Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Churn and Burn

Easy recovery run meant plenty of walking. It's the only way I can keep the HR down as directed. But I did pick up the pace here and there just to make sure everything was working and to flush out some soreness.

Run itself was pretty boring. Except I think my TV died. Showing me all sorts of wacky colors which made watching Star Trek a bit disturbing. Felt like the episode was taken over by Andy Warhol so I switched to my Kindle instead.

Indoor temps were about 74F (upstairs is 77F but downstairs is cooler).

Fluids and Fuel:
Half a coffee before the run, applesauce and water during the run, and eggs, sausage, and toast as recovery.

Aches and Pains:
More sore than expected from the half. Foam rolled some yesterday because it kept nagging at me. Today seems to be isolated to the quads and hamstrings with the most ache. No real pain though.

Shorts and no shirt.

Time - 53:00
Distance - 2.0 miles
Incline - 3 to 6 (AVG 5)
Speed - 2.0 to 4.0 (AVG 2.4)
Elevation - 570 feet
Entertainment - Star Trek Deep Space Nine

Today's Motivation:
I was tempted to crawl back into bed but managed to throw some clothes on. That gave me the motivation to get on the treadmill. And Star Trek distracted me long enough to get most of my workout in.

Naughty Neil:
Last night I had the last piece of bougatsa from the weekend's Greek festival. Much tastier than the dinner that gave me heartburn. But I did go to bed before 2200 although the thunderstorms kept the kids awake which kept me awake.

Finish - 53:00

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Blood and Sweat but No Tears

I shed blood and sweat today but did not shed tears. Although I was close with the tears. Seeing a row of pictures with names and dates and ages of people that have died in combat really sucks the happy out of you. And seeing it after you've struggled through nearly the whole race doesn't make it any easier. But I kept it together. Somehow. Then I was emotional the rest of the way to the finish and nearly lost it again at the end. I mean, this is just a half marathon, right? *JUST* a half marathon. I don't know what got into me but it hit me hard today.

Rae day started at 0400 with a shower. I greased up my undercarriage and a few other strategic spots, made a coffee, and headed out the door. I made it to my parking spot in plenty of time and almost went into the WalMart, my usual place for pre-race dumps. I wasn't feeling it so I walked to the Start/Finish area and headed into Wegmans instead. The other stall was occupied so I got the big room to myself. And it was, quite literally, the best crap I've ever taken before a race. Nearly perfect on so many levels. Once I did my deed I headed out the door and through the security checkpoint. This is the first time I've seen a checkpoint at a race so it was actually a bit unnerving. It was quick and easy to get through but it made me feel less safe than in other years where nothing like this was present. Seeing the guys under a canopy using binoculars made it worse.

But the race went off without a hitch. Or at least it did for me. For the most part. I knew the heat and humidity would be a factor so I knew I needed to take it slow. I was so *NOT* in a rush that I hit the porta-pottie with 10 minutes to go before the race started. I knew I had plenty of time and sure enough, it took me about 8 minutes to cross the Start line.

Once across I promptly ignored my battle plan and cranked out a few fast miles. I pulled in the reins around Mile 3 when the sneaky hill snuck up on me. I was glad it did because it was getting damn hot outside. Once through the sneaky hills and the 5k mark, it was a fairly easy cruise through town. I had enough room to run the tangents and easily saved a few minutes doing this because there were plenty of turns. I saved probably another 5 minutes by skipping all but two of the water tables. I had my pack and I was good to go.

Once through town, I hit the lowest spot on the course, geographically and mentally. Lots of self doubt was creeping in and I knew that damn hill was coming. And the ones behind it. So I slowed a bit and tried to conserve some energy to get up the hills. I really should have had more fuel on hand but I made due with what I had. Which was nothing.

By the time I reached the bottom of Hospital Hill, I was overheating. I could feel the chills set in when the wind picked up and knew I needed to take it easy. And of course I ignored that and promptly attempted to run up the first section of hill. I made it about half way and then started walking. My heart was pounding so I kept the walk going until I felt recovered enough to run. Then I'd run a few paces and stop to walk. Pretty much my game plan for the whole race but on a smaller scale with the steep hill. I made it to the last little section of hill and made my second and lost stop for water. This was mostly to rinse my hands and douse my legs. I was a little surprised that it was the last water stop on the route but I had enough fluids on hand to make it to the end.

