Monday, December 29, 2014

Week 7: Nice to break 30 miles again.

Monday, December 22, 2014
Overdue for a good run, I went for a good run.  Sounds easy, right?  Well not if you've only logged in 25 miles for the first 21 days of the month.  Not, if you're gone 8 straight days without running, which, I believe is the longest stretch I've gone, since taking a break in November 2011 for a month.

I jumped onto the treadmill, and started my long ascent back into running.  It's amazing what even 4 days off will do.  This is a sport, where it takes awhile to build it up, but not so to get it all broken down again.

I was feeling good, and I didn't cough much during or after.  And in the end I was able to run nearly 10.5 miles between recorded and warm up.  My legs felt a little sore, naturally, after the run, and I actually feel good that they did.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014
After spending an entire day cleaning the house, and taking care of my twins, I finally left for the gym to do an easy 3 miles at around 8:30pm.  I was feeling sluggish, but miles are miles, and am glad to have done them, just like I have been for the other 2,088.4 miles too.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014
The joy of being off work is the ability to run almost without significant preparation/planning.  Even with kids in tow, heading to the gym and ripping off another 6.2 miles is a wonderful thing.

Thursday, December 25, 2014
Matt & Steffie came over, but not before I had the opportunity of running outdoors and adding on another three and a half miles.

Friday, December 26, 2014
Today was family day, and we spent a lot of time shopping at the mall, and cooking dinner.  This is what happens when you have a lot of people to account for.  :-)

Saturday, December 27, 2014
I should have, but I didn't.  That's the story for today.  The weather outside was perfect.  Karen kept pushing me to go outside and run, but I just had no desire to.

Sunday, December 28, 2014
So today I had desire.  I went to the gym (as it was a cold pouring rain in the morning and had just recovered from a bad cold), and racked up another 8.6 miles. I had posted that I had run 2100 miles, but that was inaccurate, because I was looking at my logs, which did not have my Christmas Eve or Day runs. I am now at 2109.7 miles.  My goal?  2112.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Week 6: I Ain't Hear No Bell Yet! Get Up! Get Up You Sonofab***h!

Monday, December 15, 2014
After running 4 miles the day before, loaded with a ton of "catch-up" work to do, and Karen having to work late, today would be an off day.  I was going to go at lunch, but was totally out of it, with the Claritin D doing its thing, and the Nasacort doing the other.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Ugh.  The sickness!  Waaah Waaah.  What a whiny bitch I've become.  When will it all end.  Machine, come back!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Third and final day of Nasacort.  This stuff is deadly.  It's helped me quite a bit with the post nasal, but it has me wanting to sleep while I'm driving.  Umm, no.  Life is worth more than that.  Ran at the Y this evening. And mustered up about 3 miles, before the exhaustion wore in.  Again, it was mostly the meds making me feel this way

Thursday, December 18, 2014
As I'm a Retro Fitnees member, Karen mentioned to me that she saw that there was one near my job. So I drove over to Route 109 in Farmingdale to do my thing.  I was able to do about 3 miles before having to get to work, but just as well.  The drugs had me woozy to the point that I almost lost balance on the dreadmill (NOT GOOD). Still, I refuse to stay down, and getting more frustrated by the minute.

The gym was located next to a meat market (no, not a dating place, an actual Meat Market).  It was in a strip mall where I used to go to when I was truly single, and dates weren't so easy to get.  The quietness of the moment, made me reflect on the quietness of that moment.  Sad times, and good times, all wrapped into one.

Friday, December 19, 2014
The beginning of my much much much needed vacation.  I was too busy in the office doing whatever I could to catch up on all things, and I got home just in time to drive Maria Elena and her friends to Kennedy Airport for their vacation away in Mexico.

Saturday, December 20, 2014
Feeling better today, but still not with it, and just had too much going on to want to run.

Sunday, December 21, 2014
Again.  Too much going on.  Paying bills, Christmas shopping, laundry, food shopping, cooking, etal.  Jesus, I need a personal assistant around here.   Well, I finally hung up those picture frames that had been laying around the house.  Forward progress indeed.

