I'm Back But Not Better Than Ever

It's been almost 2 years since I last posted, but I have decided to start posting on a regular basis. Today's my birthday, and along with New Year's Day, I feel like birthdays are good time to start over and perhaps start some new habits.

These are a few things that I want to start (or go back to) doing:

  1. Start posting on a regular basis. Most of the stuff I'm going to post is likely going to be bullshit, but it's better than nothing.
  2. Get back into shape. I stopped running on a regular basis and have definitely put on a few extra pounds and have gotten way out of race shape. Time to get back to where i once was.
  3. Study more/better. I've been studying pretty hardcore in preparation for boards for the past few weeks. I just need to continue doing that while trying not to burn out.

In terms of getting back into shape, my goal is to do something physically active each day. Today I did 16.5 miles on the stationary bike while watching boards lectures. Decent start to the whole getting back into shape project, but I just need to be more consistent. 

We'll see how long this lasts...

Sunday Recap 4/21 - 4/27

I'm starting to get my legs back. I got some quality runs in this week, and my prospects leading into my next marathon on May 10th are looking good. I told myself I would only run it if I felt good enough to run sub 3:03, and right now that feels like a good possibility.

I'm going to try to get smarter and more serious about my training. I tend to do all my training runs at a similar pace. Running my slow runs too fast and my fast runs too slow is a big problem for me. My weekly plan starting after this next marathon is to do one long run (15-20 miles), at least 1 tempo run (10-15 miles @ HM pace with a 1-2 mile warm up and 1-2 mile cool down),  and 1 day of speed work on the track. I'll add on an additional 1-2 days of recovery runs/maintenance miles.

Monday: 11 miles @ 7:13 pace. After the run, I watched Meb dominate in Boston.

Tuesday: 10 miles @ 7:03

Wednesday: Rest day. Got some "speed work" in playing tag with my 4 year old nephew.

Thursday: 11 miles @ 6:38 average. I did the first 6 miles @ 6:25-6:30 pace, but my left calf started to feel a little tight so I slowed down to a 6:45-6:55 pace for the last 5 miles. I'm being very cautious about any little ache or pain right now. I just want to make sure I get to the marathon starting line healthy in 2 weeks.

Friday: Rest day. Worked the midnight shift that night.

Saturday: 11 miles @ 7:17 pace. I was as disciplined as I could be trying to take it easy for this run, thinking I was going to do a hard speed workout the next day.

Sunday: 10 miles @ 7:05 pace. Speed workout cancelled due to a girl's meet at the track I was planning on using. My left posteromedial knee at the hamstring insertion was feeling tight near the end of the run. Hopefully it's nothing serious. I'll take it a little easy until it's back to normal.

I'm on call tomorrow until 9pm so rest day tomorrow.

Boston Marathon and Belated Sunday Recap

Today was Boston Marathon Day, and I was lucky enough to have the day off and watch it live.

I missed the start of the elite women because I decided on getting my own run in before I settled in to watch the race. I ended up doing 11 miles at an easy pace. I think I am finally getting my legs back after the marathon.

Anyway, by the time I started watching, Shalane Flanagan was killing it on the women's side and Meb Keflezighi was killing it on the men's side. Apparently I wasn't paying too much attention to Meb since I assumed he was in a chase pack. It wasn't until about 15-20 minutes of watching did I realize that he had been leading that whole time.

Unfortunately, Shalane couldn't hold on, but Meb ended up putting in one of the best athletic performances that I have ever seen. I mean, this dude is 38 years old!!! When the guy in 2nd started closing in, I thought Meb was done, but he managed to will himself to the victory. Next time I am in a race and feeling the pain, I'll look to this performance for inspiration.

Congrats Meb for being the first American man to win Boston since 1983!!!

Congrats Meb for being the first American man to win Boston since 1983!!!

Each Sunday, I'm going do a summary of my weekly workouts. I'm a day late for my first week, but here it is:

Sunday: Rest day. Post-marathon day #1.

