UPDATE!

5 Mar

Hey everyone!

I am sorry to not have posted in such a long while, but I have a sad reason.  I injured my knee back in November with a nasty flare up of runners knee that, to this day, is still not fully recovered.  Not being able to do the thing I love most has left me immensely depressed, but after running a cautious, mildly painful mile on Sunday, hope has returned.

My bout of runner’s knee (I believe that’s my issue) has been atrocious to say the least, but I believe that after many blunders I have developed a semi-successful self recovery routine that I will share with you all.  I am still learning and researching the actual cause of my problem, and the more I learn the more it all makes sense.  Nevertheless, this process of waiting is trying and I have had more bad days than good ones.  Thankfully though, as I said above, I was able to (for the first time in over three months) run an easy mile at my gym.  It was definitely not painfree, but the fact that I could actually finish it was a HUGE step in the right direction.  I am hoping and praying that I will be running again fully, without pain, by the first day of summer.

Below is a journal entry you might enjoy.  

gda

Journal, 5 March 2014
I’m sitting here on the sofa plugging away at my hasty, last minute preparations for a calculus exam awaiting me in a mere six hours.  I have been having a pretty darn good semester so far but not being able to run still is beyond difficult.  The pain in my knee doesn’t compare to the pain in my heart and my mind.  I think I can say that, after losing my mom a year and a half ago, running means more to me than almost anything else in life.  People come and go, they make you happy only to let you down, but running is such a pure thing.  I love God first, and running seems to be directly in second.  I know that this seems selfish, but putting people before it seems silly; I did that with my mom and it didn’t help at all.  Rather, running was the glue that held me together before and especially after August 2012.
I have been listening to a random mix of music tonight, and suddenly out of the blue a song came on that was one of my favorites to listen to in the fall of 2013 when out for my long runs.  I had so many mountaintop experiences, and each one was better than the previous.  I am nearly brought to tears just thinking of them.  The one that comes to mind, I will recount for you now:
It was a Sunday night, rainy, cold, and late.  I got off work at 6 I believe, and loafed around the house for a few hours.  I had a long run on my schedule just as I always had on Sundays.  I knew that I needed to run it, and I knew that I would probably enjoy if I could just get out on the roads.  However, I had run the roads around my house literally hundreds of times and as you can imagine, I knew them better probably than the engineers who planned them.  So I didn’t want to run out of my front door, but why not drive somewhere else?  That’s it!  I thought of a super cool place that I simply love to go to, out in the country, and plotted out a course on mapmyrun.  I forget the exact distance, but I believe it was somewhere around 18 miles.  I wrote the turns on my left fore-arm in a black sharpie scribble so that I could skip a map and just read the right’s and left’s when the time came.  It was a bit chilly so I wore my black Under Armor cold gear tights, my brooks Pure Flow kicks (my long distance shoe) and I believe some lightweight socks, probably a synthetic blend by Feetures.  For my top I wore some random tech tee over my Cold Gear mock, and atop all that, I donned my North Face Flashdry ultralight running jacket.  A light cap with build in LED’s and a decently bright handheld flashlight completed my gear, and the only thing left was a question of whether to listen to music or not.  I knew that it would be pretty quiet out there on the back roads so I thought a podcast would be a better choice.  I downloaded random episode from the Rich Roll podcast and headed out the door.  On the drive I put on an album by a fantastic Scottish producer that goes by the name “Blackmill.”  I chilled out to some beautiful melodic dubstep while speeding along to my destination.  I was a bit nervous as to where I parked; was it safe for my car?  Eh, screw it, I’ll be fine, I said to myself (and I was after all), and so I locked it up, carefully placed the key in my pocket and took off.  The roads were wet and I felt the light rain falling on my jacket, tapping my legs as they churned out a slow and grumbly start up the first incline.  At the top of the incline I made my first turn, a left, onto a relatively busy road and tucked myself safely in the shoulder.  I figured this was as good a time as any to “start the show,” so I popped in my buds and began listening to Rich Roll’s uber-chill voice.  His earlier episodes always had super long intros, but his voice is so relaxing, I didn’t think of skipping ahead to the interview in the episode and rather listened to the whole intro.  At last his special guest of the show came on, and the interview was engaging.  The miles were floating by and I almost mixed my next turn.  Oh yes, this one.  I was a little nervous in all honesty: it was a little dirt road leading up through thick trees, twisting and turning like a road would do in Ithaca.  I had heard crazy stories of people seeing skeletons here at night, and though they’re just silly, the setting was undeniably eerie.  I paused the podcast, stashed my earbuds so they wouldn’t make noise, and killed my lights.  There was just enough moon so that I could make out the road in front of me, and I wanted to at least be stealthy.  If some weirdos were holding a clandestine ritual in the woods I had the safety of being invisible.  After a quicker pace sped me up the road, I soon came out the other end.  I checked behind me, half expecting to see some ghoulish monster about to gobble me.  Of course, there was nothing but the faint shadow the moon cast behind me.  So, I checked my watch, it was about 10 pm now, and I continued the podcast.  Over the next hour the interview unfolded like a beautiful blossom on a cherry tree, and my run was just as nice.  It is amazing how much one can enjoy the scenery, even if it is rendered invisible by the night!  At last the podcast concluded, and I opted for quiet now; my legs were tiring and my breath was shorter.  I knew that the run was nearing an end and I wanted to soak up every bit of it.  I found myself running up a steep hill that didn’t seem to end.  Suddenly it flattened out, the trees next to me dissapeared, and I found myself at the crest of the hill overlooking miles upon miles of tidy farmland.  What a sight to behold!  I stopped my watch, turned off my lights, and drank in the soft moonlight.  After a nice pause, I started my engine back up and resumed the run, deep in thought and meditation.  The run finished, and I returned to my parked car, on a calm, euphoric high of utter bliss.  I forget what I was listening to on the ride home, but I will always remember that run as the of the best I ever had.
Now I sit here, typing away, and it is past one in the morning.  My heart aches in the same way it does when one is in love.  I dream daily of the moment when I can run again, and it feels real.  I am running along in perfect stride, without a trace of the pain that has weighed me down the last three months  Suddenly I stop, est my hands on my hips and let out small quiet sobs.  Can this really be happening?  Am I really running again?
Yes, that day I believe will be here sooner than I think, and come summer time, I will be running miles upon miles in the quiet zen of forest paths and country roads.  That day cannot come soon enough.
In the words of Killian Jornet, world-elite ultramarathoner, “Run or Die.”

