Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What's Holding you Back?

I have been reading and listening to comments like "Don't take running too seriously", and "I'll never be as fast as that guy or gal". I saw this one list of "20 running commandments" just a few days ago and most of them were good but one just really got me to thinking. It was 18) Unless you make your living as a runner, don't take running too seriously. There are a lot of things that I do, and do not get paid for, that I take seriously. I think that having attitudes like that "HOLDS YOU BACK". You are already telling yourself that you will NEVER be as good as you want to be or wish to be. Do NOT underestimate yourself and the potential that you have. Obviously, if you do not put in the hard work, you will not see the results. But if you mentally place limits on yourself, then you will NEVER be where you want to be. You are already setting yourself up for mediocrity or better yet, FAILURE, ending up like the guy on the upper left corner. Getting back to the 18th running commandment. 18) Unless you make your living as a runner, don't take running too seriously. My retort is this: The reason why elite runners are getting paid for their running and hard efforts is because they "TOOK THEIR RUNNING SERIOUSLY". Unless you actually want to continue to be "just" a trodger striving for MEDIOCRITY, then "DON'T TAKE YOUR RUNNING SERIOUSLY", and always think that that other person will ALWAYS be faster than you. To be a runner, you always strive for the impossible. To be a runner, you always reach beyond yourself. Being a runner is more than just leg, arm, and hip movement; It's mental movement, and seeing how far you can go trying to reach the spiral's end. To be ELITE, think ELITE. This may sound corny, but the next time you are running, picture yourself as Ryan Hall or Paula Radcliffe. You just may surprise yourself. I know that, right now, my pacing is not even close to what theirs is, but it's all about the mental attitude. It's about choice. To be a quicker runner, it is essential that we choose the proper foods and that we properly hydrate and fuel our bodies. We must also "Kick those Nasty Thoughts" (per Sir Mix-A lot) that are holding us back. What's Holding you Back? Take all of the mediocre crap and flush it down the toilet. Now go run.
**I've just noticed that I am 12 miles away from completing my first 1000 miles. Look over to the right there. Yeah. That's a lot of time on my feet, at least 200 hours, cause when I first started out, I was doing 13.5 miling. WhoooHooo. Looked like a piece of gum rolling down something with a decline. Now, I look more like .....I don't know.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Training Recap / Personal Best / 5ks and 10ks

So....last week was my 5th week of Half Marathon Training and this week will be my 6th. I must say that it went rather well. I set 3 PBs unexpectedly. I was not trying to run fast, it just happened. What will this week bring? I don't know. My long run will be 11 miles in which I will do in about 10 hours from now. I feel good about it. Per some comments on my last post, I have recalibrated my training efforts to that of a little faster pace. Not much, but I think it should work out fine. By the way, I am aiming for a sub 2:15 for the Half Marathon in September. If I do it in less than 2:3o, I will be happy. If I do it in less than 3:00, I will be happy. Nonetheless, I will be happy all around. I am happy now. All of this training has done some enhancing on my running abilities. Abilities that I was not expecting at least for another 6 months or so. Seems as though my metamorphosis into a faster runner is accelerating at a phenomenal rate of speed. If only this caterpillar would just stop eating everything in sight....sigh> I suppose I could go out and do some 5ks and 10ks to see what I could do, but quite frankly, I really don't feel like it, which leads me to the question of the day. Time.............If you go out on a nice day and have an epic run which brings about a PB, do you think that you have to do it in a 5 or 10k or any race for that matter, to make it "Official"? To make my answer known, I will just state for the record, I am in understanding that PB stands for "personal best" and not "Public Best". So......there's my answer on that. Although racing is a way to really check out your abilities, and that is why I am registered for the 2010 Harrisburg Half Marathon. As far as 5ks and 10ks go, with my work schedule, I just can not simply fit them in. I really don't have the time for them in my schedule. I tried to make 3 of them happen in the past few months, but I realized I could not fit there appointment time into my life. That is why I have to take off just to do the Half Marathon so I will have my desired sleep. With that said, as far as making one of my training run PBs official, the only run that I would consider worthy of making official is a 13.1 mile run.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Training Pays Off I went for a 5 mile run that was suppose to be easy. Easy meaning I was only suppose to keep a pace of 11:45 per mile according to the "plan". Hmmmm.....I started out and I thought I was running easy. The first mile rang up to 10:16 and I kept going at what I thought was easy. For this being my 5th week into half marathon training, I have noticed significant improvements over all with stamina, speed, endurance, and physique, even though the first 2 weeks seemed a little drag. You see, I have had this elite image in my head all of this time, and I do picture myself getting better. I have about 60 more years to improve. I completed the 5 miles in a time of 50:38 which is roughly 5 minutes faster than my previous time just 2 months ago. My goal for the summer was to run a comfortable 10 minute mile pace for at least 2 miles. I did that, but 5? Training pays off. It pushes and pulls you. It makes you a believer. It drives you to accomplish that of which you think is not. For me, training is more than just training for my A goal of the Half Marathon in September. It is shaping me up to become an elite runner. Elite by whose standards? I don't know, but I am improving day by day, learning a lot, and resting a lot. Running for me is not just a whim or something I decided to do for a couple of years. When I am 65, I will celebrate by running 65 miles and laughing all the way. Training has drastically improved my mental awareness and attitude into the sport of running.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Going into Week 5. Training Recap. Added Gear

