Wednesday, December 5, 2007


It's done.

After months of training, setbacks and missed opportunities, my day has come and gone.

It took some doing convincing the Army to let me go to Vegas to run a marathon, but I finally got the go ahead. My teachers were less forgiving, but finally came around when they figured there was nothing stopping me.

The 26 miles, however, did put up a good fight.

But let me digress.

I arrived with my brother in the middle of the night. Our flight hit some serious headwinds and we added an hour onto the trip. When we finally stepped out of the cab at the Mandalay Bay, it was midnight and gaining on morning.

If the rooms hadn't been so damned gorgeous I might have gone to bed.

40+ inch HD TVs, with a smaller HD in the bathroom. THE most comfortable beds I've ever slept on, and a view of...well, the desert.

We woke up that next day and hit the spa, trying out all the trappings of royalty. We felt amazing, stretching out tired legs in preparation for the big day. The rest of the family arrived and we spent time wandering the city before catching a Cirque De Solei show.

Needless to say, I was quickly enamored to the town.

Before I knew it, Sunday arrived. I dressed in my finest running clothes, taped the nips and spread lubricants on my chafable areas.

Joey and I wandered down with the family (minus a slumbering sister) and fell in with the horde at the starting line. Elvis sang "Viva Las Vegas" and BOOM, it all began.

Now, I didn't train properly. One could go ahead and say I trained as poorly as one could for their first marathon.

But for the first ten miles, I was on fire. I flew passed the amazing hotels and casinos, passed the run-through wedding chapel and dive bars, and finally out to the far stretches of the Las Vegas Strip.

At mile 13, I passed two Army soldiers in IPFU-. I starting humming the Army song from the commercials and sped ahead.

At mile 16, I tried to use a portajohn. This was a terrible mistake. You see, someone else had the same idea, only they'd had an "accident."

All over the place.

I resigned myself to finish the next ten miles without the use of the facilities. This proved a doable venture, though not at all pleasant.

At mile 20, my legs died. They went into shock and exploded. Figuratively.

I dragged myself four miles forward until I could see the sign for the Mandalay Bay ahead.

I was almost home.

Each footfall felt as though it would buckle my knees for the last time. Each breath came taught and haggard.

But there it was: The finish line. I crossed with arms in the air, cheering triumphantly in my head.

And then, like smoke in the wind, my day was gone. I spent time with family, ate outrageously good food, and wondered when my legs had been replaced with pain sticks.

Today I am back in Boston, eager to start running again. Eager to start training again.

Marathon Monday is fast approaching, and this time is going to be different.

This time, I won't just run fast.

I'll run fasterest.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

New Meaning for an Old Term

I had an unholy experience today.

Let me begin by catching you all up to my training.

I've hit a few more 13 milers, all with intention of getting up to a nice 20 mile run before petering down as the marathon approaches.

When I finally set out to hit my goal, my knees had other plans. I made it 12 miles before having to stop, lest the incessant grinding of my kneecaps bother the wild geese.

Looking ahead, I was worried. I hadn't hit anything over a 13 miler, my body was showing signs of kidney stones, and my motivation was still low.

Today, things changed, but only a little.

I'm still sick in my stomach area, but managing. My knees hurt something awful.

But my motivation is back on.

I woke up this morning and it was cold. I mean seriously cold. I'm not saying that because I'm from Texas and am not used to Boston weather, I'm saying that because it was 30 degrees with a wind chill of 22.


I got in trouble with the Army (missed PT) so I had to attend a Saturday morning run.

So I throw on my running shorts, by under armor shirt, a long sleeve shirt and a ski jacket. I figure, with the weather like this, the Army isn't going to let people outside. It's too damned cold.

Once again, I am an idiot.

I arrive just in time to hear the Master Sergeant call for us to get ready for the run. I drop my ski coat and pull on a beanie and gloves. I'm shivering already.

The run begins, easy 9:00 pace, and my lungs are dying. The cold is literally freezing the water in my body. I'm wheezing like an asthmatic, though still leading the pack (cold doesn't change the fact that I'm a stubborn ass).

After three miles, my lungs warm up and I'm running easy, but I'm still worried about my knees.

