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.

Monday, April 17, 2017

04/17/2017 Boston Marathon, Patriot's Day, and a 5 miler

Nope, I didn't fall in a ditch somewhere while I was out on a run.  I simply have been freaking busy.  We are selling our house and attempting to find a new place that will house our growing family.  Consequently, in the last couple weeks, we have been painting, cleaning garbaging, donating, seeing, etc. etc. etc.  The house, for all intents and purposes is barren of stuff in the open.  We have looked at 90 houses in the last week, and have exited our own house multiple times, with the dog, so others can see ours.  

However, the stars aligned today on this beautiful day, so that I could get out for a 5 miler.  After live streaming the Boston Marathon this morning, I was well motivated.  By the way a U.S. runner took 3rd (Jordan Hasay), another 4th (Des Davila) in the women's race and a U.S. male took 2nd (Galen Rupp), well done!

I have exactly 2 months until my target race.  I will lose 10 lbs. and be race ready.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

04/05/17 5 miler and an exciting new product, @DrinkClick a coffee/protein marriage

I got back out for a 5 miler today and I need to string some runs together.  I have been quite busy at work, home, kids, sports, etc.  I have a couple months to push my physical limits, nutritionally stay on track, and see what I can do in my upcoming races.  I will get after it.

I received a new product to review from the great company Click; seriously, where has this combo been all my life?  I love coffee, and you can add in the best protein powder supplement as well as vitamins and nutrients.  Awesome, plus no added sugar.  My full review to follow in the coming weeks.

Monday, March 27, 2017

03/27/2017 Today's easy run, w/audio

After a nice weekend, free of running, it was good to get back out and start the week.  I had a 6 miler on my calendar today, easy and fresh.  I got out and just plugged into an audiobook I got a few weeks ago and simply ran.  I didn't look at my watch, didn't really think about my run, and I simply tried to enjoy my book and run.

After about 5.5 miles, I decided to stretch it out to a 7 miler since my body felt good.  I was really just easy running the whole time, looking back, my splits were between 8:30-9:00/mile.  It was nice to run easy, knowing I could kind of just keep going if I wanted to.  

Disconnecting from my watch, specific pace, and really caring about anything except for the run was nice.  I recommend it.  It is easy to get caught up worrying about too much when you have goals like race times, distances, podiums, etc. to worry about.  However, it's just as important to let all that go sometimes and run.  

Tomorrow, more of my audiobook, more miles, still less worry about results.  

Thursday, March 23, 2017

03/23/2017 Speedwork, 8X 400 meters, done

As I had prioritized, I completed my first speedwork session in a long time today.  I ran a warm up jog of about 3/4 of a mile and proceeded into a session of 8X 400 meter repeats with 400 meter jog recoveries in between.  My times in the 400's went from the 1:31-3:32 range in the beginning, down to 1:27 in repeats number 6 and 7.  I finished up my last 400 in a fastest time of the day at 1:26.

I also am happy to report that my 400 meters was on the higher side, probably closer to .26 miles than .25, the stretch of road I used and my watch are close to .25, but I err on the longer side when I run them out.

I'm not sure what I would have felt like today had I run the 8 miles yesterday, but I know that I felt good to go from my first step today.  Maybe going with 6 miles yesterday paid off, maybe not.

Since Sunday, I have run 26 miles, with only a 5 miler left tomorrow.  It will be a strong week overall, and a well deserved rest weekend before I get back into it on Monday.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

02/22/2017 Today's run, priorities, and some tidbits

I know, I know, I know.  Just this morning I wrote that I had run 6 miles yesterday because I was sore and that I would do my 8 miler today.  Well, a coupe things today quickly changed my run to 6 miles.  First, it is F-ing cold.  The temps are in the low 30's, but there is a wind advisory and it is ranging from 20 mph up to almost 50 mph gusts.  Wind chill temps are 15-20 degrees.  I hate it.  Second, it is my 4th day running in a row, 21 miles total.  It would have been 23 total if I had done an 8 miler.  This isn't a huge difference and fitness wise, no big deal.  However, tomorrow I have my first speed work session scheduled in a long time.  I want to do 8-10X 400 meter repeats tomorrow and I want them to go well.  As I ran today, I decided that shaving 2 miles off today would most likely help me tomorrow rather than hurt my fitness.

