Friday, December 30, 2005

Colorado visit: Glorious to ski, yet difficult to run

Here's a look back at the last few days spent visiting my family in Colorado for Christmas...

Mon, 12/26

I ate a ton on Christmas Day. Sometimes, I just can’t quit eating and drinking. We ate at 2:30 PM on Christmas. I shoveled it in to the point that I did not eat again until the next day. Thankfully, we had a brisk walk in the evening to help offset my feast.

On to Monday - As a nice break from running, we went skiing at Arapahoe Basin, or “A-Basin”, as it is called in the area. It was gorgeous weather and the conditions were outstanding. I love to ski. It is simply something I do not get to do enough. Downhill skiing in the Rockies is definitely a different kind of workout than banging out mileage.

What was fascinating is how a runner in my condition can be rendered breathless at 12,500 feet of mountain elevation in a matter of seconds. Seriously, we exited the chairlift on a couple of occasions and had to work up an incline to get to the run we wanted to ski, and I was completely winded after 10 seconds of work. What gives?

Tue, 12/27

For my first run in the Denver ‘burbs, I was planning to do between 5 and 6 miles to try to get adjusted to the altitude. The weather in Denver seemed perfect – better than perfect. In fact, the high hit 60 degrees and the sun was beaming. As I got going, however, I was surprised by the high winds. I ran locally around the main roads in Littleton and completed just over 5 miles.

TIME: 39:38 -- DIST: 5.13 – PACE: 7:41

Wed, 12/28

For this day, I had planned to knock out a tempo 9-miler, as my Intermediate Training Plan called for. I used to plan a circuit around the Littleton area. It really is a beautiful place to run – and to live, for that matter. Surrounded by mountains, the sun has an intensity and brightness that you cannot get on the East Coast. The town of Littleton is just developed enough to have nice, wide sidewalks – yet underdeveloped in that the congestion does not exist in the residential sections.

For the first six, I was doing quite well and had believed that I was getting into form in Denver. Then, I hit some sort of wall. I turned onto Wadsworth Ave to head back toward my sister’s, and “crash”… the wind was 20+ MPH and I was climbing uphill. I started to chug and slow. It was brutal. I was out of gas. The first six miles, I did at 7:32. I did my last two miles at 8:49 per minute, if that’s any indication of the struggle.

When I hit my sis’s subdivision again, I wasn’t even worried about completing the full 9 miles. I decided it was an off day and turned in slightly early.

Factors, reasons (or excuses, if you please) for my difficult finish on Wednesday:

(1) Elevation – Like or not, running at 5,000 feet is not the same as running at sea level if you are not used to it.
(2) Diet – I was eating like crap and drinking a lot of beer. My habits are fairly poor during holiday times. For the prior evening’s dinner. I had two chili dogs topped with onions and cheese, and washed that down with a half of bag of chocolate covered espresso beans – not to mention the 5 or 6 beers I crushed. How’s that for a champion runner supper? On Monday night, I polished off a bunch of pizza after skiing and (of course) several more beers with my bro-in-law.
(3) Fatigue – I think the skiing on Monday and run the day before took more out of me than I realized.
(4) Wind – It was gusting 20-25 MPH as I hit the major incline back. It was really ridiculous trying to battle Mother Nature.
(5) Poor sleep – Jen & I crashed in the basement on an overly firm queen.

The ending of this run sucked my confidence. I pouted privately with the usual remarks to myself… “I need to take better care of myself”.

TIME: 1:05:24 -- DIST: 8.27 – PACE: 7:54

Interesting upon reviewing my two runs was that my average heart rate for my two runs was in the range of 160-165 bpm. I am typically in the 153-155 range with prior runs in Connecticut.

In closing, I decided to rest on Thursday morning – as opposed to trying to squeeze in a run before heading to airport to return home. I needed it.

Fri, 12/30 – Six miles
Sat, 12/31 – Easy 3-miler
Sun, 1/1 – Hard10-miler – Try to push toward race pace when possible

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Long 14-miler - A Rocky Mountain Christmas


Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas Eve!

Today was my long run day. I cranked out a total of 14 miles in my town of Norwalk, CT. I had a great night’s sleep. I was amazed when I woke up at 9:00 AM after going to bed at 11:00 PM. I needed the rest for this run.

WEATHER REPORT – UNBELIEVABLY WARM AND BEAUTIFUL! At 10:30 AM, it was about 45 deg and sunny when it kicked off my run. It was great to wear shorts again. I think it hit about 50 when I was mid-way through my run.

FIRST 7-MILES – TIME: 53:19 – PACE: 7:37

Route overview: Wolfpit - Partrick – Cranbury – Newtown – back way up to Mohawk – south on Grumman to Toilsome – Sherwood – Grumman – Newtown south to Dry Hill – Princeton – Mark – Then added on 1 mile to Murray past Overbrook – and then back home

BREAK – I needed to head into the house to re-hydrate, use the bathroom and replace the dying battery of my Polar footpod. Not sure if the new battery is all the reliable, since I noticed on the second half that the watch was having trouble maintaining the signal. As a result, my back half mileage was slightly off.

SECOND 7-MILES -- TIME: 53:39 – PACE: 7:40

Route overview: Wolfpit to Rte 1 – Dry Hill – Newtown – Grumman all the way up over the Merrit to Bayne St for .5 miles – then back down to Grumman – Toilsome – Sherwood – Overbrook – Surrey – Add on Silwen Ct – Wolfpit – Add on past the house and back in.

TOTAL: 14 miles – 1:46:58 – EST PACE: 7:39

The hillly incline up Bayne St was a killer. I deserve some credit for elevation on this run. Overall, I felt pretty good. I probably had another 2-3 miles in me at this pace. Progressing very well this year considering it’s week 7.

MILEAGE WEEK-TO-DATE: 33 – Not sure if I will run tomorrow on Christmas. May try to sneak in a short 3-miler to keep the legs warm.


Later in the day, we drove to Hartford and caught a plane to Denver. We will be spending Christmas at my sister’s.

A day of black diamond skiing is lined up for this next week’s cross-training!

That’s right, my bro-in-law and I are hit the mountain on Monday. I am psyched. I am willing to bet the serious marathoners out there will tell me I am crazy and risking injury to do some serious skiing mid-training. Sorry guys, I can’t pass this up. Wish me luck.

Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Cranked out a 9-miler in the midst of a workday

Do you know what I realized today? My life is easy. I mean, seriously, what major problems do I have in my life? Virtually none.

It was in the midst of my 9-miler at 12:30 PM that these thoughts hit me over the head. It's not like I have not realized I am blessed before, but I think about this a lot lately.

I work for a major consumer products company -- in the adult beverages industry. Yes, that's right -we make alcoholic beverages. It's a great gig. I am doing pretty well there for my experience level. I love what I do. I work in a fun company. Somehow, I have been able to balance my running, job, interests all without any major difficulty.

Today, for instance, I left my office -- really with no announcement to anybody -- to go to down to our gym and prepare for long 9-miler over my lunch. Why not? It's marathon training, right?

The kicker is that I had a 1PM meeting. So, at around 11:25 AM, how would I drop everything, get dressed for the winter weather, run a 9-miler, catch a shower, and appear for a 1PM meeting?

I pulled it off. OK, maybe I came up slighltly short. My Polar tells me I hit 8.77 miles, but that's no big sweat.

The point is I am 30 years old, happily married, in good health, in a good career, in a good financial situation -- and overall, life could not be better.

By the way, I did my "almost" 9 miles after a late night hockey game last night. I arrived home at 12:10 AM after a 7-5 win. I even pulled off a hat trick.

I need to express the amount of hills that I ran today over lunch. It was crazy elevation here in Norwalk, CT. It was the hardest run I have done in a long while.

I did my run in just over 1:06 -- quite a rapid pace -- given the elevation challenges.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Countdown to Tampa: 68 Days

We're approaching the new year, which is a time of change and resolution. So, I am changing things up. I changed my blog template. This is a new font (Verdana, thank you very much).

