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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Jump Ropes

So I went to Walmart last night and got myself some $6 jump rope, and decided that I'd see if I could go jump 10,000 times in one day.  That night, at around 9, I began my little journey, and counted to a 100, paused for 5 sec, then kept going til I reached a 1000, where I took a break for a couple minutes.  I kept this up til I reached 6,447 jumps when the jump rope snapped.  It had worn down from each time it hit the ground and finally broke during one of my jumps.

Jump ropes are definitely a good source of exercise.  It really does a lot.  Works your whole body, and it's great.  Today, I'm sore all over because of it... especially my left shoulder (since I'm right handed)... but that's not what I want to talk about.

I bought a jump rope at Walmart.  We all know that Walmart isn't known for it's most fabulous artifacts that lasts forever and ever.  It's known for being cheap, and with cheap comes an average rating for liabilities.  You get what you buy, and usually, when you get great deals, you end up with a cheap things.  It doesn't last as long and isn't as good.  So how's that important to life?

When I train, there aren't any short cuts to train to run these races.  Short cuts don't do anything.  It's the same as buying cheap meals which aren't nutritionally balanced.  In short, whatever you do in life, if you do it half heartedly, you're not gonna be satisfied, you won't get the full results.  You want great results in whatever you do, you work hard, you work smart, and you get what you came for.  Whatever you put in will come out.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Quality and Quantity

There is value in both quality and quantity. Quality is what we want to do when we want to grow. Quantity is what we do in order to engrain the information to our bodies. It's important to have both, and not just one or the other. Should we have a lot of one and not of the other, we cheat ourselves out of growth. The importance of the two together is that they encourage the individual to grow.

The thing is, we sometimes forget that and we choose one over the other. When that happens, we lose the potential, what you could have done to improve yourself. You see, running every other day does a lot for the individual in getting them back into shape, but running 5-6 days a week does quite a bit more. It allows the individual to train for longer distances. Our bodies adapt at an amazing level, and the adaption only occurs through the quantity of what we do to it. In adding the quantity and quality to the workouts, people grow and become athletes.

Dedication to both quality and quantity is also important because should you miss even one day, it changes the direction of the workout and what you want to become (the same goes for anyone that has any sort of dream towards some goal). Anything and everything you do changes the direction of where you're going. Of course, both quantity and quality effects each other, as well as the overall goal. Yesterday, I ran 7.85 miles in 58:46, an average of 7:29 min/mile. It was a really fast pace where I put a decent amount of effort in. After such a workout, there ought to be some sort of rest. However, today, I chose to go out and run 3.86 miles in 29:47, an average of 7:42 min/mile. Not too fast... but not too slow either. The important thing wasn't just the quality of my run in this case, but the quantity. I did that run today because my overall goal was to get to a point where I can run that 100 mile race. A person does not just up and run such a race without a good amount of mileage in ones legs. With that kind of goal, it's no wonder people do back to back runs. There is value in both quantity and quality.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Future You

One thing that helps me take that extra step is when I look at the mirror and see what I could be.  I don't look at the mirror and see the me as I am, the dude that can run 20+ miles whenever I feel like it.  I look at the mirror and see what my goal is.  I blink once and I'm back, looking at where I am now.  Am I satisfied with where I am now?  Heck no.  There's so much I need to do.  Understanding where I'm at and not being satisfied with that, I can make changes that redirects me to where I need to be.  Tools like mirrors and the bathroom scales can be used for good.  I use them to look at where I can be.  Just as tools can be used for both good and evil, I tend to go towards the good side.  Never really understood the 'dwelling on where I am' sort of thinking.  I enjoy my time thinking about how to get to where I want to be... a much more exciting way to live.

The future is yet to be determined, and since it IS yet to be determined, it means that you're in control.  The future is in your hands, and since I have a certain future that I want, I'll have to work towards that.  Part of having that goal, that future, is that you would need to redirect yourself if you're not going towards it.  Instead, you would direct yourself to take the steps towards where you want to be.  If you want to be a world class writer, then it looks like you may have to start writing a little bit.  If you want to be a professional blogger (not me, haha) then you would blog like crazy and figure out how those hashtags work and get your blog out to as many people as possible.  If you want to be a professional runner, you're going to have to start running and taking care of yourself so that you get closer to sculpting your body to the way you want it to be.

