Sunday, April 29, 2012

Good week..Mentally & Physically!

This has been a pretty good week for me both mentally and physically!  Mentally, I have had to focus on training for the triathlon as well as the half marathon.  I have "made time" to fit in the other disciplines.  Weather it was between birthday parties, before work, after work, with the family watching TV, I was able to fit it in.  We had three track meets this week as well and I was able to fit it all in. I am maybe going to get one more tide in today if I can!
Another physical obstacle I conquered this week was on the track. I used to think that track people were absolutely, certifiably CRAZY!  I would hear of the doing 20 x 400 yards and 10 x 800's?  What, sprinting that far, that is NUTS!  During my training, the plan has been calling for Yasso 800's.  These are a challenge, you take you mile time, split them in half and that is what you run your 800's in.  We started with 2 of them, that is not bad at all.  This week we hit 8, that is right 8 of them!  I was not sure how I would handle all this.  Katie G. and I took off and did some good warm ups and then got after 8 x 800!  By the time 6, 7, and 8 rolled around, my times were getting faster. Why?  I am not sure of that, maybe more focus because I was tired or because I was just getting warmed up?  Who knows?  What I do know, I finished these and tacked on another mile or so for cool down.  I was amazed that I could actually do this.  It is amazing what YOU CAN do when you tell your mind you are going to do it.  Mind over matter, I think is how the saying goes!  I do not like track workouts all that much but I am actually looking forward to running 10 of these.  10 x 800's, CRAZY, but I can see the benefits of these.  Last Saturday, I ran my best 5k ever and I think it has a lot to do with the 800's.  I needed that last week, now, I have moved in to a mental place I like to be while running, knowing I CAN succeed at whatever I set out to do!
Physically right now, I am feeling pretty dang good.  Last week, I weighed in for the first time in a long time.  I am down to 212 pounds.  This is lower than my senior year of high school.  I started back in December at 248!  Down 36 lbs and feeling pretty good about it.  I am hoping that by Mother's Day, I will be at about 210 for my first half marathon of the year!  I think this will help me with my time and feeling good on my feet.  I think being this light (for me) I think will really benefit me when it comes race time.  Best part of it all, I am having fun doing it, and I don't feel like I am dieting at all.  I am really not, just eating clean and smart!
Again, there are so many people out there doing such awesome things, for such good causes!  It is really cool to see a running community, such as LIVE UNCOMMON, come together, bring people of all sorts together and give back to such great causes. Not to mention the ledge it has pushed me out on training.  I am not sure if I would have taken the steps to prepare to race all summer if it was not for all my running buddies!
Today, Aaron M., Katie G., and I took off to run the practice half for the QC distance classic.  They open up the course, not really, but mark it so you can get a feel for the course.  We ran a really easy 11 miles and I picked up on the last two just to push a little.  I finished the practice run, very nice and easy pace.  I was three minutes ahead of what I ran last year.  I am excited to do this race again, to see what I can do and see if I have trained smarter and learned anything from a year ago!  I have a much better base under my belt now.  It should be a better race for me.
I am off to church for another busy Sunday, but productive.  Hopefully I can push for a another week and a half and see what I CAN do for the QC Distance Classic.  Till then, be productive, see what you can challenge yourself to do.  Get out there and test yourself and see what YOU CAN do!

Saturday, April 21, 2012


What a great way to start off my weekend!  Running a 5k for such a great cause and an even better turnout, especially by the Live Uncommon runners!   The Run for Renewal helps so many kids in need.   Such a cool event and atmosphere.  If you weren't there today, mark it on the calendar for next year.  Kids being kids and lots of people helping make sure they get to enjoy their youth!