And Jen and I are planning to embark on yet another major change. We are planning to re-locate to the Chicago suburbs. It's going to be a sweet deal. I get to keep my plush job with my current company, and just move on over and work from the office there.

So I am trying to keep up with work, celebrate the holidays, keep up the running mileage and begin to sell our house. No sweat, right?


Do you know anyone running this marathon?

As to the running, I managed to escape right in the middle of each of the last two work days. I literally drop everything I am doing, head down to our corporate gym, change into my winter gear and head out.

MON 12/19 -- Yesterday afternoon, I knocked out an easy 3 miles near the office. I learned that it's not a good idea to try to run near the Route 7 connector onramp. I also did some nice stretching.

TUE 12/20 -- Today was a good one. I am estimating my total was 7.2 miles. I ran from work through the back neighborhoods from East Rocks/Caddy area. Quite hilly but pleasant.

My friend, Steve, told me about a cool website called mapmyrun (see my links). It's great. If you want to plan your run in a new area, you can enter your start point and plan your adventure.

It also works out handy if you are running an unknown distance and your Polar distance monitor freezes up (like it did for me today).

Do you know anyone else who cross-trains for marathons with hockey games? I really am curious...

I am going to take a rest from running on Wednesday. BUT, of course, we've got a 10:30 PM hockey game. We're due for a win.

Here's the remainder of the week plan:

  • Wednesday 12/21 - Rest / Late hockey game
  • Thursday 12/22 - 9 miles - Tempo
  • Friday 12/23 - 3 Easy - OPTIONAL - Make a judgement call - May need to rest
  • Saturday 12/24 - 14 miles - Long run - Then fly to Denver
  • Sunday 12/25 - Merry Christimas!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Marathon Training - Week 6 of 16 - 35 miles


Mon, Dec 12

3:20 PM -- Busted out of work for an easy 4-miler. I did an out-and-back to Silvermine.

DIST: 4.0 -- TIME: 29:34 -- PACE: 7:25

Tue, Dec 13

[Note: It is now Mon 12/19 and I am trying to recall this run; I just know I did it because my Polar running computer tells me I did!]

6:33 AM -- Don't remember much about this run. I know it was cold. I know I ran on my usual neighborhood roads.

TIME: 54:51
DIST: 7.0
PACE: 7:50

Thu, Dec 15

11:32 AM - I knew I had to get an 8-miler in today to keep on track this week. I had an appointment at 1PM. I was really proud of myself for this run. I busted out of work to get started around 11:30.

My game plan was to run towards home, dump off any unneeded layers, get a drink and run back to work. It worked out quite well.

It was a bit nippy and I had set a bit of a torrid pace. I ran down Main Ave to Ward St. I took Ward to Cannon to Newtown and then snuck through the back neighborhoods toward my place. I was really pushing the pace on this run. I felt like I was moving quite fast. It was a combination of the cold and the fact that I knew I had to get back to work on time.

After my shower, I had 8 minutes to eat my lunch before my guests arrived. Of course, they were early. I inhaled 1/2 my lunch and then went onto my meeting at 1PM.

EST TIME: 59:00
DIST: 8.0
PACE: 7:22

The pace on this for 8 miles seems a bit agressive, but I was running really fast. Need to continue to monitor accuracy of the Polar's distance calculator.

Sat, Dec 16

11:12 AM - Spontaneously broke out to catch a 4-miler. Out and back to toilsome via Grumman. Nothing special. Kept me on track for the week.

TIME: 29:40
DIST: 4.0
PACE: 7:25

Sun, Dec 17

10:52 AM - I broke this 12-miler into two pieces. The first was a 7-mile trek that took me up to Grumman toward my all-too-familiar training area. However, to change it up a bit, I decided to cross the Merritt and head over to Half Mile and Granite roads. I then came back to Grumman and turned onto Mohawk to complete Mohawk's peak.

The last 5-miler portion was a random route in which I just kept running around the back neighborhoods onto Newtown and Grumman until I could estimate a distance to head back home to get me to 12.

I felt pretty good for most of the run. However, I did get a bit fatigued toward the last couple of miles. I guess it's not surprising to feel tired after about 9-10 miles. However, this was my third time doing this distance in the last few weeks and I had hoped to feel stronger at this point.

TIME: 1:31:20
DIST: 12.0
PACE: 7:41 per mile


  • Mon - 4
  • Tue - 7
  • Thu - 8
  • Sat - 4
  • Sun - 12
  • TOTAL: 35 miles -- GREAT JOB!

    This was a successful week. I even went to a holiday party with Jen. I am doing all the things that I want to be able do while training. Great work/life/run balance!

    Sunday, December 11, 2005

    Week 5 of 16 Recap - 28 miles


    Mon, 12/5

    Had an all-day meeting in Plainfield. My flight was delayed 2.5 hours making me late for my own meeting with a huge number of participants. Way to make a first impression on the President of one of our core suppliers. It was a disaster and I didn’t even have a run today.

    Tue, 12/6

    It was probably about 10 degrees in Burr Ridge at 5:45 AM. I bundled up for this run – to the extent that I was nearly overdressed. I felt like Randy, the kid that gets dressed by his brother, in that movie A Christmas Story.

    However, I got it in. It was cold, but I was warmly dressed.

    TIME: 46:53 -- EST DIST: 6.0 -- EST PACE: 7:48

    Wed, 12/7

    It was –10 wind chill in the Chicago suburbs and my throat was killing me. I had a terrible night’s sleep. I didn’t run. I caught the 2:53 flight back to NY.

    Thu, 12/8

    Had a 9+hour sleep last night. I figured it would be good enough to ease the cold and knock out 7-miles. So I did. It was almost cold as it was in Chicago this week. I nearly underdressed. I definitely had a cold, but I was fighting through it.

    Jen needed to take the train to the city. So I had her drive to the E.Norwalk station. I planned to run a 4-mile distance and meet her there. Well, I took a route up Wolfpit to Murray; then curled down Sylvan North. I cut across Rt 1 and went onto

    It ended up being 5 by the time I got to the train station. I drove the car home and then added on two .

    TIME: 53:04 -- EST DIST: 7.0 -- EST PACE: 7:35

    Fri, 12/9

    It was a productive day at work. I continued to fight through the congestion, the coughing, the flem and the sneezing. I even mustered up enough for a 4-miler in the early evening before our Company party. I got the run in and prepared for the party. By the end of the night, I couldn't even speak. My voice was shot.

    TIME: 31:09 -- EST DIST: 4.1 -- EST PACE: 7:30

    Sat, 12/10

    I took the day off today from doing anything. The plan was to rest up for the long run on Sunday and shake off the cold. It was a great day to do absolutely nothing. It felt good.

    Sun, 12/11

    10:30 AM - I was ready to kick off my 12-miler.

    I decided to break it up into 2 sixes. I did Mohawk's peak. I'm thinking after all these runs that the Mohawk is slightly less than 6 miles. I am thinking it's around 5.9. I was overdressed for the first 6. The sun beat down and the temp pushed close to 40. I had to lose my under-tights and long-sleeve shirt when I arrived back.

    For my second half, I ran thru the back neighborhood to Overbrook then onto Grumman. I took Grumman striaght up almost all the way to Cranbury Park. When the Polar told me I had hit 3, I turned around and went the same exact route back.

    It was a very cool, clear day. I felt better the second six than I did the first. Mission completed.

    EST TIME: 1:31:36 -- EST DIST: 12.0 -- EST PACE: 7:38


    I only had 4 runs this week, but it was a still a decent week. I traveled and didn't let a harsh cold get me down. There was 0 degree weather, 7" of snow, icy conditions and a holiday party.

    12/12 WEEK #6 PLAN

    Mon - 4. Tue - 7 AM / Hockey game at night. Wed - REST. Thu - 8-Tempo. Fri - 4EZ. Sat - REST. Sun - 12.