And then something off happened. My knee started to hurt, but then just froze over. It was as though a layer of ice formed where the cartilage in my knee should have been. I was able to maintain my pace with no pain.

After 9 miles, I was giddy. Endorphines were rocking my brain, and I was able to lead the pack and carry a nice conversation.

Then mile ten came.

Last night, I'm sad to say, I ate pizza. This was a mistake.

Like most members of my family, I have some lactose issues. I won't say I'm intolerant because I feel racism is disgusting, but I do tell the odd lactose joke to my friends.

At mile 10, my stomach awoke. It told me, in no small terms, that a deuce was coming. I had three miles to go before I'd be home, and there was nary a Port-o-John to be seen.

It seemed like it would be the end of me, save one thing: The Sherman Proximity Law

Albert Sherman (old friend) once told me that craps, like most bodily functions, are as much mental as they are physical. When you are stuck in a line, for instance, your bladder panics because it doens't know when the line will end.

The same idea can be applied here, but with favorable results. The dump knew I wouldn't let it down, and that there wasn't a place to properly release, so it stayed in place. Sure, I hit some AWEs (Almost Wet Emission) during my final mile, but I made it back to a reliable john.

Now, the Sherman principle applies in two ways. Being far from a facility can cause the body to panic, but being close can cause the load to commence firing procedures prior to bay doors opening. This is known in layman as "prarie doggin".

In any case, I made it back safely.

None of this, however, refers to my original quote: something unholy.

As I said, it was 30 degrees. I was wearing shorts. In the event of hypothermia, the body removes blood from unneeded body parts to continue circulation amongst the organs. Today, my body made a poor choice about what was necessary.


I was a mile from home when my groin started to hurt. I stopped at a crosswalk, jogging in place to keep my legs warm, and placed a hand "down yonder" to check on the situation.

I couldn't feel anything for a moment. It was as though I'd dropped "them" along the way, like car keys. After a moment, a horrible sensation came over me.

Excuse my language, but my junk was frozen.

It wasn't until after I'd arrived at the Track and Tennis Center and gone into the bathroom for emergency reheating that I realized the scope of the threat.

Thankfully, my "team" was well trained in cold weather. I won't give you the gory details (mainly because there aren't words in the tongue of man to describe this) but I was able to restore 100% functionality to all equipment.

What's even better, I ran 13 miles. I ran it well. After I was done, I wanted to run more.

And I could have. My knees felt fine. I could have done more.

13 more? That we'll have to see.

Until then,

Run fasterest.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Going Belly Up

I'm getting back into the swing of things.

I hit a 13 miler last week that felt pretty good, save some knee issues at the end.

In fact, I'd say I was right where I wanted to be given some of the problems I've been beset with. Still, I realize now how hard training for a marathon can be, even if there weren't other issues keeping me down.

Today I was supposed to hit 16, a pretty reasonable goal. It would set me up to hit 20 next week, and then I'd slow it all down leading up to the end of the month, my flight to Vegas, and the marathon.

The problem arose with a fine little bout of stomach pain. I can't figure out what's going on with my innards. It seems as though my intestines are trying to learn origami. I can't describe the sensation in any other way.

I'm gonna go see the doctor tomorrow to make sure I didn't strain a muscle during PT with the army. I don't see this as a big threatening thing, but it prevented me from running today, which makes it an enemy that must die.

I will hit my 16 miles this week, and well before Sunday. I'm planning on getting some new shoes on Monday, and it will be just the thing to break them in on Tuesday.

I'll let you all know how it goes, but for now ya'll should get back to your own training programs.

Run fasterest.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Breaking the Wall

Today is a great day.

You might be wondering how that can be possible, seeing as I woke up at 0500 with a mild case of food poisoning after watching the Sox please drunken fans everywhere, thus denying me of any sleep.

Well, I'll tell you.

For the last year, I have been running on a plateau. I've peaked in terms of speed.

The army requires I run two miles in 15:54 or less. For the last year, I've hit 13:40-13:49.

Never faster.

Today, all that changed.

I woke up and felt as though someone had placed a sizeable chunk of uranium in my gut. It hurt to bend over and tie my shoes.

Still, I had to be at first formation, lest terrible things happen to me.

