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5ksandcabernets: July 2008


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Happy Birthday to the kiddo.

Noah is 1 today. Here are a few pictures of him through the first 12 months, starting with today.

Noah riding his birthday gift today.
June. Noah's first foray into the pool. He loved it.

Noah and Nancy at an Austin kite festival in March. It was windy and cold.

Noah and myself on Christmas Day, 2007. I don't think he got my joke.

September 2007

August 2007

The day after Noah was born. We've taken over Nancy's hospital bed. (Hey, I was tired and needed somewhere to lay down!)

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Gotta learn to take it easy

My legs have the blues this week.

The 25K I ran on the 20th and the 11-miler I struggled to finish on the 26th added up to a 38-mile week last week.

And this week, I'm feeling it.

I know its a case of too much too fast, and this is not a good thing, especially not now as I go into Week 8 of my White Rock Lake marathon training. I need to be fresh for these long runs, which this week includes a 12-miler and four 1-minute hill repeats.

The other thing? I'm not eating enough. In May and June I got into a good rhythm with carbs and vegetables and the timing of my meals.

But you know, lately, I've gotten bored of: protein shake after run; rice, english muffin with peanut butter, orange juice, carrot stick for breakfast. I had some steel cut oatmeal this morning, but that was about as exciting as watching ice melt.

So instead of eating good at breakfast and having measured portions at lunch and snacks, I've resorted to a little junk food here and a little junk food there. (Tuesday I had a Chipotle burrito bowl for the first time since May.)

I need to find some variety in my diet and add some easy runs and/or rest to my work week or I'll be burned out before Halloween.

That's a scary thought.


Monday, July 28, 2008

This picture? A few dozen words

This El Scorcho race photo is courtesy of Cowtown Camera Girl, who happens to be the wayyyyyyy better half of Gandaman.

I'm not sure what mile this is, but I'm pretty sure of what I am thinking...

This is starting too hurt.
Who turned on the oven?
I can't get this stupid Tiesto song out of my head!
I thought they said it was a 2.5K race, not a 25k.
It's Sunday. I hope somebody is praying for me.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Do you know the way to San Jose


That was the high temperature in Fort Worth today, though some readings were at 106.

Mornings, when I run? Low 80s.

That's right. I won't likely see a day that hits 79 or cooler until, maybe, late August, or early September.

For some northern California bloggers, you'll be lucky (or unlucky, depending on your perspective) if your high is 79.

I'd give anything for a 60-something degree Texas morning.

Guess I'll have to wait until November for that.

Here is my schedule this week for Week 7 of my Lukes Locker Marathon training:

Monday: 60 minutes or hard cross train
Tuesday: 45 minutes
Wednesday: 60 minutes (15 easy 25 faster 20 easy)
Thursday: 60 minutes
Friday: off
Saturday: 12 miles plus four hill repeats

This adds up to about a 38-mile week for me.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Why I needed scissors for this long run

Imagine this: You are at the water stop on the halfway point of an 11-mile run. You open your pouch to get out your gu/gel pack/carb mix so you'll have enough fuel to finish what, so far, has been a surprisingly good run even though you've been battling a stomach virus and have only eaten a banana, and drank some gatorade and an Accelerade shake in the previous 12 hours.

Imagine how stupid you feel when you can't open your packet. Seriously. That was me this morning. A packet of Accelerade waiting for me, but I couldn't open it. And nobody happened to have scissors on the route. So I drank what the organizers had arranged for us and went on, knowing that on what I'd eaten the last day, I was on borrowed time; also knowing that I'd finish because it was an out and back course.

The out was mostly uphill though a very well-kept neighborhood. There was a 1-mile warmup, then a mile when we did these crazy leg exercises that included high-knees, walking on our heels, running on our toes, and skipping. Then we ran 3.5 miles to the turnaround. My splits were 8:13; 8:17; 8:15; and 4:02 for the 1/2 mile split.

My stomach was going every-which-a-way. But I didn't panic too much when I couldn't get to my food because I knew the way back was mostly downhill. And off I went: 4:14 for the 1/2 mile split; 7:56 for mile 7; 8:24 for mile 8; and 8:57 for mile 9.

