Sep 28, 2006

6 miles

Ran 6 miles today. breezy and warm, intense sunlight - shade was a real relief. Great run with a negative split - ran about a 12:20 average pace for the first three miles, 11:00 for the next three. Took another ice bath afterwards because I forgot how much last week's ice bath sucked.

Took yesterday as a rest day. I was actually planning to do a pretty long run, at least 6 miles, but my body was begging me to take a day off. Last night I saw the Rolling Stones at Giants Stadium.. that was pretty cool. I swear, Keith Richards is on borrowed time. The guy looked dead..

Check out how my 6-mile times have improved, with the comments in my log:

July 2: 80 minutes ("It'll never be this hard again!")
July 8: 80 minutes ("ran out of energy at mile 4")
July 13: 78 minutes ("great run!")
July 28: 76 minutes ("very difficult")
Aug 5: 79 minutes ("very hot and humid")
Aug 21: 75 minutes ("warm out")
Sep 7: 74 minutes ("super-tired at end of run")
Sep 8: 72 minutes ("competed with a guy in a blue shirt")
Sep 28: 71 minutes ("worked hard in the last mile")

Sep 26, 2006

4 miles

quick recovery run today after the 9 miler yesterday. Because of yesterday's ice bath, my legs felt really fresh. I wish I could say that about my wind. I got pretty tired relatively quickly. Anyway, I did an out-and-back on the ridgewood to saddle brook trail - I was hoping to do 6 or maybe even 8 miles, but I wasn't sure what to expect - I normally don't run the day after a harder workout.

Anyway, I did 4 today - that's 13 miles in the bank so far this week, and there's still five days left.
I also happened to have run on 4 consecutive days right now, which is an interesting experiment in and of itself.

I'm going to have to check my log to be sure, but I think I passed 200 miles total training at some point in the last 4 days.

Sep 24, 2006

sat: 5K PR, Sun: 2.5m recovery, Mon: 9 mile semi-LSD

I had the misfortune of spending the weekend out on long island, so I figured I would enter a race while I was out there. About all the was going on within a short driving distance was a 5K at Jones Beach, and so I entered.

Having run about 150 miles since my last 5k, I knew that I would easily get a personal record, the previous record being about 34:50 - so I entered with a more ambitious goal - run it in 31 minutes, a pace of 10 minutes per mile. Quite an ambitious goal. I didn't get it. There was a 25 mph headwind for the first half of the race - my first mile was 11:27. I didn't perceive an increase in pace - yet with a tailwind after the turnaround, I ran the second mile in 10:20. I must have run an 9:30/mile average pace for the last 1.1 miles.. which is extremely fast for me.

previous 5K PR was 34:50, placing 139th out of 163, run on April 17, 2005.

new 5K PR is 32:23 (I'm calling it 32:10 net), placing 117th out of 183, run on September 23, 2006.

I'm not too bummed about not hitting the goal - I had a decent run in crummy conditions, had an EXCELLENT kick, and broke my previous PR by 2½ minutes.

On Sunday night, after we got home from Long Island, I needed to go to the drug store - so instead of driving, I ran. Took a long way there, so my total was about 2½ miles of recovery running. Slow, easy pace the day after the 5K.

Today, I went to rockland lake and ran three laps - 9 miles. My time was 111 minutes, a 12:20 pace. It was a semi-long-distance run - I'm holding off on the real long runs (15 miles or longer) until I take a cardiopulminary stress test next week. So instead, this week I'm concentrating on putting "miles in the bank," by running distances like 9 miles - longer than normal, but not super-long. To enhance recovery and prepare my for a similar effort tomorrow, I took an ice bath after today's run. Holy shit - that sucked. I'll spare you the details.. suffice it to say I was screaming. When I got up though, my legs felt new. I hate it when something that totally sucks totally works.