Burn Run 5K Race Report

12 Nov

Hello everyone!

My apologies for not posting in such a long time! I raced two weeks ago at the Eastwood Park-to-Park 5 Mile and again yesterday at the Burn Run 5K (race reports to be fully discussed in a video that will be posted shortly). Below are my thoughts on yesterday’s race which I quickly typed up while they were still fresh on my mind.

“Sunday, November 10.
Today I lined up at the start of the Burn Run 5K with one goal in mind: to break 18:00 in the 5k distance. I didn’t think about place, I didn’t think about competition, and I didn’t care if I would enjoy it. I expected top 10 at best. When I crossed the finish line, the clock read 17:59. I spent the next twenty minutes pacing, waiting to see if the results sheet would read 17:59 or 18:00. When I finally saw that the timing chip clocked an 18:00, I was quite frustrated. I spent the next ten minutes with my hopes for a “sub-18:00” dashed. And then it hit me. Who cares! I went out with no expectation for place, and yet somehow moved from fifth place to second between the half mile mark and the finish. When I thought about that, I didn’t care about time. I wasn’t just running today. I was racing! Come to think of it, I felt strong from the start, I felt in control, and my final move from third to second place was made just 100 meters from the finish. As for sub-18:00, I’m glad I didn’t get a 17:59. What does one fraction of a second do for my time? Nothing! No, when I “break” 18, I want to smash it! When I broke 20, I broke it with a 19:17. When I broke 19, I did it with an 18:25. When I break 18, I am going destroy it. So did I break 18 today? Technically no, but maybe yes.

One second doesn’t really count; doesn’t even matter. As for the whole notions of times, they are trifling. The course might have been .05 miles too long; there could have been too strong a headwind; the start of the chip time system might have been a fraction before I shot off from the start line. All these reasons and more increase the insignificance of a single second. What matters is that I showed up, poured my entire being into the run and snatched second place at the last possible moment.

I believe that my performance did my training justice and stoked my fire for success hotter than before.

Below is a photo of my bib and award certificate. Earned with blood sweat and tears, literally. All three went into this race!

P.S. Look out. I’m coming back with a vengeance in just 17 days at the Baldwinsville Turkey Trot 5K!!”

Haha well there you have it! My pessimistic optimism rang true yet again in my frustrated yet hopeful words. Thanks for reading it, and as I said above, I have been working on a fall training and racing video that you might enjoy. I’ll try to post that by the end of the week!

Cheers
gda

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“Grind ‘Em Out!” [Week Recap Oct. 14 – Oct. 20]

24 Oct

Hey everyone!

Again, I am sorry I didn’t get this posted sooner.  Finally, FINALLY, after three weeks of screwed up training weeks I at last nailed a week.  And it was tough.  Mainly because running wasn’t exactly top priority and half of the runs were run long after the sun set, but more on that later.  I can’t tell how happy I am though that I finally just hammered out the miles and didn’t miss a single workout.  So, let’s get to it!

Week 43 Recap:

(10.14.13) Monday: Rest day.  Since my sister was off from school for the holiday, I scrapped lifting and martial arts training and decided to hang out with her.

(10.15.13) Tuesday: 7 Miles total [6x800m.  First track workout of just 800’s interestingly enough.  Slowest 800 was very slow at 2:57 and fastest was a pitiful 2:35!]

(10.16.13) Wednesday: Easy 6.3 Miles.  Yes, not 6.2 or 6.4, but 6.3.  Like the extra .3 miles means a hill of beans.  Hahahaha (Note: this was run between 10:30 and 11:30 pm in a downpour).

