Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Half Marathon Training Log

Day 86
Wednesday, September 24
2 miles - 17:41
Days Until Race: 3
Training Miles Completed: 195.5

That's it! Training is over!

Over the last three months I've averaged 2.27 miles per day. If you consider the fact that I usually only ran 4 days per week, then on the days I ran it was nearly 4 miles every time I ran. I usually run a little faster than a 10 minute/mile pace, so I'm estimating that I've spent around 32 hours running during my training.

I was hoping to get to 200 training miles before the race, but I guess I'll just have to stop at the 4.5-mile mark of the race and celebrate ... or not.

Anyway, I was talking with Katie last night about how I was hoping I'd feel more confident about the race and that I'm excited and dreading it at the same time. She said to just remember how much work and time we've put into all this training. We've sacrificed what could have been free time, sleep time, fun time and work time to achieve this goal. So, when we run the race Saturday, it doesn't really matter how fast we run it or if we can finish the whole thing without walking. As long as we cross the finish line, we've accomplished our goal - a goal most people (in their right minds) wouldn't even consider.

Now that training is over I realize that training really isn't over. I won't be on a schedule like I have been for the half marathon, and I don't expect to run nearly the distances I've been running, but I am going to continue to run. We've already signed up for the Pilots 5K during Bethel College's Homecoming weekend on November 8 and we may even find a race to run between now and then. So, the training will continue, but now it will be up to me to set the schedule and stick to it.

If you've been following along with this training log, thanks. I hope now that training is over I can get back to some normal blogging!

Day 85
Tuesday, September 23
3 miles - 28:42
Days Until Race: 4
Training Miles Completed: 193.5

Today's run was pretty easy. After the first half mile, it was pretty much smooth sailing. That's crazy considering that I couldn't even run 3 miles without walking on the first day of training!

Day 84
Monday, September 22
4 miles - 39:29
Days Until Race: 5
Training Miles Completed: 189.5

It seems like the next run after a long one (like Saturday's 10-miler) is always a challenge. My legs both hurt this morning and the first two miles were tough. I'm glad this training process is winding down, but I'm excited to run the race!

Day 83
Sunday, September 21
Rest
Days Until Race: 6
Training Miles Completed: 185.5

Day 82
Saturday, September 20
10 miles - 1:42:48
Days Until Race: 7
Training Miles Completed: 185.5

I ran 1o miles without stopping.

I never thought I would be able to type that sentence and have it be completely true. Now, I have to try to go even farther and do 13.1 miles next Saturday.

This was a great run. I drove to the 4-mile mark of an out-and-back course and put a water bottle there. So, I got to take a quick drink at 4 miles and at 6 miles - that was a big help!

I'm pretty sure I couldn't have gone much farther than 10 miles, but I think the race may be enough of an adrenaline rush to get me through those last 3 miles. At least I hope so.

Day 81
Friday, September 19
Rest
Days Until Race: 8
Training Miles Completed: 175.5

Day 80
Thursday, September 18
5 miles - 47:56
Days Until Race: 9
Training Miles Completed: 175.5

Good run. I felt good the whole time - though I had to push myself through the first mile. The first mile is almost always a tough one for me. I don't do any warmup so the first mile is mostly me getting all the soreness out.

I'm going to plot out a 10-mile course for Saturday morning so I don't have to run on the treadmill.

Day 79
Wednesday, September 17
3 miles - 28:04
Days Until Race: 10
Training Miles Completed: 170.5

I felt much better this morning. I think my struggles are partly mental, but my right leg and hip hurt most of the day yesterday, so there is definitely something physical going on. I'm glad today was a good run. Now, I just have to do 5 tomorrow and 10 on Saturday before a light week next week in preparation for the race Saturday!

Day 78
Tuesday, September 16
4 miles - 39:14
Days Until Race: 11
Training Miles Completed: 167.5

This was supposed to be a 5-mile run, but my legs were dead this morning. I had to walk just to finish 4 miles. I think my body has reached its limit, so it's a really good thing that this is the last week of heavy training.

