Tuesday, August 26, 2014

It's Hard Work

As I was running at the gym the other night, I had a medium hard workout, and it lasted about an hour.  As I was inputting comments into my run diary, I had almost nothing to say.  It was...just a workout.  Nothing exceptional about it.  It was a 6 on perceived exertion, running metrics were all OK, and just average.  As I walked out of the gym, it was a great summer night in NYC.  People were laughing, drinking, eating dinner.  And I was tired, a bit cranky, and had just run 6 miles for what?  I am not sure.  It would be much more fun to laugh and throw back some beers. And I thought... those people aren't doing what I am doing, they aren't in the gym.  I wonder why not?  This isn't fair.

And then it occurred to me: running is hard.  It is work.  It is really something that has a lonnnng payoff.  Workout today, and tomorrow I am not better, fitter or stronger.  Skip the workout and I am not weaker or slower.  To push through the average workouts, the unexceptional days, the times when the other path seems so easy -- that is the hard part.  That's the hard work.  "The difference between goals and accomplishments is dedication and commitment."

I should also add I am dieting, and also training for NY Marathon 2014.  So I am literally mindful of everything I eat and drink.  And I ponder over every workout, both from lose weight perspective and from a marathon training perspective.  That isn't fun.  It is mentally taxing, to keep the focus, the commitment, the dedication, over many months.  I forgot that consistency -- that every week matters, and I can't just let 2 or 3 weeks go.  (I actually let two months "go" earlier this year.  It was a health disaster.  Added 10 pounds, and set back marathon training by months.  It wasn't a neutral, it was a big minus.

I am already looking forward to the marathon day, and its 2 months off.  The diet ends.  The self induced pressure ends.  But the payoff, the long term payoff?  That's the prize.  Even if it takes a lot of hard work.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Talking to the future

As I have said before, when I ran my first marathon in 2006, I didn't keep any journal, or blog or anything.  And now I have almost zero memory of it.  I remember getting PFS and going to a physical therapist.  I remember seeing the Fred's Team kids on First Avenue, seeing my then 6 year old daughter too.  But I don't remember the training, the race or really much about it.  So, to make sure I don't forget this one...a training update.

Two weeks ago I ran my long run on the beach at Kiawah Island.   Even though I started early (7 a.m.), it was  already 79 degrees, and humidity was about 90 percent (I looked on yahoo weather.)  The dew point was 74 degrees.  That was sticky hot.  A gorgeous run (pic above) but, man, after about 8 miles, I was dead on my legs.  I crashed, couldn't keep the pace.  Ended up averaging about 9:28 over 12 miles with a crazy high heart rate.  Combination of running on sand and the heat/humidity.  Garmin also suffered...it crashed and lost my data for the run...airgh...I just wanted my heart rate data to see the stress.  And I did see wild Bobcat tracks on the beach.  Very cool.  But I remember most the crash and burn.  I was really ready for the end of the run.

This last week I ran in the Long Training Run in the Park. Last year, I volunteered to pace a group at 9/min per mile.  After mile 13 or so, I cracked (I had planned on stopping at 11, GI issues, no food or water, etc.), but this year I just wanted to run.  MUCH easier not pacing.  The 9/min pace seemed really slow, but just about perfect training pace. Heart rate in line, not much trouble holding the pace, and felt good.  And the results showed.  A strong training run!  I split feom the group to only run 15, so at mile 13 I peeled off and ran last 2 solo.  And faster also, both around 8/min.  Very successful run.  Very sore the next day too, but 48 hours later, not bad.

Been running during the week on the treadmill.  I have been trying to loosely follow the program of 3 "quality" runs per week -- one long, one tempo, one speed.  Speed I have slacked off of...it has caused aggravationin my calf and hamstring.  But the tempo runs.,..1/4/1 (one warmup, 4 at 10K pace, one cool down)  are a kick in pants too.  Two weeks ago I had a super strong 5mile race in Central Park at 7:36 pace, so beren using that as temp pace.  That is a challenge for sure.

And the other challenge is losing weight while training.  Watching calorie intake, trying to fuel workouts and recover.  I have been successful so far, but it is another stress point.  But running is much easier lighter.

On tap this weekend: 14 hilly miles around my neighborhood.  Already thinking about it, planning it.

Hope your summer has been great!

Monday, July 14, 2014

New update post

I haven't posted in a while, only because I want to have something to report.  I have been running, albeit more tentatively.  The heat and humidity really gets to me, but it must be good training.

I am in this fall's NY Marathon.  And the training begins this week.  I have run nine miles two times in the last week or so, and both times, I ran faster than I intended.  The HR was in the 153 range, which is too fast for the long runs.  But it has also been super humid which affects it also. And yesterday, I ran 9 miles after running a race on Saturday.  So I came off a pretty stressful workout day before, which affects HR for sure.
This year, for training I am going to follow my modified FIRST plan.  It is basically 3 quality runs a week, (one long, one interval, one tempo), and either easy days or cross training.  And I am going to lift.  As much as I have said that in the past, this time I have already begun that regimen.  Once or twice a week since last month or so.  Oh, and yoga too.

And as I look forward, to the future, my parents are not getting any younger, and have had recent health problems, my Dad in particular.  I run to make them proud, to stay healthy and do what I can for as long as I can.

