Looking to 2014

Posted on Jan 01, 2014 under Uncategorized | No Comment

I’m trying to keep it simple this year when it comes to goals.

  • Run 1,000 miles
  • Break 5:30 in a 50K
  • Finish all the Game of Thrones books
  • Break 4:30 in a marathon

Simple goals that I think are attainable. After more than two years my cheap headlamp finally bought the farm. My replacement, a Black Diamond Storm, should be here tomorrow. I’m looking forward to breaking it in. This new one should be about three times as bright as my old headlamp. It’s probably going to feel like I’ve got a searchlight attached to me.

Happy New Year to you and yours!

My next goals

Posted on Apr 08, 2013 under Exercise, Health, Running, working out | No Comment

After last month’s successful ultra race (more on that later), I feel like I can now look at my goals for the rest of the year. I definitely want to get faster and break my speed records at just about Evey distance. That’s a pretty tall order. I haven’t trained for speed in a long time. A very long time.

My fastest 5k is a shade over 24 minutes. Right now I’m just starting to flirt with slipping under 30 minutes. Here’s the thing: during my truraining for the ultra I was working on running slow. Now that I know I can do the distance, I can look to add some speed.

It’ll take some time to get to 24, but the speed is building. On April 27 I’ll do a 5k speed test with a goal of being close to 29 minutes.

By the end of the year I know I can do sub 24.

But that’s not my only goal. I want to set records at the 10k, half marathon, marathon and 50k distances. I also want to hit 1,200 miles this year. Right now I’m just a hair off pace, mostly due to recovering from the ultra.

Today I had a good four miler. 39:44 that included a long hill at the end. My 5k split was 30:32. Not bad. I’ve got a speed session scheduled for Wednesday.

It’s funny, but as nervous as I was going into the ultra, it’s given me a good deal of confidence for the rest of 2013. Records will fall. Cool.

2013 Resolutions

Posted on Jan 03, 2013 under Exercise, family, Health, Running | No Comment

I’ve got a lot big plans for 2013. Some are personal, some are professional and plenty are family related.

2012 was a very good year in a lot of ways. I worked hard to improve myself in several categories and I intend on continuing that into the new year.

My running and fitness goals:
Run 100-125 miles a month
Run 1200 miles in 2013
Complete 100 pushups in one set
Complete 200 crunches in one set
Complete 15 pullups in one set
Drop weight to 155
Run at least 45 miles in the 12 hour race*
Complete the Red Top Mountain 50K
Run a sub 4:30 marathon
Run a sub 5:30 50K
Run a sub 59 minute 10K
Run a sub 24 minute 5K

I think some of these are definitely doable – the first two definitely. The “speed” goals mentioned in the last four will come as my mileage and speed continues to improve.

The fitness goals are there because I really want to get more fit this year. It’ll help me in so many ways.

Two notes: I mentioned yesterday I wasn’t sure about a goal for the 12 hour race, but I needed to put on my 2013 goals so I figured I would aim fairly high, but lower than what I really wanted. If my training continues these next two months, I think 45 miles is definitely possible.

The Red Top Mountain 50K – I attempted this in June 2011 and failed pretty spectacularly. A blend of summer heat – temps in the 90s, inadequate training and a stomach that just quit digesting about 8 miles into the run. I stopped at mile 27.5. I want to finish the run this year. In the heat too. I’ll start a little earlier and I’ll be in much better shape.

It’s exciting thinking of the possibilities. It’s like spring training. Everyone suddenly has a chance to win. If I keep up with everything, I should accomplish most of these goals.

Other Goals:
Blog regularly – I’ve restarted the blog and I’m planning on updating it much more regularly.
Read more books – I debated putting a goal number, but longer books take more time. Just reading regularly is good enough.
Do more around the house – I try to pull my weight, but I want to do more.
Be a better father/husband – self explanatory right?

That’s all for now. Here’s to starting 2013 on the right foot!

Looking Back, Looking Ahead 2012/2013 edition

Posted on Dec 31, 2012 under Exercise, family, Health, Running | No Comment

There was a lot of bad in 2012, but plenty of good too.

