Wednesday, December 28, 2011

End of the Year, beginning of another...

In looking back over the last 12 months, with only 3 days left in this year, 2011 is the first calendar year that I have not run a race since my first race in December 2000. Now, it's been well over 12 months since my last race...June 6, 2010 to be specific...but never have I gone from Jan 1st through Dec 31st without running a race since that first race.

What does that mean? Well, in the running world, it's been a roller coaster year...some things have been physical limitations, others have been mental blocks. Either way, it's just been a trying year in the running realm. It's been a life-changing time as well...when I look back at where I was emotionally, physically, socially, etc. at the start of the year compared to where I am now, it's a vivid reminder of how many things happened over the course of 12 months.

I'm just about to complete 3 months of no running... crazy. I mean, I've run maybe 3 times, for a total of 90 minutes of running total over that time period. Other than that little bit of time, I've lived the worst kind of sedentery life...not necessarily being careful of my food intake, not doing much exercise and just not really taking care of my body like I have up to this point. I've gained some weight...most non-runners don't see it, but most of my runner-friends would see it. However, most of them haven't seen me in those 3 months... or even before that.

So, what is coming from 2012? Well, lots of things. There's a new relationship in my life that I'm excited about and has given me hope of things in my future that I no longer thought were options...were possible.

One of the first things that will come along will be the Marathon Olympic Trials here in Houston...something I thought 20 months ago that I'd be participating in. The chances were never great, but looking back at my progress and what I felt that my body could handle in the way of training, I really thought I held a legitimate chance of making. I'd have been way less disappointed if I'd made it to Chicago and made a run in top shape and missed it by 10 or 15 minutes than to have gone out the way I did, never even making it there. As it is, there is a certain level of emptiness inside about how things all happened. There's a lot of "unfinished business" inside. I'm not 100% sure what it all means at this point in the game, but I do know that it still occupies my mind. I will be out there to watch, and I'll be watching the dvr'd race and studying it deeply. It won't be without a certain level of disappointment inside, though. Nonetheless, I'm looking forward to witnessing the two events (ladies and men's races) in person and watching America's best. It will be a sight to see, for sure.

As for my running plans, there are several. First things first, though...I need to get myself back into some semblance of shape and fitness, which includes dropping some serious el-bee's. :P But, there will also be some weight lifting, so weight loss may not happen as it did before. I have a couple of goal races out there, but no goal times in mind as of yet....just races I'd like to do and be in shape for.

All is not 100% right in my world right now... things are great, yes, but some very important things remain out of balance. There are times and actions to take place over the next 30 days that will bring proper order, but for now, dealing with those imbalances poses challenges for sure. But, what is life if there are no challenges?

On that note, I will wrap up this post.

The new year, I have full hope, brings some definite changes to all phases of my life, and those worth sharing, I'll happily share with my few followers here.

Happy New Year all!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Changing Times

So, I know that I haven't been around for a while, and wanted to update the few readers I still have.

I have taken a much needed mental and physical break from running and training. My body and mind had taken enough beating over the last year, and honestly, the break has been good for me. When the time is right, I'll be back out on the roads.

Furthermore, I've been able to focus on two areas that were important and needed the time devoted to them. One was on some school needs for my little one, and she has greatly benefitted, I believe, from the time. We read together and have made some accomplishments. Obviously, more of her time is with her mom, and they have more of the after-school/homework responsibilities, but I believe I've been able to make the most of my time with her with regard to her shooling, and she is reaping the rewards of that.

The other was my love life, where I really feel like I've found something I've been looking for since my divorce. I had given up hope on finding someone that I could see spending my life with, that was good to me, and that felt the same for me as I do for her. I've found that, and over the last few months, it's blossomed.

I do plan to get back on the roads running, and that will be soon...but those plans now come with a peace in my heart about where my life has been and where my life is going.

More to come...Later folks!

And Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Adjusting Goals and Sharpening Focus

Over the last few weeks, my training had been getting better, and I'd been feeling more confident. It's weird when you cannot do the things you feel like you should be able to do. But once you get your head around where you are, get real with yourself and then get to looking at where you want to go, things just become easier.

I've been able to complete some workouts here and there, but nothing to write home about. I've started to feel stronger, although nowhere near where I'm content to be.

With all that being said, other factors were bearing down that made me realize it was time to make a tough I'd thought about for weeks, but now it was time to really make the call. It was a tough decision, but I finally came to the conclusion that it was best to scratch the Chicago Marathon off my list for this year. I could make this a long post about why it was the best decision, but that's irrelevant at this point. Chicago is no longer going to happen for me, and it's turning out to be the best thing I could do for so many reasons.

So, now I've turned my focus to a couple of half-marathons, and getting faster again. The marathon, while it has become my true love in running, will have to wait a while... at least 12-months...maybe 18. Seems weird to say that, since my last marathon was 20 months ago. But it's just time for my brain to rest from that...and probably my body too. I've been putting too much pressure on myself to do things that, in all honesty, I was just not ready to do.

I'm in no way going to break any records the next time I step into a race...that's for sure. But it will be a big step for me. Probably bigger than most will know. My last race was June 6, 2010. Since then, it's been an up and down roller coaster ride. My next race may be coming here at the end of October.

We shall see. The only thing I do know is that I will no longer be flying out to Chicago to run the marathon. Time to get crackin' on getting competitive again.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Stillll Going...

For those that check back from time to time, I am still moving along. Still not feeling great about fitness and strength. I have completed 4-20+ mile runs now...the last one being 21 miles. Of those, only one was a strong effort. The others have essentially become survival efforts.

I finally completed a tempo run successfully, and I plan to run a progressive effort this week. I want at least 2 more 20+ mile efforts, and Ideally, they will be strong efforts.

With the temps like they have been in Houston, I have struggled like never before. I used to think of myself as a pretty steady runner regardless of conditions, but this heat is proving otherwise. When the temps or the humidity dip just a little, it's been making all the difference in the world.

I'll check back in as Chicago nears just to drop a note hear and there for those that check back.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Here I Sit...

...I'm on vacation with family, and over the last few days have really thought about a lot of things as it pertains to my running life. Well, and my life in general. It's late, and I'm one of the only ones awake, so I apologize ahead of time, if this gets longer than intended, or longer than most enjoy reading.

As I struggled through my most recent attempt at a tempo run, I contemplated a lot of things. I went from personal short-term goals, through some of the things going on in my non-running life and the direction those things are taking (or seem to be taking), through my plan going into Chicago (I even toyed with the idea of just bagging Chicago altogether), and into my running plan over the next 12-18 months.

As I've been thinking through these things, asking for Guidance, getting some input at times when appropriate, I've been able to come to grips with a few things that I continued (and may not be done fully doing) to keep myself in denial about. Sometimes I just can't get myself to see the things that are right in front of me, but when I take some of my quiet time in a run and allow myself to be truthful to me, those things become harder to remain in denial about. So, I have found myself in an interesting spot with my running and with my life. I was able to, despite finishing my Wednesday workout poorly, and quite honestly having what started out to be a miserable evening, enjoy the steps I took during the workout and able to get my evening turned around in pretty outstanding fashion...not to toot my own horn. I didn't do anything outstanding, but the drastic turn that it took from the way it started to the way it ended was pretty dramatic and very awesome.

So, my running life is changing, and my mindset towards it is also changing. What will this mean? Well, for that matter, what does this entire post mean? All I can say is to stick around, and you'll find out...maybe. :-)

Rodriguez, out.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Can't Stay Away, But Can't Stay Here Either...

