Life:a condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms
Balance:a desirable point between two or more opposite forces.
Taking these three points into consideration, they are bound to surface at some point in anyones training. Having a full family, including a lovely wife who works very hard full time, 3 children attending school from Kindergarten to 7th grade (YIKES!, almost a teenager), a part time job and a full time career search, it can become busy at times. That goes without mentioning all the daily/weekly normal functions of life such as grocery shopping, maintaining house and home, taking care of elderly parents, trying to stay somewhat connected to the not-so-immediate family and everything else that could possibly pop up at any given time. Whew! Sounds like we have already run our marathon in life before we even think of training for an additional event that takes an enormous commitment, time, training, motivation, and determination.
Training schedules are very important, and can make a big difference if you happen to skip a workout or take an extra couple days off which can set you back a step in your training.
Being an "Active Dad" I really find it difficult at time to work my running around all the "events" of life, yet I understand the overall benefits of the running, the aerobic conditioning, the increased endurance and health that it adds to my life. That new health is for my family, and hopefully will translate into a great number of enjoyable years down the road someday that I will be able to spend that I wouldn't have if I wasn't taking care of my body.
So, I will continue to put "Work" into everything I do. Be it my actual job, family life, cleaning, working out, running, whatever the task I will "Work" to the best of my ability and give 100% to reach my goal. Some think that you can't always give 100%. I think that it is all in the mind. If you say you can't, you won't. If you say you can, you have made a commitment and you should try to make that commitment to the best of your ability. Take a stand and join the "I CAN" group and see how your life changes. Make a commitment and stick to it. Start small, it doesn't have to be a marathon, it could even be to clean out your car. But say it, and then go do it. You MAKE it happen. It's as simple as turning on a light switch. Don't let your mind take you the other direction and slow your progress. Meet your commitment and move on with another one. Not only will you feel better about yourself, you will have reached your goal and also gained the respect of the doubters and those who look at the glass half empty rather than half full.
I will continue to "Live" or be one of the living creatures. Putting WORK into everything I hope to benefit my life by living it to the best of my ability. To gain a satisfaction that I have done the BEST I can do and not accepted anything less than what I had set as an expectation for myself. I have set a goal to run a marathon and that is what I am going to do. Yes it will take WORK, and yes, it will increase and hopefully prolong my LIFE.
I have also made a commitment to promote BALANCE in my LIFE and WORK hard to achieve that BALANCE. This in itself is a difficult goal, since as the training time increases, more time is needed away from the family. However, is it possible to run early, run late, run at times when others are in school or work? I hope to motivate others to follow a path of their own. Hopefully create their own goals and commit to them. Do the WORK that is necessary and be positive that it is making a dramatic impact on their LIFE.
Some people will probably read this and think I am off the wall. Some will understand it. Some have already set a goal for themselves and are working to achieve it at this very second. Some are thinking of setting a goal and maybe are just not sure what they can achieve. Make it reachable, but make it a stretch, make it involve WORK, make it rewarding, make it yours, and make others look at you and see a CHANGE!
Know in your heart, your soul, your innermost being what you want to achieve and go for it. You will find yourself getting closer to that goal one step at a time. If you have read this and have set a goal for yourself, be it running, your work, your life, your family, whatever the goal is please reply to this blog and write it down. Post it where you see it everyday and say it out loud before you leave on your run or for the day. Make it a consistent process and I can guarantee you one thing. You will be determined to reach that goal, you will be happy you have set a goal, and you will be happy that you have taken a step toward reaching that goal.
Reading up on running injuries I have come across a couple different viewpoints. For certain injuries it will talk about reducing your mileage or possibly even taking an extra rest day or two then slowly proceed with your workout. Other viewpoints say to rest for a week or longer and then slowly start back into the running routine.
Why have I decided to talk about this in my blog this time?
Well, after my training run of 4.5 miles on Friday, I am having some pain in my right knee. I really didn't notice it until after the run, but it progressively got worse that evening and I could feel it all through Saturday as well. Saturday was supposed to be my long run, which turned into a one mile, slow jog and return to home. I decided that I would take Sunday off as planned and then head out again on Monday very cautiously and after spending a little extra time stretching out the knee and legs.
I don't want a knee injury to sideline me and set me back in my training before I can really even get into longer runs. I do think by taking 10lbs off my body would cause less stress to my knee and hope that I can continue to stick with moderate training runs to keep my base endurance level or even build it some while still taking care of the knee.
I have been looking at getting a new pair of properly fit running shoes and also special stretching for the knee area that I can work on. During previous runs I probably wasn't spending enough time stretching out since I would usually use my first 5 minutes as a walk to warm up anyway.
Today I really wanted to get out there again but instead took one of the dogs on a mile walk to see how the knee would feel after just walking a bit. It felt fine. However when it is in the fully straight locked position it is still a little sore.
Tomorrow I will go out for my normal 4 mile course and it may turn into a walk/run session depending on how the knee feels.
Regarding shoes, I have worn New Balance since I started running and have been happy with them. However, I have been reading up on shoes for my stride and weight and think that Nike may have some that I may give a try. Asics also has some that come with high recommendations. Time to take a trip to Roadrunner Sports and see what the best option is and to get a proper fit. Although, it may have to wait since payday is still a few days away.
That's about all for today, next post will be after the next attempt at a run and hopefully it will go well with no injuries to report.
