Since When Do I Watch Hockey????

The first long run of this training season is officially in the books. It’s done. And the one thing that I learned? Well, not really learned, but was reminded … don’t be a dumbass. Don’t pretend like you can just wake up on Saturday morning and run 12 miles without fueling. You can, but it sucks. A lot. And you feel like you want to pass out. Luckily, though, despite my stupidity yesterday morning, I didn’t pass out. Just remember, kids, a granola bar and cup of yogurt do not count as pre-run fuel when you really don’t eat anything a day earlier.

The run ended up taking us two hours, which isn’t too bad for a long run. Though, I was surprised to see that our last two miles were the fastest–particularly since I felt like Death.

Miles 1 through¬† 2 — 20:20
Miles 3 through 6 — 40:17 (I forgot to hit the lap button on my watch at the 4 mile marker)
Miles 6 through 8 — 20:11
Miles 8 through 10 — 20:07
Miles 10 through 12 — 19:03

Tomorrow, we have 8 miles with 10x100m strides.

Now … to the “fun” part of our weekend. Cleaning. It’s dawned on us several times in the past week that this wedding thing is slowly getting closer and closer … and that we should probably consider making sure that everything is in order. Both for the wedding and for my eventual move in to Sarah’s apartment. As Sarah kicked ass¬† cleaning out her closet (begrudingly making room for my clothes) and other areas of the apartment, I cleaned the bathroom and kitchen, filed papers, etc. We managed to accomplish quite a bit in about a day and a half, but still have a lot to do. If any one is free and wants to help, I have no money to pay you, but am willing to give you a hardy handshake and my utmost gratitude. Just give me a ring. Really.

One last note: I’d also like to add that I am extremely grateful for Sarah cleaning her closets and making room for my stuff. I know it stresses her out. That is all.

And here we go

Before you begin reading, know that this post is like many (most) of my posts–rambling with really no deep thought or takeaway.

With that said…

Well, two training runs down. A sh#t ton more to go. This is going to be one, long training season. And damn it, I couldn’t be more excited! Really.

Sarah and I rocked out a nice mile run this evening in just under an hour and a half, and I realized that it will definitely be these medium-long runs that prove to be my biggest challenge. More than anything, I’ve typically lacked the motivation. I’m generally a 3-4 days per week and 30 miles/week + speed work type of runner. But I decided to go hardcore for the Chicago Marathon and try a more aggressive plan that builds up to as much as 55 miles/week. So as we look to eat out less and spend less money in general, I think this plan is going to work. I just need to buckle down, focus and make it through the Wednesday/Thursday runs of 9+ miles, and I’ll be fine. It’ll be a day-to-day challenge, but I’m ready for it.

So, my schedule this week includes 32 miles total and looks like this:

  • Monday – 7 mi w/ 10×100 strides
  • Wednesday – 9 mi
  • Thursday – Lifting
  • Friday – Lifting (morning) and 4 mi (evening)
  • Saturday – 12 mi

And, while the following has no relevance to running, these MVP commercials are my favorites right now, so I wanted to make sure everyone had a good laugh.

The New Rules

Sarah and I started a new lifting routine today following a plan in The New Rules of Lifting. Below was today’s workout

Superset
Squats 3×15
Seated Rows 3×15

Superset
Supine Hip Extensions 3×15
Dumbbell Push Presses 3×15

Superset
Rotational Lunges 3×15 (while Sarah did all 15 reps on each leg, I did 1×10 and 2×12…my legs were shot from too much weight on squats)
Swiss Ball Crunches 3×15

My legs are going hurt so much in the morning.

April 30 UPDATE: “OWWWWWW!” That’s the noise I make every time I try to stand up.

Why I Love the Game

The question is simple. The answer isn’t. “Why do you like baseball so much?” people will ask. And while I’d like to boil the reply down to a sentence or two, I can’t. So instead, here are some of the reasons I love baseball.