So, I realize that I've been pretty spotty with my posting...not intended, but just kinda how it goes. I post a lot when I'm feeling good and running well. When I'm in either a mental, physical or emotional funk, I tend to stay away from blogging.

When I first decided I wanted to give a shot to qualifying for the Olympic Trials and started to increase mileage, it was by far the most fun I'd ever had running. I raced pretty well and just had a lot to say and talk was exciting for me. When the injury happened, my worst fears were realized...I was out roughly 10-11 months before I could actually return to attempting to really TRAIN.

Now that I've gotten back into the swing of things, I think I've been a little shaken up by just how out of shape I am, and how much my body is just not in the same shape it was a year ago. I know that's a dumb thing to have to "realize", but it's the truth. I've struggled through workouts, though long runs, and occassionally through easy runs. Long and short, it's been way tough on my psyche and my confidence. By no means am I out of the woods on any of those things, but I've taken a couple of personal steps...not big steps, but steps nonetheless...and it's helped get me back on track, so to speak.

Chicago is less than 13 weeks away, and while running has continued to happen, blogging hasn't just because of the struggles. It may not be as frequent as I'd like it to be for a little while, but if you're following my blog and you've offered any encouragement in the past, by all means, stay tuned. I'll be back to more frequent blogging. Right now, my blog is pretty boring and uneventful, but as I overcome and attempt to slay the demons, things will get better...for running and for blogging.

Let me say that while I know not too many folks comment, knowing that I have some readers out there that, regardless of situation, send good thoughts and offer encouragement means the world to me. I'm generally a lone-wolf type of runner, and even when I'm in a group, I find a way to separate from them, sometimes by design, sometimes just by default. But I'm a pretty solitary guy in most of what I do, so when I get an encouraging word or thought, it really has a big time effect on me. I know that not everyone that reads this sends me good thoughts...I'm sure there's an eye-roll from time to time, a "whatever're not as good a runner as you think", and some might just think I'm not a real runner at all. Whatever the case, I'm thankful for the friends I have and thankful for the few people I have in my corner.

Rodriguez out! See ya on the roads. I'll be back to blogging in a few days.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

7/6/11 - PM Easy Run - 9.5 Miles

9.5 Miles

Easy run down to Memorial and 610, over to Woodway and 610, then back to the park, around it and back down Blossom. Good run, but I could definitely tell the legs are getting heavier with each passing day.

Plan is to do two runs tomorrow and get over 10-miles, but with no run over 6-7 miles. Also, may look at shortening my Saturday run this week...going to keep it in the mid-70's if possible, but don't need to get 18-20 miles this weekend. We'll see how the plan unfolds.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

7/5/11 - PM Easy Run - 9 Miles

9 Miles

Good run followed by some core and upper body work. The heat really took it out of me today. Glad I made the run though. I ran pretty even throughout. I always worry about falling off at the end, and for the most part I do, but it hasn't been TOO terribly bad.

This run put me at 53 miles in the last 5-days. Legs are starting to feel the over 10-mile/day average.

Monday, July 4, 2011

7/4/11 - AM Easy Run on the Trails

10.5 Miles

I don't really know the distance on this run...I headed down to the 2-mile mark, the water fountain at Crestwood and Memorial. From there, I headed right into the trails, and ran the roughly 2-miles through there till I came out the other side at the Picnic Loop. I stopped there to get some water, then headed into the trails that go behind the picnic loop. I've never run back there, and was pretty surprised at how many trails there are back there, and how easy it is to get a little turned around. I never got too lost, but did at one point have to stop and wait for someone to pass so that I could ask them if I was going the right direction.

All in all, I spent 45 minutes on the trails. I spent the rest of the time running the 2 miles to the entrance of one of the trails, and the 2.5-3 miles running back. Great feeling run.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

7/3/11 - AM Easy Run

8 Miles

Took it way easy on this morning's 8 miles...nothing too exciting, but I definitely went slowly. Felt good, after the way I feel like I beat up my legs the prior day. Much better than last Sunday's recovery run...way better.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

7/2/11 Kenyan Way Long Run - 18 Miles

I think this might have been a little shorter than 18, so we'll say...

17.5 Miles
1:01:35 - First Half
1:01:39 - Second Half

The route was supposed to encompass a loop of the park and a loop of the bayou, which would have only gotten 12 miles, and required me to run considerable extra miles after. But, with 4th of July festivities coming a couple of days away, a portion of the bayou was close, causing us to have to eliminate the bayou from the route. So, it became running to the Crestwood/Memorial Dr intersection for our water stop, then doing 4 loops of the bayou. With each loop, I ran back to the water stop for refueling. It was a struggle, but to a degree, I think it helped, as I was able to guage distance and how far I had left. I was way happy with how I was able to complete the run compared to last week, for sure. Strong run, and very even. I struggled the last 2 miles, but that's was hot, hot, hot out and humid. Torturous conditions. But, I feel good for surviving it a lot of confidence in the way of endurance and toughness...which is important since I don't feel like I have fitness or speed at the moment.

Friday, July 1, 2011

7/1 PM Easy Run - 8 Miles

8 Miles

Just a nice jaunt down to the park for a loop and back. I kinda got on it for the last 2 miles, running a 5:50 and 5:25 to close out the run. No real purpose, just felt like it.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

6/30/2011 - No Run

Just poor planning and slept through the morning opportunity to run. No chance in the PM. Oh well. Will get more mileage over next couple of days. Will likely come up short of 70 this week, but still a good mileage and running week.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

6/29/2011 PM Easy Run - 8 Miles

8 Miles

Easy run to and around the park. Nothing too major. Legs were feeling a little fatigued to begin, felt awesome in the middle and fatigued again at the end. Finished it up with some core and upper body stuff and called it a night.

6/28/11 AM Easy Run - 5.3 Miles

5.3 Miles

Just took it out easy around the bayou. Nothing too exciting, except that awesome feeling of running just 12 hours after your last run. All went well, which made me happy and ready to run again this afternoon. Legs were definitely not as "springy" as they were yesterday afternoon, but that's to be expected. Guess we'll see how it feels this afternoon now.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

6/7 thur 6/24 Update

So, I essentially began to participate with the Kenyan Way on their Monday and Wednesday workouts, and I am realizing that I was failing to consider a couple of things.

First, the running conditions here in Houston have been nothing short of brutal. Secondly, I jumped right into two workouts a week, while doing 17+ miles on the weekend, and quite honestly, going from nothing but easy running right into that was pretty rough on the legs.

So, this week, I have two things in mind... getting my legs back under me and getting mileage. If all goes as planned, I will get over 70 miles this week, and will do so with no "workouts", so to speak. Nothing but easy running. Next week, I may throw in a workout, and the following week 2 workouts, but we'll just take it week by week. As I prepare for Chicago, the most important thing to me is getting the miles in. And the way my legs were feeling after Saturday and Sunday, I began to quesiton my ability to handle those miles.

With a little better set of thoughts, a better plan, and knowing where I want to focus, I think the plan is set to be executed.

I will throw this out there, just for the heck of it. With only July, August and September to go, my time is short, but I have a training goal, despite the heat, to get at least 3 weeks over 100-miles. I'm not 100% sure how likely (or smart) that is, but in my head, that is what is required in order for me to perform well in Chicago.

Alright...time to head home and put foot (or rather, running shoe) to pavement.

