29 November 2008

Marathon Pics

I finally uploaded my pictures of the Philadelphia Marathon. There are a couple of good shots, but as you can tell I am not a great photographer, and I am blaming that on my crappy camera.


Be sure to check out the pic of the joggler.... both feet off of the ground and all the balls in the air.

Good For What Ails You

This week has been a little rough.

After getting home from the marathon on Sunday I started feeling sick. It came on pretty strong Sunday night and when I woke Monday morning I felt like I was about to die. I had to call out of work, not something I usually do, and I slept most of the day.

Tuesday, a day I normally run, I felt good enough to go to work, but not good enough to run. My body ached and I wanted to stay in bed. I couldn't though because it appeared my youngest son was getting pink eye and I had to take him to the doctor. No pink eye, but he was developing an ear infection.

Wednesday was better. I had a full day of work, but I still felt kind of crappy. I was late getting out of work because I had so much to do and when I got home I felt like doing nothing but sleeping... too bad though, I needed to go out and get a few things for Thanksgiving.

Thursday... I can not believe Thanksgiving is here already. I wanted to run a Turkey trot today, or at least do a long run in the morning, but did not feel up to it. I did have a good day though, we deep fried a turkey and had a great feast. We had a fire going outside and stood around it talking while keeping an eye on the turkey fryer.

Friday morning. I still felt stuffy, but after sitting up for a while my head cleared a bit. I decided to go for a run. Since it has been so long since running I decided to do a very slow pace and only do a mile. I ended up getting to a mile and a quarter a decided to keep going. I got to a mile and a half and still kept going. I decided to stop at two miles.

The run was actually the best I had done in quite some time. Very good quality at a comfortable pace. My head was cleared up and my headache was gone. I did start coughing and almost chucked a little, but that was only from all the snot and mucus that drained into my stomach. Sorry about being so gross.

This just boosted my love for running. It actually makes you feel better.

23 November 2008

Philadelphia Marathon

Today, in a sense, was my first marathon. I did not run today, but I arrived early with my brother, who was running, so that I could watch the marathon and immerse myself in the atmosphere of the marathon. In a way it was good for me because when I do run the marathon next year I will know what to expect when I get there.

It was surreal walking toward the art museum while it was still dark out. We arrived at 5:30 and were the only two people walking down the street for a bit, and then more and more people appeared, slowly making their way toward the museum. It was like a scene from a zombie movie.

My brother checked his stuff and got ready. After following him around for a half hour we parted ways. I wandered around trying to get the best pictures I could in the dark and he stretched and warmed up.

The sun was rising when they made announcements about the corrals and lining up for the start. I found a good spot at the starting line and waited. I got quite a few good pictures, but could not see where my brother was, coming off the start line. After the wheeled and 8k start I made my way up 22nd street to Chestnut so that I could maybe catch my brother there.

By the time I reached Chestnut there was already runners going by. I was sure that my brother had not passed yet so I walked down the street watching for him. I saw a lot of interesting people running, and thought to myself if they can do it, than so can I. I felt bad for thinking that about some people, but inspired at the same time, and proud of total strangers who are not content with sitting at home watching crappy television shows.

I did not see my brother on Chestnut. By the time I made it back to the art museum, there were people finishing the half marathon and some elites finishing the full. It was fun to watch people crossing the finish line.

I walked down by the river and waited for my brother. A good place to people watch, and I learned today that the marathon is a better people watching venue than any other place I have ever been.

After a long wait I see my brother walking up the road texting someone. Texting? Walking? He was texting one of the volunteers that he was friends with. I went down and walked along with him. His leg was hurting pretty bad and he was not going to finish. Not too long ago he had a foot injury that interrupted his training, and this definitely effected him. He did make it to the halfway point, and while disappointed that he did not finish, he was very proud that he at least started.

I am proud too. The two of us are lazy bastards, always playing video games and doing nothing to benefit our health... now that we are running we are getting fit and losing weight. Not only that, but by running we are already doing more than most people in the country. We are both different people since taking up running.

I am definitely excited to run next year, and now I have more motivation and inspiration to train hard so that I can build my endurance, and take part in what looks like an incredible time.

I will be posting pics soon. I took a lot and some of them came out pretty good.

22 November 2008

The Expo

Well you probably already know that I am not running the Philadelphia marathon tomorrow. My brother is running it, and I was more than happy to go to the health and fitness expo with him to pick up his packet.

This was my first time going to one of these and it was fun. Free samples, great deals, and a running atmosphere that could make anyone feel motivated. I happened to pass by Bart Yasso just as he was sitting down to sign books. I got right in there and bought his book and got his autograph. I have been thinking about buying his book from Runners World, but I am glad that I waited.

