What can I say? I love to run. I've run 4 full marathons and 6 halfs. But I love God more and I'm determined to run this race of life for Him to receive the ultimate prize of Heaven. I'd like to share my thoughts with you. You can agree or disagree. Comment or don't. You can read or not read. But it's here if you want it. Enjoy! .

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I Just Swam a 5K - More or Less

12:13 PM

I finished a 5K this morning. I hadn't done one since January of 2008 so I was pretty due to do another. As I posted previously, I got an email about the "Cedar Hall School Trail Run 5K" about a month or so ago and decided to give it a try. It rained all day yesterday and was raining slightly this morning so I knew it was going to be a mess. I told Susan and the boys they didn't have to go with the rain, but they were persistent and I was glad. We all packed into the van at 7:45AM and headed to Christiana, TN.

This race was out in the boonies. It was actually beyond the boonies. We passed the boonies on the way there. We drove to Murfreesboro but then went another 10-15 miles on back roads. The flyer had said there was a 200 person limit but we all knew there wouldn't be that many people there. With the weather and being in boonie-ville, we knew it would be less. There was probably around 70 that ran. We got there around 8:30 and there were only a handful of people there. It was on a farm with a ton of land. They had a fire going and a tent to register. I registered and got my t-shirt. Pretty nice. Long sleeve. White. That's half the reason to do these races anyways, right? I could tell it was going to be a muddy course, just by how the field was where we registered, but I had no idea what was to come.

They started us at 9:00 and told us there would be some mud and water. That was the biggest understatement I've ever heard. When we started, "Mr. No Shirt" got out in front. He was the only one without a shirt. It was too cold for that, even if you're a great runner. Hey, I was cold with my shorts and t-shirt. Most had on pants and long-sleeves. I decided to get out quick and not get caught in the crowd so I got right behind no-shirt. I figured someone would eventually pass me, but nobody ever did.

The course was awful. Now don't get me wrong - on a dry day, it would be a great course, but today, not so much. The first half mile was probably the toughest part. See, I was trying to avoid the mud and puddles. Note to self - just run through them. It's so much easier. The ground was very soft and extremely lumpy all over even on the course. I know the guy behind me (which was actually a boy - who stayed in 3rd the whole time) thought I looked drunk. I was stumbling all over the place. How I didn't twist and ankle I'll never know. This was by far the most "cross country" course I've ever run even all through high school. It went through woods, on trails, over rocks, through streams, rivers, puddles, lakes, whatever. It was extremely twisty and bumpy and unbelievably wet and muddy. There were many many times I ran through water that was shin deep and I'm not exaggerating. But like I said, it was much easier to just run through it than try to avoid it. I stared at my feet through 90% of it. You had to.

It was pretty well marked, I will say. I only questioned myself once if I was on the course of not. I tried to keep no-shirt in my sight and did for most of it. My ipod was acting up. I think it got wet. It was too loud or too soft or was repeating the same song. I should've just gone without but I usually run better with it. I listened to it for most of the time but eventually turned it off when I knew I didn't have much left. The miles weren't marked except for the first one so I had no idea how much I had left. I didn't like that. I knew around mile 2 that I was going to get second. I was shocked. Granted there were only 70 people or so running but I would've never put myself in 2nd. I came out of the woods and saw the finish line. That's a beautiful sight. I saw my wife and boys cheering. Even more beautiful. I high-fived the boys before I crossed the line in 20:28. Wow. Not to toot my own horn but that was so much better than I was hoping for. I was hoping to beat 22 minutes. And with the conditions, I was especially surprised. I'll take it. New PR for me. 2nd overall and 2nd in my age bracket. By the way my age bracket was 19-35. What's up with that? That's huge. The guy that won was 20. I'm 34. I guess once everyone registered, that's what they had to do to make the brackets fairly even b/c I think there were only 5-6 in my age bracket.

Oh well. I got a medal. I had a great time. I got 2nd overall. I got very dirty, wet, and tired. But it was a blast. I loved it. I need to do more of these. How often do you get to run through water, not care about how dirty and wet you are getting, and get rewarded for it. It was worth every penny of my $20 registration.

