MOBYCARP's SparkPeople Blog MOBYCARP's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Race Report: 2017 Medved 5K to Cure ALS Sometimes the race isn't everything. <BR> <BR> Here's the picture I would normally post for packet pick up: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> As the name implies, this one is a fund raiser for ALS research and patient support. I knew two lovely ladies who left us too early because of ALS. This year I was motivated to set up a fund raising page to raise funds in conjunction with the race. <BR> <BR> I found out ... Sun, 18 Jun 2017 20:26:24 EST Race Report: 2017 Charlie McMullen Mile Charlie McMullen was a very good local runner who died young. The standard PR blurb for this one says: "In the mid-1970’s Charlie ran the mile in 3:56 and the marathon in 2:15. He was a national class master runner and world class person. in 1998 he led GVH to its first of over 50 national masters team championships." <BR> <BR> Two years ago, the 2015 Charlie McMullen Mile was the first race shorter than a 5K that I ran, and also the first race I ran as a Genesee Valley Harrier. When you ... Sat, 10 Jun 2017 15:40:25 EST Small Changes Add Up Over Time Spark People talks a lot about making small incremental changes to improve your health. I focused on that a lot the first year I was Sparking, My diet was transformed from typical American to reasonably healthy. My weight went down to initial goal, then down further to what is now my maintenance goal. I learned to make my weight trend sideways. And I became a runner. <BR> <BR> I could never have done all that if I'd set it out as a goal list. I accomplished that (in about a year, thank... Sun, 28 May 2017 17:58:28 EST Race Report: 2017 Canandaigua Classic Half Marathon Today I ran my 13th half marathon. It wasn't planned that way for very long. <BR> <BR> This year, I missed running my favorite 15K (Spring Forward) because I ran the USATF Masters 8K Championship that day. I missed running my favorite half (Flower City) because it was too soon after Boston. As recovery actually went, I probably could have got away with Flower City 13 days after Boston (as opposed to 6 days after last year); but by the time I knew that, I was committed to the USATF Masters... Sat, 27 May 2017 17:24:11 EST Race Report: 2017 Lilac 10K (USATF Niagara Region 10K Championship) The plan for race day was to get to the site before 7 AM to get free, easy parking. I got up early, went through my morning routine as if it were a day for a long paced run, got to the site. Found a premium free parking place on the street. Started walking toward the start line, and realized I was wearing my walking shoes, not my running shoes. <BR> <BR> Can I run 6 miles in these shoes? Almost certainly. Can I race well in these shoes? I'd rather not learn that answer the hard way. ... Sun, 21 May 2017 19:59:53 EST Pre-Race report: 2017 Lilac 10K In 2016, I ran the Lilac 10K because it was part of the Rochester Runner of the Year series. I was 59 years old, and trying to win my age group for the RROY series. I finished 3rd in my age group. 1st was Tim, a.k.a. Superman, who had aged up to 55 the previous November. He wasn't a surprise. I already knew I wouldn't win the age group in any race he ran. 2nd was Dennis, a guy I had never heard of. I finished a few seconds behind him. <BR> <BR> The third place age group finish turned ... Sat, 20 May 2017 20:09:44 EST Decisions It's three weeks since the Boston Marathon. Before Boston, I repeatedly said that Boston was a major decision point. If I put myself on the couch, I would be done with marathons. If I recovered well, I could think about future marathons. In any event, decisions on where I wanted to go with future running were put on hold until after Boston. <BR> <BR> For the last 3 miles of Boston, I was sure that it would be my last marathon. That's a common feeling that marathon runners have late in a... Sat, 6 May 2017 16:47:13 EST Race Report: 2017 USATF Masters 10K Championship The USATF Masters 10K Championship was held on April 30, 2017 in Dedham, Massachusetts, in conjunction with the James Joyce Ramble. The web site for this event includes the following snippet of history: <BR> <BR> 'Over the long cold winter of 1983-84, avid runner and James Joyce fan Martin Casimir Hanley of Dedham was struggling through "Finnegans Wake" when the thought occurred to him that this literary task was as tough as training for a race...and Voila! The James Joyce Ramble was concei... Tue, 2 May 2017 16:19:01 EST Listening to my body - 5 years later I hate the saying, "Listen to your body." It's