MOBYCARP's SparkPeople Blog MOBYCARP's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Today's Run: 22.3 miles It was a much reduced running group this morning. There were several reasons people weren't there. <BR> <BR> The running group is comprised of people from the Half & Full Marathon (HFM) training program, plus those who paid only for the pace pass to have the long runs, plus the volunteer pace leaders. <BR> <BR> The major target race for HFM was last Sunday, the Flower City Half. After that race, the pace pass formally ended. The group runs continue for those in HFM who are targeting th... Sat, 2 May 2015 17:15:33 EST The plan for tomorrow is now 22 miles, maybe As I shuffle my way toward the Buffalo Marathon, I agreed to pace lead the 8:30 group tomorrow and a week from tomorrow. Prior to agreeing to this, my thinking had been that I'd run 20 miles tomorrow, 15 a week from tomorrow, and 10 the week after that. <BR> <BR> Today the routes for tomorrow's run came in the email. The email routes were labeled 8.27 miles, 11 (for 20), and 2.03 (for 22). Astute readers will note that the numbers don't add up. So I mapped the routes. I came out a shade... Fri, 1 May 2015 20:36:36 EST Long Run Planning Flower City Half, which I ran last Sunday, is four weeks before the Buffalo Marathon, my next major race and my first full marathon. Now that I'm past Flower City and enough recovered from the high of a new PR, I can think about what I need to do to train for Buffalo. <BR> <BR> I haven't been following a formal marathon training program. There is a local Half & Full Marthon ("HFM") program, but I just paid for the pace pass to run the long runs. I've tagged along on the full marathon trai... Wed, 29 Apr 2015 20:47:41 EST . . . and it was no big deal Status: MOBYCARP ran 6 miles of hills Tuesday evening <BR> Comment from ALICIA363: And it was no big deal, right? :) <BR> <BR> Right. <BR> <BR> I've been in marathon training lite, up till I registered for the Buffalo Marathon. At that point, I began to take the marathon training more seriously. <BR> <BR> But still, I was doing 20 mile long runs. That's marathon training, even though I was pointed at a half marathon. <BR> <BR> So I ran Flower City Half on Sunday. I tried to hang with... Tue, 28 Apr 2015 21:55:55 EST This and That While I was busy during tax season, I had many ideas for blogs that I didn't find time to write. Today's blog is a bunch of rambling thoughts and fragments from some of those ideas and stuff I left out of recent blogs. The sections are not necessarily related to each other. <BR> <BR> *** <BR> <BR> Many Sparkers have reported difficulty sticking to the eating plan while traveling. Last week, I traveled. Sure enough, I had difficulty sticking to the eating plan. Available food was differ... Mon, 27 Apr 2015 20:54:01 EST Race Report: 2015 Flower City Half It was 34° when I got up this morning, with a gun time forecast of 38° rising to 41° during the time I expected to be running. Wind forecast was mild, 3 to 6 mph. That's easy enough to dress for. Bonus: It was supposed to warm up to the 50's by the time I would be walking back to my car. <BR> <BR> The weather forecast turned out to be spot on. It was near-perfect running weather. <BR> <BR> I still had the remnants of a head cold, but it wasn't bothering me. So I lined up with the 1:... Sun, 26 Apr 2015 16:02:13 EST The Day Before the Half: Time to Breathe My sister ONEKIDSMOM writes about getting over-peopled, then needing her cave time. We're both introverts, but perhaps she's a bit further out on the introvert scale than I am. <BR> <BR> Lately, I've been relating to her feeling of being over-peopled. But with me, it's not people; it's commitments. If I am too heavily scheduled I go into overload, even if everything is fun stuff I want to do. So . . . <BR> <BR> January through April is the heavily scheduled time for me. Work ramps up, ... Sat, 25 Apr 2015 18:11:45 EST Saturday Long Run A week ago I ran 20 miles. There was no pressure, it was simply the assigned training route and I wanted to run it. I had a good pace leader who held us close to the 8:30 target, and I felt pretty good afterward. I felt so good, I ended up registering for the Buffalo Marathon on Monday. <BR> <BR> Today the assigned longest route was 22 miles. The first part was a preview of the most intersting part of the Flower City Half route, including all the hills in the middle of the route. Ther... Sat, 11 Apr 2015 20:48:45 EST Registered for my first marathon I've been in marathon training lite, where I run the marathon distance on the long runs from the local training