Sunday, March 30, 2014

Race report: Capital 10-Miler - a run for the arts

Today I had my "most interesting" 10 mile race.  It became more of a mud run!  The forecast was 39 degrees--Wind speed 15 mph--Steady rain--Real feel 27 degrees.  Not ideal for a run, but I was running as a part of the Reily Regiment for Organization for Autism Research so no matter what the weather I was going to do my best.

I decided that it was important to be warm and dry as I could be so I ran 5 miles with a black trash bag over me.  I ditched the black bag a the second water stop.

After this point I decided to run through the some small and many large puddles.  I figured that my feet were already wet so why bother going around them.  It was SO MUCH easier to just run through them rather than around.  I passed several people this way :-).

Some of the things that I told myself during the race was "I feel good, I feel great," "relax, power, glide," "Just keep swimming," among others.

I used a 4/1 ratio for the first 7 miles.  This helped me to finish strong in the end.

During the last 3 miles I was inspired to run faster because I was running for OAR and more specifically for Alexander.  Thinking about this little guy and how hard he works to overcome his obstacles made my obstacles seems easy.  He is such an inspiration!

By far the hardest part of the race was running an out and back on the Harvey Taylor Bridge.  The cool thing was that I saw a few of my friends (Mike, Shelly, Mike) while I was on the bridge.

I made it a goal to pass 10 people while we were going back across the bridge.  I did pass 9 and was running with the 10th person toward the walking bridge.  I felt really good still so I decided to push it.   At this point in the race I was on a role and because of my 4/1 walk breaks for the first 7 miles I still felt great (even though I was cold and wet).  I still passed more people going to the finish line even though there were gusts of wind of at least 20 miles per hour (at least it felt like they were that strong).

I'm very pleased with a new PR of about 1:41 unofficial.

This is from after the race.  I was wet and cold, but still very happy after the race.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Running saved my life

Last week I posted that "running saved my life" and that I would explain in a post soon.

Here are some of the ways that "running saved my life."
1.  I'm a professional counselor and running helps me deal with the stress of my job.  If I didn't have running I'm not sure what I would do to cope with that stress.  Some days are harder than others and I know that if I miss a bunch of runs during the week I can physically and emotionally feel the difference.
2.  I never was technically overweight, but once I started as a substance abuse counselor about 2.5 years ago I was sitting most of my day.  This caused a problem for my weight and my overall feeling of well-being.  Running and eating healthier has really helped this.  I couple things I simply stopped doing to help me loose some weight.  First, I stopped drinking soda on a regular basis.  Second, I was more aware of what I was eating.  I asked the simple question: Is this _____ worth it.  May times it wasn't so I didn't eat it.  Don't get me wrong... I still REALLY like Cinnamon rolls after a long run (and I eat several :-) ).  That is my new weakness.  Running helps me keep what I eat in perspective.  I also make sure that I eat enough fruit and veggies.
3.  Running saved my life emotionally.  I truly believe this because running is an outlet for any stress or frustration that I might be going through in life.
4.  Running has saved my life because it has provided so many amazing friends.  I've had friends text me at 5am to help me get up for a run.  I've had friends (some of whom I haven't met... yet) who text me during a long run or race to encourage me.
5.  Running has saved my life because it has helped me realize that I can do much more than I could ever imagine.  Running has helped me get my Masters in Professional Counseling, it has helped me get my LPC (License for Professional Counseling).  Overall it has helped get me through the difficulties in my life.

So I must give a huge thank you to running.

Thank you to all my runner friends and all the inspiration you have provided.

Thank you to Coach Chris Twiggs for the help you provided. 

An even bigger thank you to my wife for putting up with my running and the time that it takes away from our family.  I hope and pray that you find it worth it and that you get a better husband when I run.

Thanks to my TNT friends, my Extra Mile Podcast friends, other charity runners, the other running podcasts that I listen to on a regular basis.

My life has changed for the better because of running and I truly believe that "running saved my life."


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Running while away

This week I had a run on Thursday this week.  I had the opportunity to go away this weekend for a Men's retreat.  I know how important it is to stay consistent at least with my long runs.

I met up at 630am with my friend John.  We ran in Lebanon near the Kenbrook retreat center.  We used a 4/1 ratio and john said he really liked having the walk breaks.  

I believe that running has saved me life.  I will write more later about this soon :).

