Midweek Exercise Update

To help hold myself accountable I am back to sharing my exercise in the quest to get back into the shape I was once in this time last year.

Monday – I started back to running. I need to find the joy I once had with running. I think I burned myself out from running by worrying about pace and time and splits all the time. I need to get back to just remembering the simple joy of running. One foot in front of the other.

I am jumping into a marathon plan, but not worry about pace, time, or actually even running a marathon. I needed a basic structure to follow to give me some guidance.

I ran 4 miles which was a great starting distance to get back into the swing of things. It helps to have Chad running with me so we can keep things easy and allow us to just chat about stuff. This really helps pass the time and keeps you out of your own head.

Tuesday – After an open water swim Sunday I knew I had some more work to do in the pool. Swimming is probably my strongest sport right now as I  have not missed a swim workout in a while.
Today I decided to mix it up and did a workout I saw in Triathlon magazine to do something completely different from what I have been doing. This was a tough workout. I have not crossed the 3000 yard swim barrier in a very, very long time.

800 warm up – 200 free, 200 kick x2
12 x 25 on :30 working on descent of stroke count – My stroke count was high hovering at 15-16. I was able to get that down to 13-14 by the end. This is way too high.
500 – 25 fast/75 normal – This was a gasser
4 x 150 on 3:00 – I did one set free, one kick, one free, one kick to work on swimming with tired legs
500 pull with 3/5/7 breathing – I did 50 at 3 breath, 50 at 5, 50 at 7, etc. 7 was a tough. I hate that panic feeling of not having oxygen. It was good for me to work on this.
8 x 50 – 3 fast at every :50 and 4th one easy at 1:10 – It is amazing how fast the time goes between sets. I would finish roughly around 40 seconds so the 10 seconds flies by.
100 cool down kick

Wednesday – Today was another 4 mile run. Felt much better despite more humidity and heat. Feels good to get out and run. I don’t always want to do the run in the morning, but feel really good afterwards.

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Training Put On Hold

I don’t know what I did, but Tuesday night after coaching my basketball game my right ankle started to bother me a bit. By the end of the night it was hurting pretty good. I have no idea what happened or what caused it as I did not do anything.

Wednesday morning when I woke up I planned to get my bike workout done, but I could barely walk. My ankle was on fire and hurt something fierce. Throughout the day it just got worse, started to swell a bit and the pain moved to my heel and calf.

Today the pain is still there. I am taking another rest day and the pain is now more the heel, but if I rotate my ankle it hurts and the swelling has also increased.

So, I was back on track, but have a little setback. I need to get to the doctor so hopefully Monday I can make a quick trip over to see as I am busy today and out of town all weekend. The joys of getting old.

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Training – 10 Mile Run……Harder than the Marathon

Wowsers! I finally got myself up and moving around today to get my run in that I had planned to run on Thursday that I bumped to Friday that I finally got today. I wanted to get a 10 mile run in this week just to maintain some of the fitness level that I had achieved over the last four months. I have the Living Farms 7 mile creek run coming up in November and I want to run well in that so I need to make sure I don’t fall off too much in my conditioning.

With that being said it has only been about two weeks since the marathon. Mentally I am just not as strong as I was prior to the race. That is to be expected as my brain just needs time to take it easy before I throw out the next daunting goal of mine.

I went out for my run around noon when I finally had a time to run. It is hot today here in Iowa pushing 80 degrees. I have not ran in heat period in quite some time. I took off towards the bike path with breaking the run up into two 5 mile splits. From my house I can run to a water/restroom area on the bike path that is exactly 5 miles on the dot. I did not take my water belt as I did not feel like running with that on. I took one GU and was out the door. I wanted to time my first 5 miles and then GU it up and run back in hopes of breaking the time it took to get there.

It felt great to be running again. The sunshine felt fantastic and with the breeze it was actually not that bad. I was so glad to be out running. I ran mile 1 in 8:27, mile 2 8:15, and mile 3 8:19. I really started feeling good while on the flat bike path and picked up the pace running mile 4 8:02 and mile 5 in 7:47. I finished up running the first 5 mile split around 41 minutes and some seconds. It was at this point that things started to fall apart fast.

