PMRUNNER's SparkPeople Blog PMRUNNER's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Race Report - 4th of July 5 miler My wife's hometown has a 4th of July 5 mile running race every year. It is in Bay Village, a suburb of Cleveland. The course is flat and fast and is often used as a tune up for high school cross country teams. I did not get to run in it last year because I was in Kabul, so it was nice to get back in the race again this year. The race starts and ends at the high school, a short walk from my in laws house. During the 5 miler, there is a kids 1 mile race that three of my kids participated i... Fri, 7 Jul 2017 12:43:22 EST Race Report: North Face Challenge Half, Bear Mountain, NY I ran the Bear Mountain trail half marathon 2 weeks ago and had not gotten around to writing about it yet. North Face has a series of trail races and Bear Mountain is just down the road from me so it is local and convenient. They offer a range of distances from 5k to 50 miler. One of these years I want to do the trail marathon or even the 50k, but this year I did the half (same as last year). <BR> <BR> The day before my race, it was 50 deg F and raining (cumulative rain over 1 inch). T... Fri, 2 Jun 2017 10:39:48 EST Marine Corps Marathon (Forward) race report On 28 Oct, I successfully completed the Marine Corps Marathon (forward) in Kabul. I have completed three marathons now, after running in Lincoln, NE in 2008, I thought I was done with them (but I guess I wasn’t!). <BR> <BR> I learned that we were having a marathon about 3 months before. I had a solid base of 20-25 miles per week from working towards a mileage goal of 1,000 miles for the calendar year. I looked around for a marathon training program that suited my goals (finish the maratho... Mon, 7 Nov 2016 07:47:14 EST Century on a spin bike The spin studio at the US embassy has morning and evening classes most days and once a month offers a group century ride. I have been going to class a few times a week, which has been great cross training from my primary running training. I signed up for the August century but was a bit nervous about how it would go. About a week before, I did a two hour session with one of the spin instructors. That went well, hitting 54 miles on the odometer over the course of 2 hours. <BR> <BR> On the... Mon, 22 Aug 2016 06:21:18 EST Peachtree shadow 10k race report On Friday, 15 July, in Kabul Afghanistan we held our shadow Peachtree road race 10k. I have heard of the real Peachtree road race, but never had the opportunity to run in it. We are usually in Cleveland around the 4th of July and run in a local 5 miler in my wife’s hometown there. <BR> <BR> We are on a tiny camp in the green zone in downtown Kabul. The course was 10 x 1 km laps around the perimeter of our small compound. Every race is challenging in its own way, whether it is hills, we... Fri, 15 Jul 2016 06:01:19 EST Incentivize What works for your incentive? What helps you strive to meet your goals? <BR> <BR> Last summer, a knee injury sidelined me and I let the injury sap some of my motivation, focus, and incentive. I was still exercising and logging, but I was also watching my weight steadily climb and didn't have the motivation to stop it. By the time the holiday binge ended, I was about 10+ lbs over the high end of my maintenance range. <BR> <BR> Since then, I have started to regain focus and motivation... Wed, 2 Mar 2016 10:02:20 EST recovery and the new normal Back in July, I had an x-ray and an MRI that showed a partially torn meniscus in my knee. I had it checked out when, during a run I had felt sharp pain in my knee when going up and down a steep section of the run. Between initially noticing the pain and the diagnosis, I continued to run and was doing fine on the flats. <BR> <BR> After the diagnosis, my Dr didn't recommend surgery. We opted for a recovery/rehab route. So, I hung up my shoes for a bit and switched to swimming, walking, a... Sat, 17 Oct 2015 06:33:45 EST 4th of July 5-mile race report and mid year progress check My wife’s home town of Bay Village, OH (suburb of Cleveland on Lake Erie) hosts a 4th of July 5-mile road race. It is a flat course and is normally a fast crowd. Many of the local high school teams use the race as a warm up for their cross country season and there is a fairly active adult running crowd in Cleveland too. I have run the race for 5 of the past 6 years, so it is a good barometer for my progress and fitness. Due to construction