The Final Push Before The Push

I just mapped out my training schedule for the upcoming Chicago Marathon. It officially begin on Tuesday, May 31st. It’s pretty crazy that May 31st is 18 weeks out from October 9th. This is training schedule that I have followed for the past 2 marathons.

I look back at this schedule and I remember every single long training run that I went on as I was training for my first marathon, the 2010 OKC Memorial Marathon. As you see, the first long run that you’re put through is a 6 miler on the first week. That run was the absolute best/worst run that I endured during that first training plan. I ran 2 laps around Boomer Lake in Stillwater, OK. Each lap is supposedly 5K. I gave myself an hour time limit to make it around twice. I struggled so much on that run, walking probably every single mile beginning with mile number two and didn’t make my time. It was insane. I remember waking up that Sunday morning and could not get out of bed. My calves were sooooo sore. I ran that “recovery run” and I was definitely on the strug. After the recovery run, I couldn’t walk normal until that Wednesday.

I somehow decided to stick it out and keep going with my training and now, 2 full marathons later and a continued training program for a full year, I am looking at this training plan for a first time marathoner and I think I have decided that at least for the first month, I will not follow this plan very well. My runs now, without actually “training,” have been longer than those runs on the schedule so I feel I can step it up a bit there for the first month. I’m kind of excited to start being focused on a goal (26.2 miles in Chicago) rather than to just keep in shape.

Now onto the “Final Push Before The Push”. I’ve come a long way and I definitely want to keep pushing myself to improve. Memorial Weekend is just over 2 months and is the official kick off of summer and lake season. Because of this, I’ve decided on April 1st, I am kicking it into high gear before having to take my fitness in different direction for training. You, of course, need a different kind of focus/training/nutrient intake for running than you do for weight loss/muscle gain. I would still like to drop a few more pounds (in a healthy way) while still hitting the gym hard so it may not possibly work out the way I want it to, but I am going to try hard.

278:09:38:54

I am trying out something new with this blog. My life is not thaaaat interesting and taking the time to write about all the things that I do and find interesting to me is most likely not going to be interesting to anyone else. I wanted to begin writing about something I’m really passionate about and something that I really enjoy doing….. running/fitness. I’ve mentioned all my running activities in the past on here, but I kind of just want to focus on this part of my life from here on out. And I guess it is part of my life now… weird.

We’re approaching April 1st which means the first quarter of the year is almost complete. One of my resolutions/goals at the beginning of the year was to run 1000 miles in 2011. I’ve had a few set backs but I have managed to log 151.53 miles through March 27th (yesterday). I’m a little bit behind schedule but I figured with me ruining my left ankle for the 19th time in January and then with my recent insane travel schedule (Colorado, St. Louis, London), 151.53 miles isn’t too terrible. That leaves me with 23 mile weeks from here on out. I am honestly not that worried about not accomplishing my goal because I still have 2, possibly 3, marathons to train for still. Chicago is coming up on October 9th, with training beginning at the end of April. I also find out in April whether or not I got drawn into the NYC Marathon again. I really hope that I do because it’s just a fun place to run. Whoa, April is apparently a busy month for me because I am doing the Warrior Dash in North Texas for the second year in a row. Anywho… the NYC Marathon is in November and then follow that with the Las Vegas Marathon in December. The LV one will be awesome because we’ll finish at night on the Strip. With all those to train for and to actually run, I’m not sweating reaching 1000 miles. It will be a very cool accomplishment if I do achieve it though.

I’ve been running with quite a bit of pace lately and it’s probably been a full month that I haven’t had a run longer than 8 miles that I didn’t finish below 8 minute miles (if that sentence makes sense at all). I ran 7 miles on Friday out to a friend’s house, and it felt like I was going terribly slow… finished with a 7:38 pace so I’m not sure what was/is going on actually. It makes me begin wondering on what I can actually do for the marathon. I’m going to go ahead and assume that Chicago will be my best bet to PR since it will be the first one. I need to read how it actually runs and if there are hills or if it is relatively fast. My recent jump in pace has got me thinking that maybe I could try for a 3:45 marathon or maybe if I want to make my heart explode, a 3:30 marathon. My OKC time was 4:11, and NYC was exactly 4:00. Since NYC, I’ve lost 15 pounds and would most likely attribute my gain in speed to that loss. I have some time, but I think I am going to shoot for 3:45 and anything below(??) that time is gravy.

I mentioned that I have lost a few lbs since the New Year and that, of course, was part of my resolution/goal list as well. My friends Scott and Britnee are getting married in Turks and Caicos and that has been the main reason behind this healthy lifestyle change. It began in January 2010, but it took a real distinct change for the better this past December. I’ve been running for that entire time and started working out hardcore beginning in December. Now, I am looking into something new to add to my routine. I’ve began inquiring about CrossFit. I know a few folks that are into it and they have said nothing but good things about it. I hope to check it out very soon and will update accordingly, letting you know how it goes.

So there you go… an update on my quest for 1000 miles and a quick update on my thoughts for this blog. Keep up with me with RunKeeper. Let me know what you think about it all!

