Saturday, February 6, 2016

OH! Ohio!

I have to admit there are few things I enjoy more than running. Most of them are people. While I've been trying to get out there more and enjoy myself, it was still pretty difficult to get myself to a point that I was satisfied with my run.  Be it the time, or the distance, or even the energy I put in to it, just couldn't get there. Though, I think I'm starting to find it.

I was in Ohio the other day and right behind the hotel was a paved path. I knew it was there and I wanted to get out and run it, but I found myself laying in a giant king size hotel bed with about 7 pillows around me. The desire to get out and run in 27° was far less than the desire to stay in that bed. After about 15 minutes of scrolling mindlessly through facebook, I saw a post from someone about them getting a time they were proud of. I sat and thought about my lack of that feeling. The feeling of excitement while I looked at my watch. The feeling of having nothing left at the end of a run. The feeling of your legs burning but you get past it and keep running. No matter what your time or pace, those things are ( to me) what defines a "hard run."

I got up.

His time wasn't far out of reach of what I knew I could do. I've been feeling pretty good lately and I've been on a a lot of hills, so Ohio is flat. I went out to match that time.

I had only planned on 8, but somewhere around 6 I realized that I could do an extra 2 pretty easy. So i did. At the end of the run I looked down at my pace and was happy that I had roughly 7:15/ mile. The exact same pace that I could barely hold up for 4 miles a few weeks ago when I had that group run. I have to say, I was happy. It's not the time I want to stay at, nor is the times I'm used to, but it made me feel good that I could do it.

The next morning I went out to do it again, and nailed it. This time a few seconds faster. Felt good to find out it wasn't a fluke.

I found my form ( I can't hold it for long anymore) I found my breathing ( I lose it easily) I (re) found that part of running that makes me happy.

It's been a little over 30 days since I started this, and the no booze thing is really doing well. Still not drinking coffee. Not sure if that one is important or not, but it's here for the duration.

I've lost a little over 10lbs and I can see a noticable difference in my body again. Leg muscles, stomach, arms. They're all coming back.

I think that's something that I lose sight of sometimes. It's hard to be dedicated, when there are so many things coming at you from different parts of your life. Work, Family, bills, cars, etc. Though, at the end of the day. If I can't get out and run. All of those things will take over and I won't have a way to figure them out.

I always liked this video ( probably because of the music ) figured I'd share -

Monday, January 18, 2016

The air up there.... .is cold.

When I was in junior high  ( yeah I'm that age, where we had junior high and not "middle school") I was sitting on a couch one day and I couldn't catch my breath. I wasn't doing anything, but that just happened. My mother looked at my nails and noticed they were blue, so we went to the hospital. I was diagnosed with bronchial asthma. Now honestly, it wasn't that big of a deal. I would be fine for about 80% of the year. Though, when the seasons changed and at least once during winter, I would have to stop anything I was doing and just hang on the couch for a week, using a nebulizer and taking medicine. Walking up the stairs would be rough, if I had to even walk swiftly, I'd need a break after going from one side of the house to the other. After about a week, it was gone. This happened well into my 20s. In highschool years, I'd miss weeks at a time. After high school, I'd miss practices with my band, and sometimes even gigs.

So what does this have to do with the price of tea in china? Well... Winter is here. Having recently moved to upstate ( central really) NY, it's here and it's cold. This morning I woke up and looked outside and had zero desire to go for a run. It wasn't easy getting out the door, but thankfully Nichole knows how much I want to keep on a good pace so she's been awesome at kicking me out the door when I have to. Looking outside and seeing snow whipping across the street, and seeing 12 degrees with a "REAL FEEL" of zero.. well... that just brings back memories of my asthma. I never enjoyed the winter because of that. I always felt like it was a battle, it was something that I had to suffer through. Never because of the cold, but because of the fact that at some point, my chest would tighten and I wouldn't be able to walk without gasping.

Some point in the past 10 years, my asthma decided it didn't want to hang around anymore. I'm not sure if it's because of me running, not smoking, not living in an old house, or a combination of it all, but it's gone.

So on to my running this past week,  only got in about 30m, I'm ok with it right now. Need a light week.

