Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Felt Like Poison

The other day, we had a small pizza party at work. I went a little overboard and I stuffed myself with pizza and coke.  My body was angry at me. I felt sick.  It was almost as if I ate poison.  It hurt when I went running and the heat started to bother me. It even got so bad that I could not enjoy my prerun banana bread.  I felt nauseous eating it.

I decided to go out for a run and ran 5 miles. If you can call it running. It felt more like shuffling.  It was the worst run I have had in a long time.  Usually, I do not get upset with myself when I have a bad run, but this was preventable.

I learned my lesson.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

11 Miles!!!

I ran 11 miles! This is a new personal record for me.  This also makes the second time I have reached double digits when out for a run.  I planned on attempting this distance of a run. I brought some music with a playlist that was over 2 hours.  I started slow and I knew about 2 miles into the run, this could be the night I reach a new record. 

I had to make a few stops during the run. The first was to put my sunglasses away. The second was when I needed to make a pit stop. The third was when I ran into a convenience store to pick up some water and the last was after a guy on a motorscooter fell off to see if he was ok. 

After I stopped and got some ice cold water, I felt refreshed. I made the turn where I knew I would reach 10 miles and then made the other turn to make it to 11. I thought about trying for 13.1 to make a half marathon, but I decided against it.  No injuries!

The next day I felt fine. I took the night off from running to give my body a nice break.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Dieting, Not a New Concept

I recently downloaded some podcasts that had radio broadcasts from the 1930’s and 1940’s.  Old comedians, such as Jack Benny and George Burns.  People my grandparents used to speak about.
One of the things that caught my attention is that they speak about low fat items and dieting.  Usually, it is the women or are worried about this.  I assumed the obsession over weight loss and dieting began in the 1960’s or 1970’s.  It shocked me that even two to three generations ago, there was a worry.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Healthier Buildings

I saw on the news that the mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg wants to have buildings designed with a more healthy approach.  For example, he wants to have easier access to stairwells rather than have to take a elevator. 

I support this idea 100%. I can’t tell you how many times I go into a building and the stairs are closed by a fire door or the lighting is poor or you do not feel safe going into the stairwell. When I was in New York earlier this year, I stayed in a hotel. We were on the 23rd floor. The workout room was on the 9th.  I would walk down the 14 floors and then back up the 14 floors.  Now that is a little extreme, but maybe walking down 2 or 3 floors and then taking the elevator the rest of the way or walking up 1 floor would be a healthy change for most people.

In our apartment building, we are only a few floors up, which is just enough that I can zip up and down the stairs either by myself or with the kids or take the elevator if I have a lot of groceries to carry up. 

How do you feel if buildings became healthier?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A New Kind of Timed Run

It has been a while since I have taken my watch out for a run.  I like to do this every once in a while just to get a feel if I am getting faster, slower, or staying the same. I used to just set the watch and run as fast as I could for either a 3 or 5 mile run.

This time I did it differently.  The number 1 distance that I run is 4 miles. I have an easy loop. I head up past the mall, circle the long way and then make a turn towards home. During this route there is a 2.4 mile loop. 

I decided that I would run to the start of the loop and then run the entire 2.4 mile loop as fast I can.  The first one I did was on a hot day. I did it in 22:01.  I am hoping when fall comes and the weather gets cooler, I will be able to break 20 minutes if not 18 minutes.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Adding New Workouts

Recently I decided to add weights and fartlek running into my workout.  I caught myself, before I made the same mistake as I usually do. I first decided I would do weights every Monday and Wednesday and fartlek runs every Tuesday and Thursday.  In the past, when I did this, this would last about one week and then miss one and I would forget the entire plan.

This time, I am doing things with more thought.  I am only going to require each of these once a week to do when my schedule dictates.  No particular day. I can choose when I want. A benefit of this is that I will not burn myself out by putting too much pressure to complete a certain type of workout.  I will reevaluate my plan in August or September and make an adjustment.

Tell me about your strategy.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I have a new pump me song.  Whenever I hear it, it makes me think of the movie Animal House.  Sometimes, I even find myself raising my hands at each “shout”. Last night, I felt the need to sprint up the last hill before I finished my run.  I quickly put the song on and off I went. I ran as fast as I could up the ill. I made it about half way before I needed to slow to a normal pace.  