6.66 Miles is not only an evil number, it is a lousy number.  A number which cannot be tolerated any longer.  Tomorrow, my friends, and this time, I have enough health (AND WEIGHT, UGH, the weight) to get this kicked off, cough or no.  Other number?  I am at 2088.4 miles for the year, making 2,100 a hopefully most easy number to make, now that 2,200 is out of the question.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Week 5 - Strep On Boy, It's Gonna Be A Bumpy Ride.

Monday, December 8, 2004
With a fever of 101, a sore throat, a massive migraine, and chills throughout, I managed somehow to get into a shirt, tie and pants, and headed over to the new office for "go-live" Monday.  As expected, all went well (how could it not?  I spent nearly 60 hours since Thursday insuring that it would).  All except for me.  Having spent the better part of a week taking care of everyone but myself, the result would have me completely fit for a bed.
Taking sympathy, my boss told me to leave as soon as possible.  Found a flight that left at 1pm, and while we did sit in the plane for an extra hour due to congestion at Kennedy,  the flight landed just before sunset in NY.  I was so glad to be home, and wanted nothing more than to kiss and hug everyone, but as extremely infectious as I was, which what looked like might have been a case of strep throat (yep I saw the white spots on saturday), I didn't dare go near anyone.

Tuesday, December 9, 20014
Called in sick.  Stayed in bed almost the entire day.  Felt just as miserable at the end of the day as I aid in the beginning.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Still feeling miserable.  It's been almost a week now since I had my first signs.  I called my doctor who called in a prescription of anti-biotics for me.  Thank God.   I also bought some Claritin-D.
I drove up to the CVS drive through window.  Seeing, Claritin-D in a shelf next to the drive up window, I gave them my name to claim my script and asked to buy Claritin-D.

The lady said, "I'm sorry, you have to come into the store for that."

I asked, "Why do you have it by you prominently being displayed to drivers".

Lady: "I don't know but you have to come in so as to sign for it."
Then she gives me a receipt to sign for the antibiotics.

Machine: "Excuse me.  If I can sign for my script here, then why can't I just sign for the Claritin-D here as well?"

Lady in a CVS Cage: "Because we have to scan your driver's license too".

I dig my DMV license out of my wallet and tried to hand it to her;

Machine: "Here you go."

Lady is a tramp:  "I'm sorry.  I can't do this.  We would both be arrested if I did."

Machine: "Arrested?  For what and why?"

Lady No Luck: "These are the new laws to prevent people from abusing the drug to use for meth instead."

At this point, I started to laugh (even though it killed my sore throat to do so).

Machine: "Lady, I've seen every episode of Breaking Bad.  And if I wanted to make methampetamines out of the Claritin D, I would need a heckuva lot more, not to mention that my reason for coming here was to get my doctor-provided prescritpion."

There was no use in getting her to budge.  She looked as if though she had seen a ghost.  Did I look like Aaron Paul?

I went into the CVS, and was the 7th person in line.  Just what I had sought to avoid by going thru the drive through.    My car's empty gas light and tire low pressure (again) lights were on.  Went to the station, filled up both the tank and the tire.  Found the culprit on the rear left tire.  Will have to get it plugged sometime later when I feel like a human being again.

Thursday, December 11, 2014
After waking up with 500mg of Azithromycin, Nyquil, Sudafed-24, and Advil ruuning around my blood stream like a bunch of hungry collegiate freshmen around a campus track, I woke up to find myself almost absent of a sore throat.  Finally.  After 6 days of feeling as if though a fellow terminator machine had ripped out my adam's apple, the apothecary's mix of relevant drugs finally started to make a difference.  My brain, gave up on throwing fevers at it, but fortunately the insurance co-pay made up the difference this time.

With all continued success, I may be able to go to work tomorrow.  Followed by a run in a temperature controlled environment, aka. DREADMILL.   But first things first.

Friday, December 12, 2014
Well, I actually relapsed a little, thus the run never happened.  Sometimes running will bring up your adrenaline levels but if one's too sick to do it....I've been coughing like crazy.  Strep is going away from what I see, but I detect a bad post nasal drip sitch here.  Today was also my first day back at work.  I took it nice and easy (as easy as I can, that is).

Saturday, December 13, 2014
Ahh, to be home and do nothing but lounge around.  But wait... Isn't that what I've been doing since Tuesday?  Well not exactly, I felt like one of the characters on the Walking Dead, and hint hint, it wasn't one of those characters that have used a comb recently!  I spent some time putting up the Christmas Tree (finally), and making dinner and taking care of the kids and household chores, all under the guise of a human being, when I still feel like a zombie. Well at least not a white xombie anymore.  The strep looks all gone now.  Good work Z-pac!

