4:30 or Bust: A Quest for Marathon Mediocrity

Archive for December 2008

2008 – the year in review

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Had a fantastic year!

Started with a very strong 41:59 5 mile PR at the Fred Lebow Classic  (Hopefully I’ll be able to run it this year to see if I can improve on that), then half marathon PR’s at both Bronx (1:56:55) and Brooklyn (1:56:42), and ended the year with my marathon PR of 4:31:26, not quite the 4:30:00 I was shooting for, but very very close.

That’s all great, but what really made 2008 a fantastic year was my renewed dedication to putting in the time.  I ran 762 miles over the year, destroying my previous high of 608 set way, way back in 2000.  Also, in the first half of the year, I spent a lot of time on my bike and trying to learn to swim.  I participated in the March Madness Biathlon on March 30, when it was a frigid 28 degrees, and ran in the Philadelphia Triathlon (sprint distance) on June 20.  Considering I still can’t really swim, I was really happy with my time of 1:54:19.  I went to the gym 36 times, and biked 423 miles.

I ran all 5 Grand Prix Half Marathon events, AND the New York City Half Marathon.  I also took 2 sessions of the NYRR running classes, to make sure I got the dreaded speed workouts in.  In total, I ran 119 times, and did a better job running long – my average run was 6.4 miles, by far my highest ever.

My average weight dropped from 227.5 in Jan to about 225 in December, and my body fat percentage also went down, from 23.5 to 22.5.  My “diet” didn’t really happen, so at least I should be able to make good progress in that department.

Of course it could have been better.  As usual, my times slowed as the weather heated up, and could have gotten up earlier in the morning more often to get a few more runs in, and as mentioned, I could stand to lose some more weight.  Hopefully I can improve on my times again in 2009.  Coming up, I’ll be running the Austin Mararathon on Feb 15, and the New York City Marathon on Nov 1.  I’ll be participating in the New York City Triathlon, which still seems very scary to me.  I’ll also try to get another biathlon in, a training triathlon in the spring, and a bunch of NYRR races.

Finally, I started this blog, which actually makes me feel more accountable for my activites, and gives me a better focus.

Looking forward to a strong 2009!

Written by SCL

December 31, 2008 at 9:04 pm

December 2008 in review

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Running – 66.3 miles over 13 runs (most number of runs in a month this year!)

Races – 0 (but I volunteered once!)

Biking – 0 miles – 0 rides

Injuries – 2 (mild shoulder strain, foot blister)

Sicknesses – 1

Swims – 0

Gym workouts – 4

Written by SCL

December 31, 2008 at 8:35 pm

Posted in Month End Summary

Happy New Year!

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Wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year… And, hoping you meet all your 2009 running goals!

Written by SCL

December 31, 2008 at 5:20 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

My bloody sock

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Snapped a picture of my bloody sock before I threw it away after my rough run on Monday morning.  Definitely wanted this in the archives!  

Blister is still pretty raw, hoping for improvement by Friday, when I’m supposed to do my long run…

Written by SCL

December 31, 2008 at 7:14 am

Posted in injury

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Shin splints gone, but still had a bad run :(

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First off, this article really spoke to me, as I know I’m carrying around at least 5 pounds of excess fat these days.  I won’t know for sure until I get home from my vacation and can weigh in, but I feel fat.  I’m sure it caused the shin splints that ruined my run yesterday.

I almost didn’t go out for a run today, afraid that the shin splints would come back.  But, when it is 75 degrees outside (I’m on vacation in South Florida), how can you resist.  So, I dragged my lazy ass out of bed at 9am, dilligently executed the preventative shin splint rubs and stretches, and was out on the road by 10am.

I could tell right away that it was much hotter than yesterday.  Yesterday, I was out in the 7am hour, and 3 hours makes a huge difference in the sun becoming a factor.  Otherwise, the weather seemed really nice – 75 degrees and little wind.

After the first mile, I could tell that the shin splints would not be recurring today.  Great news!  At least I know I can ward it away with a little up front prevention.  So, now just needed to focus on getting through the rest of the run.  

