Monday, August 30

New schedule

My schedule at work keeps shifting. Unfortunately, it's not as easy for me to change schedules and still get enough sleep as it is for my boss to move hours around on a spreadsheet.

I haven't run since Wednesday, partially because I feel like without enough sleep I'm close to getting injured. My plans continue to involve focusing on my 100-push-up workout plan and doing longer runs.

Additionally, I've made the decision that I'm not going running with a watch for the next two weeks. I don't look at my watch all that often when running, but I need to make sure i focus on getting moving again and not worry too much about the time.

It's interesting the way this push-up plan is set up. It's a 6-week plan but this is my third week on week 5 and I started on week 3 if I remember correctly. Yet, there are three separate workout columns for week 5 and this week I go from the easiest to the next hardest.

I'm progressing slowly but surely with emphasis on slowness and sureness also. Also, a wee bit of soreness also.

Wednesday, August 25

Today's run

Wearing a watch makes me feel slow but it also helps me to have some sense of my progress.

Today's run was initially going to be six miles but I was having trouble relaxing and mentally enjoying the run so I cut it short to five instead of 6.

The loop I was running had a half-mile straight away and also I knew when I would be a half-mile from the end so I timed myself three times on a half-mile stretch.

The first time I didn't speed up I just wanted the pace I was running to get started as comparison. 5:45.

The second time I tried to speed up and was disappointed to see 5:45.

The third time I tried to push myself a bit harder and saw small improvement at 5:37.

The last time, half-a-mile from home, I saw marked improvement at 5:30.

It was strange that on the last half-mile I also worried that my form was completely breaking down. But so be it. All in all, a good work out that I'm happy with. Not thrilled with, but I'm definitely making some progress.

I will rest at least 24 hours. Maybe I'll get a quick 3-4 mile run in before work depending on what time I get to sleep and wake up tomorrow. Otherwise, I'll just try to stretch and relax.

I should probably look for relaxation exercises.

Everything runs together

This morning I ran five miles.

I write this down on my log and I write this down here on this blog.

If I don't write things down I will forget them completely. Or I'll get quite disoriented.

This week I've run three times.

Sunday after my 12-hour shift at work. Three miles - I wanted to run more but I was exhausted.

Monday - one mile before the push-up workout.

Tuesday was a complete rest day.

Wednesday, today, a 5 mile run with three half-mile pick-ups and three times up the monster hill that's near my house.

All in all, I feel good about it.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing more damage to my body than good.

Then I remember that quote - I don't run to add days to my life; I run to add life to my days.

And then there's the other thing - I run so that I can sleep better while working this overnight shift.

Tuesday, August 24

Rest day

Yesterday I got about seven hours of sleep in the afternoon.

Over night, I think I may have taken a couple more naps. I'm not completely sure.

I did finish reading Sean Payton's book Home Team: Coaching the Saints and New Orleans Back to Life.

The book had started out good, but it dragged near the end --- maybe that's because we know how it ends. The Saints win the Super Bowl.

After finishing the book, I putzed around on the internet for a bit. I got the paper just after it came and tried to do the Sudoku. I failed. I didn't have an eraser handy and when I realized I'd made a mistake I didn't know how to fix, I quit.

I went to sleep again around 5 a.m. and woke up after 7. With a headache.

This overnight shift just throws everything off.

I'm going to take a rest day today. Don't know when I'll sleep or how much but I've got nothing to do but rest.

It's good I write things down because otherwise I'll completely forget that I've done them or planned them.

Wednesday I'll either run 5 miles with 3 loops on a huge hill or 6 miles running a 3 mile loop twice trying to run the second loop faster than the first.

Monday, August 23


I've woken up twice today that I remember.

The first time I felt refreshed and felt like I might have slept several good hours. Then I located the clock and saw that I'd actually slept for about one hour.

Just now I've woken up after sleeping for about 7 hours or so. I'm not tired anymore but I've got a bit of a crick in my neck and I'm not sure how to describe my level of refreshedness.

Red squiggly line under refreshedness - is that a word. Refreshment doesn't seem quite right.

