Friday, July 11, 2014

Damn the Consequences

When I'm ready to do something new I am REALLY ready to do something new.  I don't wait until the old thing is over and then start the new thing fresh I jump into the new thing and then keep up with the old thing until it is completed.

Men's Masters Physique Competition Contestants
It's a way of being that I think keeps me excited about my life and all the things there are to do but it is not without its consequences.  As stated, I've hired a professional bodybuilder to help me remake my body composition to be much more lean and more heavily muscled.  Something you would see in a men's masters physique competition like these guys.  Yes, these are older guys.

When I was much younger I was into lifting somewhat and I was a bit more muscular but age and years of running has stripped a lot of that away and I have NEVER been as lean as any of these guys.

Actually, I have found that as I have aged, despite all the running, my body fat percentage is actually creeping upward.  When I was at the peak of my running and weight loss about three years ago I was down to about 17 percent body fat measured in hydrostatic weighing.  Earlier this year I had the hydrostatic weighing done again and they had me at 23%.  I don't really believe I'm 23%, I mean I know that hydrostatic is the best you can get but I really think the people at the lab did something wrong.  I think they guy who was doing the readings in the dunk tank didn't get good readings.  However, my home scale puts me at 20% and so I know that I'm up and what's worse, I can see and feel that I'm up.

In addition to the extra body fat I feel weaker even though I've been doing the Olympic lifting.  I can't explain what is going on with my body, I ran a marathon PR in February, I've been Olympic lifting, I run an average of 200 or more miles a month but the fact remains that other measures tell me there is decline in the wind.  The strength thing isn't just a perception thing either.  During my last PT test I did fewer pushups and sit-ups though I did run my third fastest 2 mile run ever, 13:49.

Ok, enough backstory, the point is I'm making this change right now and right now I am practically immobile due to soreness from my lifting and my trainer is strictly limiting me to 30 minutes of cardio per day for now.  He says once he is able to see how the combination of diet and lifting is impacting my body and he feels like he has things dialed in for me I may get to start running more.  This all means that I'm now limited to daily 3 mile runs because I'm too sore to knock out 4 miles in 30 minutes but even if I weren't, its still only 4 miles and, hmm, lets see what I still have on my race schedule for the year.

Ironman Boulder on August 3rd (assuming my new Commander doesn't nix that)
Hartford Marathon on October 11th
Newport Marathon on October 12th
Soldier Marathon on November 8th
Pensacola Marathon on November 9th
Pilgrim Pacer Marathon on November 15th
and the Tucson Marathon on December 7th (which I may nix because the only reason I signed up for it was to try and get a faster BQ time which will not happen with this new change.

So, yeah, all these races are going to pretty much be walk-a-thons. I also want to do several marathons next season so that Misty and I can finish off the 50 states.  By any reasonable standard my plan simply doesn't make any sense.  Most would probably say it's fairly stupid but here's the thing.  I am utterly and absolutely terrified of returning to my younger, fat self.  That's just the bottom line.  I'm also not going to just toss the whole 50 state goal, I have 31 right now.  I also have other goals in life that I need to start working toward.

Actually they are more my wife's goals but they are extremely important to her so they are extremely important to me.  She has been nothing but supportive of me running the 100 milers and now she wants to transition into track and field when she hits 50 so that she can compete in the Senior Olympics, something that sound really cool to me too and time is ticking so really now is the time to transition.  My life, my rules, damn the consequences.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Winds of Change Come Again

As the 2014 season continues to roll on I have accumulated a few more races and a few more experiences.  My new job with the Army has brought me a total of five weeks of schooling away from home.  Three weeks was spent at Ft. Rucker Alabama in the Aeromedical Psychology training program, which means I am now officially a flight psychologist.  That school was very cool but I'm not going to go into detail here.  The other school was Captains Career Course; two weeks in my "home town" of San Antonio Texas.  Another great school but this time focused on military officer stuff.  The only problem with the schools is they put somewhat of a crimp in my training.  Not so much the first school but definitely the second.  However, they were well worth it.

As far as races go I did the Albuquerque Half-Marathon on April 19th pleasantly surprising myself with a 1:45:31.  While not my fastest half it is one of my faster ones and I think my fastest at altitude.  While I was at Ft. Rucker I also got up near Birmingham to do the Run for Kids Challenge 50K.  This was a trail run consisting of 10 loops of single track trail through the Oak Mountain State Park.  It was a great little low-key race but one in which I had some troubles.  I have a hard time running on wooded courses because I'm not used to the roots or the dappled sunlight and so I end up tripping and falling a lot.

The trails aren't technical by any means but there was just enough to where I tripped and fell hard once per lap for the first four laps and then I just had to slow down because the falls were starting to take their toll.  I finished the race in 5:39 and then headed back to Ft. Rucker for two more weeks of Army Training Sir!

Finally, on a whim, Misty and I traveled to South Bend Indiana to run the Sunburst Marathon.  We had been apart for three weeks and i thought this would be a nice reunion and a way to pick up Indiana.  The race was very well done and it was a nice urban course.  My only problem with the course itself was that it had too much concrete.  I think there were several opportunities where there could have been less.  It was also pretty hot out but that's not something a race director really has control over.  As I said, it was a good race.  It started in the downtown area and finish at the Notre Dame football stadium.  Normally the race finishes on the field but that was being refurbished zoo we finished up at the foot of "Touchdown Jesus."

After that race I haven't done any others and training has been very difficult because I have suddenly developed chronic left knee pain.  I took a full week off and it has gotten significantly better but not completely better.  So far I have seen a family doc, a physical therapist and a chiropractor.  I have gotten that I have osteoarthritis, tight IT band and hip flexors and basically "what those guys said."  However, I've also been told by the same three people that I don't have any internal damage and that my knees are strong so we are collectively hoping that better hydration and some glucosamine will clear it up.

In the mean time I'm feeling a bit like the writing is on the wall for the demise of at least some aspects of my running.  I think that in order to preserve as much as possible as long as possible I'm going to try and stick exclusively to trails, limit myself to 50Ks and shorter and not worry as much about my time so I can do my races on lower weekly miles.  However, I think I'm going to invest the extra time into some serious weight training and dieting under the supervision of a professional bodybuilder who lives here in Albuquerque.  I know a body building approach isn't exactly compatible with distance running but it is more compatible with my body type and it won't prevent me from running, it will just slow me down, which I am cool with.

So, I still have lots of running left to do this season as well as another three week Army school (hopefully) but its also on to new and different things and hopefully a new and different body.

My new coach Korbie Ntiforo