Saturday, January 30, 2010

Week End's Recap; Gym Ettiquette 101

Part 1
Weekly Recap, etc.
For the past couple of weeks, I have been taking my running very seriously. Because of that I have seen some significant improvement. For starters, I now am under 200 pounds. Last January of 09' I was pushing 236. I enjoy running, so I took it up as just exercise to lose weight. Little did I know at the time how "ADDICTING" Running would become for me. With my diet (I'll share that later, maybe) and rest I have had better times, and felt stronger when I run. My body and mind now reject the slower speeds that I use to go with. I believe that has something to do with losing weight, amongst an array of other things as well. Just by applying some basic principles my pace has gone down 30 seconds (give or take) since the beginning of the year. Well, that is a brief summary of what is going on with my running now. I don't want to write a book. So to get to the title point, this week, I ran a total of 17 miles, up one from last week. 3 runs of 6,6, and 5 miles each. I was going to do a 6, 6, 6, but thought that might jinx me or something. Just Kidding. My average pace for the week was 10:45, down 35 seconds from the previous week. So there you go. I had a terrific running week.

Part 2
Gym Etiquette (for guys)
Today I go to the gym to do a 5 mile run on the treadmill. When I go to the gym, I don't take showers there. I just go in my running gear, put my jacket in the locker, and run, put my jacket on, and leave. When I am in the locker room area tightening up my shoes I get really annoyed when I glance up and men come out of the shower area with their ting tings flopping around. There IS a space in the shower room area to change. At least put a towel around you or something. Geeez. I am glad that they are confident in themselves (I am too) but how much is too much. I don't take showers at the gym, because I prefer just to drive home and take one at my one place. If you are gonna bald eagle out of the shower room area, just don't come out flapping your ting ting everywhere doing a dance or something. Save that for home time in the bedroom with your significant other, not for the other guys trying to tie their shoes in the Locker Room.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Stretching.......Really? Says Who.

Being involved with any sport, be it Running, Skiing, Ping Pong (Is that a sport?), you will hear different things from different people. I admit that with stretching, I do not do it as often as I probably should, but I do stretch enough as to not get injured. Are you suppose to stretch? How often? Well, here is what Jeff Galloway has to say about stretching posted in his Running - Getting Started book I bought about a year ago when I first started running. I really didn't take notice of this until just recently. Here it goes. Page 150-151.

It may surprise you to learn this, but stretching causes a lot of injuries. My surveys have found that among those who stretch regularly, stretching is the leading cause of injury. While there are some specific stretches that help some individuals, I believe that most people who run and walk don't need to stretch at all. I know that you will get a lot of advice to stretch - especially from those who are involved in other activities like tennis, swimming, soccer, golf etc.. Running is significantly different than those other activities. In other sports, you are asking your body to do what is was not designed to do. Our ancient ancestors didn't play tennis or golf. But they did walk.............and run. If we do these two activities gently, as noted in this book, we will stay within the ranges of motion for which we were designed. Stretching pushes the tendons and muscles beyond what they are currently ready to do, and often pushes them into injury.

Later on, he goes on about being tight is actually a good thing, but if you have a stretch that works for you, to do it. Which one is it? I am confused. I was always under the impression that you should stretch. Is Jeff Galloway right? Do you agree or disagree? Will stretching improve my running? In other books, I have seen the same thing with stretching and running. Less stretching is better because you, as a runner, want to have tight muscles that extend and retract with force. Kind of like a rubber band, if you stretch it all the time, it loses its elasticity and will not go as far when you shoot it off of your fingers at your office mate. I, personally, will continue to stretch some, but not as a gymnast would.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

New strategy for Me Leads to a Faster Pace.