Sunday - 10m - Went a new route and found a really nice hill again. Harder than the others in the area. Going to try to get all 3 of the high hills in my area on one run. Mapped out a cool 16m run with all 3 hills, could be fun.
Monday -3m  I went out on this 3 mile loop and tried to beat my time but I couldn't get it. Not sure what happened, but I just wasn't pushing enough.
Tuesday  - I took the day off, I took Monday's run as my body saying, " Hey buddy, lets dial it back a little for a week"
Wednesday -  10m -Went out exploring, didn't look for time, just went and found some more hills around the area.
Thursday -  5.3m - Found out that Strava has a few segments around me, and well.... I wanted to see where I compared. I took off around a new hill I found and tried to move up a few notches.
Friday - Took the day off
Saturday -5.9 Planned on going out for a flat 16 in a park about 15mins from the house. Made it 8. I realized that no where on that path is a bathroom and well, I needed one STAT. Thankfully made it back to the car and home.
Sunday  -

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Bah Stan

I have to admit, this past week was pretty different than I had imagined it being. I honestly think that making the statement that I was going to run and making sure it was a known, helped a lot. There were a few others that wanted to get in a few runs and it made it easier for me. It made it something that I was a part of and not just doing.

1/5 - 4mi
I got into Boston with a little time to spare before our meetings started. Ate lunch and go going. Right after there was a group dinner. Thankfully there were a few of us who wanted to get a workout or run in post dinner, so as soon as it was over we hit the hotel gym.  Treadmills are rough. I've never been able to get more than a few miles on them. I envy the people who get on them for 10 miles. I feel like my pace on them is always a lot slower than it is outdoors. I don't know if it's the fact that I'm never on a good treadmill, or my legs are too long, or my form is off , don't know. I'm just glad I got it in though.

1/6 - 6mi am and 4mi pm 
So we got up and hit 6 in the am, this 6 was little rough for me to keep up with at 7:30. It felt good but the pace was a little high for me right now. Though I kept at it. Thankfully LG mentioned going for another 4 right after the meetings in the PM. After the run, it was nice to get into bed early. Normally I would have ended up going out and drinking  but instead I decided I was going to try to get in some miles in the am, so I called it a night after walking around to find something to eat.

1/7 - 10mi 
Knowing there was a holiday party tonight, I knew I had to get in some miles before work. So I got up early and ran out to the river for 10 miles. I tried to get myself to stay around 8/min and I did just that. Ended up with 8:01 overall between road crossings and stuff, that puts me a little under.

1/8 - 5mi (run) 4mi(jog/talk/walk)
At some point during the party Russ tapped me on the shoulder and said, tomorrow 7:15 we'll go run. LG, Russ and I met down stairs and took off. We got back just in time for a group run around the freedom trail.

The entire week went way better than I thought it would I was able to get out and run instead of hitting a bar and drinking. I ate way better than I thought I would, being that I was going to be in a car for 5 hours twice. I got WAY more miles than I thought I would.

More importantly, others joined. That's the part that I like the most about it. I run a lot alone and I love it. I'm for sure and introvert. I like being in my own head. Yes, I enjoy people, but all in all, I like being in my own head most of the time. I spent a long time not really liking who I was, and somewhere on a run, I got past that. It also helped a lot with sitting in meetings. Nomrmally I have a hard time sitting through dinner, but getting in a bunch of miles in the am settles my nerves and keeps me from feeling like a wound up rubber band.

I did take today off. I wanted to give myself a little bit to relax. I don't want to get injured and I put in a lot of road miles. That's the last damn thing I'd need is hurting myself right when I'm starting to feel good. Nichole and I sat down today and mapped out a run, that's something else that I really missed doing. We used to talk about routes, and new creative ways to come up with the distance we wanted. Those moments to us, are like other couples talking about a TV show.

So all in all, wasn't a bad week at all.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Well that hurt... and was a little embarrassing.

First off, I've ran all three days since my last post. No booze, no coffee, no crap.

1/1 - 6 miles
1/2 - 3 miles
1/3 - 15 miles

6 miles was a nice run I felt like crap when I woke up, like sick and didn't really want to go out and honestly had it been any other day I probably would have just pushed it off, but I knew I had to. So I did.  The 6 near me, is pretty nice it's all down hill for the first 3 and then right back around to go up about 600ft. Way different than on LI, so I love it, but it's work.