Day 77
Monday, September 15
Rest
Days Until Race: 12
Training Miles Completed: 163.5

Day 76
Sunday, September 14
9 miles - 89:24
Days Until Race: 13
Training Miles Completed: 163.5

Another treadmill workout. I had to walk a few times, but still finished with a pretty decent time. I'm kind of nervous about the actual race because I obviously cannot run all 13.1 miles. I don't want to have to walk across the finish line!

Day 75
Saturday, September 13
Rest
Days Until Race: 14
Training Miles Completed: 154.5

Day 74
Friday, September 12
3 miles - 28:51
Days Until Race: 15
Training Miles Completed: 154.5

I planned on running 5 or 6 miles this morning, but had some pretty significant pain around my right knee and shin. I thought it would go away as I got warmed up, but it just seemed to keep getting worse the farther I ran, so I quit at 3. The last thing I want to do is injure myself with only two weeks left before the race. Hopefully a day without running tomorrow will help the leg feel better for a 9-mile run on Sunday.

Day 73
Thursday, September 11
3 miles - 27:42
Days Until Race: 16
Training Miles Completed: 151.5

After 3 days of doing nothing, I was worried how I would feel. But, this was a pretty good run. I set the treadmill on a higher speed than normal and even ran the last half mile faster. So, I'm going to try to run 6 tomorrow morning and then 9 sometime this weekend.

Day 72
Wednesday, September 10
Rest
Days Until Race: 17
Training Miles Completed: 148.5

This was not supposed to be a rest day. As I wrote about here, my motivation is really low right now. I'm just getting burned out and sick of the time it takes to do all this training. But, there's less than three weeks left, so I'm going to try to push hard the rest of the way.

Day 71
Tuesday, September 9
Rest
Days Until Race: 18
Training Miles Completed: 148.5

Day 70
Monday, September 8
Rest
Days Until Race: 19
Training Miles Completed: 148.5

Day 69
Sunday, September 7
9 miles: 91:34
Days Until Race: 20
Training Miles Completed: 148.5

I ran on the treadmill, thinking that watching the Colts and Bears would be enough of a distraction that I could make it through all 9 miles. I made it 7 miles without walking, but stopped at 8 miles, thinking I couldn't go any more. I got off the treadmill, drank some water, stretched and then decided to get back on. I was just going to walk a mile to cool down, but ended up running about half of it.

So, it was not a great overall run, but I'm glad I made it the whole 9 miles.

I'm a little nervous about the 13.1-mile race that's less than 3 weeks away. I'm pretty convinced that I can't run all of it and that's disappointing. But, I'm sure I can finish, even if I have to walk a few miles.

On the bright side, I ran 31.6 miles in a week!

Day 68
Saturday, September 6
Rest
Days Until Race: 21
Training Miles Completed: 139.5

Day 67
Friday, September 5
5 miles - 48:34
Days Until Race: 22
Training Miles Completed: 139.5

Pretty good run. I always struggle a little bit on my third straight day of running, but today was not as bad as usual. I'm still amazed that I can run 13 miles in 3 days! Now, if I get my 9 miles in before Monday, this will be a 31.6-mile week!

Day 66
Thursday, September 4
3 miles - 28:42
Days Until Race: 23
Training Miles Completed: 134.5

Still feeling pretty good. The first mile of today's run was kind of a tough one, but then everything loosened up and warmed up and the rest of the run was pretty smooth.

Day 65
Wednesday, September 3
5 miles - 48:29
Days Until Race: 24
Training Miles Completed: 131.5
Weight: 179

What a difference a couple days makes. Today's run was really good - really encouraging. After a miserable finish at the 15K on Monday, I was not feeling very motivated to run this morning. Plus, having to run on the treadmill gets me down. I get so bored on there and have to stop myself from just watching the numbers on the display.

But today's run turned out really great. I had plenty of energy left at the end and ran the last half mile at a much faster pace.

Looking forward to 3 miles tomorrow, 5 on Friday and then 9 on Sunday.

Day 64
Tuesday, September 2
Rest
Days Until Race: 25
Training Miles Completed: 126.5

Day 63
Monday, September 1
15K Race - 1:38:35
Days Until Race: 26
Training Miles Completed: 126.5

Wow, this race did not go as I expected. Katie and I promised to stick together the whole time and we both got frustrated with that at different times throughout the race. I start better than she does and she finishes better than I do, so you can imagine how there could be some frustrating times.

