Learning humility on the trails

Today’s run was shortened. I ran out of steam.

I drove to Memorial Park because the sun was already setting at 6:50pm and I know that my regular 6 mile run would take an hour and 30 minutes–too late. Usually I like running the trails  in the dark without any lights except the moon. However, my brother’s godfather just passed away and I’m kind of freaked out that I might see his ghost along the trails; call me chicken.

Memorial Park is surrounded by old beautiful trees that dates back to World War II with a nice circular trail (approximately 2.70 miles) which consists of granite/sand mix. One of the perks of going there is all the people from all walks of life. And marathon training (in my case) is a lonely endeavor, so running with other people sometimes helps fill the need for human contact. No man is an island.

The park is always packed around 5pm-9pm (even Friday’s). There are serious  mothers pushing baby strollers out with a vengeance as they run sub seven minute miles to reach a new personal record; muscular dudes that could step out of a Men’s Health magazine cover; girls that are oh-so-beautiful; octogenarians running or walking for their health; and a few very fast runners that are probably training for the upcoming 2012 Olympic Marathon Team Trials in January to hopefully represent United States in London.

And then there are guys like me: the dude who mostly everyone over passes. And I hate it because it nerves me to hear the crunching of gravel get closer and closer as a person comes behind me and then suddenly feel the person right next to me. I then acquiesce my urge to run  from my normal easy pace to reaching lactate threshold pace which ruins my goal of an easy workout day.

Is there anyway to solve this problem?

I favor the trails near my house instead of Memorial Park because I am usually alone while running except to meet other lone runners or group of bicyclist every other mile. I enjoy having a one-on-one conversation with nature and the occasional sound of civilization (car honks, radios).

But I think I have to practice humility and let go of my pride. There will always be a faster person than me.

The real opponent is my ego and my flesh which usually tells me it’s sore, tired, and wants to lay down with a nice cold beer.


Today’s run was 3.16 mi, overall pace was 10:38/min. Nice cool weather of 83F. Average heart rate: 167 beats per minute. Legs felt slightly heavy from Saturday’s 8.30 mi long run.


  • 9:28 (mile 1)
  • 9:48 (mile 2)
  • 9:48 (mile 3)

I am surprised by my average time and splits for the past couple of runs because I am an ~11-12 min/mi runner. Perhaps it is due to the cool weather and the not so frequent runs during my base building period this season which helped keep my weight at optimum level? I frequently checked my heart rate during my run and it stayed in the 160s expecting to reach 180-190 due to my unusually fast pace but it never happened.

In conclusion, great workout but disappointed I did not complete 6 miles as I intended. All for the glory of God.


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Filed under Houston Marathon 2012, Week 4

A new journey begins

Here I am again ready to embark on my 16 week training for the Houston Marathon 2012. This time around I will blog more (at least once a week). I consider myself lucky and blessed to once again run in my city.

On Saturday I’ll write a race report of my finishing Houston Marathon 2011–yes it’s a bit late, right? After the race I told myself: I’m tired and I want to recover. So a few days pass by; weeks; then months.

Wrong move. Write your experiences down while it’s fresh.


Today I ran 3 miles. I felt good, a ~10 minute/mile pace with easy breathing. Right knee area started feeling sore around mile 2; felt like iliotibial band was tightening.

Tomorrow calls for a 4 mile run.


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Filed under Houston Marathon 2012, Week 3

10 more days

Three things I want to share:

  1. I got a physical Houston Marathon Confirmation in the mail with my Bib #, color wave with maps of George R. Brown Convention and the course itself
  2. I bought a new pair of New Balance 760’s
  3. Officially tapering as I finished my last 20-miler Monday!

Now for the juicy pictures:

My plan today is a literal easy 6-7 miler on the trails without a *gasp* watch!  I admit, I have a tiny bit of obsession tracking every mile on my Garmin 305…also my change of heart rate every second, pace every 1/25th of a mile, and time (in seconds). So you see, it’s a tiny problem I have with my constant need of a watch which is almost like a part of myself, albeit an alien body part.


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16 more days

Ok, so I haven’t written on here since the beginning of my marathon training. Well, it turns out that I’ve stayed injury free during this whole journey towards the Chevron Houston Marathon. This Saturday I’m going to run my last 20-miler and then start tapering.

I know — tapering now? Shouldn’t you have started tapering at the beginning of January? I missed a couple of long-runs (approximately 4 of them) since I caught the colds. However, I did an 18 miler last December 16th and completed a 20 miler last Monday which went pretty good.

So my marathon planning didn’t go as I wanted it to be but  I’m happy and grateful I will be at the starting line and finish below 6 hours.

I am excited and scared: just 16 days left!

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Filed under houston marathon 2011

Official Marathon Training begins!

Thanks be to God the fall season  has coincided with the beginning of my official marathon plan, starting with a cool weather of ~60 F this Monday and has been around that temperature this whole week; cooler in the evenings with a high of 82 F during the day with a cool wind.

I think the cool weather has made me faster with an average pace of 11:29 minute / mile!

There’s a knot in my right calf that starts hurting (2 out of 10 in pain scale) when I reach 0.4 mile. It started Monday. The pain stopped when I tried landing my right foot closer to the medial line of my body and closer to my left foot. It turns out that I’ve been unconsciously pronating my right foot out 30 degrees to decrease the pain that I feel on my hallux [big toe] which has one big blister that has turned black and hard, and a smaller one when landing.

Got to go and foam away. Will write deeper analysis and share marathon plan/tweaks by Friday.


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Filed under houston marathon 2011, marathon training

About to begin

Tomorrow will the be start of my official marathon training!

I’m so excited, I can’t believe it’s finally here! I’m also thinking of doing a video diary, like a video every Sunday to re-cap how my week went.

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Musik Wednesday

I discovered this song in my Senior year in high school and the lyrics are always new every time I listen:

“Dare You To Move” by Switchfoot

Maybe redemption has stories to tell
Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell
Where can you run to escape from yourself?
Where you gonna go?
Where you gonna go?
Salvation is here

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