Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Not today.

When I woke up at 6, it was pretty treacherous outside, with lightning and wind and sideways rain. I got out of bed and thought, "today might be the day." There will surely be a day when my streak will end, and across the land will shed a tear into their exotic microbrews. But not today.

The rain let up after an hour or so, when it was still raining, but no lightning, and it didn't seem unsafe, just wet. On a typical 5 miler, I'm 100% drenched in sweat by the end, so I figured it's no big difference to be 100% soaked by rain. The only difference would be that I'd smell slightly better at the end.

And in practice, running in the rain, is quite pleasant. The air seems much cleaner, and it's exciting to feel the cold water between your toes, after you give up trying to dodge the puddles.

Rock.on.Keith. (ouch)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

100 consecutive days!

On February 20th I ran 2 miles, with the intention of running everyday. Long story short: I ate some raw eggs, yada yada yada, bumped up to 3 miles per day, blah blah blah, gave up wise-crackery for lent, blah blah blah, 4 miles per day, yada yada yahada, bored everyone with Science talk, yada blada yada, 5 miles per day, bada boom bada bing, ran a good 5K, blah blah blah, here I am. It's been 100 days. Good for me.

5 miles was easy and felt smooth this morning. It was probably 75F, but no sun, and it was pretty nice. It still felt like my muscles were a little sore from a tough weekend, but not to the point where it was painful, or that it slowed me down at all. I'll start bringing my gf again next week, which I think should be the last week of 5 milers. It will be interesting to see what she says.

Well, I can't pat myself on the butt forever, I gotta go to work.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day Running

Thanks for all the nice words about my race, everyone. I was surprised to get so many comments on the blog. I've been blogging all kinds of silly things, like the time I wrote a letter to my foot, and the time I tried to start a controversy and I called a certain someone an A-hole, when all that you really want to see is posts about setting PRs. So okay, now that I know what the people want, I can do that more often.

12 miles was rough yesterday. It was warm again, and I was good for about 8 miles. On the other hand, it was a beautiful sunrise, and we ran down the Kemah boardwalk just as it was that time. The last couple of miles were filled with some frequent walk breaks and we stopped to observe a whole mess of Nutria swimming in one of the offshoots of Clear Lake. We were tired, so I think we watched them even after they were no longer interesting.

6 miles this morning wasn't as bad, and I started to feel pretty good after 3-4 miles. We had a small group of about 5 people meet down at the Seabrook Trails for an easy recovery run.

Back to 5 milers tomorrow, which will be my fourth week with 5 mile daily runs. I plan to do at least 5 weeks at this level before I consider bumping mileage again. Probably even 6 weeks.

Anyway, it's Monday already. It's difficult to tell that this even was a long weekend. I crashed on the sofa yesterday for about 6 hours after my long run, and I'm going to have to get up and do something before the same thing happens today.

Good luck to 'Broadway Joe' Carey in his Boulder Bolder.


Saturday, May 27, 2006

Astros 5K - 23:47

Everybody loses! Nobody picked 23:00 - 23:59, so I guess I don't have to call in 'sick' for anybody. Which is good, because I'm not sure I'd be any good at that anyway. Also, the voting doesn't record who voted for what, so I'd have no idea who won anyway. It's not a perfect system.

It was pretty warm out there, and I was ready to die at the end. My heart was pounding and my hands were shaking for about 20 minutes after the race. I wish this race went through downtown more, the out and back is not as pleasant and there's a big underpass which I was not happy about. One good thing about this race is, that it's very large and attracts a lot of walkers and general baseball fans that don't run very much, so a guy like me can finish in the top 20%. In a typical race, I'm happy to break 50%.

I was telling people beforehand that I wanted to break 25 minutes, but really, I wanted to break 24 minutes. 25 was my public goal ;). I know this is my best 5K, which is mostly true because I only run 1 or 2 of them each year. I think my best race still has to be the Park to Park 5 miler last year, because I ran about this same pace for 5 miles total. But a lot has happened since that race, like when I got injured, and then I got fat, and then I quit running, and then I started running again, and then I quit running once again, and then I started running everyday, and now here I am. I had slumped big-time in my focus and fitness, but I think I'm in about as good a shape now as I was for that 5 miler, which is not bad for only 97 days worth of focused training since the last time I quit. I feel like I'm entering uncharted territory again.

Here are the splits:
First mile - 7:49
Second mile - 7:34
Last 1.1 miles - 8:24

My watch says 23:47, but the results on ITR say, 23:41. I'm starting to think something's wrong with the system, because nobody shows a chip differential less than 6 seconds, so I think the system might have lost six seconds for everybody.

