Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Lack of Motivation

Lack of motivation. Yesterday and today I got up to go for a run, and voila!  Repeated those steps this morning too.  I went right back to bed.  I'm not proud of it.  I am supposed to run a total of 8 miles between 2 runs, so hopefully I can wake up Wednesday and Friday to do those 4 mile runs. 9 on Saturday. We'll see how this goes.

Monday, January 28, 2013

So Much For The Dumbo Double Dare

Well I had planned on running the dumbo double dare partially to prep for the goofy challenge. When registration started, I received the email the same day and when I looked online to register, it was sold out already.  WOW!!  Congratulations to those who got in to that race.  I'm sure it'll be a ton of fun.  I'm sure the inaugural medals will be absolutely stunning.

In hindsight, it's probably better that I didn't sign up considering airfare would have been a fortune and hotels possibly even worse for that weekend.

Still bummed though that I didn't get in but that's fine, I'm good with it, no, not really, who am I kidding.  If you got in, I'd love to hear your thoughts about the registration process...my eyes are set on the Illinois Marathon in April, and then Goofy Challenge in January 2014. Can't wait!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Week in Training: Jan 19-Jan 25

Well this week sure has been interesting.  The Chicagoland area has had some rather frigid temperatures, which reached sub-zero at least once in the past week.  I started out the week on Saturday meeting up with a co-worked and friend.  He's fit.  He's strong.  He's not a runner.  He hates running.  I've worked out with him once before and felt like I had been whipped through a boot camp.  I was scheduled to run 7 miles but ended up running 6.34 miles. I was originally planning on getting to my 4 mile mark while waiting for Danny to arrive at the Rollins Forest Preserve.  I found myself placed at the agreed meeting spot just up from 3 miles and Danny was in the parking lot.  We stretched out a bit, went on a 3.2 mile run.  For a guy that doesn't run much, he can run pretty quickly.

Running with Danny made me realize two things.  I need a running partner.  I can train faster than I do.    My first three miles were all in the 9:30-9:45 range.  Running with Danny we picked up the pace a bit.  We completed the 3 miles around the 9:00 pace.  We did stop to walk a bit, but I'm positive that's because I'm not used to training that fast, but my body is perfectly capable of it.

This got my ass in gear and got me to finally send in my registration for the Grayslake Running Club.  Back in November I attended a social gathering they put on at Buffalo Wild Wings and met a few people there that seemed like a lot of fun.  Achievement of the week: Registered for GRC.

With the 6+ mile long-run behind me, I delayed my first short run until Wednesday when it should have been Tuesday.  I'm not entirely sure why I ran 4.4 miles at a 10:25 pace but it sure seemed slow.  Not sure if my mind wasn't in the game that day.  The second short run followed the next day (probably not a good idea) but I need to get the mileage in and that was at a much better 9:38/mi. I ran 2 loops of our neighborhood with a few detours and actually had fun, felt a bit like a hamster in a wheel.

So far I've put about 50 miles on my Saucony Pro Guide 5 shoes.  They feel great.  My feet feel well supported.  Winter training for a spring marathon isn't going as badly as I had thought it would.  Even though they're not representative of the entire running community, I'm running more miles at a faster pace than most men my age.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Week in Training: Jan 12-Jan18

I'm going to get the negative news out of the way. First off I've not been getting in control of my cross training. I think I've had such an addiction to running and simply can't get through my thick skull that I need to do other things than run. So far I've committed to training less, by training I mean running. According to Bill Pierce and Scott Murr it's all possible. I've not read the book, but according to the title, you can even be faster. No, really, the reason that I'm running less is so I don't continue to have issues with my IT band. I had committed while training for my marathon to run 3 days per week and cross train 2 days per week which were reserved for yoga and core work. So far, I've done yoga once and never anything else except for running. I really need to work on that in the coming weeks.

That being said, my training really has gone quite well given the temperatures I've been training in and the paces I've been running.  The week started out on Saturday with a 5-miler in some abnormal weather for the Chicagoland area.  We had a 50 degree day and with my run already planned, there was no chance in hell I was going to miss out on this run.  I've also been trying to mix up the routes so I dont get bored. Part of the problem is that there are only 3 ways out of my neighborhood, two of which are right next to each other and one is right by my house.  The three of them really lead to only 2 main roads so I have to mix it up somewhere else around the route.
5-Mile Run - January 12, 2013

I felt a little too good I think heading out clocking my first mile at 8:52 and slowing it down partially due to ice for the next 2 miles clocked at 9:46 and 9:23 respectively.  I felt the burnout in the fourth mile with a 10:17 pace, most likely from heading out a bit too quickly and finally back down to 9:45 for the fifth mile.  You'll see the large fluctuations represented in the yellow/orange colors in the map.

4-Mile Run  - January 14, 2013
I went out well on Monday for my 4-miler, this time through the heart of downtown Grayslake.    I seemed to have learned my lesson from my previous run keeping that first mile down to 9:54 and just tipping the 10:00 mark for the second and back down to 9:39 for the third and 9:50 for the last mile.  I'm sure the 10 degree weather played a part in me not going out so quickly.  A bit of a roller coaster ride some may think but I've always had trouble keeping a consistent pace throughout any distance and this is about as close as I've come to consistency between miles.

