Tuesday, December 26, 2017

12.26.2017 A cold 6.1 miler in my new Hoka One One Hupana, @HokaOneOne

A post Christmas run of 6.1 miles took me about 46:30 this afternoon in seriously cold, windy conditions.  A nice, hilly run, I didn't bother looking at the watch until I stopped at the end.  I just wanted to run a strong run, finishing up as quickly as I could.  

The cold and the wind were pretty brutal today, making it less than fun.  However, December is turning into one of the strongest months for e in a long time.  After today's run, I am at 95 miles for the month.  I am hoping to break the hundred mark on Thursday.  Any month that totals a hundred miles or more, especially a cold, busy month like December, is a win.

On a secondary note, I received my first pair of Hoka One One's yesterday for Christmas.  The newer model, Hupana, is the exact shoe for me.  It's light and fast, as well as cushioned just the right amount.  My first run in them today was a great start.  It felt smooth an easy, not like a shoe I had never worn.  

They felt light, cushioned, but responsive, and a fast ride.  I was trying to put my finger on something during the first mile and it took me a bit.  Then I realized it.  They didn't feel like a shoe that was new to me.  I have worn a lot of shoes over the years and most of the time, I have been happy with them, but they all felt new, like I needed to get used to them a bit.  The Hupana's however, felt like they were made for my feet.  I felt like it could have been my 20th run in them, not my first.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

12.21.2017 Slow, Easy Recovery Run

I'm trying to embrace the slow running when it's necessary.  I am not one to run slow, but I know with the added mileage I have run and will be running, it is important to be smart with my body.

I ran a 4 miler nice and easy this morning, at a pace of 8:42/mile.  At just under 35 minutes for a 4 mile run, it was easy.  Coming off the strong 10 miler yesterday, my legs deserved a break today. 

I am toying with a second 4 miler in a little while, also easy.  I have the time, so I may run more just to get some more miles in and get higher on the Nuunbassador Leaderboard :)

I am addicted to it.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

12.20.2017 And the winner is....The Long Run and some #nuunlife

After debating over it yesterday and this morning, I decided a long run would be most beneficial to me at this point in my training.  I haven't had the chance to get in some significant distance runs in so I thought a 10 miler made perfect sense for me.  I am building on a really strong week this week and want to continue it.

The run stats themselves are as follows:

10 miles
7:43/mile pace
fastest mile 7:05
slowest mile 8:45
cadence 183

The traditional look at long runs for most runners is LSD, the long, slow distance run.  Slogging out the miles at a painfully slow pace.  The new theory, that I personally believe in, is the long, strong distance run.  I want my pace to be strong, and effort, and something that makes my run worhty of the stat line.  I will try to run 7:45/mile-ish on my long runs for the time being and then hit them at 7:30/mile-ish in a month or two.  Why not push it a little on the long mileage?  Recovery days are my slow days.

I need to go rehydrate with some Nuun now, energy, wild berry.

Last Minute Christmas Gift? My Top 3 Book list for Runners

I have profiled some books before on the site, but I wanted to give you a quick list for a couple last minute ideas for runners.  Or, maybe a gift for yourself!  You only have a couple shopping days left, but Amazon Prime and your local Barnes & Noble can help you out with the following.  I did not list them in order, as I love them all.  

Running with the Buffaloes, by Chris Lear.

Set in the fall of 1998, the book chronicles the Colorado Buffaloes' cross country campaign-taking the reader on a ride from the anticipation of preseason camp, through the mid-season shock of losing a teammate, to the elation of competing at the NCAA championships.

My Life on the Run, by Bart Yasso

With insight and humor, My Life on the Run chronicles the heatstroke and frostbite, heartache and triumphs he's experienced while competing in more than 1,000 competitive races during his nearly 30 years with Runner's World magazine.
Yasso gives valuable and practical advice on how to become a runner for life and continually draw joy from the sport. He also offers practical guidance for beginners, intermediate, and advanced runners, such as 5-K, half-marathon, and marathon training schedules including his innovative technique known as the Yasso 800s. Recounting his adventures in exotic locales like Antarctica, Nepal, and Chitwan National Park in Africa (where he was chased by an angry rhino), Yasso recommends the best exotic marathons for runners who want to grab their passports to test themselves on foreign terrain.
With the wit and wisdom of a seasoned insider, he tells runners what they need to know to navigate the logistics of running in an unfamiliar country. Yasso's message is this: Never limit where running can take you because each race has the potential for adventure.

The Animal Keepers, By Donn Behnke

The Animal Keepers tells the true story of the Stevens Point High School cross country team and their unforgettable journey through the 1985 season. Joined by first year runner Scott The Animal Longley - a developmentally disabled student who lived in a group home - the year takes an unexpected turn as this most unlikely hero leads them on a quest for a state title. Surrounded by a group of serious and dedicated runners The Animal set out to prove he belonged. Driven by his incredible enthusiasm and never ending optimism the 85 season became a voyage of discovery for Scott, his coach, and his teammates as they worked to assemble a competitive team from a jumble of spare parts. Told from the perspective of a young coach this is a book about running, competing, and team building, but at its center this is the story of a young man with physical, cognitive, and emotional disabilities who loved to run, loved to compete, and most of all loved being part of a team.

This last book, Maura bought for me a couple years ago.  I just got around to reading it this past week and loved it.  A great book, even for a non runner looking for a good read.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

12.19.2017 A smarter recovery run and some 100M strides

Last week, I mentioned that I thought my recovery run was too fast and that I needed to slow it down.  Today, I consciously ran a slower 5 miler to recover from yesterday.  I ran 5 miles at a pace of about 8:36/mile.  It felt good, and controlled.  I needed to make sure the recovery felt slow.  Recovery isn't supposed to be a push.

At the end, I dialed up a little on some tired legs and turned in 5 strides of around 100 meters.  I rested 2-3 minutes in between each with some walking and rest.  It's important to do strides individually so that each is productive for form and fitness.  

Tomorrow, I am deciding between a long run and a hard effort tempo run or goal pace run.  I guess you will have to wait until tomorrow's post to see what I ended up doing.

Monday, December 18, 2017

12/18/2017 5+5=10 and What's with my F-ing laces?

