Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Wow, Even Slower ... LOL

Here's a little known fact.  If you stuff your body with junk food for three months, gain 15 lbs, and don't train as much as you should ... your finishing time for any foot race you decide to run will be much slower than normal.  I proved it on Sunday!

Literally laughing at my time as I looked at looked at Steve Blew, the race director, as I crossed the finish line
Michael and I ran another half marathon this past weekend ... only because it had been scheduled for a while.  And the results were not great.  But do I care ... nope.  I've turned the page on the worst winter and spring I've had in a while and it's full speed ahead, baby!

Finisher medal (which I was thankful to finish) and medal for Age Group First Place in 45-49
Because it was a small inaugural race of about 650 people, I actually won my age group, which I felt a little sheepish about considering it was my second slowest time ever of 1:39:48.  Man, I just couldn't make my legs turn over.

And yes friend, there are some who have said to me "I would love to run a sub 1:40".  I understand, and don't in any way mean to belittle anyone else's time.  But it was just much slower than what I've done in the past.  I've preached this A THOUSAND times ... but I believe we're all just stamped genetically with a time range. I'm never gonna be a 5:15/pace marathoner ... and some are never gonna be a 9:00/pace ... it's just the way we're made. The finishing time really doesn't matter.  Heck ... there were a TON of folks in that race who deserved a medal much more than I did on Sunday.  It's just a point of reference, that's all.  Frankly I get tired of defending the position just because some of us are born with a little more natural speed than others ... which I had to do again after the race on Sunday.  It's like some want to make you feel bad about your time.  I mean, I couldn't care less about another's time ... why is the fact that my time is faster such an issue.  I NEVER volunteer the time unless I'm asked specifically.  Anyway ... that's a much deeper topic for another day.

We had a good time catching up with friends we hadn't seen in a while. And after the race I felt pretty good as far as health, and hopefully it will continue to get me on the right track.  Later that night, while sitting in the movie Jungle Book ... WHICH IS AWESOME ... I didn't notice any weird pain, and I've even ran a couple of times since.  And more than anything, I'm thankful for the ability to even run 13 miles after the spring I've had, and enjoyed getting out there with everyone for a nice day.  The point is ... the slower than normal times this spring aren't a big deal to me.  I'm back on the wagon now and hopefully I'll get some of this weight off and get back to running consistently again soon.  Hope your training is going well!  Have a great week!
   - Jim Weatherly

Monday, April 18, 2016

Human After All

I've had a few people ask about my running recently, so here's an update ... it's almost nonexistent.  The past few months have been a challenge, but hopefully I'm back ... but better than before.

I got really sick in February.  I thought it was a cold at first, but it lasted for about five weeks and kept me in bed on many different days.  It was to the point that I was really starting to worry something was seriously wrong.  I got checked at the doctor and everything was fine, but it took a while before I had the energy to do much.

I tried to stay active during the illness, but it was almost impossible.  I've ran through almost every kind of sickness and minor injury over the past ten years ... but this one kicked my butt.  It was the one thing that kept me from running for an extended period of time.  During the down time, and the weeks that followed, I gained about 15 pounds.   I was 191 on the scale yesterday.  I lost motivation and really didn't care much about anything besides my family, work, and Royals baseball ... they are the reigning World Champs ya know!  But I think I'm finally back at it.

With the exception of no control of my diet, I've actually been moving a little more lately.  I'm trying to build back my mileage, and slowly get back into shape. We ran a half marathon a couple of weeks ago, and besides my time being my third slowest half marathon ever ... 1:37:02 ... surprisingly I didn't feel too bad afterwords.  It was a little surreal watching runners blow by me who I done the same to in the past, but we're just at different points in our journey right now.

I think the illness was a much needed wake up call for me. Overall, I try to be kind and caring to people, but unfortunately, many times I can flat out be a jerk.  Too often I get full of myself and consumed with "being the best", and don't treat people like I should.  I train really really hard, but I get prideful about it.  I convince myself that there aren't many guys my age doing what I'm doing, and my head gets really inflated.  It's stupid, immature, and small. Getting knocked flat on my back reminded me that I'm human and vulnerable like everyone else ... and it can all be taken from us in the blink of an eye.

