Running backwards

I did a dumb thing.

Last week, I ran through Thursday, walked Friday and didn’t run all weekend.  On top of that, I eat like a king (not a good king) for the second weekend in a row.

I think it’s the summer heat that has gotten to me.  That and a very busy schedule that seems to be getting busier.

The bad part of my dumb thing is that I have gained weight.  More then I think I should have, but considering 2 weekends of eating frenzies, I guess I understand why.  I’m not too concerned as when I get back out and run, I can loose the extra weight pretty fast.  However, I really should have been more self controlled this weekend.

Saturday I was out with my family shopping this weekend and ended up in a bike shop.  I had a great sales guy just try to give me some biking basics and help me price out a bike.  Wow, biking is so much more expensive then running.  For a basic bike and all the stuff that I’d have to buy to go with it, I was looking beyond $1,000.  Fortunately my old running buddy @BigBigGeek is now an avid cyclist and he things he can get me going on an older bike my sister left to me for a lot less.  I hope that works out.  I’d like to add biking into my routine, but I honestly don’t want to spend $1,000 until I know I want to go that route.

Back to my weight.  I did another stupid thing.  I skipped my apple cider vinegar (ACV) yesterday.  I was just too busy and decided mot to drink it.  I paid for that today and I was back on the ACV train this morning.

About ACV, I know now that it really helps my workouts.  I run in the afternoon and in the summer, it gets HOT outside.  I forgot to take my ACV twice last week before my run and I was spent after 2 miles.  I basically had to run/walk most of the rest of my route.  Then Thursday I remembered it and had a much more consistent run.  I wasn’t setting any records, but I only stopped twice.  I can really tell the difference.  It must have a property that I need or that helps endurance in the heat.  Either way, I am still hooked on the stuff.  I just wish someone could make it taste better!!!

That is about all for me for today.  I hope everyone had a great weekend!  It was way too short for me, but I guess that means I got a lot done!

Tom

I’m glad I run!

Running has been interesting lately.

My weight has stabilized (thanks to ACV) so I don’t need to run to keep from gaining weight.  Though this is a blessing, it is also a curse in some ways.  It has become harder to get out each day and run in the heat when I don’t “have” to run to keep weight off.

We also haven’t run any races since our half marathon in April.  The reason for this is mainly because of my hip and back issues that have also been solved thanks to my Backjoy Posture+ seat cushion.

So in some ways I have more reason to run.  I don’t hurt anymore (for the most part) and I am thinner.

Finally I have new shoes.  I accidentally wrote that I had Wave Rider’s rather then Wave Precision in my last post.  Either way, I’ve never run in a Mizuno shoe or in a shoe with a higher drop of 4mm.  These have a 12mm drop and I can tell the difference.  The first day I wore them was a bit of torture.  My left heel would scuff the ground as I ran, which I assume was left over from my hip issue.  Also they have a much more cushioned heel, so I had to almost learn to run all over again. That first run in 100 degree HI was difficult.

Yesterday was my second run in these shoes and it went so much better.  It was much cooler out and I ran well with no scuffing of my heel.  I wound up my 4 mile run at nearly a 8:30 pace which I haven’t seen since the heat kicked in.

So new shoes, less weight, little to no pain.  I should be training for a marathon rather than dreading the next run.

I chalk all my lack of desire up to the summer doldrums.  THIS is the reason to make exercise a habit as I wrote for my section in the Runner’s World Big Book of Running (Link).  My running isn’t based on a feeling.  It is based on a habit.  So whether I want to or not, hot or cold, I go out each day for my run.

Running has been interesting lately.  I’m glad I run!

Tom

No pain is gain!

I ran yesterday.

Normally I wouldn’t write such a crazy first sentence to open my post on my running blog, but I haven’t been able to run much lately.  Between back problems, hip problems, and lots to do, I just haven’t kept up with the running.

That’s the bad news – On to the good news.

My back and hip are doing awesome.  I wrote Tuesday about the new seat cushion that I purchased out of desperation at Target.  I figured I’d take it back if it didn’t help.  Monday I had almost no pain.  Tuesday was about the same.

Yesterday was the real test… My run!

Actually, I wasn’t worried about the run itself.  It was the “after the run” pain that I feared.  My back and hip rarely give me problems during my runs.  I don’t know why.  I guess it would be better if they did since that would give me a warning to stop.  But nooooo, I feel good during my run and then about 60 minutes after the pain sets in.  I try heating, icing, stretching, and just about everything to stop the pain, but it just keeps coming back.

Okay, “back” to my run yesterday.  I ran 4 miles at just over an 8:30 pace.  I was happy with that, but worried.  HOWEVER, I am here to tell you that afterwards I had very little pain and today I have none.  In fact I felt so good this morning that I didn’t even remember to take the anti-inflammatory that my doctor had given me.  Yes, I am exciting about this.  I think my issues have all been due to posture and the way I sit.  This new seat holds my body up and level so that there isn’t pressure on my hip or back.  I also use it in my car.  I have a stick shift and usually by the time I get to work or home I am in such pain that I can barely walk.  Not now.  I have almost no pain from the car.

