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#21 Greg P

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 07:06 PM

For the last three weeks I've been upping the ante, pushing myself to see whether this tumbledown shack has got what it takes to do a full marathon by the end of January. There's still some doubt. I think by the end of December I'll have a better grip on my state of being in the sketchy 15-20-mile territory. I've started taking one small break to adjust the ipod playlist on the longer runs. Even though it usually lasts no more than a couple minutes, it gives me an opportunity to stop and look around at the scenery and get my second wind, mentally. I've found if i dont have an interesting daydream to kick around, a new project to map out or a good argument to engage in, the skull goes hollow and the run becomes something of a Bataan Death March, no matter if it's four miles or ten.

Last week was one of the more strenuous schedules I've ever done. Mon & Tues- 7 miles. Wednesday-- 8 miles and some change. Thursday-- just a hair shy of 12 miles. Then Friday I dialed it down to 4 miles.

Yesterday I did 8.6 miles. (it was BTW one of the more pure and effortless "long" runs i've ever experienced... there's no rhyme or reason why this happens.) Today my time was limited and i ended up only being able to do 4. Ironically it was one of the toughest i've done in a long time. By the time i was finished, i felt completely wiped out. My goal for the rest of the week is another pair of 8's and maybe a 15.


#22 Greg P

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 07:54 PM

Well, I ran my first full marathon on January 25th. I finished in just under 5 hours, which i'm not happy about. (I held a 10-11 minute mile steady for most of the race and drooped considerably in the last 4-5 miles) My goal going in, based largely on several of my training runs, was to finish in the neighborhood of 4:20-4:30. Eh. It is what it is. I trained throughout December and January, but at some point early this month just had trouble pushing the distances because of the warmer weather and considered bailing altogether.

The weather on the morning of the race was gorgeous; probably in the upper 50's. However, by about 9am any cloud coverage had completely disappeared, replaced by that unrelenting South FL sun. Temps inched near 80 degrees and the last 10 miles were brutal, particularly around the bridge area on Key Biscayne.

In retrospect I'm glad I did it. The discipline required for training and the physical and emotional "stretching" needed to accomplish the task provided some great life lessons. I think my next goal is to tackle another full marathon, preferably somewhere further NORTH of this tropical wasteland, and try to nail a time closer to 4 hours.

Edited by coltrane, 29 January 2009 - 07:55 PM.


#23 Rich Kennedy

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 09:06 AM

QUOTE (coltrane @ Jan 29 2009, 09:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Well, I ran my first full marathon on January 25th. I finished in just under 5 hours, which i'm not happy about. (I held a 10-11 minute mile steady for most of the race and drooped considerably in the last 4-5 miles) My goal going in, based largely on several of my training runs, was to finish in the neighborhood of 4:20-4:30. Eh. It is what it is. I trained throughout December and January, but at some point early this month just had trouble pushing the distances because of the warmer weather and considered bailing altogether.

Is that really your natural stride? Basically, if you were happy with 2:07 last year, doubling that would be 4:14 plus your first ever 22 mile wall. Not bad. What I'm curious about is the 10-11 minute mile. Now that you are in peak condition, I would experiment with stride and pace if I were you. You are considerably taller than I am. If you can fit into a medium shirt (without the shirt flashing your abs everywhere you go) you are all legs and your inseam should be at least a 36. You have legs. Use them. You might be wasting effort limiting your speed. I'll bet you can get down to 9 mph without much additional effort. Maybe more if the competitive itch strikes. I'm just thinking anatomy and technique and nothing else. (full disclosure, when I ran I couldn't "do" a seven minute mile. Too slow. I'm six feet tall).
QUOTE
In retrospect I'm glad I did it. The discipline required for training and the physical and emotional "stretching" needed to accomplish the task provided some great life lessons. I think my next goal is to tackle another full marathon, preferably somewhere further NORTH of this tropical wasteland, and try to nail a time closer to 4 hours.

Come on up here. No races scheduled, but there's plenty of roadwork to be had in the teens and single digits right now. Most of the snow has been plowed despite budget cuts.

Edited by Rich Kennedy, 30 January 2009 - 09:10 AM.


