Monday, December 31, 2007

Belle Isle Fun Run

Well, today I ran the 38th annual Belle Isle 4 Mile Fun Run and the kids (along with a couple of the neighbor kids) ran the 1 Mile kid run as well.

It was a nice day for a run (considering the date) - about 32 degrees at race time (3PM for the kids, 4PM for the 4 mile run), overcast and no real wind to speak of.

My son ran a very excellent 7:35 in the mile, which was much better than his goal and he came in 10th overall, so that was awesome!

My daughter ran with her two friends, one of whom wasn't feeling very good, so they didn't have a good time but they enjoyed the run (and I *love* the fact that my daughter is willing and able to do this - I can't even imagine having done a 1 mile run when I was her age!)

I ran a very satisfying 29:27 for myself - about a 7:21 pace, so I was very happy with that. Based on my ForeRunner, I ran a 7:14 first mile, then a 7:26, 7:27 and finished with a 7:22. Very nice and even. I am very, very happy with my performance today.

Now the next road race will likely be the Super Bowl Sunday run I ran a few years ago. Not sure when that will be, though.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

My new professional blog

I've started a new blog in my own domain ( with the intent of it being a more professionally-focused blog where I will write about my experiences in and thoughts about the area in which I work.

Check it out!

Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas (to me!)

I recently celebrated a birthday and, as a personal celebration of sorts, managed to get in a 9 mile run on my birthday. Happy birthday to me! :-) That was the longest run I've had since, I think, about 1990.

I entered Christmas week thinking my recent run (pun intended) of good weeks might be at risk due to the holiday, family, etc. I did "miss" a run for the week (running only 4 times instead of what's become my recent norm of 5 runs) but, with my 9 mile run, two 6+ mile runs and a 5.5 mile run yesterday (at my wife's fitness club), I put in just under 27 miles on the week, which was another "longest week" for me - my 10th week in a row of getting longer. Obviously, that's always an indication of "quality" but I have been so happy about my runs of late.

As for Christmas - among other cool running-related items, my wife bought me a Garmin ForeRunner 305 - a running watch with a built-in GPS locator! I was stunned as I didn't even know such things existed. Now I'll have the most anal-retentively analyzed runs of anyone who really isn't all that good at running. Running with both the NikePlus and the ForeRunner, I can at least have a couple of ways to know how long I'm running.

I was so excited about the ForeRunner, I had to go out on Christmas Day for a run and put in just over six miles. I also realized (duh...) that the ForeRunner doesn't work so well on a treadmill :-)

Tomorrow, I'm hoping to do a local road race - the 38th Annual Belle Isle New Year's Eve Family Run Run / Walk. It's a 4 mile run that also features a 1 mile run for the kids to take part in (and all kids get trophies, which is what's motivating them to want to take part). We'll see how that works out.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The last week in Running

Last week saw an increase in use of the treadmill and a decrease in motivation. Man, it seems much harder this year to do the runs on the treadmill than it has in past years.

Last Sunday, though, I did get out for my new longest run (well, longest since my long-ago college days when I ran much more than I do now)! I ran a bit over 8.5 miles last Sunday on a nice route around the "big square" as I named the route in my Nike+ web site. I happen to live in an area broken into nicely sized squares, each 1 mile on a side. For a number of years, my "long run" each time I did it was to do the single such square I live next to - a bit over a 4 mile run. Last Sunday, I did the outer perimeter of four of those plus a bit more. It was a great run and I was so happy to be outside!

This Sunday I did my long run on the treadmill and it was a real challenge getting to 7 miles :-(.

I continue to mentally struggle with the odd behavior of my Nike+ on the treadmill - since I calibrated it, it seems that it still tracks about 10-15 seconds / mile slow on the treadmill, though on the other hand it seems like it tracks about 10 seconds fast outside. That means when I'm on the treadmill trying to maintain a pace that I am happy with, I'm probably running about 15-20 seconds faster per mile than I would be to achieve the same feeling outside.

Anyway - last week was another "longest week" for me - 25.96 miles - and my 8th such week in a row (the last time I didn't set a recent personal best for long week was the week just before the Detroit Marathon where I rested toward the end of the week).

Sunday, December 09, 2007

My Kids - the smart ones in the family!

My son came home Friday with his trimester report card and did a great job this term - He had 3 A's and 3 A+'s for the trimester! Great job for him!

He also got all "O's" for behavior, which means that he's earned himself a field trip to see a movie with the other "all O's".

My daughter hasn't yet gotten her report card, but I know she also is as capable. Of course, her (elementary) school is soon going to transition to a grading system where anyone with a 70%+ average will receive a "P" (performing). There is apparently no higher rating. How motivating for the more capable kids, huh? As I like to say - they propagate the cult of mediocrity - No one can stand out and no one's accomplishments are to be individually celebrated.

A Dark Week in Running

So, this last week I had to continue doing most of my running on my treadmill. Dark and dreary in the basement (well, not all that dark, but boring to look at!).

I also continued to be annoyed by the discrepancy between the treadmill and my iPod. As I mentioned last week, I took a mile last Sunday to calibrate it, but it doesn't seem to have affected it much - it's still off. But, on the positive side of things, despite having to run most of the days on the treadmill, I did manage to get outside Friday and run a bit over 6 miles. It was good. I also ended up with yet another weekly high for me on the Nike+ - just about 25.85 miles, up from about 25.1 a week earlier.

Today, I managed to get out just about noon for my weekly long run - though I'd heard that we were due for some sleet and freezing rain. Luckily, I think I got out early enough to avoid that, though there was a bit of snow about. I got in a very good 8.55 mile run, which is my longest on the Nike+. Yeah! I also felt very good, though the last mile was a bit tiring!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

5K, Templars and Treadmills

Well, I ran the Reindeer Run 5K yesterday and it was a good time (and I had a good time). It was a pretty chilly 18 degrees at race time. I managed to get pretty close to the front - I think there were probably about 500-600 people in it as it seemed pretty large, so I didn't want to get "stuck "as I did at the start of the Turkey Trot.

I managed a pretty decent race and, most importantly, accelerated into the last mile, so I feel like the numerous longer runs have really helped in that regard.

In other news, yesterday I finished The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury. A decent read but it sure did feel like a first novel (I think it was Khoury's first). I thought the end was a bit of a cop out after the way the "mystery" of what the characters were looking for was revealed.

And, today I hit the treadmill again after a few days back outside. Was planning to do a longer run (probably 7-8 miles) but got to 5 and was aggravated by the inaccuracy of my Nike+ on my treadmill, so at 5 I decided to try to calibrate my Nike+ with a mile run. I did that but didn't realize that mile didn't "count" for my runs. Stupid thing :-/ I was going to go another mile but was too irritated. Now I'll need to do a longer run during the week at some point.