I need to give it some more time before I claim victory over the pain, but even 2 or 3 days is just amazing to me.

Finally, with so little running my weight should be back up, but it stayed steady at 184.  In fact today I was in the 183 range – once again I give credit to apple cider vinegar (ACV).  I have NEVER been able to keep my weight steady, especially without running.  I’ve only been able to run 3 times in June (including yesterday) and my weight has not gotten beyond 185.  That is amazing to me.

I hope things keep going in this direction.  It would be nice to run and not be in pain and to keep losing weight.  I need to get down to about 165 to be at my correct weight and haven’t been there in 30 years, so here is hoping that I can keep this going.

Enjoy your day and if I don’t post again this week, have a great weekend.

Tom

The “Key” to Running Better

Over the past 20 years or so of my life, I have found out that in almost every difficult situation there is a “key” to making change happen.

What I am alluding to is that, for example, circumstances that are difficult in life can be like being in a pitch back room and continually running into walls with no way out.  The thing is that there is a door and a key to open that door near you .  All you need to know is how to get the key to turn and the door will open and things will suddenly work out.

This sounds philosophical, but honestly it is amazing how this works in everyday life, including running.

An example from my running life is the mountain I run.  I ran several times to the base of the mountain and at the left turn that went up the mountain, I turned around and went the other direction.  I got so close, but I didn’t know that the key to the door of running fast, more efficient and with less injury, was literally a left turn away from me.  It was like I was in a dark room with a door and a key, but I never unlocked that door and walked through until… one day with TJ.  We decided to see where that road went.  That left turn was the key that changed my running life in a way that nothing else has ever done!

Another example is Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV).  I wrote about this on this blog a month or two ago several times.  Not only has it helped my running in the afternoons by giving me something I had to have been missing, but over the past two months, my weight, which had plateaued at 192, has gone down 7 lbs to 185.  Even pizza night doesn’t seem to affect me much anymore.

I could go on and on.  In just about every area of my life this principle has helped.  I constantly pray for wisdom so that I can find the keys to shut doors in my life.

I guess I hope that there may be keys in your life to open doors to which you just haven’t paid attention.  It is an amazing feeling to find a key and suddenly realize there is a simple solution to a complex problem and it has been right in front of you!

One of the best runs I’ve had!

I’ve looked forward to writing this post all night.

My run yesterday was… unusual to say the least!

It began by being asked by a guy in a truck to look for his missing dogs.  Sure!  No problem.

Then a dog about the size of my (new) Brooks PureFlow2 came running straight at me.  Seriously.  He was like a Kamikaze.  He got right up to me and then ran behind me barking.  I was afraid I would step on him and hurt him (or worse).

Then I ran by a house that has a dog that is always chained up in the front yard.  He barks at me like I am his worse enemy.  Each time I run by he comes running after me and then gets yanked by the chain.  I wave and move on.  HOWEVER, this time there was no chain.  He ran at me, through the yard, into the street and looked like he was going to take me down.  I was shocked.  I just slowed down and told him “Stop”.  He ran past and back into his yard.  Talk about hair standing up on my head.  Why didn’t these people have the dog tied up!!!

On the the good part of the run.

For some reason my phone kept switching from GPS to the accelerometer.  It did it 3 times in 2 miles.  Sadly when it was on the accelerometer it would measure my pace at walking pace.  So by the time I got to 2 miles, I was at a 9:00 average pace and I know I should have been around 8:20.  I finally stopped, rebooted my phone and then started again.  It did the accelerometer one more time and then finally kept with the GPS.

As I hit the middle of my run I started feeling great.  My legs felt great, my new shoes had spring and I was moving.  Since I don’t run sprints or and type of speed runs, I will race cars, buses and other runners to get my speed in.  It is a psychological thing. If I hear a car coming up behind me and there is a stop sign ahead, I’ll try and beat it to the sign.  This gives me random moments of sprinting without having to make it a formal thing.  Yesterday I beat 2 cars and ran by one (slow) jogger (who sped up as I passed.  Seriously, I knew he wasn’t in great condition. Why speed up as I run past?  Like a car on the interstate.  You go to pass and they go from 60 Mph to 80.  So annoying).  Sorry for the rant.

Finally the really fun part.  I know I was moving fast.  I ended the last two miles at my 5K pace which is usually reserved for races only. 🙂

As I was on the last leg of my run, I saw a young runner ahead of me, so my goal was to try to catch him.  I honestly thought I couldn’t, but I wanted to try.  As I was catching up he stopped to stretch.  Ha.  I caught him and was running below a 7:00 pace.  As I passed, he looked at me and started to run with me.  He asked how far I was going and I said I was just going a half mile.  He asked if he could join since he only had that much more to run also.  I said that would be great.  I have never run with anyone in my neighborhood before other then my kids.  We ran at a 7:00 pace and talked a bit.  He said that he is going back into the military and trying to get back into shape.  I got to tell him I weighed almost 300 lbs just 3 years ago and am getting ready for Nashville.