The fresh salty popcorn I was looking forward to after this race was disappointing. Instead they had some old popcorn that was left over from the last home game, or maybe it was just the stuff they collected from under the seats.

So that's all the racing I'll be doing for a while, probably until the Bloggers v. Seven Hills grudge race in August. It seems all my miles are paying off, so I'm looking forward to more training, training, training, without the disruption that comes with tapering, racing, and recovering.

That's all for now,
12 miles tomorrow.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Astros 5K Poll

Okay, so the last 5K I ran was in December at the Blogger 5K #2, and it was about 27:52, but that was on the end of a 10.7 mile training run. My PR is 26:44, set two years ago at this same race.
Guess my time for the Astros 5K this weekend.
Winner gets a day off! I will personally call your employer and tell them you're sick and can't go to work that day, and I'll really sell it. They won't question it at all.
less than 22:00
22:00 - 22:59
23:00 - 23:59
24:00 - 24:59
25:00 - 25:59
26:00 - 26:59
27:00 - 27:59
28:00 - 28:59
29:00 - 29:59
30:00 - DNF
Free polls from


more running...

It's much cooler at 5AM, I'm going to have to do better with getting up and out before the sun comes up. And there was a nice breeze on the bridge this morning. We ran two laps and a small warmup and cooldown loop for a total of 5 miles.

5 miles scheduled for tomorrow.
Astros Race on Saturday.
12 miles on Sunday.

Has anyone dealt with Morton's Neuroma? My training partner is struggling with it.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Answered prayers ...

I think something bad may have happened to my friend, the crow. You know, the crow that I complained about a few weeks ago. You know, the crow that thought I might actually, climb a tree and eat little raw baby crow birds from his nest. D'you member?

Anyway, I was running that way this morning, finishing up my 5 miler, and he wasn't there. And there weren't many other birds around either, there's usually a bunch of grackles shadowing me too. And then I realized, that there were two large trees missing. It seems the bank has removed some of the trees that were obscuring their sign, and now the birds are gone.

I feel bad now, it's all my fault. I've been such a good person, giving up my demented sense of humor for lent and all, and now my prayers are being answered, and the Avian Kingdom is paying the price.

Hello, God. I was being sarcastic! Asshole.


Monday, May 22, 2006

I'm such a sell-out. It's time I got back to burning bridges.

I ran 5.5 miles on a new route in La Porte yesterday. It was not a bad route, I'll probably run it again. It goes through a nice neighborhood right along the bay, and could easily cover 7 miles on an out and back.

And for another 5 miles this morning, and I was beat. No energy, but at the same time, I have the itchy legs. It's like my legs are tired, and hurt a little, but I feel like I should run more and that would help in some way.

That's all for today. Not the most interesting blog post. I feel like I've lost a bit of my edge with this blog. I think more people are reading it, and I've lowered my freak flag a little to comply with society and its rules. And I'm starting to get more involved with my other running club, so I'm trying to be a respectable figure, I guess. I've forgotten my roots. My blog has always been driven by my twisted sense of humor and desire to make children cry.

Well, no more for that! I'll brainstorm this and get back to you. Keep the kids off this blog for a while. I'll do something soon that will insult everyone and everything. I'll be controversial like the DaVinci Code. Oh, incidentally, I saw a magazine in the grocery store, with a cover story on "the DaVinci Code Diet," because apparently, hidden in some of his masterpieces, Leonardo Da Vinci left some secret messages about a secret diet to help you prepare for bikini season.

Gotta go.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

I predicted that I would lose the prediction run real badly.

And I really really wanted to win it. I thought I had a shot, because there were only 40 people or so, and 4 of them get awards, and I run a lot, so I think I should be able to predict my time pretty well.

But a group of us started out with 3 miles before the 6.9 mile prediction run, so we could get in 10 total, and I felt a little slow. The splits people were calling out were around 9:30 - 9:40, and it seemed too hard. So that seemed to throw everything off right from the beginning.

I predicted I'd finish in 1:06:45, which is about 9:40 per mile, and I started out with a group of people, but I could tell they were going faster than 9:40, so I dropped off their pace. But I still felt like I was going too fast. By the time we turned around when we reached the bay, I basically quit trying to run on pace, and just tried to keep up with the pace I was going. As a basic rule of life, I think, if you're going to lose something, lose gloriously. Try to excel at your losing.

