Sunday, November 28, 2010

Running It Off! Gravy Train!

So this is the week after Thanksgiving. I did it and ate and ate. Not just on the day of Thanks, but the day after and so on into the weekend. Hey, It only happens once a year.

My problem is not the turkey.
It's the pound of gravy on top to hide the taste of turkey.
and the mashed potatoes.

So this week it is time to run off 10 pounds of gravy that is soaring through my veins right now along with the pecan pie that went in my left leg, and the apple pie in my right.

Back to my question from the previous post - Is it normal to gain weight after a marathon? It is if Thanksgiving is only a week after it. hahaha

But I conclude by stating that having an active lifestyle all through out is awesome. One big meal a year ain't gonna make you look like jabba the hut, it's eating like jabba the hut the other 364 days a year that makes you look like jabba the hut or (fried) Okra, ........oops, I meant Oprah.

Well, gotta run after I hydrate with some gravy with GU brew in it. Yummy!

Oh, and just in case you signed up for the giveaway 2 or 3 posts ago on the GU stuff, if you have not posted a comment in any of the ones after it, your entries are now null and void. Hahaha, just kidding!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving/ So.........What's Next on the Chopping Block, Knowing your Limitations. A few questions.

First off, Happy Thanksgiving to all. If you would ask me what I am thankful for the most, it would be for my very loving and supportive wife. Next would be the health that God has given me and being able to do what I love to do.......running. And I am also thankful for the many running friends that I have met and conversed with through this blog. Thanks for all of the wonderful, advised, and encouraging comments.

What is next?
Bob Potts Marathon May 15th, 2011
Harrisburg Half Marathon September, 2011
Harrisburg Marathon 2011

The Bob Potts Marathon in York, PA offers a nice flat course in nice spring weather. It also allows me to recover fully, and build up mileage, and "properly" train for a Marathon. I would say that actually doing a Marathon trains you for another one in terms of mental preparation and awareness. I will also come back for another swing at the Harrisburg Half and Full.
Two Marathons a year will suffice, and needless to say, to fully recover and be able to prepare for another one, two a year is about right.

What's in my training regiment now? Not a whole lot of anything. I have roughly 16.2 more days until my body is fully recovered from the Marathon regardless of what speed I did it in. In a few more weeks, I will be ramping it up in terms of training.

Knowing your limitations. Learning from experiences and being just plain smart are things that a runner will hopefully commit to in his or her running career. I have made a decision about something. Initially I had NO intentions of doing the Marathon a week or so ago until about 8 weeks prior to it. The Reason: I was doing it to qualify for something bigger ( a whole lot bigger) in March of 2011. I know realize that even training for this would be very stupid on my part. More reasons not to do it outweighed that of actually doing it.

One - How can I properly heat train in the state of PA in the months of November to Feb.?

Second - I need some time to recoup. This race will still be there next year, and the one after that, and so on and so on. I have researched and actually found some ultras in my back yard pretty much, and mostly trail.

Third, and the most important reason out of them all.

Running and killing myself right now with that type of running is just not for me right now. Ultras are not something I am going to get into right now. Maybe later, but it will be when I am more mature as a runner, and when my body tells me when. Now? No. Later? still Maybe. I guess it took mile 23 to zap this answer in my brain.

4th reason, I promised a really good friend of mine, James, living in Manila PH, that I would do some rave runs with him when I am there in the Philippines in March. We are targeting some really nice Trail Runs around the Philippines and on Corrigidor Island. Now, how I am I suppose to live up to my promise after challenging myself with a 102k ultra?

5th - I really want to give this whole Marathon thing a really good shot. I have really high hopes for myself. I believe that I can and will achieve personal goals. In 2012, I plan to do at least one of them out of state, maybe in N.C., the Outer banks, where I am from....well close enough.

6th - Not enough running budget in terms of time.

So there you go. I have a few more weeks until I kick start my Spring Marathon Campaign. Until then I am taking it easy. However, I did this tempo run the other day, a six miler, and my last mile was well under 9 minutes. That leads to my first question.

1. The shoes (asics 2150) that helped me a while back in terms of cushioning now seem to slow me down with all that cushioning, seriously. I feel like when I start running in them, I am running with giant marshmallows on my feet. What Gives? With the weight loss and all the mileage, I am wanting to go faster and do more interval training and quality sessions. Should I now start looking for a lighter weight shoe? Or should I try barefoot running? lol....not yet.

