Evolution of a Man

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Training week 9 – done!

The run of the 24th of November was my 31st training run, the last run of the 9th week!  (Week 9: Nov. 18th-Nov. 24th)

31 runs in, 9 weeks down, 16 weeks to go and I’ll be running the Saturday Rock N’ Roll Marathon in Washington, DC.

Week 9 Statistics!

Average Run

  • 30:29 minutes

Average Pace

  • 8:57 /mile

Average Distance

  • 3.40 miles

Notable week 9 information:

  • WELL, even though Chris and I knew it was upcoming, we failed to follow the schedule we have been following.  Week 9 was supposed to be the switching point from time trainings (we’ve been running 30 minutes for a while) to distance trainings.  We will start running the distance training Monday; with 3 miles being the goal, Wednesday; with 4 miles, Thursday; 3 miles, and Saturday; 5 miles.  Each Saturday from here until quite near the end, an extra mile will be added on, so in 5 months we’ll be running 10 miles on Saturday.  I’m a bit worried, but not from a running/fitness perspective, but more in a mental one.  I’m worried that I’ll be bored to tears running 10 miles.  I might be loading up the iPhone with an audio book to keep me company.

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Week 8 – The importance of a training partner

I’ve never been one to overestimate myself.  I’m pretty ‘real’ when it comes to my shortcomings, as much as I am confident in my abilities.  One of my main shortcomings in life is sustaining drive.  It’s hard for me to keep momentum going.  I get really amped for a little while on something, and end up giving it up when I’m later bored with whatever it is I was amped about.  Two months ago, I was amped about running a marathon, and about training for it.  I was worried though, that I wouldn’t succeed.  That I’d give up training for it, and not finish what I had started.

I set up built in failsafes.

  • I signed up and paid for the marathon.
  • I publicly set up a blog to keep me accountable to myself
  • most importantly though, I found a training partner.


I was discussing my goals with my neighbor Chris, who mentioned he had the same problem with working out.  He’d get all motivated, but that motivation would taper off and he’d stop doing it.  He asked me if I minded if he joined me on my marathon quest, and I was jazzed right away.  Having someone on the same path, waiting for you outside in the cold at 5:30am is a serious motivator.  We both know we want to run, we both know we need to run to train for the marathon, and the fact that we’ve both decided to do this thing together keeps us both still doing it.  Sometimes though, your partner has life stuff, and can’t race for a few days.  This happened this week, for Chris.  His wife was out of town, which meant he couldn’t leave in the morning on Wednesday or Thursday to run.

This shouldn’t have been a problem.  He’s missed a couple of other days for other reasons before, as have I, but we’ve made them up, or run by ourselves for the day.  This Wednesday, I heard the alarm go off, and looked at it.  My internal dialogue told me to turn it off and go to sleep, it’s just one day off.  My conscious mind – already bored-ish with running, agreed, and that’s what I did.  I was guilty all day long.  Thursday morning, the alarm went off, and my internal dialogue was similar.  Just as Wednesday, I went back to sleep, and didn’t run.

I agonized all day Thursday and Friday about it.  I should have gone.  I should have had the willpower to get off my ass and go run, but I didn’t.  I chose not to.  Without Chris to run with, I had a way out, and in a weak moment or two in the morning, I opted for it.

I’m so happy to have Chris to run with in the mornings, because he helps keep me on track – and I need that right now, while I build the habit stronger.

All that said, I did get two runs in this week; Monday and Saturday.

The run of the 17th of November was my 27th training run, the last run of the 8th week!  (Week 8: Nov. 12th-Nov. 17th)

27 runs in, 8 weeks down, 17 weeks to go and I’ll be running the Saturday Rock N’ Roll Marathon in Washington, DC.

Week 8 Statistics!

Average Run

  • 30:01 minutes

Average Pace

  • 8:33 /mile

Average Distance

  • 3.51 miles

Notable week 8 information:

  • I learned this week that I should NOT eat anything before going running.  I had a major cramp on Monday’s run, from about mile 3 til the end.  I need to do some research into how runners deal with abdominal cramps while out running.

“Stay on Target” – Jek Porkins, Red Six

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Week 7!

The 10 am run of the 10th of November was my 25th training run, the last run of the 7th week!  (Week 6: Nov. 4th-Nov. 11th)

25 runs in, 7 weeks down, 18 weeks to go and I’ll be running the Saturday Rock N’ Roll Marathon in Washington, DC.

Week 7 Statistics!

