thequestfor135

Archive for March, 2009|Monthly archive page

March 31, 2009

In Daily Exercise Summary on March 31, 2009 at 5:33 pm
Activity

Time

Miles

Pace

Repetitions

Weight

Run

23:02

2.75

8:22

Walk

10:57

.67

Just a quick run on the treadmill today, but it felt nice. I even got cocky and started to think that I would be able to do it without laboring at all, but around 2.3 miles I felt the end of my lungs. My legs felt real good, and tomorrow we go 3 miles. Almost to 5k, then we can get working on the speed and pace. I had to get back to see a professor about a project we were working on, but it was good that I made it to the gym at all.

Advertisements

Bob Timmons

In Musings, Rants and Explanations on March 31, 2009 at 4:03 am

It’s now quarter to 4 in the morning, and I can not sleep. We had our hockey team’s annual banquet this past weekend. There was one speech in particular about skill, talent and effort, then there was something about taking the lessons with you through life. I feel like I have taken those lessons that I learned playing hockey as a kid through life. The most important being that you can always find a little something more to give of yourself, but it is only when you think that there is nothing left that you will find it.

This lines up real well with an interesting story in this month’s edition of Runner’s World about Bob Timmons. He held similar beliefs. Putting his runners through ridiculous training, risking injury, burnout and despair to try and get the absolute best out of them. Many of his runner’s never got the point. Usually, kids don’t get the point until a number of years later when they have more experience and see that they have learned lessons which help them through life. In this case, there were a number of obvious cases of people who still hadn’t realized what he was trying to teach them.

That is probably the failure of that teaching style, but as far as living, there seems to be a number of drawbacks as well. Living your life in a manner where you are always trying to improve or perform better doesn’t allow you to enjoy the things that you do have. I have tried to reconcile these two contradictory forces as well as I can. Although, when it comes to my new determination to run, I think I will focus on always finding a little more. This is why I race the person next to me on the treadmill. If they are better right now, I have to work harder to get better.

It is also why I cringe when I hear that someone is just trying to finish a race. Every single one of us has it inside ourselves to finish a half marathon or marathon. There are simply too many cases of people overcoming incredibly physical disabilities or infirmities to accomplish this goal that they have set to believe that we can not. If we can learn to live with not winning, then it becomes easier to compete. If your goal is to finish the marathon in 4 hours, once you accept that you will live to fight another day if you finish in 4 hours and 25 minutes, then you haven’t lost because you are still in the game. Compete. It brings the best out in you, and when you think there is nothing left, find it somewhere.

March 30, 2009

In Daily Exercise Summary on March 30, 2009 at 3:45 pm
Activity

Time

Miles

Pace

Repetitions

Weight

Run

20:54

2.5

8:22

Walk

10:06

.59

Hip Abductor

3×18

50

Hip Adductor

3×18

50

Leg Lifts

3×15

Today was a nice workout. Coming back off of the rest day, I like to do the same distance as the day before the rest.

After I worked my way through the first two miles at 6.9 for a half mile, 7.0 for a half mile, 7.1 for a half mile and 7.2 for a half mile, I upped the speed to 7.5 for .1 mile, 7.6 for .1 mile, 7.7 for .1 mile, 7.8 for .1 mile and finally 7.9 for .1 mile. My breathing was labored for about the last mile of the run, but I never had any discomfort.

I returned to the hip abductor and hip adductor today. I think that the next time I get on them, I will up the weight to 60. Although it put some stress on my hips, it was not what I was looking for to end the workout. So, I went and worked the core a little bit with leg lifts. These always make me want to quit my workout, so I usually save them for last.

Importance of Running Shoes

In Running Gear on March 29, 2009 at 10:37 pm

I first started training for a marathon in 2001. After September 11th, I found myself running in the New York Health & Racquet  Club a lot. It was a 6am brain child of mine. If something sounds like a good idea at 6am, it has to be a good idea. Well, I could run 4 miles in 32 minutes no problem, but every time I tried to increase my distance, my feet would start to feel numb.

With my personality, I figured I would just keep running through this. As my distances increased to around 10k, it became unbearable and soon thereafter I lost interest.

Speed up to January 2008, when I again decided to run a marathon, I had the same problem. Once I got myself in good enough shape to run any distance, my foot issues loomed its ugly head. I was very discouraged. After speaking to a number of people, I visited a shoe store with some real professionals.