Sunday, December 14, 2014
With Karen's kick in my pants, I finally went with her, at least to the gym anyway, and ran on the treadmill while she took her usual spinning class.  Happy to report, that I logged 4 miles.  They were awfully brutal.  And slow.  I barely broke 11 minutes a mile.  And for me, that signals I'm not there yet, which I'm not.

Later that day, all of the calories I burned off, quickly came back on and then some. We celebrated Doug's 50th at Breakers in Bayville.  Breaker's is a nice sports bar with a fireplace, pool table and decent table service as well.  During the summer it's mostly a biker bar, and by winter just the hardcore sports fans and locals show up.  I was uber impressed with the waitor who actually went out of his way by going to the ice cream shop next door to get chocolate milk for the kids.  Hmmm.  I think he had his eyes on Karen, as he explained this, lol.   Between a nice unhealthy slab of buffalo wings, and other assorted human "dog" food (which tasted quite nice, btw), a shot of Jameson's and several Guinesses later, all caloric progress went to the negative.  Oh and then we went to see Horrible Bosses 2.  Hey no one held a gun to my head ordering me to eat popcorn, or those raspberry filled Krispy Kremes that Doug brought over, lol!....  Well at least I ran...

So why, you ask, the Michael Douglas 'Falling Down' motif?  Because as with Douglas, who was just robbed of his stuff, he looked the thugs in the eye, and sarcastically said "You forgot the briefcase."  Being sick sucks, but I shall return....

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Week 4 - All Work And No Play, Makes Alex A Sick Boy.

Monday, December 1, 2014
Working from home today, you'd think I'd have plenty of time to "sneak" in a run.  The schedule had me as "off" today but with my Chicago trip part 2 coming up, I needed to bank some mileage upfront, in anticipation of work-related chaos.  Well, think again.  So busy was I, that I barely did 3 miles, and answering emails while I was running.  And this was BEFORE I was scheduled to start work.  I guess this is not what you'd call a quality run, but at least three is better than zero.  Later on in the day, I went with the Malee and the kids to get myself.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Since quality sessions (which I also call 'brutality' sessions) are the most important during my weekly regimen, I figured why not get it out of the way sooner rather than later.   Tonight, I did 10 miles.
I screwed up initially, by interpreting incorrectly what I was supposed to do, but I corrected by doing what I needed to do.  In the end I wound up doing 4 miles at a pace of 7:18 for each mile, followed by a minute of recovery running.  And then an even more blistering run of :48 seconds at a pace of 6:13, eight times, with a minute recovery run in between.  Whereas I was supposed to do a 2 mile warmup, I did 1, but at the end I did a 3 mile cooldown run instead of 2.   And my cooldown, was at a pace of 8:33  Afterwards, I made sure to do my stretches, showered up, and came home in time to eat dinner at 10pm.  A little crazy, but I got in the important workout for the week.  Tomorrow I will find a way to run 5 miles (probably at home, after I put the kids to sleep)_

Wednesday, December 3, 2014
With the schedule of a rock star lately these days, I took the few precious free moments to spend them with family and squeez a 5 mile workout on our treadmill in the basement. Not a quality run, not even a good run, but miles were done as per the regimen.

Thursday, December 4, 2014
Travel day.  Get up at 5. Leave at 6. Fly at 8, Land at 10:30.  Get to office by noon.  Work till 8pm.
Eat dinner at Firefox with boss.  Get back after 10, too late for gym.    Office was very dusty from all the construction.  I'm allergic to dust, and start getting a scratchy throat. Well, at least I am now a Hilton Gold Club member....

Friday, December 5, 2014
Get to work by 8am.  Work until 10pm.  14 hours.  Knowing this would be the long day, there was no chance that I was going to tire myself out with a workout, so today was skipped.  Besides this, I start developing a cough.  At the time I thought this was because of the dust in the building. Went to bed with a tight neck, sore back and a headache.

