Been a while!

Hello, everyone! All three of you! haha. It was called to my attention that I haven’t posted much about running anywhere lately. I’ve been busy. I moved from Port Charlotte to Tampa and got myself a job working for what is essentially Microsoft’s search engine marketing department. Basically, I help clients figure out the best solution for making their websites as visible as possible via Bing and Yahoo. I haven’t started the job yet. In fact, I start the job in about 7 hours. You guessed it! I can’t sleep the night before my first day of work. haha. I did manage a two hour nap around 8-10 p.m. and I did have a very nice Sunday morning sleep-in that lasted all the way until the early afternoon. So, I think I’ll be fine. But, as you can see, I’ve had a lot on my plate and I haven’t really had a lot of time to maintain this blog.

As far as running goes, I’ve been making steady progress and doing everything I should be doing. Running has taken a back seat in my life over the past 5 weeks, but with good reason. Nevertheless, I’m still out there doing it and working toward my goals. Everything seems to be moving at the right pace. Some of my readers have expressed that they enjoyed this blog in the past, so I hope no one has been missing it too much. Apparently my absence has been noticed if the Runner’s World forum is any indication. Not saying anyone “misses” me, but I’ll try to keep the updates a little more regular. This blog doesn’t have much to say if I post all the time, though, so I’m not sure the frequency will increase to any great degree.

Anyway, I’ve had a lot on my mind and I’m still settling in here in Tampa. There’s a lot of stuff I need to get sorted out in the coming months since I’m starting from scratch with no car. Using the bus means 3 hours of travel time round trip each day. It’s gonna be hard enough to even get a run in, let alone post here much. Things will get better once I replace the car that was stolen and I don’t have to use the bus anymore, but that doesn’t mean I’ll have more time. haha. We’ll see.

Hope everyone is doing well!

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Moving on…

This week has been eventful and strange in more ways than one, but everything has been pretty positive. There has also been some negative stuff, but the positive outweighs that by a mile.

First, the running. As I mentioned last week, I’ve been doing some strength training which has helped my running in a big way. It’s really nothing too strenuous. I’ve been dong squats and lunges with a 20 pound weight and I’ve been doing calf and shin exercises to help improve balance and prevent shin splints. Regardless of the simplicity, it makes running feel almost effortless. Last night when I ran my 5K distance, I got through the whole thing with the ease of walking. I know I should be challenging myself, but this week is the last week of base building. Next week I move on to some speed training and I’ll be upping my distance over the next month. I can see a large amount of muscle development in my legs, too. It’s been a while since I’ve seen that! So… running is going exactly as it should even if my methods aren’t as prescribed by everyone else. Then again, the normal stuff never suits me and I always manage to get where I need to be without hurting myself.

This brings me to another point. I haven’t been using the Runner’s World forums at all over the past week or so. I don’t have anything against them, really. Some of the veteran runners over there even have good advice to offer. But running isn’t rocket science and I’m sure I can manage this on my own. I’m educated enough on the human body and fitness to the point where I understand what not to do. The forums always just turn into some huge argument and, while I expect that from a forum, it’s not why I started going there and if I wanted to go to a forum where arguments happen, I’d go someplace a little more exciting where the people actually know how to argue. Plus, I’ve noticed a lot of the runners are pretty close-minded and uptight people. I think that’s why I was never part of the running herd before. I ran alone and I liked it that way. I think that’s how it’s gonna be this time, too. I’ll run races, but I’m not going for the social aspect. But… there are a lot of you I met on RW who I think are fantastic people and I look forward to bumping into you. I just don’t think RW is my scene.

One thing which has given me serious energy for my workouts this past week is that I’m on the verge of having a job where I get to work from home (which is good since my car was stolen last year and I’ve been unemployed) and it’s only part time so it gives me flexibility to find another job if I can. It also means I can move out of Port Charlotte where there’s nothing to do and no jobs to be had. That means I’ll be moving up to Tampa which is what I’ve been aiming for since May. To make things better, a good friend of mine in Tampa said I can live with her in her 3 bedroom house. Their roommate moved out and they have room for me now. I can do the work from home job there, of course, so that’s a place to live in Tampa and a job! She said that even if I don’t get the job for some odd reason, I can still move in and find work up there. Being in a bigger city like Tampa will make finding a job much easier than it has been here in Tampa. There’s a bus system there and I’ll have access to a bicycle, which I didn’t have here, and occasionally a car until I get my own. SO! That’s very good news. I should be in Tampa within the next couple weeks. I’ve even mapped out my runs up there already. haha. And the greatest thing about this is that I’ve lived with this girl before. I know what kind of roommate she is. We live together very well. No drama hiding there.