Maybe I should plan to buy a new bed at some point soon.

I'm starting to like my chest

I just completed week five of the hundred push ups plan.

I'm starting to like my chest and I've never felt that way before. I've always been more scrawny than brawny.

This is kind of exciting.

The program only has 6 weeks. Apparently if I can finish week 6, then I'll be able to do 100 push ups.

I don't know. That's kind of hard to believe. We'll see.

I'm not however at the moment liking my gut. I feel like I'm carrying too much fat right now and I should start running longer distances.

However, even more important, I think, is sleeping more. I feel like I'm on the verge of injury if I don't take better care of myself.

So, I'm going to do some counting and I'm not doing any more running until I get at least 10 hours of sleep. And hopefully 7 hours consecutively.

Working the overnight shift throws everything completely off.

But I'm definitely getting in better shape than I was in back in June.

Saturday, August 21


I'm going to write down my fitness goals.

My number one goal is to be able to do 50 push-ups by my birthday.

I'm near the end of a 6-week program to be able to do 100 push-ups.

If the program can be believed, I should truly be able to do 100 push-ups by my birthday.

As far as running, I want to be able to run a 25 minute 5K by the end of September. Make that a 28 minute 5K. That's goal A and goal B for running. I'm not sure how much running I can do with my current schedule.

See previous post.

I think I'm going to start running slightly longer distances and not concentrating on taking a day off between each run. Hopefully running a little bit more will help me to sleep more. I don't know if this is the case or not, but we'll see what happens.

I had just about gotten used to sleeping during the afternoons and now my body clock is thrown completely off again. The push-up work outs should be fairly easy to fit into my schedule.

We'll see how it goes.

I miss sleeping at night

I feel about like giving up.

This week is my first week working a new schedule.

I've gone from working 5 nights/mornings a week to four nights/mornings a week.

And in reality, it seems, I'm working only 3 shifts - 2 10-hour shifts and one 12-hour shift.


I guess when you do the math that way, ideally this should be better than my previous shift.

I was so tired when I got home this morning and I slept for about 5 hours. I woke up and I didn't really feel like going back to sleep but I definitely also didn't feel refreshed.

I think I read somewhere that people working an overnight shift average 5 hours of sleep a day.

I go back to work at 6. I'm torn on whether I should try to sleep some more or just start stay awake.

The way things have been going, I think I'll probably sleep about 10 or 12 hours on Sunday or Monday. It seems like that's been the routine lately.


Wednesday, August 18

Loops - Day One

Today I did my first day running the loop course that I envisioned in my run on Monday.

The total distance was five miles.
The goal was to run the second loop faster than the first loop.
The results were both humbling and gratifying.

Gratifying because I did run the second loop faster than the first loop.
Humbling because both loops were slower than a 10-minute mile.

I need to keep reminding myself that I am still basically out-of-shape.

I've probably got to make sure that for at least one run each week I need to leave my watch at home and not take it with me. But I've also got to push myself when I do go out and run.

Monday, August 16


Since buying my new shoes in early July, I've gone for 16 runs that I've recorded on my shoe box/running log.

5 runs of less than 3 miles. (10.25)

4 runs of 3 miles. (12)

5 runs of 4 miles. (20)

2 runs of 5 miles. (10)

That's a total of 50.25 miles in a little over a month.

I ran four miles today as the sun was setting. It wasn't a great run, but I'm glad I got out and did it instead of staying in.

I'm kind of in-between goals at the moment.

I need to figure out how some good goals by the end of this week. I don't want to just lose the momentum that I'm building up.

Shift work

Before going to work on Saturday night, I had a plan for Sunday morning.

Get off work. Run 7 miles. Go to church. Go to sleep.

Then I had my 10 hour shift from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. It was a tough shift physically and emotionally. I made it though and my plan changed to ---

Get off work. Go to sleep. Go to church. Go back to sleep.

And then I work up after midnight on Monday.

Well, I guess I may get used to this schedule at work, but I'm hoping to find a new job at some point soon.

Anyway, I'll be running tomorrow/today.

