Flights and strollers

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So, I’ve gotten a little behind. Last weekend I went to Indiana to pick up my daughter for the week. I’ve been a little distracted.

But I stay with some friends in Indiana who are huge into Crossfit. They enjoy nothing more, that may be an exaggeration, than taking their friends to classes at there gym when they visit. SO….I went to the cardio class with Anna at Three Kings.

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It was diffidently challenging. the thing I found interesting is that I had a really hard time getting my heartrate into the target zone that the workout prescribed. I think that I’ve got my conditioning to the point that a 30-90 second burst, even when I go all out, isn’t enough to get my heart going.

Anna tells me that Matt, has the same issue. I suppose that its a good thing. I also didn’t feel as dead afterward as I did the last couple of times they took me with them. It was a good workout and pointed out that I need to do a little more than just run.

So, on the plane ride back I did a little research. I figured out that I need to start the marathon training on July 21. Which means between next Monday and then I can change my focus a little bit.

Strength training is one of the things that I need to work on more. Coach V is more of a lifter and she can help me with that. I’m hopping to build strength in in arms and core. When I was in high school I didn’t have to worry about lifting as much since I was helping on the family farms. there was a point when I could carry 225 lbs and squat lift 150 lbs in the form of feed bags. The crazy thing was I could essentially do that all day because I had to. I could also throw 90 lbs well over my head repetitively for 14 hours a day for several days in a row. Hay is heavy. I think that now I could maybe manage one hay bail and I would pay for it for a week.

I also want to concentrate my running more on speed and form than distance. I know from the videos that Coach V takes on the long runs that I have a couple of problems with my form. Tortoise and Hare has good form running clinics about once a month hopefully I can go to that and get a little help with my form.

As far as speed is concerned I think keeping to shorter distances and hill work will go a long way toward improving my speed.

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Sunday, I went for an 8 mile run. It was hot and slow about an 11 minute mile pace. But had the newest member of my support crew along in the trailer behind Coach V. It was great having her along. A little voice saying “good job daddy” every time we passed was great. Coach V also said that she said good morning to everyone they passed.

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Today I went for a short 1.5 mile run just to stretch out and move a little. I put Amelia in the trailer and pushed it. All I have to say is that I know have a TON of respect for all the parents out there who run pushing a stroller on a regular basis. That is some seriously tiring work.

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I’ve got one more run before the big day Saturday. I’m getting pretty nervous but having my daughter here this week is a good distraction from the running stuff. I’ll be doing 4 miles Thursday morning with the group. Until then….C-ya!

A donut and Bike Attempt 2

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So, its been an interesting week.

I felt really good after the long run last weekend.  And then Tuesday I got sick.  I could barely eat.  I think I had a handful of fries Tuesday night and I had to force myself to do that.

Needless to say I didn’t run Tuesday.

Thursday I was feeling much better so I got up and went for the 4 mile run with the group.

That felt amazing.  I was able to get into that same groove that I found on Sunday during the long run and just went.  I was almost disappointed when I got to the end of the loop.  I held a pretty consistent 9:10 mile.  If I can hold that pace for the half I’ll finish in 1:59:59.   So I rewarded myself with a blueberry donut!

I actually don’t think that I’m going to meet the under 2 hour goal.  Skipping forward 4 weeks in the training plan was just too much.  But I’m going to take a shot anyway.

I’m also a little concerned about the weather on race day.  The high for Champaign, IL next Saturday is 65.  They probably think that sounds amazing after the “spring” that the Midwest has had this year.

Today in Phoenix the low is 60 and I’ve heard people complaining about this recent “cold snap”.

Add in some humidity and it should be interesting.

So, Thursday night Coach V decided that we needed to go on a training ride for her tri on May 5.  So we set off on a 12 mile training ride.  I finally after having it for years attached a water bottle to the bike.

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I’m still not a biker.  And maybe I’m doing it wrong.  Is it even possible to bike wrong?  I know that its suppose to be easier on the joints due to the low impact as compared to running.  But it hurts my knees.  And my back.  And my hands. And especially my butt.  Seriously how do people sit on those hard, little seats?

Anyway…….

This weekend I’m flying to Indiana on Friday and back on Saturday.  Then Sunday we will have a delayed Easter with my daughter and an easy 8 mile run.  Until then….C-ya!

Diesel and Nerves

Thursday Morning 4-13-18

I’m actually getting a little nervous.

Not so the half that I’m training for but the 5K “fun” run on Saturday.

