After a long day at work – and then after even more work that I brought home with me, I was finally able to get to sleep late last night.  I still have more work to do – but I promised myself that I wouldn’t miss my long run today.  So, I woke up early, slipped on my running shoes and headed out for my 48 minute run down the Greenway.  Before leaving, I checked in on ‘my’ new baby birds that hatched on my front porch a few days ago.  They are really growing fast!  That plant their nest is in was beautiful before Mama and Daddy bird decided to build their nest there.  After scaring Mama bird by pouring water on her head one time, we decided to let the plant go, and let Mama have her privacy.  It was a good decision.

Back to my run.  I intentionally headed out at a slower pace than I have been running.  I wanted this run to feel easy.  It is important to just get the body to feel good while running when the distances get longer, so that was my focus.  Just a slow and steady pace for the full 48 minutes.  My legs were pretty sore to start out (I have no idea why), but after about 4 or 5 minutes, I felt fine.

The Greenway was busy today with tons of runners, some cyclists and a few walkers.  It is always nice to see so many friendly people up and exercising early on a Saturday morning.  I am proud to be one of the “non-lazy” crowd who takes advantage of a great running trail.  —  Of course, the further from the main access point parking lot I got, the thinner the crowd got – and by the time I was at my furthest point from home, I was all alone.  The contrast between busy and solitude is interesting.  My pace is a bit quicker around the crowds – which was counter to my goals for this run today.  So, the solitude portion of the run was better for me (plus, I saw 5 deer during that part of the run).

My heart rate over the course of the run.

I made my way back home, arriving at the 46:41 mark.  I shorted my run by just over one minute.  Oh well, it was still a good run.

Now… back to work for a few hours today (and a few more tomorrow)

Today’s workout:

Plan: 48 minutes of running

Actual: 46:41 running (4.46 miles @ 10:29/mile)

PS – yesterday was a scheduled day off from training – but I decided to put in 40 minutes in the pool for another 1500 meters this week.


July 4th.  I was excited for a nice day with my family.  We had several things planned for the day, one of which was my morning run.  Today I was scheduled for a 38 minute run – but I was going to mix it up some.  I was going to head out for 20 minutes, then come by the house and grab my oldest son (who is 8 years old) and continue on for another mile and a half with him.  It was fantastic.  He did such a good job.  Our conversation during the run was so much fun.  He asked about my workouts, he mentioned how difficult it is to run up a hill, he then asked me how many hills did I have to run up in my triathlon (ha).  After all of that, as we were getting close to the end of the run, he started talking about wanting to do his own triathlon sometime soon.  He mentioned that he already knows how to swim, and he can ride his bike fine… and now he knows he can run a mile without stopping, so why not do them all together like Daddy.

—  How great is that?

I am looking right now for some choices for kiddie triathlons in the area that I can get him signed up for.  If he wants to do it… I am going to make sure he can.

As for the rest of the day – we met with a contractor about finishing the 3rd floor, then we drove down to the in-laws for an early (and perfect) July 4th dinner.  After dinner, we drove to the city of Clayton’s July 4th celebration where we listened to live music, played some carnival games and rode on a few carnival rides.  Of course the night was capped off by a really nice fireworks display (and some sparklers for the kids).

Today’s workout:It was a nice way to spend the day.

Plan: 38 minutes running

35:11 running (3.39 miles @ 10:23/mile – 15 minutes of that with my son!)

I actually set my alarm for 5:30 am on a Saturday just to get in the workout today.  Does that make me crazy?  Normally on Saturdays I allow myself to sleep until closer to 7am – however, today it was supposed to be 85* by 7:30 and rising fast throughout the day (north of 100* by noon) .  So, 5:30 became the best solution as it allowed me to get in my last of the recovery week runs before the day became too much of a scorcher.

This is my run – mapped out. Although, you can see I hit ‘start’ late… and the GPS did mess up a bit as I never crossed the river.

Once again, it was a short 30 minute run on the training calendar.  Not too hard – and with this heat, I was quite thankful of that.  I quickly got ready and headed towards the Upper Neuse Greenway (again).  Although… this time I turned left, instead of right.  Not much different, but it did give me some different trees to look at.  🙂

My run went well.  Surprisingly the greeenway was full of people at 6am.  I guess everyone had the same thought today!  Of course, when I say full of people, I mean I saw maybe a dozen other people during my 30 minutes.  Normally in the early mornings I only see deer and maybe a fox or two.

Today’s workout:

Plan: 29 minute run

Actual: 31:23 (3.29 miles @ 9:32/mile)

I love these short workouts this week!

My training plan is built off of a basic plan that includes 3 weeks of increasing load workouts, followed by a week of lower load workouts.  It is so nice when you hit that fourth week – suddenly everything becomes easy.  The workouts are cut by 33% or more.  It feels like I have tons of energy!