    Saturday, December 03, 2005

    Week 4 of 16 - 30 miles


    OK, I admit it. I am cheating again. I am finishing this POST on Friday 12/9. It should have been posted by last Sunday. Anyway...

    Monday, 11/28

    6:45 AM -- Had an interesting start to the week. We arrived back from Pittsburgh at around 8PM on Sunday night. I was disciplined to get up on time for a nice 5-miler.

    Only problem was that when I went out to the garage to leave for work, my car was not there! Jen had already left for work 45 minutes earlier. I realized that it had been sitting at work since Wed when Jen picked me up. We had totally forgotten to stop and pick it up on the way home on Sun night. SO... I had no ride to work. Luckily, I had no meetings scheduled and I was able to work from home.

    TIME: 37:56
    DIST: 5.0
    PACE: 7:35

    Tuesday, 11/29

    3:41 PM - Escaped from the office - Ran in Silvermine. That's all I remember.

    TIME: 38:43
    DIST: 5.1
    PACE: 7:35

    Thursday, 12/1

    1:40 PM - AGAIN, Escaped from the office - Ran in Silvermine. I took a different path on this day. I ran up and around the Silvermine Tavern. That's where we had our Procurement Holiday Dinner. Nice commitment after a bit of a late dinner last night.

    TIME: 46:23
    DIST: 6.1
    PACE: 7:35

    Friday, 12/2

    6:45 AM - I decided to try the "repeats" thing. I went to the Norwalk HS track. I also wanted to take the opportunity to recalibrate my watch.

    I think I counted a total of 15 laps on the 400m track. It was hard to keep track as I kept trying to recalibrate the Polar. Note that the fast pace laps averaged around 1:35.

    TIME: 29 - DIST: 4 miles - EST PACE: 7:15

    Saturday, 12/3

    I needed to get this long run in on Saturday as we had plans all day on Sunday. Surprisingly, I didn't feel that well at the beginning of this run. In fact, I had run a solid two miles to check the calibration of my watch. After I reset my watch to start up again, my next 3 miles were rough. I felt really fatigued and had to walk a bit. It was a really busy week of work and maybe yesterday's speedwork was catching up with me. I got back to the house after about 5 miles; re-hydrated and felt pretty good the rest of the way.

    TIME: 1:17:13 -- DIST: 10.0 miles -- EST PACE: 7:45

    Sunday, 12/4

    No running today, but it is worth noting that after a trek to NYC, and doing some major beer drinking in the bars - I was still able to muster a strong 4-goal performance in our 7-1 hockey game victory. Not a bad week. Not bad at all.

    Monday, November 28, 2005

    Week 3 of 16 Recap - 30 miles


    Tue, Nov 22

    3:45 PM – Company Gym treadmill

    In case anyone is wondering, I hate running on treadmills. It’s a depressing activity. The monotony of running in place in stuffy gym with the distant view of reality TV shows is not my idea of a productive workout.

    In fact, even at distances less than 4 miles, my performance on treadmills is significantly inferior than my outdoor workouts. It’s an overwhelming psychological barrier for me starting up that ‘mill.

    Monday was a day of non-stop rain, temps in the high 30’s, and Gale force winds. I was not going to risk pneumonia to go outside (although I did consider it). So, I reluctantly resorted to the necessary evil.

    TIME 39:55
    DIST 5.2
    PACE 7:41

    Wed, Nov 23

    6:40 AM – Mohawk’s Peak + Toilsome add-on

    I was determined to get in a 7-miler before we embarked for the long holiday weekend. The weather had taken a turn for the better.

    I was really tired from yesterday afternoon’s inside run. I could feel it.

    By the time the long evening car ride set in – in the snow and heavy traffic, I may add, my legs were a bit sore.

    TIME 54:00
    DIST 7.0
    PACE 7:43

    Thu, Nov 24 – Arrive at In-laws – Thanksgiving Day

    We stayed at hotel in Dubois, PA on Wed night, since the roadways were just to slow for us to make it. We arrived at the in-laws around 10:30 AM. There would be no running on this day. The brisk wind, snow and ice and family time requirements made sure of that. I stuffed my face on Thanksgiving and prepared myself for a solid Friday run.

    Fri, Nov 25

    12:07 PM – Peters Township, PA running trail – 20 degrees / 9 degrees WXC

    The terrain on the trail was a bit icy with snow. The Peters trail has at least a 2-3% grade heading in the eastbound direction. I was pleased with my pace given yesterday’s feeding frenzy and the dangerous conditions.

    TIME 1:00:02
    DIST 7.7
    PACE 7:48

    Sat, Nov 26

    3:27 PM - North Park – Wexford, PA

    I think North Park in Pittsburgh is possibly my favorite place to train. I’ve not found a park like it in Connecticut. The 5-mile loop is scenic, safe, well marked and the perfect distance to log some serious mileage with loops. There is a heated public bathroom and really no worries to dump the car for a couple hours while knocking out some miles.

    That is why I made the 40 minute drive north from the in-laws; just so I could visit the park and get in a strong 10-miler. I was glad that I did. I had an excellent run.

    I need, again, to recalibrate the Polar. It seemed on the first 5-mile lap to be right in sync with the mile markers. But on the second lap, it seemed to be logging miles at a very slightly higher rate than the markers. Also, for the first time, the heart rate monitor did not detect my heart rate as soon as I started it up. I didn’t take the time to get it working, so I am not sure if the problem is easily solved.

    TIME 1:17:00
    DIST 10.3
    PACE 7:28

    I feel great about these back-to-back days of running, given Jen’s High School reunion on Sunday night and going out again on Saturday.

    Sunday – Return back to Connecticut

    I earned a day’s rest – and not worrying about running on the long car ride home on the overly crowded interstates.

    Tue - 5
    Wed - 7
    Fri – 7.7
    Sun – 10.3
    Total: 30

    Sunday, November 20, 2005

    Week 2 of 16 Recap - 28.2 miles


    Tuesday, 11/15/05

    TIME: 38:54
    EST DIST: 5.0
    EST PACE: 7:47

    6:44 AM - I have to say that I felt awful today. It was a poor run. Simply had one of those days where I couldn’t get the vibe. Felt sluggish. Had an upset stomach. I couldn’t wait to be done. Plus the Polar had a glitch in recording. Said I did an 11:58 first mile? No way.

    This is a busy week, too. Have a three-day Category Management training session ; not too mention the LE1 Validation and Project work to keep up on!

    Oh well, it was a start. We got home pretty late on Sunday night from Chicago and I was tired to start the week.

    Wednesday, 11/16/05

    6:42 AM – Trying to improve upon yesterday. Felt a little better, but it was still a sluggish run.

    TIME: 40:49
    DIST: 5.2
    PACE: 7:50

    Friday, 11/18/05

    Had an excellent night’s sleep. I think I was simply exhausted earlier in the week. Today’s pace was far more similar to what I am used to. Was proud of myself. Got to bed early on Thurs night. Got up at 5:55 AM. Had a strong 7-miler, breakfast and made it to Vince Murphy's office for a meeting at 8AM. How's that for discipline?

    TIME: 51:47
    DIST: 7.0
    PACE: 7:23

    Saturday, 11/19/05

    Just wanted to catch up this week. It was a nice fall day. Had an easy run around the back neighborhood.

    TIME: 29:26
    DIST: 4.0
    PACE: 7:21

    Sunday, 11/20/05 – Mohawk’s Peak plus add-on at Toilsome

    12 NOON - Picture perfect weather. 49 degrees and sunny. I rocked this run. Ran amazingly well considering I felt a bit hung over. What a kick-ass run. Today’s run was supposed to be a RACE so I pushed the pace intentionally. Great run. Great job keeping achieving the target for the week.

