Tuesday, July 29, 2008

July roll call- Big Ben

Training is going great, although I do need a pair of actual running shorts.

The hardest aspect of my training is finding time to run when its cool and when I have at least a little energy. Besides that I've been injury free except for a couple of softball bruises/strains.

Oh and my nickname is Big Ben unless someone comes up with something better. $10 to the person who does ;-)

Monday, July 28, 2008

GPS Clydesdale Monday Weigh-in

I had a poor weekend of running after battling a stomach bug most of the weekend. I did get a very poor 7.2 miler in this morning. I just felt very tired and weak this morning. I am going to try to make up the 16 miler I missed tomorrow depending on how I feel.

I weighed in this morning at...

210 lb's!

I'm still on the decline which is great to see, and I am very eager to be below the 200 mark. My goal is to be below 200lb's by the September Half-Marathon here is Sioux Falls. Have a great week everyone and safe and healthy training!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

July Roll Call - Shane (the GEEK)

Greetings all ... I'm so bad at this blogging thing!! But, here goes my report for July. First, a weigh-in report for my Clydesdale brethren:

Wk 1 (7 July): 202 lbs
Wk 2 (14 July): 198 lbs
Wk 3 (21 July): 199 lbs (gotta love it when you gain weight!)

Clearly, I was hoping for a monotonically decreasing sequence on my weekly weigh-ins (I love it when I can use geeky math terms ... hey, I feel a great nickname coming on ... The GEEK), but just wasn't meant to be. I'm playing single parent for the month of July with my two sons, and so I'm constantly surrounded with tempting food choices like white bread and mac & cheese, for example. In fact, twice now I've made my boys baked salmon with a gourmet fresh personally made spinach salad and you would think I was forcing them to drink poison! But, I can't say I would have reacted any differently when I was 10. Anyway, the fight moves on.

Second, my training. I'm doing the plain vanilla Hal Higdon's novice I schedule, which means my first double digit run was week 5 (12 Jul). Honestly, it's this threshold that is very difficult for me mentally ... at 10 miles my body simply says ... STOP!! It's funny, because the week before when I did 9 miles, I was thinking, "this isn't bad ... I think I could run a 1/2 marathon today." But then, the next week during my 10 miler, I wanted to fly to Colorado and strangle Pat for talking me into doing something so insanely stupid. Of course, I can really relate to all of your comments about how the stress, rest, diet, and temperature factors all impact the feel of a run. For example, I know I'm now doing distance where I need to refuel a bit during the run. I've had some good success with the goo packs ... they taste terrible, but can definitely feel the second wind.

Okay, now the big news ... during the previously mentioned 10 miler my thoughts of strangling Pat were intermingled with short prayers that somehow a miracle would occur and I could somehow avoid the next couple of months of unceasing double digit runs. Well, I suppose this is a lesson in "be careful what you ask for," because last week I received a deployment order for a 120 day stint to the desert beginning in Sept. Needless to say, I won't be able to participate in Chicago in October. All kidding aside, I'm bummed that I'll miss this event ... I was looking forward to meeting all of you and having another great experience with the old Champaign, IL Road Warriors!

For now, I'm pressing forward with training and weigh-ins, since I'll still owe the winner their pre-meal dinner (of course, it could be me if I can get back to my monotonically decreasing sequence :-)).

Keep up the good fight and remember "be careful what you ask for."

Shane a.k.a the GEEK

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

July Roll Call - GPS

I shared much of what is new in my previous post in terms of my training. I'm just coming off a rest week (miles ramp down), but will be quickly accelerating my training this Sunday with a 16 mile run. The most I've run up to this point is close to 14 miles so I'm a bit nervous. I just keep telling myself LONG AND SLOW. I'm good at that. I went out for an 8 miler yesterday and felt great, so I'm feeling optimistic. The key for me is running when it's cool - I perspire more than most, and heat really gases me. So far the heat hasn't been an issue like last year, but there's still some time left in July.

I started experiencing some "runners knee" in my right knee again (started seeing the symptoms last August). Mostly a dull ache under my kneecap that persists for a portion of my run, but eventually warms up. I believe this is the early stages of a tracking issue caused by some weakened quad muscles. I've begun some exercises to strengthen these muscles along with a strong stretching routine. I also purchased a Patella strap that I wear just below my knee cap. This has seemed to really help. I never thought I would be one of "those guys" with the black strap. I never even knew what it was far until I did some research recently.

