeks and switch to swimming and biking. We shall see.

Have a nice rest of the weekend World (at least for those who are still on this side of the international date line)!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Recovery Run


(With the Family by the Alamodome at the conclusion of the San Antonio Half Marathon)


Today was a perfect running day. Not much time to run but somehow, you just had to squeeze in a run on days like today. I'm so grateful I got the opportunity to do just that during twilight. Nice and easy recovery run. best kind of running if you ask me. You just feel alive as the body relaxes to the rhythmic pacing of your shoes and heart. No stressing the body today. Just nice and easy as you run instinctively around your favorite 3 mile course in your neighborhood. Life is grand.

Summary:

Mile 1: 8:43
Mile 2: 8:27
Mile 3: 8:14
0.1: 0:50

Elapsed: 26:14
Pace: 8:27/mile

Shoes: 188.4 miles on Asics Gel Kayano XI

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sunmart 50K

I'm signed up! Today was the deadline for early registration. I am $86.20 poorer at this moment. This translates to $2.76/mile cost. The web site does not mention a medal but you get a tyvek jacket.

31.25 miles. Oh my goodness.

I am now wondering if I should do 4 loops at the HMSA 25K race to compensate for the Sunmart race.

Monday, November 13, 2006

San Antonio Half Marathon Official Time

1:56:32, which is a second faster than my Timex time. Hee hee, so my P.R. drops by an extra second. This translates to an 8:53/mile pace. How cool that I ran it under 9/mile pace?

What really happened in San Antone?

I got up 5:30 that morning, hoping to jog over to the Alamo around 6:15. I figured I'd get there by 6:30, perfect time for a potty break and looking for some familiar faces. Well, the Alamo was only 2 blocks away and I got there before 6:15 and the place was pretty dark. I started looking for Keith right away and walked up and down the plaza looking for him in the dark. Despite my futility, I kept up the search for about 20 minutes. It was cold on this fateful Sunday morning so moving around to keep warm was the best action. Soon thereafter, I gave up, took a potty break and found a warm spot by the Ripley's wax museum. Just a little while later, Keith walks up to me and says "Hi." As it is, it is always great to see a familiar face before a race. It was even better seeing one away from Houston. Keith introduced me to some of his running club friends from Clear Lake. One of them asked me if my son came over with me to San Antonio. My guess is that she saw my picture from last year's Houston Marathon where I was crossing the finish line with my son. So cool to know that other folks actually ready my humble blog. While chatting with his friends at the corral, a lady next to me asked, "Hey, are you with the Woodlands Fit?"
"Why, yes I am....."
"The yellow tag on your shoes gave it away, that and I've seen you on Saturday runs..."
So neat to meet folks at the race.

The half marathon shirts were the best designed shirts I've seen. It's not a technical shirt so it wasn't great or anything but it was a deep maroon shirt with a cool graphics on the front and no sponsor logos on the back. I can wear this one and not look like a running geek. But race directors, WE LIKE TECHNICAL SHIRTS. PLEASE STOP GIVING US COTTON T'S.

Keith asked if I was going to go for a P.R. Having stayed up past midnight the night before and having succumbed to beer and runner non-friendly food the night before, I wasn't sure if that was in the plans. However, I told Keith that I was going to position myself between the 3:45 pacer and the 4:00 pacer. If I can do that, I figured the P.R. was in the bag. With the excitement of the cannon blast start, I rushed forward with incredible adrenaline. As everyone rushed forward, I maintained a fix on the 3:45 sign and followed. When 10 minutes went by, I realized I missed the first mile marker. I had no idea what my pace was. Runners around me all kept pace with the sign and it was crowded. The first 4 miles weaved through the down town area and the pack kept pretty tight. I missed mile marker 2 and 3. The Hilton hotel was where mile marker 4 was and it was there that I was going to meet up with my family. I found my family and then the mile 4 marker. Up to this point, I had kept up with the pace group.

First 4 Miles: 34:08
Mile 5: 8:44
Mile 6: 8:45
Mile 7: 8:40
Mile 8: 8:51
Mile 9: 9:00

Turn around was just past mile 9 and then I all the mile markers became the marathon markers and I got confused and was not able to hit the splits until the end.

Through 13.1: 38:23

I knew the errors of my ways but it was too hard to slow down. When my mile 5 split came in at 8:44, I was so excited that I kept going strong. Then I had a continuous strings of sub 9 minute paces and on and on.... By the turn around point at mile 9, I ran out of gas. Then it was a struggle all the way to the finish. From this point on, a desire to live and a desire to finish under 2 hours started to fight for the control of my body. The 2 hour siren call won the day.

Finishing inside the Alamodome was an interesting experience. The big jumbotron was fixed on the finish area and all the finishers were displayed. Very neat. Kudos to Starbucks for having a free coffee stand in the finish area.

I'm still sore but very content with my accomplishment. San Antonio is always a pleasure to visit and now that they got rid of the looping course, I highly recommend this race.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

San Antonio P.R!

Here's a quick Blackberry post. Bottom line:

Unofficial Half Marathon Time:

1:56:33

This beats my previous record by about 6 minutes. Not a bad effort if I say so myself. Conditions were perfect for a long run today. The race runs 4 miles worth through downtown San Antonio. That was really neat. The other cool thing was the start. I think there were 4 cannons from the Alamo era that sounded the start of the race by folks in period attire. I can reaaly say the race started with a BANG! Way cool.

Ta Ta for now my dear readers. I need to make my way back to Houston via Prime Outlet Mall in San Marcos.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

San Antonio

I am finally here! After a quick check in at the Hilton, I walked over to the convention center to pick up my chip and race number. Shout out to Robbie who was volunteering at the T-Shirt pick-up. He asked where Keith Kelleher was. Apparently, he read my blog! It is good to be recognized!

No time for chit chat though. Wife wants to visit the Prime Outlet Mall in San Marcos.

T.T.F.N. For now!

