Friday, February 26, 2010

Running Dairy - 2010-02-26

I went to downtown Fort Worth to pick up my packet for the Cowtown Half Marathon race tomorrow. It seemed like déjàvu from last year; cold, drizzling, and gusty winds. Last year I went during rush hour. This year I went in early, around lunch time. There was a lot less people, but still a noticeable crowd, with little wait time in line.

While I was there, I also registered for the Rock 'n' Roll Dallas Half Marathon to be run in two weeks (March 14th, 2010). Registering with them at Cowtown provided me with an added benefit of an official Rock 'n' Roll Dallas Half Marathon long sleeve fleece jacket.

I've also registered for the Heels and Hills Half Marathon race scheduled for May 1st, 2010.

Morning run:

I ran an easy 2.06 miles in 16 minutes and 08 seconds at a 7:50 minute per mile pace. The weather was overcast, with humidity at 89%. The temperature was around 42 degrees.

I started the morning run in shades, as the sun was shining bright. On the way back the clouds completely covered the sun rays.

1. 7:36.49, 07:36.49, 1 mi 7:36 / mi.
2. 7:57.69, 15:34.19, 1 mi 7:58 / mi.
3. 0:34.34, 16:08.53, 0.1 mi 9:09 / mi

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Running Dairy - 2010-02-24

2009 - Fort Worth Cowtown 5k
This Sunday, February the 28th, marks my 1 year anniversary of running in race events. My first race was in the Fort Worth Cowtown 5k. I completed the event in a time of 26 minutes and 08 seconds, at a pace of 8:24 minutes per mile. With a wind-chill of 17 degrees, and a large crowd to "run and weave" through, it was a challenging event in more ways than one.

As I crossed the finish line I had a sense that it was over too soon. I began to think that I should have entered in a longer distance event. Looking back, I'm glad I didn't. This race proved to be a "springboard" that launched me into my first racing year. I progressively increased my mileage and event distances through out the year.

At the begining of the year I could never had imagine running in one race, let alone 18 events by the end of the year. In the last 5 months of the year I had completed 4 half marathons, and 2 full marathons.

So, how am I celebrating this occasion? I feel there is no better way than celebrating than by running in a race!! Not in the same race (5k), but in the Cowtown Half Marathon on Saturday, the 28th of February. The weather is looking great, so far, compared to last year. That alone is worth looking forward to.

My goal for this race is to set a PR (personal record) for the half marathon distance. My Current PR is 1 hour, 45 minutes and 14 seconds. That is at a pace of 8:02 minutes per mile. I have not run on this course before, but I've heard that it is a pretty fast course.

Good luck to everyone in all the events at Cowtown, and may you all set PRs!!

Today's training run results :

I ran an easy 4.06 miles in 33 minutes and 57 seconds, at 8:22 minute per mile pace. The weather was clear, with humidity at 65%. The temperature was around 37 degrees (wind-chill of 34 degrees) with winds from the south at 3.7 mph.

1. 8:41.41, 08:41.41, 1 mi 8:41 / mi.
2. 8:12.36, 16:53.77, 1 mi 8:12 / mi.
3. 8:07.99, 25:01.76, 1 mi 8:08 / mi.
4. 8:21.81, 33:23.57, 1 mi 8:22 / mi.
5. 0:33.77, 33:57.35, 0.06 mi 8:55 / mi.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Running Dairy - 2010-02-23

Ran an easy 3.11 miles in 25 minutes and 33 seconds at a 8:13 minute per mile pace.

The weather was clear, with humidity at 67%. The temperature was around 36 degrees (windchill of 30 degrees), with winds from WNW at 7 mph.

1. 8:41.46, 08:41.46, 1 mi 8:41 / mi.
2. 8:14.81, 16:56.27, 1 mi 8:15 / mi.
3. 7:45.75, 24:42.2, 1 mi 7:46 / mi.
4. 0:51.44, 25:33.47, 0.1 mi 7:58 / mi.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Running Diary - 2010-02-22


Ran an easy 6.02 miles in 54 minutes and 44 seconds, at a 9:06 minute per mile pace.

The weather was overcast, with the temperature around 38 degrees (felt like 36 degrees). The humidity was at 69% with winds from the north at 7-10 mph.

The above weather information was at the begining of the run. After the run, these were stats:

The weather was clear, with the temperature around 38 degrees (no wind chill). The humidity was at 70% with winds from the northeast at 3.5 mph.

Texas weather... It is suppose to snow either tonight, or in the morning.

