Lake Michigan at Sunrise

Lake Michigan at Sunrise

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Running Blog History Post!

As I've only been blogging for about a week about running, I'll replay what I have in this post and then keep it fresh!
Day one: The Introduction
Everyone is a runner! Just do it! Its fun!…
This is a story of my journey, as a father, husband, and runner.
I have a beautiful wife, a wild little toddler, and an addiction to running.  I am not an experienced athlete through high school or college. I never played sports or did more than fair weather running through the years. I’ve been pretty normal, have had fluctuating weight on the slightly higher side, and until the last 18 months, never considered myself a runner.  Fast forward to today, I run 6 days a week, usually before sunrise. Why? Because I don’t want to lose time with my family. Because I want to be healthy. Because I decided it would be a fun idea to run the Chicago Marathon in October.  Has this been my dream? No, until the day of the sign up, I always told myself I wouldn’t do a marathon. The stars then aligned, and I thought hey, I won’t get a better chance, lets do it.  So here we are. And now I will take you on my daily journey to the Chicago marathon and tidbits from my life.

Alarm set five minutes earlier now. Big mental jump, 4:45 seems like it comes too fast. Storm woke me up in the middle of the night, thankfully daughter didn’t wake. Although I never got back to a good sleep. Watching clock, time for the first test.
So tired. It rained, I should stay in.
I slept bad, I should sleep in.
I had Papa Johns pizza for dinner, its going to hurt my run, just sleep in.
Use the treadmill at the gym later, just sleep now .
Feet on the ground. Check weather app, all clear, 41 degrees. I hate the treadmill. I have my gear ready. Just do it.
5:05, out the door. Dark, cold, breezy, and damp. I’m freezing. I run outside all winter, but it doesn’t always help.
5:10 warming up, not so bad anymore. See a few other crazy regulars running, I wave.
5:15 start the intervals. 2 minutes at 5k speed, 1 minute jog. Repeat.
5:25 Papa Johns says hello in my stomach, as expected. No backing down now.
Fast forward
5:55 time to cool down. Pizza lost this battle.
6am Back inside, clock another 7 miles into runkeeper. Feel great, who was tired?
Now the next race, catch the bus in 25 minutes to work.

On the 5th day of my running cycle, my body gave to me: Complete exhaustion and a sick feeling.
I’m feeling worn out, like butter spread too thin on toast.  This isn’t my normal fatigue from running.  Is this from a bad sleep last night or am I catching a bug from my daughter?
All I want do to is crash on the bed all evening. But I have a life outside of work and running that is far more important than both.
Every time I want to just hide and rest, I remind myself, if I can’t handle running, I either need to cut back or not do it. Suck it up and be a man. I’m not old yet, I’ll recover.  If I am sick, I’ll play it by ear.

I already have the scouting report for my morning. Rain, fatigue, my mind telling me, hey if you are sick, just sleep buddy! Tomorrow is just a recovery run. Two minutes slower than race pace for 7 miles. Just edge it out and I get a day off.
If I’m this obsessive in pre-marathon training, I can only imagine the runzilla I might mentally be come June.
Until then, each day is a lesson, but the answer is always, love my family first.

Passed out an hour early last night, felt good. Had the shivers. Wake up at midnight, full body sweat, did I have a fever? Feel a bit better.
Beep beep. Alarm goes off. I kind of want to be sick to have a good reason to not move.
Feet down, Damn I think I can do some sort of run. Get up, stomach is still off.
Dressed and in the building vestibule, see shrubbery shaking like a pom pom from the wind. *sigh*
Start to trot, realize that I won’t get any faster today without tempting my nausea. I bargain with my stomach, cut run in half and do it slow if you don’t make me vomit.
*Burble burble*. I take that as a yes
Every few minutes I feel my stomach may go back on our agreement. No fun.
Back home now. Glad I did something. Stomach still unhappy. I hear my daughter having sleep hiccups. Get myself ready, but my coordination is off and I’m dropping everything. Sorry wife for being so loud.
Off to work.. and stomach, it’s totally cool to send me home from work. Next run: Friday

Better than any finish line running, coming home.
Open the door and have my child do the - Da Da dance around the Kitchen, and the love from wife to let me know, we got you daddy.

Made it through my weekly miles (40ish I think). Wrap it up with a mild stomach bug, nice timing.  Took a sick day from work for my stomach.  But as every parent knows, kids don’t let you take sick days. Worth it.

Let’s start last night. Ordered Thai food. Ate enough for 2-3. Felt good man, until I stopped eating. Internal warnings go off. Pepto-Bismol it is. Know morning will be rough, even wife knows. Maybe I’ll be smart and skip…
But wait there’s more! Try to sleep, wake up a good 6 times thinking its time to get up and try to run…. sigh.
*alarm* let’s get this over with. Get up…choppy seas ahead. *back to bed moron, It’s just one day*
Pop Pepto. Stare at self in mirror thinking my reflection will give me advice. Screw it, let’s go. Check weather, air temp 28 …. Okay.
Get outside… At least 40. Let’s do this for the crab Rangoons. I may not do this fast, but something is better than nothing.
First block, I feel like a sack of potatoes being rolled down the street. Second block, adjust my goals, cut a couple miles off and make it up tomorrow.
Get to lakefront path, I think I can, I think I can. Now the run is best summarized like this: I am a tea kettle, the Thai food in my stomach is the water, and my pace is the heat of the stove. Go even close to normal pace, whistle blows and you know the rest.
Found slow pace that worked, until a small group got on the path. Every inch of me wanted to go by them, feeling the adrenaline start. Screw my stomach, do it.
But the protagonist flies in, Mr. Claw, get them next time Gadget, next time! I take a breath, and come to my senses.
The rest of the run goes smooth. Looking forward to getting back to normal. Get home and take more Pepto just in case.
I’m still full, but I still crave a few more miles…. why…

