Friday, May 31, 2013

National Run a 10k Day

Sunday is June 2, also known as National Run A 10k Day. Everyone should go out and run 6.2 miles to celebrate. If you are unable to run 6.2 miles, then walk it.

Who is with me?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Aches and Pain

No matter how long if you have been running, sooner or later you will have some aches and pain.  I can remember a few years ago, where I would keep running through this and then wind up being injured and not be able to run for a month or two.  Not fun.

Now what I do, if I start to feel a pain or an ache, I will go out for one more run.  If I am still having pain the next day, I will take a day or two off. If everything feels fine the next, I will continue to run.
This happened to me this week. I went out Sunday morning and did a fast 5 mile run. I was fine all day on Sunday. 

Then I woke up Monday and I could not walk without having any pain. However, if I walked fast or practiced a run, I had no pain. I went out for a run on Monday night. I still had pain on Tuesday morning. I took Tuesday and Wednesday off and by tonight as I am writing this, I am feeling fine. I will be able to head back out tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Back Issues

The internet is amazing. You can pretty much find anything you are looking for.   I was recently looking for some back issues of Runners World magazine. I love this magazine. I read every issue cover to cover as soon as I get it. I go back and reread them when I am looking for motivation.  Depending on how my running is going at that moment in time, will depend on which articles stand out.

I found 3 years worth of back issues on eBay and I ordered them. Hopefully, they will be here soon. I also found out google has old issues on their google play store.  Also, on runners world’s website, you can order back issues as well.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Running and Rockets

Today in Israel, we had a drill today.  A siren would sound once in the afternoon and once in the evening to prepare us in case the terrorists in Lebanon, Syria, Iran or Gaza decide to fire rockets at us again.  Where we live, we have about 90 seconds to reach shelter.
For the evening siren, I was out running when it occurred.  I knew it was coming, but still once you hear the wail, your heart skips a beat.  Back in November, when the terrorists from Gaza were firing rockets every day, I was never out on a run during a siren.  
I kept thinking where would I go to protect myself.  There were some tunnels I could head in.  I could lie down next to a parked car.  I could make it to the library or the mall.  Hopefully, we won’t hear the real thing anytime soon.
The siren ended after a few minutes and I continued on my run. I did about 5 miles to bring me up to 90.7 miles for the month of May.

Monday, May 27, 2013

5-10 Miles, Wow

I was at my volunteer job last night and started to talk some of the other people.  They were discussing different triathlons and how they did. Of course my ears perked up, when I heard them speaking.  They were speaking of their difference times and how they do better at swimming and biking rather than running.  

They conversation turned to me, and they asked if belong to a gym or workout. I said I do not belong to a gym, but I am a runner. They asked how far I usually go and I said 4-10 miles, 4-5 times a week.  They said wow.  They do not seem like they get much running. I overheard their workout plans and they mention, maybe they will do 1-2 miles a time, possible get it to 3 miles one day.  Obviously their reasons for running different from mine; they are training for a race, while I run because I love to run.  

I mentioned, I may be doing a marathon or at least a half marathon next year and they said they may do it as well.  It’s just funny how things seem to other people  I was impressed because they run triathlons and they were impressed by the distance I cover when I run.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Back To Basics Is Working

So far getting back to the basics has worked. I am down about 3 pounds since I started this. Its amazing how your body will react after you start to make smarter food choices.  I started measuring again.  I stopped snacking when the kids ate. I started reaching for fruit again during the day.  Some days I am eating either 3 bananas or 3 apples.

I also started portioning my dinners out onto my plate.  All of these are working again, just like before.  Hopefully, I will be back down to my goal weight sooner than later.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

2013 Goals Update

My 2013 yearly goals were 1000 miles over 250 days running.  Not too far out of reach for a goal.   To accomplish this, I need to average 4 miles a run and complete around 84 miles on 21 days running each month. 

Before May, I was up to 330.6 miles over 80 days running.  To maintain my goal, I needed to run 336 miles over 84 days.  So I was less than 6 miles behind over the course of 4 days.

To still be on pace or even get ahead, I would need to run 89.4 miles over 25 days this month.  So far as of the 22nd of the month, I have ran 77.7 miles over 17 days.  This means I would have to run another 11.7 miles over 8 days to be on track. 