What is your go to song these days?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Who Fartleked?

I ran a fartlek run the other night. It felt great. What is a fartlek run?  A fartlek run is when you have speed spurts during your run at an irregular interval.  This means, after I warmed up for a mile, I would run as fast to a certain and then slow down. Then when I felt ready again, I would repeat. 

This is different than intervals.  In interval training, you are picking up your pace at regular intervals. For example, when I used to run intervals on the treadmill, I would do 30 seconds at 9.0 miles per hour followed by 90 seconds at 7.0 miles per hour and then repeat 10 times. 

With Fartlek running, I would pick a random spot like a light post and then pick up my pace until I arrived at a lamppost.  Then I would repeat as I felt.  The night I went out, it was a little warm than I expected, but I still tried this.  I warmed up for about 1.25 miles and then picked up my pace and slowed back down for about 2.5 miles. Then I cooled down for the last 1.25 miles.

This felt great.  It changed up my routine.  The route I would run felt like a new route. I was so focused on when to start and stop that the run seemed faster.  Also, the run was harder than previous runs I have had recently. 

Do you have ever use fartlek or interval training?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Tired Legs

The other day I decided to go out for a run. I was debating on taking a day off as I ran 16 miles in the previous two days.  But it was the first of this month and I wanted to get out there and get off to a good start for July. 

Once I arrived home from work, I completed a lot of tasks, I needed to complete around the house, while my wife got the younger kids ready for bed.  I then took the oldest with me to the grocery store to pick up a watermelon.  Finally, I was ready to go. 

My legs felt tired, but it was a good tired. I felt like I was going faster as the run went on. It felt great. I finished strong.  This was important to me as I wanted to see how I can handle running on tired legs to prepare for a half or full marathon in the future.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Possible Half Marathon

I have found a possible half marathon at the end of the summer, that I am thinking of signing up for. I feel like I would be ready in time. I have already had a long run over 10 miles and can run 7-8 miles without any issue.  The race is in about a month and a half.

My biggest concern is the climate. I am used to running in a hot dry environment and the race takes place in hot and humid conditions. I am unable to train in humid conditions.  I do not want to sign up for a race and then suffer because I am not prepared for the conditions.

Has anyone trained in one climate and ran a race in another?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Grocery List

Yesterday, my wife was playing a game with our kids.  They were pretending to make a grocery list for the house.  The kids were close to 100% accurate listing almost everything we use.  They had milk, eggs, yogurt, cereal and all the different fruits and vegetables we use.

What were missing were cookies, chips, cake, ice cream and other sweets and junk food we do not bring into the house.  The thought never crossed their mind.

The kids are alright.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Mid July Update

So far the first half of July I have ran 60 miles over 13 days.  The best thing is that most of my runs are 4 and 5 miles long. I only have one run less than 4 miles (3 miles) and only 1 run over (8 miles).

Now that the weather has gotten a little hotter and July is now starting to feel like July, I haven’t been going as far as I was previously.  Sometimes, it is just hot.  Currently, I am also working 6 days a week, so my free time is very limited.

All in all, I am very happy with how the month is going. I am on pace to shatter my previous records of miles per month and days ran per month.

How is your July?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Another Dog Rant

Here is another rant about dogs.  I really hate dog owners who do not leash their dogs. As I was halfway through my run, I passed a house and people were coming out. Adults and kids. They also brought their dog with them. This was a little yapper of a dog, but when it saw me running, it had its ears back and teeth showing.  I am lucky I saw it in time.  I slowed down and started to walk. It started to follow me.  

Finally after a few tense moments, the dog ran away.  I saw it running into the street and it almost was run over.  Then, the little dog chased the car. I only thought that happened in the movies. I had to walk for a few minutes and I finished my run. I really wanted to confront the people, but I also wanted to get back into my run. I was feeling good. 

I am thinking about getting some mace, but I need to check the local laws first. How do you handle poor dog owners and yappy dogs when you are out running?