I have opted the last week and this week to try something different. I usually run 4-5 times a week. These past two weeks, I went to running on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. Long run on Monday, because I get plenty of rest on Sunday. On Thursday, I have been doing a tempo run, and on Saturday, an easy shorter run of about 4 miles. Next week, I will however up the days of running with an added day. Today I had a 6 mile run. I was completely amazed at my performance. I did it with a 10:30 pace. My goal for this year was to be able to run a comfortable 10 pace. It is just January. Hmmmmmmmm. Here is what surprised me most of all. Every time I would even think about slowing down some, by body rejected that ideal. I actually felt more relaxed and comfortable at the faster pace. I believe my faster paces accounts for the two following things that I have been doing. 1. Rest. 2. Eating healthier. I have been eating different things but not much. I eat (due to my weird work schedule of 3pm- whatever time in the morning) every 2-3 hours, and just enough to be satisfied. Ex. - Fruits, Vegies, etc. I have also been mixing my outside running with the treadmill. I believe that both have been helping out each other. My outside runs make me feel like superman on the treadmill, and my faster times on the treadmill give me a stronger and comfortable run outside. Next week, I will add in a day of running, along with the core training that I have been doing.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Music Monday ; Megs Marathon; Glenn Jones Training; Last weeks recap.

Today is Music Monday and that means and the end of this post there is a song (video) posted, thanks to YouTube. Yesterday Meg ran the Carlsbad Marathon. Her time was 3:31:19 according to the Garmin stats. She will have more details later. A big Huge Congrats to her for accomplishing that. If you missed my last post, Meg has a sub 3:00 marathon to run on Sunday, be sure to check it out. [As Paul from Running in Suffolk duly pints out, one of the essentials of blogging is lifting up other running buddies and giving support. I firmly believe in that as well, and is one of my key duties.] ...That post also has a video interview with the winner of the 2009 Harrisburg Marathon, Micheal Arnstien, as he talks about his alleged diet (80 10 10 raw) which gave him the energy to run a 2:32:17. All of this marathon racing and training sure has me pumped up and motivated. If you have not done so yet, go check out Glenn Jones as he is going on his 11th week of marathon training.

Last week was a great week for me. I logged in 16 miles total. 10 miles outside and 6 on the treadmill. For the past few weeks, I have been dabbling in the great outdoors for my running. Although my mileage has not been that great, my performance has improved. Last week, on my 6 mile treadmill run, I ran a 65:10. Today was rain, so I decided to go try it out again. I ran a 64:30.....Comfortably. Comfortably being the operative word. Last weeks pace - 10:51, Today - 10:45. That's 6 seconds. WhoooHoooo. As every week goes by, I am getting closer to my 10:00 pace goal. Right now, it is under 11 (except for the ugghh days) so that has me positive. I am stepping into week 2 of the hundred pushups program and doing rather well with that. It is actually helping out lot. Having extra upper body strength counts for me having a better upper body form while running.

Here is the song of the week that was in my playlist today while at the gym. I decided to do the Final Fantasy version of Red's Lost in You, as I thought is was rather cool. I believe an mp3 player to be essential at the gym. With out it, I think my strength would rapidly deteriorate with what they play. Although, music is a personal preference. Hope you enjoy. And be sure to go over and give a Congrats to Meg.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Meg Has a Sub 3:00 Marathon on Sunday to Run

It is a beautiful Saturday here, and in about an hour (when I get through here) I will be running outside with temps going above 40 finally. No cloud in the sky. As I attempt my 4 miles (3.6 miles is my longest run outside) I will be thinking of Meg from Megrunsalot as she executes a sub 3:00 marathon on Sunday. She is battling some ailments, but we all know she will knock this one out. I wish her the best and no matter what outcome awaits, it is runners like her that give us all motivation and encouragement to get our butts out there and do it, from beginners to the elite. If you havent done so yet, visit Meg and wish her a successful Marathon on Sunday. I made it easy for you by creating a link. I want to thank those who have come by here and have commented regularly. It really is a blessing to have friends take the time out to see what is going down in your neck of the woods. Below is the starting footage at the Harrisburg Marathon last year. My wife and I chose to go just to check things out, even though we didn't run it. It was a great feeling, and it gave me a lot of motivation. I remember a lot of runner's expressions as they neared the finish. To just give support means a lot to them. If you have some time, but are not running in the Marathon, go to it anyway. It is a great motivator. In the video below, you can see my Dear Wife. (Freezing her booty off since it is not above 90 degrees). lol

Below is another clip of the winner of the Harrisburg Marathon, Michael Arnstein in 2:32:17. He talks about his victory and upcoming JFK 50 miler Ultra. I have footage of him coming in at the finish, but have not uploaded that yet. It really was something else.

