Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Obstacle Course Workout

Repeat 5-10 times
Run 100m
10 fast Pushups
10-20 reps Pullups or flexed arm hang
15-20 seconds worth Dips

Did a test run in 1:28

Find a curb or long beam you are walk across / run across to practice balance on a log as many obstacle courses have a balance portion.

Monday, February 27, 2012


I am taking the week off from running

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Chest/Back Superset & Shoulders

My knee is still very sore from the Cowtown Half this morning. My alarm went off at 4:45 this morning and I debated sleeping in to get some extra recovery rest. I snoozed until 5:10am and decided that I would be more benefit from getting up than sleeping another 20+ minutes. It is nice to get off work and be home by 7pm and done for the day. I am looking forward to the time change coming up soon so I can be home before dark.

I proudly wore my finishers shirt from yesterday at the gym. I was strong on my lifts but I closed my eyes as I rested on my first few sets. I had to cut my workout 10 minutes shorts than normal so I took out my last 4 sets of chest and back.

For my first chest workout I used the plate loaded decline press 4 sets of 6 reps. I did 200 the first set and I felt good. I added 30 pounds the second set and 20 more pounds the 3rd set. For the last sets I added another 30 pounds and did my 6 reps max of 280 lbs. I tried 290 last week but was only able to do 4 reps.
For my first back exercise I used the cable MTS high row machine 4 sets 6 reps. I started off with 120 pound and added 30 pounds the second and third sets. For the 4th set I did 200 pound and I farted on my last rep and quickly headed to the water fountain slightly embarrassed.

I moved to the incline bench for my next 4 sets 10 reps of supersets of dumbbell incline press and dumbbell bent-over row. I started with 80 pounds and added 10 pounds each set maxing out at 110 pounds.

Next I move on to shoulder supersets mixing dumbbell lateral raises and seated dumbbell shoulder press 4 sets 6 reps each. I started out with 60 pounds. I did 70 pounds sets 2 and 3. I added 10 pounds the 4th and final set.

I decided to do wide grip pull-ups. I am adding them to my Monday and Friday workouts to prepare for the Tough Mudder coming up in 5ish weeks. I was able to do 3 reps with the third rep almost full range of motion in a slow controlled descent.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cowtown Half Marathon

Today is the day I have been waiting for a long time. When I finished my first Half Marathon in early November I had my sights set on doing the Full Cowtown Marathon. It took me two and a half weeks to recover so I decided to pick another Marathon as my first and do the Cowtown Half as a training race. In the past 7 days I have had a sore knee and all signs point to it being my IT band. I took 4 days off from running, iced my knee, stretched, and used a foam roller. I did a test run around my gym parking lot Friday and did not experience any pain. My only goal is to finish the Cowtown Half and get my finisher's shirt.

I stayed at my parents house last night so I would be closer to downtown Ft. Worth this morning. I left around 6am and found a good parking spot. While I has getting all my stuff ready I lost the safety pins for my bib in the dark. I looked around for a while and decided to try my luck at finding new ones. I found a volunteer and they were able to help me out. I met up with my friends Rachel and we headed to the start line. She ran the DRC Half with me in November and I finished my last Half 3 weeks ago at about the same time as her finish time. We headed to Corral 2 for a pace between 8:30 to 9:20. The first Corrall started at 7am to the tune from Rocky. We started 4 minutes later to "California Girls" by Katy Perry and I laughed at the lame music choice.

I started off feeling strong but did not push my pace too fast. At about 0.4mi I could feel tightness in my right knee . I was determined to keep up with Rachel until the pain flared up or became unbearable. At the first water station I was still feeling fresh. I decided to run in the middle of the road because the right side was slanted. At mile 4 there was the first big hill. Taking the advice I had read I took shorter faster steps and kinda bounced on my toes so my calves absored all the shock. I passed alot of people and sped up the hill. At the third water station I walked thru it and took my first gel pack. Shortly afterwards the route went thru the stockyards and we were running on a brick street. The uneven surface irritated my knee. We hit the 10k mark in 59:02 and shortly after we were halfway. At this point my knee hurt and I decided to walk when I got to the 7 mile marker. I told Rachel I had to walk and wished her luck.
I walked to the next water/aid station and used the restroom and stretched. I walked another 0.25mi and all the sudden without thinking I started to job again. At this point I was in a slower crowd and I passed alot of joggers. I felt my knee again and walked for a bit and took a picture. The mile long big hill into downtown was coming up and I got excited. I jogged to the next aid station and they were handing out gel packs. I took one and ended up running for 0.5mi at a sub 9min pace. I walked again for a quarter mile then started jogging up the long incline. I train for hills and noticed alot of people walking.

