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5ksandcabernets: June 2008


Monday, June 30, 2008

Hydration: Science, coachspeak, or my own intuition

After last Saturday's group run, the Luke's Locker people put on a little symposium about hydration.

The speaker was a Dr. Robert Vaughan, assistant cross country coach at the University of North Texas.

Vaughan had spent 16 years as an exercise physiologist at the Tom Landry Sports Center and Research Center. He has also coached numerous elite athletes including five-time Olympian Francie Larrieu Smith.

A real live expert. Somebody to tell me why I cramped so bad in my last (and only) two marathons. To tell me exactly how much and what to drink on long runs and races.

But I left the symposium a little underwhelmed. Vaughan said a lot of stuff I already knew. And he said something I totally disagreed with: That on long runs and races you should drink a set amount of fluids every 15 or so minutes, and not wait until you are thirsty.

That goes totally against what the bloggers over at the Science of Sport say. In one of their posts, titled, Why waiting until you are thirsty is NOT too late, they argue that thirst is a deep-seated psychological desire for water and when you drink too thirst your thirst will always keep you from drinking too little or too much.

In both of my marathons, I drank a set amount of water or Gatorade on schedules. And bombed both times. My head got fuzzy, my stomach sloshy, and in the last few miles I had to pee every other mile.

Here is something else the Sports Scientists say: If animals can run and run and run all day long and survive by drinking (or maiming other animals to eat) only when thirsty (or hungry), then humans, with their sophisticated makeups can do the same thing.

I know that there is no one answer fits all when it comes to how much and what to consume during long runs and long races. I know that running is an experiment of one. But I believe more in the scientists than good old Dr. Vaughan.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Nike Human Race

Nike is holding a World 10k race on August 31, 2008 in 25 host cities.

If you can't get to one of the cities, you can run your own virtual 10k, register your information, and you'll be listed in the results along with millions of other runners.

Here is the Nike Human Race Web site.


The fast guys stayed home: How I placed in my age group

I was a shoo-in to run a PR during this morning's Three Amigos 4 Mile Run held by the Fort Worth Runners Club.

I was a shoo-in because I'd never run a 4-mile race before.

Still, I wasn't feeling so good about a "respectable" time. My legs were dead because on Saturday, I ran 6 miles, with the last four in 8:04; 7:43; 7:41; and 8:05. It was six miles of what had been a 32-mile week.

Also Saturday: I hung out with some runners at the pool and drank three beers. And Saturday night: I drank four glasses of wine at the going-away party of three of my former co-workers who were laid off.

So when I climbed out of bed at 6:45 Sunday morning, needless to say, I wasn't feeling so great.

Still, I set a goal of 29 minutes, or a 7:15 minute mile.

And right out of the gate, I made a pacing mistake. I ran the first mile like I was running a 5K. A 6:51 mile isn't so bad when you've only got 2.1 miles to go. But I still had three miles to go, and as the miles went on, Saturday's merriment and all the running I did the previous seven days began taking its toll.

I slowed down and ran mile 2 in 7:18.

Mile 3 was even slower: 7:24. I got to the 5k point in the race in 22:20 (7:12 minute mile) and knew it'd be a struggle to finish 4 miles in under 29 minutes because I was fading.

But I stepped on the gas as I could hear footsteps behind me getting closer and closer. I ran the last 3/10 of a mile in exactly two minutes.

My Garmin said I ran 4.04 miles, and it said I crossed the four-mile mark in 28:54.


This was one of those races without timing chips. I started in the middle of the pack and when I finished they pointed at me, yelled a time, gave me a card and told me to write the time down and hand it to one of the race assistants.

Official time: 29:10.

Even though I didn't meet my goal, I feel like I would have done much better if not for so much drinking the day before. A slight taper (not running so hard the day before) would have also helped.

But there was one consolation prize: I won 2nd place in my age group, 35-39.