Tomorrow I will head over early and find my way around the runners and spend the day cheering them on and taking pictures. After walking through the expo I really wish I was running, but I am nowhere near ready to run even a half marathon. Hopefully next year.

17 November 2008

Back On Track

After running my first official 5k on October 25th I slacked off for a week. Partly from laziness and soreness, but mostly from lack of time. The last two weeks, however I have gotten back on track. I did 5.5 and 5.9 miles each week, and will hopefully bump it up to 7 miles this week.

Three miles is now my long run. I am getting overtaken by running and can not wait until my long runs are double digits and I am doing 20 miles a week. Still a while to go, but I will be there.

On another great note...

Philadelphia Marathon this weekend! My brother has been signed up to run it for a while, but he hurt his foot a couple months back. He is going to start and try to get through it.

I can not wait to check out the expo and watch the race. I will be getting there early and will do my best to get as many pictures as possible. The forecast is cold, but hopefully no rain and little wind.

If you would have told me a year ago I would be getting excited about watching a marathon I would have called you crazy. I can only imagine how excited I will be to actually run in one.

11 November 2008


Even though I do not do it as much as I did when I was a child, I still love to daydream.

The best time to daydream is while running. You can turn your legs on auto pilot and let your mind drift into another world. It can also help you get through the tough parts of your run.

Today I ran in the bitter cold, and throughout the run I was imagining myself running a marathon... and winning it! When I came to the final turn I imagined myself coming around the last turn of a marathon and kicking it into high gear, running neck and neck against Ryan Hall and making it a pure guts race for the win. I of course beat him out by a few feet.

I know this sounds childish, and it is, but sometimes you have to forget the world and just float in fantasy.

By the way, I finished this particular route in record time, and I ran the best pace I have ever ran. Still slow, 10:20 minutes per mile, but still showing improvement in both pace and endurance!

Today... I Felt Like A Runner

This morning was cold. The coldest it has been all season. It was about 34 degrees.

I woke this morning and slowly moved around and got ready. I knew it would be cold, but was surprised to see that my phone reported 34 degrees.

I still wore shorts, with compression shorts underneath. I wore a long sleeve compression shirt with a long sleeve shirt over top of that. I also wore gloves and headband to keep my ears warm. Some may think this was overkill, and I did end up taking the headband off toward the end, but man it was cold.

So my point is, even though it was cold, I got out and ran. I ran hard. I ran like it was my last run. I ran like it meant something. A jogger would not have run in the cold. A gym rat would not have run in the cold, a couch potato would sure as hell not ran in this cold.

Today... I felt like a runner.

06 November 2008

Running In The Rain

I seem to have a lot of trouble with motivation. When I wake up early for a morning run, it takes me forever to get moving and convince myself to run. All the while I know that once I start running I feel great.

This morning was raining... and I mean really coming down. I have run in overcast and slight drizzles, but never in rain this hard. My mind was telling me to stay in bed, but I knew I couldn't do that and enjoy the rest of the day.

I finally got out there and ran in the downpour. I immediately felt great. I was listening to music in one ear while I ran, not something I do all the time, and it helped pump me up and run for Him. I noticed that while I was focused on things other than running, like prayer, praise, the music, or thinking about other things, the running went by so easy. It was only when I focused on my breathing, or the hurt in my legs, that I had trouble running.

I know that a lot of running is mental, and I am still training myself to get over the mental hurdles so that I can run with ease. There was even one point in my run when I was thinking about someone I read about in Runners World. I forget the details but this guy has run numerous marathons, his first marathon in over 5 hours and his best marathon in about 2:45 or so. It gave me inspiration because I know that I am very far off from a marathon, but with dedication I can do it.

I just have to keep running.

02 November 2008


This last week I have run a measly 3 miles.

I have tried to fit runs in before or after work and it just did not happen. It gets too dark on my street, and while I actually look forward to running in the dark, I have no safety gear to do it with. I have looked in a few different stores for lights that I can clip to my shirt or shorts, but nothing. I would wear a reflective "sash" or strap on my wrist, but can not find anything except a full vest that is not very fashionable. Looks like I am going to have to order some stuff online.

I ran Saturday and Sunday morning after a full week without running. I really need to get runs in during the week because those runs killed me. Tomorrow is a rest day, and I will definitely have time to run Tuesday and Thursday morning so this weekends runs should be better.

The frustration is really setting in because my progress is so slow. I know it can not be rushed, and I already see a lot of improvement, but I wish I could do a full three miles without stopping for a walk break.

Right now I am just trying to build my mileage over the winter and will work on speed in the spring, but building the mileage seems just as hard as improving the speed.

I am not letting this frustration slow me down though... I am going to continue to run hard and do my best to improve.