Run #1
The plan was for a 10 miler today.  Coming off the weekend and no running, I am always ready to go on Monday.  Because I lost my nice block of time to run today, I needed to adjust to two smaller runs.  I wanted to get in 10 miles today so I broke it into 2 manageable 5 milers. 

I ran the first at a strong clip right from the first step and ended even stronger.  I ran the first run in 36:26, a nice solid pace of about 7:16/mile.  After about an hour off, I ran the second of the runs today at about an 8:26 pace, just over 42 minutes total.  I didn't want to push it at all the second time around.  I wanted to be comfortable and get my 10 miles in.
Run #2

All in all, both runs were great.  I feel like I got exactly what I
wanted today, considering I had to break my long run into two parts.  The one thing I hd an issue with though was my right shoelace.  I never have shoelace issues.  However, during the second run, I had to tie it THREE times, and left it untied at the end or it would have been 4.  What the F?!?  I have never been a doubler, but the time has come apparently.  My geriatric hands can't pull the laces tight enough anymore.  :)

Friday, December 15, 2017

12/15/2017 Trying to make up for horrible nutrition

I am officially declaring December to be crappy food eating month! #crappyfoodmonth

Last night, at CVS, I discovered the little item in the picture.  F.  Were they made for me?  I am having a little difficulty with self control lately.  During the day, I eat well.  Veggies, good carbs, proteins, etc.  At night, not so much.  My goal is to survive December without becoming a diabetic.  January will be the month I get it together.  No, no, no, not a resolution thing.  My wife and I like to use January as a clean month and the start of eating healthy.  This is simply because it's such a miserable month of post holiday blues, bad weather, and early darkness, why not add eating healthy to it too!

In order to combat last night's caloric explosion, I decided to do two workouts today.  Earlier, I banged out 20 minute on the painmaker, the step machine.  It hurts after a minute, so why not do 20?  Then, after an hour or so, I did an indoor run of 5 miles in just under 40 minutes.  I couldn't go out today.  I ran outside 4 times this week, and it's 21 degrees out again.  I needed to be warm, sweat, and relax. 

I look forward to a weekend of resting the body for the most part.  I am trying to put together next weeks plan.  It is going to be something like this:

Monday 10 mile long run
Tuesday 5-6 mile recovery
Wednesday 6 mile tempo run
Thursday 5-6 mile recovery
Friday 5 miler w/strides

Thursday, December 14, 2017

12.14.2017 A painful recovery run, and too fast

Today, a recovery run of 5 miles went well.  I really didn't feel tired and I just chugged along at just a little under 8:00/mile pace.  I would have liked to gone a little slower, I feel like my recovery run, in order to be an actual recovery, should be more in the 8:30/mile range.  I'm going to work on that, as I want to stay healthy.

All through the second half of my run, my left was sore on the left outside thigh.  I couldn't understand why because all I had was my phone with me.  I didn't have keys or anything sharp.  Whatever, I shrugged it off until I got back from the run and checked out my leg.  It seems that my big Galaxy Note 8 was bouncing in the same spot and actually bruised/chafed my leg.  I don't know whether that makes me a wuss for feeling it or a tough guy for powering through it :)

Who get's hurt on a recovery jog?

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

12.13.2017 It's so cold out, 8 miles of frozen chin-itis

Jesus, it's cold out.  Weather.com says it's 21 degrees out, but feels like 7.  I would say that is spot on.  I was dressed correctly this morning, but the wind gets you no matter what.  I ran 8 miles and had to use Strava on my phone because I left my watch (hopefully) in Connor's wrestling bag last night.  I didn't look at the app until I got back from the run because looking at the phone during the run is annoying.  I ran an extended version of the run I did yesterday.  I didn't worry about pace at all today though, not even on my big climb.  I just wanted to feel good about the run.
How I felt running today.

It turns out that the run went really well.  I ran 8 miles in 1:01:47.  My splits for my miles were the following:


Can you guess which one I ran on the uphill for .75 mile?  Other than that mile, my splits are solid.  I like seeing them get lower and lower, now down to the lower 7:00's.  

I have 21 miles in for the week in the first 3 days.  Tomorrow, I run 4-5 as a recovery run.  Friday I will finish with 5-6 depending on how I feel.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

12.12.2017 Chilly 7 miler, keeping a pace on long runs, #nuunlife Mango Orange recovery

I am in the process of ramping up my runs to make them longer and stretching out the miles.  With 3 months until the 13.1, I want to start building significant time on runs from 7-12 miles.  My initial pace goal for long runs is 7:45-8:00/mile.  I want to hit those numbers for the next month.  After I have built up some base, I will drop the long run pace accordingly.  I want to get my long run pace down as low as I can obviously, with the idea that I will race my 13.1 under 7:00/mile and hit my marathon pace of 7:30/mile.  

Today, I ran 7 miles at a comfortable clip of 7:46/mile.  I really ran at a smooth effort except for mile 6.  There is a significant climb of about 3/4 of a mile at a grade of around 5%.  I pushed it a bit to keep my pace up the hill as close to my overall pace as possible.  That mile ended up being 8:08 so that was satisfying.  I finished up with a strong, controlled mile 7 of 7:45, right on pace.  My cadence is now a strong 185, right where I want it.

As I posted to to my other channels, after my run I really wanted a warm drink that wasn't coffee.  I know, I know, you didn't want coffee?!?!?  I used a Nuun tab for recovery drink and I dropped it into hot water.  It was like a nice warm cup of Mango tea, felt good.

Monday, December 11, 2017

12.11.2017 97 days and counting, 6 miler

In 97 days, I will line up in NYC for the half marathon.  It will be my first attempt at really running a 13.1 hard, trying to get as far under 1:30 as I can.  In the coming weeks, it's all about getting in the miles.  After about a month from now, give or take, I will start to add in some serious speed work to combine speed and endurance.  I firmly believe I can run close to 1:25, which is about a 6:30/mile pace for 13.1 miles.  It might hurt, but I think I can do it.

Today, a chilly 6 miler in about 48:30, comfortable run on the chilly, snowy streets of Wyckoff.  More to come on the plan and my Nuun Ambassadorship for 2018.