at the normal start/finish, the course was reloca... Mon, 6 Jul 2015 13:53:19 EST Sticks and stones Kids all know the rhyme that "sticks and stones may break my bones bones, but words can never hurt me." They may say that, but as INXS sang in their song Devil Inside, "words are weapons, sharper than knives..." <BR> <BR> I recently heard that a distant niece (my wife's brother's wife's niece) who is about 10 or 12 was recently diagnosed with an eating disorder. I think she was hospitalized, but I don't know for certain. <BR> <BR> Her name is Addie. When she was younger, like a toddl... Thu, 23 Apr 2015 17:28:29 EST Semi annual fitness test I had my semi annual fitness test today. It consists of 2 minutes of push-ups, 2 minutes of sit-ups and a 2 mile run. I did 66 push-ups and 72 sit ups, enough to get maximum points for my age group. For the run, it has been a long winter and I have been working on building up distance, but have not been doing much speed work. I did the 2 miles in 14:43, about a minute slower than in the fall. That gave me 94 out of 100 for the run and 294 out of 300 overall. I am sure that I could do be... Wed, 22 Apr 2015 19:14:49 EST Race Report - West Point NY half marathon On Sunday, I ran in the West Point, NY half marathon, which is my first half marathon in about 10 years. I probably have done about 6 or so, I think my PR is about 1:42. This one comes up at the end of March, which is a tough time here (Winter in the NE was fairly harsh with persistent snow and snow coverage from early Jan through late March). In fact the day before the race and the day after, we had more snow. But, I was able to get some good training in over the past two months despite ... Mon, 30 Mar 2015 14:34:04 EST Positive transformation We have a guy who runs our IM sports program. I have known him off and on for about ten years. During that time, he was over weight and getting bigger. His office is in a really nice fitness center and he works with our department of physical education, who are among the fittest Army officers I know. I last saw him at the end of IM volleyball season last spring. Well, we are getting ready for volleyball season and I saw him and almost didn't recognize him. He must of lost 50-90 pounds. ... Sun, 1 Mar 2015 15:48:50 EST Soup and bread day A crisp fall day, a great day to make French bread and split pea soup! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Also, a lot of fall and pre winter chores such as stowing the boat stuff, getting out the ski stuff, sorting out kid ski sizes to figure out what we are short on, mounting the ski box on the car, cleaning out the garage, and a few other such chores. Oh, I also pulled everything including back seats out of the minivan to clean it ou... Sun, 23 Nov 2014 14:45:50 EST What's inside? I live in an older neighborhood, solid brick houses built in the 1930s on a residential street lined with white oaks. The trees were planted when the houses were built. Off the main street, there are a variety of other trees that were planted about the same time. Next to our house, we had an enormous red oak. It was planted the same time as the white oaks, but red oaks grow much faster and bigger than their white oak counterparts. It was huge, over 4 feet in diameter and appeared to be h... Sun, 23 Nov 2014 07:22:28 EST Halloween at work I was psyched to see the teaching schedule, because I get to teach on Halloween. We have a fun program, it isn't unusual to see folks dressed up for class (usually related to the lesson) or on Halloween. Last year, I was dressed in scrubs as a nurse. One of my students suddenly said, in the middle of class, "oh, it's Halloween!" So I asked what they thought it was. They said they had been trying to figure out what my outfit had to do with the lesson the whole class! <BR> <BR> I have be... Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:16:57 EST Semi-annual fitness test success It is that time of year again, time for the semi-annual army physical fitness test. We have been having some cold, windy, wet weather lately. Today wasn't too bad: cool and windy, but no rain. We opted to take the test in the indoor field house track because of the wind. <BR> <BR> After a brief warm up, it was time for push ups. As many as you can do in 2 minutes. I made it to 66, which is enough to get full score (100 points). Then, it was time for situps, as many as you can do in 2 m... Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:31:24 EST rearranging the house So, while I was gone for 5 days in Panama, my DW was home scheming on how to rearrange the house. We have a 4BR and had the girls doubled up in one small BR, the boys doubled up in another, and the 3rd BR was set up as a library with a couch for evening reading and quiet activity. Which I thought worked well. My DD1 is 8 and getting to the point where she needs her own space. So when I got home, my DW had the plan to turn everything upside down. Good thing we had Sunday and Monday (Colum... Tue, 14 Oct 2014 07:01:24 EST Best food for runners Mark Remy from runners world gave his top 7 foods for runners: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>st-foods-for-runners?page=single </link> <BR> <BR> I have to admit, I have a particular weakness for number 7. I bought apples and a lemon, they will either end up in a pie or in an apple cobbler... <BR> <BR> One of my friends has a water bottle that says "I like to run" on one side and "because I love desert" on the other side. Happy running, swimming, biking, danci... Wed, 24 Sep 2014 11:51:08 EST Best compliment/NSV lately I had a routine doctors appointment recently. Before meeting with the doctor, the nurse asked some questions about prior medical history and took my vitals. When he looked up to see my pulse and blood pressure (mid 50's BPM and 106/70), he said to me, "I take it you are a runner?" I told him, "Yes, I am!" <BR> <BR> Not too long ago, before joining spark and dropping and maintaining a 20 to 25 lb weight loss, I was in decent shape and had reasonable BP, maybe like mid 60's BPM and 130/85. ... Wed, 17 Sep 2014 13:18:07 EST Kids say the funniest things... My daughter, age 3 and 1/2, was in the car singing away. My DW and I paused to listen to what she was singing and this is her song: <BR> <BR> Jesus is so strong <BR> Jesus is so powerful <BR> Jesus can step in the poisin ivy <BR> And not get all itchy <BR> <BR> Hmmm, I have to check into what they are teaching her at Sunday School these days.... :) Sun, 7 Sep 2014 17:20:32 EST Missed some August goals, made some others I think most folks know about SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely). Well, even if they are attainable, we don't always hit them. <BR> <BR> I had four goals for August and was 50% on successfully meeting them. <BR> <BR> Goal 1: Get back into maintenance range of 180-185lb. Status: Did not achieve. I found myself drifting upwards through the first part of Aug, to a relative maximum of 193 lbs. That was a wake up call, and I used that as an impetus to do a 2... Wed, 3 Sep 2014 12:45:44 EST Storm King 10k run report It was a great morning for a 10k, not too hot or muggy, but comfortable. I brought most of the family today, except for DD1 who had a sleepover at a friends house. Last year she and DS1 ran the kids 1 miler before the bigger race and they both had done well. This year, the kids race was smaller, only about 10 kids down from about 20 or so last year. DS1 is six this year and was so eager, lining up at the start line, rarin' to go. They had a half mile out and back. I didn't catch his tim... Mon, 25 Aug 2014 09:06:59 EST Passed out after a full day (with new pics) My DS2 is a small dynamo and will keep on going, well at least until he can't anymore. My DW took our DS1 to swimming practice and I stayed home with the kids playing at the park and making pizza. While I was making pizza, his little motor must have run out. I came out to the living room and found him passed out like this: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> A few more images of my kids passed out after big days: <BR> <img src="http://photo... Fri, 22 Aug 2014 20:14:16 EST Two week turn around results This summer didn't go exactly as planned (but then when does it?). I have been trying to maintain a range between 180 and 185 lbs, but had drifted up into the 185-190 range. Going from July to August, I continued to drift up until I saw 193 on the scale one morning. Good grief! I was exercising a fair amount, but I was overdoing it primarily on snacks here and there during the day and then having a glass or more of wine or beer after dinner. Which usually led to some other snack. When I ... Tue, 19 Aug 2014 19:43:38 EST Biking with the young guys I like biking. I am blessed to be able to bike to work (most days) and enjoy taking my road bike out for a lunch time ride when I can. But I really enjoy riding single track on my mountain