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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Can't vs Don't

People tend to use they wrong words when they say they can't do something.  What they actually mean to say is that they won't do it, or they just don't believe they can do it.  Can't is what you say when it's literally impossible for you to do.  In all other cases, you give up before the end.  As a runner, I know what it's like to hit a wall and fight to stay strong and run on.  Yesterday, I had a friend dare me to run a marathon on a treadmill as long as he got 100 likes on that.  In response to his wall post on facebook, I received more than 100 likes, which led to today's workout.  According to what I wrote for training, today was a short day, with just sprints, but due to getting the likes, I 'had' to run a marathon.  Since yesterday's work out was on the hard side, I wasn't totally prepared to run this challenge.

But it wasn't impossible.

Although during the run, there were multiple points where I wanted to stop, I knew that my legs could handle the wear and tear, and I knew that the only thing that would stop me from finishing would be my mind.  Running that race was one of the hardest things I've ever done to my mind.  26.2 miles of running and I'm going nowhere... it wasn't the best of situations.  I didn't have any encouragement, so I resorted to grunting encouragements to myself to keep myself going.  In order to make my life slightly more interesting, I would add more speed every mile or half mile, making me have to work harder, but with my sanity barely intact, I was able to run that marathon in 3:25:21, an average of about 7:50 min/mile, which was a pretty decent time for a marathon.

Would I do it again?  No.  Was it worth my time?  Yes.  This marathon pushed me to the finish line, and helped me understand what I couldn't do, and what I don't want to do.  I'd like to think of myself as a man of my word, and should I say something, I would have to back it up with action.  My body was screaming at me because I was pushing the pace at a rate faster than what I've been doing for marathons and ultras.  Because of that, I was pressured to slow down, but I believed that I needed improvement in going beyond what my body was comfortable with, so I made sure to push myself forward.

Can't is something that's a last resort, don't and won't are the ones that take the brunt of what's going on.  In order to find out what you can't do, you need to make sure there aren't any more options for you.  This would mean that you would need to continually push yourself in order to maximize your resolve and know what you're capable of.  Push hard and forward, never give up and never step back.  Those are the keys to unlocking your potential and finding out your limits.  Once you know your limits, then you can say can't, but if you want to break your limits, you can say 'can't for now...' because in time, you might be able to go beyond your old limits.

So remember what 'can't' really means.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Adding Up

It doesn't matter how much you do at one time, because even with little breaks, it all adds up.  This morning, I woke up and ran 3.26 miles in 24:01, a 7:21 min/mile pace.  I started off slow and eventually sped up to get down to that point.  After working at school, I went home and ran 8.05 miles in 58:27, a 7:15 min/mile average.  Now for this one, I was able to keep a decent pace without pushing too hard.  Because of the hard work that I've been able to put in, I've grown accustomed to running a lot, and I am able to improve my body to push it to the next level because of my morning and evening runs.  Afterwords, I went to the gym and did 22 pull ups, 52 push ups, 1:10 of cycling (19 miles worth) and 260 single calf raises as well as 110 vertical lunges/leg lifts for each leg.

By itself, it wouldn't have been a big deal, but putting all of it together, it worked my body hard.

Experience builds, and when working on endurance, it builds on top when you don't get the full amount of rest.  To endure, you have to be put in the actual situation.  Enduring means that you must be going through some sort of troubled times.  During that time, the inadequacy of rest improves the endurance.  Your body will adapt to whatever it goes through, and when it's dealing with not as much rest, it uses that opportunity to improve stamina/endurance.

Use every little time to make a difference, because just like a river running over a jagged rock, over time, the rock will become smooth, like a pebble.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Fear of Failure

Now today was a break.  I didn't go run because yesterday, I had run that 15 miles and I was needing this break to recover (even though I wasn't sore at all from it...).  Instead, I played wallyball with my friends for 2.5 hours.  The fun part about wallyball is that you use your legs in multiple ways.  You would jump at times, run at times, sidesteps, cross overs, lunge, dive... Since I enjoy playing wallyball, I was all over the court, doing my best to help the team and win.  Although it was a break for me and running, it wasn't too much of a break for my legs, and I really enjoyed the work that I did.  We had our wins and we had our losses, but the most important thing was that we enjoyed every moment of it.

When playing a game like wallyball, you need to know where the ball is going to be, so you would need to control your feet, so that you would be at the proper place to hit the ball, and then you would need to put your hands in the proper place so you would be able to control the ball.  It's basically like chess where you control every move in such a way that you try to obstruct the opponent's paths and make your own so that your team would win.  In order to accomplish that, you need to first, control yourself.  Explosive power is something that you need in order to get to the right place at the right time.  Explosive power is needed every time you jump to hit the ball dive to save a ball, or do anything in order to keep the ball alive.

The explosiveness isn't just a physical thing that gets you from point A to point B.  The explosiveness is the willpower of the individual, making what seems impossible, possible.  Never giving up til the last moment because you are trusting yourself and your explosive power to get there in time.

There are times when we have to face problems that you need to react to right away.  The willpower must be just as explosive as the action itself, or you won't be able to conquer it as soon as it happens.  There are times when you need to react in a positive way, to choose to conquer rather than to admit defeat and cut losses.  Forward is the direction you should go, and to go there, you need to believe that it is possible.

Often, it's the fear of failure that stops people from achieving great things.  Fight that fear and become confident.  Reach high and believe in yourself and your abilities, because each moment you try is a step towards success.  You won't get a perfect score, you won't always come out on top, but with each scar you receive in battle, you learn and grow with that experience, and by the end of the war, you will achieve that long sought victory.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Moment

Every moment is different.  We have our good days and our bad days, and for the race day itself, it can be one way or another.  Michael Phelps, who most people thought would get a medal, finished 4th place in the 400m individual medley.  This was a surprise to most of the people watching, since he is one of the most famous swimmers, getting the opportunity to win the most Olympic gold medals, especially after last year's 8 medals.  For the Olympics, it's the moment that counts.  One race that happens every 4 years, deciding who is going to receive the medal, and that one day could be good... or not so good.

Is there a 100% accurate way of making ourselves have a good day?  I believe that that would be impossible.  However, there are multiple ways in which we could improve our chances of performance.  First of all, there's mental preparation.  The more we are prepared, the better we would be able to perform.  Secondly, there is a need of rest, because without proper rest, we would not be able to function as well, which will inhibit our performance.  When everything rides on one day, it's important that you are ready.  The better prepared you are, the more likely you'll have a good day.  That doesn't mean that you will 100% have a good day.

