April 17, 2014


running and google glass

As runners, we are sometimes very stubborn.  Some more than others.  Unfortunately, until we look back at past mistakes and analyze how we got there is when we realize how thick headed we can be.  What I am sharing below are bad habits I have been guilty of along the way that I want to share to help current and future runners.  However, I also see others guilty of these items as they post to social media platforms.  Let me know if I missed any topics you think runners should be aware of.

Stop running while injured.
I get it, we never want to admit we are hurt.  We should be running machines.  But we are not.  So when a injury comes up...stop.  Analyze the injury.  Take a day, week or so off to see if it will go away.  Or you can foam roll or follow some of the advice in the Trigger Point Therapy Workbook and see if you can make some of the pain go away.  Or get some professional assistance.  The longer you run with the injury, the longer it will stay around or it will probably alter your running cadence and cause a separate injury.

Stop running when sick.
Seriously?  What is the point of running while having a cold?  We want to prove how macho we are?  If we are sick, we just need to stay home and rest.  So we miss out on those 1-5 miles for the day.  I am sure we will be just fine without them. 

We sometimes miss 'work' when we are ill, so why would we 'run' on these days?  Who cares if we run and get through it.  When this happens, we are just proving how dumb we are, not how good of a runner we are.

Stop getting hung up on the numbers (speed, pace, heart rate, etc.).
When we get frustrated with the numbers and they ruin the day we have forgotten why we have originally began running.  When this occurs, leave the watch at home, have fun and enjoy your running for the day. 

Unless we are an elite runner, why do we care so much if we ran an 11 minute pace today vs a 9:50 pace?  Are we less of a person because of this?  Less of a runner?  Who are we trying to compare ourselves to?  Who are we trying to impress?  If we have goals, yes lets try to reach them.  However, if we are getting upset, maybe the goal is too aggressive.


running using google glass

Stop trying to increase your weekly mileage and speed so aggressively after a injury.
Most runners should know the 10% rule (some people do not believe in it).  The rule is basically if we ran 20 miles last week, we shouldn't run more than 22 the following week no matter how good we feel.  However, I have seen people run 20 miles one week, then all of a sudden push it up to 30 miles the following week and at the same time trying to get faster and faster and get back to the 'speed' they had before the injury. 

Sure, if you want to run 23 or 24 miles, you will probably be fine, but increasing it to 30 or beyond the week after 20 miles, is probably not a good idea.  Sorry, the speed may take a while to get back to your 'good days'.

Stop running to eat junk food.
I used to do it.  I ran because I wanted to eat a big bowl of ice cream.  Now, I have turned my attitude around and I eat to run, not run to eat.  I eat more healthy so my recovery and I am not toxicated with bad foods.  Do I have ice cream once in a while?  Sure.  However, I don't use that a reward for my efforts.  It is just part of my life.

Stop eating junk food while running.
As runners are we really now "bragging" about the candy, sugary foods we are inhaling for a 1-2 hour run?  For a typical long run, you most likely do not need junk food to "support" your running.  Save that stuff, if you really want to use it for the end of a ultra distance run.  Before that, it is not needed.  Do you see any great runners eating like this?

running in carpentersville

Stop over running, training, race scheduling, etc.
I see it over and over people who want to run X # of miles every single day, week or month.  Then, they also have 4-6 major races in a year.  Hey, that is great and all, but if you are somehow getting injured or are exhausted, then maybe it is just too much.  It might be better to just race 2-3 times during the year?   

Best of the best runners usually race a certain amount of times per year, why are mid-pack runners trying to do more than them?  The human body can only handle so much and for so long.  If you want to sign up for a lot of 'races', do it.  However, just keep in mind there will be a cost to the body if you are "racing" at 6 events in one year.

Stop only focusing on running.
Add weight lifting to your workout mix.  Maybe cycling to cross train?  How about yoga to stay flexible and possibly prevent and recover from injuries?  Add more dedicated core work?  I am sure there is more you can include in your daily exercise routine to keep you more durable.

Stop saying running is your life.
Seriously, I see this over and over from a variety of runners.  "Today was a good day, I ran."  "I cannot imagine a life without running."  Think about this...Is running really "your life"?  How about your husband, wife, children, family?  They are not important or priorities?  If running is at the top, you might want to reevaluate your life.