This is all coming at just the right time because the roommates I’m living with have decided to move two other people in and this house has become a 24/7 party. While that might sound awesome to some, it gets old really damn fast. And, trust me, I love to have a good time. Plus one of the new roommates seems to think he’s the boss of the house and he’s going to find out that ordering me around doesn’t fly. He’s got the general idea already since when he barks an order I just look at him like he’s lost his tiny little mind. I can tell he’s all bark and no bite, and I wouldn’t be worried even if he could bite because I bite harder, but I’m not putting up with that very long. It comes down to me leaving or beating someone into the hospital.  I think removing myself is the best option. Jail doesn’t sound fun.

Everything is going very well. I should be up to 10K in the next couple months and I should be well on my way to having another car and I’ll be living in a much better place. I just wish it could all happen TODAY! haha.

I’m also very happy that Facebook successfully hid my birthday this year. I always ask it to, but the past years it has not. This year it finally worked. I’m not afraid of getting older, but I don’t see any reason to have a page full of birthday wishes from people I haven’t even talked to in over a year. I figure if you don’t know when my birthday is on your own, then we’re probably not close enough for you to worry about it. It’s just another day to me, anyway. It passes just like any other. I’m not gonna tell you which day it was this past week. haha.

That’s all for now.

Stability

Since I posted a week ago, I have started doing a few things different when it comes to my running. People who read this may remember that I took a week off after I completed the C25K program. Since I started back up I’ve been taking it a little easier on the running in order to focus on exercises for building overall strength for better stability and muscular endurance. I haven’t cut back on the running too much, but the extra work from the other workouts have definitely taken up the slack for that.

Tonight I really felt the effects of the strength training. My form stayed good nearly the entire run and there was never a point where I thought that my body was too tired to move forward. Physically I did not have to push too hard. Mentally there was no problem. In fact, the only problem I seemed to run into was that my stamina seemed to suffer a little. My best guess is that my body is stronger than my lungs now. That’s fine. I have no problem playing catch-up. I had a feeling that it was gonna end up like this anyway. That’s the main reason I want to start doing more high-intensity workouts. I want to get my VO2 and my muscular capacity working on the same level. I’m willing to let this be the case for a little while until I get used to the strength training and can make that part of my regular running workouts without having to sacrifice distance. Then I know my body will be able to handle the speed training with less risk of injury.

In other news, I’ve had two interviews for jobs in the past week. Those are the first two I’ve had since moving back to Florida in June. Both seem very promising. I’ve earned second interviews from both so I should know something very soon. I’m hoping to land both.

Anyway, I don’t know if I’ll be updating as often as I used to because it’s always the same when I post every time I run, but rest assured I have not stopped running just because I’m not posting every other day haha.

I’m pretty happy with the progress right now. I may readjust my goals since I’ve had some time to think things through and I now understand better what I’m up against, but it’ll only be a matter of giving myself more time to train properly. Either way, the goal of the Miami marathon in 2013 is still set.

Rested

After a self-imposed break to let my body heal from the C25K + cross-training over the past 3 months, I have returned to my normal routine…. kinda. This past Friday marked a week off and I ran 1.5 miles to sorta ease back into things. Then I did some cross-training on Saturday after finding one 20 pound dumbbell in the garage. haha. It’s only one, but it’s better than nothing. Tonight was my first night back to full 3.1 mile distance and I took it nice and easy. The results of my short hiatus were instantly apparent. My body felt so stable and rested. The distance wasn’t hard at all. I’m just happy that my old method of taking a week off every 7 weeks (2 month cycle) hasn’t changed as my body has aged. It does so much good. Although… I do get very restless for that week! haha.

Nothing else to report. Just checking back in.

Stage 1: Complete

C25K has come to an end. It wasn’t pretty, but it got done. My running groove was apparently out to lunch when I decided it was time to go running. I was slow and I was running so rough I felt like I was taking a Yugo on safari. All I can think is that I didn’t get enough sleep and that this week of rest I’m embarking on is happening just in time.

Gonna have a beer or two to celebrate and probably call it an early night. Don’t have a lot to say about this one. I feel the same way about this run as women do about making love to me. It could have gone better but it was awkward and, in the end, I wish I wasn’t so disappointed with it.

One more day!

W9D2 went off without a hitch and that leaves me with one more day of the C25K program before it’s finished. Friday is going to bear a little celebration. Not a huge party, but I might have some good beer and maybe some hot wings. Haven’t done that in a long while.

