Week in Review – Feb 22, 2015

This post is quite a bit late, but better late than never I guess! Things have been busy around the house so I didn’t get a chance to post my training for last week, but here we go.

Training

Week Ending Feb 22, 2015
Week Ending Feb 22, 2015

This week I logged 38.57 miles in 5:28:25. Training felt pretty good all week. Sunday I didn’t have enough time with things going on, so I had to split up my long run. I did 7 miles to start the morning, and then late that evening I did another 3 miles. This was the first time I split up a long run like that. I don’t think that it was bad to do as I still got miles in, but I don’t feel like I got the best workout for stamina.

Splitting long runs is a well used tactic, especially in marathon training. I don’t think that it works for me in half marathon training. Like I said, it is great to get the miles in, but I need to also work on stamina for concurrent long runs. That said, I don’t think I will be splitting runs again if I can help it. But, when need be, it is always an option.

That is it for this week. Not much else was going on this week. Hope everyone can get out and run!

Nuun Review

Nuun Hydration
Nuun Hydration

Today I want to talk about a product that I have been using for a while. It is Nuun (as you can tell by the picture I am sure). Now in the spirit of full disclosure, I am a Brand Ambassador for Nuun. They do not pay me, though I can get a little bit of a discount on items I order. With that disclaimer, here is my review of Nuun (which I would have the same opinion either way in all honesty).

For those who don’t know what Nuun is, it is a hydration product similar to a Gatorade or Powerade type product. Now I, like most people have always liked Gatorade, and more recently Powerade Zero. I liked Gatorade, but I did not like the calories that it contains. There are lower calorie version now, but still more calories than I would like to drink. Powerade Zero was great in that it was Zero calories. I could drink as much as I wanted and not worry about my calories, but it is lacking some nutritional value in what I needed by being zero calorie. Nuun is 7 calories per tab. You mix one tab with 16 ounces of water to make your drink as needed. Now I actually mix it with about 20 ounces of water to make it go a little further and it still tastes great. The tab fizzes away within a couple minutes and you are left with a slightly carbonated drink.

There are 3 different offerings from Nuun. Active, Energy, and All Day. The energy version has a bit of caffeine in it for those situations when you need caffeine. Active is the recovery formula I use the most during and after exercise, and the All Day version is meant to be more of just a water flavoring to allow you to drink more water.

I have tried several different flavors and haven’t really found one I do not like, but my favorites are Kona Cola (Energy), and the Lemon-Lime (Active) flavor.

I highly recommend giving Nuun a try! It is refreshing and I find that it really does work. I drink more water and recover easier, especially from hard workouts if I drink Nuun during and after.

You can read more about Nuun and purchase from their website at http://www.nuun.com/.

Week in Review – Feb 15, 2015

This week I had a good week of training and got a new pair of shoes! Check it out below.

Training

Week Ending 02-15-2015
Week Ending 02-15-2015

This week I was ran 36.73 miles in 5:26:25. My long run today was the first long run I was able to do in the last couple of weeks. I was sick last week and the week before I was tapering to get ready for the 15K I was supposed to run last weekend. It felt really good to put on some longer miles. I was going to do 10 miles, but was feeling so good I ran an extra mile and did 11. I could have went further, but we had to get going to a birthday party so I had to stop. I also used a new pair of shoes and my new Injinji toe socks. Everything felt great. I also used a Huma Gel for the first time and did well with it.

New Gear

image via saucony.com
image via saucony.com

As I mentioned above, I got a new pair of shoes this week. I picked up a pair of Saucony Zealot ISO shoes. These are a new shoe that is replacing the Saucony Cortana in their lineup. It is a neutral, 4mm offset, cushioned trainer. I ran a little over 22 miles in them this week (with today’s 11 miles the furthest at once) and I have found them to be comfortable. They are very light weight and have been comfortable to wear. o far I enjoy them, and if the next couple of weeks go well in them, I will probably pick up a second pair as I will be starting my half marathon training in two weeks. I think right now these will be the shoes I want to wear for the half.

