Lake Michigan at Sunrise

Lake Michigan at Sunrise

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Marvel at This!

No, I didn't achieve some superhuman run time, but some totes awesome things have hit the webs! In case you have been living under a rock, here are my picks!

Ant Man:

Star Wars:

And Batman vs Superman:

 I can't rave enough about Daredevil on Netflix either!!

Okay, enough nerdasming!

Running stuff.

Pretty standard week of running, 5 runs, two rest days. Focusing a lot on listening to my body to tell me what to do for each day. I may have my force back, but still have to deal with a lot of stretching and not push extra miles just to reach more mentally fulfilling daily miles.

The most interest run of the week was on Friday (hello 78 degrees!) I had watched this video:

And, while not for everyone, it inspired me to try to make a difference in someone's run. So during my lunch run, before I made it to the lakefront path, I ran into a lady (maybe my age?) running the opposite direction, who was putting in work on her pace. I figured this would be my best chance, as the lakefront is too busy to stand out from the crowd.

I got my high five hand ready, eye contact, hand up, CONTACT.

What else....
I got to see see part of the last Bull's game of the regular season on Wednesday and see some of the players' friends and family!
Before the gates opened!!
And that's all I got for the moment! Thinking of some ideas for more common sections in the blog (like, favorite kidisms of the week/day, favorite ebay tie finds of the week)

Everyone running the Boston Marathon, have fun! You don't need luck if you made it that far!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Hello Blogness My Old Friend!

The day is August 21, 2014.. oh wait. That's what I would said if i was even an amateur blogger who kept up with his blog. Instead, the day is the 11th day of April, 2015, and I'm here in bloggers anonymous. I have a blogger and I have a commitment problem!

So where have I been?
(TL:DR Having kid #2 really put a full court press on open time, being sidelined from running for another 3+ months, really puts a damper on motivation to blog about...running.)

These minions have monopolized my time and energy:

Having a threenager and a very needy baby boy maxed out my motivation and energy for the year.

At the time of my last post, I was running and getting a really good return on my distance runs.... Until October...When I got  pes anserine bursitis... while rocking my baby boy in his sleeping apparatus with my foot. Soak it in and see how well people believe it in conversation. What happened was (6+ hours after my run and stretches), I was resting on the bed and rocking the baby's rocker bottom with my foot, I stood up, took 4 steps and my left knee gave up and I couldn't walk. I quickly got into the doctor and got sent to PT  (Holler Athletico!). The timing was ironic as I was discharged on Friday, the injury happened Sunday and I was back the next week. I think they have a voodoo doll of me just to bring me back and test new CIA black site torture techniques on me.
Their face when I check in for "therapy"
I tried to run a few times, but my balance was way off and I was in some abnormal pains after the runs. So I was shut down for 3 months. Any runner will tell you, every day off feels like 5 when you're sidelined. The downtime was tough, right as I was hitting my stride again and running with friends on the weekend, I'm sitting on the couch again. I tried to look at the pro's of this, take advantage of the extra sleep as the baby was found of seeing us through the night and all the totes cool [bruising] time I got to spend with my physical therapy family. Being set up for a long time at least has the benefit of not having the anxiety of trying every morning for some miracle. 

Moving forward to 2015, I'm released to start the return to run program, which is mentally embarrassing to a running ego. Having just done the program in the Summer of 2014, I knew I was looking at three months of being humbled, forcing my patience, and acceptance. I was looking at three months of trying to develop trust in my leg wouldn't give out on me again and losing the injury weight.

The baby thankfully has slept more at night, so I have been able to get up earlier to get a longer runch (run during lunch) in at work. Getting those short sparks of muscle memory in my legs kept my spirits alive and hopeful. Seeing small leaps happen every week gave me more trust to not get complacent. 

And here we are in the now. I'm running 5-6 days a week. I'm trying not to focus on forcing a certain weekly mileage or treat every week as the crux week of a training cycle. I'm just trying to love running again and get to the point where I can keep up with my speedster friends again and get back in the mix.

So my status? down about 15lbs, my interval speed runs have moved from 5:52 to 5:50 (and maybe to 4:40s) pace and I can do 16 mile runs without trouble again. I feel like I'm in a good position again and hoping I don't fall down randomly and hurt myself soon #jinx #doublejinx

What else is going on? I've been loving the Flash on the CW

Archer on FX

And so far, Daredevil on Netflix:
Also, I have grown an appreciation for nice ties! (christian grey brand.. wait no)

I'll end here and I promise I'll try to start pushing updates and even reading some blogs (old and new!) in the future.

