Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Haiku, Volume XVII

Football and baseball,
Running, not so much this week.
I choked like Boston.

It's been a busy, rainy week and I didn't do a good job getting the miles in. That's on me and I've got to do a better job...ok, that's enough of channeling my inner Andy Reid. At least I had a better week than the Boston Red Sox, who choked away their season at the hand of my beloved but bumbling Orioles.

I've got 18 miles scheduled for tomorrow, it's supposed to be cool (yay!) and rainy (boo!). If it's really bad out there, I could do 10 tomorrow and 8 on Sunday, but I would really like to get this one in and beat or tie my second-longest run ever.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Shuffle On

I ran with music for the first time in quite awhile on Saturday. (A few weeks ago, I used my Shuffle on the treadmill, but I hate the treadmill with music, without some tunes, there's no way I can could endure the torture.But, I digress.)

I purchased my remanufactured (discounted!) iPod shuffle back in 2007, during my first summer of 5Ks. It's proven reliable and easy-to-use, and I used it during almost every training run and every race from then until October 2008, when I started running regularly on my 10-mile York Haven-to-Goldsboro route, on which I feel the road is too windy, hilly, and narrowly-shouldered to navigate safely with the added distraction of music, as I prepared for the Philly Half. I got used to not having it, and for the next three years, I did almost all my running with only the sound of my own footfalls for accompaniment. Over the past year, I've done more long runs in the more suburban, residential neighborhoods of Manchester and Mt Wolf and even taken to the Rail Trail a few times, but the Shuffle has generally remained at home.

What was I thinking?

Afraid that the Rail Trail would be a swamp after all our rain last week and not having a good 17-mile course planned out along the river without the risk of bonking 6-7 miles away from my car, I chose to stay in Manchester and Mt. Wolf, since I have courses of many different lengths mapped out and am seldom more than 1.5 miles away from my car if things go south. On the downside, this route is boring. That, plus a warm, disgustingly humid day equaled drudgery. If I was to have any hope of finishing my 17 miles, I decided that the Shuffle had to come along for the ride.

I think it made a huge difference -- probably in this case the difference between success and failure. Without it, every single thought would have been "It's sooo humid", "I've never sweated so much before," "This is so gross," etc. Instead, every step was powered by pop-punk angst, and while I still had those negative thoughts, I didn't focus on them as much as I did on other disgusting, humid days over the summer. Especially helpful was a long block of music from The Offspring as I was struggling for the last 5 miles. That anger, cheesy 90's suburban anger though it was, helped me get through.

I've got 18 this Saturday. That'll tie my 2nd-longest distance ever. The weather's supposed to be a lot more Brian-friendly, but I'm planning on running it on the Rail Trail, which has proven scenic but also very boring. I'll be sure to bring my background music with me.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday Long Run, The Non-Epic Triumph of Humanity over Humidity

Since the dawn of time, man has struggled to overcome uncomfortable humidity...

I had been dreading today's long run for several days.

17 miles was what Hal Higdon had assigned for the weekend, and as I said last week, I'm definitely getting outside my comfort zone (Getting? Come on. Ok, I'm well outside my comfort zone). On a cool crisp day like last weekend, no problem; I felt like I could I have run forever last Saturday.

But this weekend brought a return of somewhat summer-like conditions. An overcast 65F, which I admit isn't bad compared to July, but with 97% humidity. Warm and humid is the bane of my existence -- at least my running existence.

So I worried. I made contingency plans. I accepted defeat. But I still had a choice.

I could bow to humidity once again, or I could stab it in its warm, wet, sticky, gross

I could keep complaining and writing whiny blog posts, or I could shut the hell up and run 17 miles, humidity be damned.

And as long as "shut the hell up" allows for the pathetic whimpering noises that I was making for the last two miles, that's exactly what I did.

It took me 2 hours and 59 minutes (a 10:31/mile pace for those keeping score at home) to finish, but it was not a victory without cost. I'll be reminded by my aching calves and quads, as I limp around Lincoln Financial Field tomorrow, that running is stupid and the guy that (according to legend) invented the marathon died while inventing the marathon. But costly or not, I consider it a victory nonetheless. .

It may have been 97% humidity out there, but anything short of 100% just wasn't going to be enough today.

I've gloated enough. More than enough. I'm sure my IT Bands will go all IT Band Syndrome on me as my karma balances out next week. I'm sure it will somehow be even more humid, if that's even possible, on my 18-miler next week. I'm sure my Shuffle will get stuck on "Britney Spears Mode".