After talking to Pat, I think I'm going to purchase a 2nd pair of shoes I can rotate in my training as well. I'd like to have my stride analyzed to ensure I have the right shoes. If I can't find anyplace around here that does that, I'll pick some up while in Colorado Springs this August.

For the most part, all is well and full steam ahead! By next update, I should be able to talk about the Ascent and my first 20 miler - Fun, fun.

GPS - Clydesdale Weekly Weigh-in

Hello All!
Well, my training schedule ramped down this past weekend and I took advantage to give myself some needed rest. I was starting to feel pretty tired from the training regimen. Looking back at last years notes, I was experiencing much of the same.

I purchased a Garmin Forerunner 50 (w/ hr monitor, footpod, and USB slot) and it's working marvelously. I love being able to see where my HR is at all times as well as my pace. It has been extremely helpful thus far. I also love the ability to track and see my progress - just awesome! I highly recommend it - I was able to get everything for $160 on Amazon.com.

I'm a little late on my weigh-in, but here goes...

...211 lb's!

I am slowly but surely inching downward. I am now within 6 or 7 lb.'s of my race weight for last October's marathon. My goal is to be in the low 190's by race day this October.

I'm ramping up my training schedule this week with a 16 miler on Sunday. It is going to be a challenge so please keep me in your prayers.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

July Roll Call (Pat)

Living In Faith Exchange Runners (LIFER's) Chicago Marathon Team
* Shane, John, Tracy, Steve, Chad, Bill, Rich, Courtney, Angi, Pat, Scott, Ben, Doug, Kevin
* Team blog at marathon-for-life.blogspot.com.
* Team mission: God first, ProLife, encouragement, fitness!
Hi, LIFER's Team!

Many of the C. Springs LIFER's ran the Summer Roundup 12K at Bear Creek park on 6 Jul. Picture attached: Chad, Ben, Scott, Angi, Courtney, Pat, Kerry (Doug's friend), Doug.
Training: The 18 wk marathon training schedule began 8 Jun...therefore, we are already on week 7...follow your training schedule! The C. Springs Pikes Peak runners (Scott, Doug, Courtney, Angi, Pat) have been training together in preparation for the Ascent (16 Aug) or Marathon (17 Aug). Starting 23 Aug, the Peak runners will join up with the other C. Springs LIFER's (Tracy, Chad, Ben, Bill, Kevin) for group long runs on the weekends.

Runner Updates: hope to get a more detailed Roll Call from everyone...
* John ("Duke"): Angi and I had dinner with him and his family in IL a couple weeks ago. He is working through a bulging disk in his back. How was China?
* Shane (nickname?): how goes?
* Tracy ("Cash"): She improved her "fueling" for long runs and has reaped the benefits.
* Steve ("GPS"): He is loving his new footpod. He is coming to town for the Pikes Peak Ascent in Aug...wants to experience the 16 Golden Stairs for himself! Steve is recruiting ASIMO to run the Chicago Marathon with him: http://asimo.honda.com/asimotv/default.aspx?txtCatID=0&txtCategory=New+ASIMO&txtVideo=http%3a%2f%2fvivacast.streamlogics.com%2fHonda%2fAsimo%2fNew01_MBR500K.wmv
* Chad ("Big Hopper"): Chad joined Doug and I for a speed workout last week...we worked on doing the big three checklist each mile (heal/toe roll, shake downs arms, slow down breathing). Chad is also working on converting his running "hop" into forward motion by rolling off his toe! I also challenged Chad to get a real pair of running shorts (above mid thigh)...a true sign of security :).
* Bill ("Willy"): I visited with Bill after Mass this past weekend...he is starting to find his training groove. We talked about warming up with a 2 min walk and 5 min slow jog...and doing stretching on warm muscles at the end of the run. I showed him an ITB stretch (important!).
* Rich ("Moby"): How is your cross training day going?!
* Courtney ("Fleece"): She is a great running partner for Angi. Her and Angi are doing RCIA this year! Scott and I did RCIA in 1997, and John and I did RCIA in 2004.
* Angi ("Anginator"): She is training hard to meet her near term goal...get into Wave 1 for future Pikes Peak races!
* Scott ("Skippy"): How was training in Hot-lanta?!
* Ben (nickname?): Ben had a great Summer Roundup race. He does need to get himself a real pair of running shorts.
* Kevin (nickname?): Scott assures me that you exist. Hope to meet you soon!
* Doug ("Big Brown"): Doug is one of the fastest Clydesdales I have met. He is a distance runner trapped inside a middle linebacker's body!
Running Quote: "If you ever want to see who the true runners are, take a peek outside during mother nature's next hissy fit." wearenotjoggers.com

