Here We Go Again

My marathon is in the past and it's time to start looking forward to my next race, a half marathon in beautiful Loudoun county.  I decided to do this race pretty recently.  I felt pretty good that based on my marathon performance (well, the first half of it, anyway), that I'd crush a half marathon.

That's still TBD, as I have quite a few hurdles in front of me.  First, I took off two weeks from running.  I was biking and swimming during that time, but my first day running again I was quickly brought back down to reality and reminded why there was a mandatory 2-week cool off period built into my training plan.  Suffice to say, it was rough.  But I kept going - no hard runs, and nothing long.  Easy runs at no set pace, just based on feel, from anywhere between three and seven miles.  I've been doing that for three weeks now and I finally feel normal again when I run.  My endurance wasn't an issue (especially given the pace of my runs getting back into it), but the s…

Well, That's Over With

On Saturday March 11, 2017, I woke up at 4:30am, 15 minutes before my alarm was set to go off.  I already had my clothes for the Rock 'n Roll DC Marathon picked out and Ellie was spending the night at my in-laws' house and I knew exactly what I was going to eat for breakfast.  My top priority at that point was getting some coffee in me as quickly as possible so that I could, uhm, clear any blockages that may have hindered me during the race.  I didn't exactly leave myself much time as I was planning on departing at 5:30am.

I made my coffee and ate my breakfast.  I woke up Jenny and she ate hear breakfast and before I knew it, we were in the car and on our way to downtown DC.  The car ride was only about 35 minutes - amazing the difference in commute times at 5:30 on a weekend vs any other time, ever.  I had my GPS taking us directly to the drop off and we got there without issue.  The drop off was about a third of a mile from the start line, but I got there with about 45 …

More Marathon Training

It finally happened.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised, nearly doubling my weekly mileage is way above the 10% rule that everybody touts.  I suffered my first injury of this training cycle.  I got myself a shin splint.

I've battled shin splints for year.  When I was training for my first half marathon, the farthest that I ran was six miles and I had shin splints that were so painful I could barely walk.  Since then, shin splints have been my excuse for not regularly running.  It wasn't until I re-jiggered my stride a few years ago to increase my cadence that I was finally able to train without fear of injury.

But alas, after one of my tempo runs I was sore.  I hoped I could ignore it and that it was just temporary so I ran my easy run the next day and the soreness only go worse.  So I decided to take some time off from running.  I planned on hopping on the bike as a way of losing as little fitness as possible, but I managed to catch a nasty 24 hour bug that prevented me fr…

Marathon Training

I've never actually run a marathon.  I've done a handful of half marathons, and I've signed up for a marathon and even collected the t-shirt at the race expo for that race, but still the longest I've ever run is a hair over 13.1 miles.

I was signed up to run the Rock 'N Roll DC Marathon in March of 2015.  I even had a nice book that laid out an entire training plan for me.  It was my first time actually training, as opposed to just going out for a run.  I had a really good baseline fitness, so I felt good about the plan.  I based my plan on a 39:47 10k I had run in December of 2014.  I was about two weeks into my structured plan - the first week of doing an actual workout when I got injured.  I was doing Speed 12x400m @1:30 on a treadmill at my office gym before work.  I felt good doing the workout, but as soon as I stopped running, I had a throbbing pain in my knee.  I ran once more that week, then took a week off, then I tried to string together a few consecutive…

GMU S.M.A.R.T. Lab Body Compisition and VO2 Max Testing

For my 32nd birthday my wife got me a session at my local university's Sports Medicine Assessment Research & Testing Lab, aka SMART Lab.  My particular session included a Body Composition Analysis (i.e., body fat analysis) and a VO2 Max test.  They also offer a 3D gait analysis, but that was not part of my trip today.

I think my wife got me the Body Composition analysis to finally prove to me that I am too skinny.  She pretty regularly tells me I could stand to gain a few pounds.  I respond by eating excessive amounts of popcorn, but it doesn't seem to do the trick.  Apparently all that training cancels out all that popcorn.

The Lab is apparently only open in the middle of the week, which means I had to treat this like a doctor's appointment and excuse myself from work.  Finding a time that worked was difficult due to my schedule and the ebbs and flows of my job - the slots were actually very consistently available which made me think that the service is not widely uti…

Jingle Dash Race Report

I'm not really one for race reports, but this was kind of a special one for me.  I've run the Jingle Dash, which is a local community 5k/10k (the latter of which is simply two laps of the 5k course).  I set a PR two years ago when I broke 40 minutes and I came in second last year, which I considered to be an off year.  I was excited to see how I would fare after last year's race.

This year I planned on racing with Ellie in a stroller.  I really wanted to win the race while pushing her, but wasn't confident I'd be able to do it.  Really, I wanted to use her as an excuse if I didn't win.  That excuse was taken from me at the start of the race as my wife decided she wanted to run with Ellie.  Two of our friends were running and I knew it would be more fun for her if she had Ellie while running with them.  Plus, it took away an possible excuse I might have.

Since this is a community event, it took place in my neighborhood and as such, I have run this course numerou…

Kansas Excursion

I recently traveled to Kansas.  I've visted a few times before, but never have I done any exercising.  It's always been to visit family.  I've heard that the only thing to do in Kansas, or any Midwest state, for that matter, is to drink.  In another life, this post would be about that, but alas, the drinking was kept in moderation.  One of the few things I was looking forward to on this trip (aside from seeing my family, of course), was tagging a new state in Strava.  Not knowing what the weather was like I way over packed, but I figure I might as well fill my carry-on up all the way.

I was only there for three days, and I managed to get a run in each day.  If I'm going to be honest, the runs were extremely boring, and it became very quickly apparent that Kansas does not have emissions laws in place for their vehicles.  Or if they do, they are not enforced.  They also don't really like sidewalks.  Though to be fair, there's no place that's really worth walk…