Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 Goals

My first run of the year went well considering I almost missed it. I did not go to sleep until 3am and I woke up 8:20. The race started at 9. I ended up running the 6miles of the Resolution Revolution. This was not a timed or scored event so it was nice to start off the new year right. I ran the 6 miles in 48:11 (8:02 per min/mile). I am taking a running break the rest of this month.

Here is an outline of my personal goals for 2011. They seem challenging, but they are very attainable. Overall I just want to be more positive, stay humble, and be happy this year. I appropriately dub 2011 as the “Year of the Gee”.

• Spend more quality time with my wife and son.
• Dive into my Bible.
• Get better sleep.
• Read more.
• Try out Yoga.
• Eat healthy.
• Work off my “AB of dough”.
• Volunteer more.

• Indianapolis Monumental Full Marathon – November 5th
Start 18 week training (week of July 4th)

• RAIN - Cycle Across Indiana (160+ mile ride) - July 16th
Start training in March or April

• Mini-Marathon 500 – May 7th
Start training in February

• 10K Race
• 15K Race

• 5 or more 5K Races
Mag 7 Series starts mid-March

• Sprint Triathlon
Maybe the Carmel Triathlon in April (need swim training)

• Bike 1000 or more miles
• Run 1000 or more miles
• 20 minute or less 5K time (PR 23:30)
• Race event in another state

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

1st Post - The Past, 2010 Year in Review, and the Future

This is officially my first post. I will keep this brief, so here it goes.

The Past

Growing up, I always enjoyed being outdoors and doing anything where I did not have to sit still (ask my mom). I am still this way today (ask my wife). I was always racing bikes, playing tag, jump roping, wrestling with the neighborhood kids, playing dodge ball - typical kid stuff. I played little league baseball, but after getting hit by the ball too many times, I knew baseball was not my sport. The only time I did school sports was on the 7th or 8th grade track team. Everyone thought I was fast so I joined. I still remember my first track meet. For some reason my coach had me in the 200m run. I remember being nervous at the starting line and the firing of the gun spooked me. Let’s just say I was smoked in that race. That day I realized I was not a sprinter so I decided to try the longer distances. I became part of two relay teams. We did quite well and I remember getting a couple of ribbons. After junior high, I worked all of the time so I never joined a school team. One summer break a friend asked me if I wanted to start running with him. I decided to give it a try and it did not pan out too well. It was early in the morning, it was 80 degrees outside, high humidity, and he wanted to run 3 miles. I literally almost passed out half way through the run. After that, I decided I did not want to be a runner. It was boring and it was too much of a challenge. I did play lots of basketball at the local park. After school and work, I would play basketball until 10pm, then do it all again the next day. I could play 6-10 games of basketball in 90 degree weather and not be tired. I played 3 years of Y ball and worked out quite a bit. I rarely did any cardio because I was already skinny (probably around 135-140 lbs) and wanted to put on muscle. Putting on muscle was my main focus, but I never really stuck to weight training. I would do well for 3-4 months, slack off for months, and then get back into it. I was the same way in college. I was always in the gym and drank protein shakes like crazy. I did put on weight and muscle and I felt great. After college, life got busy with a career and I could never stick with a routine. I still played some basketball, but it got to the point where I could barely run up and down the court. So I started putting on some pounds. I was always eating something and my metabolism was slowing down with my age. I always wanted those “abs of steel”, but was heading more towards the “ab of dough”. Fast forward a bit to my mid twenties. I became lazier since I had a career, I was married, and had more responsibilities. I no longer played basketball. I had a gym membership, but did not go often. Every year, I always made a new year’s resolution to get back into shape (like most people). I just never stuck to the resolution. Fast forward through some rough times in my life…I was still out of shape and had a nice gut on me. In 2007-2008, I got a membership to Anytime Fitness and started to work out again and incorporated cardio. I was doing well for awhile, but life got busy again and I fell into the fitness slump again. Fast forward to late 2009 and 2010…..