There will be a bad day.  Does that mean that you'll be overwhelmed by what's going on and you won't be able to perform at all?  No!  It means that you won't be able to perform 100%, but instead, you would be able to still work hard and perform at your current best.  The best advice for anyone, whether they are having a good day or not is this:  Never give up and always push forward.  DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED.  In the moment, we can be overwhelmed, and it's the moment that we need to be in control over ourselves, so that we can do our best.

Today, I decided to go for a long run and ran 15 miles in 2:09:35 an average of an 8:38 min/mile.  It is definitely not my marathon pace, but it was pretty good for running without refueling and drinking that much water.  This is going to be my longest run before my 5k, but as soon as the 5k is done, I am starting a new training regiment, where I would be required to run about double the distance every Saturday so that my body would be used to the strain of running more than a marathon.  I am honestly excited to push myself and get myself ready to do my best in the 50 mile race... but first, I need to do my best in this 5k.

Friday, July 27, 2012

2012 Olympics

As soon as I heard that The RUSH was going to be showing the Olympics on their TVs, I left the gym early to go for a run.  In 43:06, I ran 6.02 miles, an average of 7:09 min/mile, which was a really good pace, considering that I was slightly sore from the day before.  After coming back, I did my 20 pull ups and 50 push ups, and as I walked for 1.25 miles, I watched the first part of the opening ceremony.  After that, I just went over and sat down and watched the opening ceremony continue.

When the first Olympics initially began, it was a competition held between different cities to decide who was the strongest, the fastest, the best... and it has continued on.  The victor would not only receive the laurel, but also fame and glory, as well as riches.  The training that they undertook was harsh and grueling, it required them to be at their best, so that they would be able to represent their city and win.  During the Olympics, there were no wars because everything stopped.  Every 4 years, no matter what was happening, when the Olympics occurred, everyone took a break and let the athletes compete.

I respect the athletes that dedicated their life to this competition, putting forth effort in order to win.  The 2012 Olympics, held in London will be another year where legends will be made and records set, world champions made, and rivals clash.  It's a place somewhat like the coliseum, where instead of gladiators, men and women would take their place and decide who was the best of that era.  I can't wait to see the competitions, to watch as each athlete performs at his or her best in order to represent their country... and hope to earn a gold medal.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Upkeep Your Stamina

I went on google (because I'm a google guy) and typed in "define stamina" and it gave me this definition:  "The ability to sustain prolonged physical or mental effort."  When it comes to running ultra distance races, I believe it isn't an 'or' but rather an 'and' because for one, it takes a lot of physical effort to run 50 plus miles, and two, it takes a lot of mental effort to continue to push your body for 50 plus miles.  This isn't just something you can just one day come up and do.  Stamina is built from the ground up, and it needs a lot of upkeep... especially physically.

I remember when I was first training for my marathon, I would do both my running and sports activities with my friends, forcing my body to push onward, increasing its stamina.  Today, I felt so alive when I started this morning with a 2.33 mile run in 15:38 (6:43 average), went to work, then afterwords worked out with 20 pull ups, 50 push ups, and 30 minutes of cycling, followed by playing a little sand volleyball with the young adults group, finishing the day off with a pretty intense soccer game, where I played hard, but we couldn't win it.  Our lifestyle really affects our stamina, and when left by itself, we lose it.

When we are running towards our goals, we need to have the stamina to do so.  When we are achieving that goal, we need to be able to mentally push ourselves and hold on to it.  It's because of stamina that in the last minutes of the soccer game, you can push yourself hard and score.  It's because of stamina that people do all-nighters to finish their studying and ace a test.  It's because of stamina that we are all given a better chance to reach our goals.  We have to understand what stamina is and how helpful it can be.  Once you come to an understanding of what stamina is, and how helpful it is to you and your life, you can focus on it and take steps towards adding to your stamina supply.

Here's the tip about how to keep or upgrade your stamina.

Very simple.  Add more to your plate, little by little.  When you know you're going to be able to take a break, then you can add a little more, but the most important and most simple step is to just keep yourself at a point where you're either adding more into your lifestyle, or just keeping a good lifestyle that supports you.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Seize Each Moment

This morning, I ran 3.05 miles in 23:17, an average of 7:37 min/mile.  After running that distance, I went to work and worked a full day.  After work, I went home and ate dinner, taught a piano lesson, then did a Bible study, and after that, texted Ashley to see what she was up to.  She told me that her and her brother and friends were hanging out at Wild Wings Cafe, so I decided that I would use that moment to get another run in, to run towards Wild Wings Cafe and she would pick me up before I got there.  It turned out that the whole distance would have been 5.8 miles, but she picked me up at 4.43 miles (which I ran in roughly 33 minutes, but due to me forgetting to turn off the imapmyrun program on my iphone, I won't know for sure... but nevertheless, I ran at about a 7:26 pace, which is pretty decent after a long day at work.

The point is, usually, I would just drive to get from one place to another.  This time, I chose to step it up by running to get to some place.  Some people call it crazy.  I call it dedication.  The way I view things, if you're absolutely serious about your goals, you should be taking steps towards making the pursuit of your goal a part of your lifestyle.  Seize each moment and create opportunities.  You are in charge of your own life.  You tell yourself what you should do and make it happen.

Waiting around and adding on to your life can add a lot more stress to your life, but once you implement your goals to your lifestyle, it's not adding more things, but changing things.  When you take steps towards reaching your goals, it's not a matter of how many things you could add to your work load.  Instead, it's how to implement your path towards your goal into your daily life.  Whether it's washing the dishes while cooking because your goal is to develop a lifestyle of cleanliness, or figuring out an even more beneficial way of studying to pass the test... instead of adding hours of extra things, you would be helping yourself even more with this 'editing' of your life.

Think 'change' and not 'add to'

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Train for Your Race

This upcoming race that I'm having is a 5k.  I haven't trained for it as much as I would have liked due to the fact that I'm also looking beyond that and seeing my 50 miler coming closer and closer.  However, I need to focus on what's more important, namely the 5k.  Training for a 5k means that I have to focus on 5k training and not on anything else.  Even though it's great that I can run for more than 10 miles at a time, it doesn't help me run the 3.1 miles that I would have to race.  I have a month to train, and in this one month, I plan on transforming my body into a 5k machine, improving my speed, and still keeping my endurance in check.

