Run all day, ’til the running’s done

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When I was in boot camp, the drill instructors would sing songs they called “Jodies,” and I remember one of the verses went like this:

Up in the morning with the rising sun,
We’re gonna run all day ’til the running’s done.
Mile one; just for fun
Mile two; just for you
Mile three; a PFT
Good for you; not for me
Mile four; want some more
Mile five; I feel alive
Mile six; just for kicks
Mile seven; I’m in heaven
Mile eight; feels great
Mile nine; doin’ fine
Mile ten; let’s do it again
Ooh-rah; feels good; oh yeah!

So, I never get past the “…a PFT,” on my runs, but it’s good enough. Many times when I’m running, even if I’m listening to music, my mind will wander, and I will hear these Jodies as sung by my drill instructors going on in my head. I hear their voices, their motivation, their yelling at us to keep up the pace. 32 years later, I find myself bringing up the pace to not let them down.

I ran hard yesterday. Probably the biggest effort I’ve put into a run in about a year, and I surprised myself. I also tried a new breathing technique that didn’t tie itself to my steps. Usually, since running in the military forces you to have to time your breathing so you can sing on cue, you get used to running with a pattern of breathing. This is good, because it helps build stamina. But for speed running, it’s not quite so good. Yesterday, I let myself breathe as I needed while running as hard and as fast as I could. The result was the fastest two miles I’ve run in nearly a year, and a great 3 mile time.

I felt good afterward, and as I did my nearly mile-long cool-down walk with the dog (who always enjoys my post-run walks), I looked at my run data on Strava and found that my heart rate stayed about 20 BPM lower than slower runs where I tied my breathing to my steps. It seems that the key to running faster for me is to breathe independent of my steps and more in line with the effort I’m pushing with.

This is earth-shattering.

I have, as I have mentioned yesterday, an APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test) coming up in a month, and while I could pass it well today, I want to do my very best on it. I will continue to work hard, and I will crush that APFT. I don’t know if I can beat my last APFT run time, but I’m hoping for it. With a little luck and a lot of sweat, I’ll get there.

As for my weight, I was back down near my lowest this month even after a weekend of food and alcohol. The body is resilient, and if you treat it right, it will reward you. I also feel like a pair of trousers I wore in Ireland and Scotland were much looser today off the hangar than they were when I was there on vacation. So, even if the weight isn’t coming off right now, my size is decreasing (which is good).

Stick with it, keep your eye on your goal, and never waver.

PaleoMarine’s Running Blog!

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I’ve decided to start a separate blog for my running. I feel that my running is a separate journey from Paleo. Yes, they are connected: Health and fitness go hand in hand. However, my post-run reports are a little more specific to running and more personal in nature, so it makes sense to segregate them.

The url for the new site is running.paleomarine.com. You can visit, subscribe, or ignore. Either way, that’s where my post-run reports will be going from now on. I’ll leave the post-run reports already posted here, but I’ve already migrated them over to the new site as well, so they are all there in one place. I will cross-post from my running blog when it’s applicable here as well.

Post-Run Report: February 1, 2017

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Today was an interesting run. I set out to take my time and have a comfortable run. I also set out to do over 4 miles, which I did. What surprised me was my pace: 9:34. This is within my happy range. I am able to consistently run within the 9:30’s, which is good for a comfortable slow run. When I kick it up, I can hit sub-9’s, which is my PRT goal (that’s what they call PFT’s in the Army/National Guard).

As for push ups, I did 70 and called it good. I could have knocked out the last 10, but I wasn’t feeling it. The day was long and a little stressful, so I felt I could use an easy workout day. Oddly, running 4.13 miles felt good, and the last mile was really very pleasant.

I’m getting the hang of this running thing more and more. I can’t say I love it when I start a run, but by the end of it, it’s actually pretty nice, and when I finish? Even better. It’s a great sense of accomplishment, and the stress or anxious feelings I’ve carried with me for the day all melt away. After a nice hot shower and then dinner, all is good with the world.

Post-Run Report: January 30, 2017

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I’m grinning like an idiot because I achieved one of my big goals in running: I had an average pace tonight in 3+ miles of 8:57!!! My first half mile split was 8:08, second half mile split was 9:00, and the third split was 8:42. From there, I had TWO 9:06 minute half miles followed by the slowest (ha!) which was a 9:30. All in all, it was a hard run as I pushed myself to keep my pace up, but it was well worth it! I’ve been wanting to hit sub-9’s, and I did it!

