Posts Tagged ‘Nike+iPod’

Two weeks are down, and only twenty six remain in my marathon training program.  I would say that I am feeling good, but I am not.  I am more satisfied than anything else.

Game of Thrones (soundtrack)

Game of Thrones (soundtrack) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It has been a rough week for running.  Tuesday went well.  I was scheduled for four miles, and I did four miles.  On Wednesday I was scheduled for two miles, and for some reason I failed to read my schedule correctly and I ran four miles instead.  Of course, an extra two miles is not a bad thing.  Each of these runs was on the treadmill.  I got to enjoy a nice episode of Game of Thrones for each.

The trouble began on Thursday.  I got home and headed upstairs to get changed.  Prepared to run, I sat on the couch to put on my shoes, and nodded off.  That’s right, I fell asleep in my running gear.  Not my most proud moment, but it happened.  All day Friday I kept promising myself I would run that night, no matter what time I got home.  I got home at 10.  The call of my bed was far stronger than my desire to log another 4 miles or watch an episode.

On Saturday I got my miles.  The kids napped, and I ran.  It was another treadmill run, but the miles got logged.  What is the point of all this?

The Sunday schedule had me running eight miles.  Not a crazy run, but not an easy one.  I woke up that morning and made breakfast for the family.  The entire meal had an oatmeal theme.  They had oatmeal pancakes, and I, merely oatmeal.  Well, oatmeal with dried apricots, honey, and flax seed.  After letting that settle, it was time to hit the road.

An entire week had passed since my last outdoor run, and every run since then had been interval training on the treadmill.  I put an episode of SWIC on my iPod, and stepped out onto the road.  The first three miles were miserable.  My calves and inner thigh muscles screamed.  They were tight and unyielding.  Did I not stretch enough?  Are my legs no longer used to the impact of the road?  Maybe I shouldn’t have run the day before?  Either way, I needed my eight miles.  Mile 1…mile 2…mile 3…  Each passed, and was more painful than the next.  As I moved further away from home, I thought maybe I should turn back.  Just one more mile…just make it to the next corner…  I kept giving myself little milestones to take my mind off the pain.  After the third mile, the muscles were loose, and the pain washed away to numbness.

I completed the run as planned.  The only two issues I have are why I had the initial pain, and why my pace was so poor.  I have lost about a minute off my 8 mile pace since the sprain.  My unscientific analysis is that I believe it is due to the treadmill.  I have spent the majority of my runs on the treadmill in these past few weeks.  The machine is designed to reduce impact, and my legs have become spoiled.  My friend, Keith, thinks it might be due to over training with the interval sessions.  My legs may not have had the necessary time to recover.  Of the two of us, he knows quite a bit more than I about running. Either way, I need to reduce the treadmill sessions and increase the outdoor trips.

This entire week I have not been following my diet.  Throughout the week I have tried to maintain a limited caloric intact.  I have eaten small “meals” every couple hours.  The problem is I get near the end of the day and I feel dizzy.  I can’t focus and my mind starts to drift.  It makes me think it is a blood sugar problem.  I eat and the issue goes away.  Since I have eaten more than scheduled, my weight hasn’t gone down.  Better luck next week.

My last frustration of the week is Nike Plus.  I currently use the Nike Plus Sportswatch with GPS.  Don’t get me wrong, I still agree with my original review.  Their site has been having some issues and I can’t review my runs.  They keep promising to fix it, but I am still frustrated.  I love watching the little green dot run around the map showing my speed and heart rate.  I hope they fix the problem soon.

This week my running schedule changes.  I am going to drastically drop the amount of treadmill work.

Tuesday: 4 Miles – Interval Training on the Treadmill

Wednesday: 2 Miles – Race Pace

Thursday: 5 Miles – Long Run Pace

Sunday: 10 Miles…

Now, Sunday should be interesting.  I signed up for a 5k for the same day.  The question is, do I run the 5k, and then add 7 later that day?  I think I will first wake up and run 2 to warm up.  I will then do the race, and round out the day with a 5 mile run.  Sound good?  By reducing the treadmill work, and increasing the outdoor work, I hope to gain back my outdoor pace.

Though it was my idea to get the office to do the 5k, I might end up being the slowest of our group.  Oh well, it’s about the charity, right?  Nah, I’m going to haul my sorry butt over that finish line as fast as I can.  3rd out of four would be good.

Question for my readers:

What do you use to track your runs?

Knees of Fire!

