Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Strike up the band! I ran on Monday for forty minutes! No sciatica later in the day. No sciatica the next morning. No sciatica after six hours of driving and three hours of standing and kneeling! WOOOOOOO! I'm confident that I've turned the corner.

I'm digging the current workout routine that I've been pumping. I'm using a Hal Higdon marathon plan. I've modified it somewhat for MAF. On recovery days, I keep it bottom half of MAF. On hard days, I go to top of MAF. I'm only running on Monday (YEAH I'M RUNNING), elliptical on Tuesday, spin bike on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Piggy backing weights four days a week plus yoga on Thursday and Sunday. Busy but manageable training schedule. It is also flexible for business travel. I'll be making some swaps next week to accommodate a week in Youngstown.

My focus is the bike in order to hit a bucket item this spring - century ride. The training plan hits a four ride in early April. I'll build upon that and drop a century in late May. I'll start riding outside in the next couple of weeks. It's supposed to be 65F next week! I hope it holds for a while. I need some saddle time outdoors!

Additionally, I started tracking my meals. It's not so much that I'm worried about servings during the day. Tracking makes me more conscious about "rewards" or "cheats".  What starts as a bowl of ice cream a weeks turns into five or six days a week. Of course, the wings and beer don't help. So I'm using to keep track of things and focusing on eating clean, single ingredient foods. We'll see how things go next week when I'm on the road five days.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Pain Free Days

It's been another solid week of training. I've been mostly pain free with only a bit of tightness. After yoga on Sunday, there was zero pain. Woooooo!

Weightlifting is coming along nicely. I started a new six week program and I like it. Four workout days per week with six exercises each day. I was lifting all muscle groups twice a week. The new routine only hits them once which should help recovery.

Cardio fitness is doing well too. I had a great a solid week of elliptical and spin workouts. The peak workout was a two hour elliptical session on Saturday. This was a fatigued workout after lifting heavy legs on Friday.

I need to watch the treats a bit. My sugar intake has been a bit high. I've been pretty lax about sugar for a few months. My waistline is suffering. I need to lose a couple of inches from my waist. Time to tighten the screws.

I think I will add one run this week. I have five cardio sessions planned. My focus needs to remain the bike to prepare for the fifty and hundred mile rides. So I'll run, lipty, spin, spin, spin. We'll see how it goes. I sure do miss running.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Embracing the Injury

Here we are in February and I'm not running (much). I've been spending time on the spin bike, road bike and elliptical since mid-December. I hit a short twenty minute run off a two hour ride. It felt great to run even for a short while.

I've also been consistent with lifting weights three to four days a week. This has been a weakness in the last several years. I am quite happy with the progress in a short six week period. I'm not Arnie but I'm definitely seeing changes in my muscles. Shirts are fitting tighter through the chest but loser in the stomach. Plus, my strength is improving.

My back is feeling really good of late. I've had a couple of days that are pain free. Sure feels good to sit down and stand up without pain in my left butt cheek and hamstring.

I'd love to be running but I'm embracing the weights and bike.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Just call me Gym Rat

Gonna have to register these guns! Ha. Obviously I've been sticking to the workout plan. Spin, elliptical, and Precor for cardio plus six days a week of weights. I even snuck in a bike ride last week.

I added yoga to Sunday. This has helped my sciatica pain ease considerably. I found an excellent routine. It's forty-eight minutes and really focuses on releasing the back. I went most of the day and evening with no pain. Here's the YouTube video.

About that bike ride... Beware of loose dogs. I had a pit bull chase me into the ditch. Thankfully it was scared of the car behind me laying on the horn. Could have been the 9mm the passenger was packing. No worries though. No blood or bite marks. Just some mud on my clothes from hitting the ditch.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year, New Goals

Since my last blog update, I've realized that I should delay the next marathon for a while. It doesn't seem that my driving and running will allow my back to heal properly. This sciatica relapse is getting better but it's lingering a bit too long.

So, what's the plan? Riding the bike certainly makes the sciatica feel better. So, I'm going to focus on riding my bike, lifting weights, and practicing yoga. Those three things should keep me fit and let the back heal properly. I plan to ride a fifty miler on April 12 (originally the marathon date) and a hundred miler in May (date TBD).

What about the marathon? I'll see how I feel over the summer. Maybe start easing some runs into the training schedule in the late spring with a possible build for November. I like running a marathon distance the Saturday before Thanksgiving. That let's me recover over the holidays.

I'll also be spending more time in the woods while hiking with my wife. She's found that she enjoys walking with me. I even bought her some new hiking shoes for Christmas. We got them muddy today around Taylorsville Lake State Park. Good times!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Return of the Sciatica

Well crap! It was a great five weeks without sciatic pain. Something went awry while traveling last week. I felt the twinge when I was doing warm-ups on Friday morning. Unfortunately, ego pushed me out the door for five miles at tempo. Should have hopped on the roadie.

So I have had a long roadie ride and two spin sessions this week. The pain is manageable and will pass. Yet it sucks. I was really enjoying the winter running.

The marathon is still on the schedule for April. I'll consider changing the date if I feel the spin sessions aren't building the base sufficiently.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Let's Build!

Sciatica is in the rear view mirror and I'm ready to get busy building!

First stop on the calendar is an eighteen week build to an April marathon. I'm planning a self-supported event on April 12. Since I've been running in Beckley Creek Park, I'll probably start there and head into Louisville for a 26.2 loop back to the park. I've been playing with some routes but haven't reached a final path. Not to worry. I can make changes until April 11. 

My wife told me that I must enjoy pain. She remembers my griping after the last marathon. It's not the pain so much. It's the challenge to overcome the pain. I love putting something out there that is hard to finish. She's going to think that I'm absolutely nuts when I start building in 2015 for a trail ultra.

I've completed the first week of the marathon build. Legs feel tired today after my long run. What would you expect after a 24 mile / 4.5 hour training week? I think they feel just right. I'm using a Hal Higdon plan but utilizing Maffetone zone for most runs. My Friday runs are marathon pace. So, I push into zone 2/3 with a focus on 930-1000 min/mile pace. 

If I didn't know the benefits of slow training, I'd be ready to pitch it. Good gravy has it been boring this week. Fortunately, I fully understand how important it is to fat adapt. So, twelve weeks of Maffetone followed by six weeks of zone 2/4 workouts are on the calendar. I'm going to stick with it! 

If you follow me on G+ or DailyMile, I appreciate the support. Honestly, I wouldn't be on social media if it weren't for the endurance sports community. Y'all keep me motivated!