I know I am guilty of most of the 9 bad running habits listed above.   If you are also guilty and continue to follow these bad running habits you will probably eventually not have fun, become injured and forget why you originally started running. 

I have seen 'runners' stop running because it has all become too much.  Don't put too much pressure on yourself.  Remember this is your life, not someone else's.  Do what you can, without it becoming overwhelming.

Our long term goal for running should be to run for the rest of our life not just for the next race or our #1 goal for this year.  Lets run for fitness, reach goals and to stay healthy as long as possible not just to have a faster pace than last year.

Do you have any advice to share?  Have you learned from past mistakes?  What are you guilty of?
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Next Up: Christmas in July 24 Hour Race (Runners 4 Wellness Christmas in July 24 Hour race), please mention coupon code CIJ24HRAL1 if you decide to join me.





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You can also buy from our blender affiliates like Blendtec or Vitamix.  They are powerful, high quality blenders that you will absolutely love and will bring healthy foods to your life.

We also have Ride Fit, Road Runner Sports, Performance Bike and Spartan Race as affiliates that you can make purchases through when visiting this website.







April 8, 2014



chicago lakefront 50K course




(All pictures in this post were via my Google Glass.)
Many months ago I signed up for the 2014 Chicago Lakefront 50K because I wanted to complete an official 50K in 2014. I knew at the time that it would not be my longest distance because two weeks before I had planned to complete my 40/40 event where I would run 40 miles for my 40th birthday.  I also had completed a 50K at a Fat Ass event last July.

April 3, 2014

people stuck in their past

As most people get older (and sometimes wiser), they change.  Sometimes they only shift their hobbies.  They used to collect baseball cards, now it is Lego sets.  Other times, it is their unique personality.  Quiet and shy previously, then break out into a vocal and confident person. 

Others will move from their hometown and create new friendships once they settle into a quiet village or the big city.  Adults will dive into a career they love (or hate) and will acquaint themselves with new dynamic people they truly get along with (or fake to like).

Yet some people will stay stuck in their comfort zone.  They will join Facebook, begin communicating with the people they grew up with.  Laugh and joke with old friends about the good old days. They will spend minutes or hours everyday reliving their past as if it meant the world to them. 
flashback friday high school picture Fred Lechuga

In a lot of examples, the time is spent with high school or college friends which for most meant 4 years of friendships.  Four years.  Yet they spend an enormous amount of time on a daily or weekly basis, looking back at the 'good times', saying..."Man, those were the good old days."

The individuals that do not want to make the effort to make a life transition, want you to stay stuck in time with them.  They don't want you to venture out and become 'better'.  They don't understand that life goes on and 4, 6 or 10 years of your entire lifespan does not equal YOUR life story.

For some it is even your family that cannot adjust to how you became a new and improved person.  For example, they might have seen you growing up as a fat, shy and non-athletic kid and now...you are running marathons?  Their thought is, how is that possible?  How can a fat kid run a marathon?

You see, no matter how you physically or mentally change, some people will never adapt their image to the new you.  The ironic part is that in some circumstances, now they are the ones who are overweight, non-athletic and playing games on Facebook or look at Throw Back Thursday photos of their "skinny selves"...from back in the day.  For some folks, this may be what they see and do the "rest of their lives".

In other lives, an individual close to you in your adult life may want to hold you back too.  It can be a husband or wife, co-worker, new friend, acquaintance, mentor, etc.  They will attempt to talk you down from accomplishing goals.  Why do they do this?  Because...they have not had the courage to begin new adventures or even set goals as an adult.

Some close friends or family members just want to stay in their comfort zone.  This is where they feel comfortable and they have accepted that they do not want to make any effort in their life to make changes.  That would require work.  This comfortableness might have been created way back in the school days or for others it might have developed once they got married or started their career.

actions today will get you to your goals


So what do you do when you come across these people?  Of course that is up to you to decide because I know it is not easy to handle.  I do provide some tips to reduce the unnecessary nonsense in your life so you can continue on to your new journey and accomplish your new mission in life.