It is about my priorities during my training schedule.  Right now, my priority this week is getting those 400 meter repeats in tomorrow.  I haven't done speed work in a long time and I am itching to run fast again.  Tomorrow may help me as much mentally as it will physically.  A couple weeks from now, maybe I stretch out a long run more when I am feeling good, because that week, my priority isn't a speed session.

A couple tidbits for you:

First, my current giveaway can be found here, Collagen Sport Recovery.  Stop over, sign up for nothing and win a tub of protein powder, FREE!  Oh, and please share it out as much as you can.

Second, I was talking to a friend the other day about pacing.  He has a hard time figuring out his pace.  My suggestion to him was this.  Go to a track and jog a mile.  That is your long run pace.  After doing that, you are warmed up.  Then run a mile as fast as you can sustain.  That is your fast time.  You can add about 20 seconds per mile to that pace for your 5K speed.  Next, after walking a lap, run a third mile at a pace somewhere in between the first two.  It should be both comfortable and somewhat strong.  This is a pace you can run often.  Finish up with a 4th mile slow jog.  During each of the miles you run, take stock of how you feel and what each pace feels like.  Your mind can assign the effort to the pace and you have the information moving forward.  I would do this every couple months as you get more fit and your fitness increases.

03/21/2017 Yesterday's 6 miler, sore

Coming off the race Sunday and the hard 6 miler on Monday, I was quite sore yesterday.  It wasn't anything more that regular soreness, but I didn't want to build to much more on top of that.  Overuse injuries happen all the time.  I decided to switch up from the planned 8 miles down to a slower, more comfortable 6 miles.  I ran the same route as the day before, just this time I did it in 48+ minutes, not the 46 minutes from Monday.  

It was definitely the right call to switch up.  The legs are happier now, plus I can simply run my 8 miler today, switching yesterday and today like I had to do a few times in January and February because of weather.  

I will say, yesterday's 6 miler was in the sun and low 50's, nice weather.  Today, my F-ing 8 miler will now be done in the 30's with a wind chill down in the low 20's or teens.  I need warm weather.

Featured Post: Collagen Sport Recovery by @NeoCellHealth & Giveaway

For the last month or so, I have been using a recovery powder called, Collagen Sport Recovery.  I was lucky enough to win a separate product from the fine people at NeoCell called Biotin Bursts and they reached out to me when they found out I have a website and review products in the realm of fitness and nutrition.  I have been drinking the French Vanilla flavor after my more substantial runs (prior to being sick!) and I am pleased with Collagen Sport for a couple reasons.

First off, the taste is real vanilla flavor, especially as I mix it most of the time with fat free milk.  I always tend to like shakes and powders mixed with fat free milk or almond milk considerably more that when mixed with water.  To me, with a milk product, the powder becomes a shake.  However, with water, most of the time, they seem a little thin for my liking.  The Collagen Sport mixes with the milk really well.  It is a nice consistency and tastes more true to it's flavor, and not chemically produced.

Second, as a recovery drink, I am impressed with the nutritional product information.  As you can see
in the picture to the right, the numbers are impressive.  Per serving numbers are great for protein-30g, sugar-0g, sodium-244mg, potassium-21mg, fiber-2.25g, and all the vitamins listed as well are packed pretty well for 30% of the recommended DV (vitamin C is at 167%).  I am a big believer in avoiding sugar and a lot of protein mixes slide it in for flavor strength.  It's nice to see that NeoCell did it right and kept the sugar out.

Third, the recovery powder is only as good as it's delivery.  Does it deliver on the recovery side, not just the nutrition side.  As far as I am concerned, Yes.  I am happy with how I feel after the workout and using the product.  After my longer runs, I made a point to make sure I was getting a full serving within 20 minutes of finishing my run, which is recommended.  I got into a routine of drinking as I cooled down and my body has stayed strong even through some crunched weeks of miles and running 20-30 miles in 4 or 5 days.  As a product, if you are looking to add some protein, during recovery, this is a great choice.  The timing of the protein intake is beneficial during recovery and the product boasts great nutritional elements not often found in your garden variety protein powders.

Check out the full product line of NeoCell, as well as connecting with them on twitter @NeoCellHealth or on Facebook here or on Instagram @NeoCell.  Please enter and share the giveaway below for free products from NeoCell!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 20, 2017

03/20/2017 Today's 6 miler and a 3 month plan

I have three months of a plan set up now that I am healthy again.  I have laid out my workload in front of me old school, paper schedule style.  I checked off the first two events so far, yesterday's race and today's 6 mile run.  There is something about a plan put in place that makes me confident of where I can go.  I do not often lay such a long road ahead, but sometimes, that's exactly what you need to do.  You can see my expectations in the pictures.  Does that mean I am going to get every single workout in and
perfectly done?  I wish, but I will try to and modify when needed.

