Tapering

Not training as intensely as I have for the past year is probably the most excruciating thing I have experienced to date. When you train regularly you have a lot of energy! Now it’s taper time as my 1st marathon at Walt Disney World is just a couple weeks away.  And yes, I’m full of energy!!!  It’s time to cut the training down a bit though. It’s all about resting more and waiting. The upside is that all those little aches & pains that come from running a lot of mileage are starting to go away with the increased cross training and lower weekly mileage.

I had a plan of dropping 10 extra pounds before the marathon. I’m half way there! At 185lbs I’m feeling good. Having maintained that weight thru Christmas dinner at mom & dad’s house as well as surviving all the treats my GF makes thru the holidays I am even more excited to still be on track!

This week I only have one 45 minute run though I’m hitting the elliptical three other days for a good calorie burn and non-impact cross training. I’ll do a 7 miler on Sunday at slightly slower than race pace.

The week before I head South to see Mickey, I will have a couple 30 minute easy runs and then it’s time to wait the last few days until January 9th and my first 26.2 mile magical adventure! In the mean time I’m prepping with a Gear Checklist!

The Gear List:

  • Running Shoes & Socks!
  • Waiver and Bib Document for the Disney Marathon
  • Cold Gear tights
  • Cold Gear shirt
  • Running Shorts
  • WDW Radio Running Team Shirt
  • Knee brace (better safe…)
  • Running belt for GU
  • Body Glide
  • NSAIDs (for a few hours after)
  • GU (Carrying 8 to cover 5 hours)
  • EAS protein (for immediately after the race)

Optional Gear to Prepare for potential Weather during the Race

  • Sun Screen
  • Flippers
  • Snow Shoes
  • Snorkel & Mask
  • Parka
  • Snake Bite Kit
  • Scarf
  • Boogie Board
  • Skis
  • Poncho
  • Ice Melt
  • Umbrella Hat
  • Life Preserver

Whatever you’re training for have fun and I’ll be writing about my 26.2 mile magical adventure soon enough!

Happy Training!

Numbers Don’t Lie.

I love food.  A great burger. An awesome cup of coffee. A sweet dessert. A hearty chili. A good dark beer. A succulent filet. A fine fillet o’ fish.  Anyone hungry now? All can find their way into my diet and in moderation can really be enjoyed!  I used to reach for a Snickers, Kit Kat or Hershey’s if I had a sweet tooth craving. Now I reach for 1-2 squares of the darkest chocolate I can find. It takes a lot of discipline not to pig out one day a week until I started keeping a food diary for a while. It’s on the desktop of my work laptop so it’s always staring me in the face. Not only did I keep a food diary, but I kept it on an excel spread sheet broken down by meals and snacks.  So I guess it’s more of a calorie diary than a food diary. Remember, I was 65-75 pounds over weight at the beginning. From writing everything down, I found out that numbers don’t lie.

If the numbers don't add up I don't lose weight
I can tell about how many calories I’ve taken in as well as the work I’ve put in and the pounds I’ve lost at a glance.

Obviously, I needed a change and I made those changes. As of today I am quickly approaching 180 lbs which is a far cry from the 245 lbs at which I started! One of the amazing things I found after starting this food diary was the effects of one meal on my week. Numbers don’t lie. If the little dial on the scales didn’t go down then I could look back at my spreadsheet and know why. I recorded calories burned as well so I really got into it. After a while I even started changing the font color to red for high calorie meals.  This was a visual indicator of what stopped me from being successful in my goal that week.  Now if you’ve read my other posts you know that I plan for holidays and enjoy the foods that go along with them.  I used to work for the Walt Disney Company so I know all about indulgence!  🙂  But aside from the 10-12 weeks a year when it’s okay (for me) to splurge I try to keep on track with a fairly controlled diet which includes all sorts of foods…foods that support my current training goals whether it be for a marathon, dropping 5 pounds, maintaining my current weight, gaining muscle, etc. I found that if I had a meal that was 800 calories for lunch and I burned 500 calories in exercise then a lot of time I was just going to the gym so I could have french fries that day. Totally not worth it for me since the numbers didn’t add up. Why? Because numbers don’t lie. Eventually I had to discipline myself to change my behavior and my perspective on what constituted a meal. I was way out of whack on my perspective of what size a “meal” should be. Did I need an 800-1000 calorie lunch? No, I didn’t. Did I have to have a salad every day? No, I didn’t. I just needed to make different choice and explore my food options a bit more. Recently I hit a weight plateau so I went back to my calorie diary and started keeping track again.  Sure enough, it took me a couple weeks, but the pounds started to come off again.  Bam, down another 5 pounds.  Numbers don’t lie. So the moral of the story is know what you’re eating, how much you’re eating and the consequences of it all. I found there is a fine line between indulgence & gluttony. If you’re not sure where that line is just look at the numbers because numbers don’t lie. Happy Training & Happy Holidays!

Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Run!

Hello race fans! Saturday morning was a balmy 39 degrees here in Indianapolis as several hundred people all showed up at the same place to run a 5K known as the Jingle Bell Run!  This event supports the Arthritis Foundation.

My gf and I headed downtown to Conseco Fieldhouse where the event would start and finish.  My gf was the Volunteer Coordinator for this year’s run/walk so we arrived at 6:00am to start getting the volunteers checked-in and sent to their assignments. I was in charge of volunteer t-shirts and lanyards and pretty much at my gf’s beck & call for a few hours.  It was a good time helping get this awesome event underway!

My girlfriend and I at the Volunteer Coordinator table. She was easy to spot with that Christmas tree on her head!

With a 9:00am start, I ventured to the start line around 8:50am.  If you read my blog regularly then you know I ran The Drumstick Dash with a buddy of mine on Thanksgiving and did great!  So for this race I lined up with the 9-min/mile pace peeps and even stepped to the front of the group.  It was chilly, but with Under Armour and gloves it was no big deal. It felt really good being an entire corral closer to the start line than “normal” too! It’s amazing what becomes normal since almost 12 months ago to the day I couldn’t run a single mile and started at a 12 minute/mile pace when I did run.

I flipped on my iPod to a little “Flo Rida: The Club Can’t Handle Me” as the race started.  The first bit of the race was grueling as the wind picked up and the chill crept into everything.  After I rounded the corner off Pennsylvania Street the wind was gone and things improved.  The cold air was a challenge as it always is for me but I felt good as I finished Mile #1.  Mile #2 whipped past in no time and the next thing you know I was crossing Penn again to head toward Monument Circle.  After a quick three blocks or so I was rounding another corner onto Pennsylvania again and could see the finish line.

About that time “How Far We’ve Come” by Matchbox 20 kicked on the headphones and I took off.  I could see the clock had just crossed the 27 minute mark and I really wanted to beat 28 minutes.  As I approached the finish I realized I could potentially beat 00:27:30 so it was a race the last few feet to cross the line before the big three-zero went by.

I always forget about those few seconds between the official clock start and individual time based on crossing the start line.  Official Time ended up being 00:27:04.8 which was good for a new 5K PR! I beat my last 5K time by 2 minutes and 39 seconds.

Next stop, The Disney World Marathon January 9th!

Happy Training!

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″

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For the Love of Running, LLC

Coaching services for runners of all levels and abilities

Goldman Goes For It

Underdog runner goes for a world record

The Disney Life

"Make a wish and do as dreamers do"

Me and Mo

I am adjusting to a new normal. Fitness looks very different now that I live with an Acoustic Neuroma

TooTallFritz

Running Toward: Health, Wellness & PEACE ...................................................... Running From: Insanity, Screaming Children, Housework & a Big Ass

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dopey runner: yvonne

Dopey Challenge? I must be Dopey Right Enough!

@daRevoluCHIN - to inspire and be inspired

Helping you achieve your fitness dreams one step at a time

runningmomof4

Mom of 4, running for me, always trying to get back to WDW

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