March, 2011 Monthly Archive

The 5k Coaster Fun Run was a blast!

Distance: 5.00km Time: 0:33 Pace: 6’40 kCal: 571 Heart: 149/166 RPE: 6+ Type: 5k Race

Wow. What a lot of fun last Sunday was!
My first running race in years and I was actually able to get some sleep the night before. So when the alarm went off at 5:45am, I was already up and ready to go. The fact that I’ve been doing my walks and runs in the mornings for the last month helps with that too.

For my wife, well…
She likes her sleep on the weekends.
But today was different. I secretly enrolled her into the 5k as well. Since she’s years younger than me (and in much better shape, I might add) I knew that she’d love to join me on my first 5k race towards a marathon.

And… whew… I was right!


Read the rest of this entry »

Week 6 PT – A new notch in my belt

Another week under my belt. And I might add that I’m using a new notch in my belt too; one that I hadn’t used for quite some time! I must admit though, that this last week was a bit of a challenge for me. Because I was out of town on business, it was a little difficult for me to get my runs in.

A new town, hotter, more humid, a 3 hour time change to boot, and the jet lag!
I’m glad there was a gym where I was staying so I could use the treadmill. That helped a lot. As for the motivation to keep up my routine, it’s still touch and go – I need to keeping working on this. But on a positive note, it still feels great after I get my run in. Just thinking of that feeling when I wake up is enough to get me out of bed early and go do it!

Treadmill Running and the Hilton Orlando

Distance: 6.06km Time: 0:46 Pace: 7’36 kCal: 528 Heart: 143/155 RPE: 5 Type: 1×30+8min (5k)
After days of insane schedules, meetings and seminars, it was finally time to sit back, take a breather, and de-stress. And what better way to do it, than by using the fitness center of the hotel to take a run and do some light cross training with weights.

When coming to the CTIA Wireless show in Orlando, Florida, I envisioned myself getting up early every morning, going down to the gym, and methodically doing my runs. Afterwards, I would hit the shower, have a light breakfast (with lots of fruit), and be ready in plenty of time for the 9:30 am opening Keynote speakers. Besides, when you plan what hotel your staying based on the type of equipment they have in the fitness center, you know you’re an exercise freak and will be using all the equipment everyday during your stay, right?!?… WRONG!

Read the rest of this entry »

My First 5K

Distance: 9.15km Time: 1:10 Pace: 7’39 kCal: 692 Heart: 130/155 RPE: 5 Type: 1×30+10min

Okay, I know that it’s only supposed to be a 30 minute run, but I really wanted to see if I could go the distance. I started out like every other run, but then after my 25 minute mark, I started day-dreaming and before I knew it, I already passed my 30 minutes. I know I’m a slow poke, so I didn’t get to 5k yet. Besides, I was running around the local reservoir and know that 1 lap is just over 2.5k. Since I started my pre-training I’ve been very good at not looking at my distance – only running based on time. But in this case, I knew I was short for 5k.

So, me being…. ME! I decided to see if I could go the distance and complete two laps. That would put me over 5k. My first 5k running all the way. Yoo-hoo! Then I’d know that I’m ready for the 5k coming up next week!

So less than 40 minutes later I completed 2 laps and decided to walk four more kilometers as part of my recovery. Did I ever find out what my time was for doing the 5k part? No. Does it matter? Hmm… not really… at least not yet. Instead, I was just happy that I got to go around 2 times. What a great way to start my last week of pre-training!

A Nike Challenge to Help Japan Quake & Tsunami Victims

While on our vacation in Turks and Caicos we heard about the Mag 9 earthquake and Tsunami around Sendai. Since my wife’s family is from Sendai, the latter part of our vacation was extremely stressful… just not knowing if her family and friends were okay. Thankfully everyone she knows is safe, but some families were not as lucky and the devastation is immense.

Being far away and NOT being there to help directly is frustrating.
But many people and nations from the across the world have been helping out and for this I am very grateful. I’m happy that the human race – although far from perfect (like my running) does help those in need!

So, for my small part, I’ve set up a Nike Plus Challenge were runners are donating both miles and money to help support the relief efforts for those affected in the Pacific. For each mile (kilometer) that the challengers run a number of companies a individuals will also donate funds to various support foundations in Japan and the American Red Cross.

If you are a Nike Plus member I urge you to join the challenge.
If not and you have a few extra dollars to help a worthy cause for those in need please contribute. I know many of you have already helped out and from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much!

Week 5 PT – I did more than a week’s worth

Week 5 of pre-training is over and it actually went pretty good. It ended up being a little longer than one week though, since I went on vacation and had too much fun doing other things besides running. So as to not feel too guilty I still did my 4 runs for the week, only that the week ended up being 10 days (or was it really 12 days, or maybe 13?). Well, that’s okay. I still have a long way to go for this marathon and I plan on getting through it injury and stress free.

Now it’s time to add another 5 minutes to my runs in week 6 of my pre-training. After my vacation and Saint Patrick’s day, I’m looking forward to getting into it.

Beach Running on Grace Bay

Distance: 7.87km Time: 1:06 Pace: 8’29 kCal: 654 Heart: 123/145 RPE: 5 Type: 1x25min
The along waited vacation is here. After an overnight stopover in Atlanta, a short hop south to Turks and Caicos and a short taxi ride, we (my wife and I) finally arrived to the famous Grace Bay Beach. The water is Caribbean green and the sand is soft; a welcome sight after travelling from the not-so-sunny Southern California.