It isn't about the single workout, it's about the overall program.  Also, this is just my running plan, I will add other bits and pieces whenever possible.

Today, I am a little sore in the quads from yesterday's race.  I stretched it out with a 6 mile run and ran the beginning in around 24 minutes for the first three miles and ran the second half in around 22 minutes and change.  I just felt good and pushed the pace a bit at the end.  It keeps me from getting bored, but I have to be careful not to overdue my easier days.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

03/19/2017 Race Report: Fair Lawn St. Patrick's Day Run

In what was my first run in 2 1/2 weeks, I race the inaugural St. Patrick's Day race in Fair Lawn this morning.  The race was put on by the great folks at RaceFaster.  RaceFaster is a set of training professionals for runners, triathletes, youth runners, as well as having a store front and putting on a handful of races.  For a 1st year race, I was pleased.  It was affordable, featured a few sponsors the morning of, and marked the course well.  The course was the same as another race run, the Fair Lawn 1st Day 5K I have done.

I have been on the shelf for the last 2 1/2 weeks with a nasty, lingering sinus infection.  I was 3 days into a great week, 20 miles in feeling good, when I woke up broken and feeling like garbage back on March 1st.

I was supposed to run a race last weekend in Hillsdale, NJ, but I felt horrible still and it was on 15 degrees when I woke up that day.  All this week, I was slowly getting better with the medicine I was on.  Finally, I felt really back to normal on Friday.

Toeing the line this morning in a breezy, cold 30ish degree weather, I was really not sure where I would be at the end of the race.  I alway try to give whatever I have, and I did that, but before the race, I wasn't sure what that entailed.  Listening to a couple runner dudes at the start, I overheard one guy say he was going to run around 6:20ish pace.  His buddy said he just wanted to be under 21 minutes.  I was happy to hear those two because I figured if they held their end of the bargain, I would like to use them to finish up somewhere in the middle, around 20 minutes.  

As my race began, I was about 20 feet behind the dude that wanted to run 6:20's and for the first mile, I was even with the other due that wanted to go sub 21 minutes.  I didn't mid that, however, as I knew he was running a little faster than he had talked about; we hit mile one in 6:25.

After that, dude 2 wised up and dropped off a bit as I held pace.  I hit mile 2 in a solid split of 6:29, happy to keep similar pace.  I had built a little lead on slower dude, and the faster dude had built a little bit more on me moving through mile 3.  

The final 1.1 miles was a little slower, but I could not be happier.  After having no idea what I could do after being sick and off for 2 1/2 weeks, I rolled in at 20:10.  I finished the race in 7th place overall, and 1st in my age group.  

Now that I am healthy again, screw the cold, I am back training hard tomorrow.  I am healthy, injury free, and I have 3 months to train for the triathlon relay.  It's time to go for it.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

03/01/2017 Soggy 6 miler with hills

The weather is going to run the gamut this week it seems.  Monday and Tuesday were low 50's and sunny, mild.  Today, the temps are in the 60's, but it is basically pouring out.  Tomorrow and Friday, the temps will fall constantly and bottom out in the low 30's on Friday with a chance of some light snow.  Jesus, global warming freak out at it's finest this week?  

At least, so far, I have gotten in some good work.  Including the 6 miler I just finished up, I am at 20 miles for the week.  I should be at 25-30 by Friday, plus a body weight workout.

Today's run, I just went out and ran 6 miles for a comfortable run with a couple strong hills in the middle.  I ran about 8:09/mile pace, finishing up a few ticks under 49 minutes.  With two climbs of between .6 and .9 miles in the middle, I am satisfied with that work.

Tomorrow, I am toying with whether or not to run a Fartlek 5 miler or get in a couple mile repeats or 400 meter repeats.  I will get back to you.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

02/28/2017 Goodbye February, ran you out

At low 50's and sunny today, it was a perfect long run kinda day.  I planned and ran an 8 miler in about 1:01 and change.  I felt strong, at a clip of around 7:40/mile.  As I was assessing my run at various points, I decided that at this point, I feel strong.  I don't feel fast yet, but the strength is building.  I have mentioned it a few times in the last couple weeks, I will be moving to some speed work to utilize my strength and build speed as well.  