really easy to listen to my body. The hard part is understanding what it's saying. <BR> <BR> Unfortunately, I have not found an alternate way to describe what I need to do that works any better than, "Listen to your body." <BR> <BR> Distance running is, among other things, a learning process. Part of what I am in the process of learning is how to listen to my body and how to understand what it is saying. It's a slow, iterative, obscure proc... Sun, 23 Apr 2017 17:25:33 EST Race Report: 2017 Boston Marathon This will be a long blog, but a marathon is a long event. <BR> <BR> My sister ONEKIDSMOM has already posted about the spectator experience: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=6350047 </link> <BR> <BR> She left out a couple of pictures. Just like last year, she got a picture of me at packet pick up, when I wasn't even noticing her activity: <BR> <BR> <img src=" Thu, 20 Apr 2017 19:52:12 EST 6 days to Boston - Taper Crazy musings It's six days to the Boston Marathon. Today was my last true speed interval workout, 4 x 1000 @T* with 200 recovery. In my taper madness, I was concerned about working that hard. Because my normal club practice is a time conflict with this evening's Fleet Feet Boston Send Off party, I decided to tone down the speed work by running on a track instead of on Cobb's Hill. Because the weather forecast called for thundershowers this afternoon and scattered thundershowers this evening, I went in... Tue, 11 Apr 2017 16:53:55 EST Two Weeks to Boston The 121st Boston Marathon will be held two weeks from tomorrow. The 10 day forecast for Boston seems to go out 15 days, with good running temperatures the few days before race day. Of course, the forecast is likely to change several times before I get there; but now I'll likely be looking at it every day or two. <BR> <BR> Yesterday's 18 mile run was my last true long run before then. I will run 12 miles next Saturday, and I have an interval workout that will add up to a bit over 10 miles ... Sun, 2 Apr 2017 18:55:35 EST Three Weeks to Boston The 121st Boston Marathon will be run on April 17, 2017. That's three weeks from tomorrow. All of a sudden, it's feeling real. <BR> <BR> The registration was submitted last September. The training cycle started when I was just barely over a round of Achilles tendinitis following my failed attempt to complete the MVP Rochester Marathon a week after I registered for Boston. In the wake of Rochester, I was just about ready to give up on marathons entirely; but the registration had already b... Sun, 26 Mar 2017 20:15:50 EST Race Report: 2017 USATF Masters 8K Championship I got the email confirming my entry, and it said this was the location was "Shamrock 8k - Virginia Beach, VA, USA". So I looked that up online, and found out late that gun time was 7:45 AM. If I'd done my homework earlier, I might have decided to make it a 2 day drive and just paid for an extra motel night somewhere in rural Pennsylvania or Maryland. <BR> <BR> I drove down with my team mate Bill, who did even less homework than I did. The alleged 9 hour drive to Virginia Beach took 11.5 h... Mon, 20 Mar 2017 16:31:28 EST After the storm This week's major realization is that I hate late March snow storms. I think I always have disliked them. Just when I'm about ready to let the snow fall and wait for it to melt, wham! Enough comes down that I can't deal with the week or so it will take to melt. Have to deal with the snow. <BR> <BR> While working, I had this idea it would be easier in retirement. I wouldn't have to go to work, so I could deal with the snow in daylight. That part turned out to be accurate; but heavy snow... Thu, 16 Mar 2017 20:31:14 EST Snow and Not Running I haven't run for two days, and the last time I ran it was a short run. This is abnormal for marathon training, and I feel something akin to taper crazies coming on. Lots of mental games and second guessing, even though I know intellectually that it will all work out. <BR> <BR> Monday would have been a rest day if I'd followed my pattern of recent weeks, but I ran 5 miles thinking that the storm might make me cut Tuesday's and/or Wednesday's run short. Well, the storm was the real deal. ... Wed, 15 Mar 2017 20:45:09 EST Moderation On SparkPeople, there is a lot of attention given to moderation. Usually this is focused on nutrition. We have to eat, but most of us got here by eating too much. Learning to eat appropriately and moderately turns out to be quite a challenge for some of us. After we learn to eat moderately, doing so *consistently* becomes the ongoing challenge for maintaining a stable weight. <BR> <BR> Over