Running …

… because I can … because it's fun … because it's healthy … just BECAUSE.

No. 1091

There’s part of me that feels a bit weird sharing less about running this year after I’ve shared so much on this blog for 7 years. I offer no apologies for it, nor should I offer up any reasons.

With two kids, a promotion, #RunChat and other normal life things, writing about running isn’t a high priority. That also means that things are going fairly well too.

Aside from a monthly roundup, I doubt I write more than just a few times a month this summer.

All that said, here’s a quick update:

  • I’m doing the Runner’s World Run Streak that started Memorial Day and “ends” July 4. It’s kind of nice to get some redemption on the holiday streak that I was forced to end after an illness.
  • I still want a 5K PR on July 4. I’m doing more speedwork; I can get to below that 5K PR pace on intervals; all I can do is go for it and see what happens. I do have a backup race a few weeks later in mind.
  • I miss winter.
  • There’s no question that I’m fan of Altra’s shoes, but I’ve struggled a bit with the Torin 1.5. The original shoe, however, fits me well and I’m making sure those will be my main shoe for the rest of the year.
  • I never did a recap of the problems with the 8K I did last month, but I wrote the race director and got a canned response. At least he responded, but I won’t be going back to that race.
  • I still don’t have an “A” fall race. I don’t know what I want to do. I try to care, but I can’t. Not yet. Right now I’m just focused on July. What happens in the 5K will be a part of those decisions.

That’s really about it. Now excuse me while I try to get to bed at a decent hour …

May Report Card: B

I enjoyed doing a report card in April — it made me think a lot throughout May about what I was doing in a completely different way. For at least another month, I’ll again grade myself in a variety of areas to see where things stand as I head into the summer.

Overall mileage: B
I was hoping to get close to 90, but ended up just shy of 80. It’s funny what just a couple of rough nights with a baby will do to overall mileage. I missed a couple of runs and cut a couple short, thus the lower total.

Quality mileage: A-
Speedwork at least once a week, plus a new PR¬†were nice. It just wasn’t quite a full “A” material.

Cross training: B
I didn’t get on my bike, but I did hit the weight room at my work’s gym once a week; last week I went twice. I could definitely do more.

Nutrition: B-
In the second half of the month I started making smoothies with kale and a variety of fruit. The way it’s made me feel better has been amazing.

I can’t give myself a better grade, though, when I look at the month as a whole. The first half of the month was not that great.

Attitude: B+
In my race yesterday, I had this thought about halfway through that I couldn’t keep the pace. That’s a mental issue I’ve had for nearly two years in many races.

I didn’t lose my pace though; in fact I had a small negative split. My attitude is getting a lot better and I’m crossing some mental hurdles; June and July will be key to me getting fully over whatever my problem is/was.

Overall grade: B
Nice improvement from my C+ in April. For June I want to run more and I want to continue running better.

I also know that continued improvements with nutrition will help a lot. I’ve got a 5K in July that should be PR material, and these next 30 days are huge in getting there.

A new PR, finally

run for the dream 8k race bib

The PR drought is OVER. It’s one of those PRs that I’m not going to jump up and down and get too excited about, but I felt a huge weight come off my shoulders today in the Run for the Dream 8K as I pushed myself to a new best time of 37:51:31.

Win a Run for the Dream entry

Disclosure: Run for the Dream is providing me a race entry for an 8K. All opinions about the event are my own and I am not being compensated in any other way.

Run for the Dream logoOn May 31 and June 1, an 8K and half marathon — Run for the Dream — will run through Historic Williamsburg and finish at the College of William & Mary.

As I was looking for a non-half marathon to run before summer, the 8K portion of this race captured my attention a while ago.

It’s an opportunity to possible go for a PR, but also test where I am heading into the summer months. Since Williamsburg is just an hour away from me, this race lined up perfectly with my race schedule.

The race also benefits An Achievable Dream and Paralyzed Veterans Racing. An Achievable Dream operated two schools in the Newport News area with plans to expand to Virginia Beach. Paralyzed Veterans Racing is made up of military veterans who were either injured during their service or after their honorable discharge.

Read more about both groups below.

About An Achievable Dream
An Achievable Dream (AAD) operates two nationally recognized K-12 schools in partnership with a public school system. Dedicated to the belief that all children can learn and succeed regardless of their socioeconomic backgrounds, and that education can break the cycle of poverty, AAD offers a quality education in a nurturing environment, the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with caring adults, and the chance to take part in engaging enrichment activities during both the academic day and hours spent outside of school. Read more >

About Paralyzed Veterans Racing
Paralyzed Veterans Racing is a team of competitive para-cyclists. The team races within the United States Handcycling Federation’s sanctioned events and numerous other competitive and recreational events ranging from Marathons to MS 150s. Read more >

Enter to win a race entry to either the 8K or half marathon simply by leaving a comment below with what your current running dream is. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a PR or completing a certain distance, or a short-term or long-term goal … dream big or small!

Entries are due by noon ET Thursday, May 8. A winner will be drawn at random and contacted by email that afternoon.

(Please note that the contest is over and the winner – Josh – has been notified)

April Report Card: C+

Looking at just my numbers for the month is a little old, so I’m switching things up as I look back at April and grading myself.

It’s not all about the mileage or the scale — there’s the question of how I feel and a variety of factors that lead to how satisfied I am with a month. I think this may help me provide a more honest answer with myself and my state of running each month.

In hindsight, I’d give each of the first three months a B. I could easily look back at March and be disappointed because getting sick cut out about 20 running miles, but overall I felt really good at Shamrock and ending the quarter with a decent weight loss.

April, however, gets a downgrade. I ran more this month than last (a little more than 80 miles), but I failed miserably at cross training, including one little bike ride and minimal core work.

I ate too many cookies. I had too many second helpings. My saving grace is having a stand-up desk at work.

So here’s how I’m grading things right now. I may adjust my “classes” moving forward.

Overall mileage: A-
I’m happy to get past 80 miles after some downtime in March. Ideally I wanted to be in the mid 80s, but cut back on a few runs because of lack of time.

Quality mileage: A-
For three Fridays I did some speedwork. It was nice to add that back into my routine. I also added some great hill work ahead of Blue Ridge. It just wasn’t quite 4.0 graded material.

Cross training: D
Now that it’s warmer, I hope to hit my bike more. I also need to get back to more push-ups, planks and other core work. April was just bad.

Nutrition: C-
People need to stop bringing in cookies to work and I need to stop eating them. It’s really that simple.

Attitude: B
In my comeback to better running this year, I’ve realized more and more how negative of an attitude I had for much of last year toward my runs, racing and even other runners. If I have a better attitude, other things should improve, too.

Overall grade: C+
Since I’m a nice teacher, I’ll give my 2.18 average a little bump. And this sounds about right. It was slightly above average all around. I’ll try to bring this up a bit for May.