For example, last Wednesday my schedule called for a 38 minute run.  Granted, that isn’t terribly long… but when compared to today’s workout it is.  Today I was scheduled to get in only 23 minutes of running.  That 15 minute difference is huge – and allowed for me to go out and push my pace a bit, knowing I could easily make the full 23 minutes.

So with only 23 minutes to run, I pushed the pace for the first mile.  I didn’t look at my Garmin, I just focused on good form, fast turnover and pushing my limits.  When I heard the ‘chime’ from my watch indicating I hit the one mile marker, I glanced down to see how fast I went.  To my surprise, I just ran my first sub-9 minute mile – 8:49!  How about that – and I didn’t even feel that worn out.

I continued on, trying to keep the fast cadence for the remaining time.  I did slow down – I think it might be more of a mind game though.  I never felt ‘tired’ – but I allowed my feet to slow down.  The next 1.42 miles came in almost a minute/mile slower@ 9:44/mile.

All in all I feel great about the run this morning.  The weather was perfect, my legs felt great and I hit my fastest mile time to this point.

Not a bad way to start a Wednesday.

The map for today’s run.

Here is my pace chart for today’s run.  FYI – The big dips are where I turned around on the greenway.

Today’s workout:

Plan: 23 minute run

Actual: 22:42 run – 2.42 miles @ 9:22/mile

The never forgiving training calendar had me scheduled to do 38 minutes in my Brooks PureFlow running shoes today.  I tell you what… it was hot and humid this morning.  Man do I wish the weather could have stayed as nice as it was this past weekend.  Oh well, I guess I was just meant to get in a good solid sweat this morning!

And sweat I did…

I once again went for a morning run along the Upper Neuse Greenway – and once again came across the family of deer.  I still don’t have a good picture of them, but perhaps I will catch them posing for pictures on Saturday.  I got in 3.33 miles today at a decent pace of 9:48.  I really struggled during the end of the run with a major desire to get to a bathroom.  (Sorry, but it is true).  With that feeling, I cut my run a little short (only 5 minutes).

I did a quick analysis of my average pace since I started training (more accurately put, since I got my Garmin!).  Below is a chart that illustrates how just pounding the pavement on a regular basis will improve your speed.  Now, I recognize that I am not setting the world on fire with my pace, but you can see that steady work and commitment has really improved my fitness and in turn my average pace.  Not bad – and very encouraging.  Any guesses as to what my pace will be one year from now?

My average pace – the black line is the trendline… it looks good, no?

I will keep running – biking – and swimming.  I love seeing the times drop as well as the pounds dropping off!

Living life every day!

Today’s workout:

Plan: 38 minutes running

Actual: 32:40 – 3.33 miles @ 9:48/mile

Just a quick post about my morning run today.  I was greeted on the Upper Neuse Greenway by a family of seven deer.  I tried to get a picture of them with my cell phone, but it didn’t turn out so good.  I am sure I will see them again, maybe next time they will wait for me to snap their picture!  I actually held a sub 9:35 pace  for the first mile and a 9:27 pace for mile 2 before slowing down to a 9:50+ pace for the last portion.  Things felt great and I am enjoying this new found leg speed!  Yes, I know that 9:30 miles are still slow… but they are better than my oh so recent 10:45 miles!

Today’s workout:

Plan: Run 29minutes

Actual: 25:06  –  2.58 miles at 9:44

My run has been feeling great since I finished the tri a couple of weeks ago.  I suddenly feel like I have more energy and can push the pace a bit more than I have.  If only this feeling was there on the morning of June 2nd!  Oh well.

So, feeling a little better about the run, I headed out to do my planned 35 minute run before work today.  I decided that I should do a 5k training run, rather than just a straight 35 minutes since the time difference is not much for someone who plods along like me.  I know exactly where to run from my house to hit a perfect 5k, so that was the plan.

Off I went.

I finished mile 1 at 9:44, which is not too bad for me.  Actually, it is quite good.   I have been running in the 10:00-10:15 range for weeks.  Mile #2 came in at 9:51.  Nice… things are going well.  Sure, that is a drop in speed, but not by too much.  I was feeling great.  My plan was to push on for the remaining distance (1.1miles) to see where I could end up… out of breath and feeling beat… I finished that last section in a scant 10:02…. giving me a total time of 29:37.  My first sub 30 minute 5k since I picked up training again.

I continued running for another 5 minutes to finish out the workout at a slower 10:45 pace.

It is great to see improvements.  I was pretty down on my running before the Gary Kirby Tri, but after these past few workouts, I am starting to feel better about it.  I actually see the possibility of being able to average 9:30 or better in my olympic tri in late September.

Feels good.

Today’s workout:

Plan: 35 minute run

Actual: 34:42 – and a new (albeit in training) PR for a 5k (29:37)

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