At the top of the hill we got on Houston street and the sidewalks were lined with spectators cheering and it echoed in off all the buildings. My focus changes and I did not feel any pain. I ended up sprinting to a sub 7 min pace then catching my breath for a minute doing this 4 time until I reached the convention center. When we hit mile 10 I had to power walk for half a mile to recover. My watch showed my average pace was 10:30 and I realized running at 7:00 and walking at 13:00 helped me keep a decent average. I walked the uphills, jogged the downhills, and ran the flats. I caught up the the pace leader holding the 2:10 sign. I only had 1.5 mile left and I did my best to keep up. With 0.5 to go I was in alot of pain but I gave the rest of my effort and finished in 2:15:48.

Running on the brick street thru the stockyards.

Walking about half a mile from the big hill into Downtown Ft. Worth

Enjoying my victory beer

This guy ran the full marathon in a suit.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Bicep/Tricep Supersets

4 sets 6 reps
Preacher Curl
Standing Dumbbell One Arm Triceps Extension

4 sets 10 reps
Plate loaded level triceps dip
Hammer Curls

3 sets 12 reps
1 set of drop sets
Cable Triceps Extension
Cable Biceps Curl

Afterward I ran a lap around the gym parking lot without any knee pain. I stretched my IT band at work yesterday and picked up a foam roller on my way home. I used it before bed and when I got up this morning. It really seems to have helped. When I ran on Tues and Weds my knee hurt from the first step.

I plan to run the Cowtown as far as I can and walk the rest. I want my finishers shirt. My only goal is finishing.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Marathon Training Day 3 Week 11 (Swimming)

I am not going to let my knee pain keep me from staying in shape and training. This morning I decided to use the lap pool at my gym for the first time. I swam 12 one way laps in the 25 yard pool. I timed my first lap as 36 second. I used mainly upper body to swim as I never know what to do with my legs. I have not done laps in a pool since the Rec Center at UNT opened in 2004ish. I need to pick up some goggle tonight when I go to buy a foam roller.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Marathon Training Day 2 Week 11

I planned to run 2 miles instead of 8 to see how I feel. I started off in pain and run 0.12 and turned around finished it to an even 0.25mi. Looks like the rest of the week will be a break from running. I hope the rest, ice, and using a foam roller will allow me to run the Cowtown Half on Sunday. I am staying optimistic.

Quote of the Day

"Real freedom lies in wildness, not in civilization." - Charles Lindbergh

Runner's Knee

I almost bought some fish oil this morning. I was checking my blood pressure at the grocery store (137/95) and right next to the machine was a bin with 50% off. Looks like I am going back around lunch time. I bought a sport knee brace and I am wearing it today.
I plan to wog (walk/jog) 2 miles and then if that sucks I am taking off running until Sunday. I might do elliptical or stationary bike instead. I read you don't lose fitness if you take 4-5 days off. I am looking forward to going to a minimalist shoes in May and running barefoot some. I will wear my trusted old Nike clown shoes instead of the new ones. I read an article and it said to ice the knee and take ibuprofen (did both last night). It also said it can be caused by stronger tighter hamstring and weaker quads and to add in some quad exercised and stretch the hamstrings. Run on softer surfaces and take smaller strides on hills. I started over analyzing my running form last week and might have messed up something I was doing right and caused improper form.
I have been going strong and pushing hard since August so I am not upset about my knee. I too am wondering why it didn't happen sooner. I had a very similar pain in my other knee in November. It lasted 10 days and I just rested.
It takes ALOT for me to take OTC drugs. I am usually against anything except TUMS. Until Sunday the last time I took pain pills was in 2007 when I had 4 wisdom teeth removed. Before that it was in spring break 2004 when I got a really bad sunburn. Sunday Ellen gave me half of one her pain meds (forgot it makes you sleepy) and yesterday I took ibuprofen. Did you know that studies show drinking beer after a marathon helps prevent inflammation?
I like the paleo diet. I like the barefoot running movement. I like my native American ancestry. I like that Ellen wants to tun our house into a homestead and grow vegetables and raise chickens. I like that I have not cut my hair in 7 months. I like keeping things simple.
I just got 40 ibuprofen softgels (2 20 packs but one get one free) and 100 fish oil soft gels. I also picked up a black knee strap because the brace made it hurt worse. I have seen lots of runners wear them and it made the pain stop as soon as I put it on. I ordered a bright yellow one for the race on Amazon.
HUMP DAY and Nation Margarita Day!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Marathon Training Day 1 Week 11