Hans Weberling Run The Woodlands 5K #165

A Letter From Beth Whitehead, Woodlands Fit Red Group Coach

Hans Weberling is the 3 year old son of Kevin and Lara Weberling here in the Woodlands. Lara is a Woodlands Fit runner. I am her coach in the marathon training program. Hans attends St Anthony of Padua's Little Saints Early Education Program, where his mother is also a teacher.The Weberlings are members of St Simon and Jude Catholic Church. Little Hans was diagnosed last weekend with cancer and neuroblastoma. He is currently in his second round of chemotherapy. Both parishes, St Simon and Jude and St Anthony's of Padua, are pulling together in support for Hans.The Run for Hans is being hosted by Luke's Locker, Woodland's Fit and St Anthony of Padua Little Saints Early Childhood Program. This one time run will be a part of the Run The Woodlands 5K Series on November 11th at Barbara Bush Elementary on Crownridge in Alden Bridge. This run will be open to both runners and walkers. Also, St Anthony of Padua Little Saints will be hosting a Children's Short Run, which will take place in the Barbara Bush Elementary parking lot. The entry fee for both races is only $1 plus a donation to the Weberling family. There will be several raffles and fun family events as well. It is preferred that any donation that is much larger than $5 be made in the form of a check written to Lara or Kevin Weberling.Anyone who has questions or would like more info on the RTW (Run The Woodlands) 5K Series should visit the following site -- www.runningintheusa.com/rtw -- or contact Susie Schreiber with Luke's Locker at bschreib90@sbcglobal.net. Anyone wishing to make a donation to the family can contact Denise Hunter with Little Saints at dthunter@houston.rr.com. All of The Woodlands area running clubs- Woodlands Fit, Team in Training (TNT), The Woodlands Running Club (TWRC) and Luke's Locker runners will be there to support the Weberling family.

-- Beth Whitehead

(Copied without permission from Jon Walk and Woodlands Fit Newsletter)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Tempo Running

One more 5K run as an appetizer. This is probably going to be the last run before my Half Marathon in San Antonio. Pitch dark running at 7 PM. It was a little humid but the temperature stayed pretty cool albeit a little humid.

Mile 1: 8:36
Mile 2: 8:09
Mile 3: 8:05
0.1 Mile: 0:40

Total: 25:32:01
Pace: 8:14/mile

Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano XI (172.2 miles)

Rock on World!

The Way I See It #169 (Starbucks Series)

Life's too short to read a book you don't love. At age 50 or younger, give a book 50 pages to see if you like it. Over 50, subtract your age from 100 and that's the number of pages to read before you bail on a book you're not enjoying. And when you turn 100, you get to judge a book by it"s cover.

By Nancy Pearl

Sunday, November 05, 2006

NYC Marathon

I watched the NYC Marathon on TV today. This was a first. I guess it affirms my continued interest in road running. After seeing Lance beat his 3 hour goal, I was so pumped that I quickly changed and went running. This despite the fact that lunch was about to be served, and the guests that were coming over for lunch was about to arrive. After all, it was only a 3 mile run.... At least that was my reasoning even if my family found that to be odd.

Run Summary:

Distance: 3.1 miles

Mile 1: 8:35
Mile 2: 8:22
Mile 3: 8:27
0.1 Mile: 0:46

Total: 26:12:25
Pace: 8:27/mile
Shoes: Asics Gel Kayano XI (169.1 miles)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

About 9 miles at about 45 degrees

Had to get up at 5 this morning to meet with my yellow group. After downing a half toasted plain bagel with honey, I drove over to Market Street and shivered my way over to Jamba Juice. We were trying to re-live the 10 miler. To stay warm, my attire included a Houston Strider singlet and a long sleeve running shirt. For the lower extremities, just a regular running shorts. The hands were a little cold in the beginning but by the second mile, everything was humming within normal parameters.

Summary:

Distance: About 9 miles
Time: 1:22:02
Pace: About 9:06/mile

The pace looks a little faster than normal but with the cooler temps, I think I was booking a little faster than usual without too much ill effects. Again, all reporting stations within my body kept reporting that it was operating within normal parameters.

I'm now looking forward to the San Antonio Half Marathon next weekend. Should the conditions be right, I think I will shoot for a sub 2 hour finish. The whole family is travelling with me. We'll be staying at the Hilton Palacio del Rio. I'm hoping this hotel is within walking distance to the starting area.

Have a nice weekend America!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

starbucks - The Way I See It #182

In my career I've found that "thinking outside the box" works better if I know what's "inside the box.". In music (as in life) we need to understand our pertinent history...and moving on is so much easier once we know where we've been.

- Dave Grusin

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Recovery Run

Wednesday, November 1st. Today's 3.1 miles will be the only run for the week. Our Yellow group coach has a 10 mile run in his mind for this coming Saturday's FIT run. So in light of last Sunday's 13.1 mile run, today's recovery run is IT for mid-week running, Ha!

Run Summary:

Mile 1: 8:57
Mile 2: 8:35
Mile 3: 8:21
0.1 mile: 0:52

Elapsed: 26:46
Shoes: Asics Gel-Kayano XI (157 miles)

These times really don't "look" like a relaxed paced run for me but it truly felt that way. Perhaps the cooler temperatures helped. My heart rate at the end was 150, which is a normal slow long run rate for me.

30K or 50K?

Thank you for your responses. I am leaning more towards the 50K right now. After all, after the first 30K, the rest is bonus. Plus, I have run the Lucky Trails Marathon last year so I have a little trail running experience, although I'm sure the trails of Huntsville is probably much more hazardous than the Seabrook trail. I have until November 14th to decide.

Monday, October 30, 2006

30K or 50K?

Rather than going round and round the concrete roadways of Sugarland, I wonder if I should tackle the Sun Mart 50K? I see two issues with this.

First, the Sun Mart at $80 is in pretty expensive, like in Marathon territory. But then, it is longer than a marathon.

Secondly, and much more important, can I finish it without having a near death experience? Do I have the endurance to do this with only about 6 weeks to go?

I know what my FIT coach would say, "Run the 30K, don't risk an overuse injury that will ruin your marathon training."

My wife Fran would also disapprove, I'll have to tell her that I'm on my way to the 30K when in reality, I'd be going North to Huntsville..... (I hope she doesn't read this anymore.....)

Your $0.02 is greatly appreciated.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Houston Half Marathon

First, I'd like to mention that my time of 2:02:32 today is a P.R. A big thank you goes out to Jon Walk for remembering what my time was at the 2006 Surfside Half Marathon. So therefore, I join the ranks of many fellow bloggers who P.R.'ed today. My previous best was 2:04:37, besting my last record by 2 minutes and some change.

Second, it was great to see some old faces and some new ones. Meeting old friends once again at this race brings back many nostalgic memories from last year, my first year of marathon training. Once again, it was great to meet again (in the order I met this morning) Vic Kaiser, first attempt at Half Marathon distance and P.R.'ing, Bar-Bar-A, Edwin Quarles (P.R.), Joe Carey (P.R.), Professional Man of Action, Keith Kellerher (P.R.), Jennifer Kim, Jessica Alexander (P.R. - a minute or so faster than me to the finish....just like the 10 miler from 2 weekend's ago) and June Vidrine.