Focus on the future you but don't forget the present you.  Work towards the future of your choosing, and that is what you will become.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Post Holiday Slump

You know that feeling after the holidays, when you don't feel like going on and doing things?  Well I'm right there right now.  I just had the most glorious Christmas Day, and now I don't want to do anything.  I've probably gained a good amount and need something to keep me going.  Today, I didn't even go out for a run.  It was 'too cold and windy' and I didn't feel like it.  Instead, I spent the whole day cooped up doing a couple hundred push ups and calf raises and squats.  Yes it was a little bit, but it wasn't what I needed.  If I'm going to get through this... what should I do?

Well what I do is to jump back on it.  Every day you stay off lowers the chance you'll make a comeback.  The couple things I have in store for me that helps me continue my running is races.  By signing up for races, I'm forced to undergo some sort of training to finish it up.  Right now, being the end of the year, and after Christmas, it's tough on me to get back to that.  However, 2013 is coming, and I want to start counting exactly how many miles I've run in one year.  Usually I'm half-hearted about writing down how much I've run, but I think it'd be fun to see how many miles I've run in a whole year.

People get in slumps, so what do you do to get out of them?  Force yourself to take those baby steps and give yourself a little wakeup call.  One thing I'm going to do is to go to sleep early (yes... that means I'm getting off facebook and turning off the computer...) and wake up early to start my day out with a run.  I have a little more than a week left before my 50k in January, but since that's more or less a training run to get me ready for the big races, I'm not too fired up for it.  I'm still figuring out which races I'll be running, but since I'm hoping to get in the Leadville 100, we'll see what's in store for me when I sign up on January 1st.

Goals get you out of your slumps and the steps you take towards your goals helps push down the laziness that's put in you during the holidays.  Fight it head on and be strong.  Not excuses and have fun.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Time is Here

And so Christmas has come and is finishing up, a time to celebrate with family.  I time... to eat.  And of course, during this Christmas day, I ate.  I ate a lot.  It was a little too much compared to what I would normally eat... but it was glorious.  I ate and I ate, it was nice... but of course, according to my little rule, it only lasts one day.  I have to get back to the meal plan I have for myself... a strict diet... but hey, today was a wonderful time.

Yesterday, I had the wonderful time, even had enough time to go for a little run, running 3.84 miles in 32:16, an average of 8:23 min/miles.  Slow but nice, it was great to go out for a small run.  Going to have to make sure I make that a priority... going to be hard.  Tomorrow... I'll have to get back to running again.

First, I had a meal with one of my good friends in the morning, another friend for late lunch, and another meal with another friend in the evening... so much food, and such a great time.  One awesome day, one great time with friends.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Nothing Good Happens After Midnight

Okay, so maybe I'm going too far saying that nothing good happens after midnight, but the thing is, we're often tempted to do a ton of things at night.  There are a few things that are good for us at this time, but there's millions of things that we do that aren't.  One major problem we have is the issue of eating.  At midnight, my stomach suddenly decides that it's hungry, and that I'm in need of food.

Totally wrong.

My body just craves to fill my stomach because it's empty, and so we want to fill it up because it's comfortable.  The thing is, we become so used to that feeling that we have a hard time getting out of that (gluttonous) habit.  In eating after midnight, all the energy we put in our body will not be used because our metabolism would slow down as we sleep.  As the metabolism slows down, what happens is that all the energy we have inside of us begins to be stored... as fat.  Not really a great idea, but we choose to do that because it feels so good.  How can you get away from that?


Just sleep.  What we tend to do is ponder on the problems, and the longer we dwell on the problem, the more we're tempted to make the wrong decisions.  The more we are tempted to make the wrong decisions, the more likely we actually make the wrong decision.  So instead of going through all that, just sleep.  Sleeping is valuable and important to your body, so instead of thinking about eating, choose to sleep.  After all, when you sleep, you're taking a break, and you won't be tempted at all to get any food.

