Monday, March 3, 2014

Training update! Running, pushing, drinking, building!


After a couple of good weeks of ramping up miles to the high 30s/low 40s, last week was kind of a bust. The plan was a few 4-6 mile runs, then 18 and 5 on the weekend. Weather and meetings at work got in the way and I basically ended up with about 10 miles during the week and 5 on the weekend.

With a newborn at home most of my weekday miles will have to be at lunch for a while. I leave the house at 6:15 AM and return at 5:30 PM. With my wife still recovering from a rough delivery I'm not going to spend my evenings running while she manages a small kid and a baby. So it's homework, dinner, baths, and bedtime stories until 8:30. Then I've got two hours to spend with my wife and shower before it's my turn to feed the baby at 10:30. A run just doesn't fit in.

She does let me get away on weekend mornings so that's where my bread and butter is. But on weeks like last week, where I have co stand meetings and "suit days," it becomes hard. Add in weather, and boom, you have low mileage.

I know that this is not every week though, and I've had good training weeks, so I'm not going to get too upset over it. Plus, I've been doing great on ramping up my body weight workouts.

With being as busy as I am, I have to find unique ways to get in strength training. So, I have set a goal of doing 1000 push-ups, crunches, and squats in a day, at least 3 times a week. To get there, each week I add 100. This week I'm at 500, and not all at once. One day is push up day, another could be squat, another crunch. So yesterday I did 500 push-ups, 500 crunches. Today I'll do 500 squats, 250 push-ups, 250 crunches. Once I get to 1000, I'll work on getting to 1000 of each, all in one day. 

Distributing the workout through the day makes it mentally easier, but at the end of the day it's still hard. And on busy days, that means getting a lot at once. I'm already seeing results. When I lifted weights, I was an "easy gainer" and that's still true.

At 5'6, my 162 weight is higher than I'd like, especially with my race weight being 140 at Rocky raccoon, but my waist is 32" so I feel okay. I'm going to focus more on health than a particular weight and am hoping overall strength helps me in tough ultras.

That's my update, and here's my beer of the week:

I had 2 of these Saturday night. I thought it was okay. Maybe 7/10. The alcohol came through a big strong and I expected much more pronounced hops.

Also, the beard growth is coming in. Yes, I've started growing my hair and beard. The front growth is good, but the sides are lagging. I try not to trim too much, but finally did this weekend to wait for that lagging side growth. Here's some beard progress:

After an early morning feeding...

And after a trim...  The wife is lobbying for a trimmed beard, which I've mostly agreed to, with the exception of races. I have to say, not only do I like the looks of a beard, I'm enjoying not shaving a lot.


Oh! And Logan is doing great in his 5k training! We ran/walk/jogged 2 miles Saturday and he loved it. May 18th will be his first 5k!

Still smiling after two miles!!

And of we didn't to have enough going on, we are building a house! Here are some progress pics from the last month!






Back, covered patio showing, detached garage not up yet.


I can't wait to have a balcony!

Until next time...



Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Going to try this again...

I have gone back and forth on blogging over the last couple of years. There are pros and cons to it for me. The pros are that:
·         It allows me to keep a training log I can look back at and see more than just numbers;
·         I keep up with other bloggers more;
·         It allows me to be part of the on-line running community in a more tangible way.
The Cons are:
·         I often don't have time for more than a quick update;
·         It seems kind of narcissistic;
·         It is public and I try to keep most of my social media locked up.

All that said, I am going to give it another shot. I am going to look through my old blogs and re-post (I put them all in draftmode) some of the highlights such as Rocky Raccoon 50 miler race report and some training.

Where I am today, briefly:
I began running to try to get in shape after finishing graduate school in 2010. I did so despite being told by a Veterans Administration doctor in 2008 that I would likely be using a cane by the time I turned 30 in 2012. My knees are shot and my back has some major issues. So much so that the VA considers these body parts "disabilities." When I started to try to run again, I found they were being proven right. However, after reading Born to Run, I gave the barefoot running thing a try and it really worked out. I could run for miles and miles without major injury. If I put on normal shoes with a large heel to toe drop, I immediately am injured. And I still get injured time to time. I will be more injury prone than other runners due to my knee and back. But becoming obese would be much worse on those body parts. Running also helps me a lot mentally. When I came home from Iraq, adjusting was hard, and there will always be pieces of that with me. I don’t like medications. Running is the only healthy way I have found that keeps me centered and my anxiety manageable.

