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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Garmin 610 Training Tool...

Back in training mode with a new tool, can you guess what it is?  No it's not a new pair of kicks-although the thought did cross my mind especially with the reviews the new Hoka Clifton's received from Runners World and Competitor Magazine.

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The Garmin 610 will be replacing the FR10.  After my experience with the nike sports+ band on Sunday, I decided it was time to upgrade.  If you've used the Garmin 610 please share thoughts tips and tricks I'd love to hear them.

I missed my FedEx driver this morning but, Bill left his number on the slip with a message to give him a call and he'd stop back before 5pm.  So I did and sure enough he doubled back, in the time it took him to return I was able to pick up a bottle of water from the gas station down the block from my house for him and a tip when he arrived.  I appreciate EXTRAordinary service, that's going above and beyond!!!

Chloe-(my oldest daughter) gave me this running diary a few years ago for my bday and I never used it.

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Now is the ideal time for me to utilize it as I start training seriously for Hartford CT Marathon in October.  

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Ode to running something....

When the mood swings and my balance is off kilter I relax on a run in the evening.

Like the tide that rolls back into position so you can enjoy a day at the beach my pattering feet tap the concrete BOOM BAT.. Music playing in my ears I forget who's on. It's just BOOM BAT that gets me going and soon I'm gone.

lost in the song free in the beat... Swinging my arms with every step I take.  Inhale.... exhale.... yeah I'm gone.  My record comes on I can feel a surge of energy and urge to hit the dance floor but I've got two left feet, my rhythm is off. 

Synapse pop it's the BOOM Bat... The message is sent and received feet keep going.  My heart revs up, blood flowing quicker and sweat beading on my forehead trickling down my face. 

My shirt is soaked but I ain't slowing down my song just came on and it's 3min long.  I'm singing along but this ain't an R&B song... It's  the BOOM BAT... Heavy bass and snare at 180 BPM I'm just having fun jamming on the run.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

PA Grand Canyon Photo Finish TY

Yet another marathon in the books, thank God.  It was a blast.  I look forward to doing it again in October in Hartford CT.

Colette said it best, "It's all about taking what you've learned and applying it moving forward".

Who woulda thunk I'd be running at my age-Shhhhh don't ask. I'm grateful for every step I'm able to take.  In some way I hope it inspires someone who passes me while I'm training and I give them a thumbs up for allowing me to cross in front of them.

I'm learning how to be patient with myself trust my training and remain open to learning.  My thirst for knowledge propels me forward.  I don't every want to become cemented in my thinking.

I appreciate all the supportive comments from my family, friends and virtual friends whom it haven't had the opportunity to meet in person yet.  

In addition to carbo loading for energy to make it through 26.2miles your encouraging words help to fill my tank and empowers me to keep going. 

Thanks guys I appreciate all of you, God bless!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Killer Hills... PA Grand Canyon Marathon Recap

With race weekend finally here this is where the butter meets the bagel.  Saturday was travel day to PA's  Grand Canyon and I planned on enjoying the journey.  As I absorbed the breath taking scenery I was tempted to take a few flicks while driving, but resisted the urge.  I pulled over once to snap a pic.

Traveling at a decent clip I was making good time until natured called and I had to pick up at DD.  After the call I stopped at the market next door for some fruit to snack on for the remainder of the trip.

Pulled out of the pit stop and hit the road next stop packet pick up at the expo.  Checked in with Redd-(one of the Marathon Maniacs that doped me into doing the race).  How's the expo? "Boo", that bad? "Not much to it", but we did receive a nice warm small town reception. 

We did find something helpful at the expo and that was the course was hilly.  That was the general consensus before the race, which was consistent with Redd's pulse check on the bus after the race.  "How many people think this race was fun"? "I don't know about fun, but it was challenging and hilly".

With our race packets in hand we ventured over to Grand Canyon to scope out the trail to see what was in store.

Arrival at the trail didn't prove fruitful, because we were on the wrong side of the canyon. LOl.   Its all good we used it as a photo op.  After the group selfies we headed to our respective hotels to check in, the Maniac's stayed downtown and I was 20min away.  

