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


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.