My push-ups and sit-ups suffered from the intestinal disorder, and for the first time in a year I did not hit the maximum number of push-ups (75 in two minutes) settling for an unimpressive 73.

When it came time to run, I was almost ready to quit. I wanted to puke, my stomach hurt so bad.

But I marched onto the track, stretched my legs, and prepared for my worst run in years.

And then the whistle sounded and I took off.

I mean, I took OFF.

I hit my stride and didn't feel any pain. Sure, the dry air in the building gave me a severe cough afterward, but for the moment I was flying.

One mile in and I felt OK, hitting a 6:40. Usually, this is where I would hit my wall and slow down.

But today, I brought a friggin' hammer.

I busted the second mile in 6:55, my first sub-7 for a second mile.

Overall time: 13:35, a personal best.

Not only that, it made up for my lackluster push-up score, so I remain a 290/300. If I can cut seconds from my run, this means the training is working.

This means 13:00 is well within reach.

This means that, come December, I will hit that two-mile run like no one's business and max the PT test.

Oh, and along the way I'll run 26.2 miles.

As I said, today is a good day.

Run fasterst, ya'll.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

On the Road Again

It's so good to be running again.

After a few weeks of hitting small sprints and six milers, I finally got in a nice long run.

This Saturday, one the behest of the Army, I ran to Bunker Hill, a distance of about 11-12 miles.

I led the pack of 14 people, keeping an easy pace of 8:50 the whole time.

What made it all worth while was watching the sun come up over the Charles River while jogging my ninth mile and realizing how much I missed that feeling.

The endorphines alone rocked my world.

I would have gone on longer, but my body was recovering from some serious illness and needed rest.

But now I have motivation back. I remembered that great feeling I got from running, and the great fear of the marathon that looms over me.

Today, more than ever, I feel like I will make this marathon with a solid time.

For now, I'm going to heal up and get ready for a PT test in the morning.

Keep up your own programs, and remember...

Run fasterest.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

In Limbo

Hey all.

I know it's been some time, and I know you're all very curious as to what has happened to me.

Well, not too much.

I've kept up with my running as best I can, given the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the last fwe weeks.

I met with the Colonel of my Battalion, but he has so far made no decision regarding my position.

This irks me.

I'm still active with ROTC and the National Guard, which means my time is always in flux, but I have been running moderate disatnces for the past few weeks and feel pretty good. My only complaint is that I have not been able to get in a good long run in some time.

I plan to hit at least five long runs before the marathon, with one 20 mile run. This will prepare me as best I can for the 26.2 that lay ahead.

One could say I have not been adhering to the plan as I set out originally, but I will get back on track. There are still weeks before the marathon, and I have every intention of hitting Vegas like its never seen before.

I want to thank all of you for the encouragement over the trying weeks. Your words of inspiration have made the stress a little less grating.

Thank you all, and remember:

Run fasterest.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Really Stepping In It

This has not been my month.

I've lost track of my training program, injured myself, overstressed feet constantly, and been run ragged by the army.

This morning I was made into an example.

I had my rank taken, my job removed, and my position as a future army officer questioned.

Overreaction? Yes.

I now have to plead my case in front the of the ROTC cadre in a few days time to decide if I get to stay in the program.

If I am kicked out of ROTC, I have to report for enlistment in no less than a month. Instead of becoming a leader I become a follower, a private, an E-1.

Needless to say, I am pissed.

And worse, I'm down.

I haven't been training properly, which would help alleviate the stress. I've run some pretty nice fivers and an easy six, but no long distances.

This isn't good for my goal in the marathon, but real life has decided to take a dirty ol' dump on me and it looks like it had milk the night before.

I didn't mean for this blog to become something of a livejournal, but sometimes you need to get this stuff off your chest.

Anyway, stay sharp out there.

Run fasterest.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Pee Cubed

Poor Planning=Piss Poor Performance

Today was supposed to be my long run, long overdue since my injury.

I didn't plan out my route the night before, mainly because I spent my time writing up timelines and packing lists for field exercises for ROTC, but also because I don't manage time very effectively.

So this morning comes, I get dressed in my IPFU (the Army physical fitness uniform) and head out to the Esplanade to train the company.

