Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Training vs. Running for Health

Last week, I ran 44 miles. I ran 13.5 miles yesterday (a long run). My treadmill turned over 2,000 miles during yesterday's run. I have run 870 miles toward my participation in The Tinkoff 1,000.

Training versus Running for Health
Training is a different style of running. I am still not used to it. What I am used to is getting a run in every day. I hadn't taken a day off for quite a while. I took Sunday off because I had a long run scheduled for Monday. I won't run today because of yesterday's long run. I have learned about recuperation time.

I am looking forward to my first half-marathon. I think that I could run it tomorrow. I am looking forward to the scenery and the experience. Only 26 days or so to go...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What I learned about long runs...

Yesterday, I ran 5 miles. Today, I ran 5 miles. Both days were amazingly easy compared to Monday's run. I even ran intervals today and ended up loving it.

Three Things Today -

1. Why you take a day off after a long run.
Why do I take a day off NOW? Because I found out that your body really needs it! I ran a short distance on Monday. 4.5 miles. I planned on running 5, but just couldn't do it! It was all I could do to run 4.5 miles at the slow pace that I accomplished. The muscular pain I experienced across the back of my upper legs was noticeable.

2. The Runner's Repair Manual
My friend, Tim, suggested this book to me. I read a bit of it and already know some exercises that are strengthening my quadriceps and increasing my comfort level. Topper? They are easy to do. I've read most of the book and have gained some insight to this sport that I have adopted. It is written by Murray F. Weisenfeld. It is an easy read and was worth my while. It is available at Amazon.com if your local library or book store does not carry it.

3. I signed up!
I am officially registered for the Slacker Half-Marathon. Signed up today!

Monday, May 21, 2007

To Half Or Not To Half…

Last week, I ran 39.2 miles. I have completed 831 miles (as of today) toward my voluntary participation in The Tinkoff 1,000.

I ran 13.5 miles yesterday and 4.50 miles today.

Yesterday, I ran a half-marathon on the treadmill. I set the speed to 6 miles per hour and ran the entire distance. I had to make sure (be sure?) that I could do it before I commit to a race. I did the run in 131 minutes. Was I tired at the end? Yes! But not as tired as I thought that I would be. I now know that I can run a half-marathon. I got onto the scale prior to the run. I was dressed for the run. I weighed 211.6 pounds – After the run I weighed 207.2 pounds. I drank 16 ounces of water during the run.

I did not have any pain during the run with the single exception of a chafing of my left arm near the arm pit. That was yesterday. Today was a slightly different story. I had a lot of just basic muscular aches and pains. I decided to go for a gentle short run.

What half-marathon is it again?
The half-marathon that I am thinking of signing up for is called, “The Slacker Half-Marathon.” Details on it can be found at –

I have a couple of concerns regarding the half. This is basically a downhill half. – It starts at 10,630 feet and drops to 8,400 feet over the course of the run. That is a lot of drop. First of all, is the elevation of the starting line. I live at 5,280‘ in altitude (Denver), which you would think would be a good acclimatization. But when you double it you can have some physical things occur to your body. I have suffered from high altitude sickness in the past. It mostly makes itself known through nausea, weakness and headaches. Why? There are less oxygen atoms to breathe in the higher you go. It may or may not affect you. The advantage for me will be the fact that I will not be at 10,600‘ for very long.

Usually, I would have run a few trails by now at altitude (with a Jeep trail run). This year the price of gas is higher than last year and I have compromised by not attending a lot of the available Jeep runs this season. I also either run or walk to the store now when I need an item or two (it does feel good to be in shape).

The other main concern is the time of the race. I work the swing shift from 1:00 PM to 9:00 PM. The race starts at 8:00 am. The last bus leaves the staging area at 7:15 AM to take the runners to the starting line. Georgetown is about an hour from Denver. Runner’s packets can be picked up from 6:00 AM to 7:15 AM when the bus leaves. I figure that I would have to get up at 4:30 AM to make sure that I am there on time.

OK – Now you’ve heard the negative. The positive? I know that I can do this! I will most assuredly sign up by the end of this week.

And yes! I am sore after yesterday’s run. It was a mile or so before I was able to make the muscles move the way I wanted them to today!

So, what do you think? Should I go for it?

