Monday Motivation: Jeff Galloway Edition

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Galloway

I am a part of a blogger program through Jeff Galloway in which he provides some tips and insights for sharing with my readers. Today is the first one of those posts. So, without interruption, the following are a few tips on running from Mr. Galloway:

When paced correctly, running delivers the best attitude boost you can get. Sustain this by pacing yourself gently during the first mile or three.

A well-paced run enhances vitality for the rest of the day.  Start each run at least 30 seconds a mile slower than you will run at the end.

If you have a Run Walk Run strategy that is right for you on that day, it’s possible to feel good after every run-even the marathon.

Running is the best stress reliever I’ve found. Research shows that running tends to activate the conscious brain which over-rides the emotional subconscious brain and manages the negative and anxiety hormones during and after the run.

Research shows that as runners get faster, their stride length shortens.  A quicker cadence is the mechanical key to faster running.

The finishing of a run that is longer than you’ve run in the last 3 weeks can bestow a sense of achievement that is unique and empowering-due to positive brain circuits that are turned on.

You can’t run a long run too slowly or take too many walk breaks.  You’ll get the same endurance based upon the distance covered.

Of course Galloway is known for his run, walk, run programs and his association with runDisney. I have never tried his run, walk, run program, but I am considering it for a future event just to see how it goes for me.

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It’s St. Jude Race Week Once Again

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This week is going to be a hectic one for me. It is my birthday, finals, and the St. Jude Half Marathon occurring concurrently. I also had an opportunity to go to a conference for work, but I wisely turned down that opportunity to focus on everything else.

My 1st race medal - St. Jude Half 2011

My 1st race medal – St. Jude Half 2011

Race week means that I ratchet down my workouts, trying to avoid injury and stay fresh for the big event. I do not always adhere to this since my schedule has been so packed with races, but I am going to do my best to take it easy this week. After all, nothing I do this week is going to drastically improve my time on Saturday morning, so why risk injury?

2012 St. Jude Half Marathon Medal

2012 St. Jude Half Marathon Medal

I have been checking the weather forecast like a psycho for the past few days, and while the weather does not look ideal, it should be warmer than last year’s event that was canceled for the cold and ice (even though some of us crazy runners hit the streets anyway) and drier than the second MRTC RRS half marathon. I can only hope that this remains true.

Photo produced by Competitor Group

Photo produced by Competitor Group

I have reached my fundraising total, so I can cruise along without stressing about finding the extra dollars needed for that. And I think that for the first time, I will squeeze into my Heroes singlet for the race (don’t worry, I will have an under shit on) to celebrate the wonder place that is St. Jude.

This was me as I was about to head out for my very cold 13.1!

This was me as I was about to head out for my very cold 13.1!

I recently upgraded phones, so I have been debating what to do with my new iPhone 6. 13.1 miles can get very sweaty, and with the chance for rain, I decided to bite the bullet and invest in a Lifeproof case, even though the model that I really wanted has not been released yet. I would rather sacrifice some aesthetics rather than my entire phone!

2013 St. Jude Marathon Weekend Medal (w/ a little ice)

2013 St. Jude Marathon Weekend Medal (w/ a little ice)

New phone, also means I need a new playlist, so during study breaks, I will be constructing a list of tunes to help carry me to the finish line!

Good luck to all my fellow St. Jude Marathon Weekend participants and everyone else running this weekend!

Closing in on 1,000 Miles

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One of my goals for 2014 was to reach 1,000 miles running for the year. That would equate to 83.33 miles per month. Through the first nine months of 2014, I only eclipsed that mark four times. Not exactly a strong attempt to making my goal. I have had some issues with the heat, sinus infections, apathy, and foot pain.  But these are just excuses, but it has left me where I am today.

Log 1,000 miles in 2014

Log 1,000 miles in 2014

Through the end of September, I had logged 698.11 miles, which left me 301.89 miles short of my goal.  The remaining miles means that I need to run 100.63 miles per month through the rest of the year to hit 1,000. This is a daunting task, for sure, especially without a full marathon training regiment.  It is, however, not even close to an impossible task.

How-I-Met-Your-Mother-Challenge-Accepted

I feel like I am up for the challenge.  I have four half marathons, two ten-mile races, and two 5K’s to finish the year.  My race schedule for the final three months has a total of 78.6 miles, so deducting this distance from my total needed, and I am looking at a shortage of 223.29 miles.  Spread that throughout the rest of the year, and it seems much more manageable.  Already for October, I am at 49.93 miles with a run pending for this evening. If the weather, and my body cooperate, I have a real shot at meeting and even surpassing this goal.

