Back on the horse

So I meant to run at my projected Philadelphia pace for a mile, then take a little off, then run another mile at pace, then a little off, then a couple more miles at race pace. That did not happen, instead this happened! 8:35/mi (5:22/km) gets me to a 3:45:00 marathon. I just averaged 7:58/mi (4:57/km). That’s a 3:28 marathon. Granted, I only averaged it over 6.75 miles (10.8 km) but still, that’s nothing to sneeze at. I really think, with the right training plan, it really is just my head that’s holding me back at this point. I guess the mantra for training is going to be something as trite and played out as “believe to achieve”. Perhaps I need to be more “All-ular” And now I feel a song coming on:

I did change my playlist up, I removed a band that I needed to get rid of. Unfortunately, I can’t support them anymore due to personal differences. I’m not going to get into that anymore. I think that helped too, because I didn’t hear their music so I didn’t think about how they, well one member, just kind of didn’t bother with something hugely important, for the second time in his life. I think I run races better without music, recent results do bear that out to be true. But training, I need something. Why get bogged down by music that isn’t making you feel good?
Other than that, while I feel like I was fast, and I feel good about that, and I should, let’s remember, to be really fast, to qualify for Boston, I would have to run 7:04/mi (4:24/km) so I still have to take almost a minute off every mile I run, over half a minute off each kilometer! Even if I do end up running that fast one day though, I have no plans on ever running Boston. I don’t care, I really dislike the city itself that much. I don’t want to do something, just because everyone else wants to do it. It’s not a badge of honor, it’s not exciting to me. I’m going back to Philly and running in a big crowd to hang out with my friend. I will run in big marathons if I need to, but I don’t like it. I have no need to run Boston, I have nothing to prove, and so I won’t do it. But still, the chances of taking almost 2 minutes per mile off my current marathon PR is a huge task, and I doubt it would ever happen anyway. So it really doesn’t matter anyway, but if something happened where I were to find that speed, I just wouldn’t do it. Just my two cents on the whole thing. In the meantime, have fun, keep running and remember, if Gil can run, then so can you!

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Miles and shoes

So I just realized, because I’ve been thinking about my feet today, that I have 609 miles (980 km) on my current pair of New Balance. Holy crap! So far no troubles with them, so I’ll keep going, I try to start a new pair on the first of a month, to make it easier to keep track of miles. It’s interesting to see the differences in wear patterns from my first pair of running shoes until now. This all came about as I was marveling at my feet with only a couple blisters and just a little blood from a toenail twice. That’s through all the training and races, in rain, snow, whatever. I hear all those things about the horrible things that happen to runners’ feet, and so far, 4 years in it’s just not happening.
Beyond that I entered all my marathons on the Marathon Maniacs website today. 18 races, having to sort through results to get as much information possible. I really should have kept up with that the whole time. That was my mistake. But 18 marathons and ultras to date, with two more for this year, that’s 20 lifetime! I like nice round…numbers, and that’s perfect, I didn’t plan it that way. This is assuming I finish Philadelphia and Roxbury, I hope I do!
I did not make it to the club run tonight, perhaps next Monday, but I wanted to take it easy today. I will get back on the training tomorrow, hit a few miles, try and keep pace with what I want in Philly and see how I do. That and I have to start working on actually losing a little more weight. I know I’m carrying too much around and I know that’s slowing me down. At 5’10” and 175 lbs (177.8 cm and 79.4 kg) there’s just too much weight on my frame. Losing 10 lbs (4.5 kg) would definitely make it much easier to hit pace goals. Time to formulate a real plan, it gets much more difficult to lose weight the more weight you lose. Something to keep in mind if you’re journeying to lose some pounds. The more you take off the harder it is to take more off. So don’t get discouraged and be ready to change your tactics. That’s one thing I can definitely share from my journey.
I’m going to get some rest and get ready for another fine day tomorrow. Have fun, keep running and remember, if Gil can run, then so can you!