Third, a big shout out to Jon Walk, the energizer bunny of the running circuit for last minute inspiration. Jon was there around mile 12, saw me, looked at his watch and said, "Holden, if you want to beat your time from Surfside, you better get going!" It was a good thing too because I was starting to unravel after 10 miles. Between the severe camber of the road and not being well rested, my mind started to drift and couldn't keep a good running rhythm. After Jon's feedback, I started to count my strides, "right, 2, 3, left, 2, 3..." until I got the rhythm back and was able to manage a good finish.

Fourth, thank you Striders for putting on another great race. For those wanting to belong to a great running club, I highly recommend the Houston Striders.

The weather was great for the first hour and half of the run. It got a little hot for me during the last 3 miles with the hot sun in my eyes. But there was no humidity and a gentle breeze most of the time. The water station volunteers were superb. A special thanks to Steve Bezner who was volunteering and from whom I took a cup of water.

Run Summary:

Mile 1: 9:46
Mile 2: 9:14
Mile 3: 8:59
Mile 4: 8:48
Mile 5: 9:12
Mile 6: 9:03
Mile 7: 9:03
Mile 8: 9:28
Mile 9: 9:22
Mile 10: 9:53
Mile 11: 9:43
Mile 12: 9:35
Mile 13: 9:27
0.1 Mile: 0:52

Total Time: 2:02:32
Pace: 9:21/mile
Shoes: Asics Kayano XI (153.9 miles)

I spent a lot of time dodging slower runners during the first 2 miles and probably spent too much energy. My biggest mistake was staking out what I thought was a good spot for a 9:12/mile pace in the starting area. Unfortunately, there must have been too many first timers who did not know this etiquette. Looks like I started to unravel around mile 8. But overall, I'm very satisfied with today's run.

Next: San Antonio Half Marathon on November 12th.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Running with Rain and Thunder

Wet and wetter. Can you actually get wetter? It looked like the rain was letting up so a quick change into running gear and into the dimming light I went. It was 6:30 PM with night approaching pretty fast. I really wanted to put in one more run before the Half on Sunday and the opportunity presented itself. I only encountered on and off light drizzle during the first mile which went by in 9:01. "Slower..." I tell myself. I hear a boom in the distance. Getting mildly concerned but thinking I can make it back before the thunder gets closer, I press on. Rain gets heavier. Half way through the run, the sky opens up and starts to hammer me pretty good. Second mile marker goes by but I forget to hit the split. The rain is coming down in sheets now. Hard to see, eyes are stinging from all the rain running down my face. Hmmm. Shoes are now wet. Socks are wetter. I'm wet to the bone but it's not really cold so I press on. "Boom!!" OK, the thunder and lightning is getting way to close for comfort. I press on, rain pelts on. I finally reach home, stop the watch and go right into my open garage. I sit on the opening and look into the night sky. Thunder boomers are practically over my house. This one was a little too close for comfort. I promise myself not to ever go for a run under a thunderstorm.

Total elapsed time: 27:10
Pace: 8:45/mile
Shoes: Really wet Kayano XI with 140.8 Miles

Packet Pick-up Day


I made my way over to Luke's for my packet. I said "Hello," to Steeeve's wife Barb Shepard who was volunteering. On my way out, I bought a Race Number Belt by Fuel Belt. This means no more safety pins for this runner. I hope I like it. I'll let you guys know after the Houston Half Marathon.

I'm looking forward to seeing a bunch of you guys & gals at the race. Look for a ruggedly handsome runner with a cool looking Race Number Belt....

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Drinking Coffee on a Rainy Day

I'm sitting in a restaurant (Ibiza ) looking out onto the Riverwalk in San Antonio. I'm drinking coffee. It is raining outside while I'm cozy and dry inside. Not a soul is outside walking about, perhaps no one owns an umbrella in San Antonio.

- typing away on my Blackberry...

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Flags of Our Fathers


I've just finished reading the novel, "Flags of Our Fathers" yesterday. It is a story about a Navy Corpsman who finds himself in the middle of the Battle of Iwo Jima. Iwo Jima stands as the deadliest battle ever experienced by American Military. It eclipses even the Landing of Normandy. Battle for Iwo Jima took over 32 days of non stop fighting on an island that is 5 miles long and 2 miles wide. It is a sad sad story really, most of the soldiers on that island was 18 to 22 years old. The Japanese army of 22,000 was ordered to fight to the death, told to kill 10 Americans before getting killed. The story really isn't about the war but how the veterans of World War 2 suffered and coped with the nightmares long after the war ended.

The movie came out yesterday and after my morning run, I went to watch the matinee. The movie does not do justice to the book, but I think Clint Eastwood did a pretty good job. However, please read the book before you go because a lot of the scenes will make more sense.

Next time you see a Veteran of Foreign War, please thank them for their sacrifices.

9.1 Miles and then 3.1 Miles

5:30 AM came too early for me today. Why do I feel compelled to wake up earlier on a Saturday than on a Monday? Why o why o why? My life before running would have found me sound asleep on Saturday mornings.

The Woodlands Fit group met in darkness today, proud of it's achievements at last week's 10 miler and looking forward to the Half Marathon next weekend. Coach asked us to take it easy today. A real slow long run. But the weather was too nice for running. It was dark, I didn't know the course so I followed couple of guys who knew their way. Unfortunately for me, they were faster than normal Yellow groupie.

Run Summary:

Distance: 9.1 Miles
Time: 1:21:17
Pace: 8:55/mile

I ran this "slow" run at a faster pace than my 10 miler. Hmmmm. Amazing what fear of getting lost will do to your motivation.

Then in the best Jon Walk tradition, after finishing and catching my breath, I drove over to Barbara Bush Elementary School to run in Run The Woodlands 5K with a minute to spare. I was looking forward to meeting Joe Carey who was driving all the way up from Clear Lake. I found Joe and two friends of his from On The Run group. Suzie Schreiber saw me and promised to walk s-l-o-w-l-y over to the start area to give me enough time to register and pay $1. "Thanks Suzie!!"

Run Summary:

Distance: 3.1 Miles (5K)
Time: 26:33
Pace: 8:33/mile
Shoes: Kayano XI (137.7 miles)

Total Miles for the Day: 12.2 miles.

I feel pretty good about next week's Half Marathon. If the weather stays cool, I am confident of surpassing 9:12 pace I recorded at the 10 For Texas.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Asics Gel Kayano XII

I just bought a new pair of Kayanos XII size 11, 2E. This despite having only racked up 120 miles on my current Kayano XI. I seem to be spending a lot of money on road racing again. I'm very fond of the XI, the last year's model, but I can no longer find them. Hopefully, the new model will be just as satisfying.