2014 Goals, Halfway Point Check In

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Before the year started, I composed some goals that I would like to reach this year.  And since it is the halfway point of 2014, I decided that it would be a good time to look at them once again.  Consider this an accountability exercise.

2014 WDW Marathon Medal

2014 WDW Marathon Medal

  1. Run a Marathon. This was not an exact goal since the marathon was 12 days into the year, but it was my first marathon and warrants some mention.

    Very nice looking medal

    Very nice looking medal

  2. Redeem My Germantown Half Marathon.  I did not exactly set a land speed record this year, but I was not injured and I did complete the race, so this goal is complete!

    This was after I finished the event and I had a chance to clean up a bit.

    This was after I finished the event and I had a chance to clean up a bit.

  3. Become a Tough Mudder and a Spartan.  50% complete with the Tampa Special Ops Spartan Sprint in February.  I ended up missing the Tough Mudder event in June.

    My awesome race medal!

    My awesome race medal!

  4. Try New Races.  So far this year I have run in 11 new (to me) races. There was a full marathon, a Spartan Race, 10 nautical miler, and multiple half marathons. Country Music Half Medal
  5. Run More Half Marathons in 2014 Than My Entire Life Prior.  Speaking ofhalf marathons, so far in 2014, I have completed 5 half marathons which is the same number for my entire life prior to this year.  And with 6 more half marathons on the horizon, I should have a couple of chances to eviscerate this goal.

    Log 1,000 miles in 2014

    Log 1,000 miles in 2014

  6. Run At Least 1,000 Miles. Well, at this point to be on pace for this goal I should be at 500 miles.  I am actually at 439.09, so I am 60.91 miles short, so I will need to pick it up in the second half of the year to reach this goal.  February, March, April, and June were all sub-par months.  I need to average 93.485 miles per month for the next 6 months to reach 1,000. USMC Fitness Boot Camp
  7. Focus On Cross Training. By joining the USMC Fitness Boot Camp, this goal will be realized by the year’s end, I just have to stick with it. 10NMMedal
  8. Continue My Race a Month Schedule. So far in 2014 I am 6 for 6, so this goal is going strong.  And I have already paid for at least 1 race in each of the next 6 months, so it is all on me now.
  9. Complete At Least One Pull Up.  Well, this goal has been completely ignored.  I am no closer today that I was at the beginning of the year.  Completing this goal is not looking good, but there are still 6 months left to realize it.

After looking at the data, 2014 has gone rather strongly for me, even if my running times have been somewhat lackluster.  There are some areas that I have lagged, but I have realized quite a few goals as well.  With a few tweaks and adjustments, I should be able to improve on my 2014 results.

Motivation Monday: You Are What You Eat

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The silhouette should probably be a little plumper, right?

The silhouette should probably be a little plumper, right?

I struggle with this concept more than I should.  If I burn 3,000 calories, why can’t I consume 3,000 calories throughout the rest of the day?  I gained weight while training for the WDW Marathon, and I have not lost any of it since the event in January either.  In fact, I have gained some more weight since then despite running in as many have marathons in 2014 as the rest of my life combined!  Why?  I have not focused on my diet like I should.  There have been too many trips to Muddy’s for cupcakes and a reemergence of fast food into my diet.  I have always struggled with keeping a good balance in my diet.  If I log the miles, I should see the results.  Or at least that is what my food obsessed brain thinks.  I need to focus a little stronger on this idea moving forward.

USMC Fitness Boot Camp Enlistment

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I have been talking about my need to do more cross-training and focus on my total fitness for a while now.  And today I finally did something about it.  I have enlisted in the USMC Fitness Boot Camp here in Memphis.  The schedule does not conflict with work or school, it is near my house, and the cost is great enough that my cheap ass will go just so I did not waste the money!  This last reason honestly worked for me when I first started to lose weight and when I started training for my first half marathon.  By paying for a training group, mentally I could force myself to go on the training runs even when I did not want to (which was often).

USMC Fitness Boot CampMy first class will be at 5:30 am tomorrow morning.  There is a class tonight, but I do not think that I will be able to make it there in time.  But maybe.  I really do not want to start making excuses this early into the process! The website said that I need to bring the following items:

  • Exercise mat
  • Water bottle
  • Dumbbells (at least 10 lbs for men)
  • Running shoes
  • “Can do” attitude

I have three of the five items already covered, so that is a start, right?  I probably should have started this during a cooler month, but oh well.  It is too late now! Bring on the sweat and pain!

