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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Day 21 - My brother is one tough cookie

Sunday is normally my cross-training or long run day, but family matters came into the equation today so I wasn't able to get my workout in today. I really wish I had a bike because I could have ridden early this morning, but since I am relegated to riding the stationary bike at the gym, my options were limited. I have managed to eat well and got in some good stretching this evening though. Two rest days after yesterday's hilly 7 miles won't kill me.

Disclaimer: Don't read if you have a weak stomach.

Today I made another trip to Chickasha to see my younger brother who has been in the hospital since Wednesday. He contracted a staph infection which he first noticed last Sunday. At first, it was no big deal and they gave him some antibiotics and told him that should take care of it. Tuesday morning rolls around and his left arm is swollen, red, and hard. Apparently the infection had spread deep into his tissue of his left bicep area and they said he would need surgery to help drain the infection and to clean out the affected area. They cut a quarter-size hole in his bicep and drained most of the infection out and figured he would get to go home the next day. Thursday rolls around and the doctor informs him that the infection is still pretty severe and he needs to have whirlpool treatments to flush out his arm and remove the pus. He goes through the treatments and the prognosis is that he should get to home on Friday. Friday rolls around and much of the same story. His arm is still swollen and when they remove the bandage more pus is present and he is ordered to have more whirlpool treatments and another day in the hospital. Every day seems to be the same story.

Saturday rolls around and he hears much of the same. At this point, I think we all are beginning to worry a little bit, but my brother seems more annoyed than anything. He is 16 and wants to get out and do things. He doesn't really feel bad and he says the pain is manageable. Well, until today the pain was manageable. Here we are hanging out in his hospital room and in strolls the on-call doctor for the weekend. He takes off the bandage and starts poking around at the hole in his arm and informs my mom and the RN present that he needs to clean out the wound because it still isn't improving. Take into account my mom is also an RN and works at this very hospital in the ICU wing. We thought, oh no big deal, this will be just like any other time. It will hurt him for a bit, but nothing too drastic. The doctor orders the nurse to go get some supplies and asks for a local anesthetic. Odd, I thought, but hey I am no doctor. My mom asked a few questions and we were all under the impression he was going to swab the inside of his arm and the local anesthetic was to help numb some of the pain. In pops the nurse with some lidocaine and a suture removal kit. What was that? A suture removal kit?? He doesn't have any sutures so what does he need that for?? Again, I am no expert so I keep my mouth shut and so does my mother. The doctor pumps up the needle with lidocaine and starts injecting it into the area surrounding my brother's drainage hole. The next thing I know he grabs the suture removal scissors and starts cutting my brother's arm with them. Flesh!! His actual, living flesh!! My brother is awake and fully aware of what's going on. My mom is freaking out and you could tell her motherly instincts were kicking in and she looked worried. Michael is kicking the end of the bed in pain and looks as pale as a ghost. I could hear the skin popping as he cut 2-3 inches on each side of his current drainage hole. He turned the quarter-size hole into a star-shaped gaping wound! OH MY GOD! My brother's girlfriend and I sat horrified as they cut his arm. I couldn't believe this was happening in this room at this moment. It didn't make sense to me why they didn't knock his ass out and perform this surgical procedure in a sterile OR. After the doc finished, my mother was livid. She was threatening to do all kinds of things to this doctor the next time she sees him and is planning on talking to Michael's primary care doctor on this case in the morning. I felt so bad for Michael. It had to be the most painful thing he has endured and even though the lidocaine was present, the sound of your own flesh being cut would cause you to cry. I wanted to cry for him because I felt helpless and awful he was having to go through that much pain. He is a trooper though. He gathered himself together fairly quickly and got back to his normal smart-ass ways within 10 minutes. I know he has to be in pain, but he is taking it like a champ. I have all the respect in the world for him. He is being a trooper. I hope he gets good news tomorrow and gets to go home. In the meantime, I hope the cut-em-up doctor learns a little bedside manner and compassion for his patients. My lord, he is a 16-year old kid. Cut him some slack and knock his ass out next time. Keep my little bro in your thoughts and prayers.

As for me, this week is going to drag by I have a feeling. I am more than ready for next weekend in Stillwater. The running is going great and I am looking forward to another clean week ahead. I plan on running 9 miles this weekend at some point. Most likely on Sunday, because Friday and Saturday will be dedicated to all things OSU. Go Pokes! Have a great start to Orange Power week!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Day 19-20 : Lake Stanley Draper

Week 3 of marathon training for the 2009 White Rock Marathon is coming to a close. It has been a very successful week of running and I am even more amped than ever to hit week 4 running strong.

Today was my long run of the week. I met up with the OKC Running Club, the LandRunners, this morning at 6:30 for my run. They had scheduled a 10-mile run for those training for the Route 66 Tulsa Marathon, but since I am 3 weeks behind their schedule, I opted for 7 miles instead. The morning alarm came very early this morning, but the reward of great weather and plenty of good company was well worth the effort of getting out of bed. I woke up about 5:15 this morning and had my usual whole-wheat bagel with peanut butter and jelly. I also threw in a banana for good measure. I strapped on the trusty heart-rate monitor, laced up, and out the door I went.