Next up buffet Pasta Dinner at 6pm to carbo-load.  Good times!!  After a couple of mouth fulls it was time for a rating on a 5pt scale Redd gave them a 3.5 until Karen downgraded it to 2-2.5, we finally settled on a 3.  

Fast forward to the morning of the race we were bused to the canyon and I had the pleasure of sitting next to a veteran runner, who completed over 175 Marathons.  Wow and Wow backwards!!!  I enjoyed the convo, he pulled out a "Vespapower Packet" and guzzled it down.  VESPAPOWER gives you the power to tap into your virtually limitless energy stores by triggering a natural metabolic shift toward fat as your fuel!  Hmmm something to consider and research later I thought.

This maniac's last words to me were: "keep in mind the beginning of the race is all down hill conserve your energy because the hill will be waiting for you on the return trip".

The Marathon Maniacs were rolling deep at PA's Grand Canyon Marathon, Representing their set!!! 

My SO NY ear buds failed to perform so I brought my iPod shuffle as a back up.  Less than a mile in the shuffle malfunctioned. Urrgg!!!  Oh well I guess I'm going unplugged.  It's a good thing I started running unplugged because this would have been a shock.  My breathing and feet would be the music I'd travel with for the duration of the race. 

At least I had my Nike+ plus Sports band to help track my pace, until it kicked the bucket.  It wasn't until I passed the 13mile marker on the trail and checked my band and it only record 10miles.  Yikes!!!  OK I'll hum along the way play some games, stop at every water station and pop my gel shots.

I saw Redd twice on the course and we gave each other thumbs up as we passed.  The hills were killers.  One of the articles I read about going unplugged said: "Running with out music allows you to tune into your body" It was at that point I wish I had my music to drown out the sound of my body.  "Trust your training" I kept telling myself, but I hadn't trained on a hilly course.  Now what?  Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Right left one two breath repeat!!  

We all finished the grueling hills, some faster than others only one of us PR.  Shout out to Karen!!! You run Gurl!!  I finished in 4:24 with an avg pace of 10:07 which was 14mins faster than my last Marathon in Hartford CT.  14mins is nothing to sneeze at considering the vast difference in the terrain  and elevation of the two races.  

As runner"s we can be our hardest critics but we have to look at the"Silver Lining".  I learned that I'm not a"Hill Killer" and that's OK because now I know what else to focus on in my quest to BQ-(Hills and how to conquer them).  

PA got me thinking about how to approach hills for my next race.  Runners world and Running times had a few articles that I revisited today, you may find them helpful.  Like soap in order for it to be of any use I've gotta apply it.  For now I'm going to wear my hardware like Flava Flav and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Trail Marathon 3 Days & Counting Till Race Day

Every Saturday my Mom would line us up for a dose of Castor oil and oh how we hated the taste-(some more than others).  That's kinda how I'm feeling about pasta at this stage.  Don't get me wrong I like pasta, after my workout today I had a bowl.

Wednesday was my second session of Yoga, "Awwwe the ultimate stretch".  I could be imagining this but, it felt as if the session was tailored for me-(It was probably just a co-winkydink).  While yoga is a new experience for me the awkward feeling is vanishing slowly.

After breakfast today 3miles was on tap and I enjoyed drinking in the 24min run.  However, a few blocks in my MP3 quit playing, was this a sign from the running gods to go unplugged?  The thought of eliminating music from my runs has crossed my mind, but today was not the madden voyage. 

How do you enjoy your time on the pavement with or without music?  Check out what Boston Magazine has to say about running unplugged.  Let me know your thoughts on running unplugged.

Giving my feet a break from sneakers and shoes in my #fabfind from Marshall's, a pair of Birki's for $16 what a deal.  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Taper Week... Carbs Wanted to Stock Glycogen Stores.

With less than 5 days left before PA Grand Canyon Trail Marathon its time to taper and start focusing on filling the vats with fuel to take me through 26.2 miles.