She was struggling throughout the first half of the race, but I was feeling pretty good. We stopped at every water station and walked while we drank a little water - which I now think was a bit of a mistake. Losing the momentum you've got going is not easy to recover from.

As we hit the halfway point and headed for home, I started to struggle and began walking when Katie was feeling like she wanted to keep going.

The last two miles were pretty difficult for me and I honestly thought I would either throw up or pass out if I had not walked much of it.

So, I was pretty disappointed, especially since I know I can do at least 8 miles without stopping. I guess I've still got a lot of work left to do to get ready for the half marathon!

Day 62
Sunday, August 31
2 miles - untimed
Days Until Race: 27
Training Miles Completed: 117

This was an easy run the day before a 15K race. I ran with my friend Marty first thing in the morning. I think we were on a quicker pace than I normally run, but it felt good.

Day 61
Saturday, August 30
Rest
Days Until Race: 28
Training Miles Completed: 115

Day 60
Friday, August 29
Rest
Days Until Race: 29
Training Miles Completed: 115

Day 59
Thursday, August 28
3 miles - ???
Days Until Race: 30
Training Miles Completed: 115

This was supposed to be a 5-mile run, but I was in too much pain to finish. My whole right leg hurt, especially my knee. I'm not sure if it's because I ran outside the night before or what, but I started feeling like my knee was going to give out.

This was pretty discouraging because I haven't really had a good run yet this week. I was hoping today's run would be an encouragement and a confidence builder heading into the 15K on Monday. Oh well, it's not like I'm going to back out now - I'll just have to convince myself that Monday's run is going to be a good one!

Day 58
Wednesday, August 27
3 miles - 28:07
Days Until Race: 31
Training Miles Completed: 112

I ran outside at 6 p.m. This was the first time since Day 28 that I ran outside in the afternoon/early evening. It was not too bad - of course it wasn't nearly as hot as it was on Day 28 either.

Day 57
Tuesday, August 26
5 miles - 48:47
Days Until Race: 32
Training Miles Completed: 109

This was a tough 5 miles! I ran on the treadmill this morning and had to walk at the beginning of the fifth mile. I was frustrated, but then remembered that it was still 5 miles! That's more than I could have even thought about running before I started training. So, hopefully it's just a slow start to a great week!

Day 56
Monday, August 25
Rest
Days Until Race: 33
Training Miles Completed: 104

This wasn't supposed to be a rest day, but with the 15K race coming up in a week I'm juggling my training schedule a bit.

Day 55
Sunday, August 24
Rest
Days Until Race: 34
Training Miles Completed: 104

Day 54
Saturday, August 23
8 miles - 1:17:14
Days Until Race: 35
Training Miles Completed: 104

I felt awful the whole time. I felt like I was running at an incredibly slow pace. I felt like my calves were about to explode. I felt like I would never be able to lift my arms above my head again.

But . . . I didn't walk!

This run was incredibly discouraging and encouraging at the same time. The first 3 miles were extremely frustrating because I was sure I couldn't make it. The next 3 miles were pretty smooth - I finally settled into a rhythm and forgot about the running for a while. The last 2 miles were unbelievably hard. I knew I was getting close to the finish but was not convinced I could finish until the last 100 yards.

So, I'm encouraged because I actually ran 8 miles all at once but I'm not completely convinced that I can run 13.1 on race day. We'll see.

Day 53
Friday, August 22
Rest
Days Until Race: 36
Training Miles Completed: 96

This was not supposed to be a rest day. I'm supposed to be doing some cross training on Fridays, but haven't been doing it much. With all the running I'm doing, I just want to rest on the days I don't have to run. I'm probably hurting myself in the long run, but these rest days sure feel good.

Day 52
Thursday, August 21
Rest
Days Until Race: 37
Training Miles Completed: 96

Day 51
Wednesday, August 20
4.5 miles - 42:48
Days Until Race: 38
Training Miles Completed: 96

Another treadmill run, this time with my kids in the room and having to make sure they are behaving. They did great, I never had to pause my run to straighten them out - they're great kids. The run was decent - not great. I felt good at the end but the second and third miles were kind of tough. I'm a little nervous about running 8 miles Saturday!