My stride rate continues to be on my mind as I run and today I was at an average of 183 SPM with a max of 195 SPM.  My goal is to get my average up between 186-190 SPM.

Monday, February 27, 2017

02/27/2017 Well rested, time to press on

I am just shy of 4 months left of training until my featured race, the triathlon relay.  Coming off a week vacation spent bouncing around NJ with the family, sadly, it was back to work today.  The bright spot, however, is that my schedule when working is more regimented and I can make sure my running happens.  

I started back up like I never took a break and banged out a 10K run in about 51 minutes.  I hovered around 8:10-8:25/mile and it felt good to be back out there.  It is time ti=o get serious, build miles, and begin to implement my speed workouts.  Over the next two weeks, I plan to get in 2 long runs of 8-10 miles, as well as 2 speed sessions of mile repeats and either a pyramid or some straight 400 meter repeats.  Throw in a bunch of runs to build mileage in there and the next 14 days should be eventful.  I also, hopefully, will race on March 12th, at a local 5K.  More details to follow.  

Friday, February 17, 2017

02/17/2017 Windy, chilly--2 X 4 mile run

Today, coming off yesterday's lack of running, I wanted to get in some good work.  I decided, since I have a couple smaller breaks, I would do two separate runs.  I ran the first 4 miler in a quick pace of 7:09/mile, total run time was about 28:37.  It was a good, strong run with a little hill work in there.

My second run, on an overlapping route, but slightly different, went 29:27 total, for a pace of 7:21/mile.  Another strong run pace.  Both runs in general were great, considering they were back to back, with only about 1.5 hours in between.  Also, with a temp of about 35, and windchill bringing it down to feeling like low 20's,  I am happy with today's work.

I am coming up on a week off from work, home, hopefully busy with the wife, house, and kids.  I am committing to 4 workouts this next week, running or cross training doesn't matter, but I want 4 workouts of at least 30 minutes.  That is my goal.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

02/16/2017 Forgot running clothes, paid for it...

I was supposed to do some mile repeats today.  However, as I walked inside, I realized that I forgot to bring my cold weather running gear.  Since it's 35 out and I am not running is shorts or just a long sleeve shirt and light pants, I had to scrap the running.  I'm a little annoyed at myself, but whatever.  I made myself pay with the workout I had planned for tomorrow instead of the run.

Yesterday, I wrote down as many simple exercises as I could instantly.  It's nothing earth shattering, but I wanted simple things that I normally do, but with more of them.  As little equipment as possible was also a consideration.  I ended up with this list below of 25 different moves.  All I used was a kettle bell, my 2 farmer's walk buckets, 2 8lb. dumbells, a 12lb. med ball, a chair, and my inverted row pull up bar.

I warmed up jumping rope for 2 minutes, then:

10 pull ups
20 lunges
20 bird dogs
20 dips
Inverted Row
20 squats
45 sec. superman
20 med ball throws
20 box jumps
1 min. plank
10 inverted rows (see pic)
10 step ups, carrying 30 lbs. each side
30 crunches
2 min. farmer's walk
10 burpees
20 leg scissors
20 single arm kettle cleans
20 kettle swings
20 push ups
40 mountain climbers
25 jumping jacks
45 sec. wall sit
20 med ball slams
10 squat jumps
30 russian twists
10 T push ups, holding 8lb. dumbells

I am tired now!  I finished up with a minute of jump rope so I could get my workout to 30 minutes from start to finish.  I only took a couple seconds between exercises, simply to move to get ready.  A lot of my muscles are shaking right now. :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

02/15/2017 Cruising a 7 miler & a weight update w/my @ToiletTreeProd Scale

Today, as planned, I ran a 7 miler at a comfortable, but not challenging pace.  I say I was cruising because I just kind of settled in and ran, finishing up 7 miles in 54:31, a pace of 7:47/mile.  It's hard to believe the level of fitness I have attained in only about 6 weeks.  I am still a ways away from where I want to be, but the results are coming.  

As for my weight, I stepped on the scale this morning and it read 150.2 lbs.  That is nearly 18.5 lbs. down from January 2nd.  I have stuck to my healthy eating pretty well and have worked out and ran a lot.  It's coming.  I want another handful of pounds to come off and to continue to build strength.  