Carter and Max asked if they could run it next year. Why not?

20 miles tomorrow morning. Thank you daylight savings!!!

Keep runnin',
Albert

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Decent Time, Full Stomach

10:44PM

Quick update.

I ran a practice 5K tonight just to see what I could do if I pushed myself. I ran it in 21:26 which is a decent time compared to my only 5K race over there in my records. Makes me optimistic that I can PR this Saturday. And I didn't feel great while I ran. I ate terrible today - Chick 'Fil A for lunch and too much for dinner so my stomach felt full while I ran. So I could probably do a little better if I had felt a little better. On the other hand, Saturday is a "trail run" and I ran on fairly flat streets so it might even out. Still hoping for a PR. I'll let you know.

Keep runnin',
Albert

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Foot, Five-K, and Five Weeks

10:22AM

My foot pain is all but gone. I am very happy. I was really afraid it would be this long, drawn out road to recovery but I think and pray that I've seen the worst. It hurt a little yesterday morning but yesterday afternoon, evening, and right now, it doesn't hurt at all. I even ran 5 miles last night. It hurt a little when I woke up this morning but that's always the case. Have to get the morning stretch in and wake my legs up before I can tell if there is lingering pain.

My first 5-K in almost 2 years is this Saturday morning. The Cedar Hall School Trail Run. I still have no idea what to expect. I sent my money in and have heard nothing back. I finally called just to make sure I was good to go. They did tell me there would be other adults there so that will be good. I'm a little worried it's called a "Trail Run". I was hoping to get a good time and possibly set a PR since I only have one 5K in my past where I know my time. But I'm not sure if these "trails" will hinder that. Guess we'll see. I think I'll simulate a 5K in one of my runs this week to see what I can do as a practice.

It is now only about 5 weeks to my next marathon (12/5). Yikes. Hard to believe. It has come up quick!! During the month of November, I plan to write more about it - what I know about it, who's running with me, our hotel (scary), etc. etc. so be watching for more info. I'm excited though. My training is on schedule and going well. Planning to run 20 miles this coming Sunday morning. I know it's Halloween night Saturday night but we gain an hour so that will help immensely.

Finally, I have decided to add a feature above - the Disney "Tip of the Week". We enjoyed our trip so much and plan on going back each year if we're able. People ask us all the time about tips and how we manage to ride everything with virtually no lines. So I thought I'd add a new tip each week and keep a log of them. We made a video of our trip this year and the link is below. You might have already seen it but if not, check it out. Slightly embarassing but well worth it. We had a blast. Can't wait for our next trip.

CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR DISNEY YOUTUBE VIDEO

I'll try to write again Saturday after the race and give a race report.

Until then.

Keep runnin',
Albert

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Oh Deer!

6:39AM

I did it. I just finished 18 miles on a beautiful, cold, Sunday morning. But the cold was perfect for running. I love running in cold weather. Best news - my foot didn't really bother me. I only noticed pain a couple of times and mainly the last 1 1/2 miles. I noticed it a couple of other times throughout the run but only when I thought about it. I'm sure it will hurt later today but I'll ice it and I think it will be fine. God answered prayers and gave me a great run. It took me about 2 hours and 38 min. which is a little over 8:30 per mile so I'm happy with that. It feels good to be able to do a long run after 2 weeks off.

Quick story from this morning. I always am a little wary of running in the dark. I love it b/c there is nobody on the streets. I maybe pass 4 cars when I run early on Sunday mornings and it's so nice to have the road to myself. But being so dark and being that there are some crazies out there, I always gets a little paranoid if a car drives really slow passed me or especially if there is a stopped car. So on about mile 12 or 13 this morning I got that paranoid feeling when I could see headlights up ahead and flashers on. And of course this was a section with NO street lights so it was pitch dark except for the car. As I approached, I looked around to see if I could figure out why this car was stopped but didn't notice anything.