Day 50
Tuesday, August 19
3 miles - 28:08
Days Until Race: 39
Training Miles Completed: 91.5

Even though I had to walk during this run I'm not considering it a setback, just a lesson learned. I ran 4.5 miles last night at 8:30 p.m. and then ran today at 6:30 a.m. Also, I didn't eat anything in between the two runs. I was obviously exhausted, so now I know how important it is to replace some of the calories I burn.

Day 49

Monday, August 18
4.5 miles - 41:34
Days Until Race: 40
Training Miles Completed: 88.5

A pretty good run - I was trying to push myself to break 40 minutes, but didn't push hard enough. Oh well. Everything is feeling good - no pain or soreness, so that's encouraging.

Day 48
Sunday, August 17
Rest
Days Until Race: 41
Training Miles Completed: 85

Day 47
Saturday, August 16
7 miles - 1:07:18
Days Until Race: 42
Training Miles Completed: 85

This was probably the most encouraging run I've had since training started. Just the fact that I could run all 7 miles without stopping shocked me. I now have no doubt I can get myself to the point where I can run the whole half marathon. Now, will I get to that point by race day? I don't know.

Katie and I registered to run in the Blueberry Stomp 15K on Labor Day. That's 9.3 miles and it will replace our long training run for that week. I'm really looking forward to it!

Day 46
Friday, August 15
Rest
Days Until Race: 43
Training Miles Completed: 78

Day 45
Thursday, August 14
Rest
Days Until Race: 44
Training Miles Completed: 79

Day 44
Wednesday, August 13
5 miles - 47:13
Days Until Race: 45
Training Miles Completed: 79

Another night on the treadmill watching Olympics and I felt pretty good. The last mile was pretty tough, but I still had enough left at the end to increase my speed and finish strong.

I can't believe we're coming up on 80 miles and we're already at the halfway point of our training.

I'm much less discouraged than I was last week and feel confident that I can continue this training and be ready for the race.

Day 43
Tuesday, August 12
3 miles - 28:31
Days Until Race: 46
Training Miles Completed: 74

This morning and last night were pretty encouraging. I had not been doing well the last few times I ran, but these two runs felt pretty good and I felt like I had enough in me to really push hard at the end.

I had to run on the treadmill again because I'm running out of daylight. I have to leave for work at 7:30 and it's not getting light out until 6:15-6:25 lately. Even a 30-minute run is too much to squeeze in. So, I guess most of my training is going to move indoors, which I'm not excited about. But, if I can find interesting stuff to watch I should be OK.

Day 42
Monday, August 11

Here's another reason I dislike the treadmill: I lubed the belt last week and since then it has been sliding from one side to the other, making it impossible to run for more than a few minutes. In order to lube the belt you have to loosen it and then try to tighten it back up evenly. Apparently I didn't tighten it evenly because it keeps sliding off to one side and then when I adjust it it slides the other way.

I think I may have fixed it this morning, but won't know for sure until Katie or I tries to run for an extended time. So, I'll have to run my4.5 miles tonight - hopefully outside!

4.5 miles - 43:30
Days Until Race: 47
Training Miles Completed: 71

I think I figured out the key to running on a treadmill: Watch something very interesting on TV so you don't constantly look down at the numbers on the treadmill display. I wasn't able to get outside to run last night so I had to do it indoors. Luckily the Olympics were on.

Synchronized diving was the first event I watched. It wasn't exactly captivating, but there was enough drama - with an American pair having a chance at a medal - to keep me interested.

But then came beach volleyball. I want to state, for the record, that I enjoy watching beach volleyball whether it's men or women - honestly. I've always liked watching volleyball and the chance to watch Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh - literally the best women's team ever - really drew me in while I was running. In fact, I had stretches where I wouldn't look down at the treadmill display for nearly a mile. That made the run go fast and I felt good when I was done.

Day 41
Sunday, August 10
Rest
Days Until Race: 48
Training Miles Completed: 66.5

I was supposed to do stretching and lifting, but I've really been bad about sticking to the training plan on the days when I'm not running. Gotta get better.