Because I am training for the 5k, I can't do as much on the long runs because it wouldn't help me with my focus.  Because I am training for the 5k, I have to shorten my medium distance.  Because of my focus on the 5k, my whole training regiment is changed... different than what I'm used to.  Starting tomorrow, I plan on running in the mornings and work out at the gym in the evenings.  I would rotate speed days with long days and breaks.  During my training for my best marathon time, I made sure that I had a good amount of training on speed, because I wanted to run fast.  In the same way, for this 5k, I'm going to be stepping up on speed and working on chiseling my body into that of a fast 5k runner.

My race is a 5k, not a 50 miler.  That means that my training needs to be oriented towards that.

When you have a goal in mind, train for it.  Work towards it.  Don't get distracted by another race or another goal.  Work towards your goal and achieve it.

Today, I was going to do a short and fast work out, but my legs weren't really feeling it, so I decided that I'd just work out at the gym and did 20 pull ups, 50 push ups, and 30 minutes on the stationary bike.  Now to get ready for tomorrow morning's training...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Theories and Actuality

During lunch today, I made a comment about how I should write a book called, "How to Raise Your Child... Theoretically" My co-workers just laughed along and said they'll help write the forward to the book with "The author's a good guy but..."  It was a good topic, but at the same time, it struck me how I've often heard people talk about long distance running as a bad thing.  There are so many things we talk about that we don't fully understand.  Looking at it from an outside perspective doesn't help.  You can only fully understand the situation when you look at it from both the inside and the outside.

Just like I can't truly write a book on how to raise a child due to the fact that I do not have a child and I can only come from one perspective, when people talk about the bad effects running has on them, I would like to see how many of them don't run right and end up hurting themselves more.  You can always know a lot about theories and how things may work, but until you dive in and get dirty, you won't truly understand it.

Today, I started reading a book titled, "Dr. Sheehan on Running" which is by an individual that is both a doctor and a runner.  I find it a lot easier to listen to a runner that has a medical background than someone who has just a medical background and works through theories.  When you need help, do you just go to someone that has only theories under their belt?  Or would you instead go to someone else who went through the exact same thing you went and take in what they have to say.

I would look to the individual who experienced the same thing I went through.  People forget that and just take in every little thing that is being said from just anyone.  It's important to understand that being a Doctor doesn't automatically make you understand everything.  Having the title is important, but experience is also important.

Today, I went out for a medium run, finishing 7.69 miles in 55:36, an average of 7:14 min/mile.  It was a lot faster than the other times I've run around this distance, which shows me that my speed training is working.  After running that, I ate dinner, took a small break, and then went to the RUSH, where I did 20 pull ups, 50 push ups, and cycled for an hour, doing 17 miles.  After doing 260 single calf raises per leg and 100 vertical lunges with high knees, I went and stretched hard for a couple minutes, and then went to the sauna for 10 minutes.  It was a really good day.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Short to Long Runs

Most people when training for a marathon do not see the value of training for a 5k, after all, a marathon is 42k which is a lot more than a measly 5.  I have a 50 mile race coming up in less than 3 months, yet I'm training for a 5k that is for a month.  Why am I doing that?  The reason that I'm training for the 5k is because I need to work on my speed.  When doing a 5k, I'm running faster miles, and since I'm also training with long runs, I'm working myself to a point where I'll begin to run long distance at a faster pace.

Without training, my 5k time was a little over 19 minutes, and with training, I am planning on going as far under 18 minutes as I possibly can.  As a long distance runner, this is going to be rather difficult, but it's also going to be exciting.  As I am doing intervals more often, I'm able to push myself harder than usual in order to reap the benefits of having a constantly harsh training.  As I've trained myself by running only long distance, I've developed a lazy and slow pace.  Although I could run long, because of my training, I'm not able to run as fast.  With this 5k as a speed foundation, I'm planning on using that to make my long runs faster.

Today, I ran intervals, jogging for a minute, then running hard for a minute, switching back and forth 10 times.  Because I wanted to push myself hard and not exhaust myself, I kept a fairly decent pace, however, towards the end, I still slowed down, but after I pushed the last minute, I was glad it was all over.  As a whole, I ran 2.87 miles in 20:01, an average of 6:57 min/mile.  Although it was a short amount of time, it is one of the hardest workouts for me... but because I see the difference it makes, I'm excited to do that again, and little by little, shorten the break time and lengthen the fast running time.  As time goes on and I start adding more to the training, the speed will pass onto the longer runs, resulting in me running a good race in Atlanta... but first, the 5k on August 25th.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Becoming Stronger

We all have periods where we are weak, and when we are weak, we can't handle certain amounts of pressure.  Now as for me and my running, after running the 62 miles, my body became weak because I pushed myself too hard.  Because of the push, after my little break, I wasn't able to run 7 miles without my knee hurting.  It wasn't because I was out of shape or anything, but it was due to the extreme amount of stress I went through when I pushed through 62 miles of running.

For about 3 weeks, I've been focusing on making sure my running form is correct as well as doing strengthening exercises in order to strengthen my knees to be able to support constant running, as well as taking glucosamine chondroitin and calcium supplements to aide my joints.  Finally, today, I was able to see results when I ran a long and easy.  I ran for 1:46:41 running 11.9 miles, an average of 8:57 min/mile.  Although it wasn't one of my fastest longer runs, the fact that I ran 11.9 miles without my knee in pain proved to me that I'm ready to take the next step and little by little, extend that so that I would eventually be able to race longer distances.

Getting stronger doesn't happen in just a day, or a week.  It takes time for an individual to become strong.  As for me, it took a good couple weeks for me to be able to run above ten miles without being in pain.  Making myself stronger and protecting my joints really helped me out.  I plan on continuing running for a long time, and in order to be able to do so, I need to make sure that my body is up to the task.  Should I get to a point where I push myself only on races, then my body is sure to deteriorate.  However, should I train my body and bring myself to a point where I'm pushing only slightly more for a race, then I will continually grow and be able to become even stronger.

