Saturday, September 29, 2012

What A Day

Today was so nice out! I got out and mowed the lawn and cleaned out the garage. Then I followed up that productivity with another 6.2 mi run. I switch my route around, which meant I was basically going uphill the entire time; I still managed to run it a few seconds faster. Some day I need to get out and run a real 10k and get myself a real PR. My foot was sore to begin with, but it isn't an issue now. I guess it just needs to get warm and stretched out on the road.

I had some extra motivation today because I got a text from my dad about how proud he was of my running, and that I was motivating him to get out and run too. I was really excited to hear about someone looking to me for motivation, and I don't intend to let him down. He has set some quality goals for himself, and it sounds like he is moving in the right direction. I was sure to give him some advice though. The main thing I wanted him to do was to stretch rigorously and get a good pair of fitted shoes. My father is notorious for downgrading his own things in order to make life for his family better, but this is something he shouldn't close his wallet to. The last thing I need is for my dad to wear out his knees or hips.

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Friday, September 28, 2012

I'm Back

Not much happened today, but I did hit a quick 50 minute 10k after work. My foot isn't 100%, but I didn't not experience any major pain, and it is definitely no worse off now than it was before; it may even feel better. The run itself felt great. I have a lot to do tomorrow around the house, but I would love to do something similar. I need to get as many runs in before winter as I can. Those will be a long few months.

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Return Of The Cardio

I can't say my foot is back to 100%, but I can say that I survived a half hour of fairly rigorous cardio on the elliptical. All those newer runners need to remember not to rush back into things; I am going to ease my foot back into the game. It should get some solid rest tomorrow and then hopefully I can get back on the road on Saturday. I would hope to run for an hour, but I will just listen to my body and see how it goes. There are different kinds of pain, so I will know if I am pushing too much. There is no point in turning this small injury into a bigger one.

Beyond cardio I hit my arms in the weight room pretty hard. I have really been getting after it lately. I also had a pretty healthy dinner aside from a few spoonfuls of peanut butter (protein, right?). At the end of the day, I am feeling pretty good about my workout. Just gotta see how my foot feels tomorrow.

In other news, I am thinking about coming up with a personal list of suggestions for people just starting to get into running and lifting. I know I have come across a lot of things that I had to solve, so a list could help me think about my journey of fitness.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Nearly There

My foot is feeling much better today. I really think I will be back at it tomorrow in terms of running. I am very excited. Not running is driving me bonkers. I do like getting in some weights on my legs at least. It is going to help me tone some areas that running doesn't hit as much.

As for today's workout, I do feel pretty good about it overall. I think my chest and back are really starting to come along. I need to do more weighted core exercises though. Just hard to fit everything in in an hour and a half. I also worked quads, hamstrings, gluts and thighs. I am thinking all this rest is going to result in a great run, as long as my allergies feel even better tomorrow; they were bearable today.

Wouldn't have been able to run much today either; it was way too rainy today. I think tomorrow will be much improved. Here is hoping.

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Early Morning Update

I feel like a slacker. I haven't updated in a few days and I haven't run since Saturday. I haven't even been on an elliptical. My foot is still sore, and I don't want to risk further injury. Plus, I am hit by more seasonal allergies or a cold. I did make it to the gym on Monday and Tuesday, but it could have been better. Yesterday was such a rush job on my arms, so I am looking forward to Thursday already. I am also hitting chest and back hard today. I just can't help myself to just push through my ailments. I will probably just lift legs today too. I need to feel like I am still improving my running without actually doing any running. Hopefully I will have more to talk about next week.

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

New Benchmark

I reached my running goal for the day, and I couldn't have asked for a better day to do so. When I started my 16 mile affair it was cloudy and borderline cold. When I finished, it was sunny and perfect running temperature. Despite the slight burn in my legs, I was really able to enjoy myself at around an 8.5min mi pace. I added a new neighborhood to add distance and I was really impressed with how beautiful it was. Of course, this neighborhood is built around a country club, but I will take it. Part of the joy of running is the scenery; it is always nice to have some new things to look at.

On a more comical note, I had to pee around mile 6, and I just didn't want to deal with it, so I ran into some woods and did my business. I have to take some new things into consideration when I am hydrating so much before long runs. I even had some water with me, so I had to go again later. Annoying. As for the water situation, I really need a camel back. I got really tired of carrying around a bottle, and I don't want anything around my waste. Besides, when I get a bike I can use the camel back for that too.