3 is pretty much the same, in reverse, long slow up and then flat on the way back. I took Raj out, our pit) Mainly because he needs to be out just as much as I do, but also because he's at about 7:30 pace and well.. I'm not anymore. It's good to have that push ( or pull)

15 - here's the fun part. So I knew it would be fast, faster than I could handle, but I needed the run. I needed the commitment. I needed someone to be held accountable by. Not that the group I was running with would have missed me in anyway. Just knowing that I told someone I'd be there made me hold myself to it.

I got up and headed to Ian's, at one point I was asked "so what kind of pace are you thinking?" I haven't been able to keep a steady pace in a long time. It's basically been a the below flow chart.

I used to go out and do things that were crazy to some people. I ran around my block for 24 hours on a whim to raise some money. I would test my gut, so I'd eat a bacon egg and cheese snadwhich and haul ass for 10 miles and see if I'd throw up. I'd go out for 20 miles with 5 miles worth of water. I'd run as hard as I could in one direction until my legs were shaking, and then try to negative split. I'd used running as a form of transportation. I'd give up a night of partying for a 4:30am long run. Now, it's rough putting in "work"

.....So I told him I'd just keep up with them as long as I could and then fall back or turn around, basically just figure it out on my own at that point.

As we left the house Ian talked about pace - " I'm shooting for 7:15"  my thoughts - "ah, crap" I did what I could, could I have done better? Not sure really, I know I pushed it. Had I been able to get picked up at some point during the run by a car, yeah I could've made it more than 4 miles at that pace, but knowing that I was going to get in a minimum of 10 and a max of 15, hauling at 7:15 wasn't something I could do.

I'm ok with it for now. It's not a trend I want to stay with. Where I left off 6:55 was a good pace for me for a 10 mile run.

That's probably the biggest struggle right now for me. It's not knowing what I used to be able to do, because I'm ok with knowing that I'm not that guy right now, but what I'm having a hard time with, is seeing results. My times area all over the place just trying to build up my fitness again.  I like results. I like looking at a time and feeling like I did better than the last time. I like being able to hit a hill faster than the last time, or not having to breathe as hard at the top when I finally get up there. I know it's just  a matter of keeping at it, but it's the beginning, it's the slow roll of a snowball, it's the clicking of the roller coaster.

It's only been 3 days, but I have to admit I feel better. Knowing that I have a plan, and something to set my sights on, is key for me.

The next week is going to be harsh though, it's in the teens for weather here on Monday and then Tues- Friday I'll be in Boston for a meeting and welp, it's going to be rough to eat right, and get on the road every day. Hopefully some of the people there will want to stay active and I can get in a run in the am and a work out at night with others. If not, I'll do it on my own. It'll be a good test though, if I can do it for 4 days away I can do it for 12.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Ready .... set....wait wait wait

Ok, so I didn't think I'd actually nervous about it. Truthfully it was kind of weird. I wrote last night, posted late, and was off to bed. Then I woke up to see people that I didn't think really followed anything I did, and were just "FB friends" not "friends IRL" commenting words of encouragement. I even got texts from people that ARE real life friends pretty much saying they gave a shit more than a like or a comment on FB and wanted to say good luck. Already have an invite to a run with a " no excuses " attached.

I thought by putting this out there at the very least I'd end up with a little bit of annoying from friends at work and it'd make me think twice about not running or skipping the gym. Turns out there's a pretty awesome thing that happens when you put yourself out there..... others do too. I've received few personal messages and texts about people wanting to follow either because they're on a journey themselves, or will be, or because they're too afraid to.

So in a way I'm pretty glad that I did.

So the benefit to the job I have is that it's a health company for the most part. For those of you reading that DON'T know what I do, I work for Spartan Race. Down side to that is 10+ hours a day on site, and a few off, then with travel, trying to get something to eat, and a solid night rest, running anything over 3 miles is a hard for me. Though, like I said yesterday I'm going to try to make it work as best as I can.

