Hangin’ and walking with The Dog

Got to sleep in today and got up and spent some time with the dog.

The Dog may go walking with me today.

The Dog may go walking with me today.

I’m about to go on my walk.  My hip still hurts a little.  I think I could run on it, but I am taking advice I received on this blog and taking some time off to let it heal.  The dog doesn’t walk well on a leash, but I may just take her with me for company.

Have a great Sunday!

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Summer running – 4 ways to make running more tolerable

What was I thinking?

Marathon training in the South and in the summer.

I had a great run with TJ yesterday and actually ran my 8 miles 5 minutes faster than Monday.  But my pace is still down and the heat is really difficult.

There are ways to enjoy running in the summer.  Okay, maybe not enjoy, but to make it more tolerable.  I have been trying to tweet articles as I have come upon them, but they mainly seem to “boil” down to the same things:

STAY HYDRATED:  Personally I try to drink at least 96 ounces of water a day before I go running and preferably 128 oz.  I can feel the difference, even in the winter, when I haven’t had enough to drink.  I began drinking half my body weight in ounces of water back when I was dieting and have been able to keep it up.  The way I do this is to drink 32oz (1000 ml) of water as soon as I get to work.  I just down it quickly and get it out of the way.  Then I drink another 32 oz before lunch and a final 32 oz after lunch.  I try to finish my last 32 oz about 2 hours before I go running, if at all possible.

STAY COOL:  That may seem like a stupid thing to write about running in 100 degree heat, but it is true.  Anyway to keep yourself cooler during your run is very helpful.  I have gotten a hat and shirt that cool as they get wet (or sweaty).  I also have heard that just running your hands under cold water before you head out of the house goes a long way in helping you stay cooler.  Some people will run early in the morning or in the evening to make sure that they don’t run in the heat of the day.  Unfortunately I can’t do that with my schedule, so I have to come up with other ways to cool off.  I have even gotten to the point of going inside after the first half my run to drink some water and cool off a bit before continuing.

RUN SLOWER:  This is a hard one on me.  I worked all Fall and Winter to move my pace up and was pretty successful. Now as we begin with the heat of the summer, I am happy with 45 to 60 seconds a mile slower pace than during the winter.  The psychological effect of this is the most difficult to get beyond.  But now I have resigned myself that slowing down now will keep me alive for another run tomorrow, so that is good. 🙂  Basically as you run your blood goes to your skin to help cool your body.  This is blood that used to be available to your muscles.  So you will run slower in the heat because your body has to cool itself.  Just slow down and enjoy the run!

BE SMART: Pay attention to your body as you run.  Don’t push beyond what you can handle, even if it is less than normal.  Heat isn’t something to play games with.  Drink a sport drink or something equivalent right after exercising and rest.  If you feel at all nauseous or have weakness or other unusual symptoms during a run, call someone to pick you up.  TJ, RS and I have begun texting my Lovely Wife when we leave and when we expect to get back.  That way if we are out too long, someone knows to come look for us.

This isn’t an exhaustive list – obviously.  Just a couple of things I have picked up throughout the past several months.   I am not a doctor, but I like to learn from experience. I hope this helps.

Enjoy the summer.  Enjoy your runs.  Enjoy life.

Running in the heat… A blessing and not a curse

Hot and tired.  That seems to be the theme of my runs this Spring (not even summer yet).

Yesterday was National Running Day (http://lifetimerun.com/Sub_Social/NRD) and even though I was going to run anyway, it was pretty cool to be a part of something bigger than just my neighborhood :).

I went out after work and got some pickles.  Pickle juice is supposed to be good for the heat because of the sodium and other ingredients including vinegar.  TJ sent me an article that says that you only need to consume 2 oz of pickle juice before a run to keep the cramps away. So I figured I’d give it a try.

I didn’t cramp.  But the run was still hard.  I ran my 7 miles and then sat outside with the Dog and TJ and soaked my foot in ice water and drank my Gatorade.

I really want to figure out the “key” to running in the heat.  I run, but it isn’t fun at all.  Most of yesterday I was hoping for the storms to come so I could cut my run short.  Not because I couldn’t do it, but I didn’t want to do it.  Just being real.  If it weren’t for the Lehigh Valley Marathon in 14 weeks, I wouldn’t be running this much right now.  But the marathon cometh and I have to run whether I want to or not.

One benefit to running in the heat is my metabolism has seemed to kick in again.  I have been hovering around 182 for several months now, but for the past three days I have steadily been losing weight.  Of course everyone is probably thinking it is water weight, but I drink a gallon of water a day and eat salty pickles and I am still losing weight.  As of this morning I weighed 178.9 which is 2 oz short of my best weight.  So, wether it is water weight or just my body grabbing what it can for me to keep running, I’ll take what I can get. To be honest, I would really like to be in the 160’s by the marathon.  I don’t think I can get there without dieting and it is hard to diet and run, let alone diet and train for a marathon.  So, perhaps the hot weather is a blessing and not a curse.  Time will tell.

