Sunday, December 15, 2013

My Last Post on Blogger

Hi everyone! I wanted to thank everyone who has read and followed this blog, who has stuck with me even when I didn't post for days and weeks on end. I have enjoyed using blogger and have had this blog since 1996, but it is time for me to move on to another blog. I am moving to using my own website on my own domain, EricDickey.Com. I am more than happy to be doing this, as this has been a long time coming for me. I have more control over it and this allows me to add several things I have been wanting to add for a long time. So please follow me over to EricDickey.Com and have a look. I will be blogging as well as writing about running and fitness, posting pictures in the gallery section, and showing off my beautiful family. Once again, thank you for reading, and for following. I'll be leaving this blog up for historical reasons, as well as a pointer to my new site. Regards, Eric Dickey

Monday, February 25, 2013

Form Follows Fitness 5K

This past Saturday I ran my first 5K after completely recovering from my grade 2 calf sprain in my right leg.

The 5K race I ran was the second annual Form Follows Fitness 5K, held in Downtown Dallas.  What made this race really fun was that I was given the opportunity to organize a team from my work to run with and with only three days notice, I was able to put together a team of 11 people to run with.  Now, once the race started, it was every person for themselves, so we didn't all finish together, but we all finished, including four who had not competed in a 5K before!

Part of our 11 member team.  I am on the far left.

It was 34 degrees at race time, and there were about 1200 people or so who raced, so it was a nice event to run.  I think it could have been a larger event had the Ft. Worth's Cowtown Marathon not been happening at the same time.

The course itself was relatively easy, with a nice downhill start that allowed everyone to build up steam.  It was the last 800 or so feet that was the biggest pain.  All uphill with what I am guessing was a 15 to 20 degree incline!  It was at that point that I started slowing down.

I wasn't sure what I would run as far as time goes in this race, but I had set a goal of 24 minutes right before the start.  After the runs I had the week leading up to this race, I knew I'd be able to run close to the pace I'd need to set, but I wasn't sure if I would be able to sustain that pace.

But I did maintain close to that pace the entire race!

Now the only thing wrong with this picture is that it shows me going 3.17 miles, because I started the tracking app on my phone when the horn sounded for the race.  I was way behind the starting gate, so I am going by the time the gps tracking app shows me at 3.10 miles, and not the official results.

Here is what I believe I ran:
 Yes, that is a 5K distance in 24 minutes and 26 seconds, which is 4 minutes and 58 seconds better than my previous PR of  29:24. set at the Turkey Trot held in Dallas on Thanksgiving Day, 2012.  That is a new PR!

Here are the official results for me from the race:

So, overall a great race for me.  I am now 100 percent fully healed and I appear to be faster than ever.  I am really looking forward to pushing myself even more.

Thanks for reading.  Have a great rest of the day!

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Hotcake Hustle 5K -- Running for Pride

This past Saturday I ran the Hotcake Hustle 5K in Addison, TX.  Normally this wouldn't be such a big deal to me, since this would be my fifth 5K race in the past 4 months, but this was one race I absolutely had to run.  You see, I was running hurt in this race. 

The Wednesday before was rainy and I decided to do a run on the treadmill at the gym I use.  about 20 minutes into my run I felt a sharp pain in my right calf and I tried to run through it for about 30 seconds but had to stop my run.  I think what I had was either a grade I or grade II calf sprain.  Over the next two days I used the RICE method on my leg.  Resting it with no runs or exercising, Icing it every hour on the hour I was awake for 20 minutes at a time, Compressing the leg by wearing a compression bandage on it, and keeping it Elevated as much as I could.  Trust me in that I was getting strange looks at work, wearing an ice pack on my leg outside my pants, but oh, it was so worth, not feeling pain!

 When race day dawned, I dressed and headed over to the race site.  My leg felt pretty good, with no pain or twinges at all.  I did however bring a few things with me, just in case.  Ice packs, another compression bandage, and a pain patch was in a bag waiting for me after the race.  I hope I didn't need it, but I had it there, again, just in case.  The weather was interesting, to say the least.  100 percent humidity and 65 degrees!  I was so glad I didn't wear cold weather gear for this run!  There was rain in the forecast and a cold front was on its way towards us, but fortunately for us, the rain and cold held off until after the race.

