I hope I can get a run in today

I am crushed at work with a huge deadline, and I got about 5 hours of sleep last night. With that said, and even coupled with the crushing heat we will be experiencing this afternoon in Houston, I hope I can get a run in today. I need it. My body needs it. My legs need it. My mind needs it.

I’m hoping for 3.5 miles today.

Tropical Storms and Running

2017-06-21 10_29_48-National and Local Weather Forecast, Hurricane, Radar and Report

I don’t mind running in the rain, but with the following caveat: I don’t want to start when it’s raining. If it starts raining after I’ve started the run, I’m okay with that. It actually feels nice. But I don’t like starting in the rain.

We have a Tropical Storm off the coast that is threatening to dump a lot of rain on us as early as this afternoon. If that happens, I’ll be forced to either skip today (which is dumb because it’s supposed to be raining tomorrow all day) or I’ll have to use our exercise cycle for the first time.

We bought the exercise cycle for my wife. She has a knee injury and can’t run for a few months, but she’s able to use the bike. I also figured it’d be something I could use on days when it’s not feasible or possible to run. And now, it seems that day might be today.

I really hope I can just go out and run. It’s not going to be too hot out today, and I really want to hit the same course I did on Monday. I’m not looking to blaze the ground with speed, but I am looking forward to getting at least 90 push ups and a sub 9:20/mile if possible. I know I can run faster, but since I’m nursing some aches, I think it’s better to take it easy and just get the heart rate up.

Let’s add knee pain to the mix.

So, beside the (still persistent) minor pain in my left glute and some pain I picked up last week in the middle of my back, I now picked up a pain in my left knee. Yesterday, I twisted wrong on it twice, and now I have a nagging pain in what feels like a ligament or tendon (I can never tell the difference between the two). Now, it’s not really bad pain; just a minor one if I step wrong or forget it’s there and do something stupid. Will that stop me from running today? Probably not. I’m still going to try to get out there. I may not run very fast, or set any distance records, but I will get out there and I will run. I find that often, when I have little nagging pains like that in my knees, the pain subsides or completely disappears after the first quarter of a mile.

I’m hoping for that today. I can’t stand the way I feel when I don’t run (and I actually like how I feel after a run). What’s wrong with me?

No running in four days?!?!?!

19059513_10209422305023669_7177630929825372818_n
Me during this past weekend’s drill.

That’s right; it’s been four days since I last ran, and it’s bugging me! I ran Wednesday last week, but I had National Guard drill weekend this past Friday through Sunday, and I didn’t have time to run on Friday. Saturday morning was unit PT, but I was selected to be one of the graders for the APFT, so I had to remain in uniform and not exercise. At the end of the day, which was long, I was too worn out to run. Sunday was filled with more National Guard activities and a family emergency that kept me from running.

So, it’s Monday, and it’s a scorcher outside. I will get home in the late afternoon/early evening and bust out my push ups and hit the pavement. I can’t believe the following words are about to flow from my fingertips, but here it is: I can’t wait. My legs are ready. I’m ready. My body needs this.

It won’t be my best or fastest run, but I will get my three+ miles in today. Maybe if I’m feeling okay, maybe more. It’s been a while since I ran four miles. No guarantees, but maybe.

101 Runs

2017-06-06 09_04_12-E.J. Hunyadi _ Runner on StravaI was looking at my Strava Profile today, and I noticed something that went right by without me knowing it; I have run 101 times since starting in September of last year.

Wow.

When I started running last year, I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. In fact, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to like running as I’d never liked it in the past. As an active duty Marine, I did it because I had to, and even then, I disliked it. Sure, I liked feeling fit, but not at the cost of having to run.

In September of last year, joining the National Guard was something I was interested in, but I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do. I knew I had to start running, but I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to get fast enough, be strong enough, and fit enough to pass an APFT. Well, my APFT in April definitely put that to rest, and now, I’m one of the more fit soldiers in our battery (based on APFT scores and height/weight).

A crazy thing happened about a month into my running experience: I began to like it. I forced myself to like it, and it worked. I remember making the conscious decision to enjoy running and I hoped that it would become genuine. It has.

There are days I don’t feel like doing it, but the feeling of not running is far worse than any pain or discomfort I feel when running itself. I really enjoy the 30 minutes I spend running. I am in an easy cycle right now, not working toward an APFT, and just staying fit. I am allowing my body to strengthen gradually, and watching what my body does with repeated physical activity. I’m focusing more on my breathing and allowing the pace to increase naturally instead of pushing it hard like I was. The result is a much nicer run, I feel better immediately after a run and in between runs, and my pace is increasing nicely without me noticing any additional discomfort.

While not every run is great, some of my runs have been downright nice. Every now and then, I experience a light runner’s high, which is pretty cool. It’s something I hope to experience more in the future.

IMG_6898

101 runs. I never thought that would be something I could say I’ve done, yet here I am. Coupled with the 100+ push ups I do before every run, I now have a decent set of muscles on me. I’m not looking to have a body builder’s physique, but I do like looking fit. I love feeling fit even more, however, and that’s where the true benefit has been.