I did a 3 mile run on Wednesday and did a lot better than I thought I would and on the Thursday morning run I though I was taking it easy and averaged 9:14 min miles.  I even had to stop and walk a little bit after a diesel pick-up went by.  I think I’m going to try for under 24 minutes.

Which bring me to something I want to mention here.  I HATE diesel trucks.  I’m cool with the semi tractors and farm equipment never really bothered me all that much.  In the city anyway the drivers are some of the more annoying to share the road with.  they are a lot noisier and if you are a city dweller I’ve never understood there point.

However, I can overlook all those issues.  The smell, however, just kills me.  I know that if they are tuned correctly they burn pretty clean as compared to their petrol cousins.  but so many of them aren’t.  Even when they are though, that diesel smell.

I know that a lot of it comes from being asthmatic.  Burning diesel will send me into an instant asthma attack every time.  What I don’t understand is that I’m fine with petrol exhaust and even jet fuel.  I worked for several years as an aircraft mechanic and had very few problems.

Do any of you have problems breathing around diesel exhaust or is it just me?

Anywho….

Tomorrow is the 5K and I’m going to see how fast I can do it.  and then Sunday I have the last truly long run before the Illinois half on 4/28.

Until then….C-ya!

NOT a biker and Sub 8 miles

This week’s schedule got a little weird on me.

Monday despite all the running around over the weekend I felt GREAT. I was itching to run all day. But I needed the recovery. So, I went on a bike ride with Coach V and the kids. She is training for a tri the first weekend of May so the kids trailer was hooked up to my bike.

I have not rode a bike in almost a year. I have a vintage Schwinn from 1973. Its a heavy all steel bike. Add to that the 2 35 pound kiddos and the weight of the cart and I had my work cut out for me.

I am not a biker. I’ve always kind of wanted to be but it can get quite expensive and those seat! OMG those seat are the worst things (pause here for dramatic effect) in the word!

On top of it being uncomfortable about 3.5 miles into the ride the darn thing came loose.

Despite all of that it was a little fun. The kids at one point just started signing. Which was cute. And it was a good non-running workout.

I’m going to keep periodically trying to bike but I’m still skeptical.

We finished the evening with a 1 mile run so that coach could work on the transition from bike to run. She thought it felt awkward. I most felt relieved to be off the darn bike and back to something I know.

Generally on Tuesdays I run during lunch. I don’t particularly like getting up early and I was still recovering from the weekend. Besides on Tuesdays I normally run during lunch anyway. Well this Tuesday I had several meetings get scheduled over lunch fairly last minute. So I didn’t get to run. I have other commitments on Tuesday night so no joy there either.

SO I moved the run to Wednesday. It was suppose to be a hill training run. For other reasons I worked from home and there are no hills nearby. So I decided, since I’m running a 5K this weekend to see what a 3 mile run would look like.

I made a couple of mistakes.

  1. I waited until 11 am. Its starting to get hot here in the valley of the sun and 11 am was already approaching 90 degrees F. But its a dry heat right?
  2. I, for reasons I’m not really sure of, decided to eat several pieces of beef jerky and a cheese stick before heading out for a speed run. This is dumb, don’t do it. about mile 2.5 my stomach started to cramp hard.
  3. Its trash day. So what does that mean? It means that once I left the major roads that all the neighborhoods back up to I had to run right by everyone’s trash cans. I found myself in a debate over whether the full but closed cans or the emptied but open can had a worse smell. I eventually decided they were both really bad and it didn’t really matter so I would hold my breath as I went by. This is extremely hard to do while running.

Despite these mistakes that was the fastest 3 miles that I’ve ran since high school. For those of you who follow me on Strava you may have seen that I averaged 7:57 min/mile. that’s a little ridiculous since when I started this I was really excited about a 9:30 min/mile for just 2 miles.

Mile 1 was 7:33. I don’t’ even know what to say. I’m supper excited by that.

Saturday I’m running the Cookies and Cream 5K in Scottsdale. Coach V wants me to see how fast I can burn it. I’m both nervous and excited.

But before then I have another training run tomorrow morning. So, until then…C-ya!

10 miles and ewwwww

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SO, I haven’t written in a few days. Sorry, life got in the way a little bit and I managed to get a cold.

Anywho…..

Saturday I went on a 10 mile run. for those keeping track that’s a 5k under a half marathon. Coach V came along as she does on Saturday runs along with a very short support staffer\cheerleader\pacer. Her 3 year old son. He rides in a cart pulled behind the bike while I run. He did a great job. at one point he wanted out of the cart. And really who can blame him I think we were about 6 miles in. So he got out and ran with me until declaring that he was tired and stopped. Coach V picked him up and I kept going.