Monday: Rest day. Post-marathon day #2.

Tuesday: Cross-training. 28 miles on the stationary bike.

Wednesday: 5.1 miles @ 7:02 pace. Legs were feeling heavy. Apparently still recovering.

Thursday: Rest day.

Friday: 8.19 miles @ 6:58 pace. Legs were feeling good. 

Saturday: 8.0 miles @ 7:11 pace. Legs actually tired pretty quickly during the run. Probably a byproduct of a morning run after yesterday's late afternoon run.

Sunday: Rest day. Had to work all day until 9pm, the headed off to parent's house to salvage what was left of Easter.

TOTAL: 21.3 miles

I'm hoping to get around 35-40 miles in this week. I'm still aiming for the May 10th Weekend Warrior Marathon so hopefully recovery and tapering goes well the next few weeks. Watching the Boston Marathon this morning definitely gave me motivation to train hard so I can be there next year. 

Hopefully where I'll be a year from now.

Hopefully where I'll be a year from now.

First Post-Marathon Run

OK, so that was weird. I thought my legs were more or less recovered. I did about 28 miles on the stationary bike last night, and I was feeling pretty good this morning. Everything was looking great, and then, BAM! I go for a short 5 mile run and my legs are just feeling like lead. 

I probably made the mistake of going too fast too soon. This was supposed to be a recovery run. I was aiming for 7:15-7:30/mile. I ended up going 6:48 for the first mile, and gradually slowed down and ended up averaging 7:02/mile, coincidentally my pace for last Saturday's marathon. 

For most of the run, I was thinking that maybe my legs won't be recovered in time for this marathon on May 10. I'm hoping, though, this is just a minor hiccup in my recovery. I'm working until 9pm tomorrow so I'm probably not going to get a run in, but I'm off on Friday. I'm going to try to do a slow recovery run (for real this time) on Friday.

Race Recap: Martian Marathon (My First Full Marathon!)


I just finished my first full marathon this morning, the Martian Marathon in Dearborn, Michigan. It was the most painful run/race I have ever had, but it was also the most awesome run/race I have ever had. I finished in 3:04:18. I just missed my goal of 3:03, but I'm still pretty excited about my time. While technically a BQ, I have a feeling BQ minus 42 seconds probably won't make the cut come Boston registration in September. That part is disappointing, but I'm still pretty proud of myself.

It was a 7:15 am race start time, and it was a crisp 44 degrees at the start, which left me shivering a bit in my short sleeve shirt and shorts, but once I got moving, it was the perfect temp.

Miles 1-3: 6:41, 6:42, 6:45. This was a little faster than I had wanted to start out with. My plan was to start around a 6:50 pace, but at the time, I felt like it wouldn't be too harmful to start out like this. It just felt good to be racing again after tapering since my 25K race 3 weeks ago. 

Miles 4-6: 6:59, 6:50, 6:49.  I'm really not sure what happened there in mile 4. I must have lost focus or something because I was definitely surprised to see that 6:59 split show up. This part included a loop through one of the residential neighborhoods. It was cool to see the guys front pack guys running past us, and it felt good running by the runners behind us since a lot of them threw out some encouraging words to us as we passed each other. I was still feeling pretty great at this point. Legs were moving well. Breathing was fine. Confidence was way high.

Miles 7-12: 6:57, 6:51, 6:49, 6:57, 6:51, 6:54. Still felling good at this point. Miles 7 and 10 were on the slower side because of slowing down at aid stations. I took at GU at the 10.5 mile aid station, which ended up being my only GU for the whole race. This ended up being a huge mistake. Mile 12 ended up being my last sub 7:00 mile. 