Ahh the weekend. A time many people hope to spend relaxing, catching up on sleep, spending time with friends and family, and recreational activities.  Lets see how it works on my end…
Sleep In? CHECK! 5:20am! Gotta get my run in.  Feeling pretty much back to normal. Stomach is a little cranky from the fish sticks last night. Sadly, I am not Matt Smith from Dr. Who and get revitalized by Fish Sticks and Custard.
You might be wondering - why are you still running so early on the weekend? Well, thanks for asking! I try to keep about an hour clear for a run - to include cool down and shower. The time will increase once I get farther into training and have longer runs.  As Saturdays go, if I don’t want to lose out on time with the family, I have to do it before they get up. If its a short run, I can sneak it in around the kid’s nap time, but then I still lose out on precious non child time with the wife.  As the weather gets nicer, I can take the little one out in the jogging stroller if i keep the runs under an hour. So no sleeping in today.
I scope out the weather channel. 37 feels like 28… Tomorrow, 72.. Well, at least I won’t overheat.
This was a more typical run, first mile you feel the sore spots in your legs that you worry about. Is it more than general soreness? Is something stressed or strained? Mile 2, it all feels good, and there is a pink shade over all the mid and high rises along the Lakefront.
Fast Forward. Mile 6- Still no sign of the Sun, *Sigh*, too cloudy.
* END* Daughter woke up.

Ah Sunday! The one day where I don’t run before sunrise. The weekends go like this: Saturday, my wife gets to rest and I take the kid duties and Sunday is my day.  So instead of rest (well I do sleep until 7:15-7:30!!) I do my long run.
I’m currently doing 13.1 miles every Sunday, just since it translates better for running charts. and the turn around point is downtown Chicago.  Now I can’t just get up and run that distance (I’ve tried). Here is what I make sure I do now:
  • Drink at least a cup of water
  • Have a light snack (PB and Toast around 2 hours before I start)
  • 1-2 cups of coffee to empty your system. I cannot emphasize this part enough. Anyone that runs distance knows, having the urge to use the bathroom messes up runs, so get it done before you leave.
I try to get out 2 hours after I get up , hopefully no later than 9:30am.
Lets move on to today’s vibe. Forecast, 71 Degrees! at 2pm…. Forecast for when i got out? Low 40s….
40s is fine for running and you can go pretty fast, but 50s still feels nicer.
You may ask, why not run later then? Well, then you eat more food and have to re-adjust your stomach later to make sure everything settled. Especially when you are running for over an hour. Plus, we are hopefully going to the zoo later!
Next update: Post Run. For now. Coffee.

(Picture Post)

Men! If you run for more than a few miles and it is 50 degrees or hotter out, you probably experience nipple chafing.
I’ve seen sites recommend body glide or band aids, but neither work for me ( especially with body hair)
Solution? Apply liquid bandage then some waterproof bandage on your nipples. Hasn’t fallen off yet and works great!
Also, don’t be afraid to shed the shirt if it gets soaked, just have on sunblock!

Long run done! My favorite run of the week. Good speed, lots of scenery changes, and a good mental rest.  I decided to turn on a run tracker on my phone today - Endomonodo Pro , and it says I finished my 13.1 at 1:32:28. I think its about a minute off, the end point was a little early, but I’ll take it.
The run itself had several stages.  The wind was a beast for the first half mile in northern Chicago, its like Eurus was having a hay day with runners, tempting them to just go home.
The temperature was roughly 40 degrees to start, a little brisk, but was predicted to warm up, so that kept me motivated. A LIE if I ever heard one. The predictions have been about 15 degrees off so far today. BOO!
And the entire first half of the run was partly cloudy and drizzling, not enough to get your soaked, but just enough to annoy you.  It was like Poseidon was just wetting his hands and flicking the water off his fingers at you, to remind  you how easily he can ruin your day.
I made my way through two different races today, I Run Chicago and Phi Delta Chi 5K Walk/Run.
They were both small and short races, so it wasn’t too much of an issue, but was nice motivation to keep my pace strong.
Around mile 10, I started getting really hungry, A reminder to eat more healthy carbs through the week. Gut check time now. Kept telling myself, only 3 miles, 2 miles… push it, do it, don’t slow down now.
My reward? All the waterfountains are working now on the Lakefront Path! So I didn’t have to wait until I got home to get some icey water.
The walk back home though is probably as hard as running the last few miles. Very windy, chilly, and shaded.  Nice for the summer, but not right now.
At least I can eat more today!
Now back to our normally scheduled life.
Today’s run didn’t start at 5am. It starts at midnight when the wind howled like a vengeful demon that refused to let me sleep. Checked weather app, still 64 degrees and windy.  Thankfully I’m staying home today to watch the kid while my wife goes to get some medical checkups, so I don’t have to be working sharp.  Finally fall asleep for maybe two hours when I am nudge awake by the lovely song of my alarm.
Contemplate sleeping more and run later.
 I’ll have time I say. Maybe I’ll take the jogging stroller!
Common sense kicks in: Dude, might rain and we have plans. FINE!
Feet on the ground. Get changed. Check weather, 58. Damn, shorts still in bedroom and don’t want to wake the misses up. Tights it is.
Go to living room to lace up. *trickle trickle drop drop* RAIN! really? Check weather map. Green blob over the area.
Change into lighter top and warm up jacket. Ok, lets go!
Go outside, rain stopped… Wrap jacket around waist. Slow and steady today. Went around a 9 minute mile for 6 miles. 2 minutes off pace.
I took a quick stop before I left the path to say hi to the Sun waking up:
Now the real fun starts. Daddy day care!

No comments:

Post a Comment