Archive for Training

3.5 miles yesterday and 5 miles today – with my son joining in for 1

I managed to squeak in 3.5 Dopey Challenge training miles last night on the treadmill after I thought I had lost my opportunity to get the miles in earlier in the day. So that was a nice surprise…time and energy at the same time!

I then started this morning with some pool and hot tub time to get a relaxing start to the day before my wife, Heather, had to head out.

She took our daughter (K) with her so it was a good opportunity to grab our son (T) and get him moving and excited to start training for the 10k race during the Disney World Marathon weekend.

The four of us are signed up for the 5k on the Thursday, T and I are doing the 10k and then I have the half and full to round out the Dopey Challenge for the weekend.

It should be an interesting trip but to make sure T finds it enjoyable, I need to make sure he gets trained up and stays excited about the race. He has done a couple 5ks before but it would be good if he could do the 10k with energy left over to have fun that day.

So training it is!

In the end he did 1 mile on Heather’s treadmill (which I am not allowed to touch in case I break it…again). He did some running and some walking and tried a bit of speed to test himself out. And I watched to make sure he was being safe. (full treadmill safety briefing supplied before he got on) He did great and maintained his enthusiasm, which is phenomenal.

I did 5 miles on the more robust treadmill (that I have still managed to break once…so far) getting in some speed work. This was good – while I am not as fast as I once was, the speed work does help you feel more alive. A very helpful thing to do to get past what can seem like trudging when doing longer runs on the treadmill.

A good couple days of running as I start getting myself properly motivated to train again.

Weight on the other hand is odd – my weight jumped 3 pounds in 2 days?? I believe this is due to stress and anxiety so I am really focusing on trying to relax more to back off the stress. I am also starting to more closely regiment what I am eating to help both the stress and the weight.

Stay tuned for more!!

10.75 miles this morning in some light rain – just to prove to myself I still could

I got up this morning mentally trying to find a way out of running.

This kind of sucked because I had made a conscious and clear choice to not run last night so that I could force myself to do a longer outdoor run this morning.

Weather radar showed rain coming so maybe I should just do a shorter run on the treadmill instead of a longer run outside? But if I looked honestly at the radar I could tell that the rain was mostly going to miss us anyway.

I eventually got myself out the door (with a bottle of water this time!) and was getting rained on before I got to the end of the street. Just a light rain though so I wasn’t able to convince myself to stop.

I then continued on from there at an easy pace and got to about 1.25 miles in – at this point I could make a right turn and do my standard 4.45 mile loops around the neighborhood or I could continue out on an out and back stretch that would mean I would need to do at least 8 miles.

If I did the standard loop there was a good chance that I would convince myself to stop after one lap and not hit my goal of getting a double digit mile run in again finally. (I haven’t done one since the Spruce Woods 50k in May.)

In the end I was able to force myself to go on the out and back knowing that I would get at least 8 miles and depending on how I was doing around 7 miles in I could make an adjustment and get closer to 11 miles.

I kept my pace fairly slow and steady and really didn’t need any walk breaks until 7 miles or so – that was a nice surprise.

Thankfully around the 7 mile point I was able to convince myself to not take the short way home and stop at 8 miles and continued on a path that would take me to the double digit mile zone.

Still getting off and on rain at this point and at around the 10 mile point it was coming down pretty good. Since I was now over 10 miles, I decided that I had accomplished my goal and headed home.

In the end I got in 10.75 miles in around the 2 hour point. Definitely not fast compared to what I have done in the past but the real victory was that I got out there and did the miles. 

I have to keep reminding myself though that just because I could do it better before it doesn’t mean I can now. I can get back there but I need to rebuild and that means not comparing myself to past me except as motivation and not as a way to get frustrated and stop.

I have a bit of a mantra…”Run your own race!” basically meaning run to your own abilities and training and the victory is not in beating the other runners but in doing your best. The issue with this now is that the other runner in this case is me…but me from a few years back. I can’t just discourage myself with “I used to be able to do this” but instead build myself up with “I will be able to do that again!” and take the steps necessary to get there from where I am now.

My hope is now that I have broken that 10 mile point again that I have pushed through whatever mental barrier I have been fighting with doing the longer runs. I think the next few longer runs will still take a lot of coaxing to get going but now that I have set a precedent it should be easier.

Now I have to follow my rebuilding plan to get stronger for a decent fall race or 2 and build a base for more dedicated training for Dopey Challenge in January!

Slow and hot run – air was thick like soup!

I woke up this morning, looked outside and saw that it had rained overnight and hoped it meant it would be cool and a longer run could be done.

…then I checked the actual temperature…yeah the rain did nothing for the heat. 23C (73.4F) feeling like 30C (86F) at 9 am? Ouch.

So instead of running the dogs like I had hoped, I walked them for 0.85 miles and even with an easy walk I could tell the heat was already taking them down. 