San Antonio Half Marathon

I am now signed up to run the San Antonio Half Marathon. I booked a room at the Hilton Del Rio on the Riverwalk. It should be a nice quick weekend family vacation. My Fall & Spring running schedule is getting pretty busy;

Luke's/Koala's Half Marathon
HMSA 25K
San Antonio Half Marathon
Sugarland 30K (Not registered)
Houston Marathon
Austin Marathon (Not registered)
Big D Texas Marathon (Not registered)

Que sera sera, what ever will be will be... My Kayanos and me, que sera, sera.

Southwest Airlines Flight 874 Seat 2F

I'm on a Southwest flight at this moment. I'm trying them for the first time in 3 years. So far the experience is a little more relaxing than Continental, my previous favorite airline. A flight attendant just came and asked for a drink order before take off. They are actually smiling!!!! What a refreshing change.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

More Rain

Raining again here in the wonderful Woodlands. Somehow, it was warm, muggy and raining when I went for a quick 3.1 miler this evening. Legs were still tired, perhaps from running a little too fast last Saturday. Next run: 8 miler with the Woodlands Fit group this Saturday. Perhaps even a RTW 5K race right after.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Harriers, The Makings of a Championship Cross Country Team



This is a relatively short novel based on a real story of a high school cross country team as told by Joseph and Paul Shivers. It's about a bunch of ordinary high school kids that find themselves in a mediocre cross country team. They all have raw athletic talent, some better than others. The story is really about how a great coach can overcome all obstacles and make you the best athletes possible. Reading this book, I came to the realization that all runners, great and otherwise, go through the same emotional highs and lows, through the same self doubt and despair to triumph like I do. As I wait for the gun to go off, I am always immersed in deep thought, all the training runs and injuries I had to endure, how I might do in this run etc. etc. In running, you really don't know what kind of race you will be having until after the gun goes off. Soon enough, your body will tell you, but until the rubber meets the pavement, you just don't know.

As I anticipate running a half marathon later this month and running the Houston Marathon in January, I will again go through the same doubts before the gun, hoping for a great run yet expecting the worst at the same time. This book reads the same way, bunch of high school runners, hoping for the worst yet expecting the best, a State Championship. Somehow, in sports, a difference between a Champion and a runner-up is so small that on any given race day, fate will mercilessly dole out different end results despite equally gutsy performance by all athletes involved.

Houston Half

Next Race for me is in 2 weeks. I will be at the Houston Strider's/Luke's Locker Half Marathon in Downtown Houston. Come by and say "Hi." I promise not to bite but might jump up and hug you.

p.s. It might be best to say "Hi" to me before the run as hugging business can get a little wet and messy if done post race..... Especially if it's a hot and steamy day.

D'Feet Breast Cancer, Inc. Race in Galveston

There is a certified 5K and 10K race this coming weekend in Galveston, TX. Unfortunately for me, I will need to be a the Woodlands Fit Group training that same day and won't be able to attend. But for those interested in running amongst the Moody Garden Pyramids, check out this LINK. Sounds like a fun race! For any questions regarding this run, please contact: Ellen Adriance at ellen@galvestontexas.com (409-939-0206).

Barbara! Sorry I missed you at Starbucks! That would have been a treat to see you! I passed by the joint several times but did not go in. I left my wallet in the truck and could not buy one anyway. I was wishing that I brought out the Starbucks card with me for the race however but it was too late by then.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

10 For Texas

This inaugural race picked a pretty good day to run a 10 miler in the Woodlands. The starting temperature was in the upper 60's (me thinks) and ended in the mid 70's. The sky was slightly overcast and the sun never really affected too many runners. For a first time race, it was organized extremely well, starting with a good traffic management by the police to an excellent post race party afterwards. Food was the best I've experienced. It included lettuce wraps from Pei Wei, to pizza by Incredible Pizza, to subs from Lenny's to Heineken beer to soft tacos etc.

I met a lot of folks today. David Smart was volunteering at the chip desk, and while I was chatting with him, Powerade Pam Pauling of the Houston Striders came by to pick up her chip. During post race festivities, I met Yong Collins of the Striders (she won her age group!!), Jon and Waverly Walk, Tom Stilwell (past HARRA Prez) and Bill Dwyer (TNT).

Race Summary:

Mile 1: 9:07
Mile 2: 9:11
Mile 3: 9:57
Mile 4: 9:26
Mile 5: 9:27
Mile 6: 9:19
Mile 7: 9:01
Mile 8: 9:41
Mile 9: 9:13
Mile 10: 7:27

Elapsed: 1:31:55
Pace: 9:12/Mile

I thought I ran a very consistent pace through out the race and I was told that the course was certified. Therefore, I must deduce that the last mile was shorter and some of the other miles were longer. Either that or I have a smidgen of Kenyan DNA in me and it showed up during the last mile... :)

Between the food and the goodies we received, this has got to be one of the best values in Houston road racing circuit. Check it out next year!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Final Tune Up for 10 4 TX

Tuesday evening, I ran my final tune up for the 10 Miler. Well, I was going to run a quick 5K on Thursday as the final tune up but that schedule conflicted with a night out at Smith and Wollensky's on Westheimer. So Tuesday it was.

5K Dash

Mile 1: 8:59
Mile 2: 8:20
Mile 3: 8:15
0.1: 0:47

Elapsed: 26:22

Pace: 8:30/Mile

Mellow Yellow coach Cooper sent out an email with pacing information. Told us to try either going all out or trying out our marathon paces. Also subtly hinted that if we cannot maintain 10 minutes/mile pace at this 10 miler, we need to assess our fitness and and fess up to reality. Like getting kicked out of the group.... With that threat looming over my big head, I shall be fully focused.

All joking and seriousness aside, 10 minute pace translates to 4:22 marathon time. I need to concentrate a little harder on this running business if I want to get there.

By the way, I signed up to run the Houston Half at the end of the month. I also signed up to run the Houston Marathon. Waited too long to run the Disney. Shame, shame.

Bar Bar A, sorry for not blogging through the Blackberry as promised. I have no excuse.

Finally, my weight this morning registered at 173.8 lbs. That rocks.

Double finally, I have not had any ITBS issues since starting the lunges with 8 lb weight on each hand. I'm up to 30 lunges per leg. I'm a lunging maniac at the Y now.

Have a great weekend of running everyone, especially Vic Kaiser, may your first 10 miler be a memorable one.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Wow! What a shirt!

Picked up my packet today for the 10 for Texas at Luke's Locker during lunch. This race is such a good value. I got a great looking long sleeve white technical shirt by Brooks with cool looking logo in Orange. (Hmmm, it looked a lot like HRB's white technical shirt with orange logo....) There was also a $15 Luke's coupon (on purchases of $75 and up) and it appears the after running food will be provided by some cool restaurants including Pei Wei and Berryhill. To top it all off, the course winds through the heart of the Woodlands.

