runcheap

Just another WordPress.com site

Archive for the tag “half marathon”

Wish List Wednesday… I wish I had time/money for my 2 passions

This week’s wish has me pondering the difficulty I am having choosing between my 2 active passions. I honestly wish I had the time and the money to be committed to both capoeira and running, but I dont. In this time of transition and progress in my life, things I love have to be sacrificed.

I wish I had the time/money for my 2 passions

I wish I had the time/money to be dedicated to both running and capoeira

Set up- Capoeira in My Life

Im not the greatest capoeiraista in the world. In fact, im barely passable at it, but I love the art, the action, the music, etc. In its most pure form it remains one of the most beautiful things in the world to watch.  I used to kill at capoeira. I mean I was the it guy ads far as training hard and often. 5, 6 days a week and 2 times a day over the summers at my peak. If their was a capoeira road trip, I was there. If we had a presentation, I would leave work early and go without dinner and be there. If there was a workshop an hour away, I would find away to be there.

Capoeira took me places- Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans, and the time of my life in Brazil. Capoeira- took ME places- increased my physical fitness, built my self confidence, opened my eyes to a whole new world of people, gave me friends, and a home away from home.

Good times in New Orleans with some capoeira peeps. One of the many great experiences this wonderful art has given me

I have been training capoeira for 4 years. For those 4 years it has been the major player, the major direction in my life. It was both escape and fun, adventure and diligence. It just isnt anymore. Why? Why has it shifted?

1.  Closing of the Original Academy– New one is nice- but with less classes, incovneinet times, and a longer distance – it just doesnt work for me. Its just not the same. That old place I put blood, sweat and tears into. This place has no significance to me

2. Vanishing Friends– All the people I came up with and started out training with have moved or moved on. I miss them and the newbies continue to come and go

3. Multiple Directions– Work got more intense this year, possibly moving, running, trying to develop a personal/social life leaves a diminishing amount of time and money for capoeira

4.  Opened Eyes– Capoeira took me completely out of my shell. It spurred the urge for discovery of new things, new experiences, and a wider world. Sometimes that interferes with the capoeira grind.

5. Running-. When my fitness level plateaued after a few years of capoeira and I got in a bad habit of binge eating I put on several unwanted pounds. I knew I needed to amp up my fitness level significantly since we were not going that intensely at the moment inside the academy. I started to work the elliptical, lift weights, spin, and most importantly run. Running eventually took over. Capoeira two  a days became running two-days. Time I would spend learning capoeira songs, became time spent reading reading running blogs and Runners Worlds. Big purchases became more focused on races and running gear and not on capoeira trips. I used to know when all the capoeira events were, and who was going but that information got substituted for race calendars. Stories about great training sessions became stories about hitting great runs.

I still train capoeira, and I still love it but my devotion to it has diminished. There just isnt enough time and money for both. Im down to once maybe twice a week. Sometimes when I train it is with nagging soreness and minor injuries from running and other exercise as well. I wish I had time for both passions, but it doesnt work in any reality. More and more I am having to chose between him.

Regular training at the old academy, I spent so much time in that place it was remarkable. Good memories

The Ideal Wish-  Time for both

That capoeira was more convenient so I didnt have to give it up. That the academy was closer so it didnt kill me in gas to get there. That there were classes on the weekends, or at closer locations;  so I could go train and keep running. That I had the money to pop down to St. Pete or Srasota every now and again and train capoeira down there. Or that the group would focus more of its events in Tampa closer to where I live so I can be more involved. That capoeira would be there when I head up to Tallahassee in August. That I could find a healthy and natural balance between 2 amazing physical activities that I find resonance and enjoyment in.

Getting ready to play for my 4th cord at a capoeira batizado. A day after this I pr-ed in a half marathon in Tampa with a time of 1:36. I was incredibly proud of both. Equally proud.

The Reality- A decreasing role

Capoeira increasingly plays a diminshed role in my life. At the most I can get down to class twice a week on a good week. The academy is just too far away, and the classes fall on nights that no longer work for me. There is just too much else in my life I need to put my energies in. That includes running. I have distinct running goals that I want to achieve, and at the moment they supersede the vague capoeira goals I have.

Additionally, most of the event side of the group has shifted itself down to Sarasota and St. Pete. This could make for 1 hr, 1 and half hour drives on a car with 145,000 miles on it. I cant justify it to myself when I need to be careful about my expenses.

