Random Rantings and Ravings from a Slow-Poke Runner in the Heart of the South. (A Weeekly (sort of) Blog about running and just about anything else)

Saturday, February 25, 2006


Are you committed?!!


Several years ago I worked out at a gym where the owner (a former meathead) would often volunteer himself as a personal trainer during our morning workout. My brother and I were working out one morning when he volunteered to assist us in a bicep routine. He worked us out pretty good but it was really humorous because, during the workout, he would repeatedly ask us, getting louder each time, "Are You Committed??!!! ARE YOU COMMITTED??!!!" I felt like I was in a Saturday Night Live skit with Hans and Frans!

Well, when I woke up this morning and it was in the mid-40's with a steady rain, those words came to mind. It's been a few weekends since I have completed my long run and I really didn't want to miss another one. As I looked out the window at the cold rain, the Ultimate 5K Plan I posted not long ago came to mind. And that is when I asked myself the question, "Are you committed?"

I told myself I would eat breakfast, check my e-mail, and surf the net for a few minutes; and THEN I would get ready for the run. I am happy to say that, not only did I follow through with my plan; but as I walked out the door about 9 am, the rain completely stopped leaving me with perfect running conditions!

Here are my totals for the week (my first week of "the plan"):

Total Miles: 21.1

Avg Pace: 8:59 min/mile

Long Run: 7.30 miles (9:01 pace)

Speed work: 6 X .25 mile PI at 8:00 min/mile

Hills: 6 minutes

I felt pretty good today and was pretty happy with the pace for my long run. I hope my speedwork and hills help me get faster because I have a long way to go to run the race on April 1st in under 26 minutes!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, February 20, 2006



Here's the deal.

On April 1st, I will be running the Tupelo Heart Run 5K. That is... if they do have it. They say they are, but there has been no advertisement yet. (Last year's run, which Tricia ran was NOT the best organized run I have attended by far).

So now it't time for Race goals. The last race I ran was the Race for the Cure 5K back in October 2005. I ran it just under 28 minutes - barely - at 27:59. I am pretty confident I can take a minute off that time. My real goal is to come in under 26:30 (at least an 8:32 min/mi pace). Of course, what I REALLY want to do is break 26 minutes. That would mean a 8:22 min/mile pace, which would be a pretty good stretch for me!

I figured I needed a plan so I scoured the Runner's World website and settled on the "intermediate" version of their "Ultimate 5K Plan". I have revised the plan for my own schedule and have scanned it below. I started out today for a 3 miler. (See my training log) If you read the article, you will note I do some warm-up running before my speed and hill training and figure I will be running somewhere between 20 and 26 miles a week. I will be doing my pace intervals at an 8 min/mile pace, hoping to improve my times. Speed intervals will be a little faster. Check out my plan below and feel free to make comments!

It's true. I'm am an addict.

You learn something new everyday, you know! Today I learned.....I'm an addict. I am both emotionally and physically addicted to running. I say this because I missed several opportunities to run last week and this weekend.

Wednesday was an off day last week so I planned to miss anyway. But I overslept Thursday morning and missed my run because I stayed up too late the night before watching American Idol off of the DVR. (Yes, I am a man and I can admit it.)

One of my blogging buddies, Jim, had e-mailed me to tell me he would be in town Saturday if I wanted to go for a long run with him. He is A LOT faster than me! With this is mind I only went 3 miles Friday so I could really push myself on Saturday. I was thinking I might go 10 miles to make up for Thursday. This would be my longest run to date. If I didn't manage that, I would run again on Sunday to meet my weekly mileage goals.

Then winter decided to actually move through this weekend!

It began raining early Saturday morning with the forecast predicting the rain changing to ice by 9 am, canceling our long run. Now Jim may have actually went out anyway but I would have REALLY been breaking my wuss rule to go out in rain in the low thirties! So to make a long story short, I didn't get to run ANY this weekend!

Jim is going to try to come again for the 5K Heart Run on April 1st, but I discovered something by missing all of my running this weekend. I was SOOOO stinking lazy! I NEVER take midday naps on Saturday or Sunday but I found myself lying in front of the tv, eating everything in the house, and feeling like I had been run over by a truck. Despite all of my resting, I had NO energy.

This morning I felt the same way and overslept again. I took off work early because I was NOT going to miss another run! (Plus I am starting "THE PLAN", which I will describe in another post later tonight.)

After my run and some weight lifting, I felt GREAT! I found myself whistling as I got ready and then...that's when it hit me: I AM addicted to running!

I felt completely different after exercising! Suddenly I had tons of energy despite exercising off about 500 calories. That doesn't really make logical sense but I am sure an exercise physiologist out there can explain how this happens.

