Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sugar is my Friend

First things first, I was reading Morgan's review of Oiko's Organic Greek Yogurt earlier, and happened to see said yogurt while grocery shopping tonight. Even though she said it wasn't her cup o'tea, I figured I'd try it out for myself, never know maybe it was too sweet or something. Nope defenitely wasn't too sweet. It has a good flavor, just lacking in the sugar/sweetener. I love sugar, tend to thrive on it and even though the container says it has 11 grams in there, they do a good job of hiding it. Just my opinion. It does pack 15 grams of protein per 5.3 ounces though so that's a plus, which might lead my to trying it out in a smoothie, just so long as I remember to add enough sweet stuff.

Secondly my Road ID came in the mail yesterday! I love getting packages in the mail especially when you momentarily forget you ordered something so it completely surprises you when it arrives! That's the good part....... the bad part is that like a doof, I didn't proof read it all that well so my parents phone number is missing the last digit, and it's not like they just missed it, apparently I forgot how many numbers were in the first phone number I ever learned. So oops. On the upside though it didn't take long to get used to the feel of it on my wrist while running, and I soon forgot it was even there.

Today I ran to and from volleyball, I turned it into a 5 mile there and 5 mile back course, and played for a little over an hour. I started thinking about it and I'm betting that all this beach volleyball I've been playing this summer has got to be building up my ankle strength which is a surprise bonus. It could almost be considered a form of cross-training..... almost.

Well I can't think of much else to tell you, other than my parents went up to Mackinac Island this weekend to celebrate their anniversary and brought me home some Maple Fudge which is AWESOME so thats pretty sweet. Hope you're all having a great week!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

20 Miles, No If's and's or but's

I did it! No beating around the bush, I ran 20 miles yesterday and the accomplishment feels awesome! All excuses were thrown aside and I went out and did it! Thanks for the encouragement, I couldn't have done it without it. Since I had scratched both previous attempts at the 20, I wasn't going to let anything get in my way this time. I stayed in Friday night and got some things done around the house, and went to bed at a decent hour. I'm not  a huge fan of waking up earlier than necessary which is why I'm happy to live in Michigan right now. I woke up at 8:30 and left for my run around 9 and the temperature still barely hit 70 as I finished. I'm sure in a couple months when it is colder and barely hits 40 I will be telling you how much I hate living in Michigan, but I digress. I decided to do a ten mile loop that starts and ends at my house and run it twice. Once one way and change directions for the second lap, just to keep things from getting too boring. I felt pretty strong on my first lap, but as I neared mile ten and my house to get some water and GU (which I now have a new favorite flavor -TRI BERRY-) my overactive head started wondering how on earth was I going to run that far again? So to counteract this negative thinking I made sure to down my GU and water, use the facilities and get back on the road without taking more time than necessary. It worked! I was back out on the road feeling much better with a little bit of liquid energy coursing it's way through my body and renergizing muscles that previously seemed to be dying. I was able to keep up 8 min. miles for the first lap which I was happy with, but started to notice a little pain in my hip around mile 15. I kept trucking on past the tailgaters partying their way toward the home opener football game at WMU, with sounds of the marching band playing in the distance. By mile 16 I was in need of water, and I've realized i'm going to need to rethink my mid run hydration plan. Feeling thirsty as ever I jogged into the Burger King, and grabbed a glass of water. It helped for a couple miles but at mile 18 I was thirsty as ever again. I knew there was a golf course coming up around mile 19 and that was my next chance for water. Now I just had to make it that one more mile. I stopped to walk about 100 ft. or so due to thirst and my hip acting up again, but then the golf course was in sight so I lengthened my stride and jogged on in. To my surprise my college roommates sister was working behind the counter of the pro shop! I've played golf here at said location a few times this year and had never seen her there. Man I've got to tell you a drinking fountain never looked so welcoming in my life. After slurping away I said goodbye and off I went to finish out the last of  twenty miles! It wasn't the best feeling run I've had all year, probably far from it, but it wasn't the worst either. The feeling of accomplishment afterward though, that was amazing. I stretched out, and slipped into an arctic ice bath, followed by watching college gameday preview with my legs up against the wall. Then I ate, and ate, and drank some grape G2, and then ate some more. When I went bed last night I realized I may have eaten too much, but it was totally worth it. I hope everyone else's weekends went well and had awesome runs. Four weeks.....Four weeks is all that stands in the way of me and the finish line.....or is it a starting line because it's just the start of me running marathons? hmmm.....

Friday, September 18, 2009

Do You Know What Today Is?

