Monday, January 30, 2012

Not an option

I made it out for a 40 minute run this AM starting at 445am. This is
the first time in several weeks that I made it out during a weekday
morning. What was the difference? It was because I did not give
myself an option or choice not to run this AM. It was as simple and
as difficult as that. I know that my week is going to be quite busy
and somewhat insane so I knew this would help propel me into the week
in a productive way. I feel fantastic even though it was very windy.
I realize now that I do need to keep the socks in my windbreaker in
order to keep them warm (on days like today). I was smart and I ran
against the wind for the first part so that when I started to head
back home I had the wind to my back.

Just getting up and running was a victory for me today.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Long run 1:1 ratio 1/28/12

Long run 1:1 ratio 1/28/12 click here for more details

Bottom line: ran 7.39 miles in 1hr 40 minutes using 1:1 ratio during the first 5.5 miles and then ran the rest of the way home.  During that I had a fairly steep hill that took me about 5 minutes to get up and then it was fairly flat the last short distance.

The weather was wonderful and overall the run felt fantastic :-).

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Training log

I'm keeping a training log this year. I wrote nothing but a zero for each of the days this week (Monday - Thursday). Tomorrow will be different.

Plus I get "paid" $1 for every 10 minutes I run (as an incentive). I use that money to help pay entrance fees and for equipment.  I log the miles and time and then when I want to buy sometime I use that "money" so it doesn't need to come out of the regular budget.

Do or do not... There is no try. - Yoda

Mind Game

I failed the mind game this week in regards to getting up to run.
However, on Saturday morning I plan to run at least 60 minutes.
The obstacles that tripped me up were:
1. all the build-up of stress from work (we are short staffed and have
been for 6 months)
A solution to this is: creating more margin at work by leaving on time
every day and leaving work at work.
2. Lack of sleep
Refer to solution above and create time that space to start getting
ready for bed when Emma (my beautiful 6 month daughter) is going to
bed (around 8pm). Try to get in bed with lights out by 9pm as often
as possible as 5am comes very quickly otherwise).

I know that once I get out there I'm fine.. it's just getting out and
doing it that is the problem. The reality is I didn't even try this
morning. I like what some people say and to make it so it's not an
option whether or not I go out and do it. It's true for me because if
I do run several times a week everything... and I mean EVERYTHING goes
more smoothly. Until next time.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mental barriers

I have found it difficult to run at 5am when it's snowy and cold.  However when I think about how I will feel after it makes it all worth it.  The amazing thing is that I typically feel great once I get out there.  It's just the long distance between my bed and putting on the Ipod and the rest of my running gear. 

The cool part is that I have made progress.  Until the last few months I did not run at all during the winter months.  Now I have three races scheduled (one already finished).  Something else that is a mental barrier is that I'm having a hard time believing that I can be successful in this whole running gig.  I never really considered myself a "real" runner until recently.  So this barrier is the "can I do it" barrier.  I know I can... I just need to go do it.

I really want to find others who want to run so early, but it has been very difficult.  My friends typically don't want to do that.  I can sometimes find someone on Saturday, but that's if I'm lucky... (especially in the winter).

Fortunately I am not specifically training for a full marathon that will be happening in the spring.  I know that the Marine Corps Marathon will come before I know it...I have 278 days.  I'm setting myself up to have a great base so that when the summer comes I'll be able to specifically train for the full-marathon.

Any feedback of things that you have had to overcome as mental barriers?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Another reason

I run because it keeps me healthier physically, emotionally and spiritually I feel more connected with God.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snow run 1/21/11

Snow run 1/21/11
These are the details for my first run in the snow. It was much more difficult, but I pushed through due to being able to take the scheduled walk breaks every minute :-).

Friday, January 20, 2012

Tough week

I decided before the year started that I wanted a plan to handle difficult mornings of running.  My plan was to reward myself financially if I go out running.  For example:  for every 10 minutes of running/walking I get paid $1.  This money could be used for anything, but my plan is to use it to either buy gear or pay for my races.  This way I earn money for my effort.  This has worked most of the time, but it has been challenging (to say the least) to get out when it is windy and below freezing.  Some wouldn't even consider it, but I want to and am struggling to actually do it.

The crazy part about me not running at all this week is that I had such a great run last Sunday at the race.  I really want to continue to improve and my goal for March would be to get under 30 minutes.  That simply won't happen unless I get my act together and get out and run!

