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Author Topic: The 201X Health Improvement Thread  (Read 20345 times)
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« Reply #520 on: July 17, 2013, 08:23:12 PM »



slywink

Lots of reps there, Pete. Ever tried slowing down and going to muscle failure? Just curious - I found that slow burn helped me manage more weight - so things like benchpressing 280lbs to the chest without a spot (for reference, my personal best was 335x5 back in May) means I know where that point is.

When going slow (3 seconds to move ~1 inch, 7 seconds to finish the half-rep, then repeat in the other direction) it kills the benefits of gravity and inertia. There is no bounce - you force your muscles to control the full range without compromise. It's always best with a spotter, though if you're benching dumbbells instead (fantastic for control / stability) you can get away with still being able to push your limits.

The rest of the details are as follows:
1 set, fail between 2.5 reps (or 50sec) and 4.5 reps (90sec). If you go beyond that, keep going till failure, but next time increase the weight accordingly.

One exercise per major muscle group - so at 90sec x 8 (plus switch time) means a 45 minute workout is brutal, full body, and you don't need to set foot in the gym for days.

I encourage my workout partner with phrases like "this is just despair - it's the stop before failure. Keep going!" as you really want to hit that wall.

FWIW, I'm down at 245lbs right now, and though I'm far from being a musclebound meat-head, am not a little guy. I'm enjoying the summer right now and not beating myself up over little things, but in the fall I'm going to do whatever works for me to get sub-200.
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« Reply #521 on: July 17, 2013, 08:36:16 PM »

During the semester I have to cut my workouts shorter so I'm forced to cut back on sets and rest time.  For the summer without any time constraints I'm focusing on doing more volume.  On my last set of each exercise I typically go to failure, but I don't count the failed rep if I don't fully complete it.  All movements are slow, form is rarely sacrificed (although we all have the occasional form hiccup when tired), and I make it a point to avoid bouncing, momentum, or allowing gravity to do the work on downward motions.  I'm not trying to lift heavier weight for the sake of lifting heavier weight, but to increase overall strength in the manner you see in my workout format.  It also has been translating well to sports performance and I both look stronger and am stronger than I've ever been, especially given that my workouts are fasted.  I can lift more when eating like a horse pre-workout, but for now it's swimsuit season.  

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« Reply #522 on: July 18, 2013, 07:01:30 PM »

It's taken me the better part of 4 years in my crossfit experience, but I FINALLY was able to squat snatch over 100 lbs today. A far cry from some of the ungodly crossfit athletes who can snatch close to and above 200 lbs, but it's the toughest, most technique driven Olympic lift possible, IMO.

Anyhow, it's the little things in life that get you excited sometimes.  Tongue
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« Reply #523 on: July 18, 2013, 07:26:26 PM »

Had to look up what a squat snatch was.  icon_eek

I can just see me trying that and on the jump all the ligaments in my knees popping off at once, falling backwards, and the bar crushing my soul.

Question: Isn't cross fit about practical strength? What does this replicate real world?

Good job, though, Jimmy!
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« Reply #524 on: July 18, 2013, 10:11:46 PM »

Crossfit isn't necessarily about practical strength. It's more about a combination of a wide variety of movements. The idea is that you do not specialize in any particular movement or exercise, rather you become generally proficient at everything from Olympic weightlifting to body weight gymnastics to running/cardio work. If your goal is good general overall fitness, Crossfit is a great way to do it. The other thing about Crossfit is that instead of long extended workouts, you do shorter more intense ones. They can be as short as 5 minutes or as long as 30-45 minutes. A typical CF class would last an hour with warmup in the beginning, then some instruction about specific movements (weightlifting most commonly) followed by the workout, then finish with a cooldown (stretching mainly). There is a lot of stuff online about the theory of CF, so I won't rehash it here, but I've been doing it for about 5 years and I've dropped 25-30 pounds, increased muscle mass and endurance overall. I'm 45 years old and I've tried just about everything with no success. It was not until I locked on to CF that I finally got results.

I'm not one of those fanatical CF weirdos that go around preaching about it, but I will tell people about it if they are really interested. As with any exercise plan/routine, there are good and bad things about CF, and if you are not careful you can get hurt doing it, but the risk isn't any greater than any other physical activity. Just have to know your limits and pay attention to technique.
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« Reply #525 on: July 19, 2013, 02:57:42 PM »

So I'm considering a bit of a shift....my trainer is expanding to a place double the size of his current gym, and he offered me the mat to teach.  I think I might be going back into teaching, and that means really taking this seriously.  I'm at 260 with a fair bit of it being muscle, but I'd be a hell of a lot more comfortable at 220 to 230.  Gotta figure out how to get there.  The only thing I can think of that doesn't destroy my already-busted pieces is swimming....
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« Reply #526 on: July 19, 2013, 03:21:08 PM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on July 19, 2013, 02:57:42 PM

The only thing I can think of that doesn't destroy my already-busted pieces is swimming....