I’m far from being the husband and father my family deserves, but I’m trying to improve that. Hopefully I made some strides. I did my best to cut out a lot of the activities and hobbies that were just mine to make sure I was spending as much time as I could with family.

My running this year was a comeback story of sorts. January and February started off well, with February hitting 110 miles. But I wouldn’t hit triple digits again until August thanks to mix a of illnesses (mine and Mrs. Fitgeek and Lil’ Geek), laziness and just life in general.

August was a strong month, and September was too, slowed only by a stomach bug and a vacation. October was a complete failure, but November was 101 miles, and December was the best month of the year: 114 miles, including two 20 mile runs. My final mileage for 2012 – 888 miles.

I didn’t run any races this year, and that was a good thing. I didn’t have any business doing any races. I’ve only got one on the schedule for 2013: a 12 hour race in March.

Looking to 2013, I’m planning on continuing to improve my running. I’m way too slow. There’s no question about that. So I want to work on my speed and continue to build my miles.

I also want to get into better overall shape in 2013. As decent as my running was, overall fitness was severely lacking. I want to be in much better shape at the end of 2013 than I am when it starts.

My mileage goal for 2012 was 1,200 miles. Obviously I was nowhere near it, but the final months of the year showed I can do it. So in 2013, my goal again is 1,200 miles.

As for the March race, I still don’t have a goal. Or I did, and I think it needs to be revised. I’ll figure it out by the end of January.

These aren’t specifics. I’ll show those in my 2013 resolutions post.

Overall, 2012 was a pretty good year.

Here’s to making 2013 even better.

Caution: Milestones Ahead

Posted on Dec 28, 2012 under Health, Running | No Comment

This morning’s run was a special one. It put me at 94 miles for the month with one run left on Sunday. December is currently the fourth-best month I’ve had in 2012, and with a long run on Sunday I’ll actually push this month into the no. 1 spot for miles this year.

It’s been a rocky year for me, running-wise. I’ll end 2012 on two polar opposite notes. On the one hand, I will have missed every single fitness goal I set for myself. That’s pretty depressing.

But I’ll also finish with back-to-back 100 mile months, the first time I’ve ever done that. Add in that 24% of my miles this year were tracked in the last two months and you can see the turnaround from the spring and how 2013 is set to be a good year if I’m consistent.

I’ll do a 2013 goals post in a few days.

But for now I’m just happy that what was looking to be a pretty poor year for running is starting to come together. I’ve got a little more than two months until the 12 hour race. This weekend’s four hour run will be a good test of what I can expect on race day. I still have picked a goal, but I will after this run.

My legs are feeling strong, my speed is starting to build (slowly) and if I stay consistent 2013 could be my best year ever.

That’s for later though. RIght now I need to get through Sunday’s long run. I’ll be testing out my new heart rate monitor too. I’ll post a product review afterward. So far I like it. It’s taking some getting used to, but it’ll be fun to use in the future.

A virtual race report

Posted on Dec 23, 2012 under Exercise, Running | 1 Comment

This is a report on a virtual race, not a report that’s virtual. A Twitter friend was staging a virtual half marathon, and I couldn’t say no. It fell right at the perfect time: I had the weekend open for a long-ish run since my real long run was scheduled for Monday.

Oops. I couldn’t do my long run Monday so it was moved to Sunday. I would be doing two long runs back-to back. Well, that would make things interesting. I was planning on getting an early start but that didn’t happen. No worries. It was a good day for an afternoon marathon.

Miles 1-3
I don’t mind cold weather. I hate when it’s 45-50. It’s too cold to go without gloves – I’m a wuss – and too warm to be really bundled up. The first mile I spent trying to figure out if I needed a hat. I did. Quick car stop and I was back running. I was using the first three miles to see if my Achilles on both feet were healed. I never had a problem, and the first three miles zipped past.

Miles 4-7
I was moving well now and right on a 9:40 or so pace. The wind was starting to slow, and I was having zero problems.

Miles 8-11
About mile 9 I started struggling. The cold was back and I just couldn’t get in a rhythm. I pushed on and soon just had a couple miles to go.

Miles 12-13.1
With the end in sight I picked up the pace. I ended strongly and headed home to recover. After all, I’ve got another long run tomorrow.