During the last few miles my stomach started to hurt. At the rest area I grabbed some water, took a GU, went to the restroom, and took off. I did stay long as I wanted to keep going.

I ran mile 6 in 7:47 just like mile 5. After this mile my stomach started cramping really bad and my foot started to give me some pain. I lost some mile time running mile 7 8:13. Things continued to feel worse as I ran mile 8 in 8:19. I remember almost thinking about stopping at this point. My foot felt bad and my stomach cramp just kept spreading like wildfire.  It was also around this point the wind either died completely feeling super hot or blowing right in my face making it hard to run. Mile 9 I dropped even farther running 8:38. During this mile my chest and heart started to get tight. I was thinking, “What is going on with my body?”. I deep some deep breathing, shortened my stride, and just tried to relax. I finished mile 10 in 8:29.

I did not meet my goal of running back faster. I did stay mentally tough not stopping and just fighting through the elements. I am positive that the combination of the heat and the unhealthy eating of the last week or so it was caused this run to be difficult. It was a great remind and wake up call that rest and recovery does not mean I turn into a slob. I am glad I stuck it out because I am sure I am going to have days like this again and I have to keep fighting through the challenges.

Have a great rest of they day. We are off to pick apples and snag some pumpkins. I finished my run in 1:22 for a 8:14 pace. I will gladly take that time.  Keep GETTING IT DONE!

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Training – No run today

My daughter Ava has decided to wake up all the time the last few nights. So sleep has not been great and I have been quite tired. I took yesterday off after running two days straight and feeling tired. I was going to run this morning, but slept in instead. I don’t feel bad about it. Perhaps I should, but it is not even quite two weeks yet since the marathon. I think my body is fine, but mentally I am just not in the right place yet to get back to some serious training and running.

I spent time last night planning out my next 6-8 months. I have a penciled calendar version of where I would like to go. I am going to finalize the schedule by next week and begin to train from there. I leave for San Diego Sunday for some training for school so upon my return from this trip I will unveil my plan and goal.

A few more days of taking it easy will be best for my mental aspect of my training. Happy Friday.

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GETTING IT DONE! – 7 Mile Run = 1000 Mile Barrier…My 1000 Mile Journey

I woke up earlier than normal this morning to start my run around 4:45. I planned for a 7 mile run today. I ran 2 miles to the Y to meet some friends for a run. We took off and ran together for about 3.5 miles. At Tanglefoot we split ways with me heading towards my house and them heading back to the Y. I finished up my nice easy run of 7 miles which allowed me to hit my 1000th mile of training this year.

Sitting here typing this up I can hardly believe that I actually have put in 1000 miles. I know seasoned runners hit this mark way earlier than October, but this is a huge number for me. Looking back at my monthly mileage I started the year off rough. I put in only 4 miles in December of 2010 when I was injured. This lead me to falling apart in the motivational aspect as well as my overall fitness. This injury allowed me to make excuses which did not do anything positive for myself. I needed to kick start me and eventually this would happen. However, to start the year off I put in only 6 miles in January.

I finally picked things up in February by getting in 57 miles. At this point I kept toying with the idea of a marathon, but not really committed yet. March I gathered 97 miles as we were training for a half marathon. I had a training partner and things were turning around. April continued with 62 miles and May I ran my first 5k in 21:27. I ended up with 55 miles in May.

June was my turning point. This was when I finally flipped the switch. I wanted to be better. I wanted to prove to myself that I was tougher than I believed. I committed to the challenge of running and a marathon. I put into place small checkpoints(races) along the way to help me stay aligned to my training plan. I added my bike to the mix and next thing you know I put in 158 miles in June, 231 in July, 177 in August.

As you know the marathon was in September and not only did I accomplish my goal of running under 4 hours, but I finished the month up with 141 miles which is not bad considering I took a week off after the race and two weeks of tapering.

