Tuesday, July 25, 2017

July 2017 Goal - Day 25 Update

Well, here we go. Only 6 days left. I faltered for a bit over this last week, trying to find my running mojo. The last two days, though, I just went back to running the way I used to in the beginning of the month. My left hip pain has mellowed out and feels like it is getting better every day. I might have just enough gas in the tank to finish this month healthy and get my half-marathon PR on July 31st. We'll know soon enough.

Current monthly stats:

Runs: 25
Distance: 148.02 miles
Total Time: 20h 50m 24s
Avg Distance: 5.92 miles
Best Distance: 6.47 miles (Day 16)
Worst Distance: 5.65 (Day 1 and Day 11)
Total Calories: 20,359
Avg Speed: 7.1 mph
Avg Pace: 8:27 min/mile

Friday, July 21, 2017

July 2017 Goal - Day 20 Update

I don't know how to run anymore. I changed up my running form twice in the last five days, since nothing feels right and parts of my legs hurt. I've gone from bad to worse. My left hip and/or left groin tendon and/or calf muscles and/or foot blisters hurt depending on how I run. At this point, I just need to keep myself together with duct tape if need be. Now that I think about it, I think my current downward spiral happened right after my July 16 run where I got my new 10K PR. All I know is this: I cannot get injured any worse or this month's goal will be in serious jeopardy.

Current monthly stats:

Runs: 20
Distance: 118.81 miles
Total Time: 16h 40m 19s
Avg Distance: 5.94 miles
Best Distance: 6.47 miles (Day 16)
Worst Distance: 5.65 (Day 1 and Day 11)
Total Calories: 16,350
Avg Speed: 7.1 mph
Avg Pace: 8:25 min/mile

Sunday, July 16, 2017

New 10K PR #2

I can't explain this one very well. I basically started the run with the mindset of not caring. I didn't care how my body felt or if I was hurt or if I was running the right way or if I was going too fast or too slow. I just ran. I kept telling myself to run easy and smooth, smooth and easy. Let your free wheeling mind determine the correct combination of the million different body variables. I did not consciously try for this 10K PR, but I guess all that smooth and easy action added up to shaving 26 seconds off my PR.

My new 10K PR is 47m 53s (7:44/mile pace).

Saturday, July 15, 2017

July 2017 Goal - Day 15 Update

15 days down, 16 days to go. This is starting to suck. I have good days where the runs feel fine and easy, or at least doable, and other days where I don't want to start, can't wait for it to end, and sometimes feel like I cannot finish. Is this the life of a middle-aged man who wants to run? Who thinks he can run? I'm at the halfway point here for this month, but if I add up my previous months, today was my 47th day in a row of running. Maybe I'm just getting worn down. Running is mentally and physically taxing. I am fighting a two front war.

Current monthly stats:

Runs: 15
Distance: 88.77 miles
Total Time: 12h 30m 14s
Avg Distance: 5.92 miles
Best Distance: 6.42 miles (Day 7)
Worst Distance: 5.65 (Day 1 and Day 11)
Total Calories: 12,214
Avg Speed: 7.1 mph
Avg Pace: 8:29 min/mile

Monday, July 10, 2017

July 2017 Goal - Day 10 Update

10 days down, 21 to go. I am finishing my 50 minute run every single day, but I can tell my body is starting to struggle. There are chinks in my armor. Some days my legs hurt, others my knees. Some days I can run without much effort, and others are mentally and physically tough to finish. However, the bright spot for these last five days was Day 7, where I broke my 10K PR from last year. I plan to concentrate on staying healthy enough to keep finishing these runs and hopefully break my half-marathon record on July 31st.

Current monthly stats:

Runs: 10
Distance: 59.30 miles
Total Time: 8h 20m 9s
Avg Distance: 5.93 miles
Best Distance: 6.42 miles (Day 7)
Total Calories: 8,167
Avg Speed: 7.1 mph
Avg Pace: 8:22 min/mile

Friday, July 7, 2017

New 10K PR

Well, I did not plan on trying for a new 10K PR today, but after running the first three miles and being pleasantly surprised with my pace, I decided to go for it over the last 3 miles. It was grueling. I wanted to quit many times. My lungs hurt, my mind was strained from intense concentration, and my legs were starting to give up, but somehow I persevered. I hung on to the finish. My old 10K PR from last year was 49m 04s. I beat that by 45 seconds today.

My new 10K PR is 48m 19s (7:48/mile pace).

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

July 2017 Goal - Day 5 Update

Well, five days have come and gone already. My plan is to run for 50 minutes every single day this month with no slower than a 9:00/mile pace. My current pace after five runs is 8:38. So, in my humble opinion, I have started tackling this goal with tenacity and anger and hubris. Also, there might be some running involved, but I refuse to verify that.