Monday, June 27, 2011

6/27/11 - PM Easy Run

8.3 Miles

After 2 weeks of heavy legs and struggling with mileage and workouts, finally got a good feeling run where I was comfortably able to maintain sub-7 minute miles. Just an all around good run. Hoping for more ahead as training progresses.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

6/26/11 - AM Easy Run

7-8 Miles

Very easy, slow paced run w/Dan into downtown and around Minute Maid park. His Garmin said 7.3 miles, but I swear it's longer than that. If not, we were REALLY going easy. The last 2.5 miles were an absolute struggle. Mileage done, though. All good.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

6/25/11 - Kenyan Way Long run - 16.5 Miles

16.5 Miles (I think)

First off, I know I have lots of dates I've missed, but I'll have to take some time another day to go back and update. I've got some workouts under my belt lately, but I tell ya, there's nothing like a workout to remind you how far you are away from the fitness you desire.

Today's run was another example. I went out with the plan for 18 miles, but the heat and humidity did me in before I could make it that far. Perhaps I wasn't fully hydrated the day before, perhaps it was mistakes in diet prior to the run, I don't know. Perhaps it was just that I wasn't up for it today. I did 17 last week and while I struggled to complete it to a degree, I made it and felt pretty darn good about it. Today, the legs were gone by 13 miles, but I somehow powered my way through for another 3 1/2 miles. It was ugly, but sometimes running is just like that.

Each day that I get out the door these days, I have this Pearl Izumi ad in my head:

If all we want to do is feel good about ourselves, jogging is the ticket. It doesn’t challenge us. It doesn’t test us. It doesn’t exact a physical or psychological toll. Worst case scenario is, jogging may cause mild perspiration on color-coordinated sweat suits. But if we’re willing to push ourselves into uncharted territory, a place littered with broken bodies and remnants of the human psyche, running may be what we’re looking for. Without question, it dishes out more heaping helpings of humble pie than any sport we know of. Little wonder that so few people have the testicular fortitude to lace up and run like an animal.

I love this, and I love the challenge of training for the marathon. Today was humbling, but even more so, it simply poured a little more gasoline over the fire that already burns inside. Later all!

Monday, June 6, 2011

6/6/11 AM Hill Workout

5.5 Miles

16 Hills along the way to doing roughly 4.5 miles on the Cloverleaf. For my 4 loops of the course we ran, my times were:

Obviously, there are some "strength" issues here. I definitely have a long way to go, but the run felt good. I was glad to be able to put forth the effort without any real feelings of injury or pain. It was all fitness today. My legs felt a little on the "dead" side, but hey, that's what comes along with the running sometimes, right?

All in all a good workout. Now to look forward to a light evening run. Later!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

6/5/11 AM Easy 7-8 Miles

7-8 Miles

I don't really feel like mapping out the run right now, but I know it was somewhere between 7 and 8...pretty sure it's not over 8. Anyway, I was surprised by 81 degree weather at 10:30 AM on Sunday...was really expecting much hotter, although I'm really glad it wasn't hotter, as the water fountain I was counting on was fenced in for the weekend's concert festivities along Allen Parkway.

Headed towards downtown, then into downtown, around Minute Maid and back. Some core work, and I called it a day. Even with a little "cooler" temps, it was plenty warm enough, that's for sure.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

7/4/11 Kenyan Way Long Run - 16 Miles

16 Miles

Good run. I had been feeling for a couple of days a little shaky on my left calf. There was a feeling like it wanted to cramp up or tighten up, but it never did. Never felt it while running, but felt it Thursday and Friday after running. Not sure what the source of the issue was, but it made me a little nervous about how I'd handle running today. The plan had been to extend my distance by a couple of miles, so I focused on being easy and smooth.

Fortunately, for the start, all functioned ok and I felt very comfortable going for the 7:45 first mile down to 6:35's by about 4 miles in. I held that till about 11 miles, then ran a bit slower when I went off course and headed down 11th St to the Heights 5k. Got to watch the winner finish and watched a few friends finish up as well. Chatted for a bit, then headed out for the last 3 miles of the run.

Finished right around 16 miles, and happy that it came in under 2-hours. It was a good point to be at this point in training. Still a long way from Chicago, and still a long way from prepared. But, as the days move along, I feel really confident in how my body will hold up right now.

Time to get on w/the rest of the day! Later folks!

Friday, June 3, 2011

6/3/2011 PM Easy 7.4 Miles

7.4 Miles

I missed running in the AM, and was paying the price by running in mid-90's temps at 5pm. Fortunately, humidity was down and the breeze was nice. Not too bad of a run. Ready for the long run.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

6/2/2011 - PM Easy 8 Miles

8 Miles

Took my time getting started this afternoon. I was very aware of how my legs were feeling, as I felt like I wanted to make sure that nothing was feeling out of whack. The first mile came in at about 7:30 and I just kinda cruised the rest of the way to and around the park. Most of the miles were about 6:40-6:50 with little effort.

Good stretching, I hope, after the run, and looking forward to another easy effort tomorrow before going for, hopefully, 16-17 on Saturday.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

6/1/11 - PM Kenyan Way Workout - 5.2 Miles

5.2 Miles
Loop of the bayou
2x1 Mile hard
5:07 1st Mile
5:11 2nd Mile

Very good feeling run...I was kinda surprised that I had that in me on the hills of the bayou, as the ground is uneven, not all paved, and running around the others that started before me, as I ran up to the workout area just about a minute or two after everyone started.

The first mile definitely was a labored effort. While the 2nd one felt "smoother" and more even, I was definitely struggling by the end. Overall, though, I feel good about the way my legs felt and moved. Good times, good times.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

5/31/11 - PM Easy 5.2 Miles, 12.6 Miles for Day

5.2 Miles

Easy loop of the bayou to close out the day. Nothing too major...just needed to get some mileage in, even if very easy, and I definitely made it a point to take my time looping the bayou.

5/31/11 - Easy 7.4 Mile Run

7.4 Miles

Just an easy run to start the day. Nothing too major, but essentially, what I considered the start of training for Chicago.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

5/29/11 AM Easy 5.5 Miles

6 Miles

Easy out and back route at parents house. Didn't feel great, but always seem to feel not right when I run away from home. Not sure why. Either way, glad I got the mileage in.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

5/28/11 - Kenyan Way Long Run - 14.5 Miles

14.5 Miles

I planned to go semi-hard in this run, but wanted to stretch it to 16+ miles. Unfortunately, I got caught up in running hard, trying to lead the group and ended up getting worn out by a very strong 16-yr old HS kid. By the last 4 miles, I was definitely putt-putting along and finished with a couple of 7:00 minute miles. At our fastest, we hit right around 6 minutes for probably 3-4 miles.

Tough run, and even though didn't get the mileage I wanted, the effort was good.

Friday, May 27, 2011

5/27/11 AM Easy 7.1 Miles

7.1 Miles

Easy run down to the park for a loop and back, getting ready for a long run on Saturday.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

5/25/11 PM Easy 5.2 Miles

5.2 Miles

Just a nice and easy loop of the bayou. Nothing too major, and nothing really to write home about.

5/25/11 AM Easy 7.1 Miles

7.1 Miles

Mileage Wednesday is here again.

The run felt great today. I went out there thinking about training for the marathon, how that will unfold, and just a lot of was a good run and a good time to get some thoughts sorted out about a lot of life's trials and tribulations that can come.