We also picked up some of the Huma gel that I previewed during the VIP night a couple weeks back. I used some for the first time with my long run today, and I enjoyed it. I tried the mango flavor (which I tried at the VIP night and new I liked). Seems like it provided great energy boost and felt more like a real food than GU. I picked up a few different flavors so I will be trying them. Only downside is price. They are quite a bit more expensive than GU (about double).

Well, that is it for this week. I hope everyone gets out and has a chance to run! Have a great week!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal

Today I want to share a recipe of sorts with you. It is what I eat for breakfast pretty much everyday. There are sometimes when I eat something else, but not many. This is a super simple and very customizable breakfast item.

1. Make any kind of oatmeal you like (instant, old fashioned, steel cut, whatever you like).

2. Stir in a spoonful of peanut butter (whatever you like best though a good natural peanut butter is the best option).

3. EAT!

Pretty simple right?

Oatmeal and Peanut Butter
Oatmeal and Peanut Butter

This is what I have been using. I really like the Oat Fit by Better Oats Maple & Brown Sugar flavor oatmeal. By itself it tastes great and the Oat Fit is only 100 calories per serving. I have been using the Skippy peanut butter because it is what we have, but when that runs out I will be switching to a natural peanut butter.

Stir in a scoop of peanut butter.
Stir in a scoop of peanut butter.

Now some flavor combinations work better than others. Maple & Brown Sugar has been my favorite mixed with the peanut butter.

Nutrition Info

This will vary wildly depending on the oatmeal and how much peanut butter you use but for me it is as follows:

Calories: 178

Carbs: 20

Fat: 8

Protein: 6

Sodium: 270

Sugar: 2

Week in Review – Feb 8, 2015

This week was fairly terrible. Let’s get right into it.

Training

Week Ending Feb 8, 2015
Week Ending Feb 8, 2015

This week I ran a very low 16.31 miles in 2:26:58. I was planning to run a bit less as I had a race on Saturday, Feb 7th, but not quite this low. I ended up getting the stomach flu that has been going around here late Wednesday night. It was TERRIBLE! I couldn’t sleep all night. I was doing the things you do when you are sick from both ends. It was not good. I felt terrible all day Thursday and part of the day Friday. By the afternoon on Friday I was feeling better, but I was so dehydrated, I didn’t want to risk running a 15K. If I had signed up for the 5K, I probably would have still done it, but the 15K just seemed like too much when I couldn’t get hydrated. So the flu Wednesday night stopped all my training and my race for the rest of the week. I am feeling better today, and I will be easing back into training tomorrow.

The good news in all of this is a couple of things. First, I was having a bit of pain in my feet, so after the race, I was planning to take a few days off to recover before going into the next training cycle. Being sick and not being able to run has taken care of that for me. Second, I really miss running! Which is good because it is a good reminder of just how much I love it and need to get back to it. Not just for the running itself, but for the eating! It has been a struggle the past couple of days with my appetite back, and not working out. I have gained a couple of pounds, but it isn’t the end of the world. I will just work hard to get them back off! the third thing, is that is gave me some time to think about my training regimen. I have decided to add some strength training to my running. I have done some here and there, but I am going to be putting some stuff together I can do at home with little to no equipment. Things to help my form as well as my overall strength. Lastly, (and not related to running at all) I got to spend some good time with the family. The kids were gone on Saturday, so my wife and I had a chance to finally go out and look for a new couch that we were in desperate need of, and we actually found one we both fell in love with.  Today, we got to go and do a little bit of bowling and hang out at home together. It was a nice weekend.

All in all, being down for four days, wasn’t the end of the world. I was totally bummed to miss the race, and more bummed to gain a couple pounds, but in the overall scheme of things, it could be a lot worse. So I am choosing to take this as a positive thing and move forward from here. There will be more races, and there will be more chance to run, so all is not lost.

Hope you had a good week and get a chance to get out and run!

Looking Back at 2014, Ahead to 2015

I know that we are now into February 2015 already, but I wanted to take a moment and look back at 2014, and to look ahead at 2015.

Looking back at 2014

I had some goals or maybe you could call them resolutions going into 2014. I never really wrote them down or said them out loud, but I did think about them almost everyday.

