Category Archives: Uncategorized

Almost Taper Time!

I just completed several days of rest over the weekend and I’m looking forward to my final looong long run for my marathon training program coming up this Saturday.  It’s a 20+ miler.  My actual program is for a 26 mile run, but I’ll be happy with anything equal to or over 20 miles.  I’m just going to see how I feel when I get into the upper teens. That morning is also a 5K Jingle Bell Run in Downtown Indianaplois so my long run will be broken up a bit as I first complete my final race of the year and then head over to the gym to finish up later in the day.

I have been struggling these past few weeks to get my training in as I’ve suffered from the common cold, a sore right knee, a sore left glute, finishing up two graduate classes, studied for the GRE to complete my graduate school application, took the GRE exam last Monday, also trying to write two final papers of double digit length (12 pages & 30 pages) all the while attending multiple Thanksgivings (3) and still fitting in “Date Night” so as not to end up sleeping on the couch!  😉

Priorities priorities!  Or balance as my gf would say! Regardless, I am very much ready for the tapering in training that will begin after this weekend! I leave for Florida and the marathon venue (aka DISNEY!) four weeks from today and I couldn’t be happier about it!

After Disney I will have earned some time off from the daily running.  I’ll still keep a bit of running mileage after I recover from my 26.2 mile magical adventure, but cross-training & weight loss will definitely be my prime focus for a while.

My trainer has already told me I have to go to Spin Class with her!  Spinning will be a welcome change I’m sure!  If I don’t fall off the bike…..

Happy Training!

Training during the “Cold Season”

Yes, it’s cold outside here in Indiana as we move into December, but that kind of cold is not what I’m talking about. Over Thanksgiving I was able to spend time with friends and family which means being around a lot of little ones, lilliputians…aka, kids. Ahhhh, they can be so cute in their little holiday sweaters. That is until they sneeze on you.  That was not the case for me though, no! I was the victim of a rhino-viral terrorist attack.  You see the kids LOOKED healthy but hid a dark secret within. As I spoon fed pumpkin pie & chocolatey cake goodness to my GF’s niece & nephew I took a couple bites myself and that is where I made my mistake. Way back in the day I worked fast food and I remember something about transferring germs or something…lesson lost.

So the Saturday after “The Attack” I started to have a little bit of a sore throat. My GF who is way smarter than me let me in on the whole rhino-virus formula of 3 days in, 5 days to stay, 3 days out. So Saturday was Day 2 of the arrival. Lesson RE-learned!

This is a good time to let you in on a secret.  I had childhood asthma. As a matter of fact, as an infant I spent a lot of time in an oxygen tent. This may explain why I’m not a fan of camping to this day. Growing up on a farm my parents barely let me outside as a small child during the harvest season due to the extra amount of crop dust in the air. The asthma contributed to a recurring theme of upper respiratory infections including but not limited to bronchitis on an annual basis until I was well into my teenage years. It was rough, but I survived to run four half-marathons this year. 🙂

So why mention all that? Well, I am very sensitive to any type of upper respiratory issue including the common cold so I tend to take a proactive approach (Big Surprise There!) when I feel a cold coming to visit and that day Mr. Rhino-virus was knocking at my door.

My Plan of Attack when I feel under the weather:

  1. Sleep (9 hours/night if possible, but an extra 90 minutes at least)
  2. OJ (Vitamin C) – Morning, after work and before bed.
  3. Yogurt (Helps the immune system) 1-2 servings/day
  4. …..no training or limited training. I know, I know….horrible to say, right?
  5. Finally, I take Zicam or a generic version of Zicam if it’s a common cold getting me down. Your decision though!

Why no/less training with an illness? Ever had a cold that lasted weeks or seemed to last for weeks? I’ve had that and it’s horrible! A single bout of exercise does effect the immune system.  Immune response drops or is less after a single bout of exercise. Now if you are a regular exerciser  your immune system most likely is stronger than Joe Couch Potato, but the dip in your immune system that you get from a good run may just be enough for that rhino-virus to stick around longer than me at a buffet last year…too long!

