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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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:


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.


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.