Week In Review – 10 Jun 2018

Week Seven of my Erie Marathon training.  Total miles ran this week: 38.  My weight is 150.4 pounds and resting heart rate 58 beats per minute.  Two more weeks remain in my Base phase of the 20 weeks marathon training.

In a sense that means two more weeks to develop my weakest link, so I can be ready for the follow on phases.  I will maintain the fun and fitness approach and am confident that my body will be ready.

One thing I love about blogging is the opportunity to capture spur of the moment thoughts.  Fleeting and yet meaningful subjects normally vaporize as quickly as they form.  The post Hopes, Dreams, & Desires is such an example.

November is still two months away, but the primary elections are in full swing.  Yard signs are popping everywhere like dandelions around the neighborhoods.  Credit goes to our current president for generating the interest.

Have a nice week.

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Day 6 Week 7 – After Long Run Report

15 miles (157 min), sunny & 73 degree

Pretty tired from today’s 15 mile long run.  The weather was slightly humid, but at least there was not too much sun.  Many folks were out on the Towpath.  But they did not add fatigue to my run.

It was my lack of sleep last night caught up with me.  All came crashing down and hit me like a brick wall after the run.   So much so, I struggled through my yoga practice which normally would be a restorative treat.

One of the purposes of long run is developing the weakest link in the running connective chain for endurance, from my toes to ankles, knees, hips, and so on.  Today, it was my shoulders.  Even though I tried to relax them, they were tired.  Maybe from carrying the water bottle?

Which connective tissue develops slowest for you?

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Day 5 Week 7 – Faith In Training?

3 miles easy pace, sunny & 77 degree

It took me a while to learn to trust my body when it comes to marathon training.  In the past, I put my faith in the training schedule.  I would follow it religiously.  The prescribed mileages was sacred.  If I had missed a day, I would endeavored to make up the missed mileage later.

But that was a blind faith based on emotion, non-scientific, and invariably led to injuries.  Because the only consistency in my training was that I “followed” the schedule.  Like many runners, my marathon training schedule is a template – not developed specifically for me nor to my fitness level.

Now after more than a dozen of marathons and different training approaches, I have pivoted to  using the training schedule as a guide.   Depend on how my body feels, how it responds to the training load, and other circumstantial factors that may come up, I adjust my schedule accordingly.

In essence, I am tailoring the training template to suit my specific needs based on my fitness level.  Call it experience if you will, but ultimately, it is my body that has to be conditioned to perform on the marathon day.  And I have faith that it will get me ready for the Erie Marathon.

How much faith do you hold with your training?

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Day 4 Week 7 – Base Phase Revisited

4 miles easy pace, sunny & 64 degree

Thus far my Base phase runs consist of all easy paced workouts with a few variations interspersed, and they are fartleks, steady state, strides, and long run. While they look repetitive and slow climbing (in distance), each is designed with specific benefits in mind.

From RunnersConnect, “each [Base Phase] workout helped stimulate a different system. The fartleks help improve turnover, efficiency and neuromuscular function. Steady state running improves your aerobic threshold. Long runs help build mitochondria, capillaries and myoglobin content. And of course, all those easy miles in-between help develop your aerobic endurance.”

Equally important are the dynamic stretches warming up my legs (pre-workout), static stretches post-run keeping my legs flexible, and yoga practice serving as resistance training for my  strength and balancing.  These three combined keep me from injuries.

My base phase training is going well.  It will surely build a solid base for me, so I will be prepared for the challenging follow-on phases.

How are you progressing toward your goal?


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Day 3 Week 7 – American’s Leap Of Faith

6 miles with steady peace mile 4 & 5, cool & 58 degree

By now running a marathon is not a leap of faith for me because I have completed more than a dozen races.  I know I can finish the 26.2 miles, but the question is how much time will I take.  The answer will depend on the quality of my training and my fitness level on the race day.

However, back in year 2016 when Donald Trump was elected as the President of the United States, we had no idea how he would perform in the White House.  No clues, no prior data, nothing that would provide the country a peek into the crystal ball.  It was a leap of faith.

Sixteen months later, a Washington Post-ABC News Poll (April 2018) indicates that while majority of Americans dislike Trump as a person, close to half (46%) approve his handling of the economy.  This tells me that the American still trust their political systems and their leap of faith continues.