For as much as it is difficult to improve as a runner without spending money and investing in it, there is  simplicity to it. All I have to do to improve my running is put on my shoes and step outdoors. It isnt that simple in capoeira. You have to take trips, pay for classes, go to workshops, and travel all over. I can train by myself in my house, but it just isnt capoeira if I am by myself. You need a teacher and a group. That is the way it works. Running can be as solitary or as social as you like. Capoeira has to be social and interactive. That is a huge part of the reason I love it.

When I end up at grad school at FSU it wont get any better either. Our group had an academy up there but the teacher left, and I have been told there is no capoeira up there. To be honest, I have no idea how much time/money I will have anyway to dive back into being a full training capoeiraista. My guess is not that much. Especially since I still want to continue running and getting better as a runner.

A sloppy armada, because I am leaning back and wont land in a solid base. Easier to diagnose poor capoeira form in a picture, than poor running form in a picture

The Possible- Down the road

Even if capoeira disappears from my life for 3 years when I am studying up in Tally, it will not be the end of me as a capoeiraista. Once you are “baptized”, your one for life. Once it gets into your blood, your hooked. In that sense to me it is like running. Ever since I considered myself a runner, I feel like i will be a runner for life. At this moment, capoeira is slowing down to a pause and running is taking front and center position. Both capoeira and running are journeys, and wherever I land after getting my degree will have capoeira. And I will be training. And running. And training. And Running. And finding that balance.

Enjoy Your Run. Enjoy Your Day :0

Advertisements

A Huge Weekend Runcheap Thank You To….. Rest Days

This weekend’s huge runcheap thank you goes out to something I need to more consistently. Take a day off. It is so counterintuitive to me and surprisingly hard to do. But when I do- I always feel the benefits down the line.

Thank you rest days!

Thank you for allowing the opportunity to catch up on all the small things in my life!

Thank you for giving me enjoyment and getting all that soreness out of body so I can run strong again!

I hate rest days. I really do.  For someone who loves fitness and exercise with the tenacity that I do, they seem almost worthless. For someone who loves a good cardio challenge or a hard session of strength training, it just seems like a wasted day. For someone who loves to run- to not run a typical workout day is almost as mentally taxing as actually running can be. Seriously a day with no exercise? A day without that mental and physical vibe that has let me  be physically fit, mentally confident, and more overall healthy? A day without the challenge, intensity, commitment and achievement that keeps me focused on my life both as a runner and in general? Why?

I class I really would need to take if it existed 🙂

It gets even harder for me to take rest days when you realize that I believe that the human body can be pushed way further than most people think it can. I operate under the belief that could almost always do a little more. Some runners take rest days throughout the week, others on a 10 day plan, or a 2 week plan. Others do it by feel- they simply take a day off when they need one. I tend to refuse to stop myself from exercise unless I have a good reason to take a day off. Im self motivated and structured enough to make this stick for weeks on end.

I realized today that I hadnt taken a rest day since the day before this race. Thats just absurdly long.

So why am I doing a post thanking days off? Because rest days are essential. I realized today that I hadnt taken one in well over 2 months. Thats too long regardless of how intense or focused I am. And borderline dangerous as well.

Why are rest days essential? Why do I need to start structuring more of them into my plan? Lets use today’s rest day as an example:

– To allow the mild tendonitis in my foot to rest and not become something more serious

– To allow that perpetual sorenesss in my hamstrings and legs to flush out

– To rejuvenate my energy stores

– To be able to accomplish all those little cleaning tasks around the house I have been ignoring but need to do

– To be able check out a movie- “Hunger Games” (Because “Avengers was sold out, damnit!)

– To get a different perspective on Sundays

– To be able to sort through mail for the firs time in close to 2 months.

– To be able to hit a new exercise week refreshed

– To spend time with the cats

Ugh sold out on my rest day, switched to “Hunger Games” which was a decent flick

Every runner needs a really good rest day. I just feel they need to be worthwhile and  not days when you couch for the entire time and try to clear out all your old episodes of “Restaurant Impossible” or “Castle”.  Couch potato days like those are best saved for tapering before big races (when minimal exertion is best); rest days should be savored and enjoyed. You have earned them. You are mentally there enough to know that a day off wont derail your physical fitness and wont get you out of the habit of intense exercise. In the past I have had the following 3 superb experiences on rest days

1. Capoeira Batizado- My last rest day before this one, I attended our yearly capoeira celebration where you change cords if so earned and celebrate each other’s successes.