This morning Ellen told me her arm hurts and she did not want to go to the gym. I said I should rest my knee and decided to just run on the treadmill after work.
I got to the gym around 7pm due to traffic and I had to wait for a treadmill to free up. Last Tuesday I did 5 miles in just under 42 minutes so I decided to I want to repeat it. I started off at 7.0 mph and it took about a mile for me to find my pace and breathing. I pushed the speed up 1 notch. My right knee hurt but only slightly. At mile 2 I sped it up to 7.2 knowing I need to average 7.15 to repeat last weeks run. I hit the 3.1 mile mark at 26:14 and kept going and bumped to the speed up to 7.3 and 7.4 at 4 miles. At about 4.3 miles my knee pain increased enough for me to slow it down to 4.0 mph. I caught my breath and the pain stopped so I sped back up the my previous pace and my knee hurt even worse so I walked until the treadmill reached 4.5 mi because I like everything to the nearest .25mi in my running spreadsheet. 4.5 miles in 38:45 average pace 8:37.
I got home and I iced down my knee. I plan to try out doing 2 miles tomorrow after work super slow and if that is impossible I will just rest and hope to run the Cowtown Half on Sunday.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Beyond the Marathon: Six things to consider when a marathon just isn't long enough

I got this article in an email on Friday. Maybe it will be useful in planning on what to do after my marathon.

Six Things to Consider if You Want to Run an Ultramarathon

Photo courtesy of Matt HartAs athletes, we are constantly searching for the next challenge - what new boundaries will you set for yourself this year? More and more people are turning to ultramarathons as the next frontier. If you too find yourself curious about the world of ultrarunning, here are some things to consider about going over 26.2.

Mental capacity

Any grizzled old ultrarunner can attest to the power of your mind when running longer than most people care to drive. This is likely the most important aspect to consider. It takes a certain amount of toughness, both mental and physical (is there a difference?) to run ultramarathons. Discomfort, doubt and fear are often part of the game. But every time you enter the "pain cave" you come out the other end less frightened by subsequent visits. If your 50 km experience is a positive one and you aspire to try your hand at 50 miles, or even a 100 mile race, then the ratio of risk vs. reward is increased on both sides of the equation. The longer you run the higher your propensity is for experiencing these "tough spots", but with that also comes an increase in satisfaction and feeling of accomplishment. This is the lure of ultrarunning.

Running history

Let's start with the basic assumption that it's best to use races as stepping stones to the next, further distance. Therefore your journey to ultrarunning should use each successively longer distance as a stepping stone to the ultramarathon. Taking this measured approach means you'll take the smallest possible jump in distance from where you are comfortably running now. So if you've been doing 5 km races, train for a 10 km race. From 10 km go to a half marathon and so on, until you've finished a marathon injury-free. At this point you are ready an ultramarathon distance. There are few exceptions to this rule and most attempts at breaking it result in a broken body.

Let me say it again: If you have successfully finished a marathon injury-free, you can in fact most likely run an ultramarathon. The logical step up in distance from a marathon would be a 50 km race (31.1 miles), at just five miles longer than the marathon. Know that moving up in distance will take a bit more time and fortitude. But the longer your running history the the easier this transition, or addition in miles, will be.

No pain, no gain. Photo courtesy of Bryon Powell @iRunFar.

Time commitment

If you thought training for a marathon was a chore, then you might want to reconsider training for an ultra. There are certainly ways to mitigate the time commitment (like having a training plan), but it can’t go unnoticed that a certain “addiction to miles” and the time required to feed that addiction only helps your cause.

As your distance goals increase, there is generally less focus on pacing and more focus on overall volume/miles/time on foot. Training for an off-road ultramarathon brings with it training on trails, which means pace becomes a less effective way of measuring effort. So as your training moves to the trails, your training schedule will change to perceived exertion or heart rate guided, time-based runs.

Eating and drinking

Ultramarathons are long, so you are going to have to figure out a solid nutrition and hydration strategy. Failure to do so often results in failure to finish. Your body has stored energy in the form of muscle and liver glycogen. This is the energy reserve that allows you to run for 1.5-2 hours without taking in any fuel. This is adequate for short distances, but won't serve you well when your race is a 4-7 hour long 50 km. So buy some gels and start figuring out what your stomach can handle during your long runs.