I began to explain my problem, and he interrupted me (which made me angry). He asked, “Did you play hockey or ski?” Stunned, I replied “both.”

He immediately stated, “your shoes are two sizes too small. I can see your toes putting pressure on the front of them.” Ridiculous, I say, I have been wearing the same size 8 shoes since 7th grade and my feet have never grown. Well, it is true that I had wore the same size 8s, but apparently my feet grew sometime after I started wearing them. I was a size 10. No matter how many times I stood on that damn scale, I was a size 10. I was amazed. I never had my shoes measured since the 7th grade.

Apparently, this is a common problem with people who partake in sports where you want a tight boot. You want the skates to fit very snugly for optimal performance. The same is not true of running or every day shoes.

I bought a pair of size 10 shoes, and all though I have made slight alterations to the type of shoe I wear since then, it has made all the difference in the world. When I ran my half marathon, I could not believe that I never once thought about my feet. Oh, they were sore when I was done, but the tingling and intense pain was never an issue.

Take the time to get your running shoes sized every so often. If you work in a running store, size everyone’s shoes. It will be worth the 5 minutes.

Rest

In Musings, Rants and Explanations on March 29, 2009 at 11:12 am

Rest days are fun. All my leg muscles are a little sore from the renewed vigor, but it feels good. The best part of having a rest day is not having to find a time in it to exercise. No worrying about can you get to the gym and back. Just having a day where you can do what you have to do.

We have our hockey banquet this afternoon, so I reckon it will be rubber chicken and potatoes, maybe rice.  The point of rest is to avoid injury by allowing your body to recover from the effort that it has put forth. Rest is different for everyone.  Some people need more, some people need less. At different times of the training cycle, you will need to rest differently as well.

A rest day is exactly that, a rest day. You shouldn’t bike 20 miles on your rest day, or take part in a pickup hockey game. You should rest. And that is what I plan on doing today.

Just remember to pick it back up tomorrow.

Saturday Workout then Rest for Sunday

In Daily Exercise Summary on March 28, 2009 at 11:16 pm

Today, I had a tired run. Felt a little slow the whole time, but being on a treadmill you can’t really slow down.

I ran a nice two and a half mile loop wile watching North Dakota and New Hampshire play a little hockey. I again started the run for a half mile at 6.9, the next half mile at 7.0, the third half mile at 7.1, and ran another half mile at 7.2. I then finished the same as the last couple days. 7.3 to 7.7 for .1 of a mile each.

I ran a time interval at 8.2 for one minute, walk at 3.0 for one minute; and another at 8.3 for one minute, walk at 3.0 for one minute. Those felt good, like getting the lead out.

For the core resistance training, I use the Paramount brand machines.

Activity

Time

Miles

Pace

Repetitions

Weight

Run

21:03

2.50

8:25

Walk

9:57

.58

Time Intervals

1min

2

Lower Back

3×18

100

Abdominal

3×18

100

The Exception to the Treadmill

In Musings, Rants and Explanations on March 27, 2009 at 7:24 pm

Tomorrow is some sort of environmental awareness hour between 8:30 and 9:30pm. I’m not sure if that is local time or central time, but it is local and central here. Easy to do. Shut your shit down for an hour. Lights, TV, Computer, Etc. turn it off.

Ok, there is one exception to my rule that I prefer to run on a treadmill. That would be distance intervals. Distance intervals are simply put running a distance, then walking a distance, then running a distance, keep on repeating. I love to train with intervals. Time intervals and Distance intervals, I have a blog post that I would like to get up sometime next week concerning time intervals, the difference, fartlek, etc. etc. etc. This post is going to be about distance intervals.

Well, there it is. The distance I run during distance intervals. It is 1/16th of a mile to the far pole in the back corner. I run as hard as I possible can. By time I hit that back pole, I want to be pretty sure that I will throw up if I go any further. I then walk all the way around the track to this spot and immediately do it again. When I do distance intervals, I use equidistant points for my intervals. I want to walk as far as I run. There are arguments against this, but they are stupid arguments, if you incorporate time intervals into your training as well.

When I first started training for the half-marathon, I read an article about interval training in Runner’s World or some other mainstream running mag that discussed how essential this sort of training is to improving your time and distance for long distance running. My initial thought was that this was a contradiction, why sprint to train for a race that is long?