5-Miler - January 17, 2013
Thursday was quite the adventure.  I haven't run through the forest preserve much this winter, especially since I've just started resuming training.  With a sub-freezing temperature at 23 degrees I was just hoping to finish the 5 miles and still be able to feel my extremities and vitals.  I intentionally tried to keep the pace to what is a light run for me and did a rather fine job at it.  My first 2 miles was just over 10 minutes and the middle mile 3 at 9:38, ending the last 2 miles at 10:00 and 9:45.  I had no complaints about this run considering the trails and sidewalks were pretty well iced over still with light dusting of snow on top.  I had to be really careful so I avoided injuring myself again.  I slipped a few times and stopped once to tie my shoe.

I'm looking forward to making a commitment during this next week to really get doing yoga and core training.  Hopefully having to write about this will help with motivation.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Week in Training: Jan 5-Jan11

In order to keep me more in tune with my training plan, I've decided that every friday I will post my week in training starting with the previous saturday. This will include not only my runs but what I've been doing for cross training (not my favorite by any means, but hopefully since I'll be writing about it, I'll feel more of a need to do it.) That being said...

I started this week off really well with a 5 mile run. In attempt not to injure knee again, I used a run/walk method, which means after every 1 mile to 1.5 miles I walked for 30 seconds. Surprisingly this didn't really affect my pace as much as I thought. I completed the run in 53:41 which is about 10:42 per mile. The run was a huge success considering back in October I couldn't run even one half mile without my knee feeling like it was going to explode. There is nothing quite like running in a Midwestern winter snowstorm. Not only was it snowing like crazy, it was the slushy kind that sticks to everything. Tons of fun but had to watch for the black ice on pavement and blacktop.

On to the two shorter runs, on Monday I ran 3.02 miles in 29:42, a pace of 9:50 per mile. During the shorter runs during the week, I don't plan on walking until maybe they get a lot longer. No bad weather to speak of during this run.

For Christmas my wife picked up a copy of UFC Trainer for XBOX 360. I'm implementing some training through my XBOX Kinect so that I don't have to go to the gym to get a good workout. Let me tell you it was rough and showed me just how important cross training is to overall fitness. I was surprised how well it tracked my movement and counted repetitions for up/downs, pushups, squats, etc. After going through the 25 minute circuit there, I felt like I could do more so I threw in some Yoga with Henry Yee.

Yoga was a suggestion from my sister-in-law. After bringing up some of the pain I was experiencing to her, this is one of the things she mentioned I should try. I had done it before as a part of P90X so I wasn't surprised to hear it, although I didn't particularly like it. The DVD I purchased to follow along with has 20 minute yoga sessions geared toward certain parts of the body. I did the one to focus on strength and upper body. Holy crap I hurt after, just saying, people who think yoga is for sissies, you should try it. That will change your mind. Reading this won't.

Anyway, shameless plug here, My sister-in-law is Mary Shutan, she owns Lotus Body Work in Evanston, IL. If you don't believe me, just check the reviews here.

The next day, I was excited to get back on the road. I was supposed to do 4 miles, for some reason I had in my head I only had to do 3. I ran 3.11, which is exactly 5 kilometers, a very popular race distance. This one I felt like running a bit faster than I ran on Monday but I also wanted to see what trying negative splits looked like. This was a lot of fun. I started out running the first mile in 9:53, the second at 9:05 and the third at 9:04. Technically that's a negative split but I was hoping to get that third mile in less than 9:00.

This morning I was scheduled to do yoga again. I'm not sure why I didn't get up in time, but I'm not happy about it. I know I was tired, but I know I feel better during the day if I get up and get moving early. Perhaps I justified it to myself because I did yoga 2 days ago and wasn't scheduled to. Either way, I took today off.

 All in all, not a bad training week. I was happy with my time on Saturday for 5 miles given that I ran on snow and ice packed roads and my 3 miler times weren't too shabby either. I also learned that I'm digging UFC training, which I wasn't too sure about at first.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Training Update

So I've been running. If you follow my blog at all, you know that I've been sidelined a bit lately due to a knee injury. I ran 2.22 miles on Christmas Day at a nice clip of 9:19/mile with my new Saucony Stabil CS 2 shoes. It's been really difficult to concentrate on running form but I've got to do it. I ran this entire run using midfoot running strategy to help reduce the load on my knee. Rumor has it when you strike the ground with the foot, it ends up putting up to 3 times your body weight straight on your knee. Yikes, for a guy almost 200lbs, that's not good!

After taking a few days off, I went out on the 29th, right before my trip to MIchigan and put down 2.7 miles at 10/mi. Not too shabby considering I ran in icy sidewalks and paid more attention to not falling than where I was running.And how about ending the new year with nice 2.8 mile during the trip in Michigan. Apparently they don't like snow plows where my parents live so I ended up running mostly on packed snow or soft deep snow. It was a super chilly day, 24 degrees F. After the first 2 miles at around 9:20/mile, the last bit was a bit slower because the road shoulder narrowed and I had to pay a lot of attention to passing traffic.

Finally beginning the new year and my official training plan for the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon in April I went on a 3.8 mile run, which was supposed to be 4. I got to my driveway and I missed the mark but the best part is that I didn't feel much pain in my knee. I felt it get a bit tender but no actual pain. Couldn't believe it!

Throughout this training plan I'll be doing one day of Yoga, compliments of my sister-in-laws advice and a day of weight training. This brings my total training says to 5, of which 3 are running days and 2 are strength training.