Avoid the Killer Boards

9 10 2012

Friday I was forced to change it up due to the weather. There was a lot of rainfall the previous night so when I arrived at the boardwalk, the wood planks were completely soaked. I tested the wood by dragging my feet and then knew it would be too dangerous to run on it. My only option was to run on the bike path. Since the beginning of the bike path was nearby, I walked to the start as a warm-up.  There was tons of overgrowth on that deserted path to the start and even as a big guy, I did not feel very safe. It’s a perfect place to get shanked.

“Shhh! Here he comes.”

As I got to a clearing, I was surprised to see all the greenage and how big the area was. It still made me nervous because I could vividly imagine getting attacked by a wild boar who jumps from the bushes and tackles me. Either that or I would get a laser blast through my chest from Predator.

Who’s in there?


I watch too many movies.

About halfway through my run, I realized that running the bike path is pretty fun. There are much more things to look at. Trees, playgrounds, cars, and just seeing different areas instead of endless wooden boards. The only problem with the path is that it’s for bikes. There are always bikers and you always have to be careful. You could accidentally get in front of one and get hit from behind. Quite a shameful way to go.

My run was similar to the last one: a 5K at 12 minutes per mile. As I said before, I’m going to build my mileage and let my speed come naturally.I have been taking a two minute walk at the halfway point and that break has been helping me finish the runs. As of yesterday I have ran 3 miles everyday for the past 3 runs and it has got easier every time. On my next run I’m going to cut the 2 minute walk in half and see how my body responds. If I feel a painful crack and see a jagged bone sticking out of my leg, then I’ll know that I’m pushing too hard.

My goal is to be able to run a 5K without breaks and then eventually run a 10K without breaks. Again, I’ll follow the Jeff Galloway run walk method whenever I start marathon training. Whenever that is.

Trying Something New (again).

1 10 2012

Route: Boardwalk

Distance: 3.1 miles

Time: 36 minutes

Shoe Mileage: 222.78 miles.

As I’m sure most runners do, I am always researching new ideas and techniques for running effectively and implement them during my runs. This past week I have searched the internet for articles on how to run a faster 5k in order to improve my speed. As I read a few articles, I realized that I’ve been doing it a bit wrong. My plan was to redo the Couch to 5K while using the space 10 minute per mile pace. Unfortunately, my progress kept getting held up at the 20 minute run. I would constantly run out of breath before I can finish.

Some of the articles I have read stated that in order to be able to run faster, you must be able to run longer. Well, I know I haven’t been doing that. Last week I did a long-run of 3 1/2 miles on a 12 min. per mile pace and it seemed very easy. I decided to try running a 5K this past Sunday without taking any walk breaks to see where I am fitness-wise. About halfway through I took a two-minute walk and then was able to finish the run without any breaks. However, it was a brutal second-half. I almost quit several times and truthfully, I don’t know how I was able to finish it. I really had to push myself to get through it.

My plan is to be able to run a 5K at any speed so that I can get more miles in. I would like to run a 5K without breaks but use the Galloway system for marathon training. I will wait two days and then try the 5K again to see if the run gets easier. Let’s see what happens.

New Long Run.

24 09 2012


Route: Boardwalk

Distance: 3.45 miles

Time: 45 minutes

Shoe Mileage: 217.28 miles.

I never had the chance to post a blog for this past Friday’s run but luckily I posted the info on my Dailymile profile so that I can keep track. I went to sleep pretty late on Saturday so I missed Sunday morning’s run. It was supposed to be my long run but I made up for it today. Luckily I had nothing else to do and the weather was perfect. It was a cool 60° out and sunny-the perfect weather for a Galloway runner.

With this run, I’ve decided to go for three and a half miles with the slower 11-12 mile per minute pace. The ratio was two minutes run and 1 minute walk, an easy run with the pace. I haven’t ran this far in quite some time and to tell the truth, I probably could’ve ran longer. For half the run I listened to some Marathon podcast and it seemed like the time flew by. When I listened to music for the second half, it did seem like a longer run. Now, I will have a podcast ready every I do the long run.

