Friday, September 26, 2008

New Plans

I've been running on the treadmill part time and running outdoors part time for the past two weeks or so.  I've also moved my workouts back to the evenings to give my mind a break from rising at 4:50am to get my sweat on.  The new plans are working well thus far.   I anticipate I will be able to run outdoors for another month before the weather will get too intolerable.

I am still working to complete the Hundred Push Up Challenge.  I've finished week 6 twice now and will restart it a third time before I attempt 100 push ups the following week.

Well, I had every intention of running in the South Holland Heritage Awesome Blossom 10k this year.  Unfortunately, our softball team scheduled our first practice the morning of the race.  And, since I'm a coach, I felt I had to support the softball team first.

Despite missing the Awesome Blossom, I am continuing my training program.  This Saturday I will run a 12K and plan to run at least 4 times per week until next Spring when I'll start training again.  The goal for next year will be to run at least one race every 2 months from Spring until Fall.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Best Time to Run

Yesterday evening was interval training on the treadmill. In case you were wondering, I am trying to get back in the habit of running in the evenings at least a few times per week because I want to get a little more sleep these days. I am not sure if running in the morning is better than the evening and vice-versa. Either timeframe has its pros and cons:
Morning Run
Evening Run
  • Much cooler temperature means I can run faster without concern of overheating.
  • When I'm done, I feel a huge sense of accomplishment. No more runs for the rest of the day.
  • No need for caffeine to wake me up!
  • More energy in the evening means my body is not stressed as much as the morning run.
  • After taking a shower, I feel refreshed and relieved that I can sleep an extra hour.
  • My body has more time to heal before I go to work.
  • It takes 20-30 minutes for me to wake up at 4:50am and get myself ready to run.
  • In the Fall and Spring it is dark when I run which is dangerous. Running in the winter is out of the question.
  • My body needs to heal while I am on my way to work and/or at work.
  • Since the evening runs are on a treadmill, my heart rate is higher and pace is slower.
  • I have to manage my time extremely well to allow an hour in the evenings for a run. And, I can not run on Tuesday and Friday evenings due to personal commitments.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Running in The Dark

This morning's jog was a little over 8K with very little sun most of the time. I guess I must get used to running in the dark for the next month or so while the weather allows me to run outdoors. It was just a little weird because it felt like I was running at night until the last mile or so.

My Rules for Pre-Dawn / Night Running
Since many of my runs start at the pre-dawn hours, I try to follow a few safety rules I learned over the years:
  • Assume Drivers Can Not See You
    I call this maintaining "a good run defense." Knowing I can not take on a vehicle forces me to stay as close to the curb as possible. On busy streets, I usually run on the sidewalk unless I see kids in my path which is not likely in dark conditions. On less busy streets, I run against the flow of traffic to ensure oncoming vehicles can see me and that I give plenty of room to vehicles approaching from the rear.
  • Wear Light or Reflective Clothing
    I usually wear a bright yellow shirt and headband. I also have reflective shoes to help give off my location on the road.
  • Never Run A Route You Have Not Run Before
    A familiar route is easier to navigate in the dark and helps you maintain a sense of composure during times of uncertainty. When I ran this morning, for example, I thought I saw an animal approaching me out the corner of my eye. When I thought about my location, it dawned on me I was looking at a stump. Bottom line is I could have made a sudden move had I not known the path and kept calm.
  • Find The Sidewalk or Grass When A Vehicle Approaches Head On
    This is especially important when the vehicle slows down because that's a good sign that the driver either can not see you or is having difficulty navigating around you.
  • Obey Traffic Signs/Laws
    J-walking is quite common for me during my commute to/from work during sunlit hours. On the other hand, when I run in the dark I do not want a driver guessing where I am headed. You can never be too safe if you use crosswalks, stop at stop lights, etc.
Hundred Push Up Update
Last night was day two in week 5 of the Hundred Push Up Challenge. I took an extra day off, so my arms/chest were ready for the stress. I did a total of 174 push ups and maxed out at 40. One more day and then I'm at week 6!