Monday, August 29, 2011

Irene, tree and runs

What a weekend! Rained all day Saturday, but I still managed an 11 mile run first thing in the AM before the heavy down pours began. At noon I drove to Springfield (about an hour)to pick up my race packet for the Half that got canceled on Sunday. Pick up was at a corner of a hotel lobby. Just one guy with a pile of bags on a table. Kinda sad looking. No ID was needed. They guy just asked if I was doing the half or the 5k and then directed me to right pile of bags. Any one could have walked in and grabbed one.

The bag consisted of your t-shirt, finisher medal and some energy bars. That's it.

Irene got here Sunday morning. I have never heard blowing so hard. Not going to lie... it was kinda scary. At about 11am the power went out and stayed out until early Monday morning. I have to say I too would not have survived the pioneer times. I love my family and I love spending time with them, but is only so many games of UNO one can play. It was definitely a long day!

The only damage I got was one of the trees in my back yard split almost in half. The part that is in danger of falling faces away from the house and is held up by another tree.

What sucks is, had it fallen, insurance would have taken care of paying to have it removed. But since it's still up they will not cover it. I called around and got three quotes today. All at about $1000...yikes!! Believe me, if I could push it (safely) to make it fall I would. But it's so wedged against the other tree that there is no way to do so... I got 3 more quotes tomorrow.

I did manage an 8+ mile run this morning. It was nice and nippy out. I haven't had a nice cool run like that in a while.

I need to look for another race to do. I don't want all this training I did to go to waste.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Officially Canceled :(

I understand why, and I knew that it would be canceled, but I feel cheated. I trained hard for this race. I going to pick up my packet because I want the shirt, but do want the medal. I wanted to earn it. I think I'll just give it to my daughter.

Tomorrow I was going to do a short run just to stay loose for the race, but I think now I'll just do a long run. Then it's off to the BrewFest to drink my blues away to have a good time ;)

Has anyone else had a race canceled before?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Keeping an eye on Irene

Latest news has it over my area late Sunday night\early Monday morning. We are expecting 4"-8" of rain and strong winds throughout the day on Sunday. This is the same day as the Springfield Half....... yay!

Some local festivals and events have been canceled, and the Kenny Chesney show that was scheduled for Sunday at Gillette Stadium has been moved to this Friday.
I dont mind running in the rain. Heck!.. I did it 3 weeks ago at the Providence Rock & Roll Half. But that wasn't a hurricane.

I wonder if they will cancel the race?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I have a little leg....

When I lost my weight. I noticed something weird about one of my legs. The right leg looked muscular, while my left leg looked skinny. And people were noticing too. I thought it was weird, but I told myself it would work itself out.
Last year, mid summer, I started to get a really bad pain in my left calf and knee. It was a weird pain. I couldn't really pinpoint the actual spot of he pain. I couldn't touch it and say "ouch, it hurts there". The pain was coming from inside my leg. It hurt while walking, while standing, even while sitting sometimes. X-rays and CT scan came back with nothing definitive. It was then determined by a couple of doctors that my left leg couldn't handle my running and was told to stop. This thought killed me! I had signed up for a Warrior Dash with some friends that was two months away too. Now that was out of the question.

In speaking with a friend that was going to school to be Physical Therapist, she recommended I go see one to see if they can help. So I had my doctor refer me to one. The lady that I went to see was a godsend! She looked at my leg and the first word out of her moth was "I see what the problem is, you have a little leg...." She was a joker I tell ya but she was good. She worked with me for over 3 months and had me try different sneakers and different exercises to help strengthen my leg. During this time I was still running. Not the 20-25 miles a week I was normally doing. I was doing more like 5 miles a week. A mile or so each run. She said that I always had a weaker leg, and it was normal for a lot of people, but since I never ran before, it was never a problem.