There isn’t anything different happening to your metabolism rate once you pass the 26.2 mile mark; however you are definitely running low on your body's stored energy (glycogen). So from the start of the race this means consistently consuming calories. Karl Meltzer, who has won more 100 mile ultramarathons than anyone else, fuels almost exclusively with energy gels in a 100-mile race. For most of us however the thought of eating 65 gels during a race is repulsive. So variety is key. Get most of your calories from what works best and is easily digestible, which is usually gels or powders. Then supplement that with other tasty treats like fruit, energy waffles and bars. For the longer ultras some real food options become very appealing. Two of my favorites are baked yam/apple, and avocado wrapped with turkey. Make sure to test your fueling strategy out during your long training runs, to mitigate the unexpected.

As for hydration I think Dr. Timothy Noakes (The Lore of Running) has it right regardless of the distance: “Drink to thirst, that’s it”. However the longer the race, the more time there is for you to develop hydration issues. So be smart and consistent and don’t allow yourself to get behind. You can usually come back from a bonk, but true dehydration or hyponatremia could end up in a hospital ride.

More gear

The free-spirited 5K or 10K runner who heads out with only a pair of short shorts might find the required equipment for ultrarunning a bit daunting. The gear is in fact improving leaps and bounds year to year (check out UltrAspire). The unfortunate fact though is that at some point while training or racing you’ll have to carry calories and water with you. This will require a hydration backpack or what we ultrarunners call “handhelds”, which are simply bottle holders that attach your bottle to your hand.

At some point in your progression, like a Jedi and his light-saber, you will not be able to leave the house without taking your handheld with you. At this point, “You are almost ready, young Jedi”.


Most ultramarathons are run on trails as opposed to roads. This change of scenery brings with it a natural antidote to the boring monotony of road running the concrete jungle. It also means hilly undulating terrain, worse footing, mud, and wonderfully technical trails. Fret not if you come from a road background and have an aversion to exposure, there are plenty of ultramarathons on flat tracks and bike paths. However, my bet is that you will at some point fall in love with the rugged remoteness of “real” trail runs. You aren’t entirely alone out there either. All ultramarathons have aid stations where there is usually food, water and first aid. It’s just not available as often as during a road race and depending on the location, might not have as much variety.

Check out the video below for an example of some of the terrain you could encounter ultrarunning on trails.

Finally, the most important thing...

Ultrarunning is in fact a labor of love. Truthfully, the only real prerequisite for an aspiring ultrarunner is a love of running. Being able to cover vast distances on your own strength is simply one of the most empowering feelings there is. The accomplishment will open doors for you mentally, proving the limitless capacity of perseverance and determination. After all, once you’ve run that far - is there anything you can’t do?

If you're thinking of running your first ultramarathon, let TrainingPeaks help by providing an online training log where you can track and record your runs and meals, plan your upcoming workouts, and keep track of metrics like distance, heart rate, pace, and more. Find out more about our training software here.

Matt Hart owns and operates Coaching Endurance LLC, through which he has helped hundreds of athletes reach a wide range of fitness and endurance goals. Initially USA Cycling Certified as a coach, Matt now works mostly with runners and multi-sport athletes. He’s driven by an incessant curiosity and passion for endurance training and racing. Located in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah, Matt coaches athletes all over the world. He’s also living what he preaches as a professional ultrarunner and ski mountaineer for Mountain Hardwear and Montrail. For more information on Matt check out his Coaching Endurance Blog, or follow him on Twitter @TheMattHart. To read more from Matt you can also pick up Trail Runner Magazine, where Matt writes the "Ask the Coach" column in each issue.

Chest/Back Superset & Shoulders

Actually got my workout in before work. We got a new bed yesterday so I mad her compromise to get in bed at 730 and lights out before 9pm. Ellen actually went to the gym with me. She can't sweat too much with the cast but she did 20 mins on the elliptical while I did chest back and shoulders.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Marathon Training Day 4 Week 10