I will be doing the Harrisburg Half Marathon September 12th. In between here and then, I will see about doing some 5Ks and 10Ks. For the Half, my longest distance ran is 8 miles so that is another 6.1 miles to go. Someone has hinted that it is time for me to start racing. Wishing Paul from Running is Suffolk success as he is on day 19 of the Runners World SMART Coach training plan in his bid to complete the Joe Cox Half Marathon at Stowmarket Suffolk on the 28th March 2010. For any one else racing on Sunday, or training for a race, best wishes and success. Have a great Weekend.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Pandorum: Revisiting the Treadmill

Yesterday I decided to go to the gym and do my run on the treadmill. I was pretty sure that I did not want to run on it again for a while, but I was wrong. I wanted to. For the past 2 weeks I was running outside and getting use to that. My mileage was not that high, but I felt great. I did not know if my over all fitness in running declined or got better. My run on the treadmill (6 miles) turned out great. I PR'd in time. My 11:15 pace was now a 10:45 pace. I felt great while I was running and I was comfortable. I was quick to say bye to the treadmill, but now, I welcome it with open arms. I do love the running experiences outside, but the treadmill does offer a lot to a runner. Many of them being cushion which is great for beginning runners, a set pace, a comfortable atmosphere, no traffic, great for people on the go spending countless nights at hotels and etc., and the list goes on and on. My goal was to run at a comfortable sub 10:00 pace this year. I did not specify treadmill or outside. I have to thank Lindsay for helping me see the benefits and positive sides of using one. I will undoubtedly be mixing up my runs in the next few weeks, as the weather decides what it wants to do. My thoughts whilst running on the treadmill were weirder. Seems that they are getting weirder. The night before, I watched the movie, Pandorum. Its a Sci-fi Horror movie. There is a great deal of running in it. That is all I will say, incase you have not seen it yet. You can follow the link if interested. So, as I ran on the treadmill, listening to Static X, I saw myself running down corridors of space ships away from creatures that were after me. I invisioned myself, also getting in shape for interstellar travel to colonize another planet 30 light years away from earth. I saw myself breaking out of my bio mechanical shell. The list goes on, but you get the point. I don't know if this helped me out or not, but mentally, it did. You have to do what you must. I also focused on my form while I was in la la la land. Today is the last day of week 1 hundred pushups program. I have already felt a significant difference in my running form, and all around, I feel stronger. I hope to continue with it. I will NOT stop at 100 though. I will continue to per sue as many pushups as possible. In high school, my record was 161. Not to be boastful, but to prove a point, now, it is 16, but I also weigh 45 more pounds. I will get there again. I see 200 in the not so distant future.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

To Have Vision is the "Essence of Running", Outside Running

To have Vision is the "Essence of Running". As many people have taken up running as a way to get in shape, have fun, and many other reasons, they all too suddenly get discouraged with their present condition. They might take a break from it, or give up all together. You must have vision to be a runner. Focused, intense vision! You must be able to see past today's trials, and see what is in store for you down the road. Running is not something that you just all of the sudden want to do. You must work very hard to achieve your goals. Although it might seem you are going nowhere today, you must envision where your running career is taking you. The next time you have a run scheduled, envision yourself running like a cheetah, or whatever other animal you choose. I like cheetahs because they are the fastest land animal on the planet. Whatever pace you have, close your eyes and see yourself in your mind's eye running and finishing. See yourself a year from now running at a 6 min mile pace. Also, here is a tip to get motivated. Before you go to bed, if you have a run scheduled in the morning, lay your running gear out so you can SEE it. Out of sight, out of mind. Doing this will allow your mind to soak in the fact that you are going to be giving it your all in the morning. In all, visualize the future of your running career and your goals as you look back in the past to see where you came from. This is my second week of running outside. I am finding out new and exciting things along the way. Today I PR'd in distance - 3.6 miles. Running outside awakens the runner inside of me and arouses my senses. My pace wasn't all that great, but I kept pushing on and on. I feel comfortable saying that I believe I have left the treadmill behind this year.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Music Monday and Last Week's Recap

