Well, That was Easy 
A 5K in under 30:00? No problem. My watch timed me at 28:55 in yesterday's 5K. I couldn't stay to see the official results but maybe they'll be posted online. Nonetheless, I eclipsed my first goal of doing a 5K in less than 30 minutes.

The numbers: 9:19 pace, 6.44 mph. (5:47/10.37 metric)

Now, the hard part - I have to run every 5K now in under 30 minutes and, the next goal: getting that pace under 9:00. Everyone has their limits but I don't think I've hit mine yet. Maybe it's 9:00, maybe it's 8:00. But, showing improvement is the key. Eventually, it'll get to a point where my improvements aren't as great but I think that's some time off. In less than one year I've gone from not running at all to running a 5K in under 30 minutes and also trimming almost 6:30 of that first 5K time recorded back in April.

My other goal - longer runs; I am doing a 10 miler in May which means I'll be running 10 at one point or another, probably multiple times, as I train for that.

No excuses. No bull. Just do it.

Update - Official results posted online have me at 28:52.9


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The Next Goals 
I am now at the stage where I can call myself a 10-minute miler, which isn't bad for running less than one year. Two years of proper eating coupled with biking as the core of an exercise regimen has enabled me to become a runner - something I never thought I'd be or ever really desired to be until about 10 months ago.

Six months ago I ran my first 5K race and now I have trimmed almost five minutes off that first finishing time. I am close to being able to finish one in under 30 minutes. I have a 5K route mapped out through my neighborhood and did that in 30:47 this morning. Mile 2.1-2.6 are uphill so I am thinking that on a flat course, I may be able to beat 30. I have registered for two 5K's in the next three weeks. Let's see what I can do.

Getting up and doing a four or five miler isn't that difficult either - I don't need to prepare for those distances. I am toying with the idea of doing a 10 miler in May. That would require some training to get up to that distance but I can do it if I can fit the training in.

I'm taking it to the next level; finishing the short ones in under 30 and building myself up for longer runs.

Talk the talk. Walk the walk.

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Marathon - today, < 2 hours from now 
The Via Lehigh Valley Marathon begins in less than two hours. It's slightly after 5 am and I'm up. Coffee is on but I can't drink too much before the race. Breakfast will be a hard-boiled egg and half a banana.

It will be a busy day. After my leg, (Leg 1), I'll have to move along, cheer, and pick up the kids by 9:30 because our fifth runner is watching the kids at the house. Later on I have an Eagles game to watch and the lawn to cut.

As a team we don't have a time goal but my wife's youngest sister is running the marathon and will likely finish before our team does.

Time to dress, imbibe, and consume. Look for tweets.

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Relay - Six Days Away 
For my last "long" run before the relay, I cranked out a 5.18 mile run* in 54:45. That works out to be a 10:34 pace and 5.7 mph. Due to situational circumstances, my last two runs, which were 4.0 and 3.11 miles, were on the treadmill (college gym, hotel) at pretty good clips - 10:22 and 9:56 respectively. But with no obstacles like hills or traffic, one would expect a treadmill pace to be better than an outside run through the neighborhood. Of course, during an event like a marathon, the runners will be isolated from traffic so that won't be an excuse for losing time.

I'll rest tomorrow and perhaps lift weights on Wednesday. Thursday will be rest and Friday I'll plan for a tune-up run of maybe 3 miles.

My official goal now is to complete my 5.5 mile leg in 59:59 or under. A 10:45 pace would come out to be 59:08 and I think I can sustain that.

*according to mapmyrun.com

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The Eyes Have It 
I recently reconnected with a friend I hadn't seen in about 16 years. We were best friends through much of the 80's but college (me) and the navy (him) separated us and we lost contact with each other. Anyway, when I saw him, I was surprised to see that he was wearing glasses, as he didn't we when were younger. But then I remembered how old we are and that it's not usual to need them by 40; even if just for reading.

However, once I reunited with him, I realized that I became the last of my inner circle of friends who doesn't need glasses (prescription or reading) or hasn't had LASIK to correct vision. Funny how a few guys who needed the proverbial "Coke-bottle bottom" glasses now have better eyesight than I do.

My sister, who is a three years younger than I am, doesn't wear them either.

Of course, my eyes aren't what they were. I've noticed a big dropoff from when I was 20/20 years ago. Coming home from Pittsburgh today I noticed another dropoff from the last time I drove a distance like that. Seems like it took longer for me to be able to read the signs ahead.

So, I may schedule an eye exam soon. I recall one in my mid or late teens that I think was part of a physical for something (driver's license? ROTC application process? (I wasn't accepted for ROTC but I passed my driving test on the first try two months after turning 16)) where I checked in at 20/15 R and 20/25 L. I certainly am not going to 'see' those numbers this time; that's for sure.

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I don't carry  
I saw this on Runnersworld.com:

Is That a Pistol in Your Shorts?