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So close, but not enough

So, in keeping with being really fast for the past month or so, I participated in the Trumbull Great Pumpkin Classic 5k today. Now, there it says 22:48, and I was a couple seconds off with turning the watch off. Net time 22:45.9, which is really good, and very fast for me. My 5k PR is 22:37, which I achieved last year at the Fairfield 5k. Although I brought a hat and gloves, I didn’t bring my gaiter, or an extra layer. If I had, I probably could have beat my PR. Which, considering I haven’t been running competitive 5ks this year, is pretty damned good. But I truly could not get my chest to expand enough to take in enough air, it was too cold and my muscles did not want to let me breathe. I did end up having an asthma attack, I held it off until the end of the race though. I started coughing really bad once I crossed the finish line. I was not the only one.
I am encouraged that I was able to be so fast, when I have only run 1 other 5k in 2015, and only one more, a total of 3, in the past calendar year. That’s not a lot of 5ks, and so racing at this distance is a little uncomfortable for me. But I have another chance, November 1st is Platt Tech, and that’s a flatter course, and hopefully it won’t be so cold, and then there’s Christopher Martin’s the day after I run a marathon, and that’s a super-flat course, that I run all the time anyway, well parts of it. the downside there is, I am running a marathon the day prior.
What was really nice was seeing the club, and all sorts of fun people I haven’t gotten to run with and see most of this year. Even some of the folks I run a lot of marathons with were there. Which was surprising. Speaking of which, what I missed out on today was the 86th edition of the Yonkers Marathon. It is the 2nd oldest marathon in the United States. This year it had a new course. I saw some good times from some of my friends who ran it, so that’s good. I had fun in Yonkers last year in the first half, the second half of the race was brutal after an 8 minute break in between. That was the race where my stomach decided it didn’t like Gu anymore. I will run it again, but this year I needed to take it easy. I knew I was going to start to get tired this time of year, and I think I have been well served, and will be happy that I only have 2 marathons left this year.
But back to Trumbull, it was a decent course, uphill almost the first full mile. then you come down gradually for about 3/4s of a mile, the rest just rolls. It really was a matter of breathing, I just could never catch my breath. So if I am around next year, this will be another one to run in. Plus, there were tons of giveaways. Full bottles of SPF 30 Sport and SPF 50 sunblock, a 3 pack of Bic disposable razors, a pack of tropical scented (what is tropical scent? I don’t know!) Wet Ones wipes, a long sleeve tech tee, a water bottle, a hot beverage mug, and of course a medal, and some coupons I haven’t looked at thrown in the bag, oh and the bag could be used as a shopping bag. Truly an impressive amount of swag. But given that Trumbull is the home of Unilever and Bic, not totally surprising. Bic may actually be in Milford, but either way, it’s all local. I do have one complaint about the race, they ran out of coffee way too quickly. I got one cup, chatted with my friends for a bit, went to get another cup and they were out! Definitely need more coffee.
So that brings my weekend to an end, a successful failure, like Apollo 13. Another day all about running. Oh we can’t have that, New Zealand stomped on France in the Rugby World Cup Quarterfinal, largest margin of victory in a QF match ever, 62-13. Ireland lost to Argentina today, and Australia squeezed past Scotland. So next weekend will be NZ v South Africa, and Argentina v Australia. I want a New Zealand v Argentina final, but as long as New Zealand make it I’m happy. Not that Argentina should be that much easier, but psychologically it should be easier. Australia is the only team that’s beat NZ all year.
With that, I bid you all to have fun, keep running and remember, if Gil can run, then so can you!

