Friday, June 30, 2006

Look how cute I was!

I know, "What happened?" you ask. I've heard that one before.

Ocala is a little hillier than Houston, or Oldsmar, FL, and it was probably 5 degrees cooler than I'm used to this morning, so I had a nice 6 miler.

Here's me and my Dad, about 23-24 years ago.

This is me and my step-mom, Judy, on their wedding day.

Me and my brother.

Listening to: The Who - Teenage Wasteland


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Key hopping in sunny Florida.

Well, vacation is certainly not boring.

I've been in the Keys the last few days doing all kinds of cool stuff like snorkeling, and feeding some giant tarpon, watching the sunset ceremony and the street performers in Key West. Eating great food like, blackened Mahi Mahi, Conch fritters at Sloppy Joe's, Cheeseburger at Margaritaville. I'm stuck with a film camera at the moment, so it will be next week before I can post them.

And I've been running everyday of course. We stayed in Islamorada, which is one of the upper keys, for two nights and I got to run down there twice. This morning was the nicest. I got started about 6AM, and ran west along Highway 1, towards the end of our little key, and then over the bridge to a very small, uninhabited key named 'Tea Table,' and over another bridge to another small uninhabited key. It was beautiful, and I thought I'd just keep running and keep hopping from key to key, and I did run about 4.5 miles on the 'out,' with no regard for having to run the 'back.' I stopped and took some walking breaks after I got my 6 miles in.

And now I'm tired, and I'm completely sick of Jimmy Buffet. I'm off to Ocala to visit my Dad for the next couple of days, so that will be fun too.

Listening to: Jimmy Buffet - Cheeseburger in Paradise (...Heinz 57 and french fried potatoes.)


Sunday, June 25, 2006

Home again.

6 miles around my Mom's house.

I had ordered a pair of shoes earlier this week, and since I didn't know if they'd get to my house before I left for sunny Florida, I had them sent right here. When, I got here, I asked my mom where my shoes were, and she said she didn't know what I was talking about. But I've known her for almost exactly 30 years now, so I said, "I read your book. I know you wrapped them, and plan to give them to me for my birthday." I saw that one coming. I guess she knows me pretty well too.

Listening to: Itzhak Perlman and Yo Yo Ma - Dvorak's Humoresque


Saturday, June 24, 2006

6 miles before an early flight

This stupid streak made me get up at 3:45 so I could run before my flight. The alternative would be to run in the evening in Florida, which is fine, but then I'd have to run on only 12 hours rest to get back on the morning schedule.

I've been feeling pretty run down lately, and not sleeping a lot. I certainly wasn't expecting to cruise through without effort, so this run was surprisingly enjoyable. I actually gave myself permission to stop at 4 miles, but I changed my mind after I warmed up.

Anyway, I have to get to the airport. I hope all the HRBers have a good time at the meeting, I'm sorry I'll miss it. I think I was the only one to be at all the meetings so far. It might not be true, I didn't think that hard about it, I just thought of it once and decided to believe it.

Okay, airport time. Have a good week.

Listening to: The Presidents of the United States of America - Feather Pluckin' (Ten million monkeys all pick up guitars. Nobody taught them how!)


Friday, June 23, 2006

No time, need sleepy

Hi America, how are you? You look good!

I ran 14 this morning with my friend Tonia, who was nice enough to rearrange her schedule so I didn't have to do my long run alone. I'm leaving early tomorrow morning for sunny Florida, and I need to get some sleep.

Lots going on but no time to blog. As soon as I get back, I promise to post a nice long non-sensical rant about working on the computer too much, feeling run-down, turning 30, all those upsetting things.

Listening to: Monster Magnet - Space Lord (Space lord mother mother.)

Rock on.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

6 miles, 20 dollars and a coke

I was near the 5 mile mark this morning, when there was a small wiener dog running around, and a very tired and angry old asian woman chasing her. The woman's english was very bad, but I eventually got the message that she needed my help catching her dog. Easier said than done.

Usually, you have to be nice and get the dog to come to you, but that quickly became clear that it was never going to happen. She was lightning fast and wouldn't come within 10 feet of me. The woman was trying to tell me that I could grab her and she'd never bite me, but who knows what the dog would do in that situation.

