Sunday, July 26, 2009

A day of work... a day of pleasure

Day 12

Wil had made a “fort” in his bedroom and wanted me to sleep with him on the floor last night… Brutal, considering how bad my body was feeling from yesterdays earlier punishment. I fell asleep with Wil, woke up slept 4 hours in my bed, woke up and went back to sleep with Wil on the floor in his fort so he could see Dad in the morning.

Once everybody was up, we were off to Mels for a great breakfast. Back home I worked on the Mustang and spent about 2 hours mowing the grass.

At 2 today, I met Jack AYFA football coach and hope to provide assistant coaching duties.I need to drop in my 200 plus core and work Jack’s arm with the football.

Morning grilling tonight!

Day 11

5:11 AM the alarm went off. I had left my biking shorts in my Expedition, it was necessary to have a quick change in the driveway so as not to wake the family. Good thing nobody was up to see my hairy white butt at the top of our driveway.

I was not looking forward to today’s long ride, I know the other guys really look forward to it, me, I dread it. Why, I just do not think I can perform to the best of my abilities and truthfully, it take a huge toll out of me just to keep up.

Today’s little task was a daunting 61 mile ride, with two big, very big climbs halfway through. Between that and the cars, it is any wonder I ride at all. We had extra riders with us, our typical crew of 4-5 expanded to 9. Including one of my neighbors, she is a good rider.

Corey was in his element; he likes to be the coach and does a good job getting everybody ready. Jay was ready to dominate and Chris, (rookie) has the vigors of youth, that and he is a good athlete.

Off we went, 6:30… the ride was tough in areas and the hills challenging. I had difficulty keeping up in spots, but tried to stay near the front. We chased the ride down with a transition run, about 3.5 miles.

The afternoon was shopping for football gear for Jack, a burger at FiveGuys. I spent 2 hours in our attic (it was 98 degrees) routing network cable to hook up the boys Xbox and another 3.5 hours connecting everything up and setting the configuration… yep, 5.5 hours. Jack and Wil both helped as did Kim, it was a good family project.

Night included some grilling and the best tasting beer, Abita Jackamo, an IPA.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Yesterday and Today

Day 10.
Went to bed about a hour later than expected. The hour was well spent with Kim though. We both decided we need two things, a new mattress and a new TV for the bedroom.

I woke up and felt ready for a good run. All the guys were scheduled to run the same 8 mile course, (I was running 9), we staggered our start time based on our expected pace so that we would finish the last half mile together.

I had intended to run an easy 8 minute pace, but the weather was cool and I was feeling rested and fresh, despite lifting over 11 tons yesterday. My first mile was 7:24 though it is mostly down hill. I take that time to also say my prayers, it is my time with the man upstairs. It is a very refreshing thing to do. My second mile, was just under 15 minutes, so I was still holding about 7:30, this held true for the next several miles, 3 = 22:30, 4 = 30:04, 5 = 37:24, (I had a 30 second water break, but did not stop the watch) 6 = 45:24, 7 = 52:44, 8 = 1:00:24, 9 = 1:07:57, average pace was a 7:32, not subtracting the 30 second water stop, so, not a bad run.

I did a light stretch but will do another stretch and core workout later at lunch. I have much to do at work today and already have a head start on the day. Tonight I expect to get to bed early, the ride tomorrow will be tough! 60 miles tomorrow, in the hills. I will sleep well tonight and eat a good meal of carbs for energy, I might drink a few too.

My weight today was 179 following the run, I still have work to do there.

Day 9

The morning swim was good and the 2000 meters went fast. That is a relative term when I talk about swimming, it is my handicap. I just do not have a good swim stroke or the body type for swimming. If bricks were meant to swim, I would be the perfect body type.

I came home and was exhausted, but it was still before 6:00 so I went back to bed for a while. The day was semi-productive; the best part of the business day was a product demo late in the afternoon.

At lunch I did my “core” work and weights. I felt strong and figured that I lifted over 23,000 pounds, that’s 11.5 tons of weight. Good thing I did not do it all at one time.

