Life Post-Race, Future Race(s), and WVLT

It’s officially been two weeks since my half marathon. Two weeks since I lined up full of excitement and nerves. Two weeks since I hit a distance PR. Two weeks since I crossed the finish at the 50 yard line of Neyland Stadium. Two weeks since I scarfed four slices of pizza in the stands at 10:30am. Most importantly, two weeks since I achieved something I never thought in a million years I’d be able to do.

I mentioned last week that I took a 2 hour nap after the race. I curled my legs up and when I woke up, I stretched them out and immediately felt an excruciating pain in my left knee. My knee hurt the rest of the afternoon and evening, right along with my feet and ankles. Whatever, I had just ran 3.1 miles farther than I’d ever ran in my life, soreness and pain is expected – earned, even – so I toughed it out. I taught the 5:45am class at Title Boxing Club Knoxville the very next morning and while my movement was limited I was able to make it just fine. The knee pain had already disappeared.

My feet and ankles were sore for the next 4-5 days, which made me feel like a serious wimp, but to be fair, I didn’t really give them a break as I put in 4 classes at Title over the next week so they didn’t really get a proper break. The important thing is my knee pain had disappeared. Right?

Wrong

This week I put in 5 classes at Title and during my first one, Monday morning, my knee magically stopped working. After a week of no knee pain, it suddenly returned. It’s Sunday now, seven days later, and it still hurts. The pain comes and goes but the fact remains that when the pain comes, it hits hard.

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This is a problem because, if you haven’t already noticed in my side bar, I’m now 21 days away from my next “race” – Mudder’s Day Madness 5K. Can’t hurt since it’s a month after my half marathon but my knee being such a punk is starting to freak me out. Is it smart to do a 5k mud run without running for a full month? I’m hoping I can get a few training runs in beforehand but right now I’m half afraid of running on my knee. I guess we’ll see…

I also guess we’ll just treat that last paragraph as my official announcement that I’ve registered for the Mudder’s Day Madness 5k in Maryville, TN next month. It will be my first mud run and it sounds like I’m going to be doing it with a small group of awesome friends. I guess the good news is that if you’re dredging through mud, wading through streams, crawling, and climbing, your running skills aren’t going to be front-and-center. Fun is the name of the game and I can definitely do that, bum knee or not!

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Not sure if I mentioned it in the blog but I intended to do lots of yoga during the month I wasn’t running and in two weeks I’ve successfully completed a yoga session one time. It was awesome and I really enjoyed it, I just…Can’t seem to make myself be still for more than a few minutes at a time. I think yoga would do me a lot of good if I worked on it over time.

One last fitness-related thing to mention: I don’t think registration is even open yet as the race isn’t until next year, but I’ve agreed to do a Sprint Triathlon with my friend Debby that I worked with at the Baby Farm. With that said, be prepared to hear lots about some bike training and swimming in addition to running probably for the rest of the year. It’s kind of pathetic but I’ve told my friends I’m not worried about the run, not worried about the biking, not worried about the swim…But I’m already stressing out about what I’m supposed to wear for the swim. It’s a Sprint Tri and the swim is going to be in a pool, so it would be ridiculous to wear a full-on wetsuit like you’d wear during an open swim. It would also seem amateur (and likely frowned upon) to wear board shorts or typical swimming trunks. My research has told me that men often wear Speedos for this (of the shorts variety, not necessarily the brief variety) which is fine but that’s still just so weird for me. I’d be more comfortable doing the swim naked than wearing one of those things.

On the positive side, that’s motivation to continue working on my core and make sure I don’t let my gut hang over like it used to ever again. On another positive: I’m planning on getting a tramp stamp in the next month or so, so wearing one of those Speedos is going to suddenly be much cooler with a classy tramp stamp to accompany it. I’ll be lucky if they even allow me to race…


One more one last fitness-related thing to mention: Last week Title Boxing Club Knoxville was featured for local news station WVLT’s “Workout Wednesday” segment and they chose to come to my 5:45am class and reported LIVE from class! Reporter Sara Mitchell was on the scene and I was sure to bring the pain. She toughed out the warm up, the rounds, and the core like a champ and made us look good for the local viewing audience. You can see the live segments as well as the portion they edited for air later here but here are a few photos from the morning’s shoot:

I have a few other things to ramble on about that aren’t related to fitness, so I hope to share that with whoever’s listening over the next few days. Until then, party on, Wayne, and try to do some friggin’ yoga for Pete’s sake, man…

26 Percent – Eat, Train, Sleep, Repeat

This week in half-marathon training was a short, slow week and I was thankful for that. After a few days of fall-like weather we got a few days of surprisingly hot weather and I think it really threw my body into a state of confusion. I was feeling pretty worn out most of the week yet somehow kept up with three days of boxing, four days of weights, and somehow got in three runs this week. My training program is now 26% complete.