Day 40
Saturday, August 9
6 miles - 1:00:51
Days Until Race: 49
Training Miles Completed: 66.5

Well, with a pace of more than 10 minutes/mile you can probably guess that I didn't run the whole time. I had to walk on several occasions, which really ticks me off! The course I ran was pretty hilly and I just couldn't make it up some of the bigger hills.

I still feel like that wall is in front of me, but I really want to push through it.

Day 39
Friday, August 8
Bike 7 miles - 36:43
Days Until Race: 50
Training Miles Completed: 60.5

I have a feeling my legs are going to be sore tomorrow! That's bad because tomorrow is a 6-mile day.

Day 38
Thursday, August 7
4 miles - 40:00
Days Until Race: 51
Training Miles Completed: 60.5

One of the reasons I don't like running on the treadmill is because of what happened today. I was about two and a half miles into the run when I reached up to wipe sweat from my face. When I brought my hands back down I knocked the magnetic safety kill switch off and the treadmill shut down.

Once I finally got the treadmill reset, I almost had to get myself warmed up again. I never got back into the spot where I was when the treadmill shut down and I had to walk several times.

The last few runs have been difficult and I feel like I've hit a wall. When I ran five miles on Day 26, I felt like everything was going pretty well. Since then, though, it has been a struggle. Hopefully I can work through this and have some positive experiences again soon.

Day 37
Wednesday, August 6
Rest
Days Until Race: 52
Training Miles Completed: 56.5

I moved my rest day to today so I could give my hip another day to feel better.

Day 36
Tuesday, August 5
Basketball - 1.5 hours
Days Until Race: 53
Training Miles Completed: 56.5

Because we had 9 people, there were no real long breaks and it was a really good workout. The only problem is that my hip pain flared back up. It was pretty painful and I'm worried how my next run is going to affect it. I'll probably have to use the treadmill for the sake of running on a flat surface.

Day 35
Monday, August 4
4 miles - 38:34
Days Until Race: 54
Training Miles Completed: 56.5

Good to get back to running, but it was a difficult run. My legs are pretty sore from softball and this run only made it worse. But, that's what I get for playing softball and then taking the weekend off of running.

Day 34
Sunday, August 3
Nothing
Days Until Race: 55
Training Miles Completed: 52.5

I threw a surprise birthday party for my wife and couldn't fit any running in. I did play a little volleyball, but it wasn't much exercise. I'm a slacker.

Day 33
Saturday, August 2
Softball
Days Until Race: 56
Training Miles Completed: 52.5

I was supposed to run 6 miles today, but only got about 4 hours of sleep due to the all-night softball tournament and couldn't bring myself to run. I wish I would have done some running, even if it wasn't a full 6 miles.

Day 32
Friday, August 1
Softball
Days Until Race: 57
Training Miles Completed: 52.5

Played in an all-night softball tournament in Warsaw. Actually, that's not completely true. The tournament did last all night, but we only played from 9 p.m. until 3:30 a.m. We were in way over our heads, lost three games in a row and went home to get some sleep.

Day 31
Thursday, July 31
Rest
Days Until Race: 58
Training Miles Completed: 52.5

Day 30

Wednesday, July 30
4 miles -39:21
Days Until Race: 59
Training Miles Completed: 52.5

I forgot to take some ibuprofen before today's run and I paid for it - still am. Sore hips and knees, but I finished the run without walking. Looking forward to a possible 6-mile run this weekend scares me right now.

Day 29
Tuesday, July 29
2 miles - 18:46
Days Until Race: 60
Training Miles Completed: 48.5

Today's run was decent - not great and not terrible. I'm pretty sore from tubing on Sunday and I really felt it the first mile. I think the soreness in my chest is making breathing harder while I'm running, at least I hope that's the issue.

My hips, knees and ankles all feel really good.

This week's training plan is going to be altered a bit because I'm playing in an all-night softball tournament Friday and Saturday. Unless we get knocked out of the tournament early, I probably won't do my long run Saturday. Might do it Sunday.

Day 28
Monday, July 28
3.5 miles - 34:06
Days Until Race: 61
Training Miles Completed: 46.5

Well, I tried running after work today and it was awful. I had to stop and walk twice because I was having trouble breathing. I won't do that again.1

Day 27
Sunday, July 27
Volleyball, tubing and cornhole
Days Until Race: 62
Training Miles Completed: 43

The prescribed training for this day was stretching and strength. I didn't exactly do that, but I think the volleyball and tubing was enough - I just listed cornhole because it was fun.

