Winding up the year

So this year’s racing season is winding down and it’s been a bunch of fun. I’m happy that I’ve come through it relatively unscathed and with some good lessons and things to keep in mind for the coming years. Having finally run a full marathon, I’m happy to say that it was way more of a positive experience than a negative one. I didn’t come at all close to my goal time due to IT band issues around the 30k mark but my first half marathon had the same issue on the opposite side and I’ve never had an issue with it since. Hopefully with a bit more strength training and a stricter training schedule I’ll be able to do another and meet my goal. I’m hopeful that I can do it and will continue to work hard training through winter to carry on a little bit of the momentum I’ve built up to this point. Although my running schedule has gone down considerably since the marathon. I took about two weeks off from running after and a full week of doing pretty much nothing right after and once I finally got back to doing things again it felt great.

One thing’s for sure, the combination of strength training along with a running schedule produces much better results for me than just different types of running. I can see a lot of what I did helped but probably needed a more regular schedule of lifting along with running since my core is still very weak and always pretty much has been. It’ll be interesting to see what a strong core feels like and how it helps with everything else as much as it’s supposed to.

I’ve got one last race this year, maybe two if I do the Roselle turkey trot again, but after that it’s off season until next year. I’ve got two halfs booked for next year, at which one or both I hope to get a PR under 2 hours. With the experience gained from previous racing seasons I think I know what to work on and how to go about it. Should be fun.


Jimmy will be starting preschool soon. Very soon. Honestly, it’s three-year-old preschool so I can’t feel like he’s completely grown up but it does mark a milestone and I can already picture myself at his first day of kindergarten, which will be hard. After that, I’m sure the time will start to fly by like it has been doing with Charlie.

Jimmy hasn’t been growing up as fast as Charlie did though, he’s still very much a little kid with an adorable little kid voice and adorable little kid feet. Even though he’s very capable for a three-year-old, he’s still kind of a baby still. I like that it’s not going by so fast since sometimes it seems like we missed out on Charlie being little Charlie since he’s always been in such a hurry to grow up.

With that, Charlie is still very much a little boy and reminds us of that every now and then with his little kid fits and all the fun things that emotional six-year-olds come with. Plus the influences of all the older children he’s always playing with. It’s certainly difficult to battle the insane amount of nonsense that comes from having a bunch of other children around all the time, especially when they don’t act the way you’d like your child to act and ultimately influence behavior.

Goal progress

If you scroll down a couple clicks (or maybe just a half of one), you’ll see a short list of goals I set for myself this year. I’m pleased to say that I’ve actually made progress on some of them.

First, I’m registered and fully on my way to being ready to run the Chicago marathon. It’s a huge step for me as far as setting a fitness goal and I’m anxious, nervous and excited about the day, which will be here sooner than I think for sure.

The marathon was certainly my biggest goal for the year but the others on the list have gotten some attention as well. Running a sub 2 hour half is probably not gonna happen this year but I do have one half left to run this season so I might surprise myself.

I’ve come somewhat close to running a 6:30 mile (7:13) but I have yet to actually set out specifically to run a PR mile time. I only tracked the new time at the first mile of my last 5k. I’ll keep on this one until I get under seven minutes, or get to 6:30.

I haven’t ridden much at all this year or even thought about registering for a half century so that’s pretty much out for the year. I’m also not gonna even come close to 1,000 miles as a total for the year. I’m sure I won’t even break 500 so maybe another year for that one too.

The last goal (that was totally optional, mind you) surprised me. I wound up going to a CrossFit class in late December last year and I got hooked. It was totally the thing I needed in order to get in better shape overall and I saw results really quickly. I’m now wearing the same pant size I was in high school and feel much stronger. It’s helped me attain most of what I’ve achieved this year and I’m sure why I’ve remained injury free the whole year while racking up the training miles. It feels great and will remain a significant part of my fitness routine for a while to come. Plus everyone there is really great.


So after a little bitching and moaning about not trying, I went out this morning and tried a little. It resulted in an 8:18 mile. While not a personal best I’ll take it as a little victory and be happy with it. Especially cause I didn’t die and it didn’t feel like that was all I has in me. I’m not sure I could have easily carried on a meaningful conversation but I would have at least been able to converse in a manner resembling someone who might have just been punched in the stomach by a really weak person.

Tomorrow and Wednesday I’ll be back at CrossFit and then resting Thursday, or maybe I’ll work in another short run on a CrossFit day. Either way, I’ve nudged the bar a little higher for myself and am itching to move it higher.

Full speed ahead?

I know I don’t push myself as hard as I should. I know my times for avg. pace, mile and 5k can be much stronger than they are and am sure I don’t eat well enough for someone who is carrying about 20 pounds too much and should be paying attention more to that.

I’m dismayed by this because I know that I’m not trying hard enough and giving up when I can push harder. Not really sure what is stopping me but I’m going to have to figure it out in order to get ahead.

With about six months of CrossFit under my belt at this point it’s time to start pushing harder and eating better. Nothing’s gonna happen if I just continue to go through the motions and not push. That includes getting some willpower and eating better. I’m not getting any younger and refuse to let aging catch up with me.