Guess all the really fast guys in my age group stayed home.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

How I know I am a runner

At the Runners Lounge, the take it and run Thursday topic is, "In 13 words or less, finish this sentence about when you knew you were a runner...
"I knew I was a runner the first time I turned down going to the bar Friday night because I wanted to be fresh for a Saturday long run."
Okay, that's more than 13 words. So sue me.
But here are 13 other reasons that I know that I am a runner now.
*Did you read my six-word memoir?
*When everyone else is in bed on a 30-degree Fort Worth day, I'm looking for a pair of running socks to wear.
*I have bought more pairs of running shoes in the last four years than I have of any other clothing item.
*I like to stand around after races or group training runs to talk to other runners about running.
*I am trying to make Endurox its own food group.
*I know where every pothole, loose rock, and squirrel gathering is on my trail run.
*I feel cheated if my run doesn't last at least 50 minutes.
*Though I've recently realized which foods negatively effect my running, I still eat whatever I want when there is not a key training run or race coming up.
*Outside of my son, I think about running more than anything else.
*I have a log of every run I've ever done and often find myself staring at it for long periods of time comparing one run or one set of runs to another.
*I am most proud of my accomplisments as a runner than anything I've ever done in professional career.
*If the choice was run every day or drink wine every day, I'd pick running.
*If something is hurting, I have to talk myself out of running.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

We now interrupt your regularly scheduled programming....

....To bring you this word from my sponsor.

No, really. I don't have a sponsor. But last month, I told you about an email I got from a nice woman who works in the marketing department that hawks SofSole products: insoles, socks, stuff that makes your feet feel good when you are running or walking. Rachel said she'd been reading my blog and that she'd send me some cool stuff to try out if I would "review" the product on my blog once I got the stuff.

It's been a week since I got Rachel's package in the mail: Two pairs of cool wicking socks that keep your feet from blistering, and two pairs of performance insoles.

First, the insoles. I have flat arches. My right foot is wider than my left foot, but my left foot is a little longer than my right. (I know, my feet go starboard and port with every step). Lately, I've had a slight case of plantar fasciitis in my left foot, which gives me a little pain in the athletic shoes I wear to work, and a lot of pain when I get out of bed in the morning.

I put a pair of the insoles in a beat up pair of Asics 2130s that I usually wear to work. My feet said, "Ahhhhhh."

Seriously. I'm not saying my PF has gone away, but my feet feel sooooooooo good now. Like walking on pillows. On air.

I haven't run in the insoles and I'm not sure if I ever will. My feet feel just fine when I run in my Brooks GTS 8s without insoles. So, I don't wanna mess up a good thing. But these SofSole insoles have felt great in the shoes I wear 8 to 10 hours a day at work.

I said they gave me two pair of insoles. I have not tried the other pair yet. This insole sorta molds to your foot. You stick it in the oven at 255 degrees then stick it in your shoe and put your foot in your shoe and it molds to your foot.

I haven't tried this for two reasons. 1) I barely even cook and now I gotta turn on my oven??? 2) I wanna use one insole at a time. But I am definitely interested in seeing how the oven insoles work. So, check back in a week or so to see how they work.

I also got some cool socks from SofSole. What can you say about socks? They feel great. They are thin. They let your feet breath. I wear them when I run and when I am at work.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Food is making a difference

I blogged last week about how my lack of eating led to my struggles in a 7-mile tempo run, a run that took me an hour to finish.

Since that day, I've made sure to eat enough to support my running habits, eating as many "good carbs" as I could, staying away from dairy (which kills me on runs) and subbing fish and chicken for red meat as much as possible.

It's only been a week.....

But here is my run today, compared to my run a week ago today. I ran the exact same course, with the exact same crazy ass weather. HOT. HOT. HOT.

Today: 7.05 miles in 55:45.
Pace: 7:54.
Avg. Hrt rate: 84 percent max;
Time spent over 85 percent heart rate: 27:30

Last week: 7.04 miles in 1:00:47.
Pace: 8:38.
Avg. Hrt rate: 83 percent max;
Time spent over 85 percent heart rate: 30:45.