Sep 20, 2006

ahh, that time of year..

somebody asked, "fall: how is it where you are?"

my response:
I'm getting my twice-annual "the season is changing" cold right now. never fails - once in the spring, once in the fall.
but damn do I love fall. It signals the end of the extended period without skiing (known as summer). no hot temperatures to deal with when running but, no ice to deal with either (yet).

i live somewhere between upstate NY and downstate NY. a few of the trees in harriman have changed - the big green hill has spots of red here and there. lows are around 50-60°, although areas a mere 200 miles north of here have already had a frost. soon, i'll start my weekly ritual of driving those 200 miles to ski.. and that makes me happy.

Ran three miles on Monday - It was a lactate threshold run, but I wasn't planning on that. I was planning on a 6-mile job, but I came out too fast and couldn't control my speed - for some reason, every time I slowed down, a minute later I was cruising again. So about halfway I said screw it, I'm doing a three mile LT run - to go for my 30 minute goal again. I keep failing, however: did it in 31 minutes.

Took yesterday off because of my cold, and while I still have a tickle, I need to run again. So I'll probably get 6 miles in later this afternoon.

This weekend, I'm running a 5K at Jones Beach, if anyone wants to come out. MY goal for the 3.1 mile race is 31 minutes.

Speaking of racing, there is a possibility that you'll see me here next year:
The Hood to Coast relay - a 195-mile footrace from Timberline to the Oregon coast. 1000 teams of 12 members, with each member running three legs.

needless to say, if I run, my team will not win. (:

Sep 16, 2006

3.5 miles

what an interesting run.

As posted earlier, I gave blood yesterday. Today, I went out to run.
I was hoping to run 6, but I wasn't expecting to.

I was cruising along ok when I stopped to take a leak at mile 1.5. As soon as I stopped, I felt a just a tad light-headed. I had already noticed that I was breathing a little harder than I should have after 20 minutes of easy running, but that is kind of what I was expecting. There were three rest days after tuesday's 15-miler, and I felt a tad tight, but no biggie. We had eaten a crummy lunch immediately before the run, so that had an effect. And I had forgotten my ipod at home, which makes a difference.

Anyway, the best way to describe it is if I had been running at 10,000 feet without acclimization. I got pooped early.
I bailed at mile 3.8 (writing 3.5 miles in my log) and watched some south park in the car while my wife and son played at a nearby playground. Time was about 45 minutes - not sure exactly.

Sep 15, 2006

donating blood at hospital > donating blood at blood drive

the hospital a ½ mile from my house is "the only hospital-based blood donor collection facility in the region." And I wanted to get my cholesterol checked.. which I know they do for free when you donate there. So, for the first time, I went and gave blood at something other than a blood drive.

I've probably participated in a dozen Blood Drives in my life. They had them in my high school and then in college. Once I was on jury duty the same day the courthouse was having a blood drive. Community drives, too. I was at my sister-in-law's work one day when they were having a drive. So it happened that whenever I was in the right place at the right time, I'd go ahead and give blood. This worked out to once a year or so.

Blood drives are Ok. They give you some cookies and juice whenever you donate, plus a sticker. They're staffed by both paid nurses and volunteers. Once I had a beginner who ruined my shirt because she inserted the needle incorrectly - the entire sleeve was covered in blood. A less laid-back patient would have been pissed. Whatever. But it is nice to have an experienced vampire.

So when I showed up at the hospital today, I knew that I was in the hands of experts. You could tell this guy had drawn enough blood in his lifetime to fill an olympic-sized swimming pool. And since it was a permament facility, they didn't have to bother with portable versions of their equipment. Nice comfy chairs, TV, a machine that alerted them when my bag was full - I thought I had checked into the hilton! And here's the best part - when I was finished, they offered me cookies and juice as expected, and then gave me a coupon for two slices of pizza and a coke at the place across the street! I was thrilled!