It rained all day Saturday. I spent most of the day telling myself I would do 18 miles in the rain and I got kinda grumpy. I decided around 2pm to move my run to Sunday because the forecast was sunny the low was 39 and a high of 59.
I got into bed a reasonable hour planning to start my run at 5am but I did not get up until 5:40. I knew it would take around 3 hours to do 18 miles so I got up and headed out. Our new mattress was going to be delivered between 10am and noon so I did not have much of a window of time.
I started my run at 6:15am. I kept a steady 10min pace for the first 3 miles. Mile 4 a picked up my pace and took a gel pack. I had to pee and knew there was a park ahead with a "port-a-potty" so I kept a good pace. Right at 6.2 miles I made the pit stop. I got back on the road and noticed another jogger ahead so I sped up to pass him since I figure I might as well push myself in the middle miles. I passed him and at North Lake Park he caught back up and said good morning. He asked me how far i going and I said 18. He said he can only do 5 mile and was jogging to Walmart to get a gatorade and then jogging back. I told him I am training for a marathon and asked if he was training for anything specific. He said run in high school and just kept it up and he run 3-4 days a week since it keeps him in shape and he sometimes plays pickup games of basketball and said his name is Derek. I introduced myself and then we jogged in silence. I knew his route turned left at the the stop sign and I had planned to go straight so add a 0.5 out and back. He ended up going straight too so I figured there might be another way to get to Walmart. We went half a mile and then he I said, "I am turning around." and he followed me. I picked up the pace since it was downhill and he kept right by me. We got back to the stop sign and we headed toward his original destination. I figured he would split off at the next crosswalk but he kept going with me. We went another mile and I decided to offer him my gaterade/water mix bottle (I carry 2 bottle on my belt. 1 water and 1 mix). He seemed grateful and carried the bottle with him. I had put off taking my second gel back at mile 9 but at mile 12 I decided to go ahead. I took the gel pack and offered him one and he said it tasted good. He asked where they sell them and I told them 2 places. We ran past UNT and all the bars and headed downtown. At this point after waiting at a crosswalk my right knee started to hurt. It is 2.5 miles from the downtown train station to my starting point and I was only at 13 miles so I headed south to add some more distance. We ended up at the train station and I decided to cut my run 1.5 short since my knee hurt and I offered to give him a ride home since my car was not too far. He accepted and we got on the DCTA A-Train trail. I pushed thru the pain and finished 16.5 miles in 2:44:15 which is right on pace with my 18mi/3hr goal. Derek run 10 miles with me.
My wife called to see if I was ok right after we finished and I said yes and told he I met a friend and would be home in 20 mins after giving him a ride back. Derek told me he works at my gym and I offered to run again with him if he would like. I had planned to exchange number but I didn't but I figure I will seem him again.
I got home at 9:30am and we frantically moved our bed into the guest room to make room for the delivery guys. I am looking forward to sleeping tonight.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Bicep/Tricep Supersets & Shoulders

I forgot to work my shoulders on Monday so I replaced my last 4 sets of bicep/tricep supersets with shoulders.

Finally broke past my 172 lb plateau after almost 2 years. 5 lbs to go for the marathon. Found the magic formula: Marathon training + carb cycling + paleo.

I plan on running like I am the bus from the movie speed tomorrow. If I slow down or stop I will explode. 90% chance of rain tomorrow with a high of 52 F. I ripped the liner on my compression shorts last Sunday. I started to wonder why I only have 2 pair of running shorts and run 4 days a week. I think I will leave work a little earlier so I can pick up a new pair. I only pay full retail on workout clothes and shoes everything else I buy second hand and clearance.

I was very happy to see 168.8. Made it feel more real than yesterday. I have not posted a facebook pic of my scale since October 2009 when I hit 185 and won my families Biggest Loser contest.
In true dork fashion I decided to wear my middle school band shirt to celebrate being back at my middle school weight.
1996-97 chubby 13 year old
2012 lean 28 year old

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Marathon Training Day 3 Week 10

I had to work late so I decided to find a better lit trail to run. Ended up driving back to Denton and running along the A-Train track from Medpack to almost NCTC. 9min pace felt good and it was 20 degrees cooler. I have been sore so I did not push hard and just wanted to get my miles in without risking being sore for Saturday's 18 miler.


I got home from work and running last night and against my rules/habit I stepped on the scale, 170.8. I had a handful of walnuts and alot of water before bed.

I have hit a plateau 3 times right around 172 pounds. The first time was in March 2010 when I finished my first Body for Life Challenge. The second time way about a year later in March 2011 a halfway into my 3rd BFL challenge the week I hurt my back at 173lbs. I managed to stay in the 170s for 3 months. The third time was this past October during the final weeks of my half marathon training I was 172.4-173.6 for about 4 weeks. The last two weeks I was 172 and 173. The book I am reading calculates that my ideal racing weight is 163 based on my measured muscle mass.

