Working Out is Hard

If you ask me to run 10 miles in any direction, sure. I can do it.

Ask me to do burpees for 30 seconds and, well… I can do it, but I won’t like it.

My heart rate is just maxed, my shoulders and arms hurt, I’m probably sweating everywhere.

And I know this is why I need to do more working out stuff. Like I said, I can run comfortably for 10 miles. I can bang up some hills, even do a little speed here and there.

Push ups? Leg scissors? Squat jumps? Kill me now.

As Seth Godin recently wrote in “A note from 2030“:

“Twelve years from now, your future self is going to thank you for something you did today, for an asset you began to build, a habit you formed, a seed you planted.”

Dammit, he’s right.

I started running in 2016, and today in 2018 I am super thankful I started then! I really need to honor that note from 2030, and get doing more work out / cross training / weight lifting.

Empty Roads

The end of the week got busy. A Thursday night drive to my friends was thrown off the rails when my rides car broke down. I eventually got where I was going, and Friday was so good. Lots of pizza, good people, and maybe a one too many drinks, but whatever, it all worked out.

Slept maybe five hours on Friday night in Saturday. Had a funeral to attend in the morning, as my aunts husband of some 29 years passed away. Went out to lunch afterwards, then a long drive back home.

I had missed two runs at this point. I was so tired from only sleeping five hours there was no way I could that evening. I fell asleep at about 7pm, I think. I can’t even remember.

Woke up stupid early on Sunday and watched the NYC Marathon which was pretty horrible on ESPN (check out Nicole Bush’s live blog for a good wrap-up). Shalane Flanagan had an awesome pass to take third (and became the “first American woman to make the podium two consecutive times since Kim Jones in 1989 and 1990 with back-to-back second place finishes”).

Afterwards I set out for a long run because, well, it’s Sunday! It was in the 50s, no breeze, and the smells of Autumn in the air. I ran to street where I saw an apartment for rent, just to get a feel for the area (turns out it was a decent area). Then I ran to an pond to run around the dirt trail around it, which then snuck up to a nice paved uphill. Not fast, but felt strong.

Retraced my route coming home, which I never like doing. Turned out the street was closed to traffic because of a parade. There were people on the side of the street, all sitting around, waiting for the parade. And then there was me. On an empty street, which is usually bustling with traffic.

I picked up my pace, into the 9s, which is fast for me! I think it was the fear of being caught by the parade, but that totally didn’t happen. I ran, and kept running, and found more blocked off roads. It was just me, and a completely empty road, with people lining the street.

It wasn’t quite on par with today’s NYC Marathon, but I did hear someone say, “nice day for a run.”

Such a nice run that I didn’t stop to take photos. Hell, I didn’t stop. I kept going, just one foot in the front of the other.

ALSO: This is my third or fourth run in my new New Balance 880v8s, after wearing out my HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 5s, and wow… I mean, I know there was some extra cushion in those HOKAs, but I love the feeling of a more “neutral” shoe these days! I got the HOKAs after my back injury earlier this year, at the direction of my doctor. After many hours of stretching and running, though, I feel great in these new shoes. Quite honestly I don’t know much about any of the different types of shoes, but hey, that’s why you got to a local running shop for guidance (can’t believe everything you read on the internet)!

Start It Now

The best time to start getting into shape, learning to play the guitar, starting a meditation practice, quitting smoking was 10 years ago. The next best time now is right now.

Yes sure, I started running back in 2016 and just ran a half marathon and didn’t die. But you know what I didn’t keep doing from way back in 2016? Push-ups.

In my flurry of “I’m gonna eat better, and start running” excitement, I also downloaded one of those “do a 100 push ups a day” apps. I stuck with it for a few weeks, then… just sorta stopped. If I would have kept with it, for over two years?! Damn, my upper body would be stoked right now.

But I didn’t love doing push ups, I loved running in the woods. So, I ran.

These days I want to run farther, and a little bit faster. And allllll the advice I see out there is… doing strength training (that includes push-ups).

I think with any of this stuff, overlooking the temporary pain in the now to get the completely unknown thing in the future. Somehow I figured if I keep running then someday I’ll be able to run farther. Right now, mentally, I can’t put together that equation; if I do a few push ups today, a few years from now I’ll have more upper body strength which will help me run better.

 

 

Did I just finish the 2018 Runner’s World Half Marathon?

It’s nearly 2 1/2 years since I started running.

Since I looked at “run for five minutes straight” on my Couch to 5K app and thought, how am I gonna do this?

Since I dealt with shin splints from running too fast at the start of a 5K race.

Since I “bonked” during the Broad St. 10 Miler in Philadelphia back in May, and had to walk multiple times.