Whenever we want to become stronger, it's better to push ourselves one step at a time.  Should we overextend ourselves, we are more likely to fall apart.  In order to get away from that fate, we must make smart decisions and work to slightly push ourselves and continuously grow.  Runners tend to have a number made for them (a 10% increase every week).  If you have a hard time discerning how much you should increase, it's good to go with an existing guideline, however, it's better to follow your body and listen to your body so you would listen and understand how much you need to grow every week.  Look, listen, and grow.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Hard Work + Long Break = Good Recovery

I spent pretty much all evening spending time with my co-workers/friends.  I was going to work out and run several miles, but because I was having a good time with the guys, I just stayed there and took a break.  As I stayed, I ate and played... took an actual break and rested.  All week long, I've been working hard and because I took the time to take that break, my muscles were able to recover.

The harder you work, the more you need to recover.  In recovering, you allow your muscles to grow.  Due to the intense amount of work I've been doing over the past week, in one day of resting, I felt great.  The muscles in my legs really felt great.  When you take in a lot of protein, during your resting time, your body uses that time and energy to shoot that energy straight into the muscle.  Your body can really sense the recovery and with the muscles receiving the energy and growing, you begin to feel that difference.

After I came back, I felt ready to run, but since it was a break, I just took it.  Tomorrow, can't wait to go on that long run.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Seeing Goals

It's a lot easier for me to chase a soccer ball down a field because I have the desire to get to the ball before it goes out of bounds.  It's easier for me to run faster and push harder when the finish line is right there.  The way we work, we can push harder if we have a goal that is right before us.  Having that soccer ball in front of me pushes me to run faster so that I could go get it.  Today, I played indoor soccer with my friends and using that as interval training, since I run a lot faster when chasing after a ball compared to running because I'm wanting to run fast.

The thing is, when we have a goal that's visible, that's right in front of you, you tend to work harder towards that goal.  It's easy for us to lose focus on the goals that are far ahead of us, however, when we take it step by step, we see goals that are right in front of us.  Ultra runners look at the next rock and the next tree and make it their next goal.  Although they are tired, using the visual goals, they are able to go further and make it all the way to the finish line.

Take each step as a goal and after accomplishing that goal, see the next one... then the next one... all the way until you reach your final goal.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Coaching Yourself

The thing about training yourself is that little by little, over a period of time, you begin to take it easy on yourself.  Over the last 5 years, I've looked at the training that I've done when I was a freshman in college til now and I've seen a lot of difference when I was training myself.  The thing that I needed to work on was to coach myself effectively so that I could train properly.  No matter how disciplined you are, you'll wear down and eventually stop pushing yourself as hard.  This doesn't mean that you won't improve.  It just means that you won't improve as much as you could possibly improve.

I look back at the pictures of when I first ran the marathon and when I ran my best marathon, and I see an individual that has pushed himself far in only a few months.  I sacrificed so much and worked hard in those two months and I was able to mold my body into that of a marathon runner.  Over the last few years, even though I've been training my body to endure running 50 and 62 miles, I'm not training as much as I could and am not as disciplined with my work.  I've been able to improve, but I noticed that I've been slacking.

An important thing about training yourself is that you need to be your own coach.  When you are your own coach, one of the things you must do is to evaluate how the training is.  Take a step back, look at it from a different perspective, and evaluate how you're doing.  It's important that you look at yourself and see how you're performing, and make adjustments where needed.

Looking at my training from an outsiders perspective, I've noticed that I've been slacking a lot especially on my meals.  The amount I've been consuming has been slightly larger than what should be taken in.  The balance between proteins, carbs, fats, and fiber hasn't been tip top shape.  I've been focusing on saving money that I've let go of the good foods that I could eat, and instead chose to eat a lot of foods that has a lot of energy... but too much compared to the amount I use.  Back when I was in college, I spent more time doing a ton of different sports activities as well as the running, using more energy, and I was able to eat a lot. However, right now, the balance has shifted enough that I need to watch the amount of what I eat.

I have also noticed that I haven't been pushing myself as hard in the speed department of things, focusing on getting myself in shape to run without ceasing.  Although it's good to be able to get to that point... the whole point of a race is to see who gets to the finish line first.  In my workout, I've added a little more speed drills that should help me speed up and apply that to my longer distance running.

Today, as it was Wednesday, I took it as an easy day, just going in to workout my upper body and not so much on the lower body.  I went and did 20 pull ups, 50 push ups, and then cycled for 20 minutes while acting as if I was running on the bike, swinging my arms, and at the same time tensing my abs as it worked my core muscles during each push of the pedal.  After going to the sauna for 10 minutes, I went back home to eat up and enjoy the rest of the night.  Taking a step back to see where you are can really change the outcome of your training.  When you're coaching yourself, the only person you can rely on to help you see is yourself.  Take time every once in a while to take that step back to see the bigger picture and where you could go.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Confidence in Times of Weakness

There's a time when we feel weak, when we're not at our best and we look at ourselves and see the blemishes that are part of us.  We see that there are times we have failed, and because of that, we want to give up on what we want to do... maybe run away because we don't think we can do it.

We all have our days when we lack the confidence we need.  It can bring us down.  It can make us feel worthless... but are we worthless?  Should we be down?  Are we to take it and look at the glass half empty?  No! That shouldn't ever be the case.  We know that, yet we're still stuck.  How can we break free of that and build our confidence?  Facing it alone can be rather frightening, so that's where friends can come in.

One of my favorite quotes that I heard Nina, a friend of mine, say is this:  Friends will never get in your way, unless you happen to be going down.

Some days we don't have enough confidence for ourselves.  During those times, we have friends that back us up, believe in us, and give us that confidence that we need to get us back on our feet.  Those are the friends that have a heart for us.  Those are the ones you want to keep close, because when you're feeling low... you're going to need someone to help you up.  We can't make it through life alone.  Just like an endurance race, we need others to support us.  It doesn't have to be a friend.  It can be a co-worker, the guy you met at the restaurant... anyone.  So when you see someone needing a confidence boost... make it count.

Today was another awesome day.  I did interval running to The RUSH, alternating jogs and fast runs in order to push the body to run faster.  For 14 minutes, I jogged and ran and as time went on, the fast runs became harder.  After 14 minutes, I jogged the rest and finished the 2.76 miles in 20:31, an average of 7:25 min/mile.  At the gym, I did my one set of pull ups (17) and one set of push ups (45) and then cycled for 30 minutes because today was a short day.  Then, I proceeded to do some vertical lunges to work on my hamstring/quads as well as my core, and managed to get 100 down for each leg.  After all that, I went to the sauna for 15 minutes and then jogged back to my place (1.77 miles in 14:24, an 8:07 min/mile pace).  Another day, another run... and some.

