Week in Review – April 26, 2015

This week is the highest volume week going into the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon coming up on March 17th. It was a good week of training, but the next few weeks will be a challenge for me to take it a bit easier on the mileage. Here is how it went.

Training

Week Ending April 26, 2015
Week Ending April 26, 2015

This week I ran a total of 38.49 miles in 6:10:51. This included the longest long run of this training cycle of 14 miles today. The weather turned bad this week so all my runs ended up being done on the treadmill (besides I still want to hit it with as much abuse and miles as I can to make sure the fix still works). I prefer to run outside if I can of course, but running is better than no running.

Back to the the long run today, I felt pretty good. According to my watch I set a new 10K and new half marathon PR during it, so I must have been doing alright. I did hit the half marathon under my two hour goal time so I hope that translates over to actual race day. You just never know how things will turn out on the day. Usually you run a  little faster, but anything can happen!

That is pretty much it for this week. I spent some time doing outside work in the yard this week a lot, so not a whole lot of extra things going on. Hopefully you get a chance to get out and run this week!

Week in Review – April 19, 2015

This was an alright week of training. Wisconsin was nice enough to give us a couple of really nice days, so there is always that to be grateful for.

Training

Week Ending April 19, 2015
Week Ending April 19, 2015

This week I ran a total of 26.35 miles in 5:27:30. The weather was so nice this week, that I actually hit the trails two times this week. I love running trails. The ups and downs of the terrain, and the scenery makes it enjoyable, but I love the challenge that running on trails present. It is nice to break up my road running with the trails and get something different.

This week also included my long run today of 13 miles. I of course ran it out to 13.1 to see how I would do for the upcoming Cellcom Green Bay Marathon (half) coming up in less than 30 days. I actually did not do too bad considering. We had a wedding the night before. My cousin married the son of the owner of a very good candy shop. Well at this wedding, they of course had a ton of candy! And man, was it good! I don’t usually eat a lot of chocolate, but I had a sweet tooth for some reason and ate WAY more than I should. Let’s just say, that I have proven eating a lot of chocolate the night before a long run, not a good idea.

I completed the 13.1 miles in just over 2:07:00. This is above my goal time of 2:00:00 but I was not pushing hard. It was supposed to be a slow run, so I am very happy with that time. I would even be happy with that time the day of the race.

That is about it this week. Pretty normal week of training overall. This week coming up looks like we will have bad weather again the first half of this week, so the treadmill may get some action this week. They are even talking snow possibly. That would be a bummer after the 70 degree day we had this last week. Wisconsin is a weather tease sometimes!

Hope everyone gets out and gets a chance to run this week!

Week in Review – April 12, 2015

This week was a great week of training! Let’s dig in.

Training

Week Ending April 12, 2015
Week Ending April 12, 2015

This week I ran a total of 31.97 miles in 6:10:43. My long run this week was 12 miles. This was the longest outdoor run I have done in a long time! I ran 15 miles before on my treadmill, but it has been a while since I got to do it outside. I felt great to get out there and do it!

I also did something a bit different this week. I ran most, or as much as I could, of my training routes in reverse. I decided I needed a change of scenery, but there is only so much you can do about changing that in a little area. Running the routes in reverse was like running a whole new area. Especially on my trail run. I got to see things that I didn’t see running the other way before. It is a great way to freshen up your training by making just a small change.

Gear

I didn’t get any gear this week, but I finally got the parts in to fix my treadmill. I was able to finally get that up and running, so I did a few runs on that this week to make sure it is working. I will do a few more to make sure it is good to go.

That is it for this week, hope you get a chance to get out and run!

Week in Review – April 5, 2015

This week was a good week of training. I also got a chance to run a 5K race this week. Here we go!

Training

Week Ending April 5 2015
Week Ending April 5 2015

I felt like my training went pretty good this week. I had a good interval run and ran a 5K race. I ran a total of 26.53 miles in 4:35:03. I have been keeping my mileage low and trying to do some more cross training to keep my foot in good condition after the slight injury a couple weeks ago. So far that strategy has worked out well because I have had no further foot pain.

I also ran a 5K race on Friday night. I will have an ARR (After Race Report) coming up. I am just waiting for some pictures to post with it.

New Gear

I bought the Garmin Fenix 3 this week. So far I really like it. It has a really neat feature where you can add apps, to it and one of the apps I added was a 5K time predictor. It allows you to predict your finish time during the race to see how you are doing. It was really nice during the 5K race I did. I will have a further review coming up when I get a chance.