Posted: November 20, 2011 by Roberts in Running Log
Tags: , , , , ,
Distance: 7.07 Miles
Pace:
 10’49”

Now the winter running has begun.  The temperature has dropped below thirty-five degrees.  The jacket has been tested, the podcast is loaded, and the watch is charged, it is time for a run.  What more can you want?  Sleep.  The week had been long and exhausting.  My muscles were cold, and no matter what stretches I did, they would not warm up.  Something was not right for the day, and for my body.

The watch synchronized with the satellites at an amazing speed.  The wind whipping at my face left it cold and frigid.  I watched the sunset’s last rays peek through the trees and it was now time to run.  This is a “Rest Week,” and the level of difficulty is harder than the first week.  Why even call it a rest week?  It should be called, “Slightly less hard week.”  Or it could be called, “Humiliation week, humiliating since we tell you it is a rest week and make you feel pathetic for hurting during it.”  I guess those titles are all too long.  The title of “Rest Week” will suffice, and only make you feel bad when you discover the truth of it.  My body has not had time to recover at all.  I have caught myself asking, “How can a muscle be sore when I didn’t even know it existed?” or “How can I be sore there?”  I need to keep pushing, forget the pain…It is just taking so long.  When will the time come that a ten-mile run is nothing?  Not soon enough.  Some days you just want to hit fast forward.

About two miles in, my foot falls got sloppy.  I started having too many heel strikes, the bounce was out of my step, and I wasn’t getting warm enough to fight off the cold.  By mile three, my knees were on fire.  It was a pain I had not felt since my early days.  The run was only seven miles,  and the last four were a trial.  They tested my will to finished this experiment in health.  During the last part of the run, my thoughts centered on questioning every step I took.  Eventually I could no longer hear the podcast, only my doubts.  Finally, I made it home.  The pace was terrible.  The run was terrible.

I have had too many of these runs in a row now.  I have a ten-mile run planned for Sunday.  I am dreading it.  Why?  I have done them before.  Let’s hope the Kenpo tomorrow doesn’t make me too sore.

My first race is on December 3rd.  It is coming up in just a couple of weeks.  Meanwhile, Thanksgiving, the Day of Gluttony, sits smack dab between them.  Why do I do this to myself?  Enough of that kind of talk.  I have come so far from where I started. 

Next Run: 10 Miles (Sunday)
Next Workout:  P90X (Disc 06) (Saturday)
Next Race: Burlington Race for the Hungry 5K

Suggestions? rebuildingroberts@gmail.com

Never Disappoint Yourself

Posted: November 17, 2011 by Roberts in P90X, Running Log, Workouts
Tags: , , , , ,
Distance: 3.2 Miles
Pace:
 9’55”

Yes, I skipped a day again.  I went out of town and I could not squeeze in the two hours needed for the workout with all the meetings.  I made it up the next day, but now another session is pushed back.  Everything is now pushed back by a day and will be settled out by Sunday.  Unless I push hard and log in 17 miles over two days. I could have skipped the day entirely.  And who would know?  Me, that’s who.  Never disappoint yourself. You should be your hardest critic. Often enough, we aren’t. In my line of work I have seen so many talented people waste their abilities on excuses. They hide from me behind claims that “I’m sick,” “It’s too hard,” or “Times have changed.” None of it is true. At some point, everyone needs to look at themselves and say “Is this me? Is this how I want people to think of me?” Our actions speak to our character.

Running a 5k was nice.  I stayed below a 10’00” pace easily.  Since I had a day gap from the last run and no need to last six plus miles, there was no need to pace myself.  I just enjoyed it. I found a rhythm and added some bounce in my step for fun. Landmarks became finish lines for sprints and beats in the music became excuses to shadow box. It was just plain fun. With the air was crisp and mood good, it was perfect for an evening run.

During my business trip I found time to talk to the guy that got me using Nike Plus in the first place, Mike S.  About a year ago I had just gotten into running.  I was spending my time on a treadmill and looked at running as exercise or even a necessary evil, not a passtime.  Mike told me about Nike Plus and how he was using it. At that point I was game for anything to make the running seem marginally better.

At that time Nike Plus was only a plug-in device for your iPod.  It tracked your information and was downloadable through iTunes.  The fact that it was cheap helped too.  I am a data freak and once I got into it, there was no turning back.  Tracking my pace and distance became almost a borderline obsession.  Then Nike added the heart rate monitor! Eventually I switched to the Nike Plus GPS watch. The rest is history (or at least when it comes to data).

