3 03 2010

So I’ve been working super hard to get my new blog up and running.  All new posts will be on (drum roll please)!!!  Check it out now!!!


New Blog

2 03 2010

I have exciting news that I wanted to share with everyone!  I’ve decided to buy a domain name and move my blog to a better platform where I can fully customize the interface and make the blog more fun.  I am not going to reveal the name of the new blog or anything like that yet, but as soon as I get it setup I will let everyone know.  I plan to continue posting on this blog until everything is up and running on the new blog, so keep coming back for news and updates.  I will also be continuing the post like usual in the mean time 🙂

Week of February 22 Recap and a Look Ahead

1 03 2010

Another great week of running down and I am one week closer to the marathon!  I was able to get in a solid 36.3 miles and felt amazing all week.  I am still very surprised not to have experienced any kind of injury thus far, but maybe a combination of experience and my Newton’s are helping!  Here’s how the week looked:

  • Monday – 30 minutes on the stationary bike and lifting
  • Tuesday – 5.4 miles
  • Wednesday – Rest
  • Thursday – 5.6 miles
  • Friday – 4 miles
  • Saturday – 14.6 miles
  • Sunday – 6.7 miles

Today starts week eight of my plan and the last time I was at this point in my plan I ended up taking the entire week off due to posterior tibial tendonitis.  It is a real comforting feeling knowing that I am further ahead then I was last year at this point in the training plan and last year I set a PR by over 25 minutes.

I have been following Keri’s blog where she recently wrote an excellent post about Pilates for Runners.  I have known for a while that pilates is supposed to be excellent for runners, and I tried the P90X yoga video out once last summer but quit after 30 minutes because I was too bored.  The benefits that Keri mentioned in her blog post are all ones that I would love to experience so maybe this is the week I force myself to try out yoga again.

There is also supposed to be a core workout seminar on Thursday that I might try to attend because I know that I have not been giving my core the attention that I should.  The P90X ab and core workout video is top-notch so I need to start doing that again.  My goal is to do an ab/core workout at least two times this week, so let’s see if I can accomplish that.  Since we are doing a workout on Thursday at the seminar, that will give me one of the two workouts.

I have 37 miles on the agenda for this week and I am very excited to get started with them.  Tonight is XT and lifting though, so the running will have to wait at least one more day 🙂

Eight Before Eight (Plus Six)

27 02 2010

My favorite time of the day to workout is in the morning, which is rather surprising since four of my six workouts each week occur after 5:00pm.  I think my favorite thing about working out in the morning is being able to get my workout done and over with, which means having the rest of the day free.  Working out in the evening means that by the time I am finished and showered it is already 7:00 or so which means half of the evening is already gone.

Every Saturday morning I have been running six miles with a running group at a local Fleet Feet, but today’s plan called for fourteen miles so a few of us started at 6:25 to get in eight before eight.  It was a little chilly getting out of the car (the bank I passed on the way said the temperature was 24 degrees) but after we started running it was fine.  With the snow yesterday and then a refreeze last night there were a couple of patches that were black ice, so we had to be careful around the corners.

It was a very comfortable pace and we ended up running 8.6 miles before making it back to the store to meet up with the larger group of people.  The extra six miles weren’t as bad as I expected.  Normally after I stop for a few minutes, the remaining run is brutal, but the 2nd half was even better than the first.  We ran at a 7:49 pace and my body felt great!  I was even able to hold a conversation, which is surprising for me running at that pace.  My fitness must be improving!

I love being able to get 14.6 miles in before 9:00 while the majority of my friends are still in bed.  It makes me feel great and I still have the rest of the day to do what I want!

I would love to do more workouts in the morning, but I am not a huge fan of running at 5:00am in pitch blackness by myself.  On the weekends I don’t have to worry about work so I don’t have any set time to be home by to shower and get dressed.

Do you ever workout in the morning?  If so, do you notice a difference from running at another time during the day?

Newtons – Sir Isaac Guidance Trainer Shoes

26 02 2010

My Christmas present to myself in 2009 was a new pair of running shoes.  And not just any kind of running shoes.  Newtons!

“Newton” is actually the name of the brand (Newton Running to be official) and “Sir Isaac Guidance Trainer” is the specific name of the model, but because they are so unique and new, people commonly refer to them as “Newtons”.  I guess you can think of it in the same way how people used to say they wanted a pair of Nikes when they first were available on the market instead of referring to a specific model.