#24 Greg P

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 04:05 PM

QUOTE
Basically, if you were happy with 2:07 last year, doubling that would be 4:14 plus your first ever 22 mile wall. Not bad. What I'm curious about is the 10-11 minute mile. Now that you are in peak condition, I would experiment with stride and pace if I were you. You are considerably taller than I am. If you can fit into a medium shirt (without the shirt flashing your abs everywhere you go) you are all legs and your inseam should be at least a 36. You have legs. Use them. You might be wasting effort limiting your speed. I'll bet you can get down to 9 mph without much additional effort. Maybe more if the competitive itch strikes. I'm just thinking anatomy and technique and nothing else. (full disclosure, when I ran I couldn't "do" a seven minute mile. Too slow. I'm six feet tall).
Thanks for the advice Rich.... My inseam is actually a 34, so for a 6'4" dude i reckon thats shorter than average. I have a longer torso and monkey arms. I'm tall, awkward and rather gangly. I'm certainly not "built" for running in the classic sense. Even though i'm about 195lbs at the moment, there's nothing particularly streamlined about me.

Looking back on my performance, i really think the heat was the biggest factor. Otherwise, i'm convinced i couldve held to a 10-minute mile, which i wouldve been very happy with. When i crossed the 13 mile mark on Sunday, i was right at 4:12. A little slower than my half marathon pace from the year before, but i was naturally holding back this time because i wanted to make sure i had enough juice to carry me another 13. It was what happened after this juncture that affected me the most. The course passed through a couple areas with minimal shade in the 18-23 mile area. I can recall just feeling really beat up at that point. I knew i was slowing down, but at the time it was all about finishing. Strewn along the course were quite a few guys who had blown their wad in the early going and who were barely able to continue walking. There was a kind lady holding a big sign at the 24-mile mark that just read "Ignore the Body"... Sage advice. I dug deep, put my head down and pushed for the finish line.

I'm actually anxious now to try one up north and see if the lower temps and humidity, help my pace.

Edited by coltrane, 30 January 2009 - 04:05 PM.


#25 MattP

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 05:01 PM

QUOTE (coltrane @ Jan 30 2009, 04:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE
Basically, if you were happy with 2:07 last year, doubling that would be 4:14 plus your first ever 22 mile wall. Not bad. What I'm curious about is the 10-11 minute mile. Now that you are in peak condition, I would experiment with stride and pace if I were you. You are considerably taller than I am. If you can fit into a medium shirt (without the shirt flashing your abs everywhere you go) you are all legs and your inseam should be at least a 36. You have legs. Use them. You might be wasting effort limiting your speed. I'll bet you can get down to 9 mph without much additional effort. Maybe more if the competitive itch strikes. I'm just thinking anatomy and technique and nothing else. (full disclosure, when I ran I couldn't "do" a seven minute mile. Too slow. I'm six feet tall).
Thanks for the advice Rich.... My inseam is actually a 34, so for a 6'4" dude i reckon thats shorter than average. I have a longer torso and monkey arms. I'm tall, awkward and rather gangly. I'm certainly not "built" for running in the classic sense. Even though i'm about 195lbs at the moment, there's nothing particularly streamlined about me.

Looking back on my performance, i really think the heat was the biggest factor. Otherwise, i'm convinced i couldve held to a 10-minute mile, which i wouldve been very happy with. When i crossed the 13 mile mark on Sunday, i was right at 4:12. A little slower than my half marathon pace from the year before, but i was naturally holding back this time because i wanted to make sure i had enough juice to carry me another 13. It was what happened after this juncture that affected me the most. The course passed through a couple areas with minimal shade in the 18-23 mile area. I can recall just feeling really beat up at that point. I knew i was slowing down, but at the time it was all about finishing. Strewn along the course were quite a few guys who had blown their wad in the early going and who were barely able to continue walking. There was a kind lady holding a big sign at the 24-mile mark that just read "Ignore the Body"... Sage advice. I dug deep, put my head down and pushed for the finish line.

I'm actually anxious now to try one up north and see if the lower temps and humidity, help my pace.