Current monthly stats:

Runs: 5
Distance: 28.94 miles
Total Time: 4h 10m 5s
Avg Distance: 5.79 miles
Best Distance: 5.99 miles (Day 5)
Total Calories: 3,973
Avg Speed: 6.9 mph
Avg Pace: 8:38 min/mile

Monday, July 3, 2017

July 2017 Goal Revealed

Oops, this month kinda snuck up on me. I forgot to write an update on my running goal for July 2017. I plan to run 50 minutes every single day, averaging a 9 minute per mile pace or faster and end with an attempt at a half-marathon PR on July 31st. My current half-marathon PR is 1h 56m 01s (8:51/mile) which I did back in August 2016. I feel confident after this month of training, I can beat that. Wish me luck.

Friday, June 30, 2017

June 2017 Goal - Day 30 Update - Goal Completed

Mission accomplished. My June 2017 goal is complete and in the books. I ran every single day, 30 days in a row. 26 days were 4 Milers. 4 days were 10Ks. Some days felt easy. Some days were a real slog. Some days I didn't want to run. Other days, I wanted to run but the weather was so bad that it was a chore to just go outside. In the end, as that last mile was completed, I felt like Clark Griswold in the last scene of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. He summed up that feeling of accomplishment with three little words: "I did it."

Final stats:

Runs: 30
Distance: 128.97 miles
Total Time: 18h 3m 35s
Avg Distance: 4.30 miles
Total Calories: 17,759
Avg Speed: 7.1 mph

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Trashed - Graphic Novel by Derf Backderf

I finished a great graphic novel yesterday. It is really unique (just like the author's name). Trashed, written by Derf Backderf is both amazing and depressing at the same time. The author/illustrator tells a great fictional story, partially based upon his time working as a garbageman, and throws in lot of exceptional facts and diagrams about real-life garbage in our world. The artwork is very detailed and magnificently laid out. The blunt truth and current state of our entire garbage collection system really made me think about the multitude of garbage, abysmal recycling record, and the throw away culture we live in. Change starts with a single person. Thank you, Derf. I absolutely recommend this book.

June 2017 Goal - Day 25 Update

25 days down, 5 days to go in June. I can sense the end is near. Time to keep powering through. Over the last 5 days, I set a new 1 Mile PR and ran my third fastest 10K ever.

Current status of monthly goal:

Runs: 25
Distance: 108.94 miles
Total Time: 15h 18m 38s
Avg Distance: 4.36 miles

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

New Mile PR

I tried to run a fast first mile of my four mile run today with the intention of trying to break my one mile PR. My record was 6m 34s. And I was successful. My new one mile PR is 6m 31s.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June 2017 Goal - Day 20 Update

I'm still making good progress on my June goal of averaging a 4 Miler every single day. 20 days down, 10 days to go. I am 6.71 miles ahead of my total miles due to a few 10K runs randomly thrown in, so that is a good buffer. I also plan to try for my 1 Mile PR in a few days, if the weather holds up. My current 1 Mile PR is 6m 34s.

Current status of goal:

Runs: 20
Distance: 86.71 miles
Total Time: 12h 14m 22s
Avg Distance: 4.34 miles

Thursday, June 15, 2017

June 2017 Goal - Day 15 Update

The halfway point is upon me. And I haven't missed a day yet. I owe that to good luck, early morning running, and being flexible. Out of the 15 days, I have run two 10Ks, which accounts for the extra 4 miles.

Current status of goal:

Runs: 15
Distance: 64.48 miles
Total Time: 9h 5m 3s
Avg Distance: 4.30 miles

Saturday, June 10, 2017

June 2017 Goal - Day 10 Update

The last two days have felt good. I did those runs in the morning when the wind was blowing and the temperature was in the middle 60s. That made them much easier than running in the afternoon with sun beating down and temperatures in the 80s.

Current status of goal:

Runs: 10
Distance: 42.25 miles
Total Time: 5h 56m 38s
Avg Distance: 4.22 miles

Monday, June 5, 2017

June 2017 Goal - Day 5 Update

Okay, the weather has been nice. I've had time to run. And for five out of five days, I have completed at least a four mile run. On one day, I did a 10K, but all the others have just been straight four milers. So, as of June 5th, I am on track to meet my goal. That makes me feel good.