Average Run

  • 31:04 minutes

Average Pace

  • 8:59 /mile

Average Distance

  • 3.45 miles

Notable week 7 achievements:

  • None, really.  Week 7 was pretty run of the mill.  It was nice this week, the weather was warmer than usual.
  • Chris and I discussed the future training as the winter inevitably comes on.  We both dislike the treadmill, especially now that we’re used to running outside.  I was hoping to find an indoor track to run at in the mornings, and we found Claude Moore Recreational center, in Sterling, that has one.  The track is small, and there is the possibility that it could get repetitive and boring if we’re doing miles on it at a time.  While this is true, the same can be said of treadmill, and at least we’re running at our own pace on a track.  I’ve been trying to find information on other indoor tracks in Sterling, but have come up blank. Anybody know of any other ones, perhaps longer?

“Our labour preserves us from three great evils — weariness, vice, and want.” – Voltaire

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Progress on my health goals.

“I don’t know how people live without coffee, I really don’t” – Martha Quinn

The goal that I thought might have been harder than it was, was in giving up coffee.  I haven’t had a cup of coffee (or even a sip) since September 11th.  I really thought I was going to have some psychological issues with removing coffee from my routine, but I have found that it doesn’t bother me.  It does affect me in some ways though.

I’ve found that I have to sleep earlier, and I pay dearly if I skip this to watch a show or stay up and write or read.  DEARLY.  The next day I drag, but I sort of like the idea that this is a natural reaction, that my body is telling me  ‘hey fucker you didn’t sleep enough last night, enjoy your bag of shit day today’.  This sort of ‘body neutral’ feeling is alright.

I’ve also been taking twice daily supplements of Fish Oil and an organic multivitamin, sourced from fruits and vegetables.

I take Rainbow Light Certified Organic Men’s Multivitamin, twice daily.  It’s got a really wide base of vitamins, and is particularly strong in B vitamins (which help provide me with natural energy).  It also has pro-biotics, helping to keep my internal fauna kicking ass.

I’ve been taking Fisol fish oil supplements, and these are for brain activity.  keeps me sharp, and these don’t digest until in the intestines, so no fishy burps (which is key).

I’ve also been drinking Amazing Grass’s Green Superfood.  It’s a green, grassy tasting powder mix that I stir into some water.  Sounds gross, but it’s got a ton of stuff in it, and if you’re even slightly averse to eating vegetables, this helps out big time.  Here are some benefits:

•  Helps you achieve your recommended 5 to 9 daily servings of fruits and vegetables
•  Naturally detoxifies and boosts your immune system
•  Probiotics and Enzymes to aid digestion and absorption
•  Complete raw food with powerful antioxidants
•  Alkaline green plant foods balance acidic pH levels
•  Contains over 70% organic ingredients
•  More organic whole leaf greens per gram than other green superfoods – not from juice
•  Featuring Sambazon organic pure açai powder
•  No soy lecithin fillers
•  Nitrogen packed for freshness

My favorite side effect is being nicer.  I’m less crabby.  I listen more before reacting, especially with my wife.

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Week 6!

“There is a beast in man that needs to be exercised, not exorcised”– Anton Lavey

The afternoon run of the 3rd of November was my 22nd training run, the last run of the 6th week!  (Week 6: Oct. 27th-Nov. 3rd)

22 runs in, 6 weeks down, 19 weeks to go and I’ll be running the Saturday Rock N’ Roll Marathon in Washington, DC.

Week 6 Statistics!

Average Run

  • 30:09.67 minutes

Average Pace

  • 8:37 /mile

Average Distance

  • 3.49 miles

Notable week 6 achievements:

  • I’m not going to lie, this week sucked.  Monday, Hurricane Sandy bearing down on poor little Virginia, we decided to run indoors at our community gym.  We pay for it every month, why not, right?  UGH.  Running indoors used to be something I liked, but this time it was terrible.  Not only was it boring, but I kept watching the seconds tick by on the machine, which made the 30 minutes seem like forever.  Also, running outdoors is naturally paced by landmarks.  Next is the golf course.  Once past the golf course, I’m thinking of the cul-de-sac next.  After the cul-de-sac, it’s the hill, the top of the hill, the bottom of the hill, etc.  You get none of that on the treadmill, and on top of it all, you don’t get the fresh air.  BLAH.
  • I was sick on Thursday.  Sick is relative I suppose.  I don’t think I would have been as sick on Thursday if I had gone to bed a little earlier than I did, but I also did wake up with a headache and sniffles.  Built in excuse, and I should have ran anyway..maybe it would have been good for me.  I feel guilty to have skipped the run, to be honest.
  • On the plus side, the run on Saturday afternoon was great.  The temperature was about 50F, but the windchill pulled that down much further.  It was chilly to start, but after the first 4 minutes or so, I was toasty warm and heated up, and the chilled air felt GREAT in the lungs.  I wasn’t winded in the least at the end, and really enjoyed getting out there.

“Happiness is not something ready made, it comes from your actions” – Dalai Lama