So....last week was a low mileage week. I had lots of fun, and took the low mileage for advantage. I went and explored new trails to run on and ran some of the route that the Marathon will be on. I wrapped up last week with about 20 miles or so in the bag. I enjoyed the relaxed runs. The only other thing that is off is my diet. Changing your diet to work off of your running schedule for any given day is hard and takes lots of discipline. I would really hate to see what would happen if I were to stop running altogether.

This week I jump into an about a 30 mile schedule. Yesterday I completed my long run of 10 miles 9 minutes faster than that of 2 weeks ago. Last week must have really helped out a lot. Today was my rest day, or XT day, so I did what I have been wanting to do for a while now. I went to the gym and did a circuit strength training regiment. I had a blast. I would run on the treadmill (jog) for 1/4 mile, then do 2 sets of a particular exercise, then jump back on the treadmill and start over. I did this for about 1.5 hours and now, I feel great. I really needed that, esp the core training part.

Yesterday on my long run, I took something new along. On Sunday I bought a camelbak 1.5 liter hydration pack. Its red and called a chili pepper. It sure did a great job of providing enough fluids. One other thing that is cool about it is that it was manufactured in Mariveles, Philippines, were my wife's family lives and is from. I remember going by the plant when I visited there. They also make Jansport and other stuff like that. So, I fill it up full, and strap it on, and start running at the local park to try it out. There were little kids soccer practices there. Some kids came up to me when I was done and said...."Wow, that is neat, what comes out of the hose there?" I said "It's water" The looks on their faces said it all. Remarks like "That's way cool" and "Far out" were among what was said. It drew a crowd. Kids are so cool. As far as the pack itself, it did not slow me down, and was comfortable. I give it 5 stars.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Raw Diet / Fruitarianism....Is It for You?

Fruitarianism is the practice endorsed by people called fruitarians or fructarians of following a diet that comprises fruits, nuts and seeds, without animal products, vegetables and grains. So....what do you think? Would you become a fruitarian to see if it would have any affect on your running performance? Now, I do believe that eating a lot of healthy fruit is great, and I notice the difference after a few days. I wonder what the cost factor is going into this type of diet? The last time I was at the grocery store, my wife and I bought a large amount of fruit. She loves her mangoes of course. My favorites are raspberries, seedless watermelon, and pink lady apples. Well, when we checked out, the bill went up quite a bit. We have been trying to eat very healthy, but one thing that I have noticed, is that you need to have a healthy wallet too. I was wondering why so many Americans are overweight? My first guess, is that it is actually cheaper to eat very unhealthy....(frozen food, top ramen noodles, etc..). I think that the whole fruit thing may be going over the top, but that is my personal opinion. I have not tried it, and quite frankly, I would not bother trying it. I don't know enough about the raw diet either to make an educated opinion on it. If you were not into the raw diet yet, would you consider it? If you are already into the raw diet, tell me your experience with it. Now, if you are a Fruitarian, I would really love to know your story. I believe that I have made a small healthy change into the Raw Diet scene. I use Sugar in the Raw (natural cane turbinado sugar from Hawaii) for my coffee, and lots of it. Does that count? ...It's Natural. Pizza does not grow on trees, but it taste so good., but what if pizza was a fruit? If you could make any food item a healthy fruit where you could eat it nonstop all day, and it would be good for you, what would it be? You can categorize too. I would definitely go with Italian.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Knees, Mediocrity, the Can, and Crazy

1. Don't you just love when an overweight, unhealthy Non-Runner says to you "Running is bad for your knees and your body"; when they are the ones with an oxygen tank wearing knee braces, and you find them later on at the grocery store or Walmart riding around in a scooter with the basket in the front.

