Saturday, September 29, 2007

Feeling great

28:09...not bad I think. I felt great from the start this morning and the greatness really didnt stop (until the last 4 mins of course when I cranked it up just a bit). The biggest thing that I noticed today was going up the hills; they just didnt hurt as much and my body went more into an autopilot mode when running up them. I can compare this to biking up hills. At the beginning of the season, of course they suck and they hurt even though you are in your easiest gear. Of course after you do enough of them on a regular basis your body adapts and can crank right up them. Same thing happened this morning: I felt a change.

I talked to my dad the other night and he said that in the Corp he would run a 6 min mile, meaning that he could do an 18:00-20:00 min 5K. YIKES! Well that would be cool if I could do that, but I dont think im going for a crazy goal like that. I think seaking a 24:00 min 5K would be a more realistic goal for the time being. However, he did say that he would run 5 miles on a regular basis, which of course when you become used to that, 3 miles is a piece of cake which means you can run a bit faster, yeilding a faster time.

I am in a bit of a debate with myself at the moment. I am trying to decide that after running 3 miles over the next week (and timing myself each time) should I continue to run my 3 mile course or should I continue building distance until I reach 5 miles. I think an option is to throw in a 4th run during the week by starting the week with 3.25 miles, 3.5 miles, 3.5 miles, 3 miles. Then the next week would be 3.5 miles, 3.75 miles 3.75 miles, 3 miles. And continue up to 5 miles. I know I definately need to run a 3 mile at the end of each week to compare times to previous weeks and to start building some data.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

So i did it...

This morning of course I didnt want to wake up.....again, but I had to because of my run monday after work. The days are REALLY getting shorter. There was plenty of sunlight monday night when I left for my run, but by the time I was half way done, it was pretty dark out and I was afraid of a car nailing me. So no more after work runs until next spring.

So after I got over the initial 5 minutes of the run this morning where my legs stopped screaming bloody murder at me, I decided to run today's course backwards. I think it's always good to do that; it breaks up the monotony of the same run day after day. When I hit the avenue that I am still somewhat unfamiliar with since I started lengthening my runs, I decided to try this circle road that I knew would put me back on my usual track, except after ending the circle road, i went right instead of left. This in turn kinda put me back in this area where there is small sports field, except the road I thought i was on dead-ended all of a sudden, which forced me to take another right turn. But after a few lefts and another right I was back on track to the original run course.

When my watch went off @ 25 minutes, my legs hurt and I did want to stop, but it definately wasnt one of those where i thought every blood vessel was going to pop. So I reset my timer to see how long it would take me to get back to where I started (i knew that by running back to the finish would yield me about 3 miles, it was just a matter of how much longer (in time) it would take me). When I turned the last left turn onto the final stretch I could see the end and decided to pick up the pace as I knew it was going to hurt, but the heck, the end is there but I knew I could do it. So I did it...

Aprox 28:30 mins to run 3 miles. Not bad for the first time, considering I have never done that.

So from here on out now that I know what a 3 mile course is, I am going to instead start the timer @ 0 and left it go until i finish and start to see if that 28:30 can come down a bit. I dont know if this is a fact, but I know I read somewhere that if you can run a 5K in 24:00 or quicker you are doing pretty well. I guess that will be a goal.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Finished strong

This morning was definately another morning of not wanting to get up and hitting the snooze, for oh, an HOUR! OOPS! Last night I made Greek Gyros and some home made Tzatziki sauce. Had a good dinner, bottle of Kendall Jackson Chardonay and a bottle of Ommegang's The Philosophers (8.5% ABV), so I was feeling pretty good last night (and yes I shared it with two others). Alcohol will put you to sleep, but it will also wake you up at 2:30 AM and not let you go back to bed sleepy. So no more booze the night before a workout.

Good thing it is not super hot after I get out of work anymore. So I held out until after work for my run. However, it is pretty clear that the days are getting shorter almost exponentially every day. I think its going to be no more excuses for sleeping in on running mornings and just suck it up and deal for the remaining 2-3 weeks of the plan. Also, only beer once a week too! That stuff is good, but man it can screw up the next morning!

But back to the run. Today's menu was a 10 min run, 3 min walk, 10 min run. The first ten were boring but not too bad. Today was one of those runs where my breathing was good, but my calfs hurt. Other days its the opposite. Again when I stopped after the first 10 min run, I felt that burn in my calfs, which reminds me that I haven't eaten a banana in a while. Although I have been told that the potassium from bananas prevents muscle cramps, I really haven't ever noticed if it trully does. So tomarrow I am going to buy some bananas and eat em more reguarly. Hopefully its true and it will limit cramps. But then again it could just be soreness all along. Finally towards the end of the last 10 min run, I caught sight of how much time was left on my watch and it said 2.5 mins. I said, you know what, you have killed yourself up Mt Ventoux in France for 2 hours straight, 2.5 mins of picking up the pace wont hurt as bad. So I picked up the pace for 2.5 mins and it hurt, but it was one of those this feels good hurts (mentally and physically). Besides, it showed that if you ever want to become competetive with this, that THIS is a pace that you are going to have to consider to be a normal pace. But I have to show restraint. This pace will come naturally; first things first, being smart and conservative towards my goal of running 3 miles without stopping and eventually a triatholon.