It's Music Monday, and that means I will be posting a song on this post from my playlist that gets me moving. Music is a great motivator. Some people listen to music, while others prefer the solitude with out. Essence of Running (EOR) announces this song of the week. If you have any songs that get you going, please comment. Thanks. Ever have that song that you don't even get half way through, and you find yourself bringing it back to the beginning; like that run that you had you just want to repeat over and over. Sometimes, just like those favorite songs, we have those runs we just want to live over and over. Then, again, the opposite can happen. We can have those runs were we just want to forget. That happen to me today. I know what happened. I ate breakfast, then ran. I never do that. What was I thinking? Obviously, I wasn't. My body felt like "pine cone death". Don't ask what that is, just go with it. I thought I was gonna be okay, but once I started running, I knew I wasn't gonna feel it. Last week....10.8 NON Treadmill Miles OUTSIDE. That's all I gotta say about that. Not running on the treadmill has put me in the position to experience new things. shoes show it with signs of dirt and debris. Well, I wish everyone a great start of a week. Hopefully, on my next run, I don't goof up and eat pancakes an hour before, and a tall glass of milk. I did, however, make up by doing week 1, day 1, of the hundred pushup program with the "perfect pushup" thingy. Initial test - 16. Today - 5 sets: 10,12,7,7,11. My whole upper body right now is feeling like Gumby. Here is that song.....Enjoy!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Running Outside

If the past week or so, I have been finding myself outside more. I was reluctant to say, that I have been treadmilling it for a while now. I am very happy to have broken out of that shell. I am finding new things out about running as a whole by venturing out the door. My pace is getting better, and actually, I do better outside than on a treadmill. One thing that I really like is that I don't feel that my pace is being dictated my a number being pressed on the machine. I just go and go at the pace my body feels comfortable with. There is so much more to running. The Essence of Running; not being tied down to any one place, but to be free to run where ever, and when ever. I would also like to thank every one that stopped by and commented and gave support and advise. BlogLand is more to me than just a blog, It is a community of runners sticking with each other, lending a hand or an ear. I am addicting to Running again, and it is because I found the asphalt, the grass, and the snow on top of it for now anyways. I rejoice as it is melting away, and hopefully for a while. I have come out of my shell.(the treadmill shell).

Leaving the Treadmill Behind (for the most part at least)

"Good Bye Treadmill", at least for the most part. Today I was so excited to get outside and run. The sun was out fully, and there was not a cloud in sight. The temp. was reading 37.2 when I got up, and by the time I went to the park, it was reading 40.5 on the weather bug. Wind was at 0-2 mph. "Perfect", I said to myself. I was just going to do 2 miles, but by the time I got done with 2 miles, I did another .8 miles. (It's a .4 mile loop) I felt great, and my legs were not losing energy. It was still a little hard breathing in the cool air, but that 8 degrees difference made me feel great. My total time was 30:27 at a 10:52 pace. "WOW"!!! When I am at the gym on the treadmill, my pace is a little over 11:20. I believe it is time to up the standards. My goal by the end of the year is to run under a 10min pace comfortably. I think (know) that this will be achievable. Last year, when I started, my pace was at 12:30. I am saying "good bye" to the treadmill for now. What am I going to do with my gym membership? lol. The sounds were awesome too. Airplanes, birds, some cows moooing, my breathing, some thoughts. I want to thank everyone that has commented. Having this blog is an incredible motivator due to the "bloggie friends". I call you more than that. You are my running partners. Thanks. Had a great run today. I can not say this enough, but thanks for stopping by, even if you do not post a comment, for taking a peek at what the Essence of Running is all about.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My Wednesday Run Outside

I decided to go out today for an easy run to see how things were going. This would be my 3rd attempt at running outside. Today was not so bad weather wise. It was 32 degrees, overcast, and 5mph winds. I stretched and warmed up and seemed to have enough energy to do 2 easy miles. I did Okay, but one thing that seems to be bothering me is the strength in my legs. Every time I find myself running out in the cold temps, my legs get tired very very fast. After about .5 miles, they start feeling like Gumby. What causes this? I can run 8 miles with out too much problems on a treadmill going at a 1 min faster pace. When I am outside in any cold, my legs give out fast. Do I need to have a better base? Is my body just not use to the cold conditions? Do I just need to build my base of cold weather running? I am new to the cold weather running. So far, it has been very enjoyable. I just wish that my legs could do more. Any one that has advise on cold weather running? As you can see from the pictures, the snow is going away. Thank God! I do not want anymore, but I know there will be more some time here soon. Why am I in PA? I am from NC. I know, the job sent me here, but one day, I will send myself to some where warmer. Until then, I will have fun in the snow and cold. I will have fun at the gym on the treadmill. I have seen some funny things at the gym on the treadmills by the way. I won't get into that now. The pictures taked today were by my wife, Loredel. Enjoy and have a great day!

