May 25, 2013

Cascades 10K Firechase

Today was the Cascades 10K Firechase in Sterling, VA. This race was again my furthest distance run to date. I originally signed up for the race after talking with Derek via email about training. That meant this time I wasn't running alone. I wasn't sure how it would go. Talking is good distraction, but I didn't know how well I would be able to talk, given being out of breath. In addition, I always feel that my music helps me run, so I didn't know how I would do without it. Derek asked me my goal, but I didn't have much in mind. I mainly wanted to finish (not that I thought I was in danger that) and come in sub 14 minute pace.

Would I finish? Would my ankle hold up? Would Derek get shot with nerf guns? Read on...

The Race

Pre-race ready.
Pre-race ready.
The race was another 8 am start. Derek picked up my bib, since the store was near his house, which saved me that hassel in the morning. I had to drive about 25 minutes to get to the race site, which was not as easy as walking around the corner. The page for the race felt less organized than the Rockstar 8K. There was less information; the map was a little unclear (it did a weird loop partially around on itself, but not quite) and parking was split among several areas for availability but without a map or addresses to show the various locations. In the end, I parked in a neighborhood street nearby, as many did, so it wasn't a large problem.

The weather was crisp and cool. I was wearing long sleeve Under Armor and shorts, figuring once I got moving, I would be plenty warm, but it was definitely cool enough to warrant the sleeves, even using the "10 degree warmer" rule for running dress. Even though it was cool, it was bright and sunny, which made for a nice run. It had been raining in the past days, so I'm glad it cleared up.

Start and finish line.
Start and finish. We did consider
jumping into the trees and waiting.
Having someone to run with and chat with was different. All my runs had been solo, so I have my music playing, headphones in and try to just run and tune other things out. Running with someone else I wondered some different things. Would our paces match up? I run my 30 and 30s, but I didn't know if Derek would want to do that or if he would try and just run it all. If we did the 30/30 together, would I even be able to chat or would I be too short of breath to be effective. I've done better with running, but frankly, I'm not in that good of shape. Haha. Would the lack of music effect me? I still needed to have one head phone in, because I need the interval timer, and I like to have the splits every mile. In the end, Derek decided to try the run walks, because he hadn't exactly prepped for the race. In fact, he may have said that without me there, he probably would have said the hell with it, getting up that early in the morning. I was glad that he was there to make me run, and I there to make him run.

We did the intervals together. We also, at Derek's suggestion, would occasionally pick a point to run through, such as a corner, a sign or the mile marker. They usually took us beyond our 30 second mark, but never more than an extra 30, at which point we would give an extra walk to even it out. At many moments, when one of us would suggest to run to something, or just that it was time to run again, we would reply "Ok. And I hate you." The reply would usually be "I hate me too." Then, there was the time at a water break Derek decided to peg the poor guy picking up the water cups in the head. The temperature of the water was apparently 2 degrees too warm for Derek's liking. As we kept running, we left the poor man laying on the ground, head in hands and the sound of tears. The tears fueled Derek's running though. (Some of this account may have artistic liberty to what exactly happened, but it is at least fairly close to accurate).

We kept quite a good pace while running. When I say a good pace, I mean a great pace for me. Two of the miles were sub 13 minutes per mile. Three of the miles were fastest than my single best split, with a fourth only 7 seconds more. I could hardly believe the pace we were taking and keeping up. The first mile split cam in at 12:20! I didn't think I heard right at first. Even our slowest, the last came in at 14:13, and that was largely due to the largest hill of the race. I'll take that.
Official time: 1 hour 24 min and 41 seconds. 
Success! Now. There is one thing with the official results I am not completely happy with. And that is Derek's name written directly above mine. At the very end, right at the line, Derek did the little arm out in front of me to secure the victory. Time wise, it put us even, but it gave him the placement. I'm proud of the move, and would expect nothing less. Just disappointed I didn't think of it first.

According the official results, I averaged a 13:40 min / mile. I'm so happy with that. Kept the sub-14 with the extra distance. So happy. And with my phone, it gave me a 13:13 pace, getting me sub-13:30, which I am ecstatic with. It's great to see my improvement. I enjoy the races. Even if it's the distance I'm supposed to do the day anyway, it gives a good sense of accomplishment. Every time I increase my distance, it feels good though too.
Official Results. Damn Derek.

