Thursday, January 31, 2013

Darkest before the dawn - SAD

I suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and February is always the darkest time.  The days are still too short to see much sunlight before or after work.  The weather in WI is still cold, snow and ice impede running.

I start my training in January, but it usually is borderline, half-ass training.  The focus to hit runs, eat, drink and sleep for training comes and goes. 
February is always very good training.  I think it is my way to flip the middle finger at SAD.  I am focused on running, eating, drinking (+ not drinking alcohol) and sleeping well.  Does this improve my mental state or just give me something to focus on enough and get too busy to be depressed?

Here we go again the last day of January.  I am 220 pounds, I have been training half to three quarters-ass the last 4 weeks.  One last hurdle to get past (Superbowl weekend with friends) and it is training "Go" time.

My original goal was to weigh < 200 pounds by my birthday (2/27) ... that will not happen.  My new goal is to be < 210 by my birthday.

10 weeks until Boston - Need sub 3:00
26-27 weeks until goal races (Bun Run 5k and Otto Grunski Runski 10k)

Good running to all -

Friday, January 25, 2013

Screwed up week

Last week was a really nice training week.  This week not so much.

I worked late, made bad choices around how to de-stress ... beer, food and late night TV instead of late night running.  No running on Monday and Wednesday, but very little sleep, not enough hydration, poor food choices and no weight lifting or core ... BAD HORSEY!

A cut-back mileage week can be great for training.  But "Training" is much more than mileage, it is all the non running things that are critical for me:  Sleep, hydration, eating and weights/core.

Training is the accumulation of months of work, one week is pretty meaningless.  If the week gives the body a reprieve from hard workout stress and allows it to recover to give it hell after that week, it can even be very positive.

I am only in week 3 of training, it is not positive ... This Big Horse needs to get focused and start making consistent good choices. 

Good running to all!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Anticipating workouts

I am running less at a higher effort level.  I am taking time to recover.  I am anticipating, excited for my next workout.

I have more time for family and friends and all the non-running activities that I love.
For the past 6+ years I have trained mostly dead legged.  I would 1st add as much volume as I could handle and then start layer speed or hills on top of the volume.  This meant from day #1 of training I was tired.  Driven by the goal of putting maximum effort into a week, month or training period.  I was always trying to figure out how to recover enough for the next big workout - dreading it.

I am only in my 11th day of this training cycle - I am not beaten down yet, I am not tired, I feel like my workouts are a lacking the normal punishment ... inadequate, but, I am anticipating the next workout, like a kid on Christmas morning.

What results will come from this new direction?  Will I have the discipline to stay the course?

It's January and anything is possible!

Good running to all -

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

January Optimism

I am always optimistic in January or delusional?  I set up really hard stretch goals that have a hint of realism.  The plan is made and I start working toward those goals.  In 2 out of 9 years I have hit most of my goals, the last few years I have fallen flat on my face.

It is amazing in January what I think I can achieve by the end of August.  Then there will be a few set-backs ... But set-backs came be overcome.  Next the set-backs accumulate and the denial has to end.  Finally the reality of how much I will really achieve is accepted.

I could be happy to set nice, middle of the road, realistic goals ... But, it is January, and I am planning for great things in 2013. 

It is cold, but sunny - I think I will let the sun shine on my face a little longer.

Good running to all -

Monday, January 14, 2013

Getting Old ... er

In February I turn 44. 

Moderation is really not in my vocabulary, so when I downhill ski or play volleyball ... or like Sunday both, I end up pretty stiff on Monday morning.

I will comment on stiff days like today to my girls and the reply I get is "Daddy your not old, your not old until your 50."  Jeepers, I was hoping not to be old until I was old, not as early as 50!

I have been thinking about it lately.  Because of my full throttle approach to any sport, how will my body feel at 50 and beyond. There are days it feels used up already.

Will I have to stop taking jumps and doing tricks downhill skiing?  Will I stop doing the same wake boarding?  Should I stop trying to hit the ball as hard as I can in volleyball, golf and racquetball?

I figure once I use up my right elbow and shoulder, I can always have the challenge of learning all the sports I love left handed.

But how will I get my aerobic fix when all I can play is croquet and bocce ball?

Since according to my dear daughters I only have 6 good years left until I am "Old" I will have to enjoy life, making the most of them.