We were shown the hotel’s amenities and introduced to the exercise room. It was air conditioned and had some decent weights, ellipticals, and a few modern treadmills with HBO. But my mind was on one thing… an early morning beach run as the sun is coming up. So after a little more orientation, it was off to sleep to start my first day in paradise.

It’s 5:00 am.
I wake up and hear the surf as I get ready for my run.

Ring – Ring 5:00 am. I wake up and hear the surf. I jump out of bed with nay a sleepy eye because I’m so excited about getting on to the beach. It’s the crack of dawn and you can see the red glow off on the waters horizon.

It’s going to be a great day, so I put on my running shoes and already see a few runners out and about (oh – a word of caution, do not run for a long time barefoot in the water unless you want lots of blisters).

So off I went. I light jog, but it really felt difficult. The sand was a little too soft and the beach’s shoreline was steep. It was quite a challenge to keep my feet landing properly and then to pick them up again! Wow, how do all those people make it look so easy! But I struggled on, determined to do this and get the bragging rights once I returned back state-side.

Three miles later I was done, and you know what, it took a little getting used to, but I figured it out and the last part of my run was very enjoyable. I then took a few minutes to enjoy the waves and to watch the sunrise. From there I turned around and walked back to the hotel with a sense of great accomplishment. Upon entering the room, my wife was just getting up.

Coffee was on and we were ready to plan our first day in paradise!

Here’s what I learned about running on the beach…

  • Find a flat shoreline – the flatter the better
  • Run when the tide’s going out – it’s better to run on sand that was just covered with water
  • Run with your running shoes on
  • Don’t wear your earphones, just enjoy the sound of the waves
  • Don’t forget the sun block – even if the sun is just coming up!
  • Wear running shorts that you can get instantly wet so you can kick off your shoes at the end of the run. Why you ask? Because the water is sooooo inviting!

Coaster Run 2011 – Let’s help these kids

On March 27 I’ll be running a 5k event that goes through Knots Berry Farm in Southern California.

It’s called the Coaster Run and at the same time I’ve set up a fundraising page where people can go and donate a dollar here and there. The proceeds will go to the Speech and Language Development Center which is a non-profit school and therapy center that helps challenged children live a more healthier and happy lifestyle.

The children have a variety of inhibiting conditions such as Autism and Down’s Syndrome or have severe trouble speaking, seeing, and hearing.

So while I’m one track to run my marathon, it’s even more fullfilling to know that when you do run, you can run for a worthy cause.

By the time March 27th comes around, I’ll be finished with my pre-training and a 5k run should fit in nicely with my schedule as well. With this charity event coming up, I’m even more motivated that before!


Post Run Heavenly Bliss & Strawberry Season

Distance: 6.01km Time: 0:46 Pace: 7’40 kCal: 604 Heart: 132/151 RPE: 5 Type: 1x25min
Today I went out for my first day of week 5 pre-training. I knew it was going to be an easy run because I only need to expand my time by 5 minutes, not do a second set, and I had my haircut to knock off a few pounds! Okay, may be not that much in weight reduction, but less hair means it’s easier for me to sweat into my hat and to stay cooler longer. So the immediate result was – it felt great to run today.

And boy, did the run go fast! By the time I do my warm up, run, and cool down, the total time is only 45 minutes. I wanted to go longer, but… Blaine, stick to the plan. Normally I wouldn’t be so diligent and sneak in a few extra miles walking and cooling down. But there was another reason to get back after the run; bright red, plumb, yummy strawberries! It’s strawberry season and yesterday I stopped at Grower’s Direct and got some of the best I’ve ever seen. I really tried to wait until today to have any, but the temptation was too great and I snitch a few before going to bed.

So at the end of today’s training, I did a little bit a stretching and headed straight back home for my prize:


  • One orange
  • Half a grapefruit
  • Six strawberries and
  • 5 ounces of blueberries
  • Mixed together and squeezed together into heavenly bliss!

I can’t wait for tomorrow’s run where I can indulge in another shot of bliss!

Week 4 PT – The Hardest Week was the Best!

Week 4 of pre-training is over and it actually went pretty good. I thought it would be a little tough since there were 2 sets of 20 min runs, but it actually worked out good. I must confess, that it ended up being an eight-day week due to weather and my knee causing some problems. But I’m looking to run healthy and don’t mind extending the week as long as I keep enjoying it and going out on a regular bases.

Running down by the beach does help a lot and then my wife decided to join me as well. The second day out she joined me again, but decided to run a little faster at her own pace. How much faster? Well… being half my weight and in much much better shape than me, she blew right past me!

Yeah – definitely. Last week was a success.
I think the most exciting thing about this last week was that my average heart rate went from 154 to around 148. That totally blew me away. Mind you, my RPE didn’t seem to improve.

Hmmm, that’s something I’ll have to look at in more detail. The other good news is that I definitely saw a drop in weight and waist size. I know I can loose weight much more drastically, but again, I’m not looking to lose weight or even to lose inches around my waistline. I know those things will come when my body is ready to say “Hey, time for the next shift”. I’m looking to increase my mileage and get ready for training without injury.

So after going through last weeks pre-training, the answer is Yeah – definitely. Last week was a success.