More “Voices” from another run blogger!

More voices…

It is amazing how many people have had the same experiences as I in dealing with “The Voice” that continually speaks negative thoughts during a workout or run.

Another blogger, Mimi’s Getting Fit, just posted a great post talking about the same issue.  When you get a chance, go read the post and also peruse her blog, you will be inspired and motivated after you see all that she has accomplished!

Yesterday, as I sat at the Chiropractor’s office waiting to be seen, I began pondering…  “What, for me, would be the best way to stay positive about my workouts and long runs?”  Good question, I answered. 🙂

Hmmm.  What really excites me about a particular run is the feeling just after I finish.  As I sit on the back porch, throwing a stick to “The Dog” and look at the stats of my run; that is the best feeling.  It is the feeling of accomplishment.  The feeling of beating the odds.  I never thought I’d be a runner, let alone one who likes his stats!

For instance yesterday, I ran hard hill workouts in 108 heat index and humidity.  I only ran 4 miles overall, but they were good miles.  I got home, soaked in sweat, and sat outside in that same 108 heat and felt great.  The run wasn’t easy, but that feeling of accomplishment was so powerful.

I say all that to say this… Each day I am going to reach for that goal.  The goal of enjoying the results of my runs.  So when I head out to run (after getting up at 2:30 AM, working 10 hours, running to the store on the way home, then finally heading out in the summer heat to run) I am going to begin by thinking of the end.  Thinking of the point of exhilaration I experience after a good workout.  Thinking of the positive.  SILENCING THE VOICE!!!

Everyone has a reason(s) they run, workout and or exercise.  Everyone has a voice telling them at times that today just isn’t going to be a good day to go out and they need a break.

Recognize “The Voice” and defeat it with the very reason you run or exercise.  Your motivation.  For me,  it is that feeling of, “Ahhh, what a great workout” and playing with “The Dog”!!!

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My Kryptonite

Making running a habit has been the one thing that has kept me consistent and allowed me to do as well as I do running.  Habits are amazing things.  They can be great to get you up and out when you just don’t want to go or feel to tired to get out.  I run 6 days a week and rest/walk on the 7th.

Yesterday my habit worked against me.

A nasty storm came over our neighborhood right as I began heading out to do my workout.  TJ and I debated if we should run or wait as the storm approached.  Finally we decided to run, but stick close to home.  I got a half mile into my run and looked in the direction on my house and a huge bolt of lightening flashed down right in front of me.  I’ll run in any weather – but I will not run with lightening close by.  So I headed home and decided to go out with “The Dog” as I waited to see what the weather would do.

Here is my daily habit:  I run.  I get home.  I go out with the dog.  I drink my Gatorade.  I take a shower.

Essentially, by doing all but the shower, I crashed my day for running.  It was like Kryptonite to Superman.  I sat with my Lovely Wife as I waited to see if the storm would pass.  15/30/45/60 minutes.  Finally it passed, but all my strength was gone.

I see now that by doing my normal post run habit, I unintentionally messed with the fragile balance I have created over the past 18 months.

But I have a blog to write.  I have to overcome.  I psyched myself up after the storm was over and went out to run.  I ran another 1.5 miles, then the Gatorade hit.  I decided to head home to use the bathroom.  I got inside and that was that.  My kryptonite got to me.  My hair was cut.  I had no strength.

Sometimes life doesn’t give you a happy ending for your blog.

Running isn’t everything.  I had a good night watching TV with my kids and Lovely Wife.  I got to sleep early and slept well.  Today I will work,  go to the chiropractor, head home and then another chance to change the world through running. 🙂

The great thing about this sport is that every day is a new day… a new start… a new race… Every day is NEW!

Did running in compression socks make me dizzy?

You might be able to tell from the title of this post that it was a rough run yesterday.  I was so excited to try out my new compression socks that I got from a local retailer and see how they would help my running.  Specifically I want to try and help my legs on long runs to have better endurance.  The sales guy from the local store said these socks are made for running and specifically long distance runs like a marathon.

