Friday, April 19, 2013

Whats with all the cross training ?

 If you just read my blog, then you probably don;t know what I'm talking about but if you follow me on Daily Mile or Facebook then you have been seeing an awful lot of other workouts besides running lately.
Lets take a short look into the wayback machine for a little history.

 As a child I was always around sports but being scrawny and  not very talented I wasn't good at much of anything but enjoyed the exercise. At some point we had some boxing gloves and a speed bag so me and my brother mostly but some other friends would beat each other up on a regular basis. Sometime when I was around 9 or 10 dad bought us a 110lb  Ted Williams weight set from Sears ( which I still own) and we had a good exercise book from the NFL coaches and trainers. Of course it was used sporadically and then interest was lost just like when we read Ken Cooper's Aerobics book in 1968 that had us experimenting with running for a short while.

 Fast forward to when I was just past High school and working for the drugstore downtown. My boss and friend and mentor was into body building and got me started with it as well as doing some yoga. I was really enjoying that stuff and worked out hard for over a year with the weights working up to 6 workouts a week plus extra pull ups and dips at work. I went from a scrawny 128 lbs to about 142 of muscle before I began running and you know how that story goes.

 Not much cross training went on after that until my knee injury in 1998. I joined the Y to help with the rehab and started biking and swimming eventually getting into tri's in 1999 until 2005. By then I was full bore into ultra's and quit swimming and biking for another 3 years when I got talked into doing a sprint try and then in a moment of insanity entered an Ironman exactly a year later. So I was back to the Y  and swimming more than ever and added core work and weights  about 3 days a week for about a year. I was in pretty good shape at that point but soon after the Ironman in 2009 I quit the Y again and haven't been on my bike or in the pool since and not long after my core program was neglected once again.

  So, I noticed last Fall that I was feeling pretty weak other than my running and my weight had been in the upper 140's for a long time. I felt soft and I noticed I was slouching a lot and some  pictures of me running showed me hunched over when I was tired. I decided it was time to do something about it. I begin working on doing my core routine for 15-20 minutes and had done that for  awhile when I decided to  begin doing the 100 pushups challenge. Just before I began with that though, Amy  put out a  30 day plank challenge. I decided to wait to begin the pushup until after that was over. We actually did the planks for about 37 days and then I moved onto the pushup beginning in  December.

  The pushups were working well and then I bought a power tower in Feb and added pullups and dips to the program as well as leg raises to the core. About the same time I began the 200 situps challenge to add to the core. So by now I was getting in a lot of extra work and starting to see results in the way I feel and look. I also started losing the extra weight as I cut back on snacks along with all the extra work and other quality running. so just about everyday I was doing core one day and body weight strength the next in additon to the running.

 I was also influenced by Amy to begin doing yoga again to try and get back some long lost flexiblitly. She had been taking yoga classes for awhile at Arrichion hot yoga so I pulled out my old yoga book and begin working on  some beginner stuff. Not long after that I came across a 21 day beginner challenge from Yoga journal online with videos so I have been doing that and now I am near the end of the 21 day intermediate challenge. Really enjoying doing these routines nearly everyday which has me up to 3 or 4 workouts a day now. I can really feel the results and I think people can see the results too. I am enjoying doing all the extra work and look forward to getting up every morning and getting started. Here I am at 57 and in nearly the best shape of my life !

 Speaking of Arrichion, I would like to give them a plug. I took advantage of a 20 day intro special so I could see what it was all about that Amy was enjoying so much. In addition to the hot yoga they do a circuit training class several times a week that I wanted to check out.   I really enjoyed the circuit class. A great high intensity workout that works cardio with weights, core, plyometrics, body weight strength, kettle bells, medicine balls and other stuff that gives you a great full body workout.. I am not going now because I am tapering for a 100 and then I'll need to recover before doing anything else with that much intensity but I hope to make it to some classes every now and then when I can fit it into my schedule. And the hot yoga? not so much. Seems people either love it or hate it. hate is a strong word but lets just say I am not a fan. I hate being hot, don't like sauna's so I'll stick to doing my yoga at home with the fan blowing on me ! they do have some really good instructors so if if you think you might like hot yoga , give them a try.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Cary Road Race 5k 2013

  Other than the pine pollen invasion we had a near perfect morning for the race with cool temps and low humidity. Nice to know that was one thing not to worry about. The way my running has been going lately I was feeling pretty confident of having a good race but a nasty hill in the first mile had me a bit worried about achieving my goal of a sub 22. I did my usual warmup routine and then lined up with Amy and the rest of the Surrette family. We were not planning to run together since we each were aiming for a test of how fast we could run and hopefully both make it to the podium. She certainly didn't need me to pace her for a 5k ! I was hoping we would be very close for most of the race though.