In December of 2009, I decided to again make a new year’s resolution to get back into shape so I joined Gold’s Gym. By this time I weighed around 175lbs! Doesn’t seem like much, but on a 5’8” small framed guy, it was not my ideal weight. I was above my BMI level, doctors were telling me I had high blood pressure, I never had energy, I was tired all of the time, and I could barely run down the court playing basketball (I had not played in a year or so). I wanted to hit the weights hard, get rid of my “ab of dough”, and feel good EVERY day. I also started doing the exercise bike and really liked it. I liked it so much, that I knew I wanted to ride my mountain bike more once spring came around. I had the bike for 5+ years and only rode it 5-6 times. By the end of January 2010, I was feeling great and lost a few pounds. Unfortunately in February (Super Bowl Sunday), I rolled my ankle helping my in-laws move their new TV downstairs. I missed the last step and landed on my ankle. I really thought I broke it and I never came that close to crying over an injury. It was embarrassing and I was upset because I would have to take time off from doing any activity. The good thing…the TV was okay. I went to a doctor and found I did not break anything. I just sprained it and used crutches for a week. It took me awhile to get back into doing any activity – almost 2 months. My foot was still sensitive and I was trying to be careful. I continued to do the exercise bike at the gym and occasionally run a mile on the treadmill. I was doing 11-12 minute miles, but it felt good to be back at the gym. When spring came around, I started riding my good old Walmart bike everywhere. Cycling became my new hobby and I rarely did any weight training. I would ride anywhere from 4-12 miles around town, ride to church softball games, and to meet people. I logged all of my workouts on Online Fitness Log. It felt good to see my weekly and monthly totals. Plus I lost over 5 pounds. I was also doing a lot of walking with my wife and son. We would do long walks around town and stop for ice cream at the Inside Scoop. Unfortunately, I did something to my right shoulder in July. Doing pushups!! I felt a crackling sensation and did not think anything about it. I continued to work out a week later as it felt better. Over a month later, I felt the same sensation, but worse as I was picking up my son. I felt something in my shoulder crack and tear. I knew that was not good. I decided to see a chiropractor the next day for some reason. He could not do anything for me and referred me to Dr. Fox in Bloomington. I was able to see Dr. Fox the next day and I was in more pain. They did x-rays and an MRI but I did not get the results back until the following Monday. I was nervous. Dr. Fox gave me the bad news that I had Distal Clavicular Osteolysis (weightlifter’s shoulder – Google it!) and I had bone spurs between my collar bone and shoulder. He gave me two options, get injections to relieve the pain or do outpatient surgery to remove the spurs. I told him I would think about it. While I thought about it, I had a hard time sleeping since I normally sleep on my right side. Ibuprofen became candy to me. I never called Dr. Fox back and wanted to see if it would get better on its own. Since I could not lift, I continued to bike and on a whim…decided to start running. To motivate myself to actually run, I started to research upcoming 5Ks in the area. Never in my life did I think I would ever “run” again. Running was boring and it was challenging. At this point, I needed a CHALLENGE! So I signed up for the Wine at the Line 5K at the Mallow Run Winery in Bargersville. The race was on September 25th and I needed to find a beginner 5K training plan. I found a 6 week plan on Runners World and made August 16th the start of my 5K training. When I first looked at the plan, I was thinking it was too easy. I changed my mind that first week as it was tougher than I thought. The second week was better and eventually I was running at a steady pace. I loved RUNNING! I never thought I would say that. By the end of the 6 weeks, I was already scouting out future 5K events. I probably should have been focusing on my first one, but I loved RUNNING and was already looking forward to more 5Ks! Below is the 6 week training plan I used.

On September 25th, I was ready. I ate pasta the night before and was feeling great! I had two goals going into my FIRST 5K – do not stop running and finish under 30 minutes. As we (my wife and a friend were walking the 5K) arrived at the Mallow Run Winery, I became more excited. I saw all of the runners and the start/finish line. Everyone looked so happy and the weather was great. This was the type of atmosphere I needed to be in. I drank some more water and ate a PB granola bar. I lined up at the starting line not knowing where to stand. I saw people of all shapes and sizes, different ages all in their running outfits. The race finally started and I ran over the timing pad and starting my own watch. I was running a 5K!! The first stretch was mostly passing walkers and baby pushers. I almost twisted my ankle trying to weave around all of them. I was off in my own world with the iPod blaring in my ear. I pass the first mile marker around 8 minutes. Not bad. Half a mile more, I grabbed some water at a station and about choked trying to run and drink. After 2 miles, I wanted to see that finish line. I was getting tired and I think I was pushing myself too much. It was hot, my side was cramping, and my feet hurt. But I was not stopping. I finally saw the finish line and picked up the pace. I wanted to finish strong and beat 30 minutes (I had not looked at my watch the last mile). I was less than 200 feet from the line and I got chills from the cheering crowd. I bolted to the finish line and looked at my watch – 26:55! I did better than I thought. I caught my breath and downed some water and ate a banana while I waited for my wife to finish walking. The whole time waiting, I was in disbelief that I just ran 3.1 miles. I was also thinking about all of the people that passed me. While running, I was like “Man, that old guy is fast!” and “Man, that little kid is fast!” and “Man, why didn’t I start running a long time ago?!” My wife completed her walk and we were off to enjoy live music, wine, and pizza.