Over 2 1/2 years of lacing up the shoes, in the heat of summer, and the stinging cold of winter, of just getting out there and showing up, and I just completed my first half-marathon.

When I ran my first mile back in 2016 it took me 13 minutes. This past weekend I ran 13.1 miles.

Continue reading “Did I just finish the 2018 Runner’s World Half Marathon?”

Running for my Life

Since I started running in mid 2016, I’ve noticed changes. No, not washboard abs and a firm tush, but a jolt in self-esteem, pride, attitude, and determination. This bit from a recent story in Entrepreneur really rattled me (emphasis mine).

“If exercise stops, then my health goes downhill. With the loss of physical health my productivity at work goes down. I become depressed. I lose motivation to do the things that makes my business successful. I’ve learned firsthand that excellence in one area of my life promotes excellence in all other areas of my life. Exercise is the easiest area of my life to control. It’s easy to measure. Either I get it in, or I don’t. When I do, it lifts up all other areas of my life, including my business.”

Exercise is the easiest area of my life to control

Exercise is the easiest area of my life to control

Exercise is the easiest area of my life to control

This times infinity. Back in 2016 I was at a crossroads. Most of my meals came from a box or a take out container, and I was snacking all day long on cookies, candy, and ice cream. My attitude sucked, my outlook sucked, and I really didn’t know what I was going to do.

Thankfully a buddy told me that he was challenged at a 4th of July party. Someone bet him he couldn’t run an eight minute mile (turns out he couldn’t). I tried it, and ran a 13 minute mile, and then had problems walking down stairs for a week. But I kept at it because… it was something in my life that I could control.

I couldn’t control job openings, getting interviews, or getting hired by a cool tech company, but I could control this. When I ran, what I wore, how far, how fast… and I kept at it for weeks, then months, and now it’s been almost two and a half years of running. I’m running a half-marathon next month.

Every facet of my life has improved because of running. I still can’t control all that job stuff, but now I’m in a mentally better place to handle that – without eating a sleeve of Oreo cookies.

Broad Street Run Report

It was a tough week. The previous Sunday I ran 14 miles in the woods. On Tuesday did a few laps. Wednesday was November Project. I also wasn’t eating great. I had basically been traveling for a week and a half leading up to Sunday’s Broad Street Run in Philadelphia, and my routine was shot.

After about 40 minutes of standing around to start, I had to stop and use the bathroom within the first two miles, maybe it was a mile. I felt good after that, just trotting along enjoying the DJs and cheering crowds. At mile five, which is where you’re staring up at City Hall, I felt great. Too great, because I started running faster. The crowds were bigger, the music louder. Mile six was packed, kids on the sidewalks looking for high-fives, and I couldn’t resist. It was electric!

But by mile seven I was in trouble. I was out of gas.

I had to walk several times. My head was computing how many more miles? How long would each take? I broke mentally, really. I was so stoked and excited from the crowds that I just pushed beyond my abilities and got torn down. I really think my nutrition leading up to this was part of it. I just felt drained, and it happened so quick.

Ultimately I had fun. Anytime I felt down, someone shouted something funny, or I saw a great sign, and I was able to get running again.

My goal wasn’t speed (I finished at 1:48), but rather “I want to not hurt the next day,” and the next day I was pain free. I literally was in pain for a few days after November Project. But running 10 miles? Felt great the next day, so I’d say this run was a success.

And oh yeah, we raised over $700 for Students Run Philly Style. Some kids from the program remarked about my vest (which I wore to raise an additional $200 after the initial $500 goal), and one recognized me from social media. So really, yeah… this event was an absolutely success.

Next time, though? I gotta be more on top of my nutrition. I need smoothies, brown rice and veggies and salsa and beans. Lesson learned!

Belvidere FoxTrot Race Report

My second race of the year, and it was a fun one, with a good lesson learned.

I didn’t know the parking situation, so I found a nearby park and jogged to the starting area. I like doing this when I can, since warming up is always a good idea. It also gave me an opportunity to take in the area again, as I’ve passed through this little town before.

Continue reading “Belvidere FoxTrot Race Report”

Schedule Time for Good Things

I’ve always thought of my running as a pretty private undertaking. Sure, I share some photos on occasion on social media, but compared to other runners I appear quite reserved. When I started running back in 2016 I decided to not really write about my “fitness journey” because I feared not following through. What if I stopped after my first 5K race? Or if I got hurt and couldn’t run for a month or six? What then?

It’s been nearly two years now, and I think I’m a runner now. I guess maybe it’s safe to write about it.

Continue reading “Schedule Time for Good Things”