We should have great running weather come Saturday. I'm looking forward to a great run and post run celebration.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Jon Walk

Hi Jon,

Before you move on, I wanted to just say, "Thanks!" I say thanks because you became my link to the Houston Running Community. Through you, I learnt about the Houston Striders. I also came to know a lot of Houston area running friends through you. Going to running events and mingling with other running folks I met through you became a ritual of sorts for me last season.

I am going to miss seeing you at running events. I'm sorry things did not work out the way you envisioned them. All things happen for a reason, whether understood or not. I wish you well, wherever you might land. I am certain that a day will come when you will lace up your running shoes again for a "quick" run, just to sweat a little, just to see where it will take you.

Take Care!

Finally, cool running weather

Sorry for not posting for so long. I went to another Dove Hunt and also attended a weekend corporate meeting. In between, I've been out of town a lot lately. Still, I have been keeping up with most of my running. I will be running the 10 for Texas next weekend. I hope to meet a bunch of you there. This morning's 9 miler went very well. I felt very strong at the end of the run, as if I could run another 9 miles. Best of all, I kept up a 9:30 mile pace. Woo hoo!! Amazing what ideal running conditions will do for you.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Easy 35

After brutal 10 miles on Saturday, today was like drinking a can of Coke after many months of well, not drinking Coke. Duh... It was a nice day for doing practically anything outdoors. What a great day. Sunday too. How strange that the cooler weather is here so soon. How pleasant.

Memorial Park was jammed packed tonight. As it should with such great weather. Going to do it again same time tomorrow night. 16 X 30-30. That should be interesting.

See ya! Good night!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

10 Miles with the Woodlands Fit

10 Miles with the Fit group today. It was 83 degrees and terribly humid at 6 AM when we all met. Trudging out of the parking lot, breathing the watery air, I started to sweat almost immediately. This was a very difficult run. As the day got lighter, the stifling air seemed to get hotter. Not much of a breeze either. Oh well. After almost 2 hours what seemed like running in the sauna, I was able to return to the Y.

Run stats:

Distance: 10 Miles
Time: 1:52:08
Pace: 11:12min/mile
Shoes: Asics Gel-Kayano XI (90.6 miles)

I'm hoping the cooler weather will get here soon. It was really great running earlier in the week when the temps and the humidity was really pleasant.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Tour de Art Run


This Fun Run is organized by my running club, The Houston Striders. Check it out!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Starbucks Series: The Way I See It #154

Big things start small. Rather than getting overwhelmed with the thought of changing the world, there are small steps we can all take in our lives and communities that can have a real impact. Music is just one way of making change. What will you choose?

- Goapele

Been Busy

Last two weeks have gone by in a blur. I've spent a long weekend Dove Hunting in Carrizo Spring, TX. This was my first experience with a shotgun and hunting. I have a black and blue bruise on my right shoulder to prove it. It was not a very economical endeavor for me. First day out, I spent 200 shells to kill 7 Doves. I was dissapointed since I was able to hit about 50% of the clay pigeons on a prior skeet shooting outing. Perhaps I'm now blacklisted by the PETA movement. Still, it was worth it. This has got to be the most stress relieving experience I have so far enjoyed in my 40 years of existence. There is nothing like the booming sound of a shotgun.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Intervals!

Memorial Park was practically empty this evening around 6PM. It rained a little earlier and apparently, a lot of fair weather runners decided to chuck it for a nice dinner in front of their flat panel Tee Vees. I would have joined them except that the temp this evening was on the very cool side of Houston. Plus, I got to try out an interval workout of 8 X 30 - 30. After 10 minute warm up jog, I let it loose. Ran as fast as I could. Funny thing was, there was this fast lady running in front of me and I could not for the life of me catch up to her normal cruising pace with my full gallop. Sigh. 30 on, 30 recovery run, 8 times in a row. By the last one, I was getting pretty winded. Lord knows what I'd do if these were 8 X 60 - 60.

Weather definitely was runner friendly. Felt really good after circumnavigating the park.

Run Summary:

Distance: 2.9 miles
Time: 27:31
Pace: 9:29/mile
Heart Rate: 180 (after last interval)
Shoes: 67 miles on Asics Gel Kayano XI

Monday, September 04, 2006

45 Minutes Says The Yellow Schedule

Labor Day. Thank goodness for 3 day weekends. Stepping outside, I was greeted by cooler air. Wow. Ran the first 3 miles with Fran and then went ahead to finish off the remainder of my 45 minute run. We had overcast sky with steady breeze during the entire run. I felt like I could run forever. I hope this cooler weather is here to stay. Another affirmation that Houston is a great place to live during September through May.

Not knowing what to do with the excess energy, right after the run, I took our dog for a walk, then biked to a donut shop (4 miles away) with the rest of the family. This on top of a 1 mile swim I did last night at the Y. Hopefully, all this neutralized the drinking and eating I did Saturday night, which included a big ass steak I grilled, baked potatoes, french bread, salad, deserts, Dos Equis and Becks Oktoberfest Bier.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Coming Soon: A Book Review

I've just finished reading "Harriers, The Making of a Championship Cross Country Team" and will be posting a review shortly. Stay Tuned.....

Long Run

This week's Yellow Group schedule called out 9 miles. I got up too late to make the 6:30 roll call so it was just like the old times, running a long stretch by myself. I hadn't run since last Saturday's 6 mile due to being out of town and tired, but all that turned out to be a good turn of events. You see, all that resting has done wonders for my left foot. There was no pain during yesterday's run. However, all that bad food and lack of sleep conspired to make this a slow and tiring run. Even so, I felt alive running in the Woodlands, greeting fellow runners, bikers and occassional early morning walkers.

Run Summary:

Distance: 9.24 miles
Time: 1:39:19
Pace: 10:44/mile (Red Group Pace!)
Shoes: Kayano XI (59.6 miles)

Coffee Run Update:

Well, I have been reviewing the locations of multitudes of Starbucks in the Woodlands and have concluded that only stand alone coffee shops will be used for route planning. Also, there is no safe way to get to the coffee shop on 242 so we might have to forgo that one.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Airport Musings

This is my first trip since liquids have been banned. The lines to check bags are longer but you go through the security faster because more people are checking their bags. A lot of folks are walking around the terminal with just a briefcase. This makes boarding the plane a lot saner than before. No need to fight for overhead space.

My flight, CO 1708 has been delayed an hour due to mechanical problems. Thank goodness I'm on an exit row seat with no front seat.