    TIME: 48:17
    DIST: 7.0
    PACE: 6:54



    11/21 WEEK - RUN PLAN

    • Mon - Rest - travel to Cincy
    • Tue - AM 7Wed - AM 4 - Drive to PIT evening
    • Thu - PIT - T-Giving - May rest - play football - decide 4 today or Sat
    • Fri - AM 6
    • Sat - Open - 4 if needed
    • Sun - AM - 9 LSD
      TOTAL : 30

    Sunday, November 13, 2005

    Week 1 of 16 Recap - 24 miles


    I again spent the week in Chicago to work at the Plainfield office. This week was especially significant because Jen came on Thursday evening. Our plan was to really determine whether or not we should make the move to the area. With all of the daily challenges of work and deciding if we should make this huge move, I still had to knock out some mileage.

    Tue 11/8 – Burr Ridge, IL

    I went to bed very early at the Marriott on Monday night – like 8:45 Central time. It was great. I was exhausted from a long Monday. We had a hockey game on Sunday night and I had to pack late.

    I rocked out this run with a retro 90’s mix of Use Your Illusion 1 & 2 by G’n’R. The Polar said I did a 52:40 for 7 miles.

    TIME 52:40
    DIST 7.0
    PACE 7:31

    Thu 11/10 – Naperville, IL

    I was really proud of myself for getting out early for this run. I had a terrible night’s sleep. We had a super late dinner with Oli and the PLT. It was fricken’ ridiculous. I need to learn to say “NO” to these late on-the-road engagements. It screws me up for the next day. We also had a late dinner on Tuesday night that knocked me out for Wed AM.

    Anyway, despite getting to bed at 11:15 PM and waking up at 4AM with sleeplessness, I managed to push myself out the door for a brisk 4. The weather was ultra-chilly, but exhilarating. I ran from the Courtyard Marriott toward downtown Naperville and back. I got in the run on a poor night’s sleep and was at the office by 7:50 AM.

    TIME 28:04
    DIST 4.0
    PACE 7:01

    Fri 11/11 – Naperville, IL

    Jennifer arrived on schedule at O’Hare in the evening. I picked her up in the rental Camry and we headed to the Naperville TGI Friday’s for a quick dinner. I had an Oriental chicken salad and iced tea. I was in bed by 9:30 at the Courtyard. I was awake at 5:50 AM for another cool morning of running.

    TIME 44:07
    DIST 7.0
    PACE 7:23

    Sun 11/13 – Aurora/North Naperville, IL

    We spent most of Saturday exploring the housing market with Lisa; the person who I suppose is our new realtor. For Saturday night, I put us in a Red Roof Inn at I-88 and 59. We went to the city on Sat night. The commute was atrocious. The rain had something to do with it I am sure, but it was 90-100 minutes to downtown. After the drive and some walking around, we had a nice Thai dinner. We were on our way back shortly thereafter.

    In the morning, I headed out around 9:30 AM on Diehl from IL-59. The Gale force winds were crazy intense. I crossed over I-88 and looped around back over IL-59 to the Aurora Running Trail.

    TIME 51:09
    DIST 7.0
    PACE 7:18

    Tue - 7
    Thu - 4
    Fri - 6
    Sun – 7
    Total: 24

    Week #1 is successfully complete. The Intermediate plan I am following called for 5 runs for a total of 25 miles, but I feel good about getting in 4 solid runs with everything going on this past week.

    The news is that it looks like this blog will eventually change names to “Ryan’s Suburban Chicago Run Blog”. Jen says she’s ready to make the move – so it appears I will have yet another set of activities to keep me busy as I train for Tampa.

    Sunday, November 06, 2005

    Recap of 10/31/05 week / 24 miles total

    Note: I am way behind in posting. I wrote this on Sunday but never got it up; so I am back dating by three days.

    Tue, 11/1/05

    Received my new Polar device. Opted not to run today given an evening hockey game. Recovery needed from the game and the 10 miles over the weekend

    Wed, 11/2/05

    4:45 PM – Ran from work to Silvermine

    TIME: 38:05

    EST DIST: 5.0
    EST PACE: 7:37

    Jennifer’s Birthday was on this day. Did not have time to calibrate the Polar speed/distance monitor.

    Thu, 11/3/05

    2:40 PM – Exact same path as yesterday - Silvermine

    TIME: 37:56

    EST DIST: 5.0

    EST PACE: 7:35

    Still had not calibrated the Polar speed/distance monitor.

    Fri, 11/4/05


    Sat, 11/5/05

    9:06 AM start – after calibrating the Polar

    Began at Norwalk HS and went up County Road to William St. Ran around Norwalk south of 95 and back up East Ave to Rte 1. Then back over toward the HS. Kept adding on to get to a total of 7.

    TIME: 49:32 + 800m track to calibrate device
    DIST: 7.0
    PACE: 7:35

    Sun, 11/6/05

    8:00 AM – Quick 3 in the backyard neighborhood.

    I’m finally getting the hang of it when it comes to using my Polar RS200sd to record my workouts. It’s a great tool.

    TIME: 21:18
    DIST: 3.0
    PACE: 7:06


    Mon: 4
    Tue: R – Hockey game
    Wed: 5
    Thu: 5
    Fri: R
    Sat: 7
    Sun: 3 – Hockey game
    TOTAL: 24

    The official Marathon Training Regimen begins tomorrow on Monday, November 7, 2005. Tampa Marathon is 112 days away from today (exactly 16 weeks).

    Monday, October 31, 2005

    4-miler at lunch - Marathon prep begins


    Marathon preparation has begun. Amazing to think about the effort required to get out a knock out 4 miles at lunch during a workday, when 17 weeks from now I'll be gutting out 26.2 in Fla.

    Today was as picture perfect as weather can get this time of year. Really makes you glad to be alive. Mid-60's, sunshine everywhere and the natural spectacle of the beautful fall foliage.

    Norwalk - 11:50 AM. I took a there-and-back path down Main /Ward to France.

    • TIME: 31:10
    • EST PACE: 7:25
    • EST DIST: 4.2

    Exciting techie news... I received my Polar RS200sd in the mail from today. (How amazingly quick!). This tool will guide my training over the course of the next 17 weeks.

    Sunday, October 30, 2005

    MARATHON ANNOUNCEMENT - Heading to Tampa!


    After months of contemplation, I finally made the commitment to run my SIXTH marathon in six conesecutive years. I've committed to run the 2006 Tampa Marathon on Sunday, February 26, 2006.

    I have purchased the airfare, reserved the hotel room. Just need to submit my registration.

    Current Marathon PR: 3:23:55 -- Houston, 1/16/05
    Target for 2006 Tampa Marathon: 3:20:00

    This will make for one of my most challenging training periods for a marathon for a few reasons. One, I am in a Global job that requires quite a bit of travel. Two, the PR's are getting harder and harder to set. Three, we're contemplating a move to Chicago right around the time of this race! Not to mention that Hockey season has started and I need to stay healthy.

    That's what makes fun, however... pushing myself to the limit. Exceling in my job, having fun with my wife, and keeping focused on my marathon goal.

    Let the training begin!


    Saturday, 10/29/05

    Mohawks Peak - beatiful Sat AM run at 9:30 AM. Then headed off to the Breeder's Cup!

    TIME: 44:10
    EST DIST: 6.0
    EST PACE: 7:20

    Sunday, 10/30/05 -- There-and-back to Toilsome via Overbrook

    Jen rode the bike along side me. This was a warm for tonights hockey game. (In face, I gotta go right now!)

    TIME: 30:30
    EST DIST: 4.0
    EST PACE: 7:30


    • Mon: Rest - Rain and hockey night before
    • Tue: 4.1 - Silvermine - Very cold rain!
    • Wed: 5.0 - Grumman/Toilsome path
    • Thu: 4.3 -
    • Fri: Rest
    • Sat: 6.0 - Mohawk's Peak
    • Sun: 4.0 - Up to Toilsome via Overbrook


    Heading off to our 2nd hockey game of the year.

    Thursday, October 27, 2005

    Catching up - It's been a real busy time!

    OK, open admission to the running world...

    I am quite behind in recording my running activities, but then again, my running activities have not been as intense as I would hope. Truth is that the couple of weeks has been a combination of extremely challenging international travel and poor weather.