How's the Body?

I felt good upon finishing the race. After the drive home of having been in the car for 20-30 minutes, my knees were a little stiff getting out of the car. All in all, nothing felt too sore muscle wise. The ankle was fine. If anything was sore, I'd have to say my knees, but they were more just stiff after sitting for too long. I'll call that a victory.

May 22, 2013

Training Day 21 - Back on My Feet

So, after my no holds barred submission match with Kurt Angle rolling my ankle on Sunday, forgoing that evening's run, and pushing back my gym Tuesday, today I was feeling good enough to get back in there without worrying too much about jeopardizing Saturday. That has been my biggest worry, causing further injury keeping me from running in the 10K. Today, certain ways I flex it or push on it still cause some minor pain, my ankle felt overall pretty well.


Kurt Angle
I wanted to get back in the gym and put some work on it, but I also didn't want to overwork it. I felt doing some elliptical should be a good first test. I took a slow pace for a while at first and felt nothing. It was doing well. As I went on, I picked it up closer to the pace I normally take and it still felt well. All good signs. I decided to stick to my plan though and only run for a shortened 20 minutes. After finishing on the elliptical, I moved over to a treadmill. I started slow, then pushed up the speed slowly until I reached my running pace. After running several minutes, I didn't feel any pain during or after. The ankle was holding well. No spraining problem.

I kept stretching it after. There are still some tender spots, but running on it didn't seem to have adverse affects. This makes me confident for the weekend. I haven't been doing any really running in a little, which makes me believe it may be a rough start, but I'm at least not too worried about the ankle. Just my shape, which is "out of".

The Stats

Time: 20:00 mins
Distance: 2.34 miles
Average Speed: 7.2 mph
Average Pace: 8:19 min / mile

May 20, 2013

First Injury (Thanks to an Ankle Lock by Kurt Angle?)

So, I have my first injury of my training: an ankle sprain. I used to get these often when I was younger, so I'm not surprised. I used to have two different ankle braces, one to wear and one back up because it used to happen so often. But I haven't had any in a really long time, so it was a bit of a surprise. I rolled my ankle, but luckily not too bad. Was I 7 miles in on a 10 mile run? Was I training hard and taken down by a rougue woodchuck with a vendetta against runners? Was I ambushed by put into a submission hold professional wrestler Kurt Angle?
Ankle Lock
This is how I like to believe it happened.


We were out shopping on Sunday. Really, more "walking around the stores without buying" than "shopping". We had just parked near Best Buy. I got Sam out of her car seat, was holding her to walk across the parking lot, took on step and rolled my ankle. I immediately leaned against the car and let it subside a little. I moved my ankle around and immediately knew it was sprained. I thought "oh well" and hobbled into the store.

I decided to take the evening run planned off. My biggest concern is Saturday's 10K. I don't want to further the injury, make it worse and not be able to run. I need to find the proper balance to get ready while not pushing too much. During the day at work I periodically stopped and took a minute or two to stretch it out and move it around. It's been working pretty well to loosen it up and lessen the pain. It's not bad pain by any means, but just I feel the soreness in it walking some and more it more. I have my normal scheduled gym session tomorrow. I think my plan is to pass on it, stretch more throughout the day, and if it's feeling good, go to the gym on Wednesday. Then I can test it out and just have one session this week before the run.

That's my plan at least. Knew it was bound to happen. But *knock on wood* it's not a bad sprain so it should pass quickly.

May 19, 2013

Team #runDisney

After my Tuesday run this past week, I came across a new site, Team #runDisney. Over the course of the week, I slowly read through all the posts on their blog. The whole thing. The site contains a lot of personal accounts of different runDisney events; from 5Ks to Goofy challenges; from east coast to west coast. I loved reading all the different experiences. They've given me a great perspective on what to expect and what goes on.  I always expected the Disney races to be special, but in true Disney fashion, it sounds like they go above and beyond with the Disney magic.

The community started as a group of runDisney enthusiasts conversing on Twitter. From there, the added a Facebook group to continue the conversation. Now, they've added a community blog to share their experiences, their tips and to help others discover runDisney. It really is a great site to get a perspective on what Disney races has to offer.

