Training for 2015 week 4

The goals for this week were:

  1. Run every day.
  2. Run 66 miles.
  3. Race the Zoo Run Run 5k as a rust buster.
  4. Do a core workout at least 2 times

Monday was MLK day, so I got started a little later than normal. After watching the start and part of the MLK 5k in East Park, I met up with Alexis and Britt to run the regular Monday morning route. I then added a couple of miles to get 7 for the morning.

I punted Tuesday morning which left me stressed and feeling fat/lazy all day knowing that I MUST get the workout done later in the day. I left the office at 4 and got to Shelby bottom just before 5pm. After a 2 mile warmup, I threw on my headphones and took off. The plan was to run 2 x 3 miles at 5:48, 5:45, 5:45 with a 2 minute jog recovery. I ran a 5:41 first mile and decided to go for it. I thought about dialing back to the scheduled paces for the second set, but then remembered I would have to blog it and admit that I started too fast and wussed out – so I didn’t. Splits: (5:41, 5:37, 5:39), (5:40, 5:33, 5:34). It felt great to nail this one.

After Tuesday’s workout, I was sure to take Wednesday morning’s run with East Nasty nice and easy. Fortunately I was able to get a good night’s sleep. I was also surprised that my resting heart rate went down a point from Tuesday to Wednesday.

Wednesday morning was the longest East Nasty route (Musica). We kept it nice and easy. Thursday morning I met Greg at Bongo and we ran around that area for 10 miles. By Friday the rain had set in. I am starting hosting a Friday morning run at Nashville Running Company, so I got up and drove there in the cold rain. No one showed (we just announced it the night before), so I bailed and drove home. Unfortunately the rain never let up. So Greg and I met at Centennial after work and got in 6 miles.

Saturday morning Greg and I met up again, but I only ran 6 and he continued on for a long run / workout. That afternoon I ran the Zoo Run Run 5k in a cheetah costume. My time was 16:40, but I suspect the course might have been a little short. I will write more about this race later. Erica also ran the race and was 3rd in her age group. Before this year she had never won an age group award and now she has won one at both races she has run in 2015. That is pretty impressive and cool.

Sunday, Greg, Damien, and I ran the 11.2. Afterward I continued on for 4 miles on Belle Meade Blvd so that I could have a long run for the week. The first of those miles ended up being a 6:07, so I decided to try to run marathon pace. I didn’t quite get there with 5:58, 6:05, 6:00, but that is still a solid effort at the end of a solid week.

Screen Shot 2015-01-25 at 11.17.37 AMThis was my best week of training in a while. The workout on Tuesday went well. I ran every day. I had a fun 5k and then topped it off with a quality long run. The is 3 quality efforts in a single week and with 67 miles this was the most weekly mileage since October.

Week 4
Mon 7 easy
Tue 2 mile warm up
2 x 3 mile
2 mile cool down
Wed 7 miles easy
Thu 10 miles easy
Fri 6 miles easy
Sat 6 miles easy Zoo Run Run in 16:40
Sun 15 miles w/ 4 mile pickup

Training for 2015 Week 3

The goals for this week are:

  1. Run every day
  2. Run at least 61 miles
  3. Do drills & strides at least once
  4. Stretch in the evenings

Monday was cold and rainy. I was scheduled to run 7 miles, but only ran 5. I wimped out.

Tuesday was a track workout. I have struggled for months with long interval workouts. This was supposed to be 2 x 2 miles at 5:47 pace with 2 minutes rest. I have failed variations of this workout for months, so I was pretty nervous about it. As I type it now, it looks easy (like it should). I mean, this is basically 4 miles at half-marathon pace with a generous rest in the middle.

Greg, Hunter and I did this workout together (Hunter was doing a 3rd rep). We did the first two miles were in 11:36, the second two in 11:37. We then ran the first mile of Hunter’s 3rd set in 5:40. That is a success for this workout. It should be an easy workout, but it wasn’t. I am going to have to get over the mental block I have about this workout. I have 3 x 2 miles in two weeks, so I need to get over it now.