I'm a better dad, husband and counselor if I've had a good run at least a few times a week.  The weatherman says that it's going to snow tonight.  My hope is that it is fluffy snow so I can run since Saturdays are my relaxing run day (I don't have as much time constraint).

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Benefits of running updated version 1/20/12

Benefits of running according to me
1.  Feeling better physically
2.  Emotional benefit of pushing through stress and other emotions
3.  Sense of accomplishment
4.  Enjoying it!
5. Health benefits
6.  Helps me to mentally overcome obstacles (similar to reason 2)
7.  Promotes time to think ("me time")
8.  I'm not fast, but I feel God's pleasure when I run
9.  I have goals and it helps me accomplish them
10.  Once I start running and get out the door things get much easier

Please comment and help me remember more reasons why I run (especially when it's cold, dark and windy)!

Overcoming discouragement

I missed the gym early in the week and I haven't been out at all since the race on Sunday.  I was very motivated to run and unfortunately I allowed the craziness of work to bring me down.  However, I do have Thursday to make some progress on my running.  I allow way too much power to the cold, windy days.

Monday, January 16, 2012


I'm planning on going to the gym in the AM.  It is too crazy out there as far as the weather goes.  The rest of the week looks decent so I'll try running on Thursday AM.  I'm hoping to get up very early even though I'm going to bed at least an hour later than normal.  Running is how I cope with stress... as well as talking and journaling (blogging).  As a counselor I am learning that I need to take care of my needs for me to be able to help anyone else.  So this is me taking care of myself!  Feel free to ask how the time at the gym went.  Typically I write this and I don't get harassed enough when I don't get up.  Ask me!

I'm still looking for a running partner and I know that's a difficult thing to find these days... especially in the morning. 

Official Results Frozen Foot 5k - Race 1

Official Results Frozen Foot 5k
I was 15th in my category of Male 30-34
chip time was 33:37.2
"gun time" 34:20.2
Overall I was number 431 of 532
Looking at the results... I want to cut 2-3 minutes off for next month... that will put me way up in the standings... this running stuff is awesome!  It brings out the competitive part of me :-).

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Frozen foot 5k results 1/15/12

At first I thought that the wind and cold would make it impossible to finish with a smile on my face. The cool thing is that not only did I have a smile on my face my time was about two minutes faster than I thought I could run (at these conditions). Moreover, since I took scheduled walk breaks I passed more than 15 people in the last mile :-)!

Frozen Foot series 5k 1/15/12

Frozen Foot series 5k 1/15/12 by baristanate at Garmin Connect - Details
Race felt fantastic. Read my other blog post with my reactions.
I'm satisfied with a 33:40 unofficial time. Now I just need to beat it next month!

Thoughts before 1/15/12 race

I'm sitting at a coffee shop in Hershey with my wife and daughter. It's about 2 hours before the 5k race and i'm trying to focus on my goal for the race.
Goal? Have fun and finish the race with a smile.
Secondary goal: finish in 40 minutes or less.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Challenges ahead!

I just looked at the "elevation chart" for the Marine Corps full marathon and this is what I found....
elevation map. Basically the starting altitude is 48 and the ending Altitude is 93. That sounds simple enough right? Well what I haven't told you is that the elevation gain is 845. I will need to figure out how to plan for that dramatic gain. Fortunately it is mostly in the first few miles of the race. By mile 8-9 it will be fairly "flat."

I am curious what it will mean to train for this specific marathon, but before I get to that I have my first "frozen foot" 5K race tomorrow (Sunday) at 2pm. This will be my first race in the winter and I have no specific time goal (however, I would like to run under 35-40 minutes, but I'll take what I can get). OK, the reality is I do have a time goal, but I will try to keep in mind that I've never run a race this time of year.

I think at this point I will be running 2:30 and then walk for :30. If I'm still feeling good at mile marker 2 I will skip the walk breaks for the last 1.1 mile and finish strong.

I'll post my results on here.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Quote and my response 1/13/12

I am subscribed to quotes by Runner's World.

I wanted to share today's quote by Martin Luther King, Jr.:
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of
comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and

Now my response: I have a VERY difficult time with this weather and
allowing myself to be discouraged when it is windy, cold and

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My first real weather test

Tomorrow (Thursday) I choose to go running even though I know it will be raining. I will be extra careful to not slip (since I have a race on Sunday). I am doing this because I have a extra amount of work to do that still needs done tomorrow and it will take almost every moment of the day (I have 8 patients that I will be meeting with for 30 minutes each... which is at least 2 more than normal. So this is when running will help me to do what needs done in my day as a counselor :-).