And running fast takes the sting out of losing the prediction race. I finished in 1:02:09, which is about 9:00 per mile, which I'm happy with for the last 7 of a 10 miler. 10 miles in 90 minutes is an arbitrary goal I've had for a long time, and I didn't do it today, but maybe I'll do it here soon. I should list some of my other arbitrary goals.

After the race, we had all kinds of goodies: cookies, kolaches, watermelon, oranges, and some other cookies. They also had the Kids Race today. It was supposed to be a 1K, but actually it was more like .7 miles, so I guess you could say it was an Ultra-Kids Race. My friend from work brought his 4 year old out to run it, it was his first race. He got a medal and everyone cheered for him, so I think he enjoyed it.

They also handed out flyers for the Marathon / Half-Marathon program, which begins June 24th. Sign-up will be June 17th and 24th.


dont pay too much for your med+s

Friday, May 19, 2006

5 milers all around

I ran the bridge yesterday morning with one of my usual training partners, Tonia, and another woman, Mindy, who is considerably faster than both of us. Typically Mindy drops us on the uphill of the bridge and then waits for us at the bottom for the recovery loop. After a few trips over the bridge, I got the idea that I'm going to try to keep up with Mindy for our last trip over the bridge. So I tried and I took off and was in front for a while, but she caught up easily, and I tried to match stride. It was impressive, how smooth she was running, as I was stomping around, not used to the pace. And she'd run a few paces, and click, she'd bump it up another notch, and run a bit farther, and click - faster, click - faster, click, click, click. I matched for a few clicks.

I usually like to blame genetics for being rather slow, but it seems to be generally true that the faster people are working harder than me.

This morning brought another easy 5 miles around my neighborhood. Tomorrow is our club's inaugural Carnac the Magnificent Prediction Run at the Seabrook Trails. Also, if you have some kids you can bring them out for the Kid's 1K at 8:30. It's free and they get a number and a medal and some cookies.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Mileage increases: big steps v. little steps

I felt drained from the very beginning of the run this morning and all the way through. I had trouble just getting out the door. But, I've noticed, and that crazy run every day article mentioned too, that the second week at a new mileage level is typically the toughest. But there's something I like about this program, beyond the running everyday.

This plan calls for increases in mileage, sometimes fairly large increases (increasing from 2 miles per day to 3 miles per day is a 50% increase in one week). But since the new mileage level is maintained with no additional increase for several weeks, it's not too much of an insult to the standard 10% rule (10% increase every week for four weeks is ultimately a 46% increase).

So my point is, the big steps make for a difficult second week, but it makes it much more obvious how much you are improving. It's very obvious that the third week is easier than the second week, and the fourth week is even easier, and by the fifth week, I seem to be itching for another bump in mileage. When I was increasing mileage 10% per week, all the weeks are more or less the same.

So, forget about the everyday running. Think about the big steps, kick it around. I think Jack Daniels proposes large steps followed by a several consistent weeks as an alternative to the 10% rule too.

And also, please continue to rock on.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Brief Tuesday Update.

5 milers for yesterday and today. All is well. Pain free, if you can believe it.

Here's another photo documenting the spread of the birdflu.

Can't chat right now, gotta work.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Casual 5 miles on the trails.

I got up late, and eventually made my way down to the Seabrook trails for another 5 miler this morning. I chose to run the whole 6 mile route, and just stop after 5 miles and stroll back to the start. I like to run by the bay, and a nice one mile walk is nice to cooldown (even though people might have thought I quit). I know we're having a cold front, but it's still important to start early. Even at 9AM it was getting to be too warm.

At one point, as I was running, there was a guy running the other way, so I said, "good morning," and he said, "I read your blog." I was surprised and said "Oh, thanks!" but I think it was probably incomprehensible. So, thank you runner, for reading, I hope my blog is not too big of a waste of time.

Oh, and who am I forgetting... Hmm... Ah, yes. Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers of the world.


And for reasons I don't want to get into, I have to reset the 'snack cracker counter' again. :( Oh, those sweet sweet Cheez-its. They are a harsh mistress.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

10 good miles and a good bagel

One of our staple routes is the 10 miles from Clear Lake Park, down Nasa Road 1, right on Todville Road, and over the bridge, and back. The weather, as you probably know, was beautiful, and we got to the bridge just as the sun came up. Our 12 mile route goes the same way, but includes the Kemah boardwalk and Kipp Road through Kemah, so I'm looking forward to that distance, which we'll probably do in a few weeks or so.

