Weekly Update 2-15-14 : Better weather = better running

February is winding its way past the halfway mark – I hope you all had a Happy Valentine’s Day –  and with March peeking around the corner, warmer weather is sure to follow; with the rise in temperatures comes a corresponding rise in my spirits, and my motivation to get out and run more, run better, run happier…and that is by far the most important part of why we do what we do, isn’t it? Here is a look at this week’s journey to my happy place:

Sunday 2-9:  Easy run– 5  miles, 49:09   The day broke clear and sunny, and having had a successful, pain-free outing on Saturday, I decided to stretch it a little farther this time; so I laced up the trail shoes and went out to run my favorite grassy strip along the toll road. My intent was to do the full 10K distance, since I have the Bayou City Classic coming up in 3 weeks and I wanted to “check in” on my pace…you can’t help but think about PR’s, even if only to decide that it’s not doable this time around and set it aside…but I cut it short because I didn’t carry any water – D’oh! – and I was getting pretty thirsty. I have been Über-cautious about going too fast, because I’m just freaking tired of hurting when I run, but I also want to see some evidence that I am improving, so I reached a compromise with myself: I held a conservative 10:00/mi average for the first half, and then on the return I added in 4×20 second strides, at half-mile intervals; and then backed off for the last mile home. It went well, so I will start putting this in on my easy run days on a regular basis, with longer intervals and shorter recovery as I get back to consistent training. The overall time has me thinking that, while my PR is probably still safe for the moment, a sub-60 10K should be within reach – very heady stuff 🙂

Thursday 2-13:  Easy run– 3.1  miles, 29:20   For once this week I made it home at a decent time, without a ton of paperwork to do, so I jumped at the chance to get out. I am still learning the in’s and out’s of RunKeeper, specifically how to set the alerts; I set a goal pace of 9:30/mi, and tried to match the feedback to the feeling; it went very well, as I ran my fastest 5K since October last year, and without so much as a twinge in my knees or ankles – if you have ever had to suffer the long road back from an injury, and especially the loss of confidence in your body, you KNOW how great that felt!

Saturday 2-15:  Easy run– 3.2  miles, 32:42   Karen and I started off our day with a meeting of the Kairos Prison Ministry team we will be serving with this spring (there will be a special post about Kairos later this week, including a list of ways that you – yes, you – can take part, so be looking for that very soon!) We were home early in the afternoon, so I thought why not go for a record-breaking third run this week? I am more interest in getting back into the groove of regular runs than in setting speed records, so the pokey pace does not disappoint me…for now!

Total for this week: 3 runs, 11.3 miles

Total for February: 2 runs, 17.5 miles; #runthisyear goal 5.8% (118/2014 km)

Living Water fundraising to date: $84.00

My weekend also had two exciting highlights, two new purchases that will (I believe) bring continuing growth and improvements in my running. I bought my first running book, The Hansons Marathon Method, which I will begin training with starting Monday in preparation for my 50K in April – yes, it’s a little short on the schedule, but I am going into this race with low expectations and will be happy with a strong performance and a finish I can walk (not limp) away from. I also spent the $50 gift card I won from RoadRunner Sports in their weekly Facebook giveaway, and bought a new pair of running shoes – because new running shoes – I wanted the Brooks Ghost 6, but went with the Ghost 5 that were on clearance; after my gift card, they only cost twenty bucks…SCORE!

What training plan – if any – are you currently following?

Have you ever bought the “previous” model of a shoe instead of the current one, just to get the discount? Do you think that is a worthwhile tradeoff?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments!



  1. ndeckerrunner

    Glad to see your still at it.
    I am no training plan right now since I just finished my Full.
    Im nursing an injury right now (IT BAND) so I can prepare for my first Trail Half Marathon in two weeks.
    As far as the shoes I wouldnt go discounted since those shoes tend to be older but that is just personal preference. If it works than great!!!

    • Nick

      Thanks! I am using the Hansons plan to help me rebuild my base and become a stronger (and maybe faster) runner; my next goal race is the 50K in April, and I will only be halfway through, but I will definitely be in better shape than I am now!

      Once I get to the “taper” week, I will either back up a few weeks and cycle again to maintain peak training, or shift to the advanced program and try for a higher level…I want to stay at 50-75 miles per week – ready for anything 🙂

  2. troyloves2run

    I am training for my first half marathon in April. I completed the Run for God 5K class in December and I am now in the Run for God 10K/Half marathon class. I haven’t bought a previous model. My current training shoes are the Brooks Ghost 6; my Brooks Ghost 5 are semi retired. I use them when it’s raining or the course I am running is muddy.

    • Nick

      What is your race? I will be looking forward to that recap!

      This is my second time buying the “old” shoe, my first pair were Saucony Ride 4’s, right as the Ride 6 was about to come out, because they were super cheap at Academy. They worked great, got all my current PR’s in them!

      Since you have run in both, how would you compare the Ghost 5 to the Ghost 6? Any significant changes, and which do you prefer overall?

      Thanks for reading and commenting, I appreciate it!

      • troyloves2run

        My first half marathon is the Chick-Fil-A in Athens, GA on April 5, 2014. I really can’t tell a difference between the Ghost 5 or 6 with the exception of a little more toe room. My 5’s were a size 8; the 6’s are a size 9. I use them for training. For races, I run in the Mizuno Waverider. They are a lightweight and managed to get my best 5K PR in them (26:20). I bought my current running shoes at a running store during Black Friday 2013 – buy one pair and the second pair at half price. Figured I would take advantage of the special with all the miles I am logging in..lol.

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