Now I know that this addiction is much easier to break than your standard...say...crack cocaine addiction; but it is an addiction nevertheless. So for all of you out there reading this blog, for fun I have developed the following addiction test:

1. Have you ever worn your running shorts under your dress pants at work so you can get in a run at lunch?

2. Have you ever left early from work, blowing off your responsibilities, so you could get in a missed run?

3. Have you ever broken your own rule about running at night, in the cold, or in the rain, because you had to get in your miles?

4. If you miss a couple runs in a row, do you suddenly feel like you resemble John Candy or Rosanne Barr?

5. When your are in church on Sunday, does your mind often drift to calculating times for certain distances based on different paces per mile?

If you answered yes to any of the above, you may be an addict. If you answered yes to two or more, you are probably an addict. If you said yes to all of em', WELCOME TO THE CLUB!


Monday, February 13, 2006

Back at it!

Got back at it this morning! Did 3 miles on the dreadmill at a pretty good pace. I plan to do a speed workout tommorrow with some more pace intervals and maybe some core work if time permits.

The weather forecast is looking better so I may get to run outside Thursday!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Confession: Good for the Soul.

And on the seventh day he rested.

Actually, he rested on the fifth and sixth day now that he's honest.

That "he" would be me. Yes, that's right: a measily 11 miles running this week.

I am not really sure what happened this week but this is my time to confess and "cleanse the soul".

I know part of my regression had to do with the boredom associated with the dreaded treadmill (dreadmill for short). I had announced to my wife that I was going to hit the streets this week but winter actually decided to show up this year and it dipped down into the low thirties again. (Remember I follow the "wuss rule" of no running below 40 degrees).

I felt that I was becoming burned out. I was starting to feel tired and my morning runs were a chore. In addition, I am sometimes guilty of being an "all-or-nothing" type person. After a big "splurge meal" Wednesday night with family and friends, and a party Friday, I just lost momentum partly because I had eaten so badly.

I hope I am not the only one that has weeks like this. But it helps to know I have read in the past that you need a few days off every now and then. I am just going to try to mentally chalk it up to my body's encouragement to take a break. At any rate, I have my gym bag packed and I will be headed out at 5:15 in the morning! Hopefully, in my next blog, I will be exclaiming my conquest of a successful week running!

Saturday, February 04, 2006


That's what my 2-year old says when he accomplished something: I did it! I did it! Well, I did it too: 8 miler this morning! And not only did I do it, I did it fast! (for me, of course)

After my "failings" on Thursday, I decided to do the ultimate workout this morning. I would do my usual upper body strength training workout and follow that up with a long run at the 1/2 mile track outside the Wellness Center. The Wellness Center track is a meandering 1/2 mile asphalt track I ran on when I was in college. I usually run well here, maybe because of the memories.

I decided to check my split times today, something I rarely do for some reason. I don't know if it was because of the cold, but I ran the first mile WAY too fast for a long run (for me) - app. 8:00 min/mile. I slowed down and targeted 9 min/miles. To my surprise, I was able to pretty much maintain this throughout the run. I ran 6 miles in under 54 minutes - more than 2 minutes faster than I have done it before! I finished the run at 1:12:39 - about a 9:05 min/mile pace! I was really excited because this was a pretty good effort for me.

As I write this at 11:30 this evening, I don't feel any real soreness, just tired legs. I guess my lower back is a little sore. Overall I have a great feeling of accomplishment. For a good calorie deficit, I ran 8.5 miles on Thanksgiving day last year, but ran it almost a minute slower per mile than I did today.

The 5K Heart Run is exactly 8 weeks away. I have the feeling I should back off my long runs a little and target more speed workouts before then but I'm not really sure. I know the course is pretty flat so I don't have to worry about hills too much. Any suggesstions out there are welcomed!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Sing it Brittany....

Oops I did it again!
I missed another run,
I screwed up my miles...
Oh baby, baby...


Well, my mileage will be a little low this week due to missing a run Thursday. Wednesday was a planned off day but we had some friends in from Michigan and were up late with them Wednesday night. I had to get my sleep so I couldn't run in the morning and worked a 12-hour day, leaving me completely spent that evening. To top it off, things were so crazy Thursday, I ate McDonalds, not once, BUT TWICE!!!!!!!!!!

Just Supersize me right now! RIGHT NOW!!!!

But I feel a little better as I write this Friday evening because I had a great run this morning. I only went 3 miles because I have a long run planned tomorrow. I know I will go at least 6 miles but may punish myself even more for the Mickey-D's!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Shane's disclaimer note: Just in case you don't know, the above picture is NOT me! And for those of you wishing I had included a Brittany Spears picture, COME ON! I do have my morals ya know!!!!