When It Feels Like Homework, Stop Doing It

Now that I’m 46 years old, I have a simple rule “if it feels like homework, stop doing it.” Writing this running blog has started to feel like homework, so I’ve decided to stop.

This is the second time I’ve tried to use a blog as a format for a public running journal. In each case I got bored of doing it after a few weeks. It started to feel like homework. And I hate things that feel like homework.

I already enter my running data into a few web services. I log automatically on RunKeeper (since I use RunKeeper / my iPhone to track my runs.) I then manually enter the data into TrainingPeaks (which my coach uses with me), SmashRun (which I like because of the data visualization), and Daytum (which I use to track mileage in different locations.) I also have all my step and activity data logged in Fitbit.

I really want a better / more integrated / automated approach. I thought the blog as a “running journal” might tie it all together. But it doesn’t. So – with that – I’m done with this particular attempt, at least for now.


Doubling What My Coach Said To Do

When I pondered my run from yesterday, I felt kind of lame. Yeah – I had the excuse that running on sand is like running in molasses, but I still didn’t feel like I worked nearly as hard as a should. So when I saw that today’s run was a mere 40 minutes, I decided to double it.

I have a double long weekend coming up – 2 hours on Saturday and 2:40 on Sunday. That’ll be about 25 miles or so. With the 6.46 I ran today I’m already at 25 miles for the week so I’ll have the potential for the first 50 mile week in a long time. And that feels important to me since I’m about two months away from a 50 mile run in Sacramento.

I can’t seem to get much pace at all for the segments on the beach. I’m doing an 8:2 pattern and as you can see from my 135 average heart rate I’m not really working that hard. Or maybe my heart is just in awesome shape since I’m running at sea level and it’s been trained at 5000 to 9000 feet. Regardless, my recovery time was quick – an hour after I finished I feel like I could go for a run again.

We’ll see how I feel on Sunday afternoon after another 25 miles of this.

The Only Difference Between Snow And Sand Is The Temperature

I’m on Miami Beach working on my Startup Communities book. Actually, today was the first day I’ve written anything – I spent the past two days getting acclimated. Ok – I spent the last two days procrastinating, but that’s how it works for writers. Maybe I’ll go on a bender all night long, sit by the pool with a bottle of whiskey in the morning, and crank out 50 pages.

Or maybe I’ll try my cruise intervals again. 6 minutes fast, 3 minutes walking times 5. One minor problem – I forgot that I’d be on sand for most of it. Have you ever tried to run in sand? It’s like running on snow except it’s warm. As I started the first interval, I thought to myself “ok – let’s go.” After a minute I was depressed. I was working hard, but not moving very fast. After two minutes I decided to change my attitude and just run. I ended up with some boardwalk on the way back and turned in an 8:26 and a 9:19 which was a solid way to end.

I’m back to procrastinating. This blog post was another delay tactic. Soon I’ll need to take a shower and go out to dinner. Writing a book is really hard.

Flying South For The Winter

RunKeeper told me that I just set a new record for avg. pace (9:05). I didn’t feel like I was working that hard – I just happened to be (a) at sea level and (b) in a warm place. Let me repeat (b) – I’m in a warm place. For the next two weeks. I’m officially sick and tired of winter.

Yup – that’s my wife’s car (the red one) stuck on the road leading up to our house. This is the second time she’s pulled this magic trick and it resulted in yet another 10 mile run to the office for me on Monday. Ok – I like the 10 mile run to the office so I’m mostly just giving my awesome wife a little bit of virtual shit. But I love her, think she’s super cute, and am glad we are spending Valentine’s Day together in a warm place. Plus, she’s a much better driver than me – I wouldn’t have even dared to try to get up the driveway.

During my run today I spent most of it thinking about a friend of mine who is having surgery today. He was recently diagnosed with testicular cancer and is having – well – one of his precious jewels removed. While I ran I sent him as much good karma as I could – I just kept repeating his name over and over again in my head. I haven’t heard how the surgery went, but as I ran along the beach in Miami I remembered that we are all mortal and should appreciate every minute of this thing called life.

Last year Amy and I spent Superbowl weekend here. This year it’s two weeks as I finish off my Startup Communities book. Maybe this will turn into an annual winter tradition. It sure is nice to be warm right now.