For me it was not about running, it was about making a difference today.  I feel like I got that chance in many ways.  First of all, my daughter made the choice a month ago to run this race and she stuck with it!  She ran her first 1/2 mile kids run and ran it in 4:19, what a trooper and she looked good doing it!  There are some pictures below!  After that we gathered at the starting line and headed out got he 5k.  I was a little nervous to say the least.  After my St. Patty's day run, I was a little worried that I was not making the gains I needed to be making.  I thought I was going to go out a ROCK that 5k.  Now I look back and I really had set myself up for failure in that race.  I did a lot of things wrong, mostly mental too.  Easy fix, right?  Today would be the proof if I could.  I had made some training changes and I also talked myself into a better mental game.  As the race went underway, I was able to control my mental midget side of my brain and let the mental giant take over.  Thanks goodness, I might have had to throw myself in a headlock or cradle!  The course was a little hillier than I thought which was good, it made me focus on running and not out thinking myself.  When it was all said and done, PR for me!  I ran the best 5k I have ever run by about :45 seconds according to my watch.  I am not sure about the official race time but won't be to different.  I really needed that and will hope this will propel my training and make me want it that much more.  My time of 20:14 is very close to my ultimate goal, running under 20 minutes.  I have a few more this summer so I will get after it and make that goal a reality, because I KNOW I CAN!

 To start my day this way is so nice and refreshing!  See many people reach out and show they care is so cool!  Thanks to Phil P. for taking these awesome pictures today.  Phil is a ROCKSTAR with his camera!

Now I have a bit of confidence flowing and am thinking I am going to try and do a tri-athlon in Ogden, Ia.  This would before my original planned QC Tri,  but I figure, what the hell.  I am going to go in with no expectations and give it hell so I can improve for the QC.  I need to get some things in order and get after it, I know I CAN do it, just need to buckle down and focus!  Tomorrow, i will get inb a brick and see what I can do and decide if the tri is feasible for me to take on!

Thanks to my family, I have such great support between them and he LU family!  I love having them cheer me on and run with me.  Such a cool feeling, one that is not describable!

Thanks Live Uncommon for making me take that risk to be a better person in life, sometimes the biggest regret we have is the risk we didn't take!  Get out there, get after it because YOU CAN!!!

By the way, Great work to Aaron Maurer on his PR of 19:09 today too!  Way to get it done!

Monday, April 16, 2012

WOW, Where does time go???

It has been a while since I have been able to post, mostly life has just got in the way.  Every time I had intentions of writing, something seemed to come up that needed tended to ASAP!  Seems that is the way life has turned for me here recently.
Probably the biggest events are both my daughters birthdays.  Olivia's was last week and Kennedy's is today.  At first this was great having their birthday's within a week of each other.  However, I am slowly finding out that I am just going to call April, Birthday Month!  I hope later in life they don't figure out that it is also "Diamond" month.  I will leave that for some one else!  Anyway, Olivia has decided that she does not want to celebrate birthdays together.   I can't say as I blame her, but it just makes the days spread out a little more.  I think all of Olivia's friends have birthday's during this month too.  Seems like all we have done is host a birthday and go to birthday's.  Oh, did I mention, I have made three birthday cakes in a weeks span as well.  Yes, I am, Betty Crocker!  Oh well, as much work as it is, and running around town going crazy, I would not have it any other way.  I love my girls and their births were so special.  I will keep and just suck it up in April.  Pretty much have no choice as I am the only male in the house!

I have also been working on something I used to love.  That is my new fish aquarium.  I love having fish tanks, they are very tranquil to me.  I had to convince Mary a little to get this rolling but I finally have it going.  I have two Blood Parrot Cichlids, Flowerhorn Cichlid and an Electric Blue Jack Dempsey.  They all are pretty impressive fish.  Very young now, but will grow and be beautiful in color.  Now my challenge will keep it looking like it does now.  Clean and sparkly!