2. Cruise Day 1- My parents paid for a 3 day cruise for my family, and the 1st day I made myself stay away from the fitness center and just chill out. It allowed all my tension to slip away. I ejoyed copious food, my families company, and savored the feeling of being on vacation

3. Blueberry Festival – Around this time last year, my friend Heidi and I checked out a local blueberry festival put on by the small Keel and Curley Winery. We picked blueberries for reduced price,did a fruity wine sampling, ate blueberry shortcake, and purchased a few cheap goodies. Then I want to a friends going away party and had a great time

This Blueberry Festival was top notch, sadly could not round up anyone this year. I highly recommend it

Days off like that are what I hope for when I take them. Today wasnt necessarily like that, but it will certainly be worthwhile from a “Energy Refreshment” type of a scenario.  Rest days help you enjoy life. Rest days help you stay injury free so you arent spending money at the doctors. Rest days mean you dont add extra wear and tear on your workout gear, tap your food resources more, and cause you to search for more caffeine. They save you money in small ways. Or maybe than save you money long term by saving your body. They keep you healthy and running strong,  so you can run cheap. Either way a huge runcheap thank you goes to rest days. Thank you again rest days. Now I will finish enjoying the rest of mine.

Enjoy Your Run. Enjoy Your Day :0 

or- enjoy your day off 😉

A Huge Runcheap Weekend Thank You To… My awesome running friend

I was happy in last week’s post that I got around to thanking some of the people (my spin instructors) who keep me running strong an running cheap. People are obviously at the core of my inspiration and motivation for my running. Above all though, my running friend RD (not sure if she is comfortable with her name being mentioned specifically so thats what I will refer to as) is the most motivating, encouraging, thoughtful, diligent, and well rounded person and runner I know. She is one of those people who you meet in life, who make you take a step back and say wow, Im hope I am half as good of a person- let alone runner- as her.

Thank you RD!

Thank you for being a motivator, an inspiration, a mentor, and a great friend!

Thank you so much for helping me out with my development as a person and a runner!

I first met RD through capoeira several years ago. She was one of my first capoeira instructors and originally one of the only people I would train with. Before I got the lay of the land at the academy, she was one of the only people I really felt comfortable with. This is not to say that her classes were easy. Not only did you learn lots of capoeira but you were challenged from a fitness perspective as well. Classes could be grueling. Once I relaxed into it, I  became friends with her and we had many great capoeira experiences together on road trips, rodas, batizados, and she helped me a ton during our unreal experience in Brazil. I was amazed at her level of dedication. That she could hold down that level of responsibility at the academy, raise a family, and was still a dedicated runner. It was inspiring to me. It constantly made me think  that I could do more as a person and from a fitness perspective.

I love capoeira, it was my first huge step into a healthier world and RD was my first instructor and helped ease me into it until I found my footing and my ginga

I honestly dont think I would have gotten into running without RD. When my fitness level from capoeira training (5, 6 nights a week) plateaued, part of the reason running was a natural progression for me was because of her interest level in it. Every time I would run a new distance, I would text her and get an encouraging response back. One of my first races as runner she was there for. When I blitzed my first half marathon, she was the first person I sent a text to. Same after my first marathon at Disney. All times I get a thoroughly encouraging and genuine response from her.

I texted RD the morning of the Gasparilla Half at like 430 am, whining about the conditions, she responded and it calmed me down. Ended up being my strongest race yet

It hasnt changed. One of the reasons I dont look for a coach is because of RD. Coaches are supposed to motivate and inspire you, and I get that from her more than I ever could from some stranger. When I post on daily mile whether it be a good run or a bad run, she always has a good level headed comment for me. More recently as I have been struggling with a new marathon time goal, I have been consulting with her about it. She help me fix that goal, but as usual has higher expectations for me then I do for myself. I think it is great to know someone like that.

