…and another one

So after my very first 10k long run I decided to go to the gym. Fair enough. I wasn’t sore post run, nor was a sore after the gym. That included a 2 mile cool down run. I guess I thought I was Superman because I decided to do yet another 10k the following day. Felt fine still. My time even improved slightly from the day prior.

But man, oh man! My calves felt like they were going to explode the next day after that. Needless to say I had to rest up because I think I over did it.

One day’s rest and I’m back to the gym. I’ve been feeling as if I had to catch up as I missed a whole week a few weeks back due to sickness. I was doing a few two-a-days a few times a week. My body was generally ok but my calves were shot. That rest day really helped as my calves feel happy now.

Lesson learned. Don’t be a rock star!!!

Onward and upward.

Midnight run

I do not know why but I decided to go for a midnight run-technically I started running at 1 am but still. No, I am not an insomniac. What makes this run crazier was the fact that I did it while on break from work. Let me tell you, the air during this time was amazing. I felt as if very very high quality oxygen was entering my lungs propelling me onward with it’s energizing powers. Like most of my runs, my legs felt dead in the beginning. But after about 2 miles I hit my stride. I ran around Vancouver with no real route planned. I took a few lefts and a few rights. Made a few loops, went up hills, went down some. A pretty helter skelter kind of run. I had no real goal for the run. I just felt good after 2 miles so I just kept going. At about the 3.5 mile mark I decided to go for a goal of 6.2 miles (or 10Km).Previous to this my longest run was 5.25 km.

I posted earlier about wondering if I should enter a 10k in October. I finally got some people from work to give me a tentative “yes”. I think this hyped me up and caused me to run this 10k at 1 in the morning. I took it slow at first…I think the first few miles were at 10:30-10:45/mile pace. Then after about mile 4 I cranked it up a bit and ended up with an average speed 9:45/mile. I finished the 10K at just over 1 hour.

 

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I guess I am going to do that 10K. Hopefully my training goes well.

 

Onward and Upward

The Decision. To enter, or not to enter, that is the question.

To enter, or not to enter, that is the question.

This isn’t as big of a decision as Lebron James’ melodrama from two summers ago. And unfortunately, this decision does not come with a lucrative multi-million dollar contract. I am not even taking my talents to South Beach. I am staying right here in Vancouver.

This is a much simpler and is a more low-key decision that was only a private matter, until now. I have decided to train for my first 10 K run. I have not formally signed up for the run, but I think committing mentally is a huge step. I do not plan on starting my actual 10 k training until mid-August. The race is on October 13 here in my hometown of Vancouver. It has an entrance fee and additional donations/pledges go to a good cause (Starlight Foundation Canada). Here is the official link to the 10K race: http://www.runningroom.com/energizer-night-race/vancouver/.

As my interest in running has grown, I have began to take it more and more seriously. It began with my shoe fetish. Like my fellow Filipino, Imelda Marcos, and many Filipino’s alike, I have a weakness for shoes. The look, the smell, the feel, and the shear knowledge that my feet are being pampered makes me feel great. Before getting into running, I did my research on the “best shoes” for running. Once that phase ended, I started doing intense research about how to improve my running; I looked at proper form, proper breathing, and training schedules. Then, I started with simple mile runs and just last week I finally broke the 5 mile plateau. Now I am looking at doing a 10K. Am I crazy? This whole process happened relatively also. I only just started my mile runs back in mid-May.

Needless to say, I am excited and pretty nervous with prospect of doing this 10K. I am both hesitant and eager. Worried and confident. A real mish-mash of feelings. I am more leaning towards entering but am wary because I have never done something like this. I think part of my anxiety comes from the fact that I currently have no training partner. I have asked a friend of mine to try to train with me for the 10K but he wasn’t having it-I will nag him in the upcoming weeks. I have other co-workers and friends in mind who I think would definitely join me. In short, I really need a training buddy to do this run with. Sure, internal motivation should hold enough driving force and should able you to muster up the confidence to do anything. But, let’s be honest…did you cross the street for the first time all by yourself? No, you had a hand to hold. The first time you went out on a date, did you just wing it? No, you probably asked for advice from friends or family. Even if you have all the confidence in the world, the only reason you reached that level of confidence is because you have proper supports around you.

Don’t get me wrong, I told my fiancee about my interest in doing this 10K and she was all for it. She’s my rock and makes me who I am. Unfortunately, she has borderline arthritis in both knees and has problems with her patella so something as intense as training for a 10K is almost out of the question.

