Aspen Valley Marathon

I made this playlist in 2013 but never used it for any of my races.  I like – no, love – to build playlists for running.  I typically have 2 0r 3 lists in queue for upcoming running events.

Smooth Criminal by Alien Ant Farm (2001)

This song begins my playlist creation for the Aspen Valley Marathon in July.  I really enjoy building off songs that were popular (for however short a time it may have been) during my youth.

Do you listen to music while running?  What are some of your favorite songs to run to?  I am always looking for recommendations for a new list.  I am up for almost any suggestions – techno, Christian, pop, heavy metal, or any podcasts that are good to listen to while running. Leave your suggestions in the comments and I will let you know how it goes.

Happy Running,

Kyle

bridge

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Down and Out

sick

This week and last week have been taken over by a cold.  I spent most last week with 3 blankets on me and the heat up as I shivered between coughing fits.

Thanks to Nyquil I (and my wife) actually got some sleep last Thursday.  Unfortunately I still felt lethargic and sick when I awoke.  I missed all my workouts and a couple days of work as I slept away my illness.

I ran last Tuesday and didn’t get back out till yesterday.

I managed to get out the door, which is about all I can say about that.  I was happy to lace up and run but it was slow (very slow).  I had to take a walk break in the middle and managed to make it about 1.5 miles.  It felt like my first run and 8 years of being a smoker.

Nothing great but it was a pretty amazing feat after a week of sickness.  I did take this morning off but that was more because of an alarm snafu.

I hope to get back on track from here.

Tip of the Week

If you work in an office or are a student – or come into contact with humanity – it is pretty tough to avoid catching a cold.  Webmd provides some tips, including washing your hands, exercise and getting a flu shot.

It is all pretty basic but I work in a small office with about 50 people.  In the past couple months there are constantly 5 people sick making it difficult to avoid the viruses.

It finally got me.  Hope it is the only time this year.

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Under the weather

It has been a tough week.  Coming through the holidays is always tough – the added pounds, missed workouts, early darkness and, of course, it is still cold.  This year was no different.

no excuses

I actually did not miss too many workouts.  I cut a few short, like the 9-miler I wanted became 8 miles.  I ran straight to the gym from home instead of looping around to get the full 3 miles.  But I am getting out there and I am pretty happy with that.

But the missing workouts really started as 2014 began.  With the New Year came a cold.  I missed a day and a half of work and a few workouts.  If the Ralston Creek Half Marathon was today I would have no shot at beating the 2 hour mark.  This has to be the hardest milestone I have worked toward!

Also, with the new year is an opportunity for a fresh start.  Three days into 2014 is a bit early to panic and call a failure.  Hopefully taking a full day off work and a couple extra rest days will get me back on track.

Tip of the Week

Christmas and New Year’s have passed but this is something to keep in mind for next year – The Runner’s World Holiday Streak.

It begins at Thanksgiving continuing through New Year’s.  And it is simple:  pledge to run a mile each day.  The idea is knowing “it is just a mile” will get you out the door and, just maybe, you might continue running for 3 or 4 miles.

I will definitely take Runner’s World up on their challenge during the 2014 holiday stretch.  Hope you do too!

Happy Running,

Kyle

cropped-cimg3012.jpg

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Finishing isn’t always the only accomplishment.

“It’s not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” – Sir Edmund Hillary, who conquered Mount Everest and the South Pole.

HillaryI am reading Run!  26.2 Stories Of Blisters And Blissby Dean Karnazes (My third book of his).  This quote shows up after Karnazes talks about his once non-runner friend who began training for a 50-mile race, saying “Adventure happens within.”

deanrunAdventure is different for everyone.

After running six marathons I have signed up for The Bear Chase 50k in the fall.  My mother has ran more than a dozen marathons and has no desire to go beyond 26.2 miles.  And I lead a Run For God 5k Challenge class and had some runners go on to 10k’s and half marathons – and a handful are content with the 3.1 mile distance.

Running continues to fuel my competitive desires as I learn how to push myself to new heights.  How has running helped you find the “adventure that happens within?”

Happy Running,
Kyle

Top of the tower at Mahoney State Park, me in Nebraska.

Top of the tower at Mahoney State Park, me in Nebraska.

 

 

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Gym workouts, ugh.

The past two days have reached the 60s.  It was near 50 degrees when I got out for a run this morning.    I can’t get enough of these warmer temperatures.

Melissa and I headed out together for some fartleks.  We ditched the track workout – just didn’t have the energy for that.  It was a nice 3 mile run that ended with Starbucks.

My legs were still a bit sore from Monday’s gym workout.  Some days I am really glad I didn’t get the personal trainer I wanted a couple months ago.  The trainer would kick my butt!  I like going at my own pace and, just maybe, I am finally to the point where I can push myself to do more.

gym

Maybe I have a little more crunches to do before my stomach looks like that!

