Thursday, June 30, 2011

Race Day!

Today was my first race in 2011, and in quite a while actually.  It was a really great experience!  There were 200 people (really convenient right?)  who ran today so I got a real race experience!  I think that it was the perfect number of runners to get into the racing grove.  I learned a lot, got my first bib(number 540) and raced hard in the heat.

We lined up and started at 7:30, it was still about 95 outside and the sun was still up and beating on us.  Luckily the course was flat, but it was windy almost the entire way though, and not pushing sadly.
Starting Line (in in the middle with the green shirt)

We did a couple loops and 2 out and back to complete the entire 5k, so I was able to pass by my family and girlfriend twice and they helped me keep pace and finish strong!
The first pass keeping a steady pace

Sprinting to the finish line the second pass
Race Results:
I ended up getting right around the time I projected to get, 24:25.  I think I ran a pretty good race, coming in 9th in my age group and 31st overall!  Not bad for 3-4 weeks of running again!
Picture of the time clock when I finished

Then of course I had to take a picture with my lovely girlfriend to commemorate the first of many, many, many races to come :)

The lovely girlfriend and sweaty me
Back to Training
I took Wednesday off to make sure I had fresh legs for the race, but Saturday is another 3 miler followed by a 5 on Sunday.  Only 11 more days until I start my marathon training!

Well that is all for the night, hope everyone had a wonderful end of June.  Until next time,


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Running To The Beat

Most people that I know who run insist they need their iPod to run.  I can understand why too, I use to be on of the people who said that.  I now run without music and I think it has helped me improve as a "serious" runner.  I am not saying that you can't be a serious runner if you listen to music, but I feel that when I run without music I am more in sync with my body, and I can focus in more on my running.  In this post I felt like figuring out the pros and cons of running with and without music.  I think I will write it in a paragraph form to go more in depth with my reasoning, but then I will just do a bullet point pro/con list for you skim readers ;)

With Music:

First I will start with running to music.  I use to always, always run with music.  If my iPod was dead, I wasn't going to run until it charged.  It was very inspirational to run with upbeat songs that sung about perseverance , and I will admit that it helped keep me going when I would want to quit.  Another example is some running routes are boring.  Mind numbing boring.  The music would help me keep the focus of the path and on the songs.  The only problem is, I would be a slave to the beat.  I would run at whatever tempo the song was because my body would sync to it and I wouldn't even notice.  I would end up spending more energy running a mile than I meant to because a really fast tempo song came on or the complete opposite would happen and I would run a slower pace than intended.  Now on to my list!

- Motivating
- Distracts from running boring routes.
- Pumps up.
- Beat dictates pace.
- Takes away from paying attention to run.
- Distracting (cords, iPod itself)

Without Music:

This is the way I have been training lately.  No strings(or wires) attached.  While it is a little harder to run without music on those long grueling runs, I find it to be refreshing to go out, just me and my legs.  I find it a lot easier to focus on a certain pace and I am able to push myself without having to split my focus.  I can just go.  The downside is that when it gets really tough and I want to slow down/walk I have to encourage myself to keep going.  We all know the hardest person to motivate is ourselves sometimes.  I can easily rationalize why I should slow down, but with music I can just focus more on it and keep going.  But that's why I think that it helps me become a more serious runner, because I become accountable for my running and getting across that finish line.  To the list!

- Focus on running.
- Run at pace set by runner.
- Become more disciplined.
- Less motivating.
- Easier to quit(in my opinion).
- Having to be accountable for self(can be really hard some days)


Now that I compare and contrasted the two, I can go into a little more depth on what I do.  While I no longer run with music, I do listen to music that gets me pumped up right before I run.  That way I can get hyped up to go do a good workout, yet I can focus more on my running than my music.  Now I would like to hear from y'all!

- Do you run with or without music? For training? For races?
- Have anything else to add to my list?
- Do you agree or disagree with me? Why?

Well my race is tomorrow, so I am going to go get some sleep :)


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dress Rehearsal

2 Days Until Race:
Today was a great training run!  I decided to run at 7:30 this evening, a bit earlier than I have been lately, because I thought it would be a good idea to run at the same time my race will be at!  It was defiantly a different feeling running in that heat with the sun a little lower but still baking me.  I decided to run the first mile at a pretty comfortable pace and then I picked it up a tad bit the second mile, then for the last 800m I picked up to as fast as I could sustain.  That seems to be the way I want to run my races, with a negative split, so I figure trying it in my training would help me mentally prepare for it.

