Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008 in Review

Looking back at 2008, let's see how I did when looking at my start of year expectations.

1. Run a 5K under 30 minutes.
In March I ran a 33:19, a PR by 5:26 at the time. Unfortunately, I did not run the 5K distance after May, and can't say for certain if I would have beaten 30 minutes later in the year. I considered running a 5K last weekend for training, but I don't want to mess with my half-marathon training at this point.

2. Run a half marathon in under 2:30.
I ran the Houston Half in October at 2:33, a PR at this distance. I really feel I would have easily beaten the 2:30 goal if not for a June auto collision which kept me from training from mid-June through mid to late-August. My only other attempt at this distance later in the year was at the San Antonio Rock n Roll event, which I specifically ran slower to take in the whole experience.

3. Run a marathon. &
4. Run the SunMart 50K.
I was targeting the San Antonio full marathon and the SunMart 50K events until that auto accident (previously mentioned above) cost me too much training time. Instead I ran the the HMSA 25K in Houston in November and the Lakes at Williams Rance 30K in Sugarland in December, running each distance for the first time (i.e. 2 new PR's!)

5. Dropping 25 pounds from 254.5 pounds.
From January through mid-May I proved that running alone will not cause me to lose weight as I stayed with my exercise program and still went up to 263 pounds. From mid-May through mid-November I stuck with a fairly strict low-fat diet and got down to 223 pounds. I allowed myself to return to a more normal diet through the Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year's period, during which I have gained several pounds back, but am generally holding at a stable level. I'll see about continuing with this success next year.

As for 2009, I am looking forward to a good training year. I will post later about some specific goals for 2009 after I have given the subject some more thought. Currently, I am looking forward to trying my hand at triathlons, it has been so long since I have attempted any multi-sport event that I don't even remember exactly when it was. I am already planning to run the January 2010 Disneyworld Marathon, but have no other specific long distance plans; although I may return to running the 25K trail events at Huntsville State Park. In any case, I'll be back around New Year's with those 2009 goals of mine.

As I finish the year (editing this post on December 31) I have spent 15,004 minutes in exercise, training, etc.... When I started the year I set a goal 15,000 minutes. Maybe I knew what I was doing after all on that goal. I had thought this goal was dead after my auto collision recovery took nearly 2 months out of my training, but then I came on strong after my doctor released my to exercise again.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Austin, Here I Come

After talking about it for the last two weeks (and thinking about it for the last two months), I have registered in the Austin Half Marathon on February 15th.
My cheering section (a.k.a. my oldest daughter) says she is looking forward to it, although she continues to hold out for the hoped for Nashville trip for the April 28th Country Music Marathon (still no final decision on this one yet). Next on the agenda is locking down a hotel for this trip.

I got up early this morning for an interval speed workout. I was very happy with my running today--a far cry from last weekend's disappointing running experience. It's nice to have some proof that last weekend was the exception and not the rule. Another nice thing is the return of the colder weather, not that I am a fan of cold weather, but sometimes warm weather in December just doesn't seem right.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hitting the Wall

I wasn't planning on writing today, but after today's run went bad I just wanted to gripe about it some.

Today was a planned 12 mile run with both The Woodlands Fit and Kingwood Fit. I didn't have any great plans for today's run, just to take it easy and enjoy it. Before I got to the 2 mile point I was needing an unplanned rest/walk break, and after that I never really got it together and was walking as I needed. I ended up shortening the run to around 7.5 miles in 105 minutes, which is better than I thought it was at the time, given I probably walked at least 1.5 miles of the 7.5 and maybe a fair bit more. This may not have been "hitting the wall" in the traditional running sense, but it felt the same to me as that "wall" I once hit around mile 21/22 at SunMart last year, only without the blisters this time.

I figure that my problems were the result of 2 mistakes. First, I may have expected too much of myself coming off of last weekend's 30K--even if I did take the 2 days after as rest days. Second, I ran without my Garmin, in favor of a Polar heart rate monitor with larger numbers. I think this allowed me start out faster than expected on the run, which led to an overall bad run.

Whateve the answer, I suppose I did fine for one of those really bad days everyone will get sometime--and, in the end, I did get a decent distance covered for the day.

Later today, I will go grab some lunch with my wife, do a little shopping, and work on doing some pre-Christmas house cleaning.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Today I enjoyed a nice post-30K massage. My legs were feeling very, very tight and my regular stretching routine was not really doing much for them. After an hour of massage, they are still not back to normal (assuming the word normal would ever apply to me), but they are definitely feeling better.

This is a photo showing Heather (from my last
entry) and me finishing the 30K in Sugar Land.

I really hope she doesn't mind that I lifted it from her blog!

As the year is drawing to a close I am 698 minutes short of my time goal for the year's total training minutes, which means I still have a good chance to make that goal, depending on my training through Christmas and New Year's.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I'm just getting back from my latest race, The Lakes of Williams Ranch 30K in Sugar Land, Texas. Overall, this was a nice race that seemed well run. The water stops were well located on the main triple loop of the course and there was light, but vocal support from people along most of the course. There were two water station located at opposite ends of a 3.7 mile loop on the course. I was glad to have brought a water bottle with me as I like to take in a lot of fluids on a day as warm as it was.

Although recents have left me somewhat underprepared for the distance, I still showed up prepared to run and represent my running club (The Woodlands Running Club). As a back of the pack runner, I was able to keep with a pace of 12:30 - 13:30 miles, otherwise known as my training run pace. A little before the halfway point I noticed my heart rate was staying higher than I liked (likely due to warm weather and 97% humidity) and started taking it a bit easier on the run. As I neared the 20K mark, a fellow runner named Heather said something to me about us leap-frogging past each most of the day, and as she was wearing a Longhorn Triathlon shirt--a race I hope to do one day--I asked her about the Longhorn Triathlon . We ended up walking and talking together for a bit which also allowed my heart to get a bit of a break. For the next 10K+, we walked and ran together (mostly walking as we were both suffering a bit, me from a high heart rate and occasional calf cramping, her from upset stomach) and just generally had great conversation and enjoyed the balance of the race. I finished somewhere around 4:24, about 15 minutes slower than planned, but I am happy with my performance.