Saturday, July 31, 2010

THREE/ Training recap

Have you ever had one of those days were it kind of revolved around a certain number? Today was an interesting day in the world of running. I slept for THREE hours, and then I got up and joined a running buddy for some miles at the track at 5am. The weather was awesome, but I wasn't feeling it, as I am still not use to running at that time of the day. I came home, and for THREE hours, I rested, did some blog reading, hydrated, etc.. After THREE hours I decided to just run out the door and do a THREE mile out and back. My time was 33:30:03. It was actually a 5k distance, but THREE miles anyways. Now, in THREE hours I will get ready and go to work. I wonder if I can just work for THREE hours tonight.

Training has been going exceedingly well. This week, I managed a 12.58 miler with my trusty camelbak. It was great. I rested well, and ate well, thanks to my wonderful wife. Today, as stated above, I did something a little different. I ran this morning 6.5 miles, and then later in the morning ran another 3.1 miles. First time I ran twice in one day, let alone the same morning. The second time around, I really wanted to run. I had the energy and my legs were crying out for some more. They were promising me a better performance, and they did not let me down. I finished out the week with a solid 36 miles.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Appalachian Trails, Trail Running/ Training Recap

Part of the Appalachian Trail going through Corn Fields We came from the mountains in the back ground.
I am finishing up my 9th week of training for the Half Marathon in September. The more that I train for this, the more that I think that declining the Full in November is probably a must. I will probably do one next year, or the year after, or......who knows, maybe this year? As far as training for the Half, every thing is on track. I have been using my camelbak on all of my long runs. I can not get over the convenience of being able to store everything back there like keys, gels, wallet, phone, camera, baby wipes in case (Oh, that's for the trails), candy, body glide which I should have used before the start, but sometimes I forget, and other things. Speaking of which, my long run is 12 miles, and I have succeeded at it twice, both with negative splits. The great thing about my long run is that I don't know what the mile markers are, just the turn around point. Seems that when I do not know what mile I am precisely on, I do a lot better, even though I have a good idea. I enjoy it a lot more as well. I just Run. Above is a picture of me on the Harrisburg Greenbelt that surrounds the city. This is where the Half is to take place. I requested to have the day before the race OFF, and just found out it was approved. Am I getting faster with all of this training? I really don't know. I stopped really caring about time, and just do my best. I am actually thinking of not wearing a watch at the race. Yeah yeah, I don't have one of those fancy GPS watches yet. I have about 500 more miles to run until I buy one. Maybe for Christmas of 2020 I will get one. What I do not have or had, I do not miss! So.. training has been good, and I have had just a few minor aches and pains but nothing to seriously hinder my training. For cross training and just having some fun, my wife, a good friend, and I have been doing some trail running/hiking on the Appalachian Trail. I love it, and so does she. She has been putting some miles in herself when I am at work.




Wednesday, July 7, 2010

...And I Think it's gonna be a Long Long Time / Running Mantra

Just a quick little post here today. This might change, but with the help of some fellow readers here, I have come up with a Running Code name for myself. This one here might propel me (launch) me down the road a quick bit I think. "Rocket Man". I am not 100% sold on it, I have the help of 2 so far, Meg and Lindsay. Also, Z-Snap is on the line. If I go with Rocket Man, I will have a rocket sewn to my racing kit,. Who knows, with that one, the sky is NOT the limit. If you have been a follower for a while, and you think you can do better, send them in. The winner will get a free trip to the nearest orbiting space station. Oh, and if you are wondering about the Rocket Man idea, see last post if you want. Just a glance at the second picture will do I think.

Also, since most of us are training for some sort of race right now, be it 1k to marathon, I would like to hear what your running mantras are. I really don't have any if the form of words. When I am on a short fast or tempo run I visualize myself running faster. When I am on my long runs, I just run along.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Essence of the Long Run / Pfffftt / 1000 miles and counting

So.......today, I was scheduled to do a Long Run consisting of 11 miles (same as last week). Last week, I re calibrated my times for training and came up with different running paces. I am using the Smart Coach off of RW's Website, and am currently going into week 7. Yesterday, I re re calibrated the times back to the original times. I am learning a lot with training. I do not let the training plan run my training; I am in control of it, and so therefore, I use it as a tool, as intended, a training tool to get me from A to B.
Last week on my Long Run, instead of going at the pace indicated, I started out faster, then around mile 8, I had to back down quite a bit just to be able to finish, but I did finish and felt like doo doo after wards. My over all pace was 10:47 with a time of 1:58:38. I had gone to what "seemed" comfortable to having to go all the way down to almost a 12 minute pace towards the last few miles. Not good. Did I finish with out stopping? Yes. Did I do it Right? NO.

Today, I started at the intended pace of 11:21 and thought I was moving at what seemed like a snails pace. Then I had to rethink "Long Run" and say "Long Run" to myself over and over. At mile 8, same place last week where I had to slow down, I felt GREAT. I could actually carry on a conversasion with some one, if some one wanted to talk to a stinky runner (I''ll explain later in the post). I found that I could actually run just a tad bit faster if I wanted to, but I did NOT. Instead, I just kept running and running. I was concentrating on my form, breathing patterns, which was a 4-stride per breathe, and leg turn over. I finished feeling great and feeling like I could run a few more miles, but I did NOT. I stopped and called it a good day of Long Run Training. I learned a few things about the Long Run and what it is intended for. Here is my list, feel free to add to it as I learn all about the Essence of Running and the Long Run. Just a quick note - I have reached 1000 miles in running and plan to count thousands more.