time, I have become aware that food is not the only area of my life that requires me to pay attent... Fri, 20 Jan 2017 19:32:13 EST Race Report: 2017 Winter Warrior Half Marathon I ran the Winter Warrior Half Marathon Saturday afternoon/evening. What with one thing and another, it's Monday evening before I have time to describe it; but as a result of the delay, I have some race pictures. <BR> <BR> There is no race shirt for Winter Warrior. Instead, there is a race hat. This year, there's no pom-pom on top and the hat is lighter than the past two years; it turns out that this year's hat was good to run in today at 25 F (-4 C) when it would have been too warm to run... Mon, 9 Jan 2017 21:39:17 EST The Other New Year's Day Run Yesterday I ran a 7.5 mile race with the unimaginative name of "Resolution Run." It was fun, and I blogged about it yesterday. That wasn't the only running event going on yesterday. I started the race at 10 AM, ran for a bit over 50 minutes, and a few minutes later, several miles away in the city of Rochester, NY, the other New Year's running event kicked off. 182 people participated in the "Donut Mile." <BR> <BR> Yes, Donut Mile. This was the first year, it drew more people than expect... Mon, 2 Jan 2017 10:00:45 EST Race Report: 2017 Resolution Run (Freezeroo #2) The 7.5 mile Resolution Run has become a New Year's Day tradition for me. Where else am I going to find a crowd of people who are happy and cheerful before 10 AM on New Year's Day? 2017 is the third year I've run this race, though this is the first year I've signed up for the entire Freezeroo series. Forecast for gun time was 33 F (less than one degree above zero C), with winds in the 10-15 mph range from the west and south. I got up this morning and saw no new snow on my driveway. Decid... Sun, 1 Jan 2017 16:01:30 EST Revisiting the Food Challenges I've been thinking off and on about something my sister ONEKIDSMOM said in a comment on my last blog: <BR> <BR> "We each have our own challenges... social eating seems to be one of yours, and awareness on the fly is essential to managing it." <BR> <BR> Yes, we each face our own challenges. Early on in my weight loss phase, I identified that I face three major challenges with nutrition: boredom eating, stress eating, and social eating. It's near the end of the year, a traditional time for... Fri, 30 Dec 2016 19:06:00 EST Getting the food back on track As predicted in my last blog, I overdid things at the running club celebration. Baked brie with walnuts and cranberries. Russian tea cakes. M&Ms. Assorted cheeses, and perhaps 2 ounces of red wine to see what the whole wine and cheese meme is about. <BR> <BR> I found I'm not a fan of wine and cheese. I suspect it's an acquired taste, and I don't see any upside in working to acquire it. <BR> <BR> Probably the worst news was, I ended up bringing two and a half pieces of sweet potato pie ... Sat, 24 Dec 2016 21:35:17 EST Challenging Food Week I reached my initial weight goal in October 2011, and reached what I now regard as my long term point goal along about April or May 2012. Since then, I've mostly been making the weight trend sideways, with occasional blips up that got corrected, and some dips a bit uncomfortably low as my eating didn't keep up with my running at times. <BR> <BR> This year, in particular since I retired, I'm noticing that food discipline is harder for me in social situations. That isn't a problem, as long a... Thu, 22 Dec 2016 18:01:38 EST Race Report: 2016 Reindeer Run 5K It was a late decision to sign up for this one. I wanted to wait until after Club Nationals and see if I felt healthy enough to run a race on my fourth consecutive weekend (assuming Thanksgiving Day counts as the start of a long weekend). Went online to look Wednesday, and found that the price went up at midnight. And the forecast was for wintry weather. What the heck, this one is fun. I signed up. <BR> <BR> There was snow overnight. Yesterday evening the radio was full of the "no unne... Sat, 17 Dec 2016 20:46:10 EST Race Report: 2016 USATF National Club Cross Country Championships I had to look up the title. Informally, everyone refers to this event as "Club Nationals." <BR> <BR> This was my first cross country race, and the first time I flew somewhere to run. There were a lot of opportunities to learn things. Got into Tampa about 10 AM Thursday, got to the hotel, and found time for an afternoon run on residential streets near the hotel. <BR> <BR> The terrain reminded me of the streets near home. The hotel was at the top of a mythical Florida hill, and several re... Sun, 11 Dec 2016 