NEXT!!

I don’t know how many of you ever played pick-up basketball at your local gym or school. In my experience, when there was a limited number of courts, there was always a group of players waiting for their turn to play… these guys had “downs.”  The rule was that the winners got to play another game against the team of “downs” while the losers had to sit.

When the winning team vanquished its opponent, we (because I won some, don’t laugh) would shout out “NEXT!!” in our most arrogant voice to signify ourselves as the victors and as a form of trash talking to the new team we were about to play (i.e. they were also about to be defeated).  (I think this is similar to gorillas beating their chests…haha!) Now I haven’t played real basketball since law school (though I still wont let Crystal get rid of my high-tops… I could play again!!).  Still, after conquering INSANITY, I feel the need to call out my next opponent.

“NEXT!!”

Up next is a half marathon…the Magic City Half, right here in Birmingham on November 18.  I have started training already.  I also have the Rock ‘n Run obstacle course in Georgia in September and the Warrior Dash in Alabama in October. The training will include running for the half marathon followed by weight training on my “off days.” My schedule looks like this

Sunday – Long run

Monday — Chest and Tris and abs

Tuesday – Easy run

Wednesday – Back and Bis and abs

Thursday – Tempo run

Friday – Legs

Saturday – Off or core

The running schedule comes from Runner’s World and is based on my race day. The weight lifting strategy was designed by me.  I plan lifting relatively heavy through the first of October, but as the runs get longer, I intend to do more high rep, light weights to hopefully maintain any gains through the marathon.

I know some people will take me to task for continuing to lift while training for a half.  But those people don’t understand my goal. Yes, carrying extra muscle in my upper body for 13.1 miles will undoubtedly slow me down.

But I will need that muscle (and much more) to complete the ultimate goal, the Tough Mudder next April. A 10-12 mile obstacle course “challenge” designed by the British Special Forces and supporting the Wounded Warriors project. This race intimidates me; the distance especially. The Barbarian Challenge almost killed me and it is not nearly this far. I want to do it, just so I can say i did it.  Does that make any sense at all?

I am thinking of doing  BODY BEAST (a new Beachbody program designed to build muscle) after finishing the Half Marathon to try to gain back any muscle mass I lose (while cutting back a little on my running — the end of November, December and January, how much am I going to want to be outside anyway??!! haha.)

What do you guys think?  Sound like an overly optimistic plan? Am I insane?

Now consider that I turn 37 today, but am in the best shape I have been in perhaps ever but certainly since I was 28.  I think pushing yourself toward new challenges is the only way to get fit and getting fit is the only way to stay young.  What is your “NEXT”!!??!!

Running tips for Newbies like me and OUCH!!

As many of you know, I have started running. Obstacle course racing has really made me realize this deficiency in my fitness and I am trying to correct it.  I am still learning so found a cool article on form in Runners World online.  I summarize it below but the full article can be found here.

The Perfect Form … its the name of the article, I am not commenting on the subject runner!! 😉

Head Tilt – look at the horizon and not your feet.

Shoulders – Shake out your shoulders to release tension if they creep up toward your ears.

Arms –  Don’t clench your fist and don’t allow you arms to swing across the front of your body.

Torso – Run tall — stretch yourself to your full height when running.

Hips – “When trying to gauge the position of your hips, think of your pelvis as a bowl filled with marbles, then try not to spill the marbles by tilting the bowl.”  I have no idea what this means…

Legs/Stride – “slight knee lift, a quick leg turnover, and a short stride. Together, these will facilitate fluid forward movement” Foot should land directly below your body.

Ankles/Feet –  “land between your heel and midfoot–then quickly roll forward. Keep your ankle flexed as your foot rolls forward to create more force for push-off. As you roll onto your toes, try to spring off the ground. You should feel your calf muscles propelling you forward on each step. Your feet should not slap loudly as they hit the ground. Good running is springy and quiet.”  For what that is worth.

I have been trying to improve my form, concentrating on the shorter strides, tension in the shoulders, and running tall (i.e. the ones that make sense to me). Saturday I ran over 5 miles.

Afterward, the top of my left foot hurt… a lot.  It felt like the bone between my big toe and ankle was bruised or something. I stayed off it on Sunday. On Monday, I did an upper body P90X2 routine to try to protect it.  It was feeling a little better today so I went for my run (well on the treadmill, but that still counts, right?).  It ached the first mile or so, but feels better now.  I read somewhere that it was caused by tying your shoes too tightly and your feet swelling.  I kept them really loose today.

Has anyone else experienced this?

No, he didn’t!!

With time at lunch, I headed home to do the next INSANITY workout.  However, it was so pleasant and (relatively cool – 81 degrees in Alabama) that I decided to put the workout off and use my new app, RunDouble, to continue to get ready for longer runs.

It was much more difficult today.  The temperature kept rising (85 degrees when I got finished).  The hills were far greater than South Alabama.  And I had to keep jumping off the road as cars came (longer distances mean I ran out of the subdivision… I think I may just do a couple of laps instead in the future.) Not counting warm-up and cool-down, I ran 3.87 miles in 44 minutes (40 running and 4 walking).  I was disappointed to have a pace over 11, but I can only improve.  Total distance including warmup and cool-down was 4.31 miles, so that is good.

So I got back from my jog and noticed that my neighbor had seen my garage door open and, thinking we had forgotten to shut it, closed it for us.  Unfortunately, I was now locked out of my house.  “Why did you leave the garage door open when you ran?” A very good question and one asked by Coach Crystal when she came to let me in.  I don’t know, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

And then we were in the kitchen and I was getting water.  Crystal asked where the dog was.  I told her that he was outside and went to let him in and found that … THE BACK DOOR WAS UNLOCKED!  I had not thought to check it even though I had let the dog out before my run.  I don’t think Crystal would have even noticed if the chagrin on my face hadn’t given it away.  She was not happy in the moment (she had to skip her jog), but can laugh about it now.

A word of advice…. any time you think you are locked out, check all  your doors first!!

Running and not Getting Burned!!

So Coach Crystal has been angling toward us doing the Warrior Dash in Jackson, Mississippi. Yes, that is both of us and includes her padawan; who prides himself on being a non-runner.  (Don’t hate, my runner friends, I want to like it, I just don’t).

  I had never heard of the Warrior Dash until she told me that she wanted to do it.  Apparently, it is 3.4 mile obstacle course which includes a mud pit, jumping over fire, and other obstacles. Afterward, there is a costume party or something with beer and food?!?! I finally agreed to do it with her.  There are a couple of scheduling issues we are working out, but if we can get those figured out, we are going.

So anyway, I figured I might need to make sure I could run at least most of the course. (I do not think the running will be the difficult part, so I figured I should have that down.) I am not a runner and make no claim to be, but I ran a 5k (3.1 miles) on the treadmill in 36:39 today.  I thought that was decent time.  (Apparently, really good runners run it in 12-15 minutes — I guess they sprint the whole way?? )  I am not trying to win a race, I am just trying to make sure I can get through it without passing out and still have enough at the end to not get scorched!!

 
The 5k wasn’t fun, but it wasn’t terrible either.  Now that I know I won’t pass out during the run…who is going with us??  HAHAHA!