I have a couple short runs over the next couple days before this weekend’s long run – 90 minutes.  I can definitely feel my legs getting stronger as they get over the fatigue from my last marathon.  I am still not performing at the level I want, or need, to PR in my upcoming half marathon.  I guess that is why it is a training plan.  Just have to progress through the days and I will hopefully get stronger.  And I will.

Tip of the Week

I had a good week at the gym.  Getting consistent is just as important in core strengthening as in running.  Twenty minutes of strength training a few times a week can help to prevent injuries, recover faster and improve performance.

Many runners – including myself – sometimes get too focused on logging miles, running hills and speedwork.  All those are fantastic but don’t ignore strength training.  Find a way to get a couple gym days on the schedule.  Or do the workouts at home.  Last year I did Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred from home.  All you need is a couple hand weights and a mat helps.

Don’t avoid these workouts.  StrengthCIMG3021 Training will benefit your running so get to the gym.

Happy Running,

Kyle

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Warm weather has arrived!

This week in Colorado has been cold – below freezing cold.  Wednesday last week, the first day of the cold front, I woke up and grabbed my iPhone.  The screen said it was 0 degrees!

snowAt least it wasn’t negative.I contemplated rolling back over for another hour of sleep but mustered enough strength and got out the door.  I looked more dressed to go snowshoeing than to go for a run.  A few inches of fresh snow lined the streets and off I headed.  All the layers, while uncomfortable to run in, kept me surprisingly warm.

I only made it a couple miles.  The constant worry of loosing my footing wore on me more than anything else.  After getting home I was really glad to have gotten out there.

Warm weather – by that, I mean temps in the 40s –  came back this week.  It has been nice to go out for a run not dressed like that kid from A Christmas Story.

A Christmas Story

Monday was a double workout day (gym and a 3 mile run).  The easiest way to get this in is to run to the gym – about a mile away.

I pulled an old workout from when I was training for Tough Mudder.  It included, on a bosu ball, lunges with leg lifts and squats.  That year I was in good shape but being the first time I have done it in awhile it kicked my butt.  A lot of soreness today.

My goal for this week is to stay more consistent.  No more staying in bed – especially now that I can’t use cold weather as an excuse.

Tip of the Week

Destination races are a fantastic way to include travel and this great sport.  Not only do you get to experience a new city, new restaurants and getting away from work but you get to run in a new location.

In 2010, my wife and I ran America’s Finest City Half Marathon in San Diego.  We got to experience hilly San Diego and its wonderful temperature.  Living out of a suitcase was also a change but with good planning (and double checking) I managed to not forget anything.

Marathons and half marathons aren’t the only type of events worth traveling to.  The Bolder Boulder, a 10k, attracts thousand of out-of-state runners and is one of America’s biggest races.  Active.com provided a list of destination races, including Colorado Springs’ Cheyenne Mountain Trail Race to Maine’s Lighthouse Ride.

Happy Running,

Kyle

Melissa and I ready morning of AFC Half-Marathon.

Melissa and I ready morning of AFC Half-Marathon.

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I’m back.

That’s right.  You’re 300 words of weekly fun – hope to have bi-weekly posts – have returned after years of silence .  While writing stalled, I continued running.  My blog began with my journey to conquer the Denver Marathon.

I finished in 5:42:09.

While off the blog I ran 3 more Denver Marathons (plus the Colfax and Boulder Marathons).  This past Denver race I crossed the finish line in 4:58:36.  A new PR.

Kylerun

I have some new adventures in mind this year:  to PR in a half marathon and to step into ultramarathon territory – a 50k.

I want, so very badly, to run a sub-2 hour half marathon.  I came close in 2010 with a time of 2:06:57 at the Colfax Half Marathon.  Most recently I finished the 2012 Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half in 2:11:38.

The Ralston Creek Half Marathon has been selected for this next challenge.  It is a February race – Brrrrr.  I had some bad races in the winter months but I am not going use that as a deterrent (at least I am going to try).

Another thing I have going for me is I returned to a Hal Higdon running plan.  Hal’s plans have always been great for me.  He puts in cross training, running, double workouts and long runs.

And somewhere a rest day fits in there.

Tip of the Week

After last weekend’s 5k I was reminded that barefoot running is something to begin slowly and stay consistent with – much like running.  I wore my Vibram Bikila‘s for the first time in months.

Vibram Bikila

I couldn’t run for two days post-race.

My lower legs were trashed.  I consistently ran in the shoes for most of last year – including the 14.5 mile Mt. Evans Ascent – without a problem.  As fall and winter came about I put the Vibrams away and hadn’t put them on in months until last weekend’s race.