I have also been following a blog that is pretty cool. He goes running armed with a camera. His photos are phenomenal. Go check out Paul at Running in Suffolk.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What's for Supper, and 10 Things That Make Me Happy

Per Sam at Eat Breathe Run, I have been asked to list 10 things that make me happy. Thanks Sam. I have previously done a list with a prior post "What Moves You", per Teamarcia from Running off at the Mouth. Since I love writing I will do another one with out looking at the previous list. I wonder how many will show up on both lists?

1. God
2. My beautiful, caring, and passionate wife, Loredel.
3. Sleeping for more than 6 hours.
4. Running
5. Going to running stores and just looking around for a while and asking questions.
6. Seeing my flab melt away.
7. Paying off bills
8. Meeting new people from BlogLand.
9. My dog, Koby
10. Watching scary movies late at night.

What's for supper? Well......This is something I have been working on for a while. My wife and I try and cook healthy foods most of the time. Actually, my wife does 99% of the cooking. She does a very wonderful job at making sure there is always something good to eat around the house. One thing that she does cook that gives me a tremendous amount of energy is Mung Bean Soup. It has a coconut milk flavor with mung beans and chicken/shrimp. She actually has a blog on her recipes. You can check it out at Go give her a shout out. She does an awesome job taking care of this runner and making sure he has all the energy he can get.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Music Monday, and Getting Back Into IT!

I have been, well, I should say, I have NOT been running regularly for the past 3 weeks. Christmas and New Years bucked me off of the horse, so to say. This week, however, It's time to get back on the horse and get back into it. I have been experimenting in the snow and cold weather for the past 3 week, so I have been doing something, but not enough. What I have proposed to myself is to do the medium and long runs at the treadmill if the weather is yucky, and to do the short easy runs outside, providing the weather is okay. Next year, when I have a better base and more strength, I will tackle more miles outside. That's my plan. Today's workout was 4 miles. I did ok, but I had planned to do 6. After the 3rd mile, I barely managed the last 4. Being out of it for 3 weeks sure does it to you. I am sure, though, that by the end of this week or next, I will be back into it again.

I haven't been running with my mp3 player of late, but decided to hook up to it today during my run. During which, I thought of "Music Monday". Each Monday (If I remember each Monday) I will post a song from my playlist that I think will strike fire up under anyone's rear and get them going. So here it goes for song number one. Tell me what you think of this idea. This song was number 3 on my list today, and it got me going. I think (if you like rock) that it will give you a kick in the rear.

Shine Down - Sound of Madness .........thanks to YouTube.

You're an outcast.
Always under attack.
Always coming in last,
Bringing up the past.
No one owes you anything.
I think you need a shotgun blast,
A kick in the ass,
So paranoid. . .
Watch your back!!

Oh my, here we go...

Another lose cannon gone bi-polar
Slipped down, couldn't get much lower.
Quicksand's got no sense of humor.
I'm still laughing like hell.
You think that by crying to me
Looking so sorry that I'm gonna believe,
You've been infected by a social disease.
Well, then take your medicine.

I created the Sound of Madness.
Wrote the book on pain.
Somehow I'm still here,
To explain,
That the darkest hour never comes in the night.
You can sleep with a gun.
When you gonna wake up and fight... for yourself?

I'm so sick of this tombstone mentality,
If there's an afterlife,
Then it'll set you free.
But I'm not gonna part the seas
You're a self-fulfilling prophecy.
You think that crying to me,
Looking so sorry that I'm gonna believe,
You've been infected by a social disease.
Well, then take your medicine.


I created the Sound of Madness.
Wrote the book on pain.
Somehow I'm still here,
To explain,
That the darkest hour never comes in the night.
You can sleep with a gun.
When you gonna wake up...
When you gonna wake up and fight...