bike. I have had a few times when I had a good riding group and was able to get in a regular ride, including during my last teaching tour at West Point and my time in grad school. <BR> <BR> Since coming back to West Point, mountain biking has taken a back seat to other fitness events and family time (th... Thu, 14 Aug 2014 11:39:26 EST Before and after or a matter of trust My DW was getting fed up with her hair, it is long and thick and too hot for the summer. She wears it up in a bun, but it is heavy enough that it hurts her neck sometimes. A few times she has told me to chop it off, and finally she was fed up enough that she let me do it. <BR> <BR> Here is before: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And here is after: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Not to... Sat, 9 Aug 2014 16:25:43 EST Tossing my cookies As in tossing them in the garbage! We got back from a weekend trip to a family reunion. While it was great to see much of the family, I ended up overindulging a bit. When we got home, there was half a tub of chocolate chip cookies left over from our out of town guests last week. They were a little stale, but I was still tempted to eat one or two. Ok, I splurged a bit over the weekend, but my recovery started when I tossed the cookies in the trash. <BR> <BR> After cleaning up, we played ... Mon, 4 Aug 2014 10:06:27 EST Maintenance: reassessment and iteration It has been two years since I hit my maintenance weight and range. I haven't had a problem losing weight in the past, my problem has always been finding it again. <BR> <BR> I believe that this has been the longest I have been in maintenance after losing weight, and I credit SP with the tools, community, sparkfriends, and groups (like the at goal and maintaining group) for helping me be successful. <BR> <BR> As an engineer, I tend to come at problems in a certain way. Whether deliberate... Fri, 1 Aug 2014 11:51:34 EST Distractions at home We don't have smart phones, but could easily replace "phone" with "iPad" <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Fri, 1 Aug 2014 10:44:28 EST Morgan Mudder Run report On Saturday, we participated on the Morgan Mudder Run, run by the West Point Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) program. While MWR sponsors a lot of 5k, 10k, duathlon and other races, this was their first mudder event. <BR> <BR> It was a great day for it, overcast and coolish with rain that threatened but never materialized. They had a 4.5 mi route for adults and big kids (13+ recommended) and a 1 mi run for the kids (5+). <BR> <BR> Of course, nothing is easy schedule wise - DD1 and DD... Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:49:10 EST New Garmin, first impression My old Garmin 305 died and I was looking to repair/replace it. When I contacted Garmin, they said I could repair it for $99 or get up to a $99 credit towards a replacement. I was looking at the 310XT and the 220. In the end, I got the 220. 1) it is smaller and 2) I don't think I will use some of the features of the 310XT. <BR> <BR> First impression (when compared to the 305): very light and much less bulky. The instructions and set up were straightforward. I set Garmin connect on m... Sat, 19 Jul 2014 10:59:22 EST Annual race as a fitness barometer For 4 of the past 5 years I have been able to run in the same race, a 5-miler in my DW's home town near Cleveland, OH. It is a flat course that starts and finishes two blocks from her house and winds through residential Cleveland suburb. <BR> <BR> The race is usually on the small side (~300 runners), but has some speedy folks in it, between the Western Cleveland Running Club and turn out from high school cross country runners doing a mid-summer training check prior to the fall race season... Tue, 15 Jul 2014 11:36:09 EST I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike As earworms (i.e. songs that get stuck in your head) go, "I want to ride my bicycle" (or most of the Queen greatest hits for that matter) is a lot better than the soundtrack to Frozen (after hearing it 6 times on a road trip to PA, it was hard to shake "Let it go" and some of the other songs out of my head...) <BR> <BR> I have been increasing my running a bit in the last 2-3 weeks. I wanted to work out today but needed an off day from running, so I hopped on the road bike for a lunch time r... Wed, 9 Jul 2014 13:14:02 EST Annual Fitness (Job Performance) Reports Well, it is that time of year