Wednesday, October 28, 2009

10 Miles and a Crash

I've been running long enough to know that every run can't be fabulous, but it's hard to accept the ones that aren't.

Maybe it was the sinus infection I've been fighting, maybe it was the lack of fuel from not eating much today, maybe it was the hilly course, maybe it was the 8 miles with the 10x100 meter repeats from last night, or maybe it was a combination of some or all of the above, tonight's run was so-so.

I decided to follow the hilly course for the first 6 miles of the scheduled 10 tonight. Luau, one of our Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, and I started out at a nice easy pace and it took close to 2 miles for my legs to loosen up. We hit the first hill and I felt ok. By the time we reached to top of the series of hills (I live in South Western Pennsylvania, so hills can go on for a LONG way) I was feeling a bit drained. We cruised down the other side, made the left onto the flat for 2 miles back to the Jeep, and I felt pretty good. Took a gel at 5 miles, got back to the Jeep to water Luau and fill my bottle and headed out with my friend Christine for the last 3.5.

Half way into the run with Christine, I started loosing my energy. When we made the turn, I sent her on her way, walked about a quarter mile and downed my bottle of Heed. After the walk, I ran in the last 1.5 miles--it wasn't easy though!

I have to remember that it's ok to eat throughout the day and I'll still lose weight. The next two days are scheduled rest days with 5 miles on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday. Looking forward to the rest and the upcoming runs!

Stay safe, keep your soles to the ground, and keep moving forward!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

And it is has begun!

Tonight I started training for my second marathon! I decided to go with Pete Pfitzinger's 18/55 program (18 weeks peaking at 55 miles.) But, I miscalculated and had to start at 16 weeks out instead of 17 weeks out (race week is kind of like week zero, thus the 18 weeks.) Well, training actually started yesterday, but it was a scheduled rest day!

This program is a little different than the the Hal Higdon Intermediate I program I used for Erie. It's a little more advanced and is higher mileage, but isn't that what training is for? I'm really looking forward to the next 4 months!

Stay safe, keep your soles to the ground, and keep moving forward!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Marathon Number Two

Well, I've picked my second marathon! I'm planning on running the Washington's Birthday Marathon just outside of Washington DC in February. They haven't picked the date yet, but I'm thinking it will be held on the 21st--based on past years and a "hint" from the Race Director.

So, with that said, I start training on Monday. For my first marathon, I used Hal Higdon's Intermediate I training program and enjoyed it immensely. For this one I'm going to use Pete Pfitzinger's 18 week 55 mile plan. I'm really looking forward to getting started!

I think I've been suffering from post marathon blues the last 6 weeks or so. I've been kind of bummed out, even though I've run multiple events. They're events for me because I don't "race" anyone but myself. In fact, sin September 27th my weekends included the following (one per week): 5K, Trail 10K, Road 10K, Half-Marathon, and today another road 5k. Next Sunday we're running the "Spirit of Pittsburgh Half-Marathon;" I still feel kind of bummed. I think it was because I didn't have anything "big" planned.

After the Washington's B-day marathon, I'm running the Pittsburgh marathon on May 3rd. I'm going to follow Pfitzingers multiple marathon plan. Who knows, maybe I'll run Marathon Maniac criteria in the fall? Or better yet, maybe my first 50K.

Well, the next few months will be of new discoveries as I train for my 2nd full. This time I'm hoping to run sub-five hours. My first on a flat course was 5:12--this is not a flat course!

Stay safe, keep your soles to the ground, and keep moving forward.

Monday, October 19, 2009

5 Mile Realization!

As a runner of 18 months or so, I've been asked a lot of questions. Not all of them are of the quizzical nature of folks who don't understand why someone runs without being chased--you know the "why?" "where do you get the time?" "do you do that on purpose?" and the such.

Today I was asked by two lovely young ladies that I work with how you get to the point to run a 5K. One of them runs 2.5 to 3 miles a few times a week--she's pretty much ready! And the other doesn't run at all--I hooked her up with the Couch to 5K program. We stood in one of their cubicles and talked running for 15 or 20 minutes and muscle cramps came up. Of course my first question was, "HOW MUCH WATER DO YOU DRINK?" Followed by "do you eat salty foods or drink electrolyte drinks?" We talked about dehydration and over hydration. Then I left work in a good mood because I ended the day talking about my passion!

When I got home, I laced up my Brooks and went out for a nice easy 5 miles around home. About a mile and a half in I noticed my lower legs were kind of sore. The muscles on the outside of calves were tight. I kept on running and at the turn around I still wasn't feeling it. Then it hit me! I preach hydration but forget to actually hydrate myself! It's a classic case of do as I say and not as I do.

It really hit me tonight when my Mom sent me a text message to ask if I heard about the terrible tragedy at the Detroit Marathon. I told her that I had and the three people that passed away had sudden cardiac arrest and I wondered if the were dehydrated or over hydrated. Being a mother, she promptly asked me how much and what I drink as a runner! I explained to her that I try to keep myself hydrated and I watch my electrolyte intake when I'm running and when I'm not. I couldn't tell her I haven't been drinking nearly enough!

So I guess I need to make a conscious effort to drink more.

And please keep the family and friends of the three lost runners from Detroit in your prayers.

Stay safe, keep your soles to the ground, and keep moving forward! (And don't forget to drink!)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A New Blog and a New Me

Hello everyone! It's time for a new me! I decided to create a new blog to help me get to the future I'm working towards and leave behind the Sumo I've always claimed myself to be!

If you have come to my new blog from the old one (,) let me say thanks for coming over! If you're new to my blogging, than thanks for reading!

I've been struggling with who I want to be physically for most of my life; however, the past few months have really taken a toll on my mental well being as well. As some of you may know, I started eating healthy at the beginning of 2008, lost some weight, started running in April of the same year when I learned I had a slow heart beat and have become EXTREMELY addicted to running.

Since that first day of eating right, I have lost 120 pounds, went from not being able to run 30 seconds, running my first 5K in 42 minutes, setting a 5K PR of 29:28 within a year of my start, finished my first full marathon in September 2009 in 5 hours and 12 minutes and my first half-marathon in October of 2009 in 2 hours and 20 minutes--yeah, yeah, I know you're supposed to run a half marathon before a full, but I'm a little different;-)

But my recent problem has come within the last few months. My weight loss has STOPPED. My running has improved, and I feel great physically. I think my problem has come with the increase in my base mileage and a DECREASE in my total calories. I believe I put myself into a starvation mode of sorts.

With all that being said, I have made a commitment to myself to realize my dream. As a fully addicted runner, one who never wants to stop, I am aspiring to become an ultra-runner someday. I would like to be ready to run the Laurel Highlands Ultra (a 70.5 mile run) before I turn 40 in 4 years. I am being realistic about this goal. It's written in sand, not stone. I will run an ultra before I turn 40; however, it may not be as big as Laurel--but I will run it for sure some day!

Ladies and gentleman, I'm no longer living in the life of a Sumo--past or present--I'm now living as a runner. Running Brad is who I am. It's who I want to be. And it's what I'll continue to work towards!

Stay safe, keep your soles to the ground, and keep moving forward!