The Bi-Annual Update

Well, I have been slacking..My last post has been nearly 4 months, but running has continued, albeit at a more mellow mileage for now.

I’ve been busy with a new position at UltraRunning Magazine. Last fall I approached the owner about helping them with their website and social media initiatives. We wrapped up a new site for them and launched in December. It’s been a great project to be involved with and hope it will continue. It’s a position that combines my two passions, running and technology. UltraRunning Magazine has been publishing since 1981 and has a rich history in the sport. It’s exciting to be involved in a passionate and thriving community.

Being more involved in the UltraRunning world has started to shift my own personal running goals towards trail and ultras and away from the road races. After running Mckenzie river and the Portland Marathon in a short time frame allowed me to look at the recovery from both races. Mckenzie river was hard, but the recovery was so much easier compared to Portland.

A few weeks ago I signed up for my second 50K. The Mcdonald Forest 50K. This will be a big change from the McKenzie river. Nearly 7,000 of elevation gain and loss. I see lots of hill training in my future. My hope is to finish under 7 hours.

Aside from Mac Forest, I’ve registered for the Dirty Half in June and have Cascade Lakes Relay in August. I’d like to find another 1 or two 50k’s to do in the fall, but haven’t decided which ones yet.

At the end of June, I am going to try to volunteer at the Western States 100 run. Would be cool to be part of that race. One goal I have this year is to volunteer at as many races (or more) as the number I run in. Volunteers and Race Directors put in countless hours to make events fun and safe, it’s nice to pass that along.

I am just wrapping up my Mac Forest 50k training plan and will post that shortly. It will be fun!

 

There is no way

McKenzie River Trail

McKenzie River Trail

After I ran my first mile, I said to myself “there is no way I can run a  5k”

After I ran my first 5k, I said to myself “there is no way I can run a  10k”

After I ran my first 10k, I said to myself “there is no way I can run a half marathon”

After I ran my first half marathon, I said to myself “there is no way I can run a marathon”

After I ran my first marathon, I said to myself “fuck yeah I just did”

Not sure why this has been rattling in my brain lately. It’s interesting the progression of milestones and self doubt that I have gone through. I vividly remember finishing my first half marathon and thinking that to do a full marathon would require running that whole distance again, I was so mystified that people could do that.

I caught myself doing the same thing the other week when I was looking at the Boston Qualifying times for my age group. I saw what my pace would have to be in order to qualify and immediately thought, there is no way…which is total bullshit.

4 Days and counting for Eugene Marathon

I’ve been slacking on the posts lately. I have been a little distracted doing a major remodel of our motorhome and just haven’t had the time to write anything. I’m also tapering so there just hasn’t been a whole lot to say at this point.

It’s now 4 days until Eugene and the nerves are starting to kick in. I had some major back and forth regarding my pacing strategy and setting my goal time until I spoke with someone on Monday.  Before the meeting I had two time goals, 3:45 and 3:30. Big difference in strategies for those and knew I needed to commit to one. I came away from the meeting with a goal of finishing in 3:30. Looking at some of my training runs and past performances, he thought that it was in the realm of possibility to hit it. I have no idea if i’ll be able to sustain an 8 min mile pace for 3:30, but at least I feel like i’m setting an ambitious goal and will leave it all out there come Sunday.

I also got some great news last week. I made it in to the Mckenzie River 50K run. Was very excited to get that news. There were almost 400 entries for 200 spots, so everyone had about a 50% chance of making it in. I’ll need to figure out training schedule for that. Between the amount of camping we are doing this summer and other runs, it may be hard to get some of the longer runs in. I’m approaching it with the frame of mind of just finishing it and having a good time, no real time goals in mind.

Hydration pack or no Hydration Pack for the Marathon?

This is another item that i’m having second thoughts on. I typically run with my Nathan Hydration pack for my longer runs. It’s comfortable and holds everything I need to be self supporting for a long run. I wore it during the Portland Marathon and enjoyed having the freedom to pass the really busy water stations and just drink whenever I was thirsty. The weight is the downside.

It’s a little too late in the game to be changing anything up, so I think i’m just going to fill it part way and go with it.