So please, leave a comment, tell me how you've been or is this your first time? Happy Spring!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

If finding a running partner was like using a dating website

In a complete change of pace for this blog, I thought I'd make a pretty off color joke post! ( I know, I make a dirty joke or 100?)
Just remember:

After stumbling upon a post on from an app maker to find running partners in your area (I can't find the link now, woops!) , I began to think of what the profiles that aren't super competitive might look like:

Early morning runner looking for someone to watch more than the Sun rise

Looking for someone to help me reach the climax of my runners high!
Looking for someone that needs help going deep into a long run
I want to help you finish faster and PR every time
Looking for someone to help me build a good sweat even in the winter.
I have trouble getting in a good stretch after I run, can you help me?
I never spill a drop of gatorade at water stations in a race
I never waste any of my Gu / I love Gu on all my runs

Anyone else when they run? They always get all over my face and in my mouth, a small source of protein..gnats
I promise that more than your shoes will be zero drop after you run with me.

I could go on and on, but I don't want you browser to freeze from so many gifs! If this post if popular, maybe I'll make this a regular weekly or biweekly post!

What do you think?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Facing the running hubris that was me

I've been running for a few weeks now without having to walk (even though my lack of endurance kind of misses it) and every step I take reminds me how difficult the journey is to be a better runner. How easily you could settle where you are, rather than pushing yourself to where you want to be.


How much wretch and desperation is involved in the process of getting faster and running distance more easily.
I completed my first double digit mile run, 10 miles, on Sunday and it was a world of nope. 
I did a lot of things wrong, from timing my pre run snack to running in the middle of the summer heat. My pace crashed hard, I was just happy to make it home and put ice all over my neck and head.

The thing that keeps me going through all these runs is not the saddening amount of weight I gained while not running, or my actually run times that I refuse to log right now. What inspires me is what I was capable of doing just a few months ago. Just a few months ago I was making great strides in all my run types, I believed I could be better, I wanted to be better. 

Now I look back to my previous excitement and clamoring about my run times and simply think...the hubris I committed. My motivation is also my frustration. I hope that I can carry lessons learned from this lengthy rehab period to push me even harder when my body is ready to start pushing my running limits again.

I'm still hoping by October I'll have my legs back. I'm waiting for that one run where I will find my inner running demon and join my running justice league friends again.

Okay, what else is going on Declan? Well I'm still in Physical Therapy, they added treating Thoracic Outlet Syndrome to my treatment (pain down my arms and thumb, pinched nerves mostly!). 

I got a few sunrise runs in!

I got a new pair of running shoes! Saucony Kinvara 5.

The children are good!

And I found the perfect post run drink:

Sorry for the long time between posts! Time is short! I've been fiddling with the idea of just doing a podcast or Vlog.

So what's up with anyone left reading my blog? One of these days I'll get back to my blog feed!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Dad Version 2.0

Greetings All!

As most of you already know (by either Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram), my son was born on July 5th at 8:47pm! He is a week old and that dude is a pig! He's growing fast, dude didn't even lose any weight in the first few days! Here are week one's "progress"pictures:
Day 1

Day 7

As for my daughter, she is in the obessesed stage with him:

My wife and I are trying to make sure to make my daughter feel extra special during this time period so she doesn't feel left out, but I'm sure the jealousy stage will rear its head soon enough!

The first week with my son, B, has been tiring, as anyone that has had to stay up with an infant knows! His nights and days are all messed up. Some nights he is awake screaming bloody murder, testing a parent's love and patience until 4am, and the other nights he lets us get a few hours of sleep.  During the day, the kid is an angel, and doesn't stay awake despite my daughter's tornado of activity or our efforts to keep him awake so that he sleeps more deeply at night.

I'm pretty tired and I just lost my train of thought... oh well!

So how does this transition into running? Well back in March my wife reminded me that I wouldn't be able to do heavy running once the kid was born. Three and a half months of being benched made sure that I couldn't do heavy running. So in a way, life made sure I put the baby before miles.

I have a much easier time finding 30-35 minutes in the day to exercise and not make my wife mad and my daughter too distraught than running for 1-2 hours a day (not to say I don't miss running 1-2 hours a day). And what is currently encompassing those 30-35 minutes?