But for now, I'm thrilled. After being so nervous about this run over the past few days, I felt like I had won a race when Garmin said "17.00" as I turned back into the high school.

In the endless struggle of man vs. humidity, man wins.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Haiku, Volume XVI: Death to Humidity

Unlucky with the weather.
Dreaded seventeen.

"17 miles on Saturday? No problem. I got this."

Not so fast, Brian. We're not out of the woods yet. After gorgeous running weather last week, humidity returned in a big way. I got my approximately 4 miles in Tuesday night. I skipped an 8-miler Wednesday night after the Revolution game because it was pouring, and then I was scheduled for another 4 last night.

However, I'd hoped to get 8 in, going out at 11pm after we got home from another Revolution game. (It's the playoffs, so we had tickets on consecutive nights) 8 on Thursday night worked well for me last week, and set me up for my very nice 13.1. With rain in the forecast on Saturday morning, I even contemplated going for my long run last night if I felt good.

Unfortunately, it was about 65 degrees at 11pm at night, with 90 percent humidity, and so foggy that my headlamp did no good at all. I could tell within the first 100 feet that 17 miles wasn't happening and with the thick fog I quickly decided that 8 was even a bad idea. I got in 4,and it was not fun at all.

On Saturday, I'm scheduled for 17 miles. It's supposed to be 66 degrees, 60% chance of rain, and 97% humidity. That's not weather that I'm feeling good about running 17 miles in.

If I have to adjust the plan, I still think I have time. Not that I trust the 10-day forecast very much, but next weekend looks like I'll have lows in the mid-50s. (That's what it said earlier in the week about this weekend, too, though.) I'm scheduled for 18 miles then. Then 13, then 19. That 19 is on October 15, so weather-wise things should be a lot more to my liking then. If I can get 13-15 in tomorrow, then I can go for 17 next weekend and I would feel good about taking the scheduled step-back week and trying for 19 on Oct 15th.

The cool weather will help a lot -- I'm confident of that. Had I not hurried trying for a sub-2:00 half last weekend, which is a pace quite a bit faster than I'm shooting for in the marathon, I feel like I could have (and in hindsight, should have) gotten 17 in then and taken my step-back this week.

Based on my last two years at the Philly Half, I'll probably have exactly the weather I'm looking for on race day. I think I underestimated just how much less I would enjoy training for a fall marathon would be than for the early spring one.

Because I didn't want this post to be a total downer: MORE KITTIES!

(With a perfectly good fleece blanket a foot away, Elizabeth, the cutest, dumbest cat in the world, lies on notebooks.)

(Pooka back in his glory days when he was huge.)

And yes, an entry about all the gross and wonderful things I ate at the fair is coming, but the point of this blog is to really complain about the weather and talk about running. Also, cat pictures. Priorities, people.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Malfunction or Just Mal"run"ction?

I'm sure you're groaning at the title, so if you're still reading, I'm sorry. But, I can't be hilariously witty all the time and after all, you didn't pay to read this. (You didn't, right?)
So I went out for my Tuesday run, which this week is 4 miles. Since I took it late at night and we have York Revolution playoff tickets tomorrow and Thursday nights, I suspect this week's 4-8-4 will become 4 tonight and 8 on Thursday morning.

This wasn't one of my best efforts. The weather wasn't quite as good as it had been for my last three runs -- 64 degrees and 90 percent humidity. Not awful -- especially with no sun to make it feel warmer -- but definitely a step down from the high 40s/low 50s that I got on Thursday and Saturday.
Still, the weather alone doesn't explain my slower than usual pace: 4-miles in 40:46. I think Garmin screwed me, though. What it measured as one mile as I ran from the high school into downtown Manchester measured as only 0.7 miles on the way back. So, maybe I ran 4.3 miles. Either way, though, my calves were not feeling great on this one and I was a lot more winded than I should have been on a 4-mile run.

I'm not going to be discouraged by it. There are several things going on right now that I could see contributing to a sub-par run. I had a great, tough week of running last week starting with the previous weekend's 15 and ending with my faster-than-usual 13.1 on Saturday; have basically been in "panic mode" at work all September; had a great, exhausting Super Adventure Weekend (good run, day trip to Philly ending w/a night baseball game, busy Sunday of homeless kitties, York Fair, Revs Game, and Eagles game); and am struggling with either worse-than-usual allergies or a little bit of a cold that I'm guessing is related to rapidly changing weather.

17 miles on Saturday? No problem. I got this.