Interesting, interesting, interesting.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Feeling good on a 10-mile run

I am about to start Week 2 of my marathon training with the Luke's Locker Fit program. Week 1 ended with a 6 mile run on Saturday (1 mile warm-up, 4 miles at an 8:00 mile pace, then a 1 mile cool-down).

It left me with 30.89 miles for the week. That put me about 8 miles ahead of what the program is calling for. Like I wrote in an earlier post, I can handle 30 miles a week without my body breaking down. So I'll just stay put until the program catches up.

This morning (Sunday), it was unseasonably cool, like 70 degrees when I began my run at 7 a.m. My plan was to do 8 miles and keep my heart rate under 80 percent maximum.

I did 10 miles. Total time: 1:26:36 for a breezy pace of 8:39 minutes per mile.

My average heart rate for the entire run was 77 percent, though it soared over 80 percent on several occasions _ i.e. on some hills and at the end when the temperature had soared to 80 degrees.

Thanks to the magic of Garmin and SportTracks software, I know that my heart rate was under 80 percent max for exactly 1:22:53, or 96 percent of the run. That's some good base building. What helped is that I stopped at my car for ice cold water and a swig of Gatorade at the 5-mile mark. I never felt too thirsty, though my legs were a little tired from the mini tempo run I did Saturday.

Anyway, here are the splits, complete with heart rate info for those of you who are as geeky about Garmin as I am.

Mile.......time..........%Avg HR.........%Max HR
6. ........8:43............76...................80

Obviously, I've got a lot more work to do before I'm ready to run the marathon. See how my heart rate climbed so much. If I had to run another 5 miles, I would have had water after mile 10, and it would have been interesting to see how much longer I could have kept my pace under a 9 minute mile AND my heart rate around 80 percent.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Grits, heat, and hill work: Running on a full stomach

It was raining with tons of lightning Thursday morning and I really wanted to get in a run, so I decided I'd run six miles Thursday night.

Problem: It was 89 degrees when I hit the Trinity Trails in Fort Worth at 7:30 p.m., instead of the 'cool' 75 degrees it would have been some 12 hours earlier.

And something else. I had a belly full of food. We had potluck at the office for lunch. What I ate: Two helpings of sweet potatoes; two servings of tomato and cheese grits; three pieces of fried chicken; salad; sweet tea; black-eyed peas; blue cheese potato salad; two pieces of peach cobbler; two cups of coffee. Tons and tons of water.

I usually run on an empty stomach. Needless to say, I didn't know how this run in this Tek-ses heat would turn out.

I promised that I would take it easy, not let my heart rate get above 85 percent maximum. I didn't want stomach discomfort to ruin my run, though I knew that it was a good possibility. Not only because I ate soooo much food some five hours earlier, and not only because it was so damn hot, but because I usually don't do fried food, and I'm staying away from dairy products.

So off I went.

Right away, my legs felt limber and loose, not stiff like they normally do on mile 1 of my morning runs. Even though this night run started off with some major hills, I got through Mile 1 in 8:47 with an average heart rate of 78 percent of max, though it was at 80 percent by the end of the first mile.

I could also feel a slight burning in my esophagus, like I was trying to get sick. "Uh-oh, I thought. Bad idea." But that went away near the end of mile 2. And by mile 4, I had no stomach discomfort at all and was feeling stronger and stronger. I clocked an 8:05 minute mile at Mile 4 and was like, "wow." Heart rate for the mile averaged 82 percent. The mile ended with a very steep incline and my heart rate inched up to 85 percent.

Ok, I thought, here comes the pain. But when I got over the hill and back on flat land, my heart rate dropped back down in the low 80s. I cruised the last two miles, feeling very strong, not thirsty at all, like I feel sometimes during my morning runs at a pace this fast. A few times I felt like I'd need to go to the bathroom, but the feeling was brief.