program. There's no pressure, because I don't actually have a full marathon scheduled. I started the year with four half marathons scheduled, then added a fifth later on. The plan was to stay more or less continually in shape to run a half, and work on building a base for a full marathon at some point in the future. Mostly, I was thinking 2016 Rochester Marathon, a year from Sep... Mon, 6 Apr 2015 21:55:10 EST Race Report: 2015 Spring Forward 15K I'm in marathon training lite. What I've been doing is running with the Fleet Feet pace pass group, doing the long run assignments for marathon training, and just running as I think fits out the schedule three other days of the week. Saturdays are long runs, Tuesdays are usually hill workouts, and Sunday and Thursday is whatever I feel like. I'm short on speed work, compared to a formal training program. But I'm having fun, and I seem to be in good physical shape. <BR> <BR> The point of ... Sat, 28 Mar 2015 16:36:09 EST Race Report: 2015 Johnny's Runnin' of the Green (5 miles) Yesterday was Pi Day, a fact that I didn't notice till late in the day when I saw several Facebook posts referring to it. But by chance, I know what I was doing at Pi second, 3-14-15 9:26:53.5. I was lined up and waiting for the start of Johnny's Runnin' of the Green, a 5 mile road race that is traditionally regarded as the start of the Rochester running season. <BR> <BR> Tuesday I had been to the Cobb's Hill run, as is my custom. While there, I ran into my pace group leader for Saturdays... Sun, 15 Mar 2015 16:33:21 EST Being the Pace Leader Today's paced run was at Mendon Ponds Park, a venue that I really like. The forecast was for moderate winds, 10 mph or so, and temperature warming from the high single digits to the high teens during the time I should be running. There is a lot of snow on the ground, and I assumed there would be a lot of snow covered roads at Mendon. The forecasts and assumptions turned out to be close to reality. It was 10°when I left home, 21°when I got back, and I ended up running a mixture of snow cov... Sat, 21 Feb 2015 13:14:02 EST More snow, more cold weather It's been a tough week in a tough month. On Ground Hog's Day, the amount of snow I had was getting to me: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Then I went out and ran 6 miles of hills the next day, and I could cope again. Good thing, because we got a bit more snow since then. Here's the view at noon today: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> No, it didn't snow every day. We got no new snow on Fe... Thu, 19 Feb 2015 19:33:28 EST Race Report: Running with the Serious Runners Today I could sleep late. Instead of doing a paced run at 7:30, I would be doing a race at 10:00. I managed to sleep in till 5 AM, which allowed me a leisurely morning pre-race. <BR> <BR> When I got up, my driveway was clear. But there was a half inch of snow in it by 7AM. Shoveled that much, on the theory that having that much less might make the difference between shoveling and running a snowblower later. This marks 14 days in a row of enough snow to be worth clearing the driveway. <B... Sat, 14 Feb 2015 17:00:22 EST Wind Chill Yesterday and today the local media made a Very Big Deal out of the wind chill. At various times, we were in a Wind Chill Advisory, or Wind Chill Watch, or Wind Chill Warning. I didn't pay much attention to which term was used when. <BR> <BR> Wind chill is not a number I find particularly useful. I want to know air temperature, wind speed, wind direction, and what type of precipitation is in the air. Then I can decide what I'm going to wear to run. <BR> <BR> No fewer that four people to... Fri, 13 Feb 2015 20:25:49 EST Milestone Patch It's tax season, and it's snow season. That has added up to not much blogging, as sleep is higher priority. Between volunteering 8 hours a week, working 40 hours a week, and dealing with snow, most of my formal cross-training hasn't been happening. I do hope to bring it back when we get a break from the continual new layers of fresh snow. <BR> <BR> Today I got a goody in the mail: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> When I signed up fo... Wed, 11 Feb 2015 21:37:36 EST Snow and Running Therapy Snow is a great time suck. <BR> <BR> I've known this for some time, and the snow we've got recently isn't that big a deal, as snow in Rochester, NY goes. But this is my busy time of year. It's tax season, and I volunteer 8 hours a day doing tax returns for low income people. I work a 40 hour week, and it's the time of year to hoard paid days off that I will want later in the year. And I'm planning on