Notice a trend? The bottom was falling out. All the other runners in my group were so far ahead of me that I couldn't see them. I was no match for the 80-degree day. I did the last two miles in about 21 minutes, walking about two-tenths of the distance to stretch out a cramp.

I hit the stop button on my Garmin 305 when I walked and so the amount that I ran was exactly 10.76 miles in about 1:34:51. I went home. Slept for 4 hours and woke up with the biggest headache and an even bigger appetite.

The former is because I was dehydrated. The latter is because, perhaps, my stomach bug is gone.

Yeah, and I hope it never comes back.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Trade you my stomach for yours

Have had a stomach virus since late Thursday. Woke up Friday with chills a slight fever and haven't been able to eat much all day.


I'm scheduled for an 11-miler Saturday morning.

And I want to run. Every. Mile.


After my El Scorcho crash-and-burn, I've been anxious to get back on that long-run horse, so to speak. I won't be able to run long next weekend because I'll be in Austin for Noah's 1st birthday (which I wouldn't miss if you promised me a dozen sub 3-hour marathon finishes). So, if I miss Saturday, that'll be three weeks before my next long run.

I. Can't. Wait. That. Long.

So, I left work early today, drank tons of gatorade and bananas, and am now convalescing at home on a Friday night. Hoping my appetite comes back. Staying off my feet.

The good thing is I don't feel weak and I don't have a fever or the chills anymore.

But will I be ready for tomorrow?


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Experimenting with food before a run

I usually go out for training runs on an empty stomach and for shorter runs, under 7 miles, I feel fine near the end.
But after the El Scorcho disaster, I know I gotta start figuring out how to fuel up on long runs. What works for me. What doesn't.
So for this morning's hill course, I thought I'd experiment by drinking an Accelerade shake 20 minutes before the 5.77-mile run. This has 21 carbs, 20 of them sugar, 5 proteins, and a ton of electrolytes.
I wanted to see how my body would react to the stuff on a short run before using it during a long run.
The early returns? Not bad. I felt strong at the end of the run, which I completed in 45:31. This is the EXACT same time I finished this course last Thursday under similar conditions.
This morning, my heart rate average for the entire run was 84 percent, with a max of 88 percent near the end.
Last week, my heart rate average was 86 percent with a max of 90 near the end.
So, perhaps with a little fuel in the tank, I didn't have to work as hard.
I've got an 11-miler Saturday and plan to use this stuff an hour into the run.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My last word on El Scorcho

So I've had 36 hours to dissect my performance at the El Scorcho 25k last weekend...
36 hours to figure out why I cramped, why my pace went from 8:20 to 9:20 to 11:20 in a space of three miles....
And my thoughts keep taking me to my diet.
The race was at midnight. I had my last sizable meal 28 hours earlier: two big bowls of spaghetti and two glasses of wine.
I woke up Saturday not hungry at all and had to force myself to eat some rice and an English muffin with honey and peanut butter around 9 a.m.
At about 1 p.m., I had a salad with cheese, salami, ham, walnuts. And a cup of coffee.
At about 5 p.m. I had an apple, a banana, and some peanut butter.
And that was it until the race.
Funny thing. Now that I remember, my stomach was growling as I lined up for the race. I thought it was just nerves.
No, stupid. I. Was. Hungry. And I hadn't had a lick of salt all day.
So when things started to go haywire at Mile 7, it was, it had to be, because I was out of fuel.
My mistake is that I kept drinking water and the electrolyte drink the race organizers had on the course, Nuun, which had Zero Calories.
What I should have done, in hindsight, was brought some of my Accelearade to make a carb shake. It has 21 carbs, 5 proteins, and tons of electrolytes. When I got home, I kept drinking water and Gatorade trying to hydrate (I lost 6 pounds of water during the race) and nothing made me feel better until I had to Accelerade.
So a lesson learned. Can't wait until the next long race.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Contact this lady if you want free New Balance shoes!

Email I just received....

Hi again Kevin!

Thanks again for participating in our running shoe blog advertisement campaign and passing our info on! If you know anyone else who is a runner and has a blog, please do not hesitate to send them our contact info so they can receive a free pair of shoes as well!


Tamera VanDyke
Marketing Director,


Monday, July 21, 2008

Putting my mind at ease

Nancy sent this picture of Noah the other day.