That is it for this week. Short a quick for this one! Hope you get a chance to get out and run!

Goal Setting

Today I got the First Timers newsletter email from the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon. In the newsletter they talked about pre race anxiety and dealing with it. I for sure am one of those people that gets anxious before a race, and especially a race that is a new distance (like the half marathon for me). One of the things that helps me deal with the anxiety of an upcoming race is to set a goal.

By now I am sure that most people have a goal for their race. Most people sign up with at least some kind of goal in mind. For some people it is to complete the marathon in under 4:00:00. It could be to complete the half marathon in under 1:45:00. It could be to just finish the race or finish the race with no walking breaks. Whatever your goal, it is good to have one. If you don’t have one in mind (or even if you do) you may want to consider a different look on goal setting.

For me, I don’t set a goal. By that I mean I don’t set 1 goal. Every race or event I set at least 3 goals. I always have an A, B and C goal in mind at the start and during the training of each race. Let me explain.

My A goal is always a goal that is probably just out of reach. A goal that if I could achieve it, would be AMAZING, but if I don’t not a big deal. It was design to be just out of reach. For me, this is usually a goal time that is just faster than I think I could or have ever done a race. For the half marathon, my A goal is a time of 1:53:00 or under.

Now the B goal is the realistic time goal. A goal that is what I am 99% sure that I can get. The time that I am targeting in my training. For me in the half marathon, I am going for a time of 2:00:00 or under. Two hours is the time that I am training for with my training program (the Runners World Half Marathon Under 2 hours program). It is a time I should be able to get based on past 5K races as well as training times I have had.

The C goal is your if nothing else, at least I have this goal. My C goal is always to complete the race/event. If something happens during the race or it is just a really bad/off day, I can always rely on my C goal. I always want to just complete the event. So for the half marathon, my C goal is just to cross the finish line. Doesn’t matter the time, just get across that finish line.

By setting 3 goals for each event, it gives me something to really push for, something that I am sure I can achieve and as a last resort a default goal so that I don’t feel like I achieved nothing if the A and B just are not possible. In doing so, it makes me a little less nervous about not hitting a goal.

So, what are your goals for the upcoming event?

Month in Review – March 2015

This month there was some really cool things and some not cool things. Let’s review, shall we?

Training

Monthly Review - March 2015
Monthly Review – March 2015

This month I ran for a total of 113.89 miles in 17:01:22. I think that is a pretty good total considering I missed a bit of running due to my hurt foot. Luckily it was nothing major, and I have so far been able to get back to running. It is only 7 miles below the average I need to hit my end of year goal, so I am not too worried about it. Speaking of, year to date I have run 397.76 miles in 59:18:08. Wow, kind of crazy to think I have spent almost 60 hours and run almost 400 miles already this year.

Year to Date - March 2015
Year to Date – March 2015

If you keep up with the blog, you may know that I am in the beginning of my half marathon training program for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon coming up on May. So far it was going pretty good, got sidelined a bit by the injury, but hope to dive back in.

News

As you may have read, I was lucky enough to be named as one of the Leaders of the Pack for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon. This is a really cool opportunity to share my story with more people and hopefully inspire people on their journey to the marathon or half marathon.

In other cool and exciting news, I actually placed third in my age group in the FNB 5K I ran a couple weeks ago. Never thought I would place, and in fact left and didn’t get my trophy! Not to worry, though. I did pick it up, and it is displayed proudly on my fireplace mantel in the living room!

FNB St Pat's 5K - 3rd Place age 35-40.
FNB St Pat’s 5K – 3rd Place age 35-40.

Well, that is about it for the month. The weather is getting nicer and hopefully my half marathon training stays on track!

Week in Review – March 29, 2015

This week turned out to be a pretty good week after a bit of a rough start. Let me start with the news/updates.

News/Updates

This week I went to the doctor on Wednesday to get my foot checked out. I had a lot of pain in it last week and took some time off. I called Monday and got in on Wednesday to get it checked out.

Foot X-ray
Foot X-ray

Turns out that there were no breaks or fractures or anything wrong with the bones. Actually on Tuesday and Wednesday (the day I went in), it felt really good. The doctor said I may have just strained it and had some inflammation.  He told me to take it easy but I could run as I tolerated it and to take 2-3 Ibuprofen 3 times a day for the next couple of weeks. I ended up running 4.57 miles on it the afternoon of my appointment with no pain at all. Luckily, I think it just needed a bit of rest.