15:03:09 EST Impulse buy, minor race, recovery, and looking forward I last blogged on Thanksgiving Day, a race report for Race with Grace 10K. I won $50 for being the fastest male Old Fart in that race. <BR> <BR> On Black Friday, I saw an online special. The Black Friday discount let me sign up for the Greater Rochester Track Club Freezeroo series for . . . $50. That was nicely symmetrical, and an impulse buy happened. For my $50, I get 6 races in December, January, and February with lengths ranging from 5K to 8 miles. Bling is skimpy because they're lo... Mon, 5 Dec 2016 20:41:00 EST Race Report: 2016 Race with Grace (10K) Thanksgiving Day, time for my 6th annual running of Race with Grace ("RwG"), which is the 26th annual running of this 10K. It was a few degrees warmer than the forecast, 34 F (1 C) when I got up this morning. Revised forecast called for showers and rain through race time. Above-freezing temperature plus rain gave me confidence to wear road shoes instead of trail shoes; in past years, I've worn trail shoes because of uncertain road conditions, only to find I could have got away with road sh... Thu, 24 Nov 2016 17:44:38 EST Transition to cold weather As promised by the forecast, winter arrived today. Yesterday, I ran in shorts and a singlet. Today I got out on the roads right after I got home from church. It was 32 F (0 C), with 19 mph WNW winds and snow in the air. The snow was beginning to stick to the grass, but it looked like it would be a while before it would stick to the pavement. So I got the run in wearing road shoes. It was also perfect weather to try out the beanie I forgot I bought last April and the new hoodie with a bu... Sun, 20 Nov 2016 20:19:28 EST Recovery Update: Ran 5 miles today It's been 10 days since my last blog, and a couple of people have expressed interest in how I'm doing, with varying levels of intensity to the hint that I should blog more. <BR> <BR> On November 9, I ran a continual 3 miles for the first time since the Rochester Marathon debacle. I backed off after that, before adding more distance. Easy speed work came back last Tuesday, in the form of an incomplete set of intervals. It seems I turned a corner with a rest day on Wednesday, and now it fee... Sat, 19 Nov 2016 16:37:46 EST Erratic Update It's been over a month since I blogged here. Retirement has changed things, sometimes in ways I wouldn't have predicted. First, a summary of what happened when I wasn't writing. <BR> <BR> Weight maintenance: I left off the saga concerned about maintaining my weight. I've made it go down a bit, but not all the way to goal. Okay, it touched the point goal once, as the bottom of a weekly fluctuation patter. What have I done? I cut the calorie range. Weight didn't move. Cut it again. W... Wed, 9 Nov 2016 19:59:05 EST Five Year Maintenance Musings In July 2011, I reluctantly admitted I needed to track what I eat, and joined Spark People. I set what I thought was a stretch goal, get my weight down 21 pounds to 175. I didn't really believe I could get my weight that low, having bounced off lows in the mid-180s a few times. <BR> <BR> Five years ago today, I weighed in at 174 and declared myself at goal. My weight has not crossed 175 since then. It actually went down another 12 pounds while I figured out how to stop losing weight. Th... Fri, 7 Oct 2016 14:05:23 EST End of Month Miscellaneous Stuff Today is September 30, the end of a month. This happens to be the end of my first month of retired life. It hasn't so much been a month of new beginnings as a month of transitions and noticing things. <BR> <BR> Running: I ran a half marathon in early September, doing very well on a challenging course. Then I tried to run a marathon in mid-September, taking a DNF due to severe calf cramps one lousy mile from the finish line. I haven't run since. <BR> <BR> Today is Day 12 of No Running. ... Fri, 30 Sep 2016 19:16:32 EST Deja Doo-Doo Sunday I ran most of a marathon, failing to earn the medal or bragging rights. The race ended for me at 25.2 miles, with severe calf cramps. That's disappointing, to say the least; but life goes on. After the marathon comes recovery. <BR> <BR> Monday my calves were really feeling the after-effects of the cramping. This was expected. Monday was a total rest day, less than 5000 steps. The lawn needed mowing. Too bad, it will have to wait. <BR> <BR> Tuesday the after-effects of the cram... Wed, 21 Sep 2016 19:04:52 EST Race Report: 2016 Rochester Marathon It was a totally messed up training cycle getting ready for Rochester. I started the training cycle recovering from injury, just training to get healthy