Category Archives: exercise

Two milestones!

Just realized that two milestones coincide with this post… the first being that this is my two hundredth blog post.

[brief fanfare, golf clapping]

Second, all those weeks of training paid off & I completed my first 5k race on Sunday. I wasn’t first – evidently my young daughters were upset when the first runner crossed the finish line & it wasn’t me – but I wasn’t last, either. To celebrate, I bought one of those 5k oval stickers you see on car windows. Hey, I earned it! 🙂

Made a rookie mistake by starting too fast. In training, my running pace was around 10:45 – 11:00mi. Not so on Sunday. Jen & I ran together at the start… yeah, my wife the marathon runner. Suffice it to say I kept up with her for the first mile at a 9:30 pace – set a personal record for the mile, but beat myself up for the remaining 2/3rds of the race. UGH!

As I approached the finish line, with volunteers & spectators cheering us on, I have to admit that I got a little teary. All that time, hard work, runs in the dark, in the rain, etc…

…or maybe the watery eyes were due to the 25mph southerly winds. All I do know is that I dug in for the last 50 yards & sprinted faster than I thought possible. May have even growled a little. 🙂

35 minutes 44 seconds

Jen asked how I felt when we reconnected near the finish line. I smiled & said it didn’t feel real, so I’m gonna have to do it again.

Next 5k: November 25th

Why I run…

Good morning, readers… been over a month since my last post, so I figured it was about time to end this drought. If you haven’t figured it out by my twitter/ Facebook status updates, I’ve been running for over a month. I think it’s sticking this time – enjoy the feelings of accomplishment with each new PR (“Personal Record”… learning the lingo :-)), getting closer to my first 5k event & beginning to realize I may actually be able to do this. I’m even starting to entertain thoughts of going further… 10k, half marathon? Why not?

So, why do I run? I was mulling this over as I approached mile #2 in the rain last night (running gives you lots of time to think.) Here’s what I came up with:

(1) Personal health. I want to be around for a while. I want to actively play with my girls as they grow up, walk them down the isle on their wedding day, play with my grandchildren. I feel good when I run. Plus, some of you may be familiar with my family health history. To borrow from Dave Ramsey, Jen & I want to change our “family tree” in this area. I love the fact that regular exercise is a normal part of our everyday lives.

(2) Personal accomplishment. “Whoa, wait a minute. don’t you bike?,” you may ask. Painful honesty moment – in actuality, I’m probably closer to being a “poser” cyclist. Sure, I’ll hop on my road bike & pound out a 45mi ride, but I didn’t really train for it… and my body protests for days afterward because of the abuse I subject it to. There’s no coasting in running, you either move or you stop. To do this, I had to start at square one, and I’ve had to kick & claw for each milestone. It’s actually those achievements that have spurred me to keep going.

(3) Inspire others. There’s no bragging here, no “check my twitter feed for last night’s run stats [‘cuz I’m AWESOME]” intent. Social media makes my running “public” and adds to the accountability. Not so easy to drop off the radar just because it’s “hard.” People comment because I’m running, pretty sure they’ll comment if I stop. Don’t want to see my stats? Block my status updates, unfollow me, etc. You won’t hurt my feelings because I’m not doing this for fame & glory. First & foremost, I’m doing this for myself & my family. For others, I hope my running updates simply show that a 43 year old sedentary guy with 40-50lbs to lose can actually do something like this. Only four weeks ago, as I was chugging & gasping during 90 second running intervals, the thought of running several minutes was crazy to me. Tomorrow night’s longest run interval is 9 minutes, and in 3 weeks I’ll be running my first 5k. That’s crazy… BRING IT!

DAVE RUNNING FUN FACT #1 – You may notice my run posts are almost exclusively made at night. Nike+ refers to me as a “Night Owl.” This is intentional, because it’s colder at night (I am preparing for a winter series, afterall), helps me unwind at the end of the day, but was originally chosen because it was harder for others to see me gasping, snorting, and struggling during those early weeks. 🙂

C25K – Redeux

Ok, remember those posts months ago about me training for running a 5K? Many months ago?