Tonight wasn’t quite as easy as Day 1, but it was very close. I did have to push a little at the very end, but that was only the last quarter mile or so. I have a feeling this had to do with my running form tonight. I know I’m getting to a point in my training that I must concentrate on preventing injuries more since the distance is increasing. Correct running form can go a long way toward preventing injury. I made sure my shoulders were back and that there was no anterior tip to my hips which can cause shin splints and knee problems. Starting this behavior early will ensure that a good running form is natural to me by the time I start hitting the serious miles. Gotta love muscle memory! haha. I’ll also be focusing a lot on my core strength to help with form and prevent injury. Some of you might already know why that’s important, but this might sound odd to some of you, so let me explain.

I’ve said it before, early on in this blog, that building up the muscles in your back, mid-secton and hips is important for preventing injuries. I think I just touched on it lightly so it may not have left an impression at all, especially with the way I ramble. haha. Here’s the science of it. It really starts in the abdominal region. Proper abdominal fitness is huge when it comes to running form, so proper core exercise can be extremely beneficial to you. The reason for this is that if your abs are weak, your hips will tilt forward which also causes your legs to rotate and that will cause stress on the tibia and fibula while running. If your core is strong, especially your deep abdominal wall, your hips won’t tip forward and the legs won’t rotate. Have you ever wondered why people who drink a lot of beer or eat a lot of unhealthy food seem to gain inches in the midsection first? It’s because unhealthy diet really affects the deep abdominal wall which is the key to having a flat tummy and a strong core. In Pilates you’ll hear exercises to strengthen this as “powerhouse” movements. Of course, it’s important to strengthen the entire core, but making sure your abs are strong will prevent that forward tip and, therefor, help prevent injuries to your legs. This is one of my reasons why cross-training is so important. I actually learned this in martial arts, but it came in pretty handy for running! haha. So, there’s a little education for you, if you didn’t already know it.

As for my run tonight… it was beautiful outside! I didn’t get to run until after 11:00 p.m., but the temperature was around 70 F (21 C) and the humidity was low. It has been raining all day so there was a freshness in the air which isn’t something you get often during a Florida summer, even if it is coming to an end like it is now. I’ve been stretching before my runs lately (after my warm up walk) and that really does seem to free up the leg muscles. Some people will say they don’t do it and swear it’s the right answer, but if it works for you then do whatever feels right. I have always stretched after my muscles were warm until I started C25K this time. Having not done so for the past 8 weeks and then starting up again, I can tell you that the difference is like night and day. Try it. If you like it, keep doing it. It works for me.

Gonna stop typing words now. Hope everyone else is having as good a time as I am.

All Your Base…

… aren’t belong to me yet, but they will belong to me soon.

I’ve said it many times before, but I have to say it again. Tonight was the easiest run since starting this program! It totally makes up for the bad run I had on Friday! W9D1 didn’t have a chance! I am very happy to have such a strong, easy run this close to the end of the C25K program. Tonight I ran 3.1 miles in 33 minutes which comes to a 10:48 mile pace. I must be slowing down at some point in the last mile. No biggie. I’ll be running the 3.1 distance for a few weeks until I give myself a small rest the week before my 5K. Also, I’m taking next week off of exercise completely. I want to let my body heal completely before I start building the base. It looks like I really timed this program out perfectly for running the race on September 24th. That’s going to be a great day! It’s the day after my birthday and it’s a Saturday evening! I’m going to have a very good time after that race, for sure!

After the 5K race I will start moving forward with distance again and I’m going to add a Tuesday into my Mon-Wed-Fri schedule for speed work. I’m also going to start doing some strength and agility exercises on my run days. Aside from that, I’ll probably take my cross-training up a step. I just haven’t decided what I’m going to do yet. What I’m doing now seems to be working pretty well. I really wish the job market would turn around so I could get some money in my pocket and join the YMCA. I’d really love to do swimming for cross-training! I don’t care about their machines and weights. I’ve never concerned myself much with weight training and such. Using your body weight and resistance is enough if you know what you’re doing and you’re driven.

It’s all moving forward pretty nicely. I’ve also been running without my headphones lately because I got sick of carrying my phone and I didn’t really need it anymore since I stopped following the actual workouts of C25K. Didn’t need the app anymore. It’s nice to know that I don’t need the music. In all the time I used to run, I don’t think I ever went a day without headphones. I still like having the music, though, so once I get some cash, I’m gonna get an armband for it along with some other running accessories I’ve been keeping my eye on.

SO! Awesome run tonight! It can only get better from here… except on the days it sucks. haha.