Now how can I get too disappointed about a friggin race when this is the face staring back at me.



Official El Scorcho race results, newspaper story

From the official race results, my time in the El Scorcho run was: 2:31:53.
Place: 55th overall out of 222 finishers in the 25k
40th out of 100 men.
Feeling a little better this morning about how I did, thanks to all of the supportive comments on my last post: El Scorcho Run: From good to bad to ugly.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

El Scorcho run: From good to bad to ugly

First the good news: The technical shirts the race organizers gave were cool. I met Rich, the blogger from Just12Finish, (Rich picked me out of a crowd as we walked from the parking lot to the starting line: I guess I was easy to find as one of three black guys in a crowd of 400 race participants.) I also ran into Derek from Journey through the Ultra World, and met one of the guys who put the race on, Ryan from Distorted Veracity.

Great finishing medal. Good support. I'm going to run it again next year.

But folks, it was a night that went from, 'hey, the weather is great - i think I'm going to be okay,' to 'oh, shit, why am i cramping' to 'I can't even run a 10 minute mile.'

I finished the 15.5 mile course, which looped five times around Trinity Park in Fort Worth, with an unofficial time of 2:31:54, which is a respectable 9:48 minute mile. But if you've been reading my blog the last few months, you'd know that time is probably a minute or so per mile slower than I thought I could run for that distance.

So what happened? I'm still trying to find the electrolyte-zapping train that hit me. The last 6.2 miles turned into a run, death-walk that was worsened by blisters on both big toes. There was cramping, no, make that leg spasming, and I had cotton mouth (you know how you feel the morning after you drink too much) that got more cottony with each cup of water I swigged. I felt like shit when I walked in the door to my apartment and was freaked out when I stepped on the scale: 156 pounds _ a 6-pound weight loss and I'm sure 5.99 of that was water.

Maybe I should have driven to the hospital instead of home.

But I'll start from the beginning.

I can't use the weather as an excuse: The night was cool, 81 degrees with 20 percent humidity. It felt better than it does when I run in the mornings. Before the run, I stayed off my feet and nibbled on fruits and salads and drank plenty of water for most of the day.

I met up with one of my co-workers at the race, Patrick, and we decided to run together. I usually hate running with people during races because I don't wanna hold them back if they feel faster and vice versa. But he was wearing a headlamp (as were dozens of other runners) that helped me see where the heck I was going on parts of the run where the city street lamps were out.

At precisely midnight, they let the 50kers (31-mile runners) go first, then 10 minutes later, we were off.

I felt great out of the gate. There were hundreds of us squeezed together on a 10-foot-wide trail, so I bet it took me more than 10 minutes to run the first mile. (I wouldn't know for sure, my Garmin 305 picked a fine time to not sync up with the satellites. It would not record any of my movements until mile 3).

And still, that was okay, the slow start. I was using this as more of a training run than a race. By the end of the first 5k, the runners had thinned out. Patrick and I did the first 5k loop in 28 something. We picked it up a little and did the second 5k in 26 something.

I was feeling great, on an effort level I was probably doing a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10. I thought I was going to vanquish my long-run ghosts of the past.

And then the problems started. The race organizers had fresh cold water at the 1.5 and 3-mile markers. They also had this electrolyte drink called Nuun. I'd never heard of it before two weeks ago. I had a little of it with water at a some stops and it made my tongue numb.

But I'm not saying it was the Nuun that made the night go bad, or the fact that I was running in the dark, unable to know for sure when my feet were going to hit the unpaved, and paved at times, earth.

No, those factors just put me a little out of my comfort zone.

My problems came from within, I suspect. First, about 6.5 miles in, I could taste my sweat and it was very salty. And I knew that salt would be caking up on my face. Salt/potassium/ or whatever only works well if it is inside your body helping your muscles contract. Not caked up on your face making you look like you have a white beard and white eyebrows.
This used to happen to me all the time during long runs pre 2008. But it hadn't happened at all the last few months, when I started getting into really good shape.

(An aside: Some people may say, "Well, your longest run since January was a 10 miler last month. Maybe you jumped to 15.5 too fast." If my problems started at mile 12 or 13, Id agree. But my problems started just after mile 6. A six-mile run for me on every day but this one is like taking a stroll through the mall.)

