I’ve kind of been in one of those post-race funks since I completed the Ultra I’d spent the first half of the year training for back in a the beginning of June. I talked about registering for the Defiance 50k that runs in October but summer is a tough time to train.
There are weekends away with friends, vacations, home improvement projects and I’m currently taking a certificate program that burns one training night every week. I’m not trying to get all “woe is me” with my first world problems but without a specific goal in place all those distractions make it easy to let the weekly training mileage drop.
A couple of weeks ago the battery in my heart rate monitor died. Not the end of the world but it’s been a real pain to find a replacement. It dying made me realize I’ve tracked, in some way, every run I’ve done this entire year. I’ve got the total mileage along with the average pace of each run. Sure it’s kind of cool to be able to say I’ve run over 900 miles so far in 2012 but I’m not exactly sure what it gets me.
Last night I strapped on my G-Shock, told myself I was heading out for 60 minutes and just went. I didn’t worry about stopping or starting the time for traffic. I didn’t worry about if I should turn around at a set mileage point. I didn’t worry what my pace was or if I was on track to beat my time from last week. I just ran, and I enjoyed the hell out of it. In fact it was the best run I’ve had in a long time.
So that brings me back to the title. I’m ready to just start running. Moving forward my plan will be a 1 hour run on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. On the weekends I’ll figure out some kind of 3 or 4 week progressive rotation that looks something like 2 hour, 2.5 hour, 3 hour, etc. I’m not going to worry about mileage totals or spend the week dreading some set mileage long run. I’m not out there to collect data and see who’s got the bigger totals on their spreadsheet. I’m out there because I enjoy it. I’m just going to go out, listen to my body and intuition, and enjoy the hell out of myself for a set amount of time 4 days a week.
Ladies a scale can’t measure muscle. Remember your muscle will take up less room than body fat. Don’t let a scale define you.
Don’t get hung up on the scale. The best way to not drive yourself crazy is to be consistent and measure yourself at the same general time daily, weekly or monthly. That way you’re measuring apples to apples as best you can. Comparing your morning weight to your evening weight is apples to oranges.
The second best thing to not drive yourself crazy is to measure your body fat percentage, biceps, chest, waist, thighs or some combination of those immediately after the scale. It’s possible for those measurements to go down even if the number on the scale stays the same.
The science behind your appetite in less than two minutes.
If your caveman brain was making you walk around punching babies in the face you’d probably try to stop yourself from punching said babies in the face.
So don’t let your caveman brain be the excuse to eat another piece of cake that someone from accounting brought in for Janice’s birthday. You don’t even like Janice.
always think this is a great motivator when i’m trying to help someone get back into fitness or start exercising and/or eating healthy again.
reasons? or results?
it’s your choice.
Am I the only one that is just now realizing that Men’s Health magazine is really just Comsomopolitan for guys?
I’ve never had a subscription so it wasn’t until I started following their Twitter feed that it dawned on me.
For every one decent article about health/fitness there are ten about how to either get instant results or perform better in the bedroom.
I realize “The Diet Plan That Will Have Your Abs Beach Ready by Next Summer” isn’t nearly as catchy or motivating but at least it would be a little more realistic.
It’s July 19th, we’ve got about 3 days left of summer here in the Pacific Northwest. Sure the rest of the country probably has at least another 6 weeks but if you don’t have a six pack right now there is a better than good chance you won’t have one by the end of summer.
I’m not trying to say these exercises won’t help strengthen your core. I’m going to try adding at least one of them to my routine. The point is that it’s going to take a much more comprehensive workout and diet plan to burn off the fat that’s currently hiding your abs.
Also, I wish they could just shoot us straight instead of trying to suck people in with catchy nonsense.
The Rock has never been a small guy but when you look at these two photos side-by-side it’s an amazing transformation.
It’s picture proof of what 5 years of hard work can get you. I’m not saying that in 5 years you’re going to look like the photo on the right. Chances are you’re not starting off with a base that resembles the photo on the left so you need to adjust your goals accordingly.