This morning I got up just knowing I would see my first 160s number. I held my camera and stood on the scale, 171.0. I am still super excited since it is another pound down and my lowest weight even and finally broke the 172 mark.

Ellen got up and she saved her cast they cut off yesterday to remove her stiches. She asked me to weight it. I stepped on the scale again, 169.4, then while holding her cast 170.4. She was right it weights 1 pound.

I am not counting the 169.4 in my spreadsheet so I will behave and get my first official 160s weight next week at my weekly Thursday weigh in.

It dawned on me on later. I was holding my phone when I weighed in and my phones weight was included...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Marathon Training Day 2 Week 10

Last Wednesday was a "race pace" day but today is just a normal training run. Two weeks ago I did 7 miles at a 9:15 average pace so I figure that I will shoot for a 9-9:15 avg pace today. That is a finishing time of 72-74 minutes. I got off to a good start and was running 8:30 and it felt like the same effort as 10:00. I kept a steady pace for the first 3 mile but right at 3.1 I felt like walking for a bit. I decided to keep pushing until my turnaround point at mile 4. I passed a bobcat and it was about 4 feet from me. We made eye contact and it stopped while I went past. I got to mile 4 in 36:15 and walking while I took a gel pack and dumped out half of a water bottle to lose some the weight on my belt. I walked for 0.1 then started back up. I found it hard to get back to a 9min pace so I just pushed a little harder. When I hit mile 7 I felt like pretty good so I pushed myself more. I thought I was going at a 8:30 pace but I was going 10:00, quite the opposite from the first mile. I picked up my pace at 7.7mi and "sprinted" the last 0.1 like always finishing in 74:03.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Marathon Training Day 1 Week 10

I set out to beat my 5 mi PR of 42:58 I set in Week 10 of my Half marathon training back in October. I got off to a good pace and decided to not look at my watch the first mile. I averaged 8:27 the first mile and knew I have to have an average pace faster than 8:36 to beat my best time. In mile 2 I ran thru a swarm of "gnats" and a few landed in my mouth (extra protein). I had to adapt and tilt my head down and try to close my mouth. I have difficulty breathing thru my nose due what I think is a deviated septum. I finished mile 2 in 8:26 and finally felt in the zone where keeping my pace takes effort and attention. I reached my halfway turnaround in 21:07. Staying in the zone I finished mile 3 in 8:24 and reached 5k in 26:10. In mile 4 I wiped my forehead off with the back of my hand because a forgot my sweatband. I noted 6 or so dead gnats on my hand. I had to push harder again in the last 1.75 miles finishing mile 4 in 8:25. I slowed down to an 8:40 pace at the end of the last mile and slowly pushed up to an 8:05 pace until I had 0.1 left and just gave it all I had left finishing in 41:59 shaving 59 second off of my PR. I did my cool down then looked in the mirror of my car and saw I had more dead bugs on my forehead.


My training plan calls for my long run to be on Saturdays. That gives me 2 full days off running until I run again on Tuesday. Since I finished my run around 5:30pm on Sunday I knew I did not have enough recovery time when it was time to get up this morning. I went into work early since I was already up and plan to run after work. That gives me then minimum of 48 hours of recovery. I like to follow the 48-72 hour rule for weight and my long runs.

26.2 miles is my goal. I went thru a 12 week program from August to November full of motivation and strictness to my diet. Then I hit a wall mentally and pigged out for 3 weeks. It started as "carb loading" the week before my first Half marathon then it turned into laziness, then my Uncle died and I became aware for the first time I am an emotional eater. Once my legs were recovered I got back on the saddle on November 19th. Since November 21st I have been training/working out 6 days a week and only missed 1 workout. That mean I am in Week 12 and the mental battle is starting back up. My half training was a short honeymoon phase with distance running. Now I HAVE to put in the miles to get to my goal. My goal is what is keeping me going. If I ask why I want to then all the voices get in the way. My answer, "Because I said so."

How do I stop the yo-yo in my motivation/training?
At the end of my Honeymoon I weighed in at 186 7-7-2011
At the end of Half training I weight in at 173 10-27-11
At the end of my emotional binge and break from running 182 on 11-18-11
Right now I am 171-172ish.

I think the answer is to just keep going. I can't handle "Free days" and I can't handle "active rest." When I finish my marathon I will call it something else. During the 4 Recovery weeks I will cycle ALOT and weight lift more than my current 2 days a week.