Wednesday I ran East Nasty. Greg, Alex and I did a good job of keeping the pace pretty easy. I am tired of the cold weather, but an hour after this run I wanted to go for another run. I guess that is a good sign since I am eager to train. Just need to make sure I keep the reigns on and be patient to follow the plan.

I struggle to get out the door when I don’t have anything scheduled with anyone else. That means that Thursdays and Fridays are usually the hardest days for me to run. Combine that with a big meeting Thursday morning and I decided to not run in the morning. That just left a small window in the late afternoon. I went to Shelby Bottoms, put my headphones on, and knocked out 8 miles at a medium effort. My training plan didn’t call for me to run this fast, and I scaled it back once I dropped below 6:00 pace, but a progression run with music is one of my guilty pleasures. Friday ended up being about the same, but only 6 miles instead of 8.

Saturday morning I met up with Damien and Greg for a long run through Nashville. For the 3rd week in a row I felt like it was more difficult than I expected. Hopefully each long run is building my endurance, because I feel that is currently my weak spot.

Sunday morning I met up with Dave, Emily, and Hunter and ran 10 miles out on the Edwin Warner greenway. The weather was amazing; slightly chilly at the start, but perfect by the end. It felt easy, but the outside of my left foot has just a little bit of pain. I wonder if the tongue of my shoe was off on Saturday or something.

Mon 5 miles easy
Tue 2 miles warmup
2 x 2 miles, 1 mile
2 miles cool down
Wed  7 miles easy
Thu 8 miles medium
Fri 6 miles easy(ish)
Sat 15 mile long run
Sun 10 easy  stretching & core

The goal was 61 miles for the week. I ended up just shy of that with 60. I think this was my most mileage since October. I have now run for 19 days straight. Hopefully I can keep it this consistent through March. Unfortunately, I didn’t stretch consistently nor did I do strides or drills. Plus, Dave said I need to add core work as well. (After writing this, I did a core routine and spent some time stretching and foam-rolling.)

This week I bought a Fitbit Charge HR. My goal is that by measuring my resting heart rate and sleep, I will be able to do a better job of tracing my recovery and overall stress. Hopefully that will help me take action when I start getting too close to the edge and back of just a little bit before I crash. I plan to write more about this sometime later this week.

Also this week I signed my 2015 contract with the Nashville Running Company race team. That is such a cool thing to be able to participate in. I definitely do not take it for granted and am grateful for the opportunity and support. Please go visit one of the NRC locations and check out all of the new Spring inventory they are getting in. (The new Mizuno Ekiden racing flats look AWESOME!)

Next week the plan is to run a few more miles than this week, add in a double or two, and have some fun racing the Zoo Run Run 5k.

13 weeks until the Boston Marathon.

2015 week 2

My goal for this week:

  1. Run every day.
  2. Run at least 50 miles.
  3. Stretch at least 10 minutes every day.

Monday was the start of a pretty brutal cold snap. It was only 20 degress out when Alexis and I ran the normal Monday morning run. Of course, that was nothing compared to later in the week.

Tuesday was my first track workout in a while. The plan was 6 x 1000m at Threshold pace with 45 seconds rest, but somehow I had 5 in my head so I did 1 rep short. I ran this with Hunter (who was doing 7-8 reps).

Wednesday was East Nasty route #1. Alex and I got after it a little and ran in that weird pace zone that is too fast to be easy, but not really fast enough to provide much benefit. It was undisciplined and I should know better.

Thursday was FRIGID. Greg, Tal, and I met at Bongo on Belmont and ran “more miles than degrees”; Over 5 miles in 4˚. It really wasn’t that bad once we got going, but I didn’t volunteer to run another 5 with Tal who needed to go 10.

Friday I struggled to get motivated. I slept in, didn’t run in the morning, and didn’t really have a plan. I eventually forced myself to go to the Y and squeeze in a treadmill run before a meeting. I only ran 3 miles, but hey, sometimes the bare minimum is better than the alternative.

