Live Life

I know, I know, I know. It’s been too long in between blog posts. Sorry about that. There was just a lot going on around here and daddy/husband/friend first. Had to get through the flu hitting my house (I was OK), kids home from school, snow, ice storm, goddaughter’s birthday party, Valentine’s Day, and unfortunately losing an old friend/teammate at such a young age.

I’ve spent so much time over the past week and a half thinking about him and his family. Just crushes me that he’s gone. You couldn’t meet a better human. He was the type of guy that was always smiling, always joking with others to make sure everyone was having a good time. He was a great teammate, someone I played little league and high school football with. We both played in college. He was a lineman like me and the bonds you make with guys you start next to in the trenches are bonds that never break. When you have the pleasure of playing with a teammate as good as him and thinks just gel, it’s simply amazing how you can get on the same page without speaking a word. You have each others backs, always and forever. We lost a great one. A great friend, son, brother, husband, and father. Just make sure you reach out to your loved ones, maybe an old friend. Don’t take life for granted.

My training has been going great. I haven’t missed a work out or run. On Saturday, I got in a 10 mile run. Beginning part was great, middle was a long uphill road that really beat up my legs, but I bounced back and finished the last third strong. I was happy with the overall run. I’m amazed at how far I’ve come. I followed up with a rest day on Sunday and then went for a 5 mile recovery run on the treadmill on Monday and lifted my back and biceps. I had to go to the gym and use the treadmill due to the ice storm on Sunday. The roads were in awful shape and we had wind gusts as high as 70 mph with ice and items being thrown all over the place.

Tuesday I ended up taking advantage of the nice weather, well as nice as it can be in February in NJ, and ran 8.08 miles outside. I ran a new route and on some streets I’d never been on. Running has allowed me to explore roads in my neighborhood that I’ve never even been on. It’s really cool to explore the area and get a great work out in. After my run, I lifted my shoulders. I have weights in the basement that I was able to put to good use.

Today, I decided to run 3 miles on the treadmill. I ended up running it in 26:22. I was happy with the time. I then cross trained for 30 minutes on the elliptical. I also lifted my chest and triceps prior to running. Overall good day. Trying to work in lifting into my daily workouts. Need to remember how important strength training is. I felt like I worked on some speed with the treadmill run and gave my legs a little rest with the elliptical. I think I’ll work this type of work out into my schedules a little bit more.

I plan on getting more reviews up soon and I have a few 13.1 Q&As with some outstanding runners/bloggers on the way. I’ll make sure to update the blog more often too.

Less than 11 weeks until the NJ Half Marathon. Keep training hard. Be Runspirational.

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12 Weeks to NJ Half Marathon

Work was crazy today so I wasn’t able to get my run in during lunch. Plus, it was raining all day here in NJ, so I decided to head to the gym at the end of work and run on the treadmill. I was looking forward to pushing myself today. It felt like the right day to crank up the speed a little quicker and push myself. The NJ Half Marathon is less than 12 weeks away, so it’s time to really focus and dedicate myself to getting myself ready to run the best possible race I can.

I felt really good at the increased speeds and felt like I should’ve turned it up a little bit faster earlier on in the run. I ended up running the five miles I planned in 46 minutes. I had a great sweat going and after a busy day at work and just lots of thoughts running through my mind recently, it was a good stress reliever.

I was late but was able to participate in the bibchat on twitter tonight for the second week in a row. What a fun and great group chat to participate in. It’s amazing how everyone’s thoughts and feelings can differ and how much you can learn from other runners. It’s been very cool to be a part of. The bibchat tonight was sponsored by Legend Compression Socks.

I’ve been thinking more and more about compression socks. I don’t think I want to wear them while I run, but I think it might be good for my recovery, especially after long runs, to wear them after. Do any of you do that? What brands do you like? Would love your input, let me know.

Tomorrow is scheduled to be a cross train day, so I’ll hit the elliptical probably. I’m having a cord of firewood delivered too and I need to get that stacked prior to Thursday as we are supposed to get 5-10″ of snow dumped on us. That counts as lifting right? When you think of me tomorrow, think of Paul Bunyan out there. We’ll see what the forecast calls for as we get closer but I may have to adjust when or how I get my run in on Thursday.