Before the race started, I did test my leg.  I did more stretching than I normally do for a race, making sure I targeted the calves.  After I stretched and warmed up, I decided to run about a half mile at various paces to see how my leg would react.  Everything felt good, so I was ready to race.

The crowd in front of me.

Ready to race the Hotcake Hustle!
The crowd behind me -- 2400 strong!

The race got off to a good start and I went into this race with only one goal in mind: to finish it.  Even though this is my fifth race, I have not, and do not want to have a DNF on my record.  I have quit too many things in life and I don't want to start doing so in racing.  So I figured that I would be good with about a 10:30 to 10:45 pace and leave it at that.  I knew in my heart that I would have a slow time.  So how did I start?  I started off with an 8:20 pace, then started slowing down after that.

The course itself was easy enough, pure roadway, though crossing I think 4 railroad tracks, even inset into the road was not fun.  One good slip and there goes an ankle!  There was one bridge we crossed; I don't know the incline but it felt steep to me at the time.  I held up pretty well during the race.  I would start to push myself to go faster and then have to slow down as my right calf reminded me that I was running hurt.  It never really hobbled me, but I was reminded of it, believe me.  About 400 feet from the finish line or so, I was running side by side by this younger, fitter man and we were matching each other step for step.  That's when the competitive side of me took over and I glanced over at him and then back at the finish line and sprinted the remaining 400 or so feet, coming in ahead of him by several feet.  I know he probably didn't care, but for me it was a matter of pride.

My calf let me know about it too. 

Long story short, I am taking the next couple of weeks off from running, to let my calf hopefully heal up fully.  I finished the race with a respectable time, at least for me anyway, and I have the coffee mug given out to the ones that finished out the race.

Here is my unofficial time, as provided by my Nike iPhone app:

Here is the official results:

I'm not sure why there is such a discrepancy between the Nike app average mile pace and the official pace, but hey, with a bum leg, I'll take it.

I'll definitely run this next year, but next year, it'll be the 10K, not the 5K.

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the day!

Sunday, January 06, 2013

2013 Week One Review

Back on January 2, I posted my New Year's goals and issued a challenge to you, my readers or doing something to stay healthy and get healthy for this year.  To show you how I am doing, I plan on posting a review of each weeks activities for me this year.  This way I can be accountable to both you and myself and show how I am progressing.

Here is week one.

This was a really good week for me.  24 miles run at an average pace of 10:47 per mile with 4,270 calories burned, all from running.  One Wednesday and Friday I hit the gym, doing full body resistance training.  I did one hour on Wednesday burning 1,149 calories, and 1:30 burning 1,723 calories on Friday.  Total calories burned for the week was 7,142.

I wasn't planning on running 7 miles twice this week; the first time on Thursday just sort of happened.  I started on a easy run and basically kept on running.  Sounds funny I know, but it was a really good run and gave me an indication that I can run longer distances than I thought at this time.

I have a 5K race I am running this coming Saturday, so I'm not sure if I will be running this much next week, but I do know this, I will be running.  I hope you are staying healthy too!

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the day!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Starting the New Year Off Right

Yesterday was New Year's Day and for my location in the Northern Dallas, TX area, it was wet and cold.  Perfect weather for running, and running is what I did.  I actually ran a 5K distance the night before; I wanted to run further, but my oldest daughter made me promise I would be back within a reasonable time since she wanted to play board games as a family and ring in the new year together.  But the quick in and out 5K was a good one.