1. 9:07.12, 09:07.12, 1 mi 9:07 / mi.
2. 8:48.26, 17:55.40, 1 mi 8:48 / mi.
3. 9:05.64, 27:01.40, 1 mi 9:06 / mi.
4. 9:02.27, 36:03.32, 1 mi 9:02 / mi.
5. 9:31.10, 45:34.42, 1 mi 9:31 / mi.
6. 8:53.67, 54:28.11, 1 mi 8:54 / mi.
7. 0:15.98, 54:44.90, 0.02 mi 13:18 / mi.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Run the Line Half Marathon - 2010

Yesterday I ran in the Run the Line Half Marathon in Texarkana, Texas. This race provided me with "a unique opportunity to run in one race in two states"; Arkansas and Texas. Having already run in a southern Texas half marathon last week, and running in another half marathon this week in north Texas is kind of neat, geographically speaking. Maybe I need to look at finding half marathon races in east and west Texas!!

I was not concerned about running in two half marathon races in the span of 8 days. Last year I ran in the Philadelphia Distance Run (9/20/09) and the Heels and Hills and Him (9/27/09) 7 days later.

As usual, I did not get much sleep. I went to bed around midnight and woke up at 2:45 a.m. Saturday morning. Having done an inventory of the running gear the night before (yes, I did not forget my small Band-Aides) I was ready to go.

I arrived in Texarkana around 6:50 a.m. I walked to the registration/packet pickup, located in the Bi-State Judicial Building.

It's about a block away from where I parked, and on the same block as the starting line.

My goodie bag contained:
  • racing bib
  • timing chip
  • the usual local area races advertisement
  • fillers from local businesses (breath mints, cups, key chains, clip, etc)
  • coupons from Hooters
  • McDonalds water bottle
  • Run the Line running hat
  • Run the Line long grey sleeve shirt (labeled as UltraBlend: preshrunk, 50% cotton and 50% polyester blend)
I laced my timing chip to my left shoe and start to "people watch" from the long bench outside one of the court rooms. Looks like the majority of the runners are from the Arkansas side of the state. Well at least the ones with organization shirts. I walk outside to the starting area and check it out. I start to hear the familiar beeps from the timings mats as runners walk/jog over them at the starting line. I head back to the truck as there's more than 30 minutes before the race. I attach my bib onto my SPI belt and listen to a station dishing 80's songs like it was waaaay "back in the days".

As there is rain in the forecast, I put on the hat provided in the race goodie bag. Since the temperature is holding around the low 50's no windbreaker. My running clothes consist of a long sleeve tech shirt, with my Lupus Runners short sleeve tech shirt on top, and running shorts for the race.

For this race, my goals are:
  1. continue running without any intake of "fuel" supplements (pre, during and post race), except for the liquids that are provided on the course
  2. find out how many miles I could hold a "sub 8 minute per mile" pace
These goals basically allow me to see how fast and how far I could go in a race, without "help".

The two races that I have run this year (the Fort Worth Runners Club Einstein 10k and the Surfside Beach Half Marathon) I have kept the first goal. The second goal for the first race (10k), I kept the "sub 8 minute per mile" pace for miles 1 and 2, and 6. The remaining miles for the 10k were run under 8:27 minunte per mile.

Since I did not run in the Lake Benbrook Half Marathon (scheduled as my first half of the year) I took it easy in the Surfside Beach half Marathon. My second goal for that race was to do as many sub 8 and 9 minute miles as possible. Miles 1 and 3 were sub 8 minute per mile. Miles 2, 4-10, and 12-13 were sub 9-8 minute  miles. Mile 11 was the only one in the 9 minute range.

At around 7:40 I head back into the registration/packet pickup building. I do my usual stretching and then head out to the starting line. I jog for about 5 minutes ahead of the starting line, away from the runners.

After a couple of announcements (we will encounter water on the course due to previous rains, etc.) and one of the runners singing the national anthem, the race starts with loud pyrotechnic sounds (without the fireworks). I cross the timing mats in the middle of the pack. The first couple of miles are uneventful, except for running through the mouth of big dragon!! Ok, it was an inflated dragon, but its mouth was as wide as the asphalt trail we were running on. That was pretty cool. I did not understand why a person was holding down the right side of the dragon with a rope. Maybe keeping the dragon's mouth from dropping on us?? Later on (I forgot what mile marker it was on) we ran into the mouth of a tiger. This was pretty cool to me as he looked exactly like our high school mascot.

The course for the race was mostly in the park's 10 foot wide asphalt trails and through small neighborhoods. Running through the park we encounter those low lying areas on the trail covered with water still seeping from water logged ground. These had very little effect as they was no more than a quarter to half an inch of standing water. The major streets and intersections with traffic were conned off and manned by the local police department and a volunteer. Not a large amount of spectators in one place, but it seemed like there we volunteers and spectators everywhere on the course. There was no way one anyone would get lost on this course. Once past mile marker 3 or 4, I began to see familiar volunteer faces. It seems some had multiple duties on various parts of the course. You could not miss the race volunteers and staff; they had on bright fluorescent green shirts. They had "I helped Run the Line" printed on the front the shirts.