Stanley Draper is a small lake on the southeast side of OKC and is about a 20-minute drive from my house. The temperature gauge on my car showed a ridiculously comfortable 64 degrees when I got in this morning. The cool, crisp breeze felt great as I drove with the windows down, singing along to Sugarland and pumping myself up for the run ahead of me. My legs felt great. I was alert. I was excited.

I pulled up to the marina and started my stretches as the cars kept pulling up. All in all, I would say there was a group of 50 or so runners and everyone seemed in good spirits due to the weather. We got the usual pre-run instructional and were warned of the hilly nature of the course and off we went. They were not lying about the hills either. The first 2 miles of the run were gentle, long hills that provided a good warm-up to the steep, short hills that waited around miles 3 and 4. It was my first real experience with running long and hills at the same time so it was a good experience. I ended up really enjoying the challenge and plan on making another trip out there in the future. I settled into a decent pace with another girl in the group and coasted through the 7 miles pretty easily which was a great sign. This is my longest run post-injury so I am making little strides every week. I am excited to tackle another long run next weekend. The long runs are my favorites. I love the way I feel after I finish. The mid-week runs are just grueling maintenance for me. I think I will begin to enjoy those more as the weather continues to moderate and I am able to run outside more often. A great start to the weekend! I will get in some cross-training tomorrow and then do it all over again after resting on Monday.

No big plans this evening. I am already pretty tired so pretty sure I will be doing something low-key. I am planning on going to my parent's house tomorrow to see my little brother if he gets released from the hospital. He recently got a pretty nasty staph infection and has been in the hospital for a few days. They think it's getting better, but they are still concerned. I know he is more annoyed than anything, but he needs to take it easy and get healthy. Other than that, the weekend is pretty tame. The calm before the storm. This time next weekend I will either be celebrating a great Cowboy victory or contemplating what could have been if we lose. Hopefully I will be tearing up the Stillwater streets with the Cowboy faithful!

Saturday, August 29th - 7.08 miles in 1:07:51 (9:35 pace)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Wednesday, August 26th - Miller Neighborhood (3 mi)

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Wednesday, August 26th - Miller Neighborhood (3 mi)

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Day 18 - Easy Day

Well, right at this moment I am trying to share my workout from last night on Blogger, but it appears that myGarmin is experiencing problems so we shall wait another day. If by some miracle it works before I hit publish on here, I will post it tonight.

Nothing really special today. Work was pretty tame which is always welcome. I was highly unmotivated to run today, but I forced myself to the gym anyway. Once I got there, I "stretched" for about 20 minutes, which is another way of saying I laid around on the floor for 20 minutes and listened to music. After summoning the power to get up again, I went and joined my gym rat partners for a few weights and then slugged over to the treadmill for the obligatory 3 miles today. Once again, that first mile was an absolute killer. I always second-guess my ability to run a marathon when I start a run. I sure am glad the ends of the run are so satisfying or I would be eating potato chips and watching football all fall instead of training. After a mile into the run, I felt really good and I used the leisurely pace to just do a little recovery run and loosen up the joints. I opted to run instead of cross-training for the 3rd workout this week since everything has gone well the past 2 days. I figured I would give the full running schedule a shot this week. So far, it's been fairly successful.

Nothing major planned this weekend. It's my last free weekend until after the marathon so I guess I better enjoy it. It seems odd to think that for the next 15 weekends I have something planned. I am going to be one worn out guy, but I have a few vacation days to burn so I may take one now and then to get some R and R. Only thing on the agenda at the moment is a 7 mile run at some point this weekend and maybe a birthday shindig for my grandmother. Off to bed for now. Great news! The Garmin workout is loaded. Click on the link in the post above and check it out!

Thursday, August 27th - 3.0 miles in 30 minutes (10:00 pace) Easy recovery run today!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Day 17 - Wednesday Training Run

Hump Day! It's always nice to hit that halfway point in the week where you know the weekend is just around the corner. Today was a fast day at work as we are wrapping up our end of the month business. I also went and picked up my last shipment from UPS. I got my new foam roller, a duffel bag for races, a new pair of shorts, and a back-up pair of Brooks Adrenaline ASR shoes for training/racing. I should be good to go now!

Today was my first test run of the Garmin. I have to admit, I love it! It's like a brand new bike when you are a kid or that first BB gun where you run out and shot it immediately. After picking up my package from UPS, I came home and geared up for my run. Heart rate monitor was wrapped around my abdomen, SPI Belt was used to hold my house key and my cell phone, and my Garmin was strapped to my wrist. The Garmin found the satellites in no time at all (less than 5 seconds) and off we went.

This was my first run through the neighborhood where I live and it was quite nice. A storm was brewing to the west of OKC so it blocked out the blazing sun and kept the temps somewhat manageable. I think it was probably 90ish with no wind which isn't too awful. During my run, I did notice running slow is difficult when I am not on the treadmill. I have a tendency to run faster than I want/should for my training runs. Running outside will teach me discipline and I will have to learn how to not overdo it over the next few weeks. All in all, it was a great first workout with the new toy. I will download the data to Blogger tomorrow evening and let you all see how it looks. I will also write a more detailed review of the Garmin when I get a few more workouts in the books.

