An Unlikely Mile Run

This week we got to soccer practice a little early. There is a trail that runs around the soccer fields and winds around a park. Allison was going to run it while I was running soccer practice, but she wanted to know how long the lap was before she ran it. I said I’d run it for her and track it with Runkeeper so that she would know how far it is. I pulled out my iPhone and loaded up Runkeeper, my favorite app for tracking running, biking, etc. It does gps tracking and tells you how far, how fast, elevation, etc. All of the data is synced to your account on and is stored there permanently. If anyone has a runkeeper account, send me a street team request. You can view all of my activities here.

So…back to my story. I figured I would just run it real quick for her so she could plan how many laps she would do. I had my soccer cleats on in preparation for soccer practice and took off around the trail in them.

Since I had cleats on, I ran on the grass right next to the gravel trail. Running in cleats is not really the most comfortable thing, let me tell you. It even made me miss my old run down running shoes (which, btw need to be replaced badly). Check out the lining on them that is getting worn down…

As I rounded the last bend and looked towards the place where I started I looked down at my phone and it was almost a mile with my time around 7:30. I didn’t even realize I was running that fast. I guess I was nervous about being late to my own team’s soccer practice so I kept a good pace. I finished the mile in less than 8 minutes, clocking in at 7:50:

I guess all of that interval running I did during Body For Life has really paid off and helped condition my heart. Last week I didn’t do any interval running, but ran 2 miles Mon, Wed & Fri early in the morning with my son before school. I could tell a difference with him at his soccer game on Saturday. He was much better conditioned and did not get tired in the 2nd half like he usually does. He also scored his first goal of the season – woohoo!

As for me, I totally could have done the mile faster. I wasn’t even trying for a fast mile – plus, I was in soccer cleats! I now know a good place outside to time myself in a mile. At some point in the near future I’m going to do a real for real timed mile test. I’ll be interested to see how fast I can do it when I’m actually trying to get a good time. I’ll keep you updated once I do it. Thanks for reading!

Day 50: H20

Our bodies are made up of anywhere from 55% – 70% water, depending on various factors (age, sex, etc.) With that much of your body being water, don’t you think you should drink a lot of water? Yeah, I know that you’re “supposed” to, but I honestly haven’t been drinking enough water until recently. Americans in general drink too many other things, when one of the healthiest things for us out there is the substance that compromises over half of our body. And, it’s free! Well, sort of. I mean, there is this little thing called a water bill, but it’s usually the smallest of our utilities, right? That is, unless you have a 10 acre sodded piece of land with a sprinkler system running through the whole thing.

So, here are several things I’ve learned about water recently. When doing Body For Life, you should drink 1 gallon of water per day throughout the day. That’s a lot of water! How many ounces are in a gallon? Have you ever wondered how to quickly calculate stuff like this? Just use Google Calculator. You just mosey on over to Google and type “1 gallon in ounces”.

Many folks don’t know that this functionality is built right into Google. The key word is “in”. Type the first unit, then “in”, then the second unit you want to convert to. For example, let’s say you want to know how many teaspoons are in a gallon? Everyone wants to know that, right?

Whew – now it will be easy for me to keep track of how many times I need to refill my teaspoon up during the day to ensure that I get enough water. That’s once every 75 seconds assuming 8 hours of sleep. I digress…

Another thing I recently read on the Body For Life website is that you should drink water before, during, and after your workout. They recommend 16 oz. before a workout (that’s 96 teaspoons), 4-6 oz. every 15-20 minutes during, and then more water after working out. It is important to keep your body hydrated during an intense weight training session.

One more thing about water – diet sodas. I mentioned earlier that I am trying to cut down on them and drink more water. Body for Life says that’s it’s ok to have an occasional diet soda if you want, but follow it up with an equal amount of water afterwards to make up for it. I’ve been doing this recently and have decreased the amount of diet sodas I’ve been consuming. Eventually my goal is to completely eliminate them. I know that it is healthier to just not drink them at all.

In case you’re wondering, the water image at the top I made using the free, open source tool, The Gimp and this tutorial and this video.

Day 45: Running and Music

I haven’t talked about music yet on my blog, but music is a big part of my life. I love, love, love music. All kinds of music. My mom started teaching me piano lessons when I was 5. I played the oboe in middle, high school, and college. I was in the drum line for the marching band in high school for 2 years, and marched the sousaphone for 2 years. I also picked my dad’s guitar in high school and he taught me my first few chords that I learned (the chords to Puff the Magic Dragon). I then proceeded to learn some Candlebox and Weezer (yes, I was in high school the early 90s) and have been dinking around on the guitar off an on since then. I’m actually about to head over to band practice. I’m in a band and we have our first live performance this Friday night – woohoo!