I was excited to start with for my first runDisney event. It has only managed to grow even greater. January is a long time away, and I have a long way to go in my training, but mentally, I am so ready. I'm so excited to experience it first hand and be able to write about my first runDisney experience.

How to Find Them and Get on Board

Twitter: @teamrundisney
Facebook: groups/teamrundisney

May 17, 2013

Training Day 20 - Friday Night Lights

This week I switched up my second run. Normally I run Thursday mornings. This week, I decided to sleep a tiny bit extra and run in the evening. Then the evening came and I decided to push it to Friday. I figured I could do this since my weekend run is going to be Sunday instead of Saturday. This way, I'll still have my break day in between. Spending my Friday night running down the pavement. I know, jealous of my coolness.

The Run

Endomondo stats
I had a pretty good run tonight. The temperature was a little warmer than lately, but not too bad. It was a little humid as well. I decided I wanted to push myself for a little bit longer of a run and not just do the minimum 30 minutes. Since the plan calls for 30 - 45, I figured I could try and get 3 miles in. That was my goal. My second weekday run is also supposed to have the race day practice (rdp) where you run 2 miles at the pace you want to have using the run walk strategy, but frankly, that's what almost all my runs are anyway. I started off feeling slow, but actually turned in a 13:21 mile, beating my previous best mile by 2 seconds. I'll take any little bit I can get. In the end, I also got in my 3 miles and kept my average pace under 14 minutes, which I set as a secondary goal after my first mile. In the end, I felt good with my progress and my performance today. I'm feeling good and on track.

The Stats

Time: 41:39 mins
Distance: 3.02 miles
Average Speed: 4.35 mph
Average Pace: 13:47 min / mile

May 14, 2013

Some Things More Than Posts

A while ago I started adding some extra pages beyond just my posts. I wanted to round out a little bit with some additional content. With the layout I have, there's not way to make it too noticable, so it's just in the bar up top. Maybe eventually I'll play with the layout, but not today. I have a couple things planned to add. I don't want this to just become I ran in the gym, I ran outside, I ran outside farther. I writing all those posts because it helps keep me on track. They're not the most interesting most times, but I set out to have them as I make my push to the WDW1/2. I'm going to try and make a more conscience effort to put more in about how I'm feeling into some of them. At least the bigger weekend pushes.


Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimy
I've added a page to be the home of the explanation of what I'm doing here. You can read the full version, which I'm rewording and improving over time. [In fact, as I try to write an abbreviated version here, I find things to add.]

I've been wanting to get in shape for a long time. Not just healthier and a couple pounds off, but really in shape. A large transformation. Before my wedding, I got about half way there. Unfortunately afterwards, I just hung out where I was, and then eventually jumped back up, slightly above where I started. I try to eat healthy and do an ok job of it. But from my past I know me. To lose weight I need to be active. I started the blog to help "keep me honest" while I tried to exercise and get fit.

My wife and I are both huge Disney fans. We both were long before we ever knew each other existed. One thing that I've discussed off and on is about wanting to someday do one of the Disney races. I always saw it as a someday after I'm in shape, then someday I'll start training and eventually someday I'll run one. That someday seemed like it would never really come. I put it off as one of those bucket list ideas I'd likely never get to, but would wish I could do.

My wonderful wife, Steph, decided to help make that someday come sooner. She knows how hard of a time I can have sticking to working out and how deep down in, I do need encouragement. She decided to make a way that I couldn't get out of it. So she devised a plan with a friend, Dave (of the soon to be Dopey Dave). Before I knew it, I had a running partner for a race. A big race. The Walt Disney World Half Marathon.

So now my site has an additional direction, a new purpose, like me. I'm tracking my journey to go from 0 to 13.1 miles. It won't likely be a straight journey, but more as the Doctor puts it more wibbly wobbly.  And like the Doctor, I'll have my companions along the way, Dave (as mentioned), and my former work mentor / nerf target, Derek. He's a sucker and got talked / peer pressured into it. Dave and Derek, you two can fight over who's the Legs, the Nose or Mrs. Robinson.

And I'm even feeling like I enjoy running at times, which just doesn't compute in my head.


