Monthly Archives: October 2015

Busy Week of Running

I guess that somewhere in my subconscious I was trying to make up for the fact that I didn’t run on Sunday after flying back from Utah. I was tired (jet lagged) and dehydrated from all the flights, but I didn’t really have an excuse for not running.

To make up for it I did quite a lot of runs and I’m trying to keep to something like the intermediate experience running plan in the runners world book.

Monday I did a 6.2 miler… Tuesday 6.7… Wednesday a simple 5 and then Thursday was a ten miler with eight at marathon pace. So I ran Thursday and sort of guessed what my pace to reach the 3:25 marathon goal should be; doing it by feel. I ran a 7:44 pace. 

When I got home I worked out what I should do using the calculator on and… It said I need to run a 7:49 pace to achieve that marathon time. Pretty close and, in fact, slightly under. Good stuff.


However, if I enter my 10 mile time into their calculator it estimates my marathon time at 3:38:57. This is all very confusing. I assume these calculators work differently when you are entering your ‘best’ time for a distance vs when you are training for a longer distance and running at the pace approximate for the longer distance. Who knows? 

This weekend I have to do twenty miles. A long morning on Sunday…


Getting Back Into It

After a week long vacation in Utah and only squeezing in a couple of runs, I need to start making up for my slacking off in preparation for the Rehobeth Beach marathon on December 5th. 

I see a lot of early mornings in my future…

Today I met my friend for our weekly 6.2 miler. At 5:30 it was pitch black and even with lights it is getting hard to differentiate the trail due to fallen leaves. LED lights give off an odd blueish light that doesn’t allow you to make out dirt vs leaves very well. 

Despite this we managed to run a new record. Partly due to reducing our ‘warm up’ walk down from five minutes to just two; at this time in the morning walking around isn’t enough and you need to run to warm up. It was 36F but dry. Our intervals are still at 4:00 run with 2:00 walking.

Outfit-wise, I went with ear warmers (first mile), long sleeves and gloves although I stuck with shorts for the day. 🙂 

The time at the finish was 1:01:22 for the 6.2 miles. At the 37 minute mark my friend asked me to predict when we’d complete and I said 1:01:25 so I wasn’t far off, was I?

My friend has continued in his weight loss and is now at the incredible weight of 181lbs which is a total loss of 229lbs since his journey began. That’s about the same weight I was when I came to America. 

To finish off, a photo from my recent trip. I hope they don’t start setting up porta-potties like this at races. ;-p

Taken at Hole in the Rock, just outside Moab, UT. 


Autumn Vacation

There have been no updates from me for a while as I have been on vacation with my family. 

We have been continuing our exploration of America, where we took our kids out to Moab, UT, for a week of rocks, dinosaurs and wonderful views. 

While out here my wife ran The Other Half half-marathon so that she could cross another State off her list (15 down). It was a beautiful run through canyons and along the Colorado river. She completed in a good time and took a few snaps along the way. 

This is a shot I took at the finish line: 

 Not a bad place to have to wait, eh?

  This is the actual finish line. 

Of course, I couldn’t let the holiday slip by without putting in a few miles myself, so I’ve run on the Monday and Tuesday mornings so far. 
The Monday run was from Moab to the entrance of Arches National Park. This was a nice run along a mixture of road and trails. Very scenic.  

   This was the view across the river from the bridge pictured above. 
The Tuesday run was the other way from town. And that was not quite so scenic! The town sort of peters out as you head up the hill. There are a few housing areas off the side of the road but it is mainly industrial and then gives way to… Well, nothing really. At least the entire road is lined by a large red cliff that is colourful in the morning sun.  

In other news, I signed up for my first official marathon in early December at Rehoboth Beach in Delaware. I am at exactly the right point in the training programme having completed 20 miles last weekend, and it is also one that could count as a Boston qualifier. I’ll have to put in some significant improvements to get to that point though. 

Thankfully, being in Utah has meant that I’ve avoided the onset of the first throws of winter temperatures in the Philly region; my friend was running in 27F on Monday morning… It was 60+ in Utah. 🙂

  You never know what you might run into in Utah. It will certainly encourage you to run faster. Perhaps I could take one back with me for the marathon? 


Time to be Mended

After an intense few weeks of running it is once again time for my scheduled massage therapy. Hurrah, my ankles and calves need it. 

This weekend turned out to be very tiring with many miles logged:

  • 3.5 walked at Dutch Wonderland
  • 20 run Sunday
  • 6.2 run Monday morning
  • 1.5 run Monday evening with my daughter 

All-in-all I’m rather pooped. The Monday morning 6.2 miler was yet another record for my friend and I at 1:03:xx; faster than a previous best by over a minute. Always a good way to start the week. 

Having Tuesday off was nice but I certainly felt it in my legs this morning as I tried to get moving again. 

The walk/run with my daughter was nice again and I changed the intervals a little to give her some more running time. It’s tough to balance between enough recovery and enough actual running as she is keen to do the running but cannot last very long yet. 