I decided that I wanted to start the new year off with a good run and chose a 10K distance.  I wasn't sure at what pace I wanted to run, and decided that I would let my body dictate that.  I started the run at 10:12 AM with no breakfast before the run.  For some reason I tend to run better in the early morning without a full stomach.  (If you can call eight ounces full.)  The run itself was a good one and I felt I had a strong run, setting a new personal record in this distance with a time of 1:06:24.  I maintained a steady pace throughout the run, maintaining an average pace of 10:40 per mile.  I am going to keep that distance for my distance runs for now, and gradually start increasing them until I hit 14 miles.  Once I hit that distance and keep it up for a few weeks, and run my first half marathon, I'll start increasing the distance again, slowly building myself up to my first marathon.  That will not be anytime soon, but it will happen.

Here is the map from the Nike+ site I use.

Here are the split times:

I am looking to maintain approximately 21 to 25 miles a week running for now; this run was a great start.

If you get a chance, tell me how your running is going; I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading.  Have a great rest of the day!

New Year - New You

It's that time of the year again.  You know, the time to make resolutions that you try to keep, promises to yourself that you'll do whatever in the new year, then almost all of the time fall away from those promises?  Well, I have a few resolutions for me, and a big challenge to all who happen to read this.

Let's start with my resolutions for this year. 
  • I will show a positive, loving attitude towards everyone in my family and a positive attitude to everyone I interact with everyday this year, even when I don't feel like it.
  • I will run a half marathon this year.
  • I will run several 10K races this year and set personal records in at least two of those races.
  • I will reach my next weight goal of 225 pounds and then move on to my next weight goal.
Think that's a lot to deal with?  I don't.  Think I will make those goals?  I will.  And believe it or not, the hardest one for me will be the first one of maintaining a positive, loving attitude!  You see, I am an old bear most of the time to everyone around me, even the ones I love and I hate that.  I love my family with my whole heart, but my attitude simply stinks at times.  It's time to change that.

The other items?  Childs play for me.

I am doing a few things to make sure I hit my goals/resolutions for this year.  How, do you ask, will I do this?  Well, the first thing is how I worded the resolutions/goals.  Look at them again and see if you know what I mean by this.  Go ahead, I'll wait.

Did you see it?  First of all, instead of just saying what I am going to do, I wrote it down, and wrote it down for the entire world to see!  Second of all, notice the second word of every goal I set down.  The word you see is "will".  Not "try to", not "do my best to", nor any other word or combination of words that would allow me an escape, but I used the word "will".  This sets the goal in stone and is a powerful reminder to me that I have set my mind and heart to do this and accomplish this.  These goals are what I will do because I want to do them. 

The next thing you'll notice is that each goal is attainable and some actually build on other goals.  To lose weight and obtain my next weight goal, I will be running more.  Why am I running more?  Oh yeah, I want to run a half marathon this year.  How will I start achieving that goal?  I will be running more races, and those races (and subsequent training) will be at a 10K distance.  See what I mean?

So the next questions are: "When do I start these?" and "How can I maintain them?". 

The first question is easy.  You start now.  Not tomorrow, not next week, but now.  The longer you put something off, the easier it is to give up on it because you never started it in the first place!

The second question is a little harder to answer, but I will try.  You may have heard this said, but it is true.  It takes 21 days of doing something to make it a habit, and once you have started a habit, it is easier to maintain what you want to do.  So you start now, and then maintain that something for a minimum of 21 days.  As you go through this period, you'll notice that whatever it is you are wanting to do will become much easier as the time goes by.  Another thing to do is to keep a journal or a log book, especially if one of your goals is to do something physical.  Use one of the free websites out there, use a spreadsheet, or simply write down what it is you need to write down.  The more you log, the more committed you become to doing this.  Believe me, it really helps you when you see the progress you are making.

That's basically it in a nutshell.  That is what I do and will continue doing. As Yoda said to Luke Skywalker:
"No! Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try."
  As for the challenge I alluded to earlier, here it is:
No matter what it is you set out to do this year, I am challenging you to actually do it!   I have already set a new PR of 1:06:24 at a 10K distance this new year and have already signed up for a 5K race on the 12th of this month. I have started training for my first half marathon I will run this year! What is your one primary goal, fitness related or not for this year that you really want to do?  Take the steps I have talked about above and start already! New Year, New You! Make it happen!

Thanks for reading!  Have a great rest of the day!