Miles 13-16: 7:01, 7:00, 7:01, 7:07. I was obviously slowing down at this point, but I wasn't worried too much. My legs were still feeling pretty good. I decided not to push myself too hard to get back under a 7 minute pace. Given that this was my first marathon, I didn't want to increase my chances of hitting the dreaded wall at the end. I figure I could always try to make that time up at the end if possible. Somewhere along this stretch, two guys set up a cheering station with signs that said "Never trust a fart" and "You're NOT almost there," which I thought were both hilarious. My pre-race plan was to take a GU around the 15-16 mile mark, but stupid me decided not to for some reason. I mean, I freaking had two GU packets in my pockets the entire race. Again, this was a huge mistake that I will never make again. I thought gatorade would be enough, but it definitely wasn't.

semr station.jpg

Miles 17-21: 7:05, 7:07, 7:06, 7:08, 7:04. This was when i started to get worried. I knew I had banked some time early in the race to get my goal of 3:03, but I was definitely giving away a decent amount of time back here. It didn't help that the sun was out, and was probably 60-70 degrees. Even though, my legs were starting to tire out, I still refused to go with the GU. WHAT WAS I THINKING???

Miles 22-24: 7:13, 7:31, 7:33.  THE WALL. This was it. This was what I was dreading. So close to the finish, and I had very little left. My calves were giving out short bursts of cramps that I had to get through. I stopped 3-4 times for maybe 5-7 seconds each time to massage out the problem areas. I was furiously doing the pace math in my head. Was I going to be able to still hit 3:03? Was I going to be able to get a BQ of 3:05? I drank a decent amount of gatorade at the aid stations to try to prevent my calves from completely dying on me. I knew at this point, it was too late for GU.

Miles 25-26.2 (26.3 by my Garmin): 7:06, 7:01, 2:01 (6:31 pace for the last 0.3 miles). This part of the race was all willpower. My legs were dead. My arms were tingling. My one thought was, "Dig in. You HAVE to go sub 3:05." Even though I knew getting less than BQ minus 1:30 probably wasn't going to cut to get into Boston 2015, I still wanted to say I had a BQ. I played the game of picking off one runner at a time. Luckily, the half marathoners had merged with us around mile 20 so there were a decent number of targets to go after. I even passed at least two of my fellow full marathoners. I was grimacing and gritting my teeth for much of this last stretch. As I hit the last straightaway, I could hear my sister and Mom cheering me on to the finish line. I finished with 3:04:18, BQ minus 42 seconds, 14th overall, 2nd in my age group of 25-29.

I basically couldn't move for a good 40 minutes after the race. My body was spent. Luckily, my mom, sister, brother-in-law, and nephews were there to help me out. 

My mom and I after the race. She is holding me up so I don't fall over. Seriously.

My mom and I after the race. She is holding me up so I don't fall over. Seriously.

Post-race thoughts: I'm proud of my time, but I definitely want to hit sub-3:03 before Boston registration in September. I'm signed up for another marathon in 4 weeks. Even though, much of the time between then and now will be recovery and taper, I feel pretty confident that I can get a better time with proper race fueling. I don't want to run that race, though, unless I feel like I can reach my goal, so depending on how recovery goes, I may or may not run that race. If I don't, or if I run it and don't get sub-3:03, I'm looking at a pre-Boston registration marathon in August-early September. For now, I'll just focus on recovering and hopefully get back on the road in a few days with some short recovery runs. 

My mom, sister, and nephews with me after the race. My brother-in-law took the picture.

My mom, sister, and nephews with me after the race. My brother-in-law took the picture.

How I Met Your Mother Finale

It's been a week since the series finale of How I Met Your Mother so I have had plenty of time to gather my thoughts about one of my favorite shows ending. The consensus around the internet is that the finale sucked. I, for one, actually loved it. The finale had the perfect combination of comedy and emotional weight that HIMYM is known for. 

The whirlwind journey through the future was great. I loved seeing the characters grow up and experience the "big moments" that everyone goes through from having kids, getting married, getting divorced, dealing with loss. 

My second favorite moment was when Barney holds his baby daughter for the first time. He pretty much just killed that scene. 