Here is a list of several things that may have contributed to my difficult run:

  • Hottest day of the week.  Monday it was in the high 70s and Tuesday in the low 70s.  Yesterday it was back up in the high 80s.
  • I didn’t drink as much water as usual.  I drank 64 oz of water rather than my goal of 96 oz.
  • I had a bad night sleep.  I woke up at 1:00 AM and did manage to get back to sleep, but it was not a very restful sleep.
  • Low carb eating.  I was at my lowest weight ever (176 lbs) and have eaten very few carbs.  Usually if I get below 180, I have difficult runs.

That said, I have NEVER felt as I did yesterday.  I ran a bit fast in the beginning which was not good.  Then as I hit the 3 mile mark, I got light headed and felt really strange.  It was almost like I was in a dream as I ran.  I tried to keep going and did for another half mile, but I got weak and really tired, so I gave up on the run at that point.  After I got home and rested, I felt fine.

So it could be a coincidence that I got so dizzy in my new compression socks.  I know others who swear by them and several other bloggers have suggested I try them.  I will say that my legs felt more relaxed and it seemed to me that I didn’t need to put as much energy into my legs in order to run.  At least that was my impression.

So did my compression socks cause this problem or was it circumstantial?

I have a 7 mile run today and I plan to use them again, so I guess I’ll find out the answer… maybe.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Have a great weekend!

Quick running update…

I didn’t get a chance to write this last night, so this will be short.

Let me just say:

  • 8 miles yesterday
  • 101 heat index
  • 9 days running in a row
  • 70 miles in a row
  • Taking today off running 🙂

I may not post this weekend as I have a lot going on.  But rest assured I’ll be back Monday with another 23 more miles under my belt!!!

Boston, Boston, Boston

Summer, I have decided, is not a running season – at least for me.

Yesterday I had a run where I had to constantly remind myself why I am doing this.  Some days are wonderful and it feel like I can run a thousand miles.  No runs this week have been wonderful to me.

I hesitate here because I don’t want to sound like I am complaining on this blog.  I write it for me to remind myself from where I have come and where I hope to go.  FYI, I come from a 5’9″ 278 pound man and I hope to qualify for the Boston Marathon this September (i.e.: 278toBoston.com).  That is what I had to keep reminding myself yesterday as I ran.

I started my run in my old Saucony Mirage 2 shoes.  Not old in mileage – they only have 78 miles on them.  They are the shoes I loved before I got my Saucony Fastwitch shoes that I have been using during my achilles recovery.  Why did I switch yesterday?  Mainly because they are heavier and have more support and I thought that they would help me not push as hard as I did the day before.

I got less than a mile into my run and felt a sharp pain in my achilles.  I thought to myself, “run relaxed and keep your form”.  As I ran a bit more – another sharp pain.  I thought at this point that perhaps I should head home and change shoes.  By the time I got home (5 minutes later) I had 2 more sharp pains.  Ugh.  I don’t want to have this problem again.  I just felt like I was getting over it.

I went inside and put on my Fastwitch shoes and headed back out.  After that point, I had one more minor pain and then I was pain free.  Well, I thought to myself, I guess I have another pair of lawn mowing shoes (thinking of the Mirage).

I don’t know what he difference is between the shoes except that the Mirage is stiffer and pulls more on my heel.  Either way I was elated that I could continue with my run (which didn’t go much better after that).

It was hot outside again.  The heat index was 90.  At least there was a breeze.  Then it rained.  Not a bad thing, but it rained just enough to get the road wet and then the sun came out again.  The sun and heat radiating off the road shot the temperature up at least 10 degrees.  I made it to 7 miles with a 9:12 average pace. My last mile was close to 10:00.

I’ve decided it is going to be a long hot summer and I had better get used to it.  I run in the afternoon because I leave for work at 5:00am and just can’t get up early enough to get my mileage in.

So, I guess I did complain some.  It was actually one of the roughest runs I’ve had in a long time.  I run one more time today and take tomorrow off to get my body ready for the 5K on Saturday.  Then it is marathon training until September.

Boston, Boston Boston.  I have to keep my eye on the goal.  Summer will eventually turn to fall and then I can have some fun.  Then the Spring and hopefully Boston!