Friday, July 12, 2013

7 is the new 5 and 9 is the new 7

I was looking back at my running log comparing to where I was last year to where I am now.  I noticed that last year, most of my runs were around 3 miles with the occasional 4.  Maybe, I went 5 or 6.  Once in a while I would go 7, but no that often. 

I have noticed that this year, I am doing more 4 and 5 mile runs with the about a run of at least 7 once a week. I have completed a few 9 mile runs and even made it to double digits once.  This shows as through the first 6 months of last year, I ran 403.4 miles. This year through the first 6 months, I ran 528.5 miles. That is 125.1 miles or about 21 miles more each month ran. This is also over 124 days running this year rather than 112 days last year or about 2 more days each month.

This averages out to about 4.3 miles per run this year compared to 3.6 miles last year.  

How does this year compare to last year?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Where to go, When You Gotta Go?

What do you do when you are out for a run and you gotta go to the bathroom?  Do you go by a tree, in a bush?  Do you stop in a store or restaurant?  I usually go outside. I have found a few different locations where I am hidden enough from the road or other people to be discreet.  In fact, just the other night, I “tested” out a new location and it worked like a charm
Also, I run near a gas station, library, and a mall, just in case I really need to go.

What do you do?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Being Flexible

To be successful with any running or weight loss plan, one of the keys is to be flexible.  You should have a few go to foods to eat before you go running and have tested each of them. I use bananas, yogurt, banana bread or even cereal and milk. This way, if the we have run out of bananas or I have not made a new batch of banana bread, I still can eat something before I go out. 

Also, you should try running different times of the day and see how your body reacts.  I prefer to run in the morning, but my schedule forces me to run after work every day.  But on the weekends or if I am going into work at a later time, I will run in the morning.  I know my morning runs may be a little slower or tough at first since my body is not warmed up from the day.  

Thirdly, the amount of miles you want to run each day. There is nothing wrong with extending your runs when you are feeling great and conditions are right. There is nothing wrong with cutting your runs short if you are just not feeling it.  Just recently, I went out planning to do 5 miles, and it was hot and I was tired. I wound up only doing 3 miles.  I was ok with that. The most important thing was to get out there and I did.

Lastly, be flexible with your off days.  When I take a rest day, it is usually because of two reasons. The first is my legs and body feel tired and they are telling me to rest. The second is that life happens. Sometimes, I need to stay at work late. Maybe, we need to do food shopping or there is a lot of cooking to do, or maybe I want to have a quiet evening with my wife with a nice home cooked dinner and a movie.

How flexible are you?

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Another Dumb Article to Sell a Book

Here is a an article from Yahoo Health on why cardio is making you fat and not helping you lose weight.  Of course this book is all about how to lose weight by not exercising and only strength training.  How people are going to quit running or get discouraged from reading this article. 

 I can happily say he has the wrong idea. I have lost over 50 pounds and my main form of exercise is running.  I never lift weights or do any kind of strength training. I do some pushups each day, but I don’t think 40 push ups will burn enough calories to lose that much weight.  It had to be the running. 
I also disagree with the fact that 40% of the weight loss will come as muscle.  When I lost weight, i noticed more muscles. My calves were getting stronger and I had more muscle in my stomach.   My metabolism was great. 

Plus cardio is good for your heart and lungs.  He is right about one thing. Interval training. You can do intervals while running.  These would involve running hard for about 30 seconds and then slowing down for 90 seconds and repeating. 

Do not get discouraged. Running will help you to lose weight.  It did for me.

Monday, July 08, 2013

A New 7 Day Record

I have achieved a new record for the amount of miles covered over the course of 7 days.  My previous record was 33.4 miles. This was achieved in May, the same week I ran 10.4 miles in one day.  Going into Friday, I was at 29 miles and planned on running 4 miles.  I decided to go for it and near the end of my run, I made one small turn and added a half mile to my run to make the total for the week 33.5 miles. I beat it by 0.1 miles.  

Of course, on Saturday, I decided to go out and I completed 8 miles which took me 34.4 miles for the week.  Both of these were achieved with 6 days of running this week.   Next on the record list is to break 35 miles.