Mmm... data...
I'm a geek. It's the truth. I'm trying to track all sorts of information, getting all sorts of data points. And I figure, if I have it, I might as well do something with it. And if I'm doing something with it, I might as well share it. So that's what is page is all about. I originally shared the Google Doc inline of my data, but my site was being flagged as being "potentially dangerous" when linking to it (I'm looking at you, Facebook), so I dropped that portion. Now I'm throwing in some graphs, which hopefully over time will be more useful. I want to show my progress, so as I get more data, I'll probably be able to put together some more interesting charts. For now, I'm just showing my average pace (semi-useful) and distance run (less useful, since it's dictated by my training plan).

You may not care to look at that, but that's ok. I'm doing it partially just because I can, so that's good enough for me.

Training Day 19 - Eleven

I've begun week 5 of my training plan. I felt I finished week 4 strong. This week has the standard 2 maintenance runs and only a 3 mile run on the weekend. Should not be too bad. Feeling good for the upcoming race in 11 days. The gym went well today. Afterwards, before starting my work day I came across a cool site: Team #runDisney. I'll write a separate entry on it, but it has a lot of posts about various people's experiences at runDisney events. It's been very enlightening what I've read so far. I really like the site.


Matt Smith as Doctor Who
Just Matt Smith days until
my next race!
Back to the gym, back to the elliptical, but not Back to the Future. Since I had a slower start out of bed and into the gym, I only had time for another 30 minute run. Went well. Pretty good pace. Not too tired or sore after. Felt good. Nothing much to report there.

I really want to start lengthening these run. I originally thought it'd be good to try and push my speed on the elliptical, but I think I'll actually look to keep my pace, but put more time. I switched from the beginner plan to the To Finish in the Upright Position plan after week 3, as the plan said I could, so now my maintenance runs are 30-45 minutes, so I have that option while still abiding by the plan. I think drawing out the gym run will be good for me. Now, if I could just get a little more motivated to be moving sooner, I could accomplish that. Granted, even with that, I may need to get up a little bit earlier anyway for it to all work out.

The Stats

Time: 30:00 mins
Distance: 4.15 miles
Average Speed: 8.3 mph
Average Pace: 7:13 min / mile

May 11, 2013

Training Day 18 - No Stretching, No Problem

Weekend run means extending my distance. Being the end of week 4, my distance was 5 miles. I tried a coule of new things. First, I set up a route with Endomondo. I did this to try and find a loop to run to get my distance in, instead of running out for 2.5 miles then turning around. It gives a good interface for building the route, allow you to snap to the roads on the map or free forming it. It will show it on the map while you run, but that's obviously not convenient. The extra bit it gives you while running is your expected finish time during the splits as well as letting you know when you've completed your goal. The second new thing I tried was I didn't stretch. At all. I put on my shoes, put in my headphones, started my phone and ran. That's it.

To Stretch or Not To Stretch

Dog Stretching
Strrrrrretch it out...
Recently, while looking for routines, I've come across things in passing talking about stretching before activity being unnecessary. Most of them were in passing or anecdotal. Then, last night, my wife sent me an article. She sent me a post of the NY Times on Reasons Not to Stretch. It talks about some recent studies adding to the research in recent years underminding the thought that stretching increases your performance and decreases any chances of injury. Now, it doesn't say to not warm up; it is against static stretching. This falls inline with what I saw on Jeff Galloway's Race Countdown where he says
Stretch gently if you need to stretch (iliotibial band injury, etc.). I’ve seen more problems when runners stretch before fast runs, than among those who don’t stretch at all. If you have found stretching to be beneficial for you, then go ahead, but be very careful.
The data from the studies showed decreased performance. They come down to saying that it is not known why it does but guess that stretching does what it is supposed to, loosening the muscles and tendons, which takes away their explosiveness and ability to store the energy you need.

I'm not saying to stretch or not stretch. Frankly, it goes against what I've always been taught. Like any research, it's up to you to read it for yourself and make your own informed decisions. I'm just saying I decided to give it a shot today. It worked out pretty nicely for me as well. The tightness in the left shin I've been having... never appeared. Coincindence? Maybe. But as the Doctor says
Never ignore a coincidence. Unless you're busy, in which case always ignore a coincidence.