A great running weekend!

It was a productive weekend running wise.

I got to run 7 miles on Friday, 7 miles on Saturday and 10 miles on Sunday.

Friday’s run was fun.  I ran a mile warmup, 5 miles close to marathon pace and a mile cool down.  I was really pleased, as that was the first time I ran 7 miles since my achilles injury.

Saturday was spent running with TJ and RS.  The three of us got up early and ran the 5K route we will run this weekend for the CityFest 5K.  Part of the run is on a busy road with little shoulder room, so it is rather difficult to run.  All three of us ran the route at about an 8:40 pace.  Then TJ and I decided to run it again at my 5K pace to see the best way to deal with the hills.

We rested up and then started our run. It really isn’t too bad of a course until you start the second leg of the busy road.  That is a pretty big uphill, then a run through a neighborhood with a couple big hills.  I did well until the last hill.  Suddenly my app stopped my run, which was annoying.  Then seconds later my shoe lace came untied.  TJ said, “I guess you wont forget to double tie your shoes on race day”.  True.  Then the downhill started.  The entire last mile is either downhill or level.  I did well until the end that I thought stopped at the stadium.  As we reached that point, we still had about half a mile to go.  I know on race day that we run into the stadium and around the track, but I was psyched to stop at the stadium.  So I did well until the last 10th of a mile and at that point, I lost it.  All in all, we ran just about 45 seconds slower than last week’s 5K which isn’t bad.  I’m looking forward to the race.

Sunday was my long run and considering I ran so much Friday and Saturday, I decided to run 10 miles with a 60 second walk in between each mile.  I don’t know if that helped or not, but it wasn’t easy.  I ran okay, but I could feel the effect of the miles on my body by the time it was over.

On to this week…  We have 3.5 months until our marathon in Pennsylvania.  It is slowly creeping up on us.  TJ and I were talking training last night and I think I am beginning to develop a training plan.  More on that another day.

All in all I’d say it was a great running weekend.

The dreaded hill/trail/hill run

Some days you head out to run and things just click.

Some days you head out and it is just a normal run.

Other days are like yesterday…

TJ, RS and I decided to try out the 5K course of the CityFest 5K that is happening a week from Saturday.  Being a new course to us and an area we hadn’t run before, it was exciting to see how to run this race.  Now understand it was nearing 90, but this was a rough 5K.  Almost every 5K I have ever run starts with a downhill in the beginning, not this one.  It has a slight upgrade for about half a mile and then the hills start.  I’m thinking about 2 miles of up and down hills and not necessarily small hills either. TJ remarked that this course is not a course to set a PR on.  I guess I’ll keep to my original plan to just go out and have fun.  I know though that the competitiveness in me will come through and I’ll want to do well.  We will see.  There is a masters award given (40+), I’d like to win that.  My thought is that those who aren’t expecting this course won’t be able to keep a good pace.  I just have to figure out a strategy and then run the plan.

After the course, RS went home as he didn’t drink enough water for the heat.  I don’t think I did either.  I thought I had 96 ounces of water, but it might have been 64.  Anyway, TJ and I decided to run a trail that goes down to a park.  Not a good idea.  After the hills and a gravel trail for a mile, I was shot.  At the end of the trail we had a choice to make.  One was to go back via the trail and the other was to run up a rather large hill with traffic and very little shoulder (actually no shoulder, just lumpy grass).  We went for the hill as I couldn’t face the trail.

After the hill we just ran the neighborhood home.  Not bad, but at the top of the big hill my heal / achilles / something started hurting.  I was all taped up, but I found out after I got home that the tape didn’t hold for some reason.  So I concentrated on relaxing my foot and not pushing off but using gravity and actually had a good run at the end.   I was glad to stop and go soak my foot in ice water and drink Gatorade.  TJ went on for another 5 miles.  I had nothing left.  The hill/trail/hill run took everything out of me.

All in all it was a hard, but good workout.  I realized that during the summer I won’t be pushing speed as much as distance (except for speed workouts).

It seems summer is finally arriving a month or two late.