Training

This brings me to the training that was impacted by the foot pain issue I had. I ran a total of 17.17 miles in 3:21:17. I ran 3 days straight after my doctor appointment and had no pain at all, so that is a great sign! I was scheduled to run 10 miles on Sunday, but I decided to skip it. I still went to the gym and lifted and worked on the elliptical machine, but I felt like I wanted to give my foot a bit more time to make sure everything is ok. I will be starting back up with the next week of my training schedule so I want to make sure I don’t do anything to hurt my training for the half marathon.

The runs I did, as I said, felt good and had no pain at all. It just felt really good to get back into the running. It is always a good reminder when you can’t run, just how much it means to you to run. The elliptical machine is good, but nothing beats running for me. I am also hoping that with next weeks training and the hopefully better weather, I can hit the trails again! I love running trails actually. More so than on the road actually. I will have to see if I can get some trail races in this year.

Races

I have a 5K coming up on Friday April 3rd. It looks to be a fun, flat and fast 5K. I highly doubt I will place like I did in the last 5K, but I am looking forward to running it. I plan to take it a bit easy given my foot, but that always changes when the adrenaline hits and you get around all the other runners. Should be a fun race.

Gear

This weeks new gear is not really gear, but a book I have been reading. I finally started reading the 80/20 Running: Run Stronger and Race Faster by Training Slower by Matt Fitzgerald. So far, I am really enjoying it. The author spends the first half of the book explaining the science behind the 80/20 running and the second half explaining how to actually do it. Turns out most amateurs run about a 50/50 mix of hard and actual easy runs (some a lot less easy as what they say is easy, really isn’t). I am only through the first half of the book, but I am a believer so far. Now I just gotta learn how to apply it. I will have a fuller review when I complete it but I have already started running my easy runs at more of an actual easy pace.

Well, that is it for this week. I hope everyone gets out and get s chance to run!

Why I Run

This post I wrote for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon. I thought I would share it here as well.

Some people run for pure enjoyment. Some people run as a mood enhancer. Some people run to be able to eat cookies. And some of us run to lose weight and get in shape. I fall under the last category, or at least I used to.

Just over 1 year ago, I weighed 320 (or more, I stopped getting on a scale) pounds. The picture below is me on March 8, 2014. To say I was overweight, was to put it mildly. I grew up always being on the heavy side. I always wore husky pants and was always heavier than most all of my friends. It bothered me at times, and at times I was more alright with it (probably more than I should have been).

Me at about 320 pounds
Me at about 320 pounds

It was after the picture above was taken and I looked at it, I realized how disgusted I was with myself and decided I needed to make a change and get really serious about losing weight.

In the past I had tried all kinds of weight loss programs. I did Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach and tried just going to the gym random times and not really doing any kind of program. As you can guess, they all failed miserably! Weight Watchers worked a couple times for a bit, but as soons as I stopped I would gain back twice what I lost. I ended up giving up after a month or two each time because it was just not working for me. I vowed to myself, that this time would need to be different.

I looked around at my options and most were too expensive or not structured enough. I really needed something that told me what to eat, how much of it and when. I found a book by Ian K. Smith called Super Shred: The Big Results Diet: 4 Weeks, 20 Pounds, Lose It Faster! I used the book for two cycles of 4 weeks each to kick start my weight loss and to help me figure out how to eat a bit better and when and what to eat. The book also had a bit of a workout schedule such as do 40 minutes of cardio today. That is the part that may have changed my life.

At first, being as big as I was, I really took to the elliptical machine. It was good low impact cardio workout that would burn a lot of calories and I didn’t mind doing it. As I started to lose weight and started feeling like my cardio was getting better, I found that I needed something else to really take my workouts to the next level and give me a little variety.

Now my wife and I started this process at the same time and she had been doing some treadmill running and kept telling me I should try it. I have never been a runner. I played soccer from age 5 up through high school, but was not interested or good at any kind of distance running. I resisted her attempts to get me to run, but finally gave in one day. It was TOUGH!

I literally could not run for much more than 30 seconds at a time. I struggled, but kept with it. As my weight kept going down and my cardio improved, the running got easier. It wasn’t long before I was running, doing the elliptical and the stair climber plus some weight lifting every workout. The weight started coming off even faster, and I became more and more interested in the running part of my workouts.

I was so excited one day when I actually ran the whole distance of a 5K with no walking breaks. It took me just under 44 minutes to complete it, but I think from that moment on, I was hooked. Was the time great? No. A little slower and I would be walking, but that didn’t matter. I had done something I never thought possible. I kept running and doing my other workouts and my times started to improve.