Today is the 18th of September in case you were unaware. There are two reasons this date stands out to me, the first being that it is my parents anniversary! They've been married for 33 years which I think is frickin amazing! I feel truly blessed to be their son, They've always been there for my brother, sister and I, and I know they're going to be there for me one month from today as well. Which brings me to reason number two why today is important. One month from today, thats right only one little old month until I tackle the beast. I'm three quarters of the way through my training schedule and it has been fun so far, well all except when I threw up after my 16 mile run. I went for an easy four miles today and tomorrow morning I'm going to conquer the 20 mile run that has so far evaded me for different poor excuses.
Last Friday I was talking to a friends dad who has run five marathons and I loved the feeling of excitement I had just thinking, and talking about the race. He said he can't wait to see me sometime after I've finished because he wants to know what I have to say about it. He said it will change me forever, and once I've completed my first I won't want to stop running marathons. I've got a fairly addictive personality so I'm pretty sure he's right. Besides I'm only getting started, first goal is to keep up with the training and cross that finish line. I'm still working on a list of goals running related, but right now that is numero uno, and qualify for Boston is definately on list as well.
I'm going to hit the hay and get workin on my rest for tomorrow so that I'm fresh  for rocking twenty miles. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and all your adventures be awesome! Cheers!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My old man rant

I live in a city with an okay size University, and I live right by the campus for said University. School is back in session and I am definately noticing a lot more runners and bikers out and about on my journeys. It's kind of nice to see other people out doing the same, lets me know i'm not the only crazy in this town who runs for fun! The down side to more students on campus is more student drivers on campus! I'm thinking ordering my road ID was a wise choice after seeing how many people are texting while driving and for sure not looking out for runners. Speaking of my road ID, I got an email today with a coupon code for friends to use to get a dollar off of their order at roadid.com. So if you would like to save some cash on an item that might save your a$$ simply enter this code at the checkout ThanksJordan543288. It's just that simple, it's my gift to you....from them. Yesterday I ran seven miles and felt I felt AWESOME! felt strong the whole way start to finish and grilled some delicious barbecued chicken and corn on the cob for dinner so all in all it was a pretty rockin night. Tomorrow is Friday and that is fantastic because i'm ready for a couple days off of work and am looking forward to Saturdays long run. I will get this 20 mile run in! So off to bed I go so I can wake up early to get an easy four miles in  before work. Cheers!
P.S. I just realized how much I sounded like an old man complaining about these young whipper snapper drivers and their texting lol

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Two week wrap up or something.....

FIVE WEEKS. Thats all the time that remains to train. I'm not going to lie I haven't been too impressed with my work ethic when it comes to my training over the past two weeks. I've let too many other things get in the way of my running after work, like playing beach volleyball, and the bachelor party in Chicago. Yes I know I was going to do my 20 miles down the lakeshore and it was going to be glorious, but..... when I settled into my hotel room "bed" also known as the floor, at 3AM that Saturday morning 6AM came and went with out so much as a thought of yeah this could work. Maybe it was the floor, maybe it was the 4 beers, and 2 vodka red bulls, when I haven't drank in the 4 months prior. I'm not sure, it also could be that even though we had two hotel rooms, we ended up with ten guys in ours. I thought it would be okay, just compensate and run on Sunday.... well long story short that is similar to the last one, it didn't happen. So there I was trying to salvage some time and last Wednesday night I decided i'm going to go to bed early and wake up early and get my run out of the way before work. Would you believe that I actualy dragged my butt out and onto the road at 5:30AM! Since you don't know me you don't really know what an accomplishment this is, and that's not even including the fact that I did it Friday morning too! Go Me! So there, I've found a way to get around having things to do after work that would get in the way of running. Can I keep it up? I'll let you know tomorrow. Now this past Saturday was supposed to be another 20 mile run....Supposed to be. I opted out because there was a 5k that I really wanted to run in the area. So I got out of bed early once again, and that's three times in a row for those keeping track! I arrived at the race location and had to wait in line at least 15 minutes to register. Which by the way I hate late registration, I really need to make up my mind on whether to run a race or not sooner than day before. I wasn't feeling like a million bucks that morning either, but I was determined to finish well and get a medal so when the "gun" went off I went out with the front of the pack. As I crossed the first mile and the timer said 5:28 I thought uh oh.... too fast. I was definately off my game besides the quick start, the line at the porta john was too long so I didn't get my pre race poo in. This could spell disaster, but I was more worried about why my hamstrings on my left leg were bothering me more and more with every step. Oh no, could I be getting an over use injury that I have been hoping to avoid? Telling myself it couldn't happen to me, and slowing down for the second mile, I trucked on, picked up my pace for the final mile, but no where near the speed of the first. I high fived my friends parents and uncle as I ran past their house, and finaly crossed the finish line. Now when I was at the mile mark I believe I was around 5th place, by the time the finish line crossed beneath me I was in 20th with a 19:25, and 3rd in my age group, which isn't bad and I got a medal for age group but I was still dissapointed. The rest of the day I took an Ice bath with plans of running my 20 miler on Sunday, and watched college football, where I was dissapointed again when Notre Dame lost to Michigan :( I'm not sure if I've mentioned but I'm a huge ND fan so that was not fun. Well Sunday came and went with no 20 Miles due to sore hamstrings and and overall body ache/sick feeling. So I spent the day on the couch feeling completely worthless. Monday I ran my easy four miles and today I got in an easy seven. I've decided with my hamstrings acting up everytime I try to pick up the pace for either speed work or a 5k race that I am going to back off on both until after the marathon and concentrate on just getting miles in. I think that will benefit me the most come Oct. 18th. I am Excited to say that I ordered a Road I.D. bracelet, wrist thingy today which should arrive in about a week. I figured better safe than sorry. Would hate to be laid up in a hospital bed under the name John Doe.... I don't think I look like a John anyway. So as long as nothing tragic happens until it arrives I'm all set.