Wednesday, August 26th - 3.09 miles in 28:13 (9:07 pace)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Day 15-16 : Garmin 310 XT Has Arrived!

Yep, you read that correctly! The Garmin Forerunner 310XT has finally arrived in Oklahoma City. After several weeks of delays and many e-mails back and forth with Road Runner Sports, UPS delivered the goods about 5:30 pm today. I haven't really had much of a chance to use it yet, but it is fully charged and ready to go now. I will take it for a test drive tomorrow and give everyone a review this weekend after I use it a few times. I bought the one with the heart rate monitor included and the first fitting seems very comfortable. One more package tomorrow and I think my online running purchases are finished for a while. The next round of purchases will be cold weather running gear for the marathon and winter training.

Monday was a rest day so not much to report from yesterday. I did go do a bit of strength training and managed to cook a pretty decent meal of squash, onions, and chicken for dinner. It was quite tasty. The fresh produce from my parent's garden definitely hit the spot. Other than that, just the usual ice and stretching routine as I continue to try to fend off any injuries that may pop up over the weeks. Prevention is the best medicine.

Today was my easy run day. I put in a decent 3 miles at the Midtown Y. Nothing too special to report other than that I am planning on taking my runs outside. The weather is definitely heading in the right direction and now I have a more reliable pace monitor so I don't overdo things in my training. Tomorrow's run will probably be at Lake Hefner pending any inclement weather. It is supposed to start raining tomorrow evening so I may postpone until the weather clears up. Off to bed for now. Reviews of the new Garmin are just around the corner!

Tuesday, August 25th - 3.0 miles in 29:19 (9:46 pace)

Take care. Talk to everyone again soon.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Days 12-14 : Return to Racing

I took a few days off from the blogging world to enjoy some down-time this weekend. I had no real plans for the weekend except for the Run with the Bulls 5K race on Saturday morning. Friday progressed very slowly. A lot of people were out of the office and a lot of my contacts for work were gone as well. It turned into a very slow, methodical day at the office. I did get some stuff done since I wasn't being bothered, but it just made for a very long day. Friday night I didn't do much of anything. I met up with my friends, Holly and Katie, for a few beers after work. I was home and in my lounge clothes by 7:30. Not too shabby.

Saturday morning came very quickly and it was extremely hard to get myself out of bed. You would think that since I was pretty excited about running my first post-injury race that I would have shot out of bed. No such luck this particular morning. I snoozed 3 times and finally rolled one leg out of bed and started the pre-race routine. I ate the usual bagel, peanut butter, and grape jelly. I topped it off with a few drinks of OJ and downed a lot of water. I then managed to somehow get myself dressed, body glided, and out the door in about 10 minutes. The race started only about 5-10 minutes from my apartment, so it was an easy drive to the starting line. The race crowd was actually a little bigger than I had anticipated and I was pleasantly surprised with the number of walk-up entries. Since I had won this entry at the July LandRunners meeting, I was pre-registered and got to skip all the chaos. I checked in, was given bib 185, grabbed my gift bag, and headed out the door. Race time was only about 15 minutes away by that time so I did some light jogging, stretching, and people watching to prepare for the race ahead. I always enjoy the people-watching aspect of races. Runners are a rare breed. We all have our only little quirks that make us unique, but in all in all, we are all molded into very similar running creatures. We all stretch, fidget, wait in ridiculously long lines to purge our system in a plastic hole, and have random conversations with strangers leading up to the race. I love it. It makes me feel at home. It makes me feel like I am part of a community. A community that only those involved in understand and appreciate. A community that demands dedication, determination, and a twinge of craziness to make it all go round. "Welcome home, Bryan, you are back where you belong."

Race time approached and I found my place in line. I opted for the back of the pack, because I had no grand plans to run fast or even try to compete for any sort of age group award. I was just fine settling into a comfortable pace and having some fun. The weather was very nice for a mid-August morning. Upper 60s, sunny, and no wind. It was probably about as good as it could get for this time of year in Oklahoma. The gun sounded amid 100s of screaming girls who obviously were not paying attention to the impending start of the race. It was a nice laugh to kick off event. The course started at the gate of the OKC Stockyards and ran east on Exchange Ave on an out-and-back course. The first mile or so felt really, really good on the body so I settled into a nice pace and figured I would just try to maintain it for the entirety. This was a race I decided to run sans iPod, watch, or any other electronics. I had no idea what pace I was running and I had no desire to know. All I cared about was having a good time.

