Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Running for a Cause

How are things going?  Well, they're on track.  I'm building toward my first of the trifecta of half marathons in April.  There have been ups, and there have been downs, but overall I'm on schedule.

More importantly, I'm registered for the 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.  It'll be my first!  And because I didn't feel I've put enough pressure on myself, I've decided to try to raise money for charity along the way.  My charity is Concerns of Police Survivors, and organization that provides assistance to survivors and families of police officers injured or killed in the line of duty.  My charity page is here:

Now I have to do it!

I care strongly about this organization, and hope that I can raise a little bit to help out.  I've set my goal at $1,000.

Enjoy your progress!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Progressing Slowly

Progressing Slowly

2012 is coming into focus, and training is moving along nicely (finally).  Progress has been slow, but shouldn’t I expect that?  It should be important to keep my blog’s namesake accurate.

My first week of training was wrecked with a bout of the flu.  I blew off a flu shot again this year; perhaps that wasn’t a good idea.  I suppose I’d rather run into this before training was in full gear instead of hitting it toward the end. 

What has been surprising to me is that getting back into a training program has felt like starting all over.  I guess without some structure and with some extra weight, you can lose some fitness pretty quickly.  I’ve had to incorporate run/walks again to build up, but I believe that I’m gaining progress quicker than I did before.  My last few runs in particular have been pretty decent; I feel the improvement coming along well. 

What I’ve also learned is the importance of cross training.  Doing something on my non-running days is important to contribute to greater success during my training runs, and subsequently my races.  After looking at a variety of things, I’ve settled on doing a stationary bike at the gym for 30 minutes, and then doing circuit weights with little to no rest between sets for about 20 – 30 minutes.  The goal is not only to build some strength, but also get the heart going to improve cardio fitness. 

Pretty obvious and simple lessons, but sometimes you just have to prove them to yourself. 

I’ve been pretty luck as winter around here has been extremely mild.  I should knock on some wood.  I’ve found that running from 20 degrees and up isn’t that difficult once you get used to it, as long as you layer well and bundle up.  I think your breathing gets a bit arrested at times, so you have to consciously think about breathing a bit more.  Overall, it isn’t too bad.  I’ve tried to run outside at least a couple times per week in addition to some treadmill work.

Otherwise, I’m on track to complete my first of three half marathons in the spring.  Still a little concerned that I’ve bitten off more than I can chew.  We’ll see!  I’ll be registering for the Chicago marathon next week.  That is what I’m really excited about. What a challenge! 

Enjoy your progress,


Thursday, January 5, 2012


The migration from 2011 to 2012 was a painful one.  I was struck with the flu right before New Year’s weekend.  This also coincided with the end of my first week of half marathon training, so it threw me all out of whack.  I’m about 80% recovered and have resumed my training (now modified) this morning.  Luckily I’m still more than three months out, so I have plenty of time to catch up.  It has been a while, though, since I’ve been “on track.”  Probably before my last half marathon, actually, which is now almost three months ago. 

I feel very eager to get rolling for 2012, though.  I have some ambitious goals and I’m excited to challenge myself.  I have three half marathons scheduled for April, May, and June.  I also have a 5k scheduled for July.  To cap off the year is my plan to run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon; my first.  I went ahead and applied for the New York Marathon just to throw my hat in, but I don’t expect to make it. 

All three half marathons are locals.  The first is “Rock the Parkway,” a well reviewed local run through some picturesque Kansas City neighborhoods with rolling hills.  The next is a fairly flat course in a rural area in Kansas called “Run with the Cows.”  The medal for this one is a cow bell.  How could I resist?  Finally, I’ll cap the season with “Hospital Hill,” a well-known local half that has some very challenging terrain.  I think the hills will be an interesting challenge, particularly when coupled with the June heat.

The 5k is just for fun.  It is a race put on by Major League Baseball in conjunction with the All Star Game this year, which is going to be held in Kansas City.  Seemed like one of those races that won’t be available again, so I thought I should do it. 

The marathon will obviously be the biggest challenge.  I’m still intimidated, but also ready for the challenge.  I’m considering documenting my progress through pictures and video to create a video of my ups and downs when it is all over.

I may throw a couple more races in during my marathon training to build me up.  The race calendars for late summer and early fall are still being filled in, so I’m not sure what opportunities will arise. 

As far as my training, I’ve gone back to a simple schedule based upon your average half marathon and full marathon routines.  I adapted it to what would work for me, and have everything planned out.  I will also throw in a variety of cross training to help get in shape.  Now I just need to get my legs going.  I’ve lost some fitness, for sure, since my half, so I have some work to do to regain it.  I can’t wait until spring for longer and warmer days!

Well, that’s my plan, and I’m sticking to it.  What are your goals for 2012?

Enjoy your progress!