Tuesday, August 31, 2010

in a funk

So a coworker came up to me this morning and sat down next to me and said "Jason, what's wrong" you seem to be down these last couple days/weeks" To be honest, I feel kind of in a funk. I'm tired at work and although I do interact socially with my coworkers, I'm just not my jovial self.

This might be due the fact that I have been sleeping in a tent on the weekends the past two. Last weekend we had an air mattress but it rained and our tent leaked a little, so I was sleeping on a wet air mattress. This past weekend I didn't have my air mattress so I was sleeping on the ground in a sleeping bag. I kept waking up to roll over and my hips were hurting.

More stress because of this baby that's coming in a few short months. Like 2.5 months. And even more reason to be tired is because I'm putting in so many miles running to train for this marathon, it's really taking it's toll.

Our weekends have been so busy and there aren’t going to be many free weekends until the end of September. We are trying to plan a house warming party also so that weekend we now have free might be filled up.

On some good news my training is going really well. I'm up to 20 miles on my long runs (well, I only did one 20 miler but felt good after it). I can complete my 10 mile tempo runs at race pace and last night I did an 'easy' 8 miles at 8:39 pace in the 90+ heat. I'm really hoping for some cooler days so I can just not worry about carrying a ton of water with me or doing mini loops back to my house to grab a drink. It fucks with my mind when I have to do 3 5mile loops. I would rather just do one big 20 mile loop with some water stops along the way.

This weekend we are going to my in-laws in Pittsburg for our baby shower. Rusted Root is also putting on a free concert at a park. $20 donation per car on Monday afternoon. We went last year and it was a ton of fun. I think I'm going to limit my alcohol consumption this weekend though. The last two weekends I drank way too much beer and ate way too much food. I assume we are playing golf this weekend also while the ladies do the baby shower stuff. I also need to get in a long run, hopefully at least 16 miles. Two stupid laps, again.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

2 tempo runs

Monday night I did a 7 mile tempo run at race pace, well, probably a little quicker than race pace (around 8:06 i think) then when I look at my training calender, I realized I was supposed to do 9. Last night I decided to do a 10 mile tempo run. I was playing with my GPS and remembered I have a virtual partner to help pace me. My GPS does beep every mile to tell me what I ran the previous mile in, but with virtual partner it gives me how far ahead (or behind) i am and updates in real time. I'm happy to say I stayed .10-.15 ahead of my 'partner' the entire time, even with some pretty decent size hills. My average pace was 8:14 and I finished in 1:22. I also weighed myself before and after and I dropped 7lbs (water weight). Don't worry, I drank a gallon of water when I got back and ate 3 slices of home made pizza for dinner! (with a piece of cake for dessert).

Tonight is a track workout with Keith

how are your tempo runs coming along?

Monday, August 23, 2010

First 20 miler!

I took off work Friday (called in sick actually) because we went to Indiana, PA for the weekend. Took off Thursday night, about a 3 hour drive. Got there around 10:30pm. I had to wake up early (to call in sick) and also get to the golf course! We teed off around 9:30am. Cracked the first beer about 30 min before that. I played terrible the front nine, 14 shots over par! On an interesting side note, the 8th hole my golf ball went through the front windshield of a truck coming down the road! He's trying to make me pay for it (the owner of the trucking company actually came to the course to try and get money from me!) "So I priced it out and it comes to $250. I take cash or credit cards" Scew you buddy! I'm not paying your shit till I talk to my insurance agent! Don't you think the golf course is responsible for it anyway? I mean the road goes right through the course. They have to have insurance for that!

I stopped drinking after the round because I had to hydrate for my long run Saturday morning. I went on www.mapmyrun.com because I had no idea where I was going. I usually like to make loops because I don't like running the same road out and back. The elevation was deceiving on the website. There were so many hills. I made it 20.39 miles in (eek) 3:15. My wife's cousin, who is 16, was nice enough to ride with me to carry my water and food. He was riding right behind me for the first 2 miles or so until we came up to the first hill. He had to walk. He would pass me on the downhills and I would pass him back on the ups. Well, he only made it 14 miles when his dad came driving by and he's like, "I'm hungry, I'm quitting!" Seriously? I need you to carry my water! So I chugged a lot of water and carried 1/2 a bottle with me. The last 6 miles was super slow. The last 3 were up one big hill that was so sloped it was hurting my ankles. It turns out that when I got back, we found out that his back brakes were locked up the entire time! He probably could have made it if he noticed. (he doesn't have much common sense!)

Then the party started. It was my wife's uncle's 60th surprise party. We drank, ate, and partied. I burned 3,200 calories on that run so I easily ate 5,000 calories Sunday (including beer). I took some great videos on my phone of my 'uncle' doing his little dance routine to the Village People (it's almost an annual treat now) but I cannot upload it here(he didn't know they were gay until about 3 years ago). It started raining around 10pm and we started playing poker. These guys live for poker. That's all they talk about. I flopped this, he beat me on the river that... I started with $20 and walked away at 2:30am (when the game ended) with $120. I think after I talk to my insurance agent this morning, if it's my fault, I'll offer the truck driver $125 and say "that's the cost of driving through a golf course!"