There are 9 days left and I have at least one or two days that I may need to take off. I am going to try to run 3 miles on those days to keep up the plan. I will reach the mileage total.  The day total may need to wait until next month.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Thinking of a GPS Watch

I know. I know. It sounds hypocritical. How can someone whose whole running concept is to go running without a watch be thinking for purchasing a GPS watch?  It is not for the reasons you may think.  I still do not care about pace or time.  It still does not matter if it takes me 42 minutes, 45 minutes or 47 minutes to complete 5 miles.  

The reason I am thinking of getting a GPS watch is that there are a lot of walking paths and pedestrian only paths within my city. I have checked google maps, and they are not on it.  These paths are so beautiful to run on and some of them have very steep hills. 

I just want to know how many miles I have covered on my run. It doesn’t matter if its 3.0 or 3.4 miles. I just want to know the exact distance.

Does anyone know an inexpensive watch that would serve this purpose?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My Minimum

We all have a minimum of a distance or time when we go running for it to count.  Some people, only need to get a mile in. Maybe others need to run for 10-20 minutes for it to count.  I need to run at least 3 miles for it to count towards my day total.  

I think it is great to have a minimum amount you need to run.  It can help prevent injury or fatigue.  If I am too tired and I do not feel I can complete at least 3 miles, I will take a night off.  There have been plenty of nights, where this has been the case.  1 or 2 miles would not be sufficient for me.  

I remember when I first started running; I needed to get to 2 miles. This was over 10 years ago.  I was in college and living in an apartment. I would run outside up the shopping center and come right back home.  I think 3 miles started when I would always run on a treadmill. Back then, I was doing 11-12 minute miles and then I reached the 10 minute mile milestone. A 10 minute mile for 3 miles was 30 minutes. It seemed like a good time to go for. 

Do you have a minimum distance or time you need to at least run when you are out?

Monday, May 20, 2013

New Shoes

I have been putting off using my new shoes for as long as I can.  It is a pain to get new shoes.  Where I live, they do not always sell the pair I am looking for or the price is 50% more than it costs in the states.  I need to plan accordingly.  Sometimes I order online and have my parents ship them.  If someone I know is coming to visit, I will ask them to bring me a pair in their suitcase.  Most recently, I picked up a new pair when I was in the US for business.  With this being the case, I like having a new pair waiting so when I am ready, I can just switch.

For the past week or two, my runs have become harder.  My legs felt heavy and were starting to hurt. I could not make it up the hill and I was running slower than I normally do.  I thought it was either the few pounds I put on when I was away or the heat or I overdid it with the 10 miler run last week.  After last night of running a 3 mile route and feeling terrible, I decided to try one of my new pairs of shoes that I have here.

What a difference it made. Even with it being hotter than it has been in a few weeks. I think the temperature was near 90, I felt great.  I was going faster than I have all week. My legs did not hurt at all. At the end of my run, I felt fresh.  Tomorrow, I will start with the other pair as well.  I am excited, I am running the best I have ever ran before and now I have two new pairs of shoes to keep up the pace.  Hopefully, I will get another 6-9 months before I need to use a new pair.

Sometimes we do it to ourselves.  Who knows how many days away I was from injuring myself, from running in a pair a shoes past their prime.

How often do you change your running shoes?

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Overweight Kid and the Scooter

I was out on my run last night and near the big park in the city, I passed a group of teenagers doing teenage things, with their bikes, skateboards and video camera.  However, one kid I passed was a bit overweight and had a motorized scooter. It was not the kind you use when you are handicap.  It look like a normal scooter with a seat built into it.  Something he had to avoid walking.

I saw him get off and hang out with his friends. I couldn’t believe how lazy some kids have gotten. Instead of his parents teaching him to exercise and eat right, they gave in and provided with transportation to make it easier to get around.  They could have helped to lose his weight.  What is going to happen in 10 years when he is in his mid 20’s and even more overweight? It was sad that parents would do this to their kids. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

8 Out of 10

I was reading in one of my running books where it gave a suggestion that for each run you do, you should give it a grade.  For example, if you run 3 miles when you were schedule to do 5, you can give yourself 8 out of 10.  You got out there and you ran smart, maybe you weren’t feeling it and you ended early.  

I decided to start doing something with my eating.  On a day, where I measure everything and have no slip ups, I will give myself a 10.  Other days, depending on what I do and how bad it is, I will give a different score.  For example, today, we were going to a friend’s house to celebrate a holiday. We were going for dessert, so I knew there would be cheesecake and other goodies.   I had two small pieces of cheesecake (one of each kind), 1 cookie and some watermelon. 