    Tuesday, 10/18 – Dublin, Ireland

    7AM Dublin local time -- I ran from my hotel in Dublin to a very busy roadway, and felt like I was risking my life as I cross in front of intersections. The weather was cool and quite dull – not a peak of sun in the sky. It short and sweet as I had to get to work.

    TIME: 22:21
    EST PACE: 7:25
    EST DIST: 3.0

    Saturday, 10/22 – Back home in Norwalk, CT – Home, Sweet, Home

    TIME: 37:59
    EST PACE: 7:30
    EST DIST: 5.0+

    Sunday, 10/23 – Short run in Norwalk, CT before hockey game

    6:00 PM - My bro and his little family came over today. They wore me out. We went on a hayride and to the petting zoo at Silverman's Farm in Easton, CT.

    I wanted to go for a warm-up run to close out the week. I knew I needed to keep it short in preparation for the hockey game. I almost got lost in the dark

    TIME: 18:37
    EST PACE: 7:35
    EST DIST: 2.5

    I then headed to our first hockey game of the season, which started at 9:30. I skated reasonably well for the first outing of the season. I opened up the scoring early in the first period with a pretty sweet move around the defenseman. I also scored in the third period. It was a moot point in the way of the team, however, as we went down 7-4.

    While I recognize that 3 runs totaling only 10.5 miles was light, the reality is that the work/travel schedule was absolutely hectic. I just couldn’t control my time. After running in Dublin Tuesday morning, we traveled to London very early on Wednesday morning (took the taxi at 6:15 AM). Conference calls on Monday night went to 9PM. Thursday, we were at the airport in London and had to head to Edinburgh. I arrived back at the hotel very late on Thursday night – 12:15 AM. I was glad to get 7.5 over the weekend.

    WEEK OF 10/24/05

    Monday, 10/24 – Arrived home late on Sunday night and was quite sore from the hockey game. The rain was unstoppable. The weather was awful – high 30’s with wind and unrelenting rain. Opted to hold out for Tuesday.

    Tuesday, 10/25 – Run from office gym to Silvermine, CT

    5PM – Thought I was going to have a pleasant run in cool weather only to run into monsoon type conditions. First 10-12 min were fine as weather was clear. Last 20+ minutes were brutal as rain came down. It was uncomfortably cold, wet and windy. I think I got in about 4, but I didn’t have my watch. I timed my run on my Ipod Nano.

    EST TIME: 32:00
    EST PACE: 7:45
    EST DIST: 4.1

    Wednesday, 10/26 - Morning

    I finally got going at 6:45 after locating my gloves and headband. I need them also. It was cool and clear and a very good run. I felt the best I have felt in the past two weeks. I ran up Wolfpit to Cranbury over to Newtown. I then connected to Grumman via Ellen from Newtown. I did an add-on up Newtown and Toilsome ; and then headed back down my home stretch to Grumman/Overbrook.

    EST TIME: 37:41
    EST PACE: 7:30
    EST DIST: 5.0

    I keep toying with the idea of a marathon. I am about to make a decision on Tampa, which is slated for Feb 26, 2006.

    Thursday, 10/27 – Morning

    7:30 AM – I had a strong morning run in the cool, dark conditions. I cannot wait for the time change this weekend. It is simply too dark in the morning!

    The Ipod Nano is making music listening and running a snap. Just need to invest in some new tunes!

    EST TIME: 32:37
    EST PACE: 7:30
    EST DIST: 4.3

    Sunday, October 16, 2005

    18-mile week / En route to the UK today

    I am writing this entry from the Aer Lingus hospitality lounge at JFK airport. AH, it is nice to fly business class. I am heading to Dublin, Ireland today for work. I am really excited about my first visit to Ireland. I will also fly over to England and Scotland during the week -- and then back to Dublin. But first, I need to recap this week's activities. Wasn't the best week, but that's OK... train keeps a rollin'.

    Mon 10/10 -- Cross Train @ company gym

    OK, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't just a little bit sore from Sunday's Great Train Race. I mean... those HILLS... well, let's just say my quads were just a bit sore for 24-48 hours.

    But I decided to hit the gym to do a little bit of strength training. I'm not pretending that it was an intense upper body workout. But I did get some intensity going and work some muscles other than those in my legs. I did a warm-up on the bike, which was tough with my legs still like jello.

    I was alarmed to see that my training log indicated my last visit was 4+ weeks before! I need to get back the balance of gym vs. running.

    Tue 10/11

    Jen and I stayed up late to watch the Steelers on MNF. They won, which was cool. But it was not cool for any plans of an early AM run. I knew I had a flight Cincinatti at 5PM - so getting in an evening run was a long shot. I rested again on this day and planned for an early morning run in Cincy on Wed.

    Wed 10/12 -- Cincinatti, OH

    I got up, as planned, and headed out aimlessly in the Northwest Cincy corporate area near I-271. It was pitch black when I started at 6:45. Still dark at 7AM. I ran a there-and-back through some corporate back roads along the edge of the Interstate 271 loop that circles around the city. It was a healthy run.

    • TIME: 37:56
    • EST PACE: 7:35
    • EST DIST: 5.0
    Thu 10/13 -- REST

    Cincinatti, OH -- Had a terrible night's sleep in the Hotel. With e-mails piling up and no in-room internet connection, I couldn't get out the door to run.

    Fri 10/14 -- Company Gym Treadmill

    • TIME: 22:30
    • EST PACE: 7:30
    • EST DIST: 3.0

    Boy, do I hate treadmills. But with 9 consecutive days of intense rainfall in the NY/CT area, it was either risk being a flood victim or hop onto the 'mill.

    Sat 10/15 -- Mohawk's Peak

    Excellent morning to run. I needed a good six-miler and I got it. Headed out 8:30 for some gorgeous fall Connecticut scenery.
    • TIME: 44:00
    • EST PACE: 7:20
    • EST DIST: 6.0
    Sun 10/16 - Home in Norwalk

    1:00 PM -- Quick run. Had to get outside and knock out 4 miles before I finished packing for Dublin. Ran in the usual places... Wolfpit to Grumman to Overbrook... etc. I had some speed as I had to get home and get to the airport.

    • TIME: 28:44
    • EST PACE: 7:10
    • EST DIST: 4.0

    SUMMARY -- 18 miles this week. No major accomplishments outside the ordinary this past week. Need to look ahead to a new race.

    Heading to the UK this week may pose some running challenges, but I've got my gear and will go for a few runs. The Mystic 10-mile is on Sunday - one week from today. I'm not prepared to run a race like that with any kind of PR speed, but I may decide to drift out to Mystic if I've got nothing else to do.

    Sunday, October 09, 2005

    GREAT TRAIN RACE! Busy week in Chicago - Total: 19.3

    I knew that this week would be exceptionally challenging for me to achieve a 25-mile week like I had in 3 out of the last 4. I was in Chicago for work from Monday through Friday. I attended group dinners on Tuesday and Wednesday and worked a some long days.

    I didn't hit the 25 mile mark - or even the 20 mile mark for that matter. Nonetheless, I am proud of my week given my professional schedule!

    Mon 10/3

    • TIME: 22:11
    • EST PACE: 7:10
    • EST DIST: 3.1
    Quick morning run around the neighborhood. Knocked out 3 miles in 22:11. Conditions were fast and cool. I am guessing around a 7:10 or so pace. I was glad to get this in.

    Tue 10/4 -- Downtown Chicago run

    I had to work quite late in the hotel on Monday night, so I knew getting in a Tuesday AM run would be really tough. Plane was delayed, which didn't help matters.

    I love Chicago. I was attending a Innovation Team Building Session for a couple of days and had the fortunate opportunity to stay at the Chicago Swissotel. Dinner was scheduled for late on Tues eve, so I checked in around 5pm and headed out for a run. What a marvelous cityscape. I ran from Wacker Drive down to the Lakeshore Dr. bike path. I took this over to the Navy Pier. In my seemingly thousands of trips to Chicago, I had never ventured into the carnivalesque and truly unique commercial district that is Chicago's Navy Pier. I know I couldn't do my visit justice as I dashed from the front end of the pier to the back, but I did my best to take in all the sights in passing.