The Day After

file-2 (6)

Today is the day after my first day back at running since coming home from vacation and I feel great. I am mentally refreshed, a lot of stress relieved. My muscles feel good; I didn’t overdo it, and I slept very well. My arms feel normal, another sign that I didn’t overdo it. All in all, the reason I run is to be stronger, to have better endurance, and to stay fit. Days like today are a reminder to me that I’m doing the right thing, and that I need to continue to do the right thing. While today is an off-day for running, I look forward to tomorrow’s run. I will likely take it easy to make it a “Fun run.” We’ll see how that goes and if it translates into a longer run or the standard 3 mile run.

The Versatile Blogger Award

Wow. I was nominated by the immensely talented Leadinglady at Mom on the Go to post seven sort of interesting things about me. If you haven’t checked out her blog, you should. It’s really good, and she’s a great photographer who captures amazing snippets of her life with beauty.

Without further adieu, here are the seven sort of interesting things about me:

  1. I enlisted into the National Guard at age 49 today. That sounds crazy, but it makes sense when you learn that I have spent 11 years on active duty in the Marines and that I only need 9 more years to complete my 20 years to a retirement.
  2. As a Marine, I was an on-air radio DJ in the Philippines as part of the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (also known as AFRTS). I was volunteering and trying to OJT into a new MOS at the time. It was a lot of fun!
  3. I play bass guitar in a band with my daughter who is the singer and my wife who plays drums. Two friends round out the band playing guitars. Our band is named Ninja Fist Class.
  4. I met Jesse Owens as a kid and sat in his lap as he told me about how he began running.
  5. My first concert was Elvis Presley when I was 10 years old. He died shortly thereafter.
  6. I massaged Courtney Love’s feet. It’s a long story. Maybe one day I’ll tell the entire tale.
  7. I met my wife because of blogging. Again, another long story, and I’ll probably post it in the future.

So there you have it! Seven sort of interesting things about me!

I’ll try to follow the spirit of this by listing some blogs here. I’m getting ready for a trip out of the country right now, so it’ll  have to wait a bit. I will do it, though!

If the weather is nice enough, I’ll run today

So far, the knee is holding up. Ironically, it’s the left knee that is giving me some pain today due to some of the limping I was doing Sunday, but I think it’ll go away after a few steps of running. If the weather isn’t stormy after work today, I will run. I’m going to push myself to go easy. I know that’s sort of an oxymoron, but it’s going to be hard to hold myself back. I want to take it easy and have a gentle 3-mile run. Sherry says it should be 2 miles, but 3 is my minimum. I’ll try to stick to a 10 minute (or slower) mile.

Well, unless there is no pain at all. If that’s the case, I’m going for it. I have made too much progress to give any of that back.

Not looking forward to it today…

I think every runner goes through those days when you didn’t get enough sleep the night before, your muscles are still sore from the last run, the weather will be hot and muggy, and you just don’t feel up for a run. That’s how I’m feeling right now.

I know I will get home, I’ll change out of my work clothes and into my running clothes, and I’ll get it done. Why? Because the thought of not running is worse to me than any discomfort while running. It’s become something that I put a priority on in my life. I will give up my comfort to run.

I will do a light run today, though. On my last run on Monday, I planned on doing a light run and while the pace was slow, I ended up going over 4.3 miles. This time, I will aim for right at 3 at an easy pace. I still have more muscle pain than I think I should be having due to pushing too hard last week. I’ll still go for 80+ push ups since my arms have been taken care of pretty well with the slow increase in numbers over the past few months.

Do you ever have those days when you just don’t feel like running but push through it anyway?

Getting ready for the early evening run

Weather in Houston has been cool lately, so my late afternoon/early evening runs are typically very nice. I’ve been fortunate that the weather has been cooler because I know what’s coming soon: hot weather. That will force me to change my run times to early mornings before work.

I prefer running after work because it allows for me to run longer and/or slower if I feel like it without it impacting the rest of my day. I don’t like to go to bed too early, and I don’t like waking up too early. I typically give myself an hour before I have to leave for work to wake up, get dressed, run, cool down, shower, get dressed for work, make breakfast, and eat breakfast. If I keep my run to 30-35 minutes, I actually can make it work. It’s hectic, but doable. If I’m running and I feel great and want to run longer, I can’t. I have a schedule to keep, and I have to cut it short and head in.

Maybe I have to learn to run in the heat. I did it in the dessert as a young guy and I’m sure I can get used to it again. I just don’t like it so much. It makes for slower and much sweatier runs that feel more draining (because they literally cause more stress on the body, so they are more stressful overall).

With all that said, I’m looking forward to an easy run tonight. I may go for another 4+ mile run like I did on Wednesday. I’m looking to start upping my distances while maintaining the 9:30 average speed. I know I can do sub-9’s when I need to (like my upcoming PRT) and from everything I’ve been reading, the distance running is where it’s at to build stamina and muscle. I try to throw some sprints in every now and then, but I’m not on any serious program for it. I feel like I’m still in a building mode, and I’m not quite there yet.

I’m hoping for the 70-80 push ups tonight; we’ll see where that goes. I look forward to posting my post-run report here soon.