2/28 – Half Marathon Training

Rest day

Ahhhh…. Rest day, or at least a non-running, cross-training day. I’m glad to have it. My legs are tired!

The plan all week was to continue adding core routines into my cross-training. Since no early morning is on the schedule, I got some work done before I popped the Insanity “Cardio Abs” DVD into the player. P90X didn’t agree with my tailbone, and I had high hopes for Shaun T and his workouts.

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2/27 – Half Marathon Training

Today’s lesson: easy is a relative term.

HardestAfter yesterday’s speedwork, my legs were pretty drained and I could feel a lack of pep as I walked out the door and that feeling didn’t change as I got into my workout.

No joke, this was the most difficult “easy” run I have had in my two years back as a runner.My breathing was easy and even, so the pace was right – my legs were just incredibly tired. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s cross-training just to give my lower body a break.

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2/26 – Half Marathon Training

Mile repeats… rawr!

Lion face, rawr! Lemon face, ooh!

Tom Brady understands…

Speedwork today, and I knew going into today that I had mile repeats on the calendar. So, out the door extra early to try to avoid a crowded indoor track at the Y. It kinda worked. There were still people on the track, including a gaggle of joggers. But when I explained that I was doing speed work, they agreed to leave the outside lane open instead of running all abreast like I found them. It was a close call a few times, but they were polite and tried to accommodate a faster runner on the track.

I’m glad, too. While I may not be an elite marathoner, a 6:00/mi pace is plenty fast to cause an injury during a full-tilt collision, and I was glad to avoid that!

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2/25 – Half Marathon Training

never more than it givesFirst of all, greetings to everyone from Matt Fitzgerald’s Twitter and Reddit’s 90 Day Challenge! Feel free to share, comment, or subscribe – let me know what type of content you are enjoying or would like to see.

But on to the running. Back to the track, ramping up the mileage – that is the nature of this week.

Got up with the alarm and had my ritual cup of coffee, said good morning to my wife and then headed out the door for another trip to the ridiculous 1/16 mile, banked corners track at the Y.

But, good news for this morning’s run! Garmin came through and got me a replacement heart rate monitor unit for my failed HRM. Since it was still under warranty, it was a fairly seamless process. Garmin really did a good job with customer service on this. I am glad to have my HRM back for this workout – I am addicted to data.

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How to: Add a Custom Food & Recipe to MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal (MFP) is a valuable & powerful tool in your arsenal to keep track of your nutrition. The interface is clean, the database of commercial foods and products is massive, and the interoperability between web & iOS is almost flawless.

But one of the best features is the ability to add your own custom foods & recipes. I have been adding the Racing Weight recipes as I make them to My Foods so that I can add their nutritional data on the fly in the future. If I encounter a recipe without nutritional data (like my buffalo hummus), I can recreate the recipe in MFP to generate the nutritional data (and also have it available for later).

Today, I will provide a step-by-step walkthrough of how to add a custom food & recipe to MFP. Continue reading

2/24 – Half Marathon Training

lace upBack on the schedule as normal again starting today, so that makes this a rest/cross-training day. After a three month injury layoff, I am reminding myself that rest days are just as valuable for my training as mileage & speedwork days.

Not that it means I must be a lazy bum, mind you. I got up at my usual time and had a sedate breakfast while helping Stacy get out the door for work instead of rushing off to the gym. It felt odd, but was a refreshing change of pace. Tomorrow, I’m looking forward to getting back to the rhythm, though.

One of the reasons I was out of action for three months is that I have a ludicrously weak core. I strained/sprained several muscles in my lower back, coupled with IT band problems. So I decided that cross-training this season needs to incorporate core workouts.

Enter Tony Horton and his infamous Ab Ripper X.

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Let the Beat (Per Minute) Drop: 180bpm Running Playlist

In order to make my play for a sub-1:30 half-marathon, I need to run ~6:50 min/mile splits. In musical terms, around 180 beats per minute (bpm) should be an appropriate pace.

To make a suitable playlist, I turned to jog.fm to sort through 180bpm songs for my iPod. A nice trick is that 90bpm works if it is a driving beat, you just mentally double it up. In the end, I managed to create a diverse & high-energy playlist that ranges from MC Frontalot to Falco. (Full list after the break)

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2/23 – Half Marathon Training

The final run of week 1 of the Runner’s World Challenge Break-1:30 Half Marathon training program is finally here. Finishing this run with good splits means I hit the entire first week solid and am progressing towards my end goal of a BQ marathon eventually.

Today was another late start for running, but not at all my fault (first time for everything…). The church attached to the YMCA requires that the Y not open to members until noon, so we were huddled together outside the locked doors waiting for them to let us in, dammit. Its still cold and windy in NW Ohio!

When the clock hit twelve, the doors were unlocked and inside we went…

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2/22 – Half Marathon Training

Having put in a 16 hour day at the law school yesterday, I allowed myself the luxury of sleeping in today. I don’t do it often, so it was a nice to stay in the warm, comfy bed another hour or two.

Unfortunately, that meant I was at the Y when it opened. Which, in turn, means the track was much more crowded with walkers, oblivious patrons, and one extremely rude girl who insisted on cutting me off each time she sprinted by – she nearly tripped me twice.

Annoying on any day, but today was my 10 mile LSD run for the week… Continue reading

Going to the Dogs: Finding the Right Training Team

2014-02-22 15.34.52

It seems pretty much everyone involved in running knows of Team In Training and their mission to fund the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and its research. Those involved in adventure racing can’t help but know of the Wounded Warrior Project. And beyond those, there are dozens of other training/fundraising groups entering into races.

But I never found one that I was passionate about. Oh, they all were laudable and their missions are important, but it never pushed that button in me that says “I need to support this personally”. Not until I was browsing another 2 year old back issue of Competitor magazine.

Enter Team ASPCA.

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