Sunday, July 23, 2017

A year of Little Running

Time for the annual update on my running activities........ Last year's summer enthusiasm petered out quickly and led to almost zero running between September 2016 and April 2017 - I think it was 4 runs over 8 months. Not surprisingly fitness is at all time low and weight all time high.

So starting this May I decided (once again) to get back in shape. And (once again) it's going very poorly.  I have found it very hard to get excited about running frequently - primarily because it sucks when I am so out of shape.  But I have found it much easier to run when I am traveling.  I've run 13 times away from home (Davis, San Diego, Paris, London, Dorset, Chicago and Maui) but only 4 times here at home.

Guess I need to travel more if I really want to get back in shape although it usually involves far too much eating/drinking so I'm not making much of a dent on my weight!

Monday, June 27, 2016

3 weeks back....

So it's been 3 weeks that I am running again and boy am I out of shape! I hit the plan of 15/20/20 miles over 3/4/4 runs. Long run is up to 7.5 miles. Out of the 10 runs, 9 have sucked, 1 was OK. Hoping that things start to get better quickly from here.

Next 3 weeks should be 28/29/30 miles each on 5 runs. I am really hoping that by then I'l start to feel that this isn't just a horrible way to spend time and get a little bit of the bounce back in my step cos right now it's a slogfest.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Still Alive, But Ridiculously Out of Shape

OK, so after way too long not running I am going to get back in shape. I promised myself that once I sold my startup company I'd run again. Signed the deal for that this week so it's time to go!

It has been almost exactly 10 years since I started running in April 2006. Back then I was 40 and weighed around 165 lbs. Now I'm 50 and 10 pounds heavier. Running over the last 10 years has looked like this (miles/year).....

Almost got going again in 2013 when I was consciously trying to balance running and startup life in an attempt to stay healthy, but by the middle of the year I admitted that running was'nt going to happen and that was the end of that! 2014, 2015 just got worse and over the last 12 months I have only 100 miles. At my fittest I was running that in a single week and I was 30 lbs lighter.  

Doubt I'll get back to that level of craziness but I now have a plan, which is a start! The next 6 weeks I will build up to 30 miles and 5 runs per week. All easy running, although the definition of easy has changed significantly since 2009, when 16 miles at 7:30 pace was easy.

Then I need to get a goal race to keep myself motivated, so I'll start to train for a winter marathon (probably CIM in December) with a goal of Boston qualifier (which is admittedly much easier now that I'm 50+).

My son is gonna do much of these runs with me. He is 15 and super fit from year round soccer but he waits for me at the lights so I can catchup....... It's very sad.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

One Month Down

So July is done. A reasonably solid month of "starting to run again".  Total was 90 miles (which was a good week when I was in shape!) over 15 runs. Longest run was just over 9 miles, nothing fast. I am just beginning to feel a little bit good when running, but for the most part it is still pretty sucky. I managed to hit 3-4 days per week as planned.

Will plan to do at least this much in August, but ideally will add one more run week, and get to 110-120 miles for the month.

I haven't really lost any weight to talk about. Maybe it will start to fall off this month......

Monday, July 23, 2012

Week 4

So that is another week complete as I move to week 4 of my "comeback". Last week was 4 runs, 28 miles. Included a two mile stretch at a blistering 7:50 pace! Plus two runs on the trails. This was the view on yesterday's trail run, which was just over 9 miles.....

This was about 2,300 feet, off Monte Bello Road, near Ridge Winery. A warm day but nice on the trails.

Still haven't lost much weight, I think I may be drinking too much Belgian beer!

Plan to see if I can get to 30 this week on 4-5 runs.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Week 3

Still going with the every other day thing. Even managed to do a 7 miler with some hills last week, still all slowly though.

Was in the redwoods yesterday so ran on the real trails, in Henry Cowell State Park near Santa Cruz. A cool, wet, misty morning, on beautiful trails, lots of hills. Felt great to be out in the woods again after so long.

It's still a slog, but it's beginning to slowly come back. Now I have lost 2 pounds, it's not coming off very quickly. Maybe I will need to stop drinking so much beer.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Week Two

Well, last week went OK - ran 4 times (M/W/F/Sun). Not far (~20 miles) and certainly not fast but I did stick to the every other day plan. Will attempt the same this week.