Really there was one major resolution or goal. I wanted to make 2014 the year of me. Now that may sound bad, but let me explain. I wanted to do things and set goals for myself that would make me a better person.

The first part of that resolution was that I knew I needed to get in shape and lose weight. I was at least 320 pounds (possibly more). I was not healthy and was not happy with myself. As of today, I have lost 120 pounds and I am probably in the best shape of my life.  So number the first part was a success.

The second part of the resolution was to spend more time with my wife and kids. I accomplished this by taking far fewer jobs with my photography business (and in fact I officially closed it at the end of 2014). Previous years found me busy every weekend with weddings and working on the pictures from those weddings. It just got to be too much and I did not want to miss my kids growing up. We got to do more camping and more fun things (like the kids did a bunch of fun runs and other things when we weren’t camping or spending time up north). I feel like I was successful with the second part.

The third part was that I wanted to grow my beard out for the entire year. Now to be honest, part of this was tied in with part number one. I looked at my beard as a visual reminder of my commitment to workout and eat better to try and be healthy. My wife however, hated it. I ended up making it into July before I shaved it off. Part of why I did that was to make my wife happy, but also I felt like I had made a good habit of working out and eating better, and that I wanted to try without the constant visual reminder. I succeeded on the second part of that, because I continued of course to work out and be healthy, but I failed in that I didn’t make it the full year.

So overall I think I did ok with my goals for 2014. I feel like 2014 was one of the best years of my life. Lets take a look at the stats for my workouts.

2014 Stats
2014 Stats

Now I started wearing a GPS watch on June 12th, 2014 so I missed a few months of run tracking before that.  According to my logs though, as you can see I ran 577.82 miles in 97:13:21. I think that is pretty amazing for me! Being a guy that couldn’t run for a full minute even, it has been a great year.

Looking Ahead To 2015

So what is in store for me in 2015? Well, as you can see above, I ran 577 miles in about 6 months. If you double that for the whole year, it would be about 1100 miles or so (I did NOT run 1100 miles last year, I know that for sure!). So I guess my first goal is to put on at least 1200 miles. I think that is something I could do considering I have over 160 miles in January alone. I just need to average 100 miles a month to hit my goal. I think that is doable.

My second goal would be to continue my weight loss. I have lost 120 pounds, but I am not quite where I would like to be. If I could lose another 15 pounds, I would be great with that. Not only losing the weight, but really working on build more muscle and getting more fit. I think this is something that will be a lifetime goal, but I would like to accomplish losing the 15 pounds in 2015 at the very least.

Third, I would like to run a bunch of races in 2015. I only did one event in 2014, and it was fun. I am hoping that in 2015 I get a chance to run a lot more races. I have already signed up for 3, but there are a lot more on my wishlist to sign up for. There are some trail races that I am especially looking forward to. As far as distance goes. I want to do at least 2 half  marathons this year (I am already doing one for sure in May). If those go well, I would consider doing a full this year, but that may need to wait until next year. I am not sure how the half will go yet and I do not want to commit to a full until I have some experience doing a half.

I think 2014 was a great year, and I think 2015 will be even better! What are your goals for 2015?

Week in Review – Feb 1, 2015

This week was a pretty great week of running and related events.

Training

Week Ending Feb 1, 2015
Week Ending Feb 1, 2015

This week I ran for a total of 36.29 miles in 5:20:20. Today is normally my long run, but I decided to do a shorter 5 miles instead of the 15 that I may have done otherwise. With my 15K race coming up next Saturday, I decided I should try and take it a bit easy for this week leading up to the race.

This also happens to be the end of the month of January. For the month of January I logged 161.89 miles in 24:26:48. It is kind of interesting taking a look at how many miles I put on this month. I am hoping to be able to really up that this year. I also find it interesting that I ran for a total of just over one whole day! Kind of cool.

Events

As seen in my last post here, I attended the Run Away Shoes VIP Night this week. It was a great night, I got to check out some cool new stuff and preorder some new shoes that will not be released until June.

That is about it for this week. Hope everyone gets a chance to get out and run! Have a great week!