Carbo Blasting is critical and the net is filled with trailer loads of information on how to do it, so I won't spend too much time on the topic.  I was reminded on Sunday about the importance of carbo-loading while reading an article from Jason and Matt from Strength Running on the subject.  

A wise man told me read two books and then make up your own mind, so here's another point of view on How To Carb-Load.  Final word on the topic find out what works for you and stock those glycogen stores to the brim before any endurance activity lasting more than 90 minutes.

When I ran my first marathon Yvonne-(my sister) prepared a Bow tie with pesto, beans and potatoes dish, it was the bomb.

Monday was a rest day so I took it easy, but was back in the gym this morning.  According to the plan I focused on legs low weight high reps, shot some hoops and ran an intense mile on the treadmill.  BAM!!! In/out feet up relaxing drinking a Mocha Frappe, NOT!  Not as if there's anything wrong with that, I had a protein shake. lol.

I'm usually not a red meat eater but I had a taste for steak this morning with eggs.  No offense to my non meat eaters.  

It was refreshing to be attended to by such an engaging attentive professional waitress; I almost forgot I was in Ihop.

After running a few errands I tried a tip Redd The Marathon Maniac shared, the famous ice bath.  "It's easy man stop being a punk, just keep your clothes on and get in"  Yeah about that, maybe at some point in the future; today I was just doing my feet.

Awwwwe what a feeling and yes I kept my socks on.  Wish me luck on Sunday and always feel free to leave your running tips for success.  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Wake Up Those Ask Muscles

Sitting for long periods of time can cause our glutes to fall asleep on the job while we're running.  My ask muscles seemed to have been on an extended vacation, but they are slowly returning to work.  I've been on my BQ kick for two weeks, incorporating Spinning Yoga and Strength training to my routine and I'm proud to say I'm starting to see results.  Sometimes you just need a swift kick to wake up those ask muscles! 

Today was my last long run before my Trail Marathon in PA Grand Canyon and I set a new 10K PR 48:25 Whoot Hoo!!!  Virtual High 5's to everyone!!!

I was stoked when the results flashed across the screen-(48:25.6 Fastest 10k).  Investing time in gym pays off.  If you don't have time to wake up those glutes in the gym, Runners world has a "Glute routine" you can do in the comfort of your home.  Just in case your curious to see if your Heinies are sleeping on the job you can, they also put out a simple test.

After my Spinning Class Saturday morning I sat down to take this picture.  No, that wasn't the only reason, but while I was sitting I figured why not.  

I changed from my cycling shoes into my running shoes for time on the treadmill.  The Fairfield Half was the last time my Brooks Glycerin's 12 seen some sole time.

With a pending video  shoe review in the works it would be good to have a fresh run under my belt in the ultimate ride. 

Here's the preview of Sneakerholic's Shoe Video Review.  Feel free to share your thoughts I'd like to hear them.  Remember to Give Relentless Immediate Nutrition to your Dream... Grind.

Friday, July 18, 2014

How to develop a BQ Plan

Sitting in DD today running the numbers, scratching my head listening to Amy Winehouse and Nas-(Cherry wine) I quipped is it just simple math to BQ?  243-200=BQ.  No not at all.  But, it has to come up at some point, so that's going to be my launching pad.

243 min is the equivalent of my best marathon time 4:03 and 200 min or 3:25 is what I need to BQ-(I built in 5min).  I have to run a 7:63 avg pace in order to hit my target.

Alfie what does it all mean?  It means you have to get to work on building a solid plan.  Reflecting on my running habits and training I decided to prune anything that wasn't fruitful and sow new habits.

Two weeks ago I decided to quit ice cream, I was giving up on Haagen Dazs Butter Pecan.  I'm proud to report that I haven't blacksliden.  Celebrating milestones is a great motivational tool to help keep you on track.

After assessing my training I tweaked a few things.  I incorporated a consistent strength training routine and introduce Yoga and Spinning to my repertoire.  After a few sessions I was able to lean forward balance on one leg to take this picture.