Monday, January 9, 2012

Marine Corps Marathon

I decided that my primary goal for this year is the Marine Corps Marathon on October 28, 2012. In preparation I am running the Frozen Foot 5k's which are in Jan, Feb and March. This will hopefully get me out running as much as possible even when the weather is not favorable.

So you ask... why run a marathon Nate? You've already run three half-marathons... isn't that enough? It could be for some, but I'm looking to take it up another notch. Through reading about Jeff Galloway's run/walk/run method it seems more reasonable that with a TON of time and effort that I would be able to run a marathon. I've also been listening to a podcast called The Extra Mile Podcast- GALLOWAY EDITION and that has answered a lot of my questions (that I knew I had and some that I didn't know I had).

I won't really start officially training for the full-marathon until 6 months before the race. So that puts me to start at about the end of April or beginning of May. Obviously I will be doing training in the meantime so that I can raise my fitness level overall. I typically will run about 30 minutes during the week and typically between 60 and 90 minutes on the weekend.

I'm not sure who reads this, but it'd be cool if you could leave me a comment and let me know you are reading :-).

By the way, since part of this is accountability I didn't run this AM (Monday morning), but I plan to run Tuesday AM. I'm still having issues getting up so early and I'm trying to work through that!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Winter Gear

I'm trying to figure out what to wear on my head. I found this article on which is helpful.

I'm looking to run at 5am in the morning Monday. It will make for a more enjoyable day :-).

Goal: finish injury free and with a smile

All of the races that I run this year will be to help me stay healthy and happy. I'm not a fast runner. I post all of this as encouragement that if I can do this so can you. It's not about trying to win but to enjoy it and have fun.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

This week

I found this week of running very challenging due to the weather changing to be so cold.  I find that the coldness of the weather gets into my head the night before which makes it extremely difficult to get outside early.  I find that I can overcome this with positive motivation and visualization the night before and by slowly buying clothes that will make running in the cold more comfortable.  It's not about making it "easy," but it does not seem like a good idea to run too much longer without getting something designed for running on my head.  I've improvised by using running socks on my hand, but even that can only go so far.  

It's weird, but I think this running thing is for real.  I'm excited that I am able to run with a friend tomorrow (Saturday) at 6am.  He's the one that I trained with for my first half marathon.  I'm delighted that I'm going to have the opportunity to run my first full marathon this year (either October or November).  I wish I could register for it so I really would be committed to it, but that will have to wait until the Spring.

One week until my first cold 5k race in Etown.  My goal is to finish and to have a good time with it.  I"m not sure what type of run walk ratio I should use, but I can fairly easily run 3.1 miles except that it isn't too fast (around 12 min mile).  My goal for the last 5k (of the 3 in the Frozen foot series) is that I will get under 30 minutes or faster than 10min/mile.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A few pictures of my winter gear

Photo to the left is to show my gear. You can't see my headphones or my ipod, but that's an essential especially if it's dark (either in the AM or PM). I Jeff Galloway Run-walk timer. Next I need to point out that I'm wearing socks on my hands to keep them warm (I plan to eventually buy gloves). I also have my awesome Garmin GPS watch that Cindy bought me a few years ago (before I had run a half-marathon and now I've run three). Also I have this very cool spibelt that holds my house key and my cell phone.

This just shows how I block the wind with my PSU jacket (again that Cindy bought for me as a Christmas present). My orange vest so that I am visible to those who are driving.

This is the first time that I've been so determined to run while it is cold outside. I have a long way to go to be able to be "comfortable" out there, but it is a huge mental game to convince myself to get up so early.

My short run 1/4/11 in the PM

I decided to run this evening because I have missed several days in a row and I was loosing momentum. I'm not sure I would have made it out without the accountability of this blog.


12 degrees this AM feels like 4 degrees. Didnt run this AM. I dont have the proper clothes for that!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Motivation part 2

So what does it take to get up early to run? 1. Having a race in 2 weeks helps.
2. Knowing that I just need to get up and start running.
3. The feeling of completing a run before most people even wake up.
4. It makes me feel better emotionally and physically.
5. Helps me do a better job at handling life and the challenges it puts in my path.


Why am I doing this?  It's more than just for fitness.  Running helps me get through difficult challenges.  Will write more later.