Free cholesterol checks and free pizza! Who can ask for anything more?! counting down the days until I can give blood again..

resetting the maintenance light on a 2006 honda odyssey

how to reset the oil change light on a 2006 honda odyssey.

the internet (or at least google) is sadly lacking in the information that I needed to do it, and I intend to change that with this post.
here are some keywords so google will pick it up:
oil change light maintenance light wrench light reminder reset resetting

I couldn't find that secret part of the owner's manual where it is supposedly located - and the things I did turn up in google must have been for other cars. So I tinkered and figured out how to do it:
Turn the key to on.
push the odometer button until the "oil life" thingy comes up
hold that button down for a good damn long time (15 seconds?), until the screen starts to blink
release the button, then hold it down again for a long time, and it'll reset itself.

Sep 12, 2006

15 miles.

I ran 15 miles this morning.

cue your best lewis black voice:
"What the f did I do that for?"
/end cue

Ok, here's the story. I have been trying for about a month to get my long run distance past ten miles. I couldn't seem to break that barrier. It culminated with a 9-mile run where I hurt so bad afterwards that I took ten days off from running.
Here's what would happen: All my runs were at Rockland Lake. It's a very picturesque setting to run in, and a lap around the lake is a cool 3 miles. This is great, because I can easily cache water and gatorade in my car, and just recharge on every lap. The problem with this is that it's too easy to bail out on a lap because things were too hard. This is what kept happening.. I'd go out to run 12 miles (4 laps), but by the end of the third lap I've been telling myself "no freakin way" for the last two miles. And I would bail.

It is quite discouraging.

My schedule is to have long runs of 13, 15, 18, 20, 20, and 15 miles before ski season starts. It's now mid-september and things are getting close. Yet, I was stuck at 9-10 mile long runs and as of this week I am officially falling behind (the 13-miler was supposed to be last week.) I knew that I had to run at least 12 miles or else my schedule would be thrown off and it would be very difficult to catch up, especially with those monster 20-milers. So today, I set out to run 15 miles. Why? Because if I went for 15, I could bail out on the last lap and still reach my goal of 12 (which would replace the 13-miler.) But the trick is this - I had to make an honest effort to get 15, or else I'm just fooling myself. So I set off to run 15, but thinking I'd probably bail out at the end of the fourth lap.

The first lap was uneventful. Took 40 minutes. I had to piss like a racehorse by the end of it, though, and I finished off a gatorade. "Endurance Formula." High tech, eh? These pit-stops take no time at all, I was running again by minute 41.

Second lap seemed to go by very quickly. I settled into a 13-minute-per-mile pace and was in a zone with a smile on my face. Didn't even bother stopping at the car at the end of this lap, I just kept going.

Third lap was also easy, but I started to feel the results of running so long. Specifically, I get a sharp pain in my right pinky toe. No idea what's up with that. Otherwise still smiling - I even remember waving to a little baby when I ran by. Started to think that I might actually go the whole 15 miles here. The cool air was affecting my breathing. At the end of this lap, I had to pee again like it was nobody's business. I slammed a 16-oz gatorade and started on lap 4.

By the fourth lap, I had basically decided that I was going to go for the fifth lap. There was more pain now, but it certainly was manageable. Knees were starting to ache a bit. Coughing a lot, even though it was warming up. And my left forearm started to tingle, which is another thing that happens to me that I have no idea what it's about. Ran into my pit-stop, drank half a gatorade, and started lap 5.

I did check the time when I passed the half-marathon point - 13.1 miles. I was at about 2:52 - not bad for a fatso. The temps were nice and warm now, yet I was still coughing here and there. Pain at every step, and every step was worse than the step before. I pushed on, remembering all the quotes from "Ultramarathon Man." Pain is your friend. If it didn't hurt like hell, you didn't put in enough effort. That kind of stuff. I put in a bit of a finishing kick for the last mile. Switched the ipod to some metallica and ran a lot harder, which after 14 miles was still pretty damn slow.

Finished in 3:15. I tried to raise my arms in celebration, but they only half-responded. hehe.
I sat down to stretch and noticed for the first time that every time I breathed, I felt a little bit of chest pain. No idea what's going on there, but it subsided after five minutes. When I finally got up 30 minutes later, I couldn't walk normally again. It was a project just walking the 30 paces to my car.