7 Tips to Reach Your Goals
  • Reduce the amount of time you spend on social media with people who are not trying to improve themselves.
    • IF they do not have similar goals or tastes in your life NOW or where you are heading, what is the point of the conversations you have with them?  Sure it is okay to say hi and touch base, but be aware of the time you spend with them.
    • Minutes here and there add up to hours on a weekly basis that could have been used to read, write or workout.
  • Increase the amount of people you follow on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ who are DOING, not talking.
    • If you want to be a runner, follow runners who are running.  If you want to be a triathlete, follow triathletes who are accomplishing.  Simple as that.
  • Reduce the negative people in your lives.
    • If they are complaining about their life, sports, jobs, politics, religion...it is all just negativity.  
    • What is the point of reading that junk or adding feedback to that?  What will that get you?  How will that get you to where you want to be tomorrow? 
  • Read books, blog posts, etc. about people who accomplished what you want to do.
    • There is SO MUCH knowledge out there...Find, use and apply it.
    • Want to become a cyclist?  Read about cycling. 
    • Want to know more about eating clean, read about eating clean.
    • Want to write a book, listen and read about writing.
  • Don't spend time trying to change others.  It is their life, let them be.
    • You can only control your habits and life.
    • If they want to start eating healthy or running and they see you are into that...they will ask you once they are ready.
  • Talk to your family about your goals.  Communicate your workout and race schedules.
    • If you are married or dating and/or have kids.  Communicate with them!  Show them your schedule, tell them what your goals are, let them into your hobbies and aspirations.
  • Create goals that can be worked and balanced into your current life.
    • It is not fair to your family if you are gone every Saturday and/or Sunday for 6 hours to run, cycle, etc.
    • Figure out a way to make goals that can be accomplished while still contributing to your family.
    • Try to balance your life as much as possible.

Do not let excuses or people hold you back from becoming who you are meant to be.  Let your true talents blossom and max out.  You owe it to yourself and the people who you might eventually motivate.  (When I started losing weight, I did it for myself, I selfishly never thought I could motivate anyone to start running or losing weight.)

When I went through my weight loss and running journey I lost a lot of old friends and now spend a lot less time with certain family members.  For some people they might see this as bad, but guess what...IT IS MY LIFE.  I will do what is best for me, my wife and my child.  If someone cannot grasp my thinking, and cannot relate to it...then they probably do not know the new me.

Who or what is holding you back?  Why?  Take actions today that will get you to where you want to be tomorrow.  What are you waiting for?





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 You can also buy from our blender affiliates like Blendtec or Vitamix.  They are powerful, high quality blenders that you will absolutely love and will bring healthy foods to your life.



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April 1, 2014

Illinoi ultra running event


After completing my 40/40 event,  I can say that one big goal for 2014 has been completed.  I am hoping to accomplish my second goal this upcoming weekend when I run in a 50K "race".  But my third one is a unique one that has been on my mind for a while.

In preparation for my 40/40 event, I was running and/or cycling 6 days a week.  During the heavy volume days, it was challenging to manage it all, but I thought I handled it pretty good.  I came out of it injury free which was my #1 goal especially since I had 3 months in a row with 100+ miles.  I didn't even get sick until I began to taper (go figure).

One of my key things I did was I made sure I had my planned workouts in my Google Calendar and also made sure my family knew my workout schedule times and WHY I wanted to complete that on my birthday weekend.  I also adjusted the plan when I needed to and I skipped some sessions when the body needed to recover a bit more than usual.


#throughlass Fox River photo


Now that my first official 50K race  (Chicago Spring Lakefront 50K) is coming up this Saturday, I have had time to think about how I want to approach my training for my first 24 hour "race" in July (Runners 4 Wellness Christmas in July 24 Hour race).  My goals for that event will be revealed as the date comes closer.  The final numbers will not matter much, the main intent will be to do the best I can.  The only way that will happen is if I prepare and train for this very mental and physical challenging event.  There is no finish line in this event, it will be me and my mind trying to ignore the aches in my body and making the most of the 24 hour limit.

Below will be my weekly plan to prepare for my first 24 hour event.  Once you review it, you will notice the point of the plan is to spend a lot of time on my feet on a daily basis.  My guess that if I want to complete as many miles as possible during those 24 challenging hours, I will be running and walking a lot with sore feet and legs.

The number of miles I complete on the running days will be determined on my pace for that day.  The time I spend running will go back and forth as I build up and scale down over the 12+ weeks before July 18th.