Today I will try for my 9 mile run I have to run this week.  If I can get that out of the way, then the rest of the week I can coast on my 7 mile runs until my 13 mile run on Sunday.

Happy National Running Day – one day late!!!

Awesome run yesterday!

Yesterday I had the type of run that makes me hopeful that I will be able to qualify for Boston in September in Pennsylvania.

Just a couple of weeks ago that I wrote how I struggled on my long run day (link).  I did several things to fix my problem.  I started getting up and drinking 32 oz (1000 ml) of water immediately.  I then wait two hours before running.  This seems to help me wake up and make sure I don’t have to stop my run to go to the bathroom.  Also I eat eggs and a whole wheat bagel.  One other thing I tried this week is moving my off day to Saturday.  I always run better the day after an off day and so I thought I’d give that a try and see if it helped.

It helped.

I ran the farthest and the fastest long run ever.  Here are the stats from my run:

  • 15 miles
  • 2 hours 3 minutes
  • 8:14/mile
  • 90 Avg Cadence

Wow, it was incredible!  I ran differently from most of my runs.  I worked on running relaxed.  I let my legs run and by body go along for the ride.  It really helped.  By the time I reached the half way mark, I was still feeling good.  I wasn’t tired and I wasn’t breathing hard.  In fact, mile 13 was my fastest of the day at 7:58!  My slowest was mile 1 at 8:57.

The weather was good also.  It was in the mid 40s, no wind and sunny.  It must have been close to 60 by the time I was through with my run.

All in all, it was a great day for running.  The only issues were my knees hurt a little and my hip was not good after the run.  I have to figure that one out if I want to keep up the mileage.  Also I got blisters on the balls of my feet.  That seems to happen on long runs no matter what socks I wear.  Not sure the reason.

Today is another day.  The one thing about running is each day you start over.  Sometimes that is a good thing when you had a tough run.  Sometimes it would be nice to just relive that great run for a few days, but that can’t happen.

For tomorrow, I asked my brother to write a guest post.  I thought it would be nice to get his views on running as he ran a lot with my siblings and my dad during the marathon years that I missed.

Have a wonderful day and keep running.  I’ll be back Wednesday!

Day off yesterday, long run in the rain today

I took yesterday off for obvious reasons if you read any of my posts this week (other than Friday).  It has been a difficult week running and I figured that since I only planned 4 miles yesterday, it would be good just to give my body a break.

Today is my long run day.  I planned 12, I hope to make 13.  It is going to be raining pretty consistently the entire run.  I never look forward to running when it is raining, however I usually run better in the rain for some reason.  Well I run better until my shoes get wet and heavy, but you can’t have everything.

I’ve had my water, eggs and banana, so I am good to go.

Here’s to a great run today (he says as he heads out the door)…  I hope.

Pondering my long run day

My run yesterday was an easy run. 4 miles and then home. I am trying to run less on Saturday since on Sunday I have my long run. For some reason, I do not run well in the morning, so my long runs have been quite difficult. They have been so difficult that by 3 or 4 miles, I just want to quit. I have two thoughts as to why. First is that I usually run around 3:00 in the afternoon, so when I start my Sunday run it hasn’t been 24 hours since I last ran. The second is that I am used to running after a day in which I have drunk 96 ounces or more of water and my morning runs happen before I drink any.

Well to figure this out, I ran a quick 4 miles yesterday. I ran it early and I drank 32 ounces of water this morning already. That last one may backfire, but I really want to enjoy my long runs more since I will be doing longer runs as the summer progresses.

Not much else to report. Our weather here has been fantastic and today is going to be another great day.

No more delay. Off to the hills.

Running again

Today is the day.  Diet: Over.  Running: Starting.  Me: excited.

Since I ran my half marathon, I have lost 18 lbs.  The biggest reason this was crucial is because my hips and back were giving me a lot of pain.  I could cover the pain with ibuprofen, but I didn’t want to be on that stuff long term.  Loosing that weight will take a lot of stress off of my back.

This morning, I weighed in at 178.4.  Exactly 100 lbs since my highest weight July 2011.  I am pumped and can’t wait to run this afternoon.  I’m going to take it easy for a couple of days and only run 3 -4 miles.

Can I say what has helped me more than anything else in running and dieting?  WATER.  I have been drinking almost 100 oz of water a day for 18 months.  I believe that is close to 3 liters.  This has been huge with my running and weight loss.  I am almost always hydrated, except sometimes in the middle of the night.  I can run 13 miles and not need a drink.  It keeps me full and makes me feel so much better than before I used to drink it.

So, going past water, today is the day for my first run in 2 weeks.  Of course the forecast is for storms this afternoon.  The only weather I won’t run in is storms, especially with lightening.  But, maybe I’ll hit is right and get in 25 minutes of running.

I love running.  I can’t wait.  By the way, congratulations to Emma for running her first half marathon and beating her target pace and raising money for her charity.  Very exciting.