With a new distance record under my belt, I am making sure to ice my legs big time. I am drinking a ton of water and consuming protein whenever possible. I should be back to training no problem after resting tomorrow.

As for the body itself, I can tell my BMI is going down considerably. I must have got over the hill so to speak. Should be a fun week in the weight room now that I am seeing more visual results.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Time To Lift

I have started some serious uptick in my lifting this week. I need to start seeing some real results, so I am focusing on form and increasing my sets. I am already noticing a difference.

As for my endurance training, I have had some extra time this week, so I have really been hitting it hard. I am trying to preserve my joints for a long run on Saturday. I am really increasing my resistance and speed. I am feeling really good about my week.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

The Quick Ginger

5k #2 is done and I now have a new benchmark for my personal success. Unfortunately I was unable to pull down first overall in the last .2 miles but I will take a second place finish. Additionally, I did it against a guy 7 or 8 years my junior. I finished with a time of 20.58, .02 seconds under my personal goal, on a course that was almost exclusively uphill. In fact, the last mile left me nearly alone because most people had gassed out. I do have to admit that there was not a lot of competition, even on a beautiful day; apparently the fact that the race was during football had a dramatic impact on the turnout. Regardless, I think I would have done well either way, or had even done better with more people. I was in front for most of the race, so had I had someone to pace with, I probably would have gone faster.

Now I move forward with a question mark; I am no longer doing a 14k this coming weekend as my friend got the flu and has been unable to train. Now I need to figure out if I want to do one more race before Tough Mudder in October, or if I just want to train like normal. I know I want to start some leg lifting at the gym, but I need to figure out my training for the next few weeks. This coming weekend will probably include a 16 mile run, and I am going to focus hard on my diet (was a bad weekend in that department). I am also going to work on my form while doing chest and back. I will have to report back when I decide on everything else.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Calm Before The Storm?

I guess I am going to slow down a little before my 5k on Sunday. Sure, I hadn't really planned on it, but when things come up to do, you might as well cut a work out short. I am feeling good though. I think I can at least do a 21 minute 5k depending on the course. Hopefully that turns out to be accurate. I'd also love to come in first in my age group, but I won't get my hopes up too much. You never know when a ringer will show up like last time and go 15 minutes flat. Yikes.

As for today, I just did some low impact cardio for a half hour and then mostly did abs and some chest and back. I would have liked to do more, but I just didn't have time. Next week will have more two-a-days for sure.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I'm No Forrest Gump

I didn't work out this morning in hopes of feeling rested for a long run in the afternoon; that was a failure. My legs felt like garbage. My job keeps me on my feet all day so I wasn't really resting. I did manage to bust out 6.1 miles, but that feels like a failure to me. I may as well just start to come off a little for the race on Sunday.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Best Use Of Time

So, I didn't have a full day of work today, and that turned into spending several hours at the gym. Additionally, I got on the treadmill again this morning. I don't know how many total calories have been burned, but it is probably silly.

At the gym I did some pretty solid cardio. For some reason I find the treadmill so much more difficult than road running. I think this is the opposite for other people. Regardless, I did 10 minutes on that torture device at a quick speed. I also did a different kind of elliptical that I don't know the name of for 20. I did that at a good pace with some spikes. I think a good hour or so of cardio in a day is good with some races coming up; I don't want to overdo it.

The weight room was good today but not great. I worked arms and shoulders, but I am feeling in a bit of a rut. I am hoping to just power my way through it, and I think today's effort will help. I know I am feeling it in my shoulders, but I always am (they are pretty wrecked). I wish I had a trainer to talk me through this though. We will see if I can figure it out on my own, but I don't think my results equal what I am putting into it. I think that will change now that I am working even harder. Hopefully I will have my body fat down quick too (8% is a number I hear is good for showing off your abs and I am probably closer to 12).

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Two Times The Fun

Today was a two-part special. It was actually chilly outside in the morning so I wusses out and ran 2.1 miles on the treadmill. In hindsight I should have sucked it up and hit the pavement, but it just didn't happen. Still, I am getting better at working out in the morning, and the treadmill is going to,be clutch this winter. After work I went the the gym and did a hard 3.1 miles on the elliptical at 16 resistance at 21 minutes exactly. Then I kept going at 15 resistance for another 19 minutes at a slower pace. I ended up doing about 8 miles today. Sure, it was on machines, but I am happy with it. I followed up cardio with some solid lifting: chest, back and abs. All in all I got in about 2 hours today; I love that feeling. I am going to have to increase my morning workouts now that my classroom isn't so hot. I would love to get in about 10 miles a day.