Sometimes, things just pop up that we know isn't good for us.  We want it so bad, but we know it's not good, so we try to stay away... but eventually do it.  Instead of fighting it, just run away.  Eventually, it becomes second nature and you don't have to worry about even getting to fighting because you start not caring as much.  Sometimes, strength is just running away.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Effects of Variables

Variables make a difference.  What you do in one day compared to the next is dependent on so many variables.  It's important to understand the importance of making different decisions.  20 days ago, I went out to unexplored territories to make a nice long loop, running a little over 21 miles.  I was unprepared to do so, and due to that, I suffered a lot.  I didn't eat before I ran, I didn't bring any water with me, and when I ran, I didn't plan anything out.  I finished my run in 3:21:18.  This time, I ran 21.55 miles in 2:51:58, 7:58 min/mile.  I ran almost 30 minutes faster under harsh circumstances.  While I ran my first time in a nice day, temperature was awesome, no winds, but even with the good weather conditions, I wasn't able to perform at my best.  Today, it was cold... there were snow flurries, and there was wind coming in from the west.  It was a miserable condition and the weather wasn't working for me.  However, last night, I bought some pedialyte.  This morning, I ate some chia seeds mixed with the excess pedialtye, and filled my running bottle with pedialyte.

When I ran, I made sure to conserve my speed, knowing the distance I was about to run (psychological advantage comes with experience), I drank my first little sip 30 minutes into my run, then at min 40, I started taking sips every minute (continuing the replenishing of my water supply as well as electrolytes in my system).  The hard part was the weather.  As the flurries fell, my fingers were cold.  Ten minutes of holding the bottle with my right hand made it feel as if my pointing finger and thumb was frozen up.  I switched hands and figured that I could somewhat get through it.  At first, it was really cold, but as it came closer to noon, it got warmer and my hands got used to it.  I managed to get through the run, looking at my watch for how much time has passed, and also listening to a running jam I made up.  The music pumped me up, and the pedialyte rehydrated me.  Using the music and pedialyte, I worked my way through the run, planning on finishing the run at about 3 hours.  Knowing the distance, it was a lot easier for me to judge how much I needed to work.  Having extra fluids really helped me out.  The chia seeds also helped me with all the energy I needed during the almost 3 hour run.

Variables.  They change a lot of things, but ultimately, you could be in charge of the variables.  I wore my underarmour to protect me from the cold, and my upper body felt fine (probably need to get some for my legs... anybody got some?) and my asics gloves really helped out keeping my hands warm enough.  The water bottle served to store my pedialyte which got me through the run, and I had a great time.  Things happen that you might not be in control over (like weather) but you can always control what you do about it (put on underarmour) and the thing is... you're not as helpless as you might think you are.  Humans are an amazing group.  We don't give up and we become stronger.  Why?  It's because we have a brain that we use.  Variables makes differences, a few simple changes can save 30 minutes on your run (for me, I was able to run 1:15 min/mile faster than the last time).  Use your head, find a way, and make things happen.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Peer Pressure

Whenever you're with people, there's always a certain amount of peer pressure.  Sometimes it's only a subtle amount, while other times, it's massive.  Either way, when you're with people, you will have that peer pressure (and you will also give out peer pressure).  People, whether they like it or not, will encourage others to do as they do, to live as they do.  Whether we like it or not, we influence others, and others influence us.  Do you remember how in movies, the main character's mother always tells the main character to not hang around 'those people' because they'll influence the main character in a bad way.  Believe it or not, it's true.  People you hang out with will influence you to be more like them.  In the same way, you will influence the people around you to be more like you.  Now when you and the other people think differently, it's going to create some conflict... reverse peer pressure, where you're convinced your way is the right way and the other person isn't and you continue on to your path.

Yesterday, I didn't feel good at all and had a massive headache so I wasn't able to go out for a run like I wanted to.  Today, I had the best time this week.  I went to the track at UT and met up with a few runners and went out for a good run.  Running together is always an encouragement, and when you're with other people that enjoys running, you feel as if you belong.  It becomes a reaffirmation that your lifestyle is what you want.  It gives you the extra spark... but now that's the good type of peer pressure.  There are other times like yesterday, when I hung out with one of my non-running friends (yes, I do have those too) and marveled at his life decisions (I mean, he's totally different from me, and we're best friends).  He had snacks in his house, he didn't go out to go run, he had a wife and a kid, he enjoyed life... oh wait... I enjoy my life too.  But I was so jealous of some of the things he had in his life that I would love to have in my life.  I mean... he had OREOS... I wish I had oreos in my life.  Unfortunately, it's not a part of my diet, and so I wasn't allowed to keep that sort of thing in my house.  He and I made two different choices, and we both were a result of it... but still, being with him made me want to go to the store and get some snacks.  Now THAT is what I call bad peer pressure.  We have both good and bad, and they help us... and sometimes hinder us.