As we passed Penn Ave, I could see the impending Exchange Ave bridge and knew I would pass a lot of people on the climb and descent. I slowly picked off one runner after another and enjoyed the views of downtown OKC as we topped the hill. The downhill run to the old Farmer's Market was a breeze and we hit the turnaround point at the bottom of the bridge and tackled it again as we ran back south and west towards the finish at Stockyards City. I knew at this point that everything was going well so I picked up the pace and figured I would give it a shot to finish strong. I kicked it into gear and started coasting. It felt great! I was running strong and confident. No twinges of pain. No hesitation. I was having a blast! As we neared the finish line, I could tell that I was running a time that was actually pretty decent for myself, considering all the time off and limited running over the past few months. I had the biggest smile on my face when I saw the clock for the first time. 24:28. My first race back and I had a 24:28 finish! I was stoked. My previous best was 23:08 and that was after a couple of months of training for the half marathon. It occurred to me then, that these goals I have in my head are achievable if I stay smart, train hard, and have fun. I have only been running for 6 months now and I know I have a lot of work to do. I have a ton of room for improvement and the more I run, the more I read, and the more I race, the smarter I get about what my body can and can't do. I am excited about the possibilities. Operation Run with the Bulls 5K was a success. It was just what I needed to kick start my training program. Week 3 begins tomorrow! Only 16 weeks until I conquer the Dallas White Rock Marathon. Woo hoo!

Saturday, August 22nd - 5K race (3.11 miles) 24:28 (7:53 pace)

Sunday, August 23rd - 60 minutes of stationary bike (15.92 miles) Great cross-training day.

Another week in the books. I am excited to start the next chapter!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day 11 - Final Doctor Visit

Today marked the first day of officially being off "probation"! I went to my final doctor visit and checked out ok.. He did a lot of mobility tests and some pressure tests to make sure I wasn't having any abnormal pain. Everything checked out well and I am now on my own! He told me if I felt good and believed I could handle the workload, then go for it. He also told me that he would help me get to my race if something flared up late in my training. In other words, he would give me some good meds and let me do it if I wanted. I would have to assess my real goals at that point and decide if it was worth it or not. I am guessing that is a very personal decision. Hopefully there won't be any need for medical intervention!

The plan is still to get to this marathon healthy and have fun. No breakneck speeds, no real challenging time goals, and a lot of support along the course. Those are my real goals for this 1st marathon. White Rock Marathon, here I come!

No running today due to the tenderness I felt yesterday. I opted instead for some weights, stretching, and 30 minutes on the stationary bike. Rest day tomorrow and then my 1st race since May on Saturday. The weather here is absolutely beautiful at the moment. Low 60s at night and mid-80s during the day. I prefer 50s and 70s for it to be perfect, but I will take these temps any day when it's mid-August!

Thursday, August 20 - 30 minutes of stationary bike (7.05 miles)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day 10 - Appetite

My appetite is out of control. I am constantly hungry. I have started to try the smart snacking and smaller meal routine to increase the efficiency of my diet. It has worked in some respects. I have started to eat healthy snacks such as fruit, nuts, or small portions of dairy products. Yet, my meals haven't seemed to get any smaller. I am not eating anything that is bad for me, but my portions have been enormous. There definitely is something to be said about having too much of a good thing. Tonight I ended up eating a grilled chicken breast, baked potato, and some steamed broccoli as my post-run meal. Again, not bad food. Just too much. My goal is to trim back my portions a bit and get this appetite under control. I need to trim off a few pounds to keep improving my running regimen. Ideally, I will lose 10 pounds over the course of the next few months. If not, I at least know I will be a very fit 185 pounds :-)

My running today was a little experiment. I ended up trying to do a little tempo work to help slowly work my way back up the pace chart. Due to this and the 5K race on Saturday, tomorrow will be a cross-training day in place of the scheduled 3 miles. Here is what I did today.

Wednesday, August 19th - 4.0 miles in 38:05 (9:31 pace)
  • 1st mile at 9:50 pace
  • 2nd mile at 9:31 pace
  • 3rd mile at 9:13 pace
  • 4th mile at 9:40 pace (Last 1/4 mile at 8:57 pace)
All in all, it was a pretty decent workout and something different. I will try to do something similar next week just to break up the routine. I am also keeping my fingers crossed to get my Garmin next week. It will motivate to move my runs outdoors after I get the all-clear from the doctor tomorrow. I will fill you in on the visit tomorrow evening.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Day 9 - Making Strides

Another one in the books. It's always nice to mark another day off the training schedule as a success. I have decided to switch out Week 2 and 3 on the original schedule due to the Run w/ the Bulls 5K this weekend. That means my running schedule for the week will be as follows:

Tuesday : 3.0 miles
Wednesday : 4.0 miles
Thursday : Cross-Train or 3.0 miles
Friday : Rest
Saturday : Run w/ the Bulls 5K + 2 miles (5 miles roughly)
Sunday : Cross-Train

I think that should allow me to enjoy the race a little more and not worry about getting in 7 miles this weekend as originally scheduled. Plus, I am not really planning on "racing". I am going to run leisurely and enjoy the company along the way. No need to get too excited since the marathon is my ultimate goal.