As for the run, maybe ONE mile was below, make that 2. Last mile was 6:50, and one other was 6:55 or so. The rest just above. I felt pretty relaxed the whole time, trying to be mindful of any and all issues and uncomfortable feelings in my legs. Considering all the leg issues that have come my way over the last 11 months, I felt pretty darn good today, now two days after the Monday workout. I'm pretty sure I won't have any other "workouts" between now and Saturday, but I do want my Saturday run to be 16 quality miles. We'll see how it all plays out.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

5/24/11 AM Easy 7.1 Miles

7.1 Miles

I was definitely a little anxious about this morning's run, unsure how everything would function after yesterday's workout...HILL workout at that. Aside from some expected soreness and slight tiredness, I slowly made my way down Blossom, loop of the park and back. Maybe one mile sniffed at 7:10, but other than that, I was slow and easy, staying around 7:20-7:30 for most miles. Good run, and glad things felt as good as they did 24 hours after the workout.

Monday, May 23, 2011

5/23/11 - AM Kenyan Way Hill Workout

Today was only worth roughly 36 minutes of running.

7:30 warmup to workout area
10-minutes on hills (3-hill loop)
5:00 rest
10-minutes on hills
8:50 cool down

It was sort of a last minute decision to get out and do the workout, but glad I did. We'll see if I'm still glad in the morning. For now, I was just glad to get those uncomfortable feelings your body goes through when you've been doing nothing but easy running for so long, and then you do a hard effort or a strenuous workout...light headed, burning, heavy, rubbery legs....loved it.

Finished the workout strong, especially for feeling as crappy as I felt most of the time. I haven't felt this outta shape during a workout in a while. Glad to get this first one out of the way, and honestly, just makes me want more. Can't wait for next Monday too!!! :-)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

5/22/11 - AM Easy Run 7.4 Miles

7.4 Miles

Nice and easy little trot to loosen up the legs after a brutal day the day before (2 hours running, 1-hour referee @ soccer, then on my feet all afternoon at IMTX). Running felt really good, despite the heat. I loved every minute of it, actually. Each hot day makes me feel like I'm getting that much more well prepared for any conditions that Chicago can throw my way.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

5/21/11 - Kenyan Way Long Run, 14.5 Miles

14.5 Miles

All I know is I felt great this whole run. Started out easy, and w/no Garmin have no idea of the early pace, but I'm guessing the first two miles couldn't have been faster than 7:45-7:30. After that, however, slowly picked it up as we made our way around Rice and back through West U. Progress is starting to show.


After my run, did some coaching/reffing at my daughter's soccer game (she played awesome, handing out another assist on the season), then headed out to Ironman Texas out in the Woodlands. My little one and I got to see the first 10-11 men finish (awesome experience) and the top woman, then we made our way over to an aid station where a few people we knew were working. Unplanned, my daughter and I got to working and handing out ice to the runners as they passed Mile 7 and 16 along their way to becoming IRON. Actually, i think we were at 25 as well. Anyway, great day, as we stayed out there till roughly 7. Got back home exhausted but it was a great time. What an experience to help out on such a big event like that.

And Congratulations to all the people who did it, and those I knew who did it...John, Vic, Michael, Mark, Adam, Jessica...there might be more, but that's who I saw out there, or knew were doing it. Great job. RESPECT!!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

5/20/11 - AM Easy 7.1 mile run

7.1 Miles

Easy Run down to the park and back. Nothing too special. Just cruising along.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

5/18 & 5/19 - No Run

I took these two days off as I was experiencing some knee swelling again...this time, however, it was in my right knee. It was eerily similar to the way my left knee had felt back in January...however, what was missing was the crazy calf tightness. So, after making it about 45 seconds into a run on 5/18, I stopped, decided to cut my losses and just head back home. Too much at stake and the cost/benefit of this run made it not worth it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

5/17/11 AM Easy Run & PM Stationary Bike

7.3 Miles

Took the run easy, as I struggled so much the day before. I still felt sluggish for about 2 miles, even though I was only going 7:50 for the first mile and 7:40 for the 2nd. By the 3rd mile, I was moving better, but didn't concern myself with pace. Just wanted to get through the run. The whole 2nd half of the run felt good. Felt back to normal, even though I don't think I got any miles below 7:00. But, I was totally fine with that.

PM - 40 Minutes Bike, core and leg strength

Monday, May 16, 2011

5/16/11 AM Easy Run

7.1 Miles

I tell ya, I don't know if I have felt like I was putting more effort and getting less return than I did this morning. I got a couple of sub-7 minute miles in there, but it really felt like I was working hard. I didn't intend to work that hard on the run, but as I got to the park, and I felt like I was moving well, I hit one of my mile marks, looked down and it was 7:00 on the dot, and mentally, I just came apart. From then on, it was a struggle. I felt like my breathing was off and that I was pushing even when I wasn't.

I don't know, but it was just a strange feeling run. The ONLY thing I did different today was wear some new shoes. I got myself into a pair of Adidas Bostons. They felt good in the store, but I'm not 100% convinced they agreed with me. I am thinking of doing one more run in them, then I'll make a decision. After running in the Starspeeds from Asics, these felt really bulky, and honestly, a step in the direction of the style of shoe I'm trying to get away from. No disrespect to the shoes...they are lightweight and felt good when I put them on. But I think I've gotten my head around what I'm trying to do and the feel that I like, and these were not it once I got out on the road. I type this, I'm wondering why I need another day to decide. :-)

Anyway, so that's where we're at. I think tomorrow, however, I will be back in my least until Thursday. Thursday morning will probably be my next try at the Adidas.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

5/15/11 - AM Long Run

13.6 Miles

Headed down Memorial into and through the park and made an out and back course down Sage and back into a neighborhood near Sage and Woodway. 6.8 out and 6.8 back. Good run... I felt like I moved well running pretty even.
48:37 out
46:57 back

I wasn't exactly hammering it home, just got there and finished off the run. I was happy with how everything felt, so progress continues.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

5/13/11 & 5/14/11 - No run...SICK!!!

Whew! A movie the night before and doing the unthinkable...having a hotdog while there. Never again, I tell ya. I went into work, and had to leave early, and hardly made it a mile away from the office before I had to pull into a parking lot and let it go. That was fun. :P

So, after thinking I was feeling better afterwards, I headed home to get a little rest. I woke up feverish. Had a visitor come by and kindly bring me some soup, crackers, Gatorade and Sprite, in hopes of calming the "upward" or "downward" movements. I got some sleep and the fever just was worse. I ended up being out of commission come Saturday morning, after getting 10 solid hours of sleep to mostly shake this. I rested through Saturday at my parents house and came home Saturday night. Boy, that was rough, but glad it seemed to mostly pass quickly.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

5/11/11 PM Easy Run

7.1 Miles

Headed out for mileage Wednesday on my 2nd run with my neighbor, Lt. Dan. Just an easy jaunt down to Memorial and back. Nothing too heavy, just easy running.

5/11/11 - AM Easy Run

7.5+ Miles

Ran with a fellow KW'er, Susan, this AM. We took it pretty easy, as we started from KW base, headed down Blossom to MP for a loop then back. We kept it pretty easy, as is just what I needed after (1) a day off and (2) the soreness/tenderness on my last run on Monday.

This morning felt great, and I'm looking forward to an afternoon run with Lt. Dan! I'm not sure he'll appreciate me calling him that, but I'm going with it.