Helluva feeling of accomplishment, and I'm kind of glad that I am caught up. My next scheduled run is 15 miles in two weekends, so I'll go for 18. I'll post a complete report when it happens.


Start Time: 9:45, about 57º, finish 1PM, about 70º.

Sep 10, 2006

rumored not to exist...

... but found. an italian from brooklyn who doesn't know who luca brasi is:


here is the reaction from another diner who overheard the previous conversation


While I'm here, I'll put in a running report. 4½ miles yesterday - We were on our way to a party in Hazlett, NJ, and I had my wife drop me off in Ridgewood. I gave her directions to a playground 4½ miles down the road. 53 minutes later, I ran up to find her playing with Joey at the playground. We got in the car and continued to the party. It was a great, if uneventful, run.

Sep 8, 2006

6 miles yesterday, 6 miles today

I think I am going to have to postpone the 13-miler until next week.

In the meantime, I am boning up on 6-milers - both yesterday and today, and will probably do one tomorrow, too.
yesterday's 74-minute 6 mile run was very difficult. I decided to run along a path I discovered when Geocaching. It is in the area of Saddle Brook, New Jersey. I thought the park was about 2 miles long, and would explore the paths and probably run every inch of it that day. So after a mile or so, I discovered an excellent running path with markers every tenth of a mile! This was great! On my side of the markers, it would say 1.1 miles, 1.2 miles, etc. So when I looked on the other side of them, they said 4.9 miles and 4.8 miles. Turns out that this is a 6-mile course that extends from near the i-80/GSP intersection, north behind the garden state plaza, across rt 4, and then north all the way to Ridgewood, without a crossing above a single steet! Every crossing went under the roadway next to the creek that this path runs along. It's great!

Anyway, I ran out to the 3-mile marker and back. It was pretty hot & I was spent by the end of the run. I had a cotton t-shirt that weighed about 10 lbs when I was done.

Today, I decided to run the other half of the path - so I found the start in Ridgewood and ran south this time to the 3-mile marker and back. It was a little earlier so not as hot, plus I had a tech tank-top top.

Now, along all of these paths, there are dozens of walkers, runners, rollerbladers, and bicyclists. I'm always jogging slower than the runners, bladers, and cyclists; and faster than the walkers. on the way back, however, at about mile 3.2, I spotted a guy in a blue shirt running in front of me - I was catching up to a runner! At 320 lbs, this doesn't happen very often. By mile 4 I was right behind him - and when he noticed my presense, he sped up! oh my word - a guy who didn't want to be passed. so he surged about ten feet in front of me, and, remembering some of coach glover's tips from the "competitive runner's handbook," i matched his pace. my competitive juices were flowing, and all of that information from the race tactics chapter (that I thought would never apply to me), flooded my brain. it's better to stay behind him, keep up, and surge past at a difficult moment to demoralize him. I'm a bastard, I know. So I made sure to run close enough to BlueShirt that he sensed my presense, and no matter how fast he ran, I would stay there. Then, my opportunity struck. Suddenly, we were on an uphill run - approaching a bridge over a creek. It's not that big a hill - there's probably about 20-30 feet of gain over a tenth of a mile. But I knew this was my chance. I kicked it into high gear and passed him - keeping in mind all the demoralizing tips from coach glover: keep good posture, don't let him see you breath hard, pass him quickly and decisively, and put some space between you and him. If you're trained, a hill is the perfect place to do this. Thank God for all that trail-running I've been doing - it's really been helping. I didn't look back for a while - I knew he was probably there, but now with him behind me, he was in a position to retaliate. In the meantime, there were a couple of more small hills that I was sure to surge up. After about a half-mile, on a turn before another hill, I looked and saw BlueShirt about 100 ft behind me. That was too close for my comfort, so I really pushed over this hill and maintained about a 10-minute per mile pace for the next mile or so - really fast for me. By the time I finished, he was nowhere to be found. He must have parked his car somewhere other than the end of the path. I wanted to thank him for helping me really kick my workout up a notch, but I guess it wasn't in the cards.

