Saturday, June 7, 2014

06/07/2014 Evening 5 mile run

Coming off my 10 mile run yesterday, I was curious to see how my body would feel.  It was good to see, after I started to mentally go through all the areas of my body as I ran, that I felt good.  I didn't really have any soreness and/or pain (mainly worried about the left knee) at all.  

The breakdown of my run is 5 miles at 7:22/mile for a total of 37 minutes.

I think this is probably due to the fact that I was active all day yesterday after my run and all day today.  I taught a baseball lesson yesterday, played outside with the kids yesterday and today, as well as work around the house all day today.  A good bit of being busy seems to have done my body some good.  

Tomorrow, cross training with some old man softball in the morning.  I hope to run around the outfield for an hour and a half or so, catching balls if I'm lucky.  Within the next few days, I am going to hit a serious hill run in preparation of my next race.  

Friday, June 6, 2014

06/06/2014 Morning 10 miler, fast finish

This morning, after a day off yesterday, I was determined to stretch it out farther than I have been doing. I set out with the intention of assessing where I was after 8 miles. Well, when I got to 8 miles, I felt good. I decided to pick up the pace and put in a fast finish for a 10 mile run. It took me 1:21 to finish 10 miles. That works out to a pace of 8:06/mile. However, I did the last mile in 7:38. Regardless of how that works out, I am happy to have pushed it on the end of a long run. The benefits of that are tremendous for me heading into long runs, races, pushing myself to do more.

 Being outside, off the treadmill now for a few weeks, I am really starting to appreciate the nice weather and running in general. I am determined to run more, to run smarter, and to stay healthy so I can enjoy what I have out there. I continue to listen to podcasts on AthleteonFire and just learned today that one of his guests, Ben Tanzer, grew up in Binghamton, 15 minutes from me. Pretty cool. Check out the website and his inspiring work.

 Enjoy your day and your run.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

06/05/2014 Morning recovery walk

Over the last week-ish, I have gotten in some great running at a variety of paces.  I am on my way to the fitness level I am looking for as we are 44 days away from my next race.  Today, when I woke up, I could feel the last week of running.  It's important to listen to your body sometimes.  Today, it told me I needed to back off.

I decided a morning walk would be a good way to get in some activity, flush the system a little, and get the joints moving.  I walked it out pretty fast for 45 minutes and I would say I cleared 3 miles.  Although my legs are a little tired, I feel good and am satisfied with the recovery aspect of the walk.

In an effort to avoid injury, rest and recovery days are important.  It is different when you take a day off when your body tells you to rather than when you simply don't feel like it.  I used to have a problem with these rest days.  I was never comfortable with it.  However, with the reading I have done in regards to training plans, etc., I now value the day off.  I also cope with the day off better when I walk, or hit the stationary bike, do something.  Then I still feel like an active person.

Tomorrow, I will be strong again and I have all day today to plan out a good workout.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

06/04/2014 National Running Day 6 miler

So it's obviously National Running Day, as I keep mentioning.  The weather is perfect (for me anyway).  It's super sunny, 80 degrees, and a tiny breeze.  I just finished up a solid 6 mile run at a pace of about 7:55/mile  It took me around 47:40 to finish up.

The only thing that wasn't awesome was the fact that I accidentally grabbed a long sleeve shirt this morning.  Yikes!  Needless to say, I am sweating a tiny bit.  I don't think I want to know my internal temperature right now.  However, the Running with the Devil is in 45 days so I can use the heat training.

If you didn't catch it yet, check out the Brooklyn Half Marathon race report I published last night.  Shawn did a great job of giving readers the feel of being there.  

Create a personalized running badge like this one to the right, here!

Celebrate National Running Day! Get out and move your a$$!

Good morning everyone!  It's a glorious day for a run.  Today is National Running Day!