The picture is of my new scale from ToiletTreeProducts.  It is a great, clean looking, accurate scale.  My review and giveaway to come soon!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

02/14/2017 Happy Valentine's Day!! Frozen 7 miler with hill pickups

Well, Happy Valentine's Day to my beautiful wife and kids.  There are only a couple days of the year devoted to the ones you loves, but they definitely deserve them.  My wife is the best and she puts up with a lot!  I am a pain to live with :)

Today, it is freezing outside, 30ish degrees and a bit windy.  It really feels more like 20 degrees out there.  I just kept telling myself, "When you get back, you can have coffee and peanut butter!"  I'm serious, that is exactly what I repeated the whole time.

I ran a strong 7 miler today, at a comfortable pace of around 8:15/mile, except for 4 hill pickups I did.  Each of the two figure eight loops I did has a middle hill of about 1/3 of a mile.  Each time through, I ran the hill fast.  That gave me 4 pickups going uphill, each time 1/3 of a mile.  For the run total, I ran about 55 minutes over the 7 miles.

The rest of the week should look something like this, possibly the days and runs switching if time calls for it:

Wednesday---7 miler, easy
Thursday---mile warm up and a few mile repeats, then cool down, 6-7 total
Friday---5 miler easy + a HIIT workout of at least 30 min.

Enjoy the rest of the day with your loved ones!!!!

Monday, February 13, 2017

02/13/2017 Too much wind, let's cross train :)

After a wild couple days of snow, ice, rain, sleet, and now massive gusting winds, I'll stay inside today for a little cross training workout.  I am coming off a couple days sans working out or running, so I am chomping at the bit to get moving.  I modified the workout video I posted the other day with the downward burpee progression.  My weak ass started at 10 burpees, ran to the other side of my gym, then did 9 burpees, back to the first side of the gym, and so on.  Here is the workout in it's entirety:

5 minute jump rope
10-1 burpee progression with running in between
2 minute farmer's walk
20 lunges
20 bird dogs
2 minute farmer's walk
20 squats
2X30 sec superman's
5 pull ups
20 dips
15 push ups

In all, the workout took me 25 minutes total.  I wish I had just walked fast to warm up and then tried to start my burpee progression at maybe 15-1.  I was a little tired in the legs to start.  I think 15 is a good, fresh starting place.  I want to work up to the 20-1 progression as talked about in the video.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

No equipment, no problem. 20 minutes of pain...

02/08/2017 It's 60 degrees, how about a run

Yesterday, horrible and rainy with temps in the low 30's.  Tomorrow, we are supposed to get 6-12 inches of snow.  But today, now today is nice.  It is about 60 degrees out and sunny, with a tiny warmish breeze.  It's just a nice day to run.

I wasn't able to get out for as long of a run as I would have like and what I had planned to do, but I got in a solid 5.5 miler at a pace of 7:45/mile.  It felt good. 

Sometimes a run just feels good, and your mood, your physical feeling, mental feeling, everything afterwards just feels right.  Today is that day for me.  Go out and run, try to capture it for yourself too!

Before the friggin snow!!!    :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

02/07/2017 What's with Tuesday weather?

This is like the third or fourth Tuesday in a row that the weather has quite simply sucked.  Normally my long run day, I have had multiple weeks of adjusting runs midweek.  Although this isn't a huge deal, it prevents me from going long Tuesday and then doing speed work on Thursday.  I cannot go longer on Wednesday and do speed work the next day.  However, in my mind, I just can't go long in rainy, low 30's temps when I know tomorrow is going to be like 60 degrees.  

I kept it to a nice, comfortable 6 miler today in just under 8:30/mile pace.  I felt good the whole run, and the hills were no issue, although significant in two stretches.

Tomorrow, I will go long and do some HIIT work.  I am hoping to squeeze in a race this weekend, but it isn't looking good.  More on that if it develops.

My two favorite smoothie recipes right now...

I have gotten stale about my standard smoothie recipes lately.  In an effort to change things up for a new taste, as well as nutritional benefits of other foods, I recently tried 2 new make shift recipes.  First, a pumpkin smoothie.  Pumpkin is a sneaky good food for you.  By this I mean, most people are unaware of the many benefits of pumpkin.  Here is a link to just some of the benefits.  

