Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 8 - Sprint to Rest

I used to love sprint races, the 100 yard dash at Field Day or the 100 yard butterfly in swimming, the shorter the better.  Now a sprint to me is a mile long run.  I think it's true that the older we get the more our endurance improves, but in order to gain that ability our bodies sacrifice the fast twitch muscles that give us the burst of speed needed for a sprint.

If I'm going to run everyday, I'm going to need these days to not only rest but also increase my speed in the longer distances.  It's also great for the psyche to know that today was a quick workout and I would have a little more free time this evening.

I used my extra time tonight to make a stop at the Container Store downstairs with my wife.  She was in need of Christmas wrapping paper and I was in need of those door mats that block the air from exiting out the bottom of the door.  There is definitely a name for it, but it escapes me right now.  After that I made a solo trip across the street to Whole Foods for a couple of dinner items.  It is so great to walk by the Christmas trees and take in their piny goodness.  All I hear in my head is Perry Como's rendition of "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas".

Great time of year and a great mile tonight.  I utilized our building's great gym and the treadmill for tonight's run.  For short runs or terrible weather, it's great to have a gym downstairs that can help you get the job done. 

Stats, however brief, below:

Distance: 1 Mile
Time: 7:34
Calories: 155

Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 7 - A Week in the Life

Holla, 7 days in a row!  I know, I know, it's really not anything special but whatever I'm putting in work.  Speaking of work, what a long day.  You really have to love the 6:00 p.m. conference call that is scheduled for perhaps 20-30 minutes and ends over an hour later.  Needless to say that tonight's run got a late start.

The air was cold and damp tonight with wet leaves everywhere.  Wet leaves are dangerous, I don't quite understand why they are so slippy; however at times it feels like you're on ice.  One thing I love about running, no matter what type of day you're having, it all fades after logging some miles pounding the pavement.

View from behind the National Cathedral on 34th
The mind and body are totally bought in on this project.  On the downhills I feel it in my quads fo' sho' and on the uphills I feel it all over but I had a great run tonight.  I can't say I feel the same way about my IPhone's random play list tonight.  The list started out (appropriately) with a live version of Pearl Jam's "Go", perfect.  Followed by Bob Marley's "Real Situation", Eminem's "As The World Turns" and Amos Lee's "Cup of Sorrow", all great tunes in their own right.  Then my play list and run hit the breaks with Crosby, Stills, and Nash's "Delta", what a shitty song to run to, crushed me.  I blame that song for my slowest mile tonight (Mile 3 -10:03).  Moving out of that funk took a minute with Mumford & Sons's "Roll Away Your Stone" and the Jerry Garcia Band's "That's What Love Will Make You Do".  I'm trying to run here IPhone, pick it up, I said to myself as I rolled down Massachusetts Ave.  Finishing up the final couple miles was Amos Lee's "El Camino", Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds"  (love it!), and the Beastie Boy's "Gratitude". 

Boom! 5 miles, check the stats below:

Miles: 5
Time: 43:25
Pace: 8:41 per mile
Calories: 771

Mile 1: 8:13 / Mile 2: 8:31 / Mile 3: 10:03 / Mile 4: 9:00 / Mile 5: 7:42 

Bringing it home strong, yo!

Home, Sweet, Home
Until tomorrow....Justin

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 6 - Short and Sweet

John Phillips, of the Mamas and Papas, wrote "Monday, Monday, can't trust that day".  With all due respect to Mr. Phillips, if John would had laid off his narcotic stew, he would have known that you can always trust Monday to be, well, Monday.

Papas and Mamas
Monday always hurts both mentally and physically.  I don't know a lot of people who wake on Monday morning and actually wonder if it'll be a good day.  If you do love Monday, you're one sick son of a bitch.  If you have any sense at all, you resign yourself to the fact that every Monday will be painfully unpleasant.

With all that said, my Monday wasn't that bad.  Now I did wake up and fully expect the worst.  My body was definitely aching after the last 5 days of running.  (Note to self....WEAK)  As I walked out the door I realized that my calendar was relatively clear due to a number of co-workers extending their weekend into Monday.  Even with this positive tid-bit, I still didn't feel that great about it; however as the hours passed into the afternoon I found myself saying, "not so bad for a Monday".

Hold that previous thought, what can screw up any day......I'll give you a guess, it starts with "traf" and ends in "fic", yep, "traffic".  Sitting in DC belt way traffic can be maddening and can even ruin your Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  In sum, Monday equals unpleasant.

