Running strength. Building a base for the future.

Well I ended up with almost 105 miles for the month after my evening run yesterday.  I can’t complain.  I felt great.

I started out my run too fast at an 8:12 pace for the first mile.  What was I thinking!  Fortunately I got 3 calls from work during my workout which gave me an excuse to rest for a few minutes each time.

All in all things are coming along well with my running.  I feel much stronger after all my mountain runs.  It is like I am a whole different runner.  I can push myself up hills in my neighborhood like never before.  I run at paces that I have never run at before except to do a speed workouts.  I just really feel good out there.

I think back to my marathon and specifically remember mile 4.  I was coming down a small but steep hill and I felt my leg give way a bit.  It was very unnerving and made me realize that even after all the training, my legs weren’t really strong enough for the 26.2 miles.  I finished with a 4:15 time, but I had to walk off and on the last 10 miles or so.

Now I feel like I am on the right track.  I am gaining leg strength.  My lungs can handle longer and faster runs.  I run mainly to feel, and have been in the 7:30 – 8:00 pace off and on lately.  Overall my pace averages around 8:30, but I honestly think I am building a base so that I can run a sub 8:00 pace for a marathon and qualify for Boston one day.

So now we start a new month.  All our apps set back to the big zero as we head out today to run.

The future is looking bright.

I love running.

Tom

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My dream, my hope, my life – Thoughts from yesterday’s run

As I ran yesterday, I thought about dreams.

Not dreams as in sleep, but dreams as in aspirations, desires, goals that seem beyond reach, but something you want to attain with a desire that is beyond normal desire or hope.

Dreams are an important part of life.  Some dreams never come to pass.  They sit in front of us an become a frustration, depression or just make us angry.

I realized yesterday that I have had many dreams I wanted to attain in life and many of them I have actually achieved.  Most were within my ability to achieve if I persevered beyond normal effort.  As I ran, realized that each major phase of my life has had a dream just outside my reach that I had to really work for in order to see it come to fruition.  Many times those dreams took perseverance beyond my own ability to achieve.

I am being purposefully vague here as I don’t need to go into all those dreams.  But my thoughts went on to the fact that so many people deal with anger and depression because they don’t get to fulfill their dreams, at least in the timing that they have chosen to see them fulfilled.  Without a dream, or as the Bible says, a vision, we will perish.  Hope is essential in life.  The American Dream has kept people pursuing their lives vocation for generations.  A hope for a good life and an even better life for their children.  I think a lot of Americans have given up on achieving their Dream.

My current dream or hope or goal is to qualify and maybe one day run in the Boston Marathon.  Back before last year’s race (and tragedy) TJ would talk to me about us qualifying together.  Then, last March I made that my goal.  I hadn’t even run my first marathon yet, but my new goal would be to qualify for Boston… Then I ran my first marathon in September and that dream seemed to be pushed beyond achievement.  I ended up hurting myself after the marathon and it took months to get back to a semi normal running routine.

I still have that as my goal, my dream.  It keeps me going home each day and heading out to run in good or bad weather.  It helps me get past heel spurs and hip pain.  It makes me run up mountains in order to build my endurance and run down mountains to build my strength.  

It is my dream.  

I could give up on my dream.  It is going on 2 years since I began running and a year since I made that decision to qualify for Boston.  That is a long time.  I am getting close to 2,500 miles run, mostly in my neighborhood.  It seems like a dream that is out of reach.  But that is exactly what makes it a dream.  That is what gives me hope.  The thought of the day I achieve another dream and overcome almost impossible odds to do just that…  That is what makes life fun.

So my run ended yesterday much quicker than most.  Not because I ended it early, but because I had so distracted myself from running by dreaming about dreaming.

Keep dreaming.  If it were easy, it wouldn’t be a dream.

Tom

Running as a habit… The good and the bad

Well… taking a break yesterday didn’t go as well as I had hoped.

I got home and decided to just run/walk slowly.  You need to understand that my success in running is based on habit.  I have developed a habit of running 5 – 6 days a week over the past two years.  The good thing about habits is that they become automatic as long as you do the same thing at the same time each day (not time  like a clock, but time as at the same point in your day – i.e.: after work).   Everyday I get home from work and immediately get on my running clothes and head out to run… EVERYDAY during the week.  From the time I get home to the time I am out running it is usually about 10 minutes.  I have trained myself to do this.  It is an ingrained habit that has worked well for me…

Except…

When I need rest, it is almost impossible to stop.  I do rest by taking a day off a day a week, but usually walk on those days.  A true rest day only occurs if I am sick or the day is so busy that I cannot get my run in (usually a Saturday).

So yesterday I planned on resting, but I ran.  To be fair, I ran at a pace 1 to 2 minutes slower than normal and I walked from time to time (about a half mile of the five mile run).  So it was a resting run. 🙂

I didn’t sleep well again last night.  I’m not sure what is happening.  No stress, no pressure, no caffeine or sugar.  I fell asleep late (late for me anyway) and then kept waking up.  I woke up at 3:00AM and just waited for the alarm to go off at 4:00 (and then didn’t want to get up).  Although I feel fine, I wonder if I am not fighting some sickness or something.  It has been a strange couple of days, but at least it hasn’t been more than that.