    Only downside of my run was the daunting humidity and the fatigue that I felt kicking in from five consecutive days of running. Tuesday's high in Chicago was just shy of 90. I did a bit of walking and pausing on my run. I didn't beat myself up over it. It was great to be running out in plain view of Lake Michigan and the skyline. Ohio Street Beach was a place of viewing for me, after which I headed back toward the hotel.

    • TIME: 29:39
    • EST PACE: 8:00
    • EST DIST: 3.7
    Friday 10/7 -- Burr Ridge, IL

    Wednesday and Thursday were a flurry of work activities that keep me unavailable to run -- unless I wanted go down to 5.5 hours of sleep! Thursday eve was a possibility, but I was downright exhausted. I decided it would be best to have a quiet dinner on my own on Thursday night, and then get to bed early for a solid Friday AM run.
    • TIME: 41:47
    • EST PACE: 7:20
    • EST DIST: 5.7
    So, I was out of the city and back into my usual Marriott at Burr Ridge. I was up at 5:55 but I seemingly couldn't get started as quickly as I would have liked. My stomach wasn't sitting well from last night's Mexican dinner! That took an extra 20 minutes to resolve.

    When I did get started, I took a new route in Burr Ridge that almost got me lost. I had pretty solid pace in the cool morning weather. Always can count on the Chicago 'burbs to be pancake flat and good for fast morning runs.

    I was hoping that, despite this light week, that the past couple of solid weeks would get me appropriately prepared for this Sunday's Great Train Race in New Canaan. Saturday's rain was a wash-out. I needed to rest anyway.


    I did the Great Train Race for the 1st time last year and it was a lot of fun. If you enjoy serene views of the best Connecticut's natural beauty has to offer, this is your race. If you don't like hills, don't sign up for this bad boy. It is a killer in terms of hills.

    The objective of the race is to run from the New Canaan train station through the town's residential and extremely private rolling hills to the Wilton Train Station -- all with the hopes of beating the speeding train that starts in sync with the race. The distance is precisely 6.816 miles and the train supposedly takes 55 minutes.

    This is the kind of race that offers hills that nearly force you to a crawl. I don't wear a heart monitor, but I am confident that it would have been blowing up when I peaked at the steepest hill on the course. A couple of the downhill terrains are almost steep enough where you feel like you are going to topple forward, since your quads are tired from climbing the prior hills. I love this race!

    Today's conditions were outstanding. Low 50's with a breeze and moistness on the ground from yesterday's deluge of rainfall.

    Going in, I didn't think I was prepared to beat last year's time. I just didn't feel up to it. What's more, we were out at a friend's party last night at which I was nursin' beers and eating birthday cake. Didn't think it would help my speed.
    Remarkably, I shaved 40 seconds off of my 2004 time.

    • 2004 Great Train Race: 48:04 (7:03)
    • 2005 Great Train Race: 47:24 (6:57)
    Solid week, but I need to get into the gym this coming week to cross-train. (Can't even remember how long it's been since I've done any strength training).

    I do have to travel to Cincy for a couple of days this week, but there should be enough give in the schedule to get a nice mid-week run in. I'm going to target 25 miles with at least one good visit to the Gym.

    Next week will be a thrilling challenge... getting some good running as I travel through Dublin, Ireland and the United Kingdom!

    HANGING QUESTION: What will be my 2006 Marathon?? With Jen and I mulling over a potential transfer to Chicago, I may be enrolled in the Chicago Lasalle Bank Marathon exactly one year from today. Could be tough, since I am a Winter/Spring marathon runner. Who knows... may do one earlier in 2006 also.

    Sunday, October 02, 2005

    Another 25-mile week

    Saturday, 10/1

    Well, I kept my commitment to knock out 3+ yesterday. I darted out at halftime of the MSU vs. U-M game with high hopes that I would come back and watch my Spartys win. I had a nice, quick run. It was warm and sunny. However, I came back to be let down by my team for the 4th year in a row. What a brutal OT lost. Ugh.

    • TIME: 26:45
    • EST PACE: 7:25
    • EST DISTANCE: 3.6

    Sunday, 10/2

    I started out around 9:30AM. Again, very bright and sunny. I did a sort of reverse route of Mohawk's Peak - but added on to go up towards the Elementary School on Knowalot Ln - out to Grumman. Honestly, I felt tired and struggled a bit. But I got it done.
    • TIME: 50:46
    • EST PACE: 7:30
    • EST DIST: 6.8

    I ran 5 times this week for nearly 26 miles. This was outstanding since I did travel and ran two of my early morning runs in Chicago. It's going to be even harder this week. I'll be in Chicago for 4 of the work days this week. Not to mention two of them include group dinners and presumably late nights out.

    I'm going to cut back just slightly this week. My goal is to get in 15-16 miles by Friday. I have the Great Train Race on Sunday and need to rest Saturday.

    Target Plan:
    • MON: 3
    • TUE: 5
    • WED: Rest
    • THU: 4
    • FRI: 5
    • SAT: Rest
    • SUN: 6.8 RACE

    Saturday, October 01, 2005

    15 miles week-to-date / 10 planned for Sat-Sun

    Today is Saturday and I will take a look back at my running this week. I spent the first 3 days of the work week at the Plainfield office.

    Mon, 9/26
    Did not run. I took the 6:00 AM flight out of Westchester to O'Hare. Had time in the evening, but was too tired. Got to bed early at the hotel and planned for an early morning run.

    Tues, 9/27
    Had an excellent 5-miler in Burr Ridge, IL. Beautful morning. Ran from the Marriott to County Line road. Looped through the grid streets of the local neighborhoods and headed back.

    • TIME: 38:30
    • EST PACE: 7:25
    • EST MILEAGE: 5.2

    Wed, 9/28
    Again, had an excellent early morning run in Burr Ridge, IL. Surprisingly, I woke up earlier than planned. I started my run at 5:55 AM. It was still dark when I began. The sun began to rise when I was 1/2 through my planned 4-miler. Beautiful morning.
    • TIME: 30:30
    • EST PACE: 7:25
    • EST MILEAGE: 4.1
    In the afternoon, I then flew home to Connecticut in the evening. Dad was visiting.

    Thu, 9/29
    Thursday, of course, was busy at work. I didn't get up to run on this day, since I had planned to leave early with Jen.

    Fri, 9/30 - MOHAWK'S PEAK
    I wished Dad well as I headed out to run early. Jen was kind enough to drop him off at the train station.

    I continue to surprise myself. I knocked out Mohawk's Peak in 43:08. Looking back to last Saturday 9/24, I've trimmed ANOTHER 32 seconds off.
    • TIME: 43:08
    • EST PACE: 7:11 <-- projected off of assumed 6.0 distance
    • EST MILEAGE: 6.0

    It's just after 10:00 AM here on Saturday. I'll head out for a short 3-miler sometime today. I want to keep it easy. There is the BIG MSU vs. U-M game today at Noon. I have to make a quick decision as to when I will get in this run. I'll start my run at 11:20.

    Tomorrow is an important run for preparation for next week's race. I'm going to run 7 tomorrow. Should be good prep for next week.

    I'll be running the Great Train Race in New Canaan, which is a 6.8 mile jaunt from New Canaan to Wilton. It's hilly and quite challenging.

    Sunday, September 25, 2005

    25-mile week complete (new shoes!)

    I failed to mention in my earlier entry that I started using a new pair of Asics GT-2100 with this week's runs (which began on Tuesday). Please take note!

    Alright, so the truth is that I was a bit hung over today. Jen and I went to a work friend of mine's party last night here in Norwalk. I think we got home around 1:30 AM. We had a really fun time, but I was a bit sluggish this morning from all the keg beer I slugged down. I'm still a little bitter that Tony and I lost in beer pong.