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Two runs today, technically

So I ran up in Roxbury, they have a race series that goes pretty much all year, culminating in the Marathon in December. Then a couple friends and I did a mile cool down, I usually don’t cool down, or warm up. I’m thinking that may be something to try. So the first two miles were pretty much downhill, and the third mile was a little uphill, and the 4th mile was a lot, and I mean A LOT, uphill. Roxbury, well there’s never a flat run in Roxbury, that’s for sure.
So it was a nice run, but of course a long drive, it’s one of the few places in Connecticut there is not a direct route to from where I live. It was also cold this morning, I need to get the cold weather gear out. Time for some gloves and hats in the mornings I think. But my breathing was good, my pace was good, and I feel good, those are the important things. I’m ready for a 5k tomorrow. Oh, and I came in 22nd overall in the race, out of I have no idea how many people. But yay me! Top 25!
I almost stopped and got a pumpkin to carve on the way home, but I’ll wait until later, or maybe tomorrow. I hope I do well with it, first pumpkin in years. I have some stuff I could do around the house too, we’ll see if we take on a project. But when I got home, my pace bracelets for Philadelphia were waiting for me! So now I have those, and I can start training at those speeds to get used to it. And I shall over the next few weeks.
Pace Braclets
I ordered these from Races2Remember, they are set up with a warm-up strategy and they are adjusted for the Philadelphia Marathon course! I have one on-pace, one fast, if I’m feeling frisky that morning, and one 5 minutes under, in case conditions are bad, or I’m just not feeling it. A little over $8 with shipping, totally worth it. You can do them in kilometers, but then you end up with two bracelets for one pace, and that’s messy.
So I haven’t looked at the course for tomorrow and the profile, but I’ll see how fast I can go, and then maybe run Monday. Meanwhile, Rugby World Cup Quarterfinals today, New Zealand faces France, go NZ! With that, I’m going to enjoy some of this fine Autumn day, so have fun, keep running, and remember, if Gil can run, then so can you!

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Relaxing on a Friday

I just took it easy. Cooked some food (ravioli, sautèed spinach, more Italian meatlessballs “polpette senza carne???”) It was a nice day, it was an easy day. Had to drive my mom around for a bit. Another running person wrote on his blog about how he’s going to pass 2k miles this year today. I can’t decide if I run too much or don’t run enough. But he’s been running for much longer than I. This is all relatively new to me you have to remember.
When I was a teenager, through college and most of my adult life, running was something you did during other activities. Baseball, soccer (let’s properly call it football), rugby, it was always something else, running was not the focus and I only ran enough in train and play. So running is totally new to me as an activity still. Maybe in a few years I’ll decide 2k miles per year is for me. But I’m surviving on what I’m doing now that’s for sure.
Over the next year I want to focus on overall strength and well-being, I need to do regular cross-training type exercise. Weights, aerobics, yoga, things like that. It’s getting to be that time of year to start thinking about these things. Therefore I am, and I think I have a decent plan forming.
Other than that, this weekend should be fun, the plan is to wake up early and participate in a free event about an hour away from here, then Sunday morning is the Trumbull Pumpkin Run 5k. I also want to buy and carve a pumpkin, I haven’t carved a pumpkin in years and I want to try something and use a new technique. If it turns out well, I will share with all of you. It’s odd, I dislike horror, but I enjoy Halloween. I don’t mind dark things, I just don’t like gory, prurient, slasher flicks and shit like that.
Speaking of which, I was going through some boxes and came across my Dungeons and Dragons books, not just the books to play 2nd Edition, but some of the novels. There were some good ones, and some horrible ones. But they had one kind of horror genre, Ravenloft, and I always enjoyed those. I need to find some people to play some D&D with again. I miss exercising my creative side like that. So that’s where I’m at, yep I’m a nerd, and I run. So have fun, keep running, and remember, if Gil can run, then so can you!

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Episode 19 is live!

Oh what a great week I’m having and I share a recap with you! Also, I made meatless meatballs, Italian style! Recipe is below!

