Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day 14, Stretching and recovery.

Today I was really sore. I woke up this morning at 5:00 a.m. to go to work, and man, my legs were killing me. My knees and quads were really tight and sore feeling. I am definitely looking forward to acclimatizing to barefoot running, cause its supposed to eliminate a lot of that pain. But as the day went on, it was bearable.

I ended up not running the mile today like I planned on, since my legs were shot, and since it wasn't really part of my training schedule, I don't feel too bad about it.

I did go out for a nice 2 mile walk though just to do a little something. Once my muscles were warmed up, my legs stopped hurting for the most part.

When I got back home, I popped in the P90X Stretch dvd. It was an hour of intense full body stretching. Starting at the neck and going all the way down to the ankles. It was amazing, exactly what the doctor ordered. I feel refreshed, recharged and ready for the 4 miles tomorrow. I am probably going to try and do them barefoot in order to start getting my self into that. I am looking to buy my shoes in the next two weeks, which works out pretty good, because a lot of the research I have been doing into barefoot/minimalism says that for the first two weeks you should go completely barefoot in order to allow your body to relearn its proper movement and how its feels to be active on them again. So hopefully thats how it all works out. I will definitely update you all tomorrow on how that goes.

For now, I am gonna hit the hay early, cause I didn't get enough sleep last night, and I need to be refreshed and get a good nights sleep. Have a great night and day tomorrow guys!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hell yeah day 13

Today was freaking awesome!

So I worked this morning, it was freaking killer. We were slammed from 6:45 a.m. til around 11:00 a.m. with a line out the parking lot in our drive thru. But it was fun, and we had a killer team there today, so we rocked it out. I was in a great mood all morning long, and came home feeling great!
Once I got home nothing really happened, I sat around for a couple of hours waiting for my aunt and uncle. We went to see that last Harry Potter movie, since they hadn't seen it yet. So that was exciting. I ate a lot of popcorn, so I was kinda worried that those starchy empty calories might ruin my run. Then on the way home, my uncle stopped by McDonalds. I got a 10-piece chicken nuggets to eat when I got done with my run.
So pre-run, I am in a great mood, a lil worried about my eating for the day, but all in all, ready to get back into it after my two days of recovery.

I get going into my first mile, and I notice that I am running a little bit faster than usual, but it feels good, so I keep it up. I round the post at the end of the mile and think to myself "I feel great!", so I don't stop to stretch or anything like I usually do. I run the whole mile back to the start of the path, and I still felt really good, so I turned back and ran the two mile path again. As I neared the end of my 4th mile, I was hurting a little bit. But a lot of motivational stuff I had found over my recovery day came to mind, and as I ended the second 2 mile loop, I was like "What the hell" and I turned back around and ran halfway up the loop and then back, making an even 5 miles which was my training goal for the day. I ran 5 consecutive miles today. Without walking a single step. I am ecstatic! Today really really really encouraged me for the rest of my training season. Thank you guys so much for you support on here, and your encouraging comments, a lot of them actually came to mind as I was running, and sort of gave me some boosts. One thing that also spurred me on is thinking of what @That Bastard From Bellingham would say when he read that I ran 5 miles without walking. He's always got a lot of good stuff to say in his comments.

Tomorrow I am gonna do a mile barefoot to get started on that realm, and its also a recovery and strength/stretching day.

Day 12-13

Yesterday was a pretty good day as far as recovery goes. I felt a lot less stopped up, and I managed to get through the day feeling pretty darn good. I decided to be a rebel and go out for a quick little mile run. It went well, but it was right after I had eaten dinner, and I got a little queasy, nothing major though. But tip for the future, don't go running immediately after a big dinner at a mexican restaurant. It can kill you, literally....

In other news, while I was out researching and doing my recovery, I found a new plan to follow for the remainder of my training that I like better. So I looked into it, I got it calibrated with my google calendar, so now I get a reminder sent my phone of what I am supposed to day for the day. So tonight will become my semi-long run. the way it works is instead of doing one really long run, and 2 short runs, I do 3 medium distance runs, and one semi-long one, which works its way up to 10 miles in distance by the time I taper my training for my race.

