Jan 28, 2014

2014 Week 4

Continuing my random thoughts about my runs and anything else that comes to mind. Again, not promising to do this every day or every week. Again, I am promising to post a photo of everything I eat here: http://instagram.com/stevetursi

Jan 22
Cold and snowy out there. Normally that wouldn't bother me but I brought the wrong shoes - Newtons are great in dry conditions but they don't grip very well otherwise. So I hit the treadmill and ran hard for four miles, completing in 31:16 - 7:49 per mile. Went through 5K in 24:15 - nine second faster than my previous PR two weeks ago. And two weeks ago I had nothing to spare - today I continued for another 0.9 miles, suggesting that I could potentially break 24 if tried. This is all on the treadmill though, so it doesn't count.

Jan 23
Weight training day. Ran 1.3 miles on the treadmill in 10:20 (7:57) before squats, bench, and curls (heavy!) for an hour. Then, all you can eat sushi. The idea was this: If I'm going to sandbag, at least lift heavy before the feast so (maybe) some of it turns into muscle..
Pigging out before weighing in
Jan 24
Workplace "Biggest Loser" weigh-in. Sandbagged my way up to a 316lb weigh-in, then tried to run at sub-8 on the treadmill. Didn't work out too well, and I managed only 2.51 miles in 20 minutes. I walked another half mile so at least I'm up over 3 today. After the run I was 307lbs. Lost 9lbs in an hour. If only it always was that fast.

Jan 25
297lbs this morning, still kinda heavy but at least not over 310. Picked up Ami and Dong and headed to Rockefeller for the third Saturday in a row, where we did 11.3 miles in 2:20 or so. Nice easy-paced snowy scenic fun run. Will sleep at West Point tonight.

Jan 26
Woke up at West Point to slushy roads, single-digit temps, and with shoes that provide zero traction. Opted not to run in the morning at the academy but then by the time I got home and rested a bit I only had a few minutes to fit in the run before our bowling league, so I did it by running a loop around the lower pond at Ramapo Reservation. It was very nice. Then we went bowling where I had a really crummy day, shooting just 146-145-175 for a 471 series. I'm in a bit of a bowling slump.

Jan 27
295lbs. Time to get a four solid days of disciplined eating before a ski trip this weekend. Normal smoothie in the morning, then 5 eggs + a chocolate coffee smoothie at lunch. For dinner I had some leftover chicken salad on a muffin, then a spinach/4 egg salad with homemade vinaigrette. Somebody asked me (not the first person to ask me this, if that person is reading), "why so many eggs?" (I've been eating a lot of eggs at lunch lately.) 5 boiled eggs looks like a lot but it really isn't. Large eggs are less than 80 calories a piece - so 5 of them is merely 400 calories. Not enough for me, particularly when I'm exercising - which is why, this week, I'll add a smoothie at lunch. For my run I did a treadmill 5K in 23:58 (PR.)

Jan 28
294lbs. Breakfast and Lunch were the same as yesterday. Dinner was a turkey wrap at the gym before running with Aurora on the treadmill (neither of us were all that eager to in the cold today.) I finished that run feeling pretty beat up and also thirsty. I weighed myself down in the locker room and was surprised to see 291.. I was also dehydrated. So I went to the supermarket and bought a gallon of water (plus some brown rice sushi) and drank the whole thing.

29.5 miles in the last 7 days. Low volume, but I'm feeling just as tired as I did after the 50-mile week. Hmm.

Jan 21, 2014

2014 Week 3

Continuing my random thoughts about my runs and anything else that comes to mind. Again, not promising to do this every day or every week. Again, I am promising to post a photo of everything I eat here: http://instagram.com/stevetursi

Jan 15
4 mile run with the lifetime group. Nice climb up Ridge. 81 miles in the first 15 days of January.  I'm hungry.

In unrelated news, this morning was one of the strangest of my life. Three really weird things happened in two hours this morning. Something annoying but not a big deal happened, then I got some really neat but strange news, and finally a very bad very shocking thing happened.

But then I went on a run everything was OK and nothing else weird happened. At least not as of this writing.

Jan 16
For the first time ever, I ran from work to the NY state line and back. That was neat. 5 miles with Ami.

Jan 17
Worked from home. Snuck out at 4pm (after working through lunch) to get my run in before dark. Kingsbridge! It's been a while. Got back 35 minutes later and work was calling.

Jan 18
14 miles at Rockefeller with Tony, Cherie, and Georgia. Awesome morning. I need to start bringing gels to this so I can hang for longer than 2 hours or so.. two bananas just doesn't cut if for runs that long.
In the afternoon, after I had a steak, I went hashing. 3 more miles.

Jan 19
Tri club run. Which reminded me that I haven't rode or swum in months. 5.6 miles above LT pace. I then went to the gym where I lifted weights for a while, and finally to the bowling league where I had a kinda crummy day - 201-149-156 for a 506 series.

Jan 20
I meant to go to Bear Mountain and run a few laps. I ended up sleeping in, then working on the house (painting and stuff), and finally in the late afternoon literally "running" errands around town. 2+ miles. I needed a rest day anyway.