How does this relate to running? I have to listen to music when I run. It is what drives me. It gives me energy. When doing my standard 21 minute interval run, the toughest part of it is the last 5 minutes before the 2 minute cooldown (minutes 14-19). Right now I’m at 5 — 6.2 — 7.4 — 8.6, and then for the last minute the sprint at 9.8 before cooling down at 3.5 on 19-21.

Years ago Nike partner shipped with Apple and came out with the Nike + iPod system to track your runs. I used it a while ago, but now I use Runkeeper to track my runs. There is a very cool feature of the Nike + iPod system: the Powersong. The powersong is the song that you put on when you need a boost, generally at the end of your run to pump you up. I still use the concept when I’m doing my interval running at the gym, but I just do it myself. My powersong changes from time to time. I like to pick one that has a beat that is around 160 bpm for my footsteps. Sometimes the song is in 4/4 and is actually around 80 bpm, but if so I’m stepping twice per beat (on the downbeat and upbeat). That seems to be the perfect speed for me to have good long strides as I ride out the last part of my run. Right now for my power song I’m doing Linkin Park’s “Somewhere I Belong”. It is 3:34 and I time it so that it ends right as I’m done with the sprint. So, when I’m at 15:25 (it takes about a second to queue up the song and start playing), I hit play on the song. It finishes exactly at 19:00 after the sprint and then I cool down for two minutes. Here is the video for the song I’m using:

Linkin Park is one of my favorite bands. I love their combination of heavy guitars, singing, and rapping. What is your powersong?

Day 34: Week 5 Weigh-in

Time for yet another weigh-in. Man, the weeks are flying by – I’m already on week 5. This week I stayed the same weight as last week (162). I’m not concerned, though. As i previously mentioned, weight is not everything. The pictures are looking better each week, and that’s what matters. A some point I may even start gaining some weight (muscle) once I’ve burned all the fat off. Now, for the front pics:

And the back pics:

This week I moved my day off up. I started last night at dinner – we had a pre-season soccer party Friday night for my son’s soccer team and their families. I grilled up some burgers and hot dogs for everyone. Even though it was my day off, I still opted for the turkey burger and turkey dog, which is much leaner than the beef burgers. They have about 1/3 less calories and fat than the all beef ones. My day off will end before Saturday’s dinner.

My daughter has a dance competition that we’ve been at all day today. Now, for a little bit of my geeky side. I edited my week 5 photos before I left the house and uploaded them. The rest of the post I’m writing from my iPad. When we bought our iPad lasts year, we opted for the WiFi only version. We already pay enough for internet between our cable modem at home and data plans at $30 each for mine and my wife’s phone – then throw another $15/mo on top of that for mobile access on the iPad that we don’t really need…sheesh! You have to draw the line somewhere. Plus, we mainly use the internet on the iPad at the house, so WiFi was just fine for us.

Ok, back on topic to my off topic geek-a-thon. How am I posting this from the bleachers of a high school gym in-between dance performances? The answer: using the internet I already pay for on my phone. Did I pay extra for the tethering package? NO!! Why should I have to? That’s just plain dumb. I already pay for unlimited internet for my phone at $30/mo. Why should I have to pay AT&T an additional $15/mo ($45/mo) just to be able to tether from my iPhone? They sure are trying to milk Americans for as much as they can. How am I tethering from my iPhone to my iPad, you ask? I jailbroke my iPhone using redsn0w, bought the app MyWi from the underground app store, Cydia, for a one-time fee of $19.99. Now I can turn my iPhone into a mobile WiFi hotspot that the iPad can connect to for internet access. I can do the same from my laptop in a pinch – like the other day when I was working from home and the internet went out. I tethered to my computer and was still able to work while Time Warner Cable resolved the outage in our area. My question for all of the ISPs out there is “When will you stop gouging Americans and truly provide an all internet access fee regardless of where you are or what device you’re using?” Have a plan that makes sense, and I’m there.

Peace out.

Day 29: Little League Soccer Coach, I Am

I’m writing today’s post entirely from my iPhone. In between reps at the gym, I’m using the WordPress app on my iPhone to compose this post. A geek, I am. Technology, I love. (and Yoda too).

I just finished quads and am in between reps for hamstrings.

I’ve got some exciting news – I’ll be coaching my son’s soccer team this spring! I’m really excited. I’ll be doing twice a week practices and Saturday games for the 10 years old age group – should be fun!

I just tried a new piece of equipment that I really liked. Up until now, for my main exercise on my calves I’ve used the machine seated calf extensions.

I just tried the seated calf extensions using free weights. It was an excellent workout for my calves.

With no weights, it is 60 lbs. I started off with 10 on each side (80 lbs), which is about what I was doing on the machine one. It seems like I could feel it more on the free weights. After starting with 12 reps on 80 lbs, I finished out like this:


Signing out from my iPhone, I am.