Lost 1 pound! So now I am just way over weight. Being anal(ytical) about things like this I have data for mileage and weight for the last 6 years when I started running. This diagram shows the strong relationship between miles run (top chart is monthly miles) and body weight (bottom chart is daily weight).

Looks like the weight starts to drop when I get to about 140 miles/month and then really falls off when I get up to 200+. Of course, when I get injured, stop running but continue to eat tons of crap it skyrockets.

Tomorrow I am going to run again, and see if I can run a mile under 8 minutes without anything falling off.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Run #2

Amazingly, I ran again today. Another 6+ miles, this time a little hillier and on some trails. Was very nice to get out into the hills after such a long break. Very slow, and legs are a little sore from Monday's run. I guess that is what you get for being a lard ass for an extended period of time.

Monday, July 2, 2012

I'm still here. Sure, I'm fatter and slower, but still here!

Alright, time to catchup. Running has petered out to the extent that I ran once in the last 2 months for a total of under 3 miles. Weight is up to 168lbs, highest I have been since 2004, two years before I started running. Basically a combination of work business, injury and idleness stopped things. Yearly mileage to date for 2012 is 132 miles. At my peak I got close to that in a week!

Here's the last 7 year totals....

Highlights, if they can be called that, since the last update include:
  • December - Vegas half marathon - 1:43 - 20 minutes off my PR
  • January - Miami half marathon - 1:49 - 26 minutes off my PR (2 minutes/mile) - this one was run drunk after 2 hours sleep. bad idea.
  • Just started playing tennis - I am new to that sport and my lack of skill combined with my lack of fitness makes me truly awesome!
So today i decided it was time to get back into it before I balloon to 400 pounds. I am not working this summer, so really have no excuse. Now I must admit that it took me a while to find my shoes, and remember how to tie the laces but after a slight delay I was off! Managed to drag my butt a little over six miles at a very pedestrian pace. But with that one run I have surged ahead of my total combined mileage for May and June. One more run and I could be ahead of April!

Plan is to run every other day, just 4-6 miles until it feels not completely horrible, and then I'll add in extra days and miles the the extent my crumbling body permits. Not sure how long it will take to get back in shape since it's been 13 months since I was running properly.

If I am consistent I should hopefully be able to shed some of my lard quickly, which will help simply because I will have less to carry when I run! (I am about 25 pounds up on the weight when I was really fit). Target is under 160 by end of August. 1 pound lost is about 3,500 calories burned, which is about 30-35 miles running, so 8 pounds is about 250 miles. So 25-30 miles/week should do it.

Then I will only need to lose another ~15 pounds......

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Track Day

OK, taking 3-4 months off from all forms of exercise is not recommended unless you want to get fat and out of shape.  I am just starting to see a few pounds drop off, but am still 10lbs more than where I was in June, and 20 more than I was when I was really fit. I am definitely struggling to get back into this running thing and am a little worried that I am going to embarass myself bigtime in Boston next year.

I am finally back to running 5 days/week and almost got to 40 miles last week.  I've done just one short and slow tempo (3 miles at 6:54) which was slower than I ran the Chicago marathon.  Everything else until today has been easy, flat miles.

Today was my first trip to the Tuesday morning track workout.  It was cold (only 38 degrees) at 6am this morning and still dark.  Almost went back to sleep but decided it was time to man up and see if my legs could still move quickly.

Workout was 10x400.  I never liked 400s as I'm not a quick runner at short distances.

#1 was 1:31, or 6:06 pace.  felt OK, but I used to run these at 1:15 not that long ago - that 6:06 pace was what I'd do for much longer workouts like 3x2000m.

Got gradually faster and #10 was 78seconds (5:14 pace).  Felt pretty rough on the last 2 but overall not too bad.  Just comparing these to previous workouts when I wasn't fat and slow shows that a 1:30ish half marathon is achievable.  However the fact that I haven't actualy run 13 miles in one go since June may mess with that a little.

Goal at Vegas (in under 4 weeks) is to run at 6:52 pace (1:30 goal time) for as long as I can and then jog it in.

Then another half in early Feb, one in early/mid March and then off to Boston. in April.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Another Long Overdue Update

Ok, my post-Seattle marathon blogging has been a reflection of my post-Seattle running.  I strained my calf and had to take some time off.  Finally I am back and ran 4 times last week, with a long run of over 7 miles.  Doesn't sound like much compared to what I used to run, but I think I ran more last week than I have in the previous 12 weeks combined.

