Lunch Runs and Musical Randomness


Tuesday during lunch I decided to use the Fitness Center at work and go for a run. There were several reasons that I did this and I’m so glad that I did.

First I was up late on Monday night. I wish that I could say that it was because I was out late having a good time and livin’ it up. But it wasn’t. I was up late helping Vicky grade papers. Exciting stuff I know. We finished up around 1 am and I decided that sleeping until 6 was a better idea than getting up for a 4 mile run.

Why 4 miles? Because I am part of a running challenge\club called Project 1:59. It is a group on Strava and lead by two-time Olympian Kara Goucher that includes a training program with the aim of helping people run a sub 2 hour half marathon. I’ll put a link for it here Project 1:59.

Anyway, Tuesday’s run was a 4 mile run at faster than race tempo. And I wasn’t going to be able to in the even because on Tuesday’s I go to Trivia with Vicky and her parents.

Another reason was it was the last day of a challenge that I was a part of on DietBet. Which is an app that runs challenges to help motive and provide accountability for people trying to lose weight. This was a 4 week challenge to lose 4% of my body weight. I had another 1.5 to go so I didn’t want to skip the run.

So, at lunch I walked from my building over to the fitness center about .5 mile away. Changed into my running gear. which now includes a new Garmin 645 music. I was super excited to use this on a run because it meant that I didn’t have to carry my phone to listen to music.

And apparently I was really excited to go on this run. My first mile was 7:54. I haven’t ran a mile that fast since college. The rest of the run went about as well with the 4 miles coming in at 34:44 for an average of 8:41 min\mile. For me this is seriously fast.

I learned several things on this run.

I’m way faster than I thought. I know that isn’t fast for some of you out there but I have considered myself to be an 11min/mile guy for a long time. I am not pushing hard enough.

Running next to a large airport is alot of fun. I really like watching planes take off and land. Running beside Skyharbor airport is like Christmas for me. I watched a V-22 Osprey come in and land.

When one lives in the valley of the sun and its starting to get warm again (80+ degrees) don’t wear a black shirt on a mid day run. Seriously, I got super hot and felt like it zapped some of my energy.

I have a very odd playlist when I run. I was just discussing playlists with thedancingrunner earlier and hers looks somewhat cohesive. I make huge jumps from DMB I did it, Eric Clapton’s Layla, Reel Big Fish Sell Out, Britney Spears Get Naked, Trombone Shorty’s Like a Dog, JT’s Supplies…..and the randomness goes on.

Anywho…I need to figure out how to do a 6-8 mile run tomorrow and the group 4 mile run. Maybe I’ll go early and just do the course twice. I’ll let you know how that goes. Until then, C-ya!

Long runs and Brisket

3-10 Neal and Vicky

Saturday is the tradition day for most of the running world to go on a “long run” and who am I to buck that tradition. I would like to say that Saturday morning I got up early and went for a scenic run whilst watching the sun come up of the desert mountains.

I can’t.

I slept like the bum that I am until 9:30. And let me tell you, it was glorious! I would have stayed longer but there was a run and other plans for the day. So, reluctantly got up. Put on my running gear and loaded Vicky’s bike into the bed of the truck. We had what now seems like a ridiculous plan. She would bike beside me while I ran.

We drive to the bike trail head so that we could bike/run without worrying about cars and started off on a 6 mile journey, 3 out and 3 back. My pace to start with was fantastic 8:40 min/mile. I paid for the quick start toward the end.

If you are ever given the choice between biking while someone runs or running while your partner bikes, be the biker. A runner trying to keep up with a biker is a really hard workout and barely anything if you are the biker. That was one of the hardest runs I’ve had in a VERY long time. But, it felt really good. and I’ll admit that I stopped a couple of times. I still managed a 10 min/mile average so I’m pretty happy with it.

I had all kinds of thoughts about random things on this run. Here are a few of them:

Do you think that Bono of U2 will ever find what he is looking for?

Does he even know what he is looking for?

At what point will he stop?

Would it help if he stopped looking in the Red Hill mining town where the streets have no name?

Why does he not care if he looks with or without you?

Who are you anyway? (I know I switched bands there to the Who).


Being Saturday we went to breakfast afterward. I call it breakfast because that was the food we ate (I love some good B&G) and coffee. We had planned a hike that afternoon but got rained out. I know, its a desert and it rained. Weird right.