I am giving myself an 8.  I was really careful and I had to eat something so I would not be rude.  My only slip up was the extra cookie. After I realized it, I quickly switched to fruit and never looked back.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Self Defeating

Sometimes, you can self defeat yourself and wind up never getting anywhere.  Since I have come back from my trip, my weight has gone up a little.  I have stopped measuring and I may be eating a second helping more than I should or some snacks. 

The scale started going up a little and I would start the day defeated.  I would have a second bowl of cereal. If there was food at work, I would have those.  Not to mention the chocolate chip snacks.

I am still running a lot and I have increased my mileage. However, I can feel the extra pounds. I feel slower and the hills are getting heavier.  I need to get back to where I was 2 months ago.  All it takes is a few days of sticking to my plan. 

How do you overcome when you feel like you are so far away to your goal?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Unexpected Day Off

I did not run today. I was planning on it, but we had a surprise thunderstorm that came out of nowhere.  About 30 minutes before I would have gone out running, it poured.  There was thunder and lighting.  After it was over, I thought about heading out as the sidewalks were drying out.  Once I was outside, I saw the street was still soaked and the crosswalks felt slippery.  

I have run 30 of the past 35 days and did 10.4 miles on Saturday.  A rest day would probably be good for me.  I made the most of my time.  I made a nice dinner for my wife and I.  We ate together.  I made granola for breakfast. Finally, I made a soup.  I have wanted soup for a long time, but I have not had the time to make it.  

This one came out delicious.  It only has 6 ingredients.  They include onion, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, lentil and barley.  Yum.  I can’t wait to eat this for dinner the next few days.

Monday, May 13, 2013

10.4 Miles!!!

The stars were aligned Saturday night and for the first time, I reached double digits for the first time ever.  Saturday night, was the first cooler day in about 2 weeks. It was in the 80’s with a cool breeze.  I was not working on Sunday, dinner was already made and the kitchen was cleaned up.  My wife was happy to have some quiet time after the kids went to bed. 

I wanted to do 7 miles and when I was out, I thought about 9.  Then I decided with the summer coming soon, this may be the perfect night to break 10 miles.  I did my usual 7 mile route and then I added a 3.4 mile extension for a total mileage of 10.4 miles. At one point, I was calculating on whether I could push it to 13.1 miles to make it a half marathon.  I decided against this. I will get there this summer.

I finished and I surprisingly, I was going at a nice pace. I did not struggle.  I made it up the last hill with as much as ease as I would have if I was doing 3 miles.  When I got back home, I walked up the few flights of stairs to get home and had no problem.

Sunday morning, I went out for a short run just to get out there. My legs felt a little stiff the first half mile and I was thinking I made a mistake. By the halfway point of my run, everything was warmed up and I felt great.  I now know that double digits is not a stretch and I can do this length of a run with minimal recovery.
I am now at 51.6 miles over 11 days running this month. I have only missed 1 day in May.  If I keep this up, I should have a new record on days and total mileage ran for the month.

When did you first break double digits?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Caffeine Jitters

I have been off of caffeine since the middle of December.  It has been great.  There have been a few days since then I have a cup or two of regular coffee.  Nothing too much that I am addicted to it again, but just enough to give me a pick me up when I need it.

Today was one of those days.  My allergies were acting up.  I was sneezing and I felt tired most of the day.  I decided to make one cup of coffee to get me through the afternoon.  We didn’t have any spoons near were the instant coffee was and I estimated how much to pour.  I think I over estimated.  I was jittery the entire afternoon and on the bus ride home, my leg would not stop shaking.

Caffeine has one big effect me on.  It makes me hungry.  Usually, I can handle the hunger until I get home from work and have a snack, but today, I was starving.  When I got home, I had an apple, peanut butter sandwich, some watermelon and then I ate my banana bread topped with chocolate chips before my run.

My run was ok. I kept thinking I was going to crash and burn and not be able to finish it.  It has happened before when I have felt like this. Not this time, I ran through it and completed my 4 miles. 

Thursday, May 09, 2013

30 Days of Running

I was checking my running log today and I noticed not a lot of white from days I have skipped recently. I added them up and I found out I have ran 26 of the past 30 days for a total mileage of 106.6 miles.  This is from April 8th until today.  The most I have ran in any given month was 105.7 miles over 24 running days. 
Being away for business certainly helped, as I ran each of my 13 days that I was away.  What this did was get my mindset that I should just get out there and run.  That has stayed with me since I have been back home. 