(10.17.13) Thursday: 9.5 Miles with 4.5 hard effort.  Again, this was run quite late, and again, it was a downpour.  Both days I had my earbuds in, listening to some fantastic podcasts.

(10.18.13) Friday: Easy 8.  Legs felt rather sore.

(10.19.13) Easy 8.  Five with the run club, and three before to ensure I’d hit my designated mileage amount.

(10.20.13) 15 Mile Medium Long Run.  This was the only screw up, and it wasn’t really my fault.  I intended to run 16-18 but I incorrectly wrote down the exact route and therefore didn’t get the last 2 miles in.  Below is a picture of the route scribbled out on my arm.  I know, I know, so hardcore.

photo (3)

 

 

So there you have it!  Total mileage was 54 out of the goal 55 and if I hadn’t made the wrong turnaround it would have been 56.  As I said before, on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday the runs were really an afterthought, but after so many bum weeks, I was ready to buckle down and go hardcore, and I did.  So happy for it!  This weekend I’ll be racing the Eastwood Park-to-Park 5 Mile and then just a few weeks after the Burn Run 5K.  I’m working hard to get a good Vlog shot, edited, and uploaded to youtube.  I’ll have more details there.

Ok, have a great day everyone! Cheers!

gda

Afternoon Snack

17 Oct

So I’ve been experimenting with eating more raw fruits/veggies than cooked food each day, and have thus far never succeeded in eating more than about 50/50. Well today I’m shooting for 60/40 (that is to say, I’m trying to eat more raw than cooked by at least a little bit). Thursday is one of two days each week where I spend the better part of the day at the community college. I’m not living in the dorms and therefore don’t have a meal plan, but often I’ll run to a local store and buy a bagel, bag of chips, or something cooked/baked for a snack between classes.
Well today I decided to have nothing but raw food for breakfast and lunch and eat whatever I want for dinner. To prevent myself from buying something between classes like usual, I purposefully left my debit card and cash at home, and instead brought this for my snack:

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“Embarrassingly Lazy” [Week Recap Oct. 7- Oct. 13]

17 Oct

Hey everyone!

Big apologies for not getting out my week recap sooner!  As I said last week, my somewhat rigorous cold took a good deal out of me, and more than that, I was so afraid of worsening the condition that I took off perhaps a little more time than necessary.  Anyway, I only “felt” the cold for just three days and as I pushed into this last week, it was mostly gone.  The only nagging symptom was the stupid runny nose (which is quite pesky on a run).  Thankfully after all that though I am back on track [no pun intended] and pushing forward this week in my last big training week before the race on October 27.  Big thanks to all of you guys who are kind enough to read this post and give it a like! It means a lot!

Alright, let’s get to it!

(Note: I am going to include some of my other workouts as well, as I am now training in several ways to supplement and complement my primary focus of running).

Week 42 Recap:

(10.07.13) Monday: Rest day (for running).

(10.08.13) Tuesday: 1.5 Mile run (Basically I went out for what was to be an easy 6 since I didn’t do a track workout.  However I planned to stop at my sister and brother-in-law’s pad to have a quick chat.  Well turns out I merely ran to their apartment (1.5 miles from my house surprisingly) and “chatted” for over 2 hours.  I would say though it was well worth it; we had an awesome talk about inspiration, motivation, and goal setting).

(10.09.13) Wednesday: 0 Miles.  30 minutes intense cardio training with a Prowler2 weight sled and kettlebells.   (I literally cannot remember if I ran that day or not, which is why A) I really need to dutifully keep logging my miles in my running journal/logbook; and B) I am excited to be getting a Garmin GPS watch so I can just look back through my workouts and see exactly what I did).

(10.10.13) Thursday: Easy 7.5 Miles (Listened to a great podcast of Rich Roll interviewing Matt Frazier).

(10.11.13) Friday:  0 Miles. Nothing.  Shame.

(10.12.13) Saturday: 3.1 Mile run. Previewed a local 5K race course with my club (the Lake Effect Run Club)

(10.13.13) Sunday: 16 Mile run.  That’s right: after a week of slacking and whining, I decided I had to [try to] redeem myself, so I did that by running a tough 16 miler (average pace in the 7:20’s).  Not as fast as I’ve been in the past, but for the distance one of my fastest long runs.  Great way to finish an otherwise bum week and get back out there!

 

Well there ya have it!  Writing it out was harder than I thought.  I was like “Man did you REALLY NOT RUN THAT DAY!?!?!”  Fuel to get me back out there this week though!  And “get back out there” I have!

How about you?  How do you stay motivated after two pitiful weeks of slacking and sucking?

gda

New YouTube Intro

11 Oct

Hey everyone!
As many of you already know, I’ve been working on getting a YouTube channel started, and the key to any good video is a good intro! Well, after five hours of trial, error and trying different ideas, I have at last made a decent intro that will serve its
purpose nicely in my videos. Please watch it, give it a thumbs up and give me your feedback.

Cheers!

gda

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Elevation!!

7 Oct

Elevation!!

Here’s the chart from mapmyrun.com that displays elevation and grades from my little 9 mile hill run. For you mountain behemoths it’s nothing impressive but for me it was a kicker.

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