Once we figured out a good combination of strengthening exercises, sneakers and knee support my leg started feeling better. When Warrior Dash came around, the plan was to go with my friends but not run. Our scheduled wave was at 11am and after seeing the first couple of waves go through, I couldn't take it any more! I decided that I was going to run it! Threw on my Spartan costume, running sneakers, my knee brace and lined up for my wave!
My leg hurt and probably wasn't a good idea to do it. But I'm glad I did. My friends thought I was crazy but knew they couldn't talk me out of it. I even finished the race 20mins before them! I never told my physical therapist that I ran it. She would have been pissed.
This is where this photo came from:

Fast forward to today. I still have a "little leg", but I'm working on it, doing exercises and stretches and it's gotten a lot better. I still wear a knee support especially for long runs and races. And it's not as noticeable as it was before. Most people notice only if I point it out. I wish I had a good picture of what it looked like last year. You can kinda tell from the picture above. Here is what it looks like now:

Like I said, only noticeable if pointed out now. But my calf muscle went from being 2" thinner around to about just under an inch thinner. Same goes for my thigh muscles. So with the exercises I have pumped it up but according to the PT, it will probably never be the same size as the other. Which I'm OK with. As long as it doesn't stop my from running I'm good. I still get that weird pain every now and then and thats when I know when to take it easy. I'll give myself a couple days rest.

I posted about this because I was asked about leg recently by a few people. I hope this answers some questions they had.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Long run.... long day

I was out the door this morning at 7am for my long run. I pulled out a 13+ run and it was great! I struggled for a bit and it was not as fast as I would have liked it, but I finished strong so I'll take it. It was in the upper 60's and humid. It was one of those mornings that I knew a shirt was out of the question.

School starts this week for the kids. So we had to go out and get last minute school supplies. We went food shopping for snacks. Then we took the girls clothes shopping. Now when I say girls and clothes shopping in the same sentence, I mean more like I drove them to the stores and sat in the car while they shopped for hours. Fun. I didn't mind too much. I was beat from the long run so sitting in the car listening to the radio and playing with my iPhone was OK with me.

But it feels like it has been a really long day.... I'm pooped.

Springfield half is next Sunday...

......... and I'm ready. I plan a couple runs this week, but nothing too crazy. Maybe Tuesday, Wednesday, then a short one on Saturday. That should keep me loose for the half on Sunday.

I'm ready for bed.... G'night all.

Friday, August 19, 2011

50 pounds lighter

I can't put into words how much running has changed my life. It feels like it was the thing I have been missing all along. I can't imagine what else I would be doing with myself right now.

The reason I bring this up is because I ran across a picture of myself that a co-worker had taken a couple of years ago. I purposely did not take many pictures of myself because I just didn't like the way I looked. I weighed 200 pounds after I quit smoking and though I was happy I quit, I was unhappy about my weight. Looking at the picture, I can almost feel the sadness I had inside of me. It's a feeling I can't forget.

Here is that picture with an after shot as well. The before picture was from 2008 or 2009. The after pic was taken not too long ago.

I weigh now roughly 150 pounds and went from a size 36 waist to a 30... I even got a new tat with the money I saved from smoking!
I can't say the weight lose was all due to running. I also changed my eating habits. No more soda, sweets and other junk foods. I try to keep it all natural and low calorie with a lot of fruits and vegetables. I do still enjoy my beers here and there and only when not training for a race. Losing this weight was hard, but it was the easy part. Keeping it off is more of a challenge. This picture now sits at my desk at work for motivation. :)


Wednesday - Got 7.5 miles in during my lunch time. Could have dome more, but I didn't want to be gone for too long. I always worry that someone might be looking for me and wonder why I'm taking so long to get back.
Thursday - Speed workout that kicked my ass. It was hot and humid and the sun made it feel like I was carrying someone on my shoulders. Five not so easy miles, but got them done!

Day off today, plan on 5 tomorrow and my usual long run on Sunday. I'm shooting for 13 miles!

Have great weekend all!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I don't like afternoon runs...

So yesterday I packed my backpack with my shorts, t-shirt, socks and underwear, like I usually do when I plan on running during my lunch time at work. I get to work and I realized that I forgot my sneakers!! D'OH!!! That sucked! I usually have a pair in my car, but I used them when my other pair got wet in the race last week and I forgot to throw them back in my car. Grrr!

Working 40mins away from home there was no way I could go back for them. I even thought of calling my youngest brother, who is 19 and unemployed, to get them and bring them to me. I would have paid him. But my family already thinks that I'm some kind of running lunatic and this would have just added fuel to the fire. Plus.... it was 10am when this thought crossed my mind and knowing him, he would have still been sleeping. By the time he rolled out of bed and got motivated to get moving, my lunch time would have been over. So I put it in my mind that I was going run after work.

