Week 9 (8/10-8/16)

I am so happy week 8 is over.  I thought running in St. Thomas would be really nice and peaceful, it proved to be the exact opposite.  Seven days of runnings hills really took a toll on my body.  If I ever have to run in St. Thomas again it will be to soon!

Monday:  1 Mile (Pace 8:03)

It wasn’t in the cards, I couldn’t run in St. Thomas again.  Early in the morning I decided I would run once I got back home.  I couldn’t take another run on the mountain.  I knew I would be tired after a day of traveling but would rather do that than run on the island again.  Once we arrived at BWI it was late, our flights had been delayed.  When I got home it was raining out but I didn’t care I was looking forward to running on flat ground, I thought about going further but it had been a long day of travel and as much as I enjoyed running this evening I wanted to get to sleep!  It is good to be back!!!

Tuesday:  9 Miles (Pace 8:11)

Okay, now back to my training plan!  Normally, I’m not a fan of mid-distance runs during the week but today I was looking forward to running on terrain that didn’t have 20% inclines!  My friend Cat and I met at along the waterfront and ran about 4 miles together.  She was doing a tempo run, which I didn’t know before we started and the first four miles were faster than I would have liked to start out, but it was good to push the pace.  She ran home after our four together, it was actually five for her, she had to pack for a trip.  I thought about continuing my run back home but that wouldn’t have gotten me to nine and I would have had to loop the neighborhood.  I didn’t really feel like doing that, it was still early evening so I decided to head towards the harbor and turn around when I felt like it.  I ran along the promenade all the way to Harbor East.  I looped Harbor East and headed back towards Canton.  I had slowed my pace down some, it was pretty humid out.  I hit nine miles along Boston St. near the Safeway, it was a great run.  I walked around a little to cool down and then called an Uber to take me home.  I have really become a fan of Uber I like it because I’m not forced to run in a circle and come back to the same place, I can do an out-and-back run and get a ride home when I’m done.  If you haven’t tried it I would recommend you do!  Use my promo code for a free ride davidj3146ue

Wednesday:  4.1 Miles (Pace 8:12)

I was a bit sore after yesterday’s run, I think my body is still recovering from last week.  I did some stretching through the day and put on some Arnicare cream which really helps!  I recommend it for any type of pain you are having.  I went to an early dinner with a friend and ran afterwards.  I waited for the sun to start to go down, the evening air was cooler than it has been recently.  It took me a little while to get into a rhythm, but when I did the run felt smooth.  I thought about going further but decided to stick to the plan for today.

Thursday:  3.1 Miles (Pace 7:50)

My right foot was bothering me most of the day, it was the side of my foot; not much I could do in the way of stretching.  I waited again till the sun was setting to run, the air was unusually cool for an August evening.  As I started to run, I wanted to focus on my form.  I could tell it was a bit off the past few runs.  I took the first mile easy, focusing on my stride, core, hip rotation, breathing, getting into the groove.  The first mile was 8:30.  Today was suppose to be an interval workout but I’m going to do hills tomorrow, so I thought I would do a mini tempo run.  The second mile I felt like everything was falling into place from my foot strike to my arm swing.  I clocked mile two at 7:50.  I wanted to have negative splits for the run and was feeling strong, I pushed a little bit more in the final leg and put down a 7:21 mile.  I was really happy with the run, not because of the negative splits but with how I was able to focus on my form and make some corrections.

Friday:  1 Mile (Pace 8:27)

The plan was to run with November Project, the plan did not happen.  I didn’t sleep all that well, I was tossing and turning most of the night and when I woke up  I could tell I was really dehydrated.  Opting for a better run later in the day I didn’t go to November Project.  Through the day I was pretty sore and my training plan did call for today to be a rest day so I decided to only run a mile.

Saturday:  1 Mile (Pace 7:50)

I felt much better today and thought about moving my long run to today.  I thought another day of rest which my plan called for would be good.  I did a loop around my neighborhood and pushed the pace a bit.  I think my body is still recovering from Week 8, it was a rough week last week.

Sunday:  10 Miles (Pace 8:46)

Normally I like to do my long runs early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid the heat of the day.  My friend Kristen couldn’t run until 1000 hrs, we actually started at 1030 hrs.  It was already heating up for the day.  We planned to do 13 miles, but by 5 miles I knew I didn’t have it in me.  The heat was brutal and there was not a lot of shade where we were running.  We stopped and got some water.  We decided to start to make our way back.  While I was running I looked down and could see the salt just ‘pouring’ off of my legs with the sweat.  I was loosing fluids fast.  We stopped at a ground fountain in the harbor that shoots water into the air.  We walked through it to cool off and it helped.  We were both exhausted when we got back to her house.  We met up with our other friend Ben and after showering then went to the pool for a few hours.  All the sun really zapped my energy.  Though it wasn’t a perfect week, it was much better than last!  Long runs must be done early in the summer!