On another note, after a lot of thought given over the last two or three weeks, and in general because I feel good about the idea, I am going to start experimenting with the barefoot/minimalist running thing. If you've never heard of it, basically its a lot of scientific study showing that the human body is designed to run barefoot, and that shoes are actually a lot worse off for the health of your foot due to allowing for improper pronation, and making it so that you land on your heel instead of your midfoot, which causes a lot of shin and knee problems. The solution is to run either barefoot, or get a minimalist shoe, which is designed to make its you run as if you were barefoot, but you have protection from the elements.

Plus they look really cool!
So I am gonna ease my way into, and on my low distance days this week, try and take them barefoot, and look into buying my shoes in the next week or two. I will keep you guys updated!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day 11 - Recovery

Today is a recovery day for me. Seeing as how I am under the weather, and feeling pretty crappy, I figured I would do some research and pass along to you guys info on recovery in athletics.

There are a lot of helpful ways to get your body back into proper shape when you are feeling down, or just in general after a workout. The best way to stay fit and healthy is to create a healthy and proper lifestyle both within, and outside of your workout routines.

Nutrition is a major part of health. It relates to all aspects of our well-being. Eating improperly can cause your body a lot of problems. Especially in those with an active lifestyle. For athletes, foods high in protein content, such as meats, beans, and cheeses, are essential. Carbohydrates are especially good the day before and, the day of big workouts. They are also good post workout to help your body have some reserve energy to aid in recovery.
In general, its always a good idea to try and get proper nutrition, even if you aren't on a diet or trying to lose or gain weight. Vitamins, and minerals found in a lot of healthy foods are essential to overall well being and good health.

Water is another big aspect of health and recovery. Staying properly hydrated helps an athlete perform better during intense workouts. It replenishes sweat stores, and its keeps your body breaking down enzymes so that you can produce energy at an cellular level, which is where a lot of your energy stores come from. Without water, your body can't perform ATP conversions in the cells to produce energy. It can't properly process waste out of the body. There are several uses for water in the bodies processes. There is no definitive rule on how much water you should be drinking every day. A lot of people say a lot of different things. But in general athletes need more water in a day that a sedentary person. Keep a water bottle with you throughout the day, and you will drink more water throughout. Cut out sugary sodas as much as possible, the carbonation and the sodium content in them actually depletes your waters stores more than it adds to them. All in all, its not hard to make sure you are properly hydrated throughout the day, and its one of the best benefits to your body to be hydrated.

One thing overlooked a lot by athletes is stretching. During off days, and even pre- and post-workout its important to stretch out the body, especially those muscles used during the workout.
During workouts, the muscles used contract and shorten, and without stretching, will remain sore and painful longer following a workout. By stretching after a workout, you elongate those muscles, and give them their full range of motion back, thus eliminating a lot of the time it takes to recover. There are a lot of right ways to stretch certain muscles, but there are also a lot of dangerous and wrong ways to stretch muscles, so when you look to get into stretches, read up about them first, and make sure you are taking care of your body. Injuries are debilitating to athletes, and one should take caution in avoiding them any way they can. Listen to your body, and don't overdo yourself. It kills...believe me.

So that's about it for now. I am gonna dive into some more depth later and elaborate on these and other topics in their own posts throughout the week or so. But today, I am gonna focus on my nutrition and water intake, as well as do some light stretching and exercise to help boost my recovery.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day 10

So its official. I am ill. I went out today to go do my 5 miles, and as soon as I started running, I began to feel like absolute crap. My lungs couldn't handle even my normal pace, my nose was all clogged up and I couldn't breath right, and my whole body just started to shut down. I barely got two miles in before I just had to call it. After talking to some of my running buddies, I decided that I am gonna take tomorrow, friday, and saturday off of running, and just do some lighter workouts in the house, and spend my two days off really resting and recouping. I have been hitting it hard enough the last two weeks that I can afford to do this early on, so that come Sunday, I am ready for my long run.

Its a bit of a bummer and a setback, but I sincerely think I will come off better for it when I go out on Sunday.

In the mean time, I am gonna do some studying up on some proper running technique, breathing, and some recovery info. I will do some research and pass what I find on to you guys!

Day 9.