Yosemite in August

I woke up early April 15th and was able to reserve a camping spot in the Yosemite Valley for a week in August. They normally sell out in a matter of seconds, so I feel lucky to have reserved one. Summer trips to Yosemite as a kid is one of my favorite memories. Looking forward to being able to pass some of that along to our son, hopefully he will enjoy it as much as I did. Also looking forward to maybe getting in some great hill workouts while there 🙂

Week 7 Marathon Training Wrap Up

Completed my long run yesterday for the week (17.5 miles, about 40 for the week). Felt pretty good with how I felt towards the end and the overall performance. I am coming down with a cold and was struggling to get out the door. All I really wanted to do was go back to bed and sleep. I told myself to get out and at least run for a few miles, if I still felt like crap I could call it a day and reschedule the long run. Well, a few miles in I figured I might as well get it out of the way. Some days are like that, just trudge through it. You always feel better at the end.

I ended up hitting a bit of unfamiliar trails during the run and got a tad lost. A little bushwacking and off trail running later, I was back on my familiar route. It was a good way to mix it up a little…On the upside I ran into a heard of about 9 deer, we scared the crap out of each other I think.

Deschutes-River

Deschutes River

Veterans Memorial

There is a Veterans Memorial in Bend that is at the base of the Veterans bridge. I run by this a lot. Most of the time I will stop to catch my breath, take a minute to take in the view and give thanks to those that have sacrificed everything.

Bend Veterans Memorial

Bend Veterans Memorial

Bricks

Bricks

First Responders

First Responders

Pennywise/Lagwagon

Last Sunday was the Pennywise concert. Had a great time, Lagwagon was one of the opening acts, another of my favorite bands. We arrived a little early and snagged some excellent spots in the balcony to the side of the stage. I must be getting old because I did bring some earplugs.

Lagwagon

Lagwagon

Pennywise

Pennywise

 

Advanced Marathon Training Book

I picked up a copy of this and am finding it a good read. I’m not in a position to use any of the training plans right now (Minimum starts at 55 miles per week), but maybe for a fall marathon (Portland again perhaps). They do a great job of explaining the different aspects of what it takes to improve your marathon performance (Lactate Threshold, VO2 Max, Endurance, Speed, Form, Nutrition). The training plans are broken up into Mesocycles, each a few weeks and are focused on improving each facet of your running. Some weeks are more tempo runs (improving lactate threshold), others include strides and intervals to improve form and speed.

I’ll do a more detailed review when I finish it up.

Advanced Marathon Training

Advanced Marathon Training

Other tidbits from the week

Plantar Fasciitis – Misunderstandings Corrected

The Top 5 Hip Strengthening Exercises

Interviewer Sets World Record for Worst Mo Farah Interview (I feel bad for her, kinda)

 

How the Man Show saved my life

OK, so saving my life may be a bit of a stretch, but at least one skit from the show had a significant impact on my life today.

If you don’t know what the Man Show was, it was a 30 minute comedy show hosted by Adam Carolla and Jimmy Kimmel. The show was a collection of random skits all geared towards men. One skit in season 2 was called the Man Show Diet. View it below

When I made the decision to drop some weight, I did what probably every person does in a similar situation. I started to google things like “best way to lose weight”. There are so many systems, kits, plans, books and gimmicks out there. We like to find shortcuts. For some reason, the Man Show Diet always stuck in my head. It is simple, it is the truth and it works for the long term.

I’m sure there may be some solid science behind the diet systems out there (maybe not, I don’t care really), Paleo, Atkins, Jenny Craig, Medifast, Juicing blah blah blah and I’m sure you can lose weight if you stick to the plans. My biggest problem was I ate way too much of everything; carbs, sugar, fat, proteins, well maybe not fruits and veggies.

What I lacked was education. I had to start at the beginning and learn some basics. There is a lot to learn, I took small steps and made incremental changes. Here were my 3 steps to dropping weight.

  1. Use a calculator to figure out how many calories you should be eating
  2. Measure/weigh what you eat – I could not visually connect what 1 serving of a particular food looked like. I still weight some items to check myself.
  3. Record everything you eat – Be honest here, was that really 4 ounces of steak or 6? See step 2

If the sum of the calories you have at the end of the day in step 3 is less than step 1, congratulations! you have a calorie deficit and will lose weight. It takes a deficit of approximately 500 calories per day to lose 1 pound in a week.

Don’t forget to add back in your exercise calories. Most (All?) gym machines over estimate your calorie burn (The ellipticals are the biggest offenders here!!!). A heart rate monitor can help you get a better idea of how many calories you burn for a cardio workout (they don’t work for strength exercises).

That is how I got my start. Counting calories only. I didn’t look at any macro nutrients, just calories..It had to be simple and it had to give me the flexibility to still eat what I wanted to eat.