Tuesday, August 18th - 3.0 miles in 28:55 (9:38 pace)

It's become increasingly difficult to run a 10 minute mile and not feel like I am absolutely walking. I think I will slowly work my way up the pace chart the next few weeks. Nothing too drastic though.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Day 8 - Week 2 Begins

Today was another manic Monday. It's the start of crazy time in gas marketing world and it won't let up until the middle of next week. Today was also my first dining experience at Deep Fork which was interesting. Overall, I was pretty pleased with the food and I really liked the setup of the restaurant. I would like to go back sometime when I have more of a chance to skim the menu and make a more educated decision. That's one thing I hate about business lunches. You have to chit-chat and pay attention when you sit down and you never get a chance to look at the menu. It should be a rule of thumb at business lunches to have at least 5 minutes to look at the minute in complete silence ;-)

No running today. I did go to the gym and got a little lifting in and did a very easy 10 minutes on the stationary bike just to loosen things up a bit. My business dinner got canceled for tomorrow night so that means I get to run! The first week was a great success. I hope the 2nd week follows suit!

In other news, the Garmin 310XT is delayed again. Now the ship date is August 24th, hopefully. I know it is selfish and I do feel like a big a-hole, but I am still ready to get it and try it out. Plus, I will get to put a big nice review on it when I actually get to test it out. Hopefully someone out there is looking for a review and stumbles on to the site.For all of those that don't know, the reason for the shipping delay is the typhoon that hit Taiwan a week or so ago. Evidently Road Runner Sports sold out of their initial shipment and they are still waiting on the 2nd shipment.

Off to check the weather and watch a little baseball. Oh yeah! I almost forgot! My OSU season tickets came by UPS today. Woo hoo! Tickets are in hand and there are only 18 days until kickoff. Go Pokes!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Day 7 - Chuck E Cheese

Today was my "long run" day. Sundays are my favorite day of the week. Generally I get to sleep in a bit, go get some Starbucks, catch up on news, and then go for my long run. Today was more of the same and I loved it. I woke up about 9 AM and leisurely got out of bed and went to get some Starbucks. A Venti Americano makes me smile. After my coffee, I headed to the house and had my normal pre-run breakfast of a whole-wheat bagel, peanut butter, and grape jelly. I also managed to catch up on some of my running blogs, read some CNN, and watched Sportscenter while doing some stretching. After that, I made my way to the Downtown YMCA and ran my scheduled 6 miles. Let me tell you, it was a great run. I felt great the entire way through and didn't even think about my hip injury. My knees are a little sore at the moment, but other than that minor hiccup, it was a great success. Week 1 is in the books and I am more than convinced I can make this thing work. Week 2 starts tomorrow!

Today was also my nephew's big birthday party at Chuck E Cheese with the extended family. We actually had 3 birthday parties with Ayden, Harrison, and Gage all within 3 years of each other and all having August birthdays. Chuck E Cheese is just one of those places where you have to just try to tune out the hundreds of screaming kids and try to retain some sort of sanity. It is great birth control and is one place I will not miss seeing when my young relatives finally outgrow the incessant need to spend tons of someone else's money for a Nerf football and a sucker. I know I loved it as a kid too, so kudos to my parents and my brother for being able to suck it up and have fun. I actually did have a really good time hanging out with the folks again. My cousins are always fun to see as well. We are all amped up for OSU football and I actually have 2 cousins in school up there at the moment, so maybe I will frequent a college party at some point this season and relive my days as a crazy college kid. I know it will only happen once. I am too old to do it twice within a 4 month span!

Day 7, Sunday, August 16th - 6.0 miles in 58:30 (9:45 pace)

Have a good evening and a great start to your week. Happy Sunday everyone!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Day 5 and 6 - Family Time

No running over the past 2 days. Friday is my scheduled rest day every week. It's nice to be able to go to happy hour, hit the road for a weekend trip, or just do something besides the normal routine on Friday. This week I went and saw Mary at Salon W and got a razor cut to look fresh for all of our customers coming into town next week. I then made a trek to Bricktown with Doug and Curt and grabbed some dinner and went to see District 9. I really liked it. It had a lot of references to struggles in our own society such as racism, apartheid, immigration concerns, etc. It makes you see both sides of the struggle and provides an interesting backdrop for an alien sci-fi flick. I would recommend seeing this if you like movies that touch on sensitive subjects and don't mind a little gore. I was thoroughly entertained.

Today was my nephew's birthday party in Chickasha. I drove down mid-afternoon and spent the rest of the day with my family. It was nice to catch up with everyone again. I started thinking back and I hadn't been around my family since July 4th. That's too long for sure. My nephew turns 4 next Tuesday, which is absolutely crazy to me. I can't believe he is that old. He is in school now and just growing like a weed. I had to think long and hard today about my younger brother as well. He is a junior! Holy hell. Two years and he will be in college. What gives there?! That means I am getting old. I can't believe I am going to have to be sending money to my brother for college in 2 years. I better start saving! Although, I don't think I will have to give as much as I had originally thought. I told him I would help out tremendously if he went to OSU and followed in his brother's footsteps. Sounds like he might be going to OBU to follow his call to the ministry. Mom and Dad are going to have one heck of a tuition bill. Ouch!