My favorite scene of the finale is seeing Ted and the Mother meet for the first time underneath the yellow umbrella. Throughout the course of season 9, we had seen snippets of the two interacting with each other, and we saw how perfect they were for each other. That scene at the Farhampton train station with "Downtown Train" by Everything But the Girl playing in the background was absolute perfection. 

I guess the main thing people disliked about the finale was the ultimate ending with Ted ending up with Robin. I'll admit, I wasn't a fan of this part of the finale. The rest of the finale, though, was so good that this part didn't ruin it for me though. I really like an edit I saw on the internet, that basically cut this part of the finale and ends the episode with Ted and the Mother at the train station.

I've seen the finale 4-5 times already, and I love it every time. Although, the last few seasons have not been the greatest, this finale joins a handful of other episodes from seasons 7-9 that match the best episodes of the earlier seasons.

I'm definitely going to miss HIMYM. It's been one of my favorite shows for the past 9 years. I still watch older episodes on Netflix all the time, and I see myself continuing to do that for years to come. I just want to say, thanks HIMYM. You provided my with countless hours of joy and you'll always hold a dear place in my heart. 

Midnights and marathon tapering

It's been a week since I last posted. I guess this is mainly due to a combination of laziness, a busy schedule, and poor sleeping habits. I started my first string of midnights in the ER last Saturday, and my sleep schedule has been totally screwed up. I've gotten about 5 hours of sleep each day broken up in to short segments. This is totally not optimal for the week leading up to my first marathon. 

My last few training runs have not been great. I've run 12-13 miles at near marathon race pace, and to be honest, they have been rough. I'm definitely scared I'm going to hit the wall at some point during the race. I just remember how tired I was at the end of my 25K race a few weeks ago, and the thought of doing 11+ more miles after that seems daunting. Basically, I'm just getting the thought into my head that I may blow up at some point during the race. I'm telling myself that it's not the end of the world if I don't BQ this time around. There will be other races.

I have 4 more nights in the ER. I have 2-3 easier runs planned before the race. Let's hope I survive.

Going home

Sitting at the airport, waiting to go back home. As always, Vegas was a blast, but I'm actually looking forward to going home. I can't get back to marathon training. I'm on my taper, but I should still be getting some solid miles in the next 12 days. I'm planning on doing 15 tomorrow, 8-10 on Wednesday, and 8-12 on Thursday.

I have the day off tomorrow, and other than a 15 mile run, I'm hoping to just recharge from the weekend.  



First Night In Vegas

The first night in Vegas was pretty fun. I made two bets on college basketball, but unfortunately lost both. All I needed was Michigan State to make one more free throw, and I would have won about $95, but they missed the last free throw on purpose so I was out of luck.

We then saw Nick Swardson perform, which was awesome. Not as good as his specials, but still really funny.  As we were walking out of the theater, I found a $100 chip on the ground, making up for the money I lost on the sports bets.

I was able to break even at the craps table to end the night, so overall fun night. Gonna play some more craps today, make a few more bets on today's Elite 8 games and then see where the night takes us.



First Post

Today is my 29th birthday. One year away from 30 years old. I feel like this is going to be an important year in my life, hopefully for the better. I figure what better way to document this important year than with a blog.

I'm in the airport right now, waiting to head out for my 3rd annual birthday weekend in Vegas. I'm excited, but I'm also worried about losing training days. With my first marathon 2 weeks away, I feel like I could get a few good training runs this weekend, but I decided to leave my running gear at home.

March has been a crappy month in terms of training. After doing 180-190 mile months in December, January, and February, I'm going to end March with a measley 120 miles. Although, I put in fewer miles, I feel like I put in more quality miles. I started the month with a 5K PR of 18:51* (I add the asterisk because the course was a little short at 3.06 miles by my Garmin). I also ran my first 25K in 1:43:48, a 6:41 pace. Although, I was pretty much dying at the end of that race, I feel like it puts me in good shape to BQ in 2 weeks. 

Anyways, first post completed. Hopefully I can post some cool stuff this weekend from Vegas.