I then began to think about my standard defense methods. Oh believe me, I've thought many times what I would do if someone or something did attack me. I think everyone had to consider options like that. I mean I've seen coyotes, foxes, deer, snakes, etc. and isn't it possible that one of these creatures (like a rabies infested rabbit) could go psycho on me and attack? I'm not joking - it wasn't 2 weeks ago that a squirrel jumped out of the woods and ran through my legs while I was running. No lie - I jumped 6 feet in the air. It scared the living willies out of me. And what are the odds that some crazy person would attack a runner? I mean what's the point? What would they gain? A free ipod I guess but I figure people have better things to do at 5:00AM. But on the other hand, like I said, I know there are some crazies out there and so I have to be ready. So, here are my standard defenses mentioned above. If someone (or something) attacks I can:
1. Throw my water bottle at them. It's small but full of water, it could pack a real punch.
2. Take off my shoe and beat them with it. Maybe not quite the punch the water bottle would pack.
3. Wrap my headphones cord around their neck and pull. Might be hard to maneuver this, but I could try.
4. Quickly put the headphones in their ears and play some annoying music, except all my music rocks.
5. Any other suggestions?

Ok, back to the story. As I got close to the car, I pushed pause on my ipod. If someone is about to attack me, I want to hear them coming so I can quickly ask, "Why Me?". I didn't hear anything or anybody. I passed the car slowly and decided to look. I'm not sure if you're supposed to look. Sometimes people can get offended by just you looking at them so it was a gamble but I had to take it. There was nobody inside the car!!! What in the world? Why is there an empty car with it's lights and flashers on? Now I was really confused. That's when I saw it.

I had taken only 3 steps past the car when I looked ahead of me and saw the shadow of a figure in the road. My heartbeat doubled. Remember - no street lights. All I could see was a black figure. In the middle of the road!!! Middle. Not side. I was running in the middle b/c of the car on the side. I was in line with the figure. Water bottle ready. Headphone cord is the backup.

I approached the figure slowly. Do I say something? Do I immediately go into attack mode? Do I turn around and run the other direction screaming? I decided to face my fear and just approach him, her, it. As I got right to it, she spoke. It was a female and apparently from another country because she had an accent. She said, "I've just hit a deer and I'm picking up the pieces of my car." Wow. I wasn't expecting that. I had never planned that scenario in my defense planning. So my first question was probably a stupid one. I said, "Where's the deer?" Nevermind this poor woman who is trying to find her side mirror. What about the deer? I guess my first thought was that I didn't want to trip over a half-dead deer in the road. She told me it was in a ditch. I never saw it. Maybe it didn't die. Who knows? I then came to my senses and asked "Are you okay?". She said she was fine. I then kept running. I felt bad at first. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to stop but what help could I possibly be. I guess I could've looked around for car parts but to be honest, her car looked fine. I certainly didn't notice anything as I approached it. I thought about turning around but I didn't want to scare her. It was then that a police car passed me and turned on it's lights. Apparently she had called. So I definitely kept running. Hope she was fine. And the deer? Well, hope it was fine but who knows?

So that's my "quick" story. Sorry it wasn't quick. Always an adventure which is another reason I love running. You never know who or what you'll "run into".

Keep runnin,
Albert

Saturday, October 24, 2009

What's Up With My Foot?

10:35AM

Pain. I've got pain in my foot. My left foot is still hurting. It began in Disney as I mentioned in the previous post. It got better the last couple of days, probably b/c we didn't walk as much. I thought it was gone but it's back and hurting worse than it ever did on the trip. I ran 5 miles Thursday night and it started to hurt as I was finishing up the run. Then yesterday, Friday, it hurt badly all day long. I decided not to run on it yesterday and ice it down last night. I think that helped. I iced it again this morning and will continue to do so all day today. This is scary for several reasons:

1. I've never had an injury like this where I couldn't run. I've had minor knee pain but it usually goes away when I start to run.
2. I haven't run this week much at all. Because of Disney at the beginning of the week and now this, my week total is pitiful.
3. I'm supposed to run 18 miles tomorrow and I really don't want to skip it. I didn't do a long run last weekend b/c of Disney so I hate to take off 2 long runs in a row.
4. I have a 5K next weekend. My first one in a long time and I really want to run it.
5. I have a marathon in a little over a month and I have to keep my training going for it.