Greg, I swear this isn't meant to diminish your accomplishment (I've rarely run more than 26 yards at once) but seeing this post made me think of a guy I met recently who goes to my church named Tim Borland. He's a "super-marathoner" if that's a real title, and I honestly thought I misheard him when he told me about the task he had just completed. Push here for an NPR story on it, but the gist is - he ran a marathon every day for 63 straight days! ohmy.gif

Hmm, I just google'd Tim and realized that he has an even newer feat he's accomplished: 50 miles per day for 13 days. What, the guy can't run 24 hours without stopping for sleep? Some people are just lazy I guess...

Edited by popechild, 30 January 2009 - 05:06 PM.


#26 Rich Kennedy

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 06:16 PM

QUOTE (coltrane @ Jan 30 2009, 06:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Looking back on my performance, i really think the heat was the biggest factor. Otherwise, i'm convinced i couldve held to a 10-minute mile, which i wouldve been very happy with. When i crossed the 13 mile mark on Sunday, i was right at 4:12. A little slower than my half marathon pace from the year before, but i was naturally holding back this time because i wanted to make sure i had enough juice to carry me another 13. It was what happened after this juncture that affected me the most. The course passed through a couple areas with minimal shade in the 18-23 mile area. I can recall just feeling really beat up at that point. I knew i was slowing down, but at the time it was all about finishing. Strewn along the course were quite a few guys who had blown their wad in the early going and who were barely able to continue walking. There was a kind lady holding a big sign at the 24-mile mark that just read "Ignore the Body"... Sage advice. I dug deep, put my head down and pushed for the finish line.

I was once a distance guy in competition (you wouldn't know it to see me today), but hated roadwork. I only liked racing and the mile (1500 now) was the shortest competitive distance for me. I still LOVE track and am an Olympics obsessive. Having watched plenty of marathons (I think I'd abhor running one and I'm not convinced my ankles would survive, the reason I don't run anymore) things always fall apart somewhere in the vicinity of 16 miles. And there is always a wall a mile or two before the lady with the sign. The body is thinking that it is falling apart at about 20 to 22 miles. Running through it is the key to the last wind to finish.

The heat probably was a factor (in high school, my first letter was because I wasn't daunted by snow and cold, but heat is worse for my metabolism than yours. You live in Fla while I intentionally don't), but you would feel the same way because you are running 26+ miles. You'd feel the same way in International Falls, MN. I'd read up on hydration techniques and maybe wear a highly ventilated hat next time.

QUOTE
I'm actually anxious now to try one up north and see if the lower temps and humidity, help my pace.

Is the local "Y" air conditioned? Try it.

#27 gigi

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 06:29 AM

Coltrane & Rich, I have to commend you on your advances here. Losing weight and staying healthy is incredibly difficult, but certainly worth it. As you have said, it improves your mental and physical wellbeing. However, you also have to remember that your wellbeing is of incredible importance to those close to you. I say this as someone that has struggled to lose weight themselves AND seen the problems it has caused in later life to those I love. The worry and stress that I undergo because of the health problems I've seen people develop because of their weight is substantial - and the best gift you can give your children is to look after your own health.

Having said that: everything in moderation applies to exercise too. Running certainly helps lose weight, but it also damages knees and tendons and muscles, so don't overdo it! An ex of mine was addicted to running, and continued to do so despite a hamstring injury, much to his later regret. Walking 40 minutes a day is also a very good form of exercise, and once you've dropped weight should keep you in balance.

#28 Jason Panella

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 03:18 PM

About a month and a half ago, I thought, "Huh, I think I'll eat differently." So I did.

A few initial facts: I'm not obese, but I thought I was able to lose some weight; I ate well to begin with, usually cooking many time-consuming Asian or Indian dishes; I am remotely active, both in my day-to-day travels and as a result from running occasionally.

I decided to ramp it up. Time-wise, running has become VERY hard for me to do. I do walk a fair bit, though. So in addition, I started doing bicycle crunches and push-ups twice daily (in the morning and before bed I do about 25 and 40 respectively, ratcheting it up a bit each week). I also started eating lots of grains like quinoa, bulgher, etc. Lots of tofu. More fruit than I used to eat. Smaller portions, enough to fill me. Cut down on beer significantly.

I still drink a brew or two occasionally, still go out for pub food once in a while. But in moderation.