Total Miles :  29.2

-Veggie Fueled Runner

FullSizeRender (5)
Not a run photo, because I forgot to take one this week…oops!

Week 6 (7/20-7/26)

Traveling for two weeks really threw off my training plan, especially when I was hanging out with my friends.  This week I really want to focus on staying on track and maybe throwing in a few extra miles.

Don’t forget to register for my giveaway on July 30th!

Monday:  5 Miles (Pace 8:59)

One thing that was nice about being out of Baltimore the past two weeks was the lower humidity.  Today the humidity was up near 45% and the temp climbed to 93 degrees.  The weather report said the heat index was between 103-105.  In the interest of my health and wellness, I decided to focus on hydrating throughout the day and run in the evening after the sun started to go down.  I convinced one of my running friends to join me and she convinced her brother to come as well.  I say convinced because I think she was leaning towards running on the treadmill rather than outside.  We met at her house ran down to the promenade on Boston St. through Fells Point and back.  The air was thick and the sweat was pouring off of us.  Our pace was a bit slower than we normally run, but we got the miles in.  Sometimes you need to adjust for the weather and make sure you are safe when you run!

Tuesday:  7 Miles (Pace 8:11)

My plan today was to run with Tin Roof Runners, they usually run between 3-5 miles, but  I needed to run a bit further to stay on track with my training plan.  Though I did add a few extra miles yesterday.  I decided to take an Uber to run club and get out early and run a few miles before running with the group.  I had the Uber drop me off in Highlandtown about 2 miles away and I ran to Tin Roof in Power Plant Live.  It was a good warm up before running with the group.  The weather was humid as usual and I think that kept people from coming out to run club, but a few people showed.  We ran a loop through Fells Point, Canton, Patterson Park, and back to Power Plant Live.  It was a good run and nice to be running in my hometown after 2 weeks away!

Wednesday:  5 Miles (8:04)

I decided to bike to run club tonight, it is about 6 miles each way, a nice warm up before hitting the streets.  I added a few more miles today, even though it is still early in my training and it probably won’t matter, I feel like I need to make up the miles I missed last week.  I ran with City Sports Run Club tonight!  That is where I started running about 2.5 years ago; a TomTom rep was there and raffeling off a TomTom Runner Cardio.  To enter the raffle you had to demo the watch.  The rep who I have known for a while now, joked that I could wear my Garmin 220 on one arm and then TomTom on the other.  I opted to just run with the TomTom.  It was a little bit bigger, and only had one button on the wristband, it also had a heart rate monitor built in.  Overall I liked the Runner Cardio, but I’ll stick with my Garmin.  Had I won the watch I may have been swayed!  One of the reps I didn’t know also ran with us, he only ran a 1/4 mile with us and then stopped.  We ran around the city through the Harbor, Locust Point, Fed Hill, and back.  After the  run, when we got back to the store he informed us he had a heart attack about 3 weeks ago.  I was amazing he was even able to run that much, the body is an amazing thing!

Thursday:  1 Mile (8:16)

Due to some other committments I had to run in the late afternoon today, probably the hottest part of the day, though it wasn’t as hot as it has been the last few days.  I was sore from earlier in the week and hitting the links earlier in the week.  I decided to switch my tempo run today and do it Friday with November Project.  I got my new shoes in the mail, and decided a short run would be a good start to breaking them in.  I ordered Brooks Glycerin 12’s Ombre collection.  I’ve ran in Brooks for the last 2 years, same shoe, same color, either orange or the ombre (blue/orange).  When I find something I like I stick with it!  After adjusting the laces the way I like I took a loop around the neighborhood and kept the run streak alive!

2 Years of Running Shoes; when I find something I like I stick with it!
2 Years of Running Shoes; when I find something I like I stick with it!
New Glycerin 12 Ombres
New Glycerin 12 Ombres

Friday:  4.7 Miles (Pace 8:09)

Well I didn’t get to run with Sarah and FKBT when I was in Providence so I figured I would go to November Project this week and run with Sarah and hear about her half marathon.  I decided to work in some cross training again and rode my bike to NP, it was about 4 miles each way.  This week I was suppose to do 5 X 800 intervals, but I decided that hills would be just as good.  The training plan does say you can swap workouts if the race course is hilly and Baltimore is a hilly course, especially the second half.  NP always runs hills on Friday and it just so happens the hill they run is about 800 meters, so it worked out perfectly.  I still tried to sprint when I could but the hill is a 5% incline and by the 3rd one I was feeling it.  On the second ascent I could see a person walking dogs near the top of the hill but I didn’t see a leash so I assumed they were off leash.  You know what they say about assuming.  As I turned the corner at the top of the hill I felt something pull hard across my stomach, it was one of those retractable leashes.  I’m not sure who I pulled more the dog or the owner.  He immediately started apologizing.  I decided not to respond at all, because what I would have said would not have been nice.  I pushed the leash over my head and went on my way.  The 5th hill I was struggling but I still gave it my all, when I finished I was thinking about trying to run that little extra to get to 5 miles but my legs were spent and I still needed to ride my bike home.  You can always count on a good workout with November Project!