And because I don't have any running-related pictures today, here's an especially cute picture of Higgy the Cat.

(How is this comfortable?)

In my next blog post: Things I Ate at the York Fair

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Saturday Long Run: Half Marathon, Full Speed

I won the Manchester Half Marathon, yesterday.

Unfortunately, it doesn't really exist.

Yesterday's long run, according to the venerable yet-often-ignored Hal Higdon, was to be a half marathon. I assume, since the plan said, "half marathon" and not "13 miles", and officially had the long run on Sunday instead of Saturday (which I ignored due to schedule), that I was intended to simulate race conditions or actually run a real half marathon.

I wasn't sweating it. 13 miles is a distance I covered on several occasions during the summer, and the weather was supposed to be gorgeous (by which I mean cool and overcast). So, a nice, relatively non-challenging (compared to last week's muggy 15), probably even boring long run to kick off a very busy weekend. No problem. And so no problem that, in reaction to a very stressful week, probably had a little more pizza and beer on Friday night than I should have. After all, I wasn't going to race this.

Except, I raced the hell out of it.

13.1 through Manchester in 2:02:56 -- my second fastest 13.1 ever! It was slower than my half-marathon PR in 2010 at Philly (1:59:34) but a few seconds better better than my 2009 Philly Half (just over 2:03) and 4-7 minutes faster than any other 13 mile run I'd taken all summer. At one point, I felt like I had a shot to go 10 miles in under 1:30, which I've only done once since spring of 2009 -- this summer in Montreal, where I died on the super-hilly last 3 miles and finished 13 in 2:07.

I fell a short of my 10-mile stretch goal, coming in at 1:34, which is still faster than I've been most of the summer, but it meant that to come in at 13.1 under two hours I would need to run what for me is an average 5K, but as the last three of a half marathon. In Philly last year, where the last two miles of the course are downhill or flat, I was able to lay down a very good last three miles to considerably exceed my expectations, but in hilly Manchester I just couldn't quite pull it off.

Having been running faster than my usual pace, I hit a wall at the end of a mile 11 in which I'd tried to recover speed, and had to dial it back during the 12th mile. I might have been able to then "sprint" the last 1.1 and finish a bit faster, but without a realistic shot at coming in under 2 hours (I would have needed to run faster than the fastest mile I'd ever run), and with a long, fun day of walking in Philly ahead of me, any potential reward wasn't worth the cost.

I don't really know this one came from. I didn't go out with a goal of running it as fast as I could. I didn't feel very strong or fast for the first four miles and it wasn't till I'd finished six that I realized I was going faster than my usual pace. As I've said before, I care a lot less about my marathon pace than I do in shorter races -- I'd rather keep a slow, steady pace and be able to run the whole thing than burn out too fast and crash on the wall...kind of like I did at Shamrock (I'm still going to partially blame injury!!)...but this was a fun run and it wrapped up the most enjoyable week of running in quite awhile.

Next Saturday is 17, and the following is 18 (which will tie my 2nd-longest run ever). Slow and steady will be the goal. We're getting into the part of the training schedule where I've really never really been before. Last time, my injury robbed me of a whole month and I recovered as best as I could, but only got a single 18-miler in before I had to taper. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous as hell, but I'm excited, too.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Haiku, Volume XVI

Big change in weather
Fifty degrees out today.
Too cold for haiku

I went out for another middle-of-the-night run last night, and the temperature was in the low 50s or the high 40s. Bliss. For other stuff, I like weather in the 60s and 70s best, but if I had my choice I'd run every run in temperatures of 30-50F.

That said, it was a shock to the system, being my first cool weather run (by my probably skewed definitions) since, I suspect, April. For the first two miles, I found myself wishing I'd worn my light gloves or long sleeves so I could tuck my hands in. I ran 8 miles and it was nice to actually be able to enjoy the run and think about nothing, rather than be distracted by how disgustingly sweaty and gross I felt.

My approach to last night's run was a mixed bag. I must have left my Garmin turned on because the battery was dead. Though Chris offered her identical one, I took it as a sign that I should just go out and enjoy myself and not worry about pace. I did time myself with my watch, and I ran one of my most familiar courses so I know approximately where each mile "mark" is, but it prevented me from obsessively watching my pace.

