“Mountain Biker Gets CLOCKED By A Big African Buck!” – Reason number 5,342 why I run and don’t bike….OUCH! (Thanks to @taylorezell)
Thursday (Oct 27)
Running: (7.5-Mile Track Workout) Tonight I finally felt some jump come back into my legs, and felt good throughout the workout. After a 1.5-mile warmup and 6 x 100m stride-outs, we did:
With an additional .75 mile warmdown, the total mileage came out to 7.5-miles. Paxton looked especially strong tonight, and even though I felt good he clearly had an extra gear. I’m really pleased with the workout, and am getting my confidence back.
Cross-Training: Tonight Olivia and I did P90X: Ab-Ripper X, and I followed that with a couple of sets of chest exercises.
Friday (Oct 28)
Running: (4-Mile “Barefoot” Recovery Run) Paxton, Nathan and I did an easy recovery run through Bellevue this AM in the pouring rain. Even though it was cold and rainy, the run was still a lot of fun, and it was good to have the Bellevue Trio together on a Friday morning. While the Hattoris offer no protection from water, they do drain extremely well which was good today.
My log posts are waaaay behind due to our family vacation to Disney World, and getting engrossed in the new “Steve Jobs” biography by Walter Isaacson. So this will be a long catch-up post.
Wednesday (Oct 19)
Running: (5.4-Mile Easy Run) Paxton and I met at the Edwin Warner Nature Center for an easy run on our standard “Nature Center” loop. This was a very easy run with every mile over 9:00 pace. My legs are still toast from 3 consecutive races, and I’m also having a little trouble with my right ankle. I’m thinking about running tomorrow and then shutting it down while we are at Disney World Fri to Mon.
Thursday (Oct 20)
Running: (4.5-Mile Trail Run) Paxton, Nathan and I met for an easy run on the red trail this AM in PW Park. The run was enjoyable, but my legs just had no jump at all. Also, my ankle turned out to be a big problem with the uneven surface, so I’m glad we kept it to 4.5 miles. Since we are leaving at noon today for Disney World, I’m firmly decided that I’m not running at all while we are gone. Not even taken my shoes. I’ve got to work on getting the jump back in my legs and healing this ankle.
Friday (Oct 21) to Monday (Oct 24)
I took four days off from running and cross training while my family and I were in Disney World. Of course these were not truly “days off” since we did a TON of walking, and my feet HURT!!
Tuesday (Oct 25)
Running: (9.3-Mile Tempo Run) Nathan, Paxton & I met at the Percy Warner main gates for a 9-mile tempo run through Belle Meade. I did not know how I would feel coming off of a vacation with lots of walking, but my goal was to do the last 4 miles at marathon pace. We started off with a pretty easy 8:45 mile before dropping the speed down to 8:00 pace and below. My legs felt pretty dead, and my feet hurt worse than I was expecting. Anything below 8:00 felt fairly fast.
By the time we got to the last 4 miles, I knew there was no way I could maintain marathon pace, so I just did the best that I could. With 2 miles to go, Nathan absolutely took off, dropping the pace well below 7:00. I picked it up as well, but nothing compared to what Nathan did. My last two miles were 7:41 and 7:01, and it felt good to finish strong.
Cross-Training: Tonight Olivia and I did P90X: Legs and Back. Hoping I’m not as sore tomorrow and Thursday as I was after doing this workout last Tuesday.
Wednesday (Oct 26)
Running: (5-Mile Recovery Run) Paxton and I met at the Edwin Warner Nature Center for an easy run on our standard “Nature Center” loop. The weather was absolutely perfect, the conversation was fantastic, and it was a very enjoyable run. We kept it pretty easy the whole way, but did each mile faster than the previous. Our first was at 9:41 and our last was 8:33. Great recovery run.
On a side note, 18-years ago today was my first date with Olivia. We went to a little restaurant in the Green Hills Mall called the “Silver Spoon Cafe.” Today that location is a Brooks Brothers, and we often joke about taking a picnic dinner and eating in the bow-tie section (I’m partial to bow ties).