I'm sure there are other reasons this is scary but I don't want to be too scary. I think what I'll do is ice it a lot today and not run today. I'll try my 18 tomorrow and see how it goes. I'm sure if I make the 18 I'll be in a lot of pain Monday. I can continue to ice it all week and be ready for the 5K. I'm just hoping and praying it gets better quickly and it's nothing serious. I also hope it doesn't need a doctor visit b/c I really don't have the time. This next week is going to be very busy. It's the Region meet on Thursday for the HS which I've been helping with. And the MS awards dinner is Monday night. No time for doctor visits.

I'll keep you posted on how I'm feeling. This is annoying and frustrating. I don't like not running. It feels weird.

Oh well even though I can't right now....
Keep runnin',
Albert

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The GIANT Disney Post

9:39AM

Well here goes. Probably more than you'll ever want to know so read what you want and stop when you get tired of it.

We just got back from Disney World last night so here's a trip report. I'll try to include most of everything and even put some pictures at the bottom. If you're a Facebook friend, you can see all of my pictures on my page.

We left last Wednesday. I left school at 11AM and we had a friend take us to the airport. We have never left that early but we loved getting to Orlando by 3:00. We were at our hotel by 4PM and checked in with no problems. We have stayed at the All Star Sports the last 3 years and love it. It's cheap and if you have to stay at one of the cheap ones, stay there for this simple reason - the busses come there first. An empty bus always picked us up. Once we unloaded in our room, we went to dinner at the hotel. It's basically a food court but has a lot of choices. We used one of our counter services on our dining plan but I did buy the refillable mug. I didn't use it as much this year as I have in the past but I love having it for the hot chocolate alone. We needed hot chocolate this year. Keep reading.

After dinner, we decided to go swimming - well the boys and I did. Susan took pictures and relaxed in the room. She also got stuff ready so we could be up and early the next morning. And I mean bright and early!!

Thursday was Magic Kingdom day. We always start there. You almost have to. It was extra magic hour morning so the park was opening at 8AM. Since the busses start coming at least an hour before opening time (it's actually closer to 2 hours we later found out), we got outside to the bus zone around 6:40. We missed the first bus (we got out there earlier the rest of the time) but got on the 2nd. We were still first at the turnstiles when we got to the MK. We ate our breakfast and chatted with the cast members there. They let us come through at 7:45 and the park officially opened at 8. We ran like crazy to Dumbo - our tradition. We were the first ones on. We had Fantasyland (Dumbo, Pooh, Snow White, Peter Pan, Small World) done by 8:40. We then ran and did Splash Mountain and got fastpasses for Thunder Mountain. We noticed that Haunted Mansion was closed and it didn't open back up until around 3PM. We got rides done very quickly. The park was not crowded at all. The longest we waited in line was 10 minutes until Haunted Mansion opened back up and everyone ran there. But that was probably only 20 minutes. Lunch was in Future World and dinner was at Crystal Palace. We skipped that last year so it was good to be back. Great buffet. Max slept through dinner. Doesn't remember a thing. We had to leave the park at 7 b/c we weren't doing the Halloween Party but we were ready to go. We were tired and had ridden everything there is and several things twice.

Animal Kingdom was the next day. It was opening at 9 so we got to the bus stop at 7:30. A bus came pretty quickly and we were definitley the first ones there. We once again chatted with the cast member and waited patiently. The boys always do great getting there early. We ran to Kilamanjaro Safari at the rope drop and were the first ones on. I then ran to Everest to get fast passes. We then went to our breakfast reservation at Tusker House. The buffet there is amazing. They have every breakfast food you could possibly imagine. After breakfast, we went to Everest. Max decided he was going to try it. He hated the backwards part. Some tears were shed and he was done with that one, but I was proud that he did it. Carter and I would do it again later. We've decided that Animal Kingdom is definitely our least favorite. There just isn't a whole lot to do there for kids. It does have my favorite ride - Dinosaur which I did twice by myself b/c nobody else in my family likes it. But we were pretty much done with most everything by lunch and just did stuff again. It does have a couple of great shows. The boys were picked again to be in the Lion King show. I've decided I like that show better than the Nemo show there. We left the park around 6 to get on the bus to the Animal Kingdom Lodge. We had dinner reservations at Boma there. This is our new favorite restaurant. It was outstanding. Great, great food. We'll go back for sure. We had to take the bus back to Animal Kingdom to get a bus back to our hotel. It was NOT a Disney bus that picked us up but a random charter bus. We were a little hesitant to get on as was everyone but the driver did take us back to our hotel.