Back to my training...I have had some really awesome weeks of training, well, running anyway.  My biking and swimming have been lacking to say the least.  As of right now, I am just trying to keep my base with the bike and swim while I focus on the half marathon.  Once that is over, I will put more miles on the bike and in the pool.  Since I last posted I have added some Yasso 800's to the regimen.  To my surprise, I am really enjoying the 800's.  Last week, I was able to complete 6 of these and keep them consistent.  This week will bring 8 of them, we will see if I still like them as much.  I feel pretty strong right now as my running is progressing.  Last weekend, I set out to simulate a half marathon race.  Katie G. needed to run this for her training and I thought maybe it would be good for me too.  Aaron M. and Curt S. joined us as well.  We let Katie kind of set the pace for us.  She wanted to run between 7:30 and 7:45 pace for the half.  I would be lying if I did not tell you I got a little nervous the night before.  I wanted to do well and see if I had improved on last years half.  Last year I was able to complete the half in 1:45.46 which I was very pleased with.  If I was going to go at Katie's pace, I would be improving my pace time by about a half minute or so.
On Saturday we set out and got after it.  We actually had a large group, but many people were in different stages of their running so we did not get to chat as a group as we normally do.  Hopefully that will return this weekend!  We had set up a course to run with not many hills.  Most of the course was on the river bike path.  After all was said and done, we were able to keep a 7:36 pace.  I finished in 1:39.53 for the simulated half, setting a pr for me.  I was super happy, knowing I still have four weeks before I have to run this again and I think I will make some more strides!  Great job by Katie, Aaron and Curt this weekend too, I am lucky to have these talented runners at my side and pushing me!
Another shout out to all the runners that show up early on Saturday morning to set out and run!  To accomplish things they have never done, train for races they fear, run farther than they have ever run before, running for the fun, all of you have done such a fantastic job, week after week, trying to attain those goals!  Keep pushing, YOU CAN  be the best at whatever you want.
Good Luck to the Live Uncommon Race Team this weekend at the Run for Renewal in Davenport!  It will be nice to see us all decked out in our awesome gear and tear up the streets of Davenport!
Do tomorrow what you did not get done today, because YOU CAN accomplish whatever you put your mind too!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

MIA on Blogging!

Sorry folks, I have been a way for a bit.  Seems like every time I built in some time to write, something else gets in the way, like life!  I have been meaning to write for the last five days and I have just not got it done.

My training has slowed down a bit in the biking and swimming areas.   I have kind of done this on purpose as I am trying to train more for the half marathon on May 12.  I am hoping the plan will work with out losing to much on my swim and bike.  My goal is to try and get two of each workouts built in each week along with my running.  So far, I slacked a little on those but, like I said life is a bit busy right now.  With Easter and both of my girls have birthdays coming, oh and work, things are crazy.  Olivia's birthday is on Easter and it is the golden one too!  So much planning is needed!

One of the things that has been on my mind a lot lately is the groups I have been running with.  First, I cant explain to you the value they have in my eyes.  About every other day, I so look forward to running, no matter how bad or good I feel, I always know they are there and will get me through the workout.  This morning was a prime example, I felt tired, my legs felt tired, my allergies were firing on all cylinders and I just did not have it.  Until I started and kept pushing because of the people I run with.  I ended on a 7:10 mile, mile 6.  I believe there were nine of us getting after it.  At one point it was silent, no one talking, which is really rare amongst this group, but you could hear every ones sneakers beating the pavement, working...all before 6 a.m.!  Incredible the amount of effort we put in.

Now, I know, I have talked about the running group before but I can't seem to get over the fact that there are this many GOOD people out there that are willing to get up at about any hour of the morning to run!  To RUN!  They are dedicated, they are athletes, they are moms, they are dads, they are professional, they are the CRAZY!  I will admit runs without them are very hard to deal with, which is something I am working on.  I have also talked about surrounding myself with good people because the results are, well, GOOD!  Some of the people drive a half hour to get to us, some push the limits to get to work on time, some do it because it is the only time they can, some just go because of the camaraderie.    For whatever reason, they get it done, early in the morning.  Good example, last weekend, we gathered at 4:30 a.m. on Saturday morning and more at 6:00 a.m. and even more at 7:30.  I believe we ended with about 14 runners, that early on a Saturday morning!

One reason I wanted to reflect about this was to make sure you all know how important and what GREAT people I am privileged to workout with.  If you are not running with us, you should, YOU CAN!  You are missing out.  Some of these people have come so far in their running, it is amazing to watch.  YOU could be that person too.  Power in numbers!

I am super excited to continue my venture in running this summer.  I am not to worried about PR's, but I know they will come when I workout with this group, they are just that type of group.

For now, 6 B4 6, CRAZIES, thanks for all your push and helpful advice, you are the best.  If you are not part of it yet, come join us, you are missing out.  Till next time, YOU CAN get out there and achieve!