Day 26
Saturday, July 26
5 miles - 48:24
Days Until Race: 63
Training Miles Completed: 43

Wow - I can't believe I ran 5 miles without stopping to walk. It was not nearly as tough as I thought it would be, but it was still a challenge. I think I'm on the back end of dealing with sore hips - there was a little pain, but it was nothing substantial.

In the end it made me feel like I've really come a long way in less than a month. On the first day, I couldn't run 3 miles without stopping and on the 26th day I made it 5 miles without stopping.

Now, it's just a matter of continuing to increase my endurance until I get up to around 10 miles.

Day 25
Friday, July 25
Rest
Days Until Race: 64
Training Miles Completed: 38

Day 24
Thursday, July 24
3.5 miles - 35:50
Days Until Race: 65
Training Miles Completed: 38
Weight: 181

Today's run was a battle - me against my body. I was sore from playing basketball - especially my hips - and it's really hard to get a good stretch first thing in the morning. So, the first mile is usually my warmup and then I can pick up the pace a bit. But today I felt like I just couldn't go any faster. I tried and kept a quicker pace for a little while, but kept settling back into what turned out to be slower than 10 minutes/mile. Oh well, at least I finished it and didn't walk.

I think I've got to get more serious about stretching after running. If I spend 10 minutes stretching, it's a good day. That's bad. I should probably be spending at least 20 minutes stretching after a run.

Day 23
Wednesday, July 23
Rest
Days Until Race: 66
Training Miles Completed: 34.5

This was not originally scheduled as a rest day, but playing basketball until 10:30 the night before convinced me I should switch things around!

Day 22
Tuesday, July 22
2 miles - 18:14
Days Until Race: 67
Training Miles Completed: 34.5

I wanted to try to work on speed today. My goal was to finish two miles in less than 18 minutes, but I came up just a little short. I'm not very good at knowing what pace I'm running, and I don't like to look at my watch while I'm running because then time is all I think about. Oh well, knowing that I can run two miles and feel good afterward is a great thing!

In the evening I played basketball for about 2 hours. I thought I would have no problem running up and down the court since I've got this new endurance - WRONG. Sprinting in short bursts is way different than jogging for a long period of time.

Day 21
Monday, July 21
3.5 miles - 33:39
Days Until Race: 68
Training Miles Completed: 32.5

I felt pretty good the whole way. I made an effort to find the flattest part of the street - without running right in the middle - and I think that helped my hip and knee not to get too sore. I feel like I probably could have run a little faster pace, but my goal is to build endurance, not speed.

Day 20
Sunday, July 20
Rest
Days Until Race: 69
Training Miles Completed: 29

This wasn't supposed to be a rest day - I was lazy.

Day 19
Saturday, July 19
5 miles on treadmill - 51:59
Days Until Race: 70
Training Miles Completed: 29

This was a struggle! It rained most of the day at our house, so the treadmill was necessary. The first two miles were pretty easy, but then my hip started hurting and the rest of the way was tough. I walked a few times, but I feel like I ran just about as much as I could.

I have figured out that I run a slower pace on the treadmill, but I'm not sure why. On the road I run somewhere around a 9:30/mile pace, but on the treadmill it's usually closer to a 10:00/mile pace.

Day 18
Friday, July 18
Swimming
Days Until Race: 71
Training Miles Completed: 24

The training plan called for 40 minutes of cross training, but I figured the softball game Thursday night combined with about 20-25 minutes of swimming today was good enough.

Day 17
Thursday, July 17
Rest
Days Until Race: 72
Training Miles Completed: 24

I didn't rest the whole day - played a softball game at night.

Day 16
Wednesday, July 16
3.5 miles - 34:46
Days Until Race: 73
Training Miles Completed: 24
Weight: 181

Have I really run 24 miles since starting my training? Wow!

Today's run was a bit slower and much less enjoyable than Monday's. I think it was a combination of riding bike the night before, going to bed late (about midnight) and the continuing pain in my right hip and leg. Although, I think I've got the pain figured out - the roads where I live are crowned and so I'm not running on level ground. If that's the problem, I'm not sure how to fix it - any suggestions?