I finished 6 miles in 50:11, a pace of 8:22 per mile. And I never really had to hit the gas to maintain that pace. My average heart rate for the entire run was 80 percent on the button, according to my Garmin 305. It only hit 85 percent that one time, at the top of the hill near the end of mile 4.

Lesson learned for me? Some kind of food (ok, not a feast for a king) might not hurt me if taken well enough before I run, especially a long run. A piece of bread. Some raisins. An apple.

Also? There is no question that I am acclimated to the heat.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Food to become my best friend

I have failed to mention that my Lukes Locker training for the 2008 White Rock Marathon in Dallas officially began last Saturday.

I can already tell that the hardest part about this marathon training will be what to eat and how much.

For the last few runs, I've really struggled to keep a moderate pace. During Tuesday's tempo run, for example, I could barely hold on to a sub 9-minute mile pace over the last two miles. Usually, I'm easily under 8:20.

I've chalked up the struggles to a lack of fuel in the tank. With all the traveling back and forth to Austin to see Noah (Father's Day was great, thank you), my eating went out the door. There were periods of time over the weekend that I went 6, 7, and even 8 hours without eating (not including the times I slept).

I probably drank more coffee and wine than water.

Uhhh. Not good.

It's been nice to see the scale lately. I am hovering between 161 and 163 pounds (down from 170 in February), but I need my strength for the training ahead. So I'll have to make sure I take more food to work, eat a little more at dinner. More snacks, etc.

And more importantly: DRINK MORE FLUIDS that are not named Zinfandel or Pike's Place Roast.

After the horrible tempo run Tuesday (which took me an hour to complete 7 miles), I drank a 24-ounce Accelerade shake as soon as I got home. A glass of water before I got in the shower. Toast. Two egg whites. Orange Juice. A carrot on the way to work. And a cup of coffee.

I felt kind of bloated before I even got to my desk. But funny thing is I was starving again before 11 a.m. So I'll have to keep this up to keep my body fueled.

By the way, they gave us our training plans for the first week. It looks something like this:

Sunday: 30 minutes easy; Monday 40 minutes or cross train; Tuesday: off; Wednesday: 40 minutes easy; Thursday: 35 minutes easy; Friday: off; Saturday: 4-mile evaluation run.

For me, this is about a 21 to 22-mile week. I'd been running about 30 miles a week and don't wanna lose my fitness. I asked Christa, one of the coaches who leads the early marathon training sessions (they are already up to 30 miles a week and a 10-mile long run), if I could run with them. She said I should stay where I'm at with the late marathoners so I don't burn out or peak too soon.

I don't think I'll peak too soon running 30 miles a week right now. But I'll stay with my running group on the weekends. What I'll do is stay at 30 miles a week until our training program gets to 30, then I'll increase my mileage and my long runs.


Monday, June 16, 2008

130 lives

It was a bad day at work today.

The place that employs me announced it was laying off 130 people, about 10 percent of our workforce.

That's 130 lives. 130 families. 130 people who woke up Monday with a job and who'll wake up Tuesday without one.

I knew a lot of them. Drank many an adult beverage with some of them. Talked sports with them. Sat next to one of them. Bitched with them. Cheered with them. Shared kiddo pictures with them. Danced with them at weddings. Mourned with them at funerals.


There will be a lot of "good-byes" to old friends and a lot of drinking this week.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

No more frappuccino's before long runs

I had a run this morning that took me back to my horrible marathon run in 2007. (Isn't horrible and marathon run an oxymoron?)

Felt good the first three miles and was running a sub 8-minute mile at the beginning of mile 4 and my heart rate was still under 80 percent max. But by the end of mile 4, my shoulders started burning like I couldn't get rid of the lactic acid build-up and I could n0t catch my breath.

By mile 5 I was gasping for air and stopped to get water. I was spent by mile 6 and I'm embarrassed to say it took me 11 minutes to finish. I started feeling a little better around mile 7, oddly. But I decided to stop at 7.5 miles.

