Week 6 went well. Four runs, two cross-training workouts (CG), and a day of rest. That day was helpful since I had a pretty bad toe blister problem on the long run. img_3496At any rate, this week was all about our first double-digit run (11 miles) of this training cycle. I wouldn’t exactly say it was a breeze – it got pretty warm, my pinky toes were killing me, and I noticed the uptick in the mileage.

Earlier in the week, we had two runs of 45-50 minutes, and one run of 25-35 minutes. Our pace per mile has been gradually coming down, though it is of zero concern at this point. Running naturally, we’re in the 11:15-11:45 per mile zone. On long runs, we intentionally slow the pace down to 1.5-2 minutes slower than that. img_3486So with this run averaging 13.0 per mile, we’re right in the proper training zone. I anticipate that the natural per-mile pace will continue to improve, though, as I have stated, it is not a factor. Successfully covering the miles is the one and only goal. 

Since our water bottles are good for about 6-8 miles, I left early on our long-run day and dropped a thermos of Nuun water in a park that I knew we would hit around mile six. Conveniently, that particular park also has a real restroom. Both of us needed that!

The 9th and 11th miles were the hardest for me mentally. I just got to the point where I wanted to be done. I had to talk myself off that ledge a couple of times. Plus my toes were on fire! I knew they were being rubbed raw. I will spare you the post-run picture. But it will take a little time for the new skin to develop properly.

My best feel-good accomplishment this week was that my weight loss was more rapid. I’m starting to feel better. Down a shirt size. I have more energy. I’m feeling good about continuing with the very few principles that I’m following. Basically, waiting until I’m hungry to eat, eating slowly enough to notice when I’m full, and stopping there. Doesn’t really seem like that is hard work, but for me, it is. More on that later.

img_3488I got to dog sit my daughter’s extremely affectionate dog, Leo, this weekend. He was really happy that his Paw Paw returned from a run all salty.

Next week, we have a shorter, 5-mile run on the weekend. Looking forward to a decent week of training. Please give to support my effort to raise $3,000 for clean water projects in Africa. A mere $50 will provide clean water for life for one person.img_3484 Please give! Follow this link to my fundraising page.

This week’s training went pretty smoothly –

4 days of running (T, W, F, Sa), and two CG days (M, Th). Our “long” weekend run only needed to be 4 miles. Starting this week, the long, slow, weekend miles accelerate fairly rapidly with stepback weeks in between: 4, 11, 5, 13, 5, 15, 5, 17, etc.

My buddy Steve was out for a couple of the runs this week due to a most unfortunate I-forgot- glide long run. He was seriously down and out for a few days. I felt bad for him. I had a couple of run alone days, one of which felt seriously sluggish. Not discouraging, but I just felt I couldn’t really move all that well.

But, I did get all my workouts in, and I continued to work on my food principles:

  • Make some wise choices / have a plan
  • Eat when hungry
  • Stop when full
  • Drink water; get sleep
  • Address reasons for eating other than hunger (don’t love this one, but it’s part of the deal)

So, I ended the week feeling pretty strong.

Link to donate to Team World Vision

I’m raising $3,000 to help bring clean water to children and communities in Africa. $50 will provide access to clean water for one person. Will you help?

I’m feeling pretty good overall about where I am currently in the process. I’m feeling healthy, strong, encouraged, determined, and optimistic about this training. That said, I wrestle daily with the two emotional blocks to success: I’m still over my running weight (although I am 3 pounds down this week), and I’m slow (though that is intentional and the pace is NOT a factor in this part of the training). The battle is in staying focused on the first list while creating a new reality on weight and pace. The fact is I’ve come a long way in four months. And I’m doing this.

So, here is the report on our long run Sunday. It went well. We covered 9 miles with 10 hill repeats. It was getting fairly warm by the time we got to the hill repeats, but I think we did well on them. We were very consistent with the times. We took an extended walk break halfway through them. We kept the clock running the whole time. We then finished out the rest of the mileage. Steve forgot to use Glide…so…OUCH. Very bad idea. I bet he won’t forget again.

We were able to do negative splits in the second half, which is usually an indication that enough energy was reserved in the first half. I wish I had turned on to this earlier. It is a good feeling to finish a distance run feeling like I could go on.

As for the early part of the week, I was traveling on Monday, so I missed CG, but got my runs in on Tuesday and Wednesday. CG on Thursday and then missed my Friday run as a result of staying out and up WAY too late Thursday night. CG on Saturday and the long run on Sunday.