The next morning (Saturday) was Hollywood Studios. It was opening early at 8AM for hotel guests so we got out to the busses at 6:20 or so. The first bus driver thought we were wacko (and we didn't argue) for being out there so early but she took us anyway. She wanted to make sure we knew we'd be standing out there for 1 1/2 hours. We said we understood. She shrugged her shoulders and said "ok". It was still dark when we got there. Security wasn't even there yet. I love my family. I know we're crazy but it's so much fun. We ran straight for Toy Story Mania. We've learned that the best strategy here is to go ahead and get fastpasses and then get on. By the time I got fast passes, we were probably 50th in line or so but it was worth it. Fast passes for this were gone by 11:00 or so. We got to ride it 3 times. It is becoming my favorite. We all rode Tower of Terror. Once was enough for Max. Carter and I did it again that night. Lots of great shows at HS. Oh yeah, Susan had been picked to be in the Indiana Jones show the last 2 years so we decided this year it was my turn. Susan told me to wear red and stand up and wave my hands right when the lady says "I need a volunteer". We had gotten there early (of course) and so were in the 4th row or so. So I did it and I got picked. It was a lot of fun. Susan got picked later in the day to be in the short movie during the backlot tour. She got drenched and was visibly scared but it was fun to watch. I got in on video. We had a great dinner at 50's PrimeTime cafe. The dessert there (smores) is my favorite of all desserts at Disney. It started to get cold on this day. The morning had been pretty cold but the night was freezing. Susan and Max went back early but Carter and I toughed it out and rode ToT one more time. I was a little worried about the next day as I brought no warm clothes. NONE. I had shorts and t-shirts. That's all. I would regret it.

Sunday we were up early again. Had a family devo and got out to the busses by 7AM. Epcot was going to open at 9. We were first in line yet again and this time it paid off. We got to open the park which meant we got 2 fast passes for the four of us and some other souveniers. The boys liked getting to countdown to open the park. We ran to Test Track (Susan's favorite) and rode it immediately. We then went and got fast passes for Soarin' since they usually go quick. We rode the recently updated boat ride "Living with the Land" but couldn't tell too much difference. Padded seats now!! We ended up not really needing the fast passes we were given for opening the park. We got to ride everything several times. But we used them anyways and gave away some fast passes we had gotten. I enjoyed making a couple of families very happy. Dinner at LeCelier in Canada was amazing as usual. This is one of our favorites. Their cheese soup and pretzel bread is outstanding. Oh yeah - it was freezing that morning and that night. The boys and Susan bought sweatshirts which were selling like crazy by the way. I should have but hated to spend the money so I just toughed it out. Susan went back right before the fireworks but the boys and I stayed and watched. We had told Max he could spend his money at the end of the night so we headed into the gift shop after the fireworks. Susan had told me not to come back with anything too big. But when Max saw the giant model Epcot Ball, he had to have it. And I'm the sucker dad that gave in. Getting that thing home on the plane was not easy. It didn't fit in the overhead bins so the steward had to put it who knows where. But it made it home even though the box was pretty banged up (it got stuck in the security check at the airport).

Our flight Monday wasn't until 3:35 so we got to sleep in (finally!) and eat a nice breakfast at the hotel. We had 10 snacks left on our plan so we stocked up for the trip to the airport and the plane. We found out at the Orlando airport by email that Max had a makeup baseball game at 6PM. We got to our house at 5:30 and pretty much left immediately for his game. I stayed in my shorts and t-shirt and it was freezing last night. When will I learn??