5 Goals for 2015

I know, I know, a list. If I don’t actually set goals, I’m not gonna meet them and one begins meeting his goals by first writing them down. So there. I am going to do this crap next year, but start training for it all now cause I’m old and it’s gonna take awhile.

1. Run a full marathon. This is pretty much cemented at the top of this list. Be it Chicago or one of the suburban ones, I’m going to run a full marathon in 2015. I’m not setting a goal time but will do my best to train well so I don’t just do the whole “I did it” thing when I didn’t really do it at all. No, I’m not gonna cget a 26.2 sticker for the back of my car afterward.

2. Run a sub two hour half. I’m pretty sure that if I didn’t have a crappy training season that I might have actually come close to doing this in 2014 but alas, nein.

3. Run a 6:30 mile. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

4. Ride a half century. I’m setting myself up for something in 2016, Ironman Steelhead. Doing a half century will at least give me an idea whether or not part of a tri is even possible. I’m positive I can swim 1.2 miles but of course will cross that brideg when I’m fully training for it.

5. Run a 1,000 miles. I’ve never really tracked my runs faithfully or kept to a rigorous training schedule in preparation for anything big and if I intend to do any of the above without seriously hurting myself it’s about damn time I set some goals.

6. (bonus) Do more weight training. Whether this is body weight excercises or actualy weights or resistance bands and such it needs to be done more. I’m getting older and things aren’t as strong as they used to be. Actually, this isn’t a bonus one, consider it a solid number six on the list. In fact, it should probably be up at about number three.

I’m pretty sure I could stretch this list and come up with ten goals but in the end it’d probably be five good ones and five fluff that I probably wouldn’t meet anyway. 2014 was kind of a bust for me really, I had a few injuries and didn’t run my first half anywhere near as well as I wanted to, mostly due to an injury during the race which I’m sure came from insufficient training. This year’s running season serves primarily as a reminder that this shit ain’t easy and needs to be taken seriously, especially at my age. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

One race left to go this season [15k on Nov 9] and then time to move on to off-season training. Trying to decide whether or not to do the Chicago half-marathon series or try for the full Chicago marathon next fall. Despite a woeful half-marathon debut, I really enjoyed the race and the energy of it was enough to get me hooked. Looks like I’ve gotta actually pay attention to those training programs and do some strength training. Onward and upward!

Edit: will most likely do the half marathon series (probably just two of the three) and then one full in the fall. I’m apparently determined to kill myself.

As much as I’d like to do my 10k this coming Sunday, I’m thinking I’m not ready, or at least my toe isn’t. I could be stubborn and just head down in the morning and attempt to run/walk the thing but that might just totally screw any healing I’ve had to this point and pout me out for my half marathon, which is this year’s reason for training. The Chicago 10k is a fun race and it’s right along the lake shore so it’s pretty, but there’s always next year. I surely wouldn’t have been able to beat last year’s time anyway, even though that time wasn’t all that great to begin with. Gonna sign up for this one instead.

Full stop, dumbass!

Like a total idiot I went and did the one thing that could have put the biggest cramp in my training schedule, I broke my damn toe. While out playing what I thought would have been a quick game of kick the soccer ball around with the boys, I stumbled on the damn thing and slammed my right big toe directly into the ground. I thought I heard a crack but might have imagined it, either way my toe swelled up a bit and it was quite obvious I made it very unhappy. Here I am about a week and a half later and it’s still mad at me.

I can’t be mad at it though, playing soccer without shoes is not really advisable if you’re even a mildly recreational person much less one that’s in the middle of a six-day-a-week running schedule. I am still pretty mad at myself even though there’s nothing I can do about it (except want to smack myself in the face with a frying pan) — and that would only complicate my situation so I’ll complain about it on the internet.

With two weeks to go before my next race I’ll have very little time to heal, much less train effectively. I’ll most likely attempt to run limp a short distance to see where I am at the end of the week. Although I wouldn’t be the happiest person if I had to skip my August races I won’t cry about it since I’m not gonna hurt myself any further by compounding stupidity with stubbornness. Hell, I’ll walk my August races if need be.

EDIT @ 2:00 pm: And now I just bit my cheek. I give up.

Half-marathon training in full swing! When my little monsters don’t decide to destroy the evening’s sleep schedule, I’ll be heading out each morning for a run before work with a rest day on Saturday and then a long run on Sunday. I’ll probably limit my weekly runs to about 6 miles due to time and work my way up to 13 miles on the big run a mile at a time. I’ve penciled in a few other races for this season as well and can hopefully find a decent way to keep the momentum going after the season is over cause building back up my strength this year from where I ended up last year has been kinda challenging.

After this season, I’ll be ready to take on more for sure but we’ll see how much. I’d like to go for a full marathon next year and training for and running a half will let me know how much I can actually commit to it. I’m certainly willing to work towards it, even if I don’t wind up doing it in 2015.

I really have no idea what I'm doing.