Here are three links for a couple interesting running sites:

National Running Day

Running in the USA

New York Road Runners

All three have lots of information, help finding races, motivation, etc.!  Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Brooklyn Half Marathon race report by guest blogger, Shawn P. Mahoney

Enjoy the following race report from my friend Shawn:

I arrive home red faced from the cold of an Arctic Vortex. It has been too cold to run for days now. I take off my boots by the door; start to peel off the many protective layers of clothing. I turn on my computer. In between a woolen cardigan and a flannel shirt I begin scrolling through Facebook updates. I sit on the edge of my bed waiting to thaw. I notice members of my running group posting about signing up for the Brooklyn Half Marathon. Unbeknownst to me this is this first day of sign up. Runner after runner enthusiastically chimes in on Facebook that they have signed up. The radiator is clanging and hissing. The apartment was hot and dry; my face starts to feel flush in the other direction. I take off my long sleeve thermal shirt revealing my final layer. It is my team shirt, my running club shirt.  I’m wearing my Hudson Dusters shirt. It seems like a sign. I log on and sign up for the Brooklyn Half Marathon. I had not run a half before, in the midst of an Artic Vortex; I decide to run the Brooklyn Half. My wardrobe is what really makes the difference.

Now several months later it is 5:30 in the morning. I’m sitting on a jam-packed subway train on my way to the race. I feel anxious about just getting there, and finding my coral. I have done races before but this one is daunting in its length and its sheer number of participants 25,000 plus. Soon 250,000 toes heretofore passive in their sneakers will take to the streets of Brooklyn. This train car carries at least a couple hundred of them. There is the musty smell of sweat as the train clatters through the tunnels to Brooklyn. I put on my headphones and set my music to shuffle. Don’t Stop Believing by Journey followed Don’t Cry Out Loud by Melissa Manchester. My shuffle, through select bombastic classics, intuits what I am thinking. Don’t Stop and Don’t Cry. Those seem like pretty good themes for my first half marathon.

The train takes much longer than I expect and I am late. I ran to drop off my bag at bag check then run along the entire coral of 25000 runners trying to find the right coral. I want to start on time and in my coral for my first half marathon. 5000-5999 - that is me. Anxiety and tardiness turn out to be the effective distractions. I have a little sweat going. I climb the coral barrier making it just five minutes before race time.  Just then a tattooed guy explodes out of one of the coral port-o-johns screaming “Whoo Hoo! Now that’s what I’m talking about!’ he chest bumps his friends as they exchange crass expletive filled encouragements to one another. I check my shoelaces. The National Anthem plays, then the starting gun, and in an instant I am running.  Officially my race has begun. I signed up alone, trained alone, rode the train alone, now I am running the Brooklyn Half with 25000 other runners. It is hard not to sprint through the throngs because my excitement on this perfectly warm sunny morning is real. The Artic vortex seems long ago. Crowds cheer along the race route. I give high fives to a few people along the way.  Many people held placards and signs of encouragement, “ Your Perspiration is my Inspiration!”  “Keep Calm Run Brooklyn” and my personal favorite “The F train is Faster!”

The racecourse doubles back on itself and the lead pack of elite runners pass us on the opposite side of the road. Everyone in the race spontaneously starts cheering for them. We become both participant and spectator. One of the best aspects of running races is the positivity. I can feel camaraderie of total strangers cheering us onward.  A few times I hear total strangers yell “Go Hudson!” Good Job Hudson! Keep it up!” I’m probably never going to hit a homerun in the World Series or hit a winning backhand down the line to win the US Open Tennis Tournament, but I am running in a race with some of the best runners in the world. My best is cheered just as much as theirs. Running is a simple thing. Everyone can do it. I can do it. I can do it anywhere, at anytime that suits me. There are no short cuts, no magic tricks, no matter your ability level you have to do the running. It is such a primary human activity. That is why I love it. Today that is on full display. At certain points I drift away into a Zen like state. I relax into that heavy float of the morning, some time between the first alarm and the snooze bar, when your body is heavy and sleepy but your mind is floating somewhere fanciful that you never get to remember. I get that happy feeling when I am having a great run. Before I know it I am passing mile 7, halfway home. There is a long straightaway down Ocean Parkway toward the beach. There is a fat guy in an American flag Speedo on the side of the route, “The Beach is that way!” he shouts into a megaphone. The runner next to me and I share a laugh together. I can see the Eiffel Tower of Brooklyn, an old parachute ride long since abandoned and painted red. The finish line nears with every step. I am on the the Coney Island Boardwalk – music blaring, cheering crowds, and that huge finish line sign with the digital timer waiting for me. Flush with adrenaline, I am sprinting. I am sweaty. I am smiling. I have done the thing I set out to do. And most importantly, I have the best runners high. 