It took me about 1 hour and 10 minutes, a pace of 9:20 per mile, the slowest run I've had in a while.

Why the terrible run? On Saturday, as part of the Luke's Locker training run, I ran 5 miles, including the middle 3 miles in 22:30 (7:30 pace). But I don't think Sunday's bad run was because I was tired.

I think it was something I ate. I munched on chicken enchiladas all day Saturday and had a mint chocolate chip frappuccino from Starbucks around 5.

Ahh, there's the culprit. I'm terrible with dairy.

I don't usually drink that foo-foo coffee. But I had been craving something sweet. I won't do that again before a long run.


Friday, June 13, 2008

Post-workout shake: Science or silliness?

When I was exclusively a weight lifter 10 years ago, I always bought into the fact that after a workout, you needed a protein shake with the right amount of carbs and protein to "refuel" our muscles.

Now that I am a runner _ and as a competitive as I am I am always looking for an edge _ I have bought into the same mantra: After a tough workout in the heat or a run of more than an hour, I make myself a shake with the magic 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein. Well, I don't actually make it. Endurox or Accelerade makes it.

I've never had a way to figure out of this stuff has ever helped me. But I figure that since its touted all over the running and fitness magazines and promoted in the running stores that it must be a good thing.

And maybe all that hocus-pocus doesn't do squat, says a recent high-brow story in the New York Times titled Real Thought for Food for Long Workouts. The writer talks to two researchers who do not regularly use protein bars or shakes. They just eat real food. They say athletes get caught up in all the marketing and think protein shakes are magic.

One of the scientist quoted in the story who studies muscle metabolism and was once a competitive swimmer says, "It does seem to me that as a group, athletes are particularly gullible."

The bloggers the Science of Sport have been debating that very point (Success in a pill: As athletes, are we really gullible?. You can get most, if not all, of the nutrition you need from eating regular food. Yet, the bloggers wrote, "...if an athlete truly believes that taking these pills will enhance their performance, then they probably will, and again this is the placebo effect, but an effect nonetheless."

Head scratch. Nose wrinkle. Sigh.

I like placebos. Especially when they are lemon-lime or fruit-punch flavored.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hill work equals sad face

This morning I ran hills with the Luke's Locker group for the first time. It's a 5.75 mile stretch around the Colonial Golf course and Texas Christian University here in Fort Worth.
It was murderous.
Even though I averaged an 8:24 minute mile, don't let the good times fool you. Some of the hills were so steep that at one point, while running downhill, my Garmin said I was running under a 7-minute-mile. I wasn't really running downhill. I was falling. So you can imagine how tough it was to run up said hill.
My heart rate soared to well over 90 percent max and I was not feeling strong at all at the end.
But I'll use some of this space to brag on Noreen. She leads the Tuesday and Thursday morning Luke's Locker runs (and works at the place). This is a woman well into her 40s, has run a 3:25 marathon, but had been battling injuries (hip, I think). I knew she was strong, but today was the first time I'd seen her doing something other than a recovery run. Noreen didn't run up the hills, she floated. Glided. Bounded. She wasn't even breathing hard. The rest of us were shuffling and gasping and wheezing. (Well, there was an old guy named Ed who ran good too _ he's run 45 marathons _ doesnt it just make you sick.
It's pretty awesome to see an accomplished marathon runner at work.
Afterwards, I told her, "Looks like your marathon muscle memory is coming back."
If you live in Fort Worth and are looking for running shoes, go to Luke's, ask for Noreen. It's nice to get shoe advice from a person who has actually run a marathon.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tagged: How I could've landed a job at ESPN

I have been tagged by Derek and Laura. I figured now _ as I watch Game 3 of Lakers-Celtics _ was as good a time as any to reply to the tags. (The instructions are at the bottom of this post)

Here goes. (If you are a fan of the NFL and the NBA, you'll be interested in my last answer. Feel free to scroll down.)
1. How would you describe your running 10 years ago?
Non-existent. Seriously. 10 years ago I was closing in on 30 and I was drinking vodka-tonics at nightclubs instead of gatorades at training runs. I was smoking cigars like Arturo Fuente and Partegas and Padron and Punch and CAO and Hoyo de Monterrey. You got it. I smoked cigars before I even knew what a Cabernet Sauvignon was.