Pumpkin Smoothie

2 cups almond milk
1 frozen banana
1/3-1/2 can pumpkin puree
couple shakes of cinnamon (to taste)
couple shakes of pumpkin spice (to taste)

My second go to shake of the last couple weeks is even a little more unconventional for most, especially me.  It's a berry beet shake.  I know, beets?!?!  Yep, the benefits of beets are widely known in the fitness industry, especially for runners and cyclists.  Click here for a site outlining some of the nutritional benefits of beets.  I do not like the taste or smell of beets.  They just taste dirty to me, but I decided to try and see if I could get them in a shake without tasting them.  Success!  Even my kids enjoy this shake recipe, asking for it.

Berry Beet Smoothie

2 cups almond milk
1 frozen banana
1 Dannon L&F Strawberry Yogurt
1/3 cup of frozen berries
1/3-1/2 can beets

Both of these shakes are a little different, but I also like that there aren't 15 different ingredients, roots, extracts, and things that will const you an arm and a leg at some specialty store.  Give them a try and let me know if you like, how you would modify them, and if you have a smoothie recipe to share!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Choosing the right running shoe, a must for All runners

I was recently asked about how to pick the right sneakers to run in.  First, let me say that picking the right sneakers is extremely important, perhaps more so for the beginner or new runner.  The right sneaker, comfort, and staying injury free is crucial to running whether you jog a couple times a week or you hit the miles hard for race training.  Below, the chart on the right breaks it down.  You can figure out your arch one of a couple ways:

  1. Go to a local running store and have them watch you on the treadmill.  After a couple minutes, when you get off, they will then try to sell you a $120 sneaker.  Feel free to buy them, or ask whether you are a neutral, stability, or motion control shoe type.  Armed with your shoe type, hit the computer and search for shoes in your category. Try RunningWarehouse, RoadRunnerSports, or Amazon.
  2. At home, put some water in a cookie sheet on the floor, next to it place a paper bag on the floor.  After you step in the water, step directly onto the paper bag with both feet and then off of it.  Your foot should show up on the paper bag in some version of the diagram below.  Pick you shoe type by the impression your foot makes on the paper bag.
  3. Maybe you already know whether you have high or low arches.  If so, no test needed.  Simply pick your shoe type.

Final two points:
  1. Make sure you buy your shoes a half size bigger than your day to day sneaker if you are a jogger looking to add a few miles to your week.  If you are more serious, logging miles, and/or long runs, go a full size bigger that your day to day sneakers, like I do. 
  2. No cotton socks, splurge for some Dryfit at Target, or the running store!! 

Neutral shoes: They can work for mild pronators, but are best for neutral runners or people who supinate (tent to roll outward). These shoes provide some shock absorption and some medial (arch-side) support. Normal Arch
Stability shoes: Good for runners who exhibit mild to moderate overpronation. They often include a firm "post” to reinforce the arch side of each midsole, an area highly impacted by overpronation.  Low Arch
Motion control shoes: Best for runners who exhibit moderate to severe overpronation, they offer features such as stiffer heels or a design built on straighter lasts to counter overpronation.  High Arch

Friday, February 3, 2017

02/03/2017 Today's run & the week in review

Final run of the week, a short 4 miler in 29:47.  I sped it up a bit, even on tired legs.  I think I mainly did this because it's F-ing cold out.  The thermometer says 30, but the wind chill makes it about 19 the computer tells me.  I bundled up and ran my butt off to get back inside.  

As a whole, looking back on this week, I really put it all together.  My nutrition continues to be dialed in, now down about 14.25 lbs. since January 2nd.  Here is my work for the week:

Monday- 6 miles, 46:45
Tuesday- 5 miles, 38:50 & cross training exercises
Wednesday- 9 miles, 1:11+
Thursday- 4 miles, 31:40ish & 43 minutes cross training
Friday- 4 miles, 29:47

I feel really strong for the beginning of February.  My focus now is to continue to build miles, strength, and to stay healthy.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

02/02/2017 Tired legs, 4 days or running and cross training, 4 miler

In my second workout of the day, I ran a basic 4 miler.  I held a steady pace of about 7:45/mile for the duration.  I was definitely tired though, understandably.  I have 24 miles in for the week already and a couple cross training workouts.  

It is noticeable though, after about 4 weeks, my steady pace has dropped.  I started in January running around 8:30-8:40/mile comfortably.  Now, even on tired legs, I can go more at a pace around 7:45-7:55/mile.  I am planning to add some speed work one of these days and try to drive down my overall pace even more.