Looking forward to cooler weather in Chicago.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Real Thing

Well, after reading Jamoosh's post about Coke, I lost all resistance and went for a 20 oz Regular Coke in the fridge and downed it with some Jay's potato chips. Although I have not posted much about carbonated beverages lately, I do try to stay away from them and today's Coke broke a 2 week streak. It tasted great to the very last drop. Yum.

Hunter - Almost 1 Year Old

Hunter, taken by Allison Choi. Allison has taken an interest in photography and has taken a course over the summer break. Here is a portrait of Hunter with back lighting to enhance his mane.

6 Miles With The Yellow Fever Group

Back with the Woodlands Fit Group and concrete pounding. Today's distance was reduced somewhat from the aggressive pace we had been on for the last month and a half. 6 miles sound refreshingly short and half way into the run, I was very glad for it. This morning's temperature was in the low to mid 70's, which is normal for this time of the year. The air however was very thick with moisture. I was sweating so much that by the end of the race, my relatively new Kayano's were uncomfortably wet with sweat. Yuck! I also had to incorporate 3 walk breaks during the last 3 miles to keep myself from over heating. Looking back, I am glad I walked a bit, the ending heart rate was 180, an unusually high number me. (Normal: 150 after a long run)

Coach tells us that we will be running 9 miles next Saturday. Coach wants us to be ready for a strong 10 miler race in October, 10 for Texas. I am actually looking forward to this race, as I have yet to run a race in The Woodlands.

Run Summary:

Distance: 6 miles
Time: 54:49
Pace: 9:08/mile
Heart beat: 180/min
Shoes: Asics Gel-Kayano XI, 50.4 miles

Friday, August 25, 2006

Musings from Starbucks

The Way I See It #158

It's tragic that extremists co-opt the notion of God, and that hipsters and artists reject spirituality out of hand. I don't have a fixed idea of God. But I feel that it's us - the messed-up, the half crazy, the burning, the questing - that need God, a lot more than the goody-two-shoes do.

By Mike Doughty, Musician

Sipping great coffee and snacking on Madeleines on the West side of town...Me and my Blackberry

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Starbucks Run the Woodlands

I didn't realize this would be so popular. I will have to work on mapping it and figuring out the logistics. Point to point makes sense because of the distance but that would require a way to get back to the starting point. Or, we park at the end point and have one person drive us to the starting point. Anyway, I'll start playing with the map to see what makes sense. One things for sure, it will be run during the cooler season.

Round and Round

I visited Memorial Park again. This time, the loop ended in 28 minutes. Yes, yes, the Yellow group called for a longer time but 28 minutes will have to do. Just to make up, I walked with Frannie and Hunter after dinner. The foot feels much better right now. Thank goodness this weekend's long run is only 6 miles.

I'm headed up to Chicago for a few days next week and if the long run does not cause any problems for my foot, I'll be taking my running gear with me. It will be refreshing to be running in 60 degree temps during the morning hours. Ahhhh.

Barbara, I don't know how many posts I have. #138 came from the Starbucks Series.

TX Runner, I think Dallas is hotter in the summer because it is not near a large mass of water like Houston. The 80 degree Gulf water acts as a regulator. (Comments welcome if anyone disagrees with this. :))

The Way I See It #138

I already wrote #138 down earlier. Sitting in a Starbucks somewhere in Houston, listening to Jazz and drinking in the cool relaxing atmosphere, hoping lunch hour never ends...

Me and my Blackberry..

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Dallas Hot

Ha ha. I thought Houston was hot. It is very livable and runnable compared to Dallas.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Memorial Park Run

Exactly 2.9 miles in 29 minutes. Easy pace. Hot. Less pain in the foot this morning. The park seemed less crowded last night. Perhaps most runners are a sensible lot and disdains from 95 degree runs as much as possible. perhaps I'll become a sensible runner someday. Perhaps.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Luke's Locker on West Gray

Wow! This is my new favorite running store. This is the biggest running store I've seen so far. There is sooo much stuff in there. There is also a 50 yard running "track" where you can test out your shoes. Their staff was also very helpful and knowledgeable. I spoke to Luis in their shoe department and asked him bunch of questions. All of which he answered very informatively.

Bottom of Left Heel

As of this morning, a new pain has graced me with it's presence. I have pain in the bottom of my left heel. This despite not having run since last Monday's easy 40 minute run.
I plan to go back on schedule this afternoon and run at Memorial.

Good news on my quest for Amphipod's hand held water bottle. Luke's Locker at 1953 Gray Street has 3 in stock. I'm headed that way during my lunch hour.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Happy Birthday Alex!

Today is Alex's 9th birthday. I blew off this morning's yellow group run due to various reasons, some involving physical pain and others involving financial pain. These birthday rituals seem to get more and more expensive every year.

I'll need to hit the pool for some alternate form of calorie burn this weekend. I'll get back on the running bandwagon on Monday on Memorial's soft surface.

Good luck to Cassie on her Half Marathon this weekend!

Hi Bar-Bar-A!

Friday, August 18, 2006

A Starbucks Run The Woodlands?

Bill Dwyer has a great idea. When the weather cools, I can map out a Woodlands course that hits all the Starbucks. I can start out at the one in Sawdust, work my way up to Market Street, to Panther Creek and finally ending in College Park. Sounds like it will be at least a 10 miler. You get to drink a cup of your choice and eat a pastry as your energy shot at every stop.

Anyone up for this run?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Starbucks Series

The Way I See It #151

Food is the great equalizer, providing universal joy without bias. As a young boy, our wealth was experienced through the warmth of our kitchen and smells of my mother's cooking. Remember, you can always love people through food.

Michael Chiarello

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

HRB Clubbers at the RTW 5K

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Hot and Easy

I missed last night's easy 40. I had to be at Alex's school orientation in the evening and by the time that was done, I was done.

Tonight it was Allison's school's orientation. I was too tired but what the heck, it was an easy run. So, I laced up and went out for a nice hot run. The feet were first to feel the heat. The freakin' concrete was hot! It was making my running shoes' soles pretty gummy and making my toes hot!!!

My left feet hurts. I'm contemplating whether I should just table this running for the rest of the month...or not. I'll think about it during this weekend's Yellow Group's 8 mile run.

Ciao.

Monday, August 14, 2006

40 Easy

Rather than Memorial's soft surface, I'll be running on concrete up in the Woodlands today. Tomorrow is out due to kid's school orientation.

Searching For Shoes During Lunch

I went to On The Run store near Memorial Park searching for a pair of running shoes. I got my feet re-measured but the store did not carry any 2E width in any stability Asics nor Brooks in my size. Bummer.

Spell Check

Anyone know how to perform spell check when entering postings from a Blackberry?