The result of that non running is that I am fat and slow.  I am heavier now than I have been since October 2007, and 15lbs heavier than my skinny running weight.

I am very out of shape, 5 miles at 8 minute pace is far from easy.

So the Vegas marathon in December is not going to happen.  I amy do the half, our I may skip as I have a work trip I may need to take to the UK (good excuse to not run).

However, I do need to get my act together as I just got this in the mail......

I have 7 months to get in shape and not embarrass myself in Boston.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mission Accomplished

Back from Seattle after a quick trip.  Bottomline, mission accomplished, 3:09:31 was the official time, so met the goal of sub 3:10, and get the ability to register for Boston 2012 early as I am more than 20 minutes faster than the qualifying time for my age group (M45-49 3:30).  Not a whole point reading on, but for those that like details......

Start was south of Seattle (the lowest part of the route above), so we shuttled out there.  Shuttles ran 4-6am for a 7am start so I figured I'd get there at 5, wait 30 mins for shuttle and then get to start about 6:15, hit the loo and be in the corral around 6:30.  But for once, everything went really smooth, no lines, no waiting anyway, quick trip and I was sat at the start line at 5:20am.

We started on time at 7 and the first 9 miles went smoothly - mile markers were accurate, pacing was good, weather was perfect.  There was a hill in there but overall I was running just around 7 minute pace and felt good.  At that point I started feeling that a stop in a bathroom was going to be a good thing to avoid an embarrassing side of road #2, as dinner/breakfast weren't sitting too well.  We hit the bridge to Mercer island at 9 and it was about 1.5 miles out and the same back.  After 5 minutes of that I knew I was stopping somewhere, so was crossing my fingers they had a portapotty at the turnaround.  Luckily they did, and I happily gave up 1 minute 8 seconds of time.

After leaving the bridge we went into a long tunnel around mile 12ish.  This obviously messed up the GPS but I kept a steady effort.  From that point on though, everything was off.  Mile markers started appearing at odd places - previously they'd all be 1.00 or 1.01, now they were 0.89 or 1.2.  someone must have been drunk who was placing those.

Then we headed North from Seattle on a raised viaduct, which was all concrete, no crowds, really boring.  Then another tunnel, then a big hill.  I was slowing but tried to keep the pace around 7:15 average.

At mile 20 I did the math and knew that if I could keep under 7:30 pace I'd be in under 3:10, but given the uncertainty of the mile markers I decided to push a little.  Pushed the pace down to 7:05, but mile 21 and mile 22 were both long, so despite the effort, each mile tool 7:30.  Uh-oh, this might be close.....

Mile 23 + 24 were better and I managed to do them in 7:15.

At the mile 24 flag, I had just 2.22 miles togo, time was 2:52:44, so I had 17:15 to cover the distance.  If distances were accurate that's 7:46 pace, although my math at the time wasn't that accurate.  I figured 7:30 would just about do it.

Mile 25 had a climb and I pushed hard.  This mile was short (.89) and I got through in 6:32.  Of course, a short 25 likely meant a long 26 so I had no idea where I was.  Finish was down by Qwest field and made a bunch of turns, couldn't see the where the finish line was. Mile 26 went on forever (post race analysis shows it was 1.2 miles!), I spent 8:56 on that mile despite running under 7:30 pace and was now in serious risk of missing my goal time.

Finally I could see the finish line so I kicked in for the last (hopefully) .22 miles.  Managed that part in 1:19 (6:23 pace) and crossed the line with 29 seconds to spare.

Overall it was an OK effort, I was undertrained and was definitely working hard from about mile 18. My legs got pretty thrashed from all the concrete (combined with very light shoes) and the hills in the second half.

I definitely wouldn't recommend this race.  Despite being in a great city, it was not really an interesting course, not great crowd support (despite their being bands every mile) and the mile markers were a trainwreck.  I know that mile markers/garmins etc are never going to agree exactly, but to have the 25 mile marker almost a 1/4 mile off in a marathon is a very lame thing.

Here's a few photos I found online from the race....

This captures the true glory of running thru a dark concrete tunnel...

This one, the excitement of running on elevated freeways...

Here, the thrill of taking offramps at high speed...

And this one shows the start, where I was still in contention for the win...

And this is me at about 15 miles, when the wheels were still on (plus I deliberately sped up for the camera guy in attempt to get a good photo for once)...