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Training update, Altra Shoes, Autism research

This week of training was a different in a lot of ways.  For one I ran 4 times.  Also I bought new shoes on Thursday.  I have had difficulty with my right pinky toe (5th Metatarsal) poking through my Brooks Glycerin 11 even though they are wide.  I had heard about the Altra Zero Drop shoes by listening the the Extra Mile Podcast.  One of the huge differences about this shoe other than the obvious (Zero Drop) is the more natural and large toe box.  So far I'm loving the extra room for my toes.

So how's my training being going?  I'm pleased with how it is going as it is only the second week since I ran the 26.2 with Donna.  I ran 4 times training for the week.  I did the first two runs in my Brooks and the last two runs with my new Altra Zero Drop Shoes - Torin 1.5.  You can check them out here.

I did a short run on Tuesday and then  my long run for the week on Thursday.  I ran "at least 8" miles on Thursday this week (in my Brooks Glycerin).  It was weird for me to run further on Thursday, but I had off so I couldn't resist.  After that run was when I purchased the Altra Zero Drop Shoes.

Friday I went for an early run and did a total of 2 miles in my new shoes.  The felt great and I didn't have any pain in them.  Since it is so drastically different they recommend that I take my time and go slow and short.  I won't use these shoes in my next race that is a 10 mile race here in Harrisburg.  My second run was 3.1 miles and I did that this afternoon.  It was very nice and I was just running a fairly easy pace.  I looked at my watch and saw that I was averaging less than a 10 minute mile.  I thought maybe if I keep this up without much extra effort I could get a sub 30 min 5k without any issue.  I knew that it wouldn't be smart to go too fast with these new shoes since my body isn't adjusted, but I just ran naturally and it felt great.

Overall I am super pleased with my new shoes so far.  I will take it nice and easy and when necessary I will do a short run in the Altra's come back to my house and run the rest of my run with my Brooks.

I have an unexpected entry into a 10 mile race at the end of this month.  The cool thing is that since I'm in marathon shape and because I trained all winter I'm feeling really good about this.  I know I'll get a PR if all goes well.  Last year this is what I did... so this is what I'm officially competing against (1:47:35).  My crazy "A" goal would be to get 1:30, but anything faster than 1:47:35 would be awesome.  I'm running in place of my friend Linda.  I will be wearing an OAR singlet in honor of her mission to raise money for the Organization for Autism Research.  Go here to find out more or here if you'd like to donate funds to this extremely important cause.  Linda has been a huge support in helping me get to where I am today in my running.  This is a win/win situation for all parties involved.

Thanks for reading and I'd love to interact with you about what I've written.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Week 1 post 26.2 with donna

I had a wonderful time running in Florida and even though it rained at the end it was a great experience.

On Monday (the day after the marathon) I did a very slow, recovery run on the treadmill.  I put in two miles.  Overall, it felt good and it was helpful to get all that lactic acid out of my muscles.  I don't know about you, but I've read a bunch of studies that have suggested that it is better to run very slow after a hard race.

There are a lot of factors that helped me avoid the "marathon blues," this time.  First, I had an extra day or so before I needed to go back to work which helped.  Also, after my first marathon (MCM 2012) hurricane Sandy came through and forced us to leave earlier than expected which was frustrating.

The second factor was that I was aware of the possibility of being depressed after this run.

The third and last factor that I'm going to mention today is that I used the Galloway method for my training.  This meant that my recovery was much quicker and that I was able to enjoy the Jacksonville Zoo as well as keep a positive view after the marathon.

I ran 6 miles today at Messiah College.  This was fun because I've never felt so good after a race.  I could have gone farther, but I wanted to take things easy.  I ran with a few people that I've never run with before.  This was cool and we were able to use the 3:1 ratio.  It some way I was somewhat of a "pace group leader" since I made sure all three of us stuck together.  I ran slower during the last three miles because I didn't want to pull ahead, but I still felt wonderful.

Now several hours after the run I still feel excellent.

Next goal?  I have a 10 mile race that I'm running for my friend Linda.  She was injured last year and had this race deferred.  Now she's running a race in Philly on that day so I'm running in her place.  She runs for Autism Awareness and I will be sure to have something to represent this cause.  One of my favorite things about running is being able to do it for someone other than myself.  I truly believe that running has changed my life for the positive.  I am so grateful for it.

#rundonna #runhappy#OAR