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Jul 28, 2013

Training Day’s 5 & 6 (10K PR & Distance PR)

I’m fing busy…i haven’t been able to write about what i want to and just have time to post about my day to day training…but it will start to come…i’m gonna start a lesson on the foot soon…!

so for now training day 5 & 6…

this past thursday was a scheduled 6mi run, central park’s full loop, i had no real goals besides finishing but part of me wanted to see how fast i can go and see how far it will take me…especially since my new mizuno’s just came in the mail after ordering them just the day before!  (holabirdsports.com)  they rock and are the cheapest!  shipping was standard and free!

i strapped on the new kicks, mizuno wave universe 5 or what i call ‘japanese monsters’, and they felt very similar to the previous model (wave universe 4) which is what i ran my last marathon in…but these are a lot lighter and more comfortable because of the new materials they used…fell in love as soon as i slipped them on…

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i really feel like my form is beginning to take shape…i’m starting to feel comfortable from the start, but still have to be mindful of what i’m doing…making sure my feet are light, my knees and hips are driving, my core is engaged, my upper body (arms, chest, shoulders and neck) is relaxed and my breathing rhythmic…

i felt really good from the start.  i was passing people all over the place, not something anyone should ever care about but i’m still a competitive beast…

i was hauling ass, or so it felt…until one of the girls i passed blew past me…i then let her have her moment, but as soon as she started to slow down on a descend…i took off like a kamikaze. 

when i felt like i had some distance approaching harlem hill…she zipped right by me and literally hauled ass up the endless curvy ascend, which seemed like it was effortless to her.  her form was fantastic…a semi-short curly haired blonde in pink nike running gear…her arms were driving hard, a key to up hill running…and she completely distanced herself when the ascend dropped immediately into a descend…

she stopped at the first exit, but i continued on trying to push myself to finish the last 2 miles…i really felt like i blew my load racing this girl and wasn’t so confident i was gonna make it…

i was still moving pretty well…and then an older receeding bald haired dude blew by me…i had no chance…he was moving really fast but his form was awful…i stayed focused trying not to putter out or quit, but still maintaining my form and pace…

admittedly…because the shoes made me  run so fast, i felt like i couldn’t control myself after 3mi…which means a lot of pounding on the feet and knees…especially going down hill…i couldn’t get my body to adapt, but i kept trying…by the end…i could tell i had abused my knees and feet.  I wasn’t in any pain whatsoever, but i knew…i knew that i needed to ease into them better…which i totally did not do.

i finished…and i finished about 4min and 26sec faster than my 6mi central park loop run last week…a PR for 2013!

 i felt great besides the pounding…and i feel great now…2 back to back days of rest that’s well earned until the 10mi scheduled run i did today..(sunday).

since my feet and knees took quite a pounding…and also because this is my first double digit mi run in almost 2yrs…i decided to go with my ‘japanese red devils’ which i also just got…

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i got these to help transition myself into the Japanese Monsters on longer runs…they are a bit more heavy and have more cushion, but they are still super lightweight and speedy!  and they look fantastic!

i have to say that the day before this attempted 10mi run…i wasn’t exactly prepping and resting well…had a great beach day with some friends, and lets just say that i couldn’t refuse to let loose and join in on the fun…but i did my best to be good to myself…

i woke up at about 10am (sunday) feeling very stiff and lethargic…almost deciding to cancel this run…i did not feel prepared and woke up 5hours later than i wanted to.

while on the beach…the one thing i couldn’t keep myself from doing was playing with my dog ‘perfect’.

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she loves the beach more than anything you’ll ever know and we did a lot of sprinting…maybe about 10-12 100meter sprints throughout the course of the day…how could anyone resist?  look at her!

not exactly the best thing to do the day before a long run…

oh well…

i motivated myself this morning and got my ass in gear…got up, suited up, warmed up and went…

 

i immediately wanted to stop…i actually wanted to stop and quit the whole run.

i didn’t feel good at all…stiff and achey and tired and weak, but i tried to settle down and just take it one step at a time…constantly reminding myself about my form and the fact that this is not meant to be a fast run…i just needed to get in the milage.

this was supposed to be an easy, long and flat run, but i’m starting to realize that running on even flat ground the whole time with little to no elevation is actually quite brutal and difficult…

there is no descend to rest and let go…there is no ascend to change gears and rest the muscles that’s used on flats…it’s boring and it’s mundane…it’s awful….give me hills any day…its harder, but at least it changes things up.

so there’s actually not much more to say about the run itself, but i learned a lot about myself today…not just as a runner, but as a person…

i feel like i am strong-willed and dedicated…i am focused, patient and understanding…i try to be present and detail oriented…

i always knew that i had some of these qualities but today reaffirms it…otherwise i would never have been able to finish the run and finish it at a SURPRISINGLY fast pace…

i never really ‘pushed’ myself physically…i pushed myself mentally and never for one second forced anything.