I got home roughly 5:30, threw on my running gear and out the door I went...... running at this time through town, just plain sucks. Traffic is horrible. There are plenty of sidewalks but I do have to cross some major intersections which at times is like taking my life into my own hands. I spend way to much time concentrating on avoiding cars than on my run.
Then I run into people I know. And never fails that at least one person wants you to stop and talk to them. 99.9% of the time, I don't stop. I always point to my wrist, like I'm wearing a watch and I am in a hurry....
Then there's the fact that it's 7 by the time I got back. I take a shower and I still have to eat dinner. By this time it's 7:30. It just feels like my afternoon goes by too quick.

The only thing I enjoyed about yesterday's afternoon run was that I ran with my iPhone listening to Pandora and my wife called me about 15mins into my run. So we talked for a good 30mins while she drove home from work. The iPhone was strapped to my arm, so I looked like a crazy person talking to myself while running...LOL... She is still amazed that I can have a conversation while running.

Today, I did not forget my sneakers. My boss is on vacation so I plan a good long run during my lunch. He honestly doesn't care if I'm back late from lunch, but I always try to make it back in time. It's really quiet at work today so I'm sure no one will miss me.. :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Random rainy day thoughts


I'm kinda glad it's raining today. I really wanted to go for a run, but I'm happy taking the day off. I'm the kind of person that can't sit still for too long, but there are those days that I just dont want to do a thing..... today is one of them.
Actually, I think I'll finally clean my office at home. I've been putting it off for quite some time. Not that it's real messy (though my wife would disagree), it's just a little unorganized. I do some PC repair from home and I tend to have a lot of computer parts kicking around. Think I'll tackle that today.

Looking forward to the Springfield half on the 28th. But as of right now, it's my last scheduled race. I've been looking at others coming up in Sept. & Oct. but haven't signed up for any yet. A friend of the wife is doing a duathlon in Oct in Winchendon, MA (about an hour away) and wants me to join her so we can then go over her house for dinner. It will be my first duathlon, but it's only 2-mile run, 8-mile bike ride, and then a one mile run back. So it shouldn't be too bad. It will be fun.

Thank you for those of you that started following my blog. It means a lot to me. I enjoy reading your blogs, I find them very inspirational. I love reading about your training and I enjoy your everyday rambles. You guys do a great job! Hope I can offer the same with mine!

- JR

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hiking & long run.....

Just for the record.... I was done after two DFH 90mins. I can't hang like I use to :(

So I did go hiking at Purgatory Chasm Saturday morning. My youngest daughter "Goldie" came with me.

This is no Grand Canyon, but it's one of the only places locally that offer hiking through forest and variety of rock formations. We were there early (9am) so we beat the noon-ish crowds and took our time walking. I love this pace. Walked for quite a while then climbed to one of the high rocks and had lunch while watching other people below. It was cool

Here's a couple more pics:


Didn't run on Saturday. But I figure I did enough exercise with all the walking around we did.
Today I did a good 10 miles at about a 9min mile pace. It was good all the way through. It was in the low 60's, muggy, and the rain held off until I got home. It was sprinkling while I was running, but it really started coming down about 10 after I got home. Got lucky today!

Springfield Half is 2 weeks away!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Keeping an eye on the weather...

It is suppose to rain on Sunday. The day of my long run. I'm debating maybe doing it tomorrow instead. It all depends if I can get up early enough. I have plans on going to Purgatory Chasm tomorrow with my youngest daughter to do some rock climbing and some hiking. Its going to be awesome!
..... and it also depends on how many off these I have tonight.....

.... hey it's Friday. It's been a long week. I deserve a couple :) ... I love DFH 90mins!

I ran 5 tough miles yesterday at lunch time at work. I had to stop mid way through for about 30 secs just to get a hold of myself. I think I was running a bit too hard and I threw my breathing off. I was fine after that. Today I did a good 6 miles in the AM before work. It was nice and cool out this morning. Maybe in the upper 50's. It was perfect weather for running!

Let's see how tomorrow goes! ;)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


My good friend,... I will miss you. We have been through so much together. Through those rough times you pulled me through with a little Metallica here, some Jedi Mind Tricks there.... you've eased my pain with some Evanescence or even with some Kenny Chesney. You were my street companion, my sidekick..... You will be missed greatly.