During the onset of a cold may be the perfect time for you to get a little extra rest and come back recharged after your exercise hardened superior immune system sends out the hunter-killer drones for ol’ Mr. Rhino.

Happy Training & wash your hands!  🙂

I Feel the Need…The Need for Speed!

I am a fan of The Biggest Loser.  I watch that show every week that it’s on and find it inspiring.  Those people put in a lot of effort and get amazing results.  Now I realize that if I had two professional trainers, a full medical staff including physical therapists and athletic trainers at my disposal while doing nothing but training 5-6 hours a day 7 days a week I could get some amazing results too.  But I’m not writing to minimize what those contestants go thru. They are all amazing and inspirational to a lot of people around the country including me.

What amazes me about The Biggest Loser is the contestants that make it into the finals and run the full marathon before the finale.  They’ve been training for several months by that point, but have not really been training for a marathon.  Add in that many of them are still obese and I am once again amazed and inspired.

So what does The Biggest Loser have to do with “A Need for Speed”?  I remembered one contestant last season, Daris, who not only finished the full marathon, but crushed the time record for the show by running the 26.2 miles in 4 hours & 2 minutes. Seriously!?!? I ran my 20.75 miles in 3 hours & 52 minutes.  So Daris is obviously faster than me. This got me thinking a lot about speed.  I’ve read in articles that running for more than 4 hours is something you don’t want to do on a regular basis.  I know I know….people DO do this all the time, but rest & recovery between sessions is a huge priority for them I’m sure.

My trainer has also been on me about speed work and I’m beginning to see why.  Yes Tatum, sometimes I need you to draw me a picture!  🙂 Suddenly I flash back to high school and all those skinny people wearing their clever track shirts that say, “The faster you run, The quicker you’re done.”  It’s a completely true albeit obvious statement that leads me to the point that I need to cover more ground in less time or speed my butt up! I currently run a 10 minute mile comfortably and my half marathon race pace has been closer to averaging 09:45/mile. The Drumstick Dash taught me that I am capable of a faster pace so now I just need to increase my longevity at that speed.

So if you read my post on “Refocusing” then you’ll recall my running schedule of Monday, Wednesday, Saturday. As a part of this plan Jeff Galloway recommends running during the week at a pace 30 seconds faster than race pace to get out of your comfort zone so for me a pace of 09:20 to 9:30 would be about right for the two 45 minute runs on Monday & Wednesday.  Obviously as this pace becomes more comfortable then I will push the speed up a little. The fastest I’ve ever ran one mile back in college was 8 minutes and I weighed 175 pounds at the time or 15-20 pounds lighter than I do now.

So besides getting into the gym all 7 days a week (or just working out all 7 days) I am also adding in some mile repeats on Saturdays when I’m not doing a super long run & possibly some sprints during the week. Jeff Galloway suggests 1 mile repeats with a 5 minute walk rest between to recover before going again. Remember this plan is for 1st time marathoners not seasoned veterans so there is more recovery.

The pace I’ll run for the single mile will push an 08:50 min/mile pace.  This of course will help my 45 minute runs feel easier and I’ll push faster which will help me push the Saturday repeats faster as well as improve my overall long run time.  Each workout supports the next one and the recovery time between workouts supports them all.

I write all the time about having a “complete & balanced” program.  Everything supports everything else! Nutrition supports recovery and the workouts.  One workout supports another and everything prepares you for the big day when you pin on a race bib. For me, that’s January 9th!

Happy Training!

The Drumstick Dash

Happy Thanksgiving! (For Yesterday)

Thanksgiving morning I ventured out for a 4.5 mile race/fun run with a buddy of mine before scooting up to the dinner table for an awesome turkey dinner prepared by my girlfriend and her sister. BTW, these women can cook and this fact is NOT helping my efforts. Luckily my GF is very supportive of my running habit!

The annual Drumstick Dash takes place in Broad Ripple, Indiana and is a great event that benefits The Wheeler Mission Ministries. Every year, Wheeler provides more than 226,000 nutritious meals to hungry men, women and children.

