Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Get Out The Swimmies!

Water + Me = Fat Guy Flailing

Yeah...try as I do to swim, I'm just horrible at it. I go in to it every time, thinking, "just try to mimic any of the other decent swimmers in the pool." You know, the ones that can actually put their face in the water between breaths and don't look like each stroke might be their last. I really don't know what the problem is, but I definitely don't have any stroke/breath rhythm. After, barely making it 25 yds, I try again and give up. Oh well, I can do a decent breast stroke (go figure), so I stick with that, trying to look as though it is MY stroke and all other are inferior.

I need a swimming coach.


Oh, I also biked for 30 minutes today.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Yasso 800's

I've read a bit about this speed workout developed by Bart Yasso, called Yasso 800's. The basic premise is that if you can do 10 repeats of 800m at a certain time, your marathon time should match that, in hours and minutes.

For example, if you want to run a 3hr marathon, throw in a weekly Yasso workout. If you can do 10 repeats at 3 minutes per 800 with 3 minutes of recovery jogging in between each interval, you should be able to run a marathon in 3 hrs.

Seems simple, so I'll give it a shot. After my marathon time of 4:38, I figure a decent goal to shoot for this year is around 4hrs. Therefore, I ran my 800's in 4 minutes. I started with 4 repeats and each week I will add one more repeat.

800 split times: 3:58, 4:03, 4:00, 3:59

Not too bad overall, I had to run on the indoor track at the Y today, nasty sleet and wind where I am working.


Mileage: 5.21
Time/Pace: 49:12/9:26
Avg HR: 160

Read more about Yasso 800's here.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Ahhhhhh! Running Again!

After a long week of rest and recovery I got back out today. The week's rest was much needed for the body even though by Friday I was yearning for a run or some kind of activity. I spent the week really focusing on managing what I was putting in my mouth.

Weight loss logic is really pretty simple if you are dedicated to it. Studies show that a caloric deficiency of 3500/week would net you a 1 lb. per week weight loss. Using that as a model, use a combination of diet and exercise to cut 500 calories a day out of your diet to lose 1 lb a week. Because I've been frustrated with my weight plateau over the past couple of months, I decided to be a bit more aggressive, 2lbs/week or cutting/burning 7000 calories a week. Based on my current weight, I need 2500-2800 calories per day to sustain my current weight with no exercise. Therefore, I am trying to eliminate about 1000 calories/day from this and targeting 1800 calories/day.

Food consumption has always been an issue for me. I love to eat. I have a nice little app on my I-Phone called Lose It! which helps me to track my caloric intake. I can also enter my exercise, which in effect, gives me more calories to consume. Take today for base calories are 1800, but I've "earned" and extra 878 calories from my run and strength training that I've done today.

Over the past week, this strategy has been doing well for me. I started off last week at 206 and ended the week at 201. Nice loss and a bit of a break through. 199 here I come!

Today's Run:

Mileage: 3.00
Time/Pace: 26:59/8:59
Avg HR: 154
T/W: 41/cloudy

I was shooting for a 9:15 pace today, but my body felt so good and it was like trying to hold back a 150lb dog on a leash, chasing a rabbit. I just went with it. Tomorrow...Yasso 800's!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Recovery: Day 4

Ah, my body is feeling better. The intense soreness is gone, just some lingering muscle soreness in my quads, calves and hips, but I can move about freely. I am starting to get anxious to get back at it, but am forcing myself to continue to rest until next week.

I'm down to 202.5! I've been plateaued at 205-208 for months now, so this feels like a major breakthrough.

I also signed up for the Cleveland Marathon on May 15th. Can't wait to try it again and take what I've learned and put it into practice.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Aches

Marathons hurt...

Here's a head to toe review of all my aches and pains...I feel old...

Head: soreness at base of skull
Shoulders: general muscle soreness in trapezius and deltoids
Arms: good
Abs: upper abs a bit sore, obliques a bit sore
Hips: very sore all around
Groin: a bit sore
Glutes: a bit sore
Quads: OUCH! Especially on the outside edges, by far the worst of it
Hamstrings: a bit sore
Calves: sore at top near back of knee
Feet: Balls of feet tender, top of feet sore (weird!)