I eventually cornered her by one of the entrances to the local high school, and the dog gave up and layed down and rolled over, so that was a bit of a relief. I carried the dog back to her house, and she wouldn't let me put the dog down until she gave me $20, and a Coke. It was funny because this woman was quite a gem. She's always yelling and her english is almost completely incomprehensible, and it was like she had no idea that she was hard to understand. Most of the time, I could only pick out a few phrases, like 'Bad Dog!' and 'What do you want me to do!' and 'I'll kill you!' I think the dog's name was something like 'may-be-ah' or something similar.

Listening to: Townes Van Zandt - Cowboy Junkies Lament (There's a hole in heaven where some sin slips through. Close your eyes and breath real steady. Could be a little spill on you.)


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

6 miles. Day by day, returning to form.

Well, another 6 miles, after very little sleep. It was warm and sunny, but I got through it. I keep telling myself if I make it through this week I'll be okay. Next week I'll be on vacation, so I'll get to do some running in sunny Florida, and maybe even Key West for a couple days. Sadly though, it means I'll miss the blogger gathering.

I haven't been feeling like myself the last few weeks. I don't mean as a runner, but as a blogger. Where's my angst? Where's my nonsense? Sure, the bear with the soda can yoke was funny, but that was a re-tread. I've posted it before. Later on in this post I will mention that there's a whole group of people that should burn in hell, so that's something. :)

Surely there's something brewing. I'm turning 30 in 6 days.

Responding to some recent comments...

Vic - I haven't gotten any blisters for a long time, even with these perpetually soggy shoes I've been wearing. I usually have a pair of good, tight-fitting running socks that stick to my feet well, so there's very little friction on my skin.

Bill - Jack-in-the-Box is the number two threat behind the ice cream. Maybe the counter will help me stick to it. Occasionally I fall for the whole 'once in a while is okay' argument, but I can't do things in moderation. I've said it before, people who can do things in moderation should burn in hell.

Barbara - You missed it, I said I changed my mind and went running anyway. My streak lives. And yes I am obsessed about it to an unhealthy degree. :)

Listening to: HED(PE) - Sabbra Cadabra (unintelligible)


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

6 more, still raining :(

Running in the rain on Sunday was fun. Yesterday, the flooding was tremendous, and I didn't think to curse the rain for ruining my run. But today, it has gotten old. I'm tired of running in wet shoes, and I'm tired of having pruney fingers by the end of it.

That's all I've got today. Sorry, no humorous comments. I'm not in the mood to rant and call anybody an A-hole either.

Listening to: Ben Folds - Hiro's Song (I wanna explode... in a karaoke supernova.)


Monday, June 19, 2006

Pasadena is a big mess

I decided not to run today. It was pouring at 5:30, so I delayed until 6:30, and it was still pouring. So I decided today would be the end of my streak, and I began to get ready for work. When I was out walking my dog, there were people just standing outside, looking at the flooded parking lot, and it was clear that I wasn't going to be driving anywhere anytime soon, and rather than sit and do nothing while the waters recede, I laced up and went running.

It wasn't raining that bad at that point, and there wasn't any lightning, and traffic was very light, obviously. There was flooding everywhere, with stalled cars every block. I was running down Vista Ave, a divided road with a small bayou in the middle, and there was a car sitting in the middle of the bayou, with water halfway up the windshield. About a quarter mile later, there was another car in the bayou. Later on, between miles 5 and 6 there were two more cars in the bayou. I don't know exactly how they got there, I guess if the water is high enough so you can't see the curb, you can do stupid things like that. There were some people with a television camera filming one of the cars in the bayou, and they also got some footage of yours truly, running through the rain like a monkey on barbed wire.

6.31 miles at 10:09 m/m

My foot hurts occasionally when I'm walking without shoes. It's okay when I'm running, but I'm a little worried.

Listening to: Corrosion of Conformity - Deliverance (Is there no one to deliver you from your ignorance?)


Sunday, June 18, 2006

6 miles in the rain

Not a bad run this morning, much better than the last few days anyway. I got up around 5:30, and the radar on said, "you better get moving." The rain was already starting here in Pasadena, but it seemed like it would still be clear around the Seabrook trails, for a little while at least.

I ran real slow for the first mile, and I eventually loosened up and started feeling pretty good. The rain held off for about a half hour, which is just long enough for me to get to the other end of the trails, and at that time it's too late to cut it short. The way back was wet, but I like running in the rain. It never seems like a good idea beforehand, and it's hard to set out when it's already raining, but when I get stuck in it, I have fun.

48 miles for the week. 17 weeks for my streak. Good for me.

Listening to: The Strokes - The Modern Age (Let me go go go go go go go go)


Saturday, June 17, 2006

Cut em up, dammit!