Jan 21
Earlier-than-expected arrival of snow. Post-work run. Uneven sidewalk under 2" of snow. That's why my 1-mile run turned into a 2-mile run - at a half mile, I fell flat and had to walk a bit before the pain would let me run again. Slowly. Two consecutive rest days? That's OK.

Jan 14, 2014

2014 week 2

Continuing my random thoughts about my runs and anything else that comes to mind. Again, not promising to do this every day or every week. Again, I am promising to post a photo of everything I eat here: http://instagram.com/stevetursi

Jan 8
At lunch I headed over to my gym which has a regular run group. Since it was cold, the leader opted to stay inside and do an interval workout on the treadmill. After a ten-minute warmup, we did 1 minute on, 1 minute off, 2 on 2 off, 3 on 3 off, 2 on 2 off, 1 on 1 off. Then a cool down. By the time I was done I completed 5 miles in under 42 minutes, with speeds up to 9.2 MPH! On that last 1 on 1 off, I pushed myself to nausea for the first time in forever. And I was able to recover from all my intervals at 7MPH - my fastest recovery speed ever. This was a great, great workout for me.

Jan 9
Great lunchtime run with coworker Dan in 25º temps. Surprised myself by running 8:18 the first mile. Had to walk a trail portion because it was icy.

Jan 10
Looks like the snow this morning caught "the powers that be" by surprise, since nothing was salted and the roads were a slushy mess on top of ice we knew was there yesterday. So the treadmill it was, and since I have reached my mental quota of 30+ minute treadmill runs this month, I did just 5K - but I did it in 24:25 (PR.) It's not road so it doesn't count, but it's still encouraging.

Jan 11
12 hilly icy foggy miles at Rockefeller with Tony (who I haven't run with in forever) and Georgia (who I met today.) It was really nice to run there with them again.

Jan 12
NJ Trail Series Winter Half Marathon #3! Two years ago I did this race and DFL'd. Today I was about eighth from last. Moving up!! Here's my report.. Sunday afternoon bowling league with Joey where I shot 175-201-159 for a 535 series.

Jan 13
Did a 1-hour group exercise strength training class with my wifey!! But before that, I had a "fake zero" rest day - 1 mile on the treadmill. At sub-8 minute pace.

Jan 14
Run # 1 - Misty rainy foggy cool temps easy pace lunchtime run with Ami and Dan. Very nice to run with Ami again. Run # 2 - Misty rainy foggy cool temps aggressive pace evening run with Aurora from lifetime. Hit more of the more difficult hills on this run. Good stuff.

49+ miles this week!

Jan 12, 2014

Quick Report: NJTS Winter Trail Half Marathon #3

I didn't take any pictures during the race, so here's a photo of my breakfast.
Three years ago, on Feb 8, I did this same race at this same venue, on a ten-mile course, and DFL'd the 10-miler in 2:55. It was awesome.

Today, I did the half marathon, and finished eighth-to-last in 2:46:48. This, too, was awesome. And I'm moving up in standings!! If I continue moving up standings at this rate I'll win this thing by 2040. Place your bets.

So the half marathon consists of a single ~1K loop followed by two 10K loops. It started at 9am, and after 36 hours of above-freezing temps (and some rain), the ice was almost all gone - but not so much that I didn't have to be careful.

I fell into a groove (figuratively) pretty quickly and enjoyed the first lap, which seemed rather long, but that's OK. I never stopped smiling. At the end of the loop I stopped for some water, and headed straight out. I walked maybe half of the second loop (after walking a small fraction of the first), but that's OK. Trail running!

By two hours into the race, ice was almost all gone and replaced with mud. Now, I have seen some serious mud, and when mud gets serious, I stop having fun. This wasn't too bad. But it was shoe-sucking at times and the last couple of miles in particular were pretty squishy. I somehow managed not to faceplant (or butt plant, or plant anything else for that matter) and finished happily and smiley.

I then jumped into an ice-cold creek (felt better than you think), to wash the mud off my shoes. I put on dry socks, but I didn't have a spare pair of shoes so I was cold the next two hours. Sometimes I never learn...

This made for an awesome weekend, where I ran 12 miles in Rockefeller on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday. Today was also running streak day 1111.

Jan 8, 2014

2014 week 1

A collection of random thoughts I have every day about my running and fitness.

Not promising to do this every day, or even every week.

In case you don't know, my 2014 new year's resolution is to post a photo of everything I eat on Instagram. You can follow along here: http://instagram.com/stevetursi

Jan 1
Lunch in Brooklyn before 2pm wake there. Very short run before getting on the road. I didn't eat pizza in the entire year of 2013, and today I ate 9 slices in two meals. Facebook status: "Pizza overload day!" Running streak day 1100.

Jan 2
Funeral + burial in the morning. Work in the afternoon. One of the coldest 1-mile runs of my life immediately after work. Ran to Nicky's, where I had 3 slices of pizza + 1 bite of Joey's slice. Half a pizza overload day?