Swimming is the only thing right now preventing me from trying out a triathlon (even a short one).  I'm a very weak swimmer.

Friends have suggested taking a swim class -I can swim, just not very well when it comes to rotary breathing, kicking and all that- but you may want to look into a class to get your technique down.
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« Reply #527 on: July 23, 2013, 01:56:16 PM »

I have been stuck in the 190s for 6 weeks. Talk about a plateau. Next week I should break through to the 180s, but man the last few weeks have just been a war to see any weight loss.

I even did a 6 day stretch of exercising last week  (6mi run, 17mi bike, 6 mi run, 21mi bike, 3mi run, 28 mi bike) to try to jumpstart and not much return so far.

Not feeling hopeless or demoralized, just frustrated.
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« Reply #528 on: July 23, 2013, 04:36:13 PM »

Don't overtrain...
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« Reply #529 on: July 23, 2013, 07:42:53 PM »

Quote from: ATB on July 23, 2013, 01:56:16 PM

I have been stuck in the 190s for 6 weeks. Talk about a plateau. Next week I should break through to the 180s, but man the last few weeks have just been a war to see any weight loss.

I even did a 6 day stretch of exercising last week  (6mi run, 17mi bike, 6 mi run, 21mi bike, 3mi run, 28 mi bike) to try to jumpstart and not much return so far.

Not feeling hopeless or demoralized, just frustrated.

Without knowing the details of your training program, the only thing I can offer is that once you hit that wall where the weight stops coming off, you need to modify your diet to start seeing results again. I'm not saying you have to stop eating or take up some crazy diet program. Just need to take a hard, critical look at what you eat and how much you eat. Maybe you need to adjust the amount of refined carbs or increase you intake of protein. Stuff like that.
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« Reply #530 on: July 24, 2013, 12:59:49 PM »

Quote from: Jimmy the Fish on July 23, 2013, 07:42:53 PM

Quote from: ATB on July 23, 2013, 01:56:16 PM

I have been stuck in the 190s for 6 weeks. Talk about a plateau. Next week I should break through to the 180s, but man the last few weeks have just been a war to see any weight loss.

I even did a 6 day stretch of exercising last week  (6mi run, 17mi bike, 6 mi run, 21mi bike, 3mi run, 28 mi bike) to try to jumpstart and not much return so far.

Not feeling hopeless or demoralized, just frustrated.

Without knowing the details of your training program, the only thing I can offer is that once you hit that wall where the weight stops coming off, you need to modify your diet to start seeing results again. I'm not saying you have to stop eating or take up some crazy diet program. Just need to take a hard, critical look at what you eat and how much you eat. Maybe you need to adjust the amount of refined carbs or increase you intake of protein. Stuff like that.

Thanks Jimmy. This is why I had the super exercise week last week. To try to kick up the metabolism and or burn some extra calories.

Hit 189.6 this morning. Not official until next Monday, but FINALLY!
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« Reply #531 on: July 26, 2013, 12:20:56 PM »

I have no idea how the human body works. The Psalmist said it best when in praising God he said simply this: I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

One day I can struggle on my run and then literally the next time I go out, I obliterate my best 4 miler time by over a minute.  Did 4.02 this morning in 35:26.  My legs just ran away with me today.

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« Reply #532 on: July 26, 2013, 08:43:34 PM »

Met with my orthopedic specialist today. Again.

Had MRIs done recently for some shoulder problems associated with its separation back in November.  The good news is I don't have any damage requiring immediate surgery.  My labrum and rotator cuff are both inflamed and causing a fair bit of discomfort, but primarily from wear-and-tear over many years of lifting, playing sports, etc, but not from any specific trauma or injury.  So the diagnosis is I'm simply old, battered, and worn down.  But functional. 

How did I celebrate?  Deadlifts.   ninja2
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« Reply #533 on: July 28, 2013, 11:28:21 PM »

My half-marathon training officially started with a 5-mile run on Saturday morning. Now I have only 11 weeks to get to 13.1

October 12th is seeming awfully close already...
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« Reply #534 on: August 08, 2013, 12:08:26 PM »

Today is the first injury related non- exercise day I have had in the almost 4 months I've been back at it.  Left calf feels like it has a strain in it that feels like a non-stop charlie horse.