Side Note to Maddy –
Geez! I seem to be just the opposite on the treadmill. Things take forever on the treadmill, but when I run the course (I might add the only course so far), I ran faster than I did on the treadmill. Of course, I also ran faster than my trail times on different surfaces prior to the race. I may just need to get more experience in different races.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Why Not Take It Easy?

I ran 9.30 miles today. It took 97 minutes. I was hoping for better but I am working on it.

My original plan was to run an easy 5 miles. I didn't. I have no idea as to why.

When I run on the treadmill, I tend to watch a 52" screen TV in my basement. The TV sits in front of the treadmill. Yesterday I watched most of "Hondo" with John Wayne. That left 15 minutes of it for today's run. I have Tivo so changing movies is pretty easy. I like to watch movies when I run over anything else. The one exception now is the TV show "Heroes" on NBC. I've watched the whole series but still don't know what I think about it. That's neither here nor there, though. Just an aside.

I watched the end of Hondo and sort of flipped through the "Now Playing" to see what else I had available. I noticed that I had "The Quiet Man" another movie with John Wayne in it. Excellent movie for anyone with a romantic bone in their system. I highly recommend it. It inspired me to run on. I thought it was to enjoy the movie, but these things change.

I had done intervals yesterday, but I fell into running 5.5 mph for 1/2 mile, then 6 mph for 1/2 mile, then 6.5 miles for 1/2 mile, then 6 mph for 1/2 mile, then 5.5 mph for 1/2 mile and then finished a 3 mile run with a 5 mph pace for the last 1/2 mile. I did it 3 times then finished the final 3/10 at 7 mph.

Phew! I got off of that treadmill dripping with sweat. What a workout today!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Stepping Up to Step Out!

I ran a 10K on the treadmill today (with a much faster pace). Then I ran to a neighborhood park with my dog, Molly. We walked Molly, then ran some intervals together. It was a fun day.

We are working toward a half-marathon race. Race to be determined later, but I do have my eye on one!

I'm pumped! Ready to train. This competition thing is compelling and exciting!

One other thing - In my facet of participation in The Tinkoff 1,000 I have acheived 799.8 miles. Tomorrow I will be over the 800 mile mark! Two years ago if someone had told me that I would be doing that, I would have laughed (while watching my belly shake like a bowl full of jelly) and said, "No way!"

Now look at me.

Just the other day, I was showing some people around our office building. I mentioned that I had run my 1st 5K last Saturday and that I had acheived 28:16.37.

Everyone in their group pointed at Dennis, one of their number. They said that he was going for the Colfax Marathon this weeked in Denver. He shook my hand and told me that he had lost 44 pounds in 6 months. I told him of my story. Brothers of a different Mother! I tend to hear the story a lot.

I commended him on his achievement and told him that I looked forward to running with him soon.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Yesterday, I ran 3.7 miles. Today, I ran 5 miles. Both days I ran on the treadmill in a relaxed manner. I have iced my right leg, knee and ankle the past couple of days. I am feeling right regular now.

Did I stop running? No, it is not in my nature now (and yes, I also know that I probably should have). I have been deep in thought for a couple of days while I have cut back.

Did I give the race my all? I probably did not. I went into the race wanting to observe the process. I also know that I will be a middle of the pack runner. That does not dismay me. After all, my ultimate competitor is myself.

I did like the atmosphere of the race that I attended. Everyone was so friendly and the talk was of running. Whether people were trying to qualify for the Bolder Boulder (very exciting to see those true competitors cross the finish line), or just there to cheer people on, it was a great event to attend.

I am pouring over other races that are being held in my neck of the woods. I am still leaning toward a half-marathon run next time. My long runs are generally on Tuesdays and Thursdays. When I am sure my leg is OK, then I will work at running longer Thursday runs and trying for some interval training on some of the other days. What would be a good time to shoot for a first half-marathon?

Ever run in the mountains? I love Colorado for the absolute beauty that this state of the union offers. The fresh air, the natural beauty, the feeling of freedon as you run among the pine trees, rivers and mountain flower zones. It is a great place for me.

I am also looking at a 10K but I think I want to try a longer distance.

Monday, May 14, 2007

After The Race...

I ran 34.3 miles last week. Saturday I ran my first 5K race - I placed 54th with a PR of 28:16.37. I have run 784 miles in 2007 towards my goal in my participation in The Tinkoff 1,000.