Day 15
Tuesday, July 15
Bike 30 minutes
Days Until Race: 74
Training Miles Completed: 20.5

Katie and I finally got to do some training together. We just went for a short ride and had fun talking with each other. That's the way to train!

Day 15
Monday, July 14
3.5 miles - 33:40
Days Until Race: 75
Training Miles Completed: 20.5
Weight: 183

This may have been the most encouraging run so far. I had not run 3 or more miles on the road without stopping to walk - until today. I kept a pretty steady pace throughout and even had enough energy at the end to run hard (not sprint, just pick up the pace a bit) for the last 100 yards.

My breath was good - meaning I wasn't struggling to breathe or feeling like I needed to catch my breath. Almost everything in me felt like I could have run longer - except my right hip. I've been noticing soreness in the hip the last few times I've run, but it's not bad enough to stop me. I think it's just one of those things I need to work through. The cause is probably just getting older and needing to stretch better - so I'll work on that.

Day 14
Sunday, July 13
15 minutes stretching/30 minutes lifting weights
Days Until Race: 76
Training Miles Completed: 17

I don't know if I've ever written about this before, but my wife used to teach a class at the North Webster YMCA. It was called an aerobics class, but it was better described as a kick-your-butt class. She combined cardio movement with weightlifting and I attended on several occasions. What made her class so tough was the number of repetitions she made her students do. The weights were not heavy - 5 to 10 pounds at the most - but she would make you do anywhere from 30-50 repetitions. And I don't care how strong you are, 50 reps of some lifts can almost make you cry!

So, last night I tried to apply my wife's principles in my lifting, but not to such a ridiculous degree. I put 95 pounds on the bench press and did three sets of 20 repetitions. I managed it, but by the last set I was hurting. It gave me a much greater appreciation for guys like this (that's 200 pounds he's pressing).

Day 13
Saturday, July 12
4 Miles on treadmill - 38:25
Days Until Race: 77
Training Miles Completed: 17

This time, the treadmill was necessary because it rained most of the morning and was too wet to run outside. But, it was a great confidence builder because I didn't walk at all and actually felt pretty good throughout the run.

Day 12
Friday, July 11
Failed attempt to ride bikes
Days Until Race: 78
Training Miles Completed: 13

It has been a while since we tried to ride bikes together - all four of us. Katie and I both have seats attached to our bikes for the kids to ride in. Unfortunately, those seats have a weight limit. Since the last time we rode together, Hanah has surpassed the weight limit and David is only a few pounds away from it. We actually rode for a little bit, but noticed Hanah's seat was kind of wobbly, so we turned around and I tried to tighten it, but figured out it was just the weight. Hanah is too big for her bike seat - so I guess riding bikes together will have to wait until both of the kids are ready to ride on the street with us. Oh well.

Day 11
Thursday, July 10
Rest
Days Until Race: 79
Training Miles Completed: 13

No training today, but played a softball game. Not much exercise, but fun - even though we lost by one run.

Day 10
Wednesday, July 9
3 miles on treadmill - 29:30
Days Until Race: 80
Training Miles Completed: 13

I could say the ground was really wet and that's why I ran on the treadmill today - but that wouldn't be completely true. The ground was wet, but I had made up my mind to run on the treadmill way before the rain came last night. My reason: I thought it would be easier. I've long believed treadmill running is easier than road/trail running, and I proved it this morning. I covered 3 miles in 29:30 without taking a single walking break.

The good news in all this is that I still ran 3 miles - albeit the easy way of doing it.

The bad news: I'm only half done with today's training - I've still got to do some strengthening work tonight.

Day 9
Tuesday, July 8
2 miles - 18:17
Days Until Race: 81
Training Miles Completed: 10
Weight: 182

It was a tough 2 miles this morning, but maybe that's because I ran it faster than last time (41 seconds). I struggled to not quit, but won that battle in the end. I honestly can't believe I've run 10 miles in a little more than a week - and that I've got such a long way still to go!!

Day 8
Monday, July 7
3 miles - 30:07
Days Until Race: 82
Training Miles Completed: 8

It was good to get back on track today after messing up the plan the last three days. The run was not great - I had to stop and walk twice - but I'm glad I did it.