enough to run. By the time I was health enough to run regularly, I was way behind on weekly mileage for marathon training. Without a strong base of weekly mileage, I couldn't really do the speed work called for in the plan; so those workouts got watered down to match my capabilities. <BR> <BR> A few weeks ago, I caught up and was able to ... Sun, 18 Sep 2016 19:18:18 EST Taper Time Yesterday was a rest day. It was necessary, after running 9 days in a row including a very good effort at Oak Tree Half. After Oak Tree, I had watered down the training plan for recovery, seeking advice from my coach on how much to water down parts of it. <BR> <BR> And yesterday at 11 AM, I found myself wanting to run. I felt healthy. I'm retired, I have all the time in the world. The weather was beautiful. But logic said I needed the rest day. What's going on? <BR> <BR> Oh, yeah: <... Sat, 10 Sep 2016 15:56:14 EST Race Report: 2016 Oak Tree Half Marathon I signed up for Oak Tree because it's traditionally hot and humid, and I didn't want waste the training I'd done in heat and humidity; because it's been kind of a minor bucket list race for a year or so; because it's a Rochester Runner of the Year race, and I'm playing age group standings mind games with my friend Bill; because it's a traditional training race for the Rochester Marathon; and because I felt healthy enough to run a half 2 weeks before Rochester. <BR> <BR> This morning I got up... Sun, 4 Sep 2016 15:39:48 EST Running for 30 Minutes Today is a five year anniversary of sorts. On August 21, 2011, I set out to see whether I could turn myself into a runner. I found that I was not in shape for Week 1, Day 1 of the 5K Your Way program, so I built a two-week remedial course and started on Week Minus 1, Day 1. My blog from five years ago describes how I thought about it at the time: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4440245 </link> <BR> <BR> Somewhere along the way, for... Sun, 21 Aug 2016 20:11:49 EST Race Report: 2016 Bergen Road Race 5K - Jenny Kuzma Memorial All I know about Jenny Kuzma is what's published in connection with the race: She was diagnosed with leukemia at age 4, and lived to age 13. The race was organized in her honor, with proceeds going to a scholarship for an 8th grader in the Byron-Bergen Middle School and to Camp Good Days. <BR> <BR> The Bergen 5K is also the USATF Niagara Region 5K Road Championship. As such, it draws a small but strong field. It is a team championship as well as an individual championship, and several US... Sat, 13 Aug 2016 20:17:36 EST Race Report: 2016 Shoreline Half Marathon The race report is a few days late. I'll plead being incredibly busy in my non-working hours due to multiple priorities, and blogging didn't make the cut. On the plus side, taking this long to get the blog written means I have race pictures. <BR> <BR> I'd spent several weeks leading up to Shoreline contemplating my race plan. In 2015, it was 82 F and 98% relative humidity at gun time. I ran 8 miles on a pace to break 1:30 for the half, then melted down. I ended up finishing in 1:36 and ... Wed, 20 Jul 2016 16:19:52 EST Independence Day Musings Today is July 4, 2016. It's Independence Day in the United States of America. It's the last paid holiday of my career. On my personal schedule, it's a rest day (from running) and a day of contemplation and analysis. <BR> <BR> I see I haven't blogged about running in a while. Recovery has proceeded nicely. The face plant from two weeks ago seems to have prompted accelerated healing of prior issues while my body worked on healing up the road rash. For the training week ending yesterday, ... Mon, 4 Jul 2016 15:27:57 EST Time and Money Today's blog is a departure from the usual Spark People fare of diet, exercise, and promotion of health and fitness. It touches some of those areas, but mostly it's about time and money. <BR> <BR> Don't worry, I won't ask for donations. <BR> <BR> Most of us trade significant chunks of time for money to support ourselves. Some of us find work that we love and might do for no pay if it were possible to live that way. Others of us find work that we can tolerate only because it pays the bill... Fri, 24 Jun 2016 21:33:16 EST Recovery and retirement musings Life has a way of changing on you. The changes may be good, they may be bad, they may just be. I've always yearned for security, so I tend to see life changes as challenges to be managed. <BR> <BR> Anyway, life has been busy because I'm trying to understand and manage changes as best I can. <BR> <BR> On the running front, there's my ongoing recovery. The short description of