Getting off to a start this morning took 2 cups of coffee, a little News on the local network, time to sit and talk with the family and a few postings on facebook. After hearing from Krissie, Matt's wife that he had just left on his run for the day, I had enough energy to get ready to run. After quickly downloading a couple new tracks for my iPod I took off for my long run today that was scheduled for 3 miles on my training program. (updated this, more later)
I felt really good, starting off slow and knowing that I hadn't eaten made me feel light and not worrying about getting a side stitch. I had my first mile and checked on the nike + and I was just under a 10 minute pace. After about 1.75 miles I took my first of three short walk breaks lasting about 30 seconds and took off again. Overall, it felt good to be running in the morning hours and also before this afternoons rain and bad weather rolled in. I came home after completing 3.5 miles to a busy house with everyone working on cleaning and various tasks. I walked in the garage stretched for a moment and then walked up to the step to enter the house when just at the same moment my wife was opening the door taking out a bag of trash. Her eyes were on the trash bag and when she opened the door I was right there with a black stocking hat, black addidas jogging pants, black running gloves, Grey sweatshirt and most likely a sweaty red face from running. All I know is that even with my headphones from my iPod still playing a track, I heard a very, very loud startling scream. I guess she wasn't expecting me to be there nor was I expecting her to open the door at that moment. Fortunately, my heart rate was still up slightly so it wasn't that big of a shock on my system as it was for hers. Funny how things happen at just the same time or when you are least expecting it.
Anyway, I was happy to complete my run, and another day of training. Oh, regarding the training. I have adjusted my training schedule to a 9 week 10K plan instead of the marathon training plan at this point. On the marathon plan that I was on, I would have been prepared for the marathon in the month of September and my race isn't until January. Since I have a 5K in May and possibly at the end of April, I took some advice and am focusing on a little lower mileage and then will start a marathon training program in June to be completed in December just a week or so before the race. If your reading this, I would like to hear your thoughts about this plan.
Ok, now for the title of this blog, Running Store Visit. This afternoon, I took a trip to a new running store in our area in nearby Naperville, IL. Road Runner Sports has opened a store there and I wanted to take a look. The plan was to take a tour of the store and just see what they had. Well, they had some really good clearance running clothes and very knowledgeable staff that I ended up talking to for some time. I will definitely be back to this store as my training progresses. I was so impressed and excited about the store that I applied for a position there. Work should be something you love, I love running and a few other things so I figured hey, why not. I would be able to share customers stories about running, gear, training, and also utilize my retail management background. Hey, this could be a perfect fit. Besides, just being there gave me a good feeling and I found myself talking to a couple customers while waiting for the cashier to look something up about the Nike plus system. Great store, at least from my experience so far.
Tonight we ended the day with a movie, just the wife and I. A date night you could call it I suppose. We went to see the movie, Knowing and well, the popcorn was good. The movie, well,,,,if you remove the last 20 minutes, it might receive 3 out of 5 for me. Just a strange ending that didn't take you there with it so to speak. Personally, I was thinking about running toward the end of the movie and what was going to be on my plate for tomorrow, my day off from training.
Any running stores that you like or enjoy? I know that there are online stores a plenty, but what about at your local strip mall or in your local town or city? What makes a good running store? Customer Service? Good selection? Knowledgeable staff? Bare bones pricing? Why do you keep going back? Lets here it.......
In my workout today I was fortunate enough to be able to run with a friend of mine. Matt Brown is a cancer survivor and a person who is very driven and motivated to reach the goals he sets for himself. Matt is running the Chicago Marathon this Fall and is currently training with a group of runners that are all involved with cancer in some way. Many of them are survivors of the horrible disease. We ran today on one of the paths here around my home and down around the Fox River. It felt really good to run with someone else for a change and be able to talk about our accomplishments. I did realize that I tend to want to talk too much I think and running forces you to talk in strides or in short sentences. Of course, if you do try to talk while out of breath, as I did a few times today, probably every other word comes out and Matt probably was wondering what the heck I was saying....LOL. Anyway, we shared methods of tracking our runs, and talked about where we are in our training and basic jibber jabber about running. We ended with a handshake and a commitment to run again in another two weeks on a Monday. Matt is heading down to Georgia with his wife for a short break and then back the following week.
On a side note, I also have a neighbor that I plan to train with but he recently strained his calf muscle and is off of running for awhile while it heals. He thinks he may be able to get back in line to run a 5K with me in May. We will see......
As of today I have been in training for two weeks. I used to run a few years ago and then every year when winter comes, I tend to stop running at some point. Yes, I have the winter equipment and a treadmill in the basement, but I think I use it as a crutch and just stop. Last year I didn't really start up again in the Spring and probably got in about 10 runs total for the year 2008. From 2003 to 2007 I started with the couch to 5K program and built myself up to running my long run of 7.5 miles in 2007. I always ran with a plan, but never ran in races in less you include a 3 mile heart walk in which I ran the complete 3 miles.
This year I have been motivated. Not only because I was released in July 2008 from my full-time employer and am looking for a full time job, but also because of a friend. My friend Matt, a cancer survivor, has entered to run the 2009 Chicago marathon this Fall. In fact he is running with me today for the first time. He unknowingly has been a major factor of getting me back on my feet and now I want to do this for myself. A sort of proof to myself that no matter how tough things get human determination and motivation can get you very far. I really am excited about the marathon and to prep myself during my training I have registered for a 5K in May and I am thinking about another 5K in April, next month. I ran 5K yesterday as a run/walk and this should fit perfectly into my training. I was also thinking about a 10K or a Half Marathon late in the Fall.
Todays weather, 37 degrees, with a high of 58. Perfect for running. Of course it is supposed to rain a little, but that should be fine. More to come later....
This blog is to track my daily thoughts about running. I will list my personal private feelings for the day, maybe talk about the weather and local events and simply the motivational factors on my way to training for the Marathon at Walt Disney.