Jan 3
Overnight blizzard and single digit temps in the morning. Naah. Afternoon temps were 11ºF at 4pm when I went to Ramapo Reservation to do 2.5 miles in the snow in 30 minutes. Kind of a crappy run, but enjoyable. No pizza today. At least not as of this writing. Average distance per day so far this year: 1.7 miles. Hah. Just a tiny bit short of the 5.5 miles I need every day to get 2000 miles this year.
"frozen tears"
Jan 4
Watchung Winter Trail Races! Showed up having no idea what I wanted to do. At least two laps, which is a half marathon. Could do up to 5, which is 50K. Surprise: I did just two. Hah! But what a fun two laps that was. It took almost 3:30! 1ºF at the start, maybe 15 when I finished. Beautiful day. 5 slices of pizza today. Here's my race report: http://stevetursi.blogspot.com/2014/01/rr-watchung-winter-trail-half-marathon.html

Jan 5
Woke up, and went to run with the tri club. I was late (by 2 minutes) and they had gone without me. Normally I'd be annoyed by this but seeing as it was 5ºF I couldn't blame them. I was also underdressed - due to the end of the laundry cycle I was wearing shorts. I would have been fine, but not very comfortable. So I turned around and went home, went to church, then went to the gym, where I knocked out 6 miles at under 9 minute pace. Solid, solid tempo run for me. Two slices of pizza for dinner, then bowling with Joey where I shot 215-184-190 for a 589 series.

Jan 6
My wife is taking a class called "Strength Foundations" and asked that I go with her. So what I wanted to do was this: Get to the gym at 11:30, run from 11:40 til 12:10, take a group exercise class at 12:15, shower, return to work. What I had to do because of work was this: Get to the gym at 12:05, get dressed as fast as I could, arrive at the group exercise class at 12:12, take the class, and then run a mile as fast as I could so I could get back to work. But since I had just taken a class with lots of squats, I couldn't run super-fast. 1.1 miles in 9:20, which when I do the math is actually 8:30 pace, which actually isn't that bad for me.

Jan 7
Went to Ramapo Reservation for a short half-hour jaunt on the trails during my lunch break. It was 6ºF at 1pm when I started! I would have liked to do my 4-5 mile loop but since I was on a time constraint (had to get back to work) I had to settle for about 2.5 miles in 30 minutes. The Res was a hockey rink, and my microspikes were great. I enjoyed breaking through the thick ice on my way up and seeing the cracks created by my steps on the way down. When I got to my car, I had ice mascara! I shot a photo and posted to facebook. This is my happy time of year. I really enjoy this.
Frozen Eyelashes
Wednesday morning thought - I've gone two whole days without pizza - I need to fix this - tonight.

Jan 5, 2014

RR: Watchung Winter Trail Half Marathon: Slow

This happened to be the coldest run I've ever done

RD Rick: "How Far are you going today?"
Me: "No idea."
RD Rick: "OK, put something down, and we can change it."

If I was honest with myself, I knew I was doing 13.1 miles today. There was a 10K option, but that was just too short a race. The marathon option was tempting, but I wasn't up for that kind of effort in these conditions and I knew it. 50K? "I'd like to do 5 laps, but we'll see." Yeah right. But, optimism reigns supreme. I checked "26.2" and got ready.

What followed was one of the most enjoyable runs I've ever had. I had no problem keeping up with a mid-back conga line that cruised along at 14 minutes per mile - which wasn't bad for a trail run in these conditions. I got my continuous mile in early - mile 1.5 to 2.5. In the first lap I took a couple of bad steps and the ankle protested, but never more than a minute. First 10K done in about 90 minutes.

I filled my hand-held (I normally prefer camelbacks, but the tube and valve freeze in these conditions) and went off onto lap 2. Much quieter now - no conga line. After a mile, the first front-runner passed (lapped) me - and then a steady stream of fast runners came by, with the occasional passing/leapfrogging of someone at the same position as me. The trail now well-packed, I didn't turn any ankles. I did fall once, and in so doing I noticed my microspikes had come out of position. I took a break to re-strap them and was once again on my way.

I was also hungry. And my feet were cold. And as much fun as I was having, I wasn't in the mood to run a 7+ hour marathon. Decided halfway through this lap that I'd be doing a half marathon today.

So when I finished the lap, RD Rick described the short 1-KM loop I'd have to do in order to complete the distance for a half-marathon. That loop went right by my car, so when I passed it, I stopped and changed clothes. I then ran in the last fraction of a mile in a cotton t-shirt and hoodie. I was jogging in nice and easy when someone passed me with 50 meters to go. I think the kids would say, "lol." Get off my lawn, kids. I finished in 3:27. lol.

Went and grabbed lunch (pizza) and came back to spend the rest of the afternoon hanging out with RD Rick and RD Jen and helping out where I could. Always fun to kick back with mah' peeples.. besides Rick and Jen, a few hashers made appearances, and of course some ultra runner friends, and, notably, met 2013 grand slammer Pete P from Staten Island, which made for a very cool conversation.

Lap 1 mile 3: - lots of time staring at this guy's back in the conga line

Start of lap 2: Icicles off my cap! Frozen Boogers!

Lap 2 mile 2: I know some people love summer, but this is so nice

Lap 2 mile 4: Tracks leading out of the woods