100 Runs In A Row, What I’ve Learned

It takes a special kind of crazy to want to run 100 straight days.  It takes a special kind of crazy to willingly take 10,000 volts to the chest, but I’ve done that too.  Thanks Tough Mudder!

Yesterday I did not run, it was the first time in 2018 and while I thought I might miss it, I really didn’t at all!  I enjoyed kicking back with my feet up and for the most part relaxing all day.  After the 16km run to finish things off the legs were quite sore to say the least, my foam roller has been my best friend and things, while still sore, are feeling much better today.

So Ed, what did you learn over the last 100 days?  Excellent question good sir…

  • This wouldn’t have been possible without a support system.  This for me came from several different sources, my children first and foremost were my biggest supporters and have now seen, first hand what Daddy is capable of doing.  I owe Megan all the thanks in the world as I was ready to pack this challenge in in the mid to late 70’s and she called me out and told me to get out there and finish.  We have talked several times since about just what she did for me.  I posted my accomplishments in Instagram and Facebook, with numerous times getting words of encouragement and support, at times from complete strangers.  I am part of a Tuesday evening call group and weekly would report on how things were going, especially motivating as I got closer to the end.
  • Proper rest is essential for maintaining your body, muscles, mood and energy level.  In all honesty I’ve been battling a sore left hamstring since last November, I don’t recall how I first hurt but I woke up one day and it was just sore.  I re-aggravated it in December when I was racing to the front door of a restaurant on a cold night without warming up and really hurt it more.  To this day it never has fully healed, and at times prevented me from really opening things up on the road while running.  The last few weeks I have been wrapping it with a tensor bandage when running which really helped, as did the foam roller.  Now that this challenge is done, I will allow the leg to fully heal until I now longer feel any sensation in my left leg.
  • I have the ability to run in all kind of weather and conditions.  There were a few runs in January when it was minus 26 degrees plus windchill and man oh man it was cold, cold cold.  My wireless headphones conked out on more than one occasion from just how cold it was.  And it seems that here in Central Ontario that Spring will never ever come (snow forecasted for today) and I cannot wait to run in the beautiful sunshine.
  • As with a lot of adversity in life, it’s often mind over matter.  This challenge has helped sharpen the mental toughness needed in life to overcome almost any challenge out there.  I have completed an Ironman triathlon in the past which dramatically increased my self confidence and mental toughness, this running challenge has done the exact same thing.
  • My run ability has gone through the roof, in terms of the cardio base I’ve built, my running form, breathing, stride length… all improved.  All wins.

So what’s next?  While I will maintain my strength training program for the rest of the week, there will be no cardio until my leg is 100% healed up and then we will start a specific run training program that will include hills, interval training and long distance runs.  On Monday I will embark upon a 100 day cycling challenge which while physically a bit less taxing but equally challenging and rewarding in it’s own unique way.

When it’s all said and done I will have created a cardio base that will propel me towards the finish line of Ironman Muskoka 70.3 this coming July!!

https://www.northwestbakery.com
North West Bakery is based in Barrie, Ontario serving Simcoe County and the Greater Toronto Area, all of our products are homemade with love.  We can hand deliver to your business, party or special event.  Visit https://www.NorthWestBakery.com for details!

 

Today Is # 100

In a few hours I will be heading out for run number 100 in a row, in a challenge I started on back on January 1st.  Talk about the ultimate New Years Resolution!!

There are going to be a lot of emotions and feelings floating through my head while I am out there and I am actually very interested to see where my thoughts take me.  I remember vividly during the final few kilometers of my first Ironman 70.3 race, I started to reflect on my journey that led to this race.  I had tears rolling down my face during the final two kilometers with each step filling my heart and soul a little bit more with a sense of accomplishment.

This challenge was not easy for me, and almost didn’t see it’s conclusion.  I had (and needed) help along the way to see it through, and while I may have been the one doing all the running it was a group effort to get me across the finish line.  Being a single Dad of four kids it takes a lot of planning, juggling and lots of help to manage and organize your time to get these runs in.  Body maintenance, proper rest, nutrition and the right frame of mind are also big factors involved as well.