We do an easy four mile run, which warms my legs and makes me feel all sorts of speedy.

Then, after all that, I decide there is only one way to get in a proper 16 mile run without blowing my pace.

I will go to the Fitness Recreation Center and jog on a treadmill.

Another mile later, I'm at the FitRec stretching out. I notice my stomach is a little rumbly, but I figure it's just eagerness.

I forget that I ate a half-a-pizza last night.

About two miles in, running at an 8:40 pace (6 seconds faster than my marathon pace) I run into a hurdle: IBS.

I don't suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrom (which is the most aptly named malady ever), but rather my own special brand of intestinal discomfort I like to call Inopportune Big Shits.

I rush to the bathroom and drop off my excess baggage, swearing at myself for missing the key step in a long run: the pre-run download.

At this time, I'd like to ask a question: When you spend twenty million dollars on a sports facility, why do you spend forty cents a roll on tissue paper for the toilets?

After running six cumulative miles, one can only assume my "regions" will be moist, and any fool can understand the problems this creates when tissue-thin TP is applied to the mix.

Anyway, I get back on the treadmill, but my legs are now cramping something awful and my stomach is giving me warning shots. I figure I've blown the long run, so I can at least get my cross-training in.

I hit the weights, working arms and back, chest and biceps. After a half hour, I bike until sweat drips down my collar and forms a fine half-moon. Basically a fifteen minute burnout.

Then I jog the 3/4 miles home and shower. And stretch.

Oh did I stretch.

I think I invented a new one called the "Oh wow, that hurts more than I intended."

I'm going to use Google Earth to map out my route on the Esplanade, and tomorrow I will go out and run a decent milage. There are no excuses anymore.

As always, Run fasterest.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Need for Speed

My training schedule has been thrown off a bit, due mainly to my ROTC obligations.

This doesn't mean I haven't been training.

On Friday, for a bit of sport I led the Alpha ability group in a four mile run.

In the Army, we divide soldiers into groups based on ability for physical training. The fastest group, Alpha, usually runs a two mile course in 13 minutes or less.

Most of my guys ran the two mile in 12 or less.

For those of you who missed my last post, I only ran in 13:49.

Needless to say, these guys were booking it.

We maintained a pace of 6:50 for all four miles, which for me meant a solid run at 80% speed for nearly a half hour. When we finished, I felt great, despite the pain in my chest and legs.

My ankle still works, which is even better.

Tomorrow I will strap water to my back and tape to my nips and run 16 miles at a pace of 9 minutes per mile. This will get me back into the workout proper, though I have some catching up to do.

Until then...

Run fasterest.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Fitness Time

The Army Physical Fitness test is a combination of three events employed to evaluate the general physical strength and endurance of a soldier.

The three events are:

The push-up event.

The sit-up event.

The two-mile run.

For the first two events, each soldier has two minutes to complete the workout and must maintain good form throughout.

The third event is excatly what it sounds like.

The maximum score you can reach is 300, with 100 in each event. For three years I have been trying to get there, but my run has always held me back.

This year will be different.

I say "will" because today's PT test did not go so differently. That isn't to say I didn't do well.

I scored 100% in the push-up event with a score of 79, 100% in the sit-up event with a score of 89, and my overall run time was 13:49, 88%.

A score of 288/300 ain't too shabby, considering I haven't been practicing for real speed with my workouts.

What this test taught me is a change I will employ in my own training.

My target pace for the speed workouts has been 3:33 per 800m, or about a 7:06 mile.

From now on, I shoot for a 6:20 mile or faster.

School calls, and I have sushi waiting for me to eat it.

Run fasterest.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Guess Who's Back

I woke up today and had a mission.

I was going to run.

It has been nearly a week and a half since an injury left me unable to run my key workouts. My ankle has since started to heal, and I have been itching to try it out.

Today was the day I scratched.

I didn't want to overdo anything, so this was an experimental lactica threshold run.

I ran a mile at an 8:55 pace, making sure my form was perfect. I sped up and ran two and a half miles at an 8:00 pace, pushing myself to maintain form. Finally, I jogged home (about another mile) and stretched out.

The verdict?