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Line

I had an awesome Calculus teacher back when I was in high school.  His name was Mr. Mhlanga.  He was what you call... the best teacher in the world.  His teaching methods were spectacular and his words were like water to thirsty men.  One of the things he said is that the shortest distance from one point to another is a straight line.  This seems like an obvious statement, but he said that right after he sprained his angle on a wilderness trip that we had when we were juniors.  If you're in pain, you go the shortest distance possible and you'll get there quicker and with less energy.  With a sprained ankle, that feels a lot better.

Now as for me, when I ran today, I felt as if my knee would be in pain again, and so I focused on running smoothly so as to not have that pain in my leg nag me.  In order to do that, I needed to make sure that my legs from hitting hard on the ground.  Today, I focused on my running technique as I ran and made sure that I would run a way that I would be able to go smoothly.  As I focused on the smoothness of my running, I discovered that I ran barely skimming the ground because I would be focusing my energy to go forward rather than up and down.  The wasted energy would go everywhere and hinder my speed as well as my knee, and I wouldn't be helping my body at all.

Altogether, I ran 7 miles in 1:01:40, an average of 8:48 min/mile.  It was nice, and my knee didn't hurt at all because I worked on my form.  Working on my form is going to cause me to get slower at first, but in the end, this change will definitely benefit me and I'll be able to run fast.  After all that running, I ate a little bit and then proceeded with my gym workout, doing 17 pull ups, 45 push ups, and cycled for an hour (21.6 miles on the old stationary bikes) and then 40 minutes on the stationary bikes without the distance measuring thing. After that, I did 230 calf raises per calf and then 100 double calf raises to make sure that my calves had some kind of training... and then went to the sauna for 15 minutes.

Another good day, another good run.  I was able to focus on running like a line so that I would be conserving not only energy but from impact that would hurt me.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

How Foundations Builds You Up

Over the last few weeks, I've been working out, running, and basically focusing on keeping myself in good shape.  I haven't been focusing on a certain distance, and I have also not been running as fast as I can, pushing myself to an extreme.  However, during this time, I have been putting a solid amount of focus on my overall health.  This has helped me run faster in a 5k that I timed myself at the park.  2 weeks ago, my time was 19:14.  Today, it was 18:38, an average of 6:00 min/mile.  I ran hard at the beginning, running a 5:42 for my first mile.  My second mile was at 6:13, and my third mile a 6:11 followed by 31 seconds of running for the last tenth of a mile (and yes, I know it doesn't add up perfectly... but that's because it only records to the nearest second).

It is not my fastest 5k.  It's not my slowest either.  However, this shows that I'm in a position where I can definitely improve if I work on it.  2 weeks ago, when I ran the 5k, my right knee felt a little pain but this time, I didn't feel any pain at all.  In fact, over the last two weeks, I trained hard in order to keep myself in good shape and improve on muscle growth, especially around the knees.  I never practiced running fast, but because of my dedication to running, my body has developed a faster pace and without realizing, I've become able to run faster.

Working on a big foundation means that you can put a lot on it.  The more you work on that foundation, the higher your goals can be.  Working on the foundation of your goals are important because it builds you up without realizing it.  Starting this week, I'm beginning to build up again, working on speed for the next month while adding a little distance every once in a while.  Although I do really want my 5k time to be fast, the next big race that I'm planning is the one in October, so I have three months to get in shape to run 50 miles FAST.  Let's give the professional athletes a little something to give them a challenge.

Build your foundation and make it big and strong.  The end result will be a lot bigger than you would think.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Work and Rest

Today was another average day... except I was in North Carolina visiting my friend.  Normally, I'd be running and whatnot, but today, we just chilled.  Aaron, Tasha, and I went out geocaching and we enjoyed the outdoors quite a bit.  Nothing too strenuous, but considering the amount of stress I was putting on my body for the last few days, today was definitely another day where I needed some rest.

When we push our bodies hard, we need to rest a lot.  When we just use our bodies but not too much, the amount of rest we need isn't as much.  Depending on the amount of effort you put into the day, your body will react to it by 'needing' breaks that match to your activities.  In the same way, when training, if you have a couple days where you push yourself hard, you'll need a couple days to take off to recover.  Muscles takes roughly 48 hours to recover, but that doesn't account for extended damages.  When training for a long run such as a marathon, our bodies require a longer period of rest in order to help the muscles recover from the extreme training.

Over the past few days, I've been working hard running and exercising at the gym.  Because of that, my body has become slightly tired and demanded a break.  I took that break and enjoyed it, ready for another hard week to come up.  Starting tomorrow, I'm back into training.  Can't wait to start working hard and seeing positive results.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Cost of Achievement

What are you willing to do to get free food?  Today, I dressed up as a cow with my friend Aaron and we went to two Chick-Fil-A's and got ourselves some free food.  To some people, we looked... a little crazy, but to those that went to Chick-Fil-A, we were awesome.  Walking around all evening looking like a cow was worth the meal.

Every achievement has a price.  If you have a goal in mind, there are sacrifices that you must make in order to achieve that.  To me, when I go running, I am 'paying the price' to improve my performance.  Today, I drove 4 hours to visit my friend in North Carolina to go around dressed like a cow in order to have a good time and free food.  Important note... I hate driving long distances, and I consider anything over 30 minutes long distance driving.  I don't mind running long distances, but when it comes to driving, I can't handle sitting down that long.

To me, driving the distance to dress up like a cow was worth hanging out with my friend.  What are you willing to pay to achieve your goals?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Clear Communication

Today, we had an indoor soccer game where in the first half of the game we did really bad.  The reason we weren't doing too well was due to the fact that we weren't communicating with each other.  Without the clear communication, we weren't able to connect our passes because we would be passing to an empty space where no one would be going to or to the opposing team.  In the 50 minutes that we were out there, we didn't work too well and in the end, we lost 5-4.  Communication is key in any kind of system.  Without communication, the SWAT team wouldn't be able to rescue hostages.  Without communication, a business will fail.  Without communication, a relationship will fall.

Communication has the power to make things work.

