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Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy New Year's and welcome to my blog!

OK, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season.  We spent the holidays back home in Texas and it was nice to see everyone.  It was a tough drive though (from Ohio), and it took every bit of patience.....  Still, it was worth the 5-6 days of driving to see our family and friends.  Ya’ll are going to have to visit us next time…… Just sayin’

This is my first blog post and I am still trying to figure everything out.  I'd like to recap our 2010 year by welcoming our newest additions.  The birth of our twins, Austin and Blake, brought several challenges but they are both doing well.  They are little angels!  We are also happy that Brandon is off chemo (again).  He had some difficulties too.....  What a trooper!

I was able to log 213 miles running last year.  I honestly have to say, that I ran more last year than in my whole life combined!  I completed two official half-marathons (Cincinnati Flying Pig, and USAF events) and was able to run three unofficial half-marathons during training.  My finish times weren't spectacular, but I was happy to cross those finish lines!  I am training to run the Cincy Flying Pig half-marathon again and hopefully the USAF full-marathon this fall!  Wish me luck!

So far, I've been able to log some good miles on my new treadmill this year.  I didn't run any in December (my only month without a run in 2010) due to several factors: I was consumed with work, on vacation, and injured my back.  I am still having trouble with my back when I attempt to lift/carry things, perform push-ups and crunches, and sitting down for long periods of time.....  Hopefully this will pass soon.

I used to be in great shape.  Of course, it was when I was younger (and yes, dumber).  I used to play soccer, basketball, tennis, ride bikes, and do almost everything outdoors.  I once posted a 9:17 on a mile and a half run and averaged 9:30’s (around a 6-minute mile pace)!  I am far off of that time now (11:45-12:30 with an 8-minute mile pace) but I am trying to get faster.  I recently watched a documentary of three world-class athletes titled Running the Sahara.  These runners accomplished an amazing fete by running the Sahara desert in about 111 days covering around 4,300 miles.  You thought Forrest Gump was crazy, wow! 

Well, I have provided links to my son's website (right) and also to my Nike+ page.  I will continue to post Brandon's updates but I want to concentrate on a separate blog to document my training.  I hope that some of you find some motivation and inspiration out of this blog.  I have fed off of so many others, whether it was through their accomplishments, encouragement, or advice; I have so many to be thankful for!  I wish to spread the health.....  Runner's health! 

I run mostly outdoors throughout the seasons, but lately I have had trouble with running out in the cold.  As I stated in my intro, I have had two knee surgeries, in which both have had severe impacts to my life.  It was the most recent surgery that gave me my second wind!  I’d like to thank Dr. Sherrick for fixing my ACL in Oct 05'.  But, special thanks to Dr. Schwimley for patching me up this last time (Oct 09).  I am feeling much better now.

We recently purchased a Sole F80 treadmill this past Christmas.  Let me tell you, I will NEVER run in the snow/cold ever again (unless forced to)!  It is nice to have a treadmill (thanks Andy for the recommendation) because it gives me the flexibility to run day or night (without fear of being run over and being exposed to the elements).  I have outfitted myself with what I consider the proper gear for my needs…..  I run with Asics Gel Nimbus-11’s; I loved these shoes so much I bought three pair!  I wear a combination of Nike and Under Armor running gear and have an Adidas gore-tex running jacket (A+ in my opinion).
For those who know me well, you all know that music is one of my passions.  I once majored in music (until I made my life-changing decision to switch degree plans).  I absolutely CANNOT run without it…..  I run with an iPod Nano and Nike+ sensor (loaded with a wide variety of music) to keep me motivated.  I recently added a Garmin Forerunner 305 to the arsenal (to track pace) and often employ the Runkeeper App (via my HTC Evo).  I’ve recently been introduced to Dailymile.com (thanks Walt), which is a Facebook-like social community for runners.  I like it so far!  Sadly, I sometimes feel like a robo-warrior when I prepare for outdoor runs…..  Well, according to me: running is a battle, a battle that must be won.
For my indoor runs on the treadmill, I use only the iPod Nano (with Nike+ sensor) and a heart rate monitor.  The Nike+ sensor is pretty accurate on the treadmill.  I usually have to calibrate after every 2-3 runs (note: outdoor calibration on a running track is the preferred method); still, it is pretty close. I downloaded a treadmill speed-to-pace equivalency chart to determine the approximate settings to maintain pace and time.  These are standard charts that can be found anywhere.  I usually set my speed anywhere between 7.0-8.5 mph and 1-2 degrees of incline.  It is supposed to be close to outdoor running.  We’ll see how close I can maintain 8-min miles outdoors (when it warms up)!
Well, that is all I have for today’s post.  It is rather lengthy, but I will aim to keep future posts short…..  Thanks again for stopping by. 
Happy running and God bless!
2 Tim 4:7

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