I don’t know where the rest of the year will take me. I keep tossing around several races and possibly learning to bike and swim for a triathlon next year. I can only hope to take things one day at a time and just enjoy my lifestyle change. I have transformed many things in my life. I have slimmed down, I feel the best I have ever felt, and I realize that I can tackle any challenge I set out for myself. The hardest part was back in January trying to get over that mindset of making excuses. The hardest part is getting started. Now it is almost impossible to slow down.

It is amazing how easy it is to convince yourself that you can’t do something. I used them all from injuries, not  having time, not having the right body type(which I don’t, but I have adapted), etc. Now I use that as fuel to stay motivated. Not everyday is easy to get up and run, but why would I leave behind what all I have accomplished. I have placed myself at the point of no return. Too much has been invested to not continue. That is what is so great once you get started down any path to your goals. Once you get going it is hard to stop once you really, truly believe.

I leave this post knowing that I have accomplished and met another milestone. It is one that only I can truly appreciate as I put the miles in. For others, 1000 miles is too easy and for others 1000 miles may be out of reach. Each person is unique. I only hope that those on the path to success take time to stop and celebrate what they have all accomplished. That is part of GETTING IT DONE! – taking time to celebrate. Just remember that once you celebrate it is time to get back to work towards that next goal.

Source: None via Aaron on Pinterest
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Training – 4 Mile EZ Run – Path To Success

I have decided to go with a training plan for a marathon. I am going to pick up in the plan at 5 weeks out of a race. I have done this in the possibility of running a marathon. I am not fully committed. Things that are affecting my final decision:

– my foot and the pain I currently have
-fall plans and finding a weekend that does not cause too much chaos
-getting my body back to feeling fresh

I went out for a 4 mile run today. My legs just did not feel recharged. They felt tired. I only ran at a 8:23 pace, but my legs were tired at mile 2. Some of this has to come from the 5 mile run on Sunday when I pushed maybe a little too hard. I ran 8:56, 8:22, 8:14, 7:55 mile splits to finish up in 33:44.

I have another run scheduled for tomorrow. I plan on going much slower and just getting the body back used to being on my feet for some time. I am not too worried as this is all new territory for me. I just need to continue to listen to my body and take one day at a time. I need my foot healthy and body feeling good for the Living Farms Race in November. I don’t plan on setting a new mile pace record or anything, but just want to go out, run hard, and have fun running through water in the cold.

What I need is just some time to plan and map out my next goal and the path to that goal. What are your goals for the fall/winter?

This is how the path sometimes turns out. Right now I feeling like I am spinning my wheels until I mark my next goal.
Source: None via Aaron on Pinterest
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5 Mile Sunday Night Run

Last night I went out for a run. It was only my second run since the marathon. I have been following a plan created by Half Higdon. I ran a few miles earlier on Thursday. My legs were not quite there yet, so I took Friday and Saturday off. 


Last night I could not believe how dark it quickly became. I felt like it was 5:00 in the morning. I took not quite sure what to expect. I have been eating whatever I want, when I want the whole week. As nice as that sounds it made me realize how important nutrition is as I just did not feel myself. I felt my energy level drop(part of this is due to the marathon) and my mood change. I missed running, but knew it was better to rest.


I took off running mile 1 nice and easy at a 8:39 pace. After an easy mile my body was just screaming to get going and be pushed. I could tell that my brain and body did not want an easy run, but a little bit of a challenge. I picked up the pace and ran mile 2 in 8:02. I was starting to breath a little heavy, but felt like giving my body a good challenge. I ran mile 3 in 7:38, mile 4 in 7:21, and finished mile 5 at 7:21. It felt good to have tired legs, heavy breathing, and a good sweat going. 


My legs are a little sore today, but well worth it. I have not quite figured out what is next on my list. I did sign up for

Living History Farms Off-Road Races : 7-Mile

This race will be ran on November 19th. It is going to be a cold run through farms, trails, and 9 creeks. It just sounded too good to pass up. I stayed up until 10:00 on Friday to register. This race is in Urbandale, Iowa. That is one race lined up.