The result: I've lost around 16 pounds since the middle of December. I've gained a little back in the form of muscle. My belt is on it's tightest loop now. And man, I really like tofu a lot. I've been experimenting a lot with marinading it and so on, and think it's neat! (I hope that doesn't make me crazy.)

Someone asked me, "But are you enjoying it?" I said yes, because I am. I look forward to making quinoa, tossing in green onions and whatever spice combo I think up that night, etc. It tastes great!

#29 Greg P

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 09:43 PM

Jason, that's really encouraging! It just proves that you can make reasonable but consistent adjustments, without starving yourself, and see clear results. Even more so with the addition of regular cardio and such. It's cool that you're having fun with it too. Keep pushing little by little!

I'm going to kickoff a slightly different regimen beginning next week. Along with a few, small dietary changes, I'm going to begin incorporating more strength training and dialing down the running just a bit. The fact is, I actually despise crunches, weights and all that kind of stuff, but I just like the challenge of pushing myself into different areas-- particularly ones that are outside the comfort zone.


#30 Rich Kennedy

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 08:12 AM

QUOTE (Jason Panella @ Feb 3 2009, 05:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I also started eating lots of grains like quinoa, bulgher, etc. Lots of tofu. More fruit than I used to eat.Smaller portions, enough to fill me. Cut down on beer significantly.

Smaller portions is my biggest hurdle. However, I am curious as to how you've incorporated more grains into your diet, particularly the bulgher and quinoa you mentioned. I have both personal and professional reasons for asking (I run a natural foods department at my store right now and I like to be free with suggestions to customers)

#31 Jason Panella

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 10:57 AM

QUOTE (Rich Kennedy @ Feb 4 2009, 08:12 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Smaller portions is my biggest hurdle. However, I am curious as to how you've incorporated more grains into your diet, particularly the bulgher and quinoa you mentioned. I have both personal and professional reasons for asking (I run a natural foods department at my store right now and I like to be free with suggestions to customers)


Well, first off I've avoided the stereotypical 'single guy, 20-something' trap of junk food and ramen (well, that's junk food too). My parents taught me a lot about cooking when I was a teen, and I've done a lot of ethnic cooking over the past few years (Indian mostly, but some other southeast Asian, lots of regional Italian, Turkish, and so on). I would usually make a full meal and refrigerate it, eating some over the next few days.

But in the end, doing this often just cost too dang much. So I just completely switched into making most of my dinners based on grains, be they rice or any of the things mentioned above. For me, a typical dinner is a single serving or quinoa (or whatever else), tofu fried with green onions and whatever spice I think to throw in (turmeric, ginger and Spanish smoked paprika are three favorites). Sometimes I'll use eggs from a local farm instead of tofu (and I'll crack it into the boiling water...so cool!) Sometimes I'll use meat from a local butcher. Sometimes I'll just use veggies. It's been fun experimenting.

Now, with the grains I honestly think they taste fantastic as is, quinoa especially. It's almost like couscous, but with a nutty aspect and nice weight when it rests on your tongue. It's ridiculously healthy too. It is also easy to overcook it (I did it last night, since I eyeballed the amount of water I needed).

These grains are a great alternative to rice, and add a lot of variety. You can pretty much toss anything in (baring, like, brine or Fruit Loops) and they'll taste great.

#32 Rich Kennedy

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 01:25 PM

I like your spice ideas. Here's something I concocted for a quick, but unusual pan-mediterranean kind of feel. Especially good with lamb and chicken, but good for veggies too. 2 oz "italian spices" and a TB each of cumin and coriander.

Thanks for the usage tips on quinoa. Right now, the only hurdle is the ungodly price here on quinoa.

#33 Jason Panella

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 01:44 PM

QUOTE (Rich Kennedy @ Feb 4 2009, 01:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I like your spice ideas. Here's something I concocted for a quick, but unusual pan-mediterranean kind of feel. Especially good with lamb and chicken, but good for veggies too. 2 oz "italian spices" and a TB each of cumin and coriander.

Thanks for the usage tips on quinoa. Right now, the only hurdle is the ungodly price here on quinoa.