Tomorrow is going to be odd. I will definitely need to get in a lot of work I'm the morning since I have to work job #2 in the evening. I may not have a lot of time for the gym, which means not as much time for cardio. I may get out of on #1 early though. We will have to see how it plays out. I may also go on a long run on Wednesday depending on the weather. Got a good week of trang ahead. I am geared up for the 5k.

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Moving On Up

I felt like I needed to step things up a little this weekend. With that in mind, I went out and ran the longest I ever have. Oddly enough? It wasn't even that difficult. I set t goal early, so I knew what I wanted to do, and I did it at under 8.5 a mile.

I really enjoyed myself on this on this one. The weather was absolutely amazing, my legs felt good and my endurance was solid. I am really going to be able to go forward in my training with confidence after this one. In fact, my goal for my next long run will be even father; just not sure when that will be. I have a 5k next Sunday, and then I have a 14k the weekend after that. Maybe I will do one on Wednesday or Thursday. We will see. Here is a picture from the run. Didn't take any others because I was in the zone.

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Friday, September 7, 2012

Off Day

I am taking the day off from physical activity. I felt the need to rest my body for tomorrow's extended run. Additionally, I simply needed a day to give my muscles rest. I have been going pretty hard for awhile now, and
I don't want to overdo it. I still feel lazy though.

Beyond running, I needed a mental health evening as well. Looks like some happy hour with coworkers and then some serious carbo loading at dinner. I think my goal will be 11 miles tomorrow. That is all for now.

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Get Going

I gotta say, this was one of my best lifts in awhile. My arms were burning bad, and I had missed that. I sacrificed a little cardio time to get to that point, but I think it was worth it. Plus, I had done some cardio in the morning. Overall, I think today was very successful. Now, if I could get around to eating less; it didn't help that they had donuts at school (my weakness).

While working my arms I really tried to focus on form. I feel like this really made a difference, even if I was in a hurry. I also fluctuated my weight and lifting speed. I want to make sure my muscles don't get used to anything. I even changed up the grip on the weights. I feel as though I am getting more confident in the weight room.

As for my cardio, I simply powered through on the ecliptical. I wanted something to rest my joints. I put in a few spikes in speed, but I only did about 4 miles. I think 6.5 miles or so on the day isn't too bad. I should be pretty good to go for my long run on Saturday. I may actually lift legs tomorrow at the gym, and have my morning run be the sole cardio for the day. We will have to see how I feel after work. Not sure how much time I will have either. May end up being more of a rest day than I anticipate.

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I was ecstatic to discover that it was not overly hot and not overly humid this morning. With that, I was able to out and get it a little bit. I was under some time constraints, so I only got in 2.5 miles, but they were a quality 2.5. My legs were feeling good for having done cardio only 12 hours prior. Additionally, I was able to turn in some good mile splits. I was happy to it in these times knowing I had a lot more in the tank. This was merely a way to spend less time in the afternoon on cardio. I also didn't want to wear out my legs too much before going into work; I have a feeling that I will need my legs today... Big time.

Later today I will be looking to do some spikes on the elliptical. I want to really get my heart rate up. Then I will work hard on my abs and arms. I should have more time in the weight room today; I am excited.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Happy NFL Day

I celebrated today with a solid workout. I believe it was too short, but I simply don't have enough time in the afternoon. I did managed a half hour on the stair climber and another 20 at a solid pace on the treadmill. Meanwhile, I watched a movie on the cardio theatre; that place is addicting. I then hit the weights for as long as I could but not long enough. I worked on some core, chest and back. I am really starting to see some results in these areas, finally. I have seen results in my arms for awhile, but my chest and back have progressed so much more slowly. I feel like I am really fighting genetics on some levels. I just don't naturally look fit, so I am really having to work on it. This is no more evident than in my core. I think I need to get down to 8% body fat to really see results, and I don't know if I can diet that much. I also don't know how to truly monitor my eating so that I am still eating enough. Hopefully I just need to keep working out a bunch, and it will come around slowly.

My goal tomorrow is to actually get out of bed and get a run in. I think my ankles and knees will feel good enough. I am sure I will have plenty to talk about when that happens. I am hoping the by writing this, I will be motivated to live up to it. I just need the weather to improve considerably.