Hope that gets you going!

NEWS - Runner Down; We have a fellow runner that recently had a stay at the hospital due to a case of Severe Community Acquired Pneumonia, which is contagious. He is out of the hospital now and trying to get back on his feet. Go visit and give support to The Emerging Runner. The "Essence of Running" is lifting yourself up, so you can lift others up as well. And that can be in any sense; kind words of encouragement, support, a hand, and many others.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

What Moves You?

As we run, a lot of things are going on inside of our brains, or nothing. Some runners just run with out a single thought process. It is just natural. But for us normal runners that need inspiration and motivation to get going, we often think of things as we are trodging down the trail to get us moving. I don't know if "trodging" is a word, but just go with it. Some of us do mathematical calculations, budgeting, home problems, work problems, social and economical problems to get our minds focused on something else besides the burning sensation evolving from our toes up to our heads. For motivation, one might think of something chasing them, whether its a competing runner you want to beat or something off of the beaten path. Some listen to their Ithingy mp3 and let the tunes of Micheal Jackson pump you up. Here of late, I have set my mp3 player aside. Running in the snow produces lots of great sounds; the snow crunching under you, your rapid breathing that seems so labored that you don't have on a treadmill inside a warm gym, etc.. You may just run not to have speed, but to just finish. In that case, your motivation is something of the sort just to keep going. The other day on my second attempt in the snow, I had a thought. (unbelievable, i know. lol) As I was running, slowly to say the least, I was running out of gas. I had another .4 miles to complete my 2 mile goal run that day. I stepped outside of myself and saw my frontal view running. I saw something in the distance behind me. It was............
Following close behind him was.......

.................That really got me going...........Especially the Jeepers Creepers thingy. Just kidding, but not really. I, for one, will proudly admit that when I run, I think of some really off the wall and bizarre stuff. It gets me moving. What moves you? Is it your favorite Micheal Jackson song - Beat It? Is it a goal? Is it imagining you are actually at the race with thousands of spectators? What ever it is, I am also sure you come up with new ones every time. And, also, whatever it is - IF IT WORKS, KEEP USING IT.

I have been tagged by Teamarica to list 10 things that make me happy so here it goes....
1. God
2. My ever so Loving, Caring, Beautiful, and passionate wife.
3. Paying off a bill and watching as the debt snowball keeps getting bigger and bigger.
4. Getting at least 5 hours of sleep.
5. Running, of course.
6. Watching movies at home with my wife.
7. Watching movies that I really like (28 days later, 28 weeks later, I am legend, Event Horizon)
8. Listening to audio books at work when I am driving.
9. Blogging and meeting new online running buddies that genuinely care and give advise.
10. Sleeping with the fan on (the noise, I cant explain, and the stagnant air is ugggh, I have to have my fan) and snuggling in the covers. I have to have the fan even in the winter time too. lol

Finally I will leave you with a song that will get you moving.

That was a joke, but if it made you laugh, that's good. If I was running and turned around to see that guy (?) behind me, I would run like the wind, just like the song. I found out about this song on my brother's PS3 sing-star karaoke game. lol. ...........To make others have a good laugh and enjoy life, is the 11th thing that makes me happy. IF you actually like the song, more power to ya! Run on!!! Have a great Weekend!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Pace Correction from Yesterday and Things I have learned from YOU!

I apologize! Yesterday I gave wrong information. My pace was not 10:30. It was, in fact, 11:30. Running in the snow proves to be more energy demanding. I have learned a lot from getting out there and doing it, and from the comments in the last post. It gives you resistance training. Your concentration level is also sky rocketed due to looking for places that are safe to land your feet. It also improves your balance. Today, muscles in my legs (upper thighs, etc) are very sore to prove that point. You burn more calories. You condition your body that is a far cry from that of a treadmill. lol. I want to thank every one for their comments. I am breaking the habit of just getting in the car and going to the gym to hop on the treadmill. This running in the snow has found a new runner inside of me. Its not just about the running, the physical part. It awakens the true essence of running inside of you. The mental side of things. The desire, the power, the will to struggle through, the passion to go forward no matter what the conditions are. I am finding myself, and being the runner I want to be.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Knowing Where to Land

