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RunEatRalph last won the day on November 5

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About RunEatRalph

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    The Blogger Formerly Known as Mr. Ralph

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  1. RunEatRalph

    Shamrock Marathon Training!

  2. RunEatRalph

    Rehoboth Beach Marathon Training Week 12 – The Good Kind of Pain

    Yes! I ran 15 on Sunday and thought of it almost like I did the first time I ever ran that distance. That newness and excitement really helped.
  3. Hey hey hey and I hope you had a Happy Halloween! I’m a bit candy fat at the moment. It’s time to recap last week’s training. I’m really just happy that there IS a recap, since that means I was able to hold up and stay healthy enough for another week. I’m a little late to recap this week, but I can tell you that I’m feeling GREAT right now. I was going through a rough patch, where I honestly started to question what I was even doing. I mean, I LOVE running, but I also love feeling healthy enough to run around with my kids and stay active in other areas. My hip soreness was starting to impact my overall quality of life. I’m so thankful to have the resources (personal trainer and physical therapist mainly) to get me back to normal. The encouragement and advice given to me by runners (both “real life” and social media types) has helped so much too. Monday – Planned 4 miles/Actual 4 miles This was my treadmill run for the week. I’m really starting to like those. 4 miles doesn’t get TOO boring and I really do like the lower impact to keep my legs from getting too beat up. Something is definitely up with my wrist-based heart rate monitor these days. I’m fairly certain it has something to do with the cold. My average HR for this run was 142bpm, which is to be expected for a run at an 8:16 pace. My outside runs of a similar nature have been averaging over 160bpm! That ain’t right. I also did a little cross-training. I’m sticking with twice a week, but I took it kind of easy. Something is better than nothing, right? Tuesday – Planned 6 miles/Actual 6 miles It was pants weather. Too often we go from sweating to death by the first mile to needing galoshes, all within a couple of weeks. I think the perfect running temperature is somewhere around 50 degrees. What do you think? Average HR…167bpm. Riiiiiight. Wednesday – Rest (Maybe I should say “non-running”) I kicked some cross-training butt by throwing some bells around. Thursday – Planned 6 miles/Actual 6 miles I ran these with running buddies Brooke and MC. It was good to have the company and there was coffee! Brooke also provided me with a dozen Monster cookies in exchange for a donation to help with her fund-raising for the NYC marathon. I came out ahead in the deal. Brooke can most definitely make a cookie. I won’t say how many I ate, only that 6 miles wasn’t enough to burn them off. We talked about a number of things, but mainly the difference between Red Vines and Twizzlers (I think I talk about this too much) and sleep chambers. Our running crew might invest in one of those (I’m looking at YOU, Robbie). Friday – Rest This was real rest. I did nothing. Saturday – Planned 6 miles/Actual 6 miles I named this one, “I just wanna run 6 forever.” There’s some real truth to that. It’s the perfect distance! I feel like I could run that distance every day without ever needing a rest day. It’s such a satisfying distance. Sometimes I think about quitting all of this marathon stuff and just running 6 miles every single day when I wake up. My wife, some friends and I went out for a little Halloween thing at a bar called Clamdiggers out in Bedford. I dressed as Justin Verlander, since I look like him so they say. It was a pretty easy costume too. It was pretty fun, but luckily not TOO fun with regards to my long run on Sunday. Being mistaken for future HOF pitcher Justin Verlander is the closest I’ll ever get to fame. Sunday – Planned 13 miles/Actual 13 miles I’ll be honest. I was nervous. 13 miles was a big jump from last week’s 10. 14 miles is the distance in which my hip REALLY got crazy. I was up late, so I had to run in the afternoon. None of this mattered, because I got to run in some Clifton 1s. They are as advertised. They are like running on marshmallows, but not too much. Speaking of marshmallows, there is toasted marshmallow Gu. I know it’s weird, but I like it! Weird, but yum. The best part about this run was the negative splits. My last 4 miles were my best 4 miles. Woo hoo! Week 12 brought me some confidence that I desperately needed. Missing time and being banged up really shook me. This week’s long run is 15. I feel like if I get that done with no problems, I’ll be back on track to at least put a good effort in at Rehoboth. Rehoboth is going to be just fine no matter what. There’s a beer tent like no other.
  4. Well said, whoever that was. It's strange having different sized flag poles, that's for sure.
  5. Since I'll be seeing at least a few of you in Rehoboth, I thought I'd update you on where I am currently... Ever since a run the day after my 40th birthday, I’ve been battling right leg pain that seemed to move all over the place. After plenty of working out, dry needling and physical therapy I discussed the issue with my good friends and trainer/PT people Jill and Rachelle and I think we figured it out. My baby calf just hasn’t been ready for what I’ve tried to put it through. As I increased the mileage, I think that my baby calf has fatigued and then no longer absorbs the shock of impact that comes with thousands of steps on a long run. My hip has been paying the price. To put it in medical terms, pounding the pavement beat the crap out of my hip. Time for a Plan B. Blow the whole thing up. Long story short, I’ve fallen WAY behind in my training with all of this on again/off again stuff. I’m not giving up on Rehoboth quite yet, but I’m having to reevaluate my plan and my goals. Surviving is the #1 goal now. Bye bye, time goals. I’ve gone from 3 x 20 mile runs to zero. My peak week is just over 40 miles now. I also have an extra rest day from running for the next 6 weeks. No track work. No hill repeats. This could change if I’m able to show that I’m 100%, but for now I don’t want to push it. I need to remember that not long ago I was in a boot for 3 months. Not long ago, I was so happy to run ANY miles at all. I have the rest of my life to run. There’s no sense in killing myself now.
  6. RunEatRalph

    The grass is always greener

    Some of the things you write seem like they are being pulled straight from my own head. You and I are definitely on the same path. Hopefully it leads to good runs in Rehoboth.
  7. RunEatRalph

    Baby steps.