Well today (the day is still Saturday as I write) was the last day involving walking in my Return to Run program. Next week I do three 30 minute runs. Before I started the program I was stoked to run those minutes, thinking I'd be flying through them. Reality set in during the last few weeks. I lost so much fitness, I am going to be sucking wind and getting cramps. I really hope I get my wind back sooner than later! (I also need to drop some of these pity pounds I put on over the last few months) This return has reminded me how hard running is. To have more empathy with people starting out, that you just don't go out and enjoy runs until you put a lot of heart, hustle, and muscle into training. I keep reminding myself of what I am capable of and that I can get back there. To become a good runner again, good enough to run with people again, and push a jogging stroller without getting hurt (I still don't have clearance to do this). I still tape my right ankle to prevent soreness, the next few weeks will be the major test.

Lost my thoughts again! Good stopping point.
I'm out!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

And so my watch begins

Today is my wife's due date for baby number two. Over the last week I've been getting increasingly anxious and restless about the birth. At work I already passed on my projects to be worked on for when I take paternity leave, and my co-workers already started on them even though I haven't left yet! I've been scrambling to find some productive tasks, but it feels more like standing around and not knowing what to do with your hands:

While I roam around awkwardly, I will be hawking over my my phone for the call that it is time for a new lil smokie to come into this world!

What else is going on?

I started week two or four of the return to run program, 3 minutes walking to two minutes running. No complications there! I'm still staying reserved on this, as I mentally am not ready to get excited and face letting myself down yet.  But all good so far (and I'm still taping my right ankle). Right MCL is still stiff randomly, but I'm comfortable on it.

I love going to my daughter's gymnastic's class after work on Mondays!

Many of you know I'm a total Chicago Bulls homer, so I'm pretty hyped about the off season and what changes will be made in the team! (Nikola Mirotic? Carmelo Anthony? Chandler Parsons? Paul Pierce?)

And I love that the Bull's first round pick, Doug McDermott, embraces the Funny:

Also, I went to see an Allergist yesterday on the recommendation of my pulmonary doctor. After my results, the doctor thinks my allergy to cats and having a cat for a few years created my asthma.. Thanks Tucker.

I think that's all I got for now! Hopefully the next update is a birth announcement!

Have an awesome day!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Running for the Numbers

Day two of my return to run program done (26 May).  Six repetitions of 4 minutes walking to 1 minute running. This time around,  I warmed up with some lunges, 5 minutes of extra walking, stretching, then I began the exercise. My physical therapist also taped up my right ankle as precautionary measure. The tape combined with the heavy work she put in (bruising) my leg, left me feeling near optimistic for my return to run now, as I experience no abnormal post run feelings.

(I hope I don't eat my words next week and have to rest even longer)

The walk/run exercise was interesting, as every time I started to run, I felt like I was mentally walking through a portal to my memories of running, forgetting I'm injured, but then a rope quickly pulls me back out once my minute is up. Pay Per View running I guess.

But this post isn't about my 6 minutes of total running, the post is about what rolls through my mind while I walked for the rest of the time.

I started thinking about running for numbers and what feels like success.
My thinking face
I know many of you, like myself, running 6-7 days a week is a way of life. Miss an day? That is a melt down. You muster up the logic to say it is okay and aren't losing any fitness? I know you are still struggling inside, thinking this one missed workout will be the cause of your next missed PR. Just keeping it in your mental pocket of maybe worries.

Have to cut your scheduled workout run short? Oh damn, let's not even go down that road (but the something is better than nothing mantra will at least keep you from OD'ing on Clif Shots).

Make a goal of weekly mileage and fall short, despite some killer runs? Time for new shoe therapy.

I'm not saying any of this is bad, goals keep us motivated, I do all the above. And I miss it, but starting from scratch lets me take a somewhat fresh look at it all again. Losing all of spring and the end of winter to injuries made me dig a deep hole for all those running insecurities, more for my family's sanity than mine. Now that I am easing back into it, the seeds of my running craziness growing out of the ground and ready for me to pick.

And pick I have. The fact that this week I have ran for 9 minutes total has inspired me to chart out multiple exercise paths that lead me back to a 60mpw base by Octoberish.

I can only laugh at my mental progression, as my state of gratefulness is quickly replaced at wanted more. Only a month ago I was hoping to just walk pain free again to now getting the  itch to run every day for hours. Physical therapy gave me the proverbial tip (3 days a week walk/run exercises) and I want the whole thing.

I am looking at this in the best way possible. As my wife is due with our second child next week, fitting in 3 short "runs" a week is a lot more doable, than 50-60+ mile weeks. So if there was ever a time to do this, now isn't the worst time.

Where is this entire post going? A reminder to myself and to you all to enjoy your runs and your health. Keep your goals in mind, but don't let them distract you from how awesome it is that you can run.

Have a great weekend all!