ProLife Ministry Fundraising: Let's reach out to our friends and family to support our cause ($/mile). Angi and I are running to support the new local Pregnancy Center in Old Colorado City.

Run for ProLife,
Pat (aka M.A.)
Phil 4:13

Monday, July 21, 2008

Early Morning runs if interested

We are meeting at the Goose Gossage skate park, 3225 Mark Dabling Blvd, 80907 (just south of Garden of the gods and just east of I-25) at 6am. Tuesday will be an easy 4 mile run with some form work (Bio-mechanics) towards the end.

Anyone interested can call or email Chad but you do not need to. Simply show up. We will be meeting at 6 and will hang out no more than 10 minutes before taking off.

Also, We have a Wednesday morning 7 miler planned but have not set the location yet if you would like to weigh in.

Confirmed for tomorrow are:
Ben, Chad, Jason (Friend of Chad's) and Rich Reich. I'm really looking forward to seeing Rich. = )

We plan to post meeting times around the city as we progress up in the mileage and get closer to Chicago.

Monday, July 14, 2008

July 14th GPS Clydesdale Weigh-in

I had a wonderful weekend of running and play. For my birthday, we played paintball on a rural course about 30 minutes from Sioux Falls. It was a total blast and I highly recommend this activity for all us fit people. The balls can hurt like the dickens and I have a few nice sized welts (i.e. "man jewelry", badges of honor), but the adrenaline rush and overall fun factor far outweigh the pain. I've already got Pat marked for next summer.

My wife planned the activity and joined in as well - she held her own and did as well as any of the guys. For those of you that know my brother Dan, he was a total kamikaze, sacrificing his body for the good of the team - it was legendary. He has some wicked marks to show for his efforts.

Anyways, I ran 7 on Saturday + paintball for 6 hours, and 14 on Sunday, so a decent weekend of activity overall. It made up for a poor outing this past week. My body was telling me it needed rest and I complied taking Monday, Thursday, and Friday completely off going into the weekend. I feel great today, though.

Without further adieu, I weighed in this morning AT...


That's a 4 pound drop from last week! Feeling great, and my wife says she can see my love handles wilting away. I can definitely tell in my runs as well - my legs felt much stronger this past weekend.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Foot Pod vs. GPS Watch

OK, I need some guidance from you running experts. I'm getting tired of hand calculating my splits and pace via my $19.99 Timex Wal-Mart special. I want something that will 1) accurately measure my distance, pace, etc. 2) Have a heart monitor 3) Keep me on pace w/ alerts 4) Store training data for seamless (i.e. mindless) transfer to a computer

I've looked at the Garmin's and Suunto's thus far. From what I can tell, Garmin is the all-in-one wonder watch, but very expensive (and bulky unless you step up to the "sport watch" which is even more expensive). Suunto seems to be more versatile with "pods" to add the features you want to the base sport watch. Which brings me to the foot pod. Looking at what I want the price is relatively the same (about $250 for watch, heart rate function, foot pod vs. Garmin all in one with similar functions).

I'm feeling like a wombat staring at the lights of an oncoming semi right now. Could anyone lend me some advice before I make an expensive mistake?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Monday Weigh-in: Great Plains Strider (GPS)

I apologize for not weighing in on Monday as planned - I weighed myself this morning (w/clothes on) at...