    Hooray for miles! I need to do that workout too, honestly. I think I will.
  8. RunEatRalph

    ? Marathon Training Week 4 – The Decision

    Thanks! I figured that's a convenient way to keep a running diary. The GAP feature is awesome. A friend turned me onto the StravistiX Extension for google chrome. It provides SO much extra info for runs.
  9. RunEatRalph

    ? Marathon Training Week 4 – The Decision

    Is that what "rub some dirt on it" means?
  10. RunEatRalph

    ? Marathon Training Week 4 – The Decision

    Thanks! I'm trying. I have days where I feel like I'm there and others where I'm reminded that I'm not.
  11. RunEatRalph

    ? Marathon Training Week 4 – The Decision

    I ate SO MUCH DIRT CAKE. I don't like the worms though. I tried to dig them out.
  12. RunEatRalph

    Reflections of Joy

    Beautiful post. It really is.
  13. RunEatRalph

    ? Marathon Training Week 4 – The Decision

    It feels like Monday, but it’s Tuesday! That’s pretty nice. I feel like I’m a bit jet lagged, although we didn’t fly anywhere. We made a trip up to DC for a baseball game and had it was HOT. Soooooo hot. That combined with not getting home until 10pm was enough to wear me out. As you may or may not know, I’m 4 weeks into my marathon training and until recently I couldn’t even tell you which marathon I was training for…until now. Drum roll please… I have signed up for the Rehoboth Beach Marathon on December 8th! I ran this one last year, but it went pretty horribly (read about it here, if you dare). However, the race and course are awesome and you can’t beat the post-race fun (read about that here, it’s a more cheerful read). So now that we all know what I’m actually training for, let’s recap: Monday – Planned 3 miles/Actual 3 miles I ran these on the treadmill just before getting DESTROYED by a kettlebell workout. As of know, the runs are optional and the kettlebell workouts are not. I just think that short, easy runs are nice but not all that meaningful to my training. The kettlebells are definitely helping me feel stronger. I need that strength for the late miles more than I need a little extra volume. Tuesday – Planned 6 miles/Actual 6 miles I’m still having trouble finding my “easy” pace. I want to run 8:30 to 9:00 miles, but I always seem to end up near 8:00 pace. I think I’m a little less efficient when I’m slower and it doesn’t “feel” easy. My theory is that when I shorten up and reduce my turnover, it causes me to be on one leg for a little longer and that wears down my muscles a bit. Wednesday – Planned 3 miles/Actual 4 miles I ran one extra for my friends and I was glad to. The title of my run on Strava was “This one was JUST right”. My friends helped me pace that easy pace I was looking for and with their conversation it didn’t seem so awful. Also, there was coffee! This is pretty much us. Thursday – Planned 4 x Hill Repeats/Actual 4 x Hill Repeats I loved and hated these so much that I decided to write a post about hill repeats. I decided to look back to what hill repeats were like for me before my injury and I couldn’t find any in recent history. Going back to May of last year, they were pretty similar. That made me pretty happy. On a non-running topic, my co-workers also made me happy. They surprised me with office decor and dirt cake for my upcoming 40th (gulp) birthday. The REAL surprise is that it was 9 days early! Friday – Rest Day! I rested in the sense that I didn’t run or work out. Jen had our good friend and her college roommate Suzy in town from LA, so they ran off to Richmond in search of non-Mom type fun. I got the kids off to school and had a day with little Ben. Ben is my little buddy. I hate that he’s growing up so fast, but that’s the way life is. What can I say? The kid likes wristbands. Saturday – Planned 6 miles at MP/Actual 6 miles at MP Friday night lasted WAY longer than I’d hoped, but we were having so much fun plus Jen and Suzy don’t get a ton of time together and they needed a driver. I ended up getting my butt out of bed after <4 hours of sleep and going for it. That’s why running in groups is good. Accountability. I told myself that I don’t sleep well the night before a race anyway. Based on the conditions and my condition, I was pretty happy about this run. I averaged right around what my BQ pace needs to be. I’m keeping it around as a possibility. Sunday – Planned 13 miles/Actual 13 miles Another hot and miserable run to grind out. I’m just waiting on my Pegasus Turbos to make EVERYTHING better. We’re getting into long run territory where you HAVE to think about fuel/hydration/chafing etc. etc. and I’ve forgotten how to deal with all of that. It’ll come back to me one way or another. I’m proud of anyone that toughs out this time of year through so many awful runs. Fall is coming. We shall rejoice! I had trouble pacing again and ended up a little fast, but my heart rate stayed relatively under control. That means I’m getting in shape (I think). Week 4 is in the books. It was a 35 mile week (my highest in a year!). August was a 120 mile month. This is happening!!! When I tore my Achilles WAY back in December, I dreamed about getting back to this point. Here we are. Thanks go out to all of you that advised me, encouraged me and motivated me. You’re the best!
  14. RunEatRalph

    Running some hills, that's where I want to be!

    I do tend to "attack" the hills in most races. I'm just trying to get them over with sooner.