By the way! This EDGE network on Cingular rocks!

I might have to take up on Jamoosh's suggestion of buying a second pair of running shoes as I forgot to bring my shoes today.

My on going left foor pain seems to have most of the traits of a plantar faciatis. If proven correct, this can be bad news for me.

Hi Bar-Bar-A!

Back To My Regularly Scheduled Program

This is a test post from my Blackberry. If this works, I'll be able to post more regularly.

Saturday run was a lot of fun! First, my wife Frannie ran in her first road race! Woo Hoo! She clocked in under 29 minutes which is very impressive! Muy Macha!

I also got to meet a whole bunch folks, Jon, Waverly, Professional man, Joe and Gerlinde, Edwin and Donna, Tiggs and Manny, Vic, Bar-Bar-A, Sarah, Suzie and her gang, David Smart and Nicolas and Mr. Bill Dwyer himself. (Hope I didn't miss anyone)

27:02 was my time.
Mile 1; 7:54
Mile 2: 8:58
Mile 3: 9:20
0.1: 0:49

I guess I'm out of shape or have totally neglected speed work. Both statements are correct.

I think Francesca is hooked! She told me later that she never thought running a race would be so much fun. She is now wondering if she might be able to run a 10K race. LOL. My next goal is to take her to a 5K race with bib numbers and timing chip. That should be pretty cool.

As for today's easy run, I brought everything down to Houston with me except for the running shoes. Such a dunce....

Friday, August 11, 2006

I WILL BE PUTTING MY MARATHON TRAINING ON HOLD TOMORROW SO THAT I CAN RACE AT THE RTW 5K WITH MY FELLOW HRB'ERS

Apologies to Coach Cooper of the Woodlands Fit Yellow Group. I shall be there next Saturday, when my life reverts to normalcy. For now, I have some Shakespearean thingamajig to attend to. I need to avoid being like Yorik, Hamlet's pal.

Master Runner

I woke up this morning and found myself in a new age bracket. A Master runner! A part of me is freaking out that I am now 40. What can you do? Time marches on relentlessly. I am getting inspiration from Dean Karnazes' 50-50-50 challenge. I wonder if I should do a similar one but at a little more leisurely pace. 50 Marathons in 50 States in 50 Months. Can I do it? Do I want to do it? Is that a big enough challenge? I'll put a little more thought into it but I think I'll be ready to start this challenge by January of 2007. What will I prove? What if I fail? Who cares? Sounds like fun! (A little freakin' expensive too I might add).

My first Master's race will be tomorrow at the Run The Woodlands 5K race. Come by and wish me a belated happy birthday. I'll be giving out free hugs to the ladies!!!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Last Tune Up

Thursday morning, 5 AM, Fran and I drove over to the Bush Elementary to run the actual RTW 5K course. This will be Fran's first 5K and I wanted to get her familiarized with the course. Unfortunately, being a numbskull that I am, I forgot to factor in the available light factor. It is freakin' pitch dark at that hour. The only light we had was coming from occasional street light and from the full moon. Since the course is covered by trees, we were mostly running in the dark. So, so much for course familiarization. Anyway, it was still fun to get out there and run with my wife.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

6 Miles with the Yellow Group

We met a little earlier today for our 6 mile run. There was also a scale to see how much weight we were losing during the run to determine if we are hydrating properly or not. Despite my best efforts, I came out 2.5 lbs less than at the beginning of the run. Despite missing 2 runs this week and eating a lot of rich foods, I felt good through out the run. The only bad part came at the end where I missed a turn with about half mile to go and ended up running about 6.5 miles. Such is life. The good thing is, not too long after I missed the turn, Bill Dwyer drove up to say "Hi." It was good to see him. I'm guessing that he was in the process of checking the TNT route to make sure there were no stragglers.

I've got another out of town trip planned for next week so my running schedule is going to be a challenge again. We shall see. My left foot is still bothering me a bit so all this "resting" is good for me...I think.

Gears! I went to Luke's Locker Woodlands yesterday and bought a Luke's Locker Seat Cover, 3 pairs of running socks and a Nike Dryfit shirt. Being a HARRA member, I received 10% off all non-sale merchandise and being a tax free weekend, it was all tax free.

Run Synopsis:

Distance: about 6.5 miles
Pace: 9.39/mile
Shoes: Asics Gel-Kayano XI (28.4 miles)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

35 minutes of easy Runnin'

Monday afternoon. Yellow Fit Group schedule called for 35 minutes of easy running. Well, as easy as running at 6 PM allows one self to be at Memorial Park. Bleh. At the end of the hot and very sweaty 35 minutes, I come across Vic Kaiser going the opposite direction. Unfortunately for me, I was not able to say much more than, Hi Vic. So, "Hi Vic, I hope your run was a productive one. Looks like you lost some weight there, in fact, I almost did not recognize you. Sorry for having that deer in the headlight look when you saw me. I was just finishing off and had sweated off a lot of fluid and was definitely feeling a little loopy."

Tuesday was a 50 minute hill workout day. I blew it off to go to Papasitos with some relatives from Wisconsin. I had a very delicious Cuervo Gold frozen Margarita with salt around the rim. Yum!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Woodlands Fit Saturday Group Run

The Yellows met this morning at 6:50 AM for a 5 mile run. (4.9 miles to be exact). Under the brightening morning sky and temps in the low 80's, the group took off on our ever lengthening weekend distances. The Reds got going first which meant that the Yellow group had to weave in and out to get ahead of the slower Reds. I didn't mind this at all as it felt more like a real race condition, running around slower paced runners. Coaches were energetic and friendly as ever, God bless them.

During these hot and steamy conditions, hydration rules the day. Normally, I don't like carrying water with me on shorter runs but given my recent experience with the heat, I carried my Nike Fuel Belt with 2 bottles of water. I tapped into them often and it definitely made a difference.

Run Synopsis:

Distance: 4.9 miles
Time: 46:11
Pace: 9:25/mile (Just absolutely perfect Yellow Group Pace if I say so myself)
Ending Heart Rate: 168
Shoes: 18.4 miles (Kayano XI)

Next Run: Monday late afternoon run at Memorial Park.

Friday, July 28, 2006

June Issue of Runner Triathlete News

Woo Hoo!! Apparently 2 pictures I took at the Webster Triathlon event got printed on the June Issue of RTN. If anyone has that issue, can I have it? Anyone? Anyone?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Around Memorial Park

The mellow yellow group schedule called for 35 minute run. So it was 17:30 minutes around clock wise direction and then 17:30 minutes in the counter clockwise direction. It was 91 degrees with light breeze and a lot of humidity. My left leg was bothering me a lot but hey, it was softer gravel surface rather than my typical concrete sandwich so I told the leg to suck it up and function as God intended it to. This time, I brought along a small water bottle to cool me down a bit so as to avoid Monday's humiliating overheating. Guess what. It worked.