My running timeline is basically this:
1994 - Went to one junior high cross-country practice. Discovered I hated running.
2001 - Joined the Army. Hated running.
2004  - For the first time, failed a PT test. I had the flu, but I was still mad.
Later 2004 - Destroyed a PT test and came in first in my unit in all events. Discovered I liked fitness.
2005 - Became the unit PT Sergeant and created a remedial program for PT failures that had a 75% success rate.
2006 - Discharge from Active Duty, had major knee and back issues.
2007- Played on the university club football team. Noticed my short speed had reduced incredibly and knee had become an issue. Pretty much quit physical activity after that.
2008 - 2010, New kid, grad school, gained a lot of weight.
2010 - Tried to run, could barely make a quarter mile on my first run. Once I got to 2 miles I found out I had torn my meniscus and that my service related knee issues caused me to have very vulnerable meniscus and knee tissue.
March 2011 - Ran a 10K but my knees were feeling destroyed again.
June 2011 - Read Born to Run, tried barefoot Running
August 2011 - Ran the Hottest Half Marathon in minimalist shoes. Tired, but no mechanical issues.
December 2011 - Ran the White Rock Lake Marathon as a training run for Rocky Raccoon. Took it very easy and had a great time. Ran 10 miles later that evening.
January 2012 - Developed ITBS after a 50K training run in thicker shoes.
February 2012 - Ran the Rocky Raccoon 50 mile trail race with ITBS. 2 weeks later, after learning how to roll my knee placed 2nd in my age group at the Paramount 5K at the Austin Marathon. First time to place in a race.

Since then I have won my age group in 1 5K and 2 10Ks, finished a 50K, and then in DNF'd a double marathon, a 50K, and a 100 miler. After that I took a few months off from running and started back up in January 2014. At the end of the month my wife gave birth to our new baby girl, Lilly, and we spent extra time in the hospital, so progress stopped, but since then I have built back up to about 30 mile weeks.

I am now training for Hell's Hills 50K in April and Cactus Rose 100 Miler in October. My 5 year old son is training for his first 5K. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Hells Hills 10K

After not a lot of running in a long, long time, I was cleared to run a few weeks ago.


After about one week of real training, I took a week slower due to soreness and a cold. I was going to be at Hell's Hills anyhow for Rob's 50 mile, so I decided to run the 10K.

The results compared to last year (when I was in shape)...
Last year:
This year:

So, while I finished quite a bit slower, I was still 8th and I finished first of men 30-35. I attribute the 6 minute difference to 3 things: lack of training due to injury, getting fatter due to lack of training, and there has to be some factor for the mud.

The most important thing is that I felt injury free. My ankle even had to invert a couple times and rebound as I hopped from rock to rock.

I was actually with the front group for a good bit of the start but at about 3 miles, I could tell I did not have the endurance to hang sub 8 minute miles the entire way on that course.

Maybe I'll write more about the experience, but for now that's it. I have not felt inspired to write much lately. Maybe once session is over I will. If not, this thing may get retired.

Also, I don't know why I sit and wait for pictures to come out as if they are going to be great. Mostly this year I just look fat. And very white.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

I know more than doctors, right?

I'm down to 153.6 pounds. Down from 157.3 And I'm effing frustrated.

The boot officially hurts worse than not wearing the boot. I also found this:

http://www.podiatry-arena.com/podiatry-forum/showthread.php?t=2340&highlight=peroneus+longus

On a podiatry forum, some info on a "mild longitudinal tear of the peroneus longus," which is exceedingly hard to find. Most injuries are for peroneus brevis. Anyhow, I saw this,

"Peroneus longus tendon tears in a distance runner can successfully be treated conservatively in some cases if the tear (generally a longitudinal split of the tendon) is relatively mild. 

If the tear is new, then try putting her in a cam walker style brace for 4 weeks, with no running. This may allow it to heal if the tear is minor. Icing, using a 2-5 forefoot valgus extension on an orthosis along with some increased valgus wedging on the orthosis may help the pain, but also may, unfortunately, exacerbate her posterior tibial tendinitis.

Most of these tears do well with surgical repair but this would mean at least 3 months or more of no running. If it were my foot, and the tear did not respond to immobilization, and orthosis modifications, then I would have the surgery done."

I have my check-up this week. I am hoping to at least get out of the boot.


This week's workouts:
Monday: Insanity Mixed Core Workout: 40 minutes (Core Cardio and Cardio abs with just 1 warm up and cool down)
Tuesday: Stationary Hills, 18.73 miles, 50 minutes
Wednesday: Insanity Max Recovery (lots of plank and isometrics) and Cardio abs, 58 minutes
Thursday: 45 minutes, Stationary Hills, 17 minutes
Friday: slept in
Saturday: Insanity Max Recovery, 46 minutes + Insanity Max Cardio, 48 mintues
Sunday: Rest

Probiotics continue to be awesome.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Just moving along, supplements, no meat, and going a little crazy.