Sorry I didn't update yesterday. It was a really crappy day. I feel like I may be catching a cold. Honestly, who gets a cold in the middle of July?!

But yeah, I was up at 4:30 for work, and I was sniffles and sneezes all day. Plus I was very lathargic and sore all day. So I opted not to do any running in order to rest and recouperate. Today I am feeling a whole lot better, and I am gonna do my five miles tonight, as well as my five miles tomorrow night. I have tomorrow and friday off of work, so friday will be a rest day that I can sleep in. Thats something great to look forward to. Seeing as how I just got off work and stuff now though, I am gonna chill out for a few hours and go running tonight. I will update later how that goes. Also tomorrow will be an informational post as well as progress, so look out for that!

Update you guys later!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Day 8

Today was a rest day. Spent the morning at work, as usual. Had a decent day, nothing really of note that would have altered my mood too much. Jokes and general levity as usual there.

Slept some this afternoon. Ate a nice dinner of salmon, rice, and asparagus. Sat down and watched the second Harry Potter movie. Gonna watch all of them again this week, then go see the newest one again with my Aunt and Uncle this weekend. So that was pretty fun.

Went for a light 1 mile walk with my aunt and uncle. Today was so much nicer outside than it has been. I am hoping this ungodly heat is gone for a while.

Other than that it was a chill day. Looking forward to the 5 mile trek tomorrow.

I am contemplating signing up for a 5K on august 13th. That would be a good first test to see how I am doing, and I think with the progress I have made, that the results from that would be very encouraging for the remainder of my training process.

On another note, besides documenting my training here for my own purposes, I am going to utilize this blog to put some general info on running and other exercise out there for all who stop by to read what I am doing here. I figure its got to be pretty boring reading about some random dude running all the time. So I will start doing a couple of informative posts a week about whatever I am looking into, or something beneficial to the exercise society!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day 7.

Today was a bleh day. I had a great morning at church, and had a really nice lunch with the family. We ate a really nice italian restaurant. The pasta was gonna be a good push of carbs for my long run for the day. Afterwards we chilled at home, and my day started to drag at this point...nothing was really going on, and I was just in a bleh mood. We went out to get some frozen yogurt with the family, but I didn't get any cause I was already feeling guilty this weekend. So I just chilled and chatted with the family, and played with my little baby cousin. Came home and just vegged out for a while, waiting for the heat to go away before I went out to run. We got a little bit of rain, which just upped the humidity and didn't help the heat at all. I was nearly convinced to just run my 7 miles on a treadmill, but when it came down to it, I couldn't find a DVD to watch while I was running, so I decided to just go for the outside run.

I went to the paths down at the YMCA. It was like in the 90's out there, and the humidity had to be like 75-80%. It was terrible. And on top of that, I grabbed the wrong Under Armor shirt, I have two that are identical, but one is made for working in the cold so you stay warm, and the other is for working in hot to cool you off. I grabbed the stay warm one...big mistake. I was sweating so bad out there, and it really affected my performance. I couldn't even finish my usual mile warmup before stretching. But after I got warmed up and stretched out, this really cute girl started stretching near me, so when she took off up the path, I was like "What the heck" and I paced with her. We chit chatted a little bit, and it turns out she's running the same half marathon as me. We chatted about running, and such, and before I knew it we had done the two mile path. I didn't even feel it. It was pretty awesome. But she had to get going, that was all she had done for the day, so I still had 4 more miles to go. So I tackled the next mile, and it was miserable. I walked more than I ran that time. After I walked most of that mile, I was beating myself up, so I ran the 1.65 mile path pretty solid, and then reached the entrance to the 2 mile path again. I ran about a mile and a quarter of it, and walked about 3/4 of it to finish and cool down. So all in all I did 7.65 miles today. Thats a little bit past where I was supposed to go which made me feel pretty good. All in all a decent day. Looking forward to resting and light stretching tomorrow!

I skipped day 4!

Looking back, I totally realized that I skipped day 4!

Day 4 was a really exciting day for me. I met with my navy recruiter to weigh in, and I was down another 3 percent body fat, and about 8 pounds. I was ecstatic. It felt really really good to know that I making a ton of great progress.