Susan and I talked briefly about my training for Chicago, goal times, etc, and it was a good feeling. I initially decided on this race with a specific purpose, and while that may have changed, it still represents a race I want to run well and post a kick @$$ time. Time and training will tell how much I'm able to kick. Right now, looking towards my training, I can say I have an awful lot of hope and encouragement from how things are feeling these days. I know right now, the days can't go by quick enough to get to the point of actually fully TRAINING, but when the training is happening, and Chicago looms closer, I will be thinking "Holy crap! I need another month!!!"

So, will the Trials happen? Some would say "DEFINITELY NOT!!!" My answer is "Most likely, not, but you just never know. Guess we'll see what happens between now and October." Why? Well, cause I'm a starry-eyed dreamer that way, sometimes.

5/10/11 - Off Day

5/9/11 - 7 Miles Easy Run

7.4 Miles Easy

Easy trot down Memorial for a loop of MP, then back home. Felt some minor RIGHT Achilles soreness (my injured one from last year was my left, although I did feel some pain in both during that whole ordeal). I made the mileage without issue or incident, so I decided that tomorrow would be an off-day.

Monday, May 9, 2011

5/4 - 5/8 Updates

5/4 - PM 7.1 Miles

Ran with a neighbor of mine, Dan, to the park, loop and back. Gave me 14-miles on the day, and felt pretty good too.

5/5 - After 2 runs and 14 miles the prior day, I took this day off. I'm not in real "training" mode yet, so wasn't TOO important to get this run in yet. However, I did want to make sure I gave myself time to recover from it.

5/6 - PM 7.1 Miles

I got on it a little today... got nothing below 6-minute pace, but hung out in the mid-6's for the majority of the run. Felt good.

5/7 - Kenyan Way Saturday Long Run - 13+ Miles

I felt really good on this run. I can DEFINITELY feel that my fitness and cardio shape are not there, but it felt good to get out and join the group for a run and to be able to (1) keep up, and (2) finish the entire run. Luis helped push the pace about mid-way through and to the end, and I just wanted to see how long I could stay with the group and feel decent doing it. As we neared the completion of the first main loop at 9-ish miles, we might have dropped a couple of 6:10 miles, maybe just a little under that, but I knew I couldn't do that for the remaining 4 miles I wanted to do. So, we started the final 2 miles, and my watch said 1:00:35. So, to run the last 4 miles, when I was throttling back, at 27 minutes (or just under) is a good feeling.

5/8 - AM Easy Run - Distance not known

I took it out easy to run down to the park, but as I got to the park, inspired by a friend's jaunt through the trails across the street from MP, I decided to hit the turn off and go for a little trail running myself. I entered the wooded area at just under 15 minutes into my run, and emerged about 47 minutes into the run, so spent just over 30-minutes weaving through and up and down the trails. Was a good deviation from the norm, although I ended up about 10-15 minutes longer than I had planned on going. But, it was fun, and kinda charged me up even more after the way the week went.

I crested 50 miles for the week last week, and looking forward to bumping it up just a tad this week. It didn't start out with a bang, though, as I didn't even hear my 5:15 wake up call this morning. I was flat wiped out.

All having been said, my confidence has been raised. I am reigniting belief in the times I have wanted to run for all distances, and it's just fueling the desire to get out the door to run. Stretching and strength building are still key, so we'll see how committed I stay to the ENTIRE process.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

5/4/11 Easy AM Run - 7.15 Miles

7.15 Miles

Great feeling run. Moved well...definitely took my time getting up to speed, but really felt good to push the pace a little. Did middle 3-miles @ 19:00 (6:30, 6:20, 6:10), and finished up well. I thought about keeping that pace through the final two miles home, but I thought better of it.

It's not yet time for me to train my body. Right now, I'm definitely in the mode of training my mind.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Continuing Progress...Building Momentum

Last week, I took a couple of extra days in between running to make sure all felt good and in good shape.

Saturday morning, I got out and ran to Memorial for a loop, then continued with a loop of the bayou. It felt great. Total 1:22:36 running time. First run over an hour in a while, and man did it feel good. I kept the pace relatively easy, as I probably got in about 11 or a little more miles. I'll have to map it out to get the mileage.

Sunday afternoon, after dropping off my daughter, I headed out for a little over 7 miles to and around Memorial...heading to the park down Memorial and back from the park down Blossom. 49:32 total running time there, as I'm pretty sure the entire run was below 7:00/mile.

Monday, I got out for 7.1 in the morning and 2.2 more miles at night. All in all, a great running day.

As each day passes, legs are feeling better and better. I feel very thankful with each step, and just keep hoping that things hold together. REAL training won't begin for a few more weeks, but getting the confidence up with each run seems increasingly important.

I have a goal time in mind already for Chicago, but there is so much that has to go right in order for that to be a possibility...right now, it's just one day at a time and getting myself healthy and confident.

For those who have done so, I greatly appreciate the good thoughts and positive vibes.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

4/26/11 - Off Day

Yesterday was indeed an off-day. I woke up with my left calf a little on the tight side. I suspected I might have over-done it the day before, as I did the 7-miles (which was fine), but to hit two miles sub-7 was a little much. It didn't take any cardio effort, but was probably more "strain" than my leg should have taken.

I took the day off from working out/running, but will resume this afternoon. I'll hit the road for a run (4.5-7, and plan on a gym visit after for some stationary bike time, core and upper body).

All I need to do at this point in the game is keep enough fitness and positive mental vibes before beginning Chicago training. Each time I run, I'm fast-forwarding in my head to when I can hammer out a 20-miler, do a 10-mile tempo run, a 9-mile progressive run, 30-30s at the park, 60-60s through River Oaks, etc.

All in all, the idea of Chicago training is really getting my heart-rate up and getting my competitive juices flowing. I just hope and pray that it is in the grand scheme of things that I can survive training and run this race.

Monday, April 25, 2011

4/25/11 - 7.1 Miles

7.1 Miles

Felt pretty darn good for this run. A little calf fatigue at the end, so I need to be careful there. Trying not to get ahead of myself, but things have been progressing well. But, I need to be mindful of aches and tightness and such. We'll see what the body says to do tomorrow...might be a day off.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

4/24/11 - 4.5 Miles

4.5 Miles

Warmed the calf again the same way, but no compression socks (still dirty from the prior day of wearing them). I can honestly say this run felt good from start to finish. Felt good to be out the door and hitting the road, I tell ya. Great way to start my Easter Sunday.

Happy Easter to all! Hope it was a wonderful day for any and all of my readers.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

4/23/11 - 7.1 Miles

7.1 Miles

I heated a wet towel and wrapped my calf in it, then repeated a couple of times. Then, added a pair of compression socks for my run...seemed to do the trick.

I started out my run and didn't feel all that great about it, but about a mile in, I felt pretty loose and just kept on around the park. Not sure about whether I negative split the run, but it was a good one. Just happy to get the mileage in. Confidence building by the day.

Friday, April 22, 2011

4/22/11 - 4 Miles

4 Miles

A little bit of an uncomfortable run after a massage the prior day. I might should have taken the day off, but opted for a 9am run down to the park and back. Calf just a little sore.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

4/21/11 - No Run - Massage Day

No run today, even though I felt great when I woke up this morning. The calf does require a little Connie attention, so off to see her this afternoon I will go for my 2nd massage.