Based on my time (23:20) I will be aiming for running under 24:00.  I know I will be able to break 20:00 this year on a 5k, but I have a feeling it wont be in the summer because of the heat.

In Other News:
I went and picked up a new running tank top today because I found my other shirt felt like they were choking me  while I was running, so I figured I would get something a little looser so I could breathe.  I also picked up a new water bottle that had a nice "handle" on it so it will slip onto my hand so I don't have to focus on holding it while I'm running!  

Had a funny conversation with my mom and sister this evening a little while before my run.  A little background information first so it makes more sense.  My sister is just starting High School this next year, she does cheer and runs track but she REFUSES to run longer distances or run with me.  My mom does CrossFit here in Seguin, but hates to run.  So my mom said she wasn't going to go to CrossFit today because they were basing the workout around a mile run.

Sister:  Mom! Ill go to CrossFit today if you run!
Mom: No way! I hate running, why don't you go run with your brother?
*Sister thinks for a second*
Sister: Nah, he will challenge me.  I don't like being challenged.

I thought it was pretty funny, but I would understand if you didn't :)

I kind of like asking questions to see what other think, and to get to know my readers better!

- When did you first start to run? Why?
- Would you say you are competitive?

Well, ill be running another easy 2 miles tomorrow so I will blog tomorrow.  Maybe I will have some existential thought and write about it, but most likely I will just write about my run and day!  Until then, happy running!


Monday, June 27, 2011

Race Week!

This week is my first race in quite a while, and it also marks the first race I will be competing in on this blog!  I think it is quite exciting, and I will be able to use it as a benchmark for my training pace when I start my actual marathon training schedule on July 11th.  Like I said in a previous post, it will be a night run on a pretty flat course so I should have a pretty good time.  I am currently aiming for getting right around 21 minutes, but if the conditions are good I might be able to push a little harder and get close to the 20 min mark.

This is what ill look like at the end, hopefully!
Today's Run:
For the last few weeks I have be running 3-4 days a week, with Monday, Wednesday and Friday being rest days.  I decided that I wanted to run more this week so I changed it to Monday/Wednesday shorter runs but with more speed, and I kept Friday as my dedicated rest day during the week.

That means that today I ran 2 miles in a time of 14:42.  I glanced at my watch when I finished the first mile and saw that I did it in about 8:00 so I picked up the speed until I was going as fast as I felt I could sustain and held that for the last 800m, and I ended up doing the second mile in about 6:42.  I thought that was a good run for a quick 2 miler.  Tomorrow I will be running 3 miles again but at a comfortable pace to make sure I run the entire distance.

Thought For The Day:
So I have been thinking about something recently.  Is living a life with goals the best way to achieve what we aim for?  Is the best way to get somewhere in life to set obtainable goals, then increase them?

I think for me this is a good way to stay motivated, because setting a goal like "run a 5k in 15 minutes" is harder to work for, but saying "run a 5k in 21 minutes" then once I get that I am for 20 and so on is much more achievable and I am able to say I have accomplished goals I have set.

Questions for the Reader!
- What goals do you currently have?
- When is your next race?
- What is a tradition of yours on race day?

Until tomorrow, happy and safe running!


Sunday, June 26, 2011

It's Hot Hot Hot!

Wow, do I dislike running in the afternoon right now.  I wish I could have run this evening instead, but because I work tonight I had to get it done before I head out.  I will say that 94 is great lounging summer weather, but when it comes to running...yeah it is no fun at all.  I figure it will just be good practice to mentally push through as long as I stay hydrated.

I ended up running the first 3.5 miles then I had to stop and walk for a little bit to regroup and drink some water, then I sort of alternated between walking/running for the last 1.5 miles.  Although I wish I could have gone the whole 5 miles without stopping to walk, I figure it was better to stop and walk for a few instead of passing out on the side of the street.  But, I did go all 5 miles so I was happy to accomplish that today.

In other news I will be able to run the Firecracker 5k Evening Run which I was hoping for.  I just registered for it today because I was able to confirm I would not be working that evening, yay!  So I will be able to post race results and pictures this Thursday, which will make me feel like a REAL running blogger.

Well that is all I have for today, its a little shorter of a post than I would like, so maybe tonight after work I will write a little more, or tomorrow.  I don't know for sure, but it will keep you on your toes right?


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Are You a Runner?

"Man imposes his own limitations, don't set any"
-Anthony Bailey

When talking with friends, family and strangers alike it comes up in conversation that I enjoy running.  Sometimes I get some responses like "more power to you" or "wow, I wish I could run!"  When someone says the latter, it makes me a little sad inside.  I usually respond by saying "You can! You can run!" and they just look at me like I'm crazy.