I was really tempted to get myself a whole bag of oreos, but I managed to go through that and reaffirmed why I didn't have oreos in my house.  Just like when good things and bad things happen, the only things that brings you down is how you react to it.  Using peer pressure, our true desires starts to come out and how you react to the pressure determines who you are.  Are you living and being true to yourself, living as you truly want to live?  Or maybe you're covering up something.

Today's run was fantastic, we ran 10.05 miles in 1:13, a 7:16 min/mile average.  Pretty darn good for me, since I took an extra day off.  Lets make sure tomorrow I keep it up and run some more.  I'm in need of continuing on my way of living, and pursue my goals.

Hope I get into the Leadville 100...

Monday, December 17, 2012

Whatever it Takes

The mindset you need to have in order to accomplish your goals is to work towards it and achieve it NO MATTER WHAT.  There is no room for excuses.  You need to go forward and get it.  Passion drives you forward, but it takes guts to finish it off.  When you're racing, you don't run with just your body, but with your heart, and your mind.

Having the mindset on doing whatever it takes to achieve your goal is very powerful.  It puts that as the number one priority.  That means that there is absolutely nothing that can get in your way.

As W Clement Stone once said, "Whatever the mind of a man can conceive and believe, it can achieve,"

If you truly go for your goals and work towards getting there, it means you're willing to sacrifice anything to get there.  It means that you're committed.

It means that you'll get there.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

For Want of a Nail

For Want of a Nail

For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider was lost. For want of a rider the message was lost. For want of a message the battle was lost. For want of a battle the kingdom was lost. And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

A little thing can make a difference.  As the Emperor from Mulan said, "A single grain of rice can tip the scale."  No matter how miniscule it is, what you do can impact your life.  A split decision can in turn change the direction you grow, and make a huge difference.  My impacting decision was when I decided to go out for a run.  I really didn't feel like doing it, but I was training to eventually run a 100 miles.  I can't afford to lose a day's run because I didn't feel like going out for a run.  Every little run that I do is another step towards that goal.  I went out 30 minutes to see whether or not I could come back faster than that.  I ended up running 7.32 miles in 56:21, an average of 7:42 min/mile.  By itself, it isn't much, but the thing is that this one run will impact the rest of my runs which in turn will impact my races, all the way up to the 100 mile run that I'm working towards.

Everything you do is important, whether it be that 3 mile run or eating that banana.  Who knows how what you do will impact your life.

One Hour

One hour... 60 minutes... 3600 seconds... you can do quite a lot in that amount of time.  Of course, in that amount of time, you can change your life.  I've talked about how important 24 hours is in one's life, but the importance of what you can do within that hour is also pretty darn amazing.

In an hour, with pressure, a college kid can finish writing an essay.  A chef can cook 2 full course meals.  A musician can play a whole set list worth of songs.  I chose to run 7.36 miles in 58:04 (7:53 minute/mile average, happened yesterday) burning roughly 904 calories (according to the mapmyrun app).  Had I run faster, I could have burned over a 1000 calories.  When you're sitting, you burn about 60 calories in that hour.  Standing, you can burn over 200 calories.  In one hour, you can choose to burn less than a 100 calories up to over a 1000.  The power of one hour is rather amazing.  One hour can make a difference... but think a little more than that.  Think about how much you could possibly burn during a 100 mile race... now that's a lot of calories.

Back to the hour.  That one hour does impact your life and it does raise your average metabolism as its effect goes further than just that hour.  One hour of eating doesn't impact the you during that hour, but effects the you throughout your day.  Every moment counts, including that on hour.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Molding Your Body

Isn't it interesting that people can change how they look via means of exercise and stretching instead of surgery... yet there seems to be a lot of people choosing surgery to change themselves.  Now in some cases, surgery is the only case... but when it has to do with just how fat an individual is, most people choose to lose their fat through invasive means.  Molding your body is my ideal type of thing.  What you consistently do every day molds your life...

All my childhood life, my parents tell me to keep my back straight.  It seems like we all just want to keep a slouchy position because it feels so comfortable.  However, putting yourself through that comfort eventually will cause your spine to start forming that way.  When we're young, our whole body is continuously growing, which means that cells are replicating at all times.  The growth only occurs according to how the certain thing is molded.  A plant at the window sill grows towards sunlight and if you keep turning the plant around it will change the direction it will grow, but whatever has already has grown will stay that way.  In the same way, when you slouch, you alter the direction your spine was growing.  When the spine becomes strong and firm and the body grows up, it sets and the back becomes bent over.  By the time you realize where you're at, it might be too late.  By the time the bone sets, it won't feel comfortable for you to straighten your back, a habit is already set, and you're getting a lot more tired because you're stuck in that position and have to support your body in order to continue to go forward.