Monday (Oct 17)
Running: Today was supposed to be the kickoff of my training for Rocket City with a 6 to 7-mile trail run on the schedule. However, I woke up this morning with a weird catch in my upper back, and overall just felt really tired. I guess that doing 3 races in 3 consecutive weekends has finally caught up with me.
Since I didn’t feel great, I decided to skip the morning trail run, and instead did a 2-mile “barefoot” run with my daughter Kate after work in Edwin Warner Park. Even though she is only 6, she really wants to train to be able to run a 5K. So far we have worked up to 1.5 continuous miles. Today we did the first mile continuous, and then for the second mile I would let her run way out in front of me, and then I would run to catch up. We did this over and over again until we had returned back to our starting place. Very fun run with my daughter.
Cross-Training: Tonight my wife and I did P90X: Ab-Ripper X, and then I did a set of P90X: Shoulders and Arms.
Tuesday (Oct 18)
Running: I met Nathan this morning at the entrance to Percy Warner Park for a planned 8-mile run through Belle Mead + the 5.8 loop in Percy Warner. Tuesdays are normally a tempo day for me, but with 3 races on the last 3 weekends, I’m fresh out of tempo right now.
We kept our pace very easy this morning with an overall average between 9:15 & 9:20. It had been a while since I’d run on hills, so it was good to get back in the park. However, during this run I could really tell that my energy levels were down and my legs are shot. I’m starting to really think about just shutting it down completely for our family vacation Thursday to Monday and give my body a rest. I’ve also got the Ragnar Relay coming up 2-weeks from Friday and I want to make sure I’m fresh for that race.
In spite of this, the run this morning was still very enjoyable. This was the first time since Chicago that Nathan and I had run together, so it was fun to talk through our race experiences after having a week to reflect.
Cross-Training: My wife and I did P90X: Legs & Back tonight. I’m trying to get back into a strengthening phase for my legs which will include resistance training, trail runs, barefoot runs, etc.
Well….I wish I had a magic formula, but it took me until I was 33 to break past the 3-mile barrier for the first time. Everybody is different, but for me I just had to force myself past 3, and then when I got to 4 my body started to relax and I got into a rhythm. Even now, the first three miles are always tough for me, but I start feeling better when I get past them. This is one of the big reasons why I still do a 1 or 2-mile warmup even before a full marathon.
Don’t worry about the differences in pace on different days. It is normal to have good days and bad days. My advice is to listen to your body. If you feel OK after 3-miles, keep pushing. If you push past 3 and still feel bad, stop. Stopping is always OK. There are many days where I have a set distance planned but stop early because it just isn’t my day.
Another thing that has really been a help to me is running with a friend. I don’t know if this is something you already do or not (or if it is an option), but it has been a really big help to me. I helps to take my mind off of the miles and just enjoy running with a friend.
The important thing is that you are out there giving it a shot. For that you should be proud. Keep running, and feel free to shoot a question anytime if you need some help….Tim
Since this blog has seen a number of new followers recently, I thought I would re-post one of my original entries entitled “Why I Run.” In addition to this blog, this article was also printed in a local magazine for the Nashville Strider’s running club. The numbers related to races completed have been updated, otherwise this is the same post from the spring of 2010.
By far the most common reaction I get from non-runners when they find out I’m a long distance runner and marathoner is some type of obligatory comment like “that’s great!” or “wow!” but their body language is saying “I don’t get it” or “You’re Nuts!” Some people are even more direct in voicing their bewilderment. My favorite comments include:
While these reactions are frustrating, it is something I understand. For the first 30 years of my life, I hated running with a flaming passion. Running was punishment. Something you had to do when you made a mistake in practice. I always looked at marathoners with a sense of amazement, but also with a feeling that they were some type of freak of nature (like an alien).
I tried numerous times to become a runner, but I never seemed to be able to go farther than 3 miles without feeling like I would (a) collapse or (b) die of boredom.