Saturday, December 6, 2014
Show up even earlier this time.  7am.  Weathering the onset of a bad cold, I still worked till 10pm. 15 hours working.  No chance to run.  Whoever thought that my trips were a pleasure ride, think again.
However, the new office is coming along great.   Woke up in the middle of the night to an email regarding an issue with the phones.  It took me 5 minutes to realize and fix the issue, and another 25 to boot up the wonderful company commissioned laptop.  Then did some more work around 4am.   So make that a 16 hours day.  Sick as a dog too.

Sunday, December 7, 2014
Day off right?  Think Again.  Drive to another office undergoing rennovations.  Got there at 8:30am worked there until 11:30.  Drove to new office, and left for lunch at 1pm.  We were supposed to drive to Chicago, but got as far as Kaufmann's Deli in Skokie, IL.  Great hard salami.  Almost worth the 45 minute trip.  Then we returned to the office in Geneva for what would be another dose of work until 9pm.   12.5 hours worked and as I write this I'm getting sicker.

This was a wasted week of running with a sick ending.  No doubt next week is not going to be a good one either.  Where I had started my running as a ferocious lion in January of 2014, I might just be ending this year as a quiet mouse.  :(

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Week 3 - Thanksgiving Turbulence.

Sunday: November 23, 2014 
With the knowledge that I was volunteering for Race to Deliver in Central Park, taking care of 4 children afterwards, driving to New Rochelle later today, and flying tonight for Chicago, life just got in the way of my running. Gee, any surprise there? Well, I did prepare for this by doing my quality (interval) session the day before, obliterating the treadmill with 1/8 & 1/4 mile sprints at 6:27 per mile. Unfortunately, when I got to the hotel in St. Charles, their gym closed at 10pm.  Meh.

Monday:  November 24, 2014
Another sweat-shop like day, working long hours at the new office, and getting the place looking somehow IT-ready.  I had no real opportunities to run today, either outdoors or the treadmill.  And going to Portillo's and Firefox in Geneva, IL was no help to my girth either.  Meh again.

Tuesday: November 25, 2014
Today was an even crazier day at work.  Gratefully, the sun was out and the snow was gone (headed to NY?).  With an hour of driving ahead of me, I barely left in time to get to the airport.  Fortunately no airport delays, and the flight back home was good.
See the World Trade Center?

I didn't get home until after midnight Wednesday, which not only meant I didn't have time to run today, but....

Wednesday, November 26, 2014
...I couldn't muster the energy to run today either.  They let us out early, but by now, I was in the full throes of preparing Thanksgiving Dinner at my home.

In other words, this is how easily life can suck away 4 days of your life, without getting a chance to run (or the mere energy to do so).

In truth, maybe I could have squeezed in a mile here or there, but the stress and the fatigue of everything else going on around me, could have at best led to a lousy workout, and at worst, injury.
Despite the 4-day layoff, it was the smartest of all choices.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
This day actually started yesterday.  Here:
ALEX: "Karen.  What time is your race tomorrow?"
KAREN: "8:30.  We need to leave by 7 though because the streets close by 7:30"
ALEX: "We?  I haven't run in 4 days!"
KAREN: "Well, you will tomorrow."
ALEX: "Okay,"

The Port Washington Turkey Trot is an annual run that starts on Manorhaven Blvd. near the park.  It loops around through Middle Neck Road, Shore Road, and back beyond the start to where the town pool is.  

There were 2300 runners, a great turnout despite the frigid wet temps, and trace sleet that would come down every so often.  I wasn't looking to best my 36:31 time, that I set back in 2012, but that feeling didn't set in until I got to Mile 2, when I realized, "no way", lol.

Even with my "lowered" expectations, I did manage a respectable sub-8 posting, and actually came in the top 9% of the entire race.  And then there's always that killer hill at the end of Mile 2. :-)

The race featured some humor too, to include a bunch of guys dressed up as reindeer, jingling bells, and the leader featuring a red nose.  Also, a couple of turkeys were out and running too.

Yeah, well, I'm not sure if this was to be funny or not, but man is this ORANGE or what?  Maybe Orange IS the New Black!

Karen, did pretty well in her race.  She actually started at the front line and ran as hard for as long as she could.  When I passed her near our Dentist's office, just a little past it, I was like "How did she get up here?".