This was 1998, of course. And i was just starting to get into the "exercise phase" of my life. But that exercise was not running, not much anyways. It was weight lifting. I was 20 pounds heavier than when I ran my first marathon 7 years later. I was in the gym pumping iron 4 to 5 times a week and sometimes I tried running because I knew that cardio would burn the fat off my abs. But the truth is, when I'd run back then, I'd get real bad hives. My skin would itch _ no _ it would be on fire. It took me a while to figure out that I had exercise-induced urtircaria. I had to take an antihistamine like Allegra or Claritin to do any kind of running. I used the "hives" excuse and hardly ever ran. I didnt start running until 2004. I started working nights at my job and needed something to do in the morning. It took me three months to be able to run 3 miles without stopping. But once I did, there was no stopping me. By the way, I don't need the Allegra to run anymore.

2. What is your best and worst run/race experience?

Worst: My last marathon. The White Rock Lake Marathon in Dallas last December. I had already run one marathon two years earlier in 4:41 averaging about 28 miles a week with just one 40 mile week. During 2007 White Rock training, I pumped up the training with seven consecutive weeks of at least 40 miles with a 50 mile week three weeks before the marathon. But it didnt matter. Something in my diet conspired to make running near impossible on Marathon Day. Even though one month earlier I'd run a 1:52 half marathon, I couldnt run one mile under 9 minutes on this day and really struggled to run sub 10-minute miles. By mile 13, half way around the lake, I tried to quit. But I couldnt find a medic. So I kept going and going and finally decided to finish. I was cramping in both quads, both calves. My head was fuzzy because of too much water. But I finished, in 5:20 something. It's embarrassing to recount. But there it is.

Best: It's a tie between the very first race I ever ran, a 2004 5K and the very first half marathon I ran, in 2006. In 2004, just five months into my life as a runner, I ran the 9/11 Freedom Run in downtown Dallas. It was so exciting, so many people cheering you on. I finished in 24:37 and was absolutely hooked. Two years later, I ran my first half marathon. It was also at White Rock Lake in Dallas. I was hoping I could run a sub 2-hour half marathon. I finished in 1:54. Had so much fun the entire time.

3. Why do you run?
I'm addicted. Really. If you read my Six-word memoir link at the top of my blog, you'll see where I rank running. (Behind my family of course, but ahead of wine drinking and sex _ for now, I guess). If running was a drug, I'd be in a 12-step program. There is nothing like it. And the high is even more intense when you run with other people or at races. I've blogged about this before, but its like a religion, man. It's spiritual.

4. What is the best or worst piece of advice that you've been given about running?
Best: One of my co-workers who has run Boston told me the importance of good shoes and of slowing down to run further.
Worst: During my first marathon, in 2005, I let a volunteer talk me into eating an orange for energy. I love oranges, but they were not good on my stomach during runs. Still, I took the orange and paid for it for a few miles.