2. Is it normal to gain 5 to 10 pounds the week after a Marathon, and if so, why?

Friday, November 19, 2010

GU Giveaway / Fueling During Runs

Thanks to Outside PR, I have had the chance to sample many of the different flavors of GU products including chomps, gels, GU brew, and recovery (which I did not know that they had). I have been using GU gels for a very long time now. Each gel contains 100 calories, 45 mg of sodium, 25 grams of carbs, and 5 grams of sugar. I can say that my favorites are Triberry, Jet Blackberry, and the Pineapple Roctane. I wish that they had a mango flavor. Two flavors that I could do without are Chocolate Outrage and Mint Chocolate, but I gave them a go. I like the chomps if I am NOT running, maybe for a snack in the car on a long drive or something. As far as the Recovery Brew, I liked the orange pineapple over the strawberry watermelon. The GU brew is a favorite of mine for mixing up and taking along on a long run or any run for that matter. Overall I think that GU is a good product. To see more on GU go have a look at their website here. I am certain, however, that most of you are familiar with GU gels though. So here is how the giveaway works. Leave a comment answering these questions for 1 entry.

1. Do you use GU gels or any other fueling type products for your runs? (doughnuts, apple fritters, chocofuel, twittlebits, etc.?)
2. If you use GU gels, what are your favorites?
3. Do you use GU brew, and if you have, what do you think about it?
4. Do you purchase your GU online or get them at your favorite running store?
5. Finally, how do you use GU gels? ex. when during the run, with or with out water, etc....

There you go, so if you leave a comment here answering those questions, you get one entry.
There are more ways to get extra entries.

1. Friend me on twitter on the right hand side up there that way or here.
2. Like Outside PR on facebook.
3. Go check out Essence of Running via Facebook and leave something behind via on the wall or start a discussion. (**I would really like to get that going sometime**)
4. Be a follower of this blog

So there are 5 ways to get your entries in. But wait, there is more (If you call with in the next 5 minutes................)

If you will email me at with a paper on "Proper Hydration" then you get an additional 5 entries. Has to be good length, not "comment" long. If you are a winner, then your writings will appear on a future post here at Essence of Running. (I wonder how many people will actually do this one, lol)

So there you go, 10 possible entries. Have fun and good luck.

*only open to US and Canadians, sorry "over the pond" people.
*winner will be announced on Dec 6th, and giveaway will end on Dec 3rd.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I FINISHED (Harrisburg Marathon 2010)

First Marathon Experience!
Harrisburg Marathon 2010

This is what it is all about, being with the one who is so supportive and there for you every mile of the journey to the start line and after the finish.
I finished! Yayyyy!
After Race treat with San Miguel. Party Party Celebrate!

At the Finish with my Beautiful and Supportive wife,!

I had a wonderful first Marathon yesterday at Harrisburg, PA. The weather was brilliant. The atmosphere was breathtaking. All in all, I had a Great Time despite my time. I learned a lot about myself, what I am capable of, and about the Marathon itself. I heard somewhere before that in order to know how to really train for a Marathon, you must do one first. That, now, to me, rings very true indeed. The physical limits that you subjugate your body to during a Marathon is something else. It is NOT 2 Half Marathons, or 20 miles then a 10k. A Marathon is what it is - 26.2 Miles and nothing less.

I started out with a 4/1 run walk ratio. I believe that I went out too hard though. My half time was 2:15 which is 2 minutes above my Half Marathon PB time. At mile 18-19, I could really start feeling fatigue, which I have not felt on my long runs. So.....I went out too fast. At mile 20-21 there where some massive hills (to me anyway). I still tried to stick with the 4/1 but I found myself walking up the hills, as I could do at the same speed running. lol.

When I was done with the hills, I regrouped, and started off again, with 4/1. My pace went down a bit, but I was still hanging on.

The WALL. At mile 23 I did not hit the wall. The "wall" HIT me. Smack. Pow. Bam. It hurt to even walk, and every single muscle in my body froze, just as someone described to me, it was like trying to run being waist deep in mud. So I just had to keep telling myself to keep moving. "Keep Moving" Those miles did not even seem like miles. It was like 1 mile equaled 3 miles. I think on mile 24 it took 18 minutes. lol.

The Finish was Awesome. You run across a bridge after you make a little climb. When I got on the bridge, the finish is in .2 miles I "think". It seemed like it. So I dug in and just ran. I ran across the Finish strong and feeling like ........well, I finished. My Total time was 5:12.46.

I learned so much and that was one of my major goals was to learn from this wonderful experience.

1. Go at your OWN pace.
2. Don't go off running like a nutter (in British terms, a crazy) Even if there is a live band playing the theme song from Rocky. hahaha
3. Bring your own Hydration if you plan on being out there all day, like I was. lol. The aid stations, as gracious as they are, seem miles away when you run at a slower pace.
4. Run your own Race
5. Listen to your Wife. (I am always wrong) She just seems to know.
6. Don't try out new stuff, like the energy gum at mile 5 at the booth.

Those are just a few things, but the list goes on and on.

My time is not stellar by any means, but I really don't care. Now I know what to do for Nov 13. 2011. This time I will be more prepared when I rock up to the start line.

How ever, I did see some funny stuff out there.