At mile marker 7 a runner next to me states "That looks so tempting." I asked "What is?" He said, as he pointed down to our left, "That way is mile 11". I said "Ooh. Very tempting indeed", as we kept on. At this point I had run all the 7 miles between 7:18 and 7:58 minute per mile pace. I would continue the under 8 minute pace into the 8th mile with another 7:58 minute per mile. After this point the combination of mild inclines (not even classified as hills in my book) and the pace starts take a toll on me.

On mile 9 (even with a drink break) and 10 I ran those at 8:15 and 8:47 respectively. Not what I wanted, but I did not want to burn out. Several of the drink stations had either PowerAde and water or Gaterade and water. Two of the stations even had half sliced bananas and orange slices. They were all staffed with at least 3 volunteers and was always handed the drinks.

Speaking of drinking breaks; I took my usual breaks at or after the 3rd, 6th, and 9th mile markers. I usually don't take another until after the finish of the race, but in this race I took another at the 12th mile. I figure the early pace warranted the extra break. Another thing that I did was take two walking breaks. I usually "run" through the drinking breaks. In fact a photographer caught me walking and stated that he took a picture of me while I was taking one of my walking. I told him that I understood, and that I was ok with it, considering what I had accomplished up to this point of the race.

Miles 11-13 were in the 9 minute range. Ugly but, I'm not complaining. Past the 13th mile marker I increase my pace from 7.37 to 8.8 miles per hour sprint as I hit the finish line. Volunteers hover over me as one places my finisher medal over my head (not handed to me) another hands me an aluminum blanket or heat shield, while another hands me a red color/flavor PowerAde. Nice. How did they know my favorite flavor? They had enough volunteers do this for everyone. Nice personal touch!!

It ain't over until she signs!!

I stay near the finish line walking around and cheering the other finishers.

I had not notice that the announcer was calling out finisher's numbers, names and other tid-bits of info as we were running towards the finish line. I very much like this "personal touch". It makes me feel more than a participant; I'm someone, from some where. Either I'm running my first race at this distance, or my 100th, I'm a local runner, or I just flew in from Maryland (this individual placed second in his age group), I'm a local Dr., or I'm the guy who designed all the mile markers. FYI, this only works in small to middle size races, but even in large races, I think the effort is worth it.

After 15 minutes of cooling down I start to feel the cold through drenched clothing. The aluminum "blanket" is not warming me up enough. I walk back to the truck, 2-3 blocks away from the finish line. I switch out wet tech shirts with a dry, long sleeve shirt. I also put on my windbreaker set and grab my camera as I saw a couple of things that a wanted to photograph on the way back to the finish line (I'll post these separately). I took several pictures on the way back to the finish line.

I head into the Hopkins Icehouse where the awards ceremonies are held.

We were provided with free food consisting hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken spaghetti.

There were 5 or more $100 Dillard's gift certificate door prizes given through out the awards ceremonies. As I go outside (around 12:30) to head back home, I finally notice the preliminary race results taped to the windows of the Hopkins Icehouse.

It looks like I ran my 3rd fastest time for the half marathon distance:

11/22/09 - 1:45:14 - 8:02 - Mote In Motion Half
09/20/09 - 1:48:55 - 8:19 - Philadelphia Distance Run
02/21/10 - 1:49:27 - 8:21 - Run the Line
02/13/10 - 1:50:42 - 8:27 - Surfside Beach
09/27/09 - 1:51:33 - 8:31 - Heels & Hills & Him
08/23/09 - 1:56:38 - 8:54 - Hottest Half

I did not pay attention to a lot of things during the run as I was making sure I was not distracted. Truthfully, I remember very little about the course, except for what was mentioned above. Compared to last weeks race this was all business. At last week's race I enjoyed the venue and the run at Surfside Beach. In this race I really wanted to see what I could do.

In this race I've found out that I can keep my pace to less than 8 minute per mile through mile 9. So I need to continue to work on miles 10-13. I think the fuel supplements would take care of that. Resting the two days before the race (that means sleeping at least more than 5 hours) would help me even more.

My preliminary results are:

Chip Time: 1:49:27.4 (8:21 minute per mile pace)
Gun Time: 1:49:35.8 (8:22 minute per mile pace)
Age Group: 5th out of 22
Gender Group: 43rd out of 119
Overall: 60th out of 232
Results: overall and age group

I ran the 13.1 miles in 1 hour 49 minutes and 27 seconds at 8:21 minute per mile pace, according to my phone's GPS application (Nokia's Sports Tracker).
The weather was cloudy, humidity 77%, wind from the SSE at 10.4 mph.
The temperature was around 53 degrees.