12.11.2017 Big news at The DFJ, great way to start a Monday #nuunlife #nuunbassador

I woke up this morning and opened my email to some great news.  I have been selected by the best hydration company on the market to spread the word on clean, effective hydration.  As a 2018 Nuunbassador, I will be sharing my story to you as always, but I will also showcase how Nuun helps me along the way. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

12.07.2017 Run 2 was pissed, decided to show run 1 who the boss is

Well, this afternoon, run two started off smooth.  I finished mile run in about 8:15 and felt good.  Mile 2 was full of hills and ended up 8:31 and was not happy.  It was quickly decided that the final 2 miles would be a real push to show run one that it meant business.  Confused yet?  

I ran the last 2 miles of run two in 14 minutes, with the last mile in 6:45.  I looked at the stats and my cadence for both runs was 184, love that.

Overall, instead of a long 8 miler in around 64-66 minutes, I'm totally satisfied with 62 minutes of fast running broken into two 4 milers.  I'm now at 20 for the week, working hard.

12.07.2017 Run #1--Quick 4 miler, fastest mile in awhile

I just finished up run number 1 of the day.  I ran a quick 4 miler in 31 minutes, with a final mile in 6:53.  That's the first time I dipped a mile under 7 minutes during a run in awhile.  I have and will race much faster than that, but to hit it in training is feels like I'm headed somewhere positive.

I will head back out for my second 4 mile run of the day later.  I do not have the time for an extended run today, but I can get a couple 4 milers in, so I can bank 8 miles for the day.  That will bring me to 20 for the week so far, with a couple days left to get another run in.  My goal is to go well above 20 every week.  

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

2018 NYC Half Marathon lottery results.....

I think the screenshot below says it all.  Super excited to be doing the 2018 United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon.  The distance bodes well for me based on past performances, but I have only run on one course before.  Luckily, it was a hilly one.  I look forward to pointing my training directly at the half.  My time goal has loosely been 1:25 for it, which ironically is the time qualifier for the marathon and my age group.  Could this be how I get into the TCS NYC Marathon for 2018?

12.06.2017 Jump rope and cross training, not running

My block of time for running shriveled up quickly this morning.  In order to be productive and still get a workout in, I used about 35-40 minutes for cross training and jumping rope.  Here's the workout from today:

5 minute warmup jumping rope

5X through sets of----    Push ups
                                    Curl ups

I only took a couple seconds between the sets of exercises above.

I then did 5 more minutes of jump rope.

3X through sets of----   Pull ups
                                   Jumping Jacks
                                   Air Squats

I finished with a final 5 minutes of jump rope.  The whole session took me about 35 minutes and was a good, non running workout.  

I have some creative plans for tomorrow and Friday to get back some of the miles I lost today.  More on that after I get into it tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

12.05.2017 Hilly 6 miler, humid and warm for December

It's a warmer December day and humid out as it's on and off rain in the forecast.  I overdressed a little on the run and was a bit warm.  I fixed it as best as I could mid run by unzipping my base layer and taking off my winter hat.  I would much rather be too warm than too cold.  

I ran a smooth 6 miler on some hills today without really caring about the pace.  I just clicked the miles off and felt good coming off of 6 miles yesterday.  

Over the next few weeks, it is time to ramp up the miles.  I want to be at 25 or higher every week for awhile.  I am at 12 in two days and want to hit mid to high twenties for the week.  

Tomorrow is the drawing for the NYC Half Marathon in March.  Here's to hoping I get in with a couple buddies I coaxed into signing up for it.  For the rest of you, frankly, I hope you don't take my spot!  :)

Monday, December 4, 2017

12.04.2017 Motivated Monday run and thanks to @FunnerRunner13 and @NathanSportsInc

My Nathan prize pack!
First, I opened my email this morning to a surprise congrats message from the Funner Runner.  Seems I won her big Nathan Sports pack this month as a giveaway for runner safety.  That was a nice surprise on a Monday morning.  Nathan makes great gear and I cannot wait to get my stuff.  I may even take one of the products a do a giveaway here at the Daily Fitness Journal to celebrate.

If you read my post the other day, you know I am trying to make Monday a good start to my running week.  I have been a little slow to come back from the weekend lately, but today that was not the case.  I ran a strong 6 miler today and finished at 47:35 total, averaging under 8:00/mile.  I hit 5 miles at a pace of about 8:04/mile and decided to push it in the final mile to finish strong and get my pace at or below 8:00.

Friday, December 1, 2017

12.01.2017 A 5 miler to finish the week motivated

I didn't really have a lot of time today to run.  I had about 45 minutes to work with so I had to get out and go for my 5 miler quick.  I cruised in just under 40 minutes for run and am happy to have gotten it in.  For me, motivation has a snowball effect.  I have been a little sluggish the last couple months coming off a slow summer.  I finally have been ramping up and even though I was rushed, I was determined to get today in.  In recent weeks, I would probably have skipped it, but I am mentally where I need to be.

I think this is going hand in hand with the fact that I am eating healthy again and my nutrition is a positive part of my training scope right now.  My running and my nutrition feed off each other.  I definitely do a better job with either, when one is dialed in.  

This weekend, I'm going to try and be active as much as possible, without my running hoes on.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

11.30.2017 Quicker 5 miles today, and as the song says, I got issues...

The song says, "I got issues."  Julia Michaels is right, I have some.  Two to be in fact on today's run.  Luckily, both of them are easy to fix and I don't generally make these beginner mistakes.

First, I normally eat between 2 and 2.5 hours before I run.  I like to not have anything bouncing around in there.  Today though, I just forgot.  As I was eating my oatmeal with flax and Chia seeds, I realized.  Damn, I ate about 55-60 minutes before my run.  I definitely felt it in there as soon as I started.  My stomach felt heavy the whole way.  I managed to move on mentally though, as an hour is still a decent wait time, just not what I prefer.

Second, if you read the post about Strides yesterday, you know that you shouldn't do so many or do them so hard that an easy day becomes hard.  Well, I did 10 of them yesterday after not doing them for awhile.  Today, my legs were a little sore.  It wasn't too bad or too detrimental to my run, but I simply overdid it on them.