What is your personal best for miles over in 7 days?

Friday, July 05, 2013

Additional Miles by Walking

I have started walking a lot during the day. I previously always walked at least an extra 2 miles a day in short walks throughout the day. I like walking. I enjoy the fresh air and with my job, I am stuck at a desk for 8-10 hours a day. Sometimes, I need to get up and stretch my legs. 

I always walk for about 15 minutes from the bus stop to my office and from my office back to the bus stop. There is a closer bus stop I could take, but it doesn’t same that much time for me.  I also take a 10 minute walk mid morning to stretch my legs after sitting at my desk for a few hours.

Then in the early afternoon my friend and I head out on our daily 45 minute walk to get some exercise during the day. Finally, I have been getting off at the first bus stop in the city and walking about 30 minutes on my way home. I calculated, rather than waiting for my particular bus, doing it his way, takes about 15 minutes longer than taking a bus.

All this walking adds up. I feel great, sometimes, I listen to music, other times, I just think.  This is helping to supplement my running miles as well.

How much do you walk?

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Sweets Are Addictive

Have you ever been at an event and someone is offered a drink and they refuse.  Maybe they are the designated driver, maybe a recovering alcoholic. Majority of the time, they will be offered a soda or water instead.  No big deal.

Now imagine that same person is offered a slice of a cake and says no thanks. What usually occurs?  Why not? Its just one slice. Whats the big deal? Or a comment that says, your too thin anyhow, eat up.  

People do not understand that sweets can be just as addicting as alcohol or other drugs. I know personally, if I am at a party and there is a bowl of cookies, I am ok if do not eat any, but if I have one, one will lead to two, two to five and five to 10.  Then maybe a slice of cake or ice cream as well.

Does anyone else experience this?

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Humid Run

I went this morning around 6:30am for a nice 7 mile run.  It was cool out, but it was humid at that time of the day.  I much prefer to run in the hot dry heat rather than cool humid weather.  The problem with the humidity is that I sweat so much and the sweat does not evaporate off of me and my shirt. It just makes the clothes very wet. It gets a little uncomfortable. 

As I was out running, I could feel the temperatures rising and with the rising temperatures, the humidity dropping.  The heat of the sun felt so good when it would shine directly on me.  The last mile of my run was all in the sun, it felt great. I finished the 7 miles feeling great, but a little wetter than I am used to.

Do you prefer cool humid air or hot dry air to run in?

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

2 Day Personal Best

I achieved a new 2 day record this weekend. I ran 16 miles total on Saturday and Sunday. I did 7 miles Saturday morning followed by 9 miles on Sunday morning.   My previous personal best was 13 miles over two days.  It felt great.

The run was the last day of the month and I needed 11.4 miles to make it to 100 miles for the month. I was debated on whether to push it or to just go for a short 3 or 4 miler just to finish up the month.  

The temperatures were great.  It was in the 80’s and with a cool breeze.  Perfect weather for a run.  The sun was hot, but the shade was cool.  I have an easy way to add miles to run or to turn back if I choose to.  I made my turn and I was committed to 7 miles, then I kept going and was committed for 9 miles.

Then I started to get tired.  It was already mid morning and the temperatures were climbing.  I decided to end it with 9 miles.  Those last 2.4 miles didn’t really matter in the long term. I did not want to get injured.  With a new month upon us, I want to be ready to get there often early in the month.

Monday, July 01, 2013

June Stats

For the month of June, I ran 97.6 miles over 21 days.  My goal for the month was to run 100 miles over 23 days. I fell short but not by that much. Sometimes life gets in the way and that is ok.  I also wanted to run two long runs of at least 7 miles. I ran runs of 8 miles and 7 miles, so that goal is set.

For July, I am going to go light. I want to run 85 miles over 21 days. I am looking to start adding some weight training on some of the runs, so I may cut out a mile here and there from certain runs and use the time to weight train. 

After the first of the half of the year is complete, I am well on my way of my 2013 goal of 1000 miles over 250 days running. So far I have ran 524.0 miles over 124 days.  I also realized, the first half of the year has 3 less days than the second half. 

How was your June?