Runs: 5
Distance: 22.23 miles
Total Time: 3h 6m 3s
Avg Distance: 4.45 miles

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Goal Success - Average 5K per Day in May

Okay, I successfully finished up my May 2017 goal today. Here are my final monthly stats:

Runs: 30
Distance: 100.61 miles
Total Time: 14h 19m 57s
Avg Distance per Run: 3.35 miles (100.61 miles / 30 runs)
Avg Distance per Day: 3.24 miles (100.61 miles / 31 days)

Now, my next goal is to average 4 miles per day in June 2017. I will start that tomorrow (weather permitting).

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

May 2017 - Goal Update - Still on Pace

My goal for May is to average a 5K per day. That is 3.1 miles/day multiplied by 31 days. So, this is day 24. I have 7 to go. I am definitely on pace to meet this goal, but I still need to finish the month strong. Here is my progress so far:

Runs: 24
Distance: 78.71 miles
Total Time: 11h 10m 39s
Avg Distance: 3.28 miles

Friday, May 19, 2017

Yeah, I Totally Spaced It!

Boss: "How come your report isn't on my desk yet?"
You: "Yeah, I totally spaced it."

Farmer: "Wow, you planted perfect rows of crops in that field."
You: "Yeah, I totally spaced it."

Coach: "Holy cow, you knocked that baseball out of the park."
You: "Yeah, I totally spaced it."

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Running is Not Glamorous

Whoo, it was hot and humid yesterday. I ended up running four miles, but it was mentally and physically hard. The temperature was near 80 and the humidity was near 100%. That is pretty wild for mid-May in northern Wisconsin. I sweated through all my clothes after the first mile or so, which left me to deal with my own stink for the next three. Seriously, no matter how fast you run or what you do, you cannot outrun or out maneuver your own smell. On top of that, the sunscreen applied to my face continually mixed with my sweat and dripped into my eyes. The constant ocular stinging and partial vision just added to the fun. Oh, and the bugs were out in bigger numbers than before. So, little black things with wings stuck on all my exposed skin as I ran around the countryside. Finally, my nose kept clogging and unclogging over and over, so I had to use my sweaty shirt to unceremoniously wipe it about a dozen times in between moments of not being able to breathe. Have you ever tried to wipe away slimy snot with a wet rag? It doesn't work very well. Still, with all these downsides and trials to deal with, I still enjoy being outdoors and exercising and conquering goals. I just need to remember to take it one stinky, sweaty, disgusting step at a time. And, if I'm being honest, it still beats running on cold winter days.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

5K per Day in May

I am trying to average a 5K (3.1 miles) every single day in the month of May. This is day 11 and I have 32.42 miles total, which gives me 2.95 miles average per day. So, I am behind my goal right now. However, this is including one missed day (May 1st) due to tiredness. I had run a total of 28 miles over the prior 3 days to reach a different goal in April.

So, overall I am happy with my current May progress. I'm pretty sure I'll be able to get this done, and most likely my daily average will be comfortably over the 5K mark.

Assuming I can accomplish this current goal, my next goal will be to average a 4 Mile Run every single day in June. And assuming I get that done, I would like to average a 10K (6.2 miles) every single day in July. (Edit on 5/28/2017: I changed my mind. Instead of the 10K per day in July, I will plan to run 45 minutes/day at no more than a 9:00 minute mile pace to get 5 miles per day. My goal will to run for 24 total hours in July and accumulate 155 miles.)

We will see how it goes.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Impossible Fortress - Book Review

I really enjoyed The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak. The story is based around the same time that I grew up, so I appreciated and recognized lots of the historical details and setting in the story. Plus, I like technology and games and programming, so the story was fun to read and unique. If there is a negative part, I would say it is the swearing in the dialogue. I realize this is probably pretty accurate for some teenagers, but I know I didn't talk like this. So, at times, it was awkward to imagine young kids saying some pretty disgusting things. But, again, overall, I really liked the story. I hope to read more about Billy and Mary. Finally, it is pretty cool that the author worked with a team to create a real version of the game talked about in the story.

You can play it here:  http://jasonrekulak.com/game/

Saturday, January 14, 2017

A Nice Review for Bloated Goat

Just tooting my own horn here. Bloated Goat received a nice 5-star review on Amazon from a reader. Tanya says, "This guy has talent! Holy cow, I was laughing so hard I cried & my tummy was aching. I loved every page of this book. Interesting story and great laughs! Only took about an hour or so to read."

So if you haven't read Bloated Goat yet, give it a go. It is available in Kindle and Paperback versions on Amazon.com.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Time Traveling with a Hamster

Time Traveling with a Hamster is a good book. I just finished reading it. I enjoyed the character development and plot. It had an interesting take on time travel and kept things moving along at a good clip. Its one of those weird books that is over 400 pages long, but when I was done, I thought that it was way shorter. So, the pages fly by and the chapters are short, if that appeals to you. I would recommend giving this book a chance.