Saturday morning was a large group run out at Edwin Warner Park. It was cold, but not too bad once we got going. The plan was for Greg and I to run 14 and Christopher and Wade to run 16. We ended up splitting the difference and running 15. Some how I was thinking that I was way behind on mileage and not going to hit my goal of 50 miles this week, but after this run I was over 43.

On Sunday I met up with Greg and Hunter. We ran the 11.2 and then Hunter grabbed some extra miles for his long run. I have been running too many flat routes and know that I need to be ready for some hills in Boston. The 11.2 was TOUGH, so it was probably exactly what I needed. After the run I set a goal with Greg for us to run the 11.2 at least ten times before Boston.

Mon 5 miles easy
Tues 2 miles warmup
5 x 1000m @ T pace
2 miles cool down
Wed 6 miles easy
Thur 5 miles easy
Fri  3 miles easy
Sat  15 miles
Sun  THE 11.2

I totaled 53 miles of running for the week in about 6 and a half hours. I ran every day and stretched after every run. I am not sure if I stretched for a full 10 minutes every time (probably not), but definitely a step in the right direction.

There are 14 more weeks until Boston. I have never had a marathon build-up that gradually added miles and intensity and continued strong until the taper started. I have never had 10 consecutive weeks of 50+ miles even though I have had schedules and plans that were even considerably higher.

Next week I want to run at least 55 miles 61 miles (just got a new schedule from Dave), run every day, and stretch / exercises every evening (not just after runs). I also want to get back to doing drills and strides, so I will do those at least once this week too.

Spring Race Plans

I have a few races penciled in for the build up to Boston.

January 24th Zoo Run Run 5k (rust buster)
February 7th Frostbite Half-marathon (fast-finish long run)
February 22nd Race Judicata 5k & 10k (training run)
March 7th Tom King Half-marathon (PR attempt)
March 21st Middle Tennessee 5k Shootout (PR attempt)
April 20th Boston Marathon

After those, I might try to talk Dave into another Summer of Speed.

Thoughts on My Experience on the Education Report Card Committee

Last week’s presentation of the 2014 Education Report Card marked the end of my three-year term on the committee. My service on this committee has been a life-changing experience, so I feel the need to debrief. This is not an op-ed or position piece – more of a personal diary entry to kind of digest.

How it came to be

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 11.38.00 AMEducation has always been important to me. As a high-school dropout, I felt like the pubic education system let me fall through the cracks. Early in my career I spent two years working as a teacher and technologist at a successful charter school in Washington, DC. After that I served as an Instructional Technologist at Belmont University before leaving for the private sector to make some money. Still, education remained the area that I hoped to focus on in regard to community service efforts.

In 2011, I briefly explored the idea of running for a seat on the Nashville Board of Education. I met with several people in the community while exploring that option and during that process learned about the Education Report Card committee. As a business owner and Nashville Chamber member, that seemed like a good fit for me. Luckily, they agreed to let me join.

The first year

I don’t think I realized what an enormous time commitment the Report Card committee was. I also had no idea how fulfilling and invigorating that time would be. As someone who loves to learn, there is no better hobby than getting to interview domain experts each week.

The committee’s focus topic that year was charter schools. That gave us the opportunity to tour STEM Prep, Nashville Prep, and others. It became clear that me that a strong and effective school leader was critical to school culture, which attracted and motivated great teachers, which led to student success.

Our recommendations were:

  1. The school board should develop a dashboard to review progress on key performance measurements at their regularly scheduled meetings.
  2. MNPS should create and implement a comprehensive strategy for integrating charter schools into the district, as a step toward creating an overall strategic plan that clearly connects all reform efforts.
  3. MNPS should develop a system to offer shared services for charter schools as a way to increase efficiencies and cost savings.
  4. MNPS should broaden the Innovation Zone to the bottom 25 percent of district schools.
  5. The Tennessee General Assembly should amend state law to implement a default closure mandate for charter schools that are placed on the state’s priority schools list for not meeting performance standards.

The second year

After the first year, I was completely bought in to the work of the Report Card committee. I dove in head-first and cleared my schedule and attended every meeting, school tour, work group, special presentation, etc. It was as if I had an auto-responder set up to invites – “yes! I’ll be there. What is the event?”