Friday, November 28, 2014
Funny how eating so much turkey can you make you feel like a stuffed pig instead.  I returned to Retro today, to see what I could muster.  I was totally out of it, and the most I could manage was 5 easy miles.  Spent part of my run, talking to Doug on the phone, so as you can imagine my "conversational" pace is not too fast.

Saturday, November 29, 2014
In a repeat of my feeling yesterday, I did the same thing and added a couple more.  Still felt out of it.
Somehow, my state of mind didn't match the sign in front of me as I left the gym...

Sunday, November 30, 2014
On this, the last day of the month, I felt that I needed to do a run outside.  Strapped with my 6 pound Camelbak on me (for extra masochism), I headed out for what would be a nice, and not so cold, run outdoors in and around Old Brookville.  I managed to keep my pace faster than that of an Easy run, though not too fast so as to burn myself out for my next quality session.  I did my last mile in just a little over 8 minutes, and despite being exhausted afterwards while doing my stretches in the basement, I am now feeling a little bit re-energized (well, it's either that or the mouse that my wife just found in one of our kitchen drawers....her screams are still resonating, and whatever fatigue I had has been replaced by adrenaline, lol).

On another note, I'd like to give a shout out to my pal from Boston, Scott Siegel.  His recommendation to download the "Rock My Run" app, was spot on.  The mixes are great, and the BPMs automatch your running speed.

As expected, I ran 103 miles this month, my lowest for any month this year.  This is natural as a result of the aftermath of the NYC Marathon.  Last year December I did a ridiculous 200+ mile month.  I don't think I will focus on quantity in December of 2014.  In fact, I'm going to focus more on quality runs, and strength training.  I've just completed week 3 of my 18 week training for the NYC Half, and need to remain focused, especially in this crazy chaotic month, where personal (holiday) and work (traveling all over the place again), is going to challenge my resolve to train.

My off days for Week 4 are supposed to be tomorrow (Mon, Dec 1) and (Fri, Dec 5). I'm also supposed to kick up my mileage to about 36 miles.  Given that I will be going in for a shot on my right index finger tomorrow (to alleviate my 2nd coming of the trigger finger condition I first got in February of this year), and then flying on Thursday, with an insane schedule on Friday,  I will need to do all possible to adhere to my schedule as best I can.  It will be crazy, but if I plan out in advance, take out my clothes for the next day, charge my shit (watch, phone, etc), I should be in good shape!

Friday, November 21, 2014

No Workouts Spared.

Juma Ikangaa (born July 19, 1957 in Dodoma) is a marathon runner from Tanzania, He is a sentimental favorite in Boston after finishing second three years in a row at the Boston Marathon from 1988-1990. He's also won the NYC Marathon in 1989 and the Tokyo Marathon, twice, in 1984 and 1986. A great trainer, Ikangaa once said:  

"The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare."
To me, one of the most important tenets is to do whatever you can to stick to a training schedule.
Of course, if you are sick, take a day off.  Or as in the case of me often, if works takes precedence, then take that day off.  Last time I checked I wasn't a Kenyan, so I can't exactly pay my mortgage by running.  Tuesday turned out to be an impossible day to workout.  So I did my Tuesday workout on Wednesday, my Wednesday workout on Thursday, and my quality session today, when I was supposed to have rested.

I started with doing burpees (what a funny name).  I did three sets of 10.  Doesn't seem like a lot?  Just try doing 1 set of 10.  I guarantee you by the time you get to 5, you will feel it.

I wanted to do the TRX row, but the belt wasn't there.  Hmmm..  This must be reserved for trainers only, meaning I may have to buy my own belt to do this exercise.

My cadence was at 173 for the average, not too bad since this was an "easy" run, and my final tally of 5 miles was done at a pace of 9:09  (45:45.2)

For anyone that is interested ( and this means you Rollie! haha),

A few months ago, I had taken the advice of Travis Tate, an amazing athlete, and great coach who lives out here in Long Island.  His coaching style reflected in the training program that he gave me, was the first program that embraced some of the Hanson techniques.  The Hanson method limits one to never running more than 16 miles.  Which is good in some ways, but not so good in others.  Using  Travis' training program did help me with my core and uppers a bit, but it didn't give me the rocket ride that I've been getting so far with this far more challenging hybrid plan that I put together using Jack Daniels and my own upper body/ab routine.  I will say that it took me over a month to find the right training program.  One of the best resources that analyzes some of the more interesting programs out there can be found here --->

As for me, the Jack Daniels plan is working so far.  I'm still in Week 2, but so far so good.
For Rollie, and for my wife Karen, who could use a good disciplined program, I would invite you to go here -->    It wasn't free, and there has been some knock about the fact that there really isn't much in the way of coaching other than the program and the many YouTube videos that give you a good feel of what this training program is all about.