This sucks. I know a lot of runners do not like running with music, but I did. I love music, all kinds of music., and I love listening to music while running. It helped me keep me focus and helped my mind from wandering. I know I can run without it. I have done it before. But I would rather run with it. It was an 80GB iPOd, but I only had about 20GB worth of music on it. Roughly 5000 songs I always played on shuffle. I've run with it before in the rain, so I didn't think much of it when I ran with it in the rain on Sunday.
Oh well..... time to save up for another one. I'll see if I can find one on Craigslist for cheap. ;)

No running today. Work got real hectic and I couldn't escape. By the time I got free, I was soo hungry I just ate my lunch and hid for a while. I'm going to try an early morning run before work tomorrow. We'll see if I can wake up for it.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Still hurting today

I'm still kinda sore from Sunday's race. Not as bad as yesterday though. I didn't run yesterday but I did go for a bike ride with my youngest daughter. Just an easy ride to keep my legs loose, nothing crazy.

Today I ran 5 miles during lunch time at work. Got off to a rough start, but felt good as I marched on. I might take it a bit easy this week. Maybe just run 2 days during the week, then do my usual Saturday run and my long run on Sunday. I think I blogged before that Saturdays where my long days. I started making it Sundays just because of scheduling issues and now I prefer it be on Sundays. Sundays are usually slack off days for me anyways, so I can just kick back and relax with a beer or two after the run :)

I was messing with the layout of the blog earlier today at work. I really screwed it up at one point!! Took me a while to get it to where it looks like now. I think I'll leave it alone for now.

Did I mentioned it rained on Sunday??

I "borrowed" this picture from the company's website that was hired to take race pictures.....

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Rock 'n' Roll Providence 1/2 Marathon


Since I have only run one other 1/2 marathon, I based my time on that one. In my first one I came in at 1:43:54...... today I came in at 01:40:19. I am VERY happy with this!!

From the minute I left my house at 4:30am 'til about 1 this afternoon, non-stop rain. While running, I really didn't mind the rain. It honestly felt real good. I want to say it was in the mid 70's, but felt cold when the wind picked up and you were just standing there soaking wet after the race. The race itself was good. I kept a good pace all the way through. At mile 4 I did my usual struggle. At mile 5 My iPod died from being too wet :( I panicked for a bit thinking great 8 miles left and no music!!! But next thing I knew, I was at mile 7. By mile 9 I was on cruise control. At mile 12, I picked up the pace and gave it my all. Do or die time! Broke free from the little group that was around me and darted to the finish line! Got my medal and picture and was on my way to towards the snacks!

After the race I hung around for a bit to see Sugar Ray perform.

Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray

Stayed for only 4-5 songs. I was soaking wet and cold by that point. Really wished it wasn't raining then I would have liked to see whole performance.

I'll leave you with this video of Sugar Ray performing "Someday"

Someday..... I'll run a full marathon.......

Complete Stats:

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Packet Pick up day

Luckily for me, Providence is only 30mins away. Today I went to the Fitness Expo at the Rhode Island Convention Center to pick up my packet and grab myself some freebie samples of stuff. The Fitness Expo was very organized and well set up. There were tons of vendors on hand selling and passing out lots of goodies. My wife and daughter came with me so it was triple free goodies for us, yay!

We hung around Providence for a while and went to an Art Festival that was being held at Kennedy Plaza that was almost directly across from the convention center. I'm not big into the arts stuff but it was cool to see. There was everything from paintings, to sculptors to jewelry. The biggest attraction for me??..... the ice cream truck giving away free ice cream!!! Woot, woot!! :)

Feels like a long day. I was up at 6am out the door by 6:30. Did a good 6 miles.... I'm hoping to be in bed early and out the door by 5am tomorrow or earlier. Not sure what the traffic in Providence will be like in the morning. Plus I want a prime parking spot at the mall parking lot.

My second half marathon....... who would have ever thought??!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Busy week ramblings

I got a 5 mile run in yesterday and another 5 today. Both during lunch. I really wanted to a t least 7 today, but din't have the time. This week we got a visit from some big wigs from our company. More specifically, our dept. new bosses. So I have been in and out of meetings all week and I didn't want to disappear for long during lunch. Luckily tomorrow is their last day. Maybe I can get a good long run in tomorrow or even Friday.

My ankle has been feeling OK. Still the same actually, but at least not worse. But now my knee (same leg) started aching today. I swear if it's not one thing it's another. But it always has been something ever since I started running. Once my left hip ached for like two weeks, but then it went away. Then it was my right one weeks later. Another time it was my left calf that was bothering me..... Luckily all these aches just went away on there own. Hoping these will do the same.

From reading other blogs, I can see that this heat has been affecting a lot of people. Be careful and stay cool my friends. Even when not running :)

-- 4 days 'til Providence.