I have to thank Mike, because without Nike Plus my running career may never have gotten started.  If you want to see my thoughts on the watch, check out my review. So thanks, Mike.

I ended my run with Yoga X from P90X.  It is ninety minutes of yoga.  I have always thought of yoga as merely advanced stretching.  I freely admit now, I was wrong – very, very wrong. It is much more than weird poses and stretching.  There are many stances I could barely hold, or not hold at all.  Once the twelve weeks are over, I hope to have the talent to complete this session perfectly.  If so, I will be in amazing shape.

Next Run: 7 Miles (Friday)
Next Workout:  P90X (Disc 06) (Saturday)
Next Race: Burlington Race for the Hungry 5K

Suggestions? rebuildingroberts@gmail.com

Neither snow nor rain….

Posted: October 29, 2011 by Roberts in P90X, Running Log
Tags: , , , , ,

Distance:  8.11 Miles
Pace: 10’26”

When I woke up this morning, all I could hear was the rain.  The temperature was below 40.  It was a steady, cold rain with winds blowing at 22 MPH.  My body was sore from P90X, an easy excuse not to run, and the weather was adding another.  I decided to wait until the freezing rain let up.  By five o’clock the weather had changed from rain to freezing rain and then to sleet and snow.  It is October!  The last time the weather was this bad this time of year was 1979.  It was only getting worse.  It was time to hit the road.

The first leg of my sleet filled run

Standing out in the rain and sleet waiting for the satellites to find me, I started to second guessing myself.  Why am I subjecting myself to possible pneumonia just for an 8 mile run?  I needed another reason.  I did have a new running hat and my new running jacket that needed testing.  If I didn’t use it in conditions like this, when would I use them?  Rationalization found!  The point of today’s run was to do a gear review of the hat and the jacket.  Yeah that’s the ticket.  The Nike watch chimed, and I was off.

As I was going along I knew my pace would be off.  First, my shoulders and abs were still sore from P90X and I had to keep a close on the sleet covered leaves.  The last thing I needed was injuring myself by doing something stupid, like running in a sleet storm.  Through the entire run, the precipitation kept cycling from freezing rain to sleet to snow and back again to freezing rain.  Moving along the road, I could not imagine seeing too many people out for the day.  I was wrong.  First, I passed a frustrated looking man walking his tiny frost covered chihuahua.  The little dog shivered as it did its business, while the walker glared.

The encounter was shortly followed by a pair of young kids trying to make a snowman out of sleet, wet leaves, and dirt.  It was not a pretty snowman, to say the least.  If anything, it looked like a snowman who had suffered a tragic accident with a leaf blower and a dust storm.  The kids kept trying.  Their parents must have wanted them out of their hair pretty badly to send them out in a storm to make a sleet and freezing rain creation.

Along my route I started noticing the occasional person looking out their window at me.  I imagine that their thoughts ranged from, “he must be crazy” to “wow, he is dedicated.”  To be honest, it was most likely the former and not the latter.  The strange thing was not the occasional person noticing me out their window, it was the frequency it was occurring.  It may have been my cold, addled mind, but it seemed like the number of spectators was increasing.  Perhaps the neighbors were calling ahead to each other to say, “Take a look out side!”  One person stared at me in such a way that made me swear that when she was younger she could well have been an extra from the Children of the Corn.  Her eyes stared straight as her head tracked my progress methodically along my path.  To keep the run interesting, every time I ran past someone, a passing car, or a neighbor staring out the window, I acknowledge their presence with a tip of my sleet covered hat.

At the halfway mark of the run, my tree cover disappeared.  Nothing was stopping the elements from their assualt upon me.  The sleet and freezing rain was attacking my face under the brim of my hat.  The visor does nothing!  Or at least when sleet moves sideways it doesn’t.  At this point I started to question my own sanity.  It was too late, I was past the point of no return.  Time to pick up the pace, tip my hat to a few more people and get on home.

Just before my run I received a challenge request from another Nike Plus runner.  The challenge is to lose 20 lbs over the next 30 days.  Since my weight has remained flat for the past three weeks, there could be no better timing.  Challenge Accepted!  I need to push through this 250 barrier.  I am doing my weigh in on Monday, and I have a feeling it has not moved.

One last word, for those running the Marine Core Marathon tomorrow including you, Patti, good luck.  I hope the weather doesn’t ruin it and everyone has a great time.

Next Run: 5 Miles (Tuesday)
Next Workout:  P90X (Disc 3 & 12) (Sunday)
Next Race: Burlington Race for the Hungry 5K