Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Eh, It's A Start

So I ran my first Tempo Run in a while on Wednesday morning in Des Moines, IA ... and I guess you could say I had mixed results.  I fully expected it to be much slower and shorter than in the past, but at this point I really just wanted to push myself a little with results not really being the primary focus.

Here are the splits for the 8 mile run:

8:04, 7:31, 6:59, 6:58, 6:50, 6:48, 6:42, 8:30

The temperature was only 72F with 90% humidity, so about normal for mid-August in the Midwest.  But the course I ran had quite a few long hills and I've done very little hill running over the past few weeks.  So overall I was fairly happy with the pace.

The main thing I'm trying to focus on is not going too fast too soon.  At this point, I need to drop about 8-10 lbs and start increasing the distance.  But more than that, I need to increase my core and hip work.  I'm really weak through the middle right now and I can feel little twinges here and there simple due a weak core.  But I've actually been adding a little more ab and hip work over the past few weeks, so hopefully I'll get right before long.

Anyway, the run wasn't anything to bang a gong about ... but it's a good benchmark.  Have a good week.

Chase greatness.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Hello My Friend We Meet Again

Just wanted to touch base and update everyone on how the Summer's going.  I've been working a lot, traveling a lot, going to a lot of Royals games, and running here and there.  I'm still eating whatever and whenever I want, which has me consistently in the mid 180's, but that's about ready to change ... hopefully.

I think I've got a marathon targeted for November ... although I'll probably keep where and when to myself for a while.  But if we sign up, it will be my goal to get my 8th Boston Qualifying time.  With the shape I'm in, that will be a VERY lofty goal, but I know that it will refocus me.  I've been gradually running more and more and even ran about 45 miles in the past week.  So with the exception of my diet, I feel like I'm inching back into contention.  But I've really got to get back to core and hip work.

So anyway ... not much to report other than I'm still alive and hopefully will back to full training in the next few weeks.  Have a great week!


Thursday, July 14, 2016

2016 Stars & Stripes 5K

We ran our annual Independence Day 5K in Lee's Summit a couple of weeks ago.  And while we had a really great time at the event, I had slower than average finishing time.  I'd set a modest goal of sub 20 minutes for the race, but came in at 20:04.  Too much junk food and too little training.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

5K in 4 weeks

The running has been so-so.  Not great ... but I have been running.  I'm very goal oriented when it comes to running ... and probably with most things in life.  I always need a target for motivation.  So, we'll be running our annual 5K on the 4th of July.

At this point I've got a modest goal ... just break 20 minutes.  In the past this would have been no problem since only 4 out of the 17 total 5K's I've ran have been slower than 20 minutes.  But I can't stress to you enough just how out of shape I am right now.

I had a pretty good run in Iowa City this morning with 9 total miles.  I also did 4 - 1 mile repeats at 6:23, 6:08, 6:13, 6:17 with about 1 minute rest in between.  So not bad.

I think if I can drop about 5-6 lbs between now and the 4th of July, I should be able to hit my goal.  I'm definitely headed in the right direction and have been building a little more consistency.  Just gotta keep at it!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Tempo Run & Building Speed

Good 9 mile Tempo Run on Wednesday in Iowa City, Iowa ...

 8:00, 7:37, 7:17, 6:49, 6:38, 6:39, 6:23, 6:34, 7:54

The five middle miles were at an average pace of about 6:35 or so, which I'll absolutely take at this point.

In the photo, you'll notice a sizable amount of back fat.  That's real.  I didn't Photoshop it in.  My eating is still out of control and as a result I don't look great naked.  Normally I do.

Back at it I guess.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Way Out Of My League

Saturday, Michael and I celebrated our 11th Wedding Anniversary.  We spent some time walking around the beautiful Country Club Plaza on a perfect, although a little chilly, Kansas City evening.  Later, we had dinner at Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse where I basically ate my weight in red meat, which I paid for on Sunday. I'm pretty sure I gained about 17 pounds during our anniversary dinner, and it made a mile 4 mile recovery run on Sunday morning a little uncomfortable ... but RED MEAT!!!

Now I know what you all are thinking ... "Wow Jim, you are so much hotter than your wife!" ... and while I totally understand where you're coming from, I couldn't disagree with you more.  Actually, I think I'm in way over my head.  Because not only is she amazingly beautiful which is obvious ... she's smart, really funny, compassionate, puts up with my crap ... and most importantly, is my best friend.  This woman and I have been through a lot together, and I'm so lucky that she's in my life because she makes it so much better.  I love her now more than ever.

But something else I'm out of my league with right now is my running ... at least as far as my old paces go.  I think it's natural to want to go faster thit was an what's physically possible after some down time or an injury.  I mean, one of the last memories of my pace was when I was in peak condition right before I got sick.  So naturally, my mind is trying to tell my legs to just automatically turn over that fast again.  But it's obviously unrealistic for a while.  I feel like I'm slowly getting back to being a runner, though.  I put together two straight 40 mile weeks, which were both capped by 15 and 16 miles runs.  My legs are feeling stronger and stronger, and the quicker paces aren't killing me like when I first started back.  And my diet is actually starting to get a little better.  I ate like three or four salads last week ... which about sent my body into convulsions, but I managed to power through it.  Just gotta keep grinding.

Before Michael and I went out on Saturday night, I actually had a pretty good, and fairly quick 16 mile run.  The weather was pretty perfect at about 50 degrees, and I was able to turn in some decent splits.  Here are the paces ...

8:15   8:03   8:08   7:31   7:33   7:29   7:18   7:15   7:35   7:30   7:41   7:15   6:53   7:04   8:30   9:30

Mile 13 was actually sub 7:00!!!  While the paces look good, I actually took like four water stops, and stopped the clock during three of them ... so the cumulative time would have been a little slower.  But it felt really good to generate some faster pace on a long run, and frankly I didn't feel like it was killing me the whole time.  And Sunday when I woke up, although my gut was full of probably a side of beef, my legs felt really good.

So every week seems to be a little better than the last.  With the exception of my Royals playing really crappy right now ... everything in my life is pretty good.  I'm really blessed.  And hopefully soon, my running will be one more thing I can slide over to the positive side of the ledger.  I think I'm headed in the right direction.  Have a great week!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Three Straight Days = Solid Week

Thursday morning run through the mural'ed allies of Iowa City
I've had a solid week so far, and to this point, my legs feel great.  I put together three straight days, and will hopefully get a good long run in on Saturday.  If I get the run in, it will my first 5-day running week since I got sick.  5 days is a typical week for me.

Today I had a light 5 mile run in Iowa City, one of my favorite places, and my legs feel great!  I feel like I'm slowly getting back to form, although my endurance is really lacking, which is to be expected

The diet is still not great, and the extra weight I'm carrying is simply  making running a chore right now.  But hopefully I'll do a little better with that next week, and start eating like an athlete and not a glutton.

I've intentionally started really really slow on the road back.  Partly because I'm out of shape and my body is demanding it, but also because I don't want to start off with an injury.  The runs are shorter and slower at this point, but that's okay.  All in all, things are definitely headed in the right direction.  Hope your training is going well!