Friday, August 14, 2009

Race Photos

Last Sunday's race photos finally made it online.
Here is just one. If you follow the link back, this is photo #115. I am in photos 113, 115, and 116.
This is the finish line of my first ever 5-mile race.
I finished 44th out of nearly 800 runners. My official time was 36:23 which is a 7:17 mile pace. I am satisfied with that time. You can check out the other pictures by clicking on this photo.
Since Sunday, I have not run this week. As I already stated in my blog, I was sick half the week. In addition to being sick, I had a lot of pain in my knee on Tuesday. I think that I hurt it getting into bed. I need to run.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Hay una maravillosa cita de Jonas Salk, quien dijo: "Si todos los insectos desaparecieran de la tierra, en 50 años habría desaparecido toda forma de vida sobre la tierra…. Si todos los seres humanos desaparecieran de la tierra, en 50 años todas las demás formas de vida podrían florecer."

Está equivocado. Pienso que las especies que cultivamos no florecerían; las hierbas crecerían y los ganados sufrirían – pero todo lo demás florecería.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Race Journal

I ran my first 5-mile race today. Also, the photos from the 2nd 5K finally got posted today. So, in this post, I am going to talk about today's race and I will include photos from two weeks ago.

I figure that I will start with the oldest stuff first.

Here are the official results from the two 5K races that I competed in on July 12 and July 26. The card number is either my overall place or a close approximation.












30 - 34









31 - 34







And here are the photos from the second 5K:

  1. This is me at the start. Click on the photo for a larger version. I am near the center of this photo.

  2. This is me at the end. I am the one with no shirt on. Personally, I think this photo flatters me.

  3. Sorry about the gratuitous exhibitionism here. I know that I might be the only one who can tell by looking but I have lost a lot of mass in my back, arms, and chest. That is what running does. Your body decides it doesn't want to carry extra weight during this sort of long distance activity and so it starts working on shedding non-running muscle. It will be hard to prevent this type of atrophy altogether, but in the fall I will be in a weight-lifting class twice a week and running pretty much all the other days.

Okay – TODAY'S RACE: It was my first 5-mile race of all time. I (unofficially) finished in 36:22 which is 7:16/mile. I am happy with that time. I felt good. I ran 6:39 in my first mile but I ran a very conservative race. I just didn't know what to expect. By the fifth mile, I had worked all my kinks out and my stomach and lungs were fine (which might mean that I need to speed things up a bit) and I was able to speed up my pace a bit. I think that my last mile was probably my second best mile this morning. That is fine – it means that I can speed up.

Honestly, it wasn't really that easy but I think that it helped a lot to do those to longer runs last week. I just need more experience to get the leg strength and mental strength that I need to speed up some more.

I will put today's photos up as soon as they are available online.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Running; Journal

Well, I ran with my friend Steven yesterday. I ran four miles. I felt good. I ran an easy mile to warm up and then I stretched. I then ran a mile. I wanted to run 6:30 or under. Becky and Gabe went to the track with me so I asked Becky to time my laps. I said that I wanted to aim at a 90 sec lap time (6:00/mile). I ran laps 1, 2, and 4 under 90 sec and I ran lap 3 in 92 sec. Becky was only marking lap time and didn't look at the total time but it was less than 6-minutes. I would say that it was about 5:45. I felt good. It felt easy to run that pace. I then jogged two miles at a comfortable pace. I am not planning on running today. I have a 7:00 AM 5-mile race tomorrow. I feel a lot better about it after yesterday's run than I did earlier in the week. During most of the week I have not felt good about tomorrow's race. I have felt tired, tight and heavy. I felt a lot looser yesterday though and I think that resting today is going to be good for tomorrow. I feel good right now. I don't know what to expect for tomorrow. I have never run a 5-mile race. People sometimes ask me if I run marathons and I always answer no but in my mind I think 'I have never competed in anything longer than 5 kilometers'. I don't totally know how to prepare for a marathon but what I am seeing on-line is encouraging. I am doing a lot right. I would run today but I feel like resting for tomorrow's race. Hmm. This is not much of a journal entry.

On a completely different note, I have spent a lot of time today reading about George Sodini. He killed four people in an LA Fitness in Pennsylvania on Tuesday of this week. He walked in with four loaded guns in his gym bag and then shot up an aerobics class before killing himself. He had a blog that documented his deranged thinking as he planned to kill. I did not read the whole thing. I browsed it and read other people's comments on several websites that dedicate a lot more space to this incident than I am dedicating here. It is pretty sick stuff – sort of terrifying really. The whole story sort of humbles me, makes me want to take better care of people, show more decency. But it is all really scary to think that this guy, or somebody like him, could be anywhere.

I will share just one of his particularly bothersome entries:

January 6, 2009:
I can do this. Leaving work today, I felt like a zombie - just going thru the motions. Get on the bus, get the car, drive home.....My mind is screwed up anymore, I can't concentrate at work or think at all.
This log is not detailed. It is only for confidence to do this. The future holds even less than what I have today.
It is 6:40pm, about hour and a half to go. God have mercy. I wish life could be better for all and the crazy world can somehow run smoother. I wish I had answers. Bye.

It is 8:45PM: I chickened out! Shit! I brought the loaded guns, everything. Hell!

It scares me that he did what he did, period. But it also scares me that seven months earlier he walked into the gym with a bag of loaded guns and the intention to unload them into people. How many other times did he pack that gym bag with guns? How many other people are there like this guy, walking around with a bag of weapons and hearts filled with hatred? Wow. This is disturbing.

