Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Go Time

March has snuck up on me...tomorrow Taylor, Cole and I are off to Italy.  My bags are for the most part packed and it seems like I have everything in order.  Unfortunately, I feel like the odds are still against me.  For the second time in 6 months of training, I seem to have a wicked case of shin splints.  To top that off it feels like I may have another cold coming on.  

I spent much of the morning snacking on Cold-eeze, taking vitamin c, drinking Gatorade and rubbing on my shin.  Even as I sit, my left leg is elevated with a bag of ice and some kind of generic muscle slapped on.  A couple of AirBorne's in the morning and hopefully I'll be back to 100%.

So, for a quick recap....

Sometime mid-October of last year, Taylor sent me a link to Maratona Di Roma.  At this point I would honestly take 3 breaks to get in a mile.  I argued that a marathon was dangerous for someone in my shape, but thought that I had nothing to lose but weight and had it in the back of my mind that I would just go for the trip and not even attempt the run.  At this point I was 217lbs.

By the middle of November I entered my first run, the Tulsa Route 66 Quarter Marathon.  I had worked up to around 4 miles in the prior few weeks.  This was my longest run and I was quite motivated with this.  I made it home and passed out for the remainder of the day.

For the next few months, I put in as many 4 mile evenings and trips to the gym as I could stand.  By Jan. I was able to casually run 6 miles.  I did my second timed run over my holiday break and improved my time by more than 12 minutes in less than a month.

The weekend miles seemed to grow nearly exponentially from January to February and I quickly was finding myself getting in distances of 10, 13, 15, 18 and finally 20 miles.  After my 18 mile Sunday, I came down with a pretty bad cold.  I was nearly better by the following Sunday and went for my long run of 20 miles.  By Tuesday, I was sick again, this time for 2 weeks.

Since, it has been all I can do to catch up with where I was before my few weeks of being sick.  As a result, this week has been a bit discouraging, but given where I was a year ago, quite impressive.   As of this morning, my weight is hovering somewhere around 180. I once even saw 176.

It looks as though Taylor may slow himself to my pace and enjoy part of the run with me.  The weather keeps going back and forth, so we wont know until race day morning what is in store.  Regardless, I'm going to give it my all and hope for the best.  Whatever happens, just getting this far feels amazing.

Thanks to everyone for the support.  Look for one last post-race blog.

Wish me luck

Monday, March 2, 2009

Rough Couple of Weeks

So I've been down with this cold that just wont go away. Nearly had it for 2 weeks. This morning I finally woke up feeling halfway normal. I played dodgeball tonight and cant see any reason why I cant run tomorrow. We are supposed to have some kind of heatwave come through, so great timing with it all.

At least I can still walk....20 days till the big run and it looks like Taylor may have had his second flag football injury. Currently on crutches awaiting to see if he'll be up and running any time soon.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

So last week I was sick. Bad sick. I wasn't able to do anything Monday through Monday.

Tuesday I was able to get a workout in at the gym. There was no doubt that it had been a while; getting through my typical set of bench reps was anything but easy and it was all I could do to knock out 2 miles on the treadmill.

Last night I left for a river jog just as my neighbor did. We had never talked prior to this, so it was nice to find out more about who I've been living next to for the past 9 months. She was only doing a couple of miles, so I did the same. This was the first time I've had a running partner and was not going to ignore the opportunity.

Tonight I did a hard 4 miles. Even though I'm still not back up to 100% from last week, I did what I could to get in decent speed. I am trying to give special attention to the big hill near my house and not just use it to walk up as a break. I feel that its important too remember Rome is not Oklahoma, and I need to get used to a hill or two. As my long weekend runs get shorter, I will probably focus more and more on jogging up hill.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

It's been so long since my last post, I had nearly forgotten the web address. Sorry about that. Lots of work, after hours work networking events, work outs and everything else workish. I'm a busy man these days.

This marathon business is starting to get real. I occasionally ignore Taylor's teachings and find myself finding out things the hard way. Sunday was no exception. I was to do another record setting run, 15 miles. Mr. Fox suggested I grab a few Gu electrolyte/energy packets. My previous run had not been bad, so I assumed I could pull this one off w/o anything more than a handful of almonds and a water fountain every few miles.

Not the case.