So do you like to run while it’s snowing or does that automatically become a treadmill day? Let me know!

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Pre-Game 4 Miler Recap

I had a great time at the Pre-Game 4 Miler yesterday in Morristown. It was a nice turn out and I enjoyed the course. It felt good to run in a race again. It’s been two months since my last race so it was good to be pushed by others.

I felt good yesterday, very strong. I did find myself looking at my pace and wondering if I was going to quick. My breathing was fine, so I need to realize that I am getting in better shape, more conditioned, and I guess a little bit faster too. This is the reason you add in some prep races before the event you are really training for, in my case, the NJ Half Marathon.

I’ve never run a 4 mile race, so this was a first but I figured it was right in between the 5K and 8K races I’ve run in the past. I was happy with my time. My original goal was to break 36 minutes, which I was able to. I was close and there are a few instances I can look back on and question if I pushed a little harder here, could’ve I broke 35. My chip time was 35:11.02 for a pace of 8:47. I finished 256 out of 760. My splits, according to my FitBit Surge, were:

Mile 1 – 8:36
Mile 2 – 8:51
Mile 3 – 9:12
Mile 4 – 8:32

I was proud that my fastest mile was the last one, especially after recovering from mile 3. This course had a very long hill about 1 1/2 miles through and a very steep hill around 2 1/2 miles. That is why you see a drop in time on both. I was proud of myself though. I always strive to never stop running, especially on hills. I tell myself, keep moving you got this. That’s nothing against anyone that feels it’s best for themselves to stop, it’s just always one of my personal goals.

The course was really nice. You start off running near the green in Morristown. You end up passing by parks, then up along some very beautiful homes, then onto a busy road, up back up a hill with about a half mile to go and then two turns to the finish. The race promoters had bagels, water, granola bars, coffee, bananas, a dj, and a nutritional company allowing you to spin for a chance to win something. It was quite nice, especially for it being Super Sunday. I definitely would run this race again.

I think if I was to run this race again this week, I would definitely be able to run it quicker. I hadn’t run this course, so I didn’t know how my legs would react to the hills. I knew they were there and I think prepping for them throughout the race caused me to save a little. Plus, the first mile was flat and then downhill. My pace was ahead of what I’ve been training at and I was worried I was getting out too quickly. I don’t think I was. I think I could’ve hit the gas a little more on that stretch of the race.

I warmed up for this race with about a 15 minute jog. I felt good and ready. I know some of what I wrote might make it sound like I wasn’t happy, but I was. I’m just critiquing my race. I know I can always improve and learn from every race I’m in.

The only part of Sunday’s run that felt weird and different was I was alone. It was the first race I ran without my wife and kids at it. Both of my kids were sick, so it was best for them to stay home. I was fine running and it was cold out so it’s better they were home, but it was weird to cross the finish line and not have them there. I always love to see them on the course somewhere. It gives my body and extra kick.

With racing on Sunday, I took Saturday as a rest day. Since I only ran 4 miles yesterday (never thought the word “only” would come before “ran 4 miles” in my life lol), I decided to go for a recovery run today. It was a nice and easy pace. I ended up running for 53:07 and got 5.11 miles in. I tried not looking at my pace at all. I only checked my watch to see how long I was running. I wanted to get somewhere around 50-55 minutes in today. I did about 4 miles of the run up on the track in my new pair of Asics Gel Nimbus 18. I got them a couple of weeks ago, been walking around in them to break them in, so I figured a recovery run was perfect to christen them.

When is your next race?

What are your thoughts on running hills?

Would love to hear from you.

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Packet Pick Up & Course Preview

The race I am running this weekend is on Sunday. The Pre-Game 4 Miler allows you to pick up your packet on Friday or Saturday at the Running Company in Morristown. I decided to go pick it up tonight.