The clearer the communication, the better it would work in the system.  Efficient communication produces effective results.  As the communication gets more and more efficient, the results get better and better.  The correlation is clear and shows us how important it is to keep it clear.  Our body is a system where our muscles communicate with one other helping the body perform at its best.  In order to produce efficient and effective communication, training is essential to what we do to our body.  As we train, we notice how everything works and our muscle adapts to what we do, perfecting the communication... and thus perfecting the results.  Doing things that would not benefit the body's communication isn't something I'm wanting a part of.  I want to work to enhance the communication level in my body to perform to the best of my abilities... at all times.

This would mean that there are things that I like doing, and things that I don't like doing.  As for the things that I like doing, I enjoy going to the gym and working out.  Today, I went after the indoor soccer game and did my 16 pull ups and 40 push ups, following it with 30 inclined sit ups and cycled for about 30 minutes.  Going to the sauna, I was able to relax and allow the muscles to chill and recuperate.  I enjoy doing all these things because working on the various muscles, it helps the correct firing of the neurons to insure that the muscles are working together to produce a good result.  Now, about the things that I don't prefer to do.  I'm actually not a big fan of going out and drinking.  Drinking in itself is not wrong (til you do too much), but the thing for me is that drinking inhibits the control of your muscles and the firing of the neurons wouldn't be on target, causing your body to lose that control.  Sure you still have some control, but as an athlete, I personally don't want to put my body through something like that.

To insure that you have good results, it's important to have good communication.  What would you do to get those results?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Growing Pains

I've heard people say that pain is what helps you grow... but they don't realize the difference between growing pains and just hurting yourself.  Sure your body can adapt to the amount of work you're putting upon yourself, but the thing is, proper pain is when you start feeling the pain but not too much.  Just as balance is needed between working and resting, balance is needed for pushing yourself properly.

When you push too little, you don't grow that much, or at all.  When you are performing below your level, you aren't exactly hurting yourself, but you aren't moving forward.  When you push too hard, you are performing higher than your level, hurting yourself in the process, but damaging yourself and aren't able to move forward until you heal.  In order to maximize the forward procession, it's important to go at a pace where your body is recovering fast as you're hurting it.

When I was running the 12 hour race, I needed to be able to go faster than everyone to win.  However, if I had run as fast as I could at the beginning of the race, my body would have not been able to keep up and I would have hurt myself and not able to continue for the 12 hours.  Had I walked for 12 hours, I would not have been able to compete and complete a high number of miles.  In order to compete, I needed to run at a pace that I would be able to work with for the whole 12 hours.  Will it hurt to run the 12 hours? Yes.  Will I be able to do well with a pace that I could keep?  Yes.

No matter what you do, whether it be running a race or working on a project of some sort.  Work hard enough that it hurts, but not too much that you won't be able to recover from it.

Today's training consisted of doing my 15 pull ups, 40 push ups, and cycling for 30 minutes (followed by a 15 minute sauna).  Because of yesterday's running and exercise, I kept my exercising to a minimum so that I would be able to work on my stamina while not chiseling away at my growth.  To reach my goal, I need to balance my training in order to grow as efficiently as possible and not hurt myself to where I would need to stop for a while.  What I would like to do is to get to a point where I won't have anymore peaks because I'll have a firm foundation, consistently growing, rather than moving in bursts.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

ASICS Gel-Hyper Speed 4 - Tools to Perform

Tools are important because it makes life easier for the individual, enhancing performance and helping the individual in a specific way.  My weapon of choice in races is the ASICS Gel-Hyper Speed 4 (since it's a lot cheaper than the 5).  It's lightweight, at 6.6 oz (maybe slightly more as the 6.6 oz as I wear a size 10.5-11).  There's a story behind this shoe and how I got it.  First of all, as I am an ASICS fan, I looked up the athletes that represent ASICS.  I went to Ryan Hall, the American representative for the marathon this year in London, and saw the different gears he wore.  I looked at the shoes and discovered that his shoe of choice was the Gel-Hyper Speed.  Now, just because a shoe works for one athlete doesn't mean that it'll work on another... but the thing is, it's good to know what other athletes choose to wear, because they know what to race in.  Look at multiple athletes and see the different kinds of gears that they wear in order to perform at their best.

I took the ASICS Gel-Hyper Speed 4 because a) it was cheap, b) it was light, and c) it was something a professional athlete wore.  Learn from your superiors in order to grow.  For the Black Mountains 12 hour race, I chose to wear the ASICS Gel-Hyper Speed 4 because it felt good, and for a 12 hour race, I needed something that would last, something that would protect my feet from the ground, and most importantly, something light that I would be able to run with during the 12 hours I would be running.  The heel to toe differential seems to be about 5-6 mm, and has enough padding to protect your feet for a racing shoe.  This means that during my long distance race, as my form became sloppier and sloppier due to the extreme conditions of continuous running, the cushioning would protect me a lot more than any other racing shoe would do for me.  Now, this shoe is meant to be used on the road, but fortunately, it's alright on trails.  Unfortunately, it does pick up a lot of pebbles or wood chips due to the pattern on the bottom of the shoes (which is why it's ideally a road running shoe).  The flexibility is out of this world, allowing full foot control as you run.  Having a tool that helps you and your form as you run definitely helps out.  Especially when you are racing.

Now the ASICS Gel-Hyper Speed 4 is a great racing shoe, but personally, I wouldn't like to use it as a training shoe.  I train with Gel Kayano 17 & 18 because they provide the ample amount of cushioning, but in turn, weighing a whoppin' 12.3 and 11 oz respectively.  A sacrifice of weight for protection is definitely worth it for training, but the Hyper Speed is definitely for racing.  I'm more than content training with a heavier shoe because when I race, I'll perform a lot better, running with a lighter shoe.  No matter what the shoe is, it's important to keep your form up, whether in training or in racing, so that the difference in the shoe can stand out.

As for today, I was wearing another one of my ASICS training shoes, and ran 6.35 miles to The RUSH in 55:25, an average of 8:43 min/mile as a warm up to the gym workout.  At the gym, I did my 15 pull ups, then 35 push ups, and cycled on a stationary bike for 30 minutes, followed by 15 minutes in the sauna.  After that, I jogged back home 1.76 miles in 15:16, an average of 8:40 min/mile.  It was an easy workout, but definitely something that'll help me get back into where I need to be.