A little History about “Chasing the Drumstick”:

1,300 people signed up the first year
2,000 the second year…
2,500 the third year …
3,700 the fourth year…
5,010 for the fifth year …
7,022 for the sixth year…
9,250 for the seventh year…

This year…drum role…11,300 pre-registered and believe me they all were there!

Pre-race meal: Cereal, juice and a Gu Pack (why not)

Weather: Rain, rain, rain, a bit of wind, 48 degrees and more rain…like “flood warning” rain…I saw a guy in an arc.

My thoughts: I hope my knee is up for this run since this is the first stress I’ve put on it since the 20+ miler!

As I said before, I ran with a buddy of mine who has also made great strides across the last year to drop weight (60+ lbs) and take up running. We were rockin & rollin on the first two miles at an 8:50 pace!  We registered at a 09:45/mile pace so this was awesome! We should have been one more corral up for the start! We know for next year!

Except for the rain it was a perfect day for running an event like this. We both were soaked thru to the bone by the end of it. My knee felt good and only let me know it was there a few hours afterwards with very mild stiffness which eventually went away…possibly due to the nice chianti we had with Thanksgiving dinner, but it didn’t return.

The official results were as follows!

  1. Time: 00:41:43.2
  2. Pace: 09:16

I know that running with my friend really helped me to not only push myself past the 9min/mile pace for the beginning of the race, but to maintain a good split for the second half. Running with a partner for a race can really help as I led him sometimes and he set pace for me at times too. We may be tackling a half-marathon in May together too!

I couldn’t be happier with the results and I’m looking forward to my final event of the year, The Indianapolis Jingle Bell Run on December 11th, 2010 which supports the Arthritis Foundation.

Happy Holidays and Happy Training!

They tried to make me go to Rehab…I mean recovery

Holy cow what a run this past weekend!  I hit a distance PR of over 20 miles and was so happy!  I did the run on a treadmill at the gym so I’m sure I was getting weird looks from the people around me since I didn’t leave for nearly four hours.

Hopefully, my trainer won’t tell on me since there is a 20 minute limit when people are waiting…to my knowledge no one was tapping their foot behind me!  🙂

I had come prepared with two 32oz bottles of Gatorade, several GU packs and kept running forever it seemed like.  It was well worth the mental training as well as the physical training. Thank goodness for Sports Center on the TV and NCAA football!

Sunday I found that my right knee was a bit stiff and if you know what you’re looking for you can see a little inflammation on the outside edge of my right knee as compared to my left.

Sunday was all about ice, heat, ice, heat, ice, heat all day long as well as about 9-10 hours of good sleep Saturday night!  Monday is a continuation of recovery from the long run.

When starting to recover from a long distance run I try to start immediately after I’m finished running and by immediately I mean the very instant I stop running.

My Loooong Run Rehab/Recovery

  1. Recovery Nutrition: Within 30 minutes I have a whey protein shake.  I use EAS, but any brand will do. 20-25g of whey protein.  Whey protein absorbs the fastest so it’s a good choice for getting protein to muscles quickly. I usually have this waiting for me in my car or have it in my gym bag for immediate consumption. Time is a factor for getting nutrients to your muscles immediately after exercise.
  2. Hydration: I continue to hydrate even hours after my runs.  I try to take in a good 32oz of water in the hour following a run.  I keep hydrating even after that, but that’s a good start for me.
  3. Ice Bath (optional): Some say yes to an ice bath, some say no, but I draw a tub of cold water and dump my entire ice bin in it from the freezer.  I soak my ankles, knees, legs and hips for 20 minutes as soon as I get home to limit inflammation. It works for me.  I DO NOT submerge and I watch the clock. Usually follow this up with a nice hot shower too!
  4. Ice: If you don’t like #3 then at least put some ice on your knees & ankles to limit a little of the inflammation. If I have any pain I ice it.
  5. Heat: I have a heat pack I can throw in the microwave I like to use on any pained areas. I will alternate the heat and the ice pack after I’m finished in the ice bath.
  6. Hydrate: I’m still sipping my H2O!
  7. Elevation: I prop my feet up and relax while I’m icing and heating for an hour or as long as I’m on the couch!  …so quite a while.
  8. Rest: I take a nap for 1-2 hours if I have the time or just sit and relax.
  9. Movement: By now I’ve been finished with my run for several hours.  I like to get up off the couch and just walk a bit to get the blood flow going to my legs. Nothing brisk, just movement so the lactic acid can be on its way.
  10. The next few Days: I ride the bike and continue to ice/heat any achy joints.  I also make sure to get a little more protein than usual to help rebuild muscle and of course I continue to hydrate!