  Amy and her son Drew got off to a fast start but I stayed focused on my own run and by 1/4 mile I had pulled even with Amy, feeling smooth and hoping we could stick together. We hit the hill at about the 3/10 mark and I settled in for the climb. It starts off fairly steep for a couple of hundred yards but then eases off the incline a bit. I was surprised at how well I was running up and quickly pulled ahead of Amy. There was a man right with me but I didn't recognize him. I hit the 1 mile mark in6:54 which shocked me. I was expecting to run around 7:30 with that climb. The turn around came shortly after the mark and I began to push the pace.

  I could see Amy was not too far behind running strong. As I reached the steep part of the downhill I was letting it all out and hit the turn onto the lake at about 1.7 miles. I was working hard and came up on mile two in 13:16, a 6:21 mile ! I haven't run a mile that fast  in 30 years ! I was now having visions of actually running faster than my Selma 5k time from 2006 which is my fastest since 1991. I continued to work hard and as usual it probably sounded like I was dying to anyone that could hear me. I felt like I was holding pace but I hit mile 3 in 7:24 which makes me question if they had the timer at the right spot for mile 2. It was a certified course but to adjust for the 2 lap 10 k the turn around was a little different so the 2 mile marks were different too.

 Kicked it hard to the finish and was ecstatic with my time of 21:24 ! I waited for Amy and she came in about 45 seconds later in 22:12 ! Woohooo !

  We waited for the rest of her family and then got ready for the awards ceremony. I was able to win 1st Grandmaster and a $40 gift card. And that guy that was with me at mile 1 ? He turned out to be Tim Beck, a strong runner in my age group that I don't recall ever beating until today was 2nd.

As promised Amy not only made the podium but instead of an age group placing  She was 3rd woman overall !!!!!! Her son drew was 3rd in the 13 and under and her husband Andy was 2nd in the 40-44 group. great day for all of us !

 All the hard training, running as well as all the strength, core and yoga are really paying off. The result today almost makes me want to concentrate more on some speed. Almost. But next I got a 100 mile pr to shoot for followed by a marathon pr attempt but don;t be surprised to see a few more road races  in the training mix.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

5k? Yeah, every now and then.

 This Saturday I'll be heading over to the Cary Road Race for a 5k. As you probably know if you follow my running at all, I don't do many 5k's these days. In fact it was 2 years ago in March that I last raced in one. It's not necessarily that I don't like them. As a matter of fact I take a perverse pleasure in the pain of racing fast. It's just that they don't often fit into my schedule and I really prefer doing the longer stuff that I have focused on for the past 11 years now. My pr is from 1983 and I'm not even running in the same time zone as that now. The photo above is me on the way to setting that pr at the Zebulon Freedom run 5k on the 4th of July

  Back around the first of the year as Amy and I were deep into the marathon training I took notice of how fast she was becoming doing the intervals and repeats as well as her overall strength. I knew that another one of her goals is to make a podium in a 5k. A near miss last October had gotten under her skin so I suggested that within 3 or 4 weeks after the marathon she should take advantage of her fitness and race a 5k. I told her she would probably be ready to race her fastest time since her HS XC days and would almost guarantee a podium finish. And I would also get a good test of how my speed is holding up. Getting harder and harder to do these days ! And if things go well every now and then I can give the road racing guys a run for their money and get an age group award also.

 I had planned on about 3 workouts to focus on after allowing some recovery time but it didn;t quite happen. Amy went on a mini vacation and is taking a "warrior" challenge at Arrichion which means at least 3 circuit training sessions each week. With that intensity and  hard work she really didn't need to do the hard running I had planned but she will do fine.  s I was able to get in two of the panned workouts and was hitting interval times faster than I have in many many years so stay tuned and see what happens. I hear training and racing a 5k is great 100 miler training !