I don't see how anyone can carry when running. It's not the size that I see as the problem but rather the weight. Now, it may be a good idea to pack if you run in, say, Washington or Chicago or other cities where handgun bans have illustrated how obtuse some public officials and voting citizens can be. Elsewhere, I think pepper spray and a cell phone would suffice if you're a little worried about being out on your own.

When I run, I don't like to take anything extra. Some people like to take a water bottle and carry it and others like to wear a fanny belt with a bottle holder and sometimes space for an MP3 player or cell phone. Again, I think a cell phone is a good idea but I usually don't take it. I do take it when biking, though.

My standard raiment:

Shoes - Saucony Stabil 6, wide. My feet are beginning to ache a little so my flat feet may be breaking down the support. With over 100 miles on them, it may be time to replace them.

Socks - Wicking running socks that keep the feet dry. They seem to work. The Under Armours I bought were Made in USA but the Adidas were not.

Shorts - On hot days, I don't wear underwear, just something for, um, support. I have a few pairs of Under Armour running shorts. I usually stick a tissue and a cough drop in a pocket. Today I filled a sealed sandwich baggie with some ice. I put a cube or two in my hat and then splashed myself on occasion to cool off. I keep my trash in my pocket until I see a can.

Shirt - Wicking running shirt. Works ok but once it's above 80F and you're running more than a mile or two, you still get soaked with sweat.

Nike Fit-dry hat. Keeps sweat out of my eyes, even above 80F.

Timex Expedition watch for timing.

Apply sunblock and wear cheapo $5 sunglasses in the unlikely event that the bright yellow orb is out.

Other than a wedding band, I don't wear jewelry at all. But I don't wear the ring when I run as it has the tendency to slip off sometimes. Earlier this year I was at a birthday party for a friend and the ring went flying across the room whilst making a hand gesture during conversation.

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Relay - changes 
It appears that the powers that be have changed the legs of the LV Half Marathon. I was supposed to run Leg 2 which was listed as six miles but now Leg 2 is 6.5 and the only leg over six. Plus we had someone from our relay team drop out and picked up a replacement. So now, I am running the first leg which is 5.5 miles. So, now, it's just maintenance.

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5! 
I did a one hour run this morning which should be good for 5+ miles. Another mental and physical obstacle overcome; I rule!

Our team has registered for the Lehigh Valley Marathon. I am running the second leg, the second longest, which is six miles.

Less than a year ago, the thought of running had never entered my mind. I thought I couldn't do it. Well, I can.

No excuses. No bull. Just do it. More people need to take that old Nike slogan and fuse that into their brains and bodies.

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Microblogging 
Still posting to Twitter as the novelty hasn't worn off yet. It's kind of fun in a way and maybe a little addicting. As a bore the world with what I'm doing (or at least those who follow me), I also read in kind those who do the same. It is interesting, and very gossipy, to follow what others are doing. Some post what they are doing or have recently done or will do soon, and others post short commentary and opinion, sometimes with links. It's yet another piece of Web 2.0 that has everyone contributing, for better or for worse*.


*worse == S-P-A-M

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Not Really Atwitter about Twitter Yet 
http://twitter.com/bws53

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Cyberpunk 
Although not technically cyberpunk, even though it does meet many of the criteria, Stephen King's novel Cell has given me interest in the that genre. The campus library doesn't have any books by Neal Stephenson, a "god" as one of the characters (a kid) in Cell says, so I checked out Holy Fire by Bruce Sterling. If I like it, I may continue on with cyberpunk. Being somewhat of a technophobe, I may like (or may not, lol) some of this stuff. I've read a good bit of classics over the years and now I it looks like my reading may shift gears a little.

My technophobia is necessarily not a fear of technology (I would not characterize myself as a Luddite) but rather a fear of what people, average people and people in power, including, governments, will do with it and the inevitable overdependence people develop. And, yes, I know, I myself am guilty - I like the Internet, computers, electricity and running water to my home, automobiles, etc. That being said, I don't own a GPS device (a cell phone is close and can track you but not like GPS although many have that feature available now) because it's all too creepy and completely unnecessary; at least for most average people. Maps and a basic knowledge of the US highway system are good enough and, well they used to be at least, idiot-proof. Ok, I'm going off on a tangent too much here. This topic best served for another day.

By the way, Cell is the first Stephen King novel I've read. It's an easy read and does pretty well in the horror category.

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Sidelined 
...but not entirely. A bout of bursitis has sprung up below my left kneecap. It's not painful to walk or bike nor to even run but it is painful to kneel. But, when I do run, it jiggles a little and both irritates me and irritates my knee a little. Listening to and feeling your knee "flap" is difficult to overcome when running. I've still been biking and did an 18-miler last week and biked to school two days too and fit another 12-miler in there for about 53 miles on the bike for the week. Maybe I should take it easy a bit but that's difficult to do. I hope to start running again soon as I have some longer races in mind in September and October.

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