Wednesday, April 18, 2012



I came into work on Monday and someone asked me what I did over the weekend. I said, "I did some yard work on Saturday then did a 55 mile training ride on my bike, made pizza, ran 13 miles on Sunday and had dinner at my in-laws. The group standing around looked at me like I had two heads. They said you rode your bike 55 miles and ran 13 the next day! I do understand the surprise or disbelief because I get the same response on a regular basis. I am here tell you that you shouldn't think that way. In fact you should ask yourself when you are going to try something that seems to hard or just a bit out there.

Most people tell me that they can't run. It is not because of an injury it is just their perception. The fact is that all of us can run minus those with some sort of handicap or injury that prevents them from running but even some of those folks find a way to get it done. For the majority of the population I think people don't run because the chose to think they can't when they really can. I am not saying that everyone has the ability to run a four minute mile or complete a marathon in under three hours. What I am saying is that we are a species that was meant to run. It has been proven that we are the most efficient runners on the planet. Call me crazy if you want to but first check it out. The data is out there.

I would love to see more people getting out and taking better care of them selves. That doesn't mean that everyone needs to lace up their running shoes and go log some crazy miles. What I am saying is that the majority of the population needs to wake up and find a way to live a better healthier life. I know that right now some of you are coming up with reasons why not to run or do something else that is good for you. Here is how I see it. Running is not going to hurt you if you do it right. I did it wrong for most of my life and did get injured on a regular basis but I learned how to do it right and have remained injury free for longer than ever. I have logged more miles this spring than ever. I would be happy to share how I have done this but please don't think of me as the expert on healthy running. I do have a few short tips.

1) Buy a good pair of running shoe from a local RUNNING shoe store that can help you get the right shoe.

2) Start slow and increase your distance by 10% at most each week.

3) Listen to your body. If it tells you it hurts than stop and walk. There is not shame in training smart.

4) Be consistent with your routine and effort.

5) You don't have to go out and run as fast as your can. Find a pace you enjoy and stick with it. If you want run a race the speed will be there when you need.

6) Mix it by finding some trails to run.

7) Enter a 5K that is about 6 months away so you have a reason to get out there and train. Feel free to sign up for something a little longer if you are up to the challenge.

8) Enlist your friends and family to run with you. having someone there to go through it with you is a huge help in the beginning. At this point I usually run alone but I had running buddies in the past and still do on some of my long runs.

I am done now and getting off my soap box.


So this week I had to get back on the horse as far as my training is concerned. I had traveled for a week for work and got out of my groove. I got a couple days of training in but nothing I felt great about. I tried to find hotels with good pools and actually found a hotel in Milwaukee that had a 25 yard pool with lane lines and everything. The only problem was the hotel it self was a dump. I had my temperature set as low as it would go and my room was still as hot and muggy as the amazon so lets just say I didn't get much sleep and had a crappy swim in the morning. I ended up in Madison, WI later that day for more meetings and found myself in a much nicer hotel that sat next to one of the small lakes in Madison and a park with some nice running trails. I checked into the hotel which didn't go so smoothly because I made an error when booking the room. About a half hour later I unpacked and got changed and decided to just go see what I could find. One of the things I really like about Madison is the pedestrian roadways all over the city that runners, bikers and walkers can take advantage of. I couldn't believe all of the triathletes I saw there. I followed the pedestrian road for about a half mile to a park and went looking for some trails which I found pretty fast. The trails were only about a mile long so after three times through I was getting a little board until I found some single track but I ran through that in no time at all. By this time the effects of traveling, not sleeping and not eating like I normally do was setting in and I was feeling pretty run down so I headed back to my hotel. That was all of the training I got in that week. I traveled for another day and was home Wednesday at midnight. I took it easy on Thursday and put some time back in the family bank expecting to get some long workouts in over the weekend but the weekend do go as planned

On Thursday night I started to smell a skunk like smell in my house. It didn't smell like what you smell when you drive by one dead in the road so I blamed it on the dog. I know...the dog gets blamed for everything but that is part of being a dog. When the smell didn't go away I thought that my furnace might be the problem so I turned it off. The next day the smell was very intense in my basement so I thought maybe its my hot water heater or an electrical problem so I called RG&E. The tech from RG&E showed up and said, "you've got a skunk man". For those of you saying DUH! You couldn't tell that was a skunk! I say to you, this was unlike anything I have ever smelled. By Saturday morning we had to leave our house. We were initially happy to have skunk problem and not a furnace or hot water tank problem until we realized what a mess the odor would be to get rid of and out of our house. For the next 7 days I was either working, cleaning the house or helping my wife with the laundry so I didn't get in any training over the next week. Sure I could have found some time to do something but I was tired and frustrated with the skunk situation. I won't go through the whole thing again because I wrote about it last week but it is still with us two weeks later. We are able to live in our house but we can still smell it from time to time.

Last week I did manage to get some minimal training in. I got in two pretty good swims and a few rides. Over the weekend I put in what I consider a good ride at a good pace for mid April. I road 55 miles at an average speed of 20.7. As my bike fitness improves and I continue to drop weight I am hoping to see my average speed somewhere around 22.5-23 mph. On Sunday I ran 13.2 miles at a 7:38 pace which is my best ever and I was only training keeping my heart rate at 75%. I am pretty excited about my progress this year and how I hope it will translate into finishing in the medals at more races this year.

I am trying to stay consistent this week as well by battling my desire to stay inside instead of going out for a run when it is 30 degrees out at 5:00 AM. I have my first real competitive multisport event coming up in two weeks so I'll get a chance to see if I am doing as well as I think I am or not.

That is all I have. Train smart and stay safe.

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