Not a lot of new stuff worth adding re: this week’s training, really, except I’m another step closer to becoming a trainer at Title Boxing Club. Not a lot to tell just yet but I’m hoping to have more news next week. I’ve been working my ass off lately and eating a lot better and while last week’s weight loss numbers looked great, I somehow ended up gaining a pound this week as my Sunday weigh-in put me at 223 lbs. I’ve spoken with some people recently that sort-of feel that my desire to lose more weight is questionable but I’ve learned that your road to reaching your fitness goals is usually a road you travel alone. I’ve accepted that but I’m still going for it. 200 lbs before half marathon. Definitely doable, so let’s do it!

I mentioned last week that I was hoping to participate in an obstacle run for next year so I felt this was appropriate to share. Savage Race, whose closest stop to here appears to be Dallas, GA, popped up in a sponsored Facebook ad this morning touting their newest obstacle, Wheel World. Wheel World is just like monkey bars that go over a pond only instead of a straight line of stationary bars, the obstacle is made of rotating wheels you have to navigate to get to the other side! If I went out to do that right now there’s no way I’d accomplish it but with enough determination and hard work I could definitely get there by spring of next year, which is when the Savage Race lands in Georgia. Check out the new obstacle in the below video from this year’s Savage Race in Pennsylvania. Wheel World makes an appearance at about the 1:12 mark.

In non-health related happenings I figure it’s worth mentioning that I was given the opportunity to play a part in my company’s upcoming Cyber Security Month video. I’m in a scene with a whole cast of extraordinary characters that gain access to the building with proper identification including a garden gnome, a cheerleader, a golfer, Batman, a storm trooper, UT mascot Smokey, and a slew of others. I played the role of a Parrothead-style vacationer that not only is likely still a little too under the influence to be coming to work but also is still carrying his (now empty) tiki cup complete with hula dancer straw.

Before I post the weekly table I wanted to show off this new shirt I picked up from the muscle heads over at Muscle Club Apparel. These new shirts went on sale last Friday so I picked this one up since it accurately describes the secret three-step process I used to beat diabetes:

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As for this week…

This Week’s Mileage: 6.51 Miles (10.48km)
This Week’s Avg. Pace: 11:31/mile (7:09/km)

And as for the YTD: (temporarily taking out the race times just for space-saving purposes…)

2015 Running
Time Period Total Distance
Runtastic Runs (1/1-4/15) 56.51 Miles
5k-to-10k (4/15-6/21) 87.52 Miles
Runtastic Runs (6/23-Present) 121.92 Miles
Total Yearly Miles: 265.95

Miles Left Until 2015 Goal (350 Miles): 84.05

Enjoy your week, boys and girls. You’re all doing great.

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Twenty Two Percent and Other Progress/Goals

We’re now six weeks in to my half-marathon training. At the end of yesterday morning’s 6 mile run I am now at 22.2% finished with the program. That’s a decent chunk, really, but I still have such a long way to go. And that 6 miles wasn’t easy. I am very grateful to both Freyr and the mighty Thor as we were under a flood watch from 8am to 8pm yesterday so on Friday night I decided to put my long run off until Sunday. I hate putting it off until Sunday because that usually means my feet will be too sore to go to the gym on Monday so in the spirit of setting a good example for my wife and friends who are also working to better themselves, I decided to go out even if it was pouring rain. When I woke up on Saturday morning I saw on my weather app that we were going to be clear between 8am and 11am so I laced up and took off on a route I don’t normally take for long runs since my usual route would likely be flooded. I knocked out run of 6.01 miles in a slow* 01:18:17.