Later, it's soccer practice night, so I'll be running around the field with the kiddos for that. That should be enough for me today. :-)

Ready to hit the road tomorrow morning and throughout the weekend for a little mileage.

For those that have ever missed time while injured, or just couldn't get out when you wanted to, you know the sheer joy of getting back on the roads. Right now, I can only say I'm sort of basking in that glorious feeling each time out.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

4/20/11 AM Easy Run, 4.5 Miles

4.5 Miles

Great feeling run today, but legs definitely telling me "Hey, you haven't run 4-days in a row in a looooong time." A little sore in the calf, but not like it has been...I really feel like this is left-overs from the issues I had been having. Massage appt scheduled for tomorrow. In the meantime, pretty sure I'm not going to do any running tomorrow...maybe. But, if things feel okay, I may get out for a morning 30-minute run. Logic, though, says I should stay off of it, and just get the massage, run Friday, then try to go for another hour run on Saturday.

We shall see. :-) Either way, it is just good to be back on the roads.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

4/19/11 - AM Easy Run 7.1 Miles

7.1 Miles

Awesome feeling run. There is still some issue existing in my calf...pretty much lay-over from the tightness I've been battling. However, running felt awesome.

Here is where patience will come into play...I want to run this afternoon so badly, but all of this return to fitness is going to take a patient process. That journey has officially begun.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Changing Tides

On a few folks' recommendation, I looked into some new shoes, as I embark on my endeavor to get my calves and legs healthy and ready for some training. On Sunday, I ventured into Luke's Locker to see what kinda recommendation on a shoe I could get. I have alternated between being told I pronate heavily and need stability control, to being told I can go with neutral shoes. I was beginning to think that my neutral shoes were to blame for my injuries, and to a degree they were. But it seems it wasn't the lack of stability control, but quite possibly (and I stress the word POSSIBLY) the brand. I got into my first pair of Mizuno's in early May of last year, and was sidelined with Achilles issues a month later. After much attempts at healing and some time off, I ramped up mileage again, and got into another pair of Mizuno's in December, and was again sidelined after mid-January. I'm not sure if that was the cause, but.... So, yesterday I purchased a pair of Asics Gel Starspeeds. They are light, neutral trainers. After two 30-minute runs (one yesterday afternoon and one this AM), I'm sold. They shoe felt good, light and just what the doctor ordered. The best part of my run yesterday, was my little girl running a mile with me. She has no idea of her talent and potential...she ran and conversed with me the entire mile, but said she was spent at the end of that mile. She just looks so natural for an 8-year old. We'll see what comes for her. More to come!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cautious Optimism

So, I said I would wait till next weekend to run, but I decided on Monday night to get another 30 minutes in...or 4-miles. Saturday's run, oddly enough, was exactly 6-months out from Chicago...April 9. Not sure why, but I liked that. Monday, I got out and ran pretty decent. I don't wear a Garmin, but know my mileage points along my 4-mile out and back route. I hit mile one in 7:35, then 7:05 and hung around there, to complete 4-miles in just under 29 minutes, so I added on a little bit and finished up at 31:00. I stretched, rolled with The Stick, and just felt pretty good about the whole endeavor. I haven't made it back into my massage therapy, but need to schedule that for this or next week. It seemed to be the right thing, so I can't let that go to the side. Anyway, 8-miles done so far this week, and thinking of 4-more tonight. Just a side-note, despite looking at my watch and timing my miles, I am in NO WAY pushing anything during my run. As a matter of fact, i think I'd have been happier to stay near 7:30 pace, but I just ran how I felt. That's all for now.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Health and Reality

Just a quick stop in to post. I'm still working on getting healthy. Been dealing with some calf issues now, and I'm starting to think i'm on the tail end of those. Been working in the pool and stationary bike...mainly the bike. My iPod has been the saving grace that allows me to stay on for an hour at a time. :-) It's tough, I tell ya... not cause it's hard, but because it's kinda boring.

I made another attempt at a run on Saturday, and it was finally "successful", in the sense that I went out for a set distance and was able to run that distance... 4 miles in just under 31-minutes. I was truly pleased with that. I was on the cusp of using that to fuel confidence to run more this week, but I think that just tells me to keep doing what I'm doing, and make another go next weekend.

As for reality, I think it's time I actually said out loud that the Trials are no longer the goal. There is just no way that I can see right now that 2:19 is going to come out of this body by October 9. I'm okay with that, though. Right now, focus is getting healthy and getting on the road to get fit, so that I can train for the marathon and run a good time. Sometimes, you just have to deal with the things that life throws your way, and right now I'm learning to deal with those things.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Back Again?

So, while some of you may have wondered "Where has good ol' Sam been?" and others may think, "Oh yeah, that dork has a blog," I figured I owed an update after such a long hiatus. Long and short, I've been dealing with nagging injury after nagging injury. What started with my Achilles last summer migrated up through my leg, it seems. Right now I'm dealing with calf issues. I'm down to massages, aqua jogging and stationary biking. I attempted 20-minutes of running last night on the Clover Leaf, and ended up with a sore/painful left calf...again. Very frustrating, but not letting it shake my confidence at this point. I'm working on just staying fit with other activities while I "heal", so to speak. The time will come where I absolutely HAVE to get back on the roads for training purposes. But right now, Chicago is still just over 6-months away, so I have some time to get things right. I'll begin posting here more regularly with what I'm doing. Lately, I've essentially been up to 30 minutes in the pool and 50 minutes on the stationary, with some core and strength training thrown in. That's all for now!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

2/22/11 - 9+ Mile Run

9.3-9.4 miles

I planned on just an easy run, but as I got out, I just gradually picked up the pace...
7:25 to start out, 7:02 for mile 2, 6:57 for mile 3, 6:53 for mile 4. When I got out to Memorial and 610, I decided to hit it a little harder down Post Oak Ln, starting at 34:04. I covered the next 2.4 miles @ 14:44. Not sure what that comes out to, but as I look at it, it's not as fast as I thought. Ha! But, when I hit 2-miles to go, I timed those two miles for sure...5:57 @ 1-mile, and 11:52 @ 2-miles.

All in all, I feel good about the run, and was happy to have put the effort forth to finish the run relatively strong.

Tomorrow morning (I hope) calls for some easy miles. Rodriguez, out!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

2/20/11 - Update

I've been running well this week, but still have had issues with my left knee. One thing I hadn't really considered was the need to use the foam roller on my lower thigh/quad.

I hadn't really gone into too much detail about my knee discomfort, I don't think. I had some swelling that started about 3 weeks before the Houston Marathon. I didn't run the marathon, but that was just the timing as it relates to the marathon. Anyway, there wasn't any pain associated with the swelling...just the discomfort that came from the swelling.

Over the course of the next 3 weeks, the swelling subsided, but it was replaced essentially by a slight, but semi sharp pain on the inside part of my left knee. Not anywhere near the knee-cap. Now, here is what I seemed to notice, however. As I was dealing with the swelling and the knee pain, my left calf was always SUPER tight after a run, so it was obvious I have been really over-working it somehow.

Yesterday (Saturday), I had planned on a 15 mile run, which I was feeling really good about, fitness-wise. Well, along the way of the run, I began to feel the knee bother me...specifically when we hit a place where we were going downhill. My whole gait changed when we did, so I cut it off @ 9miles. I was a little bothered, but mainly frustrated because of the feeling of fitness, but my knee wasn't cooperating. Sean asked me about whether I'd been using my foam roller much, which I hadn't.