On to Sunday. I didn’t run. Sunday’s are a tradition (running and religious) rest day anyway. And I wasn’t able to find out where the group trail run was in time. So, I smoked a brisket. Work hard, play hard right? And since that is an all day event that needs babysitting I wasn’t able to go run. I’ll leave you with that image until next time…C-ya!


Running and Dunkin Donuts

On Thursday’s I met up with a group of like minded crazy people in the parking lot of a Starbucks and we all go run 4 miles; at 5:30 am; in the dark. Which means at 5 am my alarm goes off and I have to will myself out of a nice, warm, cozy bed. Put on my night running gear, make the actually short trip to the Starbucks, and the NOT GET COFFEE! Which just seem ludicrous to me. I may have a small coffee problem. I only drink 10-14 cups a day. That’s just one pot because two pots would be ridiculous.

But I digress….

So, this Thursday I barely got there in time. I missed the group photo that is taken every week. (I think its just so that they can prove they did it) I snuck in behind them just as they were taking off. That did startle a couple of them which amused me. I fell in with a couple of ladies who where talking about everything under the sun (which still wasn’t up yet). I let their conversation distract me as I ran and listened to Britney, Clapton, DMB, Zeppelin and Trombone Shorty. Eventually I joined in and admitted that I haven’t been through a Phoenix summer yet. Which got the standard “just wait, your going to die out here” to which I told them I’ve been through several Georgia summers that where 120+ degrees F (~50 C) PLUS 85%-90% humidity. I think I’ll be ok.

Around the end of the run one of them thought we should kick to the finish so the people who where faster and waiting on us would think that we were running really hard. So I sprinted to the finish. For some reason, no matter how far the run, how fast my pace is, or how tired I am I have always been able to sprint at near 100 m dash speed at the end. In high school cross country the kick even had a scream associated with it and I dropped it down into the sprint for your life gear. I have managed to stifle the scream but I can still kick like none other.

I knew that we kept a brisk pace and that they where pushing me. I was a little surprised I had enough reserve left to sprint as much as I did. for those who have read the post about Tuesday I thought that was my speed day keeping a 9:29 min mile average over 2 miles. Once I looked at my watch I did a double take. I just did 9:19 min mile average over 4 miles. This tells me two things. Thing number one, running with people can push me alot more than I thought. Thing number two, I need to rethink how fast I should be going.

The run was over, I was feeling pretty good and ready for my Starbuck reward. Then we walked to Dunkin Donuts. I’m still a little confused by this but they have coffee so I was happy.

I also want to give a shout out to my 2 followers: thedancingrunner who has a blog you should go check out and my fiance Vicky. Which I didn’t tell I was doing this. She is the main reason that I have been managing to get up and go running at ungodly hours. She is also super supportive of my running goals.

Hopefully, I can get a couple of runs in this weekend.  Until then C-ya!

Early Morning and Coyotes

Tuesday morning the alarm went off at 5 am. After 10 minutes of convencing myself that I really should get up and run I finally dragged myself out of bed and put on my running gear. This time I included my Zephyr Fire 300 made by Nathan (pretty serious running flashlight). Armed with a flashlight and a really reflective shirt I fired up Britney (don’t judge) and took off into the darkness.

For living in a fairly major metropolitan area its really dark at 5:30 in the morning. I’ve decided that Tuesdays are speed days so I only ran 2 miles but I tried to go faster than I felt comfortable. I held a 9:29 min mile average, which I feel pretty good about. It was a good run but I encountered something that I wasn’t real sure what to do about.

My neighborhood over the past several weeks has been having a little bit of a coyote issue. mostly just a lot of sighting and people being scared for their pets. Being a farm boy from Indiana I’m no stranger to coyotes. I’ve even seen them on runs in the countryside before. Generally as soon as they see a person they take off the other way.

Arizona coyotes are different.

I turned a corner and there where 3 sets of eyes about 50 ft away from me. And instead of turning and running off they just stared at me. Probably as confused as I was. They didn’t make a move toward me or away, which I would have preferred. They just sat there. Which got me to thinking. what would I do if they decided that I was a good looking meal. the Zephyr has an alarm feature that is seriously high pitched. Maybe that would scare them off? But nothing happened and I live to run another day.

Until then C-ya!