I also don’t want to put her off running so I’m being very careful to keep it light and enjoyable; I must not get frustrated at her stopping to pick up leaves, etc. 😉

The run this morning was at a cool 50F in utter darkness through the suburbs of Lower Providence, PA. It was lovely. A relaxing 8:01 pace set me up for a good day. 


One thing that I am finding as I keep dropping weight, is that it gets easier to run longer distances and my speeds seem to be improving. Now, while this may be related to the weightloss it is also probably due to the extra miles I am putting in to help with the calorie scores.

September turns out to have been another record month for me from a distance point of view. I managed to run a total of 137.45 miles. This is the second month in a row that I’ve got a new record. I think I’ll add a section for this on my represent page.

My legs feel strong and my times are dropping. I wanted to make sure that people understand, however, that this is all related to a very gradual increase in my activity levels over a long period of time. It is not just someone starting to run and suddenly doing those types of distances; if anyone does that they will undoubtedly get injured.

It is a careful balance of increasing activity, monitoring calories and nutrients, and remaining focused.

Yes, it does appear to be possible to train for marathon-distances and actually lose weight (which goes against many an Internet meme) but only if you do it slowly and carefully.

Yesterday, I tried a lunchtime run from my office rather than an early morning one. It was really fun as there are a number of people that hit the trails at lunchtime and that gave me some ‘rabbits’ to try and pass. My pace over the four miles was around 6:53 which shows just how much faster I was going. It really was a fun run with ideal temps and some good competition, although, to be fair, they didn’t realise that they were the competition!

Setting an Example

The other week it was my daughter’s 5th birthday and for a gift I chose to take her out to buy her first running clothes. 

She is everso excited about having them as she constantly sees me and her mum heading out on runs. Recently, she had also been asking about joining us on those runs so it seems like an appropriate thing to do.

Now, she’s very young to be starting running and I want her to enjoy it so we are keeping it light and fun and trying just to enjoy being out together. 

I set up intervals of 30 seconds running with four minute recoveries and we headed out around the neighbourhood. 

There were several of her young friends out playing in he street and she was very proud of saying to them that she was going on a walk/run with her daddy. Her friends didn’t even acknowledge this as they were wrapped up in their own little worlds of imagination. 

She kept picking up sticks, stopping to look at bugs, wanting to race to the next mailbox, playing with and dissecting leaves, etc.. We did get through the 28 minutes without her getting too tired to walk or any other excuse to stop. 1.5 miles covered. 

I’m looking forward to more and slowly adjusting the intervals. 

I broke out a new pair of Brooks Glycerine shoes as well because my old ones hit the 400 mile marker. This time I’m changing shoes before I start getting injuries from them being too tired. 

This week is turning into a high mileage week as I managed to get an extra long run in this morning; 9.5 rather than the usual 4 or 5. Wahoo! And the miles were rather hilly

I also managed to hit another weight goal this week having now lost 11 pounds since I started 2.5 months ago. Who says you can’t loose weight and train for marathon distances? It’s easy if you watch your calories when you use an app (like Lose It!, for example). 

Don’t Stop Me Now

“I’m having such a good time…”. Such classic Queen track and it exactly captures how I felt at mile 15 of my 18 miler today. 

Unfortunately time was against me and as I would have loved to just keep running as my legs felt so strong. I guess this is what all the training is about and the slight taper I did in anticipation of the (now cancelled) MS150 bike ride probably helped. 

It is rare that I feel that strong at such a  distance but everything was working for me; the light taper, low temp, low humidity, no wind, empty trail with beautiful leaves starting to fall. 

Some days I just don’t want to stop running but we had other plans for the day so I had to. Oh, well. 

18 miles on the Perkiomen Trail at about 8:04 pace. I even managed a reverse split. A success in every way it would seem. 🙂

Turn of the Season

The weather looks to have turned decidedly toward Autumn. There are leaves down on every trail and the wind is starting to pick up.

In fact, the wind is causing problems here.

Sadly, the MS150 City to Shore ride that was planned for this weekend was cancelled yesterday when NJ declared a State of Emergency. This is the first time in its 35 year history that it has been cancelled. There’s a hurricane blowing up the coast and they can’t risk having cyclists, volunteers and emergency services on a charity ride. I’m disappointed but I think they’ve made the right decision. They have a great safety record. I’m sure the organisers are as disappointed as us riders as they put a lot more effort into the event than we do.

I had managed to raise $345 for the event so hopefully that will still do some good.

With that in mind, I don’t have to worry any more about my (slight) taper. I did ride my bike to work yesterday only to be stranded at the office for a few hours due to the torrential rain that was flowing outside the door. Thanks ‘The Weather Channel’ for the all clear forecast in the morning; doh!

Today’s run was brief and slightly damp at 3.75 miles and a reasonable pace of 8:03. I felt positively bouncy as I ran down the road. I took the 91 steps up the hill to the local school to get an extra challenge, although they are a little precarious when it is wet.

Time to go and wake the family so we can get out for breakfast…