Do you believe me now?!

Luckily, she's still alive, but with diminished lung capacity. You can read her story here.

Perhaps it's time for another friendly reminder about proper soda can yoke safety.

Look at how sad that bear is.


12 tired miles

I got to the park a few minutes late and everybody had left already. I spent quite a bit of energy trying to catch them, and by the time I did, I was drained. I made it through the full 12 miles, but I was very tired. This is the end of the first week at 6 miles per day. Usually the second week at a new mileage level is the most difficult, but the third is okay, so if I make it through next week, I should be okay.

So I got back to the park, and renewed my membership for another year, and got my free gift - a nice pair of trail-running socks from New Balance.

I've decided that Jamoosh's style of posting what music he's listening is cool enough that I'm going to totally rip it off. I wish I thought of it first, but I don't care any more, I'm not too proud to not rip it off. I guess the whole running blog idea was a rip-off too.

Listening to: Elvis Costello - Deep Dark Truthful Mirror (The same eyes, the same lips, the same lie from your tongue trips)


Friday, June 16, 2006

6 more for Friday

6 more miles. I was very tired. I think the mileage is catching up with me. Hopefully I will adapt to this level soon. I'm a little worried about my 12 miler tomorrow.

And on top of everything, Barbara apparently won't let me see her blog anymore. It keeps telling me I'm some kind of robot. At first it was a problem with her ISP or something, but maybe she's trying to tell me something. Maybe I have become too robotic. Maybe I should cast off some chains or something. Is that right, Barabara? Should I stop playing the game of life, and start living?

Rock on.
Keith-bot 2000.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

6 milers a plenty.

I stepped on a rock on the bridge this morning and turned my ankle a little. I was worried for a little while, but I think it's going to be fine. That was at the end of a nice 6 miles on the bridge. Very nice, except that my training partner wanted to start a half hour earlier, which means 4:30 AM, which means I gotta get up at 3:00!

And then I came back home and had the bright idea that I could get another hour of sleep before I had to get ready for work. Somehow, one hour turned into three hours, and I finally strolled in to work until slightly after 11:30. Nobody noticed. I guess that's one of the benefits of graduate school: the messy-haired, sleepy-eyed, afternoon arrival doesn't draw much attention.

And then, of course, there was another 6 miler yesterday. 6 miles on tap for tomorrow. 12+ for Saturday, before our club's sign-up. And our club will also be leading the way into the 23rd century with our very own forum, as well as a 'club blog.' Our head coach, Rick, has already been posting, and has got some interesting things to say. It hasn't even been released yet, but I'll give you, my homeboys and homegirls, the scoop right here and now. Check it out.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

6 fat miles

Today's six miler and yesterday's six miler have been a little bit of a struggle to get myself going. This mileage bump is a little intimidating for some reason. On top of that, with a little imagination, I can feel some discomfort in the outside of my left foot, where I've had problems before.

Plus, I've actually gained a pound or two in the last week. Only I can gain weight in a week where I run 49 miles. Several months ago, I analyzed my previous training, and figured out what mileage, and what body weight, makes my left foot hurt. And now, with the mileage bump, and my little snack cracker bump, I'm on the highway to the danger zone, writing checks my body can't cash.

I started a little earlier today, around 6:30 instead of 7:00, and it definitely helps. I ran slow, without my watch. I felt better about my whole situation after about 3 miles or so, and took a loop around Strawberry Park, where there's always a lot of walkers and a few runners too.

This streak has helped me stay focused. Before the streak, on a morning like this one, I probably would have hit the snooze and went back to sleep, promising to run this evening, or tomorrow. Whether or not to run isn't really a question anymore.

I'll run easy, and behave myself, for the rest of the week, and I should be out of the danger zone by Monday.


Sunday, June 11, 2006

13 miles - Onward and Upward

This is probably my favorite route. We leave from Clear Lake Park, and run down Nasa Road 1, to the end. There's about a half mile down Todville road, and then over the bridge and on down the Kemah boardwalk. And back. It's about 12 miles total, but we added a few small loops here and there to make it 13.

The mistake was leaving at 6AM. It's too late already, and it was too hot by the end, and some of us were struggling. I felt okay, and finished with a couple decent miles, but I could tell, that if I had to go much further, the heat would have been a major problem.