2. "Mediocrit
y" does not exist in the vocabulary of a Runner. mediocre - of moderate or low quality, value, ability, or performance : ordinary, so-so Whatever your position is on the running scale, always aim for peak performance, If you always think to yourself you will never come in first, you never will. Always test yourself. Train Hard, Race Hard. Remember, this character is what separates our breed from the Non Runners and under achievers. Also, if there is something in general you need to work on in your life, carry this principle into your life, and you will gain higher ground and a sense of accomplishment.

3. "You
know you are a Runner" when you have at least 10 or more issues of Runner's World and your favorite running book in the bathroom to sift through whilst on the can. My wife always wonders why it takes me 30 + minutes in there. "Babe, are you almost done in there?"

4. I am glad that everyone is not into Running. If everyone was doing it, it would not be special; If everyone was running, then it would be the norm, I like the idea that while I am out running @ 3am with my headlamp - "I am not normal,....... Crazy? Yes, and I love it." ........So...If Running is not the norm, what is? I suppose we are abnormal, and that's okay.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hills on Marathon Course

So......yesterday called for an easy 6 miler. This week's training introduces less mileage to bring things down a bit. I had an idea. Instead of running at the park near where I live, I decided to go to Wild Wood Lake Park for a 2 loop run for 6.2 miles. I didn't do too bad, but those hills really gave me a work out. This is part of the Harrisburg Marathon I plan to do in November, so I thought I would give it a go. I had so much fun, as I have not ran this course since 2008. I remember not even being able to go around it once. I would actually just run and when I saw a hill, turn around and go back to the start and repeat. I am glad to see how much my running has improved, although I lack some power in my rear. I felt like I had 2 gears : Slow, and Reverse, but I trodged up the hills. I must say, that, with hills, I prefer going up than down. With going down, I felt like a rag doll being thrown down with no control at all. It was fun, though. One foot in front of the other. So I managed. It was just one steep descent were my body was tumbling forward faster than my brain could register. After wards, I went to City Island, where the Marathon starts and ends. I ran across the bridge into Harrisburg, and proceeded on the river front. There were many runners out, and it was good to be able to wave and say "good job runner" or "way to go". I think that I prefer the presence of other runners now opposed to that of running with my shadow all the time. Gives me motivation. As I was running across the bridge back to where the Marathon ends, a senior citizen lady rushes by me running at Mach 6. The one thought that came to mind as I heard her say "left", was that "Wow, I have all the time in the world to get fast", if Grandma can kick my pants and leave a gust of wind and kick up debris as she goes full throttle past me. . So.......I ran to the finish and felt a sense of wonder as I saw the emptiness to were last years clock and ribbons and crowds of people stood. I hear it's a good idea to do runs where the race is to be held if possible. Well, It is, and I plan to head back to do more runs in the city and on the river front. Running in new places is one way to not get burnt out.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Dont let the Training Plan Plan You! Third Week into Training! ends my third week of half marathon training. Next week I will be reducing the mileage some, which will give me a chance to start strength training which I have been neglecting for a while now. Ill jump right into what I want to say today. 'If you are training for whatever, and you are following some type of plan for training, don't get discouraged if you miss a day due to time constraints , lack of sleep, uneasiness, etc.. Last week, I was feeling down, because I missed my last 2 easy runs of the week. This week, I told myself not to be upset, but to overcome and adapt. I am determined to train my best, but also, I have to face reality as I face an 80 hour work week. What is more important? To go nail my long run, tempo run, or semi-long run, and try to do more (according to the schedule), or to get the proper rest that my body needs to recover nicely from the runs that I nailed. So, I figure that common sense dictates that rest is more important, and thus, playing around with my training schedule to work for me is the way to go, and not the other way around. If I were a paid athlete, things would be different; taking 2 hour naps (business meetings per Ryan Hall), and getting 8 hours of sleep every night, and getting all of my workouts in, but I'm Not. So.....for those of you that are training and working full time (full full) time jobs, cheers to you for hanging in there. Don't give up, or get discouraged, just find a way to make that plan work best for you, and still get in the KEY workouts you need for your race. Today I did an awesome 8 miler PBing (is that right) by 1:43 @ a fantastic time of 1:22. I wonder, would I have been able to do that not getting my rest? Also, don't be afraid to make adjustments to your training plan, as long as they are not too drastic. (plus, if you are a member of the facebook Essence of Running Group, there is a new discussion....go check it out)

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Right Pacing is Everything with Long Runs begins my third week into training. The last two have been okay, but not where I want them to be. Yeah, I suppose I could run/walk a half marathon or a full marathon, but I'm a runner, not a walker. Hey, nothing wrong with walking, I just might do some sort of modified Jeff Galloway plan at the marathon. As a matter of fact, I just bought his book "Marathon, You can do it"....Ohh..really?...But My real focus is on the half in September.