Some vacations are upcoming.  I go to North Carolina to pick up older daughter from camp (July 25).  A family trip to South Carolina (Kiawah) the week after that.  Should be nice to run and the beach there is great to train on.  And happy anniversary Mrs. Wolve (yesterday is 17 years...)!

The primary focus in the short term remains weight loss.  I need to get to a racing weight of 190.  That is doable, but will require a couple months worth of work.  Matt Fitzgerald wrote a book on nutrition and racing  and said that each extra 10 pounds means the body must use 6.2%  more force to lift the body off ground to run.  Wow, ok, so lose weight, get faster.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Long Run and Picture

Whew!  A long run; I am averaging around 11 miles at 9 minutes per.  Time to get working!  And a hot sweaty pic:

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Hello Again

Yes, it has been a while.  I have been trying hard to keep the focus...run.  Had two recent rips to California and ran strong and hard there.  And one trip to Florida also, running in the heat.  Wow, that can be so hard.  Challenging and draining.  The heat, the humidity.  I ran next to a road, and I forgot the impact of.. cars LOL.  Traffic!  The cars blowing by, the noise, the fumes, the traffic....really no fun at all.  Have to be on your toes to avoid the cars.  And the fumes mixed with the heat was a bad combo.

But I am just trying to get teed up for summer.  Travel, kids, TV (the family seems to be addicted to SVU...no thanks for me!), camp, end of school all coming up soon.  Summer trips to Florida, Maybe Aspen again...The challenge will be to remain focused. Cook healthy meals on the grill (my love of cooking is well documented on here...) Keep the path, stay the course work the plan.

Have a great summer!

Thursday, March 20, 2014


The last days of winter are the hardest for me.  It seems like winter goes on and on and on, with no let up in sight.  Growing up in Texas, I just accepted that winter ended in February, and March was Spring. After living up north for 20+ years, One would think my body has readjusted.  But it hasn't.  And a particularly long, brutal winter like this just reinforces that seemingly interminable cycle of cold, snow, gray dreary days.

On that cheery note, yesterday epitomized the effect of these days.  A long day of work, followed by a workout I was really, really not into.  For me, a workout is a gym/treadmill session followed up with a train ride home (and an intervening shower).  I really did not want to do it.  I wanted dinner, a glass of wine, something else.  But, as I keep an eye on my goals and motivations, it is these kind of days that are the days that build the foundation and the basics.  And if you let them go, you can't get them back.  So off I went, running on the treadmill, but I set it a little slower to just get through it.

I was dragging myself to the gym and through the workout.  And it turned out Ok. I didn't get that big "wow, that was a GREAT workout, and I am so glad I did that!" feeling.  But I was glad I did it.  At the end of the day, our training and base is the combination of tons of runs, and choices.  And the decision to run last night on a truly non-motivated night when it would have been much easier to blow it off, is the kind of good choice to make that I will be happy I made later.  Small drops add up to puddles, that add up to buckets.

Rome wasn't built in a day.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Long time gone, and never too old to try

Yes, it has been a while.  That is a combination of factors, including a busy fall, crazy winter and general lack of motivation.  So to preserve my running record for posterity, a brief recap is in order.

Fall 2013 -- I was out of shape, but in decent enough shape to consider running NY marathon in November.  I had completed an 18 miler in good shape, and a couple other longish runs.  Then, in early October, I had a trip to Dallas scheduled, and planned on doing something I had always wanted to do, but had never done -- run White Rock Lake.  The basic route around is approximately 9 miles, and my plan was to go 2x around for an 18 miler.  I planned for it extensively, and was ready to go.  Well,one thing I should have remembered October is hot in Dallas.  And White Rock Lake is windy.  So the day started at about 84 degrees with high humidity.  And about a 11-15 mph wind on the lake (there were little whitecaps).  That's not good.  I was drained from the get go, drenched in sweat and battered by the wind.  I made it a little more than once around and pulled the plug to fight another day.  So yes, I ran the Rock. But that day also really, really affected my confidence.  I was not coming off a long cycle of training.  I didn't feel strong running; in fact, I was surprised when I did well (like my 18 miler in Central Park in Septemeber).  And then I caught a little cold.  That was enough for me to pull the plug on NYC rather than risk serious injury in a race I really wasn't ready for.  After that, I fell off the wagon and enjoyed my fall 2013, running maybe 3 times in  a month.  I did run a 9 mile race in December to finalize my entry in 2014 NYC marathon.  And not a bad race either (I think I averaged 8:20 or so, which I was pleased with.)

Winter 2014 -- Nothing.  No running.  And a bad diet led to weight gain.  So, after a ski vacation that totally sapped me (I was not ready for physical rigor and altitude), I simply knew it was time to get back in the game.

Now -- I have been back at it for about 3 weeks.  The running is harder, but hey, that is to be expected.  The pay off for this will be this summer when hopefully I will feel stronger.

One thing I am for sure committed to this time is more lifting, stretching, body strength.  The Runners World article in March 2014 convinced me, and I have started the IronStrength workouts (basically about 40 minutes of body iso and plyometric exercises).  Very, very hard, but that means it is working, right?

And I am in NYC 2014 from efforts last year.  So that's the goal race, some 8 months out.

In other news, I bought a Garmin 620.  Nice device, crazy software.  After I have more experience with it. I will post my thoughts.

And I have missed everyone in the running world!