So how do you get into barefoot/minimalist running?

Start slowly.  After opening the box, put them on and wear them around the house or on errands.

After a couple times go outside – softer surfaces, such as dirt or a local track, are best – and do 1-2 miles.  Keep at this level for a week.

If comfortable, start the following week expanding the distance you traverse in your Vibram shoes.  I typically went by feel.  If it felt fine, my next run went farther.  I later tried on different surfaces, like streets.

Nearly two years have passed since I put on my first bare of minimalist shoes and I am a big believer they will make anyone a stronger and better runner.

Happy Running,

Kyle

Ready to run at 4:30 a.m. in Arizona's Lake Havasu.

Ready to run at 4:30 a.m. in Arizona’s Lake Havasu.

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Day 104: The aftermath.

I did it.  I ran 26.2 miles all over the streets of Denver!

The Denver Rock n’ Roll Marathon was my first.  It won’t be my last.  I’ve heard their are two types of marathoners:  Those that cross the finish line and say this is my last only to change their minds a few hours later or their is the runner that crosses the finish line and says I can’t wait to beat my time – I was somewhere in between.

Finishing a marathon is impressive.  My status in the running community skyrocketed – I am now a marathoner!  That brings tears to my eyes every time I think about it.  Crossing that finish line with Melissa will be something neither of us will ever forget – Thanks to Tiffany we have the photo to help us.  A time of 5:42:09 may be nothing to boast about.  That doesn’t change the fact I’m a marathoner!

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Training is coming to an end.

The Denver Marathon is a couple weeks away.  The milage is falling.  The Glenwood Springs Half-Marathon went well.  It was tough, I was pretty sick.  But got a PR of 2:09:50 with Melissa!

I started writing for the school paper and am behind a little in my classes.  This will be my last post until the marathon.  Take the time to read past blogs and comment.  As always:

Go out and fill your passion bucket,

Kyle

No, that's not what you think!

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Day 84, 85 and 86: The Sickness

The week has been rough and it isn’t getting better.  Yes, I am sick.  The common cold – stuffy nose, lack of energy, etc.  I have been overloading on water and hoping to wash out the virus.

Tuesday morning the cold had just started.  I thought the run might be tough but it actually opened my sinuses up.  While running, I felt better than any other time of the day.  It was getting out the door that was the problem.

The morning was chilly.  I wore my compression pants for extra warmth.  Probably won’t be long before the gloves and hat come out.  The temperature was in the mid 50s.   The cold and my cold combined for a slow start.  It was a slow beginning.  I ran around an 11-minute mile for the first 2 miles.  Cold weather seems to be tough to get going in.  Motivation, the cold…I’m not really sure what plays into it.

I bought some reflector bands for melissa and I.  The mornings have gotten so dark and I would rather be safe.  So I found a cheap pair of relective armbands on Amazon. It gives me a feeling of security at least.

As I ran I warmed up…and sped up.  I finished the 5 miles in 55:27.  I wasn’t meaning to but it looks like I was trying to run negative splits.  Woo-hoo!

These maintenance runs are pretty routine now.  I’m not learning anything new about myself as a runner.  Well the one thing I learn from these is no matter my motivation or fatigue level, I have the discipline to get out the door.   I almost certain I haven’t missed a training run, but I’ll get to that.

Then came yesterday.  My nose was acting as a running toilet.  I continue downing water, which has helped my throat.  I’m still fighting fatigue.  This 8-miler was going to be interesting.

I forced myself out the door.  After a half mile my sinuses and breathing got much better.  But this run occurred late in the afternoon, so it was pretty warm – pushing 80 degrees.  With all these factors, I felt like I was a plodder, which I think is okay.  There’s nothing wrong with being in the back of the pack. But I started faster than I believe.  I was around 10-minute miles.  However I was closer to 11’s on the second half.

In a hurry – Melissa and I had a dinner event – we didn’t bring water.  Big mistake.  Lucky for us we took a route by her sisters and stopped midway for a water stop and a breather.  Up to this point I was doing pretty good. Shortly after my cold made itself noticed.  I began dragging ass.  I finished 8 miles in 1:25:14, keeping a 10:38 pace.

Got home from that and hurried off to a dinner.  Then came home and fell asleep by 9:00.  Exhausted.  Woke up for my birthday run.  Still stuffy and fatigued.  I went back to sleep. Hope the extra rest gets me healthy.

Word of Advice:  If you suffered midrun stomach problems, you’ve probably want to know what caused it.  Runner’s World has a list of foods and situations that cause GI trouble and how to fix it.

Get out and fill your passion bucket,

Kyle

Me and my favorite runners

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