Our focus last year was on Common Core, but as we learned more about CCSS and how MNPS was implementing and supporting CCSS, I feel we had very little to add to that conversation other than “yep, keep up the good work.”

Our recommendations were:

  1. Metro Schools should take decisive action toward discontinuing their persistently lowest-performing, under-enrolled school programs under the new district Academic Performance Framework.
  2. Metro Schools should implement an aggressive strategy to recruit and retain high-performing bilingual teachers.
  3. Metro Government should allow enrolled K-12 students to ride Metropolitan Transit Authority buses at no cost to the student, making school choice a real possibility for Nashville’s students and families.
  4. The Tennessee General Assembly should stay the course in implementing Common Core State Standards and the corresponding PARCC assessments.
  5. Metro Schools should implement a strategy to communicate with parents, teachers, students and the broader public about the increased rigor and higher expectations that correspond with Common Core State Standards.

The third year

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 11.52.46 AMThis has been a very interesting year. In August, we decided our area of focus would be Educational Leadership. Then in September, Dr Register made an announcement about my neighborhood (East Nashville) that incorporated many of the Report Card Committee’s recommendations from the previous two years. I dove in and quickly found myself in the thick of a surprisingly contentious discussion about if and how we should drastically fix under-performing schools East Nashville.

Between Report Card organized meetings and school visits, VIP Tours, Priority school meetings, community group meetings, ribbon cuttings, and private one-on-one meetings, I spent a TON of time on public education this year. It has been very challenging to balance that with my existing responsibilities to my family, running my business, and marathon training. I am extremely grateful for Erica’s support as she has really helped keep it all going.

Our recommendations were:

  1. Going forward, the Chamber’s Education Report Card Committee should annually monitor the implementation of MNPS’ strategic plan through 2018.
  2. Metro Schools should reform the pay supplement system to financially reward teachers who assume leadership roles at their schools.
  3. Metro Schools should catalog those issues most commonly identified as impeding school-level autonomy in order to identify potential policy or statute changes.
  4. The Metro School Board should recommit its adherence to policy governance by engaging in ongoing professional development.
  5. The Metro School Board should time the hiring of a new director of schools to take place after the election of Nashville’s mayor in 2015.

That 4th one received the most attention, but I believe all 5 are important and when implemented will help accelerate the improvement of public education in Nashville.

What’s next?

Obviously, I am still in the middle of the East Nashville discussion. I am currently serving on Dr Register’s East Nashville Advisory Committee as Elissa Kim’s appointee to represent Stratford Cluster parents. My company is a Pencil Partner as of this year and I hope to find ways to deepen and expand that relationship. I also have a pet-project that I plan to release in 2015. Other than that, I have no idea.

I don’t know where my education service home will be next. I do know that I have been inspired by Erica’s twice-weekly volunteering at Kirkpatrick and I am planning to do something similar with some of my time. I also feel that I have been effective in helping to find common ground while helping to push the bar higher and higher for public education in Nashville, so I would like to continue that. Does that look like participation in a group or organization? I don’t know. I do know that I am passionate about great public education and will continue to be involved.

Thank you Nashville Chamber of Commerce, Marc Hill, Stephanie Coleman, Whitney Weeks, and Ralph Shultz for giving me the opportunity to serve on the Education Report Card Committee. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and highly recommend it to others. I hope that my voice has been a positive part of the conversation. The experience has been transformative for me.





Press coverage of this year’s report

October 13 – 19, 2014

Picture from last week's half-marathon.

Picture from last week’s half-marathon.

Ok, let’s get down to business.

On Monday I decided to change plans and run the half in Indy and race CIM again as my A race. That gives me more time to get in shape, and I am now excited to do a better job of building some cumulative fatigue.

There was a serious storm Tuesday morning, so we pushed the track workout to Wednesday. It was hard to get out the door Tuesday morning, but I did it. The weather for the Wednesday morning track workout was pretty great. Greg, Hunter and I all have the same paces, so we were able to share the work. We started the workout with 1 mile at marathon pace, but without a watch. The goal pace is 5:59; Hunter ran 6:04 and Greg and I ran 6:05. Then we did 5 x 1200m with a target of 4:13 each. They did a (really fast) 6th rep while I had to visit the bathroom. Then another mile at marathon pace before cool down, but with the watch.