Realizing where you are and changing how you're molding yourself is how you can prevent this problem.  Look at the direction you're going and make a change in your lifestyle.  Mold your body according to what your goals are.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Don't Forget

We forget about a lot of things.  Today, after church, I went to Walmart to buy some Christmas presents.  I was thinking about what I could possibly get for my sisters and thought long and hard about it... when I suddenly remembered that I make jewelry.  Having a lot of females in my family has made it so that I have a set of skills that aren't to be trifled with.  Of course, it's not REAL jewelry that I dabble with, but I think it's still pretty darn good.  I've fortunately (or unfortunately... depending on how you look at it) built up that skill over a few years of practice, and so now, giving jewelry to the females in my family has become pretty easy.  However, over the years, I haven't been around family too much and bought presents instead, forgetting my set of skills.  After visiting Walmart and wondering what I should get my sisters, I went across the jewelry making section and figured out the perfect things to gift my family.

Sometimes, we forget about what we can do because we are out of practice.  When you don't do that many things, you forget what you can do.  Your mind becomes confused and doesn't understand what it's capable of doing.  Practice does go to performance, and without it, you forget.

Let's not forget.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Had a Bad Day

Things happen.  We're in a world filled with both good and bad days.  I had a not so good day today.  In my evening run at the track, I did a 3 mile warm up, then proceeded to try to keep up somewhat with Ethan, a fast runner in the group.  He was doing 800 repeats with a minute and a half of a break in between at a 5 min/mile pace.  Since I'm curious and wanted to see what I could do and how long I could hold it... I went for it.  Didn't do well... I finished the first one but couldn't do the second one.  I had to stop doing 800 repeats and did 400 repeats instead.  Looking at that, I realized how slow I was.  I've been practicing running so long that I've neglected my speed.  Not only was I tired and not able to run fast for a longer period of time, I felt light headed and faint for some reason.  Looking back, I believe that it was due to the fact that I didn't drink and eat enough, and I pushed myself hard.

Good days or bad, both of them are 24 hours long.  So much to learn, so much to grow from.  Doesn't matter if it was a good day or a bad day.  You can learn so much.

After going through all that, I jogged around the track and finished it off with a 3 mile cool down.  It didn't end out too bad... especially with a good meal at the end of the day.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Just a Salad

Seems like salads are back in.  Lately, I've been working hard to use less money, and in doing so, I've been pretty darn hungry.  You see, because I've been filling myself with rice and whatever else I eat, I take in enough energy... but my stomach isn't full.  However, with the addition of the salad, it's so much easier for me to eat and become satisfied.  I eat a lot, and with the salad, you take in a lot of water weight, fibers, vitamins and minerals.  It's just a good deal.

The simplest things can be good for us.  We don't realize that our stomach enjoys eating and we tend to fill it up.  The problem is that most people end up putting in more calories inside of their bodies than what they use.  With that kind of intake, the excess energy will turn to fat.  It's kind of like biting off more than you can chew... but in this case, we listen to how much we want to satisfy our stomach and end up filling our body with too much energy.

The salad provided me with not as much energy, but filled my stomach.  It didn't give me an overdose of things I didn't need.  It gave me exactly what I needed and the amount I needed.  Finding the thing that fills your life without adding too much pressure.

Find the balance.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Less Weight

Now, when I say I need to lose weight, it's not just for health reasons.  I want to lose all the excess weight in order to run faster.  Sometimes, the weight that we don't need for running just needs to go if you want to compete.  Although it may be a lot of muscle, the thing is, when running, it doesn't matter what you have, if you don't need it, then it's just extra things you could get rid of.  Of course, it's important for me to lose some of the fat, but I can't segregate.  I need to make sure that I mold my body into the most running efficient shape.  Only with the 'perfect' body can I have the 'perfect' speed.  Less weight is more of a side effect, rather than the main point.  Most people tend to think of losing weight as the main goal, instead of chiseling their body.  Make sure you do that, focusing on your true goal, instead of your side effects.

