Saturday, April 28, 2012

Out of Hibernation 5K

Out of Hibernation 5K in Portsmouth NH

Originally my plan was to run this race as fast as I could just to see what I could do for time.  Since I started training for the 24K video though I have upped my running to daily (as opposed to every other day) and my knee started bugging me (from a non-running-related injury) so I wasn't too worried about speed.  

I finished in 26:55 which isn't too bad for me, especially considering I was wearing a knee brace and I had run 5 miles the day before.  

The Race

It was an absolutely beautiful day in Portsmouth, NH.  You couldn't have asked for nicer weather for a 5K.  The turnout was decent; around 250 people.  There were some good sponsors, but a lack of presence from those sponsors at the race; which isn't always a bad thing.  

The course was really nice with a few short hills and the bulk of the run being small side roads without any traffic.  There was some serious diversity when it came to the runners in age and ability.  I would say that there were more over 40's than under 40's at the race...the guy who won though was 26 and ran a 5:02 mile!!!!  

If you live in or near the Seacoast you should definitely plan to do this race!  

What have I learned?

Once you get to a certain point in your training, running every day really doesn't matter.  I was worried that I was going to end up doing a 10 minute mile, which is my typical relaxed pace when I'm running longer distances and I'm not concerned about my time.  I ended up running this faster than I had planned or expected considering I was going back-to-back with my running.  

Really, once you get to the point where you can run 5 miles without feeling like you are going to die by the end of it, your body can probably handle consecutive running days.  Once it becomes a daily routine you really, REALLY start looking forward to it rather than dreading it.  

Stats and Stuff

Time from 5K Sports: 26:55 (I think I was a few seconds faster than that, but I'm not complaining)

Temperature: 65ºF

Wind: Slight breeze, nothing to write home about

Gear

Shirt: Reliv TekShirt - Purchased from the company that I distribute for.  This is a really nice light weight shirt which isn't too heavy on the graphics

Shorts: Just some cheapo "athletic" shorts from a department store.

Underwear (because some people may want to know?): Underarmour compression underwear

Shoes: Vibram KomodoSport's - I LOVE these.  LOVE I tell you!  They are SO comfortable and have a touch more padding then the classics.

Fuel

Breakfast: Apple, small bowl of cereal with almond milk
Pre-race: 2oz of 24K (24K Link use VIP code: refresh) - this stuff is really great for both pre-race and post-race.  No jitters, no crash and I felt totally charged.
Post-race: 24oz water, banana.  Yep, that's it.  Did I REALLY want the chocolate muffins and donuts they had out?  YES!  That was probably the hardest part of the race was resisting all the goodies.  


Pictures!!

So here you go, some pictures (courtesy of the OOH 5K Flickr page)





 















Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spring is here!!!!!


So here we are in April.  Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve come up with a new blog post! 

But I changed the background to reflect something more "springy."  Isn't that something?

What happened to the month of March?  Well, for a good portion of March I was fasting (no food or water from sunrise to sunset {Article on the Baha'i Fast}) and as such that ate into (pun intended there) my running time and kept me from doing any races as they are usually held during daylight hours. 
Okay, so April it is!  First up is the Out of Hibernation 5K in Portsmouth, NH on the 14th.  No major journey to get to this race, it’s just over the bridge.  I’m really excited about this race as it’s going to be a fast 5K and relatively flat and ALL proceeds go to the Seacoast Family Food Pantry (http://www.seacoastfamilyfoodpantry.org/). 
After that I’ve got a 5K in Kittery on the 20th of May and I’ll be doing that pushing my 1 year-old in the jogging stroller.  I’ve got a few other events that are tentative and up on the right side of the page if you’re interested in checking them out. 

Tough Mudder

The BIG one that I’m REALLY excited about is the TOUGH MUDDER!!!!!!  That’s right, I’ve signed up, registered, paid, and it’s DONE!  I had planned to do the Tough Mudder in VT in May (on Mudder’s Day…no, I didn’t make that up, they did).  When I went to the website to sign up it was sold out.  Much to my surprise when I was showing a co-worker (who didn’t believe me) that it was sold out it there was yet ANOTHER race in VT, this one scheduled for July.  I immediately signed up.
If you have never heard of the Tough Mudder definitely check out the link I have on the right; they have some GREAT videos. 
The Tough Mudder is strike one for me to SERIOUSLY amp up my training.  12 miles, obstacle courses, potential July heat (not too worried about that one).  But wait….here comes strike two!

24k Video

I’ve been taking and distributing Reliv (reliv.com) products for a little while now; more on that later.  I’m going to be dedicating a page on this blog to Reliv.  I was contacted a few days ago by a Reliv representative, and they have asked if I’d be willing to star in a well produced video chronicling my Reliv story and shooting some video of my running.  Of course I said I would be happy to do it, it sounded like a great opportunity, etc. etc. 
Then I got to thinking….wait a second here.  Here I am, going to be in a HIGHLY publicized video online…running…and I DO NOT look like I should be on the cover of Men’s Health.  Well, it’s okay I have some time before they do this video.  Let’s see….when did they say they were going to be shooting…oh yeah, May 10th-11th!  So I have a month, one whole WHOPPING month to get as fit as I can. 

What am I going to do?

Um….well…I guess I should run?  Yep, that’s right.  This is a blog about running after-all.  I have a relatively slow metabolism and as such I’m going to go with the old math solution for getting rid of the last bits of gut.  Burn more calories than I consume.  Pure logic folks – if you eat 2000 calories (really, who does that these days?) and burn 2500, it’s hard to put on any more fat (notice I didn’t say impossible nor did I say weight). 