Good idea on the Italian spices, Rich! I might try that tonight. Cumin is another one I use often, and sometimes with grind coriander. The other day I think I went too far, adding some soy sauce, cumin, paprika, ginger, garlic, hot sauce, ground coriander, rice vinegar, and a bay leaf. A housemate opened the windows (in 20-some degree weather) to vent the house out. Whoops. smile.gif

As for the quinoa price, yeah, it's a lot. I will say that the $6 bag I got at a local health food store has, oh, at least 25 servings in it. That more than makes up for it.


#34 Rich Kennedy

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 11:28 PM

QUOTE (Jason Panella @ Feb 4 2009, 02:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As for the quinoa price, yeah, it's a lot. I will say that the $6 bag I got at a local health food store has, oh, at least 25 servings in it. That more than makes up for it.

Kroger has Bob's Red Mill for sale for $9.99 for two pounds on my shelves. Even organic brown basmati is less than half of that.

#35 Jason Panella

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 11:45 PM

QUOTE (Rich Kennedy @ Feb 4 2009, 11:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Kroger has Bob's Red Mill for sale for $9.99 for two pounds on my shelves. Even organic brown basmati is less than half of that.


Whoa. Yeah, I'd go with the rice in that case too.

#36 anglicanbeachparty

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 12:03 PM

QUOTE (Rich Kennedy @ Oct 21 2007, 04:49 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It has been common knowledge for some time now that one consistently loses muscle mass from some point in the early mid-thirties on.

Not necessarily. I am 50 years old, and I've been gaining muscle mass. I don't know if you had seen these pictures on my blog or not, Rich, but they are from July, 2008. I entered a bodybuilding contest here in Detroit last summer, and lost about 40 pounds in the process, all while retaining my muscle. I've put on more muscle this winter in the off-season and will compete again on July 18, 2009. It's in Detroit, Rich, if you want to come watch.

During my 40-pound weight loss, I used no supplements at all (e.g., thermogenics or stimulants). It was strictly a matter of diet and putting in the requisite time on the treadmill. And the diet was not extreme; I ate 6 to 7 small meals a day, and never went hungry. I don't feel too comfortable posting my "Before" pictures on here, but will email them to anyone who is that brave!







QUOTE (Christian @ Oct 22 2007, 08:53 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
On a related topic, how much water do you guys drink each day?

Off-season, my coaches have me drinking 1.25 gallons per day. In the pre-contest phase (when I lost the most weight), they had me up to as much as 1.75 gallons per day.

#37 Rich Kennedy

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 07:25 PM

Treadmill eh? It never occured to me to benchpress or clean and jerk a treadmill. You didn't get that way just doing indoor roadwork. You HAD to be lifting and targeting muscle groups right? Oh, yes I did see the pics. I followed your progress on the blog.

So Paul, absent actual working to maintain and build muscle, is it still not the case that one steadily loses muscle? Wouldn't body building be easier in one's 20's and 30's just because of the aging process? Don't get me wrong. You look great and you worked hard to get that way. Much discipline to maintain as well....

#38 anglicanbeachparty

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 08:53 PM

QUOTE (Rich Kennedy @ Feb 26 2009, 07:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You HAD to be lifting and targeting muscle groups right?


Yes, sure. In some cases it worked; in other cases, not so much.

QUOTE (Rich Kennedy @ Feb 26 2009, 07:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So Paul, absent actual working to maintain and build muscle, is it still not the case that one steadily loses muscle? Wouldn't body building be easier in one's 20's and 30's just because of the aging process?


Yes, you are right. Partly because of lower levels of HGH and testosterone, it is much harder to build/keep muscle as you get older.

I do think that this type of exercise slows down some of what we call "the aging process" though. I have seen some bodybuilders in their 60s and 70s (both men and women), and they are in spectacular health. You would think they are in their forties, to look at them.




#39 Nick Alexander

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 09:22 AM

This came to my attention today (Friday):

http://www.amazon.co...=tellafriend-20

It's half-price for today only (~$15). The thing is, it's a game for two people, who put a wager in--your own personal "Biggest Loser."

I still have a few pounds to lose. This might put me over the top (or, under the bottom). But I would need someone to compete with and wager against.

Just sayin'.

#40 Greg P

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 08:58 AM

Holy crap, ABP! Those photos are outrageous! Congrats on all your hard work-- that is an extraordinary accomplishment . And yes, i'd love to see some before photos if you have them.