Somehow, today I ran an even stronger 5miles than I did yesterday though.  I ran smooth for the first 4 miles.  I looked at my mile split after the 4th and realized I ran a 7:27 and felt really good.  I decided to push mile 5 for fun and to see what I had left.  I ended up running a 7:07 last mile and my pace overall was 7:46/mile.  The ever important stride rate today was a strong 181.

Race Report, Upper Saddle River Thanksgiving 5K with Team Never End the Fight

Below, you will find the race report as written by Justin Macaluso.  The race is one of the biggest in Bergen County and every year, it's a signature race for Team Never End the Fight.  Congrats to Justin and the team for a 13th place out of 65 teams, as well as a couple individual PR's set.

This race was much different than any other race I have ever run.  For the first year in four years I would be hanging up my tennis racquet and sneakers to commit to running full time.  I have been running four or five times a week for the past two and a half months and running two local 5Ks up in Rhode Island.  However, I had been focusing on this race, hoping to improve from last year.  I never expected to succeed so much as an individual but as a team as well.

I was woken up by my father at 7am to get ready and get to the race on time.  The Upper Saddle River 5K is, if not the biggest, close to the biggest race in all of Bergen County every year.  With over 2000 runners each year, it's a popular event.  I had a busy two days and past weekend academically at school so I didn't get as many runs in as I thought I could, but I was feeling confident.  My parents and I drove down to pick up my cousins, William and Owen who would be joining us, and we headed over to Cavallini Middle School where the race would go off.  We got there and started warming up, and like almost every runner, my cousins and I started by running up the first hill, which is right at the start for half a mile.  

It eventually came time to get to the starting line and I knew that I was feeling comfortable and ready.  The race went off promptly at 9am and everyone took off.  I knew what I wanted to run and I hit the first mile perfectly at 6:45, ten seconds faster then my first mile last year.  I continued to push and move up as I knew I was in shape to start pushing the second mile a little.  I came across the second mile with a split of 6:35.  I really was feeling good and I had been running with three or four runners the whole way.  I wanted to see what kind of speed I had left for the last 1.11 miles.  I started to push even harder and I didn't feel gassed or uncomfortable so I continued to push and came across the third mile with a crazy 6:05 split and was going nuts realizing I had a chance to break 20 minutes, something I haven't done since high school cross country.  I could see the finish line in sight and the clock was certainly NOT on my side and I came across with a time of 20:03 and I felt amazing.  Of course I felt like I had to throw up, but like my dad says, 'If you don't throw up after a race, you didn't give it your all'.  

I was so happy with my time, but even happier because not only did I set a course PR, but my cousin William set a course PR, with a time of 23:20.  My cousin Owen set a course PR as well, with a time of 32:53!  Also, as a team, Never End The Fight placed 13th overall out of 65 teams, jumping eight spots from last year as well!

As a team Never End The Fight was supported by nine runners:

Justin Macaluso, 20:03, 61st overall
William Rice, 23:20, 224th overall
Jim Macaluso, 28:58, 751st overall
Courtney Kutcha, 29:29, 811th overall
Steve Greenblatt, 30:06, 894th overall
Landon Haan, 30:18, 922nd overall
Owen Rice, 32:53, 1268th overall
Doug Haan, 35:06, 1448th overall
Jere Ann Waters, 41:21, 1812th overall

Special thank you to the Haan family for coming out and supporting Never End The Fight for the first time!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

11.29.2017 5 mile run and strides

60 degrees and sunny on November 29th...Thank you God.  I got out for a nice 5 miler in under 40 minutes today.  It was a comfortable pace and felt good coming off a few days off over the holiday and a busy start to the work week.  

At the end, I ran 10 strides of around 60-70 meters.  After each one, I took a break of about 1-2 minutes walking so that I was fresh for the next one.  I don't normally make a habit of doing strides, but it's one of the things that will help bump you over the top during a successful training cycle.  I want to do them one a week.  

The benefits of strides are numerous.  Here are the basics behind strides from the folks at Runner's World:

Strides Understood
Strides are those 60- to 100-meter "pickups" that runners typically do just before speed work or races. In these instances, they generally warm up well, stretch, and then use strides as a finishing touch to ease into fast-running mode. The reasons for doing strides before a bout of fast running are multiple: muscles need to be flooded with blood, fast-twitch muscle fibers need to be recruited, and race pace must be briefly simulated to get the body and mind ready to run fast.
But why do strides at the end of an easy run? One answer can be found at the finish line of almost any race: People like to run fast at the end of races. We all do it, both the first-place runner turning on his kick in the Olympic 10,000-meter final, or the 450th-place runner sprinting to out-lean the 451st at a local Haul Around the Mall 5-K. Easy-day strides will improve that finishing kick.
Strides also improve your neuromuscular coordination, as the bursts of speed stimulate neural pathways. Just as a pianist's fingers fly over scales that have been practiced repeatedly, your coordination and form become more fluid from these short but frequent doses of speed tacked onto the ends of easy runs. Result: You become faster.
Strides as Speed work
Strides are also a great, non-threatening way to begin speed work if you've never done it before, or if you're coming back from some time off. Consider these eight points when you start running strides:
1. Finish your easy run at a smooth dirt trail, or a park with a flat, grassy area. A track or straight stretch of road also work well.
2. When you start in, gradually accelerate to about 85 percent of your maximum speed for the first third of the stride, hold that pace for another third, and then gradually decelerate over the final third.
3. Easy-day strides should not be timed, and the exact distance of each stride is not critical. About 60 to 100 meters is fine.
4. The easiest way to get a feel for this distance is to do strides on a track or football field. Count each time your feet strike the ground as you stride over the 100 meters. Then when you're away from the track, you'll know how many foot strikes equal 100 meters at a similar pace. For me, 55 to 60 foot strikes equal 100 meters. Therefore, when I do strides I accelerate for 20 foot strikes, hold that speed for 20, and gradually decelerate for 20.
5. A quick turnover is important for speed. Think "quick arms" and your legs will follow.
6. After each stride, walk around and shake out your legs for 90 seconds.
7. Then stride back in the opposite direction.
8. Don't run too many strides at such a fast pace that your easy day becomes another hard day. German Silva did 8 to 10, but you can start with five or six.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

11.22.2017 A little cramped for time, changing the run, Happy Thanksgiving!!

I was a little cramped for time this morning before work so I had to modify my run.  I had planned to go for a solid 8 miles today, in advance of eating a lot tomorrow and drinking gravy.  However, I had to settle for a decent 6 miler.  