My ankle feels fine, the foot is working properly, and I am officially back in this thing.

I want to thank all of you for the words of support on my first (and b''h last) injury during training. I'm going to be taking an Army Physical Fitness Test on Monday, so I'll let ya'll know how I do. Part of the test is a two mile run (I'm aiming for 13:30).

As always, run fasterest.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Adding Hurdles to a Marathon

It would appear I have a stress fracture.

These are minor inconveniences compared to traumatic fractures, and can heal relatively quickly giving enough time and space. Sure, they hurt as though someone ran a hot iron through my foot, but I can still walk.

I will say that it takes an awful lot to bring me down. I have a stubborn will and often go past the point of physical safety when it comes to injuries.

This is something I won't play with.

About two years ago I had the same injury, and I tried to keep running. I nearly turned a semi-serious injury into a really serious one. Surgery was the option had I continued to pester the finicky appendage.

So I'm taking some time off from running, doing cross training and weight exercises instead. I've been moving into my new place for the past week (yes, it takes that long) so I haven't been able to post anything, but I will get back on the horse soon enough.

I am a little more apprehensive about the martahon now, as I am missing key workouts. I will still fly to Vegas in December--the tickets are already in the mail--and I will have no other way to get from the start to the finish.

I'll just have to run.

In the army, they say that you can plan for months and months and have it all go to hell in the span of two seconds, just enough time to say "Oh" and "crap." When that happens, you use your training, get flexible, and continue driving on.

The battle doesn't stop because your plan didn't work.

I'm still gonna run a marathon iinside of 15 weeks. The mission ain't over yet.

Run fasterest, ya'll, and thanks for the support.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Oh Crap

So it's Thursday, a day I should be feeling very good about.

This Wedensday I found out I was going to be the S-3 for the Charles River Battalion.

That means nothing to you, so let me translate: I am in charge of ALL training for Boston ROTC cadets. It means long hours, no credit, and lots of angry officers trying to rip me a new one.

But it means the cadre here thinks I can handle it, which makes me very happy.

Unfortunately, I did not do my Key Workout Two, the medium run.

Yesterday, during my cross training, I felt my ankle twinge. I was unable to complete my cross training as my ankle starting to worsen, almost swelling.

I spent the night elevating and icing my ankle, my today it was still sore and tender during quick movements. This meant I did not run my 7 miles.

But I am not about to give up. I'm going to run tomorrow, come hell or high water. If worse comes to worse, I will wrap my foot in steel bands so it won't hurt (as much) and run my freaking run.

I don't want to increase the injury, so I'm going to give it plenty of rest tonight, but this worries me a bit.

If I fail to make my run tomorrow, I can try to run on Saturday, which will mean I'll push my LONG run (17 miles) to Monday, and pick up with the training, only missing out on two days of cross training.

I intentionally kept a cushion in my training in case this happened, so I don't think is going to screw me, but it isn't very pleasant.

In any case, I must rest. I have a move in day from hell coming up.

Run fasterest.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Well That's a Fine Sensation

I often ignore problems until they become something of a critical issue.

Case in point, I had a sore ankle about two years ago. I thought it was just overstressed, and figured that pretending it didn't exist would make the whole thing better.

You can imagine what happened next.

Actually, some of you might not have the best imaginations, so let me guide you along.

I was running a two-mile sprint with my ROTC buddies when my right foot suddenly exploded. Not literally, but enough so that I fell down.

My friends thought I'd tripped, but my foot had just stiffened up and decided pain was the new craze. I thought I'd broken my foot.

And I was close.

I had a hairline fracture running through my foot, and I let it get worse and worse by continually running on it.

Since then, I take better care of injuries, or at least ones involving similar pain.

Today I ran my fourth key workout, the speed workout. Here was the goal.

4 x 800 meters @ 3:33

Here's what happened.

I had a stomach issue, which increased my DPD to near deadly levels (with a Rosenstein Scale of 2). I ignored it, figuring that eating my roommate's spicy chili would calm down my tumultuous tum.

And again, I was wrong.

I ran my first half mile without a hitch, taking a 2 minute breather in between. The second half-mile was nearly the same speed. Around this time, I felt like my stomach had exploded.