Your recovery is more important than even your workouts because the recovery period is when your body becomes stronger, faster, more agile and conditioned.

Refocusing

For the last 3 months I’ve been at a weight loss plateau.  I’ve been training regularly with 4 days in the gym each week.  Three days on my own and one day with my trainer for a 30 minute intense session.  I usually rest on Friday and Sunday with my weekend “Long Run” on Saturday.  My distance has improved greatly and over the past 11 months my speed has increased too so I am happy with the results to date, heck I’ve lost 45 pounds!  My weight has edged down a couple pounds since the end of July, but nothing significant.  I know that I’ll have to make some adjustments if a future shot at The Goofy Challenge or Boston is to be realistic.  Those two future goals are a ways off since I still need to run my first full marathon though.

Also, this is a “dangerous” time as we approach the holidays and some would think to rest on their past successes while I am thinking it’s time to refocus and step up my training. These past two weeks I’ve opted to hit the gym all five days for a little extra calorie burn.  The same goes for Sunday. While normally I would rest on Sunday I am going to go in and put in a little extra time on something different.  The key for me on these extra workouts is not to go all out intense, but to burn a few more calories, get a good stretch, loosen up and rededicate myself to the goal at hand, the Disney World Marathon on January 9th.

Even now as I write this I’m fueling up to go out for a 22 mile run this morning. Sunday will be an “active” recovery day where I just pedal on a stationary bike to warm-up, maybe walk for 10-15 minutes and then go stretch for 15-20 minutes.  I’ll follow this up with a whey protein shake to help speed recovery.

But back to the topic at hand, I’ve learned it’s good to keep a core schedule, but to also mix things up from time to time so I can shock my body into new growth (or shrink it). When I started out I was hitting the gym 7 days a week and burning a lot of calories in the process.  So I am going to return to that schedule of “active rest days” with the following schedule.

Part of this is a Jeff Galloway program & part is a “Brian Original”  🙂

  • Monday: Run 45 Minutes
  • Tuesday: Lifting Weights opposite of what my trainer does Thursday
  • Wednesday: Run 45 Minutes
  • Thursday: Personal Trainer Session (30 minutes)
  • Friday: 30-45 cardio/stretch depending on my long run distance
  • Saturday: Long Run, Speed Work or a “shorter” run
  • Sunday: 30-45 cardio/stretch depending on my long run distance

This will be my training plan through the holidays as I approach January 9th save for the required tapering period two weeks from race time. My diet won’t really change all that much except that I will be taking a protein supplement after my workout 7 days a week instead of the normal 5 days a week.  I will also be on H2O patrol to be sure I’m drinking enough and I’ll limit alcohol to the 2-3 special days left this year like Thanksgiving (Football & a couple beverages!), Christmas Eve (Egg Nog!) and of course New Years Eve! I’m hoping to drop just 6-10 pounds more by January 9th.  With the right focus this is totally doable for me in the 6 weeks of training I have left.  This would have me weighing very close to or just below 180 pounds and just 15-20 pounds from my ultimate goal weight.

Stay (re)focused and keep training!

Follow me on Twitter  ”@TheRunningMan23″

A rough & chilly run

So a couple weekends ago I geared up to run outside for my longest run to date. I was pumped, excited, anxious and ready! I had previously ran 17 miles (2 weeks prior) and I was ready to tackle my first 20 miler!

Ready for my cold run and 45 pounds lighter than my 1st blog's pic!