5. Tell us something surprising about yourself that not many people would know.Well, my closest friends and family know about this, but not many people in the blogging world.
So here goes: From 1991 to 2002, I was a sports writer for several newspapers, including the San Antonio Light (its now closed), the Hartford Courant, the Washington Times and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. At the Star-Telegram, where I am now one of the metro editors, I covered the Cowboys and the NFL for five years, and the Mavericks/NBA for a year. I've been to four Super Bowls (Cowboys-Steelers; Patriots-Packers; Broncos-Packers; Broncos-Falcons); an NBA All-Star Game in Philadelphia; and a Major League Baseball All-Star Game. I've played dominoes with Emmitt Smith (before dancing with the stars even existed); had hours long conversations with Michael Irvin and Deion Sanders; Troy Aikman and Nate Newton and Darren Woodson. Asked a question that made Barry Switzer cry. Shared toasts with Jerry Jones and playful bantering with Mark Cuban.
I've met tons of athletes. Seen tons of crazy games. Been to nearly every major American city. I'm happy doing what I do now. Sports coverage is a young man's game. But every once in a while, I find myself missing the games, the surreal drama, the travel to a new city. And sometimes I wonder what might have been: In the late 1990s, I turned down two offers to cover the Kobe-Shaq Lakers for the Orange County Register.
Earlier in the decade, while I was in Washington, D.C. in 1994, I interviewed for a job to cover Temple basketball and football for the Philadelphia Inquirer. At the end of the interview, the sports editor of the Inquirer at the time, Nancy Cooney, said, "I like you, but I think I'm going to hire this guy from New York who has a little more experience."
I said, "OK. I understand. Who is the guy you are hiring?"
Cooney: "Stephen Smith from the New York Daily News."
Years later, he'd be known as Stephen A. Smith of ESPN.
I was almost somebody.

Answer five questions about your running on your own blog.
At the end of your blog post, tag five other people and post their names.
Go to their blogs and leave a comment telling them they've been tagged and to look at your blog for details.When they've answered the questions on their own blog, they come back to yours to tell you. Tagging....

Firty N Dirty
Gandaman (You still haven't answered my first tag: Six-word memoir)

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Yes, Dear. Tonight. Again.

For the married people that read my blog, you have got to read this story about sprucing up your sex life in the New York Times. (Thanks, Big Man)

Silly transition.


My run today: 7 miles, 56 minutes on the dot.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Kobe v. MJ, fatherhood, and broke ass millionaires

I've been in Austin the last few days visiting Noah and Nancy and swore off running (I've got an achy left arch) and blogging for a few days.

Some ramblings:
*Sirius Satellite radio is the coolest tool for driving. On the way to Austin Saturday, I switched back and forth from Hillary Clinton's concession speech on Sirius 132 to Pete Tong dance music on Sirius 33.

*Are the Lakers gonna even show up? Michael Jordan never found himself in an 0-2 NBA Finals hole. Kobe has nothing on MJ.

*When I ran a 9-miler Saturday (before I decided to rest my arch), it was with a group of about 20 or so people doing the Luke's Locker marathon training in Fort Worth. Most of us were wearing Garmin watches with the GPS satellite dooo-hickys. Anyways, every mile, everybody's watched chirped. We sounded like a bunch of crickets.

*If I doubted it before, Noah knows who I am. As soon as I got in the door, he started that goofy giggle and crawled to me as fast as he could. And every time somebody said, "Where's daddy," he swiveled his head in my direction. That's the coolest thing that has ever happened to me. By. Far.

*Nancy is a great mom.

*During Saturday's run, they had water stations every two miles. It was easy to stay hydrated and I felt surprisingly good during the entire run. And it was 80 degrees. And I had two glasses of Zinfandel the night before.

*I was running 8:20s and 8:15s at the end of that Saturday run. If I can't run a sub 4-hour marathon in December, I never will run one.

*Eating bad food is more a detriment to good running than drinking wine the night before a long run or race.

*How in the friggin world could Ed McMahon blown through so much money? Was he overqualified to enroll in Consumer Credit Counseling? He didn't have a big cardboard Publishers Clearing House check laying around?

*I used to watch Wide World of Sports all the time as a kid. Jim McKay will be missed. Sports journalists like McKay are what made me get in this business in the first place.
Other broadcasters I grew up watching: Curt Gowdy, Vin Scully, Pat Summerall and Tom Brookshire, Al Michaels (Do you believe in Miracles? Yes!), Dick Stockton, Brent Musberger (You are looking live), Brad Sham, Frank Glieber, Vern Lundquist (He used to do Bowling for Dollars), Howard Cosell, Lindsey Nelson, Keith Jackson. And my favorite voice of all time: The late John Facenda of NFL Films. Had the perfect voice. Could read a grocery list and give you goosebumps.