Jack and I threw the football and his timing was spot on great. I did not have a chance to play much with Wil, but he did a great job with his reading teacher. Maybe I will take him to breakfast Friday AM.

Weight... a heavy 183. Ouch!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Back on track

Day 8.

Track day! Well as predicted, I went way too hard for the Bike last night, pulled a lot in the beginning and flamed out at the end. Worse, some “old guy” said to me as we were finishing up, “yeah, guys our age can hang with the young guys when we draft”, the guy had to be at least 10 years older than me, and I was not drafting!

Went home, did my stretching and sit-ups as the boys played with sparklers. I remember when sparklers would burn the heck out of your arm and you had to be very careful not to have a spark hit your eyes. They as soooo tame these days, they should call them almost a sparkler.

Got the boys to bed and I set the alarm for 5 AM. Decided to turn on the TV for a minute, there was a special on Apollo 17 the last manned mission to the Moon. I knew it was trouble. Bedtime went from 10:00 to 11:00. I watched the whole thing. It was great. We all know the first words spoken on the moon by Neil Armstrong, very few know the last… “lets get this mother out of here” Eugene Cernan, and off they went back to Earth.

That was 1972, I wonder if we could do that same job now. There was a greater sense of urgency, patriotism, and attention to detail. They said over 450,000 people worked on putting our guys on the moon, that to a person, each felt that is was their most important job. Something to think about.

11:00'ish Finally off to bed, however, I did not sleep well. I felt a lot like a kid trying to sleep on Christmas Eve, I was up every hour. Finally 5 AM came and I was ready to go… so ready that later I would realize that I left my cloths at home.

Met up with the guys, they were doing their 400 repeats; I am still in fitness mode, so I was hitting 6 x 1 minute fast, 2 minutes ez. It went well, I did the final as a ¼ mile, I hit 1:19, not too good, last week was 1:16, but I did not ride on Tuesday evening last week. I wanted to do more, but remembered, stay on the program. There are a lot of days ahead!

I’ll hit the weights at lunch and do more core.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Now it is Tuesday...

Day 7

I decided I needed some sleep this morning, though Jack and I came home at an early hour from the baseball game last night, I was just worn out from the weekend, the travel, the everything.

Had a good breakfast and stayed away from the junk. A quick morning as I was in back-to-back meetings, trying to make all things meet. Not an easy thing to do, especially during tough economic times. I had a goal of a lunch time workout to make up for my skipping Monday’s tempo run. Really I just did not seem to have it in me today and it was already past noon, it would be real easy to miss this run.

This is a good time to talk about running and training. Today I was fighting the demons. I thought, why, why run. Do I really need to qualify for Boston, so what if I never qualify, am I less for not making the cut, I’m getting slow, I felt fat today too… what would happen if I skipped today and just did not run my tempo run at all.

There are going to be days of doubt, there are going to be days when you question your ability and reason, there are going to be days that you just are not motivated. Many of the times I lean on my running buddies. If you do not have running buddies, find them. If you know that someone is standing on a corner at 5:30 AM waiting for you to show, you know you will get out of bed and be there. Sometimes, it is the looming deadline of an upcoming race that pushes you out the door, sometimes it is knowing that though it is raining, that it also rains on race days, so you better get over it.

Today, I did not have any of these reasons… It was just me fighting a million excuses, I could easily have just said, “not today”, except for I knew I would not be happy with myself for skipping this workout. Today, it was a mentally tough, me against me, get it done day.

I stepped out of the gym, and could have stepped right back in, but rather I headed out, after all it was only 6 miles, I can do that in my sleep and it was Tempo run, 2 miles EZ, 2 at tempo and 2 EZ, what was the big deal. As a means of self-punishment, I decide I deserved hills today. The first 2 miles were a piece of cake, 1 mile down hill, 1 mile up. I was warmed up and ready to hit it. Though the weather was mild, the sun and running made it a hot day. I was targeted for 7 minute miles, the first was going to be tough, it was up hill, just before I hit my mark, I saw a friend drive by, it pumped me up for my run. I hit the mark and I was off… at the 1 mile I was right on a 7 minute mile, the next mile was going to be a slight down hill, 6:30, yeah that felt good, I cruised down another hill and finished my last mile up hill.