I had purchased Under Armour Cold Gear ($100 worth!), bought a hat, gloves, extra GU packs, running socks and I was ready! Why special Cold Gear you ask? Because it was going to be a bit chilly out in Indiana that Saturday morning. The low temperature was to be 25 degrees with a high of 41 in the afternoon. I grew up on a farm. I’ve gotten up at 5am to feed cattle in blizzard conditions. This felt colder. There was just a slight breeze, but at 25 degrees a 5-8 mph breeze can be biting and it was!

I ran down the trail and was doing well. I took a side route to add a couple miles early and then came back to the main trail and kept going. Starting out at 156th I was aiming to turn around at 75th street for a nice out and back. 136th and 116th whipped by. The next thing I knew I was at the tunnel near 96th street.  I was tired but I was in familiar territory. I had run the same route for my 17 miler save for the extra 2.5 miles at the beginning. Then I was at 75th street again. I was ready to turn around and when I did, I came to face that little 5-8 mph breeze…and it stopped me cold, literally. The breeze had been behind me and now I felt it fully on my head and chest. I wear a camel back for water on long runs and it had been protecting me from the cold plus you all know it feels different when the wind is at your back. Not nearly as cold.

By the time I got back to 86th street I was at 12.5 miles…and 7.5 miles away from home.  A knot had formed behind each of my knees and I was chilled to the bone from my own sweat. I was in bad shape. I had tried a run/walk routine for a bit from 75th to 86th street, but it wasn’t working. My hips and legs were done.

Normally I run a 10 minute mile. I was 20 minutes off the pace for the 12.5 miles I had run so far.

This is when you realize there is no shame in knowing when you’ve had enough and a 12 mile run is good enough when the temperature is still in the low 30s.

I whipped out my cell phone and called my life line!  My gf was kind enough to come get me as she lives 15 minutes away.  As we were talking she asked if I was feeling okay. I thought I was and realized that since turning into the wind my lips had gotten cold and I sounded like I had just come from the dentist….numb face/lips and all! I was talking funny. I stepped into the nearest super market and out of the cold. I looked a little funny walking around the store in full running gear, camel back, hat, shades & tights while the regular Saturday morning shoppers went about their business. I got a few odd looks. So I went and hung out in the power bar/health food aisle. Not surprising, no one came down that aisle for my 15 minute wait!  🙂

So I want to talk about limitations and listening to your body. I hate to admit it but that little voice in my head (we all have it) had tried to talk me out of running in 25 degree weather. I ignored it though….it was just a little cold out after all. Buck up, be a man and go run! People run in the cold all the time! You have the right gear so “just do it”! When I had passed my gym at mile marker #3 that voice had told me to finish up the remaining 17 miles inside on the treadmill. I could see the front doors of the nice warm gym! Again, I ignored the voice. I was doing okay, just a little off pace…it WAS cold so it was to be expected. When I had crossed 111th street that same voice tried compromise instead of all out orders. The suggestion came to turn around at 96th street instead of going on down to 75th. I could loop closer to my car “just in case”. A third time I ignored the voice of reason.  Heck, I was just 2 miles from the turn around and I would be headed home! No worries right?  Right??? I only heard from that voice one more time the whole day and that was when I limped back up to 86th street near the grocery store. “I told you so.” is all that little voice said. I hate that voice. He can be a real jerk sometimes.

I think it’s great to push and challenge yourself. I do it all the time. I regularly test my one mile best time, I’ve ran two half-marathons only two weeks apart, I’ve ran a 5K race at 7am and a half-marathon that same night at 10pm. I’m signed up to run a full marathon now and I have plans to run The Goofy Challenge in the future which will have me running a half and a full marathon on consecutive days. I’m not sure if I’ll ever want to do an ultra, but we’ll see. Challenging yourself is good.

Regardless, it’s important to train well, know your limitations, still push it a bit, but remember to listen to what your body is telling you and know the difference between an ache and a pain. Had I just looked at the evidence on my Garmin watch I would have turned around early and finished at the gym. And I WOULD have finished! By mile 7 or 8 I was 20 minutes off my regular pace and I certainly wasn’t going to pick up speed on the last half of my first 20 mile (near-zero degrees) out and back.

