This week, my wife and I celebrated our 26th anniversary. As of the end of last year, we’ve been together for over half of my life. Tonight, we celebrate with dinner at one of the more fancy restaurants around Hartford. Max’s has several themed restaurants around Hartford and Springfield; we are heading to the seafood themed one in Glastonbury. It should be a lovely, relaxing dinner with fantastically prepared fresh seafood. I’m hungry just thinking about it.

Work has been ramping up lately due to both an acquisition and the fruition of an almost two year old project. Timing is critical for folding in the acquisition, but I am involved in just a small portion of the activities. It’s enough to keep me very busy with trying to figure out just how involved I need to be. The two year old project is one that is very visible to many in the organization. It involves changing the way that people work from home, both regularly and occasionally such as during a snow storm. To say that this is being handled with kid gloves is an understatement.

To keep my sanity, I have been running 3 – 4 days per week, no less than 3 miles, no more than 5 so far. The weather has kept me on the safe treadmill at my local YMCA, but it’s starting to look like outdoor runs can start to happen on the weekends. It’s still extremely dark when we head to the gym, so think it’s likely safer to stay there for a while longer during the week. It’s supposed to be in the 40s today, so may try to get in a quick run outside later.

I ran five miles on the treadmill yesterday morning, although my normally trusty Garmin 305 hiccuped and didn’t record it. I actually ran the first 3+ miles straight through, rather than using the Galloway run/walk/run method. I was pleased and not overly stiff afterwards, although the last two miles where I incorporated the walking were actually faster than the first three. I don’t get it, but think I just need to trust the numbers and incorporate walking for almost every run.

I have been seriously considering joining a training team to take on a longer distance race. Today, I’m heading into a town near here to determine if I can make a 6:30 AM Saturday run every weekend for 16+ weeks. If so, I’ll join the group and do my best to keep up. I heard back from the coordinator that there are runners at all levels, including those that incorporate walking and those that are at a much slower pace than I am. I really miss the comradery of running with a group – especially my gals from Richmond. But we became close during those long runs and were each other’s support when feeling down or discouraged when training for our first half marathon. My favorite runs were the 10K Wednesday runs. They were at night when it was quiet, and a perfect way to close out the middle of the week. It was there that I first talked to Erin about the plans to sell our home in Richmond, and the first time I revealed plans to relocate to New England. It was there that the reality of relocation started to hit.

I have a couple of training plans that I’m reviewing now, knowing that the longer runs would never be accomplished without some sort of external support. You can only run so many miles without refilling water or grabbing something to munch on. Doing loops around my neighborhood is not my idea of a good time (and there are way too many hills)! Hopefully, this group will be one where I can find my way and there will be other newbies like me that are slow and supportive of each other in our request to cross something off our personal bucket lists.


This morning, I thought that I would go to the gym ahead of the big storm. I was planning on working from home due to the storm since that was requested by my employer, so slept in a little, checked my email, then headed to the gym. I loved the fact that the gym was practically empty at 7 am, so hopped on the treadmill of choice to get my four miles in.

Almost as soon as I started, I decided to crank up the speed and get it done quickly. I decided to use a 4/1 run /walk ratio, rather than the 3/1 that I have been using. This makes for an interesting challenge since a mile comes around 9:30, and right in the middle of the second walk break. Run during minutes 1-4, walk minute 5, run minutes 6-9, and walk during the tenth minute. During the first mile today, I finished the mile before the second walk break started with a sub-9:00 mile @ 8:50. The second mile came in at 9:02, close to the first mile time. Miles 3 & 4 were fast, just not quite as good as the first two.

What this tells me is that I must slow down early in my run and push hard later on. It also tells me that I need to have a few long slow runs where I am not pushing up the speed at all.

I am not a big fan of most sports. Every year, I watch college basketball during the sweet 16, I watch a couple of Red Sox games, maybe a game or two of the World Series, and at least one NASCAR race because it’s a great way to fall asleep. But the one game I watch without fail is the Super Bowl. Mostly, I don’t care about the outcome but love the commercials and mildly care that it’s a good game and worthy of the hype.

Tonight, I stayed up way too late watching a game where I didn’t give a flip about the final score and will pay for that choice all week. The fact that I’m heading to the gym in just five hours doesn’t help. Maybe I’ll ride on the adrenalin rush I’m sure to get with four miles on the treadmill. It might be easier if I hadn’t run five miles today. I’m too old to be running every day!

This morning was the second one this week that included a run. Monday, I felt great on the treadmill so the “just under 5 miles” came both quickly and without too much pain. Today, it was a much slower start, but quickly became a good run that actually felt good!

I have started running using the Jeff Galloway run, walk, run method of running. I’ve run a twice this week so far, on Monday evening and again this morning. Monday, I ran 4 1/4 miles using a 3/1 run/walk ratio – run for three minutes, walk for one minute. While it seems so easy for the first 10 or so repetitions, it gets progressively more difficult to run for the entire 3 minute period. The tool I’ve been using is a GymBoss MAX timer, purchased for about $30 from GymBoss. The second time I went to use it (Monday), it wasn’t working. What I found is that if you simply stick it in a gym bag that you carry to work, it likes to turn on and chew up the battery. On Monday evening, I ran using interval training. Tuesday, I lifted using the entire circuit at the YMCA. I am positive I over lifted since as I write this (Thursday), I’m still sore. Since I ran on Monday evening (close to 6:30 PM), and then lifted on Tuesday morning (starting at 5:30 AM or just 11 hours later), I pushed and lifted at weights I haven’t used for a month. I am feeling every bit of my age now.

I did make the mistake of throwing the GymBoss in my bag, only to find a dead battery on Monday, so ended up using the interval workout on the treadmill at work to manually make the 3/1 ratio. Run for minutes 1 through 3, walk for the fourth minute until you’ve covered the distance or worked out for the duration desired. While this was not nearly as brain-dead of a way to accomplish a workout, it does work if you’re willing to put in the effort to make the buttons work for you. Fortunately, the treadmill at work has a “jog” and “run” setting on the intervals that is very easy to configure. I set the jog to my walking speed of 4 MPH and the run to my jogging speed of 6.1 MPH. Each time I hit the interval button, it switched to the faster or the slower speed.

Today, I hit the treadmill at my local YMCA with my GymBoss with a new battery and with renewed effort to make this a strong run. The treadmill seems to have an interval setting but I must need to attend a remedial treadmill setting class because it wasn’t intuitive at all. So, I used the 4 MPH and 6 MPH buttons as a starting point for each interval setting. For my walk, I just pressed the 4 MPH setting. For running, I hit the 6 MPH button and then upped the speed to either 6.1 or a faster speed depending on how I was feeling at the start (or middle of) each run. At times, I was up to 6.2 or even 6.3 MPH. When all was said and done, I covered each of the five miles at a 10:10 pace – way faster than I thought and way faster than if I had just been running. Indeed, it is not much slower at all than plodding along with a run-only method.

While not the fastest way to cover longer distances, this is a new way to easily cover longer distances without any pain and without a significantly more tired body a few hours later.