This thursday will be another test, run 25 mins straight. No more booze and more sleep and bananas. That will be my mantra until 8:30 AM Thursday when I am done.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

It got COLD!

Remember those mornings last spring when you walked outside and it was 54 degrees out and you said, "YES! it is WARM out this morning!" This morning was that same temperature, but instead it was more of a, "NO! it is COLD out this morning!" Amazing how 54 degrees feels warm after a long spout of cold, and then only 3-4 months later how 54 degrees feels frigid after a spout of warmth.

This morning (besides the cold) was a morning where I didnt want to wake up. Yesterday I was up in Cooperstown, NY (where the baseball hall of fame is) visiting with my sister at a brewery called Ommegang for a tiny beer festivel. Ommegang is one of my favorite breweries including a few of their beers called Hennepin and Witte. They do make this Chocolate Stout, but no thanx, its a bit too bitter for my buds.

But I got back from that trip late last night and was drained from the drive, thus not wanting to get up this morning. Finally I made it outside and started the run. This morning's call from to start week six was pretty easy: 5 min run, 3 min walk, 8 min run, 3 min walk, 5 min run, with 5 min warm up and cool down walks on either side. The first 5 was a piece of cake. The 8 min run was no big deal until I stopped. OUCH! This has never happened before during a run where when I stopped my calf muscles tightened up. I felt like i was walking like a chicken because I couldnt fully extend my leg when walking. Ah well...

The final 5 min run I knew was going to hurt, but fortunately it was somewhat on a downslope with a flat finish. I guess I need to stretch more after the run.

I find it funny how after completing a milestone (I did 20 mins last thursday morning straight without walking and felt AWESOME after finishing) then going to a shorter run walk workout that the shorter workout hurts MORE than the longer run. I guess i hit a peak last thursday and have fallen down into a canyon, now starting to make my way out before I peak again. Hopefully tues AM's run wont have any shark biting calfs!

Friday, September 14, 2007

First Post!

So it must have been 2 years ago or so and my friend Josh says he just got his "blog" going. I was like, oh yeah, a blog.....riiiiiiiiiight, like I knew what he was talking about. Then he asks, you know what a blog is, right? I say, SURE!, uuuhhhhh, what? So he caught me, I had no idea what a blog was.

So over the next few years I read some people's blogs that were interesting, but I was always scared of divulging too much information if I ever started my own blog. I mean you gotta worry about getting your identity stolen, right? You DO have identity theft insurance, dont you? Who doesnt? Thank you media for spreading around identity theft and making us paranoid. Im just kidding; I think identity theft is a crock.

But anyways, I figure now is a good time to finally start a blog. I kinda had one going when I was in France two years ago where I would describe some of the bike rides that I went on. Sometimes I go back and read those posts every now and I would realize that its a great way to keep track of your progress and to figure out what you need to work on to improve your riding skills.

Well this past spring I hit a point where biking just wasnt doing what it had done before. I needed more than just biking. So on a few group rides I got talking with a couple of guys who were training for triatholons. I noticed that I was killing them on the hills and I said to myself that if I can beat a guy who has done iron man triatholons (2.4 mile swim, 100 mile bike, 26 mile run) on the hills, that I should be able to a triatholon too. I know how to swim with great technique, I know I can do well on the bike, its just that third discipline that I was scared of....running.

I have never been a good runner, but I always thought that if I was in good enough biking shape, that I could just run cuz I already had the muscle strength and the breathing down. Boy was I WRONG! Even though I could bike 100 miles no problem, when I first tried to run up the road 3 blocks and back, I couldnt move for 3 days. So I knew that running was going to be (no pun intended) an uphill battle to fight.

Searching on-line I found this site: . It has a really good couch to 5K plan that breaks down the plan into 9 weeks, starting off with short walk runs and building up to finally a full non stop 5K. As of right now I am about to start week 6.

I have learned that running is not just about getting your muscles in shape, its about your breathing but I think most importantly getting your joints stronger. So what I like about the program is that it gradually strengthens your joints so that you dont pull a ligament and ruin your running season within a week of starting.

I will keep posting my training progress as I go. Thanks for reading.