Now, in order to step towards my goal, it's important that I lose weight, and I do aim at correcting my weight in various ways.  One is diet, the other is activity.  With those two things, I can alter my body size and shape, and am able to run at my best.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The 7.6%

This year, for the Western States 100, there was only a 7.6% chance for me to enter.  Of course, I tried out for it, and today, as I waited for the names to be called... out of the 275 names, my name was not a part of that.  For a moment, I heard Knoxville TN being called and my heart started beating really fast.  Unfortunately, it was someone else.  I had hoped that I might get lucky, but that was not the case.  Maybe I wasn't really ready for it anyway.  Either way, I'm not going, and I'll have to try again next year.  We'll see where that goes.

The thing is, 7.6% is an awful small chance, but there are a lot of people that took that chance and won.  Next year, should I try again, my chances would double, but we'll see what happens when that time comes.  Trying is always better than not trying.  Although you know what the results are, there's a big difference between 7.6% and 0%.  I would always choose the 7.6% because having a chance is more than not having a chance.

To take that chance is the strength you need.  Finding strength to attempt to do something that you might not achieve is something noteworthy.  Now THAT is truly what strength is.

Find that strength, make that leap of faith, and go for your dreams.  You may get it, you might not... but the fact is, you tried, you went for it... and that itself is a huge accomplishment.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Stretching Yourself

There's a fine line between stretching yourself and straining yourself.  Straining implies that you've put a little too much into what you're doing while stretching implies that you're going just a little further.  Stretching helps you get better while straining destroys you.  Now when I talk about stretching yourself, I'm not just talking about the importance of stretching before and after your runs, I'm talking about putting yourself slightly beyond what you're used to doing and training to improve.  On Tuesday, I went out for the hard run where I pushed myself hard.  Now it seems as if the right thing to do would be to take a rest the next day, but instead, I opted out and decided I'd stretch myself just a little bit and go a medium distance.  I went out, and gave myself a minimum of 40 min to a maximum of 1:20 of running.  During the run, I thought about how I wanted to grow, and decided that I needed to get my longer distances down if I was going to train for an ultra marathon, so I went with the 1:20, running out 40 minutes and hoping I can run back faster.  Of course, I didn't go all out and try to run hard both ways the day after running a speed work out.  Instead, I went pretty easily.  Altogether, I ran 9.9 miles in 1:16:21, an average of 7:42 min/mile.

Stretching yourself enables you to grow, and you only grow the direction you stretch yourself.  Knowing that, it's important to know the directions you want to grow, so that you can stretch yourself.  Also, it's important to not stretch yourself in multiple directions at once because in doing so, you can stretch yourself too much in different directions so that you don't stretch too much at all, becoming a jack of all trades and masters of none.  Focus on what you want to be and stretch yourself in that way, and you will grow fast.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Unlimited Running

When I run, I enjoy running how long I feel like running... how fast I feel like running... when I feel like running.  I have these guidelines that I put on myself that I more or less follow.  With these guidelines, I have the general idea of what I'm going to do.  Sometimes, mid-run, I change my mind and I go off and do something else.  Although my running may seem somewhat random, there is some sort of purpose with each run I have.  The hardest part about my running is that sometimes, I become lazy and think to myself, "Tomorrow, I'll run long, so today, I won't go too hard." and start off my run like that.  However, what tends to happen is that I would change my mind and decide to work harder or run longer and tomorrow decide how my run would turn out to be.

In giving myself the freedom to choose my own workouts and how much I do, I give myself a potential of an unlimited amount of running.  Usually, because of my passion towards running and the yearning I have to become better, I tend to push myself just hard enough that I run further and get better.  The thing about letting go of my limits and following how I feel is that it allows me to grow further than I would have, had I limited myself to a certain sort of work out.  A set workout will control your growth, however, it limits your growth to your plans, not allowing you to stretch further.

My idea of unlimited running only works if you're mentally prepared to push yourself as much as you are able to after understanding yourself.  Most people who start running shouldn't do this because most of the time, they won't feel like running and will be more likely to skip work outs because they'll try to deal with themselves.  However, there will always be the exceptions which will do just fine with this sort of training.  In actually understanding the concept of unlimited running, you will be able to push yourself as far as you can without hurting yourself.