But, despite my resolve to just go out and not worry about pace, once I got out in the chilly night air, it felt like I was pushing myself pretty hard. Though I'd contemplated 10 miles, my quads were aching pretty bad, and it was the middle of the night, so I decided I'd stop at 8 rather than taking the 2ish mile loop down into Mount Wolf. My fast pace turned out to be an illusion, though. My 8 miles was was at a pretty average (for me) pace of 9:54. I enjoyed the run, but I'm curious as to why it felt like I was going so much faster than I actually was. A couple theories:

1. Though I love running in the cold, it seems like I'm a little older and creakier in cold weather. Knees felt stiffer than usual and quads were much sorer than they should have been at this pace and distance. I do my IT band stretches before every run, but I have to remember to stretch the quads out more in the cold.

2. On the other hand, this could have been some leftover soreness from Tuesday's four miles at quite a bit faster than usual pace.

3. The neighborhood where I run is a pretty quiet one, but between it being 10:00 at night and not being distracted by how warm and humid I was, I was much more aware of the sound of my own footfalls than usual (which was kind of neat).

4. It really did seem like I just turned my brain off for a good portion of this run, which was nice, so I suspect that somewhere between mile two and mile five I slowed down w/o realizing it.

Whatever. It was a nice run.

It's been a good week of running. My 15, under pretty gross conditions last Saturday, gave me my confidence back and for different reasons Tuesday night's 4 miles and last night's 8 were two of my most enjoyable runs all summer. I don't think we're quite done with the heat and humidity here in Central PA, but this was a nice preview of the Fall.

I ignored Hal Higdon again this week, but my heart was in the right place (in the middle of my chest, slightly to the left side). Four miles on Tuesday was what he recommended, and that's what I did. I skipped Wednesday's 8-miles because of the rain, but then made it up yesterday, instead of the scheduled 4. Except it turned out that I misread the plan and it was supposed to be 7 miles. Oops.

While not officially a step-back week, this weekend is a step-back. It says "half marathon" on Sunday instead of a Saturday long run. I think that means I'm supposed to either be in a race or simulate race pace. But, since I treat the marathon as a long, slow, distance run, I'll probably just treat this as a regular long run, even though I've "raced" two half marathons previously.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


It's been a long week. I know it's only Tuesday (well, Wednesday morning now technically), but it's been a long week. Despite feeling like crap for most of the day and despite -- but also because of -- a very stressful two days of work, I had the great idea of trying to get my Tuesday four miler -- just like Hal Higdon wants -- in at 11:00pm. My resolve wavered as I got ready...I just didn't feel up to it. But I decided I'd feel better about myself if I at least tried. Turned out to be a great idea.

Since it was shorter than my usual distance, I set out without my hydration belt. No water, orange Gatorade, or Sports Beans. I also decided I was going to run it as fast as I could.

It turned out to be 4 miles in 35:22, an 8:50/mile pace. Not as low as I'd like to be for a 5K, but considerably better than the last time I recall going out with the goal of running 4 and keeping my pace under 9:00, which was a lunchtime run back in January, before my IT band trouble.

More importantly, though, this was fun. It was nice to have a run that was over in under 40 minutes, rather than over an hour and a half. It was enjoyable to just turn my brain off and focus on running as fast as I could, rather than worrying about pacing myself for the long haul. It was a throwback to the summer of 2008, when all I did was two laps around Cousler Park several times a week and try to break my personal records.

I've longer distances than I ever thought I'd attempt back then; I'm proud of that and have no plans stop running longer races, but I do think that summer was when running was the most purely fun.

Every week in my marathon training, I've got runs on Tuesday and Thursday that don't ever get longer than 5 miles. I admit, I really don't care that much about how fast I run the marathon. I think just by getting in more 20-milers in training I'll be better conditioned and between that and smarter pacing early in the race, I can shave off a decent amount of time. I'm not that worried about tempo runs or speedwork (Novice 2 doesn't have speedwork, anyway). But I think I'll take one of those short runs every week and just go as fast as I can.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Saturday Long Run Redemption

15 miles.
(10:29 mile pace.)

It was miserably humid and my calves hurt like crap (what does that even mean?). In short, it wasn't fun at all, but this was the comeback run I needed to feel like I'm back on track.

From here on out, I'm going to be like the Mike Vick of running. My days as a loose-cannon, devil-may-care distance runner are over. I'm going to have a positive attitude and stick to the Novice 2 plan as much as my work schedule allows me from here on out. What Hal Higdon says, goes. If I may continue this analogy, Hal Higdon is probably Roger Goodell, my wife would be Tony Dungy, and I'll say that Pooka the Cat is Andy Reid.

