Day 4 Week 1 – Run By Feel, Part 2

29 minutes (approx. 3 miles), cloudy & mid 60s

This morning’s 3 mile easy pace run was not so easy.  The culprit?  A not-so-good night of sleep.  I woke up in the middle of the night and had a hard time falling  back to sleep.  Needless to say, this morning I was not well-rested, heading out for my run.

Luckily, I have adopted the training by minutes. I stopped running after my watch reached 29 minute mark and finished the rest by walking.  In other words, avoided stressing my body unnecessarily.  Could I have pushed myself to run the whole 3 miles?  Sure. But at what expense?

Instead of ruining my day, I am happy about my effort this morning and that I have listened to my body.  By paying attention, I work with it and not against it.  This is important not only for today but in the weeks to come.  A fine lesson I have learned through training over the years.

After all, my body is the one going to carry me crossing that finish line.

Part 1, here.

Are you a mind-over-body type?

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Day 3 Week 1 – My Life (Back) In Training

38 minutes (approx 4 mile),  cloudy & low 60’s

Just last week, I was off season.  Now three days into my marathon training, how has my life changed (besides the format of my post titles)?  In a way, my surrounding has not changed much.  Same responsibilities, challenges, and people. But my life is going through huge changes and will continue the next 20 weeks.

The single most important change I could point to, thus far, is my mental framework.  Even though I ran during my off season, I did not have a schedule, let alone a marathon training schedule to live with.  But it is not necessarily negative as it may sound.

Take today for instance.  My 38 minute run is not much.  That is the tip of the iceberg.  What’s not apparent is the time I spent on reading about nutrition and marathon fueling. What’s the latest? How to improve?  And possible inclusion into my training.  All on top of my regular stuffs.

And like I said this is not negative.

Having the Erie marathon as the target, I am better focused with my time:  Prioritizing what needs to be done between my regular life and marathon training, eliminating the non-essentials such as paying attention to the politics and partisan bickering, and thinking about what really matters.

For the next 20 weeks, marathon training is an additional priority into my life.  And an important one, I may add.  The work required for a successful outcome entails physical, mental, emotional, and sometimes spiritual investment.   Welcome to the ride.

What changes are happening in your life?



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Day 2 Week 1 – 2019 Training Strategy Overview

28 minutes (approx. 3 miles), sunny & mid 50s.

Today’s forecast has high temp in the 80s.  On days like this, I run early to avoid the heat and ultraviolet rays. And as a general rule, I prefer running early than late.  Who knows I may be just too tired later. 

On this first week of my marathon training, I start easy by getting my legs used to running everyday or almost everyday.   I then ramp up my weekly mileage gradually, +10% each week with a “down-week” break after every 4 weeks.  I can get up to 50+ mile a week at the peak.

The Base run mentioned above builds my aerobic endurance.  Then I develop my lactate threshold by track work running tempo intervals,  400 and 800 repeats.  Where I push my run intensity close to my lactate threshold and condition my body to the faster paces.

The third phase is marathon specific training.  It will include hill works, pace runs, and the one area I definite want to improve: fast finish.  If done right, my body should be in top shape when I complete this phase.       

I am also working on some refinements off the road as well.  They are: 1) regular sleep schedule, 2) consistent nutrition without midnight snacking, and 3) improving hip flexibility.  I will be sharing my progress on these fronts as well in the future.

Are you satisfied with your training plan? 

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Day 1 Week 1 – On Better Quality Training

38 minutes (approx. 4 miles) incl/ fartlek; cool breeze & 54 degree Fahrenheit.

Coach Greg McMillan (of the McMillan Calculator fame) suggests that training by minutes instead of miles provides more quality and consistent training for runners.  The concept is that our body “knows” duration and intensity.  Or how long (time) and hard (effort) we run.

So on a feeling good day, one will run a little longer with a set time and vice versa a little shorter on a down day.  This method works with runner’s body and not against the body, avoids over training or injury, and is easier to execute, particularly on travel.

Exceptions to the rule –  when the workout is focused on intensity, such as pace & temp runs, and repetitions, revert back to the training by miles.  In other words, when we are pushing our effort, use the distance as reference.   Track workouts fit into this category.

In summary:

  • train by minutes not miles on easy days
  • train by miles/ distance on specialty/ hard days

Have you tried training by minutes?

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Week In review – 21 Apr 2019

The weather continues to warm up into the spring in Washington DC this week. It’s safe to wash one’s car and mow the lawn without the threat of snow, salt, or below freezing temperature. However, the changing season does bring its own challenge.