Essence of the Long Run

1. Endurance
2. Time on your feet.
3. To build leg strength, and to also strengthen bones, tendons, and joints.
4. To make you feel confident about going the distance feeling great, so on race day, you feel that you can do more and go at a faster pace.

What the Long Run is Not about

1. It is not a freaking race
2. It is not about trying to beat your time of last week, as my Long Run today was about
6 minutes longer than last week's.

Every 3rd mile, as in the race, I would also "walk" to get hydrated. It is nearly 2 hours after my run. I went home and had some chicken, about 2 cups of milk with Nesquik, and hydrated by slowly sipping on a .5 liter sports bottle every 5 minutes (I set my timer on my watch to remind me). And yes, I refilled, and I am still drinking water to Hydrate. Last week, I felt horrible after wards. My legs felt like trash, and I actually felt sick. Ask my wife, as I was complaining a lot about it and wanted to do nothing but lay down on the couch. Today, I feel GREAT. 9 miles into my run, everything started feeling more fluid like and smooth. My arms were not jostling back and forth but moving effortlessly, as well as my legs. I actually feel like I could go outside and run another 2-3 miles or so. And now, I feel even MORE confident about running the Half Marathon.

Now, I would like to share with you a funny experience I had today while on my Long Run. My ritual before any run is to hydrate 2 hours prior and fuel up. On my run today, the first 6 miles were nice, and I was feeling good. BUT, I felt a little gassy down there. I tried to go Pffft but nothing would escape. So I kept running. Right at mile 7 out of no where.....Pffffffffffftttttt. But you see, it wasn't a little toot, or an average toot. This was a "running toot" that lasted for a while. It was one of those toots that would toot with every landing of your feet, with every stride. This went on for about a tenth of a mile. Did some one put left over fire works in my running shorts? I imagined my butt was like a rocket launcher propelling me down the road, were all I needed to do was just lift my feet a little and think that I was light weight or something. Needless to say, after all of that tooting, I felt a lot better, and my run resumed with no further bursts of excitement. My breathing felt better too as my diaphragm shrunk some. That mile 7 was a 10:45 too, so I guess tooting while you run improves your speed too? So, if you want to improve your times, just eat a lot of gassy foods the night before and toot your way to your next PR. Have you had any tooting experiences?

Friday, July 2, 2010

To be a Quicker Runner

On a serious note.......Speed is relative. I very much enjoyed the comments that I received in the last post, What's Holding you Back?. Though, I should have titled it...What's holding you back from Being a Quicker Runner, because the post itself probably indicated "What's holding you back from being an Elite Runner like Ryan Hall or Paula Radcliffe. It is a fact that a very high percentage of runners will never be able to do 15 miles @ 4:30 minute pacing, or do a marathon in under 2:10. A lot of it has to do with genetics and the fact that, like me, starting @ age 35 should have incorporated running earlier on in life. I know (common sense dictates) that I will never be Elite. Most of us never will. It is predetermined at birth for the most part. It is biological and Bio mechanical engineering, and their job is running because of it.
Being a quicker runner requires not only physical effort, but mental effort as well. To just think about being an Elite runner will not make you an Elite runner just because you think it, or work very hard to try and achieve that status. If it's not there for you, it's just not there, and in 99.99999999999999999 E% of the time, its not. But........this thought along with many others may help you to become a faster runner than what you are right now. In my opinion, however, if you think about being Elite, even though you will not make it to that status in a million years no matter what you eat or how hard you train, you might get close, or you might be able to crack open a big fat can of whip ass on your next race. When you finish your 1st or 100th marathon, and you have done the best you possibly could whether you PB'd or had to walk a quarter of it because you broke your hip on a rock @ the 20th mile marker, you can be Elite in your own world, because only you exist in your own world. And in fact, that one Running Commandment - If you do not get paid to run, you shouldn't take it too seriously, was intended just as is. Have fun, which is what I am doing ...........seriously (lol) while, balancing everything out, adding fun, excitement, joy, and the thrill of just being able to run, and being thankful that God blessed me with a body that is capable of such feats. I don't think that I would even want to be an Elite runner in realistic terms, because of the pressures and stresses involved with not performing well at a race, or always coming in 3rd, 4th, or 5th @ Boston every year due to genetic factors. On a less serious note, My Running Dream would be to start at the very last @ Boston, and then right in the last half do a sub 45 minute half, (lol) traveling at unrealistic, inhuman like speeds, then at the last minute come flying in First place nano seconds in front of whom ever the first place person thought they WERE gonna be. Where upon they would respond with "Where did this guy come from?" Okay, I am awake now. What is your Running Dream? ...........And to a running friend who was in fact, my very first follower with this blogging thing almost a year ago, EZEthan, from Rise of a Champion, .....the picture in this post is for you. Yes, you are such an inspiration to seriously train hard, but at the same time Have Fun, and balance things out, and know your limitations so you don't break a hip trying to act like a super hero. And your comments always cause a rise, as well as your brilliantly written posts. But.....it's always okay to dream of being one and aspiring to be the BEST you can be. Just go over and check him out on top. Look at his running top "He's got the right idea".................now we are joined in by Dr. Phil...............................

* I promise.....no more Elite Talk or Dr. Phil sessions for a good while. Time to go get serious about having fun while running and chasing the Kenyans with Lindsay, or if you want to RUN A LOT like Meg, or whatever floats your boat , ......Just go RUN and drink some Nesquik, It'll make you go faster!