Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Thanks, Richard!

I was listening to the 14th episode of "The Extra Mile" podcast, when I heard Richard talk passionately about his experience at the Philadelphia Marathon. I listened to his experience and appreciated how he brought a novel approach to his experience.

I asked on "The Extra Mile" podcast if I could get in contact with Richard. Kevin of the "The Extra Mile" and "Kevin Bonks," offered to give Richard my e-mail address. Richard contacted me and we started a discussion.

If you have read my blog, you know that I am asking myself if I should run a marathon. I am not convinced yet, but I AM still exploring the possibility. Richard has helped me to see another aspect of why I SHOULD run a marathon.

Thanks for your help, your advice and your attitude, Richard!

The Blahs?
It seems that I just needed to slow down and appreciate what I have and what I am trying to do. Maybe what I needed was a shoulder to cry on.

One of the things that Richard and I talked about was the camaradery of the running community. You may have never met a person before but immediately find that you have a lot in common. More than that, these are people that share the same excitations and disappointments that you have experienced (or will experience).

I experienced that with a lot of you. Thanks to a lot of you, I got advice on mativating, advice on dressing for the cold weather and advice on just being a runner and enjoying it! Thanks!

So? What have you done?
I ran 25.62 miles last week. They were much easier miles. I took the weekend off completely. I was supposed to go out on Saturday for a Jeep snow wheelin' but most of Colorado found itself in a deep, deep freeze. I did go Sunday. A back country excursion that was relaxing, challenging and beautiful.

Did I run the trail at all? No. The snow was deep and loose. I was able to sit back and enjoy an outside experience without running. It was fun to do just that!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Is my MOJO dripping away? Is it a basic case of the "Blahhs?"

Last week, I ran 25.29 miles.

I also went to my Doctor. The systolic side of my blood pressure is creeping up. It is not above 140 on a regular basis but does approach it regularly. So I am monitoring it on a daily basis for a while. The Diastolic and the pulse are well within normal range. Gee! Another cause for personal concern.

I love to run. Running has added a regular facet to my life that was missing. I miss it so much when I cannot do it.

Recently, though... It sometimes is a pain to get going. I am an Einstein Runner (I need to know, follow and improve my stats). Getting ready for a run can become involved. Find the iPod. Find the Nike+iPod sensor. Get the gloves (my fingers get so cold), put the heart rate monitor on, Put the headband on. Get the water. Preparation seems to take forever.

I also enjoy the inside run. I have a 52" TV that sits in front of the treadmill. I can watch TV or watch a movie. Most of the time, I watch movies. It helps being a member of Netflix.

Once everything is set, started and ready to go, then I get on the belt and start the machine.

Most days are not a problem. But some days are so hard to get started. I like to start my run around 9:30 AM. I run at a slower pace, hoping that will solve my inertia problem. Eventually I speed it up and get a good run going. Then the mind eases up and I feel my wings. A run is good at this point.

After the run, I log the stats in my excel spreadsheet, then update my Buckeye Outdoors Training Log and my blogspot. I go back upstairs and download my iPod Nike+ system stats. It takes a while.

I set runs according to a weekly schedule. I want to get 25 miles in a week during the winter season. My long runs are on Sunday and are generally between 6 and 8 miles a week. The rest are run according to how I feel and what I am trying to acheive (which includes treadmill fitness programs).

Now... Why am I complaining? I tend to be hard on myself when my perception is that I have not succeeded. I have been thinking about last year and how I need to modify things for this year.

I feel let down that the treadmill I was running on suddenly died. The new one is great but it is not the old one. I was comfortable but am now learning a new machine.

I very deeply wanted to acheive 2,000 miles last year. It was a deep down necessary thing (I thought). When I realized that I was not going to acheive it, I was disappointed.

I know that nutrition is important to an athletic lifestyle. I know that I have been letting myself go. Little things. Not enough vegetables, fruits and salads. Too many breads and general carbohydrates. I have even stopped the daily oatmeal before the run.

The weather in my part of the country is cold. I have not been getting outside at all this winter. There have been a couple of runs but not to a satisfying level.

So. What does this overly large discussion of what is bothering me about running have to do with you?

I need some advice. What do you do to keep the inspiration level up? Could you bottle some of it and send it to me? Or, maybe, just let me know what works to keep you inspired? C'mon! Give it up (I would appreciate it)!

Friday, January 11, 2008

What? He is still blogging?

Last week drove me crazy! Too cold to run outside (excuses) and no treadmill to run inside (more excuses). I felt the fat from my food adhering to my midriff. Yet I finished the week with 17.69 miles. This week I am on target for a 25 mile total.

I've borrowed a Nike+ iPod sensor from a friend that thinks he is getting it back. That means that I can again join challenges. If you know of any that a sturdy, Clydesdale Class runner would be interested in, just let me know!

The New Treadmill
Yep! I got a new treadmill! It is a Vision Fitness T9200 base with a premier console.

This is my third treadmill. My first one I had for 20 some years. The reason that it lasted so long is because I never used it. I knew that I should have, but that would involve effort on the part of the person that I used to be.

The second was a NordicTrack C2200. It lasted for 1 1/2 years; just short of 2100 miles. Not bad, I suppose, but I want a treadmill that will last longer. It worked but I feel it was of poor construction. After all I had changed the belt on the treadmill belt 5 times. Even though it is now gone, I have kept one of the belts to remind me of that hassle.

I went out searching for a treadmill this time wanting quality (OK, well, as much quality as I could afford). I found it. So far I love what this treadmill can do for me (and to me). It is a very quiet machine. So quiet it is hard to beleive it can kick my butt like it does. There is a killer interval program. It is also the first treadmill that works with a heart rate monitor. I am impressed with my heart rate control.

The treadmill does monitor and record statistics for 10 users. I find that handy.

I am still in the admiration stage, but have yet to fall in love with it. It does seem to be a challenge to run on.

Another Doctor Visit...
Things went well. I haven't got the blood test results yet. I have gained 10 pounds through the holidays. The Doctor thinks it is due to my body having adapted to my running. He suggested more cross training - Either strength training (geez I hate that) push ups, sit ups or a combination of all 3. I think that I will wait for Spring and ride the Mountain bike, instead... That and pushing myself away from the dinner table at the appropriate moment...

Other things
Maddy completed The Tinkoff 1,000! I heard about it on Adam Tinkoff's new podcast, Another Runner. Maddy is also running the Disney Marathon this weekend! You can follow her progress by siging up for notifications through her blogspot, Gotta Run!

UPDATE: Maddy completed the Disney half-marathon in 2:16:21! Great time, Maddy! Congratulations! What a runner!!!

It seems that for some areas of the country, a running competition season is beginning in 2008! For everyone that is competing this weekend - Good skill!! Run Fast, Run paced, Run long and taper!