Saturday was a lot of fun. I will remember it for a long time.

I do have a physical problem.I have a very slight pain in my lower right leg. I first noticed it last Thursday. I described the pain and the location with my friend, Tom. He is sure that I am developing shin splints. The pain is noticeable in the front of my right leg. I think that I compensate for it a bit and am getting side and back pain because of that. I am not happy.

Cause? Unknown. Several things happened at once. I got the new shoes. I also started running outside. My neighborhood has parks all over the place. Unfortunately, they are small parks. So most of my running is on street pavement (asphalt). Tom has watched me run. He doesn't think it is the shoes, but more my style of running. He calls it "Slapping my feet down," instead of placing them correctly.

I am still running. I am using the treadmill. I have made the surface as soft as I can. I am running slowly until I can figure it out. Yes, I am also resting the leg, elevating it and icing it. Bummer... I do owe myself a Doctor appointment (I really want to get off of the cholesterol medicine). AND it is at the half-year interval for more tests. So, I'll go and see him and mention the slight pain that I am experiencing.

I am also looking for a next run to make. I'd like to do a 10K or a half-marathon. There are some trail runs in Littleton and a Slacker Downhill Half-Marathon from the Loveland Ski Area to Georgetown Lake. Both are held in June. I am still debating what to do.

If you have advice, please feel free to offer it.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Great Race!

Bib number and my T-Shirt.

Great Race! The 26th Annual Highline Canal Run!

It was pretty exciting. I ran today with my friend, Tom. Another good friend went with us. I'd like to thank Jeff for taking some great pictures.

We got to the event in plenty of time to watch the start of the 10K race. That start was fun to observe. There were a lot of people behind that start line. They started the race and the runners ran away from us. Some started quickly, others ran slowly, but it was interesting to see the running order filter itself out. Soon everyone was around the corner then out of sight.

After the 10K start, we went to the registration table. As we had pre-registered, our packets were around the corner from the table. We found our names on the goodie bags. Tom and I went to a nearby table and looked through them. We had our bib numbers, our long sleeve T-shirts, a shaver, a water bottle, safety pins, and lots of coupons. Pretty cool.

A lady came by and asked for our free drawing tickets. She showed us that they were on the bib number. She tore off the drawing tickets. I tore off the ticket with the registration information. Tom asked me what I was doing. Heck, It was my first race ever! I didn’t know. As Tom had a lot of extra safety pins in his goodie bag, I pinned it on my shirt, just under my bib number, so I wouldn’t lose it during the race.

We watched as the 10K runners started to cross the finish. That stirred the blood. We cheered as people came in. Then it was 10 minutes to the 5K start. Tom and I moved toward the start line.

We found ourselves toward the middle of a large group of 400 people. It was fun to see so many people with a similar focus to mine. But it didn’t stop there. People were running with their dogs. A Mother was running with her baby in a running stroller. There were kids, young adults and seniors. Some were there to support a cause, some for the exercise, some for some excitement of a morning in the park. It was a great group of people to be with.

The starter approached the Start line. After a few brief announcements (water stations, race marshals, etc.) he called the ready, set, go signal and we were off. I punched my start button on the GPS. Starting a race with that many people was a new thing for me. The runners were able to find a comfortable place and pace to run at.

Tom and I had discussed a 9:40 pace. It was not going to happen. As we established a good pace, I found out it was a 9:20 pace. We were able to follow that pace fairly easily.

I tried to find others that were running at our pace. Funny thing, though; some of the people we were similarly paced at would pass us and others would fall behind. We kept the pace at or near the 9:20 mark. At the 2-mile mark, the front of the pack were starting to pass us coming from the other way.. We encouraged them on as they ran past. Just past there, we reached the turn-around point. Our pace slowed there, but we caught it back up quickly.

I was talking as we ran; either to Tom, or to the others as they ran. As we got closer to the finish Tom suggested that we, “Kick it up” in the last ¼ mile. We passed a much younger guy walking at the side. I told him we had just 3/10 of a mile to go. He matched our pace as we headed on in. I kicked it in as we headed downhill to the finish line. He passed me then. It was fun.

Results? I was 54th out 400 or so. My time was 28:16.37. Tom came in right behind me at 28:17.41. He was pleased with his performance..

