Thursday, July 21, 2011

Here I Sit...

...I'm on vacation with family, and over the last few days have really thought about a lot of things as it pertains to my running life. Well, and my life in general. It's late, and I'm one of the only ones awake, so I apologize ahead of time, if this gets longer than intended, or longer than most enjoy reading.

As I struggled through my most recent attempt at a tempo run, I contemplated a lot of things. I went from personal short-term goals, through some of the things going on in my non-running life and the direction those things are taking (or seem to be taking), through my plan going into Chicago (I even toyed with the idea of just bagging Chicago altogether), and into my running plan over the next 12-18 months.

As I've been thinking through these things, asking for Guidance, getting some input at times when appropriate, I've been able to come to grips with a few things that I continued (and may not be done fully doing) to keep myself in denial about. Sometimes I just can't get myself to see the things that are right in front of me, but when I take some of my quiet time in a run and allow myself to be truthful to me, those things become harder to remain in denial about. So, I have found myself in an interesting spot with my running and with my life. I was able to, despite finishing my Wednesday workout poorly, and quite honestly having what started out to be a miserable evening, enjoy the steps I took during the workout and able to get my evening turned around in pretty outstanding fashion...not to toot my own horn. I didn't do anything outstanding, but the drastic turn that it took from the way it started to the way it ended was pretty dramatic and very awesome.

So, my running life is changing, and my mindset towards it is also changing. What will this mean? Well, for that matter, what does this entire post mean? All I can say is to stick around, and you'll find out...maybe. :-)

Rodriguez, out.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Can't Stay Away, But Can't Stay Here Either...

So, I realize that I've been pretty spotty with my posting...not intended, but just kinda how it goes. I post a lot when I'm feeling good and running well. When I'm in either a mental, physical or emotional funk, I tend to stay away from blogging.

When I first decided I wanted to give a shot to qualifying for the Olympic Trials and started to increase mileage, it was by far the most fun I'd ever had running. I raced pretty well and just had a lot to say and talk was exciting for me. When the injury happened, my worst fears were realized...I was out roughly 10-11 months before I could actually return to attempting to really TRAIN.

Now that I've gotten back into the swing of things, I think I've been a little shaken up by just how out of shape I am, and how much my body is just not in the same shape it was a year ago. I know that's a dumb thing to have to "realize", but it's the truth. I've struggled through workouts, though long runs, and occassionally through easy runs. Long and short, it's been way tough on my psyche and my confidence. By no means am I out of the woods on any of those things, but I've taken a couple of personal steps...not big steps, but steps nonetheless...and it's helped get me back on track, so to speak.

Chicago is less than 13 weeks away, and while running has continued to happen, blogging hasn't just because of the struggles. It may not be as frequent as I'd like it to be for a little while, but if you're following my blog and you've offered any encouragement in the past, by all means, stay tuned. I'll be back to more frequent blogging. Right now, my blog is pretty boring and uneventful, but as I overcome and attempt to slay the demons, things will get better...for running and for blogging.

Let me say that while I know not too many folks comment, knowing that I have some readers out there that, regardless of situation, send good thoughts and offer encouragement means the world to me. I'm generally a lone-wolf type of runner, and even when I'm in a group, I find a way to separate from them, sometimes by design, sometimes just by default. But I'm a pretty solitary guy in most of what I do, so when I get an encouraging word or thought, it really has a big time effect on me. I know that not everyone that reads this sends me good thoughts...I'm sure there's an eye-roll from time to time, a "whatever're not as good a runner as you think", and some might just think I'm not a real runner at all. Whatever the case, I'm thankful for the friends I have and thankful for the few people I have in my corner.

Rodriguez out! See ya on the roads. I'll be back to blogging in a few days.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

7/6/11 - PM Easy Run - 9.5 Miles

9.5 Miles

Easy run down to Memorial and 610, over to Woodway and 610, then back to the park, around it and back down Blossom. Good run, but I could definitely tell the legs are getting heavier with each passing day.

Plan is to do two runs tomorrow and get over 10-miles, but with no run over 6-7 miles. Also, may look at shortening my Saturday run this week...going to keep it in the mid-70's if possible, but don't need to get 18-20 miles this weekend. We'll see how the plan unfolds.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

7/5/11 - PM Easy Run - 9 Miles

9 Miles

Good run followed by some core and upper body work. The heat really took it out of me today. Glad I made the run though. I ran pretty even throughout. I always worry about falling off at the end, and for the most part I do, but it hasn't been TOO terribly bad.

This run put me at 53 miles in the last 5-days. Legs are starting to feel the over 10-mile/day average.

Monday, July 4, 2011

7/4/11 - AM Easy Run on the Trails

10.5 Miles

I don't really know the distance on this run...I headed down to the 2-mile mark, the water fountain at Crestwood and Memorial. From there, I headed right into the trails, and ran the roughly 2-miles through there till I came out the other side at the Picnic Loop. I stopped there to get some water, then headed into the trails that go behind the picnic loop. I've never run back there, and was pretty surprised at how many trails there are back there, and how easy it is to get a little turned around. I never got too lost, but did at one point have to stop and wait for someone to pass so that I could ask them if I was going the right direction.

All in all, I spent 45 minutes on the trails. I spent the rest of the time running the 2 miles to the entrance of one of the trails, and the 2.5-3 miles running back. Great feeling run.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

7/3/11 - AM Easy Run

8 Miles

Took it way easy on this morning's 8 miles...nothing too exciting, but I definitely went slowly. Felt good, after the way I feel like I beat up my legs the prior day. Much better than last Sunday's recovery run...way better.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

7/2/11 Kenyan Way Long Run - 18 Miles

I think this might have been a little shorter than 18, so we'll say...

17.5 Miles
1:01:35 - First Half
1:01:39 - Second Half

The route was supposed to encompass a loop of the park and a loop of the bayou, which would have only gotten 12 miles, and required me to run considerable extra miles after. But, with 4th of July festivities coming a couple of days away, a portion of the bayou was close, causing us to have to eliminate the bayou from the route. So, it became running to the Crestwood/Memorial Dr intersection for our water stop, then doing 4 loops of the bayou. With each loop, I ran back to the water stop for refueling. It was a struggle, but to a degree, I think it helped, as I was able to guage distance and how far I had left. I was way happy with how I was able to complete the run compared to last week, for sure. Strong run, and very even. I struggled the last 2 miles, but that's was hot, hot, hot out and humid. Torturous conditions. But, I feel good for surviving it a lot of confidence in the way of endurance and toughness...which is important since I don't feel like I have fitness or speed at the moment.

Friday, July 1, 2011

7/1 PM Easy Run - 8 Miles

8 Miles

Just a nice jaunt down to the park for a loop and back. I kinda got on it for the last 2 miles, running a 5:50 and 5:25 to close out the run. No real purpose, just felt like it.