217 lb.'s

I probably lost three pounds this past week (since last week I was w/o clothes), so it was a good week for me. I continue to drink lots of water and pound the fruits and vegetables. I'm sure my 11 mile run this weekend helped too.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

June Roll Call (Rich)

For the month of June, I did the majority of my running indoors on my treadmill. I have been trying to maintain race pace for all of my mid-week runs (7:13, 8.3 mph). My goal is to try to speed up my long runs to race pace. Today I have a 12 mile run ahead of me and there is a torrential downpour outside, so it looks like I will be on the treadmill yet again. I find that the treadmill is too noisy to listen to TV so I just listen to my IPOD shuffle. It is too bad that we are not allowed to run with IPODs for the Chicago marathon. I find that listening to music helps me maintain a steady pace and makes the time go by faster. I have been keeping a running log on Excel. I tried to screen capture the spreadsheet for this blog, but the text showed up too small to read, so you'll just have to trust me on this one. I have been trying to find creative activities to do on my cross training days, and I recently bought a Nintendo Wii. I have found the boxing pretty aerobic. It is easy to get the hard pumping while dodging virtual punches.

Friday, July 4, 2008

June Roll Call (Scott)

June was a month of ups and downs for me. It started with a pretty good race. I also had some good long runs. However, my weekday runs suffered a bit for a variety of reasons. I have been learning some lessons about factors that can kill a run, including hydration, sleep, and temperature. I started running with a heart rate monitor. It's pretty interesting as both a logging tool and an aide in listening to my body. It lets me know when I'm having to work harder due to some of those factors I mentioned above.

One of the things I struggled with in June was downhill running. I really need to find a happy medium between walking (too slow) and running fast (too damaging). I know the answer is to spend more energy keeping the brakes on my running pace, but I tend to let things go too much. This leads to injury. After extended downhill trail runs, I've had tender knees for at least a week. This tends to take the wind out of my sails to say the least.

Looking forward, I plan to do a hill race this Sunday (where I can practice my new downhill approach). Then, I'll be doing some "cross training" the week of 13-July in Alabama. It should be hot, humid, and flat, none of which I'm used to.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A New Clydesdale Recruit

Shane has decided to join Doug and I in our marathon-style "Biggest Loser". I learned that Shane and I share an ice cream addiction, so we know each others weak spots. Shane had this to say...

Hey Steve. Thanks for the invite and please count me in. My last weigh-in was
on Friday where I was around the 202 mark ... my personal "ideal" weight is in
the 175-185 range. I'll take an "official" weigh-in on Monday, and perhaps, I'll
have yet another reason to cut back on my ice cream addiction.

Welcome aboard, Shane!

I should also note that all are free to join in on our contest who feel they need the extra accountability and support.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

May-June-July Roll Call (Tracy)

Since I missed May and it's now July...I guess I'll cover 3 months at once :)

May was rough for me. I started a new position at work (executive officer for all the military types) and it pretty much kicked my butt. I basically missed the entire month of pre-training which set me back quite a bit.

Regardless, I started the marathon training according to Hal Higdon's plan in June, however, because I missed so much time, I had to start with the novice plan. All has been going well so far. My longest run so far has been only 9 miles, but I am injury-free. Even the annoying shin pain I had back in April is gone (I guess the time off in May helped in some ways). I have adjusted my training plan to include speedwork as well and it is definitly helping with my pace (another downfall to the time off in May - I'm not running nearly as fast as I'd like to be right now.) I plan to run a half-marathon in early September to get a better feel for my expected marathon pace. I know things will get much more difficult in August with the schoolyear starting, so I'll hopefully have figured out the tricks of my new position to leave time for my runs. It certainly will be a challenge. Any past execs out there (I know there are a few), feel free to lend advice :).

I'm one of the few not running the Peak, so I've been keeping my runs as flat as possible. The Santa Fe trail works great! I've even convinced Demi (my husband) to come along on his bike for my long runs as my "waterboy". Regarding nicknames...TC will work...that's my latest one. I've had others like "lil' cash" "trd", but that's b/c of my maiden name, Denaro, which means "money in Italian. A few of my coworkers have tried the President-related nicknames due to my married name (Clinton), but I can promise you I won't respond to those! :)

At any rate, best of luck with everyone's training and I look forward to meeting many of you soon. Demi and I plan to be at the top of the Peak to cheer everyone on in August.