Got to play some beach volleyball tonight which was awesome as always, and thats pretty much all I've got, So cheers to another week closer to my date with 26.2 miles of road.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Getting Motivated

Tuesday is a great day for motivation! right? No, not this week at least. I was lacking in MOTIVATION all day. I read some good words over on Redhead Running while on lunch today about negative nancy, and it did some good, I got through my lame work day with goals of running afterward. Well too many poor excuses later and I did not get to my run. Not only that but I'm now realizing I am going to have to really put in some effort this week to get the rest of them in. So now that my whining is done here is my plan for the week.....

Wednesday - Run todays repeat 800's in place of rest day
Thursday - Play volleyball after work followed by 10 mile run.... or possibly run to and from vball which will  come out to about 10 miles total
Friday - Rest day (and board the train to Chicago for a bachelor party!)
Saturday - The best part.....wake up early in Chicago and run my 20 mile long run along Lakeshore Dr.  Sunday - Rest day
So now that I've figured out my strategy I've just got to stick to it! No more lame a$$ excuses! I am really excited about running in Chicago Saturday, I've been wanting to do it for a while but everytime I've been there this year I haven't had time so now I'm making the time. While most of my friends will still be passed out from the good times of the night before, I will be enjoying what I hope to be a beautiful sunrise over Lake Michigan!
Last weekends 18 mile run went well! On the advice of Morgan I tried out a couple new things. First off, the triberry nuun is pretty delicious, and I also actually enjoyed the Lemon Sublime GU without any sickness. I could definately feel the energy level pick back up after the GU, because I was starting to run low. I almost forgot that I worked my parents house into my loop as a water stop and it turned into so much more than just water! I'm starting to notice that on the longer runs when I'm at about the 10 mile mark I start to get hungry and any food that pops into my head (usually something sweet) sounds more scrumptious then ever! That being said, when I got to the Rents at mile 11 and saw lemon pound cake slices on the table next to a banna, and hershey bar I quickly dove in and chased them with a glass of delicious H20! Two miles later I was reassured that this was not the best training mid run food lol. The other new trick I pulled from Morgan's arsenal is the ice bath. If you can get over intentionally submerging your lower half in water that might be even too cold to drink then you will love the benefits..... ya know after you warm back up that is! 
After the run, and glacial bath I had a great night playing some Euchre (which we won), talking, and hanging out with some great friends it was time to call it a night. Slept like a baby and woke up feeling pretty good, so the deep freeze will now be a regular addition to my long runs. Great job to anyone who got out there and ran this weekend, be it a race, a long one or just a jog around the block! I think I'm beginning to find my motivation again and I've also got a new RW to read and if that doesn't work I can always watch my favorite motivating runner movie "Without Limits". That always seems to do the trick. 
Hope everyone (all three people reading this lol) is having a splendid week, Cheers! 

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

C'mon It's only Three Miles

After my long Saturday, a relaxing Sunday was in order. Finished my house chores during the day so I could play 3 hours of beach volleyball followed by a bonfire with some friends in my backyard. Nothing like friendly competition with and roasting smores to make you feel like a kid again! I don't know what it is but we've been playing volleyball pretty regularly lately, enough so that you would expect me to be better at it lol.

I don't know about you but I'm probably 50/50 about running with my Ipod. I guess it just depends on the day and the run. I know I definately don't like it for races but somedays on my run  I just want to escape into the music and not get lost in my sometimes overactive thought process. If anyone can overthink a situation it's me. But hey I'm working on it :-) So today's playlist being a short run consisted of my latest music obsession, Kings of Leon. I'm diggin their latest CD. Not really the best tempo for most runs but eh what can ya do. I also discovered that Juke Box Hero for some reason is a feel good song for me to run to when the pace starts to drag. Anybody else have some favorites to listen to when running?