Our first mile time was 9:16, the second mile at 9:20, and the 3rd mile was run at 9:03.

After we turned in our number registration strips at the end of the chute, Tom headed for shade and I headed for water. Soon after the free food started looking really good, so I was eating a banana and a muffin while drinking a Monster Energy III. The Monster guys even took our picture.

Tom and I talked for a while about the race. He said that the way I was talking told him that I could have given it much more. He said that it is a race and I should give it my very best. I don’t know. I wanted to experience a race first and compete later. His critique included an observation that I would speed up as I was passed. He said that I need to set my pace better. A couple of things to work on.

We enjoyed the giveaways and watched as the awards were handed out. It was a really fun time. I had a blast!

Friday, May 11, 2007

1 Day... To My 1st 5K!

I did not run today. It is a day of rest both physically and mentally.

I have a friend that mows the lawn over at the office. He is about 16 years old. Often, his Father comes over with him. They were hard at work last night when I went out to greet them. We talked for a while, then I had to go back to my work. I turned around before I entered the building, went back to them and told them that this 54 year old guy was going to run his first 5K Saturday morning (In 2 days I run). The Father looked at me and congratulated me. The son was much simpler. He looked at me, put his open palm in the air and just said, "High five me!" I did.

Sometimes the simplest affirmation can mean more than anything else...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Einstein Workout and a Zen Zone Out...

I ran in two parts again. The first part was a 5K run for time. I completed it in 28:28:35. My lap times were:
L 1 – 8:49
L 2 – 9:18
L 3 – 9:26
L 4 – 0:53

My second run was for exercise. I ran a total of 6.5 miles. My times were:
L 5 – 12:10
L 6 – 12:11
L 7 – 11:40
L 8 – 4:45
For a total of 1:09:06 Total

The Einstein Workout
I wanted to run a 5K trial again this morning. I think that I did pretty well. I do have to keep in mind that I need to set a more accurate pace than I am. Lap # 1 was fast. I need to monitor my pace a little better. Overall, I am pleased, though.

I will not run tomorrow. I have been advised that tomorrow is a day of rest for my physical and mental self. I just hope it is not more time to contemplate the upcoming race.

The Zen Zone Out
I wanted to run my usual Thursday 6 ½ miles. The second half today was for my Zen Zone. I wanted to set a comfortable pace and just run. Most days that I run, I design my blog for that day while I run. This is the comfort and health period that I cherish so.

Nothing remarkable to note today. Just this – 2 days to go to my first 5K race.

As the kids might say on the family car vacation, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”

I can’t wait!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

3 Days To Go...

Today, I ran on the treadmill. I have 1900 miles on my treadmill as of today. I bought it last year. I ran 5.5 miles. It took 55:05 minutes. Calories? 894.1

3 Days To Go...
I ran a 5K as part of my run this morning. I ran that in 28:22.

Last night, I was at the website for the 5K. Read it, read it, then read it again. I am so ready and waiting is driving me crazy (running me crazy?).

I want to run this race!

I would like to thank all of you for your words of encouragement! I really do appreciate it. I know that I will be looking around for all of you. Even though you won't be there physically, I will feel your presence in your thoughts. Thanks!

Now, where is that mp3 song by Carly Simon (I think)? You know. The one used in the catsup commercial? Oh yeah... #Anticipation#

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

4 Days To Go

Yesterday, I ran 6 miles on the Dreadmill. Today, I committed a random run. Just a general destination idea but no real means of getting there. Lots of hills. There is a leash free park about 2 miles from my house. I ran to it then around it and took a circuitous route back home.

My 1 mile lap times were:
L 1 - 9:03
L 2 - 10:35
L 3 - 10:39
L 4 - 10:40
L 5 - 11:31
L 6 - 11:03
L 7 - 7:41
Overall time was 01:11:14

4 Days To Go
What can I say to go with that? One of my co-workers is also planning on running the 5K on Saturday. He is pretty competitive, where I am generally not. He is as pumped as I am.

I am not a social creature. I am not a party hardy kind of guy. I like the quiet life. People have suggested to me that I run the Bolder Boulder. Not yet! The thought of sharing Boulder with 30,000 people does not seem like fun to me.