Tomorrow is run day. Going to get in 6 easy miles and call the 1st week a success. I did 45 minutes of cross-training on the stationary bike today at Midtown Y. All in all, a very successful start to the weekend. Updates tomorrow. Goodnight everyone.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Day 4 - Sad News for Softball

Day 4 began with some very sad news for all the women who have ever played softball, the current players, and all those little girls who worship the ground the USA softball team walks on. The IOC voted to exclude softball from the 2016 Olympics, in favor of putting golf and rugby on the slate. I understand golf is a popular sport and rugby is big internationally, but neither one of them will consider the Olympics as the ultimate goal. For softball players all over the world, the Olympics is THE sporting event they all aspire to compete in when they first put on their cleats as a young girl. It is the mecca of their sport. In my mind, that is what the Olympics should be shooting for when they pick sports. It shouldn't be about money. It shouldn't be about a popularity contest. It should be about promoting clean, i.e. drug free, sports where the best of the best come to play and compete for their country for the ultimate prize in their sport. It hits home to me because my niece may never have that dream again. She will be 17 when the 2016 Olympics come around and there is no guarantee the sport will ever be included in the Olympic programme again. Her dream of being like Jennie Finch, Cat Osterman, Monica Abbott, Lisa Fernandez, Michelle Smith, or any other pitcher that has worn the USA jersey has been taken away. It's hard enough for female athletes to get a fair shake in a testosterone driven industry. They may never have the fame and fortune of their male counterparts. They may never get that opportunity to play on the grand stage. Now a generation of softball players will be robbed of that dream. It's definitely a sad day for the sport. Hopefully the IOC wakes up before 2020.

Day 4 - Thursday, august 13th - 3.0 miles in 29:00 (9:40 pace)

All is well in the running world. Just a few minor kinks from the first full week of running. I am pretty pleased with the progress. Six miles and cross-training this weekend.

Have a great Thursday night.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Day 3 - The 1st Mile

Is the first mile absolute torture for anyone else out there? I feel like the 1st mile of any run I do makes me aware of every minor twinge of pain in my body. Today was no different. The first mile of my run was achy, boring, and exhausting. After the first mile, though my body decides its ready to go and away we go together. I only did 3 miles again today. Slow and steady wins the race, right? I did pick up the pace a bit today, which is my plan for all of my Wednesday runs. I will try to include a little speed workout in each if the body holds up to the rigors. Nothing too grand to write about today so I think I will call it quits. I need to start doing some fantasy football research because this is my first year to actually do a live draft. I don't want to look like a complete idiot.

Day 3 : Wednesday, August 12th - 3.0 miles in 28:14 (9:25 pace)
Ran 1 mile at 9:31 pace. Ran 1 mile at 8:57 pace. Ran 1 mile at 9:40 pace.

Times are all rough estimates, but give you an idea of my workout. Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Day 1 and 2 - Beginning of a Journey

It's such an exciting time. So much anticipation. So much uncertainty. I like the way the schedule started off. Day 1 was a scheduled rest day. What a great way to start?!?! I went ahead and did some lifting and core exercises and called it a day. Monday was pretty ho-hum this week. I was too tired and too cranky to care about doing anything else. Someone must have "peed in my Cheerios" as Al Roker so affectionately says on "Waking up with Al" on the Weather Channel.

Day 2, today, I was in a much better mood and managed to put a smile on my face for most of the day. I don't really like being grumpy so it's nice to get back to my old self.

Football season is officially 24 days away. In honor of this, here is the cover of the new Sports Illustrated :



GO POKES! I can't wait for the season to get here!

Here is my running journal so far this week:

Monday, August 10th - REST

Tuesday, August 11th - 3.0 miles in 29:30 (9:50 pace)

Hip felt ok today and I think progress is still being made. I will update again in a day or two.

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Novice 1 Training Program

Here is the plan as it stands now:

Week Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun Miles
10-Aug Rest 3 3 3 Rest 6 Cross 15
17-Aug Rest 3 3 3 Rest 7 Cross 16
24-Aug Rest 3 4 3 Rest 5 Cross 15
31-Aug Rest 3 4 3 Rest 9 Cross 19
7-Sep Rest 3 5 3 Rest 10 Cross 21
14-Sep Rest 3 5 3 Rest 7 Cross 18
21-Sep Rest 3 6 3 Rest 12 Cross 24
28-Sep Rest 3 6 3 Rest 13 Cross 25
5-Oct Rest 3 7 4 Rest 10 Cross 24
12-Oct Rest 3 7 4 Rest 15 Cross 29
19-Oct Rest 4 8 4 Rest 16 Cross 32
26-Oct Rest 4 8 5 Rest 12 Cross 29
2-Nov Rest 4 9 5 Rest 18 Cross 36
9-Nov Rest 5 9 5 Rest 14 Cross 33
16-Nov Rest 5 10 5 Rest 20 Cross 40
23-Nov Rest 5 8 4 Rest 12 Cross 29
30-Nov Rest 4 6 3 Rest 8 Cross 21
7-Dec Rest 3 4 2 Rest Rest Race 9

As you can see, my rest days are Monday and Friday which works out well. I will probably do most of my long runs on Sunday, due to football games being on Saturday. I also have decided to substitute cross-training for 10-20% of the weekly mileage. I figured this would allow me to lessen the impact on my hip and hopefully keep me healthy.

