Monthly Archives: November 2014

Squeeze it in

Sunday may be your long run day but sometimes schedules can get in the way of things. Today was one such instance. My wife needed to do her longer run and then needed to get out to meet friends so this left me with just 25 mins to run.

Did this stop me?

Nope, of course not!

I did a faster and relatively flat route of 3.1 miles at a pace of 7:17 to wrap up my month.

This gives me 94.4 miles for the month and 950.16 for the year to date. This leaves me with just 49.84 miles to make my target of 1000 miles in 2014. I should easily be able to do that.


Here’s something for you foodies. At my friends annual Turducken feast (Turkey with a Duck and a chicken all stuffed together and cooked) there was this monster Cherpumpple cake… Chocolate cake with cherry pie baked in on one layer… Then spiced caked with pumpkin pie baked in on the next layer… Then white cake with apple pie baked in on the top layer… All coated with frosting.


IMG_4047.JPGA thousand miles a year isn’t enough to offset that cake!


Clear Your Mind

I hope you all had a great thanksgiving with friends and family. We certainly did and I ate far too much, although I think that is the idea!

Today I went out to run a long way. I only did 10.82 but it was enough as I was tired from the late night and crotchety due to my daughter getting under my skin. This run was to be an exorcism.

I started out along the Perkiomen Trail but then spotted a side branch that I’d never used before and darted off that way. It soon took me to a road I didn’t know so I carried on. Eventually I found a road I knew and headed into Skippack town. This is a quaint high street town in the middle of nowhere in PA. I knew that there was a trail somewhere out the other end of the town that would link me back to where I had parked. I got lost at one point and had to pull up google maps to find the trail.

Once I was back on the trail I judged faced some hills and exposed winds. Crikey, it was windy out there.

Anyway I think the wind blew away a lot of my mental issues and I feel a little better now. At least I feel like I can go back home for the next round.

While I am still looking for a job my wife and I are trying to win some tickets to the Philly Pops Christmas Concerts in their caption competition. We usually go each year and love taking our daughter but can’t justify buying them while I am out of work… However, if we could win some then that would be super. Just follow the link and vote for one of the entries marked “Jude”. If you could vote for the “Watch how you conduct yourself, young man” entry then we might be able to win. The current leader only has 28 votes! Please vote for us. PhillyPops Caption Competition

Thanks everyone. Take care. Here’s a picture of my son and I in our matching holiday outfits.


Walk/Run Your First Turkey Trot

Five kilometres. Until you do this you’ll never know if you can make it. This can seem like an awfully long way if you haven’t done one before.

What about all the other people?
What will they think of me?
Will I be the slowest person there?
I’ve not run in public before; I’ll be ridiculed and pointed at as I’m sure I look different from everyone else out there.
Too many (crazy) people.

These and many other thoughts may pass through your head but you can be sure that, unless you dress up like a turkey, no one will be paying the slightest attention to the way you run or dress (unless you are a celebrity then all bets are off). It is an even playing field and no one is there to judge.

You can also be sure that some people will walk faster than you run/walk it. Others will run it slower than you run/walk it.

As for the crazy people. Yes, there will definitely be some of those there but probably not too many.

The race we attended this year at Wilson Farm Park had somewhere between 800-1000 people, so it was quite large. It has grown significantly over the last few years.

This was the first official 5k for my friend who I’ve been run/walking with for the last few months. Before we set out we talked about the interval strategy. We wanted to start running from the line but then wanted a five minute warm up. Then we switched to a 45 second run with 3:15 recovery. This is much less recovery than we used before but the distance was shorter too. We had done up to eight miles with a longer recovery period on our regular training. We also wanted to hit the finish running so we planned when to start that too.

It is only once you start that you realise that five kilometres is still quite a long way, especially when you change the run/walk patterns. However, we did finish and with a time of 45:43. Being his first that makes it officially his Personal Best! The pace averaged out to 14:04 which is waaaaay faster than our previous run/walks.

IMG_4030.JPGNote my friend runs with a heart monitor (on his wrist) to warn him when he is putting in too much effort. This is very helpful for monitoring his recovery from the running and allows us to ensure we aren’t pushing too hard.

We followed this run with a group breakfast with some of our friends who were also at the event.

What a great way to start a thanksgiving morning. I hope everyone enjoys their feast.

For all non-Americans, have a great Thursday.

If you haven’t seen the Shia LaBeouf song that is making the rounds, then you need to watch it. Immediately. Shia LaBeouf

Right-Hand Rule

I remember learning about the right-hand rule for solving mazes and puzzles when I was younger. Simply take every right turn you come across and you should eventually solve the maze. I decided to employ this on my return run this morning.

I did a straight out three miler through a housing development that I’ve never really explored very much. Then on the way back I took every right turn I found.

Interestingly it added about 1.8 miles to the run distance overall. But perhaps I should have chosen somewhere that was not on the side of a hill. Each turn had me going down and then back up the side of this hill. Doh!

Anyway, it made the run more interesting and I now know of several other places I could run around should I choose. There were some nice views out over the Perkiomen valley too.

7.72 miles at a solid 7:36 average pace. I did a few light stretches beforehand to loosen up a little and I think it helped. Next time I’ll try dynamic stretches as I found those to be more helpful at track workouts.