Sunday afternoon and Monday was hard to sit down, climb stairs, anything else that required bending knees, due to quad pain.

Today, good improvement, quads still the worst.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Virginia Beach Shamrock Marathon

Wow! Where to begin...I finished!

Going into the race day, my mind was very uncertain as to what to expect. You've read about my hip issues for the past month. I bailed on my final 20 mile training run, and drastically reduced my mileage in an effort to keep my hip healthy. I took up aqua jogging and strength training.

This weekend, I gave myself a tiered goal approach, Gold (finish in under 4hrs) , Silver (finish in under 4:20), Bronze(just finish on my feet).

The race started out well, I was determined not to go out too fast, even though I was very excited.

Mile 1: 9:23-nice and easy, almost too easy...congested start spread out quickly

2: 9:16-trying to keep it slow

3: 9:12-still trying to slow down and yet speeding up

4: 9:11-okay, held this pace well

5: 9:04-a bit faster, the leaders passed me on their turn around, they were on mile 7ish (yikes!), ate package of Clif Shot Blocks

6: 9:08-first turn around, feeling as though this was a good pace

7: 9:07-held pace well, ran through Camp Pendleton, cool greeting by National Guard

8: 9:08-held pace well, back onto the main road

9: 9:08-pace still good, feeling good, heading back towards the beach

10: 9:09-good pace, turn onto the boardwalk, good number of people here cheering, including one of my supporters (!), ate package of Clif Shot Blocks

11: 8:59-a bit faster, lots of supporters out, got me moving faster

12: 9:06-back into pace, still decent amount of supporters, run still feeling good

13: 9:09-pace good, half way point (2:00:20), right on schedule for a 4hr time, more of my supporters (hi wifey and father-in-law!)

14: 9:11-a tad slower, but still okay, running away from the boardwalk and away from the crowds

15: 9:20- feeling myself slow down

16: 9:26- slower still, tried to push a little bit, but legs not responding

17: 10:23-YIKES!! Wheels coming off now!

18: 10:59- feels like I'm running through sand, also the most boring part of the course, isolated from the crowds

19: 11:07- survival mode, lots of self talk hear, lots of runners dropping off and walking, I'm determined (at this point) to not walk

20: 11:43- can I do it? really questioning myself and wondering what the hell I was doing...still not much to look at, nothing really around to take my mind off the pain. Left quad screaming, balls of feet hurting.

21: 12:01-more pain, more suffering, starting thinking about what I wanted to eat after the race. Trying not to think about distance left.

22: 13:04-heading back towards civilization, but hurting more and more.

23: 12:49-got a bit of a boost here from a friendly runner. We joked about how slow we were and shared stories about how we got started with running. He pressed on after awhile, but it was nice while it lasted.

24: 13:11-back to the grind and suffering, a took in so Gatorade from the water stations trying anything to pick me up, also had a mini-Snickers from a supporter.

25: my Garmin crapped out here...but I walked for 1/2 mile starting at a water stop, the .92 miles that was captured was at 16:09.

Finish: 4:38:50 (10:38 pace)

So, didn't hit any of my time goals, but did finish on my feet, including a final kick with some great supporters.

Highlights of the Race:

1) Team Hoyt: This father/son combo has run marathons, triathlons, etc. (father pushes his son in a wheelchair throughout the race). I don't think the actual Hoyts were there, but there was a father/son duo representing this incredible group. Check it out, very inspirational.

2) Blind Runner: Seeing a blind runner tethered to another runner is incredible. More inspiration for me.

3) Inspirational T-Shirt: "You think this is hard (i.e. running this marathon) try chemotherapy"

4) Supporters: Very supportive community. The race bibs had the names of the runners on it, which was awesome, because the spectators shouted out my name as I ran by. It helped a lot! A special thanks to my supporters: my wife, father-in-law and Karen! Thanks!!!

5) The Leaders: As I was passing my 15 mile marker, the leaser was passing his 23rd. His time 2:20 and change suggested that he could have lapped me!