I would still like to get a marathon or half marathon in this fall. I will start training this week to gauge the body. My right foot has been giving me some problems when I stepped wrong last Wednesday. I want to take it easy and not force the running and be plagued with an injury and repeat last fall/winter.

I have my eye on the Des Moines Marathon(might be too soon) and the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon as well. I will make a decision this week. Happy Monday! 

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Training – Where do I go from here?

I did a nice easy run yesterday as part of my recovery marathon training. I took today off and will probably take Saturday off. Sunday I will go out for a 5-6 mile run and assess my body at this point.

I would like to get one more race in before the winter and snow kicks in.

Any suggestions for a good marathon or half marathon or any other type of running race between now and November?

Send them my way. I am currently looking at the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, but am open to any other great races.

I have my eye on a crazy race coming up in June of next year.The Run Ragnar Relay race. For me it would be the Chicago race. Has anyone ever ran one of these? I have a possible group of people to run and we are thinking about giving this a shot. Just curious if anyone has done this race. It sounds very cool!

Happy Friday!

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Training – Week 18 – Week 16 of Marathon Training – Taper

I finished up my last week of tapering to prep for my marathon. I did not have time to post during the week. It was a hectic week with Addy getting stitches on Tuesday and just being busy.

Tuesday I ran 6 miles nice and easy.

Thursday I ran 5.1 miles nice and easy.

Saturday I ran a quick and light 2 mile jog.

 Yes, this is short. But there will be more to come.

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Training – Week 17 – Week 15 of Marathon Training – Thursday through Sunday

It has a been a crazy four days and I have loved every single minute of it. I am not going to go into all the details of the craziness as it would ended being a 5 page blog post and who really wants to read that?

Instead I will go over the training that has happened as I have not had a chance to post my daily training posts like I have been doing for over a 100 days now.

Thursday – I had a 5 mile run planned. Due to some mistakes on my part I had to get up and run to my school to create some sub plans after making a mistake with the new sub calling system. Long story short it was all figured out and I taught Thursday. However, due to the chaos I was only able to get in 3.5 miles. I ran the 3.5 miles in 28:55 for a 8:11 time. It was freezing cold! I was way under dressed. The water from a sprinkler was frozen on the sidewalk. I tried to sidestep this and in the process rolled my foot that I have had problems with and my foot the rest of the way. So running out of time was probably the best thing to happen.

Friday – normally this would be a rest day, but Amanda was headed to Chicago for the weekend right after school so I had to get this run in. I ran 5.64 miles in 47:50 running at 8:29 pace. I am still struggling to get dialed in to a lower mile pace that I need for the marathon. This was a nice run and probably one of the few times where I have ran four times in a row without feeling worn out. This was just what I needed.

Saturday – rest day of running, but nonstop busy chasing three kids around the house and getting them to all their destinations.

Sunday – today I was able to get out and run around 4 pm. Amanda got home later and when the house was somewhat calm I headed out. It was raining and as soon as I took off the rain increased. I got soaked. I felt like crap. My stomach was bouncing liquids and food around, my legs went numb on me like they were worn out after a mile, my foot felt tender, and my knees hurt from the change in weather. I was a mess. I formed a bad attitude and wondered why I was doing this…….

I then remembered a blog post I read earlier in the day from Katie Gaffney about embracing the rain. I thought about her words and the book I just finished, The Distance by David Mills, and I decided to stop being pouty and just run. I decided to embrace the rain like Gaffney and just enjoy the moment. I changed my frame of mind and I ended up loving the run. It was the best 7 miles I had after going through 3 terrible miles. Yes, all those aches and pains were still there, but they were not going to bring me down. I stopped very shortly at mile 5 to consume a GU gel and some water and to take off my jacket that I had on. Despite the aches, once I changed my frame of mind I was kicking butt. I ran the 10 miles in 78 minutes for a 7:51 mile pace. I felt good. I feel good. I am ready.

I am six days away from achieving a goal that I have been focused on for over four months. Each day this week I will focus on something as I countdown to my big day. I am over the mind of not sure I can do this to finally knowing in my heart this is going to happen. I cannot believe it is almost here!! I will be GETTING IT DONE! in six days.

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