Friday, April 29, 2011


I love intervals. I hate intervals, but I love intervals. The same can be said for my iPhone. The two love/hate relationships collided today. The plan called for 5x800 at a 6:58 pace. As my wife will tell you, I don't like to deviate from the plan. She will also tell you I never plan for anything and have no sense of time. However running is clearly my exception. My last run was supposed to be 5 miles at 8:18. I did 8:19. I like to stick to the plan.

Today my first interval was too fast (as usual): 6:30 pace. The second one was going ok and I think my pace was pretty good. I have an app for that (and a fancy arm pouch for my phone since the first one didn't protect my first iPhone from my sweat). I tried to grab my phone and turn it on my arm so I could check my distance (something I do several times during each run) and suddenly I hear "Activity stopped". Shhhhiiiiit!!! I must have just hit the stop button. I fumble at my phone hoping I hit pause or that there is some kind of magical resume. Of course not. I am now walking and picking up my keys which fell to the ground when I opened up up my phone pouch. You see, normally the plastic front panel on the pouch makes it difficult to use the touch screen on the phone. Not today though! Not while I am hauling ass through downtown. I had no trouble hitting that stop button!

So now I reprogram my app to start on my next recovery and then do my last 3 800s. Of course this takes so long I really didn't need a recovery so now I am pissed that I am running a 1/4 mile that isn't on my plan. (I like to stick to the plan.) I finish my workout running the last 3 intervals averaging a 7:24 pace with not one of them under 7:20. I blame my phone.

It was still a beautiful day and a great run. I saw three baby swans during my warmup and went back to take some pictures after my run. I don't care how macho you are. Baby swans are, well, baby swans for cryin' out loud! They're the ugly duckling! (They were white and cute so the story is a hoax but still a good message).

I love intervals. I hate intervals, but I love intervals. The same can be said for my iPhone.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


A few days ago if you said "BQ" you would have to had spotted me that you were talking about running before I would have come up with "Boston Qualifier". A few months ago if you asked me what the most prestigious marathon was I would say New York. What did I know. I can't say I'm not a runner, but I'm not a "runner". I have never run competitively and used to joke that I would only run if chased. Now my favorite t-shirt slogan is "my sport is your sport's punishment" and I am seriously considering trying to qualify for Boston. . .

. . or at least I was. It was just a few days ago when my wife issued the challenge: "You can do it. If I had any hope of being able to do it I would try. You have a chance of getting there. You should go for it!" (or something like that). I looked up the time and thought, "I might be able to get there. A 7:25 pace is just a little faster than my 5k pace. It would take some more training but I'm shooting for a sub-7:00 5k pace so that would make it possible, right?

Today I cracked open my latest issue of "Runner's World" and there it was: Boston mania is taking the world by storm. This years race was full within 9 hours of the start of registration. So it ends up I might be just another shmuck amidst an ever-growing throng of running crazies.

On top of that, my 3:15 qualifying time would drop to 3:10 in 2013. In 2014 I will be 40 and unless they tighten up agin it will drop back to 3:15. I saw that when I first looked up my time but it didn't really sink in just how inconvenient that is. I don't think I have time to qualify for 2012 and there is a BIG difference between 3:15 and 3:10.

Lost in all this is the fact that I have run exactly one marathon. . . in 4:27. "But that was different!" I now cry. It was a bucket list thing. I was just trying to finish. I had just recovered from all of my training injuries and ran my first 8:00 mile since highschool. Now I have done a 7:00 flat during my speed work and dip down in the sixes quite often for short bursts and live there on my shorter intervals. I read "Run Less, Run Faster" from cover to boring cover and now have the expertise of the Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training guiding my training.

The funny thing about all this is that before today I thought I was embarking on an exciting quest. Now I feel a little jipped. It is like stumbling on a quiet little stretch of beach only to have a swarm of people come in with their umbrellas, paddle ball, and Coors Light. They might be really nice and a lot of fun and there for the same reason as you, but suddenly it isn't as special a place as you had imagined.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Today's Run

I guess that is a misleading title, but this being the first post in my running blog I think it is somehow appropriate. I am a newbie but I definitely have the bug. I did a couch-to-5k program with my wife about 2 years ago. I've done a couple (2) more 5ks since then, a 15k, and the Disney marathon. Yes I am bragging. We did a 2-year couch-to-marathon program which consisted of floundering around at 5-10 miles a week then doing the Hal Higdon beginner program for Disney. It was brutal. Not the running (not that it was easy) but the time commitment. Our two year-old turned 3 just before the race and we have an 11 year-old with special needs. Running all those hours on top of full time jobs was insane. We did it though. I did 4:27 and she did 5:35. Scratch that off the bucket list.

So that brings us to now. I've been doing the Furman FIRST 5k program working on my speed. I am now a running nerd (I was already a band and computer nerd). For those of you not familiar with FIRST, it is a scientifically-designed ass kicking. Every run. Just 3 days a week, but ass kicking. Well, at least 2 of the 3. The long run is a welcome respite in comparison. The speed and tempo are brutal in a very exacting way. Those bastards at Furman know just how hard they can push you so you can finish the workouts but just barely.

So this leads me to my topic du jour: Today's run. 2 mi tempo at the "short" pace (5k + 20 sec). For me that's 7:48. At 8:00 I feel like I'm truckin'. 7:30 isn't last race pace. 7:48 in heat and humidity was uncomfortable. The heat is already getting brutal (and yes I have used the word "brutal" too much) here in Florida. I crossed the street a few times just to catch some shade. I had to push pretty hard the last quarter mike just to hit 7:55 for my second mile. My cooldown felt like a crawl.

Still...I can't wait for my next run!