Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Happy Anniversary to Me!!!

Yesterday, my wife Natalie and I celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary... three years ago we took a trip to the courthouse* and legally committed to spend the rest of our days together in civil union and guess what:  She wasn't even pregnant!!! I mention this because when we were talking to the office clerk who entered us into the state computer system as a married couple I happened to glance at her screen and noticed a small button on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen that had a picture of a shotgun on it. I asked her what that was for and she said "we click that if one of the parties getting married is under 18" i.e. "Shotgun wedding"... we also got a pamphlet in the same envelope that they put our marriage certificate in warning against the dangers associated with drinking while pregnant... oh the joys of living in Southern Illinois...

But anyway... I'm not here to talk about my inconsequential little wedding anniversary that happened yesterday... I'm hear to talk about what's truly important in my life:  RUNNING!!!  That's right, today is my official 1 year anniversary of running!

On June 8th, 2009 I got serious about running as I dove head-first into Hal Higdon's Intermediate I training program in preparation for the 2009 Chicago Marathon...  In retrospect I probably should have listened to everybody else in the running world's advice and done some base training before jumping into a marathon training cycle... Those first 6 weeks of training were pretty brutal as I jumped from the 0-6 MPW I was doing before the training started to the 25+ MPW the training plan called for... I was pretty much a wreck... luckily for me the economy was also a wreck and I was laid off at the time so the only other thing I had to do besides run was lay around the house and complain about how tired and sore my legs were... (it really is a wonder that my wife and I made it to that third year anniversary)...
Eventually my body began to adapt and by the time the marathon came around I was feeling pretty good... that was until mile 18 of my marathon when I realized that getting through the four months of training without any previous base build-up was not enough mileage to allow me to attain the 3:30/8:00 minute pace goal I had set for myself...  I crashed hard and jogged, shuffled, and limped (although I never walked) through the last 8.2 miles and eventually finished in just under 3:40 despite the searing ITB pain in both legs...  it took me nearly 3 months to fully recover... oh well, lesson learned... but if I could go back and change anything I probably wouldn't...

Now, one year and 1250+ miles later, I'm ready for round 2!

One of the benefits of being 1 year in is that now I have 1 years worth of training log.  This means that I can look back and compare last years workout to this years workout to see how much I've progressed...

Here it is:

Last year (6/8/9):                                  This Year (6/8/10):
Distance: 5.02 miles                             Distance: 5.39 miles
Duration: 41:29                                    Duration: 39:00
Pace: 8:16                                             Pace: 7:14
HR Avg\Max:160\188                         HR Avg\Max: 161\181

I actually ran a very similar course to the one I did a year ago but the workout was totally different... Last year I ran along at a 8:16ish pace for the entire run as my heart rate steadily crept upward until I got to reservoir hill (a steep hill where I do my hill workouts) which caused my heartrate to spike up to 188 which is damn near my max even through I was only going at a 8:50 pace... I then headed home at a labored 8:30 pace until I got to the last mile which I kicked in at 8:00 pace...

This year I started off with a mile warm up at 8:14 pace (already faster than last years pace except this time it's my "easy" pace)... then I ran a 5:49 mile that took my heartrate up to 181... I then slowed down to 7:30 pace and headed to  reservoir hill... this time I took the hill at a 7:40 pace and my heartrate only went up to 175!!!  I then headed home at 7:30 pace till I got to the last mile which I kicked in at 6:30 pace...

What a difference a year can make!  And the great thing is that my journey's just begun... I'm just now, finally starting to feel like a runner... my legs are getting stronger and starting to get a bit of that runner's tone... my recovery is taking shorter and shorter... and I'm no longer too tired participate in non-running related activities (even after a long run!!!). 

*We had just graduated college so we couldn't afford to have a wedding... we decided to have our ceremony exactly a year later on 6/7/08.


  1. Congrats on the anniversary! Me and my hubs celebrated three years last month too.

  2. Happy Anniversary (on both accounts)! I'm excited to see how you do this year at Chi-town, especially now that you have a strong base and knowledge to work off of. I'm def going to be there spectating so hopefully I'll be able to cheer you on!

  3. Hey this year is my 3 year anniversary too. How cool. Thanks for the trip back in time man. Wow, you sure do fly. I will be happy with a sub 5 and I have been running for a year. Looks like I should get laid off huh? Well, best wishes and success in your training, and that is quite a bit of improvement.

  4. Congrats on the year of running progression...oh yeah the anniversary too

  5. Happy Anniversary, hope that it was a lovely day for the two of you!

  6. Happy anniversary in both respects! And damn I'm surprised you even made it to the marathon last year! Great job!

    Can't wait to see how amazing you do this year with an entire year under your belt :D

  7. wow, that is quite the increase in speed. I have a friend who does 1 mile time trials to track her fitness. But, I guess going back like this would work too!

  8. Good progress on the running, keep at it! You've got several years of improvement ahead of you!

  9. nothing wrong with a courthouse wedding/civil ceremony! sometimes i wish i was going that route... less drama/having to deal with various people's opinions :)

    happy belated anniversary!! too funny about the shotgun. i wonder what kind of "tips" they give out here in south carolina!

  10. Happy Anniversary - wedding and running! Funny about the shotgun wedding and the icon on the computer for it! Ha. You're definitely getting speedier!