Post-run report for the second time in January

run 20180109It’s January 9th, and this is only my second post-run report. I need to pick things up a lot!!! I just found out TODAY that my Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) is going to be held in February instead of April. That makes running and push ups a top priority for me. I was expecting to be able to slide into faster times on my runs and more push ups over the course of the next three months, but now, I have four weeks to prepare. The good news is that it looks like I’m already where I need to be; I just need to maintain where I’m at now and make any incremental increases I can to pad my score.

Today’s run had low expectations. After running last week for the first time in four weeks, my legs were sore and I had to take a few extra days off from running to allow them to heal. I was going to run Monday night, but life once again got in the way, and I wasn’t able to run until tonight. The good news is that I really think that extra day of rest helped my legs a lot.

My first mile was a blazing 8:18/mile. I say blazing, because it’s only my second run in a month. It was blazing because not only was I quick, but I felt good doing it. I wasn’t pushing myself beyond comfort, and my breathing was good and my legs felt great. The following two miles were both at 8:41/mile pace. This is significant because I wasn’t trying to set a pace, yet I was hoping for sub-9 minute miles. I did it! And I felt good afterward!!! This bodes well for the APFT in February.

As for push ups, I easily knocked out 50. I could have upped it by 10, but I am going with the method I used to get up to 120 push ups without any arm pain: I do as many push ups as I can without straining, and rest for a day and then do them again. Using this plan, I got up to 120 push ups in two minutes within three months with NO muscle soreness or pain. Since I’m already near the max points for my age in push ups, I don’t need to go crazy and push to failure each time I do push ups. Again, I feel comfortable and I’ll be good for the APFT in February.

The only thing I don’t build on are sit ups. These hurt my lower back, and I find that as long as I’m doing proper push ups with my runs, my core strength is good enough to get me a passing score in sit ups once a year.

Back at it (it’s about time!)

For the past few weeks, I was worried that when I finally got back to running, it would be a painful, slow, and emotionally difficult thing. I was also stressing about getting back to doing my push ups. I shouldn’t have been so worried. I finally got back on the road last night for a run, and it went far better than I expected in more than a few ways.

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My first post-run selfie in four weeks. It was pretty cold out this time.

First, my pace was decent. I ran a sub-9 minute average over the three+ miles. The second and third miles were over 9 minutes/mile, but the first mile was an 8:21/mile, and I’m pleased with that.

Second, I actually felt good on the run. Sure, there were times I was pushing it and I was winded, but I never really felt like quitting. Not once. It was actually a very nice run, and my legs felt great.

Finally, I was able to get my push ups in. I did 50. It was a bit of a push to get past 40, but 50 is good. I could have made the last 10 to 60, but that would have left me with sore arms today, I stopped at 50. I’ll be at 60 or more by the end of the month for sure, and 60 is my max for score on my Army PFT’s.

Since it’s the day after, I expected to wake up with sore legs, but they aren’t any more sore than they normally are after a run. Heck, my legs hurt me more when I was walking in NYC than they do this morning. That’s a great thing. I will run again either Saturday or Sunday, depending on how much I have going on. Then, Monday it’s back to my regular running schedule.

It’s funny; I felt GREAT after I ran. There was a little trepidation before the run, but afterward? Nothing but GREAT. Sure, I had a little soreness in my right calf and my right knee, but that was all gone by this morning. It’s great to be back to it. I’ve missed it.

I’ve got some catching up to do…

I have been running, but not much since I did a 5k in the first week of December. But that’s getting ahead of myself. Here are some runs I forgot to blog about:

November 13, 2017

November 20, 2017

November 22, 2017

November 26, 2017

November 28, 2017

December 4, 2017

December 9, 2017 (Jingle Bell 5k Run)

I forgot to blog after these runs because of the holidays and getting ready for them. Mostly, I’ve been very busy and just forgot to post after I got in and showered. Then, after the 5k, I had a trip to NYC with my wife to visit my daughter, and then came the Christmas and New Year’s break, and then it got too cold for me to run for a week or so and then, well, here we are!

I will be going out for my run today. It’s still cool out, but that’s to be expected. I’m okay with running when it’s cool out; I’m not okay with running when it’s frigid. Now, it’s been a solid four weeks since I last ran. This is probably the longest break I’ve had in running since I started back in September 2016. This time, however, it wasn’t due to injury; just a busy life.

I will be adding push ups back to my routine, so I look forward to seeing how many I can do after not doing any for about three or four months. I had to take some time off to let my left elbow heal. As luck would have it, I injured my right elbow about three weeks ago, so we’ll see how it does. I hope I don’t need to take another few months off from push ups; I have an Army physical fitness test coming in April I need to work up to.

Annoyed Lack of Running

I couldn’t run Wednesday due to cold and rainy weather. I will run in the cold, and I will run in the rain, but I won’t run in cold and rainy weather. Then, yesterday, I had a friend come over for a standard Thursday evening get-together, and tonight is a celebration for the Marine Corps Birthday at my friend Steve’s house. Tomorrow morning will be my only opportunity to run this weekend, as tomorrow night is the Marine Corps Birthday Ball, and I am fairly certain that I will be in no shape to run on Sunday. Sunday evening, I have a concert to go to which then leaves me with only two runs again this week.

I need to pick it up and do more. I will work as hard as I can to get my three runs in this coming week, and I also endeavor to add at least two days of bike riding into the mix.

Much better; pace back to where I like it

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Tonight, I set out to running a faster pace, and almost burned myself out too quickly. My first half-mile pace was 7:10/mile. Wow! That’s likely the fastest I’ve run in a very, very long time. I noticed I was burning myself out quickly, though, and if I were doing an APFT, I would keep that pace (or at least do my best trying), but since I knew I was going 3.1 miles, I slowed myself down. My first mile, I slowed to as close to 8 minutes/mile as I could, going over a bit, and because of the extreme speed in the early run, my subsequent second and third mile pace declined a bit, but I was still able to come in at a good 8:19/mile average. I’ll take it!

The one weird thing on tonight’s run is the number of bugs I ran through. When I got in the house and looked in the mirror, I looked like I had freckles from all the bugs stuck to the sweat on my face. I know a few flew into my mouth and into my eyes during the run. The ones in my eyes burned for a bit. The ones in my mouth didn’t taste too bad.

Decent, if not slower run

Today, I decided to take it slower than usual. Going into the weekend, I figured I may as well just go slow and enjoy the run. After hearing my first half-mile pace, however, I decided that I was going too slow, so I picked up the pace a bit. I can’t allow myself a 9+ minute/mile pace! Image-1 (3)

I picked it up for my second and third miles, but since I had done a bunch of drinking the night before and it was really hot out, I quit at exactly 3 miles even though I had intended to run 3.5 miles. It just wasn’t going to happen.

So, not my best run, not my longest run, but I’m happy with it nonetheless.

View my run on Strava.

Next Morning Muscles

23031236_10210527181484890_7475225840145599662_nSurprisingly, I feel great. I ran longer last night than I have in a very long time, and I was expecting my legs to be sore, but the opposite has happened; they actually feel great. Normal, even.

I’ve been holding back from running longer distances out of fear that it would leave me feeling too worn down or sore between runs, but today, I feel amazing.

My next run will be a 3.5 mile run. Adding another 1/10th of a mile doesn’t seem like much until you are running them and building distance. I won’t run the longer distance unless I can do so at my sustained pace for the previous distance, so that means keeping it at 8:30/mile or faster pace.

Oh, and the Astros won the World Series last night. Not sure if that’s helping my legs feel better, but it sure feels good.