Thursday was my 3rd day of doubles in a row. My legs definitely have started to feel it. Luckily, a big group of us got together Thursday morning (Greg, Lindsay, Ashley, Emily, Cañas, Hunter, and I). Friday I had an early meeting, and I failed to get out the door for a run. I kept trying to find a way to fit in a run, but with my first meeting at 7am and my last meeting at 6:45, I just couldn’t (didn’t) make a run happen. Saturday was also a fail. We left at 7am to take Zavier to Knoxville for the state cross country championships. I thought I would have time to run in Knoxville, but we ate lunch instead and then drove straight back. When we got back, I was too tired from driving all day to get out the door for a run :(

Luckily, I did have a good workout on Sunday. I ran the Music City Half-marathon as a workout. The plan was to run a two mile warmup and then the first three miles of the race at marathon pace (5:59), the next three miles (4-6) at half-marathon pace (5:40), the next three miles (7-9) at marathon pace, and then run easy to finish.

I mostly stuck to the plan. The first three were 5:59, 5:51, 5:55. The second three were 5:43, 5:37, 5:38. The third three were 5:55, 5:50, 5:49 (a little fast). After that I was supposed to slow down to an easy pace. The HM pace miles felt tough, but everything else felt pretty easy, so I need up running 5:50, 6:02, 6:07, and 5:57. At mile 12 I realized I could get under 1:17, so I picked it up just a little. Two half-marathon PRs in two weeks, and neither was a full effort. This was the first time that “marathon pace” felt like something I might actually be able to hold for 26 miles (on a good day). This bodes well :)


Post-race selfie with my true love. Two new PRs :)

View on Instagram

Also, Erica (my wife) ran her second half-marathon this weekend. She dropped 3 minutes off her time in just 3 weeks. Last time I paced her for most of the race, but this time she did it all on her own. It was really fun to run an out-and-back race and get to see my wife crushing it on my way back.

Monday no run (storming & Alexis off for Federal holiday) 8 miles @ 7:27 w/Dave
Tuesday 5 miles @ 7:45 8 miles @ 7:29 w/Greg while pushing Max in the stroller
Wednesday 2 mile warmup
1 mile at MP 6:05 (w/o watch)
5 x 1200m w/45 sec rests
(4:10, 4:13, 4:11, 4:08, 4:02)
1 mile at MP 5:54 (w/ watch)
2 mile cool down
 6.5 miles easy @ 7:19 w/ East Nasty
Thursday  9 miles @ 7:45 group run  5 miles @ 7:14
Friday no run no run
Saturday no run no run
Sunday 2 mile warmup
Music City Half-Marathon in 1:16:56 (PR)
2 mile cool down

Post-race with Scott Bennett and Erica after CIM last year.

Post-race with Scott Bennett and Erica after CIM last year.

One interesting side-effect of the decision to run CIM again this year is that it is really easy to compare my training last year to this year. Here is the post from the same week last year. My workouts were definitely better this year. Last week I did the same workout as this week last year, but this time I ran it faster with less rest between reps. The downside is that last year I had just completed 6 solid weeks whereas this year I feel like I am just getting started again. However, what I know now is that last year my training died at the end. Hopefully this year I can peak right.

A Change in Plans

Three weeks until Indy Monumental.

I just don’t feel ready. I have lacked the dedication and commitment needed to really run a great marathon. Scott says “You can fake half-marathon fitness, but you can’t fake marathon fitness.” Last week, I think I did a decent job of faking half-marathon fitness, but I am terrified of racing a marathon in 3 weeks.

Then my father-in-law called Erica to ask if I was going to run CIM again. It was a nice family visit last year and they wondered if we wanted to do it again. Erica and I talked about it and she liked the idea of going back to Sacramento to see her family.

Then I talked with Dave and asked if I could run a less-than-full-effort marathon in Indy and then do CIM as the goal race. He had a much better idea: race the half in Indy, train for 5 more weeks, and race CIM.