Time – 2:09:20

I’m not sure what I’ll run tomorrow. Anything at 10 miles or more will be good. I’m at 77 mikes for the month, just 23 miles from my goal.

When it rains, it pours and I get stuck in it

Posted on Dec 21, 2012 under Exercise, Running | No Comment

This morning I had six miles on the schedule. It was raining when I woke up so I figured I would wait and see if  it cleared up. It did. Until I was three miles from home. I’ve been caught in the rain before, but this was unbelievable.

I was soaked within minutes and had to stop running to wrap my long-sleeved shirt around my pack to keep my phone dry. Cars whipped by. My shoes filled with water.

The last two miles were brutal. All I could think about was getting home, stripping down and getting into a hot shower. A quartered mile from home, the storm passed, but the damage was done. I got home and made a line for the bathroom. Mrs. Fitgeek and Lil Geek were still sleeping. They didn’t even know it was raining. As I warmed up in the shower I started to realize that I had a lot of fun tearing through the rain.

That’s the funny thing about running. Good days or bad, I’m always having fun and every run is an adventure.

That being said, I’m looking forward to Saturday’s chilly but dry run. I just hope my shoes will be dry.

Realistic Running

Posted on Dec 20, 2012 under Exercise, family, Health, Running, working out | No Comment

I’ve come to grips with a lot in life. I won’t be devilishly handsome. I won’t have millions of dollars to spend on building a home movie theater. And I won’t be the runner I want to be.

That’s not to say I won’t try. That’s part of the fun. But here’s the facts: I have a job, a wife who for some reason enjoys spending time with me, a lil’ girl who is my entire world, and a good number of TV shows and movies that I really want to watch (I’m looking at you, Breaking Bad and Justified).

My training will never be the best it can be. Instead, I’m aiming for the best it can be, given my life situation. To be able to run five days a week would require a lot of sacrifices of not just me, but also my family. To put in the miles I should be doing would be too much of a burden on everyone around me.

I’d rather run when I can, train the best I can and see what happens. Time with Mrs. Fitgeek and Lil’ Geek is what’s important.

2012 was a not-so-great year for me, running-wise. I’ll do a recap in a few days, but overall it was incredibly disappointing. In other ways though, it was a very good year, and the outlook for 2013 seems pretty positive.

—-

I took today off from running. Sunday’s run triggered some Achilles pain in both legs, and yesterday I was limping pretty badly. It’s better today and I’ll get in a nice run tomorrow. Saturday is a virtual half marathon I found out about on Twitter. I said I’d do it, so I can’t skip it now!

If the legs are all better, the plan is for a nice 20-miler on Monday that will give me a good projection on what I can expect in the 12 hour race a few months down the road.

I’ve also started more weight training to be a bit more balanced. It’s fun getting back into it.

I’m really really trying to catch up on Breaking Bad. I’ve got just three episodes left in season four. The show is like a runaway train, picking up speed and racing toward an inevitable but entertaining disaster.

By the numbers

Posted on Dec 17, 2012 under Uncategorized | No Comment

Today I ran 12 miles. I had a rough week between work and life. I hadn’t run since Monday. The time off messed me up pretty good. Today’s run I was sore for the first five miles, afterward I had a strained lower leg muscle. I’m hoping it was a fluke, but I’ve had this pain a couple of weeks ago.

My 120 mile goal for December is also in jeopardy. The week off put me 11 miles behind pace to reach 120. Hopefully my 20 miler next Monday will catch me up.

I was hoping to put down a definitive goal tonight for the 12 hour race, but after the week I had, I’m going to wait until Monday. By then, I’ll know pretty much what I’ll be capable of in March. I’m thinking I’m going to set my sights pretty high.

Lil’ Geek spent two days away with her grandparents. She had a blast. Mrs. Fitgeek and myself enjoyed our time alone, but boy did we miss our girl. We’re happy to have her home. It was too quiet without her.

News Flash

Posted on Dec 08, 2012 under family | No Comment

Lil Geek said this tonight, “I’m a big girl. I can do lots of things.” That’s not the least bit scary.
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