Where did everything go? Well, I’ve moved on to a dot com. Please visit www.runningbecauseican.com for all the latest from me.
I’m not going to reveal too much, but there are some changes coming to this blog soon. Simply put, the blogging will continue, but the site will be greatly enhanced. If you want any clues as to what’s up, become a Fan of “Running Because I Can” on Facebook and following RunningBecause on Twitter. That’s all I’m saying for now …
I wanted to bring attention to a couple of bloggers in the Lynchburg, Va., area who are doing some amazing running — they’re running every day for a year.
- Project Three Six Five
Heather, who local residents may know from Riverside Runners, has a simple goal — run at least 1 mile every day for 365 straight days this calendar year.
Margaret, who local residents may know from a local TV station, also has a simple goal of running at least 1 mile for an entire year. Her streak started in November and she plans to cap it off with a marathon.
Check out those blogs, add them to your blogroll or Google Reader or however you keep up with posts. It’s pretty inspirational … which has me thinking, can I put together a streak? At this point in time in my life, I don’t want to run every day for 365 straight days. Only until recently have I actually regularly run three days in a row. But I also know that a lone mile can be a good rest day.
So this being said, I’m making plans now to run at least a mile every day for April. Since I’m in the middle of training for the Shamrock Half, I don’t want to set this goal for March. I want to do it in a month that I usually struggle. Every year for the past three years I do Shamrock and then get lazy. I know I have the Richmond Marathon in November, so focusing on something completely different in April will help me continue to build my base and give me something to look forward to this spring.
If all goes well in April, who knows what kind of streaking I might do …
OK … so from now on posts with no main subject with get a date at a headline. Why? … Because I can.
* Tomorrow’s weather is supposed to be gorgeous. By “gorgeous” I mean not below 40 degrees. Shorts weather, when running anyway. Considering the way this winter has been so far, it’ll feel quite warm. I would love to get out and run for 6 or 7 miles, but I’ve already gotten my long run in for the week. I’m fighting myself to take my own advice — don’t start off doing too much, build mileage slowly, etc. Then the devil on my other shoulder says it would be fine, I built up a base a long time ago. Then there’s the part of me that forgets that I haven’t ridden a bike in a while either, so we’ll see.
* Tonight for “31 in 31″ I did some lunges. Just when I think my legs don’t need extra work, I do something like that. Wow. Just wow. I also did some more intense sit-ups than usual. It’s weird how well I feel with running and then how bad I can feel doing something else.
* The scale is already frustrating me. Last week I was down 3 pounds, only to be up a pound this week. So I guess a net 2 pounds lost so far this year isn’t too bad. I’m not ready yet to talk more about that.
* My friend Jeff over at Running for My Sanity would like some advice with races this year. Please head over there and help him out. I’ve given my 2 cents worth, but some I think it would be good for him to hear from a few other people.
These binary dates are just cool to me, and since I have nothing specific to write about, it just looks good as a title. Anyway …
* 31 in 31 has been an interesting challenge. Doing something different every day hasn’t been all that hard. In fact, it’s helped me be more conscious of what I am doing. It’s helped me focus better on each individual day. My biggest non-running activity so far was on Friday when I was able to make it to my old gym and got in 30 minutes (4.3 miles) on an elliptical machine. Otherwise, my “other” activities haven’t been too strenuous — they’ve just been a nice bonus.
To keep track of my day-to-day activities, you can click here or on the “31 in 31″ tab at the top of the blog.
* Running is going very well so far. Last week I ran nearly 15 miles with a long run of 6 miles. That, coupled with the elliptical workout, was a perfect week one for training for the Shamrock Half. Six miles now sits me up very well for the best training I’ve ever done for this race.
* I’ve restarted the 100 push-ups program, again. This time instead of restarting on week 3, I just started from scratch, but at a higher level. My max push-ups last week were 22, 25 and 28. I did a total of 193 push-ups in three days. I think before I was getting too caught up in the week-to-week aspect of this and letting one day throw things off. This time around I’m not going to worry about that so much. While it’s important to keep to a schedule, it’s also important to allow for adequate rest between days and after exhaustion tests. If this goes well, I’ll complete this program before Shamrock!
* My quest for finding good blogs to read never ends, and in the past week or so I found a new one to read. Actually, I think he found me first. Either way, check out Steve over at 265 and falling and follow his weight-loss journey. Steve recently just completed his first 5k and plans to run a marathon later this year.
Last week I got into a brief argument on Twitter that this is not the end of the decade, so why are news stories saying such things? Well, debate all you want – maybe there was no year “0,” but that was 2,000-plus years ago. I didn’t celebrate the end of the 1980s at the end of 1990 or the end of the ’90s at the end of 2000. So this decade, to me, is ending. If you want to celebrate it next year, then go for it. Just don’t invite me to your party at the end of 2020 to celebrate the end of the ’10s. To me this decade began Jan. 1, 2000, and ends in about two weeks. A decade is a period 10 years – you can’t deny the definition of the word.
Anyway, enough of that rant. It’s time to reflect. When looking back on this past decade of my life, it’s easy to say that my adventure into adulthood has been full of changes. I’ve graduated college, gotten married, changed cities a few times, had a son, bought a couple of houses and started running after a long layoff. To have a “Top 5 Running-related Moments of the 2000s” is kind of weird since I’ve only been running since 2004, but running helps define who I am today. It’s important to me to highlight the top events since this adventure began. It’ll help lead me into the next 10 years.
#5 – My first race
After getting married in 2004, I had to do something to keep me motivated so I signed up for the four-miler in Lynchburg that was part of the Virginia Ten Miler event. I’ll never forget standing at that starting line being so nervous. I had those weird thoughts of finishing last or falling down or something crazy like that. What happened, though, was this amazing feeling of accomplishment at the end of the race. It was almost overwhelming. Most importantly, it kept me going. Forty races later, I’m still running.