By the way - I didn't run in Disney. I figured we walked several miles and much of it was at a running pace. I did hurt my foot pretty bad but I don't know how. It was very sore - especially the first couple of days. Weird huh? I can run 18 miles and have no pain but then I try to run/walk around Disney and it hurts severely. Oh well - it's going away and I'll start running again tonight.

Way too much - I know. Pictures below.

Keep runnin',
Albert







Monday, October 19, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Where's the Cold?

6:54 AM

So I got up at 3 this morning. Actually I woke up around 2:45 on my own. That ALWAYS happens to me. I'll set my alarm and I'll wake up a few minutes before it's supposed to go off. I figure I don't need to set an alarm, but the first time I don't, I know I'll oversleep. So I went ahead and got up, stretched really good and put on my long running pants and long-sleeve shirt since I knew it was going to be cold this morning. I got my water bottle, Gu, ipod, and house key and headed out the door. It was 2:55AM. It was then that I realized that it wasn't cold. What happened? The last 2 weeks it's been freezing every morning I come out. Well maybe not freezing, but certainly cold enough for a jacket and certainly cold enough to wear long pants and a long-sleeve shirt to run in, but NOOO, not this morning. I really didn't want to go back inside and change. I was too ready to run. So I just decided to run in what I had on. Mistake.

By mile 2 of 18, I was sweatin' a lot. My clothes felt heavy the whole time. I thought about shedding the shirt, but I thought it might look really weird to be running in long pants and no shirt. Then again, maybe I would've started a new running fashion trend. But I kept the shirt on. By mile 18, I was soaked, but the run overall went well. It took me just over 2 and 1/2 hours. My feet and legs are a little sore but that's to be expected I guess. I'm glad it's done. I'm going to HS Cross Country practice today. Not sure if I'll run with them or not. I brought my stuff just in case. Hope my legs can handle it. I might run in the morning before we leave for Disney around noonish, but I'm not sure.

I guess this will be the last post for a few days. We'll be in Disney until Monday. Tell you all about it when we get back.

Keep runnin',
Albert

Monday, October 12, 2009

Disney Surprise

8:45PM

Well, we told the boys tonight about Disney. They had no idea we are leaving for Disney World in less than 48 hours. They got a little scavenger hunt around the house to put the sentence together "We are going to Disney World in 2 days!!" There wasn't a whole lot of reaction, but I think it was because they were in slight disbelief. Check out the video attached.

I don't plan to run in Disney because we'll be in the parks from opening 'til closing, but I figure all that walking will keep me in shape. I also won't be able to do a long run at Disney. However, I am doing one in the morning.

I'll try 18 miles in the morning since I wasn't able to do it this past weekend. I'm getting up around 3AM so I can be back by 5:30 or so to get ready for school. So I basically need to go to bed about an hour ago. I'll let you know tomorrow how it went. I'll take next week off due to Disney and then do 18 again the next Sunday.

I'll post picture and an entire trip report when we get back. Sorry, not much here but I need to get to bed.

Keep runnin',
Albert
video

Friday, October 9, 2009

5K at Cedar Hall Where?

2:48PM

I'm running a 5K. Yahoo. That's it. I guess it's not as exciting as announcing say a marathon or even a half marathon but I actually am excited. I noticed on several other running blogs that other runners are doing 5K's and 10K's all the time. I also noticed that some of my other running buddies have a list of races a mile long. Mine ain't that long. Look to the right. You can see it. So I was seriously just thinking this week that I'd like to participate in some more races. Maybe a 5K before my big marathon in December. And then I got the email.

It was Monday I think. Maybe Tuesday. I have no idea how this guy got my email address but he sent me information about a 5K that is being run on Halloween morning. Maybe I got it because I am the coach of a middle school cross country team. Maybe I was supposed to forward it on to them. Ooops. I figured it was for me. I checked my schedule. I have nothing on Halloween morning. Nothing that day at all except trick-r-treating that night with the boys. Carter's a vampire. Max is the red Power Ranger. Just FYI - in case you were wondering. Back to my story.