Here are my mile splits (phone GPS and Nokia's Sports Tracker application):

01. 7:30.97, 0:07:30.97, 1 mi 7:31 / mi.
02. 7:18.69, 0:14:49.66, 1 mi 7:19 / mi. - ran through a "dragon's mouth"
03. 7:21.69, 0:22:11.36, 1 mi 7:22 / mi.
04. 7:54.69, 0:30:06.60, 1 mi 7:55 / mi. - drink station
05. 7:25.85, 0:37:31.92, 1 mi 7:26 / mi.
06. 7:58.88, 0:45:30.80, 1 mi 7:59 / mi. - drink station
07. 7:35.80, 0:53:06.61, 1 mi 7:36 / mi.
08. 7:58.22, 1:01:04.82, 1 mi 7:58 / mi.
09. 8:15.67, 1:09:20.50, 1 mi 8:16 / mi. - drink station
10. 8:47.79, 1:18:08.30, 1 mi 8:48 / mi. - walked
11. 9:20.00, 1:27:28.30, 1 mi 9:20 / mi. - walked
12. 9:12.16, 1:36:40.47, 1 mi 9:12 / mi. - drink station
13. 9:28.14, 1:46:08.61, 1 mi 9:28 / mi.
14. 4:30.50, 1:50:38.67, 0.5 mi 8:58 / mi.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Jogging 2 miles with Baxter

Satuday night I "jogged" 2 miles with Baxter, my 1 year old rat terrier.
He helped me jog, instead of running, the two miles:

Weather: 67% humidity, wind 10.0 miles from SSE
Temperature: 60 degrees

1. 11:27.38, 11:27.38, 1 mi 11:27 / mi.
2. 09:27.62, 20:55.10, 1 mi 9:28 / mi.
3. 00:15.11, 21:10.13, 0.02 mi 16:40 / mi.

This was the second time I have run with him at this distance.
For his first time running on the sidewalk/streets, he did pretty well.

Training runs for the week of 2010-02-14

It has been a pretty hectic week. Dental, orthodontists, pediatrician, and doctor appointments with only one vehicle is not fun. My 13 year old Honda's starter decides to give out. I'm not complaining about he car. It has been very good to us. This is the first major repair that I have done to it in 3 or 4 years. Good thing out of this is that I finally used the tool set Michelle bought me for Christmas!!

As I have another half marathon race tomorrow,
Run the Line, I continued my training runs this week. I may do a 2 miler today.

Ran an easy 4.1 miles in 37 minutes and 46 seconds at a 9:13 minute per mile pace. The weather was clear, and the temperature was around 44 degrees (felt like 40 degrees).

1. 9:38.57, 09:38.57, 1 mi 9:39 / mi.
2. 8:47.50, 18:26.7, 1 mi 8:48 / mi.
3. 9:03.25, 27:29.32, 1 mi 9:03 / mi.
4. 9:16.60, 36:45.92, 1 mi 9:17 / mi.
5. 1:00.67, 37:46.59, 0.1 mi 9:46 / mi.

Ran an easy 3.04 miles in 24 minutes and 43 seconds at a 8:08 minute per mile pace. The weather was sunny, and the temperature was around 41 degrees.

1. 7:56.31, 07:56.31, 1 mi 7:56 / mi.
2. 8:33.73, 16:30.3, 1 mi 8:34 / mi.
3. 7:54.85, 24:24.89, 1 mi 7:55 / mi.
4. 0:18.96, 24:43.85, .04 mi 8:30 / mi.

Ran an easy 6.06 miles in 51 minutes and 59 seconds at a 8:35 minute per mile pace. The weather was clear, and the temperature around 34 degrees (felt like 27 degrees).

1. 8:21.47, 08:21.47, 1 mi 8:21 / mi.
2. 8:24.56, 16:46.3, 1 mi 8:25 / mi.
3. 8:26.58, 25:12.63, 1 mi 8:27 / mi.
4. 9:02.90, 34:15.53, 1 mi 9:03 / mi.
5. 8:50.47, 43:06.1, 1 mi 8:50 / mi.
6. 8:22.87, 51:28.88, 1 mi 8:23 / mi.
7. 0:30.88, 51:59.76, 0.06 mi 8:39 / mi.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Surfside Beach Half Marathon - 2010

This past weekend (Saturday, February 13th. I know. A week late. I have to do a better job at blogging sooner.) I ran in the Surfside Beach Half Marathon, in Surfside Beach, Texas. This is the only half marathon race in the US that is entirely run on the beach. This has to rank as either 1st or 2nd on my list of best races and race venues that I have participated in. It was not run perfectly (I have yet to see one that has been perfect), but the way it was run made you overlook the imperfections.