My pace for the 6 miles was 8:06/mile.  It totaled at about 48:37 for the run.  Although it was damp from a good rain this morning, it was not raining while I ran and it was mid 40's temp-wise.  Every run I get in this fall/winter that isn't painfully cold is a win.

I hope all of you wear elastic band pant tomorrow and do some epic eating.  I plan to eat a bunch and look forward to spending a few days with the family.  Maybe I will get out for a run, we'll see.  I hope you do too. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

11.21.2017 Tuesday Motivation

One of the features I noticed in Strava the other day was that you could scroll back through past weeks and see a rolling calendar of days associated with workouts.  I don't use Strava much, but my workouts autoload there so I check it out a little.  As I was looking at my past weeks of running, I noticed a very obvious trend.  Monday's, not real motivated.  I have a sprinkling of workouts.  However, Tuesdays and Wednesdays I have a strong history, and a decent finish to the week with some Thursdays and Fridays in there as well.  The weekends, if you follow along, are my rest days and whatever fitness I get with the kids, yard work, races, and such.  

Using my new found information, I want to get that scrolling workout calendar filled more, especially on Mondays.  It really is a good day for me and I think it will set the trend of the week more positively.

Today's run, I got out for a blustery 5.5 mile run at comfortable pace.  I didn't look at the watch until I finished and just went for distance.  I ended with a pace of about 8:09/mile and finished in 44:47. 

Tomorrow, longer run of 8 miles planned.  Nutrition needs to be dialed in soon as my legs and cardiorespiratory system is progressing well.  However, I am carrying around this fat ass and it's slowing me down.

Time to back away from the feedbag, particularly the peanut M&Ms.

Friday, November 17, 2017

11/17/2017 Finishing the week with a 7 miler

For the 4th run of the week, I had planned to go for a 5-6 miler today.  It's been a strong week and I have been feeling good.  I bypassed my run this afternoon as I was running short on time.  Luckily, the opportunity to run showed up while my son was at soccer practice.  

In a windy, chilly 58:31, I was able to run a comfortable 7 miles as he was on the soccer field.  In the current state of fitness I am, I feel pretty comfortable ticking off miles smoothly in the 8:20-8:25/mile range.  As my long run pace right now, I will look to decrease that, as well as increase my mileage.  

My average cadence, 179, is satisfying because today was my last day of 4 straight running.  I topped out at 25 miles for the week.  This represents my best total in a while. 

I hope to race the First Day 5K again in Fair Lawn, giving me a few weeks to bank some miles and get faster.  

Thursday, November 16, 2017

11/16/2017 5 mile recovery run

The weather was nice enough to warm up to low 50's today so my run was not cold a bit.  It did pour on me during mile 4, but it only lasted about 30 seconds.  I ran a comfortable pace of around 8:05-8:10/mile.  It was a little faster than I wanted to go, coming off my 7 miler yesterday.  I felt good though and I am a little cramped for time today so I just went with it and finished in just under 41 minutes.  

Tomorrow, I will run 5-6 miles at a little slower pace and finish a strong week of around 23-25 miles.  I am excited to turn the corner on my lack of running motivation.  Racing is more in my mind coming forward and I still believe I can do some good things, even at my age :)

Oh, and someone about a month ago basically said that I could not qualify for Boston at this point of my life.  Maybe not, but it won't be from a lack of effort.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

11/15/2017 A 7 mile run on cruise control

I had planned on 8 miles today, but was a little crunched for time.  I had to settle for 7 miles.  As far as the pace, I just wanted to settle into a pace and tick off the miles.  I ran pretty much 8:25+/- per mile for the duration.  

I don't care about the stats much, but I do pay attention to stride rate.  I have mentioned this in the past and continue to value it as important to my interest in remaining fast.  I am building some fitness so I am happy to see my stride rate in the high 170's today, maxing out at 187.  In a couple months, I would like to be mid 180's for stride rate.  I think that will translate well to a fast spring racing season.

For the rest of the week, I want to get in some more miles and some strength work.  I am trying to make a concerted effort to include it, but I am having difficulty stayed motivated.  I need to focus.  

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

11/14/2017 A 6 miler and common pacing themes

A ran a 6 miler today in some chilly conditions.  It did feel good though, as I was dressed well.  Days like today are important because it reminds me that, although it's in the 30's, I can be warm.  I dressed well and was not cold a bit.  I know you are like, "30's is not cold weather."  However, anything below 60 is cold for me so today was a win in my book.

As far as the run, I ran 6 miles and went from 8:31/mile in the first down to 7:20/mile in the 6th.  It is a reoccurring theme with my training that everything seems to end up a progression run.  I start off slow, and once I am warmed up, tick off the miles faster and smoother each mile.  

That is what I meant above with pacing themes.  Everyone falls into some sort of a training routine.  Either you do lots of hill work, or you do lots of tempos, or long runs are your thing.  Whatever it is, people gravitate to what seems to work for them.  For me, getting faster over the course of a run works.  The challenge is to bust through your training comforts and do the other stuff.  I need to add solid tempo runs of longer lengths and some strength training.  Hill work and faster stuff I like the most.  

Tomorrow, an eight miler and some strides.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

11/07/17 Chilly 5 miler and marathon goal pace...

Pace bands are often used in races to stay on target.
Well, it's 45 degrees out with a little wind and my hands are frozen.  I cannot type very well.  Tonight's mission, besides some light renovations to the bathroom, is to find my running gloves and hats.  I ran a nice, easy 5 miler at a comfortable pace of around 8:15/mile.  It felt smooth and easy, which is what I wanted.  Tomorrow I will go a little longer and harder to get the week productive.