Now I can’t wait to get back out there, run in the cold some more with my new Under Armour (it worked great by the way) and allow my body to acclimate to the lower temperatures while still delivering a good performance! I didn’t fail, I just learned something new! This coming weekend I have a 22 mile run on Saturday and I can’t wait! Weather permitting I’ll do much of the run outside, but I’ll also be listening closely to how I feel so if I need to duck in and finish on the treadmill I can. The distance is more important than the location for these last few long runs before my first full marathon January 9th!

Happy Training!

Follow me on Twitter  ”@TheRunningMan23″

Food = Fuel.

I have a friend who refuses to view food as fuel, but that is what it really is, just fuel for the body.  He continually struggles with his weight and only finds temporary fixes with increased exercise over short time spans.  He’ll workout for a a few weeks or so, lose 10 pounds and then gain it all back because he still eats like he is in college.  He’s only addressing the symptom, not the problem…putting a bandaid on a broken arm.

Now I’m not saying that you can’t enjoy your fuel, but once you start looking at food as a source of what your body needs to function and less about eating just to satisfy a craving then the sooner you will gain control of the ultimate habit we all have, eating.

BTW, I read a lot of research articles on diet & exercise mainly because I’m a big nerd for that kind of thing… I try to learn as much as I can about how everything works.  Knowledge is Power.

Let’s get started…back to Food = Fuel.

My Metabolism.  When I started back in December 2009 my metabolism was messed up! It was slow and definitely working against me.  My metabolism was programmed to do exactly what I had told it to do…store as much fat as it could for the up coming winter.  I might as well have been a bear ready for hibernation.

I worked with a couple different trainers at my gym to get a plan together.

My Plan Components:

  1. Food (Fuel)
  2. Cardio (Walking, Running, Biking, Elliptical, Stairs, etc)
  3. Strength Training (Lifting Weights)

Of the three things above, trainer after trainer has told me FOOD accounts for at least 60% of the equation in weight loss.  No matter how hard you work the other 40% can’t make up for the 60%.  How much we eat, how often we eat and what we eat are all a part of the mix.  Unfortunately, just like in high school though 60% isn’t enough to be successful.  You DO need the other two parts. Today however, we are discussing food.

My Pre-December 2009 Diet:

  • Breakfast: Coffee
  • Lunch: Eat out at a restaurant with a co-worker
  • Dinner: Whatever I wanted
  • Snack Later: Potato Chips, ice cream, cake, pop corn, or a 2nd meal (no joke)

This diet was killing me slowly and I had the 75 extra pounds to prove it.

*My Diet Today: Serving sizes are all 1 single serving.

  • Breakfast (Pre-Workout): Coffee and a serving of Original Fiber One Cereal.  Sometimes a half glass of OJ too!
  • After Workout Protein: EAS Advantage Protein Shake (Chocolate!)
  • Mid-Morning Snack: Chewy Quaker Granola Bar (PB & Choc. Chip) or a banana/apple & water
  • Lunch: I bring my lunch a lot (Soup, lean hamburger, chili, grilled chicken, salad, lean steak) & water
  • Mid-Afternoon Snack: Chewy Granola Bar again or a piece of fruit again & water
  • After Work Snack: Dannon Light & Fit Yogurt, a piece of fruit or a cheese stick!
  • Dinner: Baked fish, lean hamburger, chili, pork, turkey, spaghetti, etc.  I take the time to cook ahead so if I’m busy I always have something in the freezer/fridge that I can reheat in a pinch.  Planning ahead is a key to eating healthy!
  • Late snack: Yogurt again or a glass of skim milk

If you hate being hungry then my plan or something similar may be for you!  I eat 8 times a day.  I eat every 2-3 hours.  Some “meals/snacks” are only 100-200 calories.  No meal is over 500 calories.  By the end of the day I usually have consumed 1700-2000 calories.  Take away the calories I burned with exercise and I’m losing weight.  By the way, if you DON’T eat your body will store fat.  So not eating is counterproductive to your goal.