You Can!
To start this off, I have a question for you.  Have you ever put on some shoes and started moving from point A to point B with only your body?  Then you have probably ran!  Because the only thing in my opinion that differentiate running and walking  is that when you're running both feet shouldn't be on the ground. 

Yes, I realize that the question seems goofy, but that's how I feel when someone says they can't run.  I understand that some people don't want to run, but to say you can't is giving up before even trying.  So that leads me to my next point...

Try It!
The hardest part is just getting up and doing it, for anyone.  Writing down a schedule of distances to run, or an amount of time to alternate running/walking.  If its your first time ever any shoes will do, but if you decide that you love it you will probably want to invest in some good running shoes.  If you think about it the only real gear you need as a runner are your shoes so don't neglect them!

If you feel awkward or self conscious while running, don't!  Have fun while you do it and just remember that people can look at you while you're running and stare but guess what, they are not the ones running, you are!

Some Things To Remember:
For this section I am just going to post a couple of bullets that help me get going when I think its hard.
- Just keep going.
- If you don't try, you will never know.
- Walking is OKAY!
- Just do your thing!

So if you want to run, or have never tried running before, try it!  I bet you will love it.  I know it will be hard to get going, but once you get past the first month of steady running it becomes an amazing thing!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Practice Makes Perfect

Is 10,000 Hours the Magic Number?
I have been reading a book by Malcolm Gladwell called Outliers: The Story of Success.  It was written a couple of years ago in 2008, and I have read it before, but I came across an interesting chapter called "The 10,000-hour rule".  Basically it talks about how people who become experts in their field, whether its computer science or playing an instrument, spend close to 10,000 hours honing their skills before they become really good at what they do.

Of course the first thing I think of is running.  While there is some raw talent that is needed to get a good start on anything, could anyone practice something for 10,000 hours and then become an expert at it?  Doing a little bit of math I came to the conclusion that if a person was to practice something for a little more than 19 hours per week, it would take 10 years to get to the 10,000 hour mark.  So I wonder if the worlds elite runners have all passed that 10k hours mark to get to where they are today.

Questions for You!
So, to end my post I have a couple questions for readers!

1.  Do you think you could practice running for 10,000 hours? What about something else?
2.  If you have been keeping track, how many hours have you ran?
3.  Do you think that the 10,000 hour rule would apply to the sport of running? Why or why not?

Edit:  I did the math with some of my recent data.  I have run 33 miles in about 4.38 hours. If I were to run a similar pace the rest of my life, and I ran for 10,000 hours I would end up running 75, 342.5 miles!  That's A little more that 3 times around the world! Yikes!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

I Need a Kick in the Pants!

So, I will admit it.  I almost didn't run today.

I know, I know!  I haven't even been running for three weeks and I am already getting lazy.  I honestly think this is the hardest part of the training.  Hopefully once this week is done ill be over the hump and I will be able to continue working hard and training for the Marathon.

I do feel that days like today are some of the most important though, because it was a chance to prove to myself that I have the dedication to get off the couch and go run even though I didn't particularly want to.  Although I do question my sanity a little because I think I had a conversation with my shoes before my run.  It went a little something like this...

Me:  I really don't feel like running today, I ate so much at dinner!
Shoes:  Really? You are going to neglect me again? Two days is just to long not to be out there.
Me:  I know, but I think another day of rest would be good, right?
Shoes: No.
Me: No?
Shoes: You heard me.
*Epic stare down*
Me: Oh fine! I will run.
Shoes: YIPPEE!!!

It went something like that.  Anyways, now that I am getting into longer runs(30 minutes+) I need to start looking into getting something to wear/run with to help keep me hydrated in this heat.  I have seen some of those belts, but I am not sure if they feel comfortable or stay on well while running.  If you have any suggestions for such a device, please let me know in the comments below!

Well, tomorrow is Friday and therefore a day off so I may or may not be posting tomorrow so until next time, happy running!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rearing to Run

I figured I would hop onto my good old blog and just write today!

I realized that I haven't posted my training for this week, so here it is:

M - rest
T - 3 miles
W - rest
Th - 3 miles
F - Rest
S - 3 miles
Su - 5 miles

The Plan(so far...): 
As you can probably tell, I am still just doing a steady mileage increase.  Even though I use to run more often I have to start fresh because of how long it has been.  So I figure it would be a good basis to just build up my mileage until I start my 18 week marathon program.  With the rest of this week included I have 2 and a half weeks until I start my actual training, which I will be referring to Hal Higdon's marathon training schedule which can be found on his website here :

If you are training for any sort of distance running, he has great training plans for novice to advanced runners.  I really like how it looks and I defiantly think it will get me to where I need to be on race day.

