Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Already Rethinking 2012?

So I haven't planned on attempting to run a full marathon in 2012 because I want take time to focus on transitioning into Vibrams without being having the pressure of not completing the training or getting injured because of going too far before I'm ready.  However, after talking to a co-worker (who has run about 10 marathons, most recently was last year), I'm starting to rethink my plan for the year.  He thinks that I would have enough time to transition and start a beginner's marathon training plan if I wanted to run a fall race like the Marine Corps Marathon in late October.

The good news is that I don't have to commit to the race yet because the MCM registration doesn't open until 7 March.  I have a while to see how things are going before attempting (it closes quick right?) signing up and the 18 Hal Higdon training plan wouldn't start until late June.

And to think that all of this crazy talk comes before I've consumed any eggnog! 

What do you think, is fall marathon doable, not how about a half?  

Am I taking the "Clear Your Mind" suggestion too far or am I being a pansy about the idea of attempting a full marathon?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Clear Your Mind

This past weekend we had a great time visiting Lady M’s extended family in Wilson NC.  I wasn’t able to run on Friday so I had to reschedule it until Sunday morning.  I could have ran outside but since I was only going 1.5 miles I decided to take advantage of the hotels fitness room and it’s treadmill.  The run itself was very uneventful but this mantra on the mirror provided something for me to ponder, which forced me to do the opposite of what it suggested...curse you Hampton Inn!

This suggestion does not requried much effort.  Wait a second…done. 
This ability is one of the tops reasons why I'm glad I'm not a female (having to give birth to kids is my all time #1 reason).  Most men can think about absolutely nothing.  We can turn off our brain and just veg out.  Lady M doesn’t understand how I can do this, but its quite simply really.  There are three steps:
1. Lay/sit down
2. Turn on the TV
    a.  Might required changing the station to sports, however, the Disney Channel has proven to be  effective in providing a “no thinking environment”
3. Stop thinking
WARNING: Be sure to turn brain back own before answering any questions, this might result with girls attempting to paint your fingernails or put makeup on you!  Not that this has happened to me but I've "heard" about this from other guys.  (If this does happen to you don't freak out, most likely "play makeup/fingernail polish" was used and it can be washed off with warm soapy water in a manner of minutes)

It is nice to be a guy so that we can turn off our brains every now and then.  However, when turning of your brain I don't recommend keeping it off for a prolonged period of time.  Your wife and kids won't like it! 

I'm looking forward to a couple times where I can go into a "Brain Free Zone" mixed in with playing with the girls, spending more time with family and going for a few runs over the Christmas Holidays. 

What do you think?

What are your best places to turn off your brain? My personal favorite place is either in my office (when I can get a chance to go there by myself) and the chair in front of the TV.

Do you have an recommendations (attire, food, TV show, etc) on how to best make use this gift?  Pajama pants, my 2006 USAF Half Marathon shirt, and wool socks, coffee, and Phineas and Ferb seem to work the best for me

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Random Facts

1. I hope my Injinji socks help with the blisters from Wednesday’s run.  This is the first time that I’ve gotten blisters from my VFFs (been wearing them since last June), maybe I need a new pair.  Did you hear that Santa?
2. I gained an Acquisition mentor this week today.  Now I just need to figure out what I want to do God’s called me to do when I retire…I want to be ready long before these final 8 years are up!
3. I’m seriously thinking about re-starting (sometime in 2012) my efforts at Liberty to get my MAR/MDiv, see #2 above.
4. I can’t remember the last time I cleaned out my coffee mug at work…that should be a high priority before taking Christmas leave.
5. We are getting a about a 4% pay raise (before taxes) in 2012.  Dave Ramsey will be proud of where that pay raise is going.
6. I’m a bit surprised that after 2 VFF runs this week I have very little soreness…and my pace per mile has gone down a considerable amount!
7. I have the best wife and girls in the world, I can't wait to take a full week of leave to spend with them!
8. Best Christmas movie ever: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Hope everyone is haveing a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