It was an overall good run. Had a little problem with my calves in mile 3 but got them worked out. and at about mile 8 a horrible stiff pain formed between my shoulders to the point that when I tried to turn my head in mile 9 I had to stop for a second. the pain was blinding, literally.

There may be a couple of reasons and it mostly has to do with my own stupidity. Coach V videos me on the long runs so that she and I can analyze my form afterward. (I should probably load them up here sometime.) We noticed a couple of things in previous runs.

1: My left foot hits flatter than my right. I thought that my right leg was just shorter. So, last week I asked the chiropractor to measure my legs. Turns out they are only aobut an eighth of an inch different. She believes after some analysis that I hold my hips in such a way that my right leg appears higher than my left. So, I’m trying to make a conscious effort to change that and hold them more level.

2: Couch V and I noticed that I hold my right shoulder higher. So I tried to level that out as well.

3. I don’t swing my arms evenly. I was told by a coach years ago that running should be symmetrical. If something is happening on one side and not the other something is wrong and there is wasted motion and therefor effort. It is probably important to note that I was trained as a sprinter.

Instead of trying to change one part of my form on a short run I decided to change everything at once on the longest run I’ve been on in a couple of years.

This is a bad idea. It was too much all at once and I think that is why I had pain in places I normally don’t. But the folks at AFC Physical Medicine and Chiropractic helped me with both the between the shoulder pain and my calves. They are also helping to level my hips and the chronic low back pain that I always have.

And with that on to Tuesday!

Tuesday’s run was both horrible and great. The Project 1:59 training schedule called for a 5 mile run and during that run 10 times run 100m at faster than race pace. I decided to do the 100m “dash” portion on the .25 and .75 of every mile. Mile one went well had a 9:12 min mile and the dash portion I got to a 6:30. The first dash in mile 2 went the same and then at 1.5 I got sick. Actually stopped at one of the doggy waste things that my neighborhood has and got sick. I decided at that point to abort the run for the day and ran home.

My stomach if fine now but I still have a sore throat. I need to get better FAST. Not only just to stay on my training but I have a soccer tournament that I’m reffing on Friday and Sunday. I’m pushing vitamin C pretty hard and drinking even more water than normal. Hopefully I can get this knocked out pretty quick.

Tomorrow is a 4 mile negative split run. This should be interesting. Until then C-ya!

Nutrition and Tough Mudders

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I’m sore.

In fact I’m very sore.

I actually brought my stick up to my desk an have already used it twice this morning and probably will again soon.

The past weekend was perhaps one of the most physically grueling weekends that I’ve had since I stopped helping my family with their farms.

SO, why am I so sore. Let me start with Friday Night. A friend of ours who really likes to play board and card games is in from Ohio. So we (Adam, Vicky and I) went over to Vicky’s parents as soon as I got home from work to play games. The trouble that I didn’t realize was that everyone else had dinner before we went. Vicky’s parents being the gracious hosts that they are had cheese spread, crackers and even a little pizza to nibble on while we played and offered my several bottle of beer to wash it down. On top of the burger King I had for lunch meant that it was a whole day of horrible eating.

As I mentioned in the previous post I moved me Sunday run to Saturday. Which meant the I got up and went on a 9 mile run with the intent of keeping a 9:45 pace. This did not happen. We took off with Vick and Adam on bikes and me running. the first mile felt ok, not great but I did keep an 8:45 min/mile pace. Mile 2 everything started to tighten up and hurt but still managed a 9:26. And then I really started to feel bad. I spent the next 7 miles stopping occasionally to try and stretch my calves. I nearly got ill in mile 7 and almost tapped out. However, thanks to the encouragement from Adam and Vicky (who I’m going to start referring to as Coach V on these runs) I kept going and finished the distance.

This brings a thought and a question to mind.

First the question.

When training for an event such as a half marathon or a full is it better get in the distance of the long runs and sacrifice the target pace or hold the pace and not get the distance?

I realize that hitting both would be the ideal but as I demonstrated Saturday I wasn’t going to hit both. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

The thought has to do with nutrition. I know that I ate horribly on Friday and I think that had a pretty dramatic effect on the Saturday run. the nutrition side of things is not something that I’ve ever paid much attention to.