I didn't really do much of anything to workout that day. I spent some time chilling at starbucks with some peeps from work. And I went to the library to get some books. I walked around for a bit outside, and did just some light stuff.

Other than that it was an enjoyable day off!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Days 5 & 6.

Sorry for not updating yesterday. It was a really lazy day for me.

I woke up and opened at work at 4:30 in the morning. I had a major headache all day, and I wasn't really feeling all to well as the day went on. In the afternoon when I got home, I laid down to take a nap, and slept most of the day away. We had dinner at a pizza place, and I was pretty stuffed, and feeling a lil guilty about how much I ate, but I definitely didn't feel up to running, so it was officially a day off. My cousin and her husband came in to spend the weekend, so that also distracted me from any exercise I may have gotten yesterday.

Today was alright. I woke up a little later than I wanted to for getting ready for work, so I had to rush breakfast. This caused me to nearly choke to death on a hard boiled egg. It was tragic, and it totally started my day off on the wrong foot. But it got better as the day went on. I came home and laid down for about an hour or so, and then we had a nice dinner with all the family. I was in a pretty good mood at this point, and playing with my cousins little baby daughter was downright fun. We caught a break in the heat today following a shower this afternoon, so I took advantage of it. Seeing as how tomorrow is my long run though, I didn't want to set myself up for failure, so my aunt and I went out and walked two miles. We chatted and had a pretty good time, and then on the way home I had her drop me off a lil more than a mile from the house, and I ran the rest of the way home to get a little more in since I was feeling guilty about the food from yesterday.

So all in all a little more than three miles today. Nothing hard at all. Tomorrow is a solid seven miles, and I am not cutting myself short. So I will post afterwards how that goes. I have the day off work, so after church and lunch I will most likely go out in the afternoon, but who knows what tomorrow holds. I will keep you guys updated. Thanks again for the support and encouragement!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Day 3

Today was a really good day!

I woke up at 3:45 this morning to work at 4:30. My morning went really well and I was in a great mood as the day wore on. I barely got a chance to eat, so my stomach was lacking in food til nearly noon when I finally got a break to eat. I had a pretty healthy sandwich from Jimmy Johns.

When I got home around 1:30 I laid down almost immediately and napped until 4:30p.m. I got up and ate a dinner of frozen pizza (Not a good choice, but it was fast, and we had to fend for ourselves for dinner tonight). I ate more than I should have, but I was really hungry and my stomach got the better of me. I am gonna have to work on that.

So there's the set up for how my day set my mind and body up for my workout. Tonight was a light distance running workout. Within the half and hour or so before I left to go do my run, I was texting a few friends and was in an exceptionally good mood that I think boosted my morale for the run. I got to the path and I ran 2 miles. Nothing exceptional distance wise...but its still an easy recovery day. However I pushed myself to the limit. I stretched out lightly before I started running, and I ran the first mile in a consistent with my normal pace 9 minutes and 30 seconds. As I rounded the post to come back my second mile, I figured I'd do some speed work, so I ran at a normal pace for about 200 meters, then I would sprint for 100 meters. I repeated this the whole way back, and it kicked my butt. I was whooped by the time I reached the end of the path, but I had shaved nearly a minute off of my mile time. I am pretty proud of that. So all in all, great mood, and great workout today. Tomorrow is weigh in day with my Navy Recruiter, so hopefully I will see some great changes. I can definitely already tell from the few weeks of light working out I've done, and the starts this week that my body is drastically changing its shape, and I am excited for it!

Day 2 part 2

Sorry for not updating last night. I got done with the work out, then crashed. I had to work at 4:30 this morning, so I needed my sleep.

Anyways, Yesteday was a cross training day. So I did a 10 minute ab workout on the t.v. with my aunt, and followed that up with a 15 minute cardio workout on there as well. Those two actually kicked my butt. I was very impressed with the intensity level of those two. After I finished with them, I went downstairs and did the Chest and Back day from P90X. Because I am currently trying to slim up, and improve cardio fitness instead of making muscular gains, I sort of cheated and skipped some of the intense moves, only because I didn't want to wear myself out in the wrong way for marathon training.