After I was done this morning, I did my running stretches.  These are especially important considering how challenged I am with the inflexibility of my hammies.  Even worse that, than my ability to get up early, as I'm much more the night owl than the morning person.

Tomorrow is supposed to be an easy 5 miler again.  However Sunday, I am doing a volunteer for the NYRR's club at Central Park.  I need to be there really early, like at 6:30 for a 7-11 volunteership.  This gives me the final credit that I'll need to finally be accepted in next year's NYC Marathon.

Lastly, I'm traveling for work Sunday night.  Chances are slim to none that I will be able to get my Sunday workout done, however I have a rest day on Monday, thus I might attempt Monday early morning before heading into the office.   All in day's work!

Repetition Intervals. CRUSHED!

Well as the photo above suggests...I had a shitty day today, but turned it around later in the evening. I must say, that I really enjoyed myself tonight.  Not only did I make it through my first "quality" session in the Jack Daniels brutality plan, LOL.  I actually crushed it.  I really am impressed on how I was not only able to kill these reps, but even have the time to text my buddy during the recovery intervals in between.  Okay, this outward display of patting myself on the back is becoming sickening, even for me!

I started off with an easy warmup of 2 miles at a pace of 11:28 per mile.
Then I went right into it.
I did my 1st mile at a pace of 7:23 (1.06 miles to be exact).
A 2 minute rest.
And then?
Duration       Distance    Pace
1:01.28         0.14 mile    6:54 per mile (8.7 mph on treadmill avg)
1:00.46         0.15 mile    6:44 per mile  (8.8 mph on treadmill avg)
1:00.46         0.15 mile    6:44 per mile (8.8 mph on treadmill avg)
1:00.61         0.15 mile    6:44 per mile (8.8 mph on treadmill avg)
1:00.64         0.15 mile    6:46 per mile (8.8 mph on treadmill avg)

The program for tonight called for me to maintain a 6:47 pace over the 5 interval reps with a 2 minute rest in between each rep.  Well.  Mission Complete.  I was feeling so good that I was tempted to smoke that treadmill to 12.0 mph (something I've done in the past though not for a minute), but I'm not that foolish young kid that is going to injure myself.

As you can see on all of my intervals, I actually INCREASED my cadence.  This is nothing short of badass DNA which is one of the healthier components that makes a person a MACHINE.  Take pain, and take shit and anything negative, and convert it into a barrel full of kickass.

My last mile was a cooldown mile which was hardly a cooldown.  Was supposed to have done it in around 12 minutes per mile, which was done in 9:20.

All in all a total of 4.82 miles was done (although it was definitely over 5 for the buildups that weren't clocked), in a time of 45:45.  Now that's a pace of 9:30, so now you see why warmup and cool down mileage is so important to super fast blasts.

I have MUCH work to do .   I'm only in week 2 of an 18 week training program.  This is so pre-infancy that it's a joke to start applauding my efforts.  I must not give way to reflection and self-applause.  And the weeks ahead will gradually but definitely get tougher.  And yet I look forward to the challenge!

I do however need to get to sleep soon for another 5 miler in the morning.  And I do need to get back to my upper body workouts to be able to make the 2015 NYC HALF, the 2015 CHICAGO MARATHON, and the 2015 NYC MARATHON a footstep to BOSTON, BERLIN and LONDON.  Oh yes, I do plan on doing them all.   I will be 50 next July.  Time is ticking.  And it is time to kick ass.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Cadence Is Key

Still trying to catch up with the lack of sleep over the weekend in Florida.  It was worth it though. I spent a lot of time with my family when I wasn't working and it was great to visit my Uncle Alex, who turned 70 years old on Sunday.  God bless him.  He's been through a lot this past year.

As for moi, I'm still sleepy.  The end of lunchtime is always tough.  I just want to take a nap.  Unless I hit lotto, I don't think I can do that quite yet.