With that in mind I would like to thank so many people for their help with this journey.  I honestly could not, and would not have done it without your help!

It still amazes me a bit as to one can accomplish with the right frame of mind, and this journey has certainly helped build a mental toughness that is going to come in very handy during my Ironman 70.3 race this summer.  Very handy indeed.

Up next for this guy is going to be a 100 day bike challenge, that will be equally challenging to me, although not quite as taxing on the quads, and other leg muscles.  It will help build an excellent cycling base to go on top of the excellent run base I have established.

There will be lot’s of running in the days ahead, and I am looking forward to switching things up to a more diverse training plan with regards to running.  Hill work, interval training, recovery/base runs and long run Sundays are going to be part of the plan moving forward.  Goals?  I have a few… I really want to break a 4 minute kilometer, and hit a 21 minute 5km as well.  With proper rest, the correct warmup and the desire to just bring it, I believe all of these things can happen and more.

Amazing, just amazing…

https://www.northwestbakery.com
North West Bakery is based in Barrie, Ontario serving Simcoe County and the Greater Toronto Area, all of our products are homemade with love.  We can hand deliver to your business, party or special event.  Visit https://www.NorthWestBakery.com for details!

 

Countdown Continues… 8…

Today was run number 93 in a row and once again surprised me.

My little one caught the flu over Easter weekend and we both were up a lot last night change blankets, and her barf bowl.  She is feeling better today but we both were very tired today with lot’s of just laying around, especially on her part.  The two day exercise hangover was in full effect with my legs as I could really feel the 12 km I did on Sunday.

Lack of sleep affects both my mood and my energy level and when I do not get enough I always feel off the next day.  Even tried to take a nap this afternoon but that did nothing to improve either…

I had a conversation with a friend of mine about putting together a triathlon based training plan for me over the next three months as I feel I have plateaued in the gym and want to continue to push myself further, and be held accountable to get these workouts in.  It was a great conversation and one that left me filled with a bit more energy so out I went for today’s run.

And what should have been a nice easy 1 km recovery run turned into 3 (just like yesterday) and while I went out at a nice warm up pace, something inside of me decided to go for it at the 1 km mark and I sure did.  I elongated my stride, increased my tempo and tested out the hamstring to see if it would hold up with a sprint run stride and it sure did.

By the 2 km mark I had set a personal best for a kilometer ay 4 minutes and 17 seconds and I couldn’t be happier, it was a great accomplishment and I know that there is still more time to shave off that mark.  I backed right off the pace for the last part, allowing my heart and breathing to return to normal as I headed on home.

It will be very interesting to see how everything feels when I get up in the morning as it will be run 94 on deck!

And Then There Were 9…

To say I’ve been on a roll the last few days might be an understatement, as I finally feel I’ve cleared my head (literally) from a few of the issues that I have had going on in my life over the past month or so.  I am SO ready to drop the hammer down and get life moving back in the direction that I want.

My energy level has been great, I’ve had some great runs over the past few days, my mood, my outlook on life, my relationship with my kids and just overall how I feel from the time I get up in the morning until I lay my head down at the end of the night has been great.  This is the life that I want to live, each and every day., to enjoy all the wonderful things that I have in my life, to be grateful for these gifts.

I think realizing just what I have been gifted in life is truly humbling.

IMG_4744.jpgYes I still have some things I would like to work on, I am looking forward to getting back into the workforce on a full time basis, and each day I take another small step towards that goal.  I have had meaningful conversations with so many wonderful and amazing men over the past few days, I am humbled to have surrounded myself with such quality.

Thank you.

Today was supposed to be a 1 km recovery run, as I did run quite a long distance yesterday, about 12 km to be exact.  However when I got outside on this beautiful day I called an audible and went for 3.35 km instead at a nice easy pace that just felt amazing.  With only 8 runs remaining to reach 100 I can see the finish line in the distance and I hear it calling my name.  Loudly…

Very, very loudly…

https://www.northwestbakery.com
North West Bakery is based in Barrie, Ontario serving Simcoe County and the Greater Toronto Area, all of our products are homemade with love.  We can hand deliver to your business, party or special event.  Visit https://www.NorthWestBakery.com for details!