Since Surfside is more than 4 hours away, we decided to drive and stay at our friend's (JJ and Caprisa) place in Baytown, Texas. Surfside Beach is about an hour's drive southwest of Baytown. Our friends had a spaghetti dinner ready for us (thanks 'Prise). After catching up, we decided to call it a night sometime after 11 p.m. I set my phone's alarm for a 4:45 morning 'wake up call'.

The alarm goes off, and I swear, it seemed like I had just put my head down on the pillow. I head off to do my early morning race ritual of taking a shower, getting dressed, having my toasted bagel with jelly, my vitamin supplements/medicine, and apple juice. I make sure I have everything that I need for the race:

  • shoes
  • socks
  • running shorts
  • compression shorts
  • long sleeve tech shirt
  • my Lupus Runners short sleeve tech shirt
  • gloves
  • knit cap
  • wind breaker top and bottoms
  • bib attached to running belt
  • cell phone (used for GPS, Facebook updates, directions to the race, and taking pictures)
  • insulated lunch bag with 2 half pints of water, a pint of apple juice, and two gel ice packs to keep the drinks cool
I had everything except for my small band aides. I use these to cover my nips so that they do not bleed from chaffing against my shirts. The last time this happened was at last year's Philadelphia Distance Run (half marathon). I did not feel nor noticed that they were bleeding until my family pointed it out past the finish line. Needless to say, I did not want this to happen again, so I improvised. I used some left over 'butt paste' instead. I'm always reminding myself that I need to have, and use, an inventory check list.

The drive to Surfside Beach from Baytown was uneventful, except for seeing a wild boar on the highway median. It was having fun digging up roots. It would've fed a nice size family, but he looked scary enough that I would not have been anywhere near it.

After almost an hour's drive I start to see other vehicles with marathon, half marathon and triathlete stickers. I play "follow the leader" with the vehicles ahead of me. Once I saw a "Surfside Beach" sign I knew we were not too far away. Once over the Surfside bridge, we were guided by race volunteers until we reached the entrance to the beach. We park right on the beach. Surfside Beach reminds me of the beach home where our kindergarten teacher use to take us to in Connecticut. Lots of good memories there.

I headed west towards the registration/packet pickup tent. Once inside I looked up my bib number and head to the table where my packet was located. As I am given my packet. I'm asked if I wanted to switch my tech shirt for a polo shirt. Nice!! Not only did they provide us with that option, but they had two colors to pick from (red or grey). Never had these options before!!

The start/finish line.

The water/waves.

I headed back to my vehicle and warmed up as I attached my bib to my running belt. I attached my timing chip to my left shoe. One of the clear plastic draw ties breaks too easily as I draw it through its hole. Although there's hardly any wind or breeze, the cold moisture made me reconsider my running gear. I take off my wind breaker bottom and gloves, and keep the knitted cap and wind breaker top on. I store the gloves in my pockets, just in case.

I start warming up by running to the start/finish line from where I had parked. The sand was very firm, even on the low tide portion of the beach. I head into the tent and try to replace my broken draw tie, twice, unsuccessfully. The third time I did not pull the tie all the way through. That worked. Afterwards I quickly get in line for the portable restrooms. A lady tells me that the male portables have no one waiting. Nice of her to mention it. I did not even see that there were 'his' (green) and 'hers' (pink) portables. This is the first race of over 500 participants that I did not have to wait in line for a bathroom break.
I walked on to join the crowd as the announcer stated that the first 300 finishers will get a surprise when they visit the stats table. Both half and full marathons start running across the starting line at 8:00, heading west. Miles 1 and 2 were uneventful. The footing on the sand felt great. I felt relaxed enough (usually takes me about 1-2 miles) to pass runners. The only thing that was strange was the fact the we had not run into a drink station. I later find out that the volunteers for that water station had headed in the wrong direction, east instead of west. Not a big thing for me as I usually wait until after the third mile to take my first drink break.
Near mile marker 2 we hit the half marathon runners turn around point, and the marathon runners take a detour on their much longer course. There's noticeably less runner traffic, and I continue to pass more runners. Around the 31 minute mark, around mile marker 4, I take my first drink. I don't take another drink break until mile marker 6. The next water breaks are at the turnaround point past mile marker 9, and then again on mile marker 11.
Up until mile marker 11, I was running within a 7-8 minute per mile pace. On mile 11, I slowed the pace down to almost 10 minutes. There after, I increased the speed to under 8:12 and 8:51 minute per mile pace for miles 12 and 13 respectively. I hit the finish line at 8:34 minute per mile pace. I felt I could have started the "kick" a little earlier, but I'm happy with the finish. I find out later, through my age group results, that I had "out-kicked" two runners in my age group, by mere 2 and 5 milliseconds respectively!!
Volunteers handing out finisher's medals.