running five half marathons this year, which means I need to train to stay pretty much c... Wed, 4 Feb 2015 20:41:03 EST Good Life Halfsy and the 2015 Race Calendar Today is Friday. It's a rest day on my training schedule, which means I don't run. Instead I do a little kettlebell work and some squats, walk enough to get my step count in, and do my every day exercises. Some rest days, I barely make it past my step count goal. <BR> <BR> The big event today is not running, or any other exercise. The big event today was the opening of the second round of early registration codes for the Good Life Halfsy. This is a half marathon in Lincoln, Nebraska on ... Fri, 23 Jan 2015 21:30:01 EST MLK Day: Blood Donation, Cross Training, and Race Calendar It's Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is a paid holiday for my employer. It also happens to be the day for my routine blood donation, which works because the Red Cross does not take today as a holiday. I donate blood 6 times a year, and I've been running and maintaining my weight long enough that this is pretty routine by now. Take the day off work (when it's not a holiday anyway), hydrate well in the morning, and front load the exercise and steps so I can take it easy after blood donatio... Mon, 19 Jan 2015 17:46:54 EST Cold Run, and Thinking Like a Veteran Runner I could write a long blog about this morning's run, but that's not where I want to go today. Here's the short version: <BR> <BR> It's the week between the half marathon and the start of the next pace pass session, so I was on my own for a long run today. Today's high was forecast for 30° F, but when I got up this morning it was -3°. I thought, it will get warmer. When I finished breakfast and got out to run, it was -5°. That's a new low temperature for me to run in, but because there wa... Sat, 17 Jan 2015 20:35:45 EST Race Report: 2015 Winter Warrior Half Marathon **Disclaimer** <BR> <BR> Disclaimer and explanation for those who haven't followed the back story: I am 59 years old, and fast for my age. My target pace on long slow training runs is 8:30 per mile. It's always a struggle to keep it that slow. Yes, I know it doesn't sound slow to the majority of recreational runners. Yes, I know my slow pace is faster than many people's tempo pace. I've had time to get used to that. The principles of running long runs slow and learning to run at diffe... Sun, 11 Jan 2015 14:49:18 EST Musing the evening before the race It's so predictable: The taper is over. It's the evening before a big race, and I'm all anticipation. I want to run! Picked up my packet for the Winter Warrior Half, which consists of just a bib and the race hat: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The route is not terribly exciting, 5 times around the parking lot of Monroe Community College plus a leg off to Bill Gray's Iceplex at the finish. But I have to love an organized race at ... Fri, 9 Jan 2015 21:08:53 EST Last long run before Winter Warrior Half Today was the last day of the 14 week pace pass program. The scheduled route was a mere 6 miles, as the formal training program it's linked to has the half marathon trainees entering the final week of taper. <BR> <BR> I ran 6.3 miles of hills Tuesday. I ran a 7.5 mile race on Thursday. The "long" run of 6 miles would be the third longest run of the Monday-Sunday training week. Counting last Sunday's 7.3 miles, it would be the shortest run of the calendar week. Mr. Testosterone has a pro... Sat, 3 Jan 2015 16:26:31 EST Race Report: 2015 Resolution Run I don't' do New Years resolutions. I never have done them. When I am prepared to change something in my life, I start working on changing it at the random time I'm ready to start. The most significant random date was July 11, 2011, when I reluctantly admitted I needed to track what I eat and joined Spark People. <BR> <BR> Later on I became a runner. That leads to running in races, and most races on New Years Day will be called Resolution Run. The local race today is no exception, so tod... Thu, 1 Jan 2015 17:00:18 EST New Year's Eve - Looking toward tomorrow's race It's New Year's Eve. Traditionally, this is an evening when people stay up till midnight to greet the new year. In some circles, consumption of alcoholic beverages is customary. Even in circles where alcohol is not used, consuming traditional party fare (read: junk food) is common. <BR> <BR> I am an empty nester, with no social tradition of consuming alcohol. I joined Spark People in July 2011, and found within the first two months that getting enough sleep is a key thing for making my h... Wed, 31 Dec 2014 19:49:33 EST