Slept in today, resting it, hoping to be back at it tomorrow...if it's not better, I'll rest it until Monday.
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« Reply #535 on: August 08, 2013, 03:30:55 PM »

Quote from: ATB on August 08, 2013, 12:08:26 PM

Today is the first injury related non- exercise day I have had in the almost 4 months I've been back at it.  Left calf feels like it has a strain in it that feels like a non-stop charlie horse.

Slept in today, resting it, hoping to be back at it tomorrow...if it's not better, I'll rest it until Monday.

An anti-inflammatory might help as well.  Ibuprofen (like Motrin or a store brand) would be ideal, but Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Aleve (naproxen) might also work.  The charlie horse feeling is due to the muscle spasming from injury.  Muscles will tighten to limit mobility so that they cannot be extended further beyond their strain. 

Good luck with your recovery.  Hopefully it's just a minor strain you'll be able to work through without lasting discomfort.
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« Reply #536 on: August 08, 2013, 05:57:20 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on August 08, 2013, 03:30:55 PM

An anti-inflammatory might help as well.  Ibuprofen (like Motrin or a store brand) would be ideal, but Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Aleve (naproxen) might also work.  The charlie horse feeling is due to the muscle spasming from injury.  Muscles will tighten to limit mobility so that they cannot be extended further beyond their strain.

I feel bad coming in here to correct the pharmacy student, but it should be noted that acetaminophen isn't an anti-inflammatory. It's a centrally acting (works on the brain & spinal cord) pain reliever that might make you feel better, but you'll need to stick with ibuprofen or naproxen (both NSAIDs) if you want to decrease inflammation in the strained tissues. A few days of NSAID pain relievers, rest, and stretching can do wonders for a muscle strain.
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« Reply #537 on: August 08, 2013, 08:35:14 PM »

Quote from: disarm on August 08, 2013, 05:57:20 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on August 08, 2013, 03:30:55 PM

An anti-inflammatory might help as well.  Ibuprofen (like Motrin or a store brand) would be ideal, but Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Aleve (naproxen) might also work.  The charlie horse feeling is due to the muscle spasming from injury.  Muscles will tighten to limit mobility so that they cannot be extended further beyond their strain.

I feel bad coming in here to correct the pharmacy student, but it should be noted that acetaminophen isn't an anti-inflammatory. It's a centrally acting (works on the brain & spinal cord) pain reliever that might make you feel better, but you'll need to stick with ibuprofen or naproxen (both NSAIDs) if you want to decrease inflammation in the strained tissues. A few days of NSAID pain relievers, rest, and stretching can do wonders for a muscle strain.

 icon_redface

Damnit.  Good thing I'm not usually running out the door on my way to meet a friend at the gym when I'm normally discussing medications. 
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« Reply #538 on: August 09, 2013, 02:57:10 PM »

Ran on it today. New PB on my 4.03 mile route by 21 secs.

Guess I'm ok slywink.
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« Reply #539 on: August 09, 2013, 04:55:46 PM »

Took a different approach at the gym yesterday.  Body has felt pretty battered from doing so much volume, playing softball three nights a week, traveling, and fitting in tournaments on the weekends when possible.  Yesterday I deloaded a bit, tried doing slower reps with less sets and less rest between sets.  We'll give this a try for a bit and see how my body feels as well as if it makes any noticeable changes in my physique or overall strength.  I'm also trying to be better about taking rest days.  When I have a trip or something coming up when I know I won't get any gym time in I'll go for consecutive days in a row and inevitably over-train.  I'm trying to do better about taking rest days as I know I need them, my body tells me as much, but I sometimes simply don't listen.    retard

But I'm sure in a week I'll be pushing around heavier weight again.   ninja

Oh, also won the championship last night for our Thursday softball league with four straight hour-long games, and now hope to do the same tonight in our Friday league.  But after playing two games Wednesday night, playoffs last night, playoffs tonight, then another two games tomorrow afternoon, Sunday might be spent snacking on ibuprofen.
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« Reply #540 on: August 09, 2013, 07:58:59 PM »

Quote from: disarm on July 28, 2013, 11:28:21 PM

My half-marathon training officially started with a 5-mile run on Saturday morning. Now I have only 11 weeks to get to 13.1

October 12th is seeming awfully close already...

This reminded me that I have a half marathon Oct. 6. Ugh.

Started in earnest today with a 3.3 mile lunchtime run. Finished in 33:14 which is okay since the last time I ran was back in April.

The things we do to stay in shape...
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« Reply #541 on: August 09, 2013, 08:07:20 PM »

Quote from: Jimmy the Fish on August 09, 2013, 07:58:59 PM

The things we do to stay in shape...