So I only run two days per week. Some would say that’s not enough while training for a half marathon but I beg to differ. I guess it depends on what your goals actually are and if you’re wanting to improve your running only then, yeah, two runs is a little on the light side. I’m trying to round myself out a little bit more, however. In addition to my two runs per week I’m still attending Title Boxing Club three days per week and have recently spoken with a trainer about the possibility of becoming a trainer there, myself. That possibility in and of itself is enough to keep me moving forward and staying strong but there’s still more. This week I’ve added a four-days a week weight training program to be the cherry on the top of my day, an extra 20 minutes or so of exercise to add a bit more muscle and definition as I focus more on reducing my body fat percentage and losing some more weight.

I don’t think I mentioned it last week but I do intend to lose some more weight. My “Health Coach” (rant about that sometime in the future) told me a while back I didn’t need to focus on weight loss anymore as much as body fat percentage and so I’m taking that a bit more seriously. Presently I am 19% body fat which is a lot better than I thought it would be. I also realize a body fat percentage is a pretty meaningless measurement just like body weight is but it’s a pretty good way of determining actual progress verses body weight or the dreaded BMI chart. At weigh in last week I was a bit heavier than I realized at 228 lbs. Today’s official weigh-in for the week, however, has me at 222 lbs and I’m happy with that.

In addition to the hard work I’ve started paying more attention to my eating habits, sacrificing most grains and sugars for a more paleo-inspired diet (though I hate to refer to it as “diet” because diets are meant to fail and I also sort-of hate the term “Paleo” because it’s pretentious). While I’m currently missing biscuits and breads and have had a killer craving for fast food french fries lately I’ve found that this cleaner approach to eating is tasty, surprisingly easy, and actually effective. I’m hoping to hit 200 lbs by the time my half rolls around next April.

Speaking of goals for next year, I’ve decided that I’m going to participate in a mud/obstacle run in 2016. I have my eye on a few – Spartan has stops in Nashville, Atlanta, Asheville and Charlotte. Warrior Dash has stops in Huntersville, Locust Grove, and Pulaski. Tough Mudder has Doswell, and Sparta. I’m game for either of these and they’re scheduled throughout the year. I’m definitely looking to do one and I’m also definitely looking for someone to do it with me. Any takers?

*Before I add my weekly table I’d like to address a comment I made a bit earlier about my 01:18:17 6 mile time as “slow”. I had read a pretty nice article on Run Haven a few weeks ago about the importance of not “just”-ifying your races. We have this idea ingrained in us that when we’re talking to other runners that our times/distances are inferior so we use phrases like “I’m just running a 5K” or “my time was a slow 01:18:17” or “I’m only running twice per week”. If you’re in a group of serious runners chances are that IS a slow run, that IS maybe the worst time in the group, that IS probably the shortest distance in the group, but by using those terms you’re limiting yourself, degrading yourself. You’re out there running – you’re moving your ass – so many people are doing the opposite, in fact, I’d say it’s the majority of people, but not you. You’re out there doing it. So what if you’re only running 5K (or less) and so what if your pace is 15 minutes, you’re doing it – you’re accomplishing something – and that makes you legit, that makes you a runner, nothing limited about it. I strongly believe we should all knock that “just”, and “only” out and I’m trying very hard to start with myself. I use “slow” before my time so as to justify the poor pace in comparison to other, much faster, more seasoned runners, but the truth is: I’m a runner, and the fact that I put those shoes on and get out the door is a sweet accomplishment no matter the distance, no matter the pace.

I’m done being inspirational (for now)

One more thing before my table, I’m going to start including my weekly mileage and pace as inspired by a challenge from my friend Rachel at Running Not Racing.

This Week’s Mileage: 8.02 Miles (12.91km)
This Week’s Avg. Pace: 12.13 min/mile (7.54 min/km)

And, finally, the YTD and a picture of me and my boy:

2015 Running
Time Period Total Distance
Runtastic Runs (1/1-4/15) 56.51 Miles
5k-to-10k (4/15-6/21) 87.52 Miles
Runtastic Runs (6/23-Present) 115.41 Miles
Total Yearly Miles: 259.44

Miles Left Until 2015 Goal (350 Miles): 90.56

2015 Race Times

Race Time
Calhoun’s New Year’s Day 5k 2015 No official time
Zen Evo Chocolate Lover’s Valentine’s 5K 2015 33:10
Barley’s St. Patrick’s Day 5k 2015 34:34
Covenant Health 5k 2015 33:39
Pilot Fireball Moonlite Classic 5k 33:05
The Man Run 10K 01:12:43

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