"The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken."
This is not your typical blog post. I'm not going to reflect on some great run I've been on recently or talk about a race that I am planning to run. Instead I'm going to talk my relationship with running, and my plan for this relationship in the future.
Since the spring of 2011 when I decided to stop running on the track and cross country team at Nebraska Wesleyan, my running career has consisted of sporadic 1-2 mile runs at a pace much slower than what I could do in my “glory days”. Countless times I have found myself spending my evening sitting at my computer making an excel sheet of what my training plan is going to be for the next 9 months. I would start the training plan, but then when I started to get sore or just too busy to go for a run I would decide to take one day off. One day would quickly turn into one week, which would then turn into one month and then several months. That’s how I got to the point I am at today. I weigh about 40 lbs. more than when I first stopped running, and I’ve noticed that my pants fit a little tighter thanks to a gut that has developed into what some might call a beer gut or a spare tire. All this stops today.
Actually all this starts today. I've always heard that it takes three weeks to make an action into a habit. So for the next 21 days I am going to run once every day. No elaborate training plans or excel sheet. Just me going out for a run every day for three weeks. If you are in the same spot as me where you want to get back into (or start up) running, then join me in this 21-day challenge. If you are already running consistently then try implementing some other activity that will help improve your running for 21 days (core, weight training, more miles), and if you have completely mastered the art of running, then you could always try to focus on some personal habit to better yourself (try flossing).
So that’s it. 21 days starts today. 21 days to a new, better you. Won’t you take the challenge?
In our last blog we hinted about big things happening at 2015’s Beresford Frostbite Four. Not only is this race the biggest and best race in the Sioux Falls area from November until summer but we are also partnering with them to add to the quality of this race. We are offering $730 worth of 605 Running Company Gift Cards. $100 for 1st in each gender, $75 for 2nd and $50 for 3rd. There will also be $20 Gift Cards for first in every age group. On top of that, we are donating a lot of fun prizes for door prizes. Frostbite Four has been growing steadily since its inception 15 years ago. It is a unique and fun race at a time when there aren’t many options for the endurance athletes of the region. One of the best features of the race is that they mark out 3 courses leading up to the event and on race day, they pick the one that best suits the wind and weather conditions.
Date: January 31st, 2015
Registration: 9-10:30 AM
Race Time: 11 AM
Distance: 4 Miles and 2 Miles
Post Race: Free Chili and Soup Feed at Bridges at Beresford Golf Course Club House with entertainment provided by the Crabgrass Crew of Sioux Falls
Event Info and Registration Here
Top Ten Times
‘Tis the Season
It seems like around this time every year, I lose motivation to run, workout or even get off my couch. I think it has something to do with all the delicious holiday food putting me in a relaxed state of mind. It starts with Thanksgiving, and then works its way through Christmas cookies all the way up to the big Christmas dinner (which for me, has fluctuated between prime rib, steak or hamburgers). Maybe it’s the food, or maybe it’s the cold weather, but I just struggle to get out the door.
Since I ran my last half marathon on November 9th (39 days, but who’s counting?), I have run exactly five of them. I have done some cross training, mainly biking, on six other days, but still that, leaves me with 72% of the last month without any sort of exercise; and I’m starting to go crazy. Not crazy enough to go run 10 miles solo in the dark, frigid weather, where the footing is always questionable; but crazy enough thought that if I had someone to run with, I might just do it.
The thing that drove me to my sabbatical was a ligament injury in my left foot. I first noticed it in the days leading up to that final race on 11/9, but I ran through it anyway. After spending too much time on the Internet diagnosing myself (as a lot of us do), I of course assumed the worst. Now that I’ve actually had a professional look at it and tell me “there is no structural reason why you couldn’t run”, I really have no reason not to be doing the thing I love; except the weather.
I think winter running is one of the worst things, HOWEVER, it’s really just a matter of getting through these next couple months, because if you do, there are big dividends to be had in the spring months. A couple tips I have for running through winter:
1) Run with someone. Misery loves company, but two is also better than one. Having someone to run with regardless of the temperature, precipitation or distance can make all the difference. Find someone who is committed to getting out the door, or come to the group runs at the store where you can meet other committed individuals.
2) If at all possible, run in the daylight. On the weekends, this is easier, but during the week, consider running immediately after work or over the lunch hour. And of course invite a friend.
3) Layer. I’ve learned it’s not so much about the thickness of the clothing; it’s about the number of layers. I’ll admit there have been days where I had five layers on, and even have doubled up on gloves. For me, I always like to know that I could add an additional layer the next day if necessary. It’s probably a mental thing, but usually I don’t need as many layers as I think.