After my nice run on Sunday, I managed to cut the tip of my right index finger off…trip to the ER…pain blood, gross…Now I have a funky bandage on for the 7 stitches I got to re-attach the tip of the finger. Call me Frankenfinger. I’m afraid my hand modeling days are over.

IMG_3437

OUCH! Frankenfinger

Looking forward to a good week of training this week that started with a good CG workout this morning.

 

 

IMG_3360.jpgThis picture was taken during week 3, on a 7.5 mile run that included 8 hill repeats. This was what the sky looked like when we started the hill repeats. Had to take a picture. It was one of those moments when you’re so thankful that you fought through getting up early enough to see the beauty of the skies.

We had to be flexible this week due to both of us traveling on the weekend. Our “normal” schedule is to run Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday (long run). This week, however, we switched Friday and Sunday so that we didn’t have to scout out places to do hill repeats and a long run while out of town. Worked out great for me, because I found myself in far Southeast Georgia on Sunday morning. Flat, flat, flat! I suppose I could have worked something out on the treadmill as a last resort, but what a pain. Easier simply move the days around a bit. We elected to do our long run early Friday morning, making Sunday an easy 40-50 minutes. Which I was able to accomplish!

I’ve found in training that flexibility is important. Having a plan is important, too. Priorities have to be outlined. However, my job takes me out of town on weekends frequently. Thankfully, my running buddy is flexible. We’re able to work things out.

I added cross training in to the mix this week. I had to fight through some insane soreness on my Tuesday and Wednesday runs, but I got through it. For my cross training, I have returned to Camp Gladiator. I’m doing camp on my “off” days. It’s a one hour boot-camp-style workout. It’s great. The trainers are great, and the workouts are full body.

It made me feel GREAT to get back to camp. Still heavier than I would like, but I feel progress.

Speaking of heavy, I’ve continued to slowly lose weight. It’s going slower than I would like, but since January first, I have lost 32 pounds. I need a bunch more off of me to make this upcoming marathon more enjoyable. I feel like I’m in the fight of my life in many ways. I’ll post about all of that shortly.

All in all, training is going very well. No injury. Foot feels good. I’m loving the fact that I’ve consistently exercised for four months.

FUNDRAISING! I’m running this marathon with Team World Vision. Here is my fundraising page.  My goal is $3,000. $50 will provide clean water for one person! Please donate. Please donate. Please donate.

RECAP
Monday CG
Tuesday 47 minutes
Wednesday 27 minutes
Thursday CG
Friday 7.5 miles including 8 hill repeats
Saturday Rest
Sunday 42 minutes

In my next post, I’ll address the pacing issue. Thanks for reading.

 

This week was a good week.

Tuesday = 46 minutes
Wednesday = 27 minutes
Friday = 44 minutes
Sunday 6.3 miles

Total miles = 16.1

I think I mentioned that we are training Galloway style. This week (and last), we did no breaks in the shorter (27 minute ) run, with normal breaks in the longer and the weekend long run. We intentionally ran a hilly course on Sunday, and it felt OK.

Steve got pretty sick midweek, so he unfortunately missed the Friday run. He was OK by Sunday, so we had a good morning. Cool, clear skies. Beautiful morning.

I had a 3.2 pound weight loss over the last 2 weeks. Not as aggressive as I would like, but I’ll take it. Celebrating every victory.

This morning, (Monday), I started back at CG (Camp Gladiator), which will be my cross training activity for the duration. I’m planning on three times per week on our Sunday run schedule, and two times per week on our Saturday run schedule.

This week, due to my weekend travel schedule, we will be moving our weekend hill workout / long run to Friday morning. Thankful that Steve is willing to adjust with me on that. That will make it easier to get my run in on Sunday while I’m on the road.

I don’t have much more to say for this one, except that I made my marks this week, and that feels really good. I also set up my fundraising page (hint) for World Vision. I have a goal of $3,000, but I’d really like to blow right past that. So help me!

I’ll try to update mid week with some really profound stuff. No promises.

Today concluded week one of training for the 2018 Chicago Marathon. Since I’ve been a negligent updater, let me catch you up.

I completed the Chicago Marathon in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. Late in training for 2015, I developed plantar fasciitis. I had registered, but I was unable to run. I did accompany my daughter Clayre to Chicago, and I cheered her on as she ran a beautiful race. I dealt with the plantar fasciitis for about a year, getting discouraged, and continuing to gain weight.