again. Time for the annual officer evaluation report, or OER (since everything needs to have a neat acronym). Our OER's tend to be fairly straightforward. Apparently, the British Army uses a bit more wit in their fitness reports. These phrases have allegedly appeared on British Army reports, hopefully they don't appear on mine! <BR> <BR> (Taken from: <link><BR>r/a/britoer.htm </link> ) <BR> <BR> 1. His men would foll... Tue, 24 Jun 2014 10:21:29 EST 7 Amazing tricks to lose belly fat! <link><BR>ricks-to-lose-belly-fat </link> <BR> <BR> This ended up on my FB feed, thought I would share the good news! Got in just over 8 today, making May my best month this year (though not at the same mileage as last year.). Hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend! Fri, 23 May 2014 19:40:32 EST Storm King Run A good friend of mine lives in Brooklyn. We don't get to see each other often but keep in touch. He started a masters program in project management. Most of it is online, but once a semester, he has to go up to Poughkeepsie, which isn't far from us. He stays with us when on the weekends he has training and we try to get a run or two in. Last time I took him on the Sea to Summit route, which he enjoyed (see previous blog for S2S description). <BR> <BR> This time we did a 4-miler on Satu... Mon, 19 May 2014 09:43:03 EST Ski Bench Project My DW wanted to make (i.e. Wanted me to make) a bench from old skis. Kind of a hybrid between this bench: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> (from <link> </link> ) and this coffee table: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> (from this <link><BR>ee_table.jpg </link> ) <BR> <BR> We had some old skis, plus she picked up a few more, and then we b... Mon, 19 May 2014 09:31:58 EST Sea to Summit, run to remember, spring version Twice a year, during final exam week, the cadets, staff and faculty from the civil and mechanical engineering department tackle the sea to summit run. We start in front of the engineering building, run down to the Hudson River, then run up through campus to the top of the ski hill (about 950 ft gain over 2.5 to 3.5 miles depending on the route you go). At the summit, we pause and remember our graduates who have fallen during Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. We read the na... Fri, 16 May 2014 15:00:08 EST Semi-Annual Physical Training Test Well, it is that time of year again, time for the semi annual APFT (everything needs its own acronym, this one means Army Physical Fitness Test. I have not been training as hard as I was before the fall test, and the results show. <BR> <BR> It starts with 2 min of push ups, as many as you can do. I did 68, enough to get maximum points. Then 2 min of sit ups, again as many as you can do. I did 74, enough to get max points. I don't usually have trouble with the first two events. Then com... Wed, 7 May 2014 17:26:24 EST North Face Challenge I was a team member on the North Face Endurance Challenge marathon relay this past weekend. We had a 4 person relay team. Here we are, at the beginning of the race, with Brody, me, Becky and Will. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Becky, Brody and I teach together, Will teaches in physics. The races were at the Bear Mountain State Park, about 10 min south of West Point. In addition to the marathon relay, other races included mara... Mon, 5 May 2014 09:08:47 EST Easter Sunday and a few other things A busy weekend and a busy day today. Things are mostly winding down, glad to finally get a chance to sit and relax. The kids were up early and very excited about Easter and their Easter baskets. We had small baskets with books, puzzles, some knit hats from grandma, and some candy (of course). In the morning, I finished up prepping for our Easter dinner and my DW tried to finish cleaning up the house. (with the kids amped up, it was a bit like trying to brush your teeth while eating oreos... Sun, 20 Apr 2014 20:06:52 EST Reflection? Who has time for that? Assessment and reflection are two key components of any successful program. They help us set realistic and challenging goals, and then help evaluate our successes and shortcomings. While turning the calendar page often offers us a cue to assess progress and set new goals, it is incumbent upon us to take the time to reflect and capture those thoughts. The end of 2013 was a blur, going from finishing the fall semester to a fun but packed family ski vacation, to the start