For me working out is the "easy" part (but obviously not THAT easy).  It's the things I have to EAT to also LOOK in shape, now there's the challenge...
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« Reply #542 on: August 09, 2013, 08:33:07 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on August 09, 2013, 08:07:20 PM

Quote from: Jimmy the Fish on August 09, 2013, 07:58:59 PM

The things we do to stay in shape...

For me working out is the "easy" part (but obviously not THAT easy).  It's the things I have to EAT to also LOOK in shape, now there's the challenge...

This +1

I do get carried away with my workouts when I feel guilty eating bad. During the work week I eat very healthy, but when the weekend hits all bets are off.
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« Reply #543 on: August 10, 2013, 04:01:20 PM »

Quote from: Jimmy the Fish on August 09, 2013, 07:58:59 PM

Quote from: disarm on July 28, 2013, 11:28:21 PM

My half-marathon training officially started with a 5-mile run on Saturday morning. Now I have only 11 weeks to get to 13.1

October 12th is seeming awfully close already...

This reminded me that I have a half marathon Oct. 6. Ugh.

Started in earnest today with a 3.3 mile lunchtime run. Finished in 33:14 which is okay since the last time I ran was back in April.

The things we do to stay in shape...

My half-marathon is October 12th...only nine weeks away now. I did a very hilly 7.2-mile run this morning in 1:13 and felt great at the end...was surprised how well it went considering it's a new personal distance record. My previous longest run was a 10k I did at the beginning for June. I'll be adding another mile pretty much every week for a while to hit my goal.

Now I just need to relax for a little while this afternoon before going out with a bunch of friends tonight to do another 5k for the Electric Run in Hartford. Fortunately, the event isn't timed and is more about having a good time, so I'll be taking it pretty easy...pretty much expect it's going to be so crowded and crazy that we'll be almost walking a lot of the time anyway. Those extra few miles tonight will put me over 20 miles in one week for the first time though. The crazy things we do indeed...
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« Reply #544 on: August 13, 2013, 03:13:59 PM »

Decided I'm going to try for 175 instead of 180.


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« Reply #545 on: August 24, 2013, 06:55:08 PM »

I finished a 9-mile run early this morning, setting a new distance record for myself (by two full miles) and getting one step closer to my half-marathon goal. I'm now only seven weeks away from running 13.1, but a challenge that seemed so crazy just a few weeks ago is feeling much more within reach all the time icon_cool
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« Reply #546 on: August 24, 2013, 10:11:41 PM »

Quote from: disarm on August 24, 2013, 06:55:08 PM

I finished a 9-mile run early this morning, setting a new distance record for myself (by two full miles) and getting one step closer to my half-marathon goal. I'm now only seven weeks away from running 13.1, but a challenge that seemed so crazy just a few weeks ago is feeling much more within reach all the time icon_cool

If you can run 9, you can run 13!  Congrats.

What's your time goal for the 1/2?
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« Reply #547 on: August 25, 2013, 01:21:07 AM »

Quote from: ATB on August 24, 2013, 10:11:41 PM

Quote from: disarm on August 24, 2013, 06:55:08 PM

I finished a 9-mile run early this morning, setting a new distance record for myself (by two full miles) and getting one step closer to my half-marathon goal. I'm now only seven weeks away from running 13.1, but a challenge that seemed so crazy just a few weeks ago is feeling much more within reach all the time icon_cool

If you can run 9, you can run 13!  Congrats.

What's your time goal for the 1/2?

My goal from the start has been to finish in two hours, but I'm not feeling good about making that pace right now. That means I have to average a 9:10 mile, which is about 30 seconds behind the 9:45 that I'm doing on most of my runs now. I still have seven weeks to prepare though, so we'll see what happens. If I don't make two hours for this one, I'll be trying again about a month later when I do my second race on flatter ground...might be able to go a little faster for that one icon_wink
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« Reply #548 on: August 30, 2013, 06:21:47 PM »

Well. August is going to be a break even month and I'm kinda okay with that.

I lost 3.5 lbs, but have gained them back due to lower level of activity, vacation, and work schedule so I'll end the month about even or slightly heavier.  It's also the month that I've had the least 'activities' since the come back

September will see me redoubling my efforts.

