Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Week 5 Recap

Week 5 of 19 is in the books. I'm already a 1/4 of the way into my first marathon training plan and things are going well. I'm in the middle of a long run mileage ramp-up. 14 miler in week 4, 16 miler this past weekend, next is 18, then 20.

The 16 miler on Saturday went well. I think it would have gone a little better had it not been for the cold. At 18°F it was a bit chillier than I like to run in, but there was no way I was gonna do 16 miles on the treadmill. So 3 layers of long sleeve shirts, 2 layers of gloves and my trusty cold gear tights, mask and a fleece headband and I was off. It was a first for me to have to break the ice off my water bottle valve to open it each time I took a drink. I averaged a 9:31 pace which is actually 14 sec/mile faster than my plan called for left me feeling good about the outing. Had a banana before the run, Perpetuum Solids about 4.5 miles in, Hammer Gel at miles 8 and 12. Also had an Endurolyte Fizz in my water bottle. Energy-wise I felt good throughout the run.

Total mileage for the week was 30.8 miles.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Hammer Balm or as I like to call it "Relief that Smells like Christmas!"

Tight and sore muscles, we all get them from time to time. The foam roller comes out and you try to work out the kinks, but sometimes you need a little extra something. Here is where you have some options, you can of course go with the standard medicated ointments, that first smell like a medicine cabinet exploded and two, feel like you have just unleashed the fires of Mount Doom on your tired legs. Enter a much better option: Hammer Balm. I got a sample tube of it back a while ago and have been using it lately. I have to say it's a great alternative. First of all, it does not hit you like a ton of bricks. It is a gentle soothing feeling rather than an intense burn second, it smells like Christmas! Hear me out, when I was a kid, we did an art project in school where we made an ornament by taking an orange and completely covering it with cloves. This was a good 30 years ago. The moment I opened the tube, I discovered that clove oil is one of the ingredients of Hammer Balm and it was Christmas, especially for my aching calves! So instead of burning out my eyes with medicine smell, you get a product made from Clove, Ginger and Arnica and Cayenne. It comes in 3 sizes, 4oz, 1.5oz and 1/3oz. The 1/3 oz has lasted a surprisingly long time since you don't need a lot of it to work and at $4.95 it's also a great size to try it out.

If you are looking for an alternative for those aches, give Hammer Balm a shot, it might be exactly what you are looking for.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Marathon Training Week 3

Part of the problem with starting training in the middle of the holidays was going to be schedule. So this past week we left town for the great white north to visit my wife's folks. Luckily they are members of a nice little fitness place called Xperience Fitness in Vadnais Heights, MN. I swapped my week 3 and 4 of my plan so that week 3 would be a recovery week ( a choice I may still regret ) so I put in 3, 6 mile runs at around a 9 min mile pace. I should have also gotten in another 5 mile run, but was not feeling great on Monday so was a workout behind for the week. But that's ok. I'm coming out of the holidays without too much extra baggage since I didn't slack off the workouts and tried to keep my eating in check to at least some degree. Also this next week begins my official sponsorship with Hammer Nutrition, so that is awesome too!

2013 A Running Year in Review

2013 has been quite a year as my first year of serious running.  I thought I would try to make some sense of it in a quick post.

  • In late 2012 I had started running, then at the turn of the year, I decided to step up my running and start focusing on weight loss. I was about 230 pounds and dealing with the beginnings of some weight related health issues. I ramped up the running to 3-4 times a week @ 5k distance on the treadmill. By summer I had made it to about 175lbs. Since then I've been fluctuating from 175-185. I still have about 10-15 pounds to lose. That's for next year.
  • June 1st, while visiting my folks in Phoenix, I ran 13.1 miles in a single workout for the first time. It took over 2 and a half hours, but I did it. It was a run to the top of South Mountain and back again. It was a truly inspirational moment watching the sun rise over the valley as I ran up the mountain road by myself.
  • September 28th, I ran the FCC Preschool 5K for the 2nd year in a row and ran it 10 minutes faster than last year at 24m 55s. So there is my 5K PR
  • October 27th, I ran my first 1/2 marathon in St Louis. The Rock 'n' Roll 1/2 Marathon was a great experience and let me set a 1:52:25 PR. 
  • December 25th, as a Christmas gift from my family, I registered for the Rock 'n' Roll - Country Music Marathon in Nashville, TN.
  • December 28th, the last run of the year, I hit the 1134 mile mark for 2013.