After Hospital Hill, it was the hills on Cowan. Nobody tells you about those shitty things but I know the course well enough to plan for them. Lots of walking later, and a near sob-fest, I made it over the interstate and to the home stretch. It's still uphill a bit but much gentler and easier to crank out a bit of a shuffle. I had enough gas to push the last little bit to the Finish but not anywhere near enough to do my usual kick at the end.

Once across the Finish, I got my medal, cold water, and headed to the beer tent. I made a pit stop to cool off a bit and have a picture taken. I drank my beer and made my way back to my car. I should have stayed at Wegmans to eat lunch but wasn't thinking until I was halfway out of town. So I caved and stopped at Burger King.

Then I pulled over on the way home and ate then watched the big motorcycle rally go down the road. Kind of neat. Not as moving as seeing the faces of the dead but cool to see so many, and I mean many, people stand behind a cause.

Before shot.

After shot.

Money shot (yes, that's blood).

These guys were at the front of the Some Gave All ride.

The bikes went as far as the eye could see (and then some). The red arrow is pointing to the road about a mile away. I'd guess about 3-5 miles of bikes passed me.

Looking in the other direction.


Temps before sunrise were 70F with a dew point of 70F. Temps climbed to 80F by the end of the race. Humidity stayed at 100% and there were even a few rain drops here and there. Sky was overcast with very little sun. When there was a breeze, it was very light.

Fluids and Fuel:
Coffee on the way to town. I forgot my applesauce so I was left with a serving of GenUCAN mixed with their Hydration mix at the start. From there I continued with the GenUCAN Hydration and some water. Recovery was water and beer at the finish then part of a frozen mocha followed by a Whopper, fries, and iced tea.

Aches and Pains:
Yeah for graphic crotch talk! I somehow missed a few spots with the A&D Ointment after my shower and it became extremely apparent where when I took my second shower. But no bloody nipples, no blisters on the feet, and no dick chafe. Legs and feet are sore but nothing I didn't expect from pounding the pavement so much. Aside from that, I feel fine.

Wore shorts, t-shirt, hat, and hydration pack. Wore my sunglasses some of the time but in certain sections I had to take them off because they would fog up. I think my bladder is leaking so I'll need to swap that out with my other one. My small Amphipod bottle worked great. May need to try it as a handheld to see how I like it. Everything else worked as expected.

Today's Motivation:
It was a race. I paid for it. I was going to do it even if I had to walk.

Naughty Neil:
The Whopper. I'm still kicking myself for not eating lunch at Wegmans. At least it had onions, lettuce, and tomato on it. That's healthy, right?

Waiting to cross - 7:57
Mile 1 - 12:51
Mile 2 - 12:57
Mile 3 - 13:16
Mile 4 - 12:29
Mile 5 - 14:09
Mile 6 - 14:25
Mile 7 - 13:06
Mile 8 - 13:12
Mile 9 - 13:28
Mile 10 - 13:43
Mile 11 - 15:52 (Hospital Hill)
Mile 12 - 14:45 (hills on Cowan)
Mile 13 - 14:24
Finish - 2:58:43

Thursday, May 14, 2015

River Rescue

What I had hoped would be another adventure in town on a new trail turned into what felt like junk miles. Almost like I was just phoning in the workout. The only excitement along the way was the local fire/rescue teams doing some river rescue training. The rest of the run was, well, boring as fuck.

The river today.

One of the signs along the trail.

Temps were about 50F to 55F. Wind was light. Sun was out in full.

Fluids and Fuel:
I rarely eat before my runs but today was an exception. Or a gamble if you prefer. Had two eggs, three strips of bacon, two pieces of toast, and hash browns for breakfast. And iced tea to drink. Nothing during the run and only cold coffee as a recovery. Although I nearly fell for a donut after the run.

Aches and Pains:
None really. Just mental apathy. Maybe I should include my mental status under this category going forward. Hmmmm. Something to think about.

Wore shorts, t-shirt, and hat. Took along a BUFF which I used as a single glove here and there. Once again it proves to be the best piece of clothing I've ever bought.

Today's Motivation:
I told my coach I would run and so I did.

Naughty Neil:
Had a late lunch yesterday and a normal sized dinner. Then had a snack later even though I wasn't hungry. Should have skipped the snack but I felt the mental need to eat.