Do you agree with my observation that the leap of faith continues? 

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Day 2 Week 7 – Midterm Elections

4 miles easy pace, sunny & 73 degree

The headline reads, “2018 elections will be nationwide referendum on President Trump.” The article suggests Democrats will retake the House of Representatives given the unpopularity of the sitting president and supported by historical midterm elections data.

Year 2018 is midterm elections in the United States because President Trump was elected for a four years term starting in 2016.  If the aforementioned article is correct, we have  downballot races in November.  And what the downticket candidates say matters little.

I hope not.

In spite of the the popular belief that politics are being nationalized and voters are polarized, I like to think local elections, bedrocks of democracy, still serve as the forums to address local issues such as traffics, police, jobs.  Topics that affect our day-to-day life.

Democracy is not about one person.  It is about all of us as Martin Luther King so eloquently stated:

 So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!  Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!  Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

Are you going to vote?

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Day 1 Week 7 – Hopes, Dreams, & Desires

6 miles easy pace include fartlek surges, overcast & 58 degree

While hope is not a strategy, neither is worry a solution. The focus must be on the here and now. What is within our reach in preparing for the misfortune?   Yes, adversity happens.  We can’t sit back and wait.  Because luck favors the prepared.

Laugh all you want, but dream liberates the soul.  Without dream, life is only motions – directionless, meaningless, and dare I say lifeless.  Dream big, dream wild, dream as if you are a child.  Treasure your dreams.

Don’t deny yourself of your desires.  It only makes your desires worse.  Embrace them, share them, and energize them.  You may find yourself a passion that breathes colors into an otherwise dull subject and touches lives of many.

What random musings would you like to share?

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Week In Review – 3 Jun 2018

Week six of my Erie Marathon training.  Total miles ran this week: 34.  My weight is 151.4 pounds and resting heart rate 62 beats per minute.

Memorial Day Weekend typically kicks off the summer activities.  Along with it comes the heat and humidity – a sharp contrast to running in the cold.  For outdoor runners like myself it is a matter of conditioning to get our body used to the change.

Which brings me to the point of working with self.  Long distance runners, in specific, are keenly aware their body and how the environment affects it.  Preparations beyond the act of running are involved.  Some physical, others psychological, or even emotional.

That is why I enjoy running and the process of self discovery.

Have a nice week.

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Day 6 Week 6 – Conditioning

14 miles (146 minutes), cloudy & 69 degree

Running a marathon is not as impossible as one imagines if, and this is a big if, the body is conditioned properly.  Generally, a 12 to 20 weeks period is recommended.  I choose 20 weeks because that seems to work well with my body.

During the base phase, I build up my running distance and volume incrementally. Week after week, my body gets used to the demand and adapts to the challenge.  In other words, I am pushing what my body can tolerate in a controlled fashion.

Take today’s long run for instance, my longest run thus far.  The weather is humid.  In anticipation for the long run, I have prepared myself with water bottle, sun tan lotion, etc.  The run was by no mean easy, but it was “manageable.”

I put the manageable in quotes because 146 minutes is a long time.  I could have been watching a movie and eating pop corns.  But the long run conditions my body to burn fat and my mind to focus for that duration.  And guess what? Next week, I will do it again with increased distance.

What would you do to keep your attention for almost 2 hours and a half?

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Day 5 Week 6 – Embracing Self?

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Rest day, no running.

The physical act of embracing self is not difficult.  Extend arms, stretch, and wrap around the body, the best you can.  Done.   That is the easy piece.  More difficult is the spiritual-emotional aspect of embracing self.  At least for me.

We all know that no one is perfect.  I certainly am not.  There are parts of me that is not my best or maybe even my worst.  Whether it’s my look, weight, past, or whatever, to embracing self, I must accept me totally, the good and the not so good.

Moreover, embracing means not trying to change the parts I don’t like.  So in the example of meditation, my active monkey mind is not the culprit.  Neither are thoughts or ideas not agreeable to me.  In true embracing, I am merely there as they unfold.

Which lies the challenge.  Too often I am not patient enough in the act of embracing myself.  When negative thought comes up, I either chase after or run it away.  Not giving it a chance to unfold, be familiar, or better in detecting the symptoms.

So here is the question: If I can’t embrace myself, how do I expect others to embrace me?

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