So I'm trying balance being competitive ... with humbleness and kindness.  I gotta tell ya, it's a bit of a challenge.  I used to try to focus on the fruits of the Spirit ... love, joy, peacefulness, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control ... found in Galatians 5:22-23 if you're interested.  But over the years, that has eroded a bit.  I need to practice a little less beating my chest, and a lot more thankfulness and humility.   I've be blessed with the best life ever, and am trying to express that outwardly a lot more than I do.  But don't get me wrong, I'm still gonna run hard, lol.  I just need to do it with a little less vibrato ... and shrink a little around the waist first.  Have a great day!  

Saturday, February 20, 2016

No Race For Me

I trained all winter and got myself into pretty good shape for the Phoenix Half Marathon next weekend.  Based on a lot of my training times and the perfect PR course in Arizona, I would have been close to personal best.  But I got sick 16 days ago and as I write this can't hear out of a clogged right ear and still feel like crap.  I usually don't skip runs when I'm sick, but this one wiped me out completely and I've only ran three times over the last 16 days for a total of 17 miles.  And other than that, I've not worked out at all.  Plus, I think I've gained about 7-8 pounds, which is awesome ... sarcasm.

So as of now, it looks I'll just be "jogging" the race ... which pissed me off more than you can imagine.  I don't pay the money and train my ass off just to jog a stupid race in the middle of nowhere just to bring home some stupid piece of crap medal.  I don't need any more medals.  Except for a marathon, I have NO INTEREST in running races unless I can win my age group or PR.  I mean, crap, I practically run  a half-marathon every weekend of my life anyway.

So I'm pretty upset about it obviously. Oh well, there'll be other races.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Heel Healed ... Thanks Randall!!!

I've been struggling with a sore heel  - most likely a touch of Plantar Fasciitis - for the better part of a month.  Most things you read on Plantar Fasciitis recommend stretching and stretching and stretching the calves.  And while this may relieve some immediate pain, most professionals will tell you the root cause is often weak or tight hips. In fact, on one of Michael's recent visit to our ART guy, who is also a high school cross country coach, Dr. Wisner reiterated this same thing and gave her some hip strengthening and flexibility exercises.

 Besides running, I try to incorporate quite a bit of lower body strengthening to my weekly regimen, which of course, includes a lot of hip exercises.  So like my friend Char recently commented, I didn't think actual hip strength was the cause of my heel pain.  However, I must admit that hip flexibility had recently fallen off a little.

So earlier this week, I really began focusing again on hip flexibility.  I stretched after runs a little more than normal, and a couple of additional times per day, making sure not to over-stretch. Additionally, my friend Randall, who is a frequent contributor to the blog, recommended some calf and foot banded foot exercises you can find HERE.  And what do ya know ... my heel pain is pretty much completely gone!!!  I'm running ... and walking around during the day ... more comfortably than I have in a month.  What a relief!

So I'm not actually sure if it was the hip stretching, or Randall's recommendations ... all I can tell you is I feel great.  And with only a month left until my first Spring race, it didn't come a moment too soon.  Hope your training is going great ... have a wonderful week!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Building A Base

I typically don't race a lot in the Winter ... but I do run a lot.  A lot.  Like a lot of runners, I try to build a base for the rest of the year during the colder months when there's not much else to do anyway.

With my 10 mile recovery on Sunday, I totaled 254 miles ran for the month of January.  Quite a few, yes, but 19 times before I've ran more in one month.  Still, it felt good to bulk some mileage again and hopefully get stronger for Spring races.

But the problem with so many miles is the minor aches and pains that often accompany them.  I've been blessed that I've  never had to deal with a serious running injury, but during the Winter months it just seems like everything gets weaker, tighter, and more susceptible to damage.