Today's run wasn't much different than my Monday.  I ran 2 miles, backing down for a bit from the previous two days (5.5 x 2).  My day 6 cumulative total is 24.63 miles with one day remaining in my first full week of running every day.  I took out the first mile hard or I should say as hard as possible without feeling like my leg muscles were going to bust through my skin.  The second mile I backed down and loosened up.

Todays stats:

Miles: 2
Time: 17:18
Pace: 8:38 (8:01 Mile 1 / 9:17 Mile 2)
Calories: 309

Until tomorrow....Justin

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 5 - Lions, Tigers, and Pandas, Oh My

5 days in a row, woohoo!  I just had to get that out.  This idea of seeing how many days I can run in a row may sound a bit ridiculous, but so far it has been a lot of fun.  Some of those hardcore runners out there may contend that the body needs rest every so often and that this project is a fool's errand; however I'm hoping to employ "active" rest days where I'll run a mile and employ other tools like swimming and massage to ensure my legs and joints can sufficiently recover from all the miles.

Today was the perfect ending to a long weekend.  The weather this Thanksgiving break has been unusually temperate for this time of year.  So once again the family decided to squeeze the last bit of juice from the orange that is this weekend and make a visit to the Smithsonian National Zoo in DC, a mere 2.2 miles away.  I met my wife there (she ran) along with my brother and sister-in-law, my niece and nephew, and my brother-in-law's parents, brother and his partner. 

As you can imagine the zoo was abuzz with families taking advantage of the weather to see their favorite animals.  Our first stop was the tiger and lion den.  It was my first time seeing the tigers at the zoo and they are beautiful creatures.  The colors of their coat are second to none; however they were very sleepy.  I chalked it up to a late night out on the town.  The zoo is also home to a pride of lions, that I believe consists of one Papa, two Mamas, and seven cubs.  They are truly the Kings of the Jungle!

After the lions and tigers, we continued on to visit the orangutans, pandas, gorillas, and elephants.  After all that animal watching the tribe's hunger grew and we planned our next move, lunch.

Baby Gorilla - Kibibi
We, once again, took advantage of the beautiful day and dined al fresco at Pete's New Haven Style Apizza between Tenleytown and Friendship Heights.  Pizza, salads and my personal favorite sorbillo, Pete's homage to the birthplace of pizza, Naples, Italy.  It's a rectangular shaped pizza filled with Salumi, ricotta, and mozzarella. 


After parting ways with the family it was time for some football and perhaps a brief nap.  On to the run, nothing exciting about today's run, same track as yesterday, albeit a slightly slower pace.  I'm not going to lie, I'm sore.  It's nothing terrible, but I'm feeling the last 5 days straight of running.

Today's Stats:

Miles:  5.50
Time: 49:34
Pace: 9:00
Calories: 848

Big drop on the last half-mile, ouch.

I'll also be posting the random tunes that play during my runs.  If you have any songs that you love to run to please feel free to post them in the comments and I'll work them into my Iphone.

1. Lesson Learned - Ray Lamontagne
2. Something's Got to Give - Beastie Boys
3. So Jah Seh - Bob Marley
4. Notion - Kings of Leon
5. Behind Me Now - Kings of Leon
6. You Can't Always Get What You Want (Live) - Rolling Stones
7. I'll Be Your Man - The Black Keys
8. Marrakesh Express - Crosby, Stills & Nash
9. Jazz - A Tribe Called Quest
10. Me & My Bitch - The Notorious B.I.G
11. Silver & Gold (Live) - U2

Tommorrow the real challenge begins....finding time to run during the busy work week.

Until tomorrow, Justin

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day 4 - Lazy Saturdays

So I awoke this morning just a little on the sore side from yesterday's activities.  Many different sports have ravaged my ankles over the last 34 years, namely climbing and soccer, so my ankles were the most affected by our Black Friday festivities.

I decided to take it pretty easy during the first half of the day with a heavy dose of couch time.  I started off with some Barclay's Premier League on ESPN, specifically Manchester United vs. Newcastle United.  The game ended in a 1-1 draw.  Its been a big soccer weekend for me if you seen my previous posts, so I figured why stop there and stuck FIFA 12 in the ol' PlayStation 3.  I love that game, especially the British announcers, they're spot on.

Eventually, my hunger grew and I made my way over to Crisp N' Juicy.  Tenleytown has many average restaurant choices, however this Peruvian chicken joint is a diamond in the rough.  My favorite is the Aloha Chicken Breast sandwich, thinly sliced chicken cutlets topped with American cheese, Spring Onions and my fave, Pineapple on a toasted roll. 

