Running for Goals

Today’s Run

Time – 1:14:47
Distance – 8.1 miles
Pace – 9:12 min/mi
Elevation – 192 ft.

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Wanted to run at least 5 miles today, but I felt good while I was out so I kept going and got in 8 miles. Felt really good, and I was able to finish with pace.

Sometimes it’s just about the number

I needed at least 3 miles to make my goal of 30 for the week. I planned to run 5, and did 8 instead for 35 miles for the week. I’m glad that I ran the extra miles, because they felt good, and I haven’t gone longer than 6.x miles in a while, but I need to be more diligent about making schedules and hitting the numbers.

I don’t have to be beholden to them, though. It IS a good thing to run on feel, and to get out and enjoy running. The purpose of a schedule is to mitigate injury through overtraining, and to make sure that undertraining is not a problem either.

It’s all about the sweet spot.

Thinking About Futures

Today’s Run

Time – 57:23
Distance – 5.9 miles
Pace – 9:40 min/mi
Elevation – 215 ft.

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What do you see?

Easy run today with a fast finish just because it was getting cold and I wanted to get home. These are the miles that make a difference in April, May, and June. Felt fine to go easy. No pain, no struggle, just running.

Look Into My Crystal Ball

So many things can change so quickly, it’s sometimes hard to see what’s coming next and how it will affect your life. We have had a number of changes around here, and there’s still more to come over the next weeks and months as Baby Girl grows, Little Buddy moves from preschool to all-day school, and the Teenager prepares for Driver’s Ed and his future. YIKES!!!

In the meantime, the Wife and I continue the search for a house for our little tribe, with the hopes that running will be easy in the neighborhood, the house will fit all of our eccentric needs, and that it will be the right price. That’s not asking too much, is it?

I’ve never really been one to get nervous about the future. I’ve always had more issues with the anticipation. I wanted to see what happens next. Not that I want to fast forward to get there, because life is filled with too many moments to pass up. My desire is to know more than anything. This is why I’m still pursuing my Master’s degree outside of my field of employment, and why I read so much about running and other things. The desire of KNOWLEDGE is worth the time to me. Perhaps I’ll always be a student.

More knowledge, however, doesn’t tell the future. It won’t give me insight about what’s coming next. But what it will do is prepare me for those moments when I need to have understanding about the situation and be able to make educated decisions. In the end, that’s what learning is about all, isn’t it? Educated decisions.

What do you still want to learn?

Running Made Easy

Today’s Run

Time – 1:03:25
Distance – 6.6 miles
Pace – 9:34 min/mi
Elevation – 146 ft.

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Support structures matter!

I went out with the intention of running a warm up, then 20 minutes or 3 miles of running “with effort” (harder than my easy runs, but not at 10K race pace), then a cool down. I got through 2 miles, and my watch app failed on me, and I had to walk a little to try and fix it. Thus, my run ended up being 25:00 of good effort followed by weirdness, surrounded by a warm up and cool down. I accomplished my goal. It felt good, I was able to keep pace, although I still don’t have the best tracking ability yet (watch apps continue to fail me). As much as I hate treadmills, they do allow for very specific workouts to be achieved. Maybe I’ll have to add those back in for key workouts until it gets warm enough to do track workouts.

How to make running easy

Running is easier for me than I ever thought it would be. Not the effort itself, mind you, that still sucks and is really hard. Getting out the door has gotten easy. I can get the gear together, put on my hat and gloves, and pick a direction because of one thing that makes all of my runs something I do 5–6 times a week.

The NUMBER ONE THING that makes running easy is a good support structure at home.

The Wife asks me regularly when I’m going to get my run in. She’s the biggest reason for my success in making a run a part of my day.

She and I have talked about how it is important I feel that running is. I’ve got a lot of reasons to run. There’s four that live in the house with me: her, the Teenager, Little Buddy, and Baby Girl. My health is imperative to being around as my kids age. I need to do everything I can to take care of myself and be around to walk Baby Girl down the aisle, or help the Teenager learn to drive, or watch as Little Buddy becomes a fine young man. I want to see the grandkids one day, so I need to take care of myself now.

The Wife understands this goal, and, frankly, she wants me around, too…most of the time. The Wife wants us to be able to retire one day, to travel, and to spend as much of our lives together as possible.

I’ve got good friends and acquaintances through the Runwell group, Twitter, and Facebook to share running stories, ideas, and to ask questions. They are there as my “comrades in arms” with regards to the “Trials of Miles.” Being just as crazy as I am, they are there to help me when I’m getting frustrated, when I want to commiserate, or when I need a swift kick in the rear to get going again.

Getting out the door takes a team effort. It starts with my plans and goals to motivate me, and goes on with positive support and encouragement from those around me. This blog has helped, too, because it gives me a way to talk about my running without driving The Wife and kids crazy with constant “running talk.”