One guy decided that the wait for the porta potty was too long at mile 4 so he just did his thing on the course. No one seemed to have minded.
I got passed by a crab when I hit the wall at mile 23.
Looking at the finish times, it seems that the older people did a LOT better than the younger people over all. I can only imagine that this has something to do with "EXPERIENCE" as I got passed by several of them at , you guessed it, mile 23. haha

As you can guess, I had a wonderful time. I thank my awesome wife for being out there cheering me on, as it was our Anniversary. She did a heck of a job taking photos. Thank you baby. I also thank my wonderful people here that have sent me motivation and support comments, and emails. Thank you so much. Next post, I will share with you of what is next on my running agenda. Until then, it's time for a little recovery and a look at the drawing board.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Minimalist Running/Barefoot Running

First off, a big Congratulations to all those that ran the NYC Marathon this weekend, one of those being Meg. You can see her race recap here. running buddy decided to take up the minimalist running approach. The first time that I have heard of this was roughly 6 months ago on an episode of Marathontalk with an interview with Barefoot Ted. It was a bit funny, because as much as this helped him out with running, he clearly stated "If it's not broke, do not fix it". Would I ever take up this approach in running? ..........hmmmmm....I don't think so. My running shoes fit me perfectly, and I have not had any injuries or suffering since I started running. The only time I would run barefoot is if I am outside barefoot and something is chasing me (like a bee) and I have to run. If done properly, many people are having fun with it. So....back to this buddy of mine that thought it would be cool to run his first 5k race in VVF's (Vibram Five Fingers, as to what I would refer to them as Five Finger Death Punch) I warned him over and over again, that he would need to start out slow, as to little I know about the whole thing. He thus, decided to run his first 5k in them after little experimentation. Long story short, he now has not ran in 4 weeks or so because he injured his foot during the race. I told him he should probably go to the physio to get it checked out, but he is just biding his time to see if whatever he has heals. He said "I stepped on a rock wrong". I am not opposed to this style of running, however, it is not for me. As stated earlier, my shoes work fine and I am happy and running injury free. My rant is people trying out new things because it's cool. This will probably be my first and last post on the whole subject of running barefoot, unless I decide to give it a go (when shoe manufacturers go out of business that is) Have you had a running buddy that tried something new and ended up getting hurt? Have you ever tried something new and gotten hurt? What are your thoughts on minimalist running?

Now on to better news -
Stay tuned, to commemorate EOR's anniversary and EOR's Kenley Jones' Debut Marathon November 14th, EOR will be hosting a giveaway.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Like Sands through the Hour Glass.....

So......I have 10 more days until my debut Marathon. I am ready. Just got through with a 6 mile easy run, and it was easy. 2 years ago, I thought that 6 miles were something else. and you know what?.....they still are, just in different terms.

What got me running?......I ran on and off prior to 2 years ago, and was not getting anywhere. I did not have a goal, and no motivation. Two years ago, I actually started running via a couch to 5k plan. About that 5k? Never did it. ....Well, I take that back, I did do a 5k with a group I never returned to. I just continued running and working off of that. The couch to 5k turned into a couch to 10k turned into a half marathon, turned into a soon to be marathon. In high school I ran the mile. Seems like I would like the shorter faster races? 5ks and 10ks don't really appeal to me, because by the time I finish, I am getting warmed up, so I skipped all of that. Maybe next year, then again, maybe not. Maybe never will I ever do a 5k or a 10k. I am not a speedy runner, but I might start doing some serious speed work next May. Until then, may the miles flow by like sands through the hour glass, so are the runs of our life.

When you think you are running faster! .........or....whatever you feel like doing!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Miles per Month / Feeling Burnt out?

Happy November 1st. I trust every one's October went well. October, for me, ranked my highest mileage month I have had since I began running seriously 2 years ago.

I logged a total of 194.

Compared to last year's stellar 33.

With more miles, I have noticed the increased chance of burn out, injury and/or fatigue, and have since then learned how to back off or take a rest day when things are not feeling right.

I find that by just taking a rest day and recovering, my running improves. If I do not listen to my body, and what it is telling me, I end up feeling like poo and getting upset with myself.

Another thing to consider is out of those 194 miles, how many are quality miles? How many are junk miles? I can honestly look back and answer that 100% of those 194 miles have been quality miles with quality sessions, and before each run, I now ask myself what type of session am I doing. It is normally already planned out though.

To battle burn out, fatigue, and feeling like poo. - If I feel out of it, I ask myself before a run........"How is this run affecting my over all performance, and if it is necessary to obtain my over all goal?" If it is just a recovery run, or whatever, I skip it, go inside and read blogs (lol). If it is a key session, then I reschedule it for another day. Although that is harder to do, I can make it happen. Another thing that I do is go to amusement parks and eat funnel cake and drink gallons of coke. Distraction works!

I have felt burned out more than one time in the past. I don't ever think it is something that any one can master. It happens. But I dare say that the more experienced of a Runner you become, the more chances you have at preventing it. "The more you know". And it's not just about running, it's everything else in life that happens too. I can, however, say that for now, I am on a downward slope rolling faster and faster watching out for a tree that I might hit.

Have you ever been burnt out? What do you do to prevent it, and what do you do when it hits you?