As a high school cross-country runner and track sprinter it never mattered much. I was eating everything I could to maintain my weight. I actually would eat to dinners a night most nights. One at a friends house right after practice and another at mine. (he was doing the same thing)

Now the advantage that we had is that our mothers are both amazing cooks and they where feeding us good balanced meals but as a 17 year old your not paying attention. The adults took care of little details like that so that we could worry about more important things like school, running, cars, music, girls … that sort of thing. although girls didn’t become a real distraction until college, but I digress.

Even in my 20s I didn’t have to really pay attention to what I ate. although by in large I was fixing in myself I mostly stuck with the type of things mom made. I’ve always loved fruits and vegetables. I’m actually a pretty good gardener. Almost anytime I have fruit I claim its one of my favorite fruits. And my love of pasta is nearly legendary among my friends and family.

Fast forward to now and I’m having to be careful how much I eat. What I eat seems to have a much larger effect on how I feel and now I’m noticing performance differences based on food.

Getting old sucks. There I said it. It is however inevitable. So, I’m going to start looking into what I should be doing diet wise. What does a runners diet look like? How can I fit into my lifestyle and family’s needs? If any of you know of some good resources let me know and I’ll review it and report back with what I learn.

Ok, enough with the boring stuff. On to Sunday!

I along with Coach V and Adam ran in Tough Mudder Arizona. And one of the really cool things is that we adopted an abandoned running who would have had to run alone named Katie.

A tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile non-competitive run with 20+ obstacles. They are all about teamwork and comradery with your fellow Mudders. Most of the obstacles you will be helped either physically of encouraged by complete strangers. It is one of my favorite things to be a part of.

The obstacles are designed to test you both physically and your grit. that ability to overcome fears and get the job done. I have seen many people especially new Mudders approach an obstacle with hesitation and fear. But with the help and encouragement of everyone around they time and time again accomplish things that they never dreamed they could. Usually they get to the other side and beaming with pride look back and say “huh, that wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.” It reminds me of how much of running and really life is about our attitude and ability to set fear aside to just get the job done.

It true is an inspiring thing to see and a humbling event to be a part of. I always feel like kind of a badass for a few days afterward, even when I am so sore that typing is a challenge.

Did I mention I’m sore?

I also need to give a shoutout to my teammates:

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Coach V (aka Vicky) who got me started on these things even though I thought it was kind of gimmicky. And inspires all of us to fight though. Hopefully, I can continue to keep up with her.

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Adam who hates running but loves the obsticales (well most of them). I hope someday to have a quarter of his grip strength. He also has a youtube channel about board games specifically the game Dominion. You can find him there at AdamHorton01

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And Katie who we just met but by the end felt like an old friend. You are always welcome in the Mudder Band! And I look forward to running with you again soon.

So, I’ve got a lot to do this week between training, nutrition research and a few life things going on. The next run is Tuesday so until then….C-ya!

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Backwards Routes and Knee Pain

Thursday mornings I have a group that I normally run with. The only issue, well I say that but there at are couple, is that they run a 4 mile loop. This because an issue when your training program calls for 8 to 10 miles. The other issue is that they start at 5:30 am. I’m told this will make more sense once it gets hot here.

So to solve one issue I had to make another worse. I got up at 4:15 AM so that I could run the loop before the group runs it. I do not like getting up that early as Vicky discovered. Anyway I got to the place and ran the loop. Unfortunately, I didn’t finish the first loop in time to meet everyone for my second loop. So, I decided to run the loop backward and just turn around when the main group met me going the other way.

This leads me to a question. Do you have a route that you run so regularly that you don’t have to think about it? Its just so engrained that you seem to finish and wonder, “did I really just finish?”

Now try to do it backward. Its amazingly difficult. At least it was for me. nearly every intersection I started wondering if I was suppose to turn there. It was so disorienting that I thought I must have missed something and was lost.

Fortunately, I wasn’t and the group found me. I turned around and ended up with a 7 mile run instead of the full 8 to 10.

It wasn’t a great run for me. After several weeks of runs getting stronger and faster I finally had a ‘meh’ run. Pace was 10:42 min/mile I had ALOT of knee and calf pain in mile 2 which took me 12:33. Maybe I didn’t get enough sleep the night before, maybe I was just due for a non-steller run. Maybe I have actually done something to my right calf and knee.

I’m moving the weekend long run, 9 miles at 9:45min/mile, to Saturday. Sunday I’m running in a Tough Mudder with Vicky and a friend from Ohio, Adam. It should be a good time since I enjoy these kind of events and Adam is a fun guy to be around. I’ll let you know how the long run and the Mudder go.

Until then….C-ya