I laid down and did lamaze for a few minutes until my contractions were back down to three centimeters (if that's HUGE, forgive me. I don't know pregnancy so well)

I got my music back on and ran another halfer, but again, my stomach wanted to run too (and you can guess what else was thinking about "runs")

After nearly ruining one of my ever dwindling pairs of running shorts, I felt well-enough to run one last time.

Now, I've been trying to max my PT test with the Army for three years. The run has always been my Achillies Heel. The fastest I ever ran two miles was 13:40.

I thought about how badly I wanted to run faster, and I tore off down the track, Slipknot's "My Plague" blasting in my head.

And damn if I didn't shave ten seconds off my time.

Here's the breakdown.

1 - 3:21
2 - 3:23
3 - 3:25
4 - 3:13

I am going to tend to my stomach, and the massive chafe that has occured in secret since my 13-mile jog.

Just a heads-up: I'm going to be away for the next few days, so my posts on my cross training and second key workout might be delayed until Friday, but I guarantee to do them.

Stay motivated, run fasterest.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

My Old Man Knees

I have the knees of an 80-year-old man.

This is something I've come to terms with. I understand my arthritic joints and they, in turn, cause me massive pain as often as possible.

Usual I push through the aching and stiffness and make my body work for me.

With a half-marathon, not so.

Today I ran my third key workout today, the 13 mile, half marathon run at a pace of 9:16.

I began today by waking up late, which is basically the usual way I start any day. I got out of bed by 8 and had my gear ready twenty minutes later. I ate a gel power pack (which actually gave me a little boost) and headed out with a camelback and an iPod full of music.

From my start point on the Esplanade (along the Charles River) I started jogging, probably ahead of my pace by about five seconds. I got lost a few times, taking turns I didn't need and crossing the river twice.

After about an hour, I turned around, realized I'd gone a bit too far. I passed my brother running his own speedy pace, with girlfriend Amy skating alongside.

We both agreed that running in 88 degrees and 70% humidity was not the best move.

As I finished up my run, my knees decided to explode. I had to stop a few times, walking off some painful IT Band stretches.

Still, stretching never felt so good, and the reheated lo mein I'm eating right now is hitting the freaking spot.

Now let's see how it all feels tomorrow.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

My Ass is Sore

Better late than never, that's what I say.

I missed my cross training on Friday due to a packing situation. Basically I had to pack and found myself buried under an avalanche of boxes and clothes.

Today I went down to the gym with the idea that I would conquer the damn rowing machine. I had thought it all out in my mind and had a solid gameplan.

I would get on the machine and work out.

OK, so it wasn't a soild gameplan, but it was a plan, and I do play games, so I guess it all works out.

I spent 25 minutes on a quick weight workout, making sure I let my shoulders rest for the rowing. After working up a good sweat, I sauntered over to the machine and set out to claim my victory.

The machine put up a damn solid fight.

Here's how I broke it down:

3 minutes easy row (34 s/m) followed by one minute hard (44 s/m)
I repeated this in two 10 minute sets, making sure I was working hard enough to keep my ehart pounding.

Afterwards I had a serious ache in my glutemous region.

I finished the day with an ab murder session and some light stretching.

Now I get to look forward to my first long run tomorrow, the 13 miler.

Lord have mercy on me.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Too Easy

Today I ran my second Key Workout.

Surprisingly, I'm not dead. In fact, I feel pretty damn good.

This is the first time I've been excited for an exercise program. Usually I'll be motivated for a day or two, and then realize that working out means getting up early and not eating the foods I want.

But this morning I felt so good that I can't help but get excited.

I started out with a light jog to the running track, about three quarters of a mile away.

I ran two miles at an easy 8:46 pace, which will be my pace for the marathon this December. I actually felt like I could run faster for this portion of the training, but I wanted to pace myself.

Next I sped up, moving to a 7:54 mile. I ran one mile at exactly this pace, feeling a little bit tired as I rounded the curve. On the second 7:54 mile, I felt lighter, almost better than before. I didn't realize I was speeding up until I looked at my watch.

I ran the fourth mile in 7:30.

I slowed down, returning to my 8:46 pace for the last two miles of this six mile run. After the final lap, I jogged home, making the whole trip about seven miles, or just over a quarter marathon.