So I ask again: to enter, or not to enter? I really think I can do it and don’t know why I am even questioning my abilities to do it. It’s just a 10K, right? I think it goes back to what I said earlier about “hand-holding”. Anyways, if for some reason I chicken out, I will at the very least do the 8 week training program. But hopefully I go through with it because I believe that it will give me more confidence to continue my pursuit of fitness.

Cheers! Wish me luck!

Onward and Upward!

The morning after

I know what you may think-and no, this isn’t about the morning after a bender, nor is it the morning after an irresponsible “one night stand”. Speaking to the latter, I’m very happily engaged to my soon to be wife, Kristyna. This isn’t a post about any of that, it’s about the morning after my long run.

It may have been only a 5 mile run, but hey, it was my longest run to date. Again I woke up today to drop my fiancée off at work. I made coffee for the pair of us and strapped on my running shoes for an early morning workout. I felt good this morning; I wasn’t sore at all from last night. This was encouraging. After I dropped off my fiancée I made the trek to the gym.

I’m still on my second phase of my 12 week workout. I busted out a warm up on the bike to loosen me up. I then did my weight training. I was contemplating not running after it but something inside me said, ” Why not?”

I log my workouts on my phone and quite often type in what I’m going to do for my activity beforehand so as to give me a goal. I aimed for a 15 minute wind down run at a slow pace. 15 minutes came and went and my body was still yearning for more exercise. So, I went ahead and finished another 15 minutes. I don’t know if I’m rushing into things-I read somewhere that you should only increase your mileage about 10% a week. Lately, my mileage has seen an exponential increase. This may be attributed to my change in form and new focus on breathing. But I don’t think that’s it.

Unlike the aforementioned “morning after” scenarios, this “morning after” brought on no guilt at all. In fact, it brought more will and enthusiasm. I’m coming to realize that this healthy lifestyle thing has a snowball effect. My want and might I dare say “need” to be more fit and healthy has evolved from a tiny nugget of hope that I will look better into an avalanche of knowing that health is my life.

This blog has been helpful to me as well. It puts my words out to the public. And I find it an obligation now to follow through and be active and be a better person internally and externally. Journaling has always interested me and I suppose I’m striving for a better sense of myself. Hence, my entry into the blogosphere and new found commitment to health.

Onward and upward!!!

My first 5 Miler

Naturally, since I’ve started running I have slowly tried to increase my mileage. I didn’t really have a set program nor did I actively aim for certain goals each time I ran. Sure, I would try to run as long as I could but that was about it. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I was running without a rhyme or reason, but I didn’t follow anything strictly.

Yesterday, I experienced my first real “Runner’s High”. Today, I jumped on that positive feeling and decided to do an extra run; I went to the gym earlier in the morning and did my warm up cardio. I thought my second run of the day would be a short run-my usual mile or two. But surprisingly it turned into my “long(est) run’ to date-a 5.25 miler. Needless to say I was quite happy. My legs didn’t feel too tired, and again I only stopped because of time constraints-this time I had yet to eat dinner and it was getting late. Actually, I am writing this post while making dinner-it’s currently 10pm! For my last few runs I have been using the Saucony Hattori’s and for this long run I decided to switch back to an old friend-the Asics Nimbus 12. My strategy of using the Hattori more for foot strengthening is working I think because today’s run felt almost effortless.

I guess you can say I am a perfectionist and once I get my mind on something, I usually set out to do and perform at that specific duty or thing to the best of my abilities. I have found that I am constantly reading forums and blogs about running and slowly I have been picking up and trying out new things to enhance my running. It started with switching my form to forefoot striking and today I focused more on my breathing; I used my diaphragm more and tried to time my breathing with my strides in a 2:2 ratio (inhale for two strides and exhale for two strides). These things I have implemented have worked great and I think my run today has benefited as a result.

I hope to set out and run tomorrow for a longer time. We will see what happens.

Onward an upward!

Runner’s High

I have heard about it. I have read about it. But, I have never really felt it before…until my last run yesterday. It’s called the “runner’s high”

People have desribed it as an overwhelming sense of joy while on a run. A sense of worth. A getting to know yourself. I felt all of the above on my short run. After a 12 hour day shift (I am an RN and we work long 12 hour shifts), I decided to go to the gym for a recovery run. I must admit, I did not feel like going to the gym but I really had nothing better to do, so why not? I am so glad that I decided to go because I finally experienced my very first Runners High.

I can’t really describe it but it happend around the half way point in my run. I felt sluggish for the first 5 minutes, which I usually do, but after that, I felt energized and felt alive. It may sound corny or cliche, but I knew then that making healthy life choices were worth it.