In making this comparison please don't think that I'm claiming that I'm fast.I also think I'll skip the whole going to prison part of learning my lesson, though.

(Yes, my arms are a different color than my head. What's it to you?)

The most interesting thing about this run was that it overlapped with a local 5K. I ran in this particular 5K last year, but with a 15-mile run scheduled for today I didn't think I could make it work out. I learned midway through my run that the 5K route had been altered due to flooding from only intersecting with my roughly-planned route at two spots to overlapping with it quite a lot. It was an interesting brain teaser to plan my route on the fly, trying to think of how many loops through the neighborhoods I had time for to make sure that I would avoid the 5K runners. But anyway, if the local fire department could put on a 5K every long run weekend for me to have to run around, it will make my long runs a lot more interesting. Thanks guys!

I ended up with perfect 15-mile route. Sadly, my comfort zone today was really only 12 or 13 miles, those last two were excruciating. If I'm the Mike Vick of running, maybe I can find the Vince Young of running to run the last third of my marathon for me. No? Crap.

(And of course, Go Eagles!)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Haiku, Volume XV

The water rises
And my confidence declines
Time for a comeback

This is has been a tough week for running. I crashed at 10 on my alleged 14-miler last Saturday. This week, I got my Higdon-proscribed 4 in on the treadmill. I tried for 8, which my plan called for, on Wednesday between rainstorms, and just didn't feel well at all (stopped at 6.3). I skipped yesterday's 4-miler because I figured I should shovel as much of my driveway back into place as I could.

This week's long run is 15 miles. I'm not sure I can do that right now, between they way I've felt this week and the rainy humid morning we're supposed to have, and my sort of sub-par training over the past two weeks. I can't get hung up on that, though. I just need to focus on doing the best I can to get back on program as much as possible. 13 miles -- I'll take it! 14 or 15, I'll be thrilled.

I also need to STOP WHINING! I've been very negative lately. About the weather, about running, about work, and probably other things that I can't think of right now. Some are in my control, and some are not. Running is one that is -- to a point. I've been at or above mileage and long run mileage every week all summer until the last two weeks. I can't let myself get too frustrated when there's still plenty of time to recover.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Waterskiing, Anyone?

Because I don't think I'll be getting a run in anytime soon.

Lake Driveway isn't the only new water feature we have in our yard.

Here's the Side-yard River, a popular destination for white water rafters from all over the country.

I would love to send all this rain to another part of the country where it's actually, you know, wanted.

I'll probably just skip my run today, and do another four on the treadmill or, if I'm lucky (I'm not lucky), eight outside tomorrow, weather permitting.

The flooding here is really, really bad. York County made the national news. Harrisburg's City Island and the city up to 2nd street are going to be flooded when the river crests on Friday, and the waterfront in Wormleysburg is also going to flood, among other places.

I'm hoping the Conewago has receded since I drove by at around 5:00, some of the homes along the creek were in the creek, and more were about to be. This is usually a pretty calm part of the country...we could sure use some slow news days right about now.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Going Nowhere

I'm not a fan of the treadmill at all, to put it mildly. But with the remnant of Hurricane Lee parked over Pennsylvania for the foreseeable future, it becomes my best option for getting as many of midweek miles in this week.

I especially dislike our treadmill. It's rough on the calves and ankles and the speedometer and odometer seem to very inaccurate. (More on this in a minute). I'm probably being too harsh on a $350 treadmill from Bocov's, especially because it has been an extremely valuable part of my training during my first two years of running, when I was quickly driven indoors by the cold temperatures that I now crave.

Since it was pouring at 7:00am, when the always-reliable said there was "only" a 40% chance of rain, I decided to wait to see if I could catch a break in the weather in the afternoon, when it seemed there was another possible break at around 1pm, where the chance of precipitation dropped back down to 40% again. Again, pouring.

So, I hopped on the treadmill at my lunch break. Like I said, the speedometer and odometer seem very inaccurate. I run about a 10-minute mile pace -- 6mph. But on our treadmill, I go flying off the back if I set it at 6mph and used to run at 5.5. I hadn't used it in a year, and today I found that I was most comfortable and my stride seemed to most closely match my usual stride at 4.3mph. Though my PRs are faster, I am probably a little slower on average than I was in 2006-2008, when I used the treadmill more often, but that seemed ridiculous! In the past, when I've used a treadmill at a gym or hotel, I've been able to set it at 5.5 or 6mph and run comfortably. To be fair, those treadmills also probably cost thousands of dollars.