Since my BQ quest I'm starting to see/feel  changes in body and on my runs.  PA Trail Marathon Long Run by divanrun at Garmin Connect - Details Recovery Run by divanrun at Garmin Connect - Details .

Being present in the moment I'm learning to enjoy the journey and discover more about myself in the process.  For example my balance is off and my left leg is stronger than my right leg; armed with this information design a plan to get the most from my workouts.

Recently a couple of friends and family members asked "what would be the best shoe to use in the gym"?  Before I made any recommendation, I asked them what they were looking to do.  Realizing that balance is an area of opportunity for me,  I was faced with the same question.  What shoe would be best for me to use to improve my balance?  Here's what I came up with the "Skinny Jeans Running Shoe". -(I'll give you a brand names: New Balance and Merrell you'll have to come up with the model names lol...).

The minimal soles of "Skinny Jean Shoes" allow your feet closer ground contact and activates different muscles that assist increasing balance/strentgh.  

I 'll continue to work on my range of motion in my hips and ankles because they're a critical part in the kinetic chain.  Last minute thought I'm thinking of getting a t-shirt that says 243-200=BQ, let me know your thoughts.  Feel free to share your BQ Stories or training tips.  

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Yoga For Runners... Have you tried it?

Wednesday was my first yoga class.  Sure I'd watched videos and heard Russell Simmons practiced it, but there's nothing like physically being present experiencing it firsthand.  Directly after my circuit workout I had a cup of coffee/butter with a little bagel #mydunkinstory and it was off to Yoga.

Hmmm... now that I think about we were introduced to yoga in gym class.  The passage of times limited some moves however, I was encouraged to see older participants executing several poses with ease.  As runner looking to qualify for Boston I can see the benefit of incorporating yoga in my  training.  Staying flexible helps even right down to your pinky toes and these tools help keep me in shape.

Runners World offers a series of Yoga Videos-(Essential, Power, Core, Recovery, Beginners and my favorite title Yoga on a Roll).  For all my yoga practitioners and runners I'd like to hear your thoughts on, how yoga has impacted your performance as a runner, leave a comment.

With less than two week left for my Trail Marathon in PA's Grand Canyon it's taper time.  The rest of my day was spent on the campaign trail, yes I decided to put my name in the ring for Runners World Cover Magazine Contest.  "iRun to add days to my life... Life to my days".  Feel free to vote. You can vote once a day from now until August 15, 2014.  Visit Runners World Cover Contest to cast your vote. 

This message was sponsored and approved by supporters of the Oxley campaign.   Lol...  I had a pleasant surprise waiting for me when I came home.  My 2nd set of Hoka inserts arrived.  Yeah me. My Rapa Nui's only came with barefoot insert so those gems at Hoka sent out the other pair.

I had a taste for something lite for dinner tonight, I whipped up a spinach, strawberry, blueberry and avocado salad.

Today is my recovery 6mile run and I'll get to try out my #FABFIND for the day that I picked up at TJ Max, normally $40 on sale for $19.99.  You gotta love a sale, am I alone on this?  Stay Hydrated folks.  Happy Thursday... 

Monday, July 14, 2014

To Rest or Not on Rest Day?

When I finished my 20miles on Sunday I downed a protein shake showered then hit the road for something to eat. This was the last long run before my trail marathon in PA Grand Canyon.

Surprisingly I wasn't moving in slow motion, I actually felt good.  While I ate I reflected on my training last week and started planning for the coming week.

"Revenge of the Spin Cycle" was the first thing on the agenda, our rematch is scheduled for Tuesday morning and I'm coming prepared with a towel and shoes.

Monday was supposed to be my rest day so I just took it easy, but you know I had to try out the shoes on the bike.  

Nothing intense just fluid turns to warm up the hip flexors and practice the different positions.  

Aterwards stretching planks and foam rolling. 

light activity on rest day is cool.  Does it sound as though I'm trying to convince myself?  Lol.  I'm convinced.  Do you find it hard to do nothing on your rest days?  What's your strategy for recovery after a long run?