Overall my workout went really well. I felt great about the ab and cardio workout, but I think the chest and back one might have been too much on top of it for the day. I need to be careful not to over do this too early. I don't want to start with a bang, fizzle out, and end up not going the distance on this plan.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day 2

Today I am definitely feeling pretty sore after yesterday. Nothing I am not used to, but I definitely feel it. Under normal circumstances, today should be a rest day, but I realized that I started day 1 yesterday, which was a Monday, and I want my long runs to be on Sundays, so i am skipping a rest day this week, and doing my cross training day today. I opted to do a light weight strength training workout, so as to still give my legs the rest they need for my run tomorrow. Plus its like 103 degrees outside, so I don't really want a heat stroke.

My weight training exercise is the Chest and Back workout from the P90X program, which is one of my all time favorite workout programs. Its a bunch of pushups and pullups and it really does some wonders for my upper body. So thats what I am gonna go do here shortly. I've done it a lot of times before, so I know what to expect and how it feels. So no real need to update here, though I mighht post afterwards just to get it documented as part of my training.

Todays mental mindset is pretty tired from working early, and having a semi-stressful day at work, plus some problems I ran into on the way home cashing my check and such. Although my mood was considerably brightened when in the midst of all the trouble at the bank, I took an opportunity to hit on the teller who was a cute young lady, and I got her number. So yeah, I think the good is outweighing the bad in my head today. We will see how the day affects my workout here shortly though.

As to people giving me some crap about not finishing the full 7 miles yesterday, I know I didn't meet my training regiments outline on day 1. But the program is a flexible schedule telling you to do what you can. I ran a full 5 miles yesterday which is unheard of for me, and was more than I am normally capable of. I know my limits and I did not want to kill myself on day 1. If I could have done the full 7 without causing injury that would have actually set my schedule back further then I would have. I am a 240 pound big guy, running isn't exactly my forte, so I will take what I got. Its not about meeting each and every expectation and rigid number of miles every day, its about working to the point that I am getting the absolute most out of my body before I go too far and start negatively affecting myself. Thats why I am documenting my progress and the factors that affect my workouts so that I can look back and know what happened, and why I did what I did or why I may have felt like doing more if some days call for it. Its all relative, and I know what I am doing. I do appreciate the input though, and it is actually a good motivator.

Well, gonna go workout and eat dinner. Will update a lil bit more later! Thanks for the support, encouragement, and tips guys!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Aspire to Perspire.

Alright. Today marks Day 1 of my 9 weeks half-marathon training. So far the psyching myself up aspect has been pretty intense. I have been drinking lots of water today in prep of my first big run.

Basically my training schedule looks like this each week. Sunday will be my big long run day, starting at 6-7 miles and ending at 10-11 miles in 9 weeks. Mondays will be a light stretch and recovery day, nothing major at all. Tuesdays will be my lighter runs, ranging from 2-4 miles in length as the weeks progress. Wednesdays are cross training. So walking, biking, rollerblading, even light weight training. Thursdays are medium distance runs ranging from 5-7 miles throughout the program. Friday is another light easy rest day. And Saturday is another easy distance 2-4 miles as well as a 30 minute recovery period of light to moderate walking.

In conjunction with my training I will be dieting accordingly. Higher amounts of complex carbohydrates as well as plenty of protein on my hard days. Fruits and vegetables as snacks, low sodium throughout so I don't retain water, etc. The plan is pretty hardcore, but I am totally psyched about it!

Tonights run was pretty good. I got going at a pretty good pace, and ran out two miles at a 9.5 minute mile. I walked the next mile and stretched lightly before I got going again, and did another 2.65 miles. So only finished 5.65 miles today. Conditions outside were pretty humid and muggy, and it was about 87 degrees out there. Started running about 8:45 p.m. and finished at around 9:45 p.m. as the sun was setting. Sweat more than I have in a long while.

Noticed a little bit of soreness in my right ankle, adjusted my stride and quickened my foot turnover and it helped alleviate it. Looking into getting some new shoes here soon. Hardcore looking to try out the barefoot running style shoes by Vibram, or the Skele-toes shoes from Fila. Probably gonna get a pair next week. Will update about how I feel running in them.

Alright! Day 1 is down and I am really feeling good about it!