Monday, January 25, 2010

Spectaluar Failures

Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they've got a second. Give your dreams all you've got and you'll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you. - William James

Training Update
I have followed the January Base training plan, running 4 times for 10.27 miles total in week 1. My pace for these miles averaged 10:59 which is slow but 3 of the 4 workouts were on the treadmill and my goal for the January base training block is distance, not duration. In week 2 the training distance increases to 2.75 per session, but a sore throat put the training on hold. I took 3 days off and still managed to get 2 runs in for a total of 5.91 miles at a pace of 10:24. The longer miles were not as hard thanks to the build up in mileage. Week 3 will be difficult, thanks to a new addition to my family. My training time will be limited but I hope to get in at least two 3 mile runs. I am however on schedule and nearly prepared for the Jag 5k on the 30th.

Dean Karnazes is a mega-endurance athlete and bestselling author, who blogs about ultra running, life, and the human spirit. I have been reading his blog for a while and I felt I should steal share some of his ideas.

 From what I have observed, those that are successful (“success” being defined as living up to one’s full potential) is that they have a few underlying principles in common.

Focus - My grandmother once told me, “You can have anything you want, you just can’t have everything you want.” To me, this speaks to focus and perseverance. Set goals and stay the course. Will it be easy? Hell no! Undoubtedly there will be hurdles to overcome and obstructions to conquer. Highly accomplished people remain focused on getting the job done despite the blockades. “Obstacles are those frightful things we see when we take our eyes off our goal,” Henry Ford once said. Keep your eyes on your goals and never, ever give up.

Fail Spectacularly - The grander the challenge the higher the potential for catastrophe. The history books are filled with stories of successful people risking everything. Sometimes the outcome is a celebrated success, other times it’s not so pretty. The main lesson here is to have the courage to try. Failure can lead to incredible discovery. Embrace failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. Shake it off, pick up the pieces, and move on. As my pops often reminds me, “It’s not how many times you fall down that matters, it’s how many times you get back up.”

Never Stop Exploring - Show me a man who is content and I will show you an underachiever. Be restless. Search, endeavor, wander. Push your limits and step beyond your comfort zone. The familiar breeds contentment and complacency. True growth only occurs when you journey into unchartered territory and tackle the unknown. As Tennessee Williams once said, "Make voyages. Attempt them. There’s nothing else.”

If this makes you want to lace 'em up and take off then, check out more of Dean's Blog.

Finally I wanted to mention DailyMile is a website that can be utilized to record training data. I have used, but I have found DailyMile easier to use without the annoying ads. It syncs with Nike+ and so far is pretty intuitive. Check me out on DailyMile

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Non-Envelope Pushing Athlete

With the official start of my first training block of 2010 I thought I would share what I am using to record, measure, and motivate my workouts.
One of my 2010 Goals was to monitor calorie intake. I have been using’s application, The Daily Plate to help me monitor my calories. It is a great tool and even has an I-phone app. Using guidelines according to my weight, I am maintaining a 2,200 calorie diet with bonus for calories burned during exercise. Using these guidelines should result in the loss of 1 pound per week. While the target weight loss is not significant, the 2,200 calorie goal will not require much "diet" just monitoring. Less calorie more weight loss. My starting weight on January 1st was 211 and so far I have seen good results. If you are starting a fitness program or are looking for related information check out
Another goal for 2010 was to train focused, specific, and scheduled. has been very useful in maintaining my goal. I am logging miles, times, weight, hours slept, even the mileage on my new Nike LiveStrong Air Max Moto 7+. I set goals on the site, and then challenge friends. This is a great motivator for me and makes me feel good when I have a positive influence. Take my challenge, or try
So check me out on, or, or if all else fails, catch up with me on Twitter.

Quick note about my first training session.

Week 1 of my January 5k program started Monday and the cold temperatures (sub 40 degrees) have forced me inside. My first training run was on the treadmill at a fairly easy pace.

Equipment Check

I received a pair of Zensah Calf/Shin sleeves from Santa this year. The sleeves are made (according to their web site) with gradient compression which provides wide ribbing in the front for shin support and tight ribbing in the back for calf support. And according to their web site, the more oxygen the muscles receive the faster they recover, allowing athletes to push the envelope in their training.

Now we all know, I’m known for pushing the envelope

And pushing...

But seriously, I have been bothered by shin/lower leg pain since I started running. See previous blogs. The compression sleeves have reduced the pain post workout and aided in recovery. I typically wear them after a workout or whenever I am feeling particularly sore. I would highly recommend them especially if you are having similar issues with pain, soreness, or slow recovery. Check out for more info.

I received a sample of AdvoCare Spark Energy Drink. It is marketed as a Vitamin & Amino Acid Supplement that enhances mental energy and focus, and helps reduce free radicals.

Yeah I looked it up

The Mandarin Orange flavor tasted good, not too sweet, and not watered down. While I didn’t have an instant measurable increase in energy (Spark), I did have a good workout which could be attributed to Spark or maybe any other non-measured variable. To give it a true test I would need to try it more than once and take a more scientific approach.

WARNING…shameless self promotion and corporate pandering

Maybe I can get a sponsorship (Wink, Wink) so that I can test the product for the non-envelope pushing athlete. It's a free sample so try it for yourself at and let me know your experience.

Friday, January 1, 2010

In the Beginning...

2010 is here and to start the year right I thought I would share a few New Year quotations. I always enjoy reading quotations, famous or not. They motivated me, make me think, and sometimes laugh. Enjoy

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day. ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man. ~Benjamin Franklin

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other. -Abraham Lincoln

Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed. -Cavett Robert

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right. ~Oprah Winfrey

Yes I know I used an Oprah quote, but just like my good buddy Ockham used to say, "the simpler one is the better."

Training Plan
I'm using January to build up my running base miles. I'm not focused on speed just getting in the miles. I plan to participate in the Jag Run 5k on January 30. I ran this last year and it was my first ever 5k. My next event would be the Azalea Trail Race on March 30. I also ran this event last year and I hope to improve on my 10k PR (1:10:16).
I have put together a rough training plan for January to get in the base miles and prepare for the 5k. I am using weekly mileage goals and not scheduling daily workouts to allow flexibility.

Week 1 - 2.5 miles 3 to 4 sessions. Total Weekly Miles 7-10
Week 2 2.75 miles 3 to 4 sessions. Total Weekly Miles 8-11
Week 3 3 miles 3 to 4 sessions. Total Weekly Miles 9-12
Week 4 Speed Work, Recovery, Race Total Miles for the month 24-33

January Goals
1. 30 miles in 30 days
2. Sub 30 minute 5k

Weight: 211lbs of twisted(flabby) steel and sex(less) appeal. I weight 1 pound more than I did at this time last year. I did eat freely during the holidays so I expect the weight to come off fairly easily. I will be using the Daily Plate app to assist with monitoring my caloric intake

So with that, I welcome 2010. I'm excited about the opportunity to start anew and am anxious for what the year will bring. For those struggling for motivation I've included a favorite "inspirational" video clip.