So, BlueShirt, whereever you are, thank you for providing me with the motivation I needed to get a kick-ass workout today.

Sep 7, 2006

stats geek time. can the mets win 100 games?

Here is what I gather looking at nothing but statistics..

Their current record is 86-52. Out of 24 remaining games, they'd have to win 14. that's 58.3%, and their winning percentage for the whole year at this point is 62.3%. To win 100 games at the end of the season, their winning % must be 61.7%.

Lets look at the opponents they have left:

4 Games against the dodgers (74-65, .532, 1st place NL west)
7 games against the marlins (70-69, .504, 2nd place NL east)
3 games against the pirates (56-84, .400, last place NL central)
7 games against the nationals (61-78, .439, last place NL east)
3 games against the braves (66-73, .475, 4th place NL east)

11 games against teams with winning records, 13 against teams with losing records.

The strongest team appears to be the hated LA dodgers, who are in a very tight race with the padres to win the NL west. The 2nd place team in the NL west will likely still go to the playoffs as the wildcard. They're 7-3 in their last ten, the same as the mets. They're also the next 4 games the mets play, and those games will be at Shea. The mets are stronger at home than on the road - 45-24 so far this year, a winning percentage of 65.2%. The dodgers are VERY weak on the road, with a record of 30-38, a dismal 44.1%.

The weakest team they'll play looks to be pittsburgh - last place in the worst division in baseball.

Sep 6, 2006

steve tursi pilots a REAL plane

Here's a really cool comment posted to an earlier livejournal entry of mine:

How weird! 2006-09-05 06:05 am UTC

Well, lets see.. I just randomly stumbled upon this site when I did a google search of my name. Would it be weird if I told you that I used to work as a flight instructor out of Teterboro? Would it be stranger to also tell you that I have flown that very same aircraft (tail# N89721) you all are jogging after? I got a better one for ya, my name is also Steve Tursi! What a strange coincidence that two of us were literally feet away without ever knowing it! What a small world! haha

How cool is that?

Well, steve, if you're still here - may I point out to you the livejournal entry from May 9, 2006 where I, too, googled my own name and found half-a-dozen other steven tursis, including the myspace page of a steven tursi from queens who happened to be a pilot. Any relation? That myspace page is now gone, by the way.

Moving right along, I thought I'd share some inspiring before/after pictures of people who've lost a lot of weight.

First off, we have Dennis from California, who went from 395 to about 225 between September 2005 and July 2006. I came across him on a running message board.

(edit - I had to rehost the images because blogger prohibits external links)

Then, via a link from a skiing message board, we have a John Doe, who went from 465 to 190 between December 2004 and September 2006 (scroll down a bit.)

Dennis' weblog can be found at

running update.

I ended up taking 11 consecutive days off from running, which was way too much - more than I needed - but I did need some time off to recover from the training I had been doing. My last run before the hiatus was a 9 miler on August 24th, which I did in just under 2 hours. On September 5 (yesterday), I ran a 3 mile tempo-run around Rockland Lake. It was raining. My time, 31:15, about a minute slower than my last 3-miler, indicated that I had indeed lost a little bit of the cardiovascular fitness, but it wasn't drastic or severe. Still, I was dissapointed. Today, I did three miles on trails - and for kicks, I included a ½-mile long hill where I gain about 400 feet. It was tough, but definitely doable and I am excited about starting to incorporate hills into my training program.

My immediate goal is to stay on schedule and not fall behind. To that end, I am scheduled to run 23 miles this week with a 13-miler long run, and I'm going to do my damnest to get it done. The plan is to run a 3,3,4,13, and I've already done the two three's. However, I feel like I really need to re-acclimate myself to longer distances before running the 13er, and 4 isn't going to cut it. So I am instead planning on running a 6-9 miler tomorrow, taking friday off to recover, and then the 13 miler on saturday.

I'll have a better idea of how saturday will go after tomorrow's run.