Mile 1 - 12:59
Mile 2 - 14:21
Finish - 31:37

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I just don't give a

That pretty much summed up my day yesterday. And most of this morning so far. But things are getting better. I'm not sure what the trigger was but something sent me into a downward spiral of a funk. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I just don't know if it's a train or a positive attitude.

I'm staying positive as best as I can and hoping it's not a train. Meanwhile I just did what I could yesterday to make it through the day. By the time afternoon rolled around I felt better but still not where I felt I needed to be. Or wanted to be. This morning was a bit of a relapse but I still made it out the door to get my run on. I slogged it around the neighborhood three times do clock in just under the hour planned. Well, it was a 4x1 mile repeats, under an hour, and a warm-up. So as usual I ignored the plan and just went round and round for an hour and then called it quits.

First loop was tepid. Second loop I caught a little heat for looking at my neighbor. Well, it felt like she was giving me the stink eye. And while ploughing her fields wouldn't be a bad thing, it's not like I'm a creep just for looking at you. Although the stink eye may have been because I was listening to Eminem.

Third loop brought a second wind which is just about right. Just as soon as I start to feel normal and get into a groove, my run is over. At least the rain wasn't heavy and added some ambiance and mood lighting to the run.

Temps were about 70F. Humidity was high. Winds were light. No sun. Light rain.

Fluids and Fuel:
Before the run was two slices of bacon and half a coffee. During the run was ice water. Recovery was two egg and ham burritos, two slices of toast, and the rest of my coffee.

Aches and Pains:
Figures that I stepped on the only damn piece of sharp gravel out there. Outside of that I felt fine.

Wore shorts, t-shirt, and hat. Nothing special.

Today's Motivation:
I wanted to go for a run but I didn't want to go for a run. Hard to explain but there it is.

Naughty Neil:
I didn't eat breakfast yesterday. Ate a salad for lunch. Had a frozen mocha in the afternoon. Topped it off with black bean burritos for dinner. The food was healthy (except the mocha) but my stomach was not happy. By the time the day was over I couldn't trust a fart.

Loop 1 - ~18:00
Loop 2 - ~18:00
Loop 3 - ~19:00
Finish - 55:01

Friday, May 08, 2015

Lost but not in danger

For the first time in ages, I got lost today. I was never in any danger, I could see buildings through the trees in various spaces so I knew I could get help in an emergency. But I was absolutely lost. I had a general idea of where I was, where I wanted to go, but there came a point where I just had no idea which way to turn. Thankfully the park was small and I was able to easily continue on down the trail and find my way back out to civilization again.

Along the way I went out of my way to go through the water, got creeped out under the overhang, realized I need fuel after 7 miles, and got in a nice workout. And as a bonus I stunk up the joint when I stopped for food after my run. I wasn't smelly enough to smell myself but it was bad enough to get the stink eye and have people avoid all the tables around me. Oh well. I'm not doing this to make my ass smell better.

So after the nearly, nearly 10 mile run, I came home and cut the grass. Wasn't exactly the cool down I wanted but it made me feel less guilty about missing those last few tenths of a mile that I needed to get into the double digit range.


De Train! DE TRAIN!

The creepy overhang. Felt like I was being watched. But I knew Lauren would appreciate the picture.

Pretty flowers.

Exhausted after 9.85 miles.

Temps were about 70F. Humidity was high. Sun was out. No wind.

Fluids and Fuel:
Had two English muffins for breakfast with coffee. During the run I had a bottle of GenUCAN Hydrate, plain water, and two applesauces. Recovery was a spinach and bacon souffle and a spinach and artichoke souffle with an iced coffee. Side note, frozen applesauce seems to be working well. Keeps the water cold and thaws in plenty of time to eat.

Aches and Pains:
Other than feeling tired, I felt fairly good. Had some hot spots develop that I did my best to mitigate along the way. Feet felt heavy after going through the water (no surprise). Got over-heated around Mile 8 so I slowed down a bit and drank a little more.

Wore shorts, t-shirt, hat, and hydration pack. Also carried my gun since I was going through town and into new places.

Today's Motivation:
I knew today was the day to get my run in since this weekend would be busy.

Naughty Neil:
My local outlet for not-so-healthy food had a different treat yesterday. So I snacked on chocolate covered caramel popcorn last night. Thankfully it was a small serving.