The big challenge will be fitting this in while I am managing my son's little league.

Monday AM: MAF Run 45-60 minutes, followed up by 10 minute Yoga.
Monday Work From Home: Work on laptop and attend conference calls while standing the whole day (goal is to stand 7-9 hours).  Also complete 200 body squats.
Monday Lunch Time: Chest, arms, core.

Tuesday AM: 10 minute Yoga
Tuesday Walk to work: 1 mile
Tuesday Walk During Lunch: 1 mile
Tuesday Stand During Work: Goal is to stand 2-3 hours of the shift, sit on stability ball the rest of the time.
Tuesday Walk Back to Train: 1 mile
Tuesday PM: Cycling (30-45 mins), Weightlifting Back, Boxing, Jump Rope

Wednesday AM: Speed Interval Run 50-90 minutes, followed up by 10 minute Yoga.
Wednesday Work From Home: Work on laptop and attend conference calls while standing the whole day (goal is to stand 7-9 hours).  Also complete 200-300 body squats.
Wednesday Lunch Time: Legs and Core.
Wednesday PM: MAF Run 45 minutes.

Thursday AM: 10 minute Yoga
Thursday Walk to work: 1 mile
Thursday Walk During Lunch: 1 mile
Thursday Stand During Work: Goal is to stand 2-3 hours of the shift, sit on stability ball the rest of the time.
Thursday Walk Back to Train: 1 mile
Thursday PM: Incline/Hill Running (50-70 minutes), Weightlifting and Shoulders, 100-200 body squats.

Friday Morning: 10 minute Yoga
Friday Walk to work: 1 mile
Friday Walk During Lunch: 1 mile
Friday Stand During Work: Goal is to stand 2-3 hours of the shift, sit on stability ball the rest of the time.
Friday Walk Back to Train: 1 mile

Saturday AM: High MAF Long Run (120-240 minutes) & 10 minute Yoga
Saturday PM: Eventually add a 60-120 minute run/walk in the evening.  Until then a 15 minute core workout.

Sunday AM: Cycling & Low MAF Long Run (120 minutes)
Sunday PM: Eventually add a 60 minute run/walk in the evening.

IF you decide to register for the Christmas in July 24 Hour Race (Runners 4 Wellness Christmas in July 24 Hour race), please mention coupon code CIJ24HRAL1. No matter how I do, I have faith that this is going to be a great event.





Want to Support the Website? We now have various ways.
AMAZON: If you make any type of purchases on Amazon.com, please use the banner at the top of my website.  (Save it as one of your favorites to use for future purchases.) When you buy through that link it doesn't cost you anything extra but Amazon will give us a few pennies per purchase to this website.
 You can also buy from our blender affiliates like Blendtec or Vitamix.  They are powerful, high quality blenders that you will absolutely love and will bring healthy foods to your life.



We also have Ride Fit, Road Runner Sports, Performance Bike and Spartan Race as affiliates that you can make purchases through when visiting this website.








March 26, 2014



On March 22nd, I had planned to cycle 40 miles on a cycle (bike) trainer indoors and then run and walk 40 miles outside.  I was doing this to celebrate my 40th birthday which was on March 23rd.  I wanted to leave my 30s with a bang.


March 21, 2014



Here are some thoughts and preparation steps before I run and cycle my longest distance to celebrate my 40th birthday this weekend.

In my previous running years, I would start doubting my expectations a few days before the event.  The reason is because I would wonder if I prepared and trained enough for my upcoming race or event.  I used to do this because I was spending less time working out while tapering (resting) during the last two weeks or so.  However, I stopped doing that as I gained experience.

During the last few years, I stopped doubting and actually would get really pumped up and my confidence grew and always ran with a strong mind and heart.  However, this time around the doubts crept up a bit more than usual because of what was going on during the last two weeks and how I was feeling.

What was going on during the last two weeks?
 