Good running to all!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Weight lifting and running

4+ years ago I stopped lifting weights ... Why would a runner want to carry extra upper body muscle?  I have taken off approximately 15 pounds of muscle.  I miss the days when I could bench press 335 and push 80lb dumbbells overhead.  The amount of mileage I have run in the last 4 years it would have been hard to find the time to keep lifting.

I am in my 2nd week of the re-start of weight lifting and focusing on core workouts.  Why re-start weight lifting?  1)  I like it, 2) core strength, 3) injury prevention and 4)  I want to keep a certain level of strength as I age.

I have a 2 routines that take 30 minutes for different parts of the body.  I do core work between each set in the 30 minutes.  The goal is to do each a minimum of 2 times a week.  I am willing to re-gain 5 pounds of upper body muscle, but will try to build muscle stamina more than high end strength.

Only 5 month to bikini season :)-

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

YMCA of Hades

I run my speed work on the treadmill in winter.  This is safety measure in Wisconsin.  I have 2 choices, the YMCA or my basement.

Monday night training plan was for an easy 20 minutes at LAT with a total mileage of 14.  I went to my local YMCA to pretend I am a social person.

I knew it was a mistake as soon as I stepped into the ATC (Aerobic Training Center).  It had to be 80F+ and the room was solid people.  I think all 40+ pieces of aerobic equipment were all full.

Before I could turn and bolt for home a treadmill opened up.  Ok, stop your bitching and get this done.  I tried to keep the pace easy, but honest ... before mile #4 I had sweat through shirt #1 ... I made it last to 5 miles. 

I only packed 2 shirts, so after a quick change it was time to get to the 20 @ T.  I picked a speed that was comfortable on my legs.  After 5 minutes it was still easy on my legs, but I guess it must be hard to do speed work in Hades, because my lungs felt like mile #2 of a 5k.  By 10 minutes I backed the speed down .1 MPH and gasped into the last 10 minutes.

Final result 9 miles with 20 minutes at T.

Maybe it was a combination of a lingering cold, the hot air and being out of shape.

If I decide to try speed work at the YMCA of Hades again - I think I will try in the morning ... before the new batch of lost souls of New Year Resolution arrive in the underworld.

I think the search for speed will be a long journey.

Good running to all -

Sunday, January 6, 2013

2013 training starts January 7th

For me training is more than just running.  When I start training, I pay close attention to what I eat, my hydration and sleep. 

This training cycle is going to be longer than usual.  I plan on patiently, even methodically building my fitness and speed.  The goal is to focus on 5k-10k distances with the peak racing in early to mid August.  I believe I can set new PRs at these distances, but time is running out.

This is the 1st time ever that I will focus on a few shorter races.  In the past anything under a marathon was just done during marathon training.

Also for the 1st time ever, I have asked a friend to give training feedback and advice.

I have 2 longer races I am committed to doing for fun:  Clinton Lakes 30 miler and Boston Marathon.  Neither is a goal race and I will not try to do a mini-peak.  I still have an "Old Man" goal of continuing my streak of years with a sub-3 marathon, but if it does not happen at Boston, it will have to happen later this fall.

Truthfully I do not know if I am capable of turning my back on marathon and ultra-running in 2013, but I am going to try.  We will see if I can prevail or I will revert back to old habits.

I have also chosen early August as my goal race time, because I really, really, really want to do Superior 100M in early September.  I am very conflicted on postponing this another year or doing it without true ultra training.

I am also struggling with Dances with Dirt (DWD) 50 miler in July - This race does not fit my training or goals at all.  I set a goal of running it in 2012 before I decided on 2013 goals.  I think the smart thing to do is to run the DWD 10k race instead.  I am not sure if I am that smart.

Once you have been pulled neck deep into ultra-running, it is a hard habit to break.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

No Point Bock 5 miler - Again

I am not sure when the race sold out.  Registration opened 1/1/13 at Noon and I looked 1/2/13 before noon and it was sold out.  2,000 spots for a 5 mile race in less than 24 hours.

They may open up spots or do a few charity spots - But I think I need to find another race.  Maybe it's God telling me to stop prioritizing races based upon how great the free post race beer is?

1st no Ice Age 50 miler (Milwaukee Ale House) and now now Point Bock 5 miler (Point Brewery) ... I guess it's a sign.