Monday, August 16, 2010

Long and Wet

That's what she said!

My weekend started with happy hour Friday after work. After a company picnic filled with BBQ and desserts, I was not in the mood for dinner. We went to a placed called The Firehouse for dinner and drinks. Everyone else ordered dinner while I stuck to Guinnes. We walked around downtown for awhile untill we finally stopped at an ourdoor bar for a few more drinks. I was in bed by 10am. I loved it.

Saturday morning I met some coworkers to go mountain biking on some sweet trails about 30 min from where I live. Not as much mud and stream crossings as I would like, but enough to make me clean my mountain bike.

I then had to rush home and get to my grandparents's house to celebrate my dad's 57th birthday. My grandmother said lunch would either be hot dogs or flank steak. We had hot dogs. I didn't want to stuff myself because I still had to do my 16 miler that evening. I only had one piece of cake and a brownie! I gave myself 3 hours before I set out for my run.

When I am at my parents house, I always run on the Union Canal. It's crushed gravel, flat, and shaded. .

The part that I usually run on is about a 7 mile stretch, with water stops along the way. I planned my route (without my GPS, I couldn't find it) to hit about 16 miles with my dad's imput on how far different places were on the trail. "If you go all the way to then end, turn around, go all the way to the other end, then go 1/2 way the other way, then home, that should be about 16" he said. It really didn't seem that far in my head, but once I got out there around 5:30pm and the sun started going down, it got pretty dark, and late. I still had enough energy to take a shower and go to the bar for some beer and wings though!

Sunday morning I was up early again getting ready to go play golf. 8:50am tee time and it started pouring as we were loading the bags on our cart. Luckly it stopped before we teed off so off we went. Cracked a beer on the first hole and never looked back. I seem to play a lot better when I'm drinking. I was a horrible 10 over the front nine but only 4 over the back. Around hole 16, after I watered every tee box tree from all the liquids I was consuming, it started to rain. Then pour. Three guys in the group behind us continued to play so we pulled off the path and let them play through. We were sitting in the car for about 10 minutes when I finally said "screw it, lets keep playing". We finished the hole and finished the round. I was drenched, but I was drunk so it didn't really matter. I look at my watch and it's only 1:30pm. Woops. Probably shouldn't have had 8 beers. Oh well. At least I got my long run in, and felt good about it!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Johnny Cash Day and my 14 miler

I'm rocking the Johnny Cash look today. Black shirt and black pants. I hear it's slimming!

Last night was my long run and I made the 14 miles. Although it was slow, it got done. I tried to carry a water bottle with me but even though I only had it 1/2 full, I felt my shoulder tensing up because I didn't want to keep sloshing the liquid around. I made it about 1.5 miles with the bottle before I stashed it on the side of the road to pick up on the second loop.

The loop I ran was exactly 7 miles, so after the first loop, I stopped at home to changed my shirt and hat because they were both soaked through and dripping wet. I also had some Gatorade-like drink that I had waiting in the fridge for me and a handful of pretzels. Off I went for the second lap.

It was a lot slower the second time around. I finished the first lap in 1:05 but felt like I was running a lot faster than I actually was. I blame the fact that it was 95 degrees on both laps and I completed an Olympic Tri on Sunday. I picked up my water bottle at the 8.5 mile mark, chugged the rest of the drink mix and stashed the bottle in my waistband on my shorts (in the back). I was starting to get a headache and was slowing down even more. With an empty water bottle, 95 degrees and the sun starting to set, I had to do something. I stopped at a gas station and filled up my water bottle and chugged it.

I finished up my 14 miles in around 2:13 or so which was about a 9:30 mile. Slow, I know, but I really felt like I was running at a 8:45. Just get the miles in... track workouts and tempo runs are for speed!

I also weighed myself this morning and I was down 4 lbs from yesterday! Probably due to the fact that I didn't eat dinner last night after my run. I had chocolate milk, some pretzels, and a yogurt. Carbs and protein to recover!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Fort Richie Olympic Triathlon

Sunday morning, my alarm goes off at 3am. I force down a bowl of Cheerios and my friend picks me up at 3:30am to head down to MD for the Tri. We stop at Sheetz to grab a cup of coffee and there are about six drunken people ordering their 4th mean. Bastards.

My eyes hurt so bad I had to keep them closed the 1:15 it took us to get to Cascade, MD. We parked, went inside to get our numbers and get body marked. My eyes were starting to feel a little better. I was set up in transition before the sun even came up. It was cold outside. I took about a mile warm-up run and finished setting up my transition.

The swim, a 1500m (.9 miles) was a two loop course in a small lake. In the pre-race meeting the race director told us there was some undergrowth but as long as you didn't freak out and continue swimming you would be fine. That was a joke. There was so much undergrowth I felt like I could have put my feet down and it would have held me up, or pulled me down. It was in my mouth, around my goggles, arms, legs, and it kind of freaked me out once or twice. I managed to start passing people though, and finally got into a rhythm and finished in 32:25 (58/156).

