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Showing posts from January, 2011

There are no bad runs...

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It sounds cliche', but there are no bad runs just opportunities to learn and improve. Last week was tough, no doubt. After resting yesterday and my leg hurting anyway I knew something needed to change. I was starting to lose confidence that doing my first marathon in March would be a success. I rolled out my IT Band on the foam roller as I have been the last week and it really helped a lot, but I still couldn't help but wonder if I was in over my head as I was going to sleep. I don't know what happened overnight while I slept, but I woke up with a whole new attitude. I was ready to take care of this last 5 weeks of training and make the Napa Valley Marathon a success. I've been having some car problems and we are under a Blizzard Warning so I decided to work from home today and hit the treadmill after work. Well, work didn't go so great, lots of issues to be dealt with and frustration, but I kept my mind on the run. My leg was feeling great, no stiffness or pain at…

Split Long Run that still came up short...

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I’m running twice today in an effort to continue taking care of my IT Band problem, so I am writing this post in two separate parts.
Part 1:
I was scheduled for my first of three 20 mile runs during my marathon training, but I wanted to keep taking care of my IT Band problem. I decided it would be best to split it into two separate runs. I did my first run at 24 Hour Fitness in the morning and it went really well. My leg felt good and I definitely could have continued. The biggest problem I had was the idiot girls that showed up around mile 6. Apparently they thought it was a hair salon not a gym! They were walking on their treadmills at 3 miles an hour and gossiping as loudly as they could. It was incredibly distracting; this was the first time I’ve really regretted the decision to train without headphones! I’m sorry, I mean no offense to anyone that talks on the treadmill at the gym, but they could have been much more respectful of those around them. They could have talked quieter or …

Last night was a good night...

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Well, last night was a good night for a few reasons. The night before I was feeling mentally pretty down from training. I decided that yesterday morning instead of getting up at 5:40 am to run I'd sleep in a little. It was a tough day at work with some system changes that made the day go fast and got my mind back up to speed. That really helped, ironically. After work I headed over to 24 Hour Fitness for my run. My leg had felt pretty good, so I went into it with a pretty positive outlook. My plan was to try to do the 6 miles I was supposed to do the day before but I intended to stop if my leg started bothering me. Well, it never bothered me! I got in all 6 miles pain free! I was THRILLED!! After the run I did my normal cool down walk then spent a TON of time using the foam roller and stretching. I'm hoping to continue to do whatever I need to to get this leg back at 100%. I have my first 20 mile run on the schedule for Saturday, but I'm going to just see how it goes. I…

My new office accessory...

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As most of you know, I've been having some knee/leg pain that I believe is associated with my IT band. I think I've managed to avoid major injury to it so far (knock on wood), and using the foam roller at the gym and at home has definitely been making it feel better so I got one for my office too. This way I can roll it out a few times a day since I think it tightens up with me sitting in an uncomfortable chair all day long. Let's hope this helps it to continue to improve.

I was scheduled for a 6 mile Tempo Run this morning in my training plan, but I adjusted it. I did a 4.1 mile Easy Run instead. When I started the run I had the intention of doing all 6 miles but at an easy pace and I would stop as soon as I started to have problems. Well, I wouldn't say I really had any "problems", but my knee started to feel tight so I stopped at that point and stretched and used the foam roller on my leg. After that my knee has been feeling great, so fingers crossed!! I&#…

A good run with a disappointing aftermath...

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It's safe to say after my knee pain Saturday that I was worried heading into my 4 mile Easy Run today. Normally 4 miles is such a simple run that I don't really even think much about it. Well, I was feeling really good the entire run and was tempted to add a couple miles to try to gain back the mileage I lost over the weekend, but thought better of it and stopped at 4 miles as scheduled. For the first hour after the run I was feeling good and really happy about it! Then after about 45 minutes in my chair at work I got up and **twinge** there's the knee!! Yep, still a very non-specific, hard to describe pain, but it was there again. Hmmm, I wonder what it is, and I'm not sure what to do about it. I can't really skip too much of my training considering this is my first marathon, but I also don't want to injure myself. I have Tuesday off from running according to my training plan, and I think I'll change Wednesday's Tempo Run to an Easy Run to try to take …

Big picture kind of day...