Here are my stats. (you can tell where the walk breaks were)
1 : 10:01
2 : 9:43
3 : 10:35
4 : 9:38
5 : 9:35
6 : 11:08
7 : 13:19
8 : 10:06
9 : 9:09
10 : 11:42
11 : 11:06
12 : 9:35
13 : 9:12

Total : 13.02 miles in 2:15:04
Avg Pace : 10:23

Here's a summary of my recent progress, represented as the average pace for the final week at the given mileage level.

3 mile daily runs : average pace = 9:41
4 mile daily runs : average pace = 9:20
5 mile daily runs : average pace = 9:15

I'm surprised there's still a little improvement between the 4 milers and the 5 milers. I know I've improved a lot, and I feel a lot stronger, but with the increasing temps, I wouldn't have been surprised if it wasn't there.

Well, that wraps up the latest epoch in the training plan, and tomorrow begins the next level with 6 mile daily runs. I think I'll run 5 weeks at 6 miles per day, then 5 weeks of 7 milers. Beyond that I might increase some mileage of one or two of the midweek runs, but I don't think I'll go up to 8 milers everyday. Seven miles, with some long runs on the weekends, that will have to do.

Hmmm, I wonder what my pace will be after 5 weeks of 6 miles per day... Sounds like a good poll question.


Saturday, June 10, 2006

6 on the trails.

Here are my stats.
1 : 10:06
2 : 9:34
3 : 9:24
4 : 8:57
5 : 9:20
6 : 9:01

Total : 6.01 miles in 56:31
Avg Pace : 9:24

Just the stats for now. Lots to do today.


Friday, June 09, 2006

Lots of running...

I ran about 4 miles last night, with our own 'Broadway Joe' Carey. He showed me some of the trails down off Space Center Blvd. It was pretty cool, with lots of short ups and downs, and a few places where you have to climb over fallen trees. Bring your mosquito repellant, and maybe a compass.

I'm looking forward to seeing Joe's progress with his low heart rate training. He seems to be a textbook example of the kind of person who would benefit most from it. I was trying to convince him to run some kind of benchmark test so that we can see how he progresses, but I don't think he wants to do it. There is a thread from that has been referred to a bunch of times, where the dude talks about running 2400 meters at 5 different heart rates and tracking your pace at the different heart rates. I did it for a while, and got some interesting data that you see below.

Don't you think Joe should do that too? Or something like it? So we can see his pace improve with a constant heart rate? It's only once every 6 months or so. And you can estimate LT heartrate with the point where it starts to flatten out. Don't you think he should do that?

Anyway, I know I really shouldn't be doing two runs in one day, but what can I say, my ego likes to write checks my body can't cash.

I meant to take it easy this morning, but I didn't feel too bad, and my gf was telling me I was doing okay, and she always inspires me to be a better runner, and a better man, so it wasn't much different than previous runs by the end.

Here are my stats.
1 : 9:50
2 : 9:32
3 : 9:11
4 : 9:06
5 : 8:45

Total : 5.08 miles in 47:08
Avg Pace : 9:16

Okay, I gotta go.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Three laps on the bridge

When I mentioned to my training partner that I wanted to start running 3 laps on the bridge next week, she suggested we just start today. We ran pretty easily, and even took a couple walking breaks on the flat parts, and still averaged about 9:17 per mile.

Here are my stats.
1 : 9:06
2 : 8:44
3 : 8:59
4 : 10:02
5 : 9:28
6 : 9:22

Total : 6.02 miles in 55:53
Avg Pace : 9:17

I'm starting to get the urge to race again, right at the time when there aren't going to be any longer than a 5K for several months. The two hour half marathon was always a goal, and I came real close in the first half I did at White Rock in 2004. I ran it in 2:00:16.9 - so close! Since then training has been spotty, and I've only recently started to feel like I could improve it. So, that will be one major goal for the fall - maybe at the Koala/Luke's Half. So there's that goal and the TMC. Oh yeah, and a friend of mine might run Philly, so I might go run another one in Philly. And maybe Big Sur. Why don't I just run all of them? All the marathons in all the world. Why not? Well, because my ego's writing checks my body can't cash, that's why not.


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Thanks for voting for me, you guys rock!

Whoo hoo! HRB Runner of the Month! I really am excited to win it, thanks to everybody who voted for me.

My current training was designed to address specific weaknesses of mine, and consistency is at the top of the list, followed closely by my propensity for ice cream and cheez-its, and my ability to get real fat, real quick. So, it feels like I'm doing much better in those two areas. For the most part I think it stems from my decision to give up on doing things 'in moderation.' (D'you member when I went off on those pushy 'Everything in Moderation' people and called them all A-holes. That was funny.) No, moderation is for stronger people than I.