I grab a cup of water and start walking back towards mile 13 in order to cool off and cheer the rest of the participants as they run past me. After a couple of minutes I feel cooled down enough that I start taking more pictures of the beach.

More pictures of the beach.

I continued to cheer on the other runners as they pass me towards the finish line.

I picked up sea shells for Michelle.

I walked back towards the finish line as it is getting close to Libby's time to cross the finish line.
Libby is the North Texas State Representative for the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA), Executive Race Director of Heels and Hills, Inc., and past President of the Dallas Running Club. She has a blog on running called The Active Joe.

After a water break we wait in line for a free fruit smoothie. They had a variety of flavors. I had mango. Yummy!! We headed into the tent to grab some barbecue. After the meal we head back outside as the sunshine began peering through the clouds, making it bearable to be outside.

Overall a good race. Well run. I am making this a permanent fixture on my racing calendar.

My "preliminary" results are:

Gun Time: 1:51:43 (8:32 minute per mile pace)
Chip Time: 1:50:42 (8:27 minute per mile pace)
Age Group: 6th place out 23
Gender Group: 61st out 228
Overall: 74th place out of 517
preliminary results

According to my phone's GPS I ran the race in 1 hour, 51 minutes and 8 seconds, at 8:27 minute per mile pace. The weather was cloudy, with a temperature of around 35 degrees, but it seemed colder.

01. 7:43.26, 0:07:43.26, 1 mi 7:43 / mi.
02. 8:34.91, 0:16:18.19, 1 mi 8:35 / mi. - turn around
03. 7:13.67, 0:23:31.85, 1 mi 7:14 / mi.
04. 8:15.89, 0:31:47.75, 1 mi 8:16 / mi. - drink break
05. 8:07.49, 0:39:55.25, 1 mi 8:07 / mi.
06. 8:19.45, 0:48:14.71, 1 mi 8:19 / mi. - drink break
07. 8:10.83, 0:56:25.55, 1 mi 8:11 / mi.
08. 8:13.23, 1:04:38.78, 1 mi 8:13 / mi.
09. 8:30.76, 1:13:09.55, 1 mi 8:31 / mi. - turn around
10. 8:47.25, 1:21:56.81, 1 mi 8:47 / mi.
11. 9:59.16, 1:31:55.97, 1 mi 9:59 / mi. - drink break
12. 8:12.22, 1:40:08.19, 1 mi 8:12 / mi.
13. 8:41.91, 1:48:50.11, 1 mi 8:42 / mi.
14. 2:18.25, 1:51:08.36, 0.3 mi 8:34 / mi.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ran a tempo run this morning of 3.49 miles. Completed it in 30 minutes and 10 seconds, at a 8:39 minute per mile pace. Jogged another 1.5 miles back home.

The weather: heavy snow, temperature around 34 degrees. It felt great to run on the 1-2 inch snow accumulation. Though I did not like the snow slush seeping through my shoes, my body heat and the Nike DRY-FIT compression socks kept my feet dry.

1. 8:28.42, 08:28.42, 1 mi 8:28 / mi.
2. 8:11.73, 16:40.14, 1 mi 8:12 / mi.
3. 9:04.69, 25:44.83, 1 mi 9:05 / mi.
4. 4:25.18, 30:10.1, 0.5 mi 9:02 / mi.

One more 3 mile run either tonight or tomorrow morning before Saturday's Surfside Beach Half Marathon.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Running Diary - 2010-02-08 and 2010-02-09

Ran (easy) 3.15 miles in 26 min 07 sec @ 8:17 min/ pace, weather was rain, temperature around 39 degrees.

1. 8:21.70, 08:21.70, 1 mi 8:21 / mi.
2. 8:50.12, 17:11.20, 1 mi 8:50 / mi.
3. 7:41.37, 24:52.57, 1 mi 7:41 / mi.
4. 1:14.48, 26:07.50, 0.2 mi 8:15 / mi.

Ran (easy) 4.04 miles in 32 min 56 sec @ 8:09 min/ pace, weather was fair, temperature around 30 degrees.

1. 8:16.32, 8:16.32, 1 mi 8:16 / mi.
2. 8:02.6, 16:18.39, 1 mi 8:02 / mi.
3. 8:00.68, 24:19.8, 1 mi 8:01 / mi.
4. 8:13.74, 32:32.82, 1 mi 8:14 / mi.
5. 0:24.9, 32:56.92, 0 mi 10:00 / mi.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A weekend with Lupus

Our plans for this weekend started mid-week when Michelle's cousin sent in her daughter's "Flat Stanley" project through the mail. I took him to work with me and took several pictures of him helping me do some pair programming development. We made plans for Saturday to go and capture Stanley posing in various DFW sites. This was great news as Michelle would be out and about getting some much needed fresh air and exercise. Lupus tends to keep her confined to either the sofa or bed, depending on how bad of flare she is having.