So, after the run, I took my leg to the foam roller on my quads and on my calves. I'm not exaggerating when I say that on the left side, on both the calf muscle and the inside of my quad, I was almost in tears. As bad as it was, it made a huge difference today, as I ran about 10 miles and felt little-to-no discomfort in the knee. I really focused on how things felt on my left leg all the way down. It's clear that there is something going on on my left side, but it's going to take some work to figure it out. I'm not saying the foam rolling is a definite cure for what I've been feeling, but it definitely made a difference today. I spent more time on the roller today, so we'll see how it feels in the morning.

The plan for this week is 2-3 times to run in the AM and PM. Not going to hit super high mileage those days, but definitely higher than what I had been hitting, which has been 7-8 miles. I'd like a couple of 10-mile days, and give it another go at 15 miles this weekend.

I should be able to get to more regular posting of runs and workouts, as I prepare for my next race coming up at the end of March. We'll see how it all progresses.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

2/13/11 Run and Updates

I finished out the week with 7-8 miles/day, feeling good, running fast with little effort. So, next week means workouts and getting ready to race.

8 Miles

Nice smooth easy run, hanging around 6:30-6:40 for the majority of the run. Nothing too major.

Debating on Monday or Tuesday workout. I think Monday may be the call to duty, but we'll see.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

2/8/11 PM Easy Run, 8 Miles

8 Miles

Just a great feeling run at the end of a crappy, long day. Initially, the plan was just to get out and enjoy the cool air, take my time and just...I don't know...enjoy a slow easy run.

I got warmed up and felt really good when I got to the park...speed felt pretty effortless, but the wind was pretty rough...steady 15+ mph wind, with some stronger gusts.

12:40 for timed miles @ the park and 13:00 for the last 2 miles home along Memorial.

Man, it felt good. I'm feeling ready to start putting in some workouts again and start preparing to race in 6 1/2 weeks. Gotta be ready.

Monday, February 7, 2011

2/7/11 PM Easy Run 3.something miles

3.5-ish miles

I went out for an evening run to make it 2-runs in the day and 10+ miles for the day. Just got onto the cloverleaf and did 3 loops (7:10, 7:00, 6:50). Nothing too spectacular. Just a nice little jaunt.

All functioning well.

Iced knee after.

2/7/11 AM Easy Run - 7.3 Miles

7.3 Miles

Another easy run to the park for a loop and back. Same feeling as yesterday. Being a 6am run, rather than 8am run, it took a little easier pace to warm up. By the time I got to Crestwood, I felt loosened up. The wind was pretty steady and strong this morning...maybe a 10mph crosswind as I headed down Blossom, and the direction I headed in the park was right into that wind for the first mile...whew.

13:40 again for 2 of my park miles. Again, felt very little effort at this point. Knee is still not 100% right, but it seems to feel ok once I get running. It's that first mile that can trip me up. Either way, it will definitely warrant a doctor visit.

So far, so good.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

2/6/11 - AM Easy Run - 7.3 Miles

7.3 Miles

Nice run in sunny, cool weather. Very little wind out so made for a good feeling run. Knee was uncomfortable for about the first mile, but once all was warmed up and moving, things felt great.
13:40 for 2 of my park miles. Felt very little effort towards that end. Wasn't pushing the pace at all.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

2/5/11 AM Easy Run 7 Miles/Blogging Return

7 Miles

Just got myself out for a trot to the park, a loop and back. It seemed that returning from my Achilles injury was going smoothly until one Saturday long run when I ran particularly well for 16 miles. Later that night, my left knee was swollen/fluidy. Initially I didn't put too much stock in it, as I got out the door for some running the next day and wasn't hindered, nor was it an issue for the next week or so. Then I began to pay a price for the running, in lack of mobility and discomfort in the knee.

I took some time, iced a little (yes, I should have been icing every day). On marathon day, I ran in a fellow Kenyan Way-er the last 4-miles @ 7:15/mi, which had been the first running I'd done in about 5 days. I spent plenty of warm up running getting to where I met her @ Mile 22, and the run felt ok, but things were still not feeling right. I eased my way through a Monday run, and just decided to take the rest of the week off until the swelling was gone and the movement returned.

That was today. The run felt good, and so far, no ill effects. We'll see in the morning. Fingers Crossed.


So, I took some time off from blogging for a few reasons. Mainly because I find that I do share a lot of myself in the cyber-world, and I really needed to reel that in a bit. Doing that can leave you feeling (if not actually) a little vulnerable, which is not something I enjoy feeling. So, I dropped off my Facebook for a little while, and here as well.

There are a few things in my life I've been working on getting in a little better order, and while progress has been made, I hate to say it, but I'm living in the evidence the night is darkest before the dawn. I'm not sure how close I am to the dawn, though.

Funny...despite that feeling, I live comfortably in the knowledge that my life is blessed. Blessed by who's definition? Well, by my own. Even in my hardest days, I try to take some time to think about the people, events, skills, things, responsibilities that I am blessed with. Some have been given. Some have been earned. Some have been developed. Some, unfortunately, have been squandered, wasted, and in some cases, hurt. All of it stays in my head and heart, however, and I try to bring those things to the forefront, especially when I feel like a particular day is beating on me.

I was asked recently by one of my closest friends if I still had the goal of making the Trials, with my physical challenges that have come along. In all honesty, the goal hasn't changed. I'm dealt the cards I'm dealt, and that's all I have to go on. Until the 30-day point comes and goes, even if I miss it by 10 minutes, the goal cannot change. Only the path to get there.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

1/19/11 AM Easy Run, 10.5 Miles

10.5-11 Miles

I started out wanting to do a 6-mile workout, but opted out of that when I was running to the park. There was absolutely no spring in my legs, so I opted for an easy jaunt around the park for a couple of loops before heading home. Made the 2nd loop w/Coach, then headed back down Blossom. Overall, a good feeling run, but glad that I didn't attempt a workout. Was foolish at this point to take risks like that. Likely would have left myself in bad shape...or at least not-favorable shape.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

1/18/11 AM Easy Run, 7.1 Miles

7.1 Miles
7:10 avg

Nice run this morning. Got out the door @ 6am, although was hoping for about 5:45. Down Blossom, loop of the park and back. Ran into Sean and Luis about to hit the Memorial loop for 6 Tempo miles @ about 5:25 I'm sure.

Light mist for the 2nd half of the run felt great.

I had been concerned about some knee swelling the last couple of days, but thankfully, it seems to have gone down some today. It was definitely less stiff and was less prominant early and after the run. I still feel tension when I tried to squat all the way down, so there is still fluid or swelling, but it's much less than Sunday and yesterday. Hopefully it's gone within the next day or two.

No PM run today. As much as I'd like to get out for more mileage, right now is still time to be patient and smart. Not that there is a time when NOT to be smart about training, but patience and steadiness to what I set out to do are paramount.

Monday, January 17, 2011

1/17/11 PM Easy Run - 5.2 Miles

5.2 Miles
7:10 avg

I think I made the wrong choice looping the bayou for this run... man, was it muddy at various parts. Even had to stop and really go around the mud at one part underneath Memorial to keep from loosing a shoe. :P

Ran with an iPod for the first time, and only made it through 3 songs before I shut it off and tossed off the ear buds. But, the 3 songs I heard were perfect... one was one of my daughters favorites (Bad Day), then two of my favorites. Indestructible by Disturbed and Lose Yourself by Eminem. Once I heard those 3, I had enough music now planted in my head so I just cruised the rest of the way. Good run.