*I predict Noah will be walking before he is a year old. Nancy bought him this push cart walker and he can easily pull himself up and push that thing forward without any assistance.

*I've called my dad so many times on Fathers' Day. It'll be weird to get my first Fathers' Day call Sunday.

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

New swag on the way

Look at what was in the inbox this morning:

From: Rachel Aiken <>
Date: Thu, Jun 5, 2008 at 9:45 AM
Subject: Running Feedback Needed

Hey Kevin,
I was doing some blog research on runners and came across your site. First of all, your baby is adorable. Secondly, my reason for contacting you...I work for Sof Sole, one of the top providers of performance footwear. To learn more about the company, please visit We are looking for runners who blog to give a few of our products a try. We ask nothing in return, except that you share your experience. I would love to send some samples out to you. Please reply with your mailing address and shoe size as the products are size specific. Thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing from you!

Take care,
Sof Sole Headquarters
(919) 388-5886

I checked out the site. Looks like I'm in line for some nice wicking socks.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

What am I getting myself into

By hook and by crook, I got my hands on a Luke's Fit marathon schedule. Actually, one of the runners who is in our Tuesday morning tempo runs gave me a schedule. (I won't "out" that person because I don't wanna get him/her in trouble.)

The schedule is only one week, because Lukes Fit is only "revealing" one week at a time. (Guess they got a big secret that Hal Higdon or Jeff Galloway don't know about).

Anyway, the schedule is actually the third week of the early fall marathon group, and already, they are up to 30 miles a week, with a long run of 9 miles at 8:30 pace. I'll be using this same progam when I start the late fall marathon program on June 14.

Now, I won't freak out about how much work they are doing now. I've run 30 or more miles a week in three of the last four weeks. And I just did a 10-miler in 75-plus degree heat last Saturday in 8:35 pace.




If we are already supposed to be doing 30 miles a week now. And we are talking about a 26-week marathon program, how many miles a week will I be running before I taper for the December White Rock Lake Marathon?

55 miles per week? 60? 70?

My PF and my ITB are flaring up just thinking about it.


Monday, June 2, 2008

Gotta eat like a runner

With the start of marathon training less than two weeks away, I figure that I better start getting into the habit of eating right.

No more Pei Wei. Chipotle. Gyro House. Pot Belly's. Dominos. Chick Fil-A. Railhead Bar-B-Q.

OK. I won't eliminate that stuff completely. But I know I need to start preparing more meals and not eat out so much. I run better when I eat clean, especially when I eat clean the night before a hard workout or a run longer than 90 minutes. Now, I'm not gonna go vegan like one of my blogging friends, but I need more veggies.

To get myself ready, I went to the Tom Thumb on Hulen Street Sunday and bought a lot of groceries. You know, fruits. veggies. whole wheat breads. Wine. (Hey, no way I'm gettin' rid of that stuff).

I had baked chicken and new potatoes Sunday. It was the first time I'd ever made new potatoes, and I'm sure they'll be better next time when I remember the rosemary and don't leave them in the oven as long as I did. (A little crunchy - if anybody's got a good recipe, I'll take it.)

I brought soup to work Monday morning. It was a Tom Thumb brand, tortilla soup. Yuuuuukkkkkkkyyyy. I had two bites. Tossed it and went to Pot Belly's for a Meatball on wheat sandwich.

This didn't mean I was giving up on my plan to eat cleaner.

I just have to be smarter on the lunch I take to work.


Sunday, June 1, 2008

Memorial Day pictures: A week late

Nancy brought Noah to Fort Worth last weekend.
Here is Noah at the Fort Worth Zoo. See the penguins in the background.
Noah and Nancy.

Me and Noah at the pool.

Noah wiped out after the zoo.

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