There is such a mental battle that takes place while I'm running. I start thinking crazy thoughts like, "Maybe I could just go the night before the race and get my shirt - not even run the race." Or, "How long would it take me to complete a half marathon if I had to walk most of it?" Or, "What if I hurt myself and couldn't keep up with the training?"

But then I come to my senses and recommit to the training. All this happens in the span of about 30 seconds - usually during an uphill stretch of the run.

Thanks to Becky's suggestion that valleys during running are a lot like valleys in life, I've started seeing a lot of parallels and lessons about life during running.

Today's lesson: Every day is a battle - whether it is spiritual, mental, emotional or physical. Stay committed to what you know is good and right.

Day 7
Sunday, July 6
Rest
Days Until Race: 83
Training Miles Completed: 5

This was not supposed to be a rest day either.
One thing we're learning about training is that it also takes some planning. We spent the weekend in South Haven, Michigan, with some friends and that really made it impossible to get our training in.

We're going to have to spend some time thinking through our training before we make plans for the next few months.

Day 6
Saturday, July 5
Rest
Days Until Race: 84
Training Miles Completed: 5

This was not supposed to be a rest day.

Day 5
Friday, July 4
Volleyball on the beach
Days Until Race: 85
Training Miles Completed: 5

The training plan called for 30 minutes of cross training, which I guess I technically did, but I feel like I dropped the ball on this one. We didn't actually play a game of volleyball, but we did hit the ball in a big circle of friends, which was a little bit of exercise.

Day 4
Thursday, July 3
Rest
Days Until Race: 86
Training Miles Completed: 5

Day 3
Wednesday, July 2
2 miles - 18:58
Days Until Race: 87
Training Miles Completed: 5
Weight: 183

Today's run was mostly pleasant. I use pleasant because I actually felt pretty good during the run, a pleasant surprise. I didn't walk at all - which I have to admit to doing on Day 2 - and even had some energy left to pick up the pace toward the end of the run. I say "mostly" pleasant because the course I ran today had a big valley in the middle of it. Valleys are good to run into, but not out of.Looking forward to a rest day tomorrow, then some cross training Friday followed by a 4-mile run Saturday. Not looking forward to Saturday as much!

Day 2
Tuesday, July 1
3 miles - 30:14
Days Until Race: 88
Training Miles Completed: 3
Weight: 183

This morning was my first training run and, boy was it an adventure! First of all, I haven't run that far all at once since the last time I ran in a 5-K, which was probably 4 years ago. So, it's no surprise that my body revolted against me. The strangest pain I had was in my right shoulder. I don't know why that happened, but it was worse than any leg or other joint pain I had. I live in a great setting for enjoying nature, which makes running a little easier. This morning I saw lots of birds, five deer and a herd of buffalo. By the way, if you ever need a shot of adrenaline while you're running, just imagine a buffalo charging at you. When I ran by them this morning, there were several big ones right next to the fence, making the distance between us only about 10 feet. I couldn't stop thinking about what I would do if one of them decided to charge - that got me through about 1/4 mile of running. So, I'm done with two days of training. Tomorrow is a 2-mile run or cross training. By Saturday I'll be up to 4 miles in one shot, for a total of 9 miles this week.

Day 1
Monday, June 30
Power Yoga - 15 minutes
Days Until Race: 89
Training Miles Completed: 0

If any of you, like me, have ever wondered how in the world Yoga can be considered exercise, all I can say is try it! Holy cow, after 15 minutes of learning new positions and trying to keep my balance through all of them I felt like I had just done a 45-minute weightlifting session. Seriously.

Every Sunday of our training plan calls for stretching and strengthening and I believe Yoga will get that done.

1 comment:

becky said...

As I was running this morning and praying for our small group, I thought of you and Katie.
It is just amazing to me the parallels that happen between a running regimen and life.
I began praying that spiritual lessons pour out of this time of discipline (and pain)and victories.

Then, I read todays training log...
You ran last night and ran this morning without food or rest and couldn't make it. How often is life like that? We run all day without stopping to eat our daily bread and find rest in God and can't figure out why we struggle.
Good job on the lesson learned. :)
Well, at least I'm learning some lessons through your running! :)