Friday night the boys had some friends stay overnight. Early Saturday morning Michelle decided to make breakfast for us. I noticed she was not moving around in her usual way. I kept an eye on her. She tries very hard not to show that Lupus is bothering her, but I can tell when it is.

After cleaning up the kitchen and washing up, we wait on Michelle's friend who's visiting from Houston. When she arrives, I can tell that Michelle is very happy to see her. Spending time with family and friends keeps her in good spirits and temporarily keeps her mind off the pain for a while.

In the afternoon we took Stanley to Cowboy Stadium, the Ballpark at Arlington, Six Flags, and Valley Ranch. We were heading for downtown Dallas when we decided that we needed to stop for lunch. At first we decided on Mexican food, but then we changed our minds for Pho.

As we sat down I noticed she was rubbing and straightening her fingers. I helped her by rubbing my warm hands against her cold fingers. One thing that we've enjoyed throughout the years is that we are always complementary; if she's hot, I'm cold. If I'm hot, she's cold. So when Michelle feels her fingers and joints stiffening from a Lupus flare, my hands are always a welcome comfort to her. We received our orders and after halfway through her meal, she looses her appetite. Luckily we had already had our favorite Pho egg rolls, with rice noodles wrapped in lettuce and fish sauce. I know that she was beginning to shut down. I had to help her up from the table as she could not do it on her own.

We decide to head back home, but not before we pick up some groceries for Sunday's Super bowl lunch/dinner, and pick up some movies.

To be continued...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Longest run since December

Friday night I ran a long run of 12.1 miles in 1 hour, 46 minutes, and 04 seconds, @ 8:46 minute per mile pace. The weather was clear, with winds from NNW @ 7mph. The temperature was around 41 degrees, but it felt like 37 degrees. Pretty good weather for running. This is so far my longest run since the White Rock Marathon back in December.

I decided not to wear a wind breaker jacket, gloves or even a cap. I was wearing a long sleeve cotton shirt (from the White Rock Lake Marathon) and running shorts. At the start of the run the cold weather was noticeable, especially since I was running against the 7 mph wind. Into the second mile, even with the wind, I no longer noticed the cold. In fact, by the halfway mark of the out and back course, I started to feel the perspiration around my forehead/temple area.

With the wind behind me, I ran the "return" leg (6 miles of mostly all up hill course) as best I could. Each of the return leg miles were all at least 1 minute and 18 seconds of their respective "initial" leg miles.

1. 8:25.35, 08:25.35, 1 mi 8:25 / mi.
2. 8:11.75, 16:37.10, 1 mi 8:12 / mi.
3. 8:00.60, 24:37.70, 1 mi 8:01 / mi.
4. 8:27.43, 33:05.13, 1 mi 8:27 / mi.
5. 8:42.97, 41:48.90, 1 mi 8:43 / mi.
6. 8:39.84, 50:27.94, 1 mi 8:40 / mi.
7. 8:45.90, 59:13.84, 1 mi 8:46 / mi.
8. 8:41.12, 1:07:54.96, 1 mi 8:41 / mi.
9. 8:56.90, 1:16:51.88, 1 mi 8:57 / mi.
10. 9:18.67, 1:26:10.56, 1 mi 9:19 / mi.
11. 9:36.71, 1:35:47.27, 1 mi 9:37 / mi.
12. 9:28.63, 1:45:15.90, 1 mi 9:29 / mi.
13. 0:48.60, 1:46:04.51, 0.1 mi 8:43 / mi.

After the run I cooled of with a 10-minute soaking of cold tap water filled tub. The water was colder than the outside weather as it caused my legs to shiver, then my teeth. I got use to the cold water about half way through the soaking. I was glad once the 10 minutes were over. I headed straight for a hot shower to warm up my core. Lets see how much faster I can recover with this process.

Next week is a taper (low mileage) week, as Saturday I will be running in the Surfside Beach Half Marathon. This is going to be an interesting race as it is entirely run on the beach. Yes, that means running on sand. Firmly packed sand. Packed enough that previous runners have mentioned that after the race they did not have sand in their socks or shoes.

An easy recovery after this race is also expected, according to previous runners. Sunscreen and sunglasses is must for this race. With sunglasses serving a dual purpose; one to keep the blowing sand out of your eyes (if the wind is pretty high enough), and two to keep the sunshine down to a minimum. You are after all at the beach!!


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Thanks for all of your support these last three years!