After getting them home, I grabbed a bottle of water, put my shoes back on and went out for my run with the idea to either do 2 miles or 4.5 depending on how the heat felt. I realized about a 1/4 mile in that I put down the water bottle when I put my shoes on and didn’t pick it back up. I took stock of the heat and decided on a short 2 miles just to be safe. I am not in the shape I used to be in and going to hard and far in the heat when I am not used to it is asking for trouble.

After the run I got straight in the pool to cool my body temperatures down before having a shower.

I am now assessing my plans for the rest of the day that included lots of outdoor work – I think that work gets pushed to tomorrow at this point! One of the items I needed to do was to move the hot water tank I replaced on Friday to the recycle depot at the dump – that does not sound (or smell probably) like a pleasant experience today.

I had also thought about taking the dogs to the off leash dog park today with the kids but I am thinking that isn’t wise either.

Looks like a swimming day!

Time to wake up!!

Ok – time to wake up and get going again.

A combination of stress, anxiety, injury and just plain laziness has taken me down.

I have been on a slow decline running wise and a slow incline weight wise since the Dopey Challenge in January 2015.

Some quick history:

I struggled a bit through spring 2015 with some health issues and still got some decent miles in but nothing like I did in 2014.

I started 2016 with a run streak that lasted until April before it crapped out due to a work project going late one night, and after that a general level of stress and malaise seeped into my running in general.

I figured I would get pepped up again for training for the 2017 Goofy Challenge…but that didn’t happen. Between stress and an issue with my Achilles, I went into that race in poor shape and carrying more weight than I would like.

After Goofy, I figured I would at least get more motivated to run the Spruce Woods 50k in May…but again no luck. I was able to train some but work stress hammered me hard and I did not train well.

 

That then brings me to now…not much training, even more weight gain (some of it seemed very sudden), very stressed out, feel almost scared a good chunk of the time and motivation in the toilet.

Now, I know that most people will use running as a way to vent the stress…but what do you do when running becomes a source of stress?

I have been worried about how much slower I am getting, how much less endurance I have, how my ankle keeps seeming to get hurt…and on and on…I am a bit of a worrier, in case it wasn’t obvious.

Add this on top of work stress and it feels like constant stress and anxiety. And unfortunately, if I’m not running I will deal with stress with sugar. Which then leads to more weight and the spiral continues.

So how to fix this? Suggestions are welcome but below are my thoughts on some changes I am making to get going again.

I put a bar fridge in my office at work – this gives me a few things:

  1. I will not eat out at lunch as often on work days – saving money and greasy burger calories
  2. Packing lunches will make me more conscious of what I am eating
  3. I am able to do smaller more frequent meals during the day to help the metabolism
  4. I can keep various lower calorie condiments and such at work to add flavour to what I am eating making it more likely that I will continue to want to eat my packed lunches

 

I have switched my breakfast from quick toast to a couple quick scrambled eggs. The extra protein should help me in general but I know I have issues with weight gain due to bread (if I have bagels for breakfast a few days in a row it isn’t unusual for me to gain a few pounds) so reducing bread while eating something that will last longer in my system is a good thing. Way back when I started this blog I lost a lot of weight tied into having a high protein breakfast and I am going to break those habits back out.

Focused races – I was waffling on up to 4 races in September – 2 marathons, a half and a 24 hour ultra. I was thinking about all of these while knowing that I need to get a decent time in for a half or a full marathon by October 3rd for coral placement for the Dopey Challenge in January 2018.

This means I had to consciously drop even thinking about 2 of them (the marathons) – focus on getting ready for the half and leave the ultra on the back burner once I see if I can get running properly again.

Have a plan! I have roughed out a training plan similar to an 18 week plan and I started that this week. If I follow it, I will be near marathon ready come late October / early November. I will then have a few months from there to really focus on the back to back to back to back running I need to do in January for the Dopey Challenge.

Actually stick to the plan! About 5 days in and the average isn’t going great here but I kind of figured it would take time to build up and I am working on getting that mental strength back again.

Blog! Blogging has fully died on me – both here and in a few other places so I am going to have to revive that. That may mean random nonsense and simple reports of how I ran this day or that day but I need to start somewhere.

Vlog? I enjoyed yapping at the camera with my thoughts after the Spruce Woods Ultra 50K race (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97OsS0WJHZE&t=337s) and I think I will try some more of that in the near future. I have recorded a few thing that I still need to edit and see if they are ok but I have some ideas and look forward to seeing how that goes.

 

 

Walk! I am going to start having to walk more – I will still probably run at least one of the dogs (the one that enjoys it) but I will need to walk them longer and more frequently. It will be good for me and for them!