I have another job interview today at a really interesting company that has a very engaged approach to their employees and the workplace. They even have chefs on staff! Looking forward to lunch. 🙂

Whine Intervention & Sweat

I missed my run on Saturday due to having attended a friends 50th birthday party the night before and me choosing to drink red wine. I rarely drink wine anymore and now I remember why: what a hangover!

It basically cost me my run on Saturday and I didn’t achieve anything useful at all. What a waste.

On Sunday my wife volunteered with the FastTracks club who man a drink stop on the Philadelphia marathon. She ha d a good time there and then ran the last six miles to support our friend who was running her second marathon in thirty days.

So now it is Monday. It is wet and the temps are back up in the 60s. On the run this morning I actually sweated! It was an odd feeling to suddenly realise this after a few weeks of cold runs. I got a good negative split today though. Perhaps if I warmed up a little my avg times would be much better.

IMG_4014.PNGNote to all fall runners: be careful on the sidewalks because the fallen leaves can conceal branches and stones that may trip you. I hit two of these today within about three meters of each other. One on each foot. Sometimes it may be safer on the edge of the road.

Fast and Warm (Relatively)

After a few cold days some warmth has returned to our area. A balmy 36F when I hit the streets this morning and I also felt fast. As I started down the drive my feet were turning over very quickly.

IMG_4006.PNGAs you can see just below seven miles but some fast splits (for me) with the last couple being sub-7:00. I’ll take it!

At one point on the run a deer started to bolt towards the road because of a dog behind it. Then it saw me on the road and slowed, but I could see a car coming up the road and knew it couldn’t see the deer because of a line of trees. I stepped out to flag the car to slow down and, sure enough, the deer bolted across the road almost immediately. Stupid animal. Hopefully the driver understands why I flagged them to slow.

Eight and a Half Miles Walk/Run

Another record for the run/walk I am doing with my friend. We blew through the 8 mile achievement and reach 8.5 miles.

I also upped the intervals so we did 45 seconds of running then 4:25 recovery. I know the numbers are odd but I meant to do 4:15 for the recovery and miscalculated. Doh. We managed 11 of these intervals which is equivalent of 495 seconds of running. Not bad.

My friends knee started to twinge a little at that point so we dialed it back and didn’t do any other intervals.

Oh, and did I mention how bloody cold it is here. No? Well, there you go. Brr. It was 23F when we hit the trail this morning and you have to wrap up more when you are doing a walk than when you are running. Those recovery intervals can get chilly! Snowboarding socks, winter leggings, one underarmour layer, another long sleeve top, plus a wind proof outer shell, winter cycling gloves, neck gaiter, ear warmers and a hat. Quite the image.

IMG_4005.JPGI also did a quick run yesterday of four miles in 25F temps. Uneventful. Not too hilly as I was recovering from the long run I did on Monday.

Making the Most of Free Time

For the first time in a while, I actually had a light day of job searching activity today. I already know the rest of he week is going to be crazy so I decided to just embrace it.

And we all know that that means: heading out for a mid-morning run rather than going at 5am!

Unfortunately it was rather wet when I hit the streets and this was immediately followed by an out and out downpour that turned my shoes into boats with broken bilge pumps.

I chose to do a moderate length run of 10.2 miles with some portions of it through the woodland of Evansburg State Park.

Despite the weather it was a lovely run with a lot of challenging hills. Mapmyrun says it was only 680ft of hills but it felt like more. I expect my legs (and body) were still tired from the party we hosted for a friend at the weekend; just getting four hours sleep and having to deal with kiddies is hard work despite the power naps I sneaked in during the afternoon. I was also dragging two lakes up the hill in my shoes…

10.2 miles with a pace of 8:18 was okay given the conditions, and I couldn’t hear my voice coach as I had the phone stashed in a waterproof Baggie in my back zipper pocket.

Walking from Misery to Joy

On Wednesday I went for a 7.4 mile walk with my friend. We ditched the running intervals this time because we were pushing the distance further than before and we chose a hilly route around the perimeter of Valley Forge National Historic Park. My favourite part is the valley between Mount Misery and Mount Joy; there is something that appeals to me about saying that I’m walking the precarious path between misery and joy!

The walk involved far more slopes and steps than previous routes so I wasn’t sure how he’d cope with it but he was fine. 7.5 miles @ 17:33 pace. Now we know he can do the distance we will reintroduce intervals.

Today I ran in the cold. The temp dipped down to the mid-thirties and that was a bit of a surprise. I chose to run a slightly different route today and it caught me out because I twisted my ankle badly on a sidewalk that had a fallen stone on it. I moved the stone out of the way but had to hobble for a while until I recovered. After a short time I was able to continue but it did shake me up. The rest of the run was uphill to return home and I think I did a reasonable job of this.

5.5 miles at 7:42 pace. Gloves and ear warmers were happily deployed at the start and removed after two miles.

Squeeze in a Quickie

I have an important interview today and I wanted to be prepared well so I needed to get my run in quickly.

As it happens, I know that the people interviewing me are both runners having completed several marathons and halves. Hopefully that will give me some common ground to talk with them as well as our shared interest in the financial markets and technology.

Today’s run was quite fast but was short. 7:19 pace over 3.11 miles. Not too shabby considering it was merely a recovery run after my super-fast half marathon on Sunday.

In other news, yesterday was my birthday and here’s the cool cake my wife and daughter made for me.

Chocolate Robot CakeIMG_3970.JPGThe arms are chocolate covered donut. The main cake is chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Nice touch with the binary age!