Saturday, August 14

A lightbulb goes off

Today was a good workout, probably one of my toughest workouts since I started running again.

Interestingly enough, it was only 3 miles, but it was a good 3-miles.

I tried to set up a route where I could check my watch halfway through and then attempt to run the second half faster than the first half.

My half-way spot wasn't necessarily perfectly placed, but I had a very good run and the second half was faster than the first half or very close. It definitely wasn't slower than the first half.

And I think anyone who saw me running the second half would have likely thought of me as a runner and not a jogger.

I was thinking that one problem with the route would be that one half would be hillier than the other and then a light bulb went off. In future runs of this type, I can simply run loops and that way it will be easier to make sure that my route is the same and of an equal distance.

Anyway, I'm very happy with today's progress. I felt pain last week while racing the 5K which I don't usually feel and I also felt a little pain while running today so I know I was pushing myself well.

Friday, August 13

You can work...

A while back I was watching a program on the NFL network celebrating Emmet Smith's induction into the NFL Hall of Fame.

Being a member of the Dallas Cowboy's famous Triplets, it also featured Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin.

One of the things that stuck with me from that show was a quote from Miami Herald columnist Dan LeBatard talking about Michael Irvin.

He said Irvin used to walk naked through the Cowboys locker room and say to his teammates:: "You can work for a body like this one. You will not succeed. You will fail. But you can work for a body like this one."

Interestingly, the more I hear people talk about Michael Irvin, the more they stress his work ethic - along with his love for partying....

But anyway, I like this quote and it runs through my head as I try to get stronger.

As I think I've mentioned before, I'm trying to do a hundred pushups plan that I found online at

It's nice because I can feel myself getting stronger and bigger slowly but surely. I don't walk naked through any locker rooms, but it's nice nonetheless to think of myself saying that phrase and being proud of the work I'm putting in to get stronger.


Wednesday, August 11


I just bookmarked the weather channel homepage.

It's 15 degrees hotter in Springfield than it is in South Bend. Whew.

However, the sun does come up about 30 minutes earlier in South Bend than it does here.

I guess maybe it's a bit of a tradeoff.

Monday, August 9

Today was a good day

I want to write that today was a good day, although it's yesterday now and today has barely started.

Yesterday, one of the members of the choir invited everyone out to his cottage near the beach in Lake Michigan.

It was great fun. My legs were a little sore from the 5K but I really wanted to run barefoot on the beach.

When we first got to the beach, I was surprised at how sandy it was. You could barely walk without slipping and sliding.

Closer to the water though it was packed a little firmer together.

I saw a couple of people running - exactly two - but that's all it took to push me out of the water and to go for a jog.

It was more than just a job in the end, but unfortunately, I think I didn't push myself hard enough.

I went out for 10 minutes and then turned around with the hopes of returning to where I started faster than I had run going out.

It's easy to do an out-and-back course like that on the beach.

My time running back was 8:23.

That felt like a success, but also I kind of wondered if I should have run out for more than 10 minutes to start with. Running for less than 20 minutes sometimes doesn't seem like enough of a workout.

But it was a good day and I've got ideas for translating the concept to routes near where I live now.

But I wish I had more places where I would could run barefoot.

This was such a nice run today even if it was short.

My bathing suit was the only thing I was wearing.

One of the things I like about running is how you don't need any gear - don't need any clothes at all - to do it.

I personally can't imagine running naked, but I just like the simplicity of the concept.

Sunday, August 8

I need a turtle


That was my official time for yesterday's 5K.

I've been thinking quite a bit about how much I want to run another 5K race. Yesterday's race was free because my company paid for the entries for the first 30 entries or something like that.

I saw one guy from work who said he was twice as old as he was when he ran his last 5K and he figured he'd run it twice as slow. And he was pretty close.

Anyhow, can I make significant progress to feel good about running another 5K on my birthday in just over a month.

I don't think so - especially with my crazy schedule at work.

And anyway, I can run a 5K at home anytime. I can just measure out the path and do it.

My main goal for now is to complete the Hundred Pushups plan that I'm doing and at the same time increase the speed and quality of my running.