Our shoes are our tools that help us reach our goals.  Pick and choose the tools wisely because every minute detail impacts the overall outcome.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Support Within the Body

What use is an alarm system if it isn't on?  What is the point of having it then?  An alarm system is only good and worth having if it's on.  In the same way, our body is made up of different systems that supports it.  Our body is made to move and has different parts in it that serves to help.

The human body is made to move, and in order to move, we need the use of muscles and bones in order to move.  The bones provides the structure, and the muscles help out with the movement.  Working together, they help the body function and move.  In running, they support each other and allow the body to work.

Today, I went to the gym and enjoyed a nice workout.  I warmed myself up with 14 pull ups and 30 push ups and also 50 sit ups (on one of those incline bench things).  In an hour of cycling, I went 21.6 miles, and after taking a little break, went and cycled another 30 minutes, finishing it off with 200 step up/high knees.  After 10 minutes of loosening up in the sauna, I went home, ate... and then slept.  Overall, it was a wonderful day.  I was able to work on my muscles without putting too much pressure on the bones.

Bones support the body and helps it structurally, but when it comes to motion, the muscles are what pushes things forward.  The more the muscles work together, the more efficiently the body can go.  The less the muscles work together, the more likely the body will get damaged, and the toll will be taken on its joints.

Proper support means there is proper balance, and when we focus on supporting ourselves, we support not only to prevent injuries but also to maximize the results.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Make Work Fun... Make Fun Work

Most people don't associate fun with work.  There seems to be a separation between work and fun that causes individuals to not reach their potential.  When you connect work and fun, you will get a better result.  Separately, you can only fit so much into a whole day, but putting it together, you can accomplish much more.

As for me, my running can be work... but it can also be fun.  Yesterday, I played street hockey with a bunch of people from around 3-5 and loved it.  It was hot and I ran a lot... it was an interval training that I thoroughly enjoyed.  Things like interval training is something that I wouldn't exactly call fun, but having 2 hours of hockey certainly adds a little more glamour.  Also, looking back, I remember the time that I was working before summer break.  At that point, I stopped sitting during work and instead moved my work-space vertically to where I would have to stand up.  Now it's not exactly fun to stand up, but during work, I was able to enjoy benefiting myself by conditioning my body to stand and use more energy rather than sit and conserve energy.

There's a lot of things that we can do to head towards our goals.  Combining both work and fun enhances the results.  Work can be Fun, and Fun can be Work.  Use that and improve yourself and get to your next level.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

When You Aren't Training

Just because you aren't running doesn't mean that you aren't improving.  Improvement happens when you're on and off training.  You take steps no matter what you are doing, whether you are training or not.  When I was driving home for 4.5 hours, it's very important for me to keep myself upright.  Poor posture over time makes a difference in your body, and because of that, whether you are on or off training, it's important that you keep yourself in check by being in a good posture at all times.

Whether you are training or not, you're still taking steps.  Take care of what you do in your every day life, because that in itself is training for your competitions, your goals.  If you don't take care of what you do in your every day life, then you might be further from your goal than before.  Make sure that your life coincides with your goals and take steps to work on taking care of yourself, so that at every moment, you would be able to work towards your goals.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Comparing Yourself to Others

I've always been taught to not compare myself to others, because that can limit your way of thinking.  Although it's true in some cases, it isn't for all.  Comparing yourself to other people can hinder your growth in many ways.

I have heard the expression 'big fish in a small pond' and that can work against you.  When you're the biggest fish in the pond, you won't be as motivated to grow even more.  Even if you don't compare yourself with others, you won't be as inclined to take steps to become 'better'.  Fortunately, this world is vast with the number of people, and for people such as I, I see that there are still a lot of people that are better than me at running.  I look at the Olympic athletes that are competing this year in London, and compare myself to them. I look at the ultra-distance runners that compete as a sponsored athlete for different organizations, and I see where I'm at compared to them.  I see that compared to both of them, I'm still nowhere close, that I need to keep on climbing.

You don't go up mountains riding an escalator.  It takes steps to climb up and conquer it.  I take each individual that is faster than me as a step.  Through my training, I start beating the people that used to be above me because I'm training with a reason to go past that step.  To me, being the fastest long distance runner in the city isn't worth anything compared to the fastest long distance runner in the state or the country. As I become the big fish in the small pond, I 'enlarge' my pond and take the challenge to the next level.  After reaching a certain point, because I compare myself to the others in the pond, I grow, and once again, 'enlarge' the pond.

Comparing myself to others in this way has always encouraged me to go further and go beyond my limits.  When you look at comparing as a competition, it becomes a healthier sort of comparison, an encouragement.  Looking at those Olympic athletes and professional ultra-distance runners, it encourages me to chase after them and reach for my goals.  I can always look at them and compare myself to them and see that I can improve and get better, that all I need to do was to continuously take steps.

Let's use comparison to help you improve and reach towards your goals.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Staying in Shape

Breaks are important.  It helps you recover.  It gives you time to relax.  However, if the break keeps going on and on, it changes from 'break' to 'everyday life' and forces you out of your usual habit.  There are days that I don't run, or do some sort of exercise, and there are days that I jog.  Both can be some sort of breaks, but the jogs helps keep my body in top condition.  When you want to stay in shape so that you can compete in long distance running, your breaks end up being easy runs.  In order for me to stay in good condition, I need to be at a point where my muscles are continually being used so that my breaks keeps me at where I left off.

Just like with debt, your ultimate goal is to pay it off.  However, there are times when money is short.  Every month, you've been paying back and lessening your debt, but the one month where you need the 'break' you may just pay that interest in order to make sure you won't owe more money.  This would mean that you won't backslide... but you won't go forward.  It keeps you at where you were.  Is this an ideal scenario?  No.  But is this better than the other choice?  Yes.  In whatever we do, be it running or finance, we come to a point where we realize that breaks are only good up to a certain point.  Once we go beyond that point, we start to backslide and go away from our goal.  In order to prevent that, you need a foolproof plan to make sure to continue.

The plan to staying in shape is to make sure that your breaks are not just breaks where you do nothing, but instead a time where you'll do a few activities that will keep your body moving.  Our bodies are amazing and can adapt to so many things.  In continuously running every day, our body adapts and gets used to running because it's our lifestyle.  Eventually, running 5 miles becomes a lifestyle and our body gets used to that.  As for me, today, I ran 5.46 miles in 42:21, an average of a 7:45 min/mile.  Not a fast pace, but at the same time, not necessarily a slow pace either.  When you get to that point, compared to the 'you' before, you can go out faster and last longer because your body is already used to it.  Our lifestyle definitely helps us staying in shape, as does us taking a different view on what a break is.  When a break becomes running a couple miles a day, then we are certain that we are in shape.  We adapt, and our views on what a break is changes, and our lifestyle changes.

