Aug 27, 2009

My running partner today.

It's been a bit of a slow week so far. Had some very sore legs after my Monday night strength workout and soccer game. But today, I finally started feeling better and so I decided to make it a two-a-day.

This little guy was in the middle of the road during my morning run.

Didn't want him to get hit. Looked like he'd already taken some damage a while back (right, front claw missing). So I ran back home with him, then took him to a nearby creek and sent him on his way. C'ya, buddy!

On my evening run, I ran by the spot I left him. He was long gone. Dude could move pretty good for having bum front foot! ;)

Aug 22, 2009

The difference a day makes

Two days ago, I bitched, and moaned, and complained some more about the heat & humidity and the effect it was having on my perceived fitness level. Now, I know it affects us and makes us feel more fatigued, it slows us down, and just makes getting through workouts all the tougher. Add to that the fact that I've just never been a "get up at 5AM runner, to beat the heat" kind of guy, and it basically makes the affect of the heat even worse. Truth is, I wish I was a 5AM guy. I really admire those folks who can do that. I want to be that guy. I often go to bed telling myself that if I wake up on my own anytime between 5-7AM, just get up, throw on the shoes, and go get that run in. On the rare days that I have done that (usually more out of necessity b/c we have a very full day planned) I have enjoyed those runs immensely. But it's just not in me to do consistently. Not yet, anyway. Maybe some day.

My issue, and it's entirely mental, is that the last week or so has me really questioning myself. I expected my runs to be slow, tough slogs through the heat. But not THAT slow & tough! Combine that with a stretch of less than pristine diet, and WHAM! Self-doubt about your true conditioning levels.

That led to my post on the 20th. Funnyrunner was kind enough to post an encouraging comment. But more importantly, she referenced an article in August's RW magazine where they conducted a study at UConn designed to empirically measure the effect of heat on our running performance.,7120,s6-238-267--13245-1-1X2X3-4,00.html As an analytical kind of guy, this is right up my alley. Yet, somewhere along the way, I forgot to read this issue! I've read September's already, but missed this one. No idea how! UGH! I'd just found it a few days ago, buried in a stack of other magazines, and I must have fallen victim to "out-of-sight, out-of-mind". I assumed I'd already read it, and therefore tossed it into my pile of read RW's. Now that I open it up, a leaf through it, none of it looks familiar to me. Thank goodness Funny pointed to this article. First, b/c I was amazed at the incredible difference in results from the study, and b/c I love reading RW, and now I have another to read while I wait for the October issue. Bonus! So, thank you very much Funnyrunner.

Am I feeling better? Yes. The article affirmed what I've been feeling, so that was gratifying. And last night when I went for my run, and it was so much cooler, I left the house hoping that I would find that something that has been missing in my workouts. Turns out, I did. It was wonderful. I headed out and realized almost immediately how much better I felt, how much more comfortable I was, and much easier the effort seemed. And it was reflected in my stats (pace & average HR). I finished up feeling wonderful. A feeling I haven't had since I ran Cades Cove at the beginning of the month.

Is the Indy Marathon back on the schedule? Maybe. Certainly much more so than it was last week. I'm still a bit worried about being ready in time. Have to get my eating habits back in order, or sure. But for now, I'm content to be a little smarter, a lot happier, and maybe a little less likely to be so hard on myself all the time.

As for running early this morning? I woke up at 9:30. LOL. Can't have everything at once, right?

"Slow & steady"

Aug 21, 2009

Who is the God(dess) of Perfect Weather?

I ask because I'll build a shrine TODAY if it'll help.

Thinking about the weather lately, and I'm so sick of heat, and especially the humidity. Thankfully, today is much better, and looks like it will stuck around for at least a few days. So I started thinking how I would rank the months in terms of which I like running the most in. It goes like this for me:

1) October
2) September
3) November
4) December
5) January
6) February
7) April
8) March
9) May
10) June
11) July
12) August

My priorities are:
1) Cool
2) Wind (otherwise March & April would be higher)
3) Sun (otherwise Dec-Feb would be higher, we don't see the sun much in those months here in Cincy)
4) Dry

So just get me through the next couple of weeks. The best is right around the corner.

Aug 20, 2009

Something just isn't quite right

I can't put my finger on it, but something isn't right with me lately. I feel like I have no endurance, at all. I'm running slowly, feeling fatigued, HR seemingly way to high all the time, and the past 2 days, I've had some soreness in my lower abs. In fact, I'm currently of the mindset that I will not be ready to run the Indy marathon in 12 weeks. I'll be really pissed off if I'm not, but at the same time, I'm determined to not do anything stupid just to prove that I can actually finish a marathon. I do plenty of stupid stuff as it is.

Now, perhaps it's the heat & humidity of August that's preventing me from being motivated. Especially lately. It would do me a ton of good to wake up and get my runs in early when there's at least a chance of lower temps. Thankfully, the next few days will be much a bit nicer (i.e. cooler). So we'll see. I really want to get back into that wonderful grind of training, when you know you are getting better, fitter, stronger, as every week goes by. Right now, I feel like I am regressing, not progressing. If I don't start feeling better very soon, I'm considering "breaking down" and starting from scratch. By scratch I mean starting at around 20 miles for the week, and building slowly from there. More than likely run two halves in the fall, instead of a full. I'd prefer to NOT start over, but at the same time, I could see it doing me some good. I'd regain some confidence, I'd get plenty of rest, in case I am injured (I don't really think I am), and I'd get the chance to develop a new routine, good habits, etc. I'd like to do all those things while training for a full marathon, but I'm starting to get my mind around accepting a smaller workload, and training for halves, if I have to. I'll have to decide soon.

Want to get back in the gym and strength train again. I liked Pfitz's program in his book, Advanced Marathoning. I plan to follow it.

Been watching the IAAF World Championships this week too. Hoping to find a little inspiration. They're starting to get into the longer distances now, so I'm very excited for the next few days. Wish they had shown the 5,000 meter heats today, but no. I was bummed about that. Hope Lagat's gash is OK in time for the final, and that it doesn't affect him. Really enjoyed what they did show of the 10,000 meters the other day. Bekele is a monster runner. Bolt is fun to watch run, but his antics get on my nerves after a while. There's a fine line between "relaxed and having fun" and being obnoxious. Just ask Cincinnati's Chad Johnson. No, don't ask him. Ask Bengals fans. They'll tell you. Glad he's not on my favorite team, the Chicago Bears. Chicagoans wouldn't put up with that crap.

So, the next few days will be important to me. If I don't start running strong, relaxed, and more comfortably very soon, I'll have some major reevaluating to do.

Aug 14, 2009

Oh well

No race for me on Sunday.

No big deal, I guess.

Aug 11, 2009

Race week

Hope to add to this in the next day or so. Just got a lot on my plate this week. But it's still race week, and I'm not feeling 100% confident. Don't know why, I'm just not. Hopefully by Sunday, I'll feel better. I really want to PR in this half marathon. Actually, no. I want to PR AND run under 1:45. Well under, if possible. But I know nothing about the course. Maybe that's what worries me. I don't know.

Anyway, I feel like I have a lot to say, just not the time to say it. I'll feel less stressed tomorrow night. Maybe that'll be a better time to write.