Why does eating every couple hours work?

Answer: Think of a fire.  You start a fire and it blazes to life.  After a while the fire dies down.  Throw on another small stick and it blazes up again.  Now this is SIMILAR to metabolism.  If you only throw on three large logs the whole day then there are a lot of times when the fire is really low and it takes some work to get it blazing again.  If you add some twigs and leaves every once in a while (small meals/snacks) then the blaze stays more even and it’s easier to get the large stuff to catch.

I have a small office at work and I find it interesting to watch the thermostat on the wall after I eat.  The room temperature goes up about 2 degrees 15-20 minutes after my snack.  Why?  My body’s metabolism is increasing and a by product is heat.

Some Things to Consider:

  1. A lot of hunger/cravings is mistaken thirst.  You need water, not food.
  2. Fiber makes you feel full.
  3. Eating smaller portions several times a day keeps the fire burning.
  4. Portion size is key.  Retrain yourself to know what a real portion size looks like….not what a restaurant tells you it is.
  5. Mom was right!  Chew your food slowly!  Once you are full, it takes your body 20 minutes to send the signal to tell you to stop eating.  If you scarf down a huge burger & fries in 10-15 minutes then the signal to stop eating won’t get to you in time.  Enjoy it, don’t inhale it!  🙂
  6. This one kills me, but I know it’s true…Diet Soda make you fat.  Regular Soda is even worse than diet soda.**

By the way, while I was writing this blog I had two snacks and a meal.

*Disclaimer: I plan for celebrations so I can take part in BBQs, holidays, birthdays and weddings.  On Thanksgiving, Christmas, Memorial Day, The 4th of July, Elvis’ Birthday and other national holidays I eat what I want and indulge a little.  I don’t eat everything in site for an entire week though.  I have some of my Aunt’s applesauce cake at Christmas, enjoy my mom’s pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, eat a burger AND a brat on the 4th and drink a Bud Light or two at my Super Bowl Party.  I don’t indulge daily, I don’t indulge weekly, but when the time comes to celebrate I make sure I’ve worked hard enough to deserve that extra piece of mom’s fried chicken.  That’s why I don’t skip workouts and that’s why when I weigh myself October 8th my birthday cake from the day before is already a memory!

**See the video on my Links & Resources Page to learn how/why Diet Soda makes you fat.

17 miles

Ever want some time to think about practically everything?  Run 17 miles on a Saturday…or any day of the week for that matter.   You’ll have about three hours to ponder things assuming we run about the same speed.  For the last couple weeks I’ve left the iPod at home and enjoyed the confines of my own thoughts while running.  Money, job, school, girlfriend, family, Disney, my next run, vacation, the upcoming week, last week, past relationships, my next promotion, my next degree, my next job, my last job, my best friend, my worst enemy, those whom I inspire, those who refuse to be inspired, Disney, buying a house, that girl who just ran by (hey, I’m a dude!), renewing my apartment lease, my knee hurting, my knee not hurting anymore, and a host of other things.

In all that time suddenly I’m turning around and heading back to my car. I’m halfway finished.  Where did the last 8.5 miles go?  I’ve been lost in the run, not thinking about breathing, not thinking about running, not thinking about how far I have left, not thinking about any imaginary pain or real pain.  Is it time for  GU yet?  Yep, it is!

In all that thinking I realize that having balance in life is key.  Work, school, social life, family, alone time, exercise and everything else needs its little piece of my time.  Many things take priority and those priorities will shift throughout the year.  Right now I’m training for my first marathon so going out with my buddies is not at the top of the list on the weekend….a 17 mile run is.  During the week my lunch time diet tends to be geared toward fuel more than “the business lunch”.  Everything is preparing me for January and the long run.  After that I will start to see if a social life on Friday night can be explored again.  I’m sure it will!

So my advice is to have balance, but also have priorities for the time being knowing that those priorities can shift once you cross the finish line.