Review what supplements I am taking. I was taking a handful of different things every day – most to do with maybe helping with my mood – but I have cut back and not taken anything for over a week. I will be bringing back in vitamin D soon (especially for days I don’t get out to run in the sun or play around in the pool) and may also bring back in the Omega 3 supplements. Most everything else I will leave on the shelf.

….I’m not 100% sure what else at this point but that is a solid start.

Here we go!

2017 plans. A return to form and a push to Dopey Challenge 2018!?!

With a new year we get a chance to reflect on things both good and bad from the past year and make plans for the future. What do we want to change? What should we keep doing? What can we do (or not do) to build ourselves and others up?

For the coming year there are a few things I know I need to change both running wise and just for life in general.

I don’t like to make resolutions since they usually get broken pretty damned quick – instead I am going to make a few commitments to myself.

 

First Commitment:

2018 Dopey Challenge – I am just days away from heading down to Orlando / Disney World for the 2017 Goofy Challenge but I am committing to running the 2018 Dopey Challenge now and doing it well. I want a better overall time than I got when I ran it in 2015. I was very happy with my overall time and strength that year and if I want to better that time, then I need to start work now and build through the year. I did 1971 miles in 2014 leading up to the 2015 Dopey Challenge so I will be trying to beat those numbers for 2017. I also set my PRs in the half and full marathons in 2014, so I will have some work to do to rebuild here.

In 2018 the race will be the 5th anniversary of the Dopey Challenge, the 5th anniversary of the Minnie 10k and the 25th anniversary of the Walt Disney World Marathon. That is a party I want to be involved with! I suspect there will be many who feel the same way so hopefully I can get in through the early entry with my annual pass!

My wife and I want to bring the kids down for this one too. I am doing Goofy Challenge this year and Heather is doing the Glass Slipper Challenge in February. We both have fallen in love with runDisney races and we really want to share that with the kids and get them more active at the same time. So we intend to do the 5k with them and see where else we end up. Our son is old enough to do the 10k so we will see if we can get him interested in that too. We are going to start building them up to this with the Pro Bowl 5k on January 28th – they will get a taste of a race through Epcot and hopefully they will catch the bug too!

Basically, all my running this year must lead toward this goal.

 

Second Commitment:

Spruce Woods Ultra – I let myself down on this one in 2016. I didn’t run my own race and it cost me. I know I could have completed this race and it eats at me a bit that I messed it up. So this year I will do it again and do it properly (properly for me – RUN MY OWN RACE). The only thing here is that I will have to decide what distance – 50k, 50 miles or 100k (smart enough to know I will not be ready for a 100 miler any time soon). Completing the race will be rebuilding my confidence so I need to figure out if I will feel better running a very strong 50k or if going well beyond 50k will work better.

The decision here will depend on how well my Achilles tendon continues to recover. I also don’t want to jeopardize 2018 Dopey Challenge with a big injury during the year. I realize you risk injury on every run and you can’t let that hold you back from reaching your goals…but there is a big difference between taking chances and deliberately flitting with disaster.

This race is in May, so I have some time to decide how things are going before I finalize my plans.

 

Third Commitment:

24 hour Lemming Loop – considering I really had no idea what I was getting into and my Achilles tendon didn’t cooperate  at all, I am a fairly happy with what I accomplished at the 2016 Lemming Loop…but I know I can do better.

I want to do this one again when I am stronger and healthier and just see what I can do. I have always thought my strength as a runner was more about endurance and quick recovery and this event lends itself to those traits. And I want to know what I am capable of here.

 

Other things:

These aren’t quite the same as the commitments above but they are things that will either need to happen or I want to happen over the year.

 

Lose weight…this one starts to sound a bit like a New Years resolution but it really isn’t. With my reduced mileage and injuries, my weight has crept up over the past year and a half and I have probably gained back 20 of the pounds I had previously lost. This needs to be rectified to achieve my goals above. I know how to do it and this will happen.

 

Marathon Maniacs – there are about 4 marathons run near(ish) to where I live and either combined with each other or with the ultras listed above I should be able to get Marathon Maniac status this year. I think this is something that would be pretty cool – but I am not going to commit to it as being healthy for the above races will take precedent as will various family commitments through the year.

 

Half Marathons – there are a few I like to do every year and I will most likely do so again with the goal of getting some speed back. My half PR is 1:46:00 and getting back there this year might be difficult but I think I can get back down to sub 1:50 and I would be quite happy with that.

 

Stress reduction – Over the past year or so I have been dealing with some big stressors that have been impacting my running motivation. I need to find a way to deal with those. At this point I suspect doing additional writing on the blog will help. I have been a bit lax over the past year on the blog but I will be picking it up and posting more. I find the writing helps focus my brain and lets me come up with solid plans better…so let’s do that.

 

As a conclusion, I have to say I am fairly excited about the upcoming year of running and looking forward to see where I end up!

Good luck to everyone in 2017!!