Other Observations:

Weirdest Place for Pain: Top of my feet

Food Craving During Race: steak, pizza, tacos, milkshakes

Post Race Meal: Burger, Fries, Milkshake

Most Annoying Part of Race: Water Stations (stop and go people traffic)

Best Part of Race: Names on bib for spectators to encourage members

Proudest Moment: Last kick on the boardwalk into the finish line when minutes before i could barely lift my feet off the ground.

Lowest Point: .5 mile of walking around mile 24-25

What next? RECOVERY!! I figure I'll take a week off of everything and let my body recover. Then it's back to training. This certainly won't be my last marathon, I still have many goals to reach. I'm eyeing the BPAC 6hr run in April and Cleveland Marathon in May.

Thanks to everyone for their support!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I'm Alive

I just wanted to give a quick update about today's marathon. I'm alive, but I hurt.

Over the next day or two I'll write a full report.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Things Aren't THAT Bad

Looking back at my most recent posts, I must apologize for sounding like such a downer. Things really aren't that bad.

Two legs? Check.

Two arms? Check.

Ability to exercise? Check.

What is so bad then?

I'm getting pretty amped up about the marathon. I had been feeling bad about not doing all of my training, due to injury, but I've come a long way since last April.

I will be embracing this week's experience and doing my best. Can't wait to tell all of you how it goes. Thanks for the support!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

What's Up With My Body?!?

The past month has been extremely frustrating. It started with my hip issue and yesterday continued with a mysterious full body ailment. I woke up and was just fine, but about an hour after breakfast, I started aching all over, had the, ahem, "runs", and felt generally lightheaded. Very weird. Anyway, I spent most of the day in bed. I woke this morning feeling generally fine, but WTF, kinda blew my half marathon planned for today.

So what next? I am tempted to rest the entire week and run my marathon to the best of my ability on Sunday. My body sucks!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

It's Getting Closer....

My first marathon that is! 10 days away...yikes!

I've been putting in some quality work this week.

Monday: 4 mile run, 36:53/9:13, 147 HR

Tuesday: 30 min Bike, Strength and Core work

Wednesday: 60 min bike, 45 min aqua jog

Today I did a 3 mile tempo run...I must say, this was tough. My body was sore and a bit tired from pushing really hard.

Tempo Mile Splits: 7:46, 7:49, 7:45
Totals w/wu & cd
Mileage: 5.27
Time/Pace: 45:14/8:35
Avg HR: 158

Hips is still tender, but tolerable. This evening a did 30 minutes on the bike and core work.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Shamrock Run 8K

I ran it. It felt good. Things are good...whew....

I was feeling a bit skeptical on whether or not to run this race today. I hadn't run since Sunday and I've been worried about my hip. I woke up this morning and it felt pretty good, so I headed out.

I was thinking about trying to run a 7:45 pace, nothing too intense, just trying to get my legs under me. The start was a bit interesting. I was standing there, just like always, except I was only two rows or so from the start line. Without warning the gun went off, and we were off. Mile 1 rolled off almost too easy, 7:31. Mile 2, the same 7:33. I tried to slow down, but it felt really good, so I just went with it. Then the turn onto Seneca St, Mile 3. There was a fairly strong headwind that did nothing for my pace, 7:46. Mile 4 started to hurt and still mostly heading into the wind or sometimes a cross wind, 7:56. I started too fast!!! I was able to pick it up at the end for a 7:27.

I'm disappointed about going against my plan, starting out too fast and not being able to hold it throughout. However, I am very pleased with how I finished and even happier that my hip issues were more than manageable. As far as pain, it never was above a 3 out of 10. I am hoping that the next 24 hours will not reveal any new pain and I'm staying optimistic.

Mileage: 4.97
Time: 38:00/7:39
Avg HR: 168

Age Group: 46 out of 221
Overall: 427 out of 3541

As far as the Shamrock Run all together, it is a pretty cool event. It reminded me of a Bills tailgate party, minus the Bills. With an estimated 5,000 runners, it is truly an event. Next year, we will be tailgating!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Aqua Jogging!

In an effort to give my hip some relief, I bought an Aqua Jogger, and today I hopped in for a 40-minute "run". At first, a bit awkward, but overall pretty interesting. I found it harder to get my heartrate up and could only get it to about 120BPM.

I also, did some strength work, core work and 30 minutes on the bike. Pretty good workout...more tomorrow....