Finally, I had a hit on my blog yesterday where someone typed into Google, “278 to Boston Boston marathon 2014”.  Ha.  That was pretty neat to see.  I assume someone wondering if I qualified yet or not.  Well this runner will have to wait until at least 2015 and I probably won’t have a real chance a qualifying till 2016.

Goals.  Habits.  Life. All is good (now if I can just get some sleep).

Boring run, but interesting sky

Running can be boring, especially for someone who refuses to listen to music and who runs alone.  One good thing is that I am always listening (for cars) and looking around and observing.

Yesterday I came across this sight.  I had to stop and take a picture.  I didn’t know if the picture would come out or not, but it did.

Take a look:

Black line in the sky

Black line in the sky

Look in the sky of this image.  There is a dark line running across it.  It is perfectly straight, goes across the whole sky and seems to even intersect the contrail from a jet.  I took two pictures and then started my run again.  As I got to the stop sign ahead, the line was gone. I looked up and it wasn’t there anymore.

There is probably some reasonable answer as to what this is, but I was fascinated by it.  I’ve seen lots of interesting things in the sky, but never a long black straight line.

Anyway, back to my boring run.

I hope to one day qualify for Boston… that is no secret.  So whether I want to or nor; whether it is cold or hot; if I am tired or sore… I run.  I have to make my goal.  Now, once I do, that will be interesting.  What next…  I think I have a few years to make to make that decision.

Today I am taking off as I have been running for 6 days straight and my hip is beginning to rebel.  Saturday morning TJ and I are going to run the Donut Dash.  @BigBigGeek is unfortunately hurt and can’t do it this year.  I guess I’ll get his share of the donuts!

Have a great weekend and when you run… look at the sky.

To

One year of writing a running blog

Today is my 1 year anniversary of writing this blog.

Okay, that deserves a picture!

Happy Anniversary To Me

Happy Anniversary To Me

It has been a crazy year.  When I started this blog, I had only run 5Ks and was preparing for my first half marathon.  I also had lost about 85 lbs and would loose another 15 (10 of which I gained back over Christmas.)

Since then, I ran my half marathon in 1:44, my marathon in 4:15 and PRed a 5K in 21:48.

I got hurt.  I thought I hurt my achilles, but actually it ended up being a heel spur.  I also jammed my hip during my marathon training and am still getting past it all.

I trained for my marathon in the hot Alabama Summer.  Nothing like getting up at 4:00 AM, working until 2:00, going to the Chiropractor till 4:00 and then trying to run in 100+ degree heat.

I missed qualifying for Boston by 45 minutes.  Still not a bad first marathon.  I had wonderful participation on my blog during my marathon as I ran and my brother kept people up on my progress.  TJ missed qualifying for Boston my 3 minutes – I was very proud of him.

Also a year of my Lovely Wife supporting me and putting up with me being out running 1-3 hours a day!!!  Thank you Lovely Wife! I honestly couldn’t do this without you!

So here I am.  One year to the day of starting my blog.  This is my 322nd entry.

Thank you to all of you who follow and encourage me on my journey.  It has been a heck of a ride so far.  I am not giving up on my goal of Boston.  I am going to do it.  I will continue until I make it and then… maybe start ultras?

One year down, another on the way.

God bless you all.

Tom

Excuses?

IMG_0477

My Lovely Wife saw this shirt in the store and had me take a picture.  The saying isn’t new, but I like the “perspective” that the picture gives.  Look at the NO!

In my life I am trying to make excuses rare, especially where running is concerned.

  • I am not giving into weather.
  • I’m not giving into pain (normal pain).
  • I’m not giving into my head telling me to stop.
  • I’m not giving into a difficult day.

I know that there are people “out there” that have a much harder life, more pain, harsher weather, overall difficulties that I am blessed at the moment not to have.  I am healthy. I am running. I am eating. I am sleeping inside.  I have a home, a family, a car, a Lovely Wife and great kids.

NO.  I am going to make excuses a thing of the past.  I may run till I drop, but I will make my goal.  If I have to crawl, I will make my goal.

Running is cheap.  It is simple.  My time outside isn’t that much fun, but I have to do it and I have to run and I have to run outside.  This is my life.

I honestly don’t know if I will make it to Boston or not.  Sometimes I wish I didn’t create the URL 278toBoston.com.  It seems to mock me sometimes.  I run 4 miles at a 10:00 pace?  That isn’t getting me anywhere.

But no excuses.  I will get there, I will keep going.  I will put on my running shoes everyday.  I will go out of the house and RUN.

Boston or Bama.  Whatever.

NO EXCUSES

JUST DO IT

 

Running again and it feels good

Yesterday was the first day of my new running life… I hope!

I am going to try to get back into some type of training.  I don’t have a race picked out yet, but I need to get my base back up so that I don’t get injured again.  I feel that if I take it easy, listen to my body and do the things I know I need to do, I’ll be back in the saddle soon.

My run yesterday will be my staple for a while.  I am going to run 3 miles and then walk the forth.  Yesterday I ran my 3 miles in under 28 minutes and walked for a minute and then ran my forth mile in 10:28.  Just a slow mile home.

All in all I feel pretty good.  My hip is a little sore today, but nothing big.  I really feel I need to get back to a daily run, even if isn’t long or fast.

Boston… Here I come… Well maybe in a few years!!!