Splits are according to RunKeeper so take them with a grain of salt.
Mile 1 - 14:57
Mile 2 - 13:40
Mile 3 - 20:32
Mile 4 - 14:52
Mile 5 - 13:19
Mile 6 - 13:21
Mile 7 - 12:52
Mile 8 - 12:57
Mile 9 - 14:05
Mile 10 - 14:55
Finish - 2:22:00

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

That feeling in the shower

You know that feeling you get in the shower after you've had a good run and you're scrubbing off the dirt and grime and you just feel so ... content. That was today's shower.

Such a wild turn of events since yesterday's run where everything just seemed to suck. Today started out all sorts of lousy. I broke one of my favorite hats trying to kill a horse fly. The little plastic buckle shattered which meant I was lucky to keep it on my head during the run. For a change, having a big head helped. I was lucky that the bugs didn't bug me too much but the turtle scared the hell out of me. The second turtle didn't scare me but still creeped me out.

Outside of that, I guess the run went well. My mind was elsewhere and had plenty of negative thoughts to get rid of. Was mostly successful in that but there's still a shadow lingering there. At least my shower made me feel content. And clean.

That green thing hanging down is an inch worm. One of many that attacked me on my run.

This is the turtle that scared the hell out of me.

I have no idea what kind of flower this is but there's very few of them out there and they only show up a few times a year.

Temps were about 60F to 65F. Humidity was high. Sun was out with a few clouds. Very light wind.

Fluids and Fuel:
Had coffee and two English muffins before the run. During the run was water and GenUCAN Hydrate and an applesauce. Recovery was iced tea, coffee, and a couple pieces of cheese.

Aches and Pains:
Calves were a little tight but nothing major. Right foot was a little tender after I stepped on a rock. Seems like just as soon as it feels better I step on something to make it hurt again.

Wore shorts, t-shirt, and hydration pack.

Today's Motivation:
Seeing 7 miles was daunting. But I tried to take it one mile at a time. I turned around after 3 miles so I knew I had 6 miles in the bag (at least when I got back to the car). I opted for another half mile in the other direction so I'd end up with 7 total. I wasn't sure if I'd make it but I was feeling good so I went for it.

Naughty Neil:
Had a bowl of treats last night. But it was only one and I felt satisfied when it was gone. No urges to go back for seconds.

Mile 1 - 14:05
Mile 2 - 14:45
Mile 3 - 15:26
Mile 4 - 15:08
Mile 5 - 13:38
Mile 6 - 14:36
Mile 7 - 12:42
Finish - 1:40:23

Tuesday, May 05, 2015


Nearly walked into a swarm of inchworms during this morning's run. Quite fitting considering I was moving rather slowly today. Guess I shouldn't have crawled back into bed. But I was tired. Which was pretty obvious since I slept for about 2 more hours. Guess I shouldn't have stayed up quite so late.

Anyway, I chugged along as best as I could. Felt insanely slow and out of shape. Was barely a tenth of a mile down the road and I was already huffing and puffing. Gah. But I kept going and kept trying to tack miles on as I moved along. Along the way I saw a deflated pool raft, a vintage Mustang, and a million and one inchworms.

Temps were about 70F to 75F. Humidity was moderate to high. Sky was clear. Winds were moderate.

Fluids and Fuel:
Half a coffee before the run. Water, Hammer Fizz, and an applesauce during the run. Recovery was an egg and bacon sandwich with extra bacon and a slice of toast. Plus the rest of my coffee and some iced tea.

Aches and Pains:
Calves started feeling the burn in the first mile. Outside of that, and the huffing and puffing, things were pretty normal.

Wore shorts, t-shirt, hat, and hydration vest. Tested out a new, smaller Amphipod bottle. Gave me quite the scare when it suddenly squirted fluid out. Guess the Hammer Fizz had fizzed enough to build up pressure. Just glad it didn't get me.

Today's Motivation:
I was about to drive to the local trail then opted for a road run at the last minute. Not sure why but I did. Not sure where my motivation came from to keep going this morning but it was there somewhere.

Naughty Neil:
Damn wife keeps buying tasty dessert food. So I had some chocolate chip cookie cake last night. Not much though. I snacked a bit on rice puffs and beef jerky so that helped curb my appetite.

Finish - 57:42