Category Archives: running

3 miles.


God, it wasn’t even three whole miles. Seems like it hasn’t been the best choice to keep eating like I’m training for a half marathon, since I ran the half marathon almost 2 months ago. This feels awful.

To add to the good vibes, after half a mile it alternated between a steady rain and a driving rain. At least it wasn’t too cold.

James River Loop 8-Miler

Trail running was more fun that I expected. It was also less about sightseeing than I thought. I was talking to a friend of mine last week about the upcoming run and he said, “trail running is fun but I never get to see anything but the ground because I fall every time I look up”. I felt bad for the clumsy fellow until I got about 50 yards in from the trailhead. And then I laughed because I’d apparently signed up for 8 miles of staring at the feet of the runner in front of me to see where they were stepping to avoid roots and rocks.

This video is a good illustration of the trail as we ran it (and the stabilized video minimizes some of the motion-sickening I get from these GoPro jams):

As I was looking around at the other runners before the start I set a goal of not-being-last. I was happy to see that I was neither last in my gender nor in my age group. I was close to the bottom, but not on the bottom. I’m also still kind of sore two days later. 8 miles was my longest distance run *and* it was my first trail run so that combo is probably (hopefully?) what’s got me still creaking around. I’ll know tomorrow when I get back to mid-week normalcy.

50 Days to the Half Marathon

I’m pleasantly surprised at how good I am feeling good about it. I have an 8-mile run in the morning that I feel ready for. Tomorrow’s scheduled group run is for 8 miles but Adam and I signed up for that trail run instead. It will be good to mix it up a bit. I haven’t done any trail running before but I know the route from riding MTB so it won’t be completely foreign to me.

I had doubts that 3-3-3 miles for mid-week runs would be enough to support weekend group runs of 6-7-8 miles but it has all turned out okay. The Wednesday run bumped up to 4 miles this week and it was great for me. Compared to the terrible runs I was having on my Whole 10 I don’t doubt for a second that reintroducing carbs has been been massively beneficial. I’ve got more flabby fat on and about, but it makes such a positive difference in my runs that I am cool making that trade.

Hardywood Twilight 4-Miler


Last Thursday was the first annual Hardywood Twilight 4-Miler, a 4-mile fun run through The Fan with Hardywood Park Brewery as the start/finish line.

The weather was perfect, the course was fun and flat, and the beer was delicious. I had tweaked my knee at softball on Wednesday so I wasn’t sure how I’d hold up. Everything worked out well and any knee tenderness was washed away by a couple of delicious cold ones. Good times.

With over 1500 runners we mobbed all of the streets on the course. The event description suggested that we’d have some police help to get us through major intersections but there were lots of cops along the whole route and they were straight-up stopping traffic for us to get through. There were lots of upset drivers and I expect there might be a different route next year.

2013 Monument Av 10k


That was disappointing. I took a minute off of my time from 2012, which was good. I did not hit my goal of finishing in under an hour, which was not good.

I can point to some things during training that I can do differently to go faster next time. For instance, I really enjoy the YMCA training team but it occurred to me the other day that its purpose is to get you through the race as opposed to making you faster. It is a good, supportive group but there isn’t “coaching” happening. I’m not criticizing, I’m just observing. I plan to do the Y team again next year but I’ll add some elements that I think will help me get faster.

I’ve got at least 2 more 10k races on my calendar this year so there will be other chances at that 60-minute barrier.

The biggest thing I need to work on is getting over the mental hurdle of taking breaks. I am a huge fan of the brief walk but I do it too much. I tell myself that I do it to have something in the tank for the last push through the finish but I never get close to empty. When I’m on the bike and I’m stuck and struggling I can get to a mental place where I am able to focus and not let my body (heart rate, breathing) get out of control. I’m not there yet when I run.

Week 9 10k Training Run


My last 10k training group run since I’m away for bike rides next weekend. I’m going to have to hustle to break an hour on race day. We’ll see how it goes.

I wasn’t as into the group as I was last year. The Intermediate group (so-called because the weekly mileage numbers are 2x the Novice group, it’s not pace-based) seems like more “serious” runners. Kind of. I mean, the whole YMCA training team is more about getting people through the race as opposed to getting faster at the race so it’s a stretch to call it “serious”. You can tell that some of the more accomplished runners in the group are there because they’ve had their fill of “serious” running and want to help out with folks who aren’t in that mode. I still like having the group run on Saturday as a huge motivator to get the weekday runs going so I’m going to do some kind of group training no matter what. If left to myself I’ll slack it all the way off.

I feel like I can handle the weekly mileage which is good since I’m up for the half-marathon training team this summer. That should be interesting.

I caught a back spasm this morning at about mile 5 which was…unwelcome. I’ll live.

3/16 10k Training Run


Rained steady for the first mile or so and then tapered off. Doing my weekday runs was beneficial and I had a couple of decent bits in there. I think I can get where I want to be in a month.

This will be my longest training run since I’m out at a bike ride next week.

10k Training Run 3/9/2013


I will do my weekday runs this week. I will do my weekday runs this week. I will do my weekday runs this week. I will do my weekday runs this week. I will do my weekday runs this week. I will do my weekday runs this week. I will do my weekday runs this week. I will do my weekday runs this week. I will do my weekday runs this week.

My long list of excuses for why I didn’t do any weekday runs this week provided no comfort to me. It wasn’t pretty (not that it’s ever *pretty*, but this was especially ugly).

Too many breaks in the mix and a crap attitude combined for a sub-par run. I got through the miles, though, and that is what counts.

After running I went and lifted. It felt great to get back to weights.

(weight in lbs. per side)

Squats 6x per set: nothing, empty bar, 25, 35, 45, 55, 65
Bench 10x per set: nothing, empty bar, 25, 35, 45, 55 (5x at 55lbs.)

10k Training Run – Week 5


It was pretty cold and it took most of the first mile to get everything loose. I had a terrible 4th mile again. Everything goes bad once I cross the 3 mile mark and I don’t know why. Weirder is that it only lasts a mile. When I get across the 4-mile mark I settle back into a groove and sally forth.

It’s odd.

10k Training, 2nd Group Run


2nd group run was tough. I’m not used to this many miles in a week yet so I’m trying to be easy with it. I’ve got a (relatively) strong 2- or 3-mile pace but longer than that I will end up hurting myself if I try to go hard. My plan this week was to start out slower and then hit a good pace groove in the middle. I never got there. I blew myself out badly on that hill there in the third mile and never recovered. I’m not discouraged because I know it’s early days on the training and I’ll end up being fine. (I still spent a couple of hours being disappointed in my pace, though)