Don’t get sucked in and sidetracked by magazine headlines about the latest fad diet or “six-pack abs in less than 10 minutes a day” workouts. Work hard, eat healthy and stick to your plan. The results will follow.
Also, The Rock maintains a pretty solid Twitter feed. [@TheRock]
by: Brian C.
My long run Saturday was tough. It was the hardest run I’ve had in a long time. It was 16 miles and I didn’t want to stop and quit during a 30-mile training run a few months ago as bad as I did during the last half of that 16.
The weird thing is I did the exact same run two Saturdays ago and felt great. So to have the same run be such a grind only one week later was a weird experience.
I think a couple of things contributed to making this run tougher. First, my routine was thrown off. Last week was one of those hectic weeks where no matter how you adjust or try to re-plan your workouts life just keeps getting in the way. Saturday I had volunteered to help with something at work which meant I ran in the mid-afternoon instead of my usual early morning. Because I was at work and didn’t know exactly when I would be done I had to guess when to eat to fuel up for the run. Looking back I think I ate too early and as a result wasn’t fueled the way I would normally be for a long run. Running in the mid-afternoon also meant I was running in the heat of the day. We actually have had some decent weather here in the Pacific Northwest for about the last week so it was definitly the warmest temperatures I’d ever run this amount of miles in.
That said in the end I finished and I was only one minute slower than the same run on the previous Saturday. While I spent every minute of the last ~7 miles feeling miserable this was probably one of the best and most valuable training runs I’ve had in a long time.
Not every run can be easy. You need these kind of runs to help train you mentally. You need to find where your limits are. You need to get to that point where the voice in your head is screaming at you to just stop and walk and then push past it. If you stop every time something starts to hurt you are not going to get anywhere.
Pain is just your body giving you advice. Think about all the bad advice you’ve gotten in your life.
by: Brian C.
Getting movivated to start is usually easy. Keeping that motivation going is usually what is tough.
Even the most dedicated amoung us can hit a slump and lose our motivation to continue the grind.
A training plan by it’s very nature is unrelenting. Constantly looking at the weeks between where you are and where your goal is can be daunting.
Dreading an upcoming workout generally goes one of two ways:
- You force yourself to get after it and five minutes in you feel great and you’re glad you did it. These can be some of the best workouts. You prove to yourself, and that little voice in your head, that you’re tough and it’s going to take more than some self-smack talk or sore body parts to stop you.
- You take the day off.Sometimes taking the day off is the best decision. Junk miles are junk miles. If you’re out there hating every minute of it, or just trying to increase your weekly training totals, you’re not doing yourself any good. If you skip a work day and enjoy the following rest day chances are on that third day you’re going to be itching to get back to it.
More than anything it requires honesty with yourself. Forcing yourself out there on too many days when you’re not feeling it is going to be a one-way ticket to burnout. And burnout is probably going to lead to your butt spending a large amount of it’s time on the couch.
Unfortunately I don’t think modern science is going to be providing us with a personal T-Rex any time soon. So either get a big dog that doesn’t really like you or work on balancing your work/rest ratio so that you can keep your motivation and avoid burnout.
by: Brian C.
I kind of fell off the map here back on May 6th. How do I know the exact date? Well I scrolled back to my last post and saw that it was a picture of my race number for the Tacoma Marathon taken about an hour before I crossed the start line.
I’m not exactly sure why I fell off. Maybe I felt like I had said most of what I needed to say. Maybe I felt like it was starting to get to a “Oh look at me. I’ve done this and this and this.” kind of place. I think people like to hear about/see/follow someone over the course of the journey. They like to see someone go from their lowest to their highest. A guy that starts off the story four-fifths of the way through where everything seems easy can end up sounding kind of preachy.
Moving forward my vision for what I want to contribute to this site is really what it was back when GKelly and I got started. A mix of my own personal journey/accomplishments and information to help people make better diet, fitness and general health related decisions. The level of health and fitnes, or lack thereof, in this country scares and frustrates me. If what I say here can help one person make better decisions and turn their life around for the healthy I’d consider that a success.
Alright, enough of that. Here’s a couple of race recaps.