I’d never been to the Running Company but it was a nice store. I ended up purchasing one of The Travel Sticks. I’ve been intending to get one to help with recovery and warming up, so when I saw it there I figured I’d check out the price. They had it at the cheapest price I’ve seen online, so I picked it up. I like to help out the local running stores whenever I can. I think it’s great how they help out for a lot of races with being packet pick up locations.

I really liked the long sleeve t-shirt I received tonight for this race. I don’t know if it’s just because I love football so much, but I thought the front was really neat looking. Glad to add it to my collection.

After I was done there, I decided to drive the course. I’ve never run in Morristown, so this was all new to me. I actually parked right near the start of the race, without even knowing, so it worked out well when I decided to drive the course. The course has some hills throughout it that look challenging. Not sure what that will do to my time but I’m glad I could see where they are roughly and how long they are. I think it’ll help me mentally prepare more for it. The area around my house that I run has a lot of hills so I think I’ll be up for the challenge. I have to be, right?

Since I have the race this weekend and I’m taking off today instead of doing a long run, I kept my Friday work out as a cross training day. I ended up going for 45 minutes on the elliptical. Kept the resistance at a lower threshold. I just wanted to get loose, burn a lot of calories, get a great sweat going, and let my legs take it easy. Mission accomplished.

When is your next race? What race is it and what’s the distance? Would love to hear from you. Good luck to all that are running this weekend.

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Be Flexible … With Your Schedule

Today was a good lesson for me. It shows that where there is a will there is a way. My daughter was not feeling well, so we decided to keep her home from school. I was planning on getting my outside run in today during my lunch hour. With staying home with her, I knew that was impossible. I realized my only chances to go for a run would be right at that moment before my wife left for work or late tonight when she got home after a late night work function.

I prefer to run during the morning or afternoon for safety reasons. Plus, I feel like if I push it off until that late and with being with the kids all day, I might be wiped out and not go. So I quickly got ready and out the door I went.

It worked out for the best. With the pre-game 4 miler this weekend, I realized a shorter run would be in my best interest. I ended up just running 3.5 miles with 2.5 miles of it being done around the track.

I have noticed that the track’s softer impact is nice on my legs, but I seem to run slower on the track then I do on the road, even though it’s a flat surface. I don’t know if it’s just the scenery or what, but something I’ve been noticing each week recently.

After taking my daughter to the doctor and finding out she has the flu, I’m glad I got that run in first thing. I’m a daddy first and my attention has been all her’s today taking care of her and then bringing her baby brother to the doctor just to make sure he didn’t have the flu either. Thankfully, he tested negative and can go to school.

So today just shows that you need to be able to adjust, roll with the punches. Things will work out no matter what. Don’t get caught up on your plan not working out to a tee. Just continue to strive to stay on course and give a great effort every time.

How do you adjust when your schedule changes suddenly?

Would love to hear from you. Let me know.

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New Race For This Clydesdale

I decided I’m going to run in the Pre-Game 4 Miler, a USATF certified race, in Morristown, NJ on Super Bowl Sunday. It looks like a fun race and close to home. Wish me luck. It will be my first 4 miler, fitting in between the 5K and 8Ks I’ve run. One thing I know for sure, it’ll be a PR for me ;o)

So I love it when I’m asked if I want to run in the Clydesdale division. It always produces a nice giggle out of me. It makes me think of myself as this big, strong runner galloping down the road, then reality sets in. I do like the idea though. I know some don’t. It’s similar to age range groups to me. Just another fun category to try and see how one fairs against similar runners. For this race, the division starts at 200 lbs.

There aren’t a lot of choices for races in NJ from January to March, so this one fits in well. I like the idea of running on Super Bowl Sunday in a race considering the appetizers and beer I plan on enjoying during the game. It’s kind of like running a race on Thanksgiving. At least it counters some of the calories that will be coming in to my body.

The race starts at 11:00 am. I’ve never run a race with a later start time like this, but it should be fine. Currently, a lot of my weekend runs overlap 11:00 am, so my body should be fine with it.