I could feel my pace slow as we hit the half-way point. I guzzled some water at mile 8 and felt refreshed for a little bit, but at the 15k mark (1:24) I was feeling terrible again. I skipped the water stop, thinking I was flushing all the electrolytes out of my body, and afraid to take another swig of that Nuun stuff because I couldn't feel my tongue.

At one point, I grabbed the bottom of my shirt and noticed it was relatively dry. Oh. My. Gawd. I wasn't even sweating anymore.

And now, as I overheated, I couldn't keep up with Patrick and told him to go ahead. We were at mile 10. My pace slowed by 15 seconds per mile, then 30. This was happening fast. I finally stopped and and walked. My pride sank as one runner after another passed me. What the fuck? A week earlier, foggy-headed from too many vodka tonics the night before, I ran 8 miles in the blazing sun, the last four in 7:47 pace, and tonight, having not had an alcoholic drink in more than 24 hours, an 11:00 minute mile pace was a struggle.

As my quads and hamstrings quivered and my mouth got drier, I kept going, determined to finish. I don't remember what the clock said when I hit the 20k marker, but I knew this was going to be bad. The last lap was more of the same. Walk. Jog and wince. Walk. Stretch. Shuffle. Wince. My toes were burning. I looked at my watch one more time around the 22k mark. My heart rate was about 80 percent and I was doing an 11:40 mile. Yikes.

When I finally crossed the finish line, I did some math. It took me 1 hour, 7 minutes to do the last 10k. That's 10:48 minutes a mile. I couldn't have run another mile in 10:48. I got my finishers medal, found Patrick, who finished some 17 minutes earlier, said hello to a couple of others that I knew and drove home.

I don't know why I bombed. Maybe it was nerves or something. Maybe I drank too much water in the first few miles (probably like 3 or 4 cups). But if that's the case, why did I lose so much water weight?

Questions. Questions. And not many answers right now.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hitting the fast-forward button on my running life

It's not that I don't think I can run 15 miles. (I've covered that distance or farther 17 times in the last three years.)

It's just that, well, I feel like I'm ruining some of the suspense in my latest marathon journey.

Get it? Me explain.

These last few months are the strongest I've ever felt as a runner. Hills and speed work do not scare me anymore. Heat is becoming my friend.

But long runs? Of those 17 runs I mentioned above, I've only done four in sub 10-minute-mile. Most of the runs ended with me trudging along at an 11 or even 12-minute mile pace.

I haven't tested my new-found fitness on a run of 2 hours or more yet. I did a 10-miler last month and that was it.

The Lukes Locker marathon training program was going to get me to 10, then 12, then 15 mile long runs near the end of the month and in August.

And before each of those long runs, the suspense would play out in my head: I know I'm faster and stronger than I used to be, but you never know if you can run fast for long distances until you run fast for long distances.

But with El Scorcho tonight, I'm going from chapter 10 in a 26.2 mile book to chapter 15. And even though I feel like this book is going to have a great ending, I sometimes wish I wouldn't have signed up for tonight's 25k so I could enjoy my marathon journey one mile _ uh, make that chapter _ at a time.

It's like I'm hitting the fast-forward button on my running life making my next few long runs feel like re-runs.


Friday, July 18, 2008

El Scorcho Run: People driving far to race in hell

Ok. Ok. I know I'm crazy running a 15.5 mile race at midnight tomorrow, but at least I live right down the street from the course.
In fact, the race is longer than my drive to the starting line.
For others, well...
Here is a list of the cities for a few of the registered entrants for El Scorcho: Jonesboro, Georgia; Ardmore, Oklahoma; Lincoln, Nebraska; Salt Lake City, Utah; Seattle, Washington; Raymore, Missouri; Chicago, Illinois; Natchez, Mississippi; Cleburne, Virginia; Thornton, Colorado. ....
Get the picture.
Many of those cities are in cool locales...
What on God's Green Earth would make them drive to Texas to run in this heat?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Group runs make it hard to run slow

I ran the hilly course with the 6 a.m. group of runners from Luke's Locker Thursday morning.

There. Were. Hills. Friggin. Everywhere.

And there were also about 20 people running.