2012 New Year's Resolutions

It’s almost that time again…have you started thinking about your New Year’s resolutions?  You know the list of grand ideas and goals that will inevitably be doomed by mid February.  Back in January, I came up with a list of running goals that I wanted to accomplish. Unfortunatley I only suceeded in 2 out of the 6 goals for the year.  Hopefully I will learn from this past year and do better in 2012. 
1. Stay healthy FAIL.  Ended up on crutches for about a month after having scar tissue removed
2. Run 1000 miles FAIL.  According to Dailymile I only ran 343 miles.  I know that I’ve logged some miles not posted on DM so I’ll give myself 400 miles…still way short of my goal
3. Run a 10K PASS.  George Washington Birthday Classic 10K (1:01:24); missed my personal goal to run a sub 1 hour but this was my first 10K so my ultimate goal was to just finish
4. PR in a 5K FAIL.  Only ran one 5K and there was no way I would every PR with the debacle we experienced
5. PR in a Half Marathon PASS.  My previous PR was 2:17:24 so running a 2:11:55 met my goal.  Additionally I set a personal goal of beating Paula Radcliffe’s WR time at the FULL Marathon (2:15:24) and I accomplished that goal as well.
Here are my goals for 2012.  All goals are related in nature so that I am essentially working at achieving all of them at the same time.  Specifically if I can achieve #2 then I'm well on my way to achieving #3.  It might be cheating but hopefully it serves as additional motiviation for me. 
I waivered on making the goals realistic so that they would be “easy” to achieve but then I read Goal Setting: 13 Secrets of World Class Achievers by Vic Johnson.  When talking about setting up your goals (specifically lifetime goals) Vic said that if your goal “doesn’t make you a little nervous – you know that feeling in the pit of your stomach; if it doesn’t take your breath away from the first time you think about it, it’s probably not big enough”.  Thinking back at 2010 my personal goal of beating Paula Radcliffe was a little daunting so it’s no wonder why I was so focused on achieving it.  Yet after finishing the race, I still wonder if I could have gone faster.  Perhaps my goal was not big enough. 
1. Weigh 180
2. PR the 1.5 (sub 11:42) mile run on the USAF PT Test
3. Run a sub 25 min 5K
4. Run 750 miles
5. Successfully transition into VFF
6. Run with my daughter in her school’s 1 mile fun run
For this year, I am setting two goals that meet Vic’s standards, the sub 25 min 5K, and the PR 1.5 mile.  They are big enough to make me nervous.  I am not planning on running a half marathon because I want to fully transition into the VFF’s.  If I feel that I can handle it after transitioning, and there is one available, I will think about adding to the schedule.  There should be no excuses for me NOT to achieve any of these goals (assuming that I do not go back on crutches). 
What are your goals for 2012?
I'd love to hear your goals especially the ones that give you that “feeling in the pit of your stomach”? 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Running with Lady M

I have not posted anything in quite awhile because well, frankly, I am just lazy. I can give you a whole bunch of meaningless details of how we’ve been out of town, I haven’t been running as much and life was real busy but the honest truth is that I was lazy. However, I want to get off my lazy bum and post something of which I am EXTREMELY proud.

Last December year my girls cheered for me as I ran the Fairfax Four Miler. As we drove home from the race I told Lady M and I would love to run at least ONE race with her. By her own admission, her response at the time was “Yeah, don’t hold your breath!” Well, she started running over the summer, got injured (twice) and still decided to run a race with me!

This past weekend we ran the Hot Chocolate 5K here in D.C. The race itself was lacking in a ton of areas. I have never been a part of a race that was so disorganized yet this post is not about the inadequacies of the race, rather how my wife rocked out her first 5K.  In preparing for the race, we decided that to run/walk our way through the course so that we did not re-injure her leg. We also agreed that we did not care what the clock said once we crossed the finish line, the goal was to finish…without injury!

After leaving the house at 0445 to pick up two of Lady M's friends we made it to the National Harbor with plenty of time to spare.  At the time we thought we got there way too early but in hindsight I'm glad we left when we did.  Eventually the time came to line for the 5K start so we lined up in the back of the pack because of our run/walk strategy.  Then we waited and waited and waited and yes waited some more. They finally started the race about an hour past the original start time.  It took us over a mile before we could actually start running without being forced to stop because of so much traffic on the course.  This was not my idea of the first race for Lady M, I hated that we had such a bad experience however, in the words of the great theologians, Monty Python, I decided to “Always look on the bright side of life!”  The race's issues actually reinforced that we were not going to be setting any PR's.  They actually helped us focus on having fun, enjoying fellowship with friends and finishing without looking at the clock. Plus, there were crazy log jams on the course and there was no way we could have ran the entire course with out walking even if we wanted to!  The best part of the race was the Ghirardelli chocolate at the end, that is one area where they nailed it.  I would have like a bit more chocolate but I can't complain since there were over 20K people running!

Lady M might not like this pic!

All in all, I could not have asked for a better chance to run with Lady M.  Sure I would love to have a jacket that has more thickness than a trash bag or a race that wasn't run backwards but I wouldn't trade this past Saturday for anything!  Now I just hope that Lady M will run another one!

Update...I can't believe I forgot to add pictures!