Tag Archives: Running

Being Unremarkable

6 Jul

Wednesday, July 4th marked my second anniversary as a runner.

I ran in the 2010 Peachtree Road Race on a borrowed number.  Following that race, I started running regularly and have since completed multiple 5k and 10k races as well as two half marathons.

This year was the first year I failed to improve on my times from the prior year.  I ran thirty seconds slower (46:13 finishing time) and finished nearly 200 people later in this year’s edition than last year.

Since being young, I think I’ve chased the need to be remarkable.  I think nearly everyone does.  In high school, we are told we need to stand out to attract the college admission we want.  In college, we need to differentiate to gain access to the best job.  After college, we do the same to try and gain promotions at work.

Outside of work, we compete for possessions and friends.  My dedication to running the past two years probably was another attempt to find some aspect of my life to be exceptional.

However, not everyone can be extraordinary.

In truth, I’m probably an average runner (despite my finishing times).  More than ever though, I’m accepting being less than exceptional in the view of the world.

What I do at work will never cure the problems of our country, or the world.  But for the people I work with, I can create contributions that help them be more successful and help our company find new success.

What I did as a soccer coach didn’t stand out.  My teams weren’t anymore successful than any team we played against and they lost more than they won.  But perhaps in the several seasons I coached I showed parents and children a great youth soccer experience.

With my own sons, I can’t claim to have created two great athletes.  I have fostered a love of sport that for their ages is fairly deep and hopefully will endure (or will transfer to other arenas).

Success is relative to the goals you set.  I’ve felt directionless lately in my health and fitness quest.  While I’ve maintained my Paleo diet, I’ve cut back on running and missed a lot of weightlifting sessions since April 1st.  In hindsight I know my goals have been foggy and without good definition.

I don’t know where I want my weightlifting and training to take me – but I need to figure it out to get back on track.

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Opening the Running Season

27 Apr

Yesterday I started my Spring and Summer running season.

It had been a month since I last attempted to run.  While on business travel to Asheville, I tried to get a run in but failed due to a combination of lack of daylight, familiarity with the area, and lack of sidewalks or shoulders to use.

Previously I had run one run more than five miles this calendar year, and that was just after the first of the year.

Yesterday marked sixty-nine days until the Peachtree Road Race – one of the largest 10k races nationally and the biggest event in the Atlanta running community.  I won my lottery place into the race back in March – and with my qualifying time from the Atlanta Half Marathon last Thanksgiving, I’ll start from the “A” group.  That places me just behind the Elite seeded and sub-seeded runners.

I’m looking to improve my 10k Personal best (45:07), my Peachtree record (45:43).

I found last fall that despite reducing my mileage, I still maintained and actually improved my times in the Half Marathon.  Based on my run Thursday, I can expect similar results this summer.

Thursday’s run took me through the hilly Virginia-Highlands area of Atlanta’s Midtown during the mid-morning – normal traffic levels and traffic lights included.  I finished 6.42 miles in 51:29 (just over 8 minutes per mile).  That puts me on a similar or better pace to my runs late last summer – after running the Peachtree and several weeks of training.

I’ll probably stay with a lot of weight training for another few weeks – and then start switching in a couple days of running at differing volume and pace to prepare for the race.  I’m trying to stay relaxed about accumulating specific distances or anything measurable with running right now.

Product Review: Nike Rio II Soccer Jersey

30 Mar

I’ve worn moisture management fabric shirts while exercising for more than ten years.  Before that – it was the cotton tee shirt.  But once I discovered moisture management fabrics, I became a fan of Nike’s Dri-Fit and Russell’s DriPower clothing.

However, I’ve noticed prices have gone up as these items have become more popular – but the shirts haven’t been adding any additional features or becoming significantly better performers as far as I could tell.

Through several retailers, I became aware of Nike’s Rio II Soccer Jersey (and many other styles of shirt as well.)  Without a club badge and number, the Rio shirt looks like any other exercise apparel – available in four youth and five adult sizes and ten different colors.  But it’s added functional feature: it has a back made completely of mesh for airflow.  The white front insert panel is made of the same type of mesh.  The back is very effective at keeping you cool while exercising.

The fit on the shirt is great if you fall into the athletic cut.  I have a problem buying most athletic retail styles – they either are too short through the body or too large through the chest, shoulders, sleeves and torso (this applies to a lot of other clothing as well.)  In the case of the Rio, I can comfortably wear a size Small and it provides plenty of length but a fitted appearance.

There’s also a long sleeve version with the same construction.

I recommend the shirt if you are in the size range that retail styles don’t fit well, and if you are looking for added features in your sports apparel.

Things I Think Are Cool for March 4, 2012

4 Mar

Cooking

I’ve had a cast iron skillet for many years – but until a few months ago I never used it!  I usually favored my non-stick cookware, but here’s a great explanation of why and how you should be cooking with cast iron.  One of my favorite things is starting it on the stove and then finishing either under the broiler or in the oven.

Recipes

Mango and Avocado in a salad?  Sounds like a great combination.

While I prefer smoking at a lower temperature, this Lemon and Dill chicken preparation looks great.  It might find it’s way onto our dinner table this week.

Exercise

How should kids exercise?  A lot of variety and free play.

One of my revelations from my half marathon training last summer was that I could do more than I thought from a fasting state.  During the summer time, I regularly went and ran reasonable distances (6-8 miles) without eating breakfast first.  I knew it was reasonable, but some studies help back up my study of one.  It also discusses the effect of exercisers to overcompensate in their post-workout meals.

 

An Unforced Rest Day

8 Feb

Last night I sat down and put together a sprint workout.

3×800 at a target time of 3:10 per interval

2×400 at a target time of 1:25 per interval

1×200 at a target time of 40 seconds per interval

But today it just didn’t feel like the right thing to do.  I had run sprints Sunday, and then lifted Monday and Tuesday.  Today was my rare unforced rest day as a result.

In the last two months, my rest days have come more as a result of the needs I have away from training.  It’s a result of my work calendar and my family’s needs.  Today was a result of feeling tired and putting rest above the compulsion that I have sometimes to get out and exercise.

Tomorrow is another day, and I’ll be back to lifting.  But not before another night of good rest.

On Track!

2 Feb

I finally started a track training program for the Georgia Games and any other adult Track and Field events I can find this year.

I’ve decided sprint speed is a priority for me.  It will help in soccer, it will probably help my race distance runs, and it is a good “Power” exercise to accompany my weightlifting program.  My problem has been actually scheduling time to do it.

The weather in metro Atlanta was spectacular this morning – sunny with 57 degree temperatures and a light breeze.  Time to run!

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A Week Defined By What I Haven’t Done

27 Jan

In a lot of ways, this has been a week defined by what hasn’t been done.

It’s been very busy at work.  I attended a trade show in Orlando Sunday through Tuesday and failed to get out to run while I was there.  It was about eighty degrees and sunny, but the schedule was tight and I had other work demands to try to satisfy.

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