Sunday, December 30, 2012

Resolution 5K 12/20/12

As a look back on this month I have not run a lot, but I've been working more on getting faster than running farther.  Today, I had a 5k race that I originally wanted to run in under 30 minutes.  This would have been a stretch, but a reasonable goal except that we had snow, wind and ice working against us.  I decided that my goal was to finish and to have all of my limbs in their current state.  I accomplished this and getting a new personal record.  I don't know exactly what my official time was for the race, but according to my Garmin I got 30:40.  This is a whole minute faster than my fastest recorded time this year.  I'm extremely pleased with this because it was a difficult run.  I am realizing now that I should have had some "yaktraxs" which I knew about before the run, but wish I had for this run.

I got to the run early and I spoke with a few of the other runners.  There is just something about having running in common that takes away any of the social awkwardness away.  I talked with the guy who won the race while we were waiting for it to start (in the warmth of the building).  I also talked with another guy who just ran his first marathon this year.  It's cool to be able to relate to people even though I never saw them before.  I also was standing there watching the awards and I ended up speaking with the guy who won our age group (30-39).  I think he finished in 22 minutes and some change.  The cool thing is that winning my age group is something that I obviously would love to do, but it's not high on the priority list.  I'm racing against myself and I beat myself by a WHOLE minute!  That's a really long time for a 5k (at least in my book). 

The biggest thing that I want work on this year is being more consistent during the weekday runs/gym workouts.  I am really good getting out there on the weekend, but during the week seems to be a challenge.  As I mentioned before in post, I don't think of myself as an "all or nothing" kind of guy when it comes to exercise, but that seems to be my tendency.  I am working on my cross-training during this season to make sure that I am continuing to be stronger and run faster.

Again my "bottom line" goal for 2013 is to run a half-marathon in under 2 hours (1:59:59 would work)
Get under 30 minutes for the 5k (I might make this even harder depending on how things go during the Frozen Foot 5k Series

I hope that my posts are an inspiration to you.  I write about this for my own accountability and so that you can see the reality that "if I can do this so can you!"

2013 is coming ... so get out there!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Looking back and looking forward

I was inspired to write this post by a running podcast called "The Extra Mile."  You can find it here.  Kevin encourages us to take a look back at 2012 and look forward to 2013.  So here's my attempt at doing that.

Looking back at 2012: 
According to my logs at Daily Mile I have run 721.34 miles
My farthest run was 26.52 miles on Oct 28, 2012 (Marine Corps Marathon)
My fastest average pace (for at least a 3 mile run) was 9:39 min/mile on December 24, 2012 (yesterday!)

The races that I ran in 2012 were the Frozen Foot 5K race series (Elizabethtown, PA).  DUI Memorial 10K(Harrisburg, Front Street), Harrisburg Half (Harrisburg, Front Street), Marine Corps Marathon (Washington DC), Blood Sweat and Tears 5 miler (Lawn, PA), SMT Turkey Trot (New Cumberland), and I will be running the Resolution 5K (Wildwood Park).

My high point for this year was training for an running the Marine Corps Marathon with Team In Training.  I ran with some amazing people.  To say that this event changed my life is an understatement.  I am forever changed by this experience.  Running for me has become a lifestyle rather than just to run races.  This experience helped me realize that I can do significantly more in life than I thought was possible.  The role of the mind to overcome physical barriers is tremendous.  Using mantras such as "I love hills, I feel good/I feel great, run happy, relax/power/glide."  Another super high point of this year and the Marathon was being able to run with my friend Amanda.  It was both of our first marathon and since I typically start out too fast I caught up with her.  This was a highlight because we ran with each other for most of the race.  She helped me keep my pace and we talked about everything.  One time I distinctly remember her asking me "what are you thinking about?"  I responded with "I feel good/I feel great... "  I think I was stuck in my head at that moment.  Having someone to run with me who had similar goals of finishing and doing the best we could.

I would say my low point was the two weeks following the marathon when my coach suggested that we completely take off of running.  This was super hard for me and when I do it again I will make sure I get to the gym to at least use the bike or something.  I missed the routine and the endorphins.  This was also hard because I trained so hard for literally 11 months and the "let down" of being done was very hard.  Nothing I had every done really prepared me for this.  Also if I'm honest realizing that I won't be able to do a  marathon this year is a "low point."  I know that this is for the best because of the time commitment of properly training for a marathon is huge (and if you've done it before you know what I'm talking about).  I have a 16 month (almost 17 month) baby girl and I want to be supportive to my wonderful wife.  I still plan to do two half-marathons, but a marathon is just out of my reach for 2013.

My goals for 2013 include breaking 30 minutes in an official 5k, breaking the 2 hour mark for a half marathon and continuing to run happy and enjoy running to the fullest.

My non-running exercise goal for 2013 is to make it to the gym more often (2-3 times per week) and get up at 4:45am as often as possible to either run or get to the gym.