The Run

Endomondo Stats
I enjoyed my run this morning. It went well, and running that kind of distance felt like another good accomplishment. As I mentioned, I set up a route on Endomondo and used that to run. I made myself a little loop up and around. The nice thing here in northern Virginia is so much of the area has paths and sidewalks that routes are pretty easy to find. This one worked out well other than two items. First, on more than one occasion the side walk I was on just ended. Not at a corner, not at anything in particular, it would just stop. There'd be a fence or some trees or whatever, but in the middle of a block there would be no sidewalk. So I had to cut across the street on multiple occasions to get to the path available across the road. It was more an annoyance than anything. Second, during mile 3, there was a steep dip where it went down and then back up again over the course of a couple blocks that just sapped the energy out of me. It was pretty rough and took until closer to the last mile to get fully back into it and up to speed. I did finish pretty strong. In the end, I averaged 14:17 with all paces sub 15 and a fastest mile of 13:31. It was slower than the 8K, but I was still plenty happy with it. Very happy actually.

The Stats

Time: 1:11:47 mins
Distance: 5.02 miles
Average Speed: 4.20 mph
Average Pace: 14:17 min / mile

May 9, 2013

Training Day 17 - Evening Jaunt

With how well the evening run worked out on Tuesday, I decided to give it another try on Thursday. I also decided to try the extra loop on my shoes... not for me.

The Run

Today's run lacked the same energy. I just did have the same "spring in my step". I didn't feel overly tired before, I wasn't more tired afterwards then I normally am, I just didn't run fast today. I didn't feel overly slow running, but I know the energy wasn't there in my step this time around. I thought I did a little better on the run back, but it actually was a little slower. I just need to remind myself you'll have those days, that it is just a maintenance run, and that it's ok. The important part is getting out there. Unfortunately, since I haven't seen any weight change, it makes it a little harder mentally to accept. I logically know, but the brain doesn't always like to accept logic.

I have one of my long runs this weekend on the schedule (that build up over time) so I need to be sure to be ready for my 5 miles on Saturday morning.

The Stats

Time: 31:03 mins
Distance: 2.05 miles
Average Speed: 3.96 mph
Average Pace: 15:10 min / mile

May 8, 2013

Chasing Fire

Cascades 10K Firechase
In just 248 days, I'll be running the Half Marathon in Walt Disney World. In 246 days, I'll be doing the Family Fun Run 5K. In just 17 days, I'll be running my next race, a 10K. It started email back and forth with my fellow future Disney Half-er, Derek. I shared the training plans from Disney with him, in case he was interested. He congratulated me on my 8K race and mentioned wanted to sign up for one himself to force himself to "get his ass in gear" for training. Derek had a couple of 10Ks at the end of May in mind. Looking them over, we had a winner.

On Saturday May 25th I'll be running the Cascades 10k Firechase. This is another race in the PR Race Series. It's a 10K race in Potomac Falls, VA benefitting the Sterling Volunteer Fire Company. The course goes through a community in the area, and being in Sterling, it should be a nice scenic run.  If you care to come join in the race, I'd always welcome more company. I'm looking forward to it. I need to get a 10K time for my pacing for Disney. I plan to run more in the fall, but it'd be nice to get my first 10K in. I like increasing my distance and each race is an accomplishment. Really, every run I go fast or longer feels good and an accomplishment. Every race under my belt is another check box, proving to myself that I can do this.

After registering yesterday, I went out and ran a 13:46 pace for just over 2 miles and threw the ball into Derek's court. His response?
Challenge Accepted

May 7, 2013

Training Day 16 - Slight Damp Run

Tuesday usually means gym day. But today was an unconventional Tuesday. My daughter's been a little under the weather lately. To make a long story short, instead of getting up early to go to the gym at work, I stayed home to make sure she didn't have a fever and a need to go to the doctor before heading to work. That left my exercise undone, so the plan became an evening run. It was a wet day today, but the evening was gray without much rain so I was hopeful. I did not remain dry however.

The Run

Endomondo stats
Upon stepping outside, I immediately saw a drop or two on my phone arm band / armor plating. I say that, because every time I strap it on tight, I feel like I'm wearing a piece of armor from Halo. That comes with territory of the Note II though I suppose. Well, crap. Oh well... I have the benefit of the coverage on my phone from Best Buy, so as they put it when I bought it, as long as I can physically bring the phone in, they'll replace it. With that in mind, I wasn't too worried about the rain, and onward I went.