My first 5 mile lap went fine, everything was normal. By my second lap I was starting to feel a bit queezy despite having finished all of my almond protein goodness. I probably should have called it a night, but decided to tuff it out and finish. The sun had set, the temperature had dropped and the wind was gusting nearly 30mph. With two miles to go, it was all I could do to take each step. My stomach felt as though it had turned inside out and my body was out of calories. Tunnel vision was starting to set in as I stepped onto my porch. All I could think about was how bad I felt and how bad I needed to eat. I jumped in my car and ran to the sketchy convenience store just down the street and grabbed a Gatorade.

After a warm shower I cuddled up in bed and took a series of power naps, shivering and sweating as if I had the flu. After some more eating, I was fine in time for the super bowl.

So then, Monday i get the idea to start the "master cleanse". Seemed like the last chance I could do something like that before the big run, and with promises of weight loss and extra energy it made sense at the time. I got through day 1 with nothing more than lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. I was not so lucky with day 2. By noon my calves were cramping bad enough that I could hardly walk, i was pale and my eyes were bloodshot. I decided taylor was again right and broke down to eat a much needed lunch.

Despite the beautiful weather, i didn't get a run in until Friday. I felt good, and did a 5 mile loop. I took Saturday off so that I would be ready for my long run Sunday.

The weather was great, 75 and mostly cloudy. I loitered around the local running shop waiting for them to open, bought some Gu and got ready to get my run on. I also took a few ibuprofen this time to try and dull the hurt. The combination worked great and I felt strong for most of the run even with the 3 extra miles I was putting on.

Again, with a handful of miles left I became quite hungry. All I could think about was what I was going to eat when I got back. I cant complain though, given last weeks trouble. My leg muscles hurt like crazy, but very little joint pain this time.

Saturday I tried on a medium shirt and it fit for the first time in 10-15 years.

Feels good.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sadly, I haven't had much to post about this week. Chances are you've heard of the ice storm (with the exception of my faithful Beijing follower, Suphia) that ripped through the Midwest. It, no doubt, put me out of action and kept me locked up in the house for a few days. A year ago, being stuck in the house with little to nothing to do would have sounded amazing, but now it seems more like torture. 8 hours of work, far to easy of access to an espresso machine and a drafty old house c. 1932 are trouble.

I had taken Friday and Saturday off so that I would be ready for my big run on Sunday. Sunday came, and it was far to cold for me to even consider going out. Not sure what my excuse was for not going to the gym, but I didn't.

I'm still reluctant to do push ups after my foot issues a week or two. By Tuesday I didn't care and was back to doing what I could on commercial breaks and tooling around in my roommates "home gym".

Tonight, I finally decided I was going to get out. The roads seemed much worse from my porch than they actually were. I should have known that the main roads would be tended to and poor little S Jackson Ave would be overlooked. I made it to the gym safely, did my typical solo routine. As I suspected, running sucked worse than normal. I really hate taking that many days off because it takes me a several trips just to get back to where I was a week ago.

On a more positive note, what little food I had bought monday was all green vegetables. I ate plenty and according to tonights weigh-in, ive lost 3lbs since last week. Guess thats telling me something. Incase I haven't mentioned it recently, I started all this somewhere in the neighborhood of 215lbs. As of tonight, I am down to 182. Not bad for a little more than three months work.

If all goes as planned, this weekend is to be 15 miles.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Friday, I hit the gym by myself.  I didn't expect to get a chance to workout again over the weekend so I really did my best to hit it hard.  I did all the lifting I would normally do and then some.  I finished the night up with a half hour on the elliptical.  My foot was still hurting, so I figured the break would be good.

I got in later than I was hoping Monday evening and I nearly elected to forget about my long run.  I had just gotten my new heart monitor in the mail and I thought I had better at least give it a try.   About 4 miles into it, I was cold, sweaty and thinking that cutting it short wasn't a bad idea.  The next mile or so I realized that the only person that I would be cheating is myself, and the last thing I want to do is be less prepared come late March than I am now.

I pushed past my first 5 mile loop, then my second.  I had planned to call it a night by the end of this, but as the evening went on the temperature seemed to warm and I couldn't justify getting that far and not seeing how I would feel at a half marathon.  

As I walked the last stretch to my house, the pain started to set in.  My joints were defiantly feeling it.  Tuesday morning it was all I could do to walk.  I was surprised that my knees were in as good as condition as they were.  It was my hips that were giving me all the trouble.  I was feeling pretty frustrated with how I felt after just half the distance I will need to do in less than a few months.  