I appreciate you reading my blog.  Please leave comments if you would like.  I plan to blog one more time before the end of the year (I want to write about my last race of the year on Dec 30th).  Have a great day!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

12/22/12 Negley Run

Today we had a frigid run.  I know that I'm a social runner and that it is very difficult for me to get outside when it's cold outside.  However, the one consistent thing I have done this past year is run on Saturdays.  The few Saturdays that I didn't run something didn't feel right.  Anyway, this was the second run that I organized for my TNT friends.  We had a few more people this time which was impressive due to the wind and cold.

We started at 9am at City Island and we ran to Negley Park.  This run was similar to my first run with TNT earlier this year.  One great thing about this run is that there is a hill, but that it's manageable.  Second is that once you get to the top it is all downhill.  This downhill is where I caught up with a few of the faster runners in our group.  Since it was so windy I wasn't trying to break any records, but I did run a 10.10/mile pace.  I'm VERY happy with this since I did not get much exercise in this week.

This week I did not make it to the gym.  I am learning how to forgive myself for this and to move on and do better the next day.   For me it's about not allowing myself a choice and getting out there and doing it regardless of whether I want to or not.  Immediate accountability outside of my family is very important as well.  The reality is that I am not that far from my next half marathon race and I want to keep myself in shape and move to the next level.

I know that work will be crazy next week since I need to do 40 hours worth of work in three days.  This means that I will be doing some exercise on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  I will make sure I get in at least one other workout in there during those three days.  My "resolution run 5K" is on Dec 30th which is next Sunday.  I think I will try to get a run in at Wildwood park either Christmas Eve or Christmas day.  If anyone wants to join me that'd be awesome :-).  Just leave a message here or email me at natewagn08 at gmail dot com.

My obvious goal for my 5K on Dec 30 would be to get under 30 minutes.  That would be a Personal record by at least a minute.  I'll let you know how that goes.

I will be posting more specific 2013 exercise goals before the new year.  Thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

12.15.12 Messiah Run

This week I made it to the gym Monday through Friday and had a great run outside with my TNT friends on Saturday.  Monday, Tuesday and Thursday I did treadmill workouts.  Mostly used some interval training and gradually made it go faster.  I am learning how best to use the treadmills and I'm am starting to not be so afraid of the treadmill.  The crazy thing about this week was that I did something either at the gym or outside every day this week (6 days in a row).  Before you get concerned about me over-training I want to make clear that during those gym days I spent about 30 minutes on the treadmill on my running days and about the same amount of time on the bike.  I did not push all that hard during these workouts.  The point for me was just to get to the gym and enjoy the process.

Today I met with my TNT friends at Messiah College.  This is the most challenging location for runs because of all the hills.  Today I was originally just going to do about 8 miles (since it was Messiah) and because I hadn't run beyond 6 miles for a little while.  However, I had some positive peer pressure and I decided to go ahead and do the 10 miles.

The most memorable parts about this run was the people.  We had good conversations.  I also remember seeing a cow just chilling.  I think I saw an bird of prey (falcon) at some point, but I'm not certain.  I kept a decent pace for this run (about a 10:30 min/mi) which is much better than my typical hilly run.  I need more runs like this in order to prepare for the Chambersburg Half.  One of the guys that I was running with talked a little bit about the Chambersburg Half and he said that the hills are comparable to Messiah.  I have my work cut out for me for that race.  It's a really small race so we'll see how that goes!

I'm very motivated and encouraged by the consistency that I was able to accomplish this week.  This was a "first ever" experience of having 5 days of the gym and then running 10 miles the next day.  I'm taking Sunday completely off (though it might be good to get a short walk in there somewhere).

Next week I plan to run a few more times outside (as the weather allows) and to still make it to the gym Wednesday and Friday for cross-training.  My focus will continue to be on developing my core.

I'm thinking about organizing a run starting at City Island next Saturday because I don't think anything is officially scheduled.  One of my goals between now and next Saturday is develop specifically what my training plan will be between now and the Chambersburg Half, March 9, 2013 (that's 12 weeks).  Fortunately, I just ran a fairly challenging 10.5 mile run today so I'm not concerned about it being so soon.

Until next time... running for those who can't... and running for a cure.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

12/8/12 update and more

This week I ran outside Monday and today (Saturday).  Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I did not run outside or go to the gym (Thursday I had breakfast with a friend at 5:30 am).  I made it to the gym on Friday.  Today I had a refreshing run with my TNT friends in Lancaster.  We met at F&M college and did a lovely loop.  I was surprised with my overall time because I gave moderate effort at most and my pace was 10 min/mile (all but the first mile was sub 10:00).  This is very encouraging because even though I ran once and made it to the gym once during the week I am still improving.  This is not to say that I'm going to continue to go to the gym once a week... but I know that I am getting faster and getting much more confidence.