Your body is like a cup with a small hole.  Keep on putting things in it, no matter how small the amount.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Resisting Temptation

Today, I planned on going for a long run. I woke up in the morning and after a cup of ice cold water, I went out. I felt pretty good, and I knew that today would be an amazing day. I had to make sure, however, that it was a long and easy run. This meant that I wouldn't run hard, and I wouldn't run too long.

After running about three miles, a runner passed me. Immediately, my competitive side flared up and I started running faster. After a few seconds, I realized what I was doing and stopped myself. I slowed down and relaxed, once again focusing on form rather than speed. It's hard for me to treat each run differently and run hard on only a few and easy on the others. What I needed in order to do that was complete control over myself and what I needed to do. I managed to run 8.69 miles in 1:09:19, an average of 7:58 min/mile.

Today, I also visited my grandparents, who immediately gave me different drink options, as well as snack options. In my home, it's easy to eat healthy because that's the only thing that's available. However, this was new territory and I was caught in a trap. I managed to politely decline their offer, and they accepted the fact that I was an intense runner and needed to do my best to perform at my best.

When you have a goal ahead of you, no matter what kind of temptations comes your way, you can easily overcome it. When you get a surprise attack from temptation, it becomes a lot more easier to resist and overcome because your goal is that strongly ingrained in your mind.

Keep your eyes on the goal and you will resist temptation.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Why is it important to be able to visualize?  When you visualize your goal, you have a mental image on what your goal looks like.  You piece it together in order to recreate that goal and make it a reality.

When you visualize your goal, you can see not only the final product, but also the process that gets you to that.  When you can put a mental picture in front of you, you aren't just dreaming about it, but instead, actively pursuing it.  When you are actively pursuing it with your mind, you visualize the intricate details that sum up the goal.  As I visualize my own body and goals, I look at the different muscles that are on my body and see how each should be shaped; the strength, size, and flexibility of each muscle that is in my body, as well as how I perform.  I can see the effortless movement as I run, how my whole body moves in one fluid motion as I take each step, running long distances with a fast pace.  I can see how my legs are moving, how my arms are moving... how everything works together to propel me forward.

When you make goals, it's important that you're able to visualize what your goal is, because the more you visualize, the better chance you have of attaining that goal.  If your goal is hazy and isn't too specific, you won't be able to have a path to follow or a goal to reach because you're not sure what it is.  However, the more you can visualize your goal and the more details you can see, the quality of the journey goes up significantly, as does your pace towards your goal.

Visualization helps individuals reach the next level.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Pulling Yourself Off the Couch

Today was one of those lazy days where you didn't really wanna do anything except lay around and watch tv and play games... maybe get on facebook and talk with friends.  I just didn't really want to do anything.  I was going to run in the morning but I decided that laying around would be a better choice for me.

When you're in a comfortable place, you don't want to change anything.  You're feeling good, so why do something else that's going to make you sweaty and gross, using energy and having to work?

Necessity drives us forward and helps us DO things.  However, we can only title something as necessity only if we deem it worthy.  Is it necessary for me to get up off the couch and go work out at the gym?  Not really.  I don't think it'll make THAT much of a difference.  One day doesn't make my life go down the drain.  One day doesn't make a huge difference that is detrimental and will ruin me.  These are the thoughts that usually go in my head... until one final thought comes through:

If I don't do exercise today, will it help or hinder me from my plan and my goals?

When I ask myself this question, I need to answer 100% truthfully.  Being truthful to yourself is really important because you don't want to make decisions that you will regret.  When that question comes up... it either makes me get up off the couch and do something... or makes me enjoy laying around because I needed that break.

Either way, the important thing is that in getting off that couch, you need to ask yourself if what you're doing is what you should be doing in order to help you achieve your goals... and answer truthfully.

Getting off the couch isn't something simple.  It takes guts to be truthful to yourself and getting off and doing what you should be doing.  Today, after I pulled myself off the couch, I went to the gym, did 12 pull ups, 30 push ups, and ran two half miles on the treadmill, going faster than what I'm used to, and then went on the stationary bike and cycled 16.1 miles in an hour.  Afterwords, I raised my knee 210 times per leg to work on that motion (especially since I've been cycling, which uses muscle to push down instead of pulling up.  Following that, I went over to the sauna and stretched out for ten minutes... it was worth getting off the couch, and to be honest, after getting off the couch and going over to the gym, I felt and knew that I made a good decision.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

To Run Fast

One of my goals is to run a fast 5k.  Today, I tried to make a decent 5k time, but finished with a 19:14, an average of 6:12 min/mile.  For my fastest marathon, I averaged 6:43 min/mile, and comparing the two, I've gotten a lot slower.  I could go longer... but I can't run as fast.

The next planned race I have is the 50 mile race, but for the next month, I'll be training for both 5k and 50 miles.  In order to have a faster 50 mile time, I'll be using the training that I'm doing to improve my 5k time and apply that to my long runs.  To run fast, you need to train fast.  As you practice running fast, your body gets used to the speed and it comes out during the longer runs.  As I'm training for both 5k and 50 miles, I'm going to need to do training for both.  I'll have to do 800m repeats to get my speed up and also do long 15-20 mile runs in order to keep up my endurance.

I firmly believe that if I could perform well in a short race, with enough training, I can perform well in a longer race.  Little by little we improve as we train, and as for me, when I train for the 5k, I know that I'll be rewarded with the 50 mile.

It's funny how the little things impact the big things.  When you work so hard on what's little, you actually are helping yourself when bigger things come along.  The better you are with handling the little things that pop in your way, the better you will be prepared for the bigger things that you have planned to come your way.

After the run today, I went to the gym, did 13 pull ups, 30 push ups, and then cycled on a stationary bike for 60 minutes.  This time, I rode one of those bikes that didn't have the miles on it, and I worked harder to up my cadence so that I would have a decent pace built up in my body.  After that, I went to the sauna and then stretched hard after that.  One step at a time will definitely lead me to my goals.