That's why the 5K race on Saturday is important to me. See if I'll like the heavy people situation. We'll see!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Ran The Race Course Yesterday

I ran 6.56 miles yesterday. I did this one in two parts. First, I ran the course of the race. I ran approximately 3.22 miles. It took 31:18. Tom and I took Molly with us and she had another agenda (Oh that Molly!). After I returned home, I ran the rest for exercise on my 3 mile course outside my house. My 1 mile lap times were:
Lap 1 - 10:01
Lap 2 - 10:05
Lap 3 - 11:11 (includes end of course run)

Lap 4 - 9:46
Lap 5 - 10:13
Lap 6 - 10:12
Lap 7 - 10:44

Ran The Race Course Yesterday
The course for the race is interesting. It is on sidewalk and the recreation path that runs along the Highline Canal in Littleton southwest of Denver. As Tom and I ran, he complimented me on my ability to talk and breathe as we ran, especially as we neared the end. I found the end interesting, as it becomes a downhill run to the finish.

I will have to run inside today as I woke up to rain. The sun is shining now, but the ground is soaked. Hello treadmill!

Should be interesting on Saturday, May 12th. I am looking forward to it. 5 days to go!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

One Week To Go!

Today I ran 4.5 miles. I took me 45:48. I burned 733.2 calories. I did it in two parts. The first part was a training run for next week's 5K race. I ran that 3.1 miles in 29:57.

One Week To Go!
I have a friend to run with next week. I have a friend that is going to come and take pictures.

We're going to go and look at the course this weekend. I have a map and we will probably walk it.

Anticipation is a wonderful, and a dreadful, thing! I am looking forward to this race. I talked of a chrysalis opening in yesterday's blog. I used it as a simile to explain what a difference a positive lifestyle change can make in a person's life.

The chrysalis is a sheltered state or stage of being or growth. Specifically it refers to a pupae of a butterfly or a moth when they transform from a worm like state to become a beautiful winged adult. I beleive that it also applies to any of us that can make a positive change in their lives.

I had read that you are not a runner until you participate in an organized race. I am seeing that now, even though I did not see it that way before.

In that manner, I view the upcoming race, and my participation, as a new chrysalis that is about to open.

This butterfly wants to get out and fly! 8 days and counting...

Friday, May 04, 2007

After 6 months (The Chrysalis Opens)

I ran on the treadmill today. I ran 5.5 miles. It took 62:06 minutes. I burned 904 calories.

After 6 Months
Somehow, I dreaded going back to the Doctor. I don't know if it is the "White Coat" syndrome or just the perceived bother that my mind created. Maybe it was just time to face what I have (or have not) accomplished. It was April 2006, six months since the chrysalis was formed.

I had been diligent. I stuck to the diet. I learned a lot about foods and the proper way to eat. I counted calories both in and out. At my weekly weigh-ins, I was losing 2 1/2 pounds per week.

I was buying a whole new wardrobe. I had to. Belts would not pull tight enough. I could walk out of my old clothes. Everything was down sized. I went from a 2XL shirt to a large. I went from size 42 pants to a 34.

I took my medicines. I took vitamins and the Omega Fatty 3 pills every say without fail. I took the heart regimen aspirin.

I learned about exercise. I learned to love running. I ran in many places. The treadmill, trails, alongside Jeeps on a Jeep trail ride, streets, and in Moab, Utah.

I tracked everything on paper. Heart rate, food consumed, specific parameters of the assigned diet, exercise engaged; all on a daily basis.

This was a day of reckoning. I dreaded it.

I went to the Doctor office. As I weighed in, I learned that I had lost 57 pounds. I went through a cursory examination. They took blood for tests. I was praised and set an appointment for the next week with the Physician's Assistant. I would get the real results then.

The Chrysalis Opens
The results were extremely good. My heart rate was lower on a consistent basis. I was no longer pre-diabetic. My cholesterol and blood fat counts were way down! My cholesterol count was down from 275 to 115.

We reviewed the diet as I was working it. Another appointment was set for October of 2006. I was given some different parameters, but now was the time to settle down and maintain my weight and exercise.

If anyone ever tells you that running cannot make a difference. Look 'em square in the eye and agree with them. The real change comes from within yourself. You have to do what YOU need to do to survive. That is where running makes a difference. When that change is motivated from within you. For me, running did make a difference. Look at the avatar that is my personal picture. It did make a difference.

You are the one empowered to change your life. Now, go do it!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Feet, Corns and New Shoes!