Italian Seitan Meatlessballs

8 Oz seitan
1 egg
4 medium garlic cloves
4 Tbsp bread crumb
4 Tbsp pecorino romano cheese grated
1 Tbsp parsley flake
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Pulse seitan in food processor until it is the consistency of ground beef.
Add ingredients to bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.
Form into balls and let rest 5 minutes.
Heat 1/2 cup vegetable oil in medium frying pan over medium heat. Once oil is to temperature, place meatlessballs in oil turning every 3 minutes until golden brown all over.
*for vegan meatlessballs, use your egg as a binder substitute and romano/parmesean substitute.
20151015_183912 20151015_181747

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I ran with my club, and realized something

I did it! I had never done it before. I ran with the Milford Road Runners on a club run. A couple of us were just taking it easy. We did not run as far, or as fast as the rest. I am taking it easy for the rest of the week. It was nice to see some folks outside of just races. Particularly being that this year I have not been running the club Grand Prix races, and going for marathons instead. In fact, I have just been asked if I would be running the 5k on the schedule this weekend, but I doubt it. Race fees are getting hard to come by, but who knows.
So it was nice, it was easy, it was fun to run without having to think about turning, it was almost like running a race. There’s always someone telling you which way to go, less thought. Plus, got to talk with people and bs while running around. We also did something I never do at the end of a run, really put in a good kick in the last 100 yards or so. Here’s the thing though, I realized, even then I was holding back quite a bit. Sometimes I don’t realize how much I really hold back. What’s scary about that realization is how open and free I seem all the time. The fact is though, I am always holding back, for me, I’m always reserved. Running, talking, everything. I truly do wish I didn’t hold back so much. I like it when I don’t. I think that is what feels so good about Saturday, I didn’t hold back. Athletic performance is usually the rare occasions when I don’t. A good reason why all the baseball trophies on my shelf are all for 1st-3rd place finishes and not just participation, and they are all consecutive years. I never realized that until I unpacked them the other day. Every year after instructional league, Every team I was on finished top three. More than that, I still have some great friends from those teams. Come to think of it, even rugby in college, both years we, at least, made the playoffs. My last season the team was suspended due to a situation out of my control. Perhaps radio did that for me too, it allowed me to express myself in an environment that was encouraging of my particular skills and creativity.
I think the lesson here is to find the things in life that allow you to really be you. I think I do myself a disservice by not being so free in other areas of my life though. It’s an odd juxtaposition, feeling like I need to hold myself back in all manner of things and the only time I have felt encouraged to really just be myself is in athletics or radio production. But I will try to be more assertive and be myself more often, and not to hold back in my everyday life, and I suggest we all do the same. Love who you are and don’t apologize for it, but do apologize when you do wrong to people, they totally deserve acknowledgment of that. That’s what I see, and that’s what I’m going for. In the meantime, I’ll try and use running to help me bring that out more. It’s good like that.
It’s odd, as I realized tonight, I started walking/jogging/running to heal myself physically, but it seems I have a lot more healing to do, and running seems to be able to help with that too. So have fun, keep running, and remember, if Gil can run, then so can you!

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Keeping pace and Nutella

So I was bored this afternoon, and still with no job, I just took off and ran a few miles. It seems MapMyRun is not syncing with Garmin Connect right now, so I linked to the Garmin site. Even on tired legs I kept my pace right where I wanted to be. It was not easy, I am definitely tired and my legs are still sore, I will take it slow and easy the rest of the week. I need to rest up and get my strength back, I just wanted to test and see if I could keep up the pace to hit a 3:45 marathon over the last 5 miles, and I feel, when running, very similar to how I feel in the last 5 miles of a marathon. So that was good, I even did a little bit better than an 8:35 pace. Moreover, I had my big hill in there, and there’s a steep, but short, incline on Willow St. where my run took me today. So overall, feeling really good about where my body is today. That IT band issue, seemed to go away mid-run, which is also nice.
All along the run, all I could think of is how I need to get my room set up again so I can get back to yoga and all the good stuff I was doing to help along with my speed and endurance. I have been lacking since moving back into this house. So that will be the next project. Getting enough space to do some cross-training.
Beyond that, a few days ago, I saw a facebook post from Nutella. Now, before we go any further, I have always loved Nutella, but recently I had been having trouble as Nutella contains palm oil. So I saw this post, and I said “You need to stop using palm oil.” They actually responded.
Nutella response
As you can see, they are responsive and if you read the release they use sustainable, traceable palm oil in their products. My response is exactly what I think. There is no reason to use palm oil in anything in my estimation, but given my love for the product, I’m saying this is good enough. There is no reason for palm oil to be added to peanut butter, cookies, cakes, Nutella, or anything really. Peanut butter and Nutella really grab me, because they are two of my favorite things to eat, and they are both made from plants that already have plenty of oil in them. The peanut, not actually a nut but a legume, is known for peanut oil, which is in high demand in many recipes. And hazelnuts, actual nuts, also have a high and flavorful oil content, used in many recipes throughout the world. With these ingredients in their respective products, I just don’t see where palm oil should enter the equation. But it’s good to see that some companies take the time to get certified and traceable, to make sure they’re being more responsible about using things in their products. It was also nice of them to take the time to respond on social media that way. So I guess Nutella and I are good.
All in all a good day. I hope you are all having a good day as well. Remember to always have fun and keep running, because if Gil can run, then so can you!