And what freaks me out is how good I feel right now. I've had endorphines after a workout before, but this is great. And the idea of running a marathon is starting to seem less scary than before.

Today I feel like a champion. Granted, we have a big run on Sunday, and that could make or break this regiment.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Et Tu, Snooze?

Let's assume, for a moment, I am a naturally lazy person.


Now imagine I have terrible sleeping habits, mainly due to the fact that I seem to be the only person within a million miles of Earth who has any knowledge about all the things with which my friends have problems.

Basically people call me at two in the morning asking for help.

Today began my first cross training workout. The program I am on for this marathon dictates three days of intense running with two days of cross training, allowing the legs to rest up for the next run.

I decided, as a soldier and someone who wants to look good at the beach, that some weights were in order.

But my alarm clock had other ideas.

About a year ago (give or take) my alarm was unplugged, and I have yet to reprogram the damn thing. I use my cell phone as my alarm, with the Mario Bros. theme as my alarm.

It's worked so far.

But this morning I just could not be motivated from my sweet slumberous bed.

I must have hit the snooze a dozen times.

I finally got up around 8 and decided to get to the gym. This would have been easier if my contacts had decided to fit in my eyes correctly. Instead, they made a fuss and tried to dig their way out the back of my cornea.

After inventing some new swear words (one involves ramming a mountain through the small end of a dolphin's mother--don't ask) I started off to the gym, school ID in hand.

I should add something here: At my school, you have one ID for all the things you need to do, like go to class, the gym, the book store, and the convenience store. Should you lose this ID, you're SOL.

I have about five IDs, all "lost" at some time or another because I have a brain like a target at a shotgun testing facility. I brought one of the deactivated IDs to the gym and spent five minutes discussing how "silly and fun" it was that it had happened with a rather unkempt woman who smelt of burnt ambition.

Finally I started a simple weight workout. This went fine, until I moved on to my cross training. I tried rowing.

Yes, I sat down at a machine and pretending to row a boat. And let me tell you: rowing is damn hard. I nearly blew out my lungs trying to maintain a good pace. I was dying by five minutes and dead by ten.

I moved on to the bikes, because I figured an easier workout done longer is better than a heavy workout never done. I biked at 90 rpm with some medium resistance for a half hour, making sure I dripped sweat all over the place, before finally limping off to go home.

All in all, I feel pretty worked out, so I think I accomplished my goal for today. Tomorrow, a moderate run at a moderate pace.

Bring it on.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sweaty Gnut Sak

Hello all.

Welcome to another blog by another guy, in this case me.

I'll skip the introduction, since you can find that in the top right corner and I don't want to insult your intelligence any more than my insane ramblings (to follow) will.

Today I began training for my first ever marathon. I'm using the Pierce, Murr and Moss book Run Less, Run Faster.

I think that I am in pretty good shape, all things considered. I have several reasons for such assumptions.

- I am in the army, and train excessively throughout the year.

- I was a wrestler in high school and had unending endurance.

- I am stubborn, and I feel that quality is in some way athletic.

So you can understand how it feels to have my ass handed to me by three simple miles.

Today I ran what is called Key Workout #1 for week 16 (the weeks count backwards to marathon day). I did a 10 minute warm-up, followed by three miles as a solid pace, finishing off with another 10 minutes cool-down.

Here's what happened.

My intended pace was 7:21 per mile.

First Mile: 7:27

I started off great, but around the third quarter-mile my compression shorts started sliding down a bit. My running shorts were resting comfortably on my hips, but my undershorts found their way to my knees. I can't explain how, but it happened.

Second Mile: 7:32

Now I'm running ten seconds behind my pace time and I'm sucking wind. I start to think I can't perform these workouts as intended and I'm getting very demotivated.

Third Mile: 7:21

I get pissed off at the track, the wind, and my own failing lungs and go balls out for 4 minutes. I realized I'd covered more track than before and slowed down to a more manageable pace and finished right on time.

After my cool down I realized just how sweaty I had become. It was pretty serious.

I have at least proven to myself that I can make the pace, if only once. Now I need to make that my only pace.

And I need new shorts.