It was also around this time that my wife finally talked me into running outside. Being heavy, I was very self conscious about running where people might see me in public. Now that my weight was down and I could run more consistently, I was alright with running outside…early in the morning…when less people were around. We ran outside a few times and I told her that if I could get my 5K time down under 33 minutes, I would consider doing a 5K event.

A few weeks later, I was running near my house, and my 5K time was 32:58. My first thought was, “Crap, I am going to have to actually do a 5K event.” I decided to look at it as an opportunity to prove to myself that all my hard work was paying off and I was bettering myself. I completed my first 5K (The Scheels Paperfest 5K in July 2014) in 32:12. I was hooked! I had just run a PR (personal record) and on a tough hilly course. I was no where near the top of the results but it didn’t matter. I had run faster than I ever did before. It was at this point that my running turned from just a way to eat more calories, to a competition with myself. I knew I would never be an elite runner. I doubt I will ever even be a great runner, but I can try and be better than the runner I was yesterday. And for me that is enough. I thrive on competition and running is one of those things where you can compete with yourself to be the best you can be.

I kept running and using the MyFitnessPal app on my phone to track my calorie intake. One year to the day, on March 8, 2015, I weighed in at 185 pounds. I had lost 135 pounds over the course of one year through a lot of exercise (mostly running) and counting calories. Below is a picture my wife took on that morning.

Me at 185 pounds. March 8, 2015.
Me at 185 pounds. March 8, 2015.

So why do I run? Well, these days it isn’t about just getting in shape. It is about competing with myself and trying to be the best I can be. Will I win the half marathon? No way! Does it matter? No way! I am running for me. I am running for my wife (who I really owe for getting me to do it in the first place). I am running to be able to live long enough to see my kids get married and have kids of their own. Whatever reason you are running, and whatever speed you run at, good for you! Good for you for putting it out there and challenging yourself to complete something. Whether it is the 5K, half marathon, full marathon, or relay event, good for you! Good for all of us!

 

Leader of the Pack

I am so excited to announce that I was chosen to be a Leader of the Pack for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon!

Leader of the Pack - Cellcom Green Bay Marathon
Leader of the Pack – Cellcom Green Bay Marathon

I get to write blog posts for them and posts on Facebook and Twitter to help inspire others that are participating in events at the marathon event. I am so honored that they feel that I will be able to inspire others and really look forward to the whole process!

Week in Review – March 22, 2015

This week was a bit of a rough one for me. Last Saturday evening , my right foot started hurting. I ran my race on Sunday and it was ok. I ran on Monday and my foot was ok, sore but ok. I ran on Tuesday and I could not walk after my run. I was in a LOT of pain. I iced it and took some ibuprofen and the next morning it was a little better, but still not good. I decided to take some time off of running and rode my bike on Wednesday. Thursday and Friday I went to the gym and used the elliptical machine to keep my cardio up and be able to still eat. Saturday morning I tried running a little. I did a little less than two miles and my foot still hurt. So, this morning I called I called the doctor and will be going in on Wednesday to get it checked. Hopefully just some more rest will make everything alright. In the meantime, cardio at the gym and on the bike for now to stay in shape. So here is the break down this week.

Training

Week Ending March 22, 2015
Week Ending March 22, 2015

This week I ran a total of 9.82 miles in 1:24:56. As I said above, my foot injury kept me from running much this week. I did break out my road bike this week and got a little over 7 miles in on that. IT has been a while since I rode it with winter, and it was WINDY and COLD. But I do need to ride it more. It is a good cross training workout.

I also used the elliptical machine a few times this week for the first time in quite a while. I have been running so much and not going to the gym that I haven’t had a chance to use it. I forgot how much I do like it, so I will hopefully be using that more going forward. I would really like to buy one for at home if I could find a good spot for it in the house.

Gear

My treadmill has been broken for about 2 weeks now. Luckily it has been nice so I have been running outside, but my wife needs to use it because of her work schedule. The treadmill somehow by itself went into a 3 degree decline and is stuck there. The company sent a new controller board, and I replaced that. It still does not work, so now they are sending a whole new console for it. The parts invoices they sent for the pieces total almost $2000! More than I paid for the stupid treadmill! Hopefully when I get the next part it will be fixed. I hate having expensive gear like that, in non-working condition.

Well, that wraps things up for this week. I hope everyone gets a chance to get out and run (because I can’t!).