In order to get trim fit and looking like I should belong in a video advertising a product that helps improves one performance I’m going to do the following:

   1.       RUN LIKE CRAZY!  I’m going to try to up my running routine to at least 25-30 miles per week.  Maybe more if I can hack it. 
   2.       Eat like I want to live forever.  What does that mean?  No, there will be no bacon for breakfast (and I will cry; lots).  Vegetables and fruits will be my primary foods with nuts and beans mixed in for good measure.  Some eggs or fish perhaps, but probably no milk or cheese.
   3.       Strength training.  Check this out: Dumbbell Shovel you can’t get too much more of a complete strength workout than doing these.  I’ll also be doing pull-ups, push-ups, and anything and everything that will make my core HURT. 
   4.       WATER!!!!  I’m going to TRY to chug at least 4 liters of water a day.  That might be annoying on my 2 hour commutes, but I suppose I could get creative. 

That doesn’t sound too hard does it?  

PS: If anybody wants to check out 24K you can go here: my24kvip.com 
PPS: If you want to try some 24K and get a wicked good discount use my code: refresh

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Ragged Mountain Run

"Dear God, what have I signed myself up for?"

I believe those were the first words uttered out of my mouth when I saw Ragged Mountain in Danbury NH.  As I'm driving up I can see the ski lift disappear over a ridge, so from the base of the mountain you can not see the summit.



Why was I doing this?

One of my co-workers, we'll call him Jim V., volunteers at Ragged Mountain on the weekends.  He had heard about this race or rather a series of races called Winter Wild.  In this series they have runs at many of the major ski slopes in the New England region.  Next year I will probably try to complete them all, this year....just one will suffice.  Jim V. encouraged me to sign-up for the race, which I did (he did not).

In looking at the pictures online and the course map, it looked like it would be fun.  My training runs have been closer to 5 miles as of late with a bit of hill work, so how hard could 1.5 miles up a mountain be?

The Plan


It was easy.  I was going to get some Kahtoola Micro Spikes, put them on my sneakers and run up a mountain.  Certainly I wasn't crazy enough to think I could run the WHOLE way, so I'd use my heart rate monitor.  I would run until it started pegging out, then I would walk, get my breath back and run again.

How hard could it be?  (see what I'm doing here?)

The Drive


Because this race was starting at 7AM (before they open up the trails for skiing) that meant I had to leave my house at 4:30AM to ensure I had enough time to pick up a friend of mine in Concord NH, and get there with time enough to pick up my bib and survey the situation.  So all told it was about a two hour jaunt. I have to say, traffic at 4:30AM heading West is pretty much non-existent.

The Race


This is where things get interesting.  So we get there and I have a slight panic attack.  You see, I've never been to a ski slope.  I've only seen mountains with snow off in the distance.  So seeing Ragged (which is not a very big mountain in the grand scheme of things) scared the Red Bull out of me!

I got my bib and wandered around out on the snow trying to get a feel for things.  I had brought both my Vibram TrekSports and my sneakers with the Micro Spikes.  I didn't think I was really crazy enough to try to scale a snowy mountain in my barefoot shoes...but that's what I did.



I ran around a bit in the packed snow and my happy little toe shoes actually had remarkable grip.  My feet were a little cold, but not unbearable.  I was thinking then that I'd put my sneakers in my bag and run up with them on my back just in case.

Two minutes before the start, I ditched the bag.  If I was going to do it, I was going to do it all the way.

The turnout wasn't too big, but it was a committed group.  The loop was fairly simple.  Up the slope following the chair lift, across the top, down the slope right next to the lift.  Runners stay on the left, skiers and boarders stay on the right.

I started running up with the pack and pretty much universally we all stopped and started walking around the same time.  There were not going to be any records broken that day by this guy....I knew it and as such brought my camera so I could take some pictures while running/walking/crawling.

There were spots on the way up that were so steep all I had to do was reach forward and I was touching the ground.  Amazingly I never slipped on the way up and stopping to take a few pictures was all I needed to catch my breath.  My plan for doing a combined run/walk following my heart rate?  Didn't happen.  My HR never went back down enough for me to feel comfortable to start running up the slope.

At the top it felt SO good to break into a run though.  I took off, grateful for the change in gradient.  Then it started to get steep.  This is pretty much how it went:

Way up: "Okay, this is cool."  "Wow, this is really kind of steep."  "Oh, so you can't really see the top."  "Okay I'll just slow down for a bit, catch my breath."  "This was really, really stupid."  "Why, why do I put myself through this stuff!"  "Oh thank God there's the top!  Wait, what, that isn't it??? NO!  There's still more?"

Way down: "That feels SO much better."  "Hey look at me, I'm running pretty fast."  "Hey...I can't stop running...not....okay.....kind of scary."  "I'm going to die."  "I'M REALLY GOING TO DIE."  "Dying any second now, sure of it.....don't think my legs are supposed to feel like this."  "Hey, that wasn't so bad."

So enjoy the pictures!  If you are a running type and have never done one of these I highly suggest it.  Just take it easy.  My final time was a sluggish 38:08 (Coolrunning Results but it's less if you watch the video).  Next year my goal will be for something less than 30:00.

Big thanks to my friend Werner who came along with me.  He took a few of the pictures I'm posting as well as the video.  I also must say that if it weren't for a comment of his, I would have been in great pain the following day.  He had pointed out that some of the skiers who went UP on skis are probably going to have some seriously sore groins.  This had reminded me that I too went up a good portion of that mountain duck footed and immediately stretched accordingly.  So Werner, you have now been named Savior of the Groin!














                                    



                                     



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