of the next semester... Tue, 14 Jan 2014 06:01:00 EST Sea to Summit - Run to Remember Every semester, at the start of finals week, our department holds the "Sea to Summit" run at West Point, NY. It starts at our department (Civil and Mechanical Engineering), drops down to the Hudson River (elevation about 28 ft), then runs up through the Academy to the top of the ski hill (elevation just under 1,000 ft). The total route is just over 3 miles, gaining over 900 ft along the way. Here is a snap shot of the route going up: <BR> <BR> <img src=" Mon, 16 Dec 2013 16:40:53 EST Are we ready to move next week? I know, we just moved here this summer, but we have to move again. At least it is just down the street, within the same neighborhood. <BR> <BR> We are on West Point, which has family housing run by a private contractor. When we picked the house we are in, we knew that it was scheduled for renovation before we are scheduled leave. We selected it planning that we may be able to upgrade. They originally told us that when our house went into renovation that they would move us into a house bu... Thu, 12 Dec 2013 19:37:29 EST November and year to date review Another month down, one more to go in the calendar year. <BR> <BR> I am continuing to maintain in the 180-185 range. I was at the high end of the range after my birthday celebration weekend and after Thanksgiving weekend. After the new year, I would like to refocus on losing and get down to and maintain in the 170-175 range. <BR> <BR> My fitness focus was on running (and bike commuting). I managed to run 89.4 miles in the month, bringing my year to date total to 951.6 miles. Less th... Mon, 2 Dec 2013 10:03:22 EST Race report from Andover, MA turkey trot Early on a chilly thanksgiving morning, we joined about 10,000 walkers, joggers, and runners to participate in the Feaster Five race in Andover, MA. <BR> <BR> It was the third year we have ran in it, and this year my two big kids (7 and 5) we're big enough to do the kids race. The 5 and 6 year olds had a 200 m dash and the 7 and 8 year olds did a 300 m dash. My kids were pretty chilly and not that fired up about it, but they ran anyway and got a nice Feaster Five medal. My DW was taki... Fri, 29 Nov 2013 21:17:20 EST Race report from West Point Turkey Trot Well, turkey trots are usually fairly low key, more about the fun and exercise than anything. The West Point TT was low key, even for a TT. There were probably about 150 runners with adults, teens, kids, dogs, and little kids bundled up in baby joggers. It was a $5 entry fee (free for cadets, who were fairly well represented). <BR> <BR> The start was a short walk from my house, so I bundled Elizbeth and Henry into their layers and into the buggy and warmed up a bit on the walk down to t... Mon, 18 Nov 2013 06:37:29 EST Go ahead and put that sticker on your car, part 3 BOILHAM had a blog entry about adorning ones car with race distance stickers, small ovals with 13.1, 26.2, 70.3 or 140.6. I followed up with a blog in Sep after seeing a car with a "0.0" sticker. <BR> <BR> Then I read this article: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>t-over-it-column-translated?cm_mmc=Fac<BR>ebook-_-RunnersWorld-_-Content-Blog-_-<BR>WSJRemyResponse </link> <BR> <BR> A great response to a column that appeared recently in the WSJ. The column, while ... Fri, 15 Nov 2013 11:45:05 EST On behalf of a grateful nation... The full citation reads: <BR> On behalf of the President of the United States, the United States Army, and a grateful nation, please accept this flag as a token of appreciation for yor father's faithful and honorable service. <BR> <BR> I had the opportunity to say that today at the graveside memorial for his father, a WWII veteran. Unlike today's all-volunteer army, the soldiers who served during WWII were drafted "until the cessation of hostilities". <BR> <BR> Many blessings to the vet... Mon, 11 Nov 2013 19:44:08 EST Semi-annual fitness test Today was the day for my semi-annual army physical fitness test (APFT, since everything in the army needs an acronym). The test consists of 4 events: 2 min of push ups, 2 min of sit ups, a 2 mi run and a weigh in. The three physical events are graded on a scale from 0 to 100 with 60 points per event passing. The scale is based on gender and on age. <BR> <BR> This past May, at the end of grad school, I aced the test, with my best score and run time in years. I was kind of curious where I ... Tue, 5 Nov 2013 13:16:53 EST