One thing that helped the run was an app I found called Run / Walk Intervals Timer. This app would keep track of the minutes I needed to run and walk. Whenever I had to change pace, the Android app would tell me when to run or walk and would even vibrate for several seconds when alerting me. It’s free and worth every penny. My runs have become so much easier with it. If you have an Android phone, I highly recommend it.


Rain and Dehydration Make Strange Bedfellows

19 09 2012

Route: Boardwalk

Distance: 2 miles

Time: 22 minutes

Shoe Mileage: 211.4 miles.

Yesterday NYC had some serious rain and wind storms so I decided not to go running and went today instead. It was partly cloudy out today but the contrast between yesterday and today is like night and day. Also, since I run on the boardwalk, I get really wary running on those wood planks. I have ran on moist planks and it was rather slippery. I could only imagine what could happen when running during a drizzle or rain.

Rain on a running day gets me conflicted because I was always one of those people who loves rain. Nothing is sweeter than hearing the low rumble of thunder outside or just the sound of rain hitting the window. Of course I would probably feel different if I lived in Tornado Alley.

Beauty is where you find it.

So I went back to the 10 minute mile pace with the 3:1 run/walk ratio today and was able to run 2 miles for 22 minutes. The walk breaks changed my average pace to 11 minutes per mile. Kinda seems like a waste since I’m running at the 10 mark but I need the walk breaks for now. In fact, that was all I was able to run since I felt like I was going to puke. I already know that my problem was dehydration. I haven’t been drinking the proper amounts of water and I was feeling it during the run. Heck, I felt that my lips were chapped and I didn’t have that problem before. I have a sports bottle with a Britta water filter built in so I’m gonna try to get my proper water requirements in for the next run and see what happens. It’s a handy water bottle because I can drink tap water without any worries and since I know that the bottle is 16oz, I know how much water I’m drinking. Let’s see what happens on Friday.

Useful bottle!

Dawn of the Almost Dead: A Report on the Long Run

16 09 2012


Route: Boardwalk

Distance: 3.11 miles

Time: 41 minutes

Shoe Mileage: 209.4 miles.

Today was the day of my 3 mile long run and I left my home an hour later than usual since I was tired and couldn’t get up. I almost didn’t but I did not want to mess up my schedule and I wanted to see what is the deal with the long run. After completing the run, I think I am a believer.

Now, because I went a little later, there were more people on the boardwalk. There was all kind of folks but the biggest group was definitely the elderly. Man, they were everywhere. There was so many, I was starting to think that I was intruding on their boardwalk time. There were walkers, fishers, and runners.

When I started my slower paced long run with the 2:1 run/walk ratio, there was a speed walking older woman who I passed but then she went past me during my walk break. For several minutes we battled it out for first place, which made me feel slightly embarrassed with my pace and made it difficult to keep the same slow pace without speeding up.

Speed demon!

Eventually I left her in my dust and I felt better. I then started seeing younger women and I was cursing myself for the slow pace. Whenever I see pretty girls running, it automatically becomes my duty to change from a simple run to the greatest show on earth. It was really hard to do that with a turtle pace.

So anyway, my long run pace is 12 minutes per mile, which was pretty easy. I had to fight the urge to speed up and would stay between 12 and 11:30 per mile. It was also taking forever just to get to the halfway point. I think I’m gonna start listening to podcasts or audiobooks instead of music because I was getting really bored. Who knows? Maybe the huffing and puffing is hard yet entertaining to me.

Another weak part of the slow run is that there were other elderly runners passing me. I mentioned in an earlier post that I can get competitive and I felt awkward that I was much younger than some of the senior runners and they were clowning me. They might have well slapped me in the back of the head as they passed by cause that’s how it felt.

Still, with all the moaning and complaining about the slow pace, I noticed that at the end of the run, I was actually tired. I wasn’t out of breath but my legs were tired, which I haven’t felt in a while. The slow run gave my legs a good workout. I think the slower pace will help my running progress and I will keep doing it.

One last thing. I saw this as I finished and had to take a picture.

All I could think was, “Who was walking who?”