Today was my long run day which called for a 10 miler. Instead of just starting off running at a "comfortable" pace, I went out on a slower pace which happened to be 12 minute miles. I know, looks like a cross between a walk and a jog, I guess Jalk. So....I went jalking today. I did not stop and walk all the way through till the end, except for taking in fluids. Towards the end I noticed something miraculous. I felt I could keep going. I had more energy @ the 8 mile mark than when I first started. Why? Because I did not blow my gasket on the first 2-3-4 with what I thought was a "Comfortable" Pace. So, now I have my long run for the week in the bag, and I am ready to take in some protein and recover. Speaking of which....Recovery - Ahhh! No running or thinking about running until Wednesday. Rest equals the most important part of the training schedule. It's what makes us better runners.

Today's Run :10 miles
Average pace :11:59
Total Time :1:59:59

First 5 miles where done at 1:01 so I caught that minute on the second half going for a sub 2 PB

I don't have a coach, I just have a go at it, and I am learning new things every day about running. As I do, I will be sure to share. Today I tried something new. I put liquid band aid somewhere to prevent chaffing. worked!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Running your Fastest Mile

On each episode on Marathon Talk, they ask the interviewee a couple of question towards the end. One of those questions fascinate me quite a bit. Here's how it goes. If you were supplied with unlimited funds, unlimited amount of quality foods, coaching by the best, basically anything that you needed during a 6 month time from today's date - what could you run a mile in? Yes, unlimited amounts of vomit is allowed at the end of it too.

My answer - realistically with the amount of time that I have dropped in the past year off of my regular runs, I would have to say a sub 7. I think I could do that with being able to focus on nothing but running, and getting enough rest. Who knows, I might be able to squeeze out a sub 6. My dream, someday, hopefully before I am 40, is to do somewhere between 4-5. I have 5 more years for that. In high school, my freshman year, I did a 4:38. That was my fastest time on this planet. And yes, it all came out at the end. What fascinates me about the mile is that it is a LOT of pain, but I remember something my coach said...."It only lasts for a few minutes."

Now with all of that said, I ask you the above question. With everything you needed to complete the task, being unlimited funds, rest, etc., what would you guess your mile time would be in 6 months? I will take it a step further by asking....if you could quit your job now, and get paid x amount for the rest of your life, what would your fastest mile be before you croaked? I would hope for a sub 4, or somewhere hovering over 4, but can you imagine beating the current record held by Hicham El Guerrouj at 3:43? Enjoy the video, and if you have not checked out Marathon Talk, check it out. It is very well worth a listen, and is very addicting as well.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Marathon Talk / First Week of Marathon Training Recap

So, ..........last week was my first week of Marathon Training for my upcoming Half in September and Full in November. It went rather well. The long run called for 9 miles. I did it at a nice comfortable pace and felt great at the end. I look forward to them each week. I love the endurance aspect. One thing also, and I am learning, you really must manage your pace and not start out too fast even if you think you can finish at that pace. It is deceiving. My other runs for the week went rather well.
I love audio books. I have a lot of time (too much time it seems) at work to listen to great novels by Orson Scott Card, Isac Asimov, etc... Recently, I have been introduced to MarathonTalk, a podcast that is free that discusses everything relating to marathons. Even if you don't have itunes, you can simply download in MP3 format and burn a disc. There are two guys (chaps) from the UK discussing all things about marathons including training, interviews with marathon stars such as Ryan Hall, etc.., and some funny stuff too. I recieved an email advising me to listen to Marathon Talk from a good runner friend and fellow blogger, Paul Buryblue from Running in Suffolk. I did, and now, I am addicted to it, listening to them over and over. Right now, there are 20 episodes, each done on a weekly basis in length of 10 minutes or so past elite half marathon time. Great for your long runs. Check it out. They are a great listen, even if you are not a marathoner. Good for all runners alike. As the picture on the left suggests.............all about running.