I was just going to make it a slow run, you know, put the miles in but try to stay fresh for this Saturday's 25k. But when there are so many people running, and you are bumping elbows in the first few tenths of a mile, your adrenaline just takes over, and you don't wanna be outrun by that guy with the gray hair, or the lady whose got kids as old as you are.

All that was missing was bib numbers and somebody to sing the National Anthem.

This hill course _ the elevation on one of the hills was 75 feet in 1/2 mile according to my Garmin 305 Forerunner _ turned out to be a mini time trial for me.

I did 5.77 miles in 45:33. After the first mile warm up, each subsequent mile was sub 8.

It's the first time I've run this course in under 46 minutes.

And I felt pretty good afterward, like I could have run four more miles at that pace if there were water stops.

I know. I know. I shouldn't run so hard (heart rate averaged 85 percent maximum and soared to 90 percent near the end of the run) with such a long "race" coming up. But it felt so good, and with where my running has come from (I was happy with a sub 10-minute mile a year ago) I think I'll enjoy my new found speed.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Things you miss when you don't live with your baby's momma

Nancy said Noah stood on his own for five seconds today and then fell down.

Dang, I hate that I am missing that. Soon, she'll tell me he is walking. Then talking.

In this picture, of course, Noah is not walking or standing. Nancy's got him shopping somewhere, presumably a SuperTarget or an HEB in Austin.
Damn, I love this boy!


Plunging into the social network scene

I just opened up a Facebook account.
You can check it out here.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Upcoming races

Just signed up for the Nike Human race 10k in Austin.
It will be me vs 999,999 other folks.
Of course, not all of us will be in Austin. But the Nike people predict 1,000,000 runners for its Global 10k, which they are hosting in 24 other cities. Austin is just one of five cities in America to host the event. Noah will be 13 months by then so hope he enjoys watching daddy.
Uhhh, I better start tapering a little bit for this Saturday's El Scorcho 25k. My left knee started hurting a little bit during this morning's 6-mile run. And its still a little stiff as I write this.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Taking stock of Julys past

Lots of anniversaries for me this month....

1. Noah was born at the end of the month in 2007
2. I met Noah's mother on the first day of this month in 2006
3. My divorce was final sometime during this month in 2005.
4. And.... drumroll.... I first started keeping a log of my runs during this month in 2004.
The first time I ran three miles in my entire life without stopping: July 16, 2004. Three miles in 31 minutes.
My first four mile run: Aug 20, 2004 in 47:00
My first five mile run: Aug. 31, 2004 in 58:53

SHOE UPDATE: Thanks to an idea from Nat, I laced my Adidas Supernova Sequences up differently and did not have any blisters on a four-mile run Monday. No foot rub. No burn. Nothing. And something else: New Balance sent me an email to let me know that my free shoes are, "in the mail," or, to be precise: On a UPS truck.

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Amino Vitale: Where have you been all my life?

Wasn't feeling to good at the start of this morning's 8-mile run with the Luke's Locker marathon training coaches. (Probably too many vodka-tonics Friday night, but I digress).

We stopped for water at mile 2, then at mile 4 I had water and this new supplement drink I've never had before: Amino Vitale. (I've heard of Dick Vitale, ba-beeeeee, but not this stuff)

After drinking some of this stuff, it was like WOW. All the sudden I felt great and had this crazy energy, like someone shot me out of a cannon.

I was supposed to stop for water at mile 6 before the big hills, but I felt so good I kept going.

The splits of my last four miles were:


And I felt like I could have run at least another two or three miles at that pace.

Amino Vitale, where have you been all my life?


Friday, July 11, 2008

Uhhhh, maybe I should stay at the bar

Just getting in from the going away party of a former co-worker. We sat outside on the patio at a bar called 8.0s in downtown Fort Worth. Lots of young people. Lots of people sucking face. But the thing that got me the most is the heat: It's 11:26 p.m. on a Friday night and its still 90 degrees outside.

90 degrees in the dark, mind you.

In one week, I'm scheduled to run the El Scorcho race, a 25k (15.5 miles) race at midnight. And if its 90 degrees now, I'm sure it will be 90 degrees next week.

What was I thinking?

I can't run 15.5 miles in this shit, can I?