1/17/11 - AM Easy Run, 4.45 Miles

4.45 Miles
7:06 avg

Just a nice little jaunt down Blossom and around the wooded area just as you enter the park. Going to make a go of 2 runs today. We'll see how it all feels.

AM Run feeling good...check!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

1/16/11 AM Easy Run

7.3 Miles
6:50 avg

Got out in the cool, drizzly air, and it actually felt pretty awesome. Minor issue that seemed to develop late Saturday was a little swelling in my left knee. There's no pain associated with it, but the swelling is causing some tightness in my normal leg motion. When I got up, this morning, I still felt it, and it was a little tight as I began, but loosened up about a mile in, and I ran without any hindrance or indication that there might be anything wrong. Still, swelling has me a little concerned. I used to get this before when I was younger, but it never seemed to amount to much. Not sure what to make of it, but we'll see.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

1/15/11 - Kenyan Way Long run - 16 Miles

16 Miles
6:48 avg

Great feeling run. I started w/the group, but just gradually started to pick up the pace after only about a mile or two. It wasn't that I was trying to push it, but I just didn't feel like the pace was where I'd like to cruise at. First mile in 7:30-7:40, 2nd around 7:15, and I was just ready to go.

My only real timed miles came about 11 miles in when we finally hit the park, and I was able to reel off a 6:31, 6:22, 6:26 loop of Memorial then headed back to base down Blossom.

If I did one thing wrong today, I didn't stretch after like I should have. My right upper hamstring and glute are a little sore here 3 hours after my run. I will take the time to loosen up and stretch later to work out some of this.

All in all, a great run.

Friday, January 14, 2011

1/14/11 PM Easy Run, 7.5 Miles, My Running Efficiency

7.5 Miles

This run began with the idea of cruising easy and just enjoying a nice easy Friday night run. I like running when there are not that many people out. Friday evenings are good for that...Sunday evenings as well.

The first mile came in around 7:30, and I hit Crestwood (2-miles) at about 7:00. As I got to the park, I layed down a 6:22 and 6:18. The best part was the "ease" with which those came about. I had plans of backing off, which I did, until I got a little ways down Blossom when I picked up the pace a little, just cause I was feeling good.


During the last mile and a half, I tried a couple of things w/my stride to work on running relaxed and efficient. I've been told at different times that I'm a pretty efficient runner, but there's always room to improve right? I pretty much based it off watching my shadow as I passed street lights.

I notice a lot of shoulder turn with each step. There's also a little too much arm swing at times...especially when there's a lot of distance to cover. The last thing I noticed, which didn't come from the shadow, was how much up and down motion there was. I could tell in two ways; 1) by how it felt on my legs w/each foot strike and (2) how much my line of vision moved when I had my head up and looking straight ahead.

When I focused on reducing my arm movement to only what was necessary, my shoulder turn automatically seemed to follow suit. In order to alter the "bounce" in my stride, I just tried to mentally picture each push-off from my back foot pushing me forward and not up at all. The other thing was to slightly shorten and quicken my stride. Immediately, when I focused my sight straight ahead there was a difference.

The "problem" this all seemed to create is that I moved faster easier. I wouldn't normally think of this as a bad thing, but definitely in training, these things need to be somewhat in check so as not to trash myself and waste fitness at the wrong times. Definitely this is a work in progress, but it's just a few things I had going through my head as I ran.

I know it sounds like a lot, but with just a little bit of mental attention, these things could be "corrected" without really changing my stride or foot strike. All I want to do is reduce the amount of energy it takes for me to move my body forward. Seems like I might be on the right track. The trick will be to use this during my next workout. Keeping these things in line during a mile repeat or a tempo run will be a little trickier than just during an easy run.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

1/12/11 PM Workout, Tempo Run - 9.4 Miles Total

4 Mile Tempo Run
5:37, 5:40, 5:49, 5:44

3.3-ish miles warm up @ 24:42
2.1-ish miles cool down @ 15:24

I actually missed my first mile, but hit my watch @ 2 miles for 11:17. I definitely fell off late in the workout, but it was good, nonetheless. My goal going in was to extend it from last week by a mile and get all miles under 5:50, which I succeeded at. Even though they splits were kinda all over, doing those 2 things made this a successful run.

Next week, it will be up in the air as to whether I will just try to do another 4-miles but this time even, or if I'll try to do 5-miles @ this pace again. I'm leaning towards being steady. While it was successful, it left a lot to be desired at the effort I had to put forth to get that last mile in. I literally fooled myself into it...just said that I'd stop once I dropped below 5:44 pace... but I was even all 4 qtrs of this mile...1:26, 2:52, 4:18 for each qtr. I was amazed, but each time, just said "OK, another 400m." Fortunately, I got through that last mile.

My radar has gone to two race right now...Bayou City and Angie's Half Crazy Half Marathon. I'm a little disappointed to know that AHCHM has moved to 2 weeks after Bayou City. I was looking forward to an April run and had my goal set with that time-frame in mind. In the next few days I'll look at that race and work backwards on scheduling workouts and mileage.

That's it for me!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

1/11/11 - Quick PM Easy Run

3 Miles

Was going to see the one-night showing of Hood To Coast, so needed to squeeze in a quick run after getting out of work just a tad later than planned. Nothing too big about the run. Nice and quick...and cold. :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

1/10/11 - PM Easy Run 8.2 Miles

8.2 Miles

Just an easy run down to the park for a loop and back. Nothing too major to report, except that it felt great.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

1/9/11 PM Easy Run

7.1 Miles

Went out for an easy run, and it turned into a little harder effort, but still felt great. I don't know the mile splits for the entire run, but know that 2 of my miles around the park were 6:18 and 6:12. It wasn't like those two miles were sans effort...I was definitely on it, but it was easy to go at that pace.

Gotta take it easy for a couple of days in hopes of another tempo run this week... a little further, and a little faster than last week's 3 miles @ 5:50.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

1/8/11 Kenyan Way Long Run - 15.3 Miles

15.3 Miles
6:59 avg

I felt really good today. A little discomfort in the very early part of the run, but that quickly subsided, and I was able to move well throughout. I never felt like I was pushing the pace, but I was definitely letting myself cruise at a decent clip.

Stretching after...maybe some icing later. See how it all feels tomorrow!

Friday, January 7, 2011

1/7/10 - 8.2 Mile Easy Run

8.2 Miles

Just an easy trot down Memorial and back with a loop of the park in there. Nothing too spectactular, except that I felt really good. Was holding pretty steady @ 7:00 pace from entry of the park back home. Good run.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

1/5/11 Workout, 8.5 Miles Total - Updates

Well, I've run each of the first few days of the New Year, but just haven't had a chance to update the blog. I've started keeping a written log of my running for this year, so I'll use that to go back and update when I can. For now, I'll just post this latest highlight for me...

8.5 Mile Run
3-mile Tempo run in middle
5:53, 5:50, 5:50

I initially thought I'd stick with 6-minute pace, but when I got a half mile into the run @ 2:56, and it didn't feel DIRE, I felt pretty encouraged and just decided I'd see how long I could hold that pace. Turned out good, and I was proud of feeling like I was able to maintain the effort for those 3 miles so steadily. I expected the 3rd mile to feel like more effort, but it really wasn't. Although once done, I was definitely done. Good stuff. No negative after effects on the Achilles, so I'm very encouraged.