Sweet and Sour Sauce

Because I don’t spend enough time in front of the computer throughout the week, I decided to take my talents to the back porch and do some serious blogging. I am still undecided if I am grossed out by the term “blogging” or turned on. It’s still up for debate.

Today has been an oddly productive day and I honestly don’t remember the last time I have had a Saturday where all I did was hang out at the house and get things done. I have done all my laundry, cleaned the house and cleaned out my pond in the backyard. I also have had a few new additions to the fam.

I’d like to introduce you to Steve II (orange one), Mark II (black one on the far right), and Gary (orange and white one). They’ll be joining us for cocktails on the back porch this spring. I’m a little worried about Steve II. I’ve already had to rescue him from a rock because he beached himself. He’s the wild card of the bunch.

I have been blowing up the vacations as of late and I have one more this week before buckling down for a few months until June. At the end of February, a buddy invited me along to go to Colorado to ski at Wolf Creek. It was a blast!

It was about a 10 1/2 hour drive from OKC and we stayed for 4 days, skiing for 3 of them. This was only my second time to go skiing and the last time was 9 years ago when I was a junior in high school. I picked it up very quickly again and we did work on the slopes. I am looking forward to going back again next year. I took a ton of video and I am slowly making a short compilation of everything. I will post that when I get it done (in the fall).

Just last weekend, Cole and I took a short little vacay up to St. Louis for some Mardi Gras fun. Apparently, Mardi Gras is a big deal in St. Louis. Who would have known? It was a short 8 hour drive from OKC so we both took the Friday off and drove up. Cole lived there for a year a couple years back and so we met up with his friend Jeff for the weekend. It was a ridiculous time. Saturday was the big festival and parade in downtown St. Louis.

Sunday was a struggle. We didn’t leave STL until roughly 2pm making it a loooooong drive home. We stopped in Tulsa around 7:30 and had dinner with our friend Joel. I finally got to my house at 11:15 and immediately crashed. I didn’t fully recover until Thursday morning. It took a toll on me big time. That’s why I am so thankful for this weekend in town to recoup.

On Tuesday of this week. I am hitting the road again to drive to Dallas to meet my friend Greg. I plan to hang out in Dallas Tuesday night and then Wednesday morning, we’re going to drive to Houston where we will catch a plane and head across the big pond to London. We honestly haven’t planned one thing while were there and I really feel as if that will make it that much more fun. I’ve never been so I am really excited to visit for just under a week. I’ll have plenty to discuss on this topic in the near future.

I get back to OKC on Tuesday next week and we’re FINALLY getting into a basketball league. Last season, the Cosmic Penguins took home the regular season crown but got taken out in the semi-finals in the tournament. This year, we have pretty much the some game plan going into it, but we’re not sure how we’re going to handle this added pressure. Last year, we played on Sundays. This year, we’re playing on Tuesdays. The biggest question mark going into the season is “Are we going to get the same production out of team when we’re actually all sober and not recovering from the night before?” I’ll keep you posted on how the Cosmic Penguins do throughout the season.

Topic Change. I’ve written about this before but I wanted to kind of explain the whole situation. I have reverted back to my old ways…. my sweet and sour sauce days to be exact. I love it. There isn’t a whole lot that I get worked up about and I generally lead a care free lifestyle currently. I used to be this way back in college (sophomore and junior year to be exact). Then things happened and I was forced to plan everything in my life and I kind of got away from how I was usually. I must explain the situation in order for you to grasp the dramatic change in my attitude the past 7 years.

For some reason, I was pretty high strung freshman and sophomore year of school. I got worked up about the littlest things. I knew I did. My friends knew I did. It effected/affected (yep, still don’t know what to properly use those) me everyday. I’m writing this like I was a trainwreck… I really wasn’t, I just was pretty high strung. Then one summer, the summer after sophomore year, I flipped a switch. I told myself I wasn’t going to get angry over little things. I was living in Dallas at the time, interning for the company that I eventually went to work for. I was sleeping on my friend’s couch in Deep Ellum. I had just recently purchased a record player and was living the dream. Scott, Kurtis and Steffen came down to visit me one weekend and we went to a soccer match at the Cotton Bowl one Saturday evening. It got out late and we went through Ronnie Mac’s drive thru. Inside was closed so we parked the cars and ate on the curb. At this point, we’re all having a good time telling stories and laughing when Scott gets up and says, “Hey! Watch this.” By saying this, you are forfeiting the right for whatever it is your doing to end well….. Scott then serves up a closed sweet and sour sauce container and spikes it with full force. I want to think he meant to spike it into the ground, however, he spiked directly into my right eye. He delivered an unbelievable facial. Sweet and sour sauce went everywhere. At this point, we hadn’t all hung out at all during the summer, so they weren’t aware of my leaf turning so they fully expected to be walking back to the place where we were crashing. Instead of punching Scott directly in the throat, I took a fry and scooped that sauce out of my eye and ate that delicious treat. The crowd burst into applause and from that point on (until senior year) I enjoyed a pretty laid back life.

Aaaaaaaand that is the way things have been lately…. (super antic-climatic ending to a post. You’re welcome.) Until next time, fin.