When I reached my 30s, I started a new job, and began working with a lady named Mary Anne who had run over 30 marathons. I told her over and over again about my hatred of running, and she continued to encourage me to try it again. Eventually I did try it again, and again I seemed to get stuck on my 3 mile limit.
On one particular Saturday, I decided that I was just going to push past mile 3 no matter how tired I was, and right on schedule I thought that mile 3 was going to be the end of me. Then somewhere in the middle of mile 4, something clicked. I fell into this trance-like rhythm, and was able to complete 6 miles. I was ecstatic. From that moment in the middle of mile 4, I have been hooked. How could this be? I hated running? Yet, the next weekend I ran 7 miles, and then next weekend 8 miles, and so on.
So what is it that “clicked” on that particular Saturday? How did this moment transform me from someone that hated running into a hopeless addict. How did I become a person that has completed 9 half and 9 full marathons? I guess on some level I agree with the one who says they only run when being chased. However, the things that are chasing me are not wild animals or bad guys. They are the things that drive me, that push me to run, and run, and run.
So What is Chasing Me?
A High Stress Life – While I love my life, I have to admit that it is extremely high stress. From my job, to frequent speaking/teaching engagements, to family and church responsibilities, I can’t seem to slow down. Running has become my outlet, and my solace. Nothing can drown out the noise of the world like the rhythm of running long distances. I used to think that activities like golf and tennis were good outlets for stress, but they bring their own stress, especially golf. The only thing stressful about running is finding the time to do it. Otherwise, running is like the greatest drug in the world to me.
An Inferiority Complex / Scars from High School – To say that I was not very popular in high school would be a big understatement. I was shy. I was a nerd. I didn’t date a lot. I didn’t “party” with the cool kids. I did not play football. I was the last one that got selected for teams in PE and recess. I got picked on constantly. Now, I often wonder to myself how many of those that tormented me through those years can do what I can do. All of this just adds fuel to my addiction.
Small Fiber Sensory Neuropathy – Approximately 6 months after the moment when running “clicked” for me, and 1 month before I was supposed to run my first half marathon, I began experiencing some bizarre neurological symptoms that started in my legs, and quickly moved throughout my entire body. Running only intensified these symptoms (including numbness in my feet, arms, and face), and I was forced to stop. It took 7 months, and a trip to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore to discover that I have a rare neurological disorder called Small Fiber Sensory Neuropathy. This is an auto-imune condition that destroys the small nerve fibers in the skin, leading to intense feelings of burning and numbness. The good news that I received at Hopkins was that this condition would not affect my motor skills, and the symptoms could be controlled by medication. Even though I lost a year of running due to the disorder, the medication allowed me to return to training, and complete my first 1/2 marathon 8 months after being diagnosed. When I started running again after my diagnosis, I was even more driven than before to run, no longer taking this ability for granted. It continues to be a major motivation for me.
Family History of Hypertension – Almost every member of my immediate family is on some type of high blood pressure medication, and I began to see signs of this in my own life very soon after I graduated from college (1996). However, since I began running in 2007, my Systolic pressure has consistently been less than 125, and my Diastolic less than 75.
A “Type A” Personality – Mary Anne often tells me that she knew I had a personality that was perfectly suited to long distance running, and that is why she talked to me about it so frequently. I am a “Type A” perfectionist, to the extreme. I think this is ultimately why running “clicked” on that Saturday in 2007. Once I pushed past that 3-mile barrier, it was something I knew I could do, and I wanted to do it really well. For the first time in my life I saw the possibility of completing a half, or possibly a full marathon, and I wanted to go for it. This insatiable drive to get better continues to push me through every training run, every track workout, every cross-training exercise.
Fear of Failure – I set lots of running goals, though I rarely share them with others. However, part of my motivation to continue running is a fear of not meeting these goals. This fear is exponentially intensified if I do share a goal with someone.
Well, there it is….the reasons why I run (at least many of them). Why do you run? What is chasing you?