I am too stubborn to give up. I am crossing into unknown territory and it is a healthy fear. I want to come out the other side stronger. Running a marathon is a goal because it scares me. I mean even the name is based on Pheidippides running from Marathon to Athens, Greece to announce the Greek victory over Persia. He announced, "We have won!" then died from exhaustion.

I will stick to my plan to block out the voices of doubt and fear. I only have 9 week left. That means only 6 week until my highest volume week that ends with a 20 miler on March 24th. Then 3 weeks of shorter runs before the race. I guess the idea is I will be in peak training and maintain it to avoid injury. Still have the goal of 163 pounds (8-9 to go) in the next 6 weeks.

This is the first week I have gotten worked up about a training run. It was also a 2 mile increase in distance. This coming weekend is only 1 mile more and that seems less of an obstacle. Then on February 25th I am running another Half Marathon (I tweaked my program to fit it in).

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Marathon Training Day 4 Week 9

Saturday I had a fun long run planned out. I took Ellen to a bed & breakfast Friday night and planned on getting up at 5am and running so I could finish before they served breakfast at 9am. Well 5am rolled around and it was 27ish degrees outside. I said to myself, "I am paying for this bed and I am going to sleep more. I don't want my longest run to also be my coldest run." I just wrote it off and counted it as much needed rest. I got my long run in Sunday afternoon. I spend a few hours dreading it. About 0.8 miles into my run I was like, "I don't want to be doing this right now. Then I came across some other runners. I finally got in my zone and just kept going making up my route as I went along. About mile 12 I was running low on energy but pushed until 13.1 then walked and took my 3rd gel pack. I starting back up but at a slower pace 10-11min/mi. At this point my only focus was finishing and getting my miles in. I hobbled like Igor until I reached 17 miles due to some pain in my left foot. As soon as I finished I called Ellen to some pick me up. I was about 1.5-2 miles from home as I did not plan my route out to be a completed loop. It was about to snow and started raining after I finished.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Bicep/Tricep Supersets

I changed up my routine because it was beginning to feel stale. I used the plate loaded ez-bar instead of the fixed weight ones on the preacher curl. I don't know how much the bar it's self weighs but a put a 25 and a 5 one each side. I strained and stuggled to do 6 reps so I grabbed the 60 lb fixed weight bar for my second set and it felt much lighter. The 70 lb fixed weight was taken so went back to the plate loaded and took off the fives on each side. Then for the last set I think I used an 80 lb fixed weight.
For my 6 rep set of triceps I did seated overhead tricep extentions. I started off with a 70 lb dumbell and added 5 pound each set ending with an 85 lb dumbbell.
Next I did 4 sets 10 reps of hammer curls. I can't remember my 10 rep set for triceps, I might have forgotten to do it.
For my 15 rep sets I actually did supersets. I did the plate loaded triceps dip and dumbbell incline curls.
I ended with drop sets on cable triceps extension and cable preacher curl
Total workout time: 34 minutes

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Marathon Training Day 3 Week 9

I met up with my running buddy Ranson. I figured he had not run in a while so I planned out a 2 mile loop so he would not have to do the full 4 miles. We did 2 miles in 20 minutes then I did another 2 miles in 18:30

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Marathon Training Day 2 Week 9

My first 8 miler. I will be doing 8 miles every Wednesday for the next 3 weeks. I was going to use a gel pack during my run but realized I left them at home. I felt fresh and full of energy. I finished the first mile in 8:30 and just kept going. I reached halfway in 34:28 about 30 seconds slower than my 4 miler yesterday. Mile 5 was a little harder to maintain my pace but I kept it up. I reached 6.2mi 50 seconds faster than my best 10k time. I let up a little after that since my starting goal was 72 minutes. I picked up the pace once I reached 7 miles but found I ended up back at a 9 min/mi pace if I didn't check my watch. I got up to an 8 min pace with 0.2 left and just gave it all I had the last 0.1m finishing in 1:09:44. That is 2:16 faster than my goal time. I set the bar high for the up coming Wednesdays. I plan to use gel pack next time to prevent the energy slump after 45-50 minutes.
Here are my splits per mile:
Mile 1 8:30
Mile 2 8:55
Mile 3 8:32
Mile 4 8:32
Mile 5 8:44
Mile 6 8:56
Mile 7 9:04
Mile 8 8:31

Monday, February 6, 2012

Chest/Back Superset & Shoulders

For the first time this year the gym was not super crowded and I was able to do my supersets.