Early the weather stayed fine. A couple of drops here or there, but not much. I had some puddles and mud to run around, but otherwise uneventful. I was happy that it wasn't as humid as it could have felt, being on the cusp of rain. I tried to keep a good pace again, hoping to stay close to this past weekend. I felt a little tired early on energy wise, so was worried if I would hold it. At the one mile mark, I was plesantly surprised: pace 13:30! That fueled me to keep pushing. Unfortunately after my 15 minute turn around, the rain decided to say hello. It came down in spurts, none too heavy. It actually felt kind good at times actually. Just enough to keep cool.

The Stats

Time: 31:44 mins
Distance: 2.30 miles
Average Speed: 4.36 mph
Average Pace: 13:46 min / mile

Open Question About Some Pain

I would like to open up a question about some pain I've been having my past two runs. I start out good but at about a half a mile the lower part of my left shin starts to hurt. It feels a little tight and it makes it tough to flex my foot up. My guess is it's something to do with my running technique, because during my cool down, it goes away and I can flex back up. Not quite marching band toes up, but better than while I run. During my run in my walk intervals, it feels awkward. What I'm looking for is if anyone has experienced this and point me in the right direction. Also, if anyone knows any good forums to point me to for researching, I'd like that as well. I don't know any good forums, so I'm open to any suggestions. I plan to do some research, but wanted to ask here first. Any suggestions are welcomed.

May 4, 2013

Training Day 15 - Back on Track, Jack

Today I put my ASICS GEL Kayano 19 to better use. With Thursday's run feeling like a bust, I wanted to get back it and get myself back on track. I know I wasn't really "off-track" but I want to make progress. I know I'll have off days and off runs, and that was one. But that doesn't mean I shouldn't want to bounce back. I do want to. I haven't really seen progress on the weight side of things so far, so I like at least seeing progress on the running side of things. I decided, with the Rockstar 8K in the rear view mirror, to switch things up a bit and run the other direction on the parkway and then head up 123 a bit. I knew I was doing a short run, but thought I'd see how that direction is as a run. Plus, the change of scenery shouldn't hurt.

The Run

Endomondo stats
This run, I came out determined to run better. I didn't have anything particular in mind, but not a 15 min / mile pace and I just wanted to concentrate. And concentrate I did. My first mile I pushed out a 14:14 mile. One of my fastest, if not the fastest, splits in my training, losing only to my afore mentioned race. I was very happy with that. I kept running a little further down 123, figuring if I did, it would make my cool down easier because I would have enough distance getting straight back to the house without having to loop around or anything like I normally do. My second mile back was slower, but I still ended with a 14:38 average pace. I just got a little more distracted during my walk intervals. Also, had a longer cool down than expected. My "little further" ended up being a little more than intended. Extended cool down.

(And while brisk like Thursday, this time I threw on some long sleeve Under Armor and avoided the chill).

The Stats

Time: 29:29 mins (workout), 50:14 (total)
Distance: 2.01 miles (workout), 3.01 miles (total)
Average Speed: 4.10 mph
Average Pace: 14:38 min / mile

Bonus Distance

We decided to take Sammy to the zoo today as well. She loved all the animals at the zoo. We also saw every bird that was on the property. I'm not talking about exotic ones. Anything that chirped, Samantha would immediately spin to, point and say "tweet. tweet." It was a good time. We also had a good bit of walking in. I didn't want to leave on and try to GPS track the whole time, so I tried out the step counter function of the Endomondo app. In the pocket of my shorts, it didn't work for crap. I don't know if anyone has used it successfully or how you had your phone, but it didn't work well for me that way. I'm sure I walked for more than 10 steps in an hour, thank you very much. With trying to outline with maps online, I estimate about 4.5 miles. Not a bad extra walk at all.

And just because I can...

May the 4th be with you!

May 2, 2013

Training Day 14 - Hitting the Pavement with New Shoes

This was my first run gearing up with my new ASICS GEL Kayano 19. I had hopes of it being a much nicer run. Not that I'd run necessarily faster, but that it would feel really good with the new kicks. Now, don't get me wrong, the run felt good as far as my feet were concerned. Unfortunately, it wasn't the best of runs, which left me feeling poor. Not physically, just mentally. I did not have the run I was hoping for.