I thought a lot about pacing during my run today.  The paces I have run in different races, training runs, etc.  I thought about what my body has felt like during different paces and at what distances were involved.  The reason for so much reflection on my pacing is that I want to use the coming months to train for a spring marathon and qualify for Boston.  Because of this, I need to pick a goal pace and base all my training off this pace.  It's nothing magical and I may be making this a bit dramatic, my apologies, but I am going to reach a bit and go for a goal pace of 7:30/mile for the marathon in the spring.  If I can do that, which will be quite an effort, I will finish up my 26.2 in about 3:16:38.  That is really cooking along, but I think I can do it.  

I have run 2 half marathons with a lot of hills at a pace of around 7:12/mile and I have a lot more training intelligence this time around.  We will see if this old body can handle it.

I am going to post my training schedule soon.

Friday, November 3, 2017

11/03/2017 Just a fast 3 miler to get out

It was beautiful out today, early in November.  The weather was sunny and about 70 degrees.  I got out and squeezed a quick 3 miler in this afternoon and ran the 3 miles in splits of 8:31, 7:53, and 7:21.  This week coming up, I will begin to stretch out the mileage.  

As I track my stats, the things i mainly pay attention to are miles, splits, and my cadence.  As my fitness goes up, I go from low 170's in my cadence up to the low to mid 180's.  Currently, I am in the mid to high 170's consistently.  It does help to be able to tune into my fitness and realize I am progressing, even without necessarily being able to go a lot longer or faster.  As I have seen in the past, as my cadence goes up, I am getting stronger.  It helps me trust the training, especially in the early stages.  

This weekend, though I don't normally, I am going to try and squeeze in some sort of fitness, hopefully running.  Usually, I try to keep Saturday and Sunday for rest days, but I am feeling motivated and it's early in my training so I know my body can handle it.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

11/01/2017 5 miler, progressive Halloween burner

Coming off the binge of Reese's Peanut Butter cups yesterday feels good.  They tasted great, but it's time to train.  All during my run today, my thoughts were on racing.  I miss it.  I will WATCH the NYC marathon this weekend, for the first time since 2014.  Looking ahead, my thoughts of racing include the NYC Half in March, a spring marathon, and my part of the Franklin Lakes Triathlon.  I need to run fast again and compete.  Once I am game ready, I will try to squeeze in a race, I'll let you know.

Today's run was a progressive 5 miler.  I am still sore from the workout I did on Monday, but the running definitely loosened that up.  After about the first mile or so, I was feeling smooth.  Here are the splits from my run.

Mile 1-  8:31
Mile 2-  8:19
Mile 3-  8:10
Mile 4-  7:35
Mile 5-  7:00

I'm happy to run and get it done early in the day.  It's also time to start stretching these runs out and build 6, 7, 8, etc. miles.  Once I lose a couple pounds from the healthy eating and the cross training, I think I will start to see some serious fitness gains.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

10/31/2017 A haunted, spooky 3 mile run and some chilly thoughts

Not really, it wasn't spooky or haunted.  I ran a 3 miler in the sun, around the safest, most boring neighborhood in New Jersey.  However, I had to grab you into the post didn't I?

As everyone I saw was mentioning how beautiful it is outside and how nice a day it is for a run, I lamented silently.  I'm not cranky about it, but I prefer warmth as you know.  Sure, the sun is nice, but the wind is chilly.  It put a pointed thought in my head that, as I am committing to a full year of running, I need to start laying out a plan to deal with the cold.  Last year, I ran well for a couple of the winter months, and then trailed off when I got busy with the house selling stuff.  

I know I can handle the cold if I'm prepared.  Going into this cold season, I am confident based upon last season's runs in some of those days in the teens and the 20's.  The training plan is coming together and I look forward to sharing it in the coming days.  

Happy Halloween!  Eat a lot of candy and regret it so you can workout tomorrow even harder

Monday, October 30, 2017

10/30/2017 30 minute workout, lots to do

Today, I had possibly the worst headache I have ever had, from the second I woke up.  I don't know what they are from exactly, but I get these headaches from time to time.  The frequency is directly related to how well I am eating and/or working out.  I know that as I am on the low end of my nutrition level and the working out is sporadic.  When I am going right, at most I will get these headaches 1-2 times a year.  When I am off the chain healthy living wise, I get them at least once a month.  This is my second in the last 2-3 weeks.  

I have been disappointed in 2017 as a whole running and fitness wise.  I have been thinking about making a great end of this year and really pushing myself through 2018.  Currently, I am building a challenging workout plan for now until June 2018.  It will be more varied than I have ever done, by my choice.  Today, I decided to go with a 30 minute workout instead of running in case my headache caused me to end early.  I started with a 5 minute jump rope session.  I will admit, the bouncing of the head did make me think about quitting.  Luckily, it ended pretty quickly.  After the 5 minute jump rope, I did the following exercises without rest in between.

1 min plank
pull ups
lunge w/twist
curl ups
push ups
jumping jacks

I did 4 full sets of the exercises with virtually no rest.  At the end of the sets, I finished up with another 5 minutes of jump rope.  The whole workout took me exactly 30 minutes to finish and magically, no headache anymore.

In the coming days, more running, more workouts, sharing of the plan, and in general, more Daily Fitness Journal.

Friday, October 20, 2017

10/20/2017 Fast finish, solid week

For my 4th run of the week today, I decided on a 5 miler with a big final mile. I ran somewhat of a progressive run, without paying attention, but my final mile was all out. I ran mile 5 in about 7 minutes. I know it isn't a blistering pace, but a couple weeks ago, even 7:00/mile was not doable. I'm getting there.

For the week, I finished up at 21 miles. A solid effort. A big push will come over the next few weeks as I get the nutrition in ordxer and lose a few pounds. That, coupled with some fitness should show me some decent results.

I look forward to the pain sometimes. Today's final mile was a good example of that. A lot of runners are sadistic and enjoy the pain. I have a sick believe that the more painful the workout, the more proud of it I am. Soon, i will look to some repeat session and hill work designed at just that, pain.

It can make racing feel easier that it is, sorta :)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

10/18/2017 Stretched it out to 6 miles

I have been stuck on 5 milers for the last few weeks and for no real reason.  Today, it is beautiful outside.  The perfect fall day.  Sunny, 50-60 degrees and you cannot ask for anything else.  I stretched out my run to 6 miles today and held my pace to a strong 8:00/mile.  The first mile was about 8:30, but after that I was in a rhythm.  Some days it just feels good.  With racing on my mind, it is also easier to move.