Upcoming Races:
Speaking of races, I currently have 3 in mind that I would like to run and that includes the marathon.  On June 30th there is a local 5k in San Marcos that I am hoping to make.  I wouldn't be running some amazing time but I would like to get into the competitive spirit and be around other runners!  The second race I know I want to run in is the Greene 10k on September 10th.  I feel like I should be able to run 6 miles at that time, and it would be a nice break from training to just go run hard.  Then of course, there is the San Antonio Rock N' Roll Marathon on November 13th.  If I come across any more 5/10ks that are local I will probably try and run in them.

My Shoes:
Before I get into reviewing my shoes, I must say that I have an abnormal obsession with having good looking shoes.  Because I love how these ones look, I am going to post a picture!

I took this picture in my car, and the soles are already black!

 I purchased the Saucony ProGrid Kinvaras and I have never felt better running.  I can feel that it has changed my running form, and I am defiantly working muscles I have neglected in the past.   They are super lightweight, look good, and they help inspire me to strap them on even when I don't particularly want to run.

Well I believe this is the longest post to date,  so I will leave it at this.  I might end up running later too... anyways happy running!!!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Upping The Mileage!

I missed my long run sadly :( I was feeling really weak Saturday evening and it followed me through to Sunday. I figured that I have ran the past 2 1/2 weeks at 2 miles during the week and 4 on Sunday, so I decided to up the mileage this week. Its not much variation because I am just gradually increasing mileage until I start my 18 week marathon training schedule to make sure I am in good shape before tackling it. So for the rest of the week it is 3 mile runs, then Sunday ends it with a 5 miler.
And, if all goes according to plan, Thursday June 30th I will be running a 5k (assuming I don't get scheduled for work!)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Keep On Running

So this morning, when my alarm went off, I hit snooze.  Then I hit it again, and again.  Needless to say, I did not get up before the sun.  Now in some places that's not a big deal because it doesn't get too terribly hot.  Well down here in Texas it gets pretty darn hot.  This is my first summer living here, I moved from Colorado last August, but from what I hear it is usually not this hot this early.  I am in for a long summer if I am unable to wake up before 8.

Now, with all that said, I almost decided not to run today because I work late tonight so I wouldn't be able to fit in an evening run.  But I decided to suck it up.  It was my decision to sleep in this morning so I had to deal with the consequences.  To bad for me that the consequence was to run in 101 degree heat with 30% humidity.  I decided to go acclimate myself to the heat by driving a new path to run today.  I decided I wanted to start running hills, and on a more interesting path.  The runs before today was on pretty much a runway of road.  It went completely strait for 1 mile each way.  I think driving slowly with my windows down, no air on, helped me get a feel for the temperature I was going to run in so I would not over exert myself right off the start.

So to make a long story short I picked a new path with some incline in it.  I ran it in hot weather.  And I think I did it really well!  I was able to keep a good for the entire run and I did it in a little over 16 minutes!

Tomorrow for my 4 mile slower run, I think I am going to run the same path twice because I enjoyed it so much today!  Until then, happy running!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Starting to Feel Good Again

Today was a good run! I warmed up with an 800 meter jog, stretched, then did a fairly well paced 2 mile run.  I think next week I will be able to up my mileage to 3/4 miles instead of 2, so that should be a nice change of pace.  I cant wait to start getting up into the 10/12 mile runs, that will be an exciting accomplishment!

I have been looking into running a 5k sometime this summer, before my 10k and I think I found a good one to do.  It is 2 weeks from today, so I wont be doing any spectacular time, but it will give me a chance to run with some people from around where I live, and possibly find some running buddies that have similar goals as me (aka, running a marathon).  Its a night run, so I am hoping that I wont get scheduled for work so I can go to it!

Well, I am off to the store to buy some food now, until next time happy training!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Went For a Bike Ride!

Earlier I posted my running schedule for this week.  I originally had Wednesday as a rest day, but I was getting antsy and wanted to do SOMETHING physical.  I knew running wouldn't bee a good idea because I didn't want to injure my knee or anything, so I got out the good Ole bicycle.

Now, just like I am no expert in running, I am no expert in cycling.  I just decided I would ride for 30 minutes and a brisk pace and see how far I got.  I ended up getting 6 miles, which I didn't think was too bad!  I know that cross training is good idea when training for longer distances, but I was wondering if there is a best way to do it, and if there are any good things to do on a bike that helps increase stamina/speed when running.  If you know, it would be awesome if you left a comment to let me know!