  • Got sick.  Sinus infection took me away from doing some good training sessions I had planned.
  • Still felt sick through Thursday morning.  A bit better on Friday morning.
  • Even though I was tapering, the sickness was zapping my energy.
  • Traveled to Tulsa, Oklahoma.  This did not help with the rest and/or recovering from sickness.
  • Tightness in my upper left trap area.  Appeared then went away for a few days and now it is back.
  • Did new hamstring and core workouts about two weeks ago.  First time around was fine, but 3 times later I got sore and it did not go away until Thursday (3/20). Just a dumb move.  Lesson learned.
  • Laptop I used for cycling went down, Best Buy still has it.  I am going to attempt to use an old one I have laying around.
  • ANT+ USB device broke that I use with Trainer Road during my indoor bike sessions and was going to be part of my 40 mile ride.  I ordered a new one, hoping it arrives on Friday.
  • My Garmin 310XT started acting up and was not saving my workouts.  I called them, did a hard reset and it is fine now...I think.
So it was not good tapering weeks for me, but luckily this is a self supported event and there is no pressure on me and it will be free.

More Notes Before My Longest Running and Cycling Distance
 
  • Still taking medicine to recover from the cold and sinus infection.
  • Stopped taking medication on Thursday afternoon.  Feeling a bit better on Friday morning.
  • Raised my carb intake a bit each day starting on Wednesday.
  • Made a list of what nutrition and running gadgets I will need for my event.
  • Started envisioning how I will feel and think about during the event.
  • I still need to figure out my route.  (As of Thursday night, I still do not know where exactly I will be running.)
Below are some of the running gadgets I will have with me while running.
Running Gadgets for the Ultra Event
  • Garmin 310XT watch
  • Heart rate strap
  • Google Glass
  • Sunglasses
  • Small running belt
  • Winter hat
  • Thin winter gloves
  • Wired earbuds
  • Phone
  • Bluetooth headphones
 
Here is some of the nutrition I will have in case I need it during the day.  The goal is to try to keep it as natural as possible.
Nutrition for the 40/40 Day
  • Water (vest and various bottles)
  • Water and honey
  • 2-3 smoothies (banana, coconut, peanut butter, honey, almond milk, water, ice, glutamine)
  • Nuts and raisins
  • Kit's Organic Bars (contains only 4-6 natural ingredients)
  • Clif Bars
  • C2O Coconut Water
  • Dates
  • Amino Acid pills
In general I have no goals in regards to time, speed, etc.  It is expected to have a high of 38 degrees but the wind is expected to be up to 20mph.  So I definitely have no certain time goal but I do have a plan for the day. Below is what I have come up with so far.
Plan During the Day
 
  • Fill up hydration vest with water and nutrition the night before.
  • Fill up a few water bottles with water for bike sessions and backup for run.
  • Fill up bicycle tires and adjust tension on cycle trainer.
  • Select and setup Trainer Road cycle workouts on the laptop.
  • Fill up a couple of water bottles with only coconut water.
  • Wake up at 3:45 a.m.  Brush teeth, feed dog, drink coffee, eat banana and PB.
  • Make smoothies for run/bike sessions the night before or that morning.
  • Fill up 2-3 bottles and warm up water and mix with honey.
  • Put what is needed in the cooler and prepare to place on the porch.
  • Fill up water bottles for bike session
  • Start bike ride around 4:45 a.m.
  • Be done by 7 a.m.
  • Start run by 7:15 a.m.
  • Try to run the first 2-3 hours under or around 145 heart rate.
  • Run 8 minutes, walk 2 minutes.
  • Drink water during those 2 minutes.  Take deep and slow breaths.
  • Eat before I have to.
  • Make sure I take in nutrition every 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Keep track of nutrition and head home for refilling if necessary.
  • Keep moving forward.
  • Breathe and relax.
  • Relax and do not get hung up on the numbers.
  • Think about the journey over the last 8 years or so.
  • Appreciate the opportunity of living and being able to run.

Why not just move my event to another day if I am sick?  Because I have a 50K 'race' in two weeks.





Want to Support the Website? We now have various ways.
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 You can also buy from our blender affiliates like Blendtec or Vitamix.  They are powerful, high quality blenders that you will absolutely love and will bring healthy foods to your life.

 
We also have Ride Fit, Road Runner Sports, Performance Bike and Spartan Race as affiliates that you can make purchases through when visiting this website.

 
 
 
 



March 16, 2014


So I am now less than one week away from attempting my self-supported 40 mile bike ride (on cycling trainer) and 40 mile run on March 22nd to celebrate my 40th birthday (on 3/23).  Why I originally decided to do this is in the link.