The group then headed to Einstein Bagels for bagels and whatnot. People are starting to get excited about the TMC this year. There seems to be at least 6 of us who are committed, and there may be more that catch the bug before too long.

We're debating the schedule and I've been floating the idea of making our first race the Palo Duro Trail Run, and there's one other person who wants do that one too, and I think it may be gaining momentum. From the website it looks beautiful. Resistance only comes from the fact that it will take 9+ hours of driving to get there, but I say we can drive there in 8:45 - 8:50 easy.

Keith signing off.
Remember, time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Cool breeze, warm sun.

Five miles on the bridge yesterday. Five miles through the 'hood this morning.

I've got the distances for several 5 mile routes around my crib, and now I can finally drop my GF for a while. I feel bad for just using her like that, just because she knows the distances of my runs better, and then 'shelving' her, because we've only been together since Christmas. But, she keeps pushing me to go faster, and it's my body and it's my temple. I wonder how my mom would feel about this, because she's the one that picked her out for me, but of course, Mom would never want me to get hurt by moving too quickly.

Aaaaaaaaanyway, the management of the Clear Lake Fitness Club is shaking things up a bit this season, with the addition of some new marathon and half marathon training plans, which are likely to kick a little more butt. More mileage, more long runs, so people won't just survive the marathon, but run it well.

It's a little bit controversial at the moment, as they find a balance between being challenging to veteran marathoners and being inclusive for beginning runners and walkers. I think there's enough people of varying paces so we can have it both ways.

Keith out.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

5 Tuesday, 5 Wednesday, and another question for runners

So far, so good, for five miles per day.

I think the cold front has already started moving through, because it wasn't unbearably hot this morning, and it was shady and there was a nice breeze when I was going south or west. says it was 79, but it felt okay. Tomorrow it should be pretty nice.

Now that I'm up to 5 miles per day, I've added another 150-200 calories per day, which makes for a nice snack in the late afternoon. It's usually about that time when I start to get too hungry and can't wait to leave work.

That raises another question. I'm just full of questions lately. Trainers and coaches like to talk about spreading your meals out throughout the day, where you have like 22 teeny-tiny meals at 36 minute intervals or something like that. Does anybody really do that? How many meals for you? How big are they?


Monday, May 08, 2006

Running: at what point is it a disorder?

Barbara mentioned an article she read that talked about compulsive exercising, and it raises some points for discussion. I initially had some silly things to say, condemning the 'everything in moderation' folks, and how they keep pushing their way of life down my throat. What a bunch of assholes! (just kidding, mostly) :)

But I won't joke about it anymore, it's a serious thing, and some people have real problems with anorexia or bulimia, and some people are compulsive exercisers that work-out 5+ hours a day, and eat next to nothing, to the point that they put their health at risk.

As an undergrad I did attend a few psychology classes (as I earned my psychology degree), so I'm not without opinion on this. Generally, most therapists consider 'healthy' behavior a disorder when it no longer serves their best interest, like when they begin to place their workouts ahead of their job or family and their life starts to fall apart from it. Or, of course, when it's no longer healthy, and their body fat gets too low or their body breaks down in some way.

What do you think? Feel free to address zero or more of these questions:

  • How much running is too much running?
  • Without eating too little, or exercising too much, is it a disorder to be too committed to your training, or too strictly adherent to it?
  • Do you do everything in moderation? (or as Dr. Vargo from Koala likes to say, "everything in moderation, including moderation")

    Anyway, 5.1 miles this morning.
    I sleep now.
    Keith out.
  • Sunday, May 07, 2006

    Time for a bump

    Hi America, it's good to see you again. How's the family? Have you seen our mutual friend lately? Isn't he/she a character!

    I ran eight miles this morning down on the Seabrook Trails, and didn't feel all that well, but I finished. I think it's the longest I've run without company for a long long time. I've become dependent on my club for the long runs, so it was tough going this morning.

    Here are the stats:
    1 : 10:47
    2 : 10:01
    3 : 9:30
    4 : 9:18
    5 : 10:08
    6 : 9:55
    7 : 9:24
    8 : 9:43
    Total : 8.01 miles in 1:18:56
    Avg Pace : 9:51

    So, except for today, I feel fit enough, and my foot feels good enough, so I'm bumping it up to 5 miles per day, with 10 miles on Saturdays.

    Here's a review of my recent progress.