My legs thanked me afterwards.  Have a EXTRAordinary week.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Spin Class Remix Featuring The Northface Ultra Trail

Mars Blackman repeadly asked Jordan how he performed his gavity defying dunks "Is it the shoes, is it the shoes"?  No, Jordan exclaimed!  Mike was endowed with God given talent which he honed through hardwork.

Revisiting my spin class today, I'm convinced the shoes played a critical part in helping me power through the class.  Having the right tools for the job makes a huge difference.  The stiff bottom decreases flexibility and increases the amount of force applied by our legs with each rotation of the pedal.  Spinning is now officially a part of my strength training.

Awesome workout followed by stretching, breakfast and 3miles scheduled later in the evening if the weather cooperates

With the ground still wet I thought it ideal timing for me to get another run in my Northface Ultra Trail's.  Northface partnered with Vibram for the sticky coffin shaped outsole.  The asphalt was still wet from the rain but traction wasn't an issue.  

My first run was 7 miles off road on cobble stone, crushed clay and blacktop which was an easy chore  for the Ultra Trail to navigate over a variety of surfaces.

This is one "hella fast trail shoe".  Light weight breathable flexiable with a super dry upper that wicks moisture away from your feet and a seamless to reduce blisters.  The Ultra Trail comes with a 8mm drop and plenty of cushioning in the midsole.  Northface did an awesome job with this shoe it locked my foot in place allowed my toes to play in the spacious toe box.  

Simple elgance, hold the "bling bling" and still make a bold statement as you tear up the roads or trails, it is easy to see why this shoe won so many awards coming out the gate.


Like "Rakim Spinning Ain't No Joke"

Curious about spinning I put some feelers out on Facebook, Google+, read a little online; I even went as far as giving the spin bike a whirl for a few minutes earlier in the week.  "It's a great work, Wear pads, get some lube, bring a towel-(I forgot my towel... Lol),water and arrive early to have the instructer set your bike up" were just a few of the comments I received.

I signed up for an 8:30am class at my local YMCA.  Excitement and apprehension caused me to toss and turn the night before, similar to race day jitters. A little self talk quashed the jitters.  With my water, nuun tablet and keys in hand I made my way to DD to grab a bagel and a cup of coffee.

I arrived at the class with plenty of time to warmup, set up my bike and review the 3 positions- seated, standing and hovering.  About 8:25 the room starts to fill and I'm checking out the other participants to get a gauge of their fitness levels to see how well I think I would do-(I soon would learn that looks have no bearing on performance or fitness level).  The majority of the participants were females 30-45 and just two older men over 50.

The jitters are gone, the seat doesn't feel that bad I'm ready.  The lights dim then the music starts. We start off at a nice easy pace to warm up.  "Okay what you want to do here is turn the resistance knob and maintain your same pace"

5mins into the class I realized "Spinning Ain't No JOKE".  I cringed everytime Jane said "Give me another turn and maintain your speed".  Sweat is starting to bead on my forehead.

Although the bike is stationary it felt as though we were literally climbing hills.  Now the sweat is dripping and I'm trying to catch my breath and Jane won't let me.  "Don't lean what you want to do is here is hover, add some more tension to support your weight and pick up the pace". 

Pick up the pace; I thought I'm okay finishing last but, this isn't a race.  Jane must have seen the puddle of sweat accumulating on the floor and felt bad for me, so she stopped by with paper towels twice and checked in with me.  

"Are you ok?" Yeah I'm fine.  "You can sit down if you want".  I can't stop because when I glanced at the other participants they were "Crushing It"; plus my mind is making making fun of me for judging a book by its cover earlier and committing to qualifying for Boston.  

Spinning sounds easy but it is a serious low impact workout which recuits different fast twitch muscles.  Runners at all levels can benefit from a spinning. Final thoughts it's a solid workout I'll definitely incorporate into my training plan and bring a towel next time.  At the end of the class I was drenched and would need to refuel with my POWERSpin Berry Recovery Shake.