Ok, I ran a first 5K trial this morning. I ran 6.5 miles, but I ran it in 2 shifts. I ran the 5K trial in 29:31:27. These are lap times -
Lap 1 - 1 mile - 9:10
Lap 2 - 1 mile - 9:50
Lap 3 - 1 mile - 9:31
Lap 4 - .11 mile - 1:00
Then I ran the rest of a 10K. The final lap times were -
Lap 5 - 1 mile - 11:05
Lap 6 - 1 mile - 10:29
Lap 7 - 1 mile - 10:59
Lap 8 - .41 mile - 4:26
Total for today's run is 1:06:29 - Phew!

Feet, Corns and New Shoes
I had a corn on my left foot. It was at the side of the large toe. A corn or callus are areas of thickened skin that occur in areas of pressure. Corns appear as a horny thickening of the skin on the toes. This thickening appears as a cone shaped mass pointing down into the skin. Hard corns are usually located on the outer surface of the little toe or on the upper surface of the other toes, but can occur between the toes. It was definitely a hard corn that I developed.

It was not extremely painful but I did know that it was there. It developed slowly. It was most comfortable in my trail shoes and office shoes and much less comfortable in any other shoe. I never did need to treat it using a corn plaster (or whatever they are called).

What I found amazing was that it changed when I put socks on to wear the new trail shoes around the house. As I put the sock on my left foot, the hard center fell off into the sock. Releif was immediate and satisfying. I wore the new shoes and it was great!

Since then I have continued the soaking and using a pumice stone on it. It is now all but gone.

New shoes and no corn? How do things like that happen? Interesting. Good omen?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

5K Race Preparation...

Today, I ran 5.55 miles. It took me 59:59. My average lap was 10:31.

My lap times were -
Lap 1 - 8:59
Lap 2 - 10:17
Lap 3 - 10:51
Lap 4 - 10:39
Lap 5 - 11:13

Thanks to MrJWhit (http://run-mrjwhit.blogspot.com/) for your guidance with the Forerunner. A little play time was all that I needed to get better. That is what I like about the online running community. When I ask a question or for help, I am taught to fish, not given a fish. Thanks for that.

5K Race Preparation
I have signed up for the 26th Annual Highline Canal 5K Run. It will happen on May 12th @ 9:00 AM in the morning. I am (obviously) into personal exercise and recreation so I thought that this run would be a good one for me. I am also familiar with the Highline Canal and the South Suburban Parks and Recreation District (this 5K Run benefits their youth programs). So, this is the run that I thought would be a good first race.

I would like to finish it in 30 minutes. I don't think that it will be a problem. I do beleive that I will be setting a personal record (hehehe).

I have read some articles about the first race and what to do. Get there early and observe. I plan on doing that. I am so looking forward to this race.

I would appreciate it if you have any tips for attending a race. Especially those regarding attending the first race ever and how to experience it to the max.

Plans and acknowledgements!
1. Thanks to Adam Tinkoff and his referral to my humble blog. Please go to his new website at www.thezenrunner.com, The Burning Twenty site served the initial purpose and now he is moving onward and upward. I appreciate the reference, but my blog is just an amateur runner stating his thoughts!
2. Feet, corns and running shoes
3. The initial medical test results after 6 months of running

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Outside Running has its Ups & Downs!

Today I ran outside for 6.5 miles. It took me 1 hour 13 minutes 56 seconds. This is the map of my run for today -

These are my laps -
Lap 1 - 9:09
Lap 2 - 20:58
Lap 3 - 32:50
Lap 4 - 44:21
Lap 5 - 56:00
Lap 6 - 1:07:42
Lap 7 - 1:13:58

Someday, I will learn how to read the forerunner better.

Outside Running has its Ups & Downs

Running outside has me developing some new (and different) muscle groups. I find it very interesting, but I can get into a 'Zen' type of run. I am running and enjoying it, but my times are not wonderful. I have to concentrate to improve the time.

The area around my house has a lot of fairly steep inclines. Somtimes I hear my Father whispering to me that not only did he have to walk to school, but it was uphill in both directions. I feel like that now...

The other very important thing is to ensure that there is a restroom somewhere along your route. That can be a hard lesson to learn.

I am looking at a 5K this month. It will be my first and I will get you more information on it later.