What was the big deal, nothing, I just need to get my head into it. Our toughest challenge is typically not physical, but rather mental. It is important I thought today to keep my positive thoughts, and when the task seems overwhelming, to break it into smaller task. Today is the only day I need to worry about, get my run done and go from there.

After my run I felt great. I hit a good time and felt better for doing the run. Was I still a bit tired in the legs, sure, but we all need to learn to run on tired legs. I know for fact that my legs have never felt fresh at mile 13, or 16, so you better get used to it and know how to run when you are tired or in pain.

I am heading for a bike ride following work today, only 26 miles, and I will spin it and not get too aggressive. Yeah, right.

No really it's only Monday

Day 6

This is supposed to be Tempo Run day, but other stuff seemed to get in the way. I was very busy with work and I have too many errands to run. The day slipped away. I also had a commitment to take Jack to the Braves baseball game, they were playing the SF Giants.

I was pushing to get my run in when I remembered what I told myself a while back, that I would not let training get in the way of family. Family first. I'll talk about that another day.

The game was great a close game for the first 6 innings, a big and funny error, happened in the top of the 6th as the center fielder with Braves totally missed and easy pop fly. The Giants capitalized and tied the game, but the Braves put on a hitting clinic and blew it wide open in the bottom of the 6th… final score was 11-3. Best part, we almost caught a foul ball. Neat.

Sunday is rest day!

Day 5.

A day of rest! I woke up later than usual. I helped Kim’s family with a few things around the house. The boys and I rode motorcycles. It was a good day. I tried not to eat too much and I know I drank way too many cokes. That night the family met for a get together, it was fun, though I lost at horseshoes… not happy about that.

The weather was very nice, cool even for July in Augusta. Did a whole lot of nothing.

Not my best training day

day 4

I had too much to drink the night before, not like I was hammering on the booze, but I had 4 drinks, when 1-2 would have been enough. It is hard to tell the body, hey were going to be healthy and than throw poison down your neck. I did have fun though with my wife and our friends.

Back to the training. I woke up Saturday at 5:00 AM, difficult to do when you go to bed at 12:15. That said, I pulled myself out of bed and forced myself to go. It would have been really easy to roll-over. Sometimes you have to do just that, force yourself, besides it was my penitence for the sin’s of the earlier evening.

I met the guys at the pool at 6:00 AM. The water was brisk, and likely shocked the remaining lethargy from my system. I swam about 750 meters, we did a quick change and we were on our bikes by 6:20. The bike ride was humbling at best, I had nothing, the legs seemed dead, was it the night before, or just a hard week of training. Anyway, I was dropped on more than one occasion, something I am not used to having happen. I struggled on the entire ride, but I made I it back to the gym.

We laced up the running shoes and hit a 3.5 mile run, surprisingly at that point I felt pretty good and thought, I could actually run harder, but this was a cool down run and not meant to be run fast.

Later on Saturday, we packed up our things and drove down to Augusta to visit Kim’s family. The ride is only 2.5 -3 hours, but it felt much longer. That night I slept on an inflatable air mattress, that was not fully inflated. Good thing I was tired, not sure if I slept or just passed out!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Day Three

Day 3.