Well, I am off for the night, I will be running 2 miles tomorrow, with my new shoes, on the pavement.  Wish me luck!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Scratch The Last Post...

So I went to Dick's sporting goods to check out some new shoes, I have wanted to try the switch to more "minimalist" shoes without going to the Vibram Five Finger shoes.  I found a wonderful, lightweight pair of shoes there, the Saucony Kinvara.  I tried them in store, loved them, bought them and I just had to run in them.  So I went for a 2 mile run on my treadmill even though I dislike treadmills.

The run was good, it went smooth.  All in all, a great first run for the week even though it wasn't on the road.  Tomorrow is a rest day for running, but I think I might mix in a little biking before it gets to hot tomorrow.


Too Hot

Darn, I get up at 8 and its already to hot to be running!  I dont know if I will be able to run today, hopefully I can tonight when I get home from work, but if not I will just have to move my run to tomorrow.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

End of Week 1

I just started my morning by doing another 2 mile jog.  I think it was a good way to end my first week.

Looking back on it, the 1-hour run I did earlier in the week was a bad choice, I did too many miles to quick and it effected my progress the rest of the week.  As of right now, I am 21 weeks away from the Rock N' Roll San Antonio marathon and I will be doing a 16 week training schedule I found on  That gives me 5 more weeks to get back into the grove of running, and getting my fitness level up to par again before my training starts.

My plan for week 2:
M:    Rest
T :    2 miles
W:    Rest
TH:  2 miles
F:     Rest
SA:  2 miles
SU:  4 miles

I think that is an appropriate amount of mileage spread out through the week, this way I can avoid injury(I usually cause an injury by trying to do to much to fast) and still get running into my week.

Any feedback would be wonderful if you are a veteran runner, or even just enjoy running!
Until next week, have fun and stay safe!


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Nice Little Jog Today

When I first started out, I felt pretty good, my right knee was a little sore for last nights run, but overall I think it went pretty well.  When I started I was going to try and run a little faster than my first 2 mile run last week, but with the soreness I figured it wouldn't be the best idea I ever had.  So instead I decided to take it nice and easy, and focus more on my form.

I want to be able to practice "perfect" form, or as close to it as I can, every run.  Why? Because if I start out running correctly, it will be easier to increase my speed and distance.  Its pretty tough to pay attention to it though, because right now I really just want to make sure I run the entire distance I am supposed to, and it is easy to slack on form while running, and just say "All that matters is finishing!"  I don't want that to be the case when I run, so I always check myself to see how my feet are going, if I am relaxed, and how my feet are striking the pavement.

Well, that is all I have for today!  Until Saturday, have fun running!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Phew, what a run!

Today wasn't too eventful of a Wednesday, I woke up, hung out with my girlfriend and family, went to dinner, watched a little so you think you can dance, and went for my run!  Sadly, in this Texas heat you can really only run before the sun comes up, or after it goes down.  Today I didn't feel like getting up early, so I decided to wait until this evening when the temperature was around 80.  I strapped on my shoes, grabbed my Camelbak, and went for an hour jog.

No certain distance, just going for an hour was my only criteria.

The first 40 minutes were not to bad, seeing that I haven't been running consistently for a while now, but then around 42 minutes in, I started to feel it.  I shouldn't have eaten so much at dinner!  at around 50 minutes I actually had to stop and walk for a minute to regain my focus, then I finished strong!  I am not to worried that I walked a little bit, I am just in my first week of training and I have a while to go!

Tomorrow is a 4 mile jog, and I might go to a cross-fit gym my mom has been going to for the past couple of months, I hear its a great way to build endurance.

Happy running!

A little about me...

Okay, so I am no fantastic runner.  The only thing I have going for me currently is that I actually enjoy running, sometimes not while I am doing it, but there is no better feeling than right after you finish a run.  I am writing this blog to document my training for my first marathon this November. I plan on writing about my runs, what I learn, how I feel and so on.  I hope to write my blog post about finishing the Rock and Roll San Antonio marathon in 22 weeks, and I hope I can inspire others to chase their goals!

Monday, June 6, 2011


If you are seeing this post, welcome to my page!  I am your typical college student, but I love to run!  Sadly, we don't have a track or cross country team for guys at my school (TLU) so I have to run on my own.  Here I will blog about my journey as an "independent" runner, and I will talk about my successes/ failures on my way to my first marathon!