I used to play competitiive basketball at the college level. I used to hate running drills. Mainly because running drills used to be a sort of punishmment for not making the right play, or having a teammate show up late for practice. It was hell for me to run “suicides” and wind sprints. I did like track and field, and was pretty good at it. I was a sprinter, which correlated well with “Basketball Running”. But I never reallly loved running.

This past May I went for my bachelor party in Vegas with my groomsmen. They are all quite healthy and fit, and I, like many ex-athletes, had that mindset of…”I can get back in shape anytime I want” and “I’m still fit”. However, I noticed how unfit I looked after seeing a poolside picture of the “five studs”. It was more like four studs and the token porky friend. Unfortunately, I was that porky friend. After seeing that picture, I knew that I had to change something in my life.

Luckily, one of my close friends, and one of the “studs” in that very picture, is a personal trainer. He devsed a 12 week workout program for me to shape up before the big wedding day. I started off slow but as I eased in to the program, I became infatuated with working out and living a healthy life.

Back to my runners high. So, I am currently in the tail end of my sixth week of my 12 week program (the half way point). I did cardio on my off days and for warm up but lately, I have seen myself wanting to run more and more. So yesterday, that ever so elusive “Runners’s High” came into my life. Like I said, I felt alive. I really wanted to run forever. My run was only all of 30 minutes, but it felt amazing. If it wasn’t for my loving fiancee’s delicious home cooked meal that was waiting for me at home, I would have ran for much longer.

I hope that in the weeks to come I get the opportunity to feel the excitement and joy I felt yesterday more and more. I believe that, with time, I will become a runner’s aficianado.

Onward and Upward!

(image from http://www.worldhum.com/features/speakers-corner/inspiration-travel-writing-and-lesprit-frondeur-20100216/)

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The day after with the Hattori

So, yesterday was my first run in the Saucony Hattori. Great feeling shoe. Snug fit; the fit is much like a sock or an aqua sock. I was able to “squeeze” in to my normal size 10 for running shoes. During my run, I decided to go barefoot in them as they are “barefoot” shoes. I do not normally run in my running shoes barefoot but I decided to give it a try anyways. What a revelation! The fit of the shoes, the reaction from toe off was quick. These shoes were super responsive during my run. I ran about 2 miles without any issues, however, just past the 2 mile point I developed some irritation along my achilles on my left side. I had to readjust a few times but finally I had to pull the heel tab down to avoid the rubbing I was feeling. The run was generally really good. I usually do not run for any great distances. In fact, my longest run to date was about 3-4 miles. If it wasn’t for the blister on my achilles that developed I think I could have run for over 5 miles.

I think next time I will run with thin socks when using the Saucony Hattori’s. Things are looking up in my very first venture into minimalist/barefoot running. I was warned that my calves would be sore and trust me they weren’t lying. They are tight but in a good way. I think they’ll get stronger overtime. I have been running with very plush cushioning shoes and because of this I think my legs have been somewhat spoiled!

I plan to use the Hattori’s more of a tool to strengthen my feet. I love the feel of my Nimbus and will not give up on them ever.

Upward and onward!!!

Saucony hattori

Just ran in my newly purchased Saucony Hattori’s. They are minimalist/barefoot shoes that rival the vibram five fingers. For you all who run in and love the feel of the Nike free shoes, give these a try-they’re amazing.

Running

Just started running again about a month and a half ago. I have bought a number of shoes in that same time period and would love to talk about them.

I started with the Nike vomero 6s and asics nimbus 11s. Though they are in the same category of shoe type they feel quite different. The vomeros cushioning feels more cushy but bouncy at the same time. The nimbus feels more consistent as it is a former but very comfortable ride.

Both shoes are amazing so I wanted to get a few more pairs. I love the vomero but found them too cushy feeling. I liked the firmness and feel if the nimbus.

So I ventured off to find more nimbus 11s. Unfortunately, they had been discontinued at my local running stores. However I had the luck to get the nimbus 12s for a great price. Picked up 2 pairs and a pair of Saucony Triumph 8s. The nimbus 12s are even more amazing than the previous iteration. A better feel in all; it is more snug in the forefoot and toe box and the heel feels more secure. The gel in the 12s are activated quicker; the 11s took awhile to feel good. The triumphs have a smaller heel to toe drop but feel great as well.

In all I love all my shoes and how they have unique characteristics and feel that I love.

I will be blogging more about each shoe specifically as I gain more miles in each.

Cheers for now.