At any rate, today (and any other days this week I'm forced to use the Hamster Wheel) I assumed a 10-minute mile and ran for 40 minutes, considering my four-mile obligation to Hal Higdon to be fulfilled, even though I really moved less than two feet for the whole 40 minutes.

The rest of the week's schedule is 8 tomorrow, 4 on Thursday, and 15 on Saturday. There appears to be no chance of the rain stopping anytime soon, but there is also no chance of me staying on our treadmill for 1:20. I'll keep an eye on the forecasts, and hope that I can switch the two and get the 8 in on Thursday.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Failure & Antonement

This weekend turned out to be a washout as far as running was concerned. 14 on Saturday turned into 10, and I got up to re-try this morning only to find it raining fairly hard at 6am, with a 75% chance of storms at 7am. Back to bed.

It's probably for the best.
I'm humbled and ready to listen now, Hal Higdon.

I'll run four miles on Tuesday. I can find time for that, even though this is looking to be a very busy work week. Seven on Wednesday. Four on Thursday. Saturday calls for 15, and that will be a big challenge. Hopefully I'll get lucky with the weather -- both in terms of having a cool morning to run it and the rail trail not being a swamp.

I think my best bet is starting at Hanover Junction, running 4 miles north, turning around, and then running back to Hanover Junction, 3 miles south and then back will make it seem the least oppressive, give me a chance at the midpoint to refill bottles, and also not leave me 7.5 miles away from my car if I bonk again. Since the rail trail is boring, Shuffle will be a must. If it rains a lot this week -- and the forecast says it will, then I'll be trying to wring 15 garbage miles out of Manchester and York Haven.

I'm not trying to save the galaxy...just run 26.2 miles.

Note: This cartoon is not meant to imply that Hal Higdon is small and green or a stick figure.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Saturday Long Run: Four-Mile Failure

I was scheduled for 14 miles today. I stopped at 10. The big, black clouds and increasingly booming thunder that was being down on Manchester just gave me an excuse. There was no way I was going to be able to finish 14 miles today.

My confidence is kind of shaken right now. I'm not sure if I should try 14 again on Monday or just wait until next week's long run, which is 15 miles. I know that 'm probably over-reacting to one bad long run, but I'm not sure I could have gone 11 today, much less 14.

I don't want to panic. There are a few extenuating circumstances that I have to be sure not to repeat this coming week and beyond:

1. I ran 10 humid miles on Saturday, and then we were without power on Monday and Tuesday. Since we didn't have plumbing and I had to go and work from my parents' house, I didn't get out for a run either of those mornings. Of course, both days were cool and beautiful. I got out 10 in on Wednesday, but didn't have time on Thursday. I need to get more than one midweek run in or I'm setting myself up for failure.

2. I need to eat healthier on Friday nights. Pizza, beer, ice cream the night before long run isn't going to cut it. I know...pretty obvious, right?

3. I need a little bit of luck. One of these weeks I'll have a Saturday morning that's not oppressively humid, right?

4. PT Exercises. I do my IT band stretching and foam rolling before every run, but I need to get back to doing the step-ups, step-downs, balance exercises and core exercises.
In October 2010, I bombed pretty badly on my 7-mile leg of the Baltimore Marathon Relay. That bad run was a wake-up call that I was a long way from ready for the Philly Half. I came back strong and ran the best race of my mediocre career. There's a lot of work to be done, but I have the benefit of time.

(Sometimes, you're just better off staying in -- or hiding under the -- bed.)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Haiku, Volume XIV

In life and running
There's much that can be improved
By three-day weekends.

Schedule and the power outage (in my house, this time, not my legs. The inconvenience of having to offsite to shower) kept me off the roads this week. I got my step-back week 10 in on Saturday, 10 on Wednesday, and will go out for 14 tomorrow on what looks like it will be a pretty sweltering morning on the rail trail, with lows back in the 70s after cooler temperatures in the morning for much of this week. (66 degrees with 90 percent humidity -- ugh! -- is the current forecast.)

Monday has lows in the 50s, so I was tempted to go for my long run then, but it looks like that's the overnight low for Monday night into Tuesday.

So, I'll try the trail tomorrow, and it will be a pretty un-enjoyable 14 mile slog, just like last time I was there. I'll probably ignore Higdon one last (Ha!) time and run Monday, since it's a day off, Wednesday, and Thursday, rather than Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday-Rest-Long Run. I'm thinking 10, but we'll see what the weather is like and how beat-up I'm feeling from tomorrow.

Enjoy the long weekend!