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Well, today was a day to keep my eye on the big picture, but that was so hard to do. I was scheduled for 10 miles today and 6 miles tomorrow. At about 6.5 miles today I started to feel some pain just below my right knee. I'm not sure what it is, it is a very non-specific pain, but as I got to 7.2 miles it was getting worse rather than better. I decided that being 6 weeks away from the Napa Valley Marathon it wasn't worth risking injury just to log a few extra miles so I shut it down and decided to rest it until Monday. I truly hate cutting a run short, but I'd hate it a lot worse if I really injured myself trying to push it despite the pain. I know I did the right thing, but right now as I sit on the couch with an ice pack on my knee I am in a very foul mood. I know in a month and a half as I run my first marathon I will look back on today and be glad I made this tough decision, but I'd be lying if I said this didn't completely SUCK. Hopefully my knee will feel be…

Why do I run...

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A couple of my runner friends have posted this video on Facebook and I love it. For those that know me well it will come as no surprise that watching this made me reflect on my journey over the last year +. The simple statement that came to my mind as I watch this was that I run to prove to myself that I am stronger than I ever thought possible. As I continued to think about this video I also thought more about what I mean by that. I wrote the statement down so I could examine it more closely, okay, maybe I'm going too far, but I like the mental exercise of examining thoughts like this more closely, it's very therapeutic!

I run to prove to myself that I am stronger than I ever thought possible.
The first thing that jumps out is how many times I refer to myself. Running is for me, and me alone. It is one of the first things in my life that I have done exclusively for me. There are plenty of benefits for others, I'm healthier and happier so I am better for my wife and friend…

Last night's shenanigans & a big milestone reached...

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I went to bed last night COMPLETELY exhausted, it was great!! As I stated yesterday, I started the day off with some brutal weight training before work, but that was FAR from the end of it. After work I was planning to go to the spin class at 24 Hour Fitness, but I had a lot of time to kill. What ever to do?? Well, being the lunatic that I am I decided on 30 minutes on the rowing machine (6217 meters), 30 minutes walking on the treadmill at a 4.0 incline (1.7 miles-pretty slow) followed by the spin class. Let's just say that was the toughest spin class I've ever taken, the instructor really pushed us and I was up for the challenge! My average heart rate was 79% of max and I peaked at 96% of max, burned 667 calories in 54 minutes!! I was flat out of gas after that.

None of that equals a break today. I got up this morning at 5:30 AM for a 7 mile "Easy" Run. This is one of the ones that my training plan calls easy but it was anything but. I got through the first 3/4 of …

Non-running day does not equal rest day...

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It's a non-running day today in my marathon training plan, so it's a nice, relaxing, sleep-in kind of day right? Not so fast, my friend!! I was up at my normal 5:40 AM to head off to the gym for Week 6 Day 1 of my weight training plan. Today was particular brutal entailing dumbbell parallel squat push presses, dumbbell horizontal inward + outward rotations, dumbbell alternate leg step ups, Javorek's Dumbbell Complex #1 and barbell back squat jumps. The plan I am on is an 18 week plan developed by Istvan Javorek (http://wikibin.org/articles/istvan-javorek.html) for Johnson County Community College's Weight Training II class. I took Weight Training I last semester but am not formally taking II, but he gives out the packet with the semester's workout plan so you can continue on your own and there are several more great plans to follow in succession in his book (pictured below). His plans are based on "complex conditioning" rather than isolation, so they are …

The start to another good week and other reflections...

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I started off this week (which according to my training plan will be a fairly light one) with a 7 mile Easy Run. I can't wait for the weather to warm up and get me off the treadmill, but I think we are likely still a couple months away from that. Oh well, I don't mind too much, it helps me train my mind to deal with the boredom. On that note, some of you may know that I am no longer listening to headphones on runs. No iPod, no listening to the TV's at the gym, just plain running with the sounds around me. I am doing this for two reasons. First because the Napa Valley Marathon that I am training for does not allow headphones so I need to get used to keep my focus without music. Second because I wanted to broaden my training. I've thought for a while about doing this, but I just like music too much. My thinking is this: I want to find the ability to focus my mind for a long run from within, not needing the iPod to keep me going with an upbeat song. I also want to use run…

Surprisingly good day...

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As usual, Sunday is a non-running day for me. I'm feeling surprisingly good today after yesterday's difficult 18.5 mile run! No soreness at all, I think I have to credit good stretching, the foam roller and the sauna. I'm very pleased to be feeling so good, so I may walk on the treadmill for a while later just to keep the legs loose. In the mean time, here's a funny picture of me at Wal-Mart buying some protein. They had a contest so I had to get a picture of me with it and send it in, so I thought I'd share!! I recommend this brand of protein, it is inexpensive, tastes good and has worked well for me.

Yeah, that was tough, but I kicked ass...