 

And Then There Was 10…

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This seems like forever ago…

We have officially entered the home stretch as today marked 10 more runs to go, to finally reach the goal of 100 runs in a row, over the course of 100 days.  And what started way back on January 1st has now run (pun intended) its way into April.

To say I’ve learned a lot about myself, about drive and determination to see something through would be an understatement.  I also learned that this is something that I would never have been able to do on my own, as I had a lot of help along the way.  At times from some unexpected sources.  It has been quite the journey to say the least.

So today was run 91 of 100, and I knew that during this final stretch I needed to have some epic runs of either distance, or locale or milestones…  One of the many things that I learned is that I need to remain smart about things, and my body.  And as much as I would love to run long distances every single day, I need to remain smart and see the big picture.  The whole point of this challenge was to make me a better runner, to go longer and faster and to get ready for my Ironman 70.3 race this coming July.

I feel I have accomplished this goal with some of my results that I’ve seen sprinkled through out some of these runs.  I’ve set personal bests this year over 1 km, 5 km, and 10 km.  I’ve logged close to 500 km so far this year and I am pretty sure by the end of the year I will have set a few other milestones or three…

Back to today, I finished up my shift at work and zipped on home.  The original plan was to get a run in on the treadmill, however I don’t think I shall be running on one of those again any time soon.  And while it was close to freezing with a whisper of snow flowing through the air the great outdoors was calling me and it turned out to be the longest run of the year.  I live on the edge of a sub division with some country roads out behind my house, so while I normally turn left at the end of my street today it was a right turn and out into the country for a nice long loop with some great visuals.

I did encounter quite the heavy headwind, and had some decent elevation changes this run was everything I was hoping for and more.  The run ended up being 12 km at a pretty decent pace overall with the best part everything felt absolutely terrific during and more importantly afterwards.  No pain in my left hamstring anymore, and I might finally have healed that damn thing properly.  I have taken to wrapping it in a tensor bandage for these longer runs which I believe helps, and I’ve made liberal use of my foam roller recently to keep my legs and feet feeling fresh.

It’s a little hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that here we are in April.  There are nine more “official” runs on deck before I hit the magical 100, I haven’t quite figured out how I am going to finish this off on run 100.  Ideas?  Thoughts?  It’s been a wild ride and i look forward to seeing how this all plays out.

The Incurable Left Hamstring…

At some point last November I woke up with a sore left hamstring, and to be truthful it still hasn’t healed fully.  It is not what I will call painful but I am always aware that it is sore, somedays much more than others.  Today being one of those days…

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Hilton Falls

Yesterday was day 51 of the 100 day running challenge, and well because I am slightly stupid I decided to go all out on my run around the block instead of the nice and easy 4km that I had planned for the start of recovery week.  I had a done a nice 12km run the day before for run 50 but it was on ice covered trails and I could only manage half stride as I was worried about the icy trails, slipping, falling, rolling an ankle, injury!  So the run itself was not very taxing on my legs, it was a great ankle and support muscle run however.

So yesterday I guess I wanted to spread my wings and fly, or in runners speak expand my stride length and see what I was capable of.  For run 49 a few days before, I went as fast as I could over a 5km run setting some personal best times along the way.  Yesterday, I just destroyed those times by 22 per kilometer over my best km, the difference between the two runs would have been the temperature outside (it was much warmer yesterday), and the run itself just felt more natural.  For run 49 I was fighting myself the whole time, and it was a struggle, for run 51 I was fighting my breathing and trying not to have my heart explode in my chest (figure of speech) as it was a maximum effort.

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Average page 4:29s

What I didn’t do and certainly should have was warm up properly, as I have a tendency to step out the front door and RUN!   I also now have the ability to have a close understanding of my pace when I run, I don’t need my audio cues in my ear to tell me how fast I am going.  I pass the same mailbox each run at exactly the 1 km mark, and I can usually predict my time to within 5 seconds…  Yesterday I didn’t look at my watch or the pace until I was finished the 3 km sprint, and was truly marvelled at how fast I had gone.  I had mentioned to Megan that 14 and half minutes would be an excellent time, but 13:41s was just outstanding!  With km’s of 4:32, 4:24, and 4:28 and the real awesome thing is that I can even go faster still.