What It Is Like to be a Fat Runner

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So this site leaves little doubt about my physical stature.  I am a fat guy.  Or, at the very least, a recovering fat guy.  I have lost a considerable amount of weight, 116 pounds at my pinnacle.  I am physically nowhere near what I was as recently as 2010, and for that, I am very thankful.  It was not an easy journey to get here, both with my initial weight-loss and trying to maintain a healthy weight since.  Never once in my adult life have I been at my recommended weight, and maybe I never will be.  I am fine with that as long as the rest of my health  measurables as well as my physical activity are at the optimum levels.  My blood pressure, cholesterol, and the such are much more important to me than the number on the scale.  I know others do not agree with this approach, but seeing where I was a few years ago, I think that it is tremendous progress from a guy in college that would routinely eat his recommended daily caloric intake in each meal!

Lap Those on the Couch

This blog was started after the bulk of my weight-loss occurred and actually, I have gained a few pounds since I started blogging.  However, this blog was began to not only give some insight into my running and weight management journey, but to also give some advice on my experiences running large.  I have not given much insight into this field as of yet, but today will be a big one.  This post will share what to expect on race day when you are not the prototypical runner.

True Story

True Story

People are going to look at you funny.  Do not get too caught up in this.  You do look different from others out there, but you are running the same miles as everyone else.  Enjoy it.

Don’t take offense to what people say to you.  Often at races, after staring at me for a few moments, people will approach me to talk about why I am running.  I have heard a variety of things, both to my face and seemingly out of my earshot (little do people know that my hearing is great and I observe quite a bit around me).  The following are some of the most common things that have been said to/about me at a race:

“More people like you should run.” – The sentiment is in the right place, but it can come across the wrong way

“You’re running? Really?” – Yep, I’m fat, and I will be running this race.  It is incredible, isn’t it?

“Is this your first race?” – If you are fat, obviously this is your first race because if you have ever ran a race before, you would not be fat anymore.

“You finished how fast?” – I love this one.  This often is people who assume that I am going to lumber in front of the sweepers for the entire race.

Do not worry about what people say.  The vast majority of them have the best of intentions when they talk to you.  They may come across the wrong way, but they are not meaning to.  Just smile, thank them, and run the best race that you can.

If the race is giving away a tech shirt, chances are that they are going to be an athletic cut.  Some company’s have fuller cut versions of tech shirts, like Nike and Under Armour.  Others run a little tight.  I wear an XL in the vast majority of my shirts, but for certain races, especially the St. Jude Memphis Half Marathon, I need to order a XXL.  So when registering for a race, just be mindful that the shirt might not be a fuller cut.

Make sure to stay fueled/hydrated.  This is great advice for anyone running a race, however, when there is a little more meat on the bones, we think that our excess weight will fuel us along.  Fueling, regardless of the fuel, is vital to performance.  Do not try avoid fueling at a race to save some time unless you routinely run the distance at race intensity without fuel while training.  Do what you do on a training run during the race.

High fiving Mickey at the finish line - this is such a great feeling

High fiving Mickey at the finish line – this is such a great feeling

Finish.  This is why you are at the race in the first place, some complete the damn thing!  It doesn’t matter if it takes you 30 minutes or 4 hours, finish.  The sense of accomplishment and pride that you will get will circumvent any discomfort you might be feeling during the race.  The number of people who hate life while running a race that almost immediately register for another one after crossing the finish line is staggering.  This will likely be the same for you.

Every. Single. Time.

Every. Single. Time.

Your finishing time may be humbling…to you and others.  You will be surprised what a surge of adrenaline can do for you during a race.  You run one way during a training run, but when surrounded by several other runners and the prospect of finishing can boost your time quite a bit.

Slow still counts!

Slow still counts!

For others, they often see you and think “I can beat that guy.”  Often, they are right.  But you cannot judge a book by its cover.  In my first half marathon in 2011 I completed the course 15 minutes faster than my next closest friend, who happens to be the epitome of physical fitness.  I crushed his time.  It happens, so when it does, enjoy it.  A second example of this happened the same year for me at a 5K.  There was another runner there that I had some mutual friends with, but we never were that close.  We both set PR’s that day, but I happened to be about 30 seconds faster.  He asked what my time was, I told him, and his reaction simply was “Oh…” and then he walked away.  It happens.  Just congratulate others on their race, embrace yours, and go on.  There is no need for negativity.  Like I said earlier, you all ran the same miles.

You are a runner, embrace it and do not feel ashamed about it.  Wear your race shirt out, leave your medal on as long as you like, tell people about your experience.  You have earned it!

Congratulations on your accomplishment and I hope to see your out there one day!