I feel for the people killed and otherwise affected by this man.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Running Journal

This morning I ran about 5K – 12.5 laps at the track. I felt slow and it seemed difficult to run. I mean, I could have gone out and jogged but actually running was a big challenge. I ran all the way without a break and I put a lot of effort into it, but that is the problem – it took a lot of effort. I can't be feeling this way on Sunday when I have to race and expect to go out and run faster than an 8-minute mile average.

I don't even know why I care sometimes. Today was difficult work.


Monday, August 3, 2009

Oh My God!

Okay, this is a little more religious than most of my posts, but the whole reason that I am sharing it (i.e. copying and pasting it) is because it made me laugh. Whatever your religious philosophy, I think that you can appreciate this:

The next time you feel like GOD can't use you, just remember...
Noah was a drunk
Abraham was too old
Isaac was a daydreamer
Jacob was a liar
Leah was ugly
Joseph was abused
Moses had a stuttering problem
Gideon was afraid
Samson had long hair and was a womanizer,
Rahab was a prostitute,
Jeremiah and Timothy were too young,
David had an affair and was a murderer,
Elijah was suicidal,
Isaiah preached naked,
Jonah ran from God,
Naomi was a widow,
Job went bankrupt,
John the Baptist ate bugs,
Peter denied Christ,
The Disciples fell asleep while praying,
Martha worried about everything,
The Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once
Zaccheus was too small,
Paul was too religious,
Timothy had an ulcer...
AND Lazarus was dead!

And, He even made a donkey talk!

No more excuses now.

God can use you to your full potential.


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Running Journal

~5.8 miles; ~50 min; à8:36/mile

Well, I don't know what to say. It was a slower overall pace. I felt slow during the majority of the run. On the up side, I was able to run the whole distance. I think that the most difficult spot was at about mile 3, more or less. I went out with no water but Becky dropped me off and then came back out with some water and waited for me at about the 3-mile point. I stopped for a few minutes to drink it and pour it on myself. Of course, I am not subtracting that time from the overall run time but if I did the pace could be closer to 8 min/mile. I don't know, I don't think that the pace really matters today. Next Sunday, when I have a race – then it will matter. Today, my main reason for running was just to go over 5 miles so that I could get a better feel for the distance I will be running next week.

A few observations from this evening's run:

I felt good for the last mile. I think that it was probably my fastest mile as well.

My feet felt the heaviest at about the 5-mile mark. I was keenly aware of this fact and I consciously worked on picking my knees up and keeping my arms involved. I was running in a basically flat area but approaching the 5-mile mark of today's run there is a slight rise as the road comes up to a railroad crossing. I don't think that that alone was why my feet were so heavy feeling but it could be part of it.

I saw a big brown hawk on a light post in the first mile. It flew off when I went past.

At about mile 4 a sparrow or some other small common bird flew along next to me for about 4 or 5 seconds. I enjoyed the company.

There are a lot of these weeds with a little yellow flower with a red center. I was happy to see them.

Near mile 3, I saw what looked like a very old piece of a dead armadillo. I don't have any idea how long it has actually been there. I was a little surprised by the lack of wild life other than birds. I would like to have seen a live armadillo. Then my run might have taken much longer.

I think that I need new shoes soon. It will have to wait until I can afford them but everywhere I read suggests that running shoes are only really good for 400 to 500 miles. I got the pair that I have now around Christmas or my birthday last year and I ran a few times a week almost every week since then.

I developed some pretty big blisters on my left foot on Friday's run. Yeah, I was really noticing them this evening. I drained them so that they would dry out but it takes a couple of runs for the skin to thicken up and make calluses (which is what I want here). Somebody, say your prayers to the callus gods to get to work so that this running stuff starts to feel better.

Hmm, what else? Not much. Like I said earlier – I felt really good in the last mile. I ended strong. It bothers me a little that my pace doesn't seem very consistent on a run like tonight's but I think that in a race (next week) I will be able to work off the runners around me a lot more. I am not worried at all about going out too slow next week. I tend to start too fast in races and it takes some concentration for me to not sprint out with the much faster runners. I was a middle distance runner (400 & 800m) in high school and that combined with the energy of standing at a starting line with 400+ other runners usually means about a 6:00 to a 6:30 first mile for me. I am okay with that, actually. I just hope that my pace will level out (without slowing significantly) as I get more used to running further and more often.

Anyway, the weather was nice. It was not windy. It was about 85 degrees when I left. Tomorrow, I think that I will do a shorter work out at the track and try to keep my mile time under 7 minutes each mile. It is supposed to be about 92 and sunny tomorrow. I like running in the sun. It just feels good to me. I would rather deal with the heat than the cold any day.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

math that made me sick

Last Sunday I competed in a 5K race that I finished in approximately 21 minutes. I had a average 6:48 mile time. Today, I did the math to find out the average mile time to finish a marathon in 3hr. The pace - 6:51/mile. I don't know why, but I felt sick as soon as I figured that out. Can I do it? Maybe. I think so. But I need to take my training much more seriously. Well... well.... Hmm. I think that I will look up a training schedule and get busy.
The qualifying time for Boston is 3hr 10min for my age/gender group. Still, that means that I pretty much have to average 7 min/mile for the whole thing. I can't do it now but I can get there.