Thursday, July 10, 2008

Race pictures!

I know this was nearly two weeks ago, but one of the race organizers at the Three Amigos 4-mile run in Fort Worth last month finally got me these pictures.
In the first one, I'm really pouring it on at the end of the run. At this very moment, my lungs were on fire and my stomach was doing convulsions.
In the second picture, I'm accepting my award for placing 2nd in my age group.
The third picture has nothing to do with a race of course, I'm just so in love with my little boy.

Shoe update: I went into the store after work today and told them about the mistake they must have made in giving me regular width size 10s instead of wide size 10s.
Turns out, they didnt make a mistake. So I bought some body glide and I'll just have to lube up my feet on each run and see how things go.
Thing is, I really like the Adidas Supernovas. Except for the blister-issue.


Shoe drama continues: Feet on fire



I wore those Adidas Supernovas on a 6-mile hill run today. Near the end of the run, my feet started rubbing and I could feel blisters coming on.

Shit, I thought. How could a pair of size 10, EE shoes (which are one size bigger than the Brooks GTS8s I wear) cause blisters?

When I got home and put out the fire on my feet, I looked at the shoes. Damn. The salesman (Jerry) gave me size 10 regular widths, even though he said they were EE. I shoulda paid attention when I left the store Wednesday night.

Well, Lukes Locker is not going to be happy with me because I gotta return these shoes a second time. But what am I to do? If I'm starting to form blisters on my feet before I get to mile 5, what are my feet going to feel like by mile 10? 13.1? 26.2?

10:30 a.m. update: I checked the box that the shoes came in. They say they are 2E, though the word "wide" has been marked out by someone who works at the store. Hmmmm. Wonder if they were out of 2Es, but somebody put a pair of regular widths in the box and now I'm the one with hot feet.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wide feet plus blisters equals free shoes

Tried out the new shoes Wednesday morning, the GTS8s and the Adidas Supernovas I bought from the Lukes Locker in Fort Worth.

In a word: Shit.

I usually wear 2es because my feet are a little wide. But when I bought these shoes, I bought regular width. BIG MISTAKE.

I wore the Supernovas during my 5 mile run Wednesday morning. By mile 4, my feet were rubbing against the shoes and by the end of the run on the Trinity Trails, I could feel blisters coming on.

I wore my GTS8s to work and my feet rubbed themselves raw all day long.

What happened? When I bought the shoes Tuesday night, they felt good. But they felt like vice grips Wednesday. The reason: I didn't tie the shoes up tight in the store Tuesday, but on my run and at work, I made sure they were snug and would not fall off my feet.

Anyways, I took both shoes back to the store Wednesday. I was relieved that the salesperson was Jerry, one of the coaches for my group marathon training. He let me exchange my Supernovas even though they were dirtied up from one run on the crushed limestone trails. I got a size 10 2es.

I kept the GTS8s and will exchange them when they get more extra wide Supernovas in the store.

The news was not all bad on the shoe front, though. The New Balance lady read my "mini review" of the 992s and gave me the secret discount code to get a new pair of shoes.


I love free.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

New shoes, new shoes, new shoes!

Last month, I got an email from a Tamera VanDyke, a marketing director for New Balance running shoes.

She said if I'd review a pair of New Balance shoes and put a link in the sidebar in my blog, they'd send me a coupon to get 100 percent off a pair of New Balance shoes.

The question I had: Do I buy the shoes, review them, then get reimbursed? "No," Tamera said. Go to the Web site, read about the shoe you would buy and review the product as best as you can, she said. Then, she said, they'd send me the coupon for a free pair of shoes.

Think. Think. Think. Scratch head. Furrow brow.

One thing I will always be on this blog is truthful.

I won't review a shoe that I have not worn just for the sake of getting free shoes.

But I kept thinking. And as it turns out, I have worn a pair of New Balance shoes before, a pair of New Balance shoes that are currently on the New Balance Web site.

Nearly two years ago, I was looking for a shoe to replace my Brooks Adrenalines. I went into the Runner Shop in Arlington, Texas and they had a pair of New Balance 991s (They are now 992s) for me to try on. From what I remember, they felt just like my Brooks Adrenalines. Comfortable. Roomy. Cushiony.