    • TIME: 22:30
    • EST MILEAGE: 3 miles
    • EST PACE: 7:30

    I did keep my commitment to sneak in a 3-miler to get a total of 25 miles for the week. I got outside around 3:40 PM. I think I held a pretty snappy pace, all things considered. OK, it wasn't a big deal -- but I got it done. I ran through the Mark St. area - over to Dry Hill - down to Newtown - and over to Overbrook toward home. Now, it's off to Chicago tomorrow for work, where I hope get in 3 tomorrow evening - and 5 on Tuesday morning.

    Plan for this week:

    • Mon: 3 - afternoon in Burr Ridge, IL
    • Tue: 5 - early morning in Burr Ridge, IL
    • Wed: Rest
    • Thu: 6
    • Fri: 4
    • Sat: Gym visit in the morning
    • Sun: 7


    Saturday, September 24, 2005

    22 miles since Tuesday - EXCELLENT week - New shoes

    I've not yet found the discipline needed to write entries for every single run on the day that I complete them, so here's a recap of this week's activities. I picked up a new pair of Asics GT-2100's after the 10k race last Sunday. I christened them with Tuesday's run and retired my old pair.

    Monday 9/19

    I opted not to run on Monday after that hard-fought 10k on Sunday afternoon. It was good thing, too, because I was enrolled in the Company Golf Outing. I didn’t feel like limping around the course.

    Tuesday 9/20

    TIME: 44:57
    EST PACE: 7:30

    Tuesday morning was brilliant. I identified a new route (well, not really entirely new) that is almost exactly 6 miles. I’ve dubbed it “Mohawk’s Peak”. Here’s a summary:

    I take the very familiar trek from Wolfpit to Rte 1 to Dry Hill. I take Dry Hill to Newtown to Grumman Ave and head up the grade for about 1 mile. Mohawk is just off Grumman Ave and is at the top of the long slow uphill climb of Grumman. Mohawk is basically all downhill and snakes around back to Chestnut Hill, which is nestled along a residential row of houses near the Merritt Parkway. I glide down to Chestnut Hill and then connect back on Cranbury Road, which takes me to Partrick Ave. Partrick connects with Wolfpit and I then take the remaining 1.2 miles back to my home. It’s just about six miles on the nose.

    Wednesday 9/21

    I had a hard time sleeping on Tues night and got up a bit late. I started my run at about 7:30 AM, knowing I would be late to work. That’s OK, I worked late on Tuesday night.

    I did the familiar course of Wolfpit to Partrick to Newtown to Ellen and Grumman southbound down to Overbrook. It was a good 4-miler.

    TIME: 30:00
    EST PACE: 7:30

    Thursday 9/22

    TIME: 44:21
    EST PACE: 7:24

    Temperature was outstanding – about 59 degrees at 6:30AM. I again set out to tackle Mohawks’ Peak. What a great course. I love a good six-mile route. I shaved over 30 seconds off of Tuesday’s run. I was proud to get this in given the all day Global Procurement Event that I needed to attend. It capped off a very strong 3-day program.

    Saturday 9/24

    I took Friday off from running. I felt I deserved it. I slept in this morning til about 9 AM. I think I got damn near 10 hours of sleep. Jen went to work so I was on my own in the morning. I didn’t even hear her get up.

    Fall is definitely here, which is a great thing from my perspective. It was still only 59 degrees at 9:20 AM, when I started my run.

    In fact, I was so rested that I somehow knocked off yet another 40 seconds from Thursday’s time! So, I improved my time on Mohawk’s Peak by 1:17 just since Tuesday! Not to mention I had a pretty good 10K race last Sunday. That makes for four 6+ mile runs in the last 7 days – all at a 7:30 pace or better.

    TIME: 43:40
    EST PACE: 7:12

    Sunday, September 18, 2005

    Race day in Darien / Planning ahead

    Darien 10k Road Race - 1PM
    10k Race time: 44:34 -- Pace: 7:11 per mile

    If you take a look at yesterday's post, you'll see that I beat my goal time in today's race. I set out for 45 min and came in 26 seconds ahead. However, you could call me a bit of a sandbagger since I did run this race last year in 43:00 flat.

    One the one hand, adding 1:34 to my time from last year is a bit of a letdown. On the other hand, considering the 80+ degree temps and my light running this week, I'm OK with where I ended up.
    (Taking a look back, last year's start temp was 63 degrees).

    Today's race was not easy. I felt like I worked for it. First, the start was a bit chaotic. There was no warning of the whistle whatsoever. We're all standing around with no clear idea where the start line was - and when they would actually send us running. Next thing I know, everyone's running. Race organizers need to improve the starting process.

    Miles 1-3 were really no problem. I had clocked 21:15 through three - which was faster than I had planned. Mile 4 was a slow one - about 7:28 - large steep hills - and the heat was catching up with me. I finished pretty strong - the sixth mile was 7:03.

    All in all, it was a pretty good day. I know that I will have to work hard to be ready for the New Canaan Train Race that is 3 weeks away.

    Mileage summary for week

    • Mon: 3.2 in killer heat - damn near 10 min miles
    • Tue: 4 - 30:30
    • Wed-Thu-Fri: Goose-egg
    • Sat: 4 - 30:50
    • Sun: 6.2 race - 43:34
    Total: 17.4 miles

    Planned run schedule for 9/19 week

    • Mon: 4
    • Tue: 5
    • Wed: Rest / X-train
    • Thu: 6
    • Fri: 4
    • Sat: R
    • Sun: 6
    Planned mileage: 25

    Saturday, September 17, 2005

    Call it an "off" week - but driving ahead

    OK, this was not a great week for me in terms of running. There was some factors that made it difficult to get to running. Taking a quick look back…

    Monday 9/12

    Monday was a hot day. I was feeling a bit sluggish Monday morning so I just was not able to get to running. At about 3:30 on Monday afternoon, I headed out from the work gym to try to get a short 3. I had run well on Saturday and Sunday so I wasn't worried about pace. Then I hit the wall of heat. I was tired to begin with, but the heat made the run brutal. I didn’t feel well at all.

    My route took me across Main Ave to the Merritt on-ramp to the subdivision behind the freeway. This is a steep hilly pathway up to Butternut St. I then went out to West Rocks and down to Aiken. Aiken was mostly downhill and connected at Ward.

    Wow, was I struggling. It was hot. I had to walk a number of times. I ran past the Chiropractic Center on Main, whose clock thermometer read 95 degrees. Bad idea to go outside.

    Tuesday 9/13

    I had a bad nite’s sleep on Monday but luckily had a little extra time since our 2-day Procurement Team Celebration didn’t start until 10 AM at the Doubletree Hotel. I knew I was still tired, but I wanted to get this run in knowing that I would not run tomorrow. We planned to have a late night with the Team.

    At 8AM, I ran onto of my usual 4-mile routes. I knocked out a four rather effortlessly in under 31:00.

    Wed-Thurs-Friday – NO RUNNING OR GYM! Too busy at work and recovering from lack of sleep. The Procurement celebration on Tuesday night gave me about 4-5 hours of sleep. Then I had to go out to a business dinner on Wed night.

    Saturday 9/17

    I felt “out of it” so to speak in terms of my readiness to run this morning. Taking a few days off to deal with a busy schedule made it tough to get back into the groove.

    Tomorrow is the Darien 10K Race at 1PM. Truthfully, I don’t feel nearly as prepared as I would have liked. Again, the weather is hot today in the low 80’s with high humidity. I am very much hoping that the humidity will disappear by tomorrow afternoon. Otherwise, it will be an unpleasant experience.

    So I guess I am going to have to set a goal time. I’ve not run a race in while. Has it been as far back as the ½ marathon at the end of June? Last year’s time was 43:00 or a 6:56 pace. I’m not feeling that in shape.
    GOAL: 45 minutes – 7:15 pace

    Monday, September 12, 2005

    Weekend update / 25-mile week


    I was greeted with glorious weather as I headed out around 8:10 AM on Saturday morning. I wasn't planning on doing more than 4-5, but I felt pretty good as I breezed through the first few miles. I needed to get this run in before we left for Holmdel, NJ to visit my new nephew.