Since RD has stepped away from capoeira, I definitely dont get to see her as much. It makes me cherish the races I do get to run with her even more. Running can be a lonely experience, especially when you have only a small group of friends (who mostly dont run and dont like running). On race days, it always gets the blood flowing to see a familiar positive face out there. During runs she always shouts something positive at me as we pass each other which makes me step up my effort no matter how tired I may be. And it is always nice to decompress after a hard effort with a good friend and discuss.  In fact, one of the reasons Im excited about my ridiculously small 5k on Friday Night is because I know I will get to hang out with my friend afterwards and the group she runs with.

Even though this race was 2 weeks out of the Gasparilla Half, I was excited to run it because I got to hang out with RD her family, and her strider friends at the beach afterward. It was tons of fun.

I remember when I started doing these “Thank You” style postings, I noted that I could write a forever post about  my mother. I probably could for RD as well. Impossible to overstate the importance of good people and good friends. Beyond impossible. I honestly dont know if I could be where I am now as a human being and a runner, if I had not encountered RD. If I leave this area, she will be one of a small group of people who I will thoroughly miss. So on that note, A huge colossal runcheap weekend thank you to my awesome running friend- RD. Thank you so much for being a great friend/ great running running mentor for many years. Keep running hard and running strong.

Enjoy Your Run. Enjoy Your Day :0

Race Purgatory!

May and June are one those times of year where if you are a distance runner like me, it becomes easy to lose focus and interest. There is not another half marathon on the docket in Florida until October, (which I have to hold of on anyway). In fact the only 10k I see on the schedule is in Midnight Run on July 4th. That leaves several months until my next serious race. It is a bit of a drag. I know why they do it. It does get unbelievably warm down here quickly, and before you know it a cool 5am run, has ceased to be cool anymore. For a wider audience, running a half in the Florida summer might lead to ghastly consequences. Personally, I think they could run 10ks or early starting 15ks (there needs to be more races around at this distance). There is none though, and that leaves very little to stoke the running fire.

What does that leave? 5ks. Only 5ks. I like a good 5k, dont get me wrong. They are excellent ways to build speed, and its good to only have to maintain that mental focus for a short period of time. A release from normal extended distance. The torrid pace reminds me of a lot of track meet races that you see on at the scholastic level. Also, they are everywhere and run neatly and early on Saturdays. Every weekend in Tampa,  for what seems like the next couple of months, there is a 5k. I probably will run in only one of them. Why?

The Secret Service 5k (seriously, not making jokes) is a very popular race down here in Tampa, but clocks in at 25$, so nope.

I have a pricing rule about 5ks. 25= No way, 20= Maybe, but probably not, 15= Most likely, Ill give it a shot. If I run a race for 15, I feel like I am getting my money’s worth in entertainment for the weekend short of 20$. It is almost a bargain to me.  Of course location plays a part in the decision making process as well. Even if the race is 15, if it is far away and I am going to even out on gas, then it is out. And no, I dont care about getting a tech shirt for a $25 5k. Nobody likes a nice running shirt like me, but they are not an incentive to do any race (no matter the distance).

This is one of the many 5k's down here that I wont be running even know it looks interesting

With a little more cash in the pocket, I would probably be running 5k’s all the time this summer, but it is not worth it to me. It is not cost effective, and I could come up with dozens of my own interesting 3.1 routes for free. This leaves me only one race scheduled for the whole remainder of the oxymoronic “Short Distance Running Season”- The Crazy Sombrero 5k.

Yep, you read that total right. I will be running this one, sans sombrero

I believe this is the second year they have run this tiny race in the Longleaf area of New Port Richey, Florida. It meets all my qualifications. 15$, it is run on a Friday evening, and a location that I literally have to pass to get home from work. I believe a local Crossfit gym sponsors the race, and you can also participate in a crossfit style challenge (no thanks) as well as the traditional fun run.

Why is it called the Crazy Sombrero?  They run the race on May 4th. A day before Cinco de Mayo and follow it up with I believe a small Mexican style party. Due to the name, a lot of the participants run or compete in Sombreros (again no thanks). Look it up, and you will find only a few small pics regarding it and participants donning said cultural hats. Look it up, and you will also find out that last year they posted the results by race number on their facebook page. And Not chronologically. No age groups, no real awards to speak of, no idea of placement- You are basically running for fun, a time, and for the small get together afterward. Like I have said before, you get what you pay for.

