Back to it after an 8 day break

I’m back! It feels great to be back to running. It’s not just about the cardio at this point. It’s also about stress relief and keeping my mind straight. I just feel so much better after a run. It relaxes me in a way not many other things can.

I started with my 80 push ups, and while it was a bit harder to get to 80 than it was last week, I did it without serious muscle pain. I do have that tendon injury in my left elbow that is beginning to make me worry; it’s not going away. It’s not debilitating, but it is definitely something I notice. If it persists, I’ll see a doctor about it.

I then hit the pavement as I always do after my push ups. I decided to just run as fast or as slow as my body felt like doing, and I ended up with one of my fastest times in a long time! My pace was a great 8:39/mile average which is pretty darned good! I always strive for sub-9 minute paces. Rarely have I broken the sub-8 minute mile. I have done it in the past, but it takes a lot of work for me to get there, and a lot of pushing. I will do that when it’s three months out from my next PFT, but not just yet.

I surprised myself with this pace. I will admit that the third mile was pretty thought, and at some points, I felt like quitting, but I kept it up and made every effort to keep my pace consistent. It turned out that I did a good job with that.

Here is my run on Strava.

Hurricane Harvey

In case you don’t know, I live in Houston, Texas, and Hurricane Harvey came through here at the end of August and caused a lot of trouble. For me, it was compounded by the fact that I’m in the National Guard, and we were activated to assist with post-hurricane disaster recovery operations.

However, I was able to keep running, but I wasn’t able to keep blogging. Here are some Strava entries that cover my runs over the past few weeks:

August 30th Run on Strava

September 1st Run on Strava

September 4th Run on Strava

September 7th Run on Strava

September 12th Run on Strava

I haven’t been able to run at all since September 12th due to a knee injury that I was waiting on to heal. Then, as I was getting ready to run last night, a big thunderstorm came through and lightning was striking within a mile of my house for over an hour coupled with strong winds and rain, so I decided to put my comeback run off by a day. I plan on getting out there tonight and putting in a minimum of 3 miles and hopefully hitting my 80 push ups.

Wish me luck!

Great run tonight

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Tonight was a great run. Although it was hot out and I was dreading it a bit, I hit the ground as usual and started with my 80 push ups. I could have done 10 more, but my left elbow is still a little sore, so I didn’t push it.

Before I ran, I changed a setting on my Garmin Fenix 3 to give me pace updates every three minutes through my Bluetooth headset, and this turned out to be a very cool thing. I started running easily, and found that my pace was at around 8:55/mile after the first three minutes. I decided to work to keep that pace, and I was able to for the duration! I ended up with my first sub-9 minute mile average since before my AT (July 24th, actually). That also means I’ve finally turned my pace trend around, and now (according to Strava), I’m trending faster!

The best part is that I felt really good on the run, and I didn’t really have to push that hard. I did make sure my pace was up, but I wasn’t nearly as sore or out of breath as I thought I would be. Maybe this running thing is going to work out for me after all!

Hot and easy morning run

This morning’s run was pretty easy in some regards and not so easy in others. I took an unintended two-day break due to things popping up in our schedule and I hadn’t intended on running Saturday, but I had no choice. I started with my minimum 80 push ups, and the last 10 were a little tougher than I’d like. Add to that the fact that I have some pain in my left elbow that I’m watching carefully made things a little tougher. Fortunately, the pain isn’t too bad and it doesn’t feel like the push ups hurt the elbow more; it’s actually a set of tendons or ligaments (I forget which they are) that are not used during push ups.

After the push ups, I hit the ground at, what I felt was, an easy pace. As the first mile ticked off on my Garmin Felix 3 watch, I was pleased to see it at a 9:14/mile pace. The second mile was very close at 9:24/mile, and the final mile ticked off at 9:14/mile for an average of 9:19/mile for the three miles. This, once again, was below my 9:30/mile pace goal for now, and what was amazing about this run was that it felt easy (well, except for my leg muscles which were a little unhappy). Breathing was easy, my heart rate was good, and I didn’t sweat like crazy despite it being 87 degrees out.

My legs felt a bit thick, though. I don’t know how else to explain the sensation. They just never got out of the “Not warmed up yet” feeling that normally happens after the first quarter or half mile. For whatever reason, my legs felt fresh for the entire duration of the run.

Oh well. Overall, I’m happy with the result and the fact that it was an easy run at a good pace. I didn’t have muscle pain the rest of the day, and I feel good going into a possible run tomorrow after work (depending on how I feel). I normally don’t do back-to-back runs, but to get back on my M-W-F schedule, I just might do it. We’ll see.

Went better than expected

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I didn’t dwell on the discomfort, and I hit the driveway and knocked out the 80 push ups I set out to do. About half-way through, I did feel some soreness in my arms and back, but I pushed through and got to 80 without too much difficulty. Then, I literally just got up and started running.

