Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fit Times Two

The content I would normally be posting in this blog will now be part of Fit Times Two.  Please follow the new Fit Times Two blog to read about running as well as fitness and nutrition.

Here are some examples of recent posts at Fit Times Two:

13 Miles Around The Lake - There and Back Again

Marathon Fueling

Fitness Watches

Cross Training

So whether you are into running, cycling, swimming, weight lifting, nutrition, or all around fitness.  Fit Times Two is the place to be!

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I ended up running in a charity 5K for literacy this morning. I was feeling a little tired during my warm up run beforehand, but my legs still felt relatively strong. I started the race with a strong conviction to keep an exact pace at the beginning: 6:10/mile. After crashing and burning in my recent 8k, I didn't want to take any chances. I kept the lap pace for the first mile right on target thanks to my GPS watch. I started the second mile thinking, "Wow, this is the most relaxed I've felt in the middle of a race. I actually have something left in the tank." By the time I got to the third mile, I was able to find the energy to hold on to my pace, where usually the wheels start coming off and I begin to slow down. I finished the race in 19:09 and placed 4th overall. I had some hope in the back of my mind that I would break 19 minutes, but I'm happy that I paced myself well. I think I did as well as I could have for that particular race. It's a flat course with the only challenges being the rough and crumbling path and brisk headwind when going along the river.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I ran in shorts for the first time in about 4 months. It felt like real running. Finally. The warmer weather has also prompted me to start working speed into my training. Unfortunately, my calves aren't used to the extra speed yet, and have each exhibited a strain followed by soreness during several runs in the past few weeks. Hopefully, that will get sorted out and I can continue training normally. I'm also getting over a cold that really took me out for several days.

But alas, with the sun shinning and temperatures above freezing, one can't help but be optimistic.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Trying to get back into speed training

I've been doing what we call "base training" for 4 months now. Just logging lots (for me) of mileage at medium effort (around 7-8 minute pace). I decided I'd better start introducing some speed training back into my schedule since I'll probably be doing some 5-8K races soon. Most of the running books I've read indicate that it's good to have months of pure base training, and then move into a period where speed workouts are introduced. So, on Monday, I was going to do my first short tempo run in a long time. I was going to try to run 3 miles while staying around 6-6:10 minute miles.

I started off fine, and felt good. All my base training had really helped, and it felt like I could keep going for quite a long time. It's just that, once I got to a certain speed, it felt like I couldn't go any faster. This is where speed work becomes necessary because I need to teach my body to run faster.

As I neared the end of my second mile, I felt a distinct twitch in my left calf muscle. Suddenly, I had significant pain on the outside of that muscle. It caught me off guard, and I stopped to avoid doing anymore damage. Perhaps I need to ease into such fast running more gradually.

The next day, I still ran, but had to take it easy due to soreness. I took the next day off, partly because of that, and partly because I had a sore throat. I'm feeling better today on both accounts, so I'll see how well I can train today.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I was running in my neighborhood the other day and noticed a helicopter flying around. I thought nothing of it until I heard it coming up behind me. I was wearing a red shirt, so I must have stood out like a bright flame against the black street. Suddenly, I looked up and the chopper was right over my head! I could see the pilot and passenger looking right at me -- weird. I waved and ran faster. It followed me for a while. "I'm not some runaway convict folks; I'm just some dude running down the street", I thought. Finally, it flew off and I didn't see it again. Other than that, the run was mostly uneventful, except one loose, barking dog that I hadn't vetted yet.

By vetting, I mean that I generally get a feel for which dogs are friendly and which are questionable, so that I can plan my runs accordingly. It's not that I fear harm; it's just that it can really ruin a runner's focus and enjoyment to have a growling, toothy beast coming at you.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Pulling on tights or wind pants -- throwing on layers of high tech fabrics. Daily. It's the life of a outdoor runner in Minnesota; for about 5 months at least. While it is a grind, the payoffs can be big.

Running high mileage has brought me to a new level that had escaped me for some time. During a run, it seems like I could physically go forever; yet it's the mental tedium that is difficult. The best mental trick I've found for going a long distance is to forget about how far you will be going or how far you've gone. I simply think, "I'm going to be running indefinitely, and I'm fine with that". It's like mentally settling in and being comfortable with it. This will definitely be a critical mind trick when I start creeping up toward 20 mile runs during the summer.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I have been running a lot of miles this winter. More than I expected to be, actually. I'm happy about it, of course. Regardless of snow, cold, wind, slush -- the more miles I run now, the easier the marathon will be in the fall. It's that simple. Not to mention, the high mileage has already paid off greatly, giving me a 1:31 half marathon that I would have never expected. Though, I do have to be very careful about doing too much. Overtraining is no joke and can really make you chronically lethargic. Ever so slowly getting the body used to a little more every couple of weeks is the key.

Regardless of how many miles, I think the one defining moment that makes a person a "runner" is when they have accepted that they will slip those running shoes on every time, even if they don't want to. There have been many days where I absolutely did not feel like lacing them up, but had to tell myself, "this is what I do". It becomes as normal as brushing your teeth or taking a shower.