That year, 2016, was a pretty bad year for our family. We dealt with job loss, a down year for my business, and the worst day to date of our lives when we lost our precious four-year-old friend Caiden in a tragic drowning accident.

None of those things are excuses, but that didn’t stop me from slipping into old habits of overeating and becoming more and more sedentary. Soon, the thought of exercising and running seemed too daunting. One thing led to another, and I found myself very discouraged and sad toward the end of 2017.

When I would see people out running, a part of my heart would hurt as I recalled the feelings of freedom and accomplishment that running has afforded me in the past. Sometime in December 2017, I made up my mind that I was going to get back out there again, and that I was going to do it slowly and carefully. In discussing this with my daughter Clarye, she reminded me of the Galloway method of marathon training. She had experimented with it, and she encouraged me to check it out.

She let me borrow her Galloway book, and as I was reading it for the first time, I was encouraged that I could train that way more effectively. I talked it over with some other runners, knowing that some “serious” runners don’t endorse it (what’s new?), but I determined to give it a try.

I’ve already completed 11 marathons, and for this 12th, I didn’t see any reason not to shake things up a bit, push past my objections, and try to train in a way that will allow me to enjoy not only the process but the race itself.

I also joined up with a new running buddy, Steve, a fellow band parent, who happens to be the dad of my stepdaughter’s boyfriend. We knew each other casually, and when he saw that I was running, he asked me about it. He decided to start training with me, and he determined to run his first marathon this year as well.

So, on January 8th, we started base training in order to be ready to begin training this past week. We started slowly and carefully. We’ve both got a substantial amount of weight to lose (I’ll speak to this later), and we wanted to be very careful about avoiding injury. Along the way, I began sharing with Steve everything I had learned about running a marathon.

By the time the first weekend of April arrived, we had extended our long weekend run to 9 miles. We built this up slowly over three months. We’ve consistently run 4 times per week, doing some walking on off days.

I feel that this has been a huge success so far this year. I’m still battling the mental game of running more slowly than I have in the past. But I’m leaving that up to smart training and continued weight loss. I don’t really have a time goal for Chicago. I mean, I do, but I don’t. My goal is to finish well and enjoy the process.

For the four or five of you who read this…I’ll write more about the struggles. I’m sitting here today, though, feeling like I’m on the right track for the first time in two or three years. I can only thank God and my support system, specifically, Marla, Clayre, and Steve.

Recap of this week:
Monday 47 minutes
Tuesday 24 minutes
Friday 45 minutes
Saturday 6.1 miles with 5 hill repeats

Steve and I are both feeling good about this first week. 25 weeks to go!

Five-Day Discipline

August 20, 2017 — Leave a comment
Last week’s five days of waking up by or before 5 AM was a success. It reminded me that I am most present, productive, and hopeful when I get up early.
I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. Waking up early used to be my routine; my normal. I am not going to go into all of this in detail at this time, but I have allowed the various trials of the last 14 months or so push me further away from things that are important and that really matter. I’ve been down about it. I’ve been embarrassed about it. The slide started before last summer, clearly. But the harsh realities of very difficult situations afforded me the opportunity to disconnect from important things. More detail later, as I gain the ability to articulate these things more openly and less emotionally.
As I began to contemplate how much work there was to be done, I would become easily overwhelmed. I shared these things in counseling, and with some close to me. When I chose getting up early as a five-day discipline, I knew by Day 2 that getting up early was a key that was unlocking a door. For the first time in months, I felt truly hopeful. I recognized that if I could achieve this very small goal for such a short time, that I could relearn how to build upon it.
I got excited about the future. And that felt really good. None of the circumstances weighing on us right now changed at all. We still have very full plates, and much of what we get to face daily is difficult. But my outlook is different.
So, I’d say that getting up early is a keeper. It’s important to me, and even when it is hard, it’s worth it. For me, anyway. I’m not saying everyone needs to do that. I’m saying that I need to. It’s what truly works best for me. I now need to consider what I will add to this routine in order to come back to health.
I am not saying, things like “I’ll work out an hour a day forever,” or “I’m going to run several more marathons,” or “I’m going to eat in the most disciplined way ever, every day.” What I am saying is that I see the foundation again. I’ve touched it. And I am excited, for the first time in many months, to build upon it.
Short commitments to experiment with what will work for me. That is what I’m coming to understand part of the beauty of the five-day discipline to be. Many thanks to my brilliant son-in-law, Daniel Turner, for introducing me to this. It has been a fun adventure so far.