I have been looking up races lately and want to have a fallback or two should I not get into the NYC half in March.  A couple friends (Fetus and Homer) invited me to a 10 miler in January on Long Island, but Saturdays in January are tough because of my son's wrestling schedule.  I have to look at a couple more that I am eyeing and see if I can squeeze one in.  Oh, I was also invited to the LA Marathon by my other firned, but it's the same day at NYC, sorry Basis!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

10/17/2017 Another 5 miles and some hills, racing thoughts

I am starting to feel the momentum.  I ran another 5 miles today, in exactly 40 minutes, and with some hills built in.  A clear path begins with some race intentions.  Sometimes that calls for a new race or a new timeframe, or a new distance.  I hope to challenge myself in all three of those areas in 2018.  Without much left to run in 2017, I have begun to reflect on the year and it feels like a lost one for me.  The crazy schedule of family, work, and life made racing difficult and I didn;'t really force the racing issue.  

I look forward to being focused and making 2018 a better year all around; family, life, work, racing, and more!  For now, my daily momentum will have to do and I will search for some good race choices.  If anyone has any thoughts on races, please share.

Monday, October 16, 2017

10/16/2017 Progression run, finding a race

Its a cooler day today, and I am not a fan.  Give me 85 degrees now!  I had a few days off so my legs felt fresh for today's run.  I started off with a 5 miler in mind and after the first couple, I decided to make it a progression run of that distance.  My splits were the following:

Mile 1-8:37
Mile 2-8:13
Mile 3-7:46
Mile 4-7:30
Mile 5-7:09

That 7:09 was nice at the end.  It made me feel fast again.  I'm currently not fast, but it felt better than I have in months.  Over the last couple weeks, even though I am running, I feel like I am shuffling around.  I need a direction to go with my training.  I decided that, in addition to my normal June race in Franklin Lakes, I would add a spring race and bank on it.  I am not guaranteed entry, but I put my name in for the lottery of the NYC Half Marathon in March today.  I am excited that I have a plan and that time of year is good for me (no soccer!). 

I look forward to training through the winter and I will have plenty of time to find a couple fall back races should I not get accepted.  For today, I have a plan and will continue to run.

Here is the link to the application:

NYC Half Marathon Lottery Application

Thursday, October 12, 2017

10/12/2017 5 miler faster-ish

I got out for a five miler today and it's nice to be on a bit of a roll.  I am a long way from running fast, but I tried to be faster than the last few runs.  I managed to run it in about 38:48, which breaks down to about 7:45/mile.  Considering my first my was 8:34, I am happy with today's run.

I am now attempting to add my nutrition to the mix as I need to drop some weight.  I just feel sluggish when I run, even today, when I went faster.  As I continue, my motivation snowballs and I feel like I am headed in the right direction.  I know, with a little effort, by the middle of November, my weight can be where I want it to be.  For now, I need to plug along and back off the food.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

10/11/2017 Muggy 4 miler

Still fat, but I am running.  The weather is cooler, but seemed really muggy.  I only ran 4 miles, but I am sweating like a pig.  I look forward to the days when I can run a 6 miler with ease and feel like I'm gliding to a point.  I'll get there.  

On a side note, I do not know why I am following the TCS NYC Marathon on my Facebook.  Everyday, it's a new post asking about if you are excited, talking about 25 days until you finish, etc.  It hurts a little every time.  I have to try and get in again next year.  There is something about a big race that is special and that a small race just cannot give you.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

World Mental Health Day with Team Never End the Fight

Today, October 10th, is World Mental Health Day.  I am a proud member and supporter of Team
Never End the Fight.  Please take to time to support and educate yourself and others on such an important day.  The truth is, it's more than a day and needs to be a bigger priority for our World.  

Here are some important links for you, friends, family, coworkers, etc.  There are millions of people out there having difficult times, if you can help one, please try.

World Health Organization

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Never End the Fight

Mental Health America

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

Please share!!

10/10/2017 I'm baaaaack

I know, I know.  You all have missed me and my ramblings.  I have been a little lost for the last couple months.  Since the triathlon relay precisely, I have been without running and am now just getting back into it.  I have been searching for weeks to figure out what has happened to my motivation and purpose.  I'm still not sure what's up, but the best I can come up with is that I am not running the NYC Marathon this year.  I have been bummed by that fact for months and probably will continue to be until the next time I am in Staten Island early one November morning for a nice jog :)

I think the real need I have is for a new race or two.  I have my sights set on a couple spring races that I am going to run by the logistical commander soon and I will update you when can.  Last week I teased that there would be big news coming from the Daily Fitness Journal.  Maura said that I made it seem like I was going to be giving out free stuff.  Actually, my big announcement is that I am going to attempt a Boston Qualifier in the spring.  Basically, this means that at my age, I will need to run a 3:20 marathon.  To elaborate a little, this means that I need to average somewhere between a 7:37-7:38/mile for 26.2 miles.  More on this later.

For those that thought I was giving shit away for free, my bad.  Stayed tuned though as I have a couple things that I can put together in a goody bag and I will do a Halloween giveaway.  For now, I am back, running, and I will be here regularly with my running and more.

Today, I ran a solid effort 5 miler in about 40:40.  I feel like I am i an ok place running-wise, however, I am fat from eating so I am dragging around about 15-20 lbs. too much.  Time to check myself a bit eating wise.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

06/13/2017 No excuses needed, none given

Where have I been for the last month?  I know some people are wondering that have been loyal readers in the not too distance past.  Here's the scoop, I wasn't motivated.  However, let me be clear, I wasn't motivated to blog or be a blogger.  

I have been running, mileage is there, hill repeats, short sprints, 400-1600m repeats, I've been going to work.  Up to last month though, I was getting tired of the grinding of the blog.  It wasn't fun and I needed a break to re-evaluate.  After about a week or so, I even stopped stressing about it and just said, I'll go back when I feel like it.  