Wednesday, I was back to what I would say is 80% of where I had been going into the run.  The quick recovery time was no doubt welcomed and somewhat inspiring.  That evening, I did what I could at the gym, lifting weights and avoiding the treadmill.

Tonight, with temperatures in the mid 60's, I was once again back on the trail.  Given the weather, I decided to do my 5 mile loop and not just 4 like I do on most weekdays.  To be honest, I'm pretty sore again....may have to make tomorrow another rest day.  There just doesn't seem to be enough days in the week for proper recovery.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

losing steam

Had a somewhat easy week.  I had planned to do another long run Sunday, but my foot thought otherwise.  Looks like I have had my first set back in training.  The muscle that runs along my big toe to my foot has hurt like crazy all week.  It's all I can do to run and I've been afraid that I am going to make it worse if i push it any.

Yesterday, while doing one of my random pushup sets, I realized this was likely the cause.  I'll probably stop doing these until after the big run.

The temperatures haven't cooperated much this week, so I've spent all but yesterday night at the gym.  I had tried for the treadmill early in the week, but with my foot as bad as it is have had to settle for the crazy moon-shoe elliptical machine.  I plan to lift hard tomorrow, take a couple more days off and shoot for a 10+ mile run on Monday.  

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tonight I went out for an evening run.  It really was beautiful, just me and the river.

It was dark, couldnt have been more than 30 degrees out and haivng just gotten home from work, the last thing I wanted to do was run.  I forced myself out, and as usual was warm in minutes... glad I was there.  The entire way down the river, I kept thinking to myself how great it was, questioning why I would ever hesitate just because of the cool temperatures.  Turning around I realized that I had been running with the wind and now was looking at 2 miles back, this time against the wind.  To be honest, I now remembered what had spawned the heistation earlier.  It was cold.

I am trying to increase my speed on these shorter runs.  Tonight I did 1 mile as fast as I could, took a short break, did 2 miles at my normal pace and finished with my final mile again at a faster pace.

Not sure that tonight was all that encouraging.  I miss the midday runs.

Also, sorry that I use so many "I's"

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Beautiful day, took advantage by doing my longest run to date, nearly 10 miles.  I would say that I walked a solid mile of it and wish I had some water, but I got through it without any issues.  I'll probably let my knees heal a bit and do a shorter run tomorrow afternoon.  To be honest, another 150% is intimidating, but I still have a couple of months.

I've been trying to do sets of pushups when I can (i.e. while watching tv).  Three months ago, I would have struggled to do 3, yesterday I did a total of 60.

I figure every little bit helps.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

So its been way too long since my last post.  I do hope that I have not lost any faithful followers or made anyone think that i have been slacking.  Seeing as it's been the better part of a month since I have kept any record of my exercises, I'll just have to do my best to sum up what I've been doing.

Leading up to Christmas I kept much of the same routine.  I have stopped using the elliptical for the most part, now trying to focus on weight training and the treadmill.  

I knew that staying true to all of this health business would be tested given the holiday.  I was right and did what I could to make do while at home and confronted with a seemingly endless supply of goodies.  Nice running trails are hard to come by at my moms place, so I was forced to compromise.  I wound up making a couple of laps around some mountain near her place.  It was around a 5 mile run, up more hills than I have ever tried.  I didn't set any record pace, but overall I felt like I did pretty well.  The next day I hit a real trail to avoid holiday traffic on the highway I was on the day before and just ran until the trail run out, probably less than 3 miles round trip.  .   

Taylor told me of a 10k in Springfield, MO Sunday.  I proceeded to break every "what not to do the day before a race" rule Saturday night and did what I could Sunday.  This race I actually knew what to do with the timing chip and, despite them spelling my name as Elio Bozeman, was able to have an official recorded time of 1:00:43 (nearly 10 minutes faster than my Route 66 time less than a month and a half ago and a 9:46 mile average).  

As I finished with a serious endorphin rush, I felt for the first time that I could actually finish this marathon.  My time was considerably faster and I felt stronger for the entire race.  Always great to realize some improvements.

As the holidays have now wrapped up, I am not all that disappointed in myself.  Since I have been back in Tulsa, I have run a solid 10 miles and didn't stray all that far from my diet.  I am trying to pick up my pace during my 3-5 mile weekday runs.  I look forward to seeing if I can still lift the weight I was up to at the gym after 2 weeks off.  The weather is beautiful and I will do what I can to make the most of it.

I will keep you posted.