Not a C25K

15 09 2012

Route: Boardwalk

Distance: 2.11 miles

Time: 23 minutes

Shoe Mileage: 206.31 miles.

This past Friday I was able to complete my 23 minute run with the 3:1 run/walk ratio without any issues. The last 3 minute interval was the hardest and I was totally out of breath at the end. I thought I wasn’t going to make it but I just forced it out and I’m glad I did. Completing the last interval means that I’ve adjusted well to 23 minutes, especially considering that only the last 3 minutes was the one that was really difficult.

I am ready to move on to the next step, which is adding on an extra 3:1 ratio to my workout. That means my run will extend to 26 minutes-another step closer to the 5K length. I should be hitting that race mark within a month.

Now, if anyone scrolls down my blog posts, you will see one with a title of Week 9. Yes, that is from the final week of a C25k program, yet I’m currently working on hitting a 5K run length. The difference here is speed. I’m purposely working on speed so that I can run a 5K in about 30 minutes. In the previous week 9 completion, I was averaging an 11:30 per mile pace. I wanted to pick up the pace before I get into some serious distance running.

My pace is picking up!

While executing my morning runs, I’ve discovered that I have a competitive streak in me. I can’t help but get envious whenever I see another runner moving faster than me, especially if the faster person is elderly. I realized that anything slower than a 10 minute mile is too slow for me. However, here is a subject where I can be relative about it. Everyone can run at their own pace, no matter how slow or fast it is. But personally, I have to move somewhat fast. I know it’s not a 6 minute mile, but it is a start. Now, this Sunday is the 3 mile long run where I will run a slow 12 minute mile. I haven’t ran at that pace in a while so I’m interested in how that run will turn out. I’ll let my two readers know.

Getting back on track!

12 09 2012

Route: Boardwalk

Distance: 2.1 miles

Time: 23 minutes

As I started running this morning, I was anxious on whether I would see improvement from the last run. As I stated in the last post, I’ve been stuck running the same intervals with no improvement for a few weeks. I’m used to seeing a bit of progress with every run so my frustration led me back to the walk-run method promoted by Jeff Galloway. On this past Sunday’s run, I ran for 23 minutes with a 3:1 run-walk ratio. However near the end of the run, I switched to a 2:1 ratio because I kept running out of breath.

For today’s run, I decided to do the same 23 minute run and see what happens. Near the end of the run, I realized that although it was hard, I was going to finish the run with the same ratio I started with. It felt good to see progress again. I finally had a good run and didn’t mind that I was sweating a bucket and my shirt was wicking overtime.

I decided to repeat the same run this Friday and then go for a 3 mile long run on Sunday. I never done a long run at the end of a week as the Galloway technique states, but I know I’m supposed to run two minutes slower when I go for it. When I do, I’ll be looking to see how tired I will be at the end of the run and if running slower really extends the distance endurance. I feel good about my training again (finally).

9/9/2012 Update

9 09 2012

I really need to keep updating this blog for myself as well as any readers. An online journal can help me review any progress I’ve been making.

Route: Boardwalk

Distance: 2.1 miles

Time: 23 minutes


For the past few weeks, I have been trying to run at least 20 minutes straight without a break at a 10 minute per mile rate. There’s a 5K I’m checking out in November that I would like to run with a 30 minute time, but my body has not been responding well. It shouldn’t take almost a month of running to do 20 minutes without stopping.

Weird cloud pic. Looks like a tidal wave.

Since that non-stop running is not working for me, I decided to go back to Jeff Galloway’s run/walk method and build from there. What’s different with his style that I’m not currently doing is the long run. The weekend will have the longer, slower run which is supposed to push my endurance wall back. It couldn’t hurt to give that a shot and change what’s not working.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  -Albert Einstein

It’s actually been almost a week since my last run due to adjusting my schedules to get my kid ready for school and I don’t want to run outside in total darkness at 5am. I didn’t have this problem in the summer because the sun rose early but now I have to wait until 6am minimum. Now that my boy is going to get on the school bus early, I can wait with him with my running shorts and shoes on. That’s called saving time. College taught me that.

Week 9!!