I took the shoes home for a day and ran in them. Comfortable as hell. Really comfortable. But I returned the shoes a day later. Why? I had a half marathon coming up in a few weeks and figured it'd be a bad idea to run in a new shoe. I went back to my Brooks Adrenalines.

Today? I'm still wearing the Adrenalines, the GTS8s to be precise. But I'm looking to try another shoe. After work, I bought two pair of shoes from Luke's Locker in Fort Worth: GTS8s and some Adidas Supernova Sequence. I bought these shoes because Lukes did not have New Balance 991s, which are now 992s.

Not sure if this qualifies as a review for New Balance, but at least I'm being honest. I'd love to try the 992s.

I'll let you know if New Balance ever sends the 992s to me. In the meantime, I'll enjoy the Brooks and the Adidas running shoes


Monday, July 7, 2008

Galveston run: Too much alcohol to enjoy the view

Early on July 4, like 6:30 a.m. early, I snuck out of the hotel room in Galveston for a run along the shore, or the street overlooking the shore. It was Seawall Boulevard. The view was, as you can see by the map of the run I posted, beautiful. The only problem was that the route was on concrete.

My old ass Brooks GTS8s, with nearly 300 miles on them, were no match for the concrete "trail" on Seawall Blvd. I guess I should also mention that on July 3, I filled my belly with more beer, more Bloody Marys and fried seafood from the Rainforest Cafe, than I'd had beer, bloody marys, and fried seafood all year. Combined.

(I must say, the Galveston Bloody Marys I drank were almost as good as the ones I've had at a place I ate at on Pier 39 in Fishermen's Wharf in San Francisco years ago)

Even though I felt like shit when I woke up on the 4th of July, I knew I had to do this run. I would up doing 7 miles in 1 hour, 33 seconds, for a pace of 8:38 minutes per mile. Weather was 78 degrees and humidity had to be 100 percent.

Here are the splits: (As you can see the alcohol and fried seafood from the night before started taking a toll on Mile 5)

1 - 8:51
2 - 8:26
3 - 8:14
4 - 8:17
5 - 8:47
6 - 9:02
7 - 8:54

Here is the run on Google Earth via

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Sunday, July 6, 2008

My son, a run, and fun in the sun: Pictures

Noah at Galveston Beach
Hey, I know what to do with this remote control!
Nancy and Noah
Me and Noah
Noah trying to say, "Apple."

I'm forced to lay here because all the chairs under the beach umbrella were taken. As you can see, I don't need any more work on my tan.

I'll write more about this weekend later, but a quick preview: Noah said, "Da-Da" a lot. I ate wayyyyy toooo much and drank wayyyyy wayyyyy too much. Also, I got in a 7-mile run along the beachfront. Great view. But dang, it was humid.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Weekend 4th of July plans

I'm leaving for Austin today (Wednesday) to see my 11-month old son. We are taking Noah to Galveston for his first day at the beach for the 4th of July.

I haven't seen him in a little more than two weeks, so I can't wait to see what he is doing, and babbling about.

See ya soon.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

How I survived June 2008

With the change of seasons, it’s always usual to hear the normal complaints about the weather: “Oh, it’s never been this hot,” or “...rained so much” or “...been this dry.”

But June in North Texas was a real live never ever.... well hardly ever.

According to the National Weather Service (in a report by the Dallas Morning News), June 2008 was the hottest June in the Dallas Fort Worth area since 1980, and the fourth hottest June in DFW of all-time. The average high temperature last month was 96.7 degrees. (It was a scorching 99.5 in 1980).

As a runner, the mornings are what really matter. Its not 96 degrees at 6 a.m. But these June mornings ranked even higher, with an average low of 76.3 degrees, second highest low temperature for a DFW June of all-time.

And yet....

June 2008 was my fastest month ever.

I ran 20 times in June for a total of 120.88 miles.

Total time: 17 hours, 41 seconds

Pace: 8:26 minutes a mile. A 1-month PR for pace.

Average heart rate for the month: 81.5 percent of maximum.

Yearly stats at the halfway point:

Miles: 664

Time: 4 days, 1 hour, 17 minutes, 34 seconds

Pace: 8:46 minutes a mile

Average heart rate: 80 percent of maximum.

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