BINGO! New plan :)

I don’t want to just delay a suffer-fest. So I am going to commit to some changes:

  1. I am going get back to posting my training every week.
    This helps me keep a realistic eye on how things are going as well as holds me accountable. I used to know weekly mileage down to the 10th of the mile, but recently Dave would ask me the previous week’s mileage and the best I could do was 60-ish.
  2. I am going to stick to the plan.
    If the training plan says 8 miles in the morning and 5 in the evening, that is what I am going to do. 10.5 in the morning and nothing in the evening isn’t “close enough.” Neither is 5 in the AM and 5 in the PM.
  3. I am going to hurt more.
    I have been way too comfortable the past 12 weeks. If there aren’t aches when walking down the stairs in the morning then I am not really training for a marathon.

As for last week, I didn’t keep good logs. Here are the highlights:

Tuesday: 10 x 800m w/ 30 sec rests
Splits: 2:46.8, 2:40.3, 2:48.0, 2:46.8, 2:48.9, 2:47.2, 2:44.2, 2:45.3, 2:44.0, 2:38.9 (Avg: 2:45)
These are much shorter rests than “Yasso 800s,” but it is still a similar predictor. I ran this workout with headphones and music (a first, but maybe not the last time).

Saturday: The Middle Half in 1:17:23 (PR)
I ran this hard, but not at 100%. It is nice that I ran this a few seconds than last year without killing myself and in worse weather. It was a little boring since I was by myself from 0.5 miles until the finish. I passed a guy around mile 10 and the second place woman around 11.5.

The Middle Half is an amazingly well-done race. I hope I get to race it every year.

Sunday: Shelby Parks 6 mile trail race
10733514_10100876795147719_1902115752_nThis was on the dirt trails in Shelby Park, which is by far my favorite place to run in Nashville. I had no business running this the day after a half-marathon PR, but Nashville Running Company was putting it on, and I happened to wake up in time to make it to the start line.

This was a really fun one. I went out pretty hard and then my right glute started cramping pretty bad. I dialed it back a bit and hoped no one would catch me (I was in 3rd place). I committed to myself that I would not get into a sprint finish since that would probably be the easiest way to hurt myself. Luckily it didn’t come to that and I maintained 3rd place. I think I ran around 35:30.

It’s cool that NRC let’s me race for free but not contend for the prizes. The unfortunate part is that they leave me out of the results too. I might as well just pay the entry fee and get reimbursed :-/

Anyway, not a bad week, but it wasn’t very good mileage. I think I only ran about 40 miles for the week. Time to get my ass back in gear.

Let’s do this, together

Four weeks.

In four weeks we will find ourselves 26.2 miles away from completing a journey that we started many weeks ago. We will spend the morning doing something that has become routine: clicking off miles, one at a time. The first miles will likely feel easy and will be full of excitement (and maybe a little too much conversation). The middle miles will take some focus and we will have to work a little harder to hit our paces. Then we will get to the final miles…

The final miles are never the same twice. The final miles are the hardest. The final miles are where the unexpected happens. The final miles are what make us marathoners.

We are still a long way from the final miles. Like the marathon itself, marathon training can also be broken into three segments. The first weeks of marathon training are exciting and easy; the middle weeks require focus and dedication. Now we are in the final weeks of marathon training.

The final weeks of marathon training are always the toughest for me. Indy Monumental will be my 5th marathon (and the 7th one I have trained for). Each time, it is the last few weeks of training where I have had the hardest time. Hopefully that is normal.

Warning: this is going to get personal
Argh! I don’t know how you guys do it. Training for 18 weeks for one race is hard. I have really struggled to stay focused and dedicated. It would be easy to make excuses and blame it on the weather, or the stress of work, or the stress of family, or any number of other things that aren’t really the problem. I have struggled to get enough sleep. I have struggled to eat enough. My sodium is constantly low, making it harder to recover from hard efforts. My body hurts. I have started dreading even the easy runs. Maybe you can relate to one of those, or maybe you have a different set of challenges.