This is the same thing that made my weight loss possible. Through a supportive family, the program at Frye Functional Health, and the group online on Facebook, I was able to meet those goals as well. Yes, I had to make all of the choices and do the work, but having someone prop me up on tough days and cheer with me during my successes made all of the difference.

Support structure is the biggest thing that is driving my success, both in running and in my other endeavors. Finding and building it has made this “easy.”

What is your support structure like?

How I Got to Blogging

Today’s Run

Time – 42:42
Distance – 4.4 miles
Pace – 9:31 min/mi
Elevation – 165 ft.

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Would you believe I still have one of these?

Easy outside run in the sun. Turning for home, I was going into a 20 MPH headwind uphill. I’m pretty sure that I may have moved backward on one or two strides. It was amazing! The legs feel good, although, 3 days in a row is making them tired. I’m under on mileage so far this week. I’ll need either another bigger day or an extra long Saturday or Sunday to make up the distance. I’m falling behind a little on my goal of getting to 50 miles/week by the end of the year. I’ll have to work up to it in January.

Writing a blog

Content every time I run can sometimes be difficult. I enjoy writing, as it gives me the motivation to keep learning about myself and my running, as well as a way to express my ideas about what’s going on. Additionally, it’s good practice for my Master’s work and my writing on the side. I’ve been writing since I was a kid, in one form or another. First it was stick figure drawings and basic stories, then action/adventure tales, and on from there. I was into sci-fi as a teenager, and that added a new dimension to what I’ve done. That genre is all about imagination. School led to essays and research papers and non-fiction, which then led me to discover blogging. And here I am.

The tools of my blog are pretty simple. WordPress.com for the hosting, a URL through GoDaddy.com, and Byword for the typing. I use Pexels.com for some of my free stock images, and the rest I take along the way.

I useStrava.com for recording the runs and keeping track of the data. I wear HOKA ONE ONE shoes because they are the most comfortable and supportive shoes I’ve found, and ASICS clothing because it’s been a staple of my running, and the running community, for many years.

I’m not paid to advertise, I don’t have any sponsorships, and ad revenue from this blog can be measured in pocket change. I use this stuff because I like it, and it works best for me. Your mileage may vary.

In the end, though, the running is all mine. Whether it’s running shorts and cushioned shoes, GPS watches and software, blogs, images, and words on a page, I’m still getting out the door and running. It’s not easy every day, and I’m certainly not a fan of some of the other things that come with it, like sore legs, constant hunger, and the dry knuckles from the cold. I do, however, love the feeling I get at the end of a run, when the tiredness gives way to the feeling of accomplishment and the sense that I’m adding to the pages of my running book.

In the meantime, I’ll keep putting my runs out there, and I’ll keep hitting the road and racking up the miles. For those of you running, keep it up! If your not a runner, find something you like to do and keep doing it! Enjoy!

Nothing to See Here

Today’s Run

Time – 43:37
Distance – 4.6 miles
Pace – 9:29 min/mi
Elevation – N/A (Treadmill miles)

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Not the safest of running spaces…

The day got away from me, and I was finally able to get to the gym at 7:45 for a treadmill run. I did a slow first mile, then I ran the second at a 7.6 MPH pace, eased off the third, and then sped up to a 9:20ish pace until the end. All at 1% grade, although, apparently, the jury is still out on the usefulness of that. It’s like eggs, maybe you need them, maybe you don’t.

Going Nowhere

I’ve written about treadmills before. I’m not a fan. But I’m beginning to realize that you can’t buy a house just because it’s located near good running routes…

We’re looking to get a house this spring, which is awesome! The family has grown, and we’re ready to be done with renting. This means that the search is on.

Priorities range from number of beds and baths to fenced-in yards for dogs and space for an office. One of the things that we’ve been kicking around is location. We need it to be near the things we do (obviously), but one thing that I’m wavering on is location relative to running routes. It would be nice to be able to run down the driveway and have a smooth, reasonably safe roadway with a shoulder to use. Our current place is near campus and downtown, which makes for good sidewalks, exceptional roadside breakdown lanes, and plenty of possible running loops.

Some of the places we’ve been looking at would be nearly perfect, except for the running. Not everywhere around here has the kinds of running access I would be comfortable with. And running 5 days a week and having to drive to a trailhead or parking lot every single day would be problematic. Time has been tight up until now, and with Baby Girl’s arrival, I’m sure that it will get worse.

There are plenty of stories of runners doing lots of miles indoors on home treadmills. It’s not out of the question that this could be an option that gets us the house we want with the ability to make running something close to home and easy to maintain with our schedules. My commute is over 90 minutes total every day. I need to run very early or very late, and a treadmill might make this a viable option.

More research is necessary.