I want to hide, more accurately. I’ve run just once since Charlie started sleeping more soundly, but that has to change. Not only do I need to run to blow off stress, I need to do a better job of managing my weight. I can’t do that exclusively through exercise though. Something I need to do a better job of in 2012 is eating smarter. I know I’ll feel better if I eat right.
I need to get to the gym, too. Right now I’ve paid $120 for one gym visit. There’s no good excuse for that. Can’t wait to get my act together in 2012!
Not earth-shattering news by any stretch of the imagination, but for this dad, a major step toward getting back in shape after an arduous two-year hiatus.
Now that Charlie’s sleeping more normally, I’ve decided to hit the gym three times per week in the evenings. I’m not quite ready to give up the additional sleep that I just recovered, so I’ll hold off on waking up early to run for the time being.
Feels great to be back in the gym, even if I feel like a stranger there. I kept trying to remember my regimen from, um, sophomore year of college to no avail. If you have recommendations of a decent workout program, be in touch!
Finally learning an object lesson in saving money: packing my lunch last week not only meant eating better and healthier than usual, but I saved more than enough money to cover dinner at Barbuzzo, including drinks and tip!
If you follow me on Twitter or Daily Mile, or by some strange twist of fate bump into me in real life, you know I started training for and successfully completed the Philadelphia Marathon last November. I’ve tried to keep it up over the course of the winter, but it hasn’t been easy. Cold weather and icy sidewalks aren’t the most inviting aspects of the mid-Atlantic region, and I can’t stand to run on a treadmill. I often opted out of a morning run rather than risk breaking my neck on some black ice I didn’t see (or to just stay in my nice warm bed a little longer.)
I’ve lost a step, thanks to that, but I’m confident knowing that the time I lazed will likely keep me from overtraining at an unsustainably high level. I’m a little frustrated by the setback, but I’m still averaging a sub‑8 minute mile, so it won’t be long before I’m running comfortably at closer to 7 minute miles all the time.
Now that the weather’s starting to get warmer and the sun is up before I’m at the office, I’m back out on the streets of Port Fishington again. (I know, I’ve said I hate that term, and I do, but I use it here because I’m running from my house into Port Richmond, and occasionally Bridesburg. There are now no fewer than four names for my neighborhood.They include Olde Richmond, which is totally bogus, brought to you by ORCA; there’s Flat Iron, the name most of our neighbors call the area; and lastly, Cione, which derives from the playground at the neighborhood’s northeastern boundary at Aramingo and Lehigh.) My route right now takes me up Richmond St., which is usually pretty empty (and always flat) when I get out there in the hazy pre-dawn hours. It can be a bit boring, and it’s not exactly picturesque, but it’s convenience that dictates the terms here.
I’m looking forward to April, when it’ll be even warmer and I’ll feel more comfortable riding my bike down to the Comcast Center. Then I’ll be joined by my friend Brian from the Food Trust on morning runs during the week. We’re already running together on weekends and it’s been great. I can think of few things more rewarding than getting out early on a Saturday or Sunday morning for a good long run. It’s actually pretty beautiful if you can get out there before every rollerblader and weekend cyclist descends on Kelly Drive.
I’m already looking forward to those 14+ mile runs that take us into Wissahickon Creek Park. It’ll be amazing to get back out there in the late summer and early fall.
23 weeks of training came to fruition yesterday as I completed the Philadelphia Marathon in 3:13:33. I ran through three pair of Puma sneakers, the last three I had from my Philebrity Fit Club winnings. They served me well. I ran over 750 miles in the past six months, and they were with me every step of the way.
Want some highlights? Of course you do!
- It was crazy cold. I’ve read that it was 27 degrees at the start, but 19 with the wind chill. For context, consider this: the air horn that would’ve signaled the start froze! Mayor Nutter had to countdown the start.
- I ran most of the race behind a man who wore shorts, no shirt. Need I say more?
- That crazy cold made for some crazy conditions. The water was freezing on the street at the water stations, making a difficult run treacherous. I tip-toed through them gingerly, fingers crossed. I didn’t fall, so that technique clearly worked.
- The course map was wrong! I think people had an idea that we wouldn’t be running up South St. as it’s been torn up. We ran up Spruce instead, which meant running across some Belgian block. How quaint! Sprain an ankle in a colonial style!
- There are cars parked on the course. Periodically the Clif pace runner would call for fans to step back off Chestnut St., which would really help, except they were actually protecting us from the cars parked on the course. I didn’t see anyone wipe out on a hood of a parked vehicle, but it was definitely possible.
- Speaking of wipeouts I didn’t stop to watch: I was running in Fairmount Park when suddenly the pack parted and I saw a white flash in my peripheral vision. I identified it as a shoe. Its owner was in hot pursuit, diving back for it against the oncoming runners. Like I said, I didn’t wait to see if he was trampled. I hope not.
- The Clif bar pace guy was great, but: he ran the first half of the marathon behind pace, and then made up the difference in the second half. This was a disaster for a runner like myself, who needs to stick to one pace and run like a human metronome.
- A half-marathon is a piece of cake. Everyone should do one. I wasn’t crowing like this in September when I ran my first, but now I think it’s safe to say that 13.1 miles just isn’t that far. It seems far, but if you take the time to prepare yourself, you can totally run this distance. Think about it.
- Running fans make funny signs. The funniest I remember reading read: Bet U Wish U Taped Ur Nipples Today. I didn’t, but I laughed anyway. I needed to laugh. I just finished running Lemon Hill.
- Speaking of hills, Philadelphia isn’t as flat as everyone says. It’s hard to visualize just where the course takes you, so the little hills here and there really catch you by surprise. Fairmount was tough; Lemon Hill was tougher; and that last little overpass into Manayunk was the worst.
- Everything you hear about the last 6.2 miles is true. I ran 20 mile training runs three times. I was consistently able to dig in and run the last four miles up to 20 seconds faster than my workout pace. Not so on Sunday. I sputtered to 8 minute miles by mile 22. Should I have eaten another gel? Maybe, but there wasn’t much left in the tank anyway.
- Having said that, I think that I went out too fast. The adrenaline was flowing and I felt great in those first seven miles. I cranked out a sub‑7 mile somewhere in there. Didn’t mean to, but I did. Did it hurt me? Probably, but I still managed a 7:19/mile average on the run.
- Anything else? I’m already looking forward to next year’s marathon. I really wanted to qualify for Boston and I just missed it this year. I don’t feel badly about it; I only spent six months training for this one and I nearly did it. I plan to rest, recover from this run, get some new sneakers (possibly Pearl Izumis), buy a running jacket, and stay frosty this winter. I hope I see you out there!
- Last, but not least: I want to extend a special thanks to Ross and Bryan from Philadelphia Runner. I can’t say enough how great these guys are and how welcome I feel every time I walk into their stores. Their support and encouragement were wonderful. Ross even handed me a water along the course!