Saturday:  7 Miles (Pace 8:14)

Seven Miles on tired legs, tired from the hills the day before and just in general tired.  Today marked 9 months of my run streak, I’ve ran everyday for 9 months, it is even a little hard for me to believe.  When I started out I wasn’t sure how long I could keep the streak up, so far I’m really happy with how it is going!  These 7 miles were suppose to be at race pace, but I just wanted to get them in; when I started I wasn’t even sure I if I had 7 miles in my legs today.  Furthermore 8:14 might be my race pace, though I’m hoping it will be slightly faster, only time will tell.  I ran the peninsula around my house, the evening air was warm but tolerable.  I had a negative split on each half and I picked up the pace the last 2 miles, the last mile was actually my fastest at 7:56, which made me happy.  I felt much better after I got the miles in, funny how it always works out that way.  I’m not looking forward to the 10 miles tomorrow.  I see now why the training plan has the day of rest between hills and the next two days of running…oops.

Sunday:  10 Miles (Pace 8:54)

I tried something I’ve never done on a training run before; a point to point run.  I decided to run in the city, so I took an Uber to the Korean War Memorial and went from there, not really knowing where I would end up.  I decided to run along the waterfront for a while, when I got to the harbor I ran up Pratt St.  From there I looped both stadiums and headed towards Ft. McHenry, I made another detour ran around a park, not really sure of the name and then looped the Under Armor factory and that made 10 miles.  I was pretty happy with my pace, I was trying to run slower which is sometimes hard for me when I run by myself.  I was trying to focus on just logging the miles instead of the speed.  Yesterday I was dreading running, today I enjoyed each mile and the scenery.  It got me thinking does it matter where you run?  I think it does, I enjoy running more in the city than I do my own neighborhood.  I think it is because of the people, scenery, and other runners in the city.  Another week of training in the books!

Total Miles:  39.7

-Veggie Fueled Runner

Crazy hair after running!
Crazy hair after running!

Charlotte Running Company Fix

Wow, after a taxing week last week, I was happy to be going to Charlotte, NC for work this week.  I had been looking into different run groups in the area, but I wasn’t sure I was up for running with new people.  Late on Monday afternoon I decided I would run with the Charlotte Running Company after finding them on Meetup.  It looked like they have a good showing, so I figured why not.  After a short nap, I hopped in an Uber and took the short ride to the run group.

  
I got to the Charlotte Running Company at about 1820.  As soon as I walked in I was greated by, David, the run club coordinator.  He was very friendly, went over the route, gave me paper directions, and advice to not start out to fast, it is a hilly course.  I tucked that info in the back of my mind and then talked with some of the other runners there.

  
Just before we started, the other run club coordinator came up and introduced himself as Linwood.  He was very welcoming and we quickly talked about running, before it was time to start.  At 1835 we went out back behind the store to start the run.  David had told me, the first half mile is downhill and then the rolling hills start.  He wasn’t kidding, the route was like waves on the ocean up and down, repeat!  It was a good course though!  It was hot, close to 98 degrees.  I stayed near the front of the pack most of the route, at mile 3 there was a water stop and I stopped with another guy I was running with, Matt, to get a drink of water.  Then we were off again, I chatted with Matt the rest of the way.  Total the route was 4.44 miles of rolling hills, I finished with an even 8 min pace.  A little faster then I wanted but I was feeling strong and the welcoming runners pushed me through the run.  

 

Lake and Fountain at mile 3.
 
After the run many of the runners stood out back of the store chatting and waiting for everyone to finish.  Linwood came over and asked me what I thought of the course, I thought it was great and told him the group has a lot of good runners!  I finished at the back of the lead pack; you could tell everyone was there to make themselves better runners and enjoy the social aspect as well.  After about 15 mins, David came out and and told everyone there was beer inside, so of course we started to file into the store.  Runners love a cold beer after a run!  I was surprised to see a bar set up, first run store I’ve been to that has that!  Linwood told me that Brooks had sponsored the bar for the runners, how awesome is that!