this week is, it was an unplanned cutback week. Tuesday featured a pace leaders' meeting followed by an inform... Sun, 19 Jun 2016 21:14:41 EST This week in recovery Recovery from a running injury can feel like it's taking forever. This week, recovery actually felt like I'm recovering. <BR> <BR> Tuesday I went to the PT. She had me do some more challenging stuff, then gave me the option as to whether this would be the last session. I opted to make it the last one, reserving the right to call back if I didn't make progress as fast as I thought I should. Went out Tuesday evening and ran on Cobb's Hill. Still not right, and going down the steep hill wa... Sun, 5 Jun 2016 20:59:44 EST Recovery, running, and racing musings Recovery is a long, slow process. Or at least, it feels slow while it's happening. It would be possible to become frustrated at how slow it is, but I do better when I'm grateful for making progress instead of angry at how slow the progress is. <BR> <BR> My past reality stated that today should be the day I start the marathon training plan for the Rochester Marathon on September 18. That didn't happen, and it won't happen. Recovery is still in progress. <BR> <BR> That having been said, r... Sun, 29 May 2016 19:57:54 EST Rest, Active Recovery, and the Balancing Act Balancing act: Picture a Bosu Ball with the flat side down, curved side up. Picture a man stepping onto the middle of that Bosu Ball with one foot, then raising the other foot out to the side and bringing it back down to touch his outside foot to his support ankle. He does this 10 times. He doesn't touch foot to foot, because the support foot makes a dent in the ball. Then he shifts feet to make the other foot his support foot, and lifts his other leg out to the side and brings it back t... Mon, 23 May 2016 20:47:55 EST Bailing out of the "long" run, but feeling good about it When I left off the tale on Thursday, I had just run 2.5 miles on a track and decided to take Friday as a rest day. I wanted to give myself a chance of being able to run 6 miles on Saturday. <BR> <BR> Saturday morning came, and I felt pretty good; but my test of one TGU/Windmill combo on each side revealed that the right thigh still had its weaknesses and spots that could become sore under stress. That was an important reality check. <BR> <BR> The pacing assignment for the last Saturday o... Sat, 21 May 2016 18:05:44 EST Running in circles, um, I mean ovals Felt good this morning, but a test of one Turkish get-up (35 lb. kettlebell) on each side revealed that the sore muscles from yesterday were still sore when stress was applied. PT appointment went well, and the PT was almost ready to dismiss me; I have one more appointment next Tuesday, and an assignment to run but keep it easy this weekend, preferably on grass. <BR> <BR> Went to the club this evening and this time I was smart enough to do my warmup on the track. 9 laps in lane 7 came out to... Thu, 19 May 2016 20:45:17 EST Testing the running legs The non-running streak ended at 9 days. Yesterday's PT appointment went well, and I decided to run a 2 mile warmup, see how it went, then decide whether I'd run some easy intervals on the track. Set out with some other runners and deliberately stayed behind a guy who is slower than I am, to ensure I would run slower than I would if I were solo. <BR> <BR> It was less than a triumphant return to running. This was the first session at a local college track, and the traditional warm up route i... Wed, 18 May 2016 20:49:28 EST Non-running, day 8: Volunteer gig I took a DNS for Lilac Run 10K today. Went to volunteer at 6:30, ended up handing out bibs and shirts for the 5K and 10K. Had some nice conversation with other runners, recognized some of the names on the bibs, and actually got to hand out 3 bibs without having to ask who the runners were. Guess I've been hanging around the running community a while. <BR> <BR> This year, the races were run by the Lilac Festival people instead of by running people. They ran out of some sizes of shirts at earl... Sun, 15 May 2016 14:57:42 EST The new 10K step streak Today is the 7th day in a row of non-running. Yes, I tested a short run; I can feel the areas I'm working on, and it's clear it's not yet time to run any distance. So, what to do for fitness and weight maintenance? <BR> <BR> Part of the answer is adjust the calorie range. Done that, might not have adjusted enough; I'm about a pound over target right now. But I'm also eating pretty close to my target point, and it will be hard (not impossible, but hard) to cut it further. <BR> <BR> So, h... Sat, 14 May 2016 19:40:47 EST