Tag Archives: training

Back to Basics!

Runaway training…..never coming baaack!  Sorry, I was channeling Soul Asylum for a moment.

If you’ve been following me then you know I keep a calorie spreadsheet of everything I eat calorie-wise. Why?

  1. It keeps me honest.
  2. It let’s me know when indulgence has crossed the line into gluttony. (fine line sometimes!)
  3. I’m a nerd like that.
  4. It’s one more way to keep my goals in front of me.
  5. Body Bugs are expensive. (Google it if you don’t know what it is!)
  6. Numbers don’t lie. (See previous post with this title)

Previous Goals:

Being able to say I lost 50 pounds is great! Being able to say I lost 50 pounds last year is still pretty good, but the longer ago I hit that short-term goal the less shiny and brilliant it is….imagine saying, “Yeah, I lost 50 pounds back in 1995.” If you’ve maintained it, great!!!  If you’re like me and you have a longer term goal then it’s time to go Back to Basics!  See how I worked the title of the post in there just now? I’m crafty like that sometimes!

Now before I go on I want to say that I am very proud of my accomplishments. It’s difficult to lose 50 pounds, believe me. Losing 50 pounds wasn’t about starving myself (which doesn’t work) or just cutting out “bad foods”. It was about behavior change and deciding I wasn’t going to live on the Standard American Diet (SAD) anymore. 34% of Americans are obese. I don’t like being a part of that statistic, but last year I was.  Only 1% of Americans will run a full-marathon in their lifetime. Now THAT is a statistic I like to be a part of friends! It took me 13 months to leave one statistic behind me and join the latter. All I’m saying is don’t rest on you laurels for too long. Find a new goal and GO FOR IT!

As usual I have digressed from the subject of my posting.  Now back to the topic at hand!

Back to Basics:

Getting back to basics for me is all about focusing on healthy behaviors like eating well, getting some activity every day like shoveling snow (hopefully no more of that activity for a while!), staying hydrated and finding new ways to train so I don’t burn out.

Some things I’ve been doing on the workout side of my “Back to Basics” program include Spin Class, more body weight exercises (Thanks Tatum…my trainer.), and a variety of different types of runs each week. So for my next few posts I want to discuss some good ol’ training, how I felt about it and how it made me feel the day of and the days that followed.

First, let’s talk about burpees (aka: 4-Counts). You may remember them from high school gym class. I apologize about any flashbacks I may have just caused. Recovered yet? Good, let’s move on.

4-Counts or Burpees...call 'em what you will!

This picture details how to do them (Remember now?). This picture also shows the practitioner (not me) doing a version with a jump at the end. This is optional as it is a fairly difficult exercise without the jump. That being said, if you want to make an overall awesome exercise 10 times better then add the jump after you can do 10 regular ones with good form.

Now for some of the finer points of the exercise such as the do’s & the don’ts so you can stay injury free.

  1. Notice that you start in a standing position & squat straight down with your butt BELOW your chest.
  2. DO NOT bend over at the waist for this exercise as you run the risk of back injury.
  3. From the squat position you thrust your legs straight back again NOT raising your butt up so you’re bent over.
  4. Bring your legs back again so you are once again in the squat position.
  5. Using your legs, stand up OR thrust yourself straight up into the air for the jump version.
  6. Repeat.
  7. Remember, as you get tired you are going to want to just bend over at the waist instead of squatting down. Also, as you fatigue, when getting back up you will be tempted to raise your butt up first and use your back to straighten up. DO NOT DO THIS!  If you physically can’t do the exercise correctly for another rep then you’ve reached your limit for that set of repetitions. It’s okay to push yourself, but be smart about it.
  8. Starting out with 3-6 reps is okay. This IS a difficult exercise! It is also one of the best full-body body weight exercises!

My Experience:

Now let’s talk about my experience with “Burpees”.  Before last week’s training session I hadn’t done a 4-Count since the 90s when I was taking martial arts lessons and working toward earning my Black Belt. At that time my sensei told us that the number of 4-Counts a person could in 30 seconds was a good indicator of their overall fitness. I believed him. He could do almost 30 reps (sans jump) in 30 seconds. This exercise works everything! Try it!