I am now in a place where big goals that seemed attainable when we started this training cycle now feel like they are slipping from my grasp. It is hard to keep going. It is hard to ignore that little voice in my head that keeps suggesting I could give up.

Marathoners don’t give up.

The good news is: We still have four weeks.
The metephorical hay is not yet in the barn. Like the final miles of the marathon itself, we can’t make up for lost ground in the final weeks. What we can do is keep pressing forward. Set micro-goals, celebrate their completion, and set your sights on the next small accomplishment.

Oh, and don’t do anything stupid. We have all come too far to screw it up now. In four weeks, I will see you in Indy. I’ll be the bald guy in the Nashville Running Company singlet. It is going to #BeMonumental.


Indy Monumental Week 3

This was scheduled to be a down week. I killed it :)

The week started off like any other with a Monday morning run with Alexis.

Tuesday was hot and humid, but I still had a solid 6 x 1600m workout. The goal was to run these at 5:35-5:40 pace with 45 seconds rest between them. After the first two I felt that I could run that pace for a half-marathon; after the 3rd one I was sure I couldn’t. I took a little extra rest after the 3rd one and then ran the 4th one too fast. Splits were [5:38, 5:38, 5:34, 5:25, 5:34, 5:35]

Wednesday morning I pushed max in the stroller and ran East Nasty with Erica. Pushing a kindergartener is definitely harder than the last time I pushed Max in the stroller. That evening Greg and I ran two loops of the East Nasty route pretty quick in the rain, but still slower than marathon pace (6:36 average). That feels like a weird pace that is harder than an easy run, but not hard enough to count as a workout. Still, it was a lot of fun :)

I was supposed to run Thursday – Sunday, but I didn’t. Instead I had fun with Erica on our little weekend getaway to Destin, FL. It was good for the soul and good for the body – somethings are more important than marathon training.

Now I am back and it is back to work. Well-rested and motivated to put in the work.

Monday 5 miles easy.
Tuesday Threshold workout: 6 x 1600m + drills
Wednesday 4 miles easy while pushing a stroller with Erica and East Nasty 7 miles at 6:36 average pace
Thursday  7 miles easy Flight to Florida
Friday “cross train”: sailing more sailing
Saturday “cross train”: casual swimming in the ocean recovery run at 20 minute pace aka long walk on the beach with Erica
Sunday “cross train”: cruising around on a jet ski with Erica “cross train”: standup paddle boarding in the gulf

Vacation Email Lifehack

I’m on a plane. Then I’m going to be on a boat. Then I’m going to be on a beach where I will probably post one of those annoying “legs on the beach” selfies. Then I am going to eat some really good food and drink copious amounts of wine.

In order to enjoy it fully, I need to do a good job of disconnecting (this is really hard for me). The problem is that I also need to be available in case something urgent comes up (the other problem may be the I have no self-control). Knowing I am available if needed makes it easier to m be unavailable unless needed. Regardless, I came up with a pretty badass way to disconnect from email (unless needed).

This solution even keeps me disconnected when I break down and check email from my phone.

Step 1: only use gmail or Google apps (sorry, only way the hack works)

Step 2: create an auto-responder.
If your email address is, let people know that they can still reach you by re-sending their email to This works by using the unlimited gmail+ email addresses.

Step 3: create an email filter from a search for “”
Set the message to “skip the inbox” and tag them “vacation”

Step 4: go on vacation

Step 5: check your email while on vacation
The only emails in your inbox are the urgent ones.

Step 6: when you return, process the vacation folder and turn off the filter and auto-responder.

Now, I am going to go relax. :)

Here is how I actually ended up processing my vacation folder:

  1. Using the Gmail web interface, I searched for “label:vacation is:unread” and quickly selected all of the messages I could completely ignore.
  2. I then chose “Mark as read” for the group of messages selected in group 1 (removing them from my search view).
  3. I scanned the remaining messages for anything I just needed to review or read and read those.
  4. I then moved the remaining messages from my search query to my inbox.
  5. Tured off the auto responder.
  6. Back in business with a relatively small inbox :)