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.

Lil Geek turns 3

Posted on Dec 04, 2012 under family | No Comment

Oh, Lil Geek. You’re 3. I still can’t believe it.

It’s hard to look back at an entire year. There were so many great moments. From little ones, like watching you at the zoo, to big events, like you dressing as a Tootsie Roll for Halloween.

You traveled, went to baseball games, danced at restaurants, made forts, colored, played with Play-Doh and so much more.

You are a ball of energy and every moment with you makes everyone around you feel more alive.

One moment. One moment out of thousands to remember your third year of life.

One night we were rocking on the rocking chair and you looked at me and said, “Love you, so much.”

That was a big one.

The first time you said, “Nuggle more minutes.” That’s your way of asking us to snuggle a few more minutes.

Maybe it was the time you read a book to me. You had memorized it, but you were so happy.

No, my favorite moment is definitely this: We were driving home one night and you were tired. You were asking for something, I can’t remember what exactly. I would say no, you would ask again. After about the 10th time, you started to laugh.

“No!”
“Yes!” You’d yell back and giggle.
“No!”
“Yes!”

Your mom was laughing and our shouts and laughter filled the car. We couldn’t see each other’s faces, but I know we were all smiling. For just a few minutes the world melted away and it was just us three in the car, in the dark, laughing like crazy people.

Lil Geek, you’re growing into such a sweet girl. I couldn’t be prouder of you.

We love you. Happy birthday my little maniac.

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.

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.

Growing Pains

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 under family | 1 Comment

I can’t believe Lil’ Geek is nearly 3. This morning she woke up at 5 yelling for me to come and rock her. I picked her up and we sat down in the rocking chair.

“Faster,” she whispered, her arm wrapped around Tigger.

We sped up, but she couldn’t get comfortable. She tossed and turned, rolled this way and that. Finally, she got situated, but the message was clear: she’s almost too big to rock in the rocking chair.

No. Nononononononono.

I felt a lump grow in my throat. Our days, actually late nights and early mornings, of rocking were drawing to a close. No. She’s my lil’ girl. My baby. No matter how much she grows, she’s still just a girl who wants to be comforted.

But soon, we won’t be able to in the rocking chair. When that day comes, I don’t know that I’ll handle it well.

She’s my lil’ girl.

I do my best to savor every moment. I play with her every chance I get, I snuggle her when she asks, and when she begs for “snuggle more minutes” I gladly reset the clock.

But that clock won’t stop. It’s still ticking. And she’s growing.

My girl is growing up. I’ll be OK with it. Not now. But eventually.

Let me just have a few more chances to rock her to sleep.

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.

Weekly Recap – November 5, 2012

Posted on Nov 06, 2012 under Exercise, family, Running | No Comment

What a week. Mrs. Fitgeek had sinus surgery on Monday and Lil’ Geek was sick Friday through Sunday.

Halloween was a blast, thanks to Lil’ Geek’s adorable costume and her ability to make everyone fall in love with her. Yeah, I’m not ready for the teenage Lil’ Geek.

Lil’ Geek doesn’t understand how Halloween candy works. She refuses to eat any of it. Instead, she just wants to look at it, shake it and take it from room to room. It was torture trying not to steal from her. For the record I ate ONLY one piece of her candy and I gave her additional candy out of guilt.

Everyone in the house seems to be on the mend. Finally!

My running and working out was sporadic, but it’s starting to get back on track. I only ran 14 miles last week, but in the midst of all that was going on, that’s just fine. I did weights and boxed two days and that certainly helped as well.

This week my goals are pretty simple:

Run 28-30 miles
Box and lift weights 3 days
Catch up on Walking Dead!

Cute Candy

Posted on Nov 04, 2012 under family | No Comment

image

For Halloween Lil Geek was the cutest Tootsie Roll. Ever.