20 Cold Miles and One Warm Dump

On Thursday and Friday we got a typical extreme Boulder snowstorm. That means 24″ of snow. I was stuck at our condo in Boulder and Amy was stuck at our house in Eldo. That was no fun so on Friday morning I ran to her.

I thought it would be snowy so I wore a brand new pair of icebugs. Of course, I got the wrong size (they are 12’s – I should have gone 11.5’s). More importantly, I only needed them for the last 250 yards as the first 9 miles was dry road already (the sun was out, it was in the 40’s, and the snow plows had done their work, including on the sidewalks.) Of course, the last 250 yards was two feet deep so I’m not sure I needed the icebugs for that either so I just postholed my way through. Have you ever run 10 miles uphill in spikes on concrete and asphalt with shoes that are half a size too big? It sucks. So I took a bath when I got home.

I was going to run back to Boulder on Sunday mid-morning. I woke up at 9:30, had some breakfast, read a book, and crawled back in bed to take a nap. I woke up at 5:30 in the afternoon and decided to stay home and watch the football game with Amy. She’s a crazy Patriots fan so I rooted for the Giants just to annoy her. Hah!

I left my house this morning at 6:00am. It was pitch black except for the full moon lighting up the sky. The first 250 yards were a reverse of postholing through the snow – this time I had some footprints (big, deep ones) to step in. The next mile was over a sheet of ice where the snow had melted and refrozen in Eldorado Springs. After several ballet moves I decided to walk the last half mile so I’d quit trying to fall. Once I hit the pavement the road was once again dry.

At mile 7 I had a feeling come over me that all long distance runners know. I ate too much on Sunday but left before I’d had a chance to empty myself. I figured I only had three miles left so it wasn’t a big deal. Wrong. I started reconsidering at mile 8. By mile 9 I was in full clench – I’d waited too long and was now hunting for a building to duck into and find a bathroom. Fortunately I was at CU Boulder so I shot into the first building and went from a state of complete and total panic to utter relief in about six seconds.

As I trotted the last mile smiling, I thought to myself how nice it was to end a frustrating 20 miles with a very warm dump.

A Random Run In DC With A LivingSocial Dude

Just when I thought I was home I woke up in DC (well – Arlington, Virginia). In the dark of night (well – 6:30am) I went down to the lobby to meet up with a guy named Matt Lattman. It was pretty obvious who he was since he was the only person in the lobby and was in shorts and a t-shirt ready to run.

About a month ago Matt had bravely left a comment on my blog at Feld Thoughts which I replied to. This generated an email exchange about going for a run the next time I was in the DC area. That was today and off we went.

I knew nothing about Matt prior to the run other than he knew how to leave a comment on a blog, was training for a half marathon, and could spell pretty well. It turns out that he’s been at LivingSocial for the past year and a half and has experienced their growth from 300 to 5000 people. In addition to a nice (although damp) run on a bike path along Rt. 66, we had an awesome chat about scaling a business, culture, and the DC entrepreneurial community.

While I often run alone, I like doing random runs with people who reach out to me. This one was great and I made a new friend. Hopefully Matt will call on me to be helpful in the future with his endeavors, as he was helpful with mine this morning.

10 Miles Is Starting To Feel Routine

I regularly run from my house in Eldorado Springs to my office in Boulder. My standard run is right around 10 miles and has been a staple of my weekly “medium” runs when I’m in town. I usually leave my house just before dawn and enjoy the sun coming up on my way up 170 to Broadway (the first 4 miles) and then have the sun on my back for the remaining 6 miles into town.

As I’ve been losing weight (I’m now solidly under 200 and have been for a few weeks even with a long trip to the east coast) I’ve been getting faster. I knocked out a bunch of 10 milers at sea level in Boston and this was my first in Boulder since I went to Keystone in the middle of December.

I crushed it. I did a 9:1 pattern which means I walked a minute every 10 minutes and still turned in solid 10 minute miles the whole way, averaging 9:44. I had plenty left at the end although I definitely felt like I’d been working hard. For a 10 mile run, I’m often in the 140 – 150 range for average heart rate so 158 is an indication that there was some exertion today.

I started to fade a little around mile 8. I remember saying out loud “C’mon Feld – quit fucking around” as I picked it up again. As I made my way past the construction on Broadway (where they are building a new underpass), I smiled and hoofed it for the last mile.

Even with all my running, 10 miles used to feel like a long run until recently. Now, it’s just a routine run on my way to a day at the office.