Archives for Exercise category

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.

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.

99 days to go

Posted on Dec 07, 2012 under Exercise, Running | No Comment

I was going to do a Jay-Z joke, but it seemed too easy.

In 99 days I will toe the line at my next ultra. 12 hours. Lots of miles. Plenty of days of training ahead.

Next Sunday after my next 20 miler I’ll finally have an idea of my goal mileage for the race. At that point I’ll know what I can do.

99 days. That doesn’t seem like a lot. My training is cutting back a bit to 3 to 4 days a week. It’s not ideal, but it works with my life right now and that’s fine.

On off days I plan to crosstrain and work more on my core muscles. Time is of the essence now. I have just more than three months to prepare for what will be my longest race so far in my life.

This morning I ran five easy miles, putting me at 35 for the month. Not a bad total as I’m still on pace to break my all-time monthly mileage goal of 120 miles set back in April 2011. My legs are almost 100% following last weekend’s long run and I’m only going to get stronger.

I’m in the double digits now of days left. Just around the corner. I’d better get running.

Also, a big thanks to Mrs. Fitness Geek for waking up with Lil’ Geek when I’m out on my runs. I know it’s not easy and I do appreciate it. Hopefully, the easier running schedule will make life a bit better for her.

In other news, I’ve been trying my best to catch up on Breaking Bad. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more guilty about not watching a show than after I watched the first couple of episodes on Netflix. Now I’m halfway into season four and wow. With very little hyperbole, it’s probably the most impressive show on television and easily the most ambitiously shot. Visually, it’s creative and intriguing. But the character development, acting and writing are better than anything else out now. Can’t wait to be caught up for the final episodes.

Moving right along

Posted on Dec 03, 2012 under Exercise, Running | No Comment

On Sunday I ran 20 miles. It was 1 ½ years ago that I last ran more than 18 miles in a training run. The last time I ran more than 16 miles was February.

Going into the run, I was planning on 16-20, but was hopeful I could meet that 20-mile mark. November was a consistent month of running and just a week earlier I had finished with 15 miles. With the 12 hour race being a 1-mile loop, I knew I needed to get in some practice doing laps.

The park has a 2-mile loop, and this was a great learning experience. What’s it like to know I can stop after every other lap If I felt like I couldn’t go any longer? How is fueling different, when all my needs are only two miles away at worst?

The first few laps I used as a warmup and definitely worked out some aches and pains. By mile 8 I was moving well, with a consistent pace. I finished a half marathon in 2:16:18. Not particularly fast, but a half wasn’t my goal.

At mile 14, I knew I was doing 20. Miles 16 -18 were slow. I was tiring and my legs were getting sore. However, when I reached the last lap for the final two miles, I picked back up at finished easily.

I’m now in the meat of my training for the 12 hour race. I still haven’t picked a goal distance, but I’ll be doing that after my next 20 miler in two weeks. For now the plan is a 20 miler every two weeks and then a 32 miler in late January as a final warmup.

Yesterday’s run was a good litmus test, but there’s still plenty of work to do in the next three months!

Hitting 100

Posted on Nov 30, 2012 under Exercise, Running | No Comment

This morning I ran four miles. Nothing unusual there – my pace was slower than I wanted and I my right shin was sore.

However, the third mile I completed put me at 100 miles for November 2012. I finished the month with 101 miles. There were some good miles, some bad miles and some so-so miles. Together they totaled 101.

This hasn’t been a terribly great year for me, training-wise. My original goal for 2012 was 1,200 miles. January started slowly, 78 miles run. February boomed with 110.

Then the wheels fell off. I didn’t break 50 miles in a month until July. November was only the second month this year where I crossed into triple digits. Looking back at my training log, it’s not a record I’m proud to call mine. It’s not the training log of a strong runner, a runner who wants to run very far for very long races.

Yet, there’s plenty to be optimistic about for the future. The 11th month of the year closes with no major injuries, some longish runs that topped out at 15 miles and a stretch of consistency that I haven’t seen in months.

There is only one month left in 2012, but there are three months left in my training for my “A” race. I won’t reach 1,200 miles this year. Or 1,000. Even 900 is a longshot.

I’m already looking to 2013. To the year as a whole, and to my race in March. I’ve got a couple more weeks before I start making 2013 goals.

100 in November. If December goes well, I’ll break 120. And then, who knows?

Looking back, looking ahead 11/19/12

Posted on Nov 19, 2012 under Exercise, family, Running, working out | No Comment

Lil’ Geek’s birthday party was yesterday, and that’s a post all it’s own, coming tomorrow. Wow, she turns three this week. Three.

Running-wise, this was a pretty good week. I managed 28 miles and had one really rough run where the legs were just blocks of cement. Chalk it up to lack of sleep plus the cold.

My long run was great, though. Twelve miles on a one-mile loop in similar style to my goal race, the 12-hour race in March. Mentally, it was tough to think of doing 12 individual loops. But I broke it down into stages and never felt like I wasn’t going to finish. Physically, I felt great. I can tell already that the mental challenge of the loops is going to require more training.

I’m planning on doing all of my long runs on the weekend on the 1-mile loop course to get better acclimated to doing it for long periods of time.

I boxed a bit and did yoga.

It was a busy week as we get ready for Lil’ Geek reaching the big zero-three. She’s super excited. Even if she’s throwing gang signs whenever she shows us her three fingers for her age.

This week my goal is to just maintain my mileage the best I can. I ran six miles today and I’ll get in another run tomorrow before we head out of town for Thanksgiving for five days. I won’t run on Lil’ Geek’s birthday (no time!) but I plan on running on Thanksgiving and maybe Friday, but definitely Saturday and maybe Sunday. If I miss a day here or there, that’s fine. I know this is going to be a tough week of running and staying fit.

Outside of that, I’m trying to catch up on Arrested Development before Season 4 premieres. There’s something I never thought I’d have the chance to say. I’m also slowly getting into Sons of Anarchy. The new favorite show, however, in the Geek household is Revenge. We burned through season 1 on Netflix in less than three weeks and quickly caught up on the current season. A week off without Revenge is not a fun week.