My adrenaline was high all night and the rest of the weekend. After the weekend, I started to look for more 5K races. I happen to come across a running organization that promoted area races. I checked out their website and found the Fall Foliage 5K in my town and the Habitat for Humanity 5K in Mooresville. I signed up for both of them a week later. I continued to train harder for these upcoming races and wanted to improve my time. I could not believe running was becoming easier and I loved it. I pushed myself harder every time I ran. I was running 5+ miles on some runs and incorporated hill training. Along came October and I had two 5Ks to run. On October 10th, I ran the Fall Foliage 5K in 25:57 and the Habitat 5K in 24:58. I had some major cramps in my side and it was cold outside. Plus I ran hard. That same weekend, I signed up for the Monumental 5K in Indianapolis. There were a couple of people from church that were running the full marathon that day to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Between signing up for the Monumental and the day of the race, I debated back and forth with myself whether or not I could actually do the half marathon. Back track to early October. Between training for 5K races, I was still biking quite a bit. On October 3rd, I biked 30 miles with some friends. The most mileage I biked before that was 12 miles. It was quite the challenge with the hills and the bitter cold. I biked 23 miles the day after the Fall Foliage 5K as well. On the day of the Monumental 5K, I woke up and I no longer debated with myself. I was going to run the HALF MARATHON! I caught a ride with my pastor (who was running the full marathon) and his family. I was excited and went up to a person with a HELP sign and asked how I can upgrade to the half marathon. They pointed me to the convention center and I ran over there to upgrade. I got there in time as the volunteers were packing up and I asked if I still can upgrade. They handed me a new race bib and I was officially in the half. I felt rushed before the start of the race, but I was overly excited. I was running a HALF MARATHON! And with only 3 months of training! I squeezed into the crowd of 9 minute pacers and waited for the start. A couple of minutes later, we were off and I was running a half marathon. I felt good running mostly because of the adrenaline and little Vera in my thoughts. I was also thinking about my wife who would be going through major surgery a few weeks later – how brave she was to be doing such a thing. If she can do that, I can do the half marathon. I felt good the whole time running until mile 9 or 10. My leg and the top of my feet started cramping. I probably should have stopped and stretched, but I did not want to walk. Mile 11 I wanted to walk, but I was almost there. After that mile marker, it seemed like the last 2.1 miles were far away. Every time I saw someone from church cheering, it gave me chills. The crowd really got me motivated the last mile and I pushed myself to the finish line. I felt good and cold. I was handed a shiny metal blanket and my much deserved medal. That thing was heavy! I then made my way to get my timing chip cut off and get some food in my system. I think I ate everything the volunteers gave me. The chocolate milk was the best. I made my way to the warm food tent and ate some chili. After that, I had to walk over to the First Aid station and get a bandage on the back of my foot. I ran in shoes that I’ve been wearing for almost 2 years. They were worn out and the plastic was going through the shoe and caused a quarter-size blister on the back of my foot. After that, my wife picked me up and we went shopping with her parents. She ended up buying me some “real” running shoes that night – Mizuno WaveRunners. Later that night, I checked the race results. I ran my first half marathon in 2:06:31! I was really happy about that. I believe I took 4-5 days off from running. In that time I begin to search for more races to run before the end of the year and next year. I signed up for the Drumstick Dash, but was unable to run it since my wife just had surgery and the weather was nasty. I then signed up for the Jingle Bell 5K Run that was happening on my birthday. I thought that would be a good gift for me on my 30th birthday. I knew before that race I wanted to end the year with a PR. I woke up on my birthday, drove to downtown Indy, and ended up with a PR of 23:30 (7:34 per mile pace)! I reflected back to September and realized how far I had come. It only left me wanting to better my time next year. It has been a good year even with my injuries and my wife’s surgery. God has been good to me and my family and I feel very blessed. I am blessed to have a strong and beautiful wife and great son. I am probably in the best shape of my life and it’s even better knowing I am 30 and feel this way. It has been a year of accomplishments and a year where I found running is actually fun! I continue to strive and eat healthier and stay on track – even through the winter season. I love feeling great and accomplished on this last day of 2010. So here are my logged accomplishments for 2010:

Indoor/Outdoor Cycling – 350 miles
Walking – 135 miles
Running – 218 miles (200 of those miles were done 8/16 - 12/31)
Current weight - 160 lbs.

The Future

I have my first race of 2011 tomorrow called the Resolution Revolution. I plan on taking a break from running in January. I will still be doing light weight training and cross training during my running break. Tomorrow, I will be posting and discussing my goals for 2011. I hope you continue following my blog to see my progress this coming year.

Okay, that was not so brief!