I set out with an easy pace, or at least what I thought was easy. I was expecting a 10 minute/mile pace, but it ended up being 8:58/mile for the first mile. The second mile was close with 9:09/mile pace, and the third and final mile ended up with 9:36/mile for an average of 9:13/mile. I’ll take it. My goal was sub-9:30/mile, so this was good.

My legs were a bit stiff and sore, but my breathing was just fine. I was surprised at how easy my heart and lungs were taking it while my legs were, predictably, sore throughout the run. At no point did they hurt enough to make me want to stop, but they were, indeed, sore. I’m glad tomorrow is a rest day. Friday will come too soon.

As I was running, I was thinking back to how we were whipped into shape in Marine Corps Boot Camp. We started with short runs every other day. We always had a rest day after our runs to help our muscles heal and rebuild before going back out to run some more. I think it’s why my plan of running every other day has been working so well; I give my muscles time to rebuild.

Running Sore

After work, I will run my three miles and do my minimum 80 push ups. Today will be daunting for two reasons:

  1. It will be very hot out (upwards of 95 degrees), and;
  2. I am sore.

It’s days like this that I wish I had the ability to skip a day because I just am not feeling it, but the psychological effect of skipping a day is so much worse than the actual sore running that I will do it.

I will likely not be happy doing it, and my pace will be slow, but I will get it done.

Back at it after a two week break

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It was very hot out, and I was a bit nervous heading into it, but I got out there, nailed my 80 push ups, and hit the pavement. I made sure to hold my pace down to not burn out too early, and I averaged a 9:27/mile pace for the three miles. Not bad for it being 97 degrees Fahrenheit outside as well as having not run for two weeks. My goal was to beat a 10 minute/mile, and I did it.

Tomorrow will be a rest day, and then back to it on Wednesday. It’s rebuilding time for my pace and my endurance.

Back to it

It’s been two weeks since I last ran, but this afternoon, I’ll be back at it. I’m not going to lie: I’m nervous.

I’m in the National Guard, and I was on my two-week annual training which kept me from running. You’d think that we’d have some sort of PT or ability to run while on our two-week training, but we didn’t have a spare moment. We worked hard, and literally every waking moment was spent working.

I will start with my push ups, and then I will run. My goals are 80 push ups and a three mile run with a 9:30 minute/mile pace. That’s a full minute slower than normal, but if I can do that without excessive pain, then I’ll be okay.

I just need to get the butterflies out of my stomach. Today will be tough. Tomorrow will be worse with the post-run muscle pain.

More effort, PB on push ups

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Today, I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. I felt pretty rested and ready to go, but at the same time, my motivation level was a little low. I find that on days like this, it’s best to just get in there, hit the push ups, and get on the road as quickly as possible. I don’t let my mind linger on negativity; just go.

For push ups, I counted very carefully, and when I got to 100, I felt I could easily go for more, so I completed 120, a personal best! I felt pretty good afterward and hit the sidewalk on the small loop around the pond in front of my house. My first mile pace was decent at a 8:24/mile while my second and third miles were a little slower, one just shy of 9 minutes/mile and the other just over. So, the average pace of 8:47/mile is pretty decent, and I’m okay with it. Actually, I was really happy with it considering it was 97 degrees out.

I have one more run left before I go to my annual training. I am not looking forward to not running for two weeks or what that will mean for my run times when I get back. I will do push ups, though, so there’s that.

Back at it after a two-day rest

I had to take two days off. My legs were burning so badly after Wednesday’s hot run that I decided to take a rest and let the muscles rest some more. I’m glad that I did. Today’s run actually felt really good, and while my pace was nowhere near as fast as Wednesday’s run, it was still respectable considering the heat and that I’m use out there running to keep the heart and muscles working.

I started with between 90 and 100 push ups. Why don’t I know for sure? Because I lost count somewhere between 65 and 80, and instead of assuming I was right, I restarted from 60 as I was counting. I felt good after the push ups and hit the pavement in earnest.

Immediately, my legs felt good. There was a slight pain in my left foot for about 50 yards but it quickly subsided and I continued on. My first mile pace was good: 9:17/mile. I slowed a bit as I wasn’t sure if I was going to hit 3 or 4 miles, and I decided to just have a relaxing Saturday morning run. My second mile ended with around 10:17/mile pace, and I kicked it in just a little bit for my third mile and got it done with around a 10:01/mile pace for an average of 9:47/mile.

I also took a new route today, and I think I like it a lot. It’s just at 3 miles and takes me around the neighborhood in a nice loop. It’s mostly shaded, too, which is nice for those days when the sun is beating down and it’s hot out. I may make this a more regular route for my relaxing runs, although I find that I run a lot faster on the sidewalk around the pond in front of our house. I don’t know if it’s because I am able to pace myself better, or that I work harder knowing I’m running close enough to home that if I were to get hurt, I could literally crawl home to safety.