Saturday, March 28, 2015


13.1 -- that's how many miles I ran this morning. 

No, I didn't run in an official half marathon, although I am registered to run my first one on May 3rd. Today was just a trial run to see if I could actually do it. I was going to follow a more gradual lead-up to the 13.1 mile mark, but I changed my mind for a few reasons:

Reason #1: I felt really good in the 6-7 mile range, and I just decided to see how far I could take it. By the time I got to 12.1 miles, I was already a third of a mile away from my starting point, so I decided I may as well finish it.

Reason #2: In the week since I registered for the Volcano half, I have done quite a bit of research on how to prepare for the race. All of the running websites and blogs say, "Never try anything new on race day!"; so why would I want to run 13.1 miles for the very first time *on* race day? #logic

Reason #3: Many running articles also talk about "hitting the wall" during a distance race, so I went searching for it. Again, why would I want to hit the wall for the very first time on race day? At first I wasn't sure that I had found it, but after looking at a graph of my pace, I think maybe it reared its ugly head right around mile 11, which would be where I had to do some stopping and going due of heavier street traffic, which caused my legs to start feeling a bit crampy -- which meant I had to slow my pace and shorten my stride to keep going. Here's the graph from my RunKeeper app:

I was able to keep a steady pace between 9:51 and 9:54 per mile for most of my run, but hitting the wall quickly pulled me back to a final average of 9:59, which is about what I expected. I would hope to better that in the race with some real carbo loading, but would definitely happy to hit this pace again. I finished this morning in a total time of 2:10:58, and I burned a total of 1824 calories, according to RunKeeper. This explains why I have been hungry all afternoon, despite my constant eating.

Now the plan is to back off a little on my once a week longer run distances, and keep working shorter runs during the week -- 6-7 mile runs on Tuesdays, and shorter / faster paced runs on Thursdays. I may even take a few days to rest about 2 weeks before the race -- that seemed to do well for me the first two weeks of March. My foot seems to be holding up fairly well considering the mileage I have put on the last two weeks (22.2 last week, 24.3 this week), but I think it could use a break in there somewhere.

Speaking of running through pain, one of my favorite running blogs that I stumbled across, Shut Up and Run (aka SUAR), just did a blog entry that says it better than I ever could. I don't know who she is, but I love her straight-forward writing style. Here's the article on running through pain: Running Hurts Like Hell, But Why?

The first SUAR blog post that I came across was one that really made me want to read more of her writing -- the honesty in this post is so refreshing! How To Not Crap Yourself On the Run. I'm happy to report no close calls in this department today.

And now I am really tired... no more running until Tuesday!


Sunday, March 22, 2015

"I don't have time!"

One thing I’ve learned in life is that we all manage to make time for the things that we consider to be priorities, and we make excuses for not doing the things we really don’t want to do. I do it, too. Often times when we say, “I just don’t have the time for that”, we are really saying, “I choose not to make that a priority, and would rather be doing something else”.

A couple weeks ago, as I was doing some stretching after going for a run, I overheard some parents at the karate dojo lamenting the fact that neither of them can find time to do any exercise. Never mind the fact that I had just knocked off a 6-mile run in the time they had been sitting there (complaining about everything that is wrong with the world).

Sometimes it just takes finding the right slot in your week to make exercise happen, and sometimes it takes eliminating other less important activities to make time. But regardless of when you fit it in, I pretty much guarantee you will need to stop making excuses. Stop saying, “I don’t have time for that”; and instead say, “I’m going to make time for that”. Otherwise, “I don’t have time for that” can really be translated to, “I don’t really care enough about my health to make exercise a priority”.

Do you watch TV in the evenings? Plant a treadmill in front of it and walk for half hour to an hour. Do you have a Wii? Get Wii Fit and do a “step” workout while you watch your TV shows. Do you have a sidewalk that runs in front of your house? Go see if you can find where it ends. Do you have a dog? Have Fido help find the end of the sidewalk. Prefer to pedal? Get on your bike and ride. Don’t have much time during the day to leave the house? Try a High Intensity Interval Training program. Hanging out at your kid’s sports practice? Go walk or run – you don’t really need to watch every minute of the practice.

Stop making excuses. Start making priorities. Send those extra pounds packing.