Getting back to the run, I had some good conversation and I also ran a little bit by myself.  I just made sure I could see someone in front of me so that I wouldn't get lost.  I also saw someone who was generally running faster than me and my goal by the time I got the end was to catch up with them.  I managed this and surprised myself.  :-).

I've mentioned before that since I did MCM last year and I'm NOT doing a marathon in 2013 that it has been challenging to have meaningful goals.  I also specifically pointed out in an earlier post that my goal for 2013 is to get faster to the point where I can run a sub-2:00 half marathon.  I know this means that I will need to get "comfortable" with running 9 minute miles (which I'm getting closer).

The 5K races that I will be running are as follows
Resolution 5K  run 12/30/12 at 2pm sharp at Wildwood Park Nature Center
Cost:  $14.65 (online)

2013 5k Races
The Frozen Foot Winter Series 2013 - Dates: January 20th - February 17th - March 17th 
Held at Elizabethtown College located at 1 Alpha Drive, Elizabethtown, PA. 17022 
You can do one, two or all three races.  I will be doing all three.
 Go here to find out more:
3 race series: $48.25  (online) -
- includes a great long sleeve tech shirt
individual race (no shirt) - online cost: $25.15 use link above

I'm sure I'll race other 5K's but this is what I have for now.

2013 10K races
June 1, 2013 - ArtSHIP 10K
Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, PA 
Racing this to keep me on my "A" game, plus it's really close to where I work and I could run some of the course
Cost: $20 on

2013 Half-Marathon Races
March 9, 2013 - Chambersburg Half
challenging course;
includes long-sleeve t-shirt
- have not officially registered for this race, but this is my top choice right now for a Spring 2013 race.  Goal at this point will be to run faster than 2:31 which is my current PR.  

 September 7, 2013 - Bird-in-Hand Half Marathon
Farmlands of Amish Country.
Course is NOT flat, but will be lots of fun :-).
This race will be my "A" race.  My goal will to be run a sub-2:00 half-marathon.
- have not registered yet, but registration is open.

That's the races that I'm planning to run this year.  I'm sure I'll run other 5K's and/or 10K's as well.  Let me know what you're going to run/race this year.

Looking forward to an amazing 2013!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

12/1/12 update

This week I ran outside on Monday. I took off Tuesday and Wednesday (not on purpose). Made it to the gym for a treadmill workout on Thursday and on Friday I did the stationary bike at Planet Fitness. Overall, I'd say it was a successful week of exercise. The interesting thing is that I was pretty hard on myself for not getting up on Tuesday. Then when I didn't get up on Wednesday I felt even worse about it! That's what made it "easier" on Thursday because I knew how I would feel both mentally and physically if I didn't go so I made sure I went. My most recent thought/quote that has helped is "When the alarm goes of I have a choice: Go back to sleep and dream I am running. or Put on my shoes. Hit the road and make my dreams come true. Choose wisely." I don't know about you, but I feel amazing after I workout. I find that just going to the gym makes a huge difference.

I have been really thinking about what I will do as far as a spring half marathon. Until this weekend I was set on doing the Historic Half-Marathon in Fredricksburg, VA. I'm not so sure that's going to happen now. We have other financial obligations and I'm not sure that it makes sense for us to spend several hundred dollars to stay in a hotel when we have my undergrad loans that we REALLY want to have paid off (not to mention Graduate loans too). At this point (Dec 1st), I think I might still run an unofficial half marathon in the Spring (or try to find one closer). If I run an unofficial half I would need to make sure I have water stops set up along the way to make sure it is a good experience. I won't be able to officially break the two hour mark for a half marathon in the spring, but I will have my sights set on the Harrisburg Half 2013 and I know with the right training and execution that I will certainly be able to get a new PR (anything less than 2:31 will be a new personal record) and if everything works out I would get sub two hours for a half marathon.

I still need to talk with my wife about all that I just posted, but I think that creating a extremely strong base for the half is my plan. I am also working on creating a plan on exactly what exercises I should do for my abs, how many and the rest of the specifics of that workout. I know that my workout for abs should be over 30 minutes (per Coach Larry), but I'm still trying to figure out what I should do.

So how am I creating a new habit of getting up during the week to workout?
1. Creating a goal - My goal is to get a sub 2 hour half marathon. This won't just happen. Need commitment and determination and a whole lot of work.
2. Accountability in the AM. I have this to a certain extent but I'm meeting up with anyone. Have friends who are willing to text me at 5am.
3. Having a plan. I need to be more specific about this. I want to have a more specific running and gym plan.

So how can I strengthen number 3? I will do my best to make sure I have a more specific plan on what I will do for my core workout.

I'm excited that I'm doing better getting to the gym. I want to create a habit where it is normal to get up at 445am rather than hitting the alarm. Again, I know what happens if I go to the gym.