I was supposed to have run yesterday, but I was so doggone tired, that I spent the balance of the evening walking around my own home like a zombie.   And when one feels like a zombie, running is not advisable.

So I decided to run this morning to make up for last night, pushing off my "quality" session for tomorrow.

It was beyond freezing outside, so this was going to be a treadmill day.   I headed over to Retro Fitness.  This is the new place that I signed up last week.  Same place where Melanie, a self-proclaimed lesbian (and good for her, btw), absolutely beat the living crap out of me.  Melanie ran me through a set of upper-body pulling exercises, leaving me beyond sore and begging to be put out of my misery for nearly a week.

But, I digress.

It was supposed to be an easy 4 run, and it was, but I wanted to try and improve my cadence.  I can't begin to tell you how many professional coaches have sworn by the 180 steps per minute philosophy. This included Jack Daniels, my new coach, who dedicates several mentions of it in the book that I'm currently reading  (Yes Stephanie.  Your father is reading.  Call the networks.)

While I didn't hit 180 with any consistency, I did notice that I was able to keep my average cadence at about 174.  Now, if I can only squeeze in 6 more steps per minute....

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Two Thousand.

I worked on the layout of the blog last night.  When I finally laid my head on my hotel pillow it was 5:40am this morning.  Woke up at 10:45, and barely made it to breakfast downstairs.  The cook was already disassembling the burners when I showed up. 

After a nice breakfast, my co-workers and I travelled to Lauderdale-By-The-Sea.  They, to eat, me, to run.  It was hot, about 86, and humid out.  Well, this is Florida.  What else is there to be expected?
There was a nice, swirly wind, which helped me keep a little bit cool against the imposing sun.  I was wearing my Marathon Camelbak which was loaded with ice water, but was barechested beneath that.

I went north for 2 miles, and then after I arrived back at Aruba's, I paid my $2 to enter the pier, and ran to the end and back.  Then I went back on A1A, this time going south.  I was sweating like an open fountain.

The most significant moment of the run today came soon after I took off.  For today, I broke 2,000 miles for this calendar year.  This marks the first time in my life that I have run these many miles.
However, anyone who thinks that this year was all about quantity, think again.  Yes, the first 7-8 months I was on a tear averaging over 200 miles a month.  However, I have lowered my mileages for the 2nd half, and now am focusing a decontruscting how I train.

While Jameson's might be a popular way to drink, Jack Daniels is for my runs.   Runners like Alberto Salazar, Shalane Flanagan, and recently Ryan Hall have him as a personal coach.  And now so do I.

Watch out 2015.   I'm coming.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Track Nite at the GCHS

Not nite at all really. Dropped off the kids at the evening daycare at the Y since Karen was already finishing up at the gym over there, and jogged over to the Glen Cove High School track. 
Not surprisingly, there were a lot of walkers and runners alike. The weather was amazing too. 70 degrees and very little humidity to speak of.
I did 10k worth of regular running and mixed in some much needed sprint work (400s,200s and my favorite, 100 dashes). I was going pretty fast because and repeated in between temporary moments of rest and much needed gulps of air!

That's 10 days in a row which is always an achievement for a person with a wife, 5 kids, an equally super-busy and rewarding job, a live-in Au Pair, 3 cars and oh yea...this too. ;-)

My friend Scott is on his comeback trail and I'm really proud of him. Been running and dropping weight. He also threatened me with a lot of pizza when he comes in from Boston the week after next. That's a threat? BRING IT ON!!' :-D

Monday, June 2, 2014

Finish Line Racing: Herricks to Home


For me, it's always hard to resist racing.  I love the competition and the energy it draws.   Doing a lot of racing can be a drain on the wallet, but I really don't have any other hobbies or vices, so rarely will I decline from signing up for an event.  Racing is important to me, because it helps me with my strategy for the bigger races, and unlike the typical jog, it gives me valuable insight as to how I can help to better perform under duress conditions for the more important races, like a Marathon or a Half Marathon.

However, every so often I'll give up a short race, like I did this Sunday, to better focus my efforts on the rigors of the long run.  After all, if you want to be a great long distance runner, you ultimately have to focus predominantly on long distances, right?  A long run to me is anything 10 miles or more.   Ultimately, I've gotten to the point where I've done so many 10+ mile runs that I rarely get sore or tired at all after doing one.  Long runs have become as commonplace to me as getting up off of a couch, to put a dish in the sink.