I started the blog as a way to journal my training without using a pen and paper.  I started adding stuff to that so that anyone reading might gain a little knowledge on shoes, races, training, products, etc.  However, it got to be too much.  I was way more concerned with trying to connect with more and more companies, network, and grow, rather than simply write.  I liked the blog a lot more when it was simply me writing about what I wanted to write about, rather than stressing about making the blog more and more.

For the foreseeable future, I am done with the hustle.  I am a dad, husband, runner, coach, PE teacher, and down the line somewhere, a blogger.  I do not need a second job, I started this as a hobby and that is what it will be.  

My apologies to those looking for their fix of the Daily Fitness Journal for the last month, but it is what it is.  

Saturday is the Triathlon Relay and I am ready.  We are hoping to get back on the podium where we belong.  I will send out some pics at some point.  Until then, get running.  I am.

Friday, May 12, 2017

05/11/2017 5 mile run

I have been a day late and a dollar short lately with my posts, but I promise to get back on track.  Priorities are priorities though, and just getting my runs in is my biggest challenge.  I ran a 5 miler like I planned to do yesterday.  It took me about 41 and change.  I averaged about 8:14/mile.  Today, I will run some repeats of some length.  I haven't decided.  Probably 400 meter repeats.  

I'll get back to you.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

05/09/2017 5 mile progression run and 05/10/2017 hill repeats

I had intended to do mile repeats on Tuesday afternoon, but I got caught on the phone with house business and ran right through my window of opportunity.  Consequently, I ended up getting a block of time back in the evening while Connor was on the soccer field.  I decided to do a 5 mile progression run.  Mile one was done in about 8:30 and I ended with mile 5 being run in 6:24.  

I am happy with that, knowing mile 5 could have gone even faster had I pushed it.  

Today, I just finished up a little hill work.  I totaled 5.5 miles in all.  I ran, after warming up with a slow jog, 10 X 200 meter hill climbs.  Each climb was around 40 seconds, followed by a slow jog back down.  After the 10 repeats, I jogged a cool down to finish.

The entire workout took less than an hour, but felt strong.  Tomorrow, I will jog 5-7 miles and finish the week with a strong tempo or some repeats on Friday.

Monday, May 8, 2017

05/08/2017 5 miler and turning up the speed work for the next few

I got in a chilly 5 miler today in almost exactly 40 minutes.  A little audiobook and a little autopilot and I was done before I knew it.  Starting tomorrow, I plan to try and do 2 speed sessions a week up until the final week before the races I have at the end of this month and next month.  

Speed work can be a huge benefit to those trying to make the jump from good to great race times.  The problem is,most people are intimidated by it and feel like their version of speed work isn't.  

The simple fact is, anyone that is healthy enough to run a few times a week can start to do speed work and can build up to some strong workouts, for them.

Tomorrow, I plan to do some mile repeats to see where I am.  I am thinking 3-5 intervals and a 400-800 meter jog recovery between.  I will learn a lot tomorrow :)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

05/03/2017 How to beat that stale feeling? Do it with a 10X400 meter interval session

I have been in the middle of a funky stale feeling in my running, even with the nice weather.  I am guessing it's because of the house selling/buying stress, but I don't know.

I was actually dreading my run today, but I knew it was important.  I did however change my decision about what to do as I was beginning to run.  I had planned on getting some miles in and working the speed stuff next week.  However, I decided to kick my own ass today and do some repeats.  I warmed up for a mile and then got into it.

I ran a set of 10X400 meter repeats.  I did all of them in between 82-86 seconds and I jogged a 400 meter recovery between each.  My total workout for the day from start to finish was 6 miles.  This gives me 15 miles for the week and I am planning on another 10-12 to give me a strong week.  

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

05/02/2017 Today's 5 miler, fitting it all in

Smoke and mirrors...That's how I fit in as much as I do.  Besides work, juggling the sports schedules of 3 kids, a 15 month old, trying to sell a house, trying to find a house to buy, I am running too. :)

I am a step ahead of it all!  Barely, though.  Today, I got out for a nice 5 miler in about 70 degree temps.  Yesterday evening, I ran a 4 miler around the soccer complex as my 7 year old was at tryouts for soccer for 2017-2018.  Sure, people must think I'm a dork, but you gotta get it in when you can.  I have some mileage to get in as well as some speed work.

This week, I am try to get in around 30 miles.  Next week, I am going to get a couple speed sessions in and I want to do that for the next few weeks.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Back to backs, getting moving

To say I have been busy is an understatement.  I won't bore you with the details, but the running is picking back up.  Yesterday, I ran a comfortable 7 miler at a pace of about 8:28/mile.  I felt good the whole way and felt like I could have banged out a 12-15 miler.  Cruise control with an audiobook is like a ticking clock for me.  

Today, I ran a similar 6 miler in almost exactly the same pace, listening to the same audiobook.  There is a comfort in being able to simply tick off the miles.  I wasn't running fast, and I'm not bragging, but I was born with the ability to simply go, and keep going.  I'm not exceptional by any means and there are lots and lots of others out that that are as good or better than I, but I am lucky to be able to go.

Over the next 6 weeks, I will be combining miles and speedwork as much as I can get in and as much as my body can handle.  As the weathers swings more positively for me, I begin to feel the warm running weather I look forward to.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

04/19/2017 Brisk 6 miler, new revelations

Is that how you spell revelations?  I think so.  Anyway, I got out for a strong 6 miler today, pacing at 8:00/mile for the duration.  I thought it was going to be warmer when I got dressed, so I wore shorts and a long sleeve with a short sleeve over it.  It is only in the high 40's though, with some wind.  It was a little chilly out there.  I did have a revelation :), my legs didn't mind that temp.  It was my hands and my bald head.  I am used to wearing pants when ever it is below 60ish.  I am now, at the age of 43, realizing that my legs may not be the wimpy part of me.  It must be my geriatric hands and old, bald head.  

The run itself was uneventful.  I started with an 8:50 in the first mile and worked faster each tick, until my last mile was in 7:25.  Overall, as I said above, my average time was 8:00/mile, finishing in 48:0-something total.  

It's these spring days where the sun is nice and bright, but the temps are low that kill me.  I need the heat.