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.