Shorter Long Run and Returning to Normal Eating On Christmas Day, I ate too much. But that was yesterday's blog. Today is Saturday, a day for a long run. I slept till the alarm went off, but fortunately had set it early enough to have enough time to get to the run. Still a bit shaky from my loss of control on Christmas, I tried to make today as normal as possible. I had my normal breakfast, did my normal chinups, pushups, abduction/adduction, and calf raises as part of the breakfast routine. The weather was a gorgeous 40° F with mini... Sat, 27 Dec 2014 12:19:19 EST Maintenance and Holiday Lapses I found Spark People in 2011. I struggled through the Christmas season that year, with a spectacular lapse coinciding with the Christmas Lunch at work. By the end of 2012, I was solidly into maintenance. The 2012 and 2013 Christmas seasons were tightly controlled, no big deal. For the 2014 Christmas season, I was a three year maintainer. This should be easy, right? <BR> <BR> Maybe it *should* be easy, but it wasn't. This year, I was kind of faking training for a marathon. No race is... Fri, 26 Dec 2014 18:58:20 EST Race Report: Reindeer Run 5K Today would have been a long run of possibly 20 or 22 miles, but instead I registered for the Reindeer Run 5K. 5K isn't very far when the long runs are over 10 miles, but it's a fun race. You wear fake antlers, and mingle with both serious runners and not so serious runners. Proceeds go to support The Strong Museum of Play, and the awards are toy-themed trophies. <BR> <BR> All week long I hadn't been in the mood for a race. I'd been doubting the wisdom of signing up. Maybe I just should... Sat, 20 Dec 2014 21:10:36 EST Adjusting to the Holiday Lunch Today was the departmental holiday lunch at work. This fall, my employer shut down the building I had worked in for 23 years, sending my department to two separate locations. The lunch was at the other location, a 50 mile round trip. I knew in advance that I would not get my walk in at lunch today. <BR> <BR> Three years ago, as a newly minted maintainer, the departmental holiday lunch was a concern. What was it like? (Digs through old blogs . . . ) Oh, my. Three years ago, the departme... Wed, 17 Dec 2014 21:00:23 EST Snowy long run and contemplating a marathon Today's long run options were 10, 12, or 20 miles. When the routes came out, I didn't like the way they were laid out. The first 10 miles ended with a spiral around some blocks near downtown, with plenty of options to bail early and cut some distance. The 12 and 20 options started on the same path, with the 12 turning left and going back early while the 20 went on to a different route with only one opportunity to cut a couple of miles, with a choice having to be made about mile 14. It wo... Sat, 13 Dec 2014 19:41:21 EST Listening to Your Body 201 Yesterday Robert (ON2VICTORY) posted something on Facebook that I wanted to respond to in more length than the Facebook format easily allows. Today he kindly reposted it as a blog on SparkPeople: <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5831921 </link> <BR> <BR> This is a cautionary tale, a result I hope to avoid. I don't think I push myself as hard as Robert tends to push himself, but I have pushed myself hard enough to get on the disabled list th... Fri, 12 Dec 2014 20:12:37 EST Saturday Long Run - new distance PR at 18 miles Today is Saturday, a day for a group run. At 7:30 AM it was 37° with light rain and negligible wind. The forecast was for these conditions to persist for 3 to 4 hours. This is better running weather than walking weather, and much better running weather than standing around weather. <BR> <BR> I run with a pace group that is attached to a half and full marathon training program. I never know till I get there who will show up. Today, there was the pace leader; the running buddy who pushed ... Sat, 6 Dec 2014 21:06:51 EST Aiming for consistency in strength training I am an adult onset runner. Becoming a runner was a physical and emotional process, and it led to places that I did not even consider when I set out to see if I could train up to running a 3.5 mile event without slowing to a walk. <BR> <BR> In the first round of 5K training, I had sore calves much of the time. The soreness was because I was developing the calf muscles, using them in a way I had not used them before. But I did not have any issues with my quads or hamstrings. That was okay... Fri, 5 Dec 2014 20:32:13 EST Streaks, Consistency, and Today's Shorter Long Run I have several Spark streaks, and I confess I don't look at them as often as I used to. Over time, some of them become routine. I