Superset Group 1
4 sets
6 reps each
Plate Loaded Decline Press
Plate Loaded Upward Row
Set 1 200/180 lbs
Set 2 230/200 lbs
Set 3 250/220 lbs
Set 4 280/240 lbs

Superset Group 2
4 sets
10 reps each
Dumbbell Fly
Dumbbell Seated Rear Lateral Raise
Set 1-4 80/80 lbs

Superset Group 3
4 sets
15 reps each
Fixed Cable Pulldown
Cable Incline Press
Set 1 115/115 lbs
Set 2 130/125 lbs
Set 3 145/135 lbs
Set 4 160/150 lbs

Superset Group 4
4 Sets
6 reps each
Dumbbell Lateral Raise
Dumbbell Front Raise
Set 1 50/50 lbs
Set 2 50/60 lbs
Set 3 60/60 lbs
Set 4 70/60 lbs

1 set 12 reps
Dumbell Shrugs
120 lbs

Total Workout Time: 34 minutes

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Galveston Mardi Gras Half Marathon

Rainy, windy, and 51 degrees is great weather for a race. I got to use my new wind breaker for the first time. It really helped keep me warm while I waited outside for the race to start for 40 minutes. The rain died down to just a sprinkle right as the race began. I began to warm up after about a mile and unzipped my wind breaker. Right around mile 3 my wife, parents, and dog were there cheering me on and I tossed them my wind breaker. I cooled off but then realized I had to pee. Along the Seawall there are public "potra-potties" every 1.5-2 miles. I sped up ahead of my pace group to make up some time for a quick stop. I passed 2 restrooms that were occupied and the third time was a charm right around mile 6 marker. It took me a little over 60 seconds and I was back on the street. There was a water station and I decided to take my first gel pack. I could see the pace leader's sign up ahead of me so I found a good pace and slowly tried to catch up.
At mile 7 we turned east directly into the strong winds and I decided to save some energy for when the wind was at my back. After 2 miles in the wind we headed back west and I picked back up the pace. At the next aid station I took my second gel pack and I was feeling great. We got back to the seawall again and there was my family cheering me on again. It was such a surprise and it motivated me to pass the pace leader and push myself for the next 2ish miles. They followed me in their car for a while cheering. After the 12 mile mark I picked it up again and started passing the people around me and the rain picked up again. Once I could see the finish line with 0.3mi left to go I pushed into a slow sprint and with 100 feet left I twisted my left ankle on a trolley track. I cursed and kept going until I reach the finish and stopped my Garmin watch.
My goal was to beat my old PR from November of 2:01:50 and shoot to finished in under 2 hours. The clock read 1:58:42 (gun time) as I finished and my watched showed 1:58:06 (approx chip time). I was super excited and greeted by my family. This was the first time my parents have seen me run in a race and they were exicted and kept asking if I felt ok, if I was cold, and if I need some food. We hung around for half an hour in the rain and I got a protein shake, beer, pizza, and a breakfast taco. As we were leaving they had the official time on a video screen but I decided to not make them wait. I will find out when they post them on the website.
The times were posed online. Gun time was 1:58:43.3 and chip time was 1:58:03.7.
31 out of 53 in my age group and 235 out of 1008 overall.

Here are some pictures my mother took along the course.

Mile 3 wind breaker drop

Mile 3

Mile 11 surprise

Mile 11


Puddle dodge

Almost finished

Finish line

Water is good

Happy wet couple

Friday, February 3, 2012

Bicep/Tricep Supersets

I felt like crap this morning. I forced myself out of bed and got an energy drink on the way to gym. I pushed thru my workout and changed up my routine. By the end I had drank alot of water and was feeling better.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Marathon Training Day 3 Week 8

I woke up before my alarm this morning and took it as a sign to get my run in before work. This will allow me 72ish hours to recover before the Galveston Madi Gras Half on Sunday morning. I pushed myself the last 2 miles.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Marathon Training Day 2 Week 8

I started off strong the first 2 miles but I guess I did not have enough fuel because I slowed down as I ran along Smith Barry/Tucker until about mile 5. I knew I wanted to get back to my car so I could get home so I picked up the pace. Mile 3 to 4.5 was a all uphill. I have watch set to auto lap every mile. It beeps and gives me my average pace per mile at each mile marker. Here are the split for each mile.
Mile 1 8:49
Mile 2 9:02
Mile 3 9:36
Mile 4 9:38
Mile 5 9:26
Mile 6 9:34
Mile 7 8:31