physically…

by mile 6/7…my knee caps started to feel really tight and sore…achey even…it scared me a bit but i realized that

a. i’m breaking in new shoes on a long run.

b. i’m running the most i’ve run in a long time

c. i lost my form somewhere along the way…

i wasn’t pulling my knees forward i realized.  i wasn’t getting much rotation in my torso which, when i realized and re-adjusted, my pace picked up by about 30sec and my knees started to loosen up and feel good…i actually felt like i was putting less effort in to the run overall…more effort into my form and mechanics…less wear and tear and improved performance and efficiency on my body…

if i had blocked my attention with headphones in my ears listening to music…i would never have been able to adjust my pace nor listen to my body…which is why i will forever discourage anyone from listening to music when they run…and will continue to write about it in this blog…

anyway…i finished a double digit mile run and can now be considered a runner!  yay!

i worked hard today…i feel great…i’m gonna tweak my body out for 45min and tune it up to undo all the shit i just put it through…

i feel AMAZING and accomplished!

next run is tuesday!  4mi speed run!

2 weeks of training in the books…14 more weeks to go…

thanks for reading!

Introducing the lightest running shoes on the planet!
Gonna test these pups on a 10K run right now…psyched!
So comfortable!
Jul 25, 2013 / 2 notes

Introducing the lightest running shoes on the planet!
Gonna test these pups on a 10K run right now…psyched!
So comfortable!

Jul 25, 2013 / 1 note

Training Days 3 & 4 (new PR of the year!)

it’s been a week since my last post…

i did a run this past friday in prospect park for the first time in more than a year…i was excited to return to my backyard for a quicky 5K run in the heat before i was to head out with some friends for a bachelor party weekend in fire island…

a run that would normally take me no more than 25min to finish took me much longer than i expected…

because it was insanely hot at 10:30am (91 degrees with a real feel of 103) i didn’t finish and had to stop running about .2mi before my finishing point…i was overheating big time and it was on a major descend which is where i normally cool down and rest…i just got hotter.

it was good to run in the heat because the bulk of my training is done in the summer…and i’m pretty sure there’s gonna be times where time is not on my side and i’ll have to get out there and run in the middle of the day…at least i got it out of my system…it was brutal though.

after the failed run, me and some friends set out to fire island for the weekend…

without going into any details, i had to put my training mindset aside and just have fun and let loose for my homie who’s taking the plunge…

i wanted to try and make some time to do some healthy things while on a beautiful serene beach in a beautiful beach house…maybe get in a beach run, but…instead, i stayed up late every night and engaged in a diet that consisted of just a few things…beer, jameson, tequila, rum, tostitos, hot dogs, pasta, cigarets and coffee.

it was pretty brutal on my body, but i did have a shit load of fun.

i missed a long run of 10miles that i should’ve done on sunday, but…i didn’t get back till late and there was just no way my body would let me even think about doing a 10mile run when i got home…

so with monday being a scheduled rest day and a much needed one to detox from the bachelor party weekend, i did a tuesday night 5K.

still feeling poisoned from the weekend…i wanted to push myself and run somewhat fast from the get-go just to see how far i could go…i knew in my mind that i wouldn’t last and i wasn’t feeling so light let a lone fast…

so did my pre-run warm ups, and set out on my run…

surprisingly, my muscles felt responsive and twitchy…in a good way.  although i felt generally heavy and sluggish, my legs and core felt stable and free…my breathing was a little labored and heavy and i was not even close to finishing the 1st mile but i was able to keep going when i though i was about to putter out.  I felt like stopping about a dozen times, but my juices were flowing.  nothing was easy, but at the same time nothing was too grueling either…i was able to constantly relax my body, slow down and speed up when necessary, control the rhythm of my breathing…and push it when i felt i could…it was awesome…and i finished with my first PR of 2013 in a 5K!  

it’s a far cry from my average 5K time of 6:45min/mi. but i have to pretend that i never ran before…i am going into my training with a completely fresh palate…i have to practice short term memory when it comes to running.  i have to really leave my ego behind and continue to always learn and grow. i try to never get comfortable running.  i don’t ever want running to be easy because i believe that comfort creates complacency. 

today is a 6mi run…i’m feeling really good and hoping i can push a new PR…we’ll see!

thanks for reading!