#4 – The right gear
Getting properly fitted for shoes, getting a Garmin, discovering non-cotton attire and getting an iPod – all these rolled into one at various points in the past six years – have transformed my running experience.
#3 – 13.1 as a father
I revisited this post earlier this year in my top highlights from the year, and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be on this list too. In fact, I debated whether or not it should be No. 2 or No. 3. The feeling of just doing that race so soon after my son was born is still indescribable.
#1 – Jan. 1, 2004
A hike up to Crabtree Falls in Nelson County was the beginning of this journey. While I had a goal to lose weight for my wedding, this picture of me changed everything. It could be the most important picture of my life. I saw it and knew I had to change. Little did I know how much change it would bring, but I’m so glad it did. This photo helps remind me of where I came from and where I never want to be again.
For six years of running, it’s hard to pick a top five. I wrestled with certain things to put in here, such as starting this blog. I started as “Running in Lynchburg” in the spring of 2007 to document my Richmond Marathon training. Blogging is right up there with gear — it’s helped keep me motivated in the past few years.
This year alone has been full of memorable moments, but I didn’t want immediate hindsight to play a role in this list. It’s hard … very hard … to keep “Stung in the eye” off this list. To me, though, the decade list was more about my accomplishments rather than the negative things. Moments like the Virginia Ten Miler and my first Shamrock Half Marathon that happened before my blogging days were great, but didn’t quite make it to the top 5.
All in all my running experience since 2004 has been great. I’m looking forward to what this next decade has to offer …
At this time of the year there is a lot of reflection going on in the world. For many runners, this is a time to not only look back, but to look ahead as well. For me, this December feels a lot like many previous Decembers — I want to reflect a little bit, but I want to move forward. In fact, I want to move forward in a bad, bad way.
This year in running has actually been very good to me — as a new father a year ago at this time, I had no idea what 2009 would bring. I never imagined I would have set any PRs, but I have; I never thought I would run two half marathons and feel great about them both, but I have. It’s been awesome.
In the same breath though, I’m ready to start 2010 completely fresh. You won’t see me do a big year in review this year (I’ll still done some reflecting posts, but nothing like usual). I didn’t hit my goals like I wanted, mainly due to injuries back in the spring, but at the same time I set goals without putting meaning behind them. They were too broad — they were based on mileage. Goals need to be more specific — such as a certain time in a race, or doing some sort of streak (like a certain number of days in a row of running, not something in my birthday suit). My goals were safe and predictable. I need crazy goals that are borderline unrealistic, but achievable. I set goals not to be disappointed, but I’ve realized that it’s OK to fall a little short as long as I give it my all.
So call me crazy, but I’m ready to throw my old calendars out with my training logs. While I won’t get rid of my tab on this blog detailing my past, my old training log books aren’t helpful anymore. Since my first marathon two-plus years ago, nothing has worked like I want it to. I’m referring back to old plans that failed me. I’m doing too much comparing of a certain month of a year to the previous year, and it’s not working.
It’s time for a new approach to my running, how I train and how I track it. There’s also the part of me that wants to lose 10-15 pounds and get back to where I was when I did my very first race. I’m not sure why I don’t talk about that more, but I need to. I think it’s time to. It helps me hold myself accountable. I’m even considering changing the name of this blog — while I like “Running … Because I Can,” there’s something about it that just doesn’t feel right anymore.
I’m taking this month to figure out what to do with all this. I might have it figured out a few minutes after I posted this … it might take a few days … it might take until Dec. 31 … but I need this time to figure it out. Any suggestions, as always, are welcome.
I knew that with taking a new job and getting ready to move that I would have very little time to post on here. Little did I realize that I wouldn’t have time to do anything else too. These past two weeks have been pretty intense. On top of my last two weeks of work being the busiest two weeks of the time I was there, home life was just crazy with getting things set up to sell my house. It wasn’t until yesterday around noon that we finally got to the point of being ready for that.
So, needless to say, it hasn’t been the best running or working out time lately. I’ve still managed to pull off some short runs and a couple of visits to the gym, but nothing like I had planned on doing this fall. That’s what happens when life gets in the way. This week, though, I have a little bit of down time. It’s not much, but I’ll take it.
I first want to take some time to just calm down. I’ve been going, going, going that I haven’t stopped long enough to get in a comfortable night’s sleep. But I also want to exercise and use that opportunity to get rid of the thoughts of my previous job and focus on the future. It started today with a nice 3.1 run around my neighborhood. Who turned on this massive AC on the East Coast anyway?
I’m not sure what the rest of the week will hold, but this is a nice start. The next few weeks will continue to be crazy as I start my new job and go to and from Richmond for a couple of weekends. Eventually I’ll get to a new “normal,” but it’ll take a while. I have to remember though how important running and working out is. As long as that happens a few times a week, my moving and the new normal will be much easier – both physically and mentally.
I’m determined to have a better second half of 2009 than the first six months. To get things started, I ran a pretty good 4.2 miles today. It was the best I’ve felt after a run in quite a while. So if today is any indication of how things will be, this will be an awesome month and an awesome remainder of 2009. When I stop thinking about it so much, running becomes much easier.
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I’m looking for a few more blogs to read. I’m going to do a blog inventory soon. I usually do some sort of inventory a couple of times a year and it’s been a while. There are several bloggers on my list who haven’t posted anything in a while and it’s just time to go through my list. Plus I want to add people. So if you’re reading and you’re not on my list, please let me know! Or if you’re on my list and you haven’t posted in a couple of months, maybe you should get to writing!