Running year in review

Today finished my year in running. I did a very easy 5K today.

I was not planning to run today, but as an unmedicated ADDer, I was needing something to bring life back into focus. I have found over the last 2 years of being an exerciser that doing something physical seems to help me not feel as though my life is falling apart at the seams. I have not been to exercise class in two weeks and took the last week off from running. I have had an impending feeling of my house of cards about to come crashing down.

The run must have helped. The feeling is gone and though I left all of my notes at home for my three sermons today, I was able to make my way through them and solidify my strongly held belief that preparation is worthless. 🙂

I started casually running in December of last year. I did probably 3 runs of about 30 minutes each. I did not know at the time that you are not supposed to run that long when you start out. You should ease your way into running. So my first runs were about 3 miles long with long runs up to 6 miles. My regular running started in January when my brother mentioned that he was running a half marathon in May. I decided to train with him, even though we live in different countries.

Though I could figure out how many days this year I have been running and, on average, how many miles per run I have done, I will just sum up with some highlights.

    Total mileage for the month of December: 41.1 miles (kinda low, but I have plenty of good excuses)
    Total mileage for the year of 2006: 582 miles

Year mileage is a PR since this is my first year to run. That is a good start. Adam at Burning 20 mentioned in a recent episode that he is going to run 1000 miles for the year of 2007. I have yet to set a firm number, but I would think that 1000 miles would be about where I should be looking. That is just under 20 miles a week. For many weeks I averaged 17 miles a week. So pushing it up to 20 would not be that much more. I will have to think on that for a while.

I ran in 2 pairs of shoes. The first was my everyday shoes which were New Balance 435. I put 300 running miles on them. (Who knows how many non-running miles they had). I was not convinced that they were worn out until I ran a few days in my new shoes and tried the old ones again. I was instantly convinced. The new pair are Nike Air Copius. They have 282 miles on them. I would like to get another pair to start running in while these have some mileage on them. But, buying shoes here is almost an impossibility. They just don’t make them big enough in this country. And then the price…

I started the year with my first road race being an 8K at 49:42 for a pace of 9:56 per mile. My most recent race was a 5K at 27:29 for a pace of 8:38 per mile. I ran 2 half marathons this year. Both of them are what I call a personal race. I ran alone, but one was while my brother was running the Indy Mini half. The other was the Phedippidations World Wide Half marathon.

My endurance has increased tremendously. My speed has as well. A casual run for me now is under 10 minutes per mile where that used to be my race pace.

I am excited to see what this next year will bring. I am going to see what I can do to get my 5K time down. I don’t know if it is possible to improve this quickly, but I am going to make an effort to get to around a 22 minute 5K. That will be a pace of 7:04 per mile. That is a big jump, but I think with some focused speed sessions I can get really close. Currently I am not even running a single mile at that pace, but I have not given an honest effort of getting the mile time down.

Let’s see what this next year in running will bring.

Be a Dump Runner!

I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts this morning while out for a short run. It is the podcast Dump Runners Club. I first started listening to this around episode 6 in March of last year.

It is one of those podcasts that has gotten much better with time. Having said that, do yourself a favor and don’t listen to the early episodes. If you want to go back and catch up, start somewhere in the summer around episode 20.

One thing you have to remember about Matt’s podcast though is that he is an experienced runner. You are not listening to a newbie at the sport. Therefore, he approaches things more from a seasoned athletes point of view. Not someone who just took up the sport for cardiovascular health. While I participate in races, he runs races. If we were to run a half marathon together, he would arrive about an hour ahead of me. Therefore it can be discouraging to listen to Matt and think that you will never achieve his level as a runner. Don’t let that get you down. There is a need for high level athletes to get some information that can help them.

The episode I heard today was about New Year’s running resolutions. He had some good stuff to think about and try to challenge yourself with in the coming year.

I enjoy the show so I thought I would share that with you and give Matt some positive advertisement. But believe me when I say you don’t want to listen to the early episodes.

Yes, I know that it is a strange name. A Dump Runner is the title bestowed on someone who runs to the dump. Literally. A recent episode mentioned a lady who became a Dump Runner on her birthday. I thought about doing the same for my birthday this year, but instead went and gorged myself at the local breakfast buffet. I will do a dump run sometime soon and become a member of this exclusive club.

Help promote Missionary Talks

I need some bloggers to post about Missionary Talks. Though I have some bloggers who have me in their BlogRolls (or links) section, I have few who have blogged about the podcast. Getting a link in a blog posting helps bring Missionary Talks up in the rankings at Technorati. Which then makes it more visible in other search engines.

I know, it is tooting my own horn, but someone has to do it. No one is doing it on their own. So get out there and blog! (please?)

Missionary Talks 10: Josh Allred

Josh is the oldest son of the missionaries we had on episodes 7 and 8.

This was a fun interview. Josh is a runner too. Though we did not talk any about running in the podcast, we had dinner together later that night and talked quite a bit then.

When I was interviewing him I noticed that he was wearing a T-shirt from his college, but did not pay attention to it. Later at the meal when I was getting another helping of lasagna from the kitchen, I noticed the back of his shirt. It had one of my favorite Steve Prefontaine quotes on it.

To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.

He ran cross country in college his freshman year. His school is kinda small, though they competed against all the big colleges in Florida. They raced against the Gators, Hurricanes and Seminoles. He only ran XC his freshman year because the other 4 runners wanted to play soccer this year and he needed more time to study. That is how small the school is, their only 5 runners made up the whole XC team.

Enjoy the show!

Oh, my other favorite Pre quote is:

Somebody may beat me, but they are going to have to bleed to do it.

It’s Alive!

We had a computer that has done something odd for at least 3 years. Sometimes after being unplugged it would not start up again. You would have to keep trying to restart it until it just decided that it was ready. This problem has gotten much worse over the last 6 months or so. The problem came when the power would go out. Sometimes it would take close to a week before it would decide to start again.

This summer I got a new power supply for it thinking that was the problem. Did not help.

When the power went out this weekend, the computer acted completely dead. I pulled the motherboard and just tried a visual inspection. I saw that there were 5 capacitors that were bulging. None were leaky, but they were not right. I did some looking on the Internet and found a page that talked about restoring old radios. The man said the first thing he does is replace all the capacitors. If that does not solve whatever problem the radio had (which it almost always did) it would make the radio function much better. That told me capacitors are a likely device to fail.

I am handy with a soldering iron. I can cook my fingers on an iron with the best of them. The problem was in finding the replacement caps. I hit several stores yesterday looking for the size I needed. Finally I went to the man that has done some electronic repair for me before. He told me the reason for the difficulty in finding them was that it was an odd size. But, he told me how to combine caps to get the value I needed. We chatted just a bit and he said the key words: “That size capacitor is pretty common in computers, but not in a lot of other things.” Ah-ha! I have a motherboard at home in a computer that was pulled out of service a couple of months ago. I will look on that board.

Fortunately it had enough caps of the right value to do a pell-mell replacement of all the capacitors that I needed to replace. I popped them off while putting third degree burns on only one finger. I then I replaced the bad ones and put the computer back together.

It started up at the first try. Whew!

I would not try this with a new computer/motherboard that is still under warranty. But the machine that was failing was bought used in 2001. The motherboard that I pulled the caps from was bought off of my brother back in 2000 (or so) for $50. The reason I got such a deal is that the computer had already blown up once (sparks and smoke) and was pronounced dead by the computer experts in town. I bought it for parts and found out that it just needed a new power supply and some add on cards replaced. That old Pentium 350 had been in constant use up to about two months ago.

Someday I will own a new computer, but not likely.