    27 March - 1 April (during the 4th week of 3+ miles per day)
    3 mile daily runs - average pace = 9:41
    6 mile run - average pace = 9:16

    1 May - 7 May (during the 5th week of 4+ miles per day)
    4 mile daily runs - average pace = 9:20
    8 mile run - average pace = 9:51

    I guess things are a little confused by the 6 mile run last month, which was faster than it should have been. I should probably take my heart rate monitor and control for effort. Yeah, I probably should, but I probably won't. Other than that, it seems like there's a 20 second per mile improvement in my pace on the daily runs. Nobody could complain about that. We'll see if that trend continues after 4-5 weeks of 5 milers.

    Rock on America.

    Saturday, May 06, 2006

    "Four" miles in the torrent - and I found some money on the ground

    I meant to run my eight miler this morning, but didn't quite make it.

    The plan was to run 2 miles early, and then meet up with the group for their six miler, so I got there around 6:30, and headed out. It wasn't raining too bad at that point, and I was hopefull that we'd luck out like we did last week, and avoid all the rain. I ran one mile out and back, and I was inexplicably sluggish. At one point in this segment, I found a wet and dirty twenty dollar bill on the ground, and later another one dollar bill. When I got back to the park I asked if anyone had run that way and had lost some money, and nobody had. I would have felt bad if it had been lost by one of the club members, but if it's not them, it's probably from some drug dealers or something, so it's probably best that I keep it, rather than have it go towards the purchase of bullets or crank or something that could hurt someone.

    Anyways, I got back to the park just as they were cancelling the run, which was absolutely the right call because it was threatening to get worse pretty quickly. So the people with common sense left, but I had already run 2 miles, and I thought about getting in another quick two miles, which I could count as tomorrow's 4 miler and I could run eight tomorrow. I could avoid missing any running - surely the torrent would hold off for 18-20 minutes. But it didn't, and the last mile or so was run in high winds and rain, and an occasional piece of hail bouncing around me and sometimes off the top of my melon.

    Here are the stats.
    1 : 10:11
    2 : 9:52
    3 : 9:33
    3.86 : 7:32
    Total : 3.86 miles in 37:12
    Avg Pace : 9:39

    Rock on.

    Thursday, May 04, 2006

    More data for your charts and graphs

    Here are my stats for yesterday on the bridge - I was pretty wiped out after this one.
    1 : 9:19
    2 : 9:05
    3 : 9:00
    4 : 8:35
    Total : 4.01 miles in 36:02
    Avg Pace : 9:00

    Here are my stats for this morning.
    1 : 9:41
    2 : 9:15
    3 : 9:04
    4 : 9:10
    Total : 4.14 miles in 38:26
    Avg Pace : 9:17

    And that bird tried to attack me again! He came closer than ever today. I don't know what this bird thinks of me, but I'm really not the kind of person to eat raw baby birds from a crow's nest. I think I might have to hire Bill to help out with my bird problem. I would just run a different route, but I think if I submit to threats like this, then they've already won.

    And there was this old guy out there this morning. I see him everyday practically, he walks with his walker thing that has a built in chair, so he walks a bit and sits down and walks more later. And he's always going up to the corner store and he buys a couple of beers and sometimes drinks them when he stops to rest. I think as soon as he gets home, he's out of beer and heads back out again. But he was there when I left and he was returning when I finished, so I guess his little beer run takes at least 40 minutes, probably closer to an hour by the time he gets back to his own complex. No point to this story.


    Wednesday, May 03, 2006

    4 miles yesterday, and 4 miles today

    There's a crow that always tries to attack me at one point in my route. It really does seem kind of scary. And he appears to be suffering from flu-like symptoms. It's probably not the birdflu though, it's probably just a cold.

    Here are my stats for Tuesday.
    1 : 9:53
    2 : 9:25
    3 : 9:06
    4 : 8:48
    Total : 4.13 miles in 38:25
    Avg Pace : 9:18

    And for today (Wednesday).
    1 : 9:51
    2 : 9:22
    3 : 9:02
    4 : 9:00
    Total : 4.11 miles in 38:17
    Avg Pace : 9:18

    Why don't you buy yourself a gift today, and sign my name.

    Monday, May 01, 2006

    4 miles with my GF

    Hereby being the fifth and concluding week of the runs which consist of 4 miles, I shall accompany with me my watch so that it might acquire the necessary informatical data for graphical representation and such.

    Here are my stats.
    1 : 9:53
    2 : 9:28
    3 : 9:15
    4 : 9:12
    Total : 4.06 miles in 38:26
    Avg Pace : 9:28

    Love, Keith.