Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Back on the Run!

Last week I wrote that in 2016 I wanted to set some new PR's and listed my current PR's.  My first opportunity to take care of business came on Sunday, 2/7/2016.  The Boss and I headed in town for the Super Sunday 5 Miler in Cambridge.

I looked at my list and saw that my 5 mile PR was 37:30 and thought to myself, "Crap, that seems kind of fast."  I have been running a lot lately, following my coaches training plans mixing up long runs and speed work and hitting the gym.  I've dropped some weight lately, cleaned up my diet a little in the hopes that helps me pick up a little speed. I figure if I'm dragging 177lbs around instead of 187lbs, I should move a little faster :)
We got to the race and it was pretty chilly out.  Not a surprise for an early February race but we have been getting unseasonably warm weather around here.  My coach Chris Vargo (www.vargorunning.com) had set my day up for me.  When I first signed up to run I had asked him if I should run it as a training run or go out and run it hard.  He told me to run it hard so here we are.  I had a 2 mile warm up with a couple strides prior to the race, then the 5 miler, and then a real easy 2 mile cool down after.  I saw the mileage and thought "2  mile warm up?! I never ran warm ups at all until I had a coach."  Coach knows best.  That's why he is a coach.  Off to warm up I went.  Finally race time came up, and we were off.  I knew I would have to really push my pace and thanks to the warm up I was able to start of quick right off the line.  The course was a pretty flat straight course and that helped me keep a consistent. 
Around 2 miles I passed a guy who was nice enough to say nice job to me which was followed by "but more importantly, great beard!"  That made me laugh a little as I huffed and puffed and kept moving.  Around mile 3and 1/2 I started to feel the pace wearing me down I felt like I was starting to slow down but I decided to just try to run through it.  Only a little over a mile to go.
 I figured there was no way I was going to make it.  I made it to the finish and didn't see the clock.  I stopped my watch, grabbed 2 bottles of water and took off for my 2 mile cool down.  It was a bit of a walk/run since my legs felt like junk.  It wasn't until I caught up with The Boss that I finally looked at my watch and realized I had PR's the race! 37:23 is my new PR. The old was 37:30. I was pretty surprised considering I felt like I had slowed down considerably near the end. After that, I figured it was time to celebrate.
Nothing like a few shots of beer to warm you up on a chilly day after what turned out to be a pretty good race!

Up next is the Old Fashioned Ten Miler.  My current PR for the 10 mile distance is 1:31:37.
Here is the link if you would care to join us at the race. 
Hopefully we will see you there!!!
Old Fashioned 10 Miler 2014
Oh yeah, on a side note, last Tuesday I got to meet this guy.  WWE Hall of Famer Hacksaw Jim Duggan!

And yes, his fist was bigger than my head.  Have a great week!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Where Have I Been and Where Will I Go In 2016 -- The Year of the Goal

   I came out to this site a few weeks and was shocked to see that I hadn't posted anything since 2013. I was talking to a friend when I first tried this Blog thing and he had told me, "Keep them short or you will burn yourself out" and he was right.  One of my goals for 2016 is to start this back up and make it a weekly thing.  Read if you want, let me know if you enjoy the posts and comment if you don't.  I am all for constructive criticism.

*Since this is the first post in a couple years it will be long winded.  The next post will be shorter.  I promise!
   I have to imagine there are plenty of people out there that I am friends with on Facebook and Twitter that are sick of seeing posts about my runs and that's fine. I get it.  The reason I post is because I find other people's  inspirational, and if a post of mine inspires one person to go out and try something new and get physically active, then that makes me happy.

   2015 was an interesting year for me.  In January my dad passed away.  I feel like he had been struggling with his health forever.  From a heart attack in his early 40's to a bypass in his 50's to dialysis and a kidney transplant and his eventual passing in his 60's.  I saw my dad go through all of this and at some point I decided that I would not fall into the trap that so many of us 9 to 5(really more like 8 to 5) folks do and sit on my ass all day and then go home from work and sit on my ass some more.  It all seems kind of standard for people that work in an office job.  After 20 years of sitting at a desk, your body changes shape, you gain weight, some of us become follically challenged. Some things you can control and some you can't.  I decided to control what I could.  That's a big part of why I run and why I workout.

   In March I lost a friend of mine named Norman. Norman was an awesome guy who had a profoundly positive impact on the people he met through his work and his everyday life.  I don't think there is a day that goes by that he doesn't pop into my head because we had so many conversations about so many different things.  I miss him a ton and it hurt so much to lose him and my dad last year.

   In April I ran my first ultra.  An ultra is any running race longer than a marathon.  The Boss and I ran our first marathon in November of 2014 so I figured I would piggyback the ultra.  I ran the TARC Spring 50K(roughly 31 miles).  I use the term ran loosely since it took me almost 7 hours to complete.  Throughout the race, when I felt tired and sore and wanted to stop, I could almost hear my dad and Norman urging me on, and busting my balls about why someone would ever run for that long.  I also had my wife(The Boss), my sister and my buddy BJ at the race to cheer me on which helped keep me going.

   After the ultra I kind of lost a little something.  I was not sure what it was. A lack of focus, a lack of motivation, maybe an overload of sadness once the training was done?  Whatever it was really sucked.  The Boss and I ran the Mayflower Brewery 1/2 Marathon in July and that race just sucked the life out of me.  I had still been running a lot but I just felt like I had nothing left in the tank and really felt awful after the race.  I felt like I needed a change.
    So... I hired a coach!  I figured why not.  I love to run, I wanted to get faster and at the time I was slowing down.  I messaged Chris Vargo on FB, exchanged some emails and the next thing you know, he is writing up training plans for me and giving me tips about racing and training.  I ran three 1/2 marathons at the end of the year and I had picked up enough speed to set a new PR.  I felt like having someone helping me out with training and setting race goals reinvigorated me.

2016 Running Goals
My goal is pretty simple I guess.  Set some new PR's.
Here is a list of my current PR's pulled off of www.athlinks.com
I am running the TARC Spring 50K again this April so I am confident I will be able to finish faster than last year.  I am also running another marathon in May and I am hoping to knock a good chunk of time off of my first one.  The Boss and I are running a 5 miler this Sunday and the course is flat and fast so it will be my first shot at that one.  We'll see how that goes.  The PR is from 2008 when I was "young" and "fast".



5 Mile

10 Mile

1/2 Mara



Thanks for reading!  I'll talk to you next week!