As for push up, I also hit a new personal best: 80! Once again, these were easy and without really pushing or straining. I could do more possibly, but I am really happy to be progressing without feeling spent afterward.

As for post-run, I do feel a bit tired in my leg muscles, but it’s not any worse than usual. Again, I didn’t really go all-out, but I did keep myself right at the top end of my comfort level and didn’t push past it.

I feel great. This is a huge accomplishment for me. I ran an actual USMC run pace for the entire run. Had this been a PFT run, I’d have done it in 26:35 which would have been a pass for me when I was 31. Now at 49, it’s actually a decent time! I’m hoping to hit low 8’s by summer. I don’t know if I’ll get into the 7’s, but being in the 8’s is a happy place for me and soundly puts me into the category of “Runner.” I never thought that would be me, yet I’m happy to be here. Ecstatic, truth be told.

Post-Run Report: January 27, 2017

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Last Friday, I had more personal bests in the first half-mile pace and overall pace: 9:10! I’m SO CLOSE to getting sub-9’s, I can taste it! I also discovered something again on this run. As I ran, I set a breathing pace (I know it sounds weird; stick with me) and whenever I found that I was getting too much oxygen, I would run harder to match the oxygen intake to output. It really worked to keep me going fast!

As I run, I tend to forget to keep focus on either my pace, my breathing, or sometimes even both. I feel like I now have a decent grasp on how to keep myself going as fast as I physically can without going past a certain “You’re going to hurt yourself” barrier. I also found a small lake I can run around that keeps me safely away from streets and even sidewalks where kids play. It’s a little boring running in circles, but it helps me keep the pace up and with my headphones on, I can listen to a podcast or some music in safety.

I’m looking forward to today’s run. After Friday’s run, my legs felt tired. Not too tired, but definitely a post-workout kind of feel. They were still a bit sore yesterday as well. Today, they feel ready to go, and I’m ready to stretch ’em out and let ’em loose!

In the push ups department, I stuck at 70 again. I may go to 75 today; we’ll see. But 70 is my new minimum. I feel pretty good about that.

Post-Run Report: January 25, 2017

file_000-84I’m really proud of today’s run. Once again, I hit a record pace, and I was only 6 seconds away from breaking a 9 minute mile for the first half and only 15 seconds from breaking a 9 minute mile for the first mile. My average pace for the 3.81 miles was 9:26 which is better than my last run by a whole second (lol). I’ll take it! I was worried about being able to run with any kind of speed today as I still had some muscle burn from my Monday night run, but once I got going, I was able to push and keep my pace up.

I started with 70 comfortable push ups, which was nice, too. I could have ripped out at least another 10 more, but I’d have been worn out afterward, so I stopped at 70. Maybe 75 or 80 next time. But the biggest victory came after the run was done. I weighed myself and hit a new all-time low: 173.5 lbs!!! I couldn’t believe it!!! I’m super-psyched to finally start seeing some movement on the scale again! That makes a total of 135 lbs lost so far!

I felt great after the run as well as hungry, so my son and I went to a local food establishment called Nik’s and I had some salad with vinegar and oil, grilled redfish with grilled shrimp, grilled veggies, and sweet potato fries. I am stuffed right now, but it’s all good Paleo-friendly food, and in the grand scheme of things, while filling, there’s not a lot of calories in it. The calories that are there are all good, whole food calories.

I’m forgoing any treat I would have had after a reasonably sized dinner. The dinner, in and of itself, was a treat that I won’t repeat anytime soon (but it was delicious!).

Post-Run Report: January 23, 2017

file_000-52Tonight’s run was another one that made me really happy. I ran it with the average pace I was shooting for: under 9:30 (I got an average pace of 9:27!!!). It’t not my fastest, but it’s very, very close (fastest was a 9:24 pace for 3.53 miles). This is, however, the first run I’ve had yet that every split (half mile) was under 9:30! That was my goal, and I did it!

The best part: the fun felt great. I felt myself pushing, but not over-exerting. My breathing was good, and the legs felt good. They were just on the very edge of pushing hard, but not quite. It felt amazing.

On the push up front, I only did 70. I’m okay with this, though. My goal is 80, but I’m sure I’ll get there within the month. There’s no rush to 80.

If you think you can’t do it, or that you can’t ever like running or any kind of exercise, think again. I can point  you to ALL of my friends who all heard me say for the past year that I’ll never get into exercise. Yet, here I am, and it feels great. I love how I feel afterward, and I love how much stronger I am.