This will be a new course for me. Not sure if I’ll get to drive it prior to race day or if I’ll just wing it. Not a fan of winging it, so hopefully I’ll be able to find a video online of it or drive it later in the week. I’ve heard about a nice hill on it around mile 2ish so at least I’ll be prepared for that. My legs look forward to it.

If you’re planning on running this race, let me know.

As for today’s work out, it was a cross training today. I had a nice intense work out on the elliptical for an hour. Burned a lot of calories, produced a good sweat, and pushed my legs.

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A Good Run to Change Your Mood

Sometimes all it takes is a good run to help you get into a better mood. At least, that seems to help me. A good run is a stress reliever for me. It helps me clear my head. Think about things that are going on. Think them through and hopefully lift some of the weight off of your shoulders from whatever was going on.

Today was one of those days for me. Work has been a beast this week. There was a part of me that didn’t even want to work out or run. But the other part said, really, something like that is going to get you to skip out on your half marathon training, on your health, on you going for your goals? I knew it would help and it would be worth it.

It was snowing in NJ today and I was scheduled for a treadmill run anyway, so things broke the right way. I went to the gym and decided to lift my chest and shoulders first. I need to lift more as part of my training, so I’m trying to make sure I do it when I’m at the gym. After lifting, I hopped on the treadmill.

I had thought about what speeds I would run and when I would increase them. Well as I got going, I was feeling good. I decided I wanted to crank it up through out the run and run just a little bit longer of a distance. I mean, hey, I had to burn off those brownies I ate last night … oh and probably the ones I’m going to eat tonight.

I really sprinted hard for the last 5 minutes. Cranking up the speed every minute, every 15 seconds, every 10 seconds. I was breathing hard at the end when my 60 minutes hit. I ran for 57 minutes and ran 6.25 miles. I walked 3 minutes to warm up and get my music going, TV on, comfy and covered .15 miles plus another two minute walk at the end for 62 minutes and around 6.53 miles.

I felt so much better after. In such a better mood. It’s relieving to be able to go for a good run, change your mood, especially before the family gets home. Now to enjoy a nice fire and hey where are those brownies? ;o)

Be Runspirational. Run to Inspire. Inspired to Run!

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New Week – New Thoughts

It’s a new week and here are some new thoughts.

First, I love running earlier in the day. I honestly need to start running in the morning before work on a consistent basis. Currently, I’ve been going for my weekday runs and work outs during my lunch. It’s nice to have it out of the way, run when it’s light out, but sometimes things pop up. Getting it done right away when you wake up, leaves no excuses or chances that something could get in the way. The only negative about running early, is that it’s out of the way, and sometimes you have a rough day and just want to go for a nice run to clear your mind. Something like that happened to me today. Had a rough ending to my work day and I feel like a good run would be the cure. The only problem is, I’ve already ran the 4 miles I was scheduled to. On the positive side, hey, I got my run in :o)

Second, I’ve been looking at so many tweets with #earthaton and started looking into it. I think I’d like to join but I have no clue which team I should join. I feel like I’m the new kid at school, no one knows me, and I have to pick a lunch table to sit at. Will these other runners want me at their table? Will anyone talk to me? What if I pick a group that I just don’t blend with? Do I have to do the whole, sorry it’s not you it’s me? All kidding aside, I know all of the groups would be awesome and I’m sure welcome me with open arms but still, it’s a decision I don’t want to make without knowing exactly what I’m deciding.

Thirdly, I’m going to try and get more reviews going. I have no idea if anyone cares about my opinion, but hey maybe I can help someone out there in internet land make a decision.

Lastly, I’m thinking about getting a few tshirts made up for I have no idea if I should order extras, if anyone would want one or not. I don’t want to get left with a box full of them in my garage lol. I know I’ll wear them and my wife and kids will because they are good sports about that. Just wondering if anyone else out there might be interested. I will share a photo with them when I make a decision about whether or not I should move forward with it.

As for my work out today, I ran 4.05 miles. It was a nice easy, slow recovery run. I felt good at the end. Definitely loosened up my legs. I felt good. It’s definitely different to run slower on purpose but it’s all part of the plan. I ran up at the track to help give my legs/joints a softer surface to enjoy.