Since I had nothing to do, I figured why not? It would give me something to look forward to and a chance to better my PR in the 5K since it's based on one race. I have only run two 5K's that I know of in my life and I can't find my time on one of them. So the one and only is my PR. And it's decent but I think I could do better. Maybe. So I thought this race would give me an opportunity to do that. So I was excited. Then I started having 2nd thoughts.

You see the 5K race on Halloween morning is at a school. Cedar Hall School in Christiana, TN. Where on Earth? I started thinking- 'wait a minute, if this is at a school, could it be kids only???' Now I'm worried. So I wrote the guy back who emailed me the info. I asked if it was going to be mostly kids who ran the race. I got no response. So either he doesn't check email, he doesn't care, or he's laughing because I will be the only adult runner in a sea of elementary kids. We'll see. The flyer does say 'kids and adults'. Or does it say "kids and adult?" Singular. Oh well, I've already sent in my $20 so I'll go and get my t-shirt and scope it out. If it's me and a bunch of mini-me's, I may start the race and run right to my car and drive home. I'll let you know.


Keep runnin',
Albert

Thursday, October 8, 2009

3:45 - and that's A.M.

Yep. That's what time I got up this morning. My schedule is crazy. I didn't get to run in Cross Country practice yesterday because we did a scavenger hunt. It would've been silly for me to run around looking for clues that I hid myself. So I got the ice cream prizes ready instead and chatted with the High School team a little. My plan was to do my Wednesday run last night after church. But that didn't happen. I was dead tired. I might even admit that my eyes were pretty heavy in our "Love Dare" class at church but that would be wrong. So I decided when I got home from church that I was going straight to bed. And I did. I was out by 9:00. Probably a few minutes before that.

But I wasn't going to give up my Wednesday run. I just decided I would do it on Thursday morning. I will still run tonight. That'll be my Thursday run. Unless I decide to do my Thursday run on Friday morning. We'll see.

So I got up at 3:45. Ran 4 miles. And then caught up on a couple of TV shows I had Tivoed. Is that a word? I watched Glee (hilarious-very good show). Funny - Glee was about a boy who couldn't stay awake at school. And that'll probably be me today. Ironic? I also watched a couple of other shows. I just can't watch them at night. I'm too tired. I know. I'll say it once again. I'm a little strange. My wife can attest. Is that a word?

By the way - I think I'm entering a 5K race on Halloween. I'll write more about that tomorrow if I can find time. Maybe I'll get up at 3:45 and write it.

Keep runnin',
Albert

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Radnor Lake Part 2

9:47PM

Update. We ended up running at Radnor. About 4 miles. The rain let up about 30 minutes before we were schedule to leave. All other sports cancelled. We didn't. That's what I love about Cross Country. It was perfect running weather. The kids did great and they were very grateful for the candy bars and soda a-waitin'. Enjoyed conversations with them as we ran. Saw God in many ways - in the 8 deer we saw, in the lake itself, in the beautiful forest surroundings, but mostly in my runners. Great team this year. Great season. 2 more days.

Keep Runnin',
Albert

Radnor Lake

10:46 AM

Ladders went well yesterday. Only problem - the car alarm wouldn't go off. I was holding down the stinkin' panic button for about 2 minutes and nothing was happening. The whole team was staring at me and probably wondering what in the world I was doing just standing there looking at them. So then I pressed another button and the door came open. I heard a couple of them say "why is that car door opening?" So the whole alarm thing flopped, but I just ad libbed. The lights flash when you unlock it so I just used the "wonder why that car's lights are flashing." I'm an idiot, I know. I did trick a few of them who thought we were doing a scavenger hunt. I'm sure they were thrilled that it was ladders instead. But yes, like I said - I had more than one runner come up and say, "These really aren't that hard." Every year.

Today, we are going to Radnor Lake. They love this practice. I call it "Pepsi/Snicker Day". It's named after a practice I did in High School when our coaches would reward us with carbonated drinks (a runner no-no, but oh well) and candy bars. I'm doing the same for them today. And Radnor is the best place in the world to run. I'm hoping the rain holds off, but there's a line of storms coming. We'll see. I would love to run Radnor in the rain but not sure I can take a whole team there. No doubt we'll see some deer if we go with the cooler weather. You can defintely see God all over the place there. Hope my runners see Him too.