Another 5 miler today, and it was a little bit difficult. Too fast, or too hot, but definitely too something.

Here are my stats.
1 : 9:30
2 : 9:13
3 : 8:55
4 : 8:55
5 : 8:52

Total : 5.07 miles in 46:01
Avg Pace : 9:05

Rock on.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Runners Against Back Pain and Bird Flu

Five miles for my homeboys and homegirls on the DL.

Here are my stats.
1 : 9:27
2 : 9:20
3 : 9:05
4 : 8:55
5 : 8:34

Total : 5.03 miles in 45:40
Avg Pace : 9:05


Monday, June 05, 2006

Get ready.

Here are my stats so that you may update your graphs.
1 : 9:56
2 : 9:32
3 : 9:22
4 : 9:19
5 : 8:41

Total : 5.05 miles in 47:18
Avg Pace : 9:21

I lost about a pound and a half yesterday alone, just by getting a haircut. I had been getting the Bucky Covington, but I was kicking around some ideas with Lola and said, maybe I'll get the Ace Young, and she said, 'maybe maybe.' So then Lola said, "ju know, both of those guys are gonna fall of the earth now, the season's over." And I said, "yeah, but I can't pull off the Taylor Hicks if that's what you're thinking." And she said, "please, he'll be playing the street corner in Vegas by next year, ju don wanna do that, I know." She continued, "no, I think ju should get the Seacrest. Now, I know ju hate him, but don't dismiss it right away, in fact, go take a walk, or come back tomorrow. Yeah, come back tomorrow and I'll give ju the Seacrest." And with that she pushed me out the door.

So I took a slow walk, and I watched the sunset, and I thought, "crazy Lola." I walked some more, I contemplated my place in the universe. "Seacrest," I scoffed. "Crazy."

Things are in flux, much like when I first started dieting and running.

Is the world ready for Keith 3.0?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

5 miles, I need another hobby.

I found 5 miles on the Seabrook trails this morning. They were just laying there and nobody was running them, so I was all, okay, I'll run them. And the miles were like, you? and I was all, yah, and they were like, hmph, and I said, I can do it, shut up. So I ran, and by the end they were all, sir, you have humbled me, and I was like, don't judge people so quickly. That's basically how it happened.

I was thinking the other day, that I need another hobby, in addition to running. People like to ask, "what else do you do besides working and running?"

Sometimes, I bookmark some things, that stuff that's on the right panel, and I've thought that maybe I could get into this or that. Like pigeon racing, remember when I said I could get interested in that? I wasn't kidding, I could get interested in training and racing pigeons, but I think it's probably not easy to do in an apartment, so maybe I'll revisit that at a later date. It does kind of seem like and 'old fart' hobby, maybe I'll do it when I'm an old fart.

And another time, I said I could get into competitive eating. I was half-joking, but I think I could actually be quite good at it. For some reason, though I suspect that chicks won't really dig it.

I also posted some stuff about people that make high end timepieces. That kind of detailed work really appeals to me. The only drawback is the cost that is involved in acquiring the necessary equipment, and the materials to do a good job. In a similar theme, I also thought about getting into violin making. I'm sure that would get expensive too. It can be done with mostly hand tools, but you know how it starts with a moderate investment, but things get added, and before you know it, you've spent way more than you planned.

I run by a boxing club almost every morning, and sometimes I think I might like to try that. I'm sure I wouldn't like it, I really don't want to punch anybody, and I certainly don't want anyone to punch me. I think I'd like the training.

I also thought, a time or two, that I'd like to write a comic book. I've got some ideas, and a basic story outline, but actually, I was thinking I should try to be less geeky. And I can't draw.

Maybe I'll learn to play an instrument. I was getting into watching the French Open this weekend, maybe I'll take up tennis. Maybe I'll invent the five-cheese pizza. (why do they stop at four?)

What suggestions do you have for me?
What other things do you do besides working and running?


Saturday, June 03, 2006

12 miles

Since I last posted, I missed the group run on the bridge on Thursday, so I had to run all by my lonesome. Friday brought a nice 5 miler. And this morning, I ran about twelve and a half with some peeps from the club.

Even 12 miles felt good, and I wasn't overly worn out at the end. In general, things are going very smoothly with my runnizzin'. Actually, I feel the urge to go run a few more right now.

I'll run for one more week at 5 miles per day (which will make it 5 weeks total), and I'll bring my gf, so I can have some data to compare to the last few months.

Rock on.