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!

 

Three Runs To Go!!!!

Unbelievably I only have 3 more runs left to complete in my 100 day running challenge, and the question now shifts from IF I will finish, to HOW I will finish and I’ve thought of a few different scenarios over the past two weeks… it’s a great shame that mother nature just isn’t co-operating with me at this point.  We have had snow all week, and even this morning I’ve woken up to another foot that had fallen overnight.

I don’t mind running in the snow, or the cold but hey, I’ve been running outside for three plus months now, sometimes in extreme and crazy conditions.  Heck, I ran in January when it was minus 26 degrees.  That my friends is dedication!  I guess I just really wanted to end on a nice warm spring day, where I could just have shorts and a t-shirt on and just enjoy the beauty as I finish with a nice long run down to the lake and back.  I still may do this run, it’s just that it will be cold and rainy on Tuesday.

I have a group call every Tuesday night with an amazing group of men that know of this challenge, and I am going to start that call while out running so they can all have a good laugh but I will already have completed the 100th earlier in the day, I guess that will be run 101.  Seriously, I’ve had so much enjoyment with this challenge and I never thought that I would see it through.  I figured injury, or my own head would get in the way of me finishing and it almost did.

i was at a pretty low point in March, in fact the whole month was a real struggle for me.  I found myself withdrawing inside my own head, slid back (rather easily) into some bad habits and almost gave up this challenge completely.  My body was tired and sore, my energy level started to decrease on a daily basis, some days I just didn’t even want to get out of bed.  I hadn’t felt that low since last September when I had to walk away from my job at Keg because I was a grumpy, miserable fuck.

That all changed a few weeks ago with a phone call.

A mentor and friend of mine, Jason talked me through what was going on and the why of it all.  He told me something that I have not heard enough of in my life…

YOU ARE WORTH IT.  I BELIEVE IN YOU.

Very powerful words when one does not believe in themselves.  I have these limiting beliefs, check that, I HAD these limiting beliefs that have held me in place my entire life.  The journey that I have been on the last six months has been to smash through those beliefs and do some crazy and amazing things with my life, and my family.  I have made some progress but always seemed to take a few steps forward then a few steps back.

NO MORE I SAY!!  NO MORE!!

Having someone believe in me, having someone blow wind into my sails is all I have even wanted out of life, and in a relationship.  I had just that for awhile and when it was taken away from me I collapsed like a house of cards.  That’s life, right?

The foundation that I have worked to build the last six months remained strong, Jason helped shuffle those cards back up and I took them back and started to rebuild.  I have had a few comments from various sources about being on fire recently, and boy I sure am.  The introvert Ed Dillon, he gone just like a baseball player whiffing at strike three.  Gone.

In it’s place stands a strong, confident compassionate man on a journey of personal growth and increased wisdom.  I love that statement, it gives me goosebumps.  But it’s true, it’s damn true.

This past week I have had meaningful and intense conversations with men from all over the planet, we truly like in a global age.  Thursday past I spoke to guys from Australia, Missouri, Minnesota, Toronto and Texas all with intent and meaning.  A year ago you couldn’t put me into a room with strangers, I would shy away  and be a wall flower and feel totally uncomfortable.  Today, I welcome these challenges, it pushes me out of my comfort zone and forces me to grow, and grow and grow.

I am very grateful for being on this path.  My relationships with everyone has improved, my children most of all.  Emily… i don’t even need to put it into words.  Tears to my eyes… life is going to get very interesting, heck it already is.

Have a fantastic Sunday everyone, this guy is smiling ear to ear!

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.

100 Day Run Challenge Update

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The wall of run!

Good afternoon everyone!

Today will mark my 89th run in a row, and it almost didn’t happen.  About two weeks ago I started to doubt my ability to finish this challenge.  I was not in a good mental space and was struggling with just getting by with the day to day grind of life.  It took considerable effort just to get out the door and run during runs 76 through the early 80’s as some of those runs were actually run/walks.  I literally didn’t have the stamina to finish a 3km easy pace loop around my neighbourhood.  My legs felt dead, the hamstring in the left leg had been sore the entire challenge and has flared up in recent days, and I was considering quitting.

I actually had my computer open and had started writing a blog post about my stopping this challenge when my daughter Megan came down and asked what I was doing.  When I mentioned I was writing a post about not running anymore, she immediately responded with a loud NO, you can’t quit now your so close to finishing.  She suggested I go for a very short run to keep my streak going, and that I would be very disappointed if I didn’t finish.

I knew she was right, and immediately closed the lid on my computer and went for that easy slow 1km run around the block.  In fact I did that very run for the next six days in a row and I was amazed that over the course of a week th hamstring started to feel much better, and the dead feeling in my legs started to go away.  Once I figured out how to properly maintain my legs by alternating a short 1km run between longer runs has made all the difference.

So now as I sit here I have my daughter Megan to sincerely thank for helping keep this streak and dream alive.  Shows that you can always learn something when your open to receiving a lesson, and from an unlikely source.  So I’m about to head out on long run Friday, run # 89 in a row and we shall take it nice and easy and enjoy this Good Friday!

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!