Remember that?

Yeah, that didn't go far. Ok, that's not completely true & discounting over a month of running progress. Last spring I was slightly more than halfway through the training regimin, then I hit my wall & learned a few valuable lessons…

  • Treadmill running is NOT like running on the road.
  • Don't eat & drink like a fiend before a run.
  • Even weeks into a regular training schedule, the temptation to quit is still there. Habit, bah! Decide to push through!

So… there ya have it. This morning I hit the road again, square one of my training program. First event of the Winter Series is November 11th. I will run all six. I will earn my sweatshirt!


The accidental athlete?

Forty-eight hours from now, I'll be about halfway through the Lake Country Classic ride. Going for a new personal best distance of 45 miles. A couple rides remain this summer that will sweep that record to the side, replaced by even longer distances.

An accident? Did I suddenly, mysteriously find myself straddling a road bike, traveling distances most would consider a normal commute to the office?

Nope. It's a choice.

Actually, for me, it's a series of choices…

Set alarm for an early ride, continue pushing when your body wants to stop, turning down that extra slice of pizza (or buffet at Chen's Kitchen. Mmm, Chen's), enjoying retirement with my wife (on our motorcycles, of course), being around to hold my grandchildren…

Choosing to believe I can do this…

The list is practically endless.


The best of intentions

So, I rode in the Tour de Food last weekend, a ride to benefit a local food pantry. Cool premise, and not bad considering it was the first year it was held. I look forward to doing it again next year.

Being honest, this ride killed me! Granted the 90 degree heat, blazing sun, and 15mph sustained headwind for the last 12 miles didn't help, but I could've done so much better. My sins…

(1) Three hours of sleep the night before was dumb! Yes, watching “The Event” on Netflix is captivating, but not the best idea the night before a ride.

(2) I hadn't trained at all before this ride. What was I thinking? I rode a slightly shorter ride last fall without a problem… could've been the several 12-17mile rides I was doing each week prior? Maybe?

(3) Did I mention my just getting over a chest cold?

So… functioning on 3 hours sleep, unconditioned, and still under the weather and I'll just dive into a 35 mile ride on a scorching, windy June day?

Where's my sign?

I had the best of intentions – tuned up my road bike, registered for the event, even donned my cool REI bike jersey, but I hadn't put in the time, the effort. Subconsciously I was expecting the results without the sacrifice.

Do we sometimes face challenges in life in a similar fashion, chasing the latest thing that gets us excited without counting the cost it'll take to get there? When opposition strikes, how tempting is it to drop our “dream” and seek the next path of least resistance?

Improved finances, better physical fitness, elimination of harmful habits, the list can go on and on. All take work – how bad do you really want it?

BTW, I finished the ride on my bike. I kicked, clawed… rested… prayed… clawed some more… more rest. Thought it was good idea to stop for the freight train. 🙂 It felt so good to ride up to the pavilion and check in with the ride organizers. I want to finish next month's 45 mile ride, and the 65 mile ride in August. Time to get to work!


Still going…

I still hate running. This morning I remembered one of the last times I was required to run was gym class in high school (24 years ago), and I CHEATED! Yes, you read it, I skipped the final lap of our quarter mile track and clamed the 3/4mi time as my 1 mile “finish.” Teacher didn't even question it… shows how closely they were paying attention. Almost a quarter century later, maybe there's hope for me yet? Some key milestones since I started training:

(1) I'm still running! My next training run marks the start of my 4th week. That's got to make it at least close to a habit, which brings me to my next point…

(2) I'm driven to run… there, I said it. Last night at 9:30pm, I was dog tired. Every fibre of my being was screaming “GO TO BED, YOU CAN RUN TOMORROW!” It was so tempting, but I HAD to run before calling it a day. Dang it, I'm turning into one of those people. 🙂

Roughly 5 more weeks before I finish my 5k training program. Time to start looking for some events to register for? Nothing motivates like non-refundable registration fees!


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