Tomorrow is Friday and I'm going to take it easy. This week, I have worked out everyday so far. What has gotten into me? I hope the leg isn't too sore for Saturday's planned 5 mile run with the Yellow Fit Group.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Monday and Tuesday Runs

Dang, I just lost a bunch of text by mistake. Crap. Anyway, here is the Clif Note version since I am no longer in the mood to re-write the whole dang thing.

I am back on the training band wagon. I am still nursing a left foot pain but I'm hoping that running on Memorial's softer ground will help me out.

Monday: 1 loop on the Memorial trail. I crashed and burned around two and half mile mark with over heating. It got kind of bad with a whiff of nausea and light headedness. I ended up walking the rest of the way back. Total miles: 2.9

Tuesday: I was going to run 40 minutes around Memorial Park except that I forgot to pack my running shoes. Kind of like getting to war and forgetting to bring your rifle. Idiot! Not wanting to be denied, I came home, changed and took off on my 40 minute trek. This run went OK. Possibly due to much cooler temps. I think the temp at 6:30 PM was only 85 deg.F. Estimated miles: 4.

Wednesday is a rest day according to my Woodlands Fit schedule. I will go the Y instead and work on strength training on the Cybex machines and do 26 lunges per leg with 8 lbs weight per arm.

Rock on dudes.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Bill Dwyer Featured in The Villager Newspaper

Hey gang, one of our very own and a great supporter of Houston running community and especially the Houston Running Bloggers, Bill Dwyer was featured in today's weekly edition of The Villager. The Villager is a local newspaper that covers The Woodlands community. I have only met Bill a few times but I can truly say that he is an enthusiastic coach who is very committed to his volunteer work with the Woodlands TNT group. His upbeat personality is very contagious. I encourage everyone to come by and meet him at the August 12th, Run The Woodlands 5K race. It starts at 8 AM and I believe Bill said he will be there.

Bill, keep up the good work! You seriously ROCK dude!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Gawd, is it HOT or what?

Time: 6:30 PM
Heat Index: Surface of Planet Mercury hot
Distance: 3.1 miles
Time: 29:55
Pace: 9:39 (Still in the yellow group range!)
Shoes: Kayano XI: 3.1 miles

I missed Monday's scheduled run. That is, Woodlands Fit's Monday schedule. Feeling guilty about missing the first run on the very first day still did not get me out of bed in time this morning for the second run. Thus missing my second scheduled run shamed me into running after work during the hottest part of the day. It got so hot that with half mile left to go, I took off my shirt and ran topless. It was invigorating for about 3 blocks before the heat caught up to me again. Yet, I now understand a little, why some folks feel the need to streak.

Unfortunately, with times like these, I'm not going to be helping my team beat 7 Hills runners come August 12th.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Woodlands Fit - 2006 Edition

Hello Netizens! How is everything in the Blogosphere?

I went to my first Fit session today. I joined the Yellow group. Yellow dudes must run in 9 to 10 minute pace. I'm still undecided whether this regimented training is a good thing or not. Informal poll suggests that at least 2/3 of participants at the Fit were female. Does this hold true in other Fit groups also? Perhaps females are more of a social animal than males. Either that or male varieties are too proud to admit that they need a group help. Who knows.

Today we ran 3 miles. Elapsed time: 28:33, which translates into 9:33 pace. Tight in the middle of the yellow group pace. Kayano XI miles: 362. Since the Strawberry Fest 10K in Wisconsin, I have gone back to my old marathon shoes. Thankfully, I have just purchased another pair of Kayano XI (not the new XII) and so I will be using these to train for my next marathon.

Today's seminar was on hydration. I'm sure the information was useful for beginners. Next weekend, Luke's Locker will give a seminar on proper fitting running shoes. It is also a 4 mile run. I'm debating whether I should RTW it or Fit it.

After being inspired by Joe Carey's blog, I have been working on convincing my wife Fran to come out for the 8/12 run and upgrade my membership to a family membership. I'm using the P.R. angle to entice her. Since this would be her first race, it will automatically go down as a P.R.

The Good Life (copied shamelessly from a Starbucks grande cup)

The good life is the middle way
Between ambition and compassion
Between action and reflection
Between company and solitude
Between hedonism and judgement
Between passion and judgement
Between the cup of coffee
and the glass of wine

- Jay McInerney

Monday, July 10, 2006

"WITHOUT GOALS, FEW OF US WOULD GET PAST THE SNOOZE BUTTON"

Advertisement inside Chicago Transit Authority's "El" train by CARA (Chicago Area Runner's Association). Sorry for the fuzzy picture...

View From Observation Deck, Sears Tower

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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Checking in!

Hello blogstas!

Sorry about being AWOB (Absent WithOut Blogging) for such a long time. I've had many issues to deal with in the mean time including just being physically very tired and having a painful left foot. Anyway, I am back. I'll post more later. But here are some bullet points.

  • I joined The Woodlands Fit group ($100! Sheesh)
  • I bought another pair of Asics Gel Kayano XI
  • I rejoined HARRA
  • Work takes me very near Memorial Park on a lot of occasions now and this will mean that I'll be looping the trail more often than not.
  • I'm on the verge of signing up for many fall races.
  • I'm 99% sure about the Goofy Challenge in 2007.
  • I've just discovered that there is fireworks at the Juice Box every Friday night whether the 'Stro's win or lose. (They lost last Friday...)
  • Hi Barb!
Take care and sleep well.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Strawberry Fest 10K

Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, June 17, 2006. Temp: 78 deg F. In the best Jon Walk tradition, as soon as I arrived in Madison, WI, I searched for a run and found one. Sun Prairie, Wisconsin is a suburb of Madison, a town so well described by our very own Jamoosh. Lesson's learnt from this 10K.

1. Do not eat bratwurst & steaks with 4 bottles of Spotted Cow Ale the night before the race.
2. Do not forget hydration even if you are eating all kinds of anti running food.
3. Do not run on multiple 4 hour sleep nights.

Sun Prairie epitomizes small town midwestern Americana. There were about 150 runners between the 10K, 5K and 1 mile runs. The race coincided with the town's strawberry festival. The run wound around the entire town which incidentally was filled with rolling hills. Freaking hills.

Fun facts:

6.2 Miles: 59:09
Pace: 9.31/mile
Shoes: GT-2110 (98 miles)

This goes down as my slowest 10K race time. But it was a lot of fun.