30 days is 30 days, whether it is in the same month or over two months. I will celebrate my victory.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

7 Up, 7 Down

For the first week of May, I am 7 for 7.  That is 7 days running the first 7 days of May.  I have completed a total of 30 miles for the month. I knew May would a great month.  The weather turned warmer, but not too warm and there is not a chance of Rain.  With the sun going down later, it is easier to get out there even if I have a late day at the office.

A couple of the days, the runs were tough, but I made it, even during my 7 mile run the other day.  Tonight was the best run so far this month.  I felt great. I felt like I was flying near the end, and the last hill, I pushed and sprinted up it at a steady pace.    This is shaping up to be a great month.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Feeling Great

Today was the first Sunday since early March, which I was not working, the kids were in school or I was not away on business.  The month of May is going great. I have run the first 4 days for a total of 15 miles. I was planning on doing 5 miles today just to make an even 20 for the month.  

After my wife got back from taking the older kids to school, she came in and said the baby was going to go down for a nap soon.  That was fine, I decided to get ready and head out.  Once I got out there, the temperature was ideal for a run.  It was blue skies and sunny with an air temperature of about 80-85 degrees.  There was a cool wind blowing. 

I started out with the intent of 5 miles.  When I arrived to one of my turn off points, I turned. I have not done this route since before I left on my trip.  I kept going.   Once I got to the point, where it would either do 5 or 6 miles, I decided to go for 6.  

I finished my water and stopped at one of the water fountains at a nearby park to reload.  I continued on. I decided to go for it and turned to make sure I completed 7 miles before I arrived home.  It felt great. 

Monday, May 06, 2013

Race Planning

I have been getting ready to start training for a race early in 2014.  I have one of four that I can do.  One is in mid-January, one at the end of February, one in the middle of March and one at the end.  I am leaning to actually starting to train for a marathon.   With three of them, I would make a vacation out of it with my wife.  One is local.  The local one is easiest one to arrange and most cost effective
My plan would be to really start training September 1.  This would give me 6 months to be in prime race shape.  My goal is 4 hours, but since it is my first race, finishing and not getting injured would be just as awesome.
To get ready, I want to lose about 15 more pounds by Sept. 1st.  I also want to be able to run 10 miles without an issue. My longest run to date is 9 miles and I can run 7 without an issue.   We will see how it goes over the next few months.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Feeling out of Shape

The past few days on my run I have been feeling out of shape when I am out there.  I thought maybe, I put on a few pounds after my trip. It was hard not eating the same food I am used and having one too many treats. 

Or it could be the weather.  When I got back to Israel, it was still a little cold outside.  All of a sudden, it was like a switch was turned on.  We have been having 90+ degrees heat for the past week.  It could be the heat or a combination of both.  The most important thing is that I keep getting out there and run through it.

How do you get through a rut?

Thursday, May 02, 2013

My Own Truman Show

Sometimes when I am out running, I feel like I am living my own version of the The Truman Show.  In case you have not seen this movie.  It is a movie starring Jim Carey.  He is living in a city that is designed for him and everything is staged.  He sees the same people at the same time each day.  

I usually pass an older gentleman. He is sometimes with his friend. He always wears a white shirt or when it is cold, his yellow jacket.  I pass the young girl.  She always seems to be running fast in the opposite direction as me.  We must live in different parts of the city, but do the same route.  Then there is the young guy.  This guy is pretty fast and he never looks tired.  I usually pass him pretty quick into my run as I am going up the first hill and he is coming down.

Do you ever see the same people each time you are out for a run?

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

April Stats

I ran 86 miles over 23 days.  My goal for April was 90 miles over 21 days.  I reached the goal in the number of the days and fell short in the total miles ran for the month.  Both of these, had to do with my trip that took me away from home for two weeks during the middle parts of the month.

I found it easier to run every day on the treadmill, when I had nothing else to do.  However, near the end of the trip, I had to cut my mileage down because my legs were not used to it.  Running on a treadmill was a lot harder for me.  When I got back , the jetlag hit me harder than I thought. I have been doing 3 miles a few times this week and the longest run was 4 miles.

I am setting big goals for May. The weather is ideal for running.  No more rain until November.  No more Cold until then as well.  The days are staying dark later, It is completely dark by 8pm right now and towards the end of the month, it will be closer to 8:30pm.

I am planning on 110 miles over 25 days.  This will be new records for both.  It is feasible. I will have a few long runs in there.  Once on the weekends and once during the week.

How did your April turn out?