Tacoma Marathon 5/6/12 - First Marathon
This was a great race. Honestly it was so much fun it’s hard to imagine topping it. A couple of weeks before the race I finished A Few Degrees from Hell: The 2003 Badwater Ultramarathon. A book about a 135-mile race across Death Valley. Through one of those weird life coincidences the guy leading the 3:40:00 pace group, my goal pace for the race, was Terry Sentinella 15th place finisher in the 2011 Badwater. Somewhere between mile 13 and 15 the rest of the pace group fell away and it was just Terry and I. It was pretty awesome to talk to him and hear first hand about Badwater from a finisher. He and I stuck together until about mile 24 when he had to slow down because as the official 3:40:00 pacer he couldn’t finish before that time. I ended up finishing in 3:34:43 with a pace of 8:12 min/mile.
Lake Youngs Ultra 6/9/12 - First Ultra Marathon
This race couldn’t have been more different than my first marathon through the mean streets of Tacoma. The race was 3 laps around an unpaved regional trail loop. Each lap was 9.6 miles for a total race distance of 28.8 miles. Why they didn’t tack on a few more miles and make it an official 50k I don’t know but that’s a rant for another day. Overall the race was a great time. It was a misty, cool morning for the 7:00 a.m. start with some sun finally breaking through near the end of the 2nd lap. In one of those “of course it happens on race day moments” the hydration pack I was caring and had trained with sprung a leak along the bottom of the bladder during the first lap. I stuck out the 2nd lap with it but switched to a handheld bottle for the third and final lap. I’d heard aid stations at Ultras were different and that held true. Stopping for chocolate chip cookies and peanut M&M’s every ~10 miles was pretty awesome. In the end I finished with a time of 4:20:19 for the 28.8 miles good for 9th place out of 44 competitors.
Above are a couple of photos from each race. Yes, I wore the exact same thing at both races. You don’t mess with what works.
Less then a Week…
By: Garrett K.
By this time next week I’ll have completed my second (of many to come) Ironman’s.
I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of in a constant mode of stress and worry. Why, I’m not really sure. I got this… I mean I’ve put in the hours, I’ve pushed myself in nearly every single workout to the point of pain and discomfort. I’ve avoided injuries, and I’ve taken good care of my body.
But for some reason I have the fear of the unknown stressing me. All the “what ifs” that can come along with racing Ironman… I’ve been trying to shove them to the back of my mind, but they keep creeping back to nag me.
I’ve got my race prep in full gear. Pack lists galore! I’ve been mentally prepping myself for a full day of pain, and I’ve sort of told myself that if I don’t require a couple bags of IV at the end of the race, then I didn’t give it all I got. That might be a bit extreme. But what a great way to end a race! Knowing you gave it, literally all you’ve got!
I’ve trained harder, and pushed myself further compared to training for Ironman CDA last year. The main difference is I’ve done this solo, or as a wolf pack of one, roaming the roads in search of eternal youth through Ironman glory…. There I go with that crazy talk again.
I’m a firm believer that with any endurance sport it’s 90% mental. I’m sure there’s some study out there to prove me right or wrong, but when it comes down to it, the fact is, your mind will tell you to stop, long before you can. We set our limits in our minds, we don’t want to get out of our comfort zone and risk a bad outcome. We often forget that the outcome could be the exact opposite and could be more then we dreamed we were capable of accomplishing!
limited experience with Ironman, I’ve learned that along a race your mind can drift to to some dark places. Kind of like the movie ‘Inception’ but rather then bad guys chasing you with guns, it’s pain chasing you from the very first signs of quitting. It’s all just another fun element to racing Ironman.
I am looking forward to getting to Coeur d’Alene, getting settled in and enjoying the race atmosphere. It’s like a Disney Land for endurance athletes! They really roll out the red carpet and create an awesome race experience! One of the main reasons I wanted to come back to Ironman CDA was the overall experience and the 3000+ volunteers! It’s crazy how the volunteers really do make it such an amazing race. They truly do have the best volunteers!
Here’s to a great race! And keeping the demons of pain and dark places where they belong!
Go Team Kelly!