4) Sign up for some road races. I hear the Beresford Frostbite 4 is going to be good (more on that later). At the very least, getting into some winter races that are less than ideal racing conditions will at least get you out the door and the mileage you need.
5) Don’t be ashamed to take it inside. Although we’d all probably prefer to be outside than on a treadmill, running on a treadmill is better than not running at all. I’d recommend you have something to distract you (TV, podcast, music, etc.) and that you keep the mileage to a minimal, but there’s no reason you couldn’t throw in a treadmill run every now and then.
These are just five of the tips that I think will help me get out this winter, and it’s not an all-inclusive list either. Winter running, although not my favorite, really brings me back to the roots of why I run. If I can run in the winter, I can run wherever I want, whenever I want to, regardless of weather.
New Year’s Resolution
It’s hard to believe it’s that time of year again, we are about to roll over to 2015. Many of us will make resolutions, to break bad habits or to create new healthier habits. Unfortunately, for the majority of those well intended individuals, it doesn't last through the coming year. I have definitely fallen victim to this myself with several failed resolutions. I have a feeling that this year will be much different, by using our blog to create accountability for the upcoming year. I’m going to lay out my resolutions for the 605 to see. But first I’d like to give you a little background on myself.
This time of year, brings me back to the toughest year of my life. It was New Year’s Eve of 2010 about to roll over to 2011 when I was living in Kansas City. I was at a friend’s house for a typical bring in the New Year party. We all had a great time, some KC BBQ and hanging out with some close friends. As the night rolled on, I remember feeling my heart beating in this crazy rhythm. The only way I could describe is, the feeling of a fish out of water in my chest. I chalked it up to the drinks I had that night and didn't really pay much attention to it. A few weeks passed by, I would notice the same feeling, especially at night when I went to bed. The typical male in me, didn't give it much attention. Finally it couldn't be ignored anymore. I woke up one morning, and as soon as I stood up I was very light headed, my heart was racing, and after several seconds it went away. That was the theme throughout that day. Anytime I would go from seated to standing I felt like I was going to pass out. Again, I’m stubborn, so I’m off to work. I was working as a personal trainer at that time. That is a very up and down job, so you can imagine how that was going. I finally decided to go to the emergency room. I told the doctor my symptoms, and he diagnosed a sinus infection that was causing my light headedness. I went round and round with him asking to check my heart out. I think based on my age at that time, he didn't see any reason. I finally won, and they hooked my up to an EKG. Well needless to say, the machine was going crazy, and I was admitted to the cardiac unit right away. The first night was really scary. I couldn't really get any answers, and at one point my heart rate stayed above 200 bpm for 5 minutes while I was sleeping. I was in Atrial Fibrillation more than I was in a normal rhythm. After several tests over the course of 5 days, I was eventually transferred to St. Luke's in Kansas City which is outstanding heart hospital. I was introduced to one of the best Electrophysiolgist in the country. He wasn't much older than me, and it felt like was on an episode of Doogie Howser. We started with medication, and I was released 3 days later. The meds sort of worked, but the side effects were terrible. I was exhausted all of the time, and I was sleep walking and talking like a crazy man. There are several funny stories there, for another day. A few months later, I had a follow up appointment with the young Dr. I asked how long I had to take the meds and it was basically for the rest of my life. I couldn’t imagine feeling like that forever, so we opted for surgery. In September 2011, he performed a left atrial ablation on me. They basically go in through the femoral artery to reach the heart and cauterize the tissue around each pulmonary vein. The idea is that a scar forms and it blocks any extra electrical impulses from getting in and confusing the SA Node of the heart. The surgery lasted about 7 hours, and it was a huge success. I haven’t had any issues since and I’m medication free.
So back to resolution time. As many of you know from some very comical blog posts in the past, and the seewaynerun campaign. I have an aversion to distance running. I grew up playing basketball, and was a long jumper in high school and college. I always really struggled with the endurance side of things. Despite being one of the best athletes in my high school, when it came to the running in gym, or the basketball coach making us run. I was going to struggle. I asked my Dr. about this in one of my follow ups. He thinks I probably had some issues with AFib my whole life and it was never diagnosed until it was really bad, and that probably had a huge impact on why I always struggled in that area. So, no excuse now, my heart is healthy and beating normally. SeeWaynerun campaign is in full effect. For those of you that know me, I’m one of the most competitive people you’ll meet, so I would like to have a respectable time. I know I probably won’t ever be anywhere close to our elite team guys, but the goal is to break 20min in a 5k in 2015. Hopefully, I can find a course that’s a little short. No resolution is complete without a consequence if it doesn’t happen. Alright 605 community, this is where you come in. Suggestions and a vote on the consequence will be up to you guys. Happy new year and let’s get the resolutions going.