Hence, I am reluctant to put away my gloves, mitten, and other cold weather running gears just yet. As my Erie marathon training starts on Monday, I will be running bright and early in the mornings. The gears may still come in handy just like the “runner’s pedicure.

The politics is in transition as well. After nearly two years, the Mueller’s investigation has concluded.  And a big splash his report has made. Not because it did not bring any indictment against the president but the confirmation of an incredulous job this president is operating.

Mark Twain was right in that “truth is stranger than fiction.”

Have a nice week.

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My Cars and I

My cars are old.  Leaks, squeaks, or cracks are more common than catastrophes. As such they need maintenance.  I don’t take them to the dealership anymore (for which I think they are grateful).  Too many items to fix and probably not worth the costs.  So, I maintain the cars to keep them going.

I am old (relatively speaking).  Like my cars, I too need maintenance. Aches and pains are known symptoms and cause no alarm bells.  I exercise, eat with moderation, and take proper precautions when the weather changes.  At routine checkups, I generally receive a passing grade without much surprises.

But here is the thing – I know that my cars will not last forever nor will my health.  The fix for the cars is readily simpler than the maintenance for my health.  I appreciate and devote more and more of my energy to the later.  But in either cases, I aim to get the most value out of each.

Are you a car buff or a self styler?

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Is President Above The Law?

The answer, I believe even elementary age students would say, is ‘No.”  And a corollary is we should do what is right.

Richard Nixon resigned before he was convicted. His resignation spared the nation the agonizing but necessary process that Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson dragged the American people through.

The US Constitution provisions for president’s “high crimes and misdemeanors” through impeachment.  A process that is there on purpose, not for politics but for occasion that warrants it.

The Justice Department’s no indictment of a sitting president is political expedient but baloney if you ask me.  It violates both the question of president not above the law and the corollary of doing the right thing.

So America, what will it be?


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Post Robert Mueller – What Next?

Mueller report is out. The main event that preoccupied Washington political circuits for near two years is done and revealed today. Whether interested in the report or not, one has to be blind, deaf or both to not notice the news. The question becomes what next?

That question is not for Democrats only. But for Republicans, Independents, media, and American people at large. Have we learned anything different that will change our country’s course? Or in other words, can we get on with the business of governing?

No need to be stubborn or in denial. The special counsel investigation is the past, and the 2020 election still too far away. But plenty urgent issues remain unresolved: measles outbreaks, food not safe to eat, or dare I say airplanes not safe to fly. Just to name a few.

What do you say that let’s stop playing politics and get back to work?

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The Battle Rages On – Confession Of A Homeowner

Home is great but the work to maintain it sucks. Every spring, my yard becomes my  sworn enemy. Let me clarify.  The yard is fine, but it’s what’s on top of it, the weeds, crabgrass, dandelions, etc. are my headaches.

Whenever I toil in yard work, it feels like I am battling against nature. Let’s be honest. The weeds and others are plants as well. They grow to enjoy the outdoor, warm sun, and fresh air as much as anyone. Just not in my yard.  That’s why I am out there pulling them out one by one.  

And the work never stops.

Why not do “better living through chemistry” you maybe wondering? After all, lots of weed control products line the local hardware store shelves.  All with wonderful promises. The simple answer is that I am against using chemical warfare on my lawn.

Not that it’s unfair to the weeds.  I would use any leverages available, as long as they are environmental friendly and healthy.  I like green lawn but no to the detriment of my health.  Particularly, I am the one going to be immersed in my yard living & breathing all the same.

Any green thumb out there?

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Reblog: Runners’ Pedicure: Give Your Feet a Little Tune-Up to Stave Off Running-Related Problems

Embed from Getty Images

Is pedicure good for runners?  That is a subject I have been pondering for a long time.  Not that I want to be a beautiful feet model. But with the mileage runners go through, our feet take a lot of beating.   How to take care of them so they can keep us on the road?

Surely, we all have our own methods.  I find the article titled “Runners’ Pedicure” [link below] provides a comprehensive review on this very subject.  Like a soldier’s rifle, runners take care their feet, out of necessity.  Yes, blisters is, among others, an actual injury that will keep you off the road.

We all have our personal war stories whether it’s lost toe nails, blood blisters, heel cracks, or whatnot.  The article addresses many of these issues and offers useful tips that will benefit most runners regardless distance.  Even for a minimal sandals runner like me.

Let me what you think.

Source: Runners’ Pedicure: Give Your Feet a Little Tune-Up to Stave Off Running-Related Problems

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