I went to bed last night and slept hard. I did not move until the alarm went off at 5:00 AM. Morning seemed to come quick. I grabbed my gear and hit the door. I left my Mustang outside so I could drive it this morning, the cooler weather felt good with the top down. Arriving at LTF, I saw that Corey (my buddy) was already out on the roads running, he likely started before 5. I laced up the shoes, noting that I need some new long distance running shoes, I hopped up, set my watch and I was off. A little stiff and my right ankle was a bit tender in the cooler weather, but I kept my stride, the first mile was too fast for a warm up, I hit it about 7:36, though I knew I had a number of hills ahead and the pace would average out. I purposely picked this route as I wanted to work the quads. I need sometimes in the hills. A few years ago, I would eat up hills, never felt them. That is not the case right now, so this is the time to put in the work. It is the only way to get faster. Midway through the run, my left quad was tight and burning, I knew that I was over-compensating for my right tender ankle. Really focusing on keeping an even stride. Need to be mindful of this over the next few weeks and even out my stride. I came in hard and finished with an average 7:42 pace for 8 miles. Not great, but not bad. Spent and extra 20 minutes stretching this morning and doing the first half of my 170 sit-ups. I’ll hit the weights at lunch and finish my core set. After work, I am meeting Kim and some friends for 9 holes of golf. Should be a great day!

Looking rough before the start of the run, I felt better than I looked

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Day two

Day 2.
Went to see Harry Potter last night… I liked the film; it has been nice to see the evolution of the film and the characters. Jack had a good football practice last night, I helped out, it was fun, and I do enjoy coaching. I also was able to run the suicide sprints with the kids, worked up a good sweat; it was fun to do the suicides as part of a race. Man can it wind you, took me a full minute to get my breadth, and I’m in shape.

I did hit the gym yesterday, I always enjoyed lifting, and it is nice to be pumping the iron. I am not as aggressive with the weights as I used to be. My goal now is lower weight, higher reps, strength endurance, not size. I also hit 160 sit-ups. So I’m getting there.

Today at lunch I’ll hit my swim workout and cap it off with the weights. Interested to see what my weight it… likely high. With this workout, I am eating more often, though better, but my body is adjusting. Need more fresh fruit, everybody needs more fresh fruit.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mixing it up a bit

Okay, so if you are reading this blog, you know that I am a painter. What you may not know is I also enjoy running, triathlons, and various other activities, especially if they involve my family. If you really know me, you'll know that I have been trying unsuccessfully to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Likely my best shot was a few years ago, I was in prime shape, but Boston was not a big deal to me at that point and rather than go for it at Disney, I decided to run the half-marathon the day before and the marathon the next day to try and qualify... that did not work out. Since that time I have not had any success and about 22 months ago I suffered a catastrophic ankle injury breaking both bones and destroying my ankle compartment. Not good. However I am on the road to recovery and just a month ago, I tried yet again to hit my time for Boston... I did not succeed.

That brings us to today. I am determined to qualify for Boston, I have looked at why I was faster in the past, and what I am capable of doing today and working with a good friend, we have devised a plan.

The plan.

First, the race, initially I was making a decision about bay State Marathon, though it is in mid-October. Here is the deal, I realized I need to increase my overall fitness, rather than train for the half Ironman in Augusta, or jump right into my next marathon (Bay State), I decided I am going to focus towards Huntsville in early December. My official training will start August 24, between that time and now I am going to work on increasing my overall fitness level, that includes good base training runs, cycling and swimming for fitness and hitting the weights, as well as my core, lots of sit-ups. At the same time, I will be eliminating the junk from my diet, NO PROCESSED FOODS, (nothing from a box as I like to say) real food as I work to bring my weight down. My weight right now is 180 after working out, so I am floating around 183-185 during the day. It is my target to be around 175-176 when August 24th hits.

Today was a track day, my buddies were hitting it the 800’s, I love track day, it is my favorite workout. Track workouts are like explosions, fast and violent. I though am aiming at a different goal, fitness, so my workout was 6x(1 minute fast, 3 minutes ez) with a 90 second rest. I was right on the money and kept the pace solid. If anything I went too fast, but I would like to increase my speed, a bit over these next few weeks. On my last set, I decide to hit a full ¼ mile, which I timed at 1:16, I have not hit that time in a long while, so I was happy. Later today I’ll be hitting the gym for my weight training.

Keep checking in over the next few months and if you are reading this, wish me luck.