So there it is for you guys. My goals, my plan, and my concerns. I hope you will hold me accountable by asking about my training. I hope you will follow along with me on this journey. I also hope that you can make it to Dallas if you don't have anything better to do that weekend. The more people I see along the course, the better.

As for this past week, here are my running logs from Thursday and today:

Thursday, August 6th : 3.53 miles : 40 minutes : 11:20 pace

Warm-up of 10 minutes. Ran 2.5 miles in 24:30 (6.0 to 6.2 mph pace). Cool down of 5 minutes.

Sunday, August 9th : 7.25 miles : 1 hr 20 min : 11:02 pace

Warm-up of 10 minutes. Ran 6 miles at 10 min/mi pace. Cool down of 10 minutes.

Happy Sunday night everyone. Have a great week!

White Rock Marathon - Goals and Training Plan

It is time. Marathon training officially begins tomorrow, Monday, August 10th. The 18-week adventure is one that I have been looking forward to for at least 2 months now. The injury setback was very disappointing and discouraging. I often wondered if running a marathon this year was even an achievable goal. Weeks of physical therapy and tiny leaps here and there, and here we are now at the start of something special. The beginning of a new chapter in my running life. The first marathon.

Over the last two months, I have contemplated what my goals and aspirations would be for this first full marathon. I started off thinking I wanted to do something special. I even told my dad, "I don't want to just finish, I want to finish fast." I had a confidence about me that was very strange. I did fairly well in my first few races and my drive to compete was alive and well. My half marathon was an exhilarating experience and, despite the conditions, was only 6 minutes off my goal time. So, based on those facts alone, I was prepared to knock the marathon out of the park. Then came the hip problem. I was brought back to reality and have since come to terms with my goal and plan for Dec 13th. My goal is to get to the starting line healthy, have a good time, and celebrate my finish with family and friends. If things go well, maybe I will still hit my goal inside my head. If not, who cares. I will have taken that step towards a future in running and moving my life in a healthy, positive direction. It is a win-win situation.

Now, on to the training plan. I asked around at work and did some online research and concluded that I needed a Novice program that allowed for a couple of rest days a week and allowed me to keep my total mileage to a safe number since I am still nursing a tender hip from time to time. I ended up choosing the Hal Higdon Novice 1 training plan. It seemed like a schedule that was achievable, but would still push me to run smart and run well. Up to this point, my longest run has been 13.1 miles and my highest weekly mileage total has been 28 miles. My limits will definitely be pushed and my dedication will be tested. I know it won't be easy. Fall is a busy time of year. I have season tickets to OSU football and the weather is very unpredictable. Two factors that will make it imperative for me to stay focused on the goal and push myself out the door, even when it's too cold or I am too tired. I am sure I will have to get creative and run at times that are unconventional. I am sure my running routes will probably range from Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City to Ames, Iowa, to Stillwater, OK, to College Station, TX. Road trips are a common theme during football season, so my running shoes will be packed on every trip. Most of all, I am sure it will hurt. I will need to be smart. My diet will need to change to match my needs. Fewer beers, better food, and more frequent quality snacks. I will need to be diligent. But even with all of this, I am excited. I am nervous. I am ready!

Weekend Fun

This weekend had been highlighted on my calendar for a few weeks now and it was nothing short of amazing.

Friday night was the trek to Tulsa for Sugarland and Keith Urban. I have really grown to love Sugarland and find them very enjoyable to listen to and watch on stage. They have an energy about them that is unique and quirky. Jennifer Nettles is a pure singer. Her voice is one that you can recognize anytime you hear it. Kristian Bush provides just the right amount of background vocals and really brings a smile to your face with his demeanor on stage. They just look like they have a lot of fun and enjoy doing it together. Keith is a must-see in my opinion. This was my 2nd time to watch him in concert and he left me wanting more again. He has a way of lighting up the entire arena and bringing everyone to their feet. At one point in the show, I was convinced that everyone in the arena was dancing. It's just that much fun. He also has a ton of great songs so that helps getting people involved. Overall, a very enjoyable evening. Our tickets ended up being great and the music was even better. Two thumbs up!

Saturday was recovery day after a late-night drive back from Tulsa. I slept in a bit. I went and got a mammoth breakfast burrito from Big Truck Tacos. Of course, I also grabbed some Starbucks and settled in for a few hours of tv time. After my overwhelmingly big breakfast, I figured it was time to get outside and do something. Doug, Curt, and I ended up going to the Chesapeake Boathouse and went kayaking for a couple of hours on the Oklahoma River. It was rather hot outside, but it felt good to get in some exercise and enjoy the company of friends on a Saturday afternoon. It's also nice to dream about the future of OKC while on the river. With the recent designation of an Olympic training site, I think the sky is the limit. There are already more boathouses going up along the river, and the whitewater portion is supposedly in the planning phase. It will be a great outdoor oasis for the inner-OKC population for many years to come. I can't wait to see the progress unfold. Saturday ended with a dinner at Louie's on the Lake and an early evening for me so I could be rested and ready for Sunday, Runday. I will post more about my marathon training and my Sunday run later. For now, it's off to watch Big Brother. Talk to you again soon.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The heat returns