 

Brooks sponsored bar for runners! #awesome I think that may be the store owner serving, I didn’t get his name, oops!
   

I talked to some more of the runners and they invited me out with them.  I love Southern hospitality, I really wanted to accept but it had been a long day and I wanted to get some rest and I need to do some work, so I declined.  Some of the runners run on Tuesday so I may see them again, they also invited me to runs on Wednesday and Thursday, I have work events but maybe I can squeeze in a run with them.  It would be great to run with them again.

  

  
Charlotte Running Company really knows how to welcome a new runner.  Thanks for a great run!

-Veggie Fueled Runner

  

The Year of 32…

In mid-October of 2014, since my clothes were getting a bit snug, it was time to buy a scale.  When I stepped on the scale for the first time it was a bit of an awakening for me.  In the three years since I had started running again, I gained back the weight I had lost and then some.  I’d never seen that high of a number on the scale before and I wasn’t happy about it.  No one ever said anything to me about the weight I had gained, it was just the pressure I put on myself.  It was time for a change, but I had said that before and didn’t do anything about it.  Running was infrequent, maybe once or twice a week, and my eating habits were not ideal.  More often then not it was fast food, high sugar, carb-loaded foods that were slowing me down and adding to the waste line.  The change needed to be serious this time.

Made this myself!  Was eating to much of these types of things!
Baked this myself! Was eating to much of these types of things!

When I turned 30 I did a year of ‘yes’.  It was fun, but I felt a could have done a lot more, but I digress.  With my 32nd b-day approaching, it would be a good time to start something new and dedicate a year to it.  Why a year?  Because I’ve never done anything for a year, and it seemed as good as any arbitrary time.  So what would I do for a year…the last year running had become tedious for me and I was just going through the motions to try and stay in shape, I wasn’t enjoying running like I had in the past.  I had backed out on two marathons, and had only entered two other races, the year before that I had done 18 races.  Perhaps it was burnout, but I needed to focus on running again.  There is something therapeutic about running, that I had almost forgotten about.  That is when a year long running streak popped into my mind.  Quickly, I looked up what constitutes a running streak and Runner’s World (basically a runner’s bible) stated for their streak you have to run at least a mile a day, so that would be my minimum to keep my year long streak going.

My Brooks could hold up, but could I?
My Brooks could hold up, but could I?

But was running enough to shed those pounds?  In my mind…no, my eating habits needed to change.  One of my very good friends is a vegetarian and so again, arbitrarily, I decided being a vegetarian for a year would be a challenge as well.  How do you go from eating meat your entire life to giving it up?  I just decided to stop and see how it went.

On Oct 25th, I started the run streak and Oct 26th, cut meat out of my diet.  Two big changes at once!  I was a bit nervous that I would not be able to do either for a year, so I didn’t tell many people what I was doing at first.  Rarely (even when I was running more frequently) would I ever run three days in a row, let alone 365.  Some people immediately said, if you are going to run that much you need to eat meat…you need protein.  I would quickly retort you can get protein from other sources, i.e. eggs, nuts, soy, etc.

The streak started in NYC during a trip for my birthday.

The same time I decided to start my year long challenges a friend of mine started selling one of those cleanse packages and convinced me to try it out.  It was a 4-week cleanse and I was worried, especially since I was changing my diet so drastically, that I would not have enough energy to run.  To my surprise I think it actually helped with the transition from being a meat-eater to a vegetarian (cleansing my palette) and I lost about 8 lbs. over the 4 week period.  My energy level stayed the same and I may have had even more energy then before starting the cleanse.  I never had a craving for meat at the beginning of the challenge and haven’t to date.  The cleanse was a jump start (I call it a gimmick) it wasn’t a way of life.  The challenge would begin by maintaining a healthy vegetarian lifestyle after the cleanse was over.

When I reached day 7 of the run streak I was overjoyed and decided to start sharing my challenges with friends and family.  Seven days is a long was from 365, but even after a week I felt accomplished and knew support from my running friends and family would be helpful.  Some of my friends teased my about the barrage of run-selfies that began appearing on my instragram, so I’ve cut back and tried to take ‘more exciting’ run photos (or at least ask someone else to take the pics of me).  Having support along the way has been really helpful in both my challenges, today will be day #229 of the run streak, the encouragement and motivational pep talks from my friends have been very helpful.

One of my many selfies, this was Day #9 of the run streak.
One of my many selfies, this was Day #9 of the run streak.

There have been many challenges and new experiences in the last 228 days that I’ll be sharing with you, but I’d like to hear about goals you have set for yourself, challenges you’ve had, what you have accomplished, and what motivates you, and is there any way I can help you reach your goals?

-Veggie Fueled Runner