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Rest For The Weary

I decided to take the morning off. I woke up, and my ankle was a little sore. I know from experience that this is something that can linger if I don't give it some rest. Besides, it is still horribly humus outside, and the amount of fog is at dangerous levels for road running. I will just have to catch some exercise at the gym later. I think I will hit the stair climber and work the gluts. Then it abs, obliques, chest and back (oddly my favorites). Hopefully I won't die of heat exhaustion at work. Maybe I should just consider the classroom part of my training regiment; I will be used to sweating.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Wrinkle In Time

I managed to get in a second work out today, but it wasn't quite as much as I wanted. I only managed about a half hour at the gym before having to head home and prepare for job #2. I had to make sure that I left myself enough time to eat, which is what I should have done before going to the gym in the first place. My body felt pretty drained after spending the day in an airconditionless classroom all day. It was so muggy, I was just sluggish by the time the kids were on the buses. That carried over into the gym portion of my day. I try to stay hydrated, but I need to figure out a way to have some food later in the day. I eat a very early lunch, so I think my body is ready for a bit of a refill by the late afternoon. The issue is finding the time to do this.

Regardless, I was able to work on my arms and shoulders. I think it went fairly well under the circumstances. This is more or less an aesthetic workout for me, rather than an attempt to decrease my run times. Still, I take my lifting seriously, and I like to stay on schedule. This ensures that I will be able to return to chest and back tomorrow.

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I Got Mugged

Okay, so I wasn't robbed, but it sure was muggy this morning. In fact, I had to take my glasses off towards the end of the run because they were so fogged up. In a word: gross. I was tempted to take the day off, but that just isn't my style. I feel too lazy if I ever take a day off, and I don't think I truly need it. Besides, I don't want to let myself down; that is the worst feeling ever.

I did run, and it felt pretty good after the first quarter mile or so. My calves were pretty sore, but it wasn't something I couldn't work through. I took it upon myself to get some extra protein after the run. I need to make sure I keep my recovery times down. I should have taken a cold shower, but who wants to do that in the morning? Besides, it was only 3 miles; I think I will be fine. I did make sure to take a route with plenty of grade. I wanted to make sure my time was well used.

Hopefully I will be able to get to the gym or go for another run later today. I should have enough time between jobs. I will be sure to report back later. I am keeping them laced.

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Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day Weekend On The Road

I recently learned of the Hudepohl 14k, and I figured it might be a good idea to start some intensive medium distance training. Prior to this labor day weekend, I had been primarily been focusing on shorter runs. Additionally, I was being kept down by either a cold or some bad allergies. Now that I am back to 100% I can get back to some longer distance runs during the week. I started this renewed routine with a 10.1 mile trek. Mind you, I wasn't exactly lying on the couch over the past week; I was still in the gym almost every day. Regardless, getting back above 10 miles wasn't easy. Nevertheless, I felt pretty good about it. I managed about an 8.5/min mile pace. I figure I will quicken that considerably for the race. I will also be running with a good friend, so my pace may be dictated by him. I just don't want to be the one slowing us down. As for the run itself, I spent much of it on two extended straight roads. This may be something I avoid in the future as I felt like I was getting nowhere, and I was way too exposed to the elements. Furthermore, I had my shirt off after it had been thoroughly soaked on such a muggy late-morning; I was somewhat self conscious on such a major road.

Despite some soreness in my right knee, I was still able to comfortably do a few miles on the treadmill at the gym the following day. I am making sure to have plenty of protein and water to recover for my training this week. I was worked on my core using weights, along with my chest and back. I am attempting to work my whole body as much as possible. I have noticed a considerable difference in both my confidence and my physical running form since I started spending the extra time in the weight room. Plus, the added bonus of looking good doesn't hurt.

This week should be interesting. I need to hit it hard as I don't have any races this coming weekend. I will then tone things down for a 5k the following weekend, and the even more before the 14k. Farther beyond that, in October, I am looking forward to Tough Mudder. I plan to keep myself quite busy this running season. I want to have some quality experience before I really come strong in a full marathon in the spring. I am going to get up in the morning and run 3 or 4 miles. Unfortunately, I have to work in the evening, so that may be all I have time for. The following day will be some low-impact machine work, along with core/obliques and arms/shoulders. That should start me off strong. I will be sure to update as things progress this week. Maybe I will have time for two runs tomorrow. Until then, keep them laced.

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