Anyway, easy three miles today went well but sadly enough I was really lacking on motivation to get out the door and do it. I finally had to remind myself it's only 3 miles and it will be over in no time. It's not like I had some pressing obligation or better way to spend my evening. Now I find myself strangely looking forward to my mile repeats tomorrow. I'm guessing it's all due to it being a change of pace, and hopefully I share the same feelings tomorrow when I am actually running repeat miles haha.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

How much Michael Jackson can a wedding dj play?

Holy long day Batman! and I slept in later than I planned on! Thankfully here in Michigan the weather doesn't follow basic guidlines such as seasons, so today the temperature didn't make it over 65ish and the majority of the day was much lower than that. So this was great for me since as much as I would love to be the early morning runner type......I'm not.

The alarm went off and the snooze button was promptly mashed into its hole. After finaly rolling out of bed around 9ish and dealing with some unexpected delays, I got my run underway. Again I decided to try out GU for my long run and since it didn't play well with my body last week I decided to modify my intake. I took 1/3 half hour before, and then another 1/3 about six miles into the 14 mile journey. I cramped up for a quarter mile or so but other than the fact that the "vanilla bean" flavor taste like a chocolate turd (in my opinion)..... it went well.

I also have a new favorite post run snack, whole wheat toast with peanut butter and honey....Delish. So all in all my run went well, felt good, no blisters, though I did notice some slight pain in my right foot again off and on, it wasn't bad enough to warrant any real concern.

This is where the long day part comes into play, I also had a wedding to go to this afternoon/evening of which I just got home from. So after poorly dancing the night away to what seemed like Michael Jacksons entire discography (I pulled out great classy dance moves such as the sprinkler, shopping cart, 'lawn mower, and the always crowd pleasing "stand there and bob your head to the beat") I feel like my hips are held on by wood screws. Thank God for rest day tomorrow, and what is shaping up to be a great night of beach volleyball followed by a bonfire. Can't wait! I'm off to runner dream land cheers!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rest days, New Shoes and GU's

I've decided I have a love hate relationship with my rest days. They're nice when I get out of work late on Wednesdays all I have to do is eat, play with the pooches, and relax before bed. Then comes Thursday's run and I'm stiff and feel like I am made of cinder blocks for the first mile. The head wind on the first 2 of my "easy" 4 miler didn't help the situation too much.

Now that I've done my complaining for the day I'm happy to say that my new running shoes I purchased on tuesday are suiting me nicely. Off and on over the last couple months I've had some pain in my right foot which would come and go during runs, and for the first time in my running life blisters have begun to be a common sight on the tips of the toes on my left foot. Something was definately wrong. Well since my New Balance 769's were nearing their end I ventured out to the local running store and started my quest to find a new pair. I say quest because after about an hour and 12 different shoes I am the new owner of a set of Brooks Glycerine 7's. I hope they play well with my New Balance socks. So far so good, no new blisters, and no noticeable foot pain. Apparently since I was fitted last march for my 769's my feet have changed from a normal arch to a high arch. So my shoe options therefore have changed and instead of needing a stability shoe, I am now lacing up some cushy soft shoes.

I've got another easy 4 miles tomorrow after work and then Saturday morning I'll be putting one foot in front of the other for 14 miles. I'm going to make another attempt at trying out GU on saturday too since I had some unexpected results after last saturday's 16 miler. I'm not certain it was the cause of the nausea and puking out the side of the car but it is quite the coincidence. That being said, if anyone who uses GU has some advice on how they use it and results I'd love to hear it.

Ahh Tomorrow is Friday, work has gone well this week but even the best week at work gets better at 5:01 on Friday. So cheers to my fellow runners and thanks for reading my rambling.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

59 Days and Counting

In just under sixty days I will have completed my first marathon. Thats the first goal anyway, to follow through with my training and complete what I hope is the first of many to come.

I started running again consistently seven weeks ago, and realized how much I missed in my years off. I ran in high school on the cross country and track team. When I got out of school I got out of running. Here and there I would run a couple miles feeling motivated shortly but never kept up with it. So long story short, five and a half years later I'm once again caught up in the rush of chasing down finish lines, and shooting for PR's. I have started planning my Saturdays around my long runs and putting thought into what I eat not just swinging through the drive thru on the way home.

So here I am looking at my schedule for the rest of the week and when last year that schedule would have been planned around the local bar drink specials, today it's planned around hill workouts, LSD runs, recovery days and so on. I feel a lot better today than a year ago. No I didn't put on a ton of weight in my running hiatus, the most I've weighed in my 24 years is 155 pounds and at 6'1 I'm sure most would agree I'm light to say the least. But I did spend a minimum five days a week in a bar with a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other. I'm proud to say I'm going on seven months without a smoke, and vaguely remember the last time I was drunk.

Holy cow I'm rambling, anyway today was a rest day and tomorrow is an easy 4 miles. Well If anyone reads this I hope you will get something out of it, be it motivation or maybe just a laugh here and there. I like to leave with something cheesey like happy trails.... yeah that sounds good.