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This morning I got on the treadmill for my scheduled 18.5 mile run. The first 13 miles were GREAT, I felt awesome. Right at mile 13 it felt like I'd run face first into a brick wall. My friend here, a Double Expresso Clif Turbo Shot, helped me power through the last 5.5 miles. That's 18.5 hard earned miles for today, an even 40 for the week, 86.4 miles YTD. This is my biggest week ever for mileage, and my longest run ever. (continued below the picture)

 I also forgot to mention that yesterday I had my annual (well, supposed to be, this was my first one) physical. My doctor was amazed by my weight loss over the last year and said that my blood pressure, heart rate, and how my heart and lungs sounded were all greatly improved over any time I'd been in before. Obviously still waiting on blood work to see how my cholesterol, etc is, but it's great to hear that not only have the things I see (weight and tone) improved, but the things I can't see have as well. This health…

Interesting week, and a big goal decision...

It's been an interesting week. Lots of snow, lots of running. On Monday morning I went to the gym and did my scheduled 5 miles, when I got to work they sent us to work from home the rest of the day so during the time I would have been commuting home I added 3.5 more miles! Wednesday was a 7 mile speedwork run, I love those! They are very difficult, but they are challenging and stimulating. Thursday was a scheduled 4 miles, but I stretched it out to 6 miles. I had to reschedule some of my weight training because day one (Tuesday) was spent shoveling the driveway instead, but I did squeeze both of my weight training days in. Tomorrow will be a couple big milestones; I've got an 18 mile run scheduled, which will be my longest ever. I want to stretch this out to at least 18.5 miles so I can hit 40 miles for the week which would be my biggest week ever.

Now, the goal decisions part... One of my goals for 2011 was a min of 1000 miles, that is now a goal of at least 1500 miles. Shoul…

16.4 Hardcore Miles!!!

Quite a run yesterday!! My training plan called for 16 miles and it is still just too cold for me to be willing to get outside, so treadmill at 24 Hour Fitness it was. Add to that the fact that the Napa Valley Marathon that I am training for does not allow headphones (so I am no longer wearing them during training) and we're talking about a tough way to run. So why would anyone want to make this even harder? Well, I just know I like a challenge, so I upped my pace from 10:00/mile to 9:40/mile. Wow, what a rewarding run! I was extremely difficult with no music to distract me, but I made it, in fact, I added some. I decided to go an extra 0.4 miles, so that is (in one run) a half marathon, a 5k and an extra 0.2 miles!! 2:29:37, after I was done I walked for 15 minutes to cool down, stretched, sat in the sauna for 15 minutes, then came home and used my wife's foot massager world pool thing (nice description, huh?). All in all, I felt (and still feel) very good. I'm not as sor…

Make fun if you want to...

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This picture is from me getting ready for my 5 mile Easy Run this morning with two of my most prized training tools. My Injinji socks and Addidas Marathon TR10 shoes. I get funny looks when people see my socks, but I don't care what people think, they have really helped me with preventing blisters on my toes. If you run any long distance runs (double digits) I would HIGHLY recommend both these socks and shoes. The shoes are VERY light and don't have much cushioning, just the way I like it!

My back story...

Ok, now that I've vented a little about the "rules", you might want to know about my journey that got me to this point. Well, here's my story as I understand it:

I'm 33 years old, and married to the greatest lady around, I try to live a happy, healthy life. Well, that hasn't always been the case. When I was young, I was CRAZY about sports. I played whatever I could. I played basketball, baseball, soccer (for one year, wasn't so into that), wrestling, I'd play football with friends, etc, etc, etc. I would spend every possible moment playing some sport. After 8th grade that ended. I started having some pains in my knee and stopped playing sports all together. Plain and simple, I got lazy fast. I was lucky enough when I was young that no matter how much I ate or how little physical activity I had I was completely incapable of gaining weight, so I never thought not being active was a big deal because I "looked healthy". As with many guys, that a…

A fresh start, with new "rules"...

I started a blog about 6 months or so ago about my general attempts to live a healthier lifestyle and it lasted about a week (if that!). I still like the idea of doing a blog, but it felt like an extra job so I just avoided it. I've been thinking about that for a couple weeks now and I've come to a conclusion. I was doing it for all the wrong reasons. I was worried about whether or not people where reading it, I put some rules on how often I had to post and what I would write about, and other "rules" that made the blog feel like work. I've decided to start up a whole new blog to start fresh. I hope people read it and I hope you get something out of it, but this is for me. It's about me, for me, by me. I'll post about what I want to post about, I'll post whenever I feel I have something worth posting. I hope that doesn't sound arrogant, but I want this to be a fun way for me to really think about how things are going and putting rules on it takes a…