As anyone who has come across this blog recently has probably noticed, it hasn't been very active lately. After spending three years building up Lupus Runners and working with other dedicated runners to raise over $12,000 for the Lupus Foundation of America, I have officially redirected the domain name for Lupus Runners ( over to Cruz Pitre. These past few years I have been pleasantly surprised at how our group has grown and am glad to see that there are so many runners who are willing to contribute their time and energy fundraising even though my time and energy has been limited this past year.

I look forward to continuing to run in 2010 and have my sights on Burning River again. Tim Smith is also putting together a 50k in November or December to help raise more money to fight Lupus. I would love to make it out for that run. I'll also do what I can to continue to help raise money and heighten awareness. Perhaps in a year or so I will sign back on, but I'll probably take a break for 2010. If you are ultrarunner, I'd encourage you to check out Tim's race at If you are interested in helping raise money to fight Lupus, I would encourage you to check out Cruz's blog at Thanks again to everyone who has supported me and the rest of the Lupus Runners over these past three years. Your money has gone to a great cause and your comments and emails have helped inspire our group. See you on the trails.

Posted for Brian Thomas at 6:01 PM

2009's running stats

Tuesday, I ran an easy 5.04 miles in 43 minutes and 35 seconds, @ 8:39 minute per mile pace. The weather was fair, temperature around 39 degrees.

1. 8:33.32, 08:33.32, 1 mi 8:33 / mi.
2. 8:26.81, 17:00.12, 1 mi 8:27 / mi.
3. 8:26.97, 25:27.90, 1 mi 8:27 / mi.
4. 8:39.10, 34:06.11, 1 mi 8:39 / mi.
5. 9:00.84, 43:06.96, 1 mi 9:01 / mi.
6. 0:28.30, 43:35.00, 0.04 mi 11:40 / mi.

Wednesday I ran an easy 3.13 miles in 26 minutes and 32 seconds, @ 8:29 minute per mile pace. The weather was consisted of misty rain, a slight wind, with temperature around 42 degrees.

1. 8:44.33, 08:44.33, 1 mi 8:44 / mi.
2. 8:50.15, 17:34.49, 1 mi 8:50 / mi.
3. 8:05.75, 25:40.25, 1 mi 8:06 / mi.
4. 0:52.40, 26:32.65, 0.1 mi 6:56 / mi.

I have tabulated all my running statistics for 2009.
HTML tables suck through the blog software. So I've made into images (from note pad).

Not bad for my first year of competitive running. I did not run all of January and almost all of February. I took off the rest of December after running 2 marathons and 1 half marathon within two months time.

It is true what they say about dropping down on distance; you run faster. When I moved from 10k to 5k I reduced (PR'd) my time for the 5k by 1 minute and 21 seconds. When I moved from a marathon down to a half marathon, I PR'd the half marathon distance by 3 minutes and 41 seconds!!

The shorter the distance, the faster I get. Well... except for the 15k distance. The half marathon distance seems to be my favourite distance.
Lets see how I do this year!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Long Run on a Monday morning

No running on Friday, Saturday or Sunday; I was away visiting family and friends in Houston, Franklinton and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Monday morning I completed a long run of 8.07 miles in 1 hour, 11 min and 22 sec @ 8:51 minute per mile pace. The weather was partly cloudy, temperature around 34 degrees. I wore a windbreaker top and bottom, along with a knit cap and gloves.

1. 9:11.77, 0:09:11.77, 1 mi 9:12 / mi.
2. 8:48.96, 0:18:00.74, 1 mi 8:49 / mi.
3. 8:29.17, 0:26:29.91, 1 mi 8:29 / mi.
4. 9:06.64, 0:35:36.55, 1 mi 9:07 / mi.
5. 8:34.85, 0:44:11.40, 1 mi 8:35 / mi.
6. 9:03.94, 0:53:15.34, 1 mi 9:04 / mi.
7. 8:33.17, 1:01:48.53, 1 mi 8:33 / mi.
8. 8:55.97, 1:10:44.50, 1 mi 8:56 / mi.
9. 0:37.86, 1:11:22.36, 0.1 mi 8:57 / mi.

Over the weekend I received my Love the Half technical shirt.
If you have not checked them out previously, here is their web site:

What’s “Love the Half”?
It’s a celebration of the half marathon distance (13.1 miles) and those who love to complete events of that distance. The official 2009-2010 challenge period will be defined as starting on August 1, 2009 and ending on May 31, 2010. The challenge kick off celebration will be at the Heels and Hills and Him Half Marathon on September 27, 2009 and the challenge finish celebration will be at the Heels and Hills Half Marathon on May 2, 2010. This time frame perfectly corresponds with the high season of running in Texas weather.

So far, I'm in a three-way tie for 2nd place for the amount of qualified races (5) run.

Next race, Surfside Half Marathon on February 13th.