    Est. Mileage: 6 miles
    Time: 45:41
    Est Pace: 7:40

    SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2005

    It was warm and sunny as I watched NFL pre-game. I deciced that, given the mid-day warmth, I would just go and knock out a quick 3-mile jaunt. That's exactly what I did.

    Est. Mileage: 3
    Time:Est Pace: 23:26

    12:30 PM

    Afterward, Jen and I explored the housing market out in Trumbull. We then went to a sports bar in Derby called Tail Gators to watch the NFL. Cool little place, but I had too many beers and wings. Again, I need to find a way to balance my diet with my running ambitions.

    Mon - 5
    Tue - 6
    Wed - R
    Thurs - 5
    Fri - R
    Sat - 6
    Sun - 3
    TOTAL: 25 miles

    Friday, September 09, 2005

    5 miler - Steady & strong (Thur 9/8)


    Est Mileage: 5
    Time: 38:05
    Est Pace: 7:35-7:40

    Began run on Thursday morning at approx 6:38 AM
    Calm, cool, sunny conditions - temps in the low 60's

    Route summary:
    Wolfpit-Straw.Hill-Across Route 1-County-Back to Rte 1-Dry Hill-Newtown-Up Grumman to 500 ft short of Jayne-reverse down Grumman-Newtown-Overview... Wolfpit

    Felt really good. Again, need to focus on eating habits. Pizza the night before made me feel sluggish!

    Tuesday, September 06, 2005

    Strong 6 miler - Getting back into form

    Time: 46:10
    Est Mileage: 6 miles
    Est Pace:

    I started my trot about 6:16 AM this morning. The weather has become cool at this time of morning as summer has officially ended. With light winds and 59-61 degree temps, the conditions were as about ideal for me as it can get.

    Route summary:

    I ran off Wolfpit to Route 1 and headed toward the sunset. Passed the Stew Leonard's and flew down Dry Hill over to
    Newtown. Newtown quickly connected to Grumman - and I ventured off to Ellen - then back on to Newtown. Feeling bold and strong, I decided to head North up Newtown to Algonquin. This was a new path for me. I ran up the Algonquin hill all the way past Pocono court -- then did a 180 to head back down. Pace up the hill was swfit. After re-tracing my steps on Newtown, I veered left on to Cranbury which took me back to familiar ground -- up to Partrick. Then 1.2 miles up Wolfpit back home.

    It was a glorious morning. I hadn't run a six-miler since before the
    Fairfield 1/2 Marathon I did at the end of June.

    I run according to time - and not distance. I've become extremely skilled at estimating my pace for any given run to determine a distance. This morning felt close to the range of a
    7:35-7:40 pace.

    I feel good about my progress in the past few weeks. Now, I need to decide what my next major long-distance race will be.

    I need to be cautious not to fall off-track. With my new job at work, I expect I will be traveling far more frequently over the next several weeks. Planning and commitment will be key.

    The hockey season is also about to start in October. How would I train for a marathon while playing hockey once per week? Well, I did it last year and ran a
    3:24 in Houston in January.

    Another key area of focus has to be my eating habits. I am currently about 174 pounds. I'm in much better race form at 169-170 (yes, I can feel a 4-5 pound difference). Need to find a way to cut back on the beers and plan my dinners more effectively.

    Next up is the
    Darien 10k on 10/18.

    This week's plan including progress to date:

    • Monday - 5 - COMPLETE
    • Tues - 6 - COMPLETE
    • Wed - Cross-train @ gym
    • Thur - 5
    • Fri - 4
    • Sat - Rest
    • Sun - 6

    Planned Mileage: 26 miles

    Recent week activity:

    • Last week, I ran 5 times for a total of 18 miles
    • The week before, I ran 5 times for a total of 21 miles.
    • Each of these weeks has included a single, thorough strength training work-out.

    Monday, September 05, 2005

    My arrival into the running blog world

    This month's Runner's World described the reasons why so many are breaking out of their private running universes to expose their running lives to others on the Web. Sounded pretty cool, but I wrestled with the idea at first... mainly because while I love to talk about running, there are certain elements of running that are naturally private to me. And I thought "why sit around and blog about running when I can be out running, or resting up for my next run?"

    However, I do recognize the benefits of learning from others and the inspiration that I can give and receive from running. So I'm considering this an experiment. I hope to connect with the many others on this life's mission we share... To use running as a tool to help us achieve balance, happiness and prosperity in our lives. I plan to share, colloborate, commiserate, inspire, motivate and learn as much as I can through this experiment.

    A brief introduction...

    My name is Ryan. I just turned 30 years old about a week ago. I just got married about a month ago. I live in the city of Norwalk, Connecticut in Fairfield County. My wife, Jen, and I moved to CT about two years ago to allow me to take a job here. I work for a large Consumer Products company that makes and markets branded alchoholic beverages.

    Before arriving in CT, I grew up and went to school in Michigan before chasing a career through the cities of Columbus, OH and Pittsburgh, PA.

    My running experience...

    In high school, I was a burly (OK, chubby may be a better word) hockey player in that weighed 215 lbs when graduating. I didn't run a lick until the next year, my freshman year in college, trying to shed my baby fat so I could meet girls more easily. Thanks to running, I lost about 45 pounds in 3 months (it barely helped with the chicks). Thereafter, I began running mostly 5k's and 10k's during college and into my early 20's.

    It wasn't until 2000 at age 24 that I decided to go after my first marathon while living in Pittsburgh. While I most definitely hit the wall (and hard, I might add), I couldn't wait to give it another shot. Since then, I have completed four more marathons -- one every year beginning in 2001. My first time in Pittsburgh 2001 was 4:16 and has improved every year down to 3:24 in Houston in January 2005.

    I suppose the marathon has become a personal annual event for me. I like to think it keeps me balanced from the daily rigors of work and other personal stresses.
    When marathon training is not in focus, I tend to run 1-2 races a month ranging from 5k's to 1/2 marathons. July and August are my most dormant running months. I am a wimp when it comes to heat and humidity. Now that September has arrived, I am prepared to re-enter my peak form.

    My upcoming running goals...

    Jen and I just returned from a leisurely visit to Boston for the holiday weekend. While my reasons for taking us there were not running-related, I couldn't help but think about how incredible it would be to qualify for the world's most historic and heralded marathon. So, continuing to shave off time toward that 3:10 mark does rest at the back of my mind.

    I've done 18-20 miles per week the past few weeks since we got back from our Hawaiian honeymoon. Now, I am ready to really build some structure into my training.

    Before Katrina stuck, I had New Orleans as my top pick for my next marathon in the beginning of February. I had the flights picked out and everything. Right now, it's a wait-and-see game. The website says the race plans are in "flux" but that they hope to pull something together to benefit the victims.

    I'm not going to pick my next marathon just yet. I'm going to set a target to run 20+ miles the upcoming weeks to prepare for the upcoming race schedule:

    1. Sun, 9/18 -- Darien Road Race - Darien, CT -- 10K
    2. Sun, 10/9 -- The Great Train Race - New Cannaan, CT -- 6.8M
    3. Sun, 10/23 -- Mystic 10 Miler -- Mystic, CT

    I'll need to think about my current training schedule a bit more. For now, I am going to try for 5 runs per week -- with at least two that are 5-6 miles.

    On to my first training entry...

    Today's run was one of renewal. While the path I took was a common one for me around my neighborhood, the attitude was new. The cool September morning reinvigorated me. I knocked out 5 miles with relative ease today. The route took me from my home on Wolfpit Ave down to Partrick and across Newtown Ave to Grumman - like usual - and then back down Grumman to Overbrook -- cutting across back to Wolfpit. The time on my watch said 39:09 and it felt like about a 7:40 average pace.