Saturday, April 27, 2013

Day 79 - Skratch Labs Swag, Quinoa and Beets and Running My Best

April 26, 2013     244 lbs

First let me say thank you to Jason from Skratch labs and my new sponsor, for the t-shirt, product and other swag! This product is simply the best hydration mix you can get. Remember, I bought it and tried it before I got sponsored. I have used it now both pre and post workout and can tell you there is nothing better. At least from the standpoint of all natural ingredients with no artificial anything. Nothing! Most products that say that are lying, these guys are not. Get some, you will be glad you did.
I don't know why I look drunk in the picture. I really wasn't. 

Busy day but a great one. First I spent two hours in the pool helping a friend to get comfortable in the water. Then the Boss and I headed out to eat.
People ask me about what I eat all the time. Here is one example of a meal from this evening. This is a quinoa and marinated beet salad with lime dressing from Lotus Vegan. One of my wife and I's favorite restaurants.

So lately, I have had some doubts about my running as its the weakest part of my game. This is mostly due to the fact that injuries prevented me from training as much as I needed to in the past six months. And the fact that I always feel like I'm struggling when I do run. Desiring that elusive "I can run forever" feeling.
Tonight's workout was a forty-five minute run with the last fifteen minutes at a faster Zone 3 pace. I headed to Chandler, late as usual. I wore my new Bare Access 2 shoes from Merrell for the first time. After walking for five minutes to warm up, I took off. Right away, my legs felt their usual stiffness. I noticed right away that I loved the new shoes. Excellent feel. However, I could feel the difference between my Vibrams and the new Merrell's. The Merrell's have a slightly thicker 8mm sole. That extra cushioning could cause some extra driving into the ground with my foot to compensate, so I was mindful to keep the foot strikes light.

As I kept going, I made a mental note to look into a warm up that would really get my legs going before the run.

 I really love how the new shoes felt. I pushed from early on to get my heart rate into zone 2 quicker than I usually do. I continued feeling pretty good. I was breathing heavy but moving along. I was more than half way done before I realized, that I didn't programed the one minute walking breaks I normally add. 

 I thought about it for a few seconds and got really excited. I didn't need to walk for a minute every 10!
Next thing I know, it's time to to pace up for fifteen minutes.  As soon as I started, doubts plagued me about not being able maintain the pace. My legs where really moving. I started having trouble getting enough air. Even with "belly breathing." Then I remembered a breathing trick from somewhere. Basically, you inhale once for each foot fall then exhale for two. 1,2, 3, 4. When I synced my breathing and running, the pace became more bearable. Several times my brain wanted to slow down, but my body, especially my legs, wanted to keep going. I kept expecting to bonk from using up all my energy. But another minute would pass and I was still pushing and actually running strong. Finally, the run was over as I approached the beginning of the bike path. Just then, a man on a mountain bike pulled up and said, "My man." I look at him. He fumbles with a flashlight strapped to the side of his head and clicks it to life partially throwing the guy into shadows. I can tell he is about my age, wearing a dark hoodie and gangster shorts. He repeated, "My man!" to get me to stop. Blood was pounding in my ears from the run and I'm thinking, What's this dude up to?"
Then the guy holds up his hand offering it to me to grab and says, "Getting it in late at night! Good job!" 
Another brother on his own journey. I was touched by the fact that this stranger, wanted to take time to stop and acknowledge my effort. I knew I had done well from the simple fact that I didn't walk. But more importantly, I realized I could run at and maintain a more aggressive pace for at least fifteen minutes. 

I managed to PR as well. To me, it was huge. This heart rate zone training is really sneaky because it almost tricks you into getting in shape. It distracts you with all the "stay in your zone" stuff, then rips away the curtain when you need to go and says, "Wallah! Now you are faster and your heart isn't working so hard" It was the best run of my life. Not because of the speed of the cadence or any of that. It was the best because of the realization that I could push through a mental boundary I had.

I was showing my friend in the pool earlier a balance drill by putting my knees on his kickboard and staying upright. Unfortunately, it ripped up several of the scabs.
So it stings a bit today. Well that's it for now. Until tomorrow my friends.


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