The Run

Endomondo stats
As I mentioned, the shoes felt good. They feel good running. That's what matters. They immediately feel better on my feet, and I hope with time I'll really see how much of a difference they make to my knees and hopefully supporting and improving my technique a little. The run was a little off though. My mind was really out there. I really didn't have any concentration. I ran first thing in the morning, so when I stepped outside it was brisk, but I thought I'd still be ok once I got moving in my t-shirt and shorts. During the beginning of the run, my hands and arms got pretty chilly. After the first mile, I was ok, but I was cold and distracted for my warmup and first mile. After that, my mind wandered a lot. This kept me from keeping my pace up, because as my mind wanders and I go into autopilot mode, my pace slows down. That's why I think my pace was so good in the race, because my concentration was locked on the people in front of me, which kept my walk up. Today, however, even my run would slow down as I thought about various things. There was no one thing in particular, just scatter brained.

I'm not happy with the pace. I do know I'll have these days. I also know that the point of a maintenance run isn't about the pace you keep but first and foremost about getting out there and running. That's especially important so early in my running and training. I need to just brush it off and get a better run out on Saturday. It's only a 2 mile run, so I shouldn't be bad at all. An easier run to start my weekend off right.

The Stats

Time: 32:55 mins (workout), 43:25 (total)
Distance: 2.10 miles (workout), 2.51 miles (total)
Average Speed: 3.82 mph
Average Pace: 15:42 min / mile

May 1, 2013

Meet the Shoes

Whenever you start running, one thing you hear often is to "invest in a good pair of shoes". Everyone who runs and has invested in a good pair will tell you that it made a difference. I've heard this, and I trust those that I've heard it from. Most people will also tell you to go to a running store to get fitted and matched up to the right kind of shoe. Not a Dick's Sporting Goods but a specialty store. I, luckily, have one around the corner: Potomac River Running. They're a local chain of running stores. They offer great personal service, a good selection and knowledgable staff. This is all from the short time I've had experiences with them. They also help organize a series of races in the area.

I have been running with a pair of old Reeboks, that weren't worn out yet, just old. I've had some times where they feel not quite right while I'm running and some issues with my knees, so it was time to go check them out.

Finding the Right Ones

Potomac River Running Store
I stopped by PRR after work one day with Steph to check out their shoes. I brought the trainers I currently use and explained to them my situation. I told them I had more recently started training and had only been running for a couple of weeks, but that I was training long term for a half marathon in January. They thought it was great that I was doing it, asked me about my training and when I mentioned Jeff Galloway, their response was "You can't do much better then a Jeff Galloway plan." They threw me in a pair of "neutral" shoes and took a look at me running and noticed something. They said I seemed to start a little on the outside and roll in during my step, more on my right than my left. Because of this, the suggested a shoe with more support. From there, they brought out a variety of types of shoes. The ones that felt best were the gel variety, but the particular pair they had try on first felt off for some reason. The front of the right foot didn't feel like it was in the right place. The next pair they brought out were perfect.

My shoe: the ASICS GEL-Kayano 19. It's fairly light weight, breathes and is oh so comfortable on my feet. It supported my foot well, and in the short spurts around the strip mall, it felt good. The GEL variety had some great cushioning that feels great on the feet. Of course, it is a more expensive variety of the running shoes I was trying on, but I went in with the mind set of finding whatever was going to work best. They were it. I did not however buy the shoes that day. I wanted to find the shoes and find out the price so I knew what I was working with. The price of $160 was more than I had hoped, but not more than I thought they could be. The was also one other thing, which for I turned to the internets.

ASICS GEL-Kayano 19
Lightning as a color scheme choice.
First, no, I was not going to look for a cheaper price. I went there for their experience and expertise. I wouldn't go there for that and then shaft them by not buying from them. No, the shoe looked nice, but was a little plain compared to what I was secretly hoping for. The shoe there was titanium with royal blue. Nice, but not stand out. I was hoping for one of the more "lively" shoes they had there. Upon browsing online, I found was I was looking for. The shoes came in a color scheme called "Black / Lightning / Blue". Yep, that would be the one for me. So, I immediately shot and email off the PRR that I found on their web site, explaining myself and asking if it was possible for them to order that particular one it. They checked, getting that shoe was no problem and they put the order in for me. Yesterday, I received an email that the shoes were in and today I stopped to pick them up.

So happy with my selection. They're just what I hoped they would be. Comfortable, supported and just the right amount of out there.

Tomorrow, the training test run. Report to follow.