No running, day 52. Day 22 in the boot. I’m going a little crazy. I have searched and searched on what it says on my MRI report: “Minor longitudinal tear of the peroneous longus.” Minor gives me hope. I have my follow up with my doctor soon and I plan to ask him. I found one site that gives me a glimmer of hope:

http://www.wisegeek.com/how-do-i-treat-a-torn-peroneus-longus-tendon.htm
This article says after immobilizing for several weeks, you can sometimes lose the cast and start getting ready to exercise.

Supplements

Nitric Oxide

I also am doing what I can to speed healing. I purchased a Nitric Oxide supplement called NO3 Chrome. Several articles and sites list Nitric Oxide as a way to speed up the healing.

From Livestrong:
Nitric Oxide
Nitric oxide is a chemical that plays a role in tendon healing. If supplements of arginine are taken, which stimulates nitric oxide formation, then tendon healing appears to increase. Also, clinical trials of nitric oxide delivery patches placed over areas of tendinitis show significantly reduced pain symptoms in patients and also increased range of motion and strength of the treated area.

Many of the sites talk about patches to put over the injury, but I have also found plenty on the oral supplement. The idea makes sense: the reason it takes a tendon so long to heal is the lack of blood flow.

  


Nitric Oxide supplements with L-Arginine help to increase blood flow. This is the reason it is marketed: the blood flow causes a “pump,” making your muscles appear larger when you work them out.



I think it’s funny that someone would care more about the “pump” than really building muscle, but it can assist with that as well. Of course you build muscle up by tearing it down. The more blood during the healing, the faster you recover, and the faster you can work out again, meaning more muscle. But nobody markets it that way. It did lead to a funny discussion at GNC. The guy was going on about how pumped I would get and this and that, and I’m like look at me dude. Do I look like I care about “being pumped?” That said, it is kind of cool.

Probiotics

I also am really getting in to probiotics.
Ever since I was in Iraq, I have had terrible stomach issues. I now wonder if I have some mean bacteria living in there causing havoc. I am not sure how, but I stumbled on the idea of probiotics. I originally got some Yakult drinks that have 5 billion happy little bugs in them, but have moved up to a 20 day supply of 75 billion per day. I will then do maintenance of 25 billion per day.


I really have already noticed a difference. I’m starting to actually care a lot more about what I put in my body. When I first started running, it was an easy way to eat a lot and not be fat. Then I fell in love with running itself. Now I can’t run for a while, so I am looking at the other side of the equation. Part of that is lack of meat.


Vegetarianism

For Lent, my wife and I gave up meat. I always try to give up something that can actually improve my life while making me realize I am making a sacrifice. It was easy the first few days, but it is definitely getting more difficult after a week. Whatever it is, this week I have finally started to lose some weight. I weight myself last night and I had lost a pound and a half since Sunday. I know some of that is fluctuation, but that was after a big dinner and beers. I really think the lack of meat plus the probiotics are what are turning the tide. I hope to stick close to vegetarianism when Lent is over. We will see. I am not saying no meat, just very little.

Sticking to it…

So that’s my update. Still sticking to it, hopeful for a speedy recovery, but going a little crazy.


No running, day 52. Day 22 in the boot. I’m going a little crazy. I have searched and searched on what it says on my MRI report: “Minor longitudinal tear of the peroneous longus.” Minor gives me hope. I have my follow up with my doctor soon and I plan to ask him. I found one site that gives me a glimmer of hope:

http://www.wisegeek.com/how-do-i-treat-a-torn-peroneus-longus-tendon.htm
This article says after immobilizing for several weeks, you can sometimes lose the cast and start getting ready to exercise.

Supplements

Nitric Oxide

I also am doing what I can to speed healing. I purchased a Nitric Oxide supplement called NO3 Chrome. Several articles and sites list Nitric Oxide as a way to speed up the healing.

From Livestrong:
Nitric Oxide
Nitric oxide is a chemical that plays a role in tendon healing. If supplements of arginine are taken, which stimulates nitric oxide formation, then tendon healing appears to increase. Also, clinical trials of nitric oxide delivery patches placed over areas of tendinitis show significantly reduced pain symptoms in patients and also increased range of motion and strength of the treated area.

Many of the sites talk about patches to put over the injury, but I have also found plenty on the oral supplement. The idea makes sense: the reason it takes a tendon so long to heal is the lack of blood flow.




Nitric Oxide supplements with L-Arginine help to increase blood flow. This is the reason it is marketed: the blood flow causes a “pump,” making your muscles appear larger when you work them out.