2 05 2012

I’m starting week 9 of the Couch to 5K program and I am excited that the program is about to end. I have been running for longer than nine weeks due to injury and extra rest but it felt even longer than that. A week or two ago, I would look at my Garmin watch and see 12 or 13 minutes of my run completed and inwardly think, “only halfway done. I can do this.” I would look at my shadow on the floor mimicking my limbs as a distraction, a repetitive motion that reminded me of a machine. Maybe a machine which always blows a gasket, but you get the idea.

Yesterday I went for my first 30 minute run with full confidence that I was going to complete it without an issue. I even put on my Pure Moods album on my iPod. This was the first time I ran with slow-paced music, which was a breakthrough because I no longer needed fast music to help push myself to complete the run.

The most surprising part about the first run of that week, I became aware of around the halfway point. I was enjoying the Pure Moods album and thinking about something random and then it hit me: I was not thinking about the run at all. Usually I keep track of time and pace, but this time I was on cruise control. Boredom wasn’t my problem. I was feeling good and was enjoying the exercise. This feeling is what I remember when I think about the running I used to do many years ago. That good feeling makes me want to run all the time, even right now as I write this, and I already had a run today.

So the run was finished without incident and as I’m doing my post-run stretches, I spot a large cruise ship in the water. It traveled under the Verrazano Bridge and was slowly headed out to sea.

I have never been on a cruise ship before but I did see pictures of some and watched videos of the Norwegian and Disney Cruise lines. They look really nice but I can’t afford them at this point in my life. I was feeling rather envious of them but then I started thinking about my C25K journey and the effort I put into it. Sure, I cannot afford a cruise vacation, but I can do other things. How many of those cruise passengers can run 30 minutes straight? How many of them plan to run a marathon in the future and possibly at some point, qualify for the Boston marathon? Not many, I would guess. I’m doing something good for my body and it doesn’t cost much. In addition, I have the resolve to complete a program like the C25k, something that certainly was not easy to do. There is an article on C25K.com, which states that most that start the program do not finish. Most do not, but I will. So then, that makes me think, “Who should be envious of whom?”

New Running Update

1 05 2012

Wow! I sat down and opened up my WordPress blog to tap out a few words for a running update and I could not believe what I saw. It has been over a month since my last blog update. My readers must be pulling out their hair waiting to find out about my running progress. Okay, maybe not, but I have read that it is a good idea to keep a journal as a runner. I forgot the reason why but it sounded like a good idea. There have been small Twitter updates due to training apps that automatically post my runs, but I want to document how I feel as I progress forward.

Where I last left off, the 20-minute run was coming up and I was apprehensive about it. I actually wrote close to 1000 words about it, but then my browser crashed and wiped it all away. After that pointless effort, I did not feel like writing for a while and I was swamped with everyday life. That combined with the fact that I suck in time management is what led to my posting delay. So to summarize, I completed the 20-minute run with an unholy amount of huffing and puffing. It was so hard that it affected my runs the following week. I had to take a 5 day break after the second run of the week due to exhaustion and leg pain. However, I was not going to let some leg pain stop the progress I made so far. I have done all this before when I was younger and I am going to get through this again.

Through weeks 6 and 7, I had to take extra days off because of periodic leg pain. However, by the third day of week 7, most of the pain was gone and I had a feeling that it was not going to come back for the rest of the 9-week program. The running just started to get easier. Since I have started running on the boardwalk, I have started getting used to landmarks and the general area where I have to turn around at the halfway point of my timed run. The boardwalk is about one and a half miles long and I have been able to see where the boardwalk ends, which is not too far away from the turnaround point. Since I also warm up on the boardwalk, it makes my total workout time slightly more than the scheduled run/walk workout for the day. Therefore, by week 8, I was hitting the end of the wooden path and running back the other way. I knew from here on, I was past the point of no return. Unless a car accidentally pins my legs into a parked car, I am going to complete this program. Considering that I failed the program last year, this new realization felt good. It felt damn good.Now I am starting week 9. It’s amazing how far I’ve come since being worried about running for three minutes straight. The body is an amazing thing.