OK well let me know your thoughts. Be Runspirational. Run to Inpsire. Inspired to Run.

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Rest Day

Today was a rest day for me. I did a pretty good job of giving my legs a rest. Part of me just wants to keep going but I understand the importance of giving your legs and body a rest and time to recover.

My son wouldn’t go down for his nap today, so I decided I would lay down with him and cuddle. It was so nice to lay down in the middle of day. I got a quick 15 or so minute nap in and just laid there enjoying the time with him while he napped. Can’t beat a day when you get that opportunity.

I’ve been reading a lot about recover, especially from long runs. During the 5K that I ran in December, there was a local PT place with a booth. They had a hand out that promoted a recovery lounge with Normatec Compression Boots and Sleeves. If any of you have ever used these for recovery, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’ve been thinking about buying a a package and trying them out after my long runs.

I’m also looking at picking up the travel stick or something similar for recovery and warm ups. If you have one of these, let me know your thoughts.

I’m thinking about running a race this Sunday. It’s a 4 miler. It’s not too far from home and with it being on Super Bowl Sunday, I think it might be a good idea to burn a few calories lol. It would take the place of a long run and I would rest on Saturday instead. I’ll keep you updated if I sign up. Just need to make sure it fits in the schedule with the kiddos.

I’m trying to get a few reviews done and also add a section or two to the site including interviewing other bloggers. Will keep you updated on that. Looking forward to my run tomorrow.

Keep being Runspirational. Run to Inspire. Inspired to Run.

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Conquer the Mountain

Today was a very interesting run. I did my long run for the week. 9 miles was the goal. At first, I thought I was going to run a similar route to last week, but decided during breakfast, I was going to run in a different direction.

I started out and hit two steep hills in the first mile. Last week, I hit these same two hills around mile 6. It was nice to get them out of the way right away today.

I then hit a flat part of the run and everything was going great. I hit around mile 3 and decided I wanted to test myself a little more. I ended up running down to the town’s main avenue and started at the bottom. It’s about a 1.25 mile run up a mountain basically.

I hit the first third of it and felt great. Happy I decided to do it. Then I was about half way up and what a coincidence but Fergie (Black Eyed Peas) is singing Meet Me Halfway. It was literally half way up the mountain and just over half way into my run. I had a good giggle.

As I popped up higher on the road I saw the final incline and it’s a doozy. This is a section of road that they have to close down during snowstorms due to cars not being able to get up it in snow. I’ve seen buses not get up this incline and get stuck. I had never run this road. Today was the day I was going to conquer. I kept pushing through. My pace slowed but I didn’t stop.

Of course, I’m huffing and puffing and just when I’m a hundred yards or so away, I pass a woman walking her dog and she’s smoking. Oh great I though. Not only am I gassed from running up this behemoth but now I’m basically going to be smoking a cig as I’m just trying to get to the top.

Took me awhile to get my legs back under me but I did. I was happy with my splits over the last few miles.

Now the funniest part of the run happened around mile 6 when I decided to have a Gu. I forgot my water, so taking the Gu was going to be interesting. My mouth was a bit dry but I was able to get the Gu down.

Of course I have it pasted in my mouth and I hit a point where I need to spit. Not thinking, I turn my head, go to spit, and next thing you know it barely leaves my mouth. I basically spit on my face. I wiped it with my hand and of course I see a car passing me. All I could think of was, oh great, probably someone I know.

When I finished my run. I got home and as I walk through the door, the first thing my daughter says to me is, “Daddy, what’s all over your face?”. Of course, I think I’m just a little wind burned or red. I thought, man it was windy but I didn’t think it was that bad. I walk into the kitchen and my wife asks me the same thing. She’s like you have brown stuff all over your face. So apparently, I didn’t wipe off the Gu goober. I simply smeared it into my cheek. Now I’m thinking about all of the people I ran past over the last 2 miles that must have been looking at me like what the hell is wrong with that guy.

Overall, very good run. The mountain took a lot out of me but I was please. I ran the 9.01 miles in 1:28:17 for a 9:48 pace.

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