Saturday, October 26, 2013

Halloa! Below!

It has been far too long since I have posted. Since last we spoke, I have run the ‘Rosehill Cemetery Crypt 5K’ as well as the ‘Fleet Feet Sports Pumpkins in the Park’. Both were fantastic, well organized races and I will likely add them to my to-do list for next year. Tomorrow morning I run my next Muddy Monk Trail Race, the ‘Thriller 5k’. Technically I am still planning to run the Rock And Roll ‘Strip at Night’ Half Marathon in Las Vegas, NV in November, however I have not been training for this race at all and will likely be run/walking the majority of the race and just taking in the sights and sounds of all of the bands playing along the Strip in downtown Las Vegas during the one of two nights a year that it is closed off to traffic.

Before today, I have not run at all since October 1st. Twenty four days of no running. I didn’t even realize it had been that long. When I realized that running had become more of a chore as I was training for another half this year, I just wasn’t having as much fun out on the trails and so I decided to take some time off until I knew I was running my kind of run (see what I did there?) instead of just going through the motions as someone who used to enjoy running and now only does it because it is ‘what I do’. Running has been my physical form of relief and my method to clear my head and de-stress for the past couple years. It has been a good way to unwind after a long day, week, month, or quarter at the office. While Q3 was hectic, Q4 has been ridiculous so far, but things are starting to come together. Just in time for some much needed PTO and a trip to Sin City.

Specifically THIS scary stories record
I love October. I love the entire Halloween ‘season’. Perhaps it started due to the fact that my Dad’s st (Happy Almost Birthday Dad!) or maybe it is just love of all things Fall and Pumpkin and a fondness for Snoopy, Spooky old records, Ghost stories, and the appropriate weather to wear a jacket instead of a coat. It was nice to see everyone out today in costumes along Clark street Trick-or-Treating with their kids as I was pursuing the local record stores for a specific scary stories record with a particular recording of the short story by Charles Dickens ‘The Signalman’. If you have not heard this tale told from a spinning vinyl record scratching through stereo speakers in a dark room, it is an experience worth having.
birthday is October 31

What will I be doing on October 31st you ask? I will be scrambling to get a better outline together and organize some notes for what I will be feverishly working on during November for NaNoWriMo. This year I have half the amount of time to accomplish what I normally would, as I have a trip to Vegas which will seriously jeopardize my timeline to put 50,000 words to paper before the end of National Novel Writing Month. Don’t worry, I’m sure as a way of procrastination or getting over mid-month frustration or writers block I will post with updates.

Tomorrow I am excited to run with my Brother in his very first organized race! It is a Muddy Monk trail run in the burbs, and so I must leave you now and head to bed early so we can hit the road in time to do on site packet pickup.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Throwback Thursday

Remember way-back-when I used to have time to update my blog semi-regularly? Those were the
Pumpkins! and gourds at Green Street Market
days. Okay, so life hasn’t gotten that much crazier I suppose. Still out and about, running regularly, baseball games, working, hanging out with friends, etc. Recently I have also spent a bit more time doing ‘actual writing’ instead of just my typical half thought out blog posts, however not nearly enough to justify my absence from this lovely place of posting. Managed to get a little bit longer (an extra mile) run in today than what I typically would on a Thursday; I figured I might as well since it was too hot to run much on Tuesday and it was a very nearly glorious autumn day today.
Well I didn’t mean to ‘talk’ your ear off with this long winded entry so I will leave you with the thought:

Pumpkin Ice cream/doughnuts/pie/coffee (and every other magical pumpkin thing you can think of) is coming.

Happy very nearly fall everyone!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Can't Stop Here

Since the week after the Half Marathon, there has not been a week where I have run less until this week. I could say that it was just one thing after another that came up and provided a reason why I could not be out running. I could say I have been catching the first train out of Union Station in the mornings and catching the last bus home from the office and so that has made running more difficult. I could say I forgot about a Yankees and White Sox game (that stretched out far too long on a week night) causing me to be up to late, making for a tired next day, which then hindered my ability to run both the night of the game or the night after to catch up on sleep. I could tell you that my fantastic Brother’s birthday was also this week (Yesterday, Happy Birthday week!) and so running did not happen that day either because dinner and hanging out sounded much more appealing. Even Lollapalooza managed to be this past week to add to my laundry list of excuses! I then found that in the days following my ankles were sore from bouncing around at concerts all day for several days (always worth it! And Hurray for the Green Market providing wonderful vegan/vegetarian food!!).

"Brother Battle" - Lolla 2013

Instead I will only say, my excuses are coming to an end and I always enjoy it when I actually make it out for a run. Today I snuck away on my lunch break (yay Work From Home days!) and got in a good six miles. Felt good to be out on the trail! I need to get back into training again. Soon! No, Now! November is around the corner. Rock ‘n RollStrip at Night’ Half Marathon is approaching faster than I thought. That’s right, I signed up for another half. I am not planning on running this one for time, but I still at least want to be able to finish it.

No point in mentioning the training plans, I thought. The poor b@st@#d will see them soon enough.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Show Me The Numbers

Numbers, Graphs, and Charts are sorely lacking in my posts. Here is a progress report for this year so far as reflected in the numbers. Get out your graphing calculators, spreadsheets, databases, and reporting software. Fire up that coffee maker and sink into that comfy imitation leather chair. This is going to be one nail biter of an intense post. Try to contain your excitement and enthusiasm for all of the potentially meaningful digits about to be pixilated and presented to your eyeballs.

Seriously though, it won’t be that bad. I don’t keep track of that much data presently.

Until around April, I didn’t really keep track of when I ran, times, distances, etc. very much. Since I decided to train for the Allstate13.1 Half Marathon in June, it was in April that I decided to be more diligent in recording my progress in running. I made my best attempt to backtrack and enter data from the previous months of the year based on what I had logged through MapMyRun. Through this method of backtracking and recording new information going forward, the numbers were logged into a spreadsheet to be used as ‘the data’. These are their stories.

Year to date, 43.483333 Hours have been spent out in the world at a medium to speedy trot resulting in 302.071592 Miles run thus far. Out of 58 Days of running, 10 have been races.

Pretty Chart of those races:


Number of Days Run:

‘Number of days run’ obviously increases as I trained for the half and drops as soon as the half was completed for my nearly one week of rest after the race. After resting I found that it took quite a bit to ease myself back into running regularly and I slowly increased my miles again through June to July.

Number of Miles Run:

‘Number of Miles Run’ is generally consistent with number of days run; the more days run the more miles that week/month. The only time this was not true was closer to the Allstate 13.1 Half Marathon when I ran more distance over less time and then rested afterward.

Distance of Runs:

It appears that my typical mileage is around the 5+ mile range with 3+ miles coming in a distant second and longer runs being more sporadic. I would like to get back into running longer distances more often but even then it still seems pretty logical that they would be far fewer in number than the shorter runs that I can squeeze in during the week after a long day at the office. 

It is nice to have numbers to look back on so I can analyze trends over time, habits that have formed and should be encouraged, modified, or broken, as well as just to look back over time (after I have been tracking progress for a longer duration) as to how I trained when I was one age as compared to another and whatever other factors life throws in along the way. For instance how does vacation, a new job, longer/shorter hours, living situation, relationship status, age, etc. all affect how I run? Only time will tell and the numbers can help paint a picture for someone who prefers a ‘big picture’ look at things (or for those who just can’t remember what they had for dinner yesterday and prefer to write it all down).