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Rick, Keith and I capped off the week w/ a 10.75 miler through Cotuit. We met Sunday morning @ Stop & Shop and I took them on a course that had waaaayyy more hills than I remember.  I made the mistake of announcing 6 miles into it that we had just climbed our last hill.  Unfortunately, I was about 6 hills too soon.  I don't think we went more than a mile w/out @ least one decent sized hill.  

Amazingly, we finished the course in 1:28:30 … an 8:13 pace – that's about 20 seconds faster than I would have done it by myself.  We also ran the entire time – no stops for site-seeing along Loop Beach.  

As for the rest of the week:

Total miles:  40.8
Total time run:  5:39:40
Avg pace:  8:19

Things to do better next week:
- diet
- no more eating after 8pm

The Forest Mushroom soup was a mistake .. a painful mistake. It was about 2:30pm and I was starving. I'd just finished a 2-hour planning meeting for the corporate website and needed some food.

"Marketing Bill" and I took a drive to Panera Bread in Hyannis. Nothing looked appealing to me, but I made the decision to go w/ soup. After looking over the options I knew that Broccoli Cheddar would be bad. The French Onion would have consequences, too. I'm not a big fan of the Chicken noodle soup so that left Forest Mushroom.

Since it wasn't even 3pm yet I thought that any chances of cramping would be gone before the planned 6pm run. I was wrong … painfully wrong.

Fast forward to 6:00pm – we were 1/4 mile into our 5-mile warmup and I knew that it would be a miserable night.

At the one-mile point, I was rubbing my left side, praying for relief wondering if we could slow the pace down to more of a shuffle, but not wanting to look like a wuss.

At two miles, I saw a friend from a previous job and used that as an excuse to stop and say Hi! At three miles I felt like I could actually talk again. From 3.5 –> 4.5 miles I was a symphony of burps as the bubble was finally breaking up. We made it back to the track in about 38 minutes (technically, the run was closer to 4.75 miles).

At the track, Rick and I hung around waiting for the rest of the Wednesday night crew to return. I was still rubbing my left side, but the pain wasn't as bad as when we first started. Mentally, I was prepared to take the next 18 minutes of speedwork nice and slow. No shame in running 8:00-9:00 pace. Thankfully, Patty would be there and I could run w/ her.

As the other runners strolled onto to the track, I noticed that Patty wasn't among them. She decided to take the night off. Damn! OK … new plan – I'll run my usual pace for the first 2:00 and see how I feel.

The next 18 minutes were a portrait of consistency and pain. We ran 2,3,4,4,3,2. My quarter times looked like this (total time: quarter splits):

  • 2:00: 1:43 (not bad, didn't feel like puking)
  • 3:00: 1:42 (hmmm … feeling a little better)
  • 4:00: 1:43, 1:42 (god, just get me to the next lightpole)
  • 4:00: 1:42, 1:41 (I hate you Paul. I burped the star spangled banner during the 2nd quarter)
  • 3:00: 1:42 (I want to puke. Can I just lay down here and nap. ugh … is that a piece of mushroom in the back of my throat?)
  • 2:00: 1:38 (who's bright idea was it to go out @ :70 pace?? )

Lessons learned: I need a better diet. I should be able to run :95 quarters.

I took Monday off. For reasons I don't quite understand, Monday has become an acceptable day off from running (Thursday, too).

I had two reasons to take off Monday:

Reason #1: my Sunday morning run w/ Rick, Keith and Kevin killed me. We ran an easy 5 in Hyannis/Centerville followed by three one-mile repeats @ the Barnstable High track. The plan was to run the mile repeats @ 8:00-8:30 pace – we're all running fall marathons, and haven't officially started training yet (well, @ least in my mind I haven't started training yet), so this would be a nice way to ease into the speed work that will be coming soon.

Our first mile was completed in 7:45. We ran the next mile in 7:30 (a little tougher) and the final mile in a blistering (for me) 7:19. If I was running by myself, I can guarantee that my last three miles of an 8 mile run would NOT be done in < 23 (27 … maybe).

As I climbed back in the truck to drive home, my legs were chafed, my knees ached, my eyes were watering and I wanted to lay down and cry. The thought of a Monday run were laughable.