The bike course was just stupid. We came out of the complex and started climbing, then it got really steep and climbed some more, for about the first two miles. Then we hit the downhill. That was a lot of fun. I was going 40mph without even pedaling. It's too bad I don't have that extra 60+lbs on me because this dude FLEW by me doing at least 45mph. At least I know his fat-ass would have a hell of a time going back UP that hill. (on a side note, so did I) 1:23:56 avg 17.0mph (62/156)

They told us the run was flat in the pre-race meeting. BULLSHIT! We basically snaked around the old army base twice. The hills were not long by any means, but there were 3 of them. Times 2 laps equals one every mile! My friend that I went with passed me at mile 3. I tried to keep up for as long as I could but he's a runner. So am I, but he's a faster runner! He averaged 1 min per mile faster than me. 52:57 8:32/mile (41/156)

My final time was 2:52:56. Not too bad considering the lake monster trying to eat me and all the hills on the course. Needless to say we will NOT be going back to this race next year. Two girl finished in front of me. Not TOO bad.

On a totally unrelated subject, I built a set of corn hole boards on Saturday and sewed the bags and filled them with corn yesterday. That was my arts and craft project for the weekend! I also finally hung my flat screen on the wall last night! Living room is DONE!

I finally remember to take pictures!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Prep for Olympic Tri this weekend

Since I got jipped out of a full Olympic distance tri this summer, I had to find another one to enter. That one turned out to be the Ft Richie Olympic Tri.

A two lap, 1.5k swim, followed by a 40k out and back bike ride, and finishing with a 10k. I received an email from the race director Sunday evening with the event details. The first thing I noticed is there is no race day registration. My training buddy who is doing this even with me was going to register the day of because his wife is due in about 2 weeks. I let him know and thankfully there was still time to register online so he did so. The second thing I noticed is we have to leave at 3:30am because it's about 1.5 hours away and packet pickup closes at 6am with the transition area closing at 6:30am. The third thing I noticed was the weather. It's going to be about 90 on Sunday.

Luckily the race starts at 7am with my wave starting at 7:21 so hopefully I will be done before the majority of the heat comes. They said the water temp last week was 77 degrees so I don't plan on wearing a wetsuit but if we are allowed to, I probably will. I am not a fan of wetsuits because I feel restricted when I swim.

I'm a little worried about my road bike though. I have been breaking spokes more often this year than any other year before. I'm up to 3 broken spokes so far. I dropped my bike off yesterday at my LBS and he suggested I replace them all with heavy duty spokes, not those zinc plated POS that are currently on my bike. I tried to blame it on these powerful legs but it's probably a flaw in the rim.

I have increased my running over the past two months trying to incorporate marathon training with tri training but my pool/lake time and bike time have suffered. My goal this week is to get a good swim/bike in Wednesday, a short bike/long run in Thursday (hopefully at least 14 miles), and maybe putz around Friday and Saturday as my 'taper'. Since this isn't my main race this year, I'm not going to taper like I should because I'm going to PR anyway. This race is just a stepping stone to my half iron man next summer and a full iron man in 2012, that is, if my wife lets me.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Gring's Mill 10k

Sunday was the umpteenth annual Gring's Mill 10k in beautiful Reading, PA. An out and back course on a crushed gravel trail. The Gring's Mill is advertised as 'the prettiest race in PA' and also about 1/3 of a mile from where I grew up.

Every time I come back there I notice the little things I used to do as a kid on the trail. I used to pop a wheelie on this rock. Sledding hill over there, and the tree I cracked my head open on while sledding. Smoked my first cigarette behind that tree. Good times!

So anyway, this was the first time I actually drove to the park. I arrived around 8am, picked up my number, shirt, and a sweet bag. I met up with my dad who also ran the race along with a former high school friend and another friend from Harrisburg.

The starting temp was around 70 with lots of humidity! The first mile I went out pretty strong around 6:30, and the second mile I hit around 13 minutes. Because this was on a trail and 100% shaded, I didn't even bother wearing my GPS because I know it would be beeping at me the entire time trying to find a signal. They did have mile markers but I hit the 3rd mile at 18:18. No way that was correct. We hit the turn around (which wasn't even the 1/2 way point) and maybe thought the 3 mile marker would be more appropriate this time... not so much. I hit the 3rd mile marker again in 22 and change. There were 303 entries in the 10k and I was only passed by two people the entire race. I'm not a big fan of starting near the front because I hate to go out too strong, unlike some races in the past. Plus, I like to pass people.

I started to hurt around mile 4 or so and it was getting pretty spread out by that point so I just figured I would put it on cruise control and not try and push it. Of course some dude had to come up behind me and try and pass me. I hung with him for about 1/2 a mile and decided to let him go. My finishing time was 43:05, 33/303which is about 1:10 faster than last year. I'm still trying to break 40 minutes but Marathon training requires a lot of long slow(er) miles. My dad finished in 1:05.47 273/303 but he's old and injured!


(this was the 1mile fun run, I'm not that mean)