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Michelle and I were finishing up dinner tonight when she told me a story about a friend of a friend.  The friend happens to be a local runner who took a new job.  Between the job, the commute and family time, he’s only able to run late @ night after his kids are in bed.   Since it’s dark by 7pm this time of year, the friend picked up a headlamp that he can wear while running. 

My initial thought: “Cool – I’ll have to ask him where he got it and how much he paid.  I’d like to pick one up, too.”  Michelle’s comment after finishing the story (and before I was able to voice my thoughts):  “Have you ever heard of anything so dorky?”

Dorky???? Are you kidding me?  I can only think of a few things that would be cooler for a runner to have in his/her closet of gear. 

This is something that Michelle, and most non-runners will never understand.  Runners don’t care what we look like or how we’re perceived when we’re out on the road.  Headlamps, reflective gear, socks masquerading as mittens, short-shorts, blinky lights, mismatched clothes, heart rate monitors, multiple layers, ski hats with pom-poms on the top … if I haven’t worn each of these, I run with people who do.  Shoot, I’ve even run in spandex pants.

The point is, the friend has the right idea.  I’ve run in the dark – it sucks.  I’ve tripped over potholes, gotten swatted by tree branches, bumped into telephone polls and dodged (barely) roadkill.  If a little beacon of light from the middle of my forehead could prevent any of these from happening, I’ll gladly pay $40 for it.

You know, on second thought, no guy should ever run in spandex – that was definitely a mistake on my part.  Everything else is OK.

Finally, I have my eating under control.

A couple months ago, Michelle made a joke that because of my mexican lunches and nightly mounds of ice cream I was going to gain 10lbs during my marathon training. I laughed @ the time – “Impossible! I”m running almost 50 miles every week.” I thought that gave me the ability (practically the right) to eat whatever wasn’t tied down.

God help me – she was right. I didn’t quite gain 10lbs, but I put on a good 7-8. All my clothes got tight. I felt sluggish on a bunch of my runs. I’d wake up hungry and assumed that meant I needed more food before my morning run. So, instead of 1/2 a plain bagel before a 10 mile run, I’d have a full bagel w/ cream cheese before a 7-mile run.

Mentally, I fell into the trap of “I’m running 10 miles tomorrow. I should probably load up on some extra calories.” After running that 10 miles, my thoughts turned to “I just ran 10 miles – who wants to go to Four Seas for ice cream today?”

Thankfully, the most recent issue of Runner’s World had an article on the best foods for runners. I read, and re-read that article and have since worked its recommendations into my daily diet.

However, the most important step to get my eating under control –> I stopped eating after 7:30pm. Late-night snacking is my biggest weakness. After the kids go to bed, I’m in the refrigerator either pulling out the leftovers from dinner or helping myself to ice cream.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve lost about 5lbs w/out officially dieting. My plan is to maintain my weight between now and October 29 (marathon day) and then lose the extra 10lbs that I’ve been carrying for most of this year. (Losing 10 lbs between Thanksgiving and Christmas … that shouldn’t be a problem … right??)

Rick is getting healthy again.  We’re going to run 5 miles together tomorrow. 

I had originally planned to run 10-13 by myself, but the thoughts of that were a little depressing so I was very glad when Rick called and offered to meet me somewhere on my run.

My plan right now is to:

  • leave the house @ 5:15am
  • run through Marstons Mills to the corner of Old Stage and Oak – I should get there by 6am
  • run 5 miles w/ Rick
  • run back through Marston’s Mills to the house


The total run will be around 15 miles,  a little more than I planned, but it will still be better than running the entire time by myself. 

It’s amazing what a couple of good night’s sleep will do for you.

I slept until 6:30 yesterday and 5:00 this morning (normal wakeup time – 4:15am).

Because of this extra rest, my run this morning was great – nice and easy and completely relaxed.

I’m planning to run 7 tomorrow and 13-16 on Sunday so I’m hoping the way I felt this morning will carry through.

It could have been the 4 hours sleep Tuesday night, or the fact that it’s the first week of Fall, but I’m going to blame the rain and wind at the track for why I’m getting sick. 

My head is heavy.  My throat is on fire and every joint aches.  I want nothing more than to go back to bed and sleep until noon. 

I took this morning off from running, I hope that helps. 

My plan for the day:  orange juice, echinacea and an early bedtime tonight.  Hopefully, I’ll be back to normal for another track workout tomorrow.

So, it wasn’t just a little sprinkle this morning.  It was a downpour.  I was soaked within 5 minutes of stepping out side the truck, but like every other insane runner training for a marathon, I sucked it up, stayed outside and got in my 800s workout. 

And I’m going to the track this morning.

The thunder/lightning started around 12:15am.  I was hoping that it would last until morning so that I’d have a reasonable excuse to sleep in, but as luck would have it, I was wide awake @ 3:45 & the lightning was done.

This is actually a good thing.  We had dinner @ the Roadhouse last night and I can feel the garlic stench around me.  Keith might not enjoy the smell of me @ the track, but I need to sweat this nastiness out before work today.

I ran 23 miles Sunday morning.

Well, technically, I ran 12, jogged 6 and survived 5.

It was 3 hours and 45 minutes of head games and countdowns.  During the first 10 miles, after each marker I’d think “9 more minutes until the next one.”  As the morning wore on I’d think “9:30 until the next one.”  Then “11:00 until the next mile marker.”  Finally, it was “25 steps and I’ll look @ my watch again.”

It’s now Tuesday morning.  I’m heading out the door for a run in a few minutes and have spent the past day trying to come up with positives from this past weekend.  Here they are:

  • thanks to a peptalk from Rick, I realize that I ran a 23-mile hill workout.  Since we ran from 26.2 –> 15 and back (with a little detour @ the start), we had rolling hills in both directions.  I think on;u 4 of the 23 miles were flat, and 2 of those were in the 75 degree sun @ the finish of the run (we started @ 6am and finished around 10am).
  • Except for a jolt of hip pain while stretching @ mile 19, I was basically pain-free the entire run.
  • I was actually functional Sunday afternoon with Michelle and the kids (Big difference from the first 20-miler when all I wanted to do was sit and stare @ the wall).
  • No blisters (the souls of my feet have turned to leather)
  • No chafing (Body Glide!)
  • No puking (seriously, I thought about it @ mile 22)
  • No pain on Monday (I’m crediting the ice bath for that one).  This leads me to believe that when the time comes, I’ll have a little extra in me to run the race that I’d like.
  • I ran 23 miles.  I’m 99% confident that I’ll be able to run 26.2.  I hold no delusions of a good time (literal good time as well as emotional good time), but I know that I’ll finish.

If I spend more time thinking about it, I can probably come up with more positives, but for now I need to get my butt outside for a run.  

I needed that.  More than I ever thought possible, I needed an easy week.

After 3 weeks of 50+ miles, I finished this past week with “only” 28.  I haven’t run that little in about 3 months, and my legs have never felt so good.

I ran 5 miles this morning (in beautiful 58 degree fall-like weather) and I felt fantastic.  My legs were loose.  My right shoulder was pain-free and was breathing was deep and relaxed.  If this is how my taper will feel, I’m in for a good time on October 29.

Wednesday morning @ the track with Keith.

The 800s were a LOT easier this week than last.  My pace was between 3:40 (the first one) and 3:29 (the 6th/last one).

We’ll be back @ the track next Wednesday.  Running will be sporadic between now and then since we’re off to CT for the weekend for Fathead’s wedding.