Well it worked. It speeds you up, it allows you to run longer distances. When in shape, I like to run distance intervals twice a week. I usually do 8 intervals of running and walking so that I go 1 mile in addition to the running that I did on that day. It hurts, it burns and I can’t breathe much when I’m doing it, but it is worth it because of the results.

Also, if you are looking for something to run to check out Matt Nathanson at mattnathanson.com. Come and get higher!

Good little workout today

In Daily Exercise Summary on March 27, 2009 at 5:01 pm
Activity

Time

Miles

Pace

Repetitions

Weight

Run

18:57

2.25

8:25

Walk

9:03

.52

Distance Intervals

1/8

6

Shoulder Press

3×15

50

Incline Press

3×15

50

It was a real nice workout today. No pain in the diaphragm, didn’t start breathing heavy until about 1.4 miles. Felt real goooooood.

As usual, I started the treadmill at 6.9 for half a mile, 7.0 for half a mile, and 7.1 for half a mile. At mile 1.5, I upped the speed to 7.2 for a quarter of a mile. I ran the last half mile the same as usual where I kept upping the speed 1 for each tenth of a mile. Finished the run just before 19 minutes, this is a 26 minute pace for a 5k. I am working to get that down to 24 minutes. That is my first goal.

I ran distance intervals (see the post called “The Exception to the Treadmill” forthcoming very shortly). Half the lap, I ran as fast as I possibly can. The second half of the lap, I walk back to the start. I planned on doing a bench or chest press, but there was an idiot on the machine that I like to use for that. Rather than have to make eye contact or possibly exchange words while trading off the machine, I decided to hit the showers.

Food, an Empty Stomach and 200

In Musings, Rants and Explanations on March 26, 2009 at 6:15 pm

One of the major problems that I have is that I can not run after I have eaten anything more than a banana during the day.

This s a serious problem on days where school or other responsibilities keep me busy until 3, 4 or 5pm. Generally speaking, I will just not run on those days. Unfortunately, this happens nearly every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I’m lucky, I get Monday and Friday off.

This explains my current predicament. Barely able to run 2 decent miles and nearly 200 pounds again. I’m not 200 pounds, but close enough to know that it only takes a day or two for the damn thing to say 200.0. 200 is where I said I would never be again over a year ago when I first started exercising again. When I ran the half-marathon, I weighed 178 lbs. I had topped out at 218. So, the psychology of a number has certainly impacted my decision to start this blog and exercise regularly again. It has also motivated me to set a more vigorous race schedule.

Everyone has a number that they want to avoid like the plague. Some people flirt with it. Some people go sailing past it. But everyone has some number that turns the pit of their stomach. About 18 months ago, 200 became that number for me, as well as, 38. I almost had to buy size 40 pants at one time and this freaked me out, so now I refuse enter the range of 38. I’m currently wearing a 36 waist.

With weight loss, I reckon that it is important to set goals. Psychology research has certainly proven a connection between high performance and goal setting, but isn’t it equally important to have a number that makes you sick. A number that tells you that now is the time to get off your couch and do something. 200 & 38.

I will try to find an easy way to post my daily weight. I can gain or lose 5 pounds in a day, so I would like to find some widget that allows you to average your weight over the last five days to get an accurate weight range. I need to put my mind to the best way to do this.

March 26, 2009 Workout

In Daily Exercise Summary on March 26, 2009 at 2:24 pm

My teacher cancelled my seminar today, so I was able to get to the gym 5 hours earlier than I otherwise would. This made me happy, and made my running significantly easier. Today, I skipped through that first half mile at 6.9. Felt great, no labor on my breathing whatsoever. I upped the speed to 7.0 for the next half mile. I felt mild discomfort in the diaphragm around .8 miles. This was significantly better than the pain I experienced yesterday, and for the next half mile I ran at 7.1. The mild discomfort remained, but it never elevated to pain. At this point, I was laboring to breathe smoothly. I then elevated the speed at which I ran from 7.2 to 7.6 for each of the remaining tenths of a mile.

Although, the heart monitor on the treadmill was broken. I could tell that my heart rate was not nearly as high as when I finished yesterday, so I walked at a little quicker pace today. I kept the speeds between 3.5 and 4.0. The leg extensions burned the quads bad. I intended to do 3×18, but quickly realized I had to back off of that.

Activity

Time

Miles

Pace

Repetitions

Weight

Run

16:54

2.00

8:27

Walk

8:06

.51

Leg Extensions

3×15

50

Leg Curl

3×18

50

Leg Press

3×15

100