don't look at the log in streak, or the exercise 90 minutes a week streak, or the 8 cups of water per day streak. Those things are just part of life, and they happen. There is no motivation and no insight to gain there. <BR> <BR> Then there are the streaks that I keep breaking and restarting. For example, the 10K steps per day streak. I had a streak of 335 d... Sat, 29 Nov 2014 16:34:11 EST Waffle Run It's Friday, which is normally a non-running day for me. It's also the last day of a week off work; Monday it's back to work. And it's Black Friday, with all that implies for shopping in the United States. <BR> <BR> The marketing email from the local Fleet Feet listed their Black Friday specials. The one that interested me was 30% off GU products. That would put their single GU packets down almost as low as I can buy them online; what about boxes? Maybe I should go look. <BR> <BR> And a... Fri, 28 Nov 2014 17:38:52 EST Race Report: Race with Grace 10K For most of last week, the forecast for Thanksgiving called for temperatures in the mid 30s and no precipitation. It turned out to be a little colder and a little wetter. I woke up this morning to see a snow-covered driveway, and a mostly covered street with clear tire tracks. By extrapolation, I expected the major roads to be mostly clear. Snow was still coming down. I looked at the hourly forecast, and it called for this to continue through race time. <BR> <BR> That affected my plans... Thu, 27 Nov 2014 19:18:09 EST Podiatrist, Blood Donation, and Upcoming 10K It seems that even the days off work tend to be a bit busy. <BR> <BR> This morning I saw the podiatrist again. X-rays show healing progress in the stress fractures on the left foot, but the process isn't done. I described my foot twinges, and he gave me a wrap to support the arch. It works kind of like an ace bandage, only thinner, easier to apply, and specialized for the foot. The sound track was that I could wear it against the skin and put my sock over it, or I could wear it over my s... Mon, 24 Nov 2014 17:50:21 EST Bonus Blog: Today's run and training musings A few days ago, I noted that I had seen three seasons of weather in one calendar month. We had a day of summer weather, several days of autumn weather, and a few days of winter weather this month. Today we got spring weather. Not gorgeous spring weather, but a gray drippy melt the snow style of spring weather. Still, it struck me as noteworthy that I've now seen all 4 seasons worth of weather in the same calendar month. <BR> <BR> 52° F was near perfect running weather this afternoon. I ... Sun, 23 Nov 2014 18:51:11 EST Musings on Weight Maintenance This morning the scale showed me down 2.2 pounds from yesterday. There are a couple of things going on here. Yesterday was a long run day, so I was up early and weighed myself early. My body didn't have as much time as usual to dehydrate, so I expect that weight to be a bit on the high side. Today I was up at the normal time, and of course I burned all that glycogen running 16 miles yesterday. That should make me more dehydrated than usual this morning. Tomorrow the weight will rebound ... Sun, 23 Nov 2014 18:31:12 EST Musings on moderation and building mileage Recently, my thoughts have been on the dangers of over-doing the exercise. I got a couple of foot twinges after last Saturday's 16 mile run, and decided it wouldn't be wise to do speed work this week. So Thursday's run was an unremarkable 5.6 miles at a moderate pace. I wore trail shoes, but didn't need them for most of the first 5 miles. It felt good, but that's not where my major concern was this week. <BR> <BR> Last weekend ONEKIDSMOM sent me a Fitbit Workweek Hustle challenge invitat... Sat, 22 Nov 2014 21:06:12 EST Snowy Tuesday Run Today the polar vortex decided to start acting like a polar vortex in upstate NY. It was 17° when I went out to clear the snow from my driveway this morning. Not to worry, Tuesday is a work at home day. <BR> <BR> It was a nice warm 22° when I got out to walk at noon, but there was a brisk southwesterly wind. I thought about how to run in this weather, then went back in to work the afternoon. <BR> <BR> By quitting time, it was snowing again. The streets were covered, not deeply. I dress... Tue, 18 Nov 2014 20:56:30 EST Two Part 16 mile Long Run The paced runs on Saturday moved from 7 to 7:30 with the change back to daylight wasting time. That makes it easier to be on time, and today we had full daylight for the start of the run. I left my reflective harness and lights in the car. The starting daylight won't last all winter, but it's nice while we have it. <BR> <BR> Today