I started with a pace average of around 5:45 per km when I started and I’ve seen that drop over the last 50 days, and am very excited where it will be in 50 days from now… for the rest of this week it is very small, easy pace recovery runs as I attempt to rest up the forever sore left hamstring.  Nothing longer than 5km, nothing faster than 6 minutes per km with some stretching, massage rollers and easy bike rides thrown into the mix.  This coming Sunday I will attempt another maximum effort 4km run this time with a proper warmup and we shall compare the results.

https://www.northwestbakery.com
North West Bakery is based in Barrie, Ontario serving Simcoe County and the Greater Toronto Area, all of our products are homemade with love.  We can hand deliver to your business, party or special event.  Visit https://www.NorthWestBakery.com for details!

 

Hustle, Hustle, and more Hustle

Time flies when you are busy running, baking and playing with kids.  That could best describe the month of January as I cannot believe is already over, I have noticed that life has both sped up and slowed down all at the same time.  Again, allow me to explain…

In an effort to be more productive I needed to go back and follow a schedule for the week with each day laid out, with tasks that I wanted to accomplish.  I found that during January I spent far too much time thinking about what I wanted to get done instead of actually doing things.  The biggest distraction?  Old movies that I have seen far too many times already, and quite frankly I didn’t need to see yet again.  There is something comfortable about an old favorite movie, it just makes you feel good.  We all like to be comfortable, but to live an extraordinary life you need to push beyond what is comfortable and really challenge yourself.

IMG_4297.pngI’ve done my best to place that mindset into my head for the month of February, as I have set for myself some Wildly Important Goals!  I created my own online baking company, as advertised below with a focus only on Valentine’s Day options, to be honest sales have been pretty much non existent to this point while I remain optimistic that as inch closer to February 14th sales will increase.  The website only featured options for the Holiday directly ahead, I have over 170 different Cookie Cutters (Thanks Amazon!) and wanted to offer options for the entire year.  I believe the biggest opportunity for sales growth will come from word of mouth, and one event will lead to three more, etc…

The biggest season in my old world, the restaurant business was Communion, Baptism season at the Keg (next to Christmas) all that is quickly approaching.  So I want to have pages dedicated to these cookies with wonderfully decorated cookies already laid out for potential customers to view, to plant the seed for future purchases.  I spent much of yesterday, and most of today dedicated to that task!  I have an old colleague that is having a baby shower this weekend and I am going to surprise her with some Baby Shower themed cookies, both for the website (pictures) and word of mouth advertising.

IMG_4303.jpgThe other half of the hustle, hustle, hustle equation is my triathlon training plan alongside the 100 Day running challenge.  So the month of January is in the rearview mirror and I successfully ran all 31 days, putting my total at over 200 kilometers for the month that comes with a great sense of accomplishment.  I have learned so much about myself, about how to be a more effective runner, how mental discipline plays into all this, and what drive and determination can accomplish.

The month of February comes with another 28 runs in which the run total will push past 50i n a row, it’s more base building where I am basically just running and increasing my cardiovascular base for the upcoming Ironman 70.3 race that I will be completing in this coming July.  In March we will start to transition into some specialty training as we get closer to race date and the weather warms up here in Canada.

I have also successfully incorporated strength training into my training plan and so far have really enjoyed the workouts and maybe a bit more so the results.  I can see the changes when I look into the mirror and I like what I see.  I was worried that this additional training would tire me out more so than the cardio workouts themselves, however so far that has not been the case.  My triathlon buddy is a big believer that strength training will help the overall swim, bike and run times out of the course this summer.  I cannot wait…

Well this post has been a bit of a ramble, kind of like where my head has been at recently.  Lot’s going on… and I didn’t even mention that I am going back to work part time starting this Saturday.  Hustle, hustle, and more hustle!

https://www.northwestbakery.com
North West Bakery is based in Barrie, Ontario serving Simcoe County and the Greater Toronto Area, all of our products are homemade with love.  We can hand deliver to your business, party or special event.  Visit https://www.NorthWestBakery.com for details!