After letting my stomach settle, I hit the pavement for today's run.  Due to the soreness in my legs, a whole lotta stretching took place prior to my run.  I headed out 42nd to Nebraska Ave. down to Foxhall, slightly after passing Foxhall I turned around and headed back up Nebraska.  At Massachusetts I turned east, the start of the hills, across Wisconsin down to 34th.  34th merges into Reno and is really a roller coaster of hills which all in all didn't hurt as much as I thought they would.  My run ended at the corner of Reno and Albemarle logging 5.5 miles.

National Cathedral on Wisconsin Ave. Pre-Earthquake

So finally one of the great things about running with my Iphone is the ability to listen to some tunes while it tracks my run, today's random play list consisted of the following jams:

1. Given to Fly (Live) - Pearl Jam
2. Fighting in a Sack - The Shins
3. El Camino (Live) - Amos Lee
4. It Ain't Me Babe - Bob Dylan
5. He's Gone (Live) - Grateful Dead
6. One More Cup of Coffee - The White Stripes
7. Help on the Way (Live) - Grateful Dead
8. Clocks - Coldplay
9. So Much Trouble in the World - Bob Marley
10. Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley

Do you have any favorite music you like to listen to while you're running?  Let me know your thoughts in the "Comments" section, if you happen upon this blog.

Today's Stats:

Miles: 5.50
Time: 48:08
Pace: 8:44
Calories: 848

After my run I got home to enjoy a truly "Red" sunset from our terrace.  Have a great Saturday night everyone, until tomorrow.....Justin

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day 3 - A Touch of Spring

Today was simply gorgeous, you could make an argument that it was the most beautiful day of 2011.   We kicked things off with our first ever family/extended family Soccer game at the school across the street from our home.  My nephew was the organizer of the game and did a great job of choosing the teams.  Each team consisted of a few adults and kids ranging in ages from 5-12.  Now you're probably thinking that with younger kids the game wasn't very competitive; however you would be sorely mistaken.  Everyone played extremely hard with the kids leading the way and the adults following suit.  The fun was off the charts!  We even made a couple of new friends during the game with one family joining at halftime and a couple of free agents joining the game along the way.  The game appropriately ended in a 9-9 tie with smiles all around the pitch.
Field of Dreams

After the game, we headed across the street to Robeks  for some well deserved smoothies.  After our smoothies, we parted ways with our family and friends and my wife and I grabbed some lunch at Whole Foods.

After taking a  brief break, I headed out for today's run.  Down Nebraska Ave, through a couple different neighborhoods, back across Massachusetts Ave near the American University School of Law and back up Albemarle Street.  The run was only 3.5 miles but after 2 hours of soccer in the morning I reached my max for the day.

Stats below:

3.52 miles
31:08 minutes
8:49 pace
543 calories

I hope everyone has a great night!

Until tomorrow.....Justin

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 2 - Happy Thanksgiving

The second annual family 5-K Turkey Trot went off without a hitch today.  S.O.M.E ( Trot for Hunger launched from Freedom Plaza on Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington D.C.  The day's first highlight was running into our close friends.  Love those special surprises before the race even starts.

It was a beautiful, sunny day with perfect temps for a family run.  Just when you were heating up in the morning sun, a turn would appear that veered into the shadows of the city and the cool air would allow you a timely reprieve. 

The setting of the race was striking with the dichotomy of the Capital building in the background and Occupy DC in the foreground.  What's this whole occupy thing about?  What are they "occupying"?  Please stop the human microphone!

I regress....

Great view of Occupy encampment and Capitol building

The run itself was pretty packed; walkers please remember to start at the back of the race, it is not conducive to a running stroller team.  Our team consisted of my wife, sister-in-law, brother-in-law and nephew.  The team split up around the half-mile point with the males pushing forward through the forest of racing families and the ladies choosing to take a more relaxed approach.  As the miles passed along the conversation steered towards the fact that a 5-K is a little short and boom it's over.

Family race post-race photo

I hope everyone had a fun-filled Thanksgiving day!

Until tomorrow, Justin

Bib 1544 -

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

DAY 1 - Let the Fun Begin!

So here we go, Day 1.  I guess I need to take a step back and give you a little background on this project.  I've been running for more than a year. I ran my first marathon (the National Marathon) in DC this past March.  Lately, I've been struggling to find time for running with  my seemingly ever expanding responsibilities on the daily grind and general apathy for training.

I'll give you more tidbits about the experience and just everyday/random thoughts about just how ridiculous this whole thing is throughout the life of the blog; however for now here are my stats for the day:

5 miles
44:22 minutes
8:51 per mile
772 calories

I use my Iphone with the Nike+ Plus application.  Nike+ houses all my training information and here's a picture because I can't link to the site.

Until tomorrow.....Take Care - Justin