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A recovery run to start a new chapter

Well it happened, with a sub-4 hour marathon, now I want to try and get greedy. Next up is Philly, I have almost 6 weeks until the race. I think that’s enough time to knock a further 20 seconds or so off per mile. That’s a little over 8 minutes over the course of a marathon, or sub 3:45! I figure give it a try, why not. Then for Roxbury, given the difficulty of the course, and usually the conditions, we (and by we, I mean me and my friend Debbie who gave me the  pace bracelet that got me a sub-4) have decided on shooting for sub-4 again, conditions permitting. That’s the trick there, will conditions allow it? We will see, ahh Decemeber in the Northeast!
Meanwhile, 6 weeks is a good amount of time, but not a long time, and my legs were more sore than I think they should have been today, so I went out and put in a couple miles to loosen up the muscles and get some of soreness flushed out. I was much faster than I anticipated, but my left knee if feeling a bit of a tweak that feels like IT band flaring up. I’ve never had problems with my left knee, so we’ll see how it goes. I still have an IT band isolation brace if I need one. But seriously, for second day after a marathon, I was fast for my usual pace, even if it was only 2 miles, check it out!
Well, I have to go play taxi driver, so I’ll catch you all on the flip side! I’m still not coming down from my performance on Saturday. I need to stay up from this through Philly. In the meantime, have fun, keep running and remember, if Gil can run, then so can you!

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Cool down day

I completed the medical study, and then did a whole bunch of nothing. Well not really, I got some stuff at the hardware store and did some work to the house. Oh, and got a new toaster oven for the fam. Originally, I was going to do a little recovery run, but I’ll run a couple miles tomorrow.
While I was driving around, a song came on and I was thinking about what I accomplished yesterday, taking 34:46 off my PR in one race, and how my diet is related to that, and how much better I feel about it due to my diet. So, I’m still not saying everyone should be a vegetarian, do what you are comfortable with in your life, and what you need to be healthy. This is a song and a band I’ve enjoyed for many years, and it just took a long time for message to really take hold with me.

And the lyrics for the punk rock challenged:

Man’s best friend is beautiful and affectionate an ideal pet.
Cats are the same, we make up their names and our love for them is real.
Listen up, I gotta ask it, how can we be so cruel?
You say you care, that’s a lie.
My true compassion is for all living things and not just the ones who are cute so I do what I can.
I wanna save lives and I’ve got a plan.
Under the table he’ll eat your dinner like the veggies we can’t stand.
What kind of meal would he make?
We don’t want to ask it.
Tradition is all that keeps him alive.
Listen up, I gotta ask it, how can we be so cruel?
You say you care, that’s a lie.
My true compassion is for all living things and not just the ones who are cute so I do what I can.
I wanna save lives and I’ve got a plan.
Why am I so upset?
Don’t even own a pet.
I am not trying to press my will.
I am not the first to say…
“Thou shalt not kill”
Full is all, is all you want to feel.
We eat to stay alive, but it’s their lives we steal.
I think we’d like to change, but most of us are stuck, that’s why cats and dogs have
all the luck.

Thanks Civ. And to everyone else, have fun, keep running, and remember, if Gil can run, then so can you.

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