there actually was an 8:30 pace group. Besides me, there was the regular pace leader; my running buddy from last week; a couple of guys I met doing preview run... Sat, 15 Nov 2014 20:52:19 EST Finished the 48 oz. carton of ice cream No, not in one sitting. Today I finished the 48 oz. carton of ice cream I bought in August, and blogged about a week later: <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5769597 </link> <BR> <BR> There were a lot of days I didn't have any ice cream. Days I did, the serving size varied from 28 grams to something in the 50, but was mostly 40-some grams. By the bottom of the carton, that size serving became normal for me. <BR> <BR> Or kind of normal. It... Fri, 14 Nov 2014 20:15:53 EST Tempo Thursday The polar vortex has arrived here, for what it's worth. By the time it got to upstate New York, it wasn't as dramatic as the weather stories I see from other places. Here, it looks like normal December weather in mid November. <BR> <BR> Tuesday evening, I ran 5 miles of hills with the temperature above 60° F. That was pretty unusual for November, and pretty warm for running in the dark at 6 PM. <BR> <BR> Today I set out to run tempo, with the temperature near freezing. My porch thermo... Thu, 13 Nov 2014 21:46:43 EST This Week in Running Today is Saturday, a day to be up early for a paced long run. There was an email in my inbox notifying me that I was today's Featured Motivator. That was a bit of a surprise, as I have not been writing many blogs lately. So perhaps I owe the community a blog today. Or perhaps I need to write one whether I'm featured or not. <BR> <BR> I have been stretching my running mileage, which hit a new high of 31.25 miles last training week. I expect the current training week, ending tomorrow, to ... Sat, 8 Nov 2014 17:14:36 EST Running Volume: Looking Ahead a Few Weeks Today I'm looking at how many miles I run. I track running miles in a spreadsheet, and pay the most attention to miles per week; length of the long runs; and accumulated mileage on each pair of shoes. But today I wanted to look at how much the mileage is building. <BR> <BR> September and October felt like I was building more mileage. But when I look at the numbers, I see that wasn't the case. In August, I ran 90 miles spread out over 18 runs. September I ran 102 miles spread out over 1... Wed, 5 Nov 2014 21:15:28 EST Saturday Long Run It's Saturday, and the group paced run was scheduled at Durand Eastman Park on the shore of Lake Ontario. I knew in advance that the 8/8:30 pace leader would not be there today, because he would be in Florida doing an iron man tri. <BR> <BR> At 7 am, it turned out I was the only runner with a target pace faster than 9:00. I could run with the 9:00 group, or I could be my own pace leader. I started with the nines, then left them to follow the route as best I could, maintaining a pace betwe... Sat, 1 Nov 2014 15:20:48 EST A Runner's Shifting Self-Image Not long after I joined SparkPeople, I read a blog ONEKIDSMOM wrote mentioning some study saying it took the average successful weight loser about a year per 25 pounds lost to adjust her self-image to match her changed body. I lost about 30 pounds, and it took about a year for my new body to seem totally normal, so that seemed like a reasonable conclusion. <BR> <BR> Now I'm pondering other aspects of my self-image, and how that self-image has changed when I wasn't paying attention. As I ta... Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:57:47 EST Maintenance Puzzle: Fueling the Endurance Athlete I've mentioned a few times that what to eat in maintenance is an ongoing puzzle. Maintenance is not steady state, and my nutritional needs fluctuate. I adjust what I eat as I try to keep the weight trending sideways. Though I've had good success with this, it is always a worry as to whether I am property identifying an incipient trend that I need to respond to, or over-reacting to a meaningless blip. <BR> <BR> That's the familiar nutrition puzzle. Lately, I'm facing a different nutrition... Sun, 26 Oct 2014 21:27:50 EST Tempo Thursday, without coaches It's been a tough work week for scheduling. Monday wasn't so bad, but it was a non-running day. Tuesday the work load prevented me from running at lunch, and I had a 4:30 PM dental appointment that stretched too late for me to get to the 6PM Cobbs Hill run. So I ended up running from home at 6:30, in the dark, with reflective gear and lights. <BR> <BR> The good news is, the headlight that I bought for trail running works well for seeing where I'm going on residential streets. The bad new... Thu, 23 Oct 2014 20:34:54 EST