More later.

Keep runnin'
Albert

Monday, October 5, 2009

Ladders

12:05PM

I ran 16 miles yesterday morning and it was perfect. The weather was cool. My teeth were actually chattering at the beginning, but once I ran a mile or two, the cool air felt great. I had some great podcasts to listen to. (Thanks Crazy Runner and Running to Disney and WDW today) and the run went very smoothly. I was shooting for 2:20 and ended up at 2:15 so I was very happy with that.

Next week is 18 miles as I continue to train for the St. Jude Marathon in Memphis on December 5. I'm not sure when I'll do the 18 though b/c my wife is housesitting and babysitting this weekend so I can't leave my boys on Sunday morning. Maybe Monday morning before school which will be fine.

I am a Middle School Cross Country coach and this is our last week of the season. We have our last meet on Thursday of this week. Today, we are doing ladders in practice. They always groan about ladders which is weird b/c they are not that difficult of a workout, but apparently they think they are. What's funny is they ALWAYS end up saying "that's wasn't too bad". I guess it's just that word. Ladders. I always try to come up with a creative way to tell them we're doing ladders. Today, I drove my wife's car instead of my own. There is a ladder in the back of it. I'm going to make the alarm go off while I'm talking and then pretend that I have no idea whose car it is. When I open the back to "make the alarm go off" there will be a ladder there. It's random, I know, but anything to make it different this year. I'll run with them. Probably only 3 miles today as I recover from yesterday's long one.

I'm still working on the blog. Planning to add past race times and PR's. Maybe even Disney tips and info about upcoming races of course. Stay tuned.

Keep runnin',
Albert

Saturday, October 3, 2009

16 Miles Tomorrow

9:03PM

I'm about to go to bed. Got a long run in the morning. For some reason I like doing my long runs on Sunday mornings before church. I love running in the dark with no cars on the road. I like the quiet and it just being me and the world. I actually get to sleep a little longer tomorrow because our church is only having one service and it's the late one - 10:30. We are celebrating the opening of our new "gym" (yes, I call it a gym, some people won't like it, but tough) so there is one service and then a fellowship lunch. So I won't get up until 4:30 instead of 3:45. Still early, but I'll take what I can get. I am running 16 miles again tomorrow. I found a new route last week that I like so I'll do it again. It should take me around 2 hours and 30 min. but I'm shooting for 2:20. I'm training for a marathon on December 5 in Memphis but more about that later.

I'm watching my Auburn Tigers beat up on UT. I hope they slaughter them. So far, so good. I ran 35 miles this week. Pretty good. Four today. Max had a party in Franklin so I dropped him off, parked at the Factory in Franklin and ran 4 miles there. It was a good route and I enjoyed treating myself to ice cream at the mall after I ran.

Disney in less than 2 weeks. Can't wait. Haven't told the boys yet. It's a surprise. We'll tell them first of next week.

Ok, that's it for tonight. Going to go lay in bed and watch the rest of the game.

Keep runnin',
Albert

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Disney World

12:09 PM

I seriously thought about making this blog about Disney World too. My wife and I are kindof obsessed. It's such a fun place to go and take our boys. We have started the tradition of going every October. This year's trip is just 2 weeks away. I love that we do this. We consider ourselves semi-experts. I enjoy several podcasts and blogs about Disney. I'm actually not an expert but I certainly have lots of tips and love talking about it on any occasion. That is why my ultimate goal is to run the Goofy challenge at Disney. I'm planning to do that in 2011 and I have (I think) the support of my wife. I'll write more about that later.

I ran 4 miles last night after church. It felt great. I'm liking the cooler weather, but I'm having to wear a shirt when I run now. I know the neighbors are disappointed. :) I have also entered a program here at Lipscomb where I teach to run during the month of October. Hey - it's a free t-shirt and I was going to run anyways. I have to do so many miles. It's called "Walktober" but I was told running counted too. I'm always after free t-shirts. Well, that's it today. I'll run tonight after my son's baseball game.

Keep runnin',
Albert