Being able to put yourself through the unlimited training, and you can perform amazingly.  In order to improve yourself, it's all about not having any limitations that keeps you from performing at your best.  At times, things we set out to do pushes us too much... and at times, it pushes us too little.  Only in pushing ourselves enough do we improve the most effectively.  Find that point where you can improve at your best, and push forward.

(today, I did a 3 mile warm up, then 800 meters at 80-85 sec per lap, then a 400 meter jog.  I repeated that 4 times altogether, and then did a 3 mile cool down.  It was nice to push myself on that 800 meter... my original plan was to run 400 meters hard and take a break and repeating that.  Finding out that I could go beyond that and enjoy it as I pushed myself, I changed my mind mid-run)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Fit to Run

So on Saturday, I went on that epic journey (aka stupid run) of almost 22 miles, and for the next couple of days, my shoulders and back was a little sore from the run.  That showed me that my upper body was not at the place it needed to be for long distance running.  I needed to work on them in order to be able to run at my best.

Today, in order to combat that problem, I devised a really simple workout.  It would incorporate building strength in the upper body and lower body but without gaining muscle.  I did 4 sets of 5 pull ups, 10 push ups, 20 squats, 40 calf raises, and after that, did some shoulder exercises.  I feel that by doing that and continuing to do that every day would help me grow.

You have to be fit to run long distances, and it's more than just your legs.  Some people don't realize how important it is to train your upper body too.  There's more than meets the eye...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Find Your Niche

We all have different passions and different niches.  We like certain foods, different places, and we have our preferences in what TV show we watch.  We are all unique, different... and because of that, we have different groups of people we associate with.

I'm kind of crazy.  I like running.  I like music.  I like food.  I like people... and because of all the things that I like, I find it easy to just mesh with people.  Obviously, my passion for running is outstanding and because of that, people kind of get to understanding how much I'm crazy about running... but I make sure to tone it down to not scare them away.

Finding your niche is important because it helps you stay comfortable, being in a place where you belong.  Being in a place where you don't belong is going to wear and tear you up (or down...) and it's just not healthy for you.  It's important to find that community of people who share your passions and preferences and associate with them.  Common ground is what people need because it gives reassurance and stability.

I find that because of my love for running, the friends that I made while running encourages me to run further and to run faster... to keep on going because I have people with me that back me up and support me.  Having that niche helped me find a good community, though they may be in different states... or even countries, and they've pushed me more than I could have pushed myself.

Finding a community that shares what you believe in, that understands you, is important because of the encouragement and strength they give you.  Finding that niche helps you work towards your goals.

Go find your niche.

Being Smart

Sometimes, you make dumb decisions.  But just because you make them doesn't mean that you're going to mess up your life.  The decisions might have not been the best, but you can still learn and grow from the decisions you made.  It's important that you know you can do something about it.

Today, I went out for my long run, and my original plan was to go out for an hour and a bit and then come back.  I went out, and kept on going, and by the time I was suppose to go back, it seemed like I could probably find a way that I could go around in a circle.  Bad idea... I only had a banana and a glass of water before I left, and when I decided I would do that, I went out for 3:21:18, running 21.81 miles, which was a 9:13 min/mile pace.  Now I didn't run the whole thing that slow.  What happened in the run was that I was running about 7-8 min/mile pace, and felt pretty good.  When I decided to keep on going, I kept up that pace til I was about 14 miles into the run.  Then I looked at where I needed to be and figured out that at my current pace, I wouldn't be able to make it... especially without water and the proper amounts of energy inside my body.

If you make a dumb decision, you can make the most of it by using your brain.  First of all.  I made a dumb decision by running without eating breakfast and taking water.  I also decided that I'd be running a long run.  Now, if I kept on making dumb decisions, then I would have ended up on the side of the road, dehydrated and without energy.  Knowing the cards I've dealt myself, I needed to make the most of it.  That meant that the last 7 miles would need to be a smart 7 miles.  I chose to walk some of it because I knew I wouldn't be able to make it by forcing myself to go on.  I also decided to continually check my pulse to make sure it wasn't too high so that I would be able to tell if I'm using too much energy from carbs rather than from fat.  I also made sure to breath out with my nose to insure that I wouldn't lose too much water from the water vapor that would come out of my mouth.  Breathing in and out through the nose protects you from losing too much water. (works great in survival situations too!)

People make mistakes... that's a sad given.  However, just know that the mistakes are not your undoing.  Learn from it, rise from it, and make the right decisions to go forward in the right direction.