Running, Walking and Eating Turkey

Our popular dryer, mounted above the deep sinks in our laundry room. This is where I dry my workout clothes. This includes my Injinji toe socks that I’ve been wearing for all my long runs.

Our popular dryer, mounted above the deep sinks in our laundry room. This is where I dry my workout clothes. This includes my Injinji toe socks that I’ve been wearing for all my long runs.

On Thanksgiving morning, I decided to go for a run. I didn’t know it would be the longest run of the year.

Since starting the Jeff Galloway run/walk method of running with my GymBoss timer, I have only been using the treadmill. Thanksgiving morning weather was nice – not too cold, not too windy. My wife and daughter headed to the gym and I felt great so, to borrow a line from Forest Gump, I just decided to just go for a run.

I took off without much of an idea of how far I would go. Since this was the first run outside in several months and the first outside run with the GymBoss timer, I was totally playing this by ear. I figured I would run my normal 3 mile loop – out of my neighborhood, around the exterior loop of the adjoining neighborhood, through the path in the woods that hook into the park, the loop around the park, then back home.

A mile and a half into the run, I was feeling really good. The 3/1 ratio forced walk breaks were helping me significantly and I wasn’t tired at all. At this point, I was on the exterior loop of the adjoining neighborhood, with either the choice of either a left turn towards the park, or a right turn onto a long straight away heading away from my house. I decided to turn right and make a (significantly) longer run out of the excursion. This was a familiar route, one of my normal runs from my half marathon training days. It was a route that I took on multiple weekday mornings back then, and I knew exactly what was ahead of me. Depending on how to end the run, it was either a five or six mile loop. When training for my first half marathon in Virginia, we would run 10K Wednesdays. Six miles at night, through the only neighborhood that had street lights. I’d run this same 10K distance by myself in my half marathon training on Wednesday mornings before work. I was almost always late to work and almost always sore all day.

At the end of what is a five mile loop is the hill back into my neighborhood. While I know I have to cover that hill at some point, I wasn’t ready to stop. So I kept on running, finally taking a left turn into the park and heading home. The run ended up being six full miles, my longest in almost two years. At the end, my body felt pretty good. I wasn’t fast (10:55 average pace), but I wasn’t sore at all. I worked around the house all day without feeling like I just wanted to nap. The complete run is shown here if you’re interested. The 1000+ calories burned eliminated any fret over eating a fantastic, yet simple Thanksgiving meal. We had gingerbread for dessert, not pie – my waistline appreciates having a diabetic mother-in-law visiting. Lower calorie desserts are the norm at home, when we have them at all (yes, even at Thanksgiving).

I’m really liking this run/walk method and know that if I keep it up, I’ll be in better shape and my knees / legs won’t be screaming at me after a long run.

Biking Adventures

I have been going to the gym a few times each week as the schedule allows, mostly spending time on the treadmill. I haven’t felt good all week – mostly allergies, so haven’t done anything since Sunday. On Sunday, I went on my first group cycle ride ever. There is a group in town called theSouth Windsor Walk and Wheel Ways. A group of around 30 people from all ages (10 – 70+) started at the high school and rode a big loop around part of town for a total of 12.8 miles. The ride was mostly flat, done at a leisurely pace, and with one big break and another one to re-group and allow recovery from the one large hill. Not knowing many in town, this was a good opportunity to socialize with a few healthy-minded individuals, mostly who have lived here their entire lives. Here’s a link to my ride as provided by a new biking app, Strava: I did get a flat on my rear tire at about the halfway point, but had a very experienced rider help me change it quickly. There was some teamwork involved to get the tire changed, then catch up with the lead group at the top of the hill.

I have also re-visited the Farmington Canals Heritage Trail for the first time since October when we had the snowstorm that downed trees throughout Connecticut. The trail has been cleaned up, with just a few indications that there was even a storm. Small trees are permanently bent over from the heavy, wet snow breaking the fibers of the trunk in October. The trail had many people riding, a good many more running, and even a few roller blading. This was a serious ride for me, done in prep for a 34 mile ride scheduled for under two weeks in the future. The 34 mile United Way ride was cancelled the next day, so prep was for naught, other than the obvious benefit of a great ride that whipped my legs into shape. I rode a bit over 34 miles on this relatively flat trail, taking a long break at the halfway point – the bridge over the Farmington River. The weather was overcast and could have started raining at any point.

While stopped on the bridge over the river, I caught the end of a high school crew race, plus had the opportunity to sit and take in the beauty near the river. The above pic was taken using Pro HDR for my iPhone which does a bit of evaluation of the scene, then takes two pics of varying exposures and stitches them together. The clouds were just calling for an infrared filter, so I applied that within the app and saved it. I’m always amazed that such a remarkable ability it packed within a phone that is almost always with me. I can now look at that photo, know that it was taken during a long bike ride, and remember the joy that the ride brought. At the end, I was tired, but was happy to have just gotten out there.

What is

Nevers Park

Photo was taken during a Saturday long run.

Sitting still is not something I do often. When I do finally stop, I generally collapse. This blog is meant to track my progress with training for a couple of half marathons in the fall of 2009. I’m a somewhat overweight, late 40’s man who has been running for the past three years. In that time, I have run a bunch of 5Ks and 10Ks, and one half marathon in March, 2008. This is a new challenge.

Oh yes, the pictures. I will try to use only photos I have taken for the blog, not borrowed from some other site. At times, they will be from my phone, taken with my phone. Not the highest quality but perfect to show what I have just experienced visually from a run.