I think it’s funny that someone would care more about the “pump” than really building muscle, but it can assist with that as well. Of course you build muscle up by tearing it down. The more blood during the healing, the faster you recover, and the faster you can work out again, meaning more muscle. But nobody markets it that way. It did lead to a funny discussion at GNC. The guy was going on about how pumped I would get and this and that, and I’m like look at me dude. Do I look like I care about “being pumped?” That said, it is kind of cool.

Probiotics

I also am really getting in to probiotics.
Ever since I was in Iraq, I have had terrible stomach issues. I now wonder if I have some mean bacteria living in there causing havoc. I am not sure how, but I stumbled on the idea of probiotics. I originally got some Yakult drinks that have 5 billion happy little bugs in them, but have moved up to a 20 day supply of 75 billion per day. I will then do maintenance of 25 billion per day.
I really have already noticed a difference. I’m starting to actually care a lot more about what I put in my body. When I first started running, it was an easy way to eat a lot and not be fat. Then I fell in love with running itself. Now I can’t run for a while, so I am looking at the other side of the equation. Part of that is lack of meat.

Vegetarianism

For Lent, my wife and I gave up meat. I always try to give up something that can actually improve my life while making me realize I am making a sacrifice. It was easy the first few days, but it is definitely getting more difficult after a week. Whatever it is, this week I have finally started to lose some weight. I weight myself last night and I had lost a pound and a half since Sunday. I know some of that is fluctuation, but that was after a big dinner and beers. I really think the lack of meat plus the probiotics are what are turning the tide. I hope to stick close to vegetarianism when Lent is over. We will see. I am not saying no meat, just very little.

Sticking to it…

So that’s my update. Still sticking to it, hopeful for a speedy recovery, but going a little crazy.




No running, day 52. Day 22 in the boot. I’m going a little crazy. I have searched and searched on what it says on my MRI report: “Minor longitudinal tear of the peroneous longus.” Minor gives me hope. I have my follow up with my doctor soon and I plan to ask him. I found one site that gives me a glimmer of hope:

http://www.wisegeek.com/how-do-i-treat-a-torn-peroneus-longus-tendon.htm
This article says after immobilizing for several weeks, you can sometimes lose the cast and start getting ready to exercise.

Supplements

Nitric Oxide

I also am doing what I can to speed healing. I purchased a Nitric Oxide supplement called NO3 Chrome. Several articles and sites list Nitric Oxide as a way to speed up the healing.

From Livestrong:
Nitric Oxide
Nitric oxide is a chemical that plays a role in tendon healing. If supplements of arginine are taken, which stimulates nitric oxide formation, then tendon healing appears to increase. Also, clinical trials of nitric oxide delivery patches placed over areas of tendinitis show significantly reduced pain symptoms in patients and also increased range of motion and strength of the treated area.

Many of the sites talk about patches to put over the injury, but I have also found plenty on the oral supplement. The idea makes sense: the reason it takes a tendon so long to heal is the lack of blood flow.




Nitric Oxide supplements with L-Arginine help to increase blood flow. This is the reason it is marketed: the blood flow causes a “pump,” making your muscles appear larger when you work them out.


I think it’s funny that someone would care more about the “pump” than really building muscle, but it can assist with that as well. Of course you build muscle up by tearing it down. The more blood during the healing, the faster you recover, and the faster you can work out again, meaning more muscle. But nobody markets it that way. It did lead to a funny discussion at GNC. The guy was going on about how pumped I would get and this and that, and I’m like look at me dude. Do I look like I care about “being pumped?” That said, it is kind of cool.

Probiotics

I also am really getting in to probiotics.
Ever since I was in Iraq, I have had terrible stomach issues. I now wonder if I have some mean bacteria living in there causing havoc. I am not sure how, but I stumbled on the idea of probiotics. I originally got some Yakult drinks that have 5 billion happy little bugs in them, but have moved up to a 20 day supply of 75 billion per day. I will then do maintenance of 25 billion per day.
I really have already noticed a difference. I’m starting to actually care a lot more about what I put in my body. When I first started running, it was an easy way to eat a lot and not be fat. Then I fell in love with running itself. Now I can’t run for a while, so I am looking at the other side of the equation. Part of that is lack of meat.

Vegetarianism

For Lent, my wife and I gave up meat. I always try to give up something that can actually improve my life while making me realize I am making a sacrifice. It was easy the first few days, but it is definitely getting more difficult after a week. Whatever it is, this week I have finally started to lose some weight. I weight myself last night and I had lost a pound and a half since Sunday. I know some of that is fluctuation, but that was after a big dinner and beers. I really think the lack of meat plus the probiotics are what are turning the tide. I hope to stick close to vegetarianism when Lent is over. We will see. I am not saying no meat, just very little.

Sticking to it…

So that’s my update. Still sticking to it, hopeful for a speedy recovery, but going a little crazy.