Jul 18, 2013

training day 2 - back to form

when i say ‘back to form’ i’m not talking about being back in full speed demon mode…

this run was meant to purely work on regaining proper running form…proper running mechanics…trying to strengthen my legs, my feet, my body, my core, regain my breathing rhythms, relearning how to switch gears when approaching inclines, declines & flats, relearning how to relax when my body struggles and tenses as it slowly (or this time quickly) fatigues, relearning how to stay focused on the task at hand…and relearning how to maintain each and every component i just listed as a whole…

that’s what i constantly think about and stay aware of when i run…even when i have everything nailed down perfectly…i never veer away from the basics and  the key components to running safely, effectively and efficiently.

that’s why i can never listen to music anymore when i run.  i used to cancel runs if my ipod was dead or if i forgot my headphones, or if i lost the earpiece to my headphones…i would simply say fuck it and skip the run…ridiculous.

ziggy marley is an avid runner and obviously a music lover/musician, but he was interviewed in runners world magazine saying he does not listen to music when he runs:

Do you bring an iPod with you, and if so, what’s on it?
No. I don’t listen to music when I run. I listen to nature when I run. Plus, I want to hear what’s happening around me. I don’t want to be isolated, so I don’t listen to music when I run. When I run, I look–I look around; I see things. I look at the waves; I look at people. In the hills, there are lots of animals and trees. And plus, in the California hills there are coyotes, so I want to hear if something is coming up behind me. I need to keep my ears and eyes open all the time.

now…looking back…running with headphones/music took me completely away from running…it fucked with my rhythm and it silenced the most important things needed in order to run effectively and efficiently…my breathing, my cadence and the sound of my feet hitting the pavement which, if slapping and thumping and thudding, lets me know immediately that my form has change…it’s actually a tell tale sign that you are loosing your mojo, if you even had it to begin with…key!  and you can’t tell if you can’t hear it with music blasting in your ears…

people generally play music when they run so they dont have to think about running, a sort of distraction…it’s like trying to learn how to play the piano  in your apartment when your roommate is blasting crazy ‘exercise type pump up music’…its virtually impossible.

to each their own…but it’s no wonder why the average jane and joe runner suffers from a laundry list of injuries…because they ignore and fail to listen to their bodies…

so let me write a bit more about the run here…

it was amazing…invigorating…and i learned something new about myself.

with the heat wave, the fact that i hadn’t run a 10K in almost a year and running the full loop in central park with harlem hill trying to mentally and physically psyche me out and take me out, i ran this brutal course pretty smoothly to my surprise…i didn’t think i could do it…

the craziest thing was that there were so many people running tonight and i passed so many of them….i counted 22.  it was awesome…i got to compete a little bit with all the machismo out there tonight.

i would pass dudes, and then you can hear the huffing and puffing and feet pounding as they push to try and pass you, but i just held my ground…maintained my pace, my form, my breathing…toyed with them a little…let them stay close by as to let them think they can pass me up hill…then when coming to a somewhat deep drop…afterburners!  gone!  

…and then i would pass another dude flying down hill…then i would hear him trying to gain on me and after he blew his load coming down hill at top speed, an incline would immediately follow and i would zip right up hill since i know how to change gears and kick in a new gear…

that’s the fun for me in running…knowing when to change gears…knowing how to run when going up hill by engaging my feet, calves, hamstrings, abdominals, arms and shoulders…knowing how to go down hill engaging eccentric control (negatives in weight lifting) of my dorsi flexors (muscles along your shin that pull your foot up), eccentric control of my quads, engaging my core, arms and shoulders and throwing everything else into neutral as i coast down hill allowing gravity to pull me down…it’s a great way to rest up and and the same time run at close to top speed…and on flat grounds…slowing down…getting back to a medium gear and coasting…

all this allows me to conserve energy and expend energy exactly when needed…fun right?

anyway…i’m very proud of my accomplishment tonight…its a huge confidence booster despite running my slowest time on this course, but i’m proud of myself for keeping my ego in check and staying focused on one thing…running.

thanks for reading…

Jul 16, 2013

training day 1

welcome to my first post on officially kicking-off what is to be 18 weeks of misery, loneliness and social absence as i train for the 2013 NYC marathon…my 2nd.

this is also my 2nd blog on the subject, where my first running blog covered my training in the 2011 NYC marathon…check it out if you like…it’s not great…i’m not a very good writer, but i think it (the writing) and myself serve a good purpose for those who are interested in what i have to say and potentially what i have to offer and teach…

so, i’m back from nearly a 2yr running hiatus…i might have run a total of 10 times in that 2yr time span since finishing my first marathon…but it feels good to be writing again and it feels good to be reaching out to people who run, want to run, who are curious about running and having problems with running…etc…

i won’t go into why it’s been so long since i ran with any regularity like i used to, but i’m going to be as honest and as transparent as i possibly can with my posts this time around…

i want people to learn and understand that running is indeed a special thing…like playing a musical instrument or learning a trade…running is not something that anyone can just pick up and do…or at least do properly, efficiently or effectively…

running is much like swimming, biking, playing the piano, learning photography…if you want to do any of the things i just listed well and be able to grow with it…competitively yet recreationally, or effectively…you must learn the basics of each trade and practice each with a considerable amount of time, patience and understanding…if you want to do something, do it right…as ‘they’ say.  and it couldn’t be more correct…in any situation.