Reason #2: While getting the kids to bed Sunday night I slammed my left pinky toe into the footstool in Caitlin's bedrooom. After some colorful language and a rousing version of the stubbed toe dance (hop on one foot, cry a little and spin 5x fast) I thought for sure I broke it. Now, I have no idea what a broken toe would feel like. I've never broken any bones in my body, but as far as I was concerned, my pinky toe was out of commission.

So, I took Monday off. My toe wasn't feeling too bad (apparently it wasn't broken … I really need to work on my pain gauge – I'm a huge wuss). My legs were almost pain free (the chafing heels quickly). I actually considered running Monday night, but thought that I'd have a better run Tuesday if I got a good nights sleep.

Tuesday morning dawns
As predicted, I woke Tuesday morning feeling great. My legs were back to normal. My toe was no longer throbbing. A 60-minute run was planned for 5:45am (needed my coffee first).

It's still cool here in the mornings. Tuesday wasn't any exception – 45 degrees w/ a breeze from the east. I started slowly, jogging down Cherrystone and cutting across the S&S parking lot. I was @ the Rte 28 stoplight 4:30 into my run.

For the next 40 minutes I was in a dream state. I'm working on some consulting projects and am trying to determine the most effective way to implement a new survey application. I let my mind wander over different scenarios while I took the turn @ Loop Beach and started heading for home. I passed all the familar landmarks on the way back – the Cotuit Library (24 minutes from home). Lowell Field (20 minutes), the crowing rooster (18 minutes), the hawks nest (15 minutes).

It was @ the hawks nest that I started to feel it – was that a pebble in my left shoe? Too close to home to stop and check. For the next 15 minutes the thoughts consumed me:

  • it must be a pebble
  • is it a toe nail?
  • no, it's a pebble
  • maybe it's part a seashell
  • some dried skin? a crusty blister?
  • I think it's my toenail
  • shut up and run – it's just a pebble .. wuss

Before I knew it, I was back on Rte 28, trying to cross the road @ Pepper's Pantry for the last 1/4 mile.

Back home @ 6:50. Michelle was reading her book in the living room. The kids were still sleeping. Scooter was outside playing. The sun was streaming in the back windows. I was completely @ peace. I forgot all about my toe/pebble/sand/piece of seashell. I just grabbed a water, sat on the coffee table near Michelle and enjoyed her company.

As it turns out, my toenail is still secure on my pinky toe. I have no idea what was in my shoe. It probably was a pebble, but it would have been a much cooler story if it was my toenail.

Just read our planned workout for tomorow night … a few of us are planning to run 5 miles before through Hyannis as a warmup.

Wednesday – 5/24 – Workout | Hyannis Road Runners
Running & Racing – 6:30PM:
15-20 easy warm-up around the high school grounds – take it easy – let pace gently build – return to track.

Then – on track – we'll do repetitions of 2,3,4,4,3,2 minutes w/60-90 seconds recovery/regrouping periods. We recommend you run the first half of the workout at a pace you might run a 30-40 minute race and the second half of the workout at pace equivalent to what you might run for a 20 minute race. Feel free to run the last repetition or two slightly faster. If you've been hurt, sick or your training has been sporadic for any reason – run much slower than the suggested paces. Also, if you are racing this weekend or you raced last weekend, consider cutting back on the intensity of the workout.

Apple+Nike iPod? Nerds Love to Rock & Run | Hyannis Road Runners

In college, my running shoes were either Nike or Reebok. At the time, I didn't know anything about motion control, stability or cushioning (not that I'm an expert now). I only knew that the sneakers looked cool and they were on sale.

In my late 20s, I wore mostly New Balance since that's what my father wore when I was growing up. Now, I've settled on Mizuno and Asics. I've tried Nikes, but they just don't fit my feet properly. They're too tight across the top, and they don't have enough width for these wide-ass feet of mine. Technology innovation like this might actually make me consider a pair of Nikes.

As I was running this morning, my mind wandered to the the next 24 weeks and what I'm going to be putting myself (and my family) through.  I decided that I need a way to capture these feelings.
On October 29 not only will Michelle and I celebrate our 12th anniversary, but I'll also be running my first marathon.   I could have recorded these things in my MSN Spaces site, but too many people have that URL.  I wanted a place that I could start fresh.  

Over the next 24 weeks I plan to record what I'm going through – mentally and physically – as I work my way through the training program.   I'll do my best to focus only on running, but occasionally other thoughts might creep in.

More to come …