-Shawn P. Mahoney

06/03/2014 I'm a big liar, fitness and a 4 miler!

You cannot always believe what I say.  Yesterday, I was an old man with a wimpy left knee.  At some point last night, early this morning, my knee actually began to feel great.  I had literally no pain, no restriction in my range of motion, and no weakness.  Consequently, I had to get in a run today right?  It's beautiful out again, sunny and low 80's.

I did keep it to 4 miles though and I offset my run with a set of 10 burpees after each mile.  I felt strong so I ran the miles in about 7:15/mile pace, did the burpees, then back at it, repeat.  

Overall, I got a great workout in a short amount of time.  It took about a total of 34 minutes including the exercise time.  If you don't have the mileage worked out, simply do 10 burpees every 10 minutes on your run.

Good luck, I'm going to ice my knee just in case!

P.S. a reader and good friend, Mike M. likes to carry a bag of mulch on his workouts just to push himself even more!  Way to work Mike!

Monday, June 2, 2014

06/02/2014 5 miles on a cranky left knee

I don't know if it was the sprint I did yesterday or simply that I have been running a few days in a row, but my left knee was sore for the first half mile or so today and now that I am done as well.  I was planning on hitting 6-8 miles today since it is so nice out and I have been ramping up my training.  However, after nearly stopping very early due to serious soreness, I kept my run at about 43 minutes and 5 miles.  

Since it felt better once I began to loosen up and it didn't hurt at all during the majority of my run, I am telling myself its arthritis and/or simply overuse from several days in a row.  Tuesday looks like a day off to me!  

I may try to do some upper body strength stuff tomorrow as I have reall;y neglected strength training as of late.  I am thinking I will rotate a circuit of upper body and core exercises like farmer's walks, planks, push ups, pull ups etc.

Let's hope a lot of Advil/Aleve, ice, and rest fix me up!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

06/01/2014 PM Sprint workout

Tonight, instead of a traditional jog or run, I did a sprint workout to get some leg turnover in.  I did about 15 to 20 sprints with walk recoveries.  The sprints were about 80-110 meters.  I really just used these sprints to get some speed and quick turnover of my strides.  

It really doesn't matter who you are or what your fitness is (within reason), running fast is good for you.  It helps your fitness levels, your running form, it burns fat, and it feels good.  A little walk recovery or slow jog in between gives you a break and you repeat as many times as you want.  

A lot of people simply write off running fast simply because they think that they aren't fast.  It doesn't matter if you are "fast" or not, run your version of fast and you will improve and get stronger.  It also builds muscles in your legs and your cardiorespiratory system benefits from the fatigue and rest periods.

For a starter workout, try this:

5-10 minute jog to warm up
Run a straight length for about 12-15 seconds
Walk or slow jog back to the beginning
Repeat as many times as you can 
5-10 minute jog to cool down

If you can go to a track, run the straight aways and walk/slow jog the turns.  This would equate to 100 meter sprints and 100 meter recoveries.

The key to this is to run fast, have fun, and do not judge yourself by your speed.  All you have to think about is that you are doing something for yourself, while some other dude/dudette is sitting on his/her couch eating potato chips.  Be proud of yourself for going out of your comfort zone.