After one set of these things (she made me do the version with the jump) I was sucking wind. In past sessions my trainer has told me that I am one of her best when it comes to keeping up and being able to breathe during the workout…and I was dying!  The thing is that THIS EXERCISE WORKS EVERYTHING so my body was wondering what was going on! Set #2 came and went (more wind sucking). On set #3 I may have started cursing (internally). 🙂

The day after I did 3 sets of 12 reps I felt like I had worked out for the first time in a long time. I had used muscles in ways that I hadn’t in a long time! In other words, I knew I had worked out hard and it felt good! I was a bit sore and there is nothing wrong with that…it was a good soreness from knowing I had accomplished something in my workout! I wasn’t so sore that I couldn’t function mind you.  I still got up at 4am the next day and ran 7 miles.

Variation on Burpees/4-Counts

  1. The first variation you already know. Add a jump at the end. This works the core, quads, hips, glutes, hams, calves, back, chest & arms even more!
  2. The second variation is to turn the 4-Count into a 6-Count. You know how you’re technically in a push-up position after you thrust your legs back? Do 1 push-up since you’re down there anyway!
  3. These two variations are more difficult so add them as you go. Regardless the “good ol’ fashioned version” is pretty awesome!

Next Time:

Next week I plan on discussing different types of runs you can do. Not sure whether I want to write about tempo runs, intervals, something else or multiple types. I’m sure I’ll find inspiration at some point to direct my musings!

Happy Training!

-Brian

My Next Running Adventure(s) 2011 Edition

I have made it to the light at the end of the marathon tunnel and discovered that I want to go find another tunnel!

About 30 seconds after finishing my first marathon I wanted to find another to train for in 2011. Luckily, I didn’t have to look far and I have a couple choices. First, the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon is November 5th, 2011 and is in my own backyard practically. Second, a friend of mine whom I’m running with in April wants me to return to Kansas for a full marathon in mid-October. I’m not sure if I’m ready for two full marathons just three weeks apart. It’ll be my friend’s first full marathon so that should be fun, but now I just need to decide. I’m leaning toward Kansas City since the prospect of travel is always nice! I can run the Indianapolis Monumental anytime and if the weather repeats here in Indiana like last year it’ll be a cold run in November. Temperatures were dipping into the 20s for the Monumental in 2010. Perhaps that’ll be my 2012 endeavor!?!?!?!

Of course, I can never do anything the easy way so I mapped out a second year of running events with a healthy dose of ambition for a relatively new runner. I think that by the end of this year I won’t be able to claim the “newbie” title anymore…I have too many people hitting me up for advice at this point anyway!

Of course with it being a new year I need new goals!

  1. First, is to not live to run. I did that in 2010 and I want to enjoy my summer more this time around including some easy runs at dusk just for fun.
  2. Last year I lost 50 lbs and that was a good start. I need to drop another 20 to get down to a healthier range. Body fat percentage is still too high so that will be my primary focus.
  3. I want to become a stronger all around athlete rather than “just a runner” although there is nothing wrong with that. I just mean that running won’t be 90% of my exercise like it was in 2010. More like 70%….

As I stated above, once again I have been ambitious in my scheduling just as I was last year. I have a feeling that just like last year I will be adding an event or two along the way. So here it is, my race schedule! What’s your running season look like?

Welcome to Brian’s Insanity v2.011:

  • Walt Disney World Marathon, January 9th (Done)
  • Lawrence, KS Half Marathon, April 17th (Registered)
  • Indianapolis Mini-Marathon, May 7th (Registered)
  • Carmel, IN Half Marathon 6-11-11 (Soon to be Registered)
  • CarmelFest Freedom Run (4.5 mile) 7-2-11 (Perhaps)
  • Kansas City Full-Marathon 10-15-11 (Most Likely)
  • Indianapolis Monumental Marathon 11-5-11 (Perhaps)
  • Drumstick Dash 11-24-11 (Too much fun to miss!)
  • Indianapolis Jingle Bell Run 12-10-11 (Brrr, but yes…)

So once again I would like to  say that you should have goals. I had a great 2010 and I want to have an even better 2011! The reason is I had goals and ticked them off one by one!  Have something to train for out in the future. I always say that training for just another 5 pounds isn’t enough and will only motivate you so far. That’s why I’m considering two marathons within three weeks of each other.  I know I can run a half or a full-marathon…been there, done that. I know that in order to run two full marathons three weeks apart I would have to bring my training to a new level and decrease my body fat percentage over the next 9 months to be able to take on the challenge. I also know that this may be the next step for me to move beyond the 26.2 mile range which would make me an ultra runner. An ultra is defined as any distance race beyond 26.2 miles.  We’ll see if I explore that kind of race down the road, but it’s a thought for the future.

Happy training and have fun!

Brian

Follow me on Twitter  @TheRunningMan23

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!

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!  🙂

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.

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″

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.