At about 1.5 miles, started feeling the sharp pain of a blister on the back of my left foot.  Damn.  The pain was sharp and clearly would not be a small nuisance.  This is also familiar to me.  It is funny – when this last bothered me, it was 6 weeks before the New York City Marathon, when I was running in my 2nd long training run.  Right now, we are approaching 6 weeks before the Austin Marathon, and I’m going to run my 2nd long training run later this week.  Exact same timing.  I have no one to blame but myself though.  My running socks are old, starting to develop holes, and are very thin.  My shoes are also starting to build holes on the fabric on the inside of the back of the shoes.  This is a dangerous combination.  When I get home from vacation, my first order of business will be to get my feet assessed at JackRabbit and get a new pair of shoes and a new set of socks.  The Saucony Grid Hurricane’s I have now have been nothing but trouble.

Anyway, decided to push ahead with the full 5 mile run.  I knew from my last bout of the blisters that the pain would eventually subside.  And, subside it eventually did.  Then I hit my next problem, the heat.  In the summertime in NY, I hate (with a capital H) the heat.  The heat and I do not get along.  I thought I could deal with it for a couple of runs in the middle of winter, but it turned out I could not.  By 4 miles, I had to stop to walk.  My mistake was not bringing a bottle of water along.  In total, I walked 3 times in the last mile.  Unfortunately, while the blister pain subsided while running, to add insult to injury (no pun intended) it actually hurt a lot when walking.

Overall, my time of 48:06 (9:26 per mile) for 5.1 miles is not bad at all considering the blister and walking.

When I got back to the hotel, it was time to tend to my injury.  By coincidence, last night, my 7 year old fell in a parking lot and skinned both her knees, so I had peroxide, cotton and Hello Kitty band aids available.  When I took off my shoe, my worst fear was realized as a saw my very bloody sock.  I was hoping it was just a simple blister that did not open up, which is easier to deal with and faster to heal.  But no, blister was deep, and will likely take 2 weeks to fully heal – see picture below.  My kid got a big kick out of my howling from the peroxide (boy does that sting), and the Hello Kitty band aid I sported the rest of the day.

Tomorrow morning, hitting the road back to NY.  Guess I’ve got a good excuse not to run along the way!




Written by SCL

December 29, 2008 at 10:43 pm

Posted in injury, running, Uncategorized

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Weather? Perfect. Run? Horrible

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Arrived in Florida last night.  After 3 days cooped up in the car with 3 other sick people, and 4 days (since Christmas Eve) of eating like a pig, I was looking forward to the warm, sunny weather, and getting in a nice warm weather run.  I’ve probably gained 5 pounds of fat with all the big meals I’ve eaten in the last few days, and all the snacking and soda drinking I’ve done in the car.  So, this morning is when I would start battling back – was up by 7am and out on the road at 7:30.  Mapped out a nice 5.1 mile route around the Plantation, FL hotel where I’m staying.

All went well for about the first mile.  Then, I could feel the familiar sounds of my right shin throwing a hissy fit.  While I have not experienced shin splits in at least the last year, I have a long and familiar history with the affliction.  Crossed my fingers and hoped it would just go away.  Sometimes, if you continue to run through it, the muscle loosens up on its own, and sometimes, it just gets worse.  Today, it just got worse.  By 1.5 miles, I had to stop and walk.  Walked for a few minutes, did a couple of stretches, and tried to continue, but it was simply not meant to be.

I ended up cutting the workout down to 4 miles, and walked for probably 1.5 of the miles.    Big, fat disappointment.  I was just stunned that the shin split would show up now.  In the past, this is something that normally bothered me in the cold weather of winter, but the temp was a perfectly warm 75 degrees.  The culprit is probably the extra weight I’m now carrying around.

Anyway, really not happy with how things went this morning.  Maybe I’ll try again tomorrow…

Written by SCL

December 28, 2008 at 10:11 pm

Posted in injury, running

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Hi from Fredericksburg, VA

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1st leg of our trip to Florida is done.  Spending the night in Fredericksburgh, VA.  Haven’t hit the warm weather yet, but expect to by tomorrow night in South Carolina.

While out and about before and after our Christmas party today, saw a few people running, and I was very jealous!

Woke up with a bit of a sore throat today – hoping it doesn’t get a lot worse.  My kids have both been sick in the last 2 weeks, and my wife and I both got the sore throat today.  Definitely not a fun car ride with all 4 of us coughing and blowing our noses, etc.  I’ll take a dose of NyQuil before I sleep – that always makes me feel better the next day. 

Lastly, discovered and registered at the Daily Mile website.  Looks like a social network where you can indicate what races you are running in and see others running in the same race.  You can also post your workouts.  First problem is that most of the New York City races are not in there 😦  Otherwise, seems interesting.

Written by SCL

December 25, 2008 at 11:12 pm

Posted in running

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