  • Family. Baseball has always been a family affair (even throughout high school). When I was younger, my dad was one of the coaches on my team. He’d push me to do better and play smarter. He tried to teach me patience (at the plate), focus (on the mound) and control in every aspect of the game. The memories are so vivid, I even remember one of the first pitching lessons he arranged for our team via Mr. W when I was in 3rd grade. There were practices a few times a week, games throughout the week and the tournaments mentioned above. My mom would always be there in the stands, cheering on during those hot days. Or in the rain. Or the cold. Sometimes helping to keep book. The same with my brother. When I graduated from college, we bought partial season tickets to the Royals. It was a great idea, because even though we were all in the stands now, we still talked about the game like we always had.
  • Tournaments. Whether we were traveling to another city or playing in town, I loved tournament weekends. You’d play anywhere from 3-6 games over the course of 2-3 days in sweltering heat, and it’d be a blast. Sometimes we’d get our asses kicked, other times we’d kick ass. But it didn’t matter.
  • Challenge. Sure, playing any sport is a challenge. But playing baseball is where I really learned to push myself harder. Throughout high school, I constantly pushed myself. With people constantly doubting me, I had to. I lifted weights and ran in the off-season–3 miles every day during the week–and eventually I went from being overweight and one of the slowest people on the team to being among the fastest. I learned so much about taking pride in a hard work ethic. It’s the reason I’m running marathons today. After my days of playing baseball were over, I needed something to work towards…something to challenge me and make me push myself.
  • Summer. Is there any feeling quite like being at the ball park on a nice Summer evening?
  • 3&2 french fries. I think every youth baseball complex has that one food that everyone raves about and loves. For me, it was the french fries.
  • Coaching. During the summer, I coached 6 year olds for four years while in high school and JV high school ball for two years. Both were challenges (for vastly different reasons), but both were so much fun. I especially enjoyed all of the strategizing at the high school level.

Growing up, I played soccer and basketball with the other kids, but in the end, nothing ever really lived up to the enjoyment I had (and still have) from playing/watching baseball. I’m using the same glove I’ve had since I was 9 years old, refusing to retire it even though the sitching is completely torn (not to mention I have a newer glove). I play catch when I can and watch Royals games when time allows. There are still things I’d like to do (go to the CWS, watch the Royals play in a playoff game–in person or on TV, and coach again), but I have plenty of time for all of those. For now, I’m just happy watching games and trying to convince a certain someone that the game isn’t nearly as boring as it appears.

Tricking My Brain

Whenever I start to think about running/working out after work these days, my brain immediately starts to convince itself that it’s okay not to run a day here or a day there. Or that not doing speedwork or a tempo run is okay–I can just go out for a couple of miles, and in the end, it will all work itself out. Well, no more.

It may come as a surprise to many of you, but I think I’ve managed to trick my brain into purging these ridiculous excuses by identifying my big problems. They are:

1) No accountability; I just need to be more accountable. Sarah and I talked about this a bit a few weeks ago, and when it comes down to it, there isn’t a group of people saying “hey, where were you on XXX date?” It’s just Sarah and me. She’s been great about training. I’ve been “meh.”
2) Apathy – I just need to remind myself of why I want to run a 3:50, and that I’m not the type of person that can just go out and do it; I have to work for it.

In the end, I think the ultimate and most plausible solution is blogging. By writing down what I’m running (or suppose to run) it’s a constant reminder to get out and work towards this goal I’ve set. Even if no one else is reading, it’ll be a constant reminder for myself.

So last night, we ran 4 miles; nothing out of the ordinary, just ran.

Tonight, I’ll do some sort of tempo run. Not sure what that will be at this point, but I’ll do something.

Setting A Goal for the Chicago Marathon

Much like a thousand other people today, I caught the running bug watching the Boston Marathon. So, I thought I’d take this time to officially declare my goal for the Chicago Marathon.

In thinking about it, my PR is 3:58:02. Now, I should have done better that day–really. I stopped to walk through the water stops and did a few other things that set me back a few minutes. But that’s the race I ran, so 3:58:02 is my PR. With that said, as of right now, my goal for the race is going to be 3:50. Sarah and I talked about our shared goal, and for some reason, it’s not coming to mind. So this goal may be amended once or twice. It may be aggressive, but I have a few things to motivate me this year.

In the meantime, until training officially kicks off (and I’ve decided I’m going to try Pfitz this year), I’m doing speed work and tempo runs. It’s very similar to the plan I used for Illinois and hopefully, it keeps me in good shape and prepares me for the start of training in a few weeks.

Today’s run:
0.5 mi warm-up
3×1600 intervals (7:45, 7:30, 7:15) w/ 0.25 mi rest intervals (RI)
0.25 mi cool down

A Tale of Two Runs

I think running is funny. Not funny “ha ha” per se, but funny in the fact that you can feel totally different throughout the course of a run, from one run to the next, etc. Take our recent 20 milers for example:

The 20 miler on 3/14 was great for me and not so great for Sarah.
The 20 miler on 3/21 was great for Sarah and I felt like Death.

So while the two 20 milers varied greatly for both Sarah and me, I know that we’re ready. And I’m f***ing pumped to whoop this marathon’s butt. So much so that we went ahead and signed up for the Chicago Marathon in October. Because really, we’re badasses like that.