-just because you can play songs on the piano, does not mean you can play the piano…you have to understand the keys the notes, the chords, the scales, tones, naunces etc…without those basic components…you no nothing about the piano, let alone music…

-just because you bought a nice camera and take nice pictures does not make you a photographer nor will it make you an okay one nor a good one…you have to understand a thing or two about film, aperture, lighting, shadows, composition, art theory, art history etc…to have even a chance of being decent…to be able to grow and progress…

-swimming, if you wanted to swim and do well with swimming, you have to know about body mechanics, breathing techniques, energy conservation, general technique…so you can do it effectively and efficiently which will in turn prevent any wear and tear and improve performance…

are you with me?

what makes anyone think they know how to run?  because it was our god given human ability?  YES…it is also more accessible than any of the things i just listed which is why EVERYONE that runs, thinks they know what they are doing…not true in the least bit…

but when you factor in shoes and what they ultimately do to your feet, pavement and how a predominately flat surface is non-existent in this earth from a natural standpoint, the fact that most of you sit all day which changes how your body functions and works from the legs, hips, to the back and neck and shoulders, the decrease in your bodies ability to heal quickly or quicker than when we were children…the list goes on…all these things change the way we run…or the way we need to run as humans…your body changes as we get older because you are not doing what are bodies were meant to do…and the older you get…the less human you become…especially with advance in technology.  

peoples problems with injuries whether it be direct trauma or wear and tear has very little to do with age but more to do how you take care of your body…or should i say…how you don’t take care of your body…

i can go on and on with that topic but for now…this is just an introduction to what i will ultimately be writing about…hence the title.

i actually decided to not write a blog this time around but from what i hear from some of my friends/readers/clients…my writing and training has been a source of inspiration for some…also a source of motivation…

so hear i am…to unload a wealth of knowledge and understanding of how your body generally works and how it relates to the way you run or should be running…

I have to confess and tell you that i have only been running, teaching running, coaching, guiding etc…for a mere 3-4yrs…i am not and was never a runner nor a competitive one at any level…i am not an expert nor have i participated in any controlled studies…i am just like you and everyone else…everyday people that look for ways to stay healthy and fit…without putting the body at risk presently and progressively as we move forward in our lives and age…its a real thing and something we must accept and hone…if you are going to try to better yourself and enhance/improve your body, don’t you think you have to know something about your body and how some things work?  if you think you know, you are absolutely wrong!  i’ve been in health care for about 15yrs…12 of which was spent in physical therapy and 8yrs spent working professionally in physical thearpy…and i still don’t know a whole lot…i’m still learning…so tell me…what makes you think you know?

we’ll touch more on all that…but i just want you to know that i’m putting my money where my mouth is…

i ran the marathon 2yrs ago…it will not help me this time around from a physical standpoint…it’s done and over with.

i’m starting fresh…i will be re-applying all that i have done in the past that helped me get to where i got to…we will see if all that i talk about, preach, and advise bares any fruit a second time around…

this is not only a means of showing you what i can do or showing you how much i know…but a way for me to show you that i practice what i preach//prove to you that most of what you read and know and hear about running is more or less nonsense…i want to prove not only to you, but to myself that all the shit i talk, going completely against the grain of what the general consensus is on most things you read, hear and see about running is real and holds water…

but this is about my first run…training day 1…a re-start…re-fresh…re-boot…lets see what i can do…and if you follow, listen, read, challenge me…maybe you can see what a difference my philosophies do for your running and maybe even your life and how you look at exercise and fitness and your body in general…

if there is anything i learned in my 15-16yrs in health care, it’s learning from peoples mistakes…problem solving them, listening to people’s complaints and concerns…and when listened to and followed…results usually follow…with time and patience of course…

so…

here is my first run in weeks…one of a few in as many months

i’m ‘slow’ right now…but thats okay…it’ll be fun to see how much i progress/regress…i’ve definitely made a few mistakes last go around…i’ve learned from them and it will make me an even better runner…as we will have to wait and witness…

the goal again is to finish the marathon in 3:30:00…my first marathon time was 3:42:05…

no fucking around this time…it all business…i mean, it’s my body after all…do it right or don’t do it at all…otherwise….what’s the use?

thanks for reading if you made it this far…i’ll be quite active…so please stay tuned…!

i also encourage you to challenge me and ask me questions…highly encourage you to do it…i have a lot to offer and teach…as well as learn…

stay healthy, stay happy