Also, it's been valuable to see that during this month I wasn't taking a break from exercising and eating right, but that eating right and exercising had actually been the break from some questionable habits.  Good to see that I'm not there yet on this whole lifestyle change thing.
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« Reply #549 on: August 30, 2013, 07:43:15 PM »

Ok, getting back on the wagon.  I'm back in Ketosis as of this morning.  Let's drop some damned weight!  smile

Yesterday's workout routine:

Warmup: 100 pushups

Circuit, 1 minute rest between sets
10 Squat presses with 65lbs (45lb bar + a 10 on each side)
10 Squat dumbell squat/curl/twist
50 full-body crunches
20 pushups
2x ladder runs (jump in and out of the ladder drill)
2x lunges up and down the gym
10 seated shoulder press, 50lbs each arm

Repeat 6 times, and then die.  smile

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« Reply #550 on: October 04, 2013, 02:42:01 PM »

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« Reply #551 on: October 04, 2013, 03:16:35 PM »

September saw me get back in the groove and get almost back down to where I was when I started taking it a bit easy in August.

Ended the month of September by reaching my goal for the longest run of the year at 10 miles. Paced out at 8:56 per mile. Little slower than I hoped but ran the harder of two routes.

After unexpected gorging on homemade chocolate covered pretzels chased by a Mountain Dew (I felt just gross afterwards) I pledged to go as sugar free in October as I possibly can.

4 days in and even though I had Taco Bell on Tuesday, I've had no sodas, no sweets, and no high sugar foods.

This (though I don't generally eat a TON of junk) plus the added mileage from last week, has the scale rocketing down and I am unofficially under 185 for the first time since my 2006 marathon.

Pretty happy.
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« Reply #552 on: October 04, 2013, 05:22:07 PM »

I've had back to back colds (supercolds? I dunno, brutal) and I think I ran twice and biked like 6 times in all of September... it was godawful.

Hoping to have this latest bug gone by the end of the weekend and maybe next week I can get back on the horse.  I'm going to buy a snow bike later today so I can mountain bike all winter... pretty stoked to do that!
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Re:
« Reply #553 on: October 04, 2013, 08:23:48 PM »

I'm one week out from running my first half marathon...feeling good about the race and enjoying a little rest during my taper time. It's still not an easy distance for me, but I don't have any doubts about my ability to finish at this point. Almost to the end of a nine month process...
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Re:
« Reply #554 on: October 04, 2013, 10:07:43 PM »

Quote from: disarm on October 04, 2013, 08:23:48 PM

I'm one week out from running my first half marathon...feeling good about the race and enjoying a little rest during my taper time. It's still not an easy distance for me, but I don't have any doubts about my ability to finish at this point. Almost to the end of a nine month process...

If only you would answer this question from days and days agO!


What's your time goal for the 1/2?
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« Reply #555 on: October 04, 2013, 11:45:13 PM »

I have a half marathon this Sunday. For the last month, I've been running 3 mile, then 6 mile loops one to two times a week. I ran 6.35 miles this past Wednesday in 1:08 and felt pretty good at the end. Certainly could have kept going, so I don't feel as nervous about going past the 6 mile barrier. I ran the same half marathon a year ago and did that in 2:28, so I guess I am shooting for around the same time.

Sorry to derail the conversation. Carry on...
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disarm
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my moral standing is lying down...


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« Reply #556 on: October 05, 2013, 02:22:49 AM »

Quote from: ATB on October 04, 2013, 10:07:43 PM

Quote from: disarm on October 04, 2013, 08:23:48 PM

I'm one week out from running my first half marathon...feeling good about the race and enjoying a little rest during my taper time. It's still not an easy distance for me, but I don't have any doubts about my ability to finish at this point. Almost to the end of a nine month process...

If only you would answer this question from days and days agO!


What's your time goal for the 1/2?

I did answer...on August 24! icon_wink

I'll say it again though...was originally aiming for two hours when I started training, but I've slowed that down to a 2:10 goal based on my recent runs. I think that's still pretty respectable for a guy who only started running nine months ago.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2013, 02:20:16 PM by disarm » Logged

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ATB
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Thanks for everything, Ryan. 1979-2013


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« Reply #557 on: October 05, 2013, 01:55:39 PM »

good luck fellas!
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Jimmy the Fish
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« Reply #558 on: October 06, 2013, 08:22:03 PM »

Finished the half marathon in about 2:20 which is almost 10 minutes better than last year. I was in good shape until about mile 11 when I really started to feel it physically. The last mile was done solely on guts, duct tape and string. I SO wanted to walk across the finish line but fought that urge mentally and managed to run the entire race (no walking).

My legs are sore in a way that cannot be described. Hopefully some Aleve and rest in the next 24 hours will enable me to walk again.

I have no idea how people can do a full marathon. The thought of running for four hours is incomprehensible to me.
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kratz
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« Reply #559 on: October 07, 2013, 03:25:14 AM »

Well done!
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