I do need to remember my long run pace needs to slow down sometimes.  I want that pace to be somewhere between 8:15-8:30/mile for now.

02/02/2017 Cross Training, Lighter=Stronger

Mountain Climbers
Today's cross training started with 10 minutes of jump rope.  I then did 3 rounds of the 10 exercises below, minimal rest only between rounds.  I am now down almost 14 lbs. from exactly a month ago.  It's funny, when you couple the loss of a significant amount of weight and the increase in a little strength, it can be dramatic how much stronger you feel.  I feel a lot stronger in only a month.  Before I started eating better and working out/running consistently again, it felt like a thousand miles away, being strong that is.  It is true what most trainers and books will tell you.  You can see real results in only a few weeks.  Here is the workout:

5 pull ups
20 bird dogs
2 min farmer's walk
20 squats
15 dips
2X20 sec. supermans
10 box jumps, 30 in. high
40 mountain climbers (video above)
20 side lunges (10 each side)
1 min. plank

The workout, including jump rope, took me 43 minutes total.  Later today, I am going to try and jog a 4 miler for recovery miles.  

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

02/01/2017 Where did January go? February begins...with a strong run

As I saw in the forecast, today was a better day for a long run.  Yesterday, 30 degrees and snowing.  Today, 43 degrees and sunny.  My 9 miler was a lot more enjoyable today than it would have been yesterday.  I ran a comfortable pace for the duration and tried to stay at an even split, working on pacing, except for mile 9 which I sped up and ran a 6:54/mile.  I didn't look at my watch until I finished, in 1:11 and change.

I'm not sure where January went, but luckily, she took 13 lbs. with her.  When I jumped on the scale this am, it read 155.5.  Exactly 13 pounds lighter than January 3rd when I got on.  I have a med ball tht is 12 lbs., and just lifting that, it's crazy tho think about that extra weight I was carrying around.  I have about 12 more pounds I would like to go.  Racing gets easier as you get lighter, to a point, and I want to make it easier.  

For two years in a row, I have run 32:17ish for 5 miles at the triathlon in June.  I want to couple lots more miles and speed work in training and significantly less weight to carry in order to make that time go down.  I have 136 days to prepare.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

01/31/2017 Dual workout, run and cross training

A view on today's run
Well, the weather has me switching it up again.  Tuesday is normally my long run day, but two weeks in a row, the weather is a no no on Tuesday.  Today, it's 30, breezy, and snowing.  Tomorrow, it's going to be low to mid 40's and sunny.  I decided, pretty quickly to do my longer run tomorrow and do a shorter, 5 miler today.  I went at a comfortably efficient pace today and ran my 5 miles in about 38:50, a pace of about 7:45/mile.  It wasn't difficult, but it wasn't a jog either.

After walking back inside, I wasted no time in getting into a short workout of the exercises below.

The workout wasn't very long, or involved.  However, I'm not always going to be that deliberate with my cross training.  I am sometimes going to just add a few exercises to a workout and I am good with that.  It's better than not, and it wasn't a big deal to add.  I like the variety, as well as the chance to branch out from the run. 

15 push ups
20 bird dogs
20 floor wipers (video demo below)
15 push ups
10 chair dips
2X20 sec. supermans
20 floor wipers
15 push ups
20 bird dogs

Monday, January 30, 2017

Where am I going in 2017, goals are set...

It has taken me a bit, but I have decided on my goals for the year, 2017.  Looking back, I didn't race nearly as much as I like to and I think my running fitness was low overall because of it.  2015 on the other hand, I raced a lot and felt fit for the year.  I think this is why I decided long ago that 2017 was going to be a committed year for me and that I wanted to race well.  With that in mind, here is my list, in no particular order.

Goals for 2017

  1. Set 2 new PR's.  I want to set a couple PR's this year.  It's been awhile since I have PR'd, so why not go for two new ones in 2017.
  2. Race a new distance.  I raced 5K's, 5 milers, 13.1, and 26.2.  Time to try a 1 mile, 10K, or something new to test me.
  3. Go longer than 26.2.  I've been thinking for a couple years about trying a 50 K, or a 6 hr. run.  Maybe this is the year, plus it takes care of #2!
  4. Commit to 2017 entirely.  As I talked about above, I need a full year of commitment to see how I can race, 2017 is the time.
  5. Marathon #4.  I would like to run a marathon a year for the foreseeable future, checking out new races and gaining race hardware.
  6. Win an age group.  This one I have done, but not in a year or two.  I want to get back down in time and rule the road.
  7. Win a race.  This is going to take a little help; i.e., a weaker field.  But hey, a win would be a win, right?
That's it.  The goals for the year are solidified and recorded.  There's no backing out now.  After I post this, in a week or so, I plan to sidebar it to keep it active and viewable near the top of the site.  I would love to hear your running goals, etc. for the year as well.  Feel free to share and I will link it up to my site.