The latest craze in America has been barefoot running and after everything I have heard and read for the past few years, I decided that I needed to give it a try.  I am a pretty adventurous guy and enjoy experimenting, so after reading Tim Ferriss’ article about Vibram Five Fingers and barefoot running I knew I wanted to try either Vibrams or Newtons.  Newton Running‘s website says:

“The Isaac is a neutral guidance trainer designed for runners committed to improving their running form to the more efficient midfoot/forefoot running style.”

That’s exactly what I was looking for!  The biggest difference in my opinion is that Vibrams force you into natural running and offer no cushioning, whereas Newtons promote natural running and do offer cushioning.  With a spring season consisting of a 5K, 10K, 10 Miler, and Marathon, I thought that Newtons would allow me to up the mileage faster then the Vibrams would, so I ended up purchasing them.

Here is a great video about Newton’s:

After being a heel striker for 23.5 years, being warned on every blog I read, and hearing it from friends, I knew that it would take my body some time to get used to the new running form.  My first run was a whopping .7 miles and my calves were extremely sore.  I took two days off and then went for 1.5 miles.  Again I was extremely sore and took two more days off.  I shouldn’t have run that far on my 3rd run with them, but I was back in my hometown For Christmas and Eric was there as well and wanted to run 5 miles.  I think I was feeling it for a week after that one!  To make a long story short, it took 25 miles (in small intervals besides that 5 miler) for my body to fully adjust to the new running form.

I am now over 200 miles into them and only have one complaint.  The shoelaces are too long and touch the ground!  I’m need to make them shorter, but if that is my only problem on a pair of shoes, that is pretty good!  I still have 11 weeks until my marathon, but I am currently on schedule and haven’t had a bit of pain yet, which is quite unusual for me because I always seem to get injured.  Hopefully I will be able to make it through the entire season with the shoes and stay injury free, but only time will tell!

I give the Newtons – Sir Isaac Guidance Trainer Shoes a 9.5 out of 10.  I would have given them a 10 because I am absolutely in love with them but I would love to get at least 350 miles into them to see if anything changes.

At some point I am going to get Vibram Five Finger shoes, but not until the summer when I can run outside and not have to worry about snow!

What do you think about all the talk of natural running?  Have you tried running in natural running shoes or running barefoot?  What are your experiences?

ummm not sure about goals but I’m pretty sure that is a manual step that can only be done in GA
events can be done in the code though

Never Forget Your Beginner’s Spirit

25 02 2010

Photo Credit: Lance Armstrong

In July, 2009 during the Tour de France, Lance Armstrong posted the above picture on his Twitter and Facebook accounts.  In case you have a hard time making out the picture, it is of his bike and says, “Never forget your beginner’s spirit!”

Anyone out there who competes in athletic activities (against your own goals or against other people) can relate to the quote.  As we grow as competitors it seems that the fun we used to have when we started can change into more of a chore.

Personally, I know that I sometimes get caught up with getting my runs over and done with instead of trying to enjoy them.  Once I look at it more as a pleasure again, instead of a chore, my entire body relaxes and the run isn’t only easier, but much more fun!

Take a few minutes today and think about this quote in your own life.  Maybe it will give you some inspiration to relive your beginner’s spirit too!

Do you remember your beginner’s spirit?  If so, how does it make you feel?  If not, I’d love to hear you try it sometime soon and report back!

Cold, Dark, & Rainy

23 02 2010

Tonight was the perfect night for a duck!  It has been raining all day and of course it did not let up when it was time for my group run tonight.  I had to pump myself up for it because I wasn’t too thrilled about running 5.4 miles in the dark with pouring rain and a 36 degree temperature.

I knew I was going to get wet tonight, but my goal was to try to avoid as many puddles as possible.  That didn’t last long though because I stepped out of the car and about 10 yards later I stepped in a really deep puddle which completely submerged both of my shoes.  There goes that goal!  Oh well, I wasn’t going to let that stop me.

Not as many people showed up for the run tonight, just like I expected, but it gave me lots of motivation knowing that there were a good handful of other people who were going to take on the elements with me.  We took off and I knew we were moving at a fast pace because I was having a difficult time trying to keep a conversation.  At that pace, I didn’t think I could last more than 2 miles, but decided to see how long I could hang on.  The miles slowly ticked by and it wasn’t until we were at mile 3 that I slowly started fading back.  My goal quickly turned to not getting lost because I don’t know the course yet so I didn’t want to lose sight of the guys in front of me.  I managed to keep them in sight all the way to the finish!

Somehow I managed to rock out a 38:45 time, which is 3 minutes faster than I have ever ran that course before!  I don’t know what it was, but I somehow was able to push myself hard enough to cut off 3 minutes.  Talk about some great motivation heading into the week!  They say running builds confidence both while you are running and in life, and I can definitely attest to that.