As I woke this morning, I knew it was going to be cold. I had already planned to go to the gym to do my running on the treadmill. By 11am, I quickly changed my mind. I decided to go give the weather and snow a run for its money. I should have named this Running in the Snow for the first time, Part 2, but decided not to. On Jan. 1st I went out and ran in the weather for the first time since it had gotten cold. I ran .8 miles but had fun. On this occasion, I did a lot better. I was prepared mentally and knew what to expect. This time I did things differently. I warmed up inside for about 10 minutes running in place and getting my heart rate up. I got to the trail, and there was not much snow as there was the other day. The sun was sort of out, and the temp a nice 33 or so. I stretched and then walked briskly for 10 minutes then started running. After a while my legs started warming up, and I didnt have that much problems breathing as I did that first time around. I completed 2 miles and was amazed at my pace (around 10:30). I was going to go to the treadmill and run 4 miles, but now, I feel a lot better running outside than if I would have gone to the gym. My feet did not get wet so they were nice and warm. From my previous outing in the snow, I learned to concentrate on knowing where to land my feet. Look for the fluffy stuff to land on. The whiter, the better. The darker stuff on the ground could be very icy and slippery. My run turned out very nice and I am very happy and excited about it. I am so glad I got out there and tackled the cold weather again. I ran farther. No, I am not doing the mileage I would have done on the treadmill, and, my mileage has not been that great. But, as one of my goals indicate, I promised myself I would get out and face the weather more instead of escaping to the gym. The feeling that I had today was enormous joy. I am learning how to be a runner in cold weather. I can not wait for my next approach.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010 Running Goals

This is about the time of year when every one either writes down or says what their goals are for the next year. This will be my second year of running so I have something to go on here. My goals are as follows:

1. Get my normal run times pace below 10:00 per mile
2. Complete 1 half marathon
3. 1000 total mileage goal for the year.
4. Do more running in the snow, at least 100 miles of it.
5. Have loads of fun
6. Have loads of fun
7. Lose another 10 pounds.
8. Find more trails to run on.
9. Do more core training
10. Do more stretching
11. Push myself farther to find myself.

There you go! Now that I have it written down, it is clear and precise. I will also adapt a better strategy of writing down a running schedule/plan. It's kind of like having a written budget. Instead of telling your money what to do, before it is gone, you are telling your miles what they will do for you, before you run them.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Running in the Snow, for the first time! (First run of the New Year)

Today, Jan. 1st of 2010, the first day of the new year, I decided to go for a run out in the snow for the first time. I escaped the treadmill. It was not very cold outside. The sun was out and the temperature was a nice 38 degrees. I finally had a chance to test out my new running gloves I got for Christmas. My hands were nice and toasty for the total of .8 miles I ran. Yes, you are reading correctly. My first run of the new year was .8 miles. I had fun. I got out and ran at least. What got me to stop early was that my feet got wet. I accidentally found myself landing in snow that was on top of water sloshing my shoes and getting inside making my feet wet. I am new to the running in the cold temps. I had fun but I am not use to it. I want to be though, because I had so much fun outside. I felt like a kid, and my pace was actually not bad. I had to stop because both of my feet ended up wet. Anybody have any suggestions on that? If my feet would have stayed dry, I would have ran farther. My legs seemed to have a heavy and cold feeling after about a half a mile too, like I was losing energy. I started out good though. After a little bit, I got into it though, and my legs seemed to get better the more I ran. If only my feet would have stayed warm like my hands, I would have been okay to run farther. Oh well, There will be more days to practice in the colder weather. Until then, there will be lessons learned. I was running on a trail in the park. Next time I will just try the roads. The only thing is that, with the snow being packed on the side, I dont have an escape route from oncoming vehicles. I also noticed, today, that my energy level during the run was less than being inside on the treadmill. I had fun though. I ran! That is what being a runner is all about. I have two goals for the next 3 months. One, is to work on my base mileage and core workouts. Second, is to get out into nature and embrace the cold weather with kindness. If any one has any cold weather running advise, please feel free to share. Yes, I know, I could probably google it, but that would take out the fun of blogging. I hope every one had a great New Years. Running in the cold, proving that you love to run, is the Essence of Running.