We got to the end of my run, shook hands, introduced ourselves and he turned to run home.  I looked at my phone and I was at 7:03 for the last mile and only had .15 more to go to finish the mile.  So I started running again.  I watched my phone and my run wasn’t registering.  Suddenly the dreaded words!  “Switching to Accelerometer”.   NOOOOOO.  I stopped my run and looked.  My 7:03 pace was now 7:18 and I didn’t finish the mile, however my overall pace dropped from 9:00 average at mile 3 to 8:21.  I felt great!  I love my mountain and ACV!

Here is a pic of my splits (oh and if you managed to read this whole post – thanks.  I usually try to keep them short!).

IMG_1253

Running in heat – and other musings

Summer…

Actually heat.

I remember last year.  When the heat got above 65 – 70 degrees, I was shot.  I had the hardest time adapting.  My pace dropped about a minute or more per mile.  I would get so frustrated and down.  The hotter it got, the slower I got.

I then found out that running in the heat is similar to running at a high altitude.  I learned to start slowly to allow my body to get used to the heat and then try picking up my pace.  I used my app to tell me my pace, not so I could make sure I was going fast enough, but to make sure I was going slow enough.  If I started to fast, I would hit a wall in a dramatic fashion and just have to stop.

Yesterday was the hottest day of the year so far for me.  It was above 80 degrees and sunny.

I did not start slow enough yesterday.  I ran well until about mile 3 and then had to walk a bit.  Fortunately I was able to recover pretty quickly and it didn’t affect me much.  I still ended my run with an 8:12 mile and an overall pace of 8:43.  Not bad for an old man.

I learned from last year that as the heat and humidity go up, I need to not only be careful to not over do it physically, but I need to drink more water (I drink about 96 oz in the winter and 120+ oz in the summer).

I am really interested in how apple cider vinegar (ACV) will help my summer runs.  I still feel it working for me, even an month after starting to take it.  I tried everything in the past from chia seeds, to a bagel, to energy supplements and have never felt they affected my running at all after a few weeks.  Taking 2 tbs of ACV in the morning with water (before I eat anything) and then 2 tbs in the afternoon before my run has made me feel so much better and stronger.  One day I would like to do a study on what helps most, running up a mountain road every week or ACV.  I honestly think the ACV has had a larger impact on my running since I ran the mountain about 5 times and didn’t notice a huge difference until after starting the ACV.  I also wonder if I was just missing something in my body that ACV fills.  Honestly, for me to run 5 miles in the heat and the last mile at 8:12 pace is nothing other than a miracle.  Even my hip is better – not perfect, but much better.

So that is about it for today.  My musings.

Oh, one more thing…

When I started my run yesterday I could feel that my legs were still affected from my 11 mile mountain run on Saturday.  They didn’t hurt, but had a good feeling of fatigue.  I can’t explain it, but they are getting so much stronger then ever before that I know one day, they will take me to Boston.

Keep running.

Tom

33 miles and 20,000 views

 

 

 

 

To begin this post, I wanted to put up a screenshot from my phone from yesterday morning.

photo

 

20,000 views.

That may not be a big deal, I don’t honestly know.  For me, however, it is really cool.  Thank you to everyone who looks at my blog, either once, twice or daily.  It means a lot to me.  The best ever at 646 was the day of my marathon.  Good times!

Okay, on to running news.  I got my 6 days in a row in for a total of 33 miles (not bad coming back from an injury).  Yesterday was my sixth.  I went out a bit overconfident and started too fast.  By the 2 mile mark I was shot.  So I walked a few seconds and started up again.  Sort of funny that I was overconfident.  Confidence in running hasn’t been my thing over the past year.  Still my average pace ended at 8:40, which is only about 5 seconds a mile slower then my other days this week.

No more said about ACV this post.  I use it and I like it.  Even the taste is getting tolerable.  I have almost 2 weeks of great progress and I mostly attribute it to that.

Today will be an off day.  I will try to get several miles in walking.  Then tomorrow we are leaving our adult kids at home and going to Chattanooga.  I plan on getting up early each day and running River Walk.   It is an awesome path that was built and goes about 7 or 8 miles along the river.  I hope to run 8 miles each day we are there.  Tomorrow morning I will get up, get a wash in, drive to the park and do my weekly run up the mountain.  Then I will be getting ready to head out of town.

Everyone needs a break and I really enjoy these weekend trips with my Lovely Wife and this time with my oldest son.  We have a great routine and time away is always good.

I hope everyone has a good weekend.  This may be my last post until Monday, but time will tell.

Tom