Entries in Gear (11)


Still Running....and loving it!

September has surely been a busy month so far! Which is mostly why this blog has been silent since the end of August. I went on a family vacation over the Labor Day weekend, and since returning, it seems like all aspects of my life kicked back into high gear. Everything, that is, except for my blogging. Unfortunately, that has received the least of my attention. So, it is time to get back into 'gear', as it were.

Still Running!

Even though the blog has been silent, I have been diligently following the training plan that I mentioned in my last post. I do an easy run every Tuesday and Thursday morning around 5:45am (in the dark) for 30-40 minutes. So basically, I run a 5K each of those days plus 3/4 mile of warm-up/cooldown. So it is almost 4 miles total. I foam roll before and after the runs, plus stretching after the runs.

I am using a modified Galloway training plan from the RunDisney web site. I took what he had and then worked with my trainer to augment it according to my needs and my race schedule so that everything would dovetail well together. Plus, she added Interval Runs into the plan (usually on the Tuesday run) and a couple of Hill Runs (not looking forward to those). It feels like a good plan, and I am excited about my fitness level (and speed) by the time the WDW Half comes around in January. I am not going to break any speed records, but I should run well.

My Saturdays are for my Long Runs. I am up to 6 Miles now and feeling pretty good about my runs. Tomorrow I am running a 10K "Race for the Cure" to support breast cancer research. I am hoping to pull off a PR in the race as long as it doesn't rain, making me slow down to avoid slipping and falling. We will see. Very excited about this race! My Long Run weeks alternate between a longer distance one week and a shorter 5K distance the next. This should give my body plenty of time to recover from each longer distance. (At age 51, I am being very careful about avoiding injury and not overtraining).

Cross Training moving to the next Level

I decided to switch from the TEAM Weight Loss cardio program that I had been doing three days/week since April to a different exercise program called TEAM Fitness. TEAM Fitness is a strength training program that utilizes both core strengthening exercises in concert with circuit machines that focus on both upper body and leg workouts. I do this twice a week on Mondays and Wednesdays (since I run on Tuesdays and Thursdays) and boy, is it kicking my butt! In a good way though! There are six circuit stations and at each station, you do three 'reps' with each rep consisting of both a machine exercise and a core/calistentic exercise. And there isn't much wasted time between reps or between stations so you really work hard! The class lasts an hour. After three weeks, I am beginning to get the hang of it. The types of exercises change each time so it is never boring or repetitious, which is a definite good thing. This is going to be a great Cross Training activity for me to help balance the running.

Fridays are for swimming laps and/or resting in the Jacuzzi. I kinda like the plan of swimming 10 lengths, then getting in the Jacuzzi for 10 minutes, then repeating. That gives me a total of 30 swim lengths (either freestyle or breaststroke) and some time relaxing. It might be unorthodox but I love my Jacuzzi time, and the swimming might prepare me for a Tri some time in my future.

New gear!

Now that it is getting darker much earlier (and a lot cooler recently), I have had to dip into the budget to pick up some more stuff (I love gadgets) to help me. I picked up a nice Petzl headlamp so I can see where I am going during my early morning runs. I also picked up three long-sleeved tech shirts at the Chicago Half Marathon Expo for $35 (awesome deal!).

Last week, I picked up a green running half zip jacket which will keep me warm and dry, as well as a pair of Zoot Compression Knickers (my first piece of compression clothing). I got the knickers for two reasons: 1) They will help support my hamstrings and increase blood circulation in my legs, and 2) They will help keep my legs warm! I wore them for the first time at the Navy Pier "Run the Pier" 1-mile sprint race. They felt good, and I ran my fastest mile this year in them (8:58). They are my new best friend!

What's next

You might not have noticed some changes to the site, but I have made a few. I added more sections to the top Navigation Bar for my Race Schedule, a Blog Archive, and my Links page. I figured it would be easier to just modify the schedule page than keep having to list my upcoming races within the postings. And the Blog Archive will make it easier to find previous postings in case there is a topic or category you wish to review.

As I mentioned earlier, tomorrow I am running in the "Race for the Cure" -- a 10K race supporting breast cancer research. My Mother-in-Law died from that disease, and I have lots of friends who are either fighting it or have survived it. I am proud to run in support of finding a cure. Next June, I will be walking the Avon Walk -- a 39 mile walk over two days -- to raise more funds towards research. I hope I can count on your support.

Next Saturday, I run a 5K race in support of AIDS Research here in the Chicagoland area. Another cause that I fully support. Why not run for something that's important to you, right? This will mark the third race in three consecutive weekends. I hadn't originally planned it that way, but it happened. But it's all good, right?


Hamstrings, Disney, and Shoes

This week is my taper week for the upcoming 10K race. It isn't a marathon, but it is still an important race for me. It is my first 10K, it is a trail race, and I am planning on using the results to place me in an earlier corral for the Disney Half in January. I have been nursing a troubled left hamstring so I have not done much this week. Did my cardio on Wednesday (including a 3-mile walk), and then did a 3-mile run Wednesday evening with my CARA group. The hammy complained a bit during the run but nothing major. I think I will just hang loose for the remainder of the week. I know I am good enough to run the race but I am hoping it will be fully back to normal by Sunday. Foam Roller and ice all week, baby! Anyone else have hammy healing powers for me?

I have been thinking a lot about Disney this week. A friend was checking flights yesterday and we found flights from Chicago to Orland for between $185-234! So I went ahead and bought the tickets for me, my wife, and son. So one more task complete. Plus, I made all my dining reservations so that was yet another task done. Now all I have to do is buy the park tickets and since they don't really go on sale, I can get them anytime.

But mostly, I have been thinking about the Half Marathon and how to prepare for it, what fueling ideas to follow, what gear I will need, and what my pacing plan should be. And, I have been reading a lot of race reports from folks who give an idea of what each mile is like. It is interesting reading, and a bit overwhelming to try to absorb it all. Of course, I have plenty of time for figuring all of this stuff out. But I like to mull over things. I am pretty excited still!

To that end, I started thinking about shoes. My current shoes I like very much but Pearl iZumi is not making this shoe any more. And, I have almost put 300 miles on the shoes. So I figure that after my race Sunday, it will be time to break in a new pair of shoes as I start my Half Marathon training. So today, I went to Dick Pond and after trying on a bunch of different shoes, I picked a pair of Saucony Progrid Ride 4s. They feel great, are pretty light, and the colors match most of my run clothing (haha). Excellent neutral shoes with a bit of cushion but not too much. I think these are going to work out just fine. And, they were a bit cheaper than my iZumi shoes were.

The woman at the store was excellent. I had her do another gait analysis on me to confirm what the previous running store had said about me and she concurred with them. I think I have found 'my' running store (and it is not too far from my home too). I am going to go there on the next sale day and pick up a second pair. That way, I can switch between them weekly so I don't have to worry that my shoes will be worn out right before my Half Marathon.

I think I am ready. I have the motivation. I have the equipment. I pick up the race packet on Saturday morning and am going to check out the course that day. Now a little pixie dust for the hammy, and I will be ready to rock it on Sunday! And just for good measure, I am bringing Joe Taricani with me on my iPod so I can listen to The Marathon Show during the race. My goal is to finish the race by the end of his show (or at least no more than 10 minutes after it ends).

I will post a race report sometime Sunday. Until then, RUN HAPPY!