Well, we all know it was too good to be true here in OKC. The 80s and 90s have finally surrendered to the 100s once again. It's such a drag! Who needs 100 degree heat anyway?!? If you like it, you are sick and twisted. Just saying. One positive note is that I haven't had to run in it just yet. I am still confined to the A/C and running on a treadmill for 2 more weeks. After that, Lake Hefner here I come. I also plan on joining up with the LandRunners group for their Saturday morning runs when I am in town. With football season only a few weeks away, my Saturdays in OKC will be limited so Stillwater will get to see my bright, shiny running face.

In other news, I went and bought the new Sugarland CD/DVD set today. I was a little irked it was only carried at Wal-Mart, but apparently country music listeners love Wal-Mart. Imagine that! I will have to say I am very, very partial to Target. Ok, not even partial. I love Target and everything about it. I avoid Wal-Mart like the plague. My first, quick listen was nothing short of expectations. I can tell I will really enjoy the CD with the covers they play at their concerts and the DVD will be a great addition to my collection of Dixie Chicks concerts. Perfect late evening listening when I am typing away on the computer.

No running the past 2 days. I figured I would give myself a little break and move my running days to Wed/Thurs and Sunday. I plan on utilizing this scheme during actual marathon training too. I did do 30 minutes on the elliptical and lifted weights to get some cross-training in for today's scheduled 2 miles of running. I am still trying to substitute cross-training for 20% of my scheduled running to help ease the pounding on the tender hips. My hips are feeling much better and my doubts and fears are easing about getting injured again soon. I know I still have a lot of miles left before the marathon, but I am confident again.

On a side note, go check out my friend's new website. It is www.allioppe.com. If you are an avid shopper or just like to find cool places to go shopping, go sign up for a profile and locate some trendy shoppes and boutiques in your area. If you don't see your favorite store on the site, shoot her an e-mail or give her a call and suggest some shoppes in your area. She would be thrilled to take your suggestions and get to work!
Happy Tuesday everyone. I will blog again soon and lay out the marathon plan!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

August, here we come!

Another busy end to the month, as is always the case in the natural gas trading business. I am always relieved to get to the 1st of the next month and realize that I have everything done that needs to be done.

The end of the week was highlighted by two OSU caravans here in OKC. The first one was at Chesapeake and was put on by the OSU Posse. The Posse is the athletic donor program at OSU and I am an active member. We were treated to lunch, OSU fight songs, videos of last year's successes, and a guest speaker from the OSU football program. It was a nice start to a very festive OSU day for me. That evening I went downton to the Cox Convention Center and attended the big OSU caravan with Coach Gundy and hundred of other fans and supporters. Gundy talked about the upcoming season and challenged all the fans in attendance to make Boone Pickens Stadium a place that every team will remember. I plan to do my part! I am definitely excited for kickoff against Georgia on Sept 5th. Only one month away!

Saturday was recovery day for me. I had way too good of a time Friday night at the caravan and then at Tapwerks with Megan and Brandon. My fellow OSU travel partners are definitely a nice addition to my life. I have found a pair of people who not only care about me, but share a lot of the same interests. We have already planned several trips together for the upcoming season and I have no doubts we will have many fond memories of the year ahead. Go Pokes!

Today was run day! I love my Sunday runs. It is the perfect end to a week for me. It's a time to reflect. A time to push myself. A time to relieve some stress. It's what I look forward to each weekend. I hope my love for running continues to build. I have big plans for myself in the future. If I can stay healthy, I know I have the mental toughness and dedication to push myself to my limits. Today was my longest run since the injury. 5 miles in the books and the best part was I was smiling and singing the entire way. I was in a great mood today. I am sure the people at the gym thought I was crazy. I know my pace is nothing to brag about, but just being able to run 5 miles and be healthy at the end of the run is good enough for me!

Only one more week and marathon training officially begins. I can't believe it's already time to start the journey. In all actuality, I have been running a training schedule for the whole month of July, but it's been more of a base-building/injury rehab program. I will outline my training program sometime this week and I plan on sending out a link to friends and relatives to be able to follow along if they choose.

Here are the Thursday and Sunday run reports for the week:

Thursday, July 30th : 3.56 miles : 40 minutes : 11:14 pace

Warm-up of 10 minutes. Ran 1/2 mile at 10 min/mi pace. Ran 1.0 miles at 9:31 min/mi pace. Ran 1.0 miles at 10 min/mi pace. (2.5 miles overall). Cooldown of 5 minutes.

Sunday, August 2nd : 6.31 miles : 1:10:00 (70 minutes) : 11:06 pace

Warm-up of 10 minutes. Ran 5 miles at 10 min/mi pace. Cool down of 10 minutes.

Total Actual Running Mileage for July : 29.5 miles

Making strides, little by little. August should be a great month!