01/30/2017 My second run in my new Gel Noosa Tri 10's, a strong 6 miler, @asicsamerica

Monday runs are always great after a couple days off.  Today was no exception.  I ran my second run in the new Gel Noosa Tri shoes that I just got.  Anyone that runs in Asics understands that the company just gets it.  It's only my second run in them and it was 6 miles.  I have no issues at all.  It is a great shoe that responds well.  It is usually unheard of to be able to go that long in a new shoe without rubbing, blisters, chafing, etc.  

I ran the 6 miles comfortably quick, finishing in about 46:45 total, pace under 8:00/mile.  In a continued effort to get my cadence up, I ran an average of 183 spm (strides per minute) with a max of 200 spm.  I would like to get a consistent average of up around 190 spm.  Last month and in previous runs, I was at a range of 175-178 spm, while recently in the past week or so, I have averaged right at 183 spm.  

For the rest of the week, 4 more runs and 2 cross training sessions, plus some walking.  My walking has kind of fell by the wayside, but I want to get that back into the routine, even if it's just in 10 minute sessions.  

Saturday, January 28, 2017

01/27/2017 Feature: @OpticNerve_ Sunglass review & giveaway

Mashup, Driftwood
I have gotten a good number of runs in with my new Optic Nerve Desoto sunglasses.  I have been wearing Optic Nerve for a few years and they never let me down.  The prices are great, much better than the $250-$400 I see often for sunglasses recommended for runners and active people.  Also, the company has great customer service and have helped me out in the past with questions and when I have inquired about sizing, or shape compared to my on style needs.
Post 5 miler in my Desoto's

The Desoto sunglasses sent to me by the company are my 4th pair and easily my favorite.  I have loved the three before them, and still wear 2 of the pairs, but the Desoto is my go to when running.  They are shaped well for my face, are the lighted I have gotten, and stay snug to my nose when I run.  I believe the biggest reason for the snug fit on the face, besides picking the right pair, has to do with the Tactile rubber components used for grip on the nose piece and the temple spots on their performance selections.  The rubber is in the right spots and clearly grips well.

I love the fact that every single pair of Optic Nerve sunglasses is made with 100% UV protection.  It's

the most important feature available and, surprisingly, a lot of sunglasses neglect to tell you that they lack that protection.  Your eyes deserve it.  

Some of the other important technology involved in these glasses include the option of Polarized lenses, Photochromatic lenses, and my favorite, Interchangeable lenses.  The ability to change lenses in my Desoto's make it possible to change to a clearer lens on some days and a more dark lens on others.  Also, it is easy to do.
Reactor PM, black

Optic Nerve has a full, extensive line of not only performance sunglasses for all shapes and sizes, but also a large number of leisure, fashion based pairs as well.  

As I mentioned earlier, the company is great with it's customers.  When I contacted them about their product line, they were happy to provide me with a couple of pairs to giveaway to one lucky male and one lucky female in the U.S.  For the men, I have a pair of Reactor PM's, performance sunglasses with description here, in black.  For the women, I have a nice pair of Mashups, description found here, in Driftwood color.

Please enter the RaffleCopter below for a chance to win.  I was given no compensation for this review.  I was sent the pairs of sunglasses for review and giveaway.  Contest ends 2/8

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 26, 2017

01/26/2017 Birthday workout #2, nice 4 miler in my new @asicsrunning Gel Noosa Tri 10's

Second workout of the day, I had to try out my birthday present from Maura.  I got a new pair of Gel Noosa Tri 10's for my daily running shoe.  I like the Gel DS Trainer series, but they are more than I want to shell out.  With good reviews and a $55 price tag, the Noosa was my choice.  

The run, on some seriously tired legs from yesterday's run and this morning's workout, went well.  I kept it at a short 4 miler because of the new kicks and the wear on my body over the past 48 hours.  Surprisingly, I ended up in 31:47, for a pace under 8:00/mile.  I'm good with that.  After a couple more runs in the new shoes, I will post a full review.