On the other hand, now I actually have to do something about this shit right? So ... the following are the rules

Run/work out regularly  - Have to have this gray area in here because honestly if I jumped back to where I was I'd hurt myself. So I need to get back into it in a smooth way, but without injury. Looks something like -
  • 5 days on 2 days off  - running 
  • 3-4 days at the gym 
  • 1 - 50 mile race within 6 months and work towards a time goal not just completion. 
  • 1 - 100mile race by EOY - under 24 hours. 
  • Sign up for multiple 5ks and 10ks 
  • Give myself practice "race days" when traveling. [ knowing that I can't actually sign up for a race while I'm gone, I can set myself up for a goal on a 5k at race pace and try to get it] 
  • Have to get down roughly 20lbs too. This won't be TOO hard, but  it's not going to be easy. 
NO BOOZE for 90days   - So this isn't a HUGE deal, but this is needed for me. Not because I have a "problem" but because usually what ends up happening is something like this. "Yeah I'll have drink" and then I'll order an appetizer that has something that I didn't REALLY want to eat. Then I might order another drink. Though at this point I'm thinking that I'll get up early and run it off. I don't want to start off that way. I don't want to give myself an excuse to "cheat" and then be able to work it off. Truthfully, that doesn't work for me. 

BIGGER reason, is running = stress relief, for me. So does booze. If I have a glass or 5 of wine at the end of a day, I'm much less likely to NEED to go for a run. Then what ends up happening is because it's not a HEALTHY stress relief. I end up needing that run more than anything. 

NO COFFEE for 90 days -  go big or go home right? This one has sat with me for a while. Ever since I started training for my first marathon. I LOVE me some coffee, like a  lot. I just want to see if I can chase some natural highs for a bit. I'm not giving anything up for keeps. Just want to see what happens if I take some crap out of my life for a little while. 

Those are the main points. Nichole and I are going to join the Y that's pretty close so we can get in some work outs. I've started to plan out some runs for the next few weeks. I've also taken a page out of some one else's book and given myself some goals. First one .. lose 10 lbs and I get to buy myself a new running pack the UltrAspire Alpha 2.0..... 

- fatass signing out. - 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Fresh Start

Welp - I've never done this before.... I'm not sure how it's going to go. I know me, and I know what I need to do, and this requires major action. I'm going to make a New Year resolution ( I hate the way that sounds)

Little background -

Not sure if you can find them anywhere on here anymore or not, but I used to be an ultra runner. I ran 100 miles in 20 hours and 20 mins. That is where I need to get back to.

Somewhere around last year I had a lot of changes. Things like where I lived, one of those baby things, a job that requires me to travel and work weird hours, and well, apparently a LOT of excuses. That being said, it needs to stop. Hopefully I'll get back into a groove and won't need to type everything out and annoy everyone by posting it on Facebook, but until then. I'm going to hold myself accountable to do just that.

I'd like to get back to a point where I can go out and compete in a race, be it 5k, 10k, 50m 100m whatever. I want to look back at my old times and get them back in my sights.

So where am I now - As I type this, I've drank 2 beers, eaten more than I should have at dinner, and if there were cookies here, well, they'd be gone by now.  I weigh in now somewhere between 193-197 depending on the meal or poop I just had. My longest run over the past few months is no more than 10  -12 miles, except the one that I got lost around mile 8 for 4 miles, only to realize the smart thing to do was just turn around, so I ended up with 17 or so.

Now down get me wrong, being 197 lbs and having a few beers at night and stuffing your face, that's fine man, if that's what you want. I personally do not. Over the past few weeks I've looked at photos of me in the past 3 years and noticed little things like.. "hey that shirt I was wearing is pretty loose there" or "holy crap I took a picture of my watch because that was a PR!" and then realize it's 3 mins fast and 2 miles more than what I just ran.

I'm giving myself ONE day ( tomorrow) to relax, enjoy a big fat meal and a few drinks. Mainly because my wife and I had plans to do so for a while now. We might still run.

Fact is - it just needs to stop. No excuse, no reason, no bullshit. I've accomplished a LOT in my short 36 years on this planet. I've gone through some things that would have knocked others to the ground and left them there. I'm proud of that. I'm not going to wake up and hate the way I feel just because I'm eating like shit and not going out to run.

My job doesn't lend itself to eating great or working out the best, but it's not impossible. It's doable. Just need to find the rhythm. I've got some solid time off over the next month or so, where I can really put some work in and get myself in a groove. Once I find that groove I'll be fine. Though there are NO cheat days, there are NO off days, there are NO .."eh it's a holiday" days- I need to get back to doing what I love to do. Going to go hard on this one too, food will be strict, going to ditch all of the crap, candy, coffee ( yep) booze. See what happens.

So for now, all runs get logged in Strava. All days get a recap on here as to how my run was or why I didn't run. I've got a belt buckle out there somewhere to earn....