Karen and I have this interesting arrangement whereby I will run home from whatever finish line there is that she crosses that I don't race in.  Yes, you heard right.  Run home from the finish line (within limits of course!).  I did this after her finish yesterday, which was nice because it helped us to save on babysitting too. 

This was the first time I had run this course.  I have to hand it to Google maps.  They gave me a walk path back that was void of much traffic whenever choices were available. For example, it had me run on Shrub Hollow Rd. instead of Shelter Rock Rd. and again taking Deepdale Pkwy. instead of Searingtown Road.  It was even smart enough to know that Shrub Hollow's dead end had a walk path to take me onto Helen Drive to continue on.  Nice.

None of this mattered much though.  I was just not feeling it. Having already run close to 65 miles the previous 6 days, I just couldn't get my motor going until I got to Mile 6.  It happens sometimes.  But runners learn to deal with all circumstances.  In my case, this would be more of a "zombie" run, a run where I'm just eating miles to do cardio, and at no particularly fast pace either.   I even made a wrong turn on Roslyn Road too, and would up going an extra 2/3rds of a mile as a result of it.  Well, at least the humidity was low, and the sun was out, and there was a enough of a nice breeze, to push me through. 

As I was going uphill on Old Northern Boulevard, and saw the entry to Northern Boulevard there was a construction area that I had to run through.  Unfortunately, I had no other option, but to pummel over sand, rocks, and small broken pieces of asphalt under my Brooks-protected feet.  There was a time, when this annoyed me, but not anymore.  Running on adverse surfaces is a good thing because it forces you to pay close attention to your surroundings, thus making you a more alert runner.  And even though this was on a big steep uphill, the 400-lb security dude sitting in his "Smart" protecting the Mercedes-Benz dealership at the top, made the
whole journey, one big laugh going into Mile 7.

About the only road that was very busy was Route 107 (Glen Cove Road), but as I had mentioned to Karen who was a little bit nervous about me running on this road, the shoulder is wide enough to support two more lanes of traffic. So, I had plenty of space between myself and the vehicles I was opposing.

I was exhausted when I got home, as both the temps and my pace began to heat up some.  Also, that hill (ohhhh that hill) on 4th Street.  Positively 4th Street..INDEED, Mr. Dylan!

Finished up my week with 76 miles, and I realize that I over-trained to reach my 200+ goal for May.  So, I will need to cut back a little bit for this week.  It's all good. Looking forward to more new runs along my more and more interesting journey along the way.


Saturday, May 31, 2014

Sun, Fun and Run in Sea Cliff.

Well, it took 31 days to do it, but I made 200+ miles again for the month.  Should I ever lose site of what this means, I just have to think that I have been averaging over 6 miles a day since December 1, 2013.  This is the furthest I've gone in the shortest amount of time.  At this pace I could and should break 2,000 miles for the first time ever in a year, and reach my next milestone of 15,000.   With what I've been averaging, there is an outside chance that I may break the circumference of the Earth at around the year 2020.   I'll will definitely have to have a Circumference of the Earth part for sure!

Today was a spectacular day for running.  Karen joined me today and we headed west into Sea Cliff, a beautiful quaint little town with Victorian-styled homes, and little bistros and US flags peppered all around.

After to getting to see the spectacular north-west view of the Long Island, from which I could see the Avalon Towers in New Rochelle from there, we headed south on Prospect Street.  A looong hill down, and you know what that means?  Yep, you got it! A long hill up on the way back.  When we got to the bottom of the hill, we were running along the water.  We made our way to Tappen Beach, and then headed up.   It was getting pretty hot, so I finally went shirtless. 

It felt good to get out today.  I had been sticking to the treadmill for the last few days due to my demanding work schedule, and not watching to miss any NY Ranger hockey either. 

I feel like I'm a making a little bit of a mini-comeback, trying to get back to where I was in Toronto. But either way, it's all good.  I'm blessed to be able to just turn on the jets at will.

Now for more serious running news.  I am now 99 days away from the MAIN EVENT.   And no, we're not talking about the New York City Marathon either, which doesn't take place for nearly 2 more months.

Preparation will be everything.....