Another thought - My first mile was 9:17 yesterday. I wonder what the last two miles would have been like if my first mile had been 10 minutes or slower.

You often hear about rabbits setting the pace for people going out for fast marathons... But I think what I may have needed yesterday was a turtle.

I was very excited yesterday and I definitely went out way too fast.

Saturday, August 7

3 numbers

I raced my first 5K in years today.

It was called Logan's Run and it raised funds for an organization that works with children and adults with developmental disabilities.

So it was an event that kind of makes you thankful and makes you count your blessings.

Also, they call it an "event for people of all abilities."

In a sense I ran today like a person of several abilities.

I'm trying to keep today's 5K in perspective and not be too disappointed in myself.

A month ago, I probably couldn't have run a whole 5K, even. Anyway, today was a beautiful day and the weather was wonderful.

And I've run quite a bit around this time of day lately and the weather has been terribly humid and hot so the weather was great.

Anyhow, here are the numbers that defined today's race.

9:17 - I ran the first mile in 9 minutes and 17 seconds.

31:something - At the moment, I don't remember my exact time. I suppose you could say I forgot it quickly. But it was 31:something.

Sept. 11 - Interestingly enough, there's another 5K on Sept. 11. This one as well is at 7:30, a whole hour earlier than today's race.

(I probably shouldn't even think about the fact that I'll be bumped up to another age group on that day.)

But if you have any suggestions on things to do in training between now and then, I'm all ears.

A friend of mine once said that runners don't need races. Runners just run. But I think I'm kind of a goals junkie.

I need goals to reach my optimum performance. I've definitely got a goal now.

Beat this time from today's 5K on Sept. 11.

I'm not sure just what to shoot for, but I will be running harder and pushing myself quite a bit more in the runs to come this month.

Friday, August 6

5K Tomorrow

Tonight, or more specifically tomorrow, I work from midnight - 5.

Then I get ready for the race.

The weather forecast I looked at shows the temperature to be below 80 at race time which is exciting.

The physical part of training is done. If you can call it training.

Well, yes, it has been training. There have been some hard aspects to it.

I've run some tough hills. I'm not sure just how out-of-shape I am but I'm in much better shape than I was a month ago.

I'm not quite sure how to approach my shift tonight as far as what to eat and when.

What I know is I'll probably drink a fair amount of water and maybe stretch a bit. No matter how crazy it gets, I'm gone at 5 a.m.

I'll get to the course soon enough stretch and get a number on my singlet.

I'll be wearing a singlet to stay cool and hopefully run better and feel like I'm racing.

As I was saying, the physical part of the training is over. Now it's time to visualize, to relax and to get mentally ready.

I will definitely be pushing myself as hard as I can.

Thursday, August 5

Today I ran a 5K.

On Saturday, in two days, I will race a 5K.

This morning I bought a $7 watch at Wal-Mart so I would have some sense of have fast - or how slow - I have been running. I guess I could change that to read how fast or how slow I am running.

Anyway, I ran the 5K in about 35 minutes today according to my watch and the map that I drew up using the USATF website.

Hmm. There go my thoughts of the sub 25 minute 5K on Saturday even though that was a silly thought to begin with.

I wasn't trying to run all that hard today but I wanted to get a sense of how fast my pace had been on my easy runs lately. I'm not sure how much sense that makes.

On Saturday, I'll be trying to run a lot harder.

Hopefully I'll feel a little better rested as well.

Maybe the weather will be cooler possibly too, I don't know.

I've got a headache right now though so my plans are to rest as much as possible between now and 8:30 Saturday morning even though I do have a couple of shifts at work coming up.

Rest will be a big factor in everything I decide to do for the next couple of days.

Here's hoping this will be a good 5K.

Tuesday, August 3

Today was one of those days where I didn't feel like running.

My plan was to run two miles and since it's not that far of a distance anyway, I set out.

As I was running, I thought about how it was kind of a strike against inertia.

It doesn't feel like I've got a lot of momentum going, but I'd have even less if I didn't run.

The way I feel now isn't that great, but it is probably better than I'd feel if I hadn't gone running.

That's all for now.