September 22, 2013
Reality Check

Went out this morning with goal of covering 20 miles, ended up at 16.75 miles instead.

I can now see why you shouldn’t increase the mileage of your long run by 30% in one week. My IT band was not happy.

Time to start tapering!

September 19, 2013
Where did the summer go?!

The Portland Marathon is 17 days away and I think I might be ready for it. This summer has thrown a lot at me, so I’ll sum it up real quick.

  • I injured my back in late July, forcing a 3 week no walking/running period that sucked.
  • I studied for, and passed, the first section of my CPA exam. I still have three sections and a lot of studying to go.

I have found a few key items that should get me across the finish line Oct 6 that I’d like to share. The first is Active Isolated Stretching. Once my back went out, I wasn’t content with just laying around doing nothing. Research led me to the Wharton’s stretching method and I dove right in. It’s worked like a charm and got me back on my feet a lot quicker than rest and NSAIDs would have.

Second, I decided to modify my running technique. I came across this book, Running with the Whole Body which has been taking me through awareness exercises. What’s fascinating is that it isn’t telling me specifics, just getting me to be aware of how I’m moving when I run. For example, paying attention to the muscles in my lower back. I’ve easily added 30 seconds per mile with this book.

Lastly, Jeff Galloway. Let me explain, after injuring my back, I knew I wasn’t going to get through Portland without some well placed walking breaks. I just didn’t know how to go about doing that. While ironing one morning, I came across an old issue of Marathon & Beyond (1997!) that had an article about walk breaks. Fate! It mentioned Galloway’s run/walk technique, which led me to his website. Long story short, I did 15.5 miles last Sunday with a 3 min run/1 min walk. Worked like a charm. I’ve already upgraded my 2014 Illinois Marathon registration from the half to the full so that I can use one of his training plans in my goal to break 4 hours.

Time to head out for a nice marathon pace run/walk session!

June 22, 2013
An Elite State of Mind

4 Keys to An Elite Attitude

  1. Don’t treat training runs or race times as indications of your self-worth
  2. Value every runner’s efforts, success and potential
  3. Don’t beat yourself up in training or in evaluating your workouts and racing
  4. Recognize that your running ability is a result of many factors, not just how serious you are or how hard you push

May 27, 2013
59:53 for the 10k! I consider it a good run.

59:53 for the 10k! I consider it a good run.

March 24, 2013
3/18 Weekly Training Recap

Running:

  • 3 runs
  • 8.27 miles
  • 1 hr 28 min total

Hiking:

  • 1 hike
  • 4.22 miles
  • 1 hr 37 min

March 17, 2013

You know that threshold you reach while running where your mind stops wandering?

When your lungs hurt and you are one breath behind, your brain switches to survival mode and everything falls away — when your only thought is the next step.

It’s refreshing.

March 13, 2013
New Cycle

I got antsy and started my next 5/3/1 cycle today. Here are the maxes I’m using…

Military Press: 80
Deadlift: 190
Bench: 130
Squat: 200

I use an estimated max that is calculated from my final week 3 sets. I round down because the program recommends being conservative.

I’ll do a post of my awesome Excel worksheet later this week…

March 10, 2013
5/3/1 Follow Up

Well, I’ve made it through 3 weeks of the 5/3/1 workout, which is basically the meat and potatoes of it. This upcoming week is all light lifting before I jump into another cycle. So what have I learned?

Read More

February 9, 2013
Back at it?

So I’ve been quiet for a while. Due to my IT band issues, I haven’t been running. A few things to report though…

  • I’m going to start a combination of strength training and running. My gym routine will be Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 Workout. It will be a 3 day a week split on MWF. Non-workout days I’ll get some running in. Right now is strict base miles. SLOW base miles.
  • The sign up for the 2013 Chicago Marathon is February 19th. I’ve got it marked on my calendar and am very excited for it. Two of my friends, Jason and Steve are my moral support. We all have some form of a goal and mine is a 3 hr 30 min Chicago time.
  • Speaking of Jason, he recently got recertified as a NASM personal trainer. If anyone is looking for a unique fitness blog, check it out over at Personal Kramer.
  • I don’t think I’ll be running the Illinois Marathon, unless a lot of things go very well. Currently I plan on volunteering during the race weekend. Should be fun to be a part of either way!

Other then that, I’ve just been working like crazy. Nothing like staying in shape during busy season! I’ll keep you all up-to-date on the strength training/running routine.

Enjoy the rest of your weekends!

January 8, 2013
I ran!

Last week I decided that instead of sitting around, I’d at least try running again. Also, Santa brought me a Garmin Forerunner 10 for Christmas and it was begging to be tested out.

I made it out on 4 runs this past week (Sun, Tues, Sat, Sun). When my knee started to act up, I just concentrated on relaxing my body while running. I noticed that when something was hurting, my natural inclination is to tense up. This just compounds the problem until everything is in pain. What is even more mind numbing is that the sloppier my form got, the less my knee hurt. This was true for paces ranging from 11:00/mi to 8:30/mi (I haven’t tried faster yet).

So what is “good” form then? Can you force specifics or drill for certain traits? Matt Fitzgerald brings up some of these thoughts in his book RUN, which I mentioned in my last post. I’m going to continue my experiments with loose form while doing some hill sprint repeats at the end of my runs. We’ll see what happens!