Archives for Health 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.

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.

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.

Reaching for a new challenge

Posted on Nov 16, 2012 under Exercise, Health, working out | No Comment

A few years back I gave yoga a try. I enjoyed it but it didn’t stick. It was a time thing mostly.

A couple weeks ago I listened to a podcast where a runner started doing yoga, and it got me thinking about giving it a shot again. I’m still under a time crunch, what with trying to fit in running, work, family and the occasional boxing workout into a 24 hour day.

Lately though I’ve been trying to figure out what I NEED to be working on to be a better runner. Strength in my core and enhanced flexibility. I knew these two would help ward off injuries, treat what soreness I did have and improve my running efficiency and form.

I don’t have time for a yoga class. Not right now. Lil’ Geek takes precedent after work and my mornings are usually reserved for runs. But I wanted give yoga a shot. I downloaded a couple of different apps to my phone, scanned some beginner articles online and figured I would do some routines and then try as many poses as I could and repeat for 3 sets.

Yoga and running are similar. At first, I couldn’t do either very well. But that didn’t discourage me. I pushed on and wanted to get better. Had to get better.

My first yoga session was brutal. I was bending, and at times, very nearly breaking. But it was fun. Pushing my body. That’s what endurance running and yoga are for me.

The morning after and I’m fine. No real soreness. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect. By the end of the first session I felt invigorated.

So what’s next? I’ll probably do the yoga three times a week, varying the lengths of the sessions and changing up the poses. I’d like to do a class in the future, but I want to get better before I get in front of others.

If you’ve never tried yoga, don’t wait. Go in with an open mind. You’ll be challenged in a new way and you’ll see some great benefits.

It’s About Time

Posted on Nov 06, 2012 under Exercise, Health, Running, working out | No Comment

I love running. I love eating. I love working out. I love fast food. I the discipline of training. I love enjoying a big meal.

No more. For the last week I’ve flirted with dieting. That’s a funny word. Tell people you diet and they imagine you’re eating rice cakes and celery sticks.

I’ve always thought I had a handle on my diet. But the truth is it’s a tenuous grasp.

This past week I spent three days counting calories. It was frustrating, exhausting and very beneficial. It worked. I ate less and ate better.

But I know now that I need to diet. Every day. Count calories. Focus on what’s going in. Enjoy the occasional bad meal, but cut back on the real junky stuff.

This is not something I want to do. Not exactly. I want  to be healthy. I want to look better and get in top shape. But that takes discipline, something I’ve struggled with when it comes to training and to eating.

No more. Beginning tomorrow I’ll be posting regular weigh-ins and progress. The progress reports will be part of my weekly recaps on Monday.

As for goals, they’re pretty simple.

Drop 7 pounds
Lower body fat to under 19%
Run a sub 8 minute mile
Do 75 pushups in a single set

I’m currently training for my first ultramarathon since last year. It’s a 12-hour race in March.

I plan on being ready.

Figuring things out

Posted on Jul 27, 2012 under Exercise, Health, Running | No Comment

Tomorrow morning I’ll be doing my longest run since March. Twelve miles. The good news is I’m looking forward to the run, and afterward I’ll have my seond-highest monthly mileage this year. That’s all pretty cool.

The bad news is I’m slow. Sloooooooow. A lot of factors played in here. I haven’t done any speedwork, I run a good bit of hills and I like to take it easy. I’ve been injured before and there’s some wariness there on my part too. Also, I’m not at my best weight.

I realized all this during my morning run today and I’m going to make some changes.

  1. I’m going to eat better. I’ve always taken a eat what I want in moderation outlook, but it’s clear now that’s not enough. It won’t be a huge change, and there will be some bad days, but my goal is to limit the bad days and just be more conscious of what’s going in my stomach.
  2. Less soda. I drink a couple of cans a day, with more when we go out to eat. One a day, max now with one day a week with zero soda.
  3. Weight training and boxing twice a week minimum. I enjoy it, but I need to make more time for it.
  4. Speed training once a week. This will be one of two ways – either dedicated speed work or just pushing the pace on a run.
  5. Push the pace at the end of my long runs. I’ve also prided myself on feeling good at the end of my runs. But it’s time to leave everything on the blacktop.
  6. Run. 30 Miles a week is my goal. Every week.


I haven’t posted my goals in a while, so I’ll do that tomorrow. Time to plan the route for tomorrow’s run!

On Cholesterol and Health

Posted on Feb 21, 2012 under Health | No Comment

Today I got my results on my recent issues with cholesterol. The issue being that back in November my good cholesterol was too low, my bad cholesterol and my total were both too high.

A little background: I’m 32 and in decent shape. But I’ve got a family history of cholesterol issues that dates back to the Middle Ages. Of all the characteristics of my family I wanted to inherit, this was not high on the list. Or even on the list.

I’ve been on cholesterol meds for three months and today I got my new numbers. Overall, not too bad. The low is low (73) and the total is good (137). The bad is that my good cholesterol is a bit low (37).

The doctor turned to me and said, “You know we can raise that number. Do you exercise? Run maybe?”

I nodded. “Yeah, about 30 miles a week. Oh and I workout 2 – 3 times.”

He shook his head. “I thought I was doing good with my three miles, three times a week.”

The verdict: I’m out of luck unless I want more meds. My good cholesterol isn’t bad, I just need to keep an eye on it.

One suggestion from the doctor: a glass of wine a night has been shown to raise HDL by up to 10 points over a year. I’m game.

With all that in mind, I plan to change my diet a bit, starting tomorrow. My diet’s not bad, but it could be better. So we’ll see what I can do in the coming months. I’ve got another check soon.

Until then, I’ll just keep putting in miles and not overeating. Starting tomorrow of course. Tonight is pizza night.