This New Port Richey Crossfit Gym puts on this race, with proceeds going to charity. Im curious to see how well it gets pulled off

Still, Im interested to see how well I run in the evening, and I know a few others running in this race. Plus lots of social opportunity may present itself following the race. I think it will overall be an enjoyable time.

Short on availability and short on cash my race opportunities are limited. A great option might be to start signing up way in advance for the upcoming year; but I could be in a whole new location the following year so I have to hold up on that too. This again locks me in race purgatory. When you are struck in race purgatory, your training also kind of sinks into that purgatory too. I have clear goals, but when they only race in front of you the next few months is based on a Mexican hat, they start to seem very far away.

Not sure how I feel about the emblem, but $15 is $15. Im ready to run this race as well as I can

Enjoy Your Run. Enjoy yur Day :0

Gasparilla Half Marathon: Race Beggars Cant Be Race Choosers

I happily ran the Gasparilla Half Marathon this weekend. For those who dont know, The Gasparilla Distance Classic in Tampa is a series of 4 races over the course of 2 days, and is THE big event when it comes to Tampa running. It was not on my running calendar at all. You see, every time I complete a significant race, I always make it a point to look at upcoming races target a few, make a wishlist, and try to figure out whats next for me.

What I had originally wanted to run

Following the Gainesville Marathon, I did it again. I made my list of races with handy prices next to them. It was far too late to register for the Gasparilla Half so that was not a point of consideration at all. Top on the list was the Dances With Dirt Ultra Race in Dade City which at the time cost only 60$. I thought it was a time to take a step up and make a foray into the ultra race scene, and with a month in between the marathon and the race date, there was enough to get a good long training run or 2 in and do a 50K. I was sure of it. I just didnt have the cash.

Once again I went to my mom, worried she would be frightened by the distance, I tried to slip it in over text. Not so much. She wouldnt do it. Too much too soon. I tried to convince her I could do it and although she conceded that point, she worried about injury and was not going to have it. I felt disappointed in the way a little kid who asks for a toy gets disappointed even though they know dont deserve it. I also felt disappointed in the lack of control I had over the situation. If I had the 60$, it would never had been a conversation. I would have plunked it down and trained up and I would be 3 weeks out from my first ultra race.  But it was out of the question and it gnawed at me, which brings up a larger point.

I hate having to ask my parents for help paying for races. I hate that I just cant run distance races every so often for training or fun like I hear so many other runners say on race day. Although I love to compete, it would be great to not think about that stuff every once a while, but I really cant afford it. I guess mostly,  I hate that I cant just put down $20-25 and get to experience the joy of competing or having fun. Its a lack of freedom, that can be very constraining. Yes I have read the article in a runners magazine which broke down race fees, and it all made sense to me (although I think keener eyes could pare it down some), but I just want dont want my growth as a runner to be stunted by rising race costs. It is not quite at that at level yet, but its heading there.

This time around, I probably was not ready for that 50k anyway. My mother was probably right. She couldnt speak to the specifics of why because she is not a runner, but I knew that I should take more time to build my endurance to get there. Still, that disappointment was there to a big degree. Nobody likes being told no, even when they are wrong to ask in the first place. My disappointment was mollified quite a bit when my mother offered to sponsor me for one more distance race. The Gasparilla Half Marathon.

Th irony is that the Gasparilla Half Marathon was more expensive then the race I was asking her to sign me up for.  Significantly more. Still she felt more comfortable with the distance, and it was a race she knew, so she was willing to pay for it. I understood her logic, however bizarre and largely unspoken. I couldnt say no. Race beggars cant be race choosers. I shut up, happily accepted the offer and tried to wrap my brain around the half marathon that was only a couple of weeks away.

Tampa does an excellent job with this race

I ran Gasparilla early this Sunday morning and destroyed it. My previous half marathon time was 1 hr 42 minutes, and this one I ran in 1 hr and 36 minutes. A pr by more than 6 minutes and a 7:20 pace which was way quicker than I thought it would be. Especially considering how busy the whole weekend had been for me. When somebody helps you out with race fees this generously, it becomes paramount to run your race extra well. I felt no particular pressure or anything, but a different level of happiness is added on that you took advantage of a good opportunity.

Start of the half, crappy weather cleared up before the race began making it a perfect day for a new PR

Enjoy your run. Enjoy your day

Post Navigation