The issue that I've been dealing with this year ... for the first time ever ... is some left heel pain.  It's mostly from tight calf muscles, which is most often related to weak & tight hips.  I just can't shake it, and I'll probably get ART treatment for it this week.  It's mostly just really annoying.  I mean it really hasn't affect my runs too much.  But I know if I don't have it taken care of, it can be a problem for quite a while.  So hopefully a visit or two to doctor Wisner will make things better.  I've been stretching my calves more than ever, which I'm not sure is really helping ... and often after visiting Jared, I find one simple movement that helps drastically.  But all in all, it really hasn't prevented me from keeping my schedule and pace for the most part.

Hopefully I'll remain healthy throughout the remaining days of Winter.  And hopefully building a strong base will help with faster races in the Spring.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Winter Inconsistency

The biggest challenge for me with Winter workouts is consistency.  Both the weather, and my work schedule make it tough to maintain a normal regimen.

Take last week for example.  Part of my job requires me to speak to architects and engineers about new industry technology in an effort convince them to write my products into their project specifications. Typically, this happens at their individual firms with a group of 10-20 attendees being the norm, But one of my customers hosts large-scale seminars where many different firms are in attendance, and the groups are typically over 100 in attendance.  Last week, I spoke to three of those groups in Lincoln, Omaha, and Des Moines on consecutive days.  About 300 in total.

While it's a great opportunity to speak to such large groups ... as you can no doubt imagine, it's nerve-racking.  It's not like I'm lecturing school children, these are professionals, and my peers.  It takes a lot of preparation and energy to be on top of my game, and in the weeks leading up to the events, I'm typically very distracted during my workouts.  And while I've been very consistent in keeping up with my workout schedule, on some days, the quality of the workouts has lacked a little.  This was especially true last week when I'd skip one last set of a particular movement, or cut my runs short by a couple of miles.

Over all though, I've done a pretty good job this winter of staying on track and trying to gain strength and speed.  I'm 100% certain that I've gained considerable lower body strength and a little upper body muscle.  But I'm not sure about the speed.  I "think" I'm about where I need to be with my first Spring race only about five weeks away ... but it's just been difficult to gauge with most of my runs taking place on the revolving belt.

Hopefully, with the biggest speaking engagements behind me, and the weather warming a little, I'll get outside a bit more this week.  I really need to hit the pavement more often and begin adding as much speed as I have strength.  We'll see how it goes ... have a great week!

Be the fire.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Winter-Time Grinding

It's cold out.  And getting colder.  So instead of track workouts, trail runs, outdoor plyometrics, and unending yard-work that helps keep me stay in shape during the warmer months ... I'm confined to the home gym and treadmill on most days.

However, I did enjoy the rare opportunity to complete an outdoor 10 mile Tempo Run this morning.  Here are the splits ...

8:32, 7:26, 7:00, 6:57, 6:48, 6:41, 6:42, 6:41, 6:27, 8:38

Not super-super fast, but respectable during the winter months and colder air.

After my uptempo Tuesday and Thursday runs, I typically also get in a leg strengthening workout.  I started doing leg workouts after my hard runs early last year ... and I LOVE IT!!!  My muscles are warm and loose, which really seems to help minimize DOMS in the following days.  The only downside is I have to be careful not to try to lift too much weight as my legs are usually pretty wobbly after a fast Tempo or Speed workout.

For example, I free-squatted the most weight I've put on the bar in a while this morning, and the four sets were only 8 x 120 lbs, 8 x 140 lbs, 8 x 160 lbs, and 8 x 170 lbs.  I know ... laughable from some of you heavy weight lifting people.  But I'm really only focused on long lean muscle ... not linebacker quads that slow me down.  Plus ... I'm 47 years old.  In my opinion there's not much to gain, and a whole lot to lose, by loading up the bar with too much weight.  I'll increase the load a little in the coming weeks, but I'll probably not venture too much over 200 lbs during the multiple reps.  I'll never win any weight-lifting awards ... but wanna race? Lol.

Hopefully being much stronger will help with the Spring running, and most importantly, continue to keep me healthy all year long with all the miles I log.  Have a great week!

Be the fire.