February 16, 2010
I think I need to start traveling on a more regular basis. It seems as though it is the only time I write. I am on a flight to Denver, with Salt Lake City as my final flying destination today. I will meet Josh and Nick there tonight as we are on our annual pilgrimage to the mountains to ski for 5 days. Jim and Jeff are joining us this year as we ski Park City until Sunday when we will depart the mountains for various destinations east once again.
During my running this month- 76 miles thus far--I have had this trip to the mountains in mind. There is something about the mountains that clears my brain, and refreshes my soul and spirit. And let me say from the outset--I need some clarity in the grey matter, and some refreshment for my soul and spirit. But I am getting ahead of myself. What will this week bring in terms of clarity? I will let you know when I write on the flight Sunday back to Iowa.
So what has happened that I need such clarity and refreshment? And what gleanings will I have upon reflection? Let me start with the easy stuff. I continue to do my daily P90X workouts and have noticed quite a difference. My waist is back to a 32”--or smaller. I know that most of my pants are way too big. I received a good report at the doctor’s office. My B.P. is in the “low normal” range enabling the doctor to cut my B.P. meds in half. My cholesterol was almost 100 points lower- last fall it was 265. This visit it was 171! Amazing what a little medication and a great deal of good eating will do for the body. At last weigh in, I was at 171. I haven’t been that low in many years. In addition to the weight loss is the muscle gain. I have opted for a runner’s body--more repetitions of every exercise with less weight. Last time I checked my body fat was at 12%. Needless to say I am happy with these results. My initial goal was 175 lbs. and 15% body fat. I believe by April 19th I will reach my ultimate goal of 170 lbs and 10% body fat.
I strapped on my weight belt the other day when working out. I added 17 lbs--the weight at which I started this adventure. I knew it would add some pressure to my knees, but I never figured it would be as much as it was. Where does weight go when you lose it? I have never been able to figure that out. All I know is that it is much easier to run, breathe, and keep my heart rate in the desired proper zone, (145-155) than when I was 17 lbs. heavier. (For more information on my workouts go to: www.beachbodycoach.com/rayporter.)
I have had two long runs thus far this month. The first one was a 20 miler outside and the second one a 14 miler inside on the Fitness Center track. After the 20 miler I felt as though I could have gone more miles. My fastest miles were miles 17-19. Mile 20 was up the not-so-dreaded-anymore Wells Ferry hill to my subdivision. It wasn’t my fastest--but I ran the whole hill and it wasn’t my slowest mile. I drank Recovery Drink and munched on a performance protein bar every 4-5 miles. Instead of listening solely to music I listened to an audio book by Jim Rohn as well. It seemed to make the time and miles pass by without as much effort. On the 14-miler, I did the same thing and the 14 miles went by in a hurry--less than 2 hours-- ven on the track. Maybe there is something to listening to audio books that helps pass the time of day.
February 19, 2010
Two months from today and I will be stepping up to the starting line in Hopkinton, Mass. on my way to Copley Square in Boston. It seems like a long time away but I know it isn’t. On what do I need to focus physically, mentally and spiritually between now and then? What will settle my ch’i? Where and how will I find my balance?
Physically--without question I need to continue following my training schedule. I am quite pleased with it to this point. It might be (O.K., it IS) a little obsessive, but it appears to be working. This is the first marathon where I have cross trained this way. The P90X workouts have helped me focus on this aspect of training. Marathon training is so much more than simply going out and logging hundreds of miles running. That is what I have done in the past.
Mentally--There are many issues flying through my mind these days. It is hard to relax running when your mind is cluttered with questions. I know the answers are there as well, but at the time they are not coming as quickly as I would like. Coming to the mountains has enabled me to spend some time sorting through a couple of the most important ones. I don’t have the answers to all the questions yet, but I am making progress. I am reminded of the wisdom of Mr. Miyagi: “Answers are only important, if you ask the right questions.” I have been able to re-form some of the questions. Are they the “right” ones? I don’t know yet.
Spiritually--Where do I even begin with this one? Spirituality is something that for most of my life has just been a given. Being “a religious, church-going Christian” has always been a given. Not so much anymore. Now the Church has little meaning in my life. More on this topic later.
February 20, 2010
I just completed four days of skiing in Park City Utah with my two boys, my brother and my nephew. The good news is that no one got hurt. The better news was that it snowed the entire time we were here. The best news is that we got to spend time together. My brother and I haven’t been on a vacation together since we were kids. After this one, I hope we will be doing it again soon.
Sometimes it is good to get away. Making new memories with family is all important. Thanks Josh, Nick Jim and Jeff for the memories of the 2010 “Porter boys” Ski Trip. There are just so many days we have on this earth.
February 21, 2010
I am once again on a plane. It is time to leave the mountains and return home. It was a fabulous week. Spending time with the two boys on a mountain is an annual trip I plan on participating in for the rest of my life. It is a time to talk, to eat, to laugh- to simply be together. As long as they will have me, I plan to go with them.
As to the work outs- I skied 6-7 hours a day. I did three Ab Ripper X workouts, many series of pushups, and one yoga workout. I am not sure but I believe it did my body good to not run this week. We shall see when I get with my running class tomorrow evening.
I wrote at the beginning of this week that I was in search of some clarity and that I would write about it upon my return home. I did get some clarity- not as much as I probably needed or wanted- but nevertheless, there seems to be a little less muddiness in my ch’i. What is the clarity I achieved? 1) to face my fears; 2) to trust my systems of support; 3) to learn how to ask for help and support; 4) to be less worried about proving myself and impressing others; 5) to know that whatever happens I will be alright.
What do those 5 things have to do with training? Nothing...and everything.
February 28, 2010
Hard to believe it is the end of another month already. It has been a difficult week of working out and running after returning from the ski trip. I ran on Monday with my running class, and then Tuesday I ran 7 miles- felt pretty good. Wednesday was another story. After about 3 miles into running what I had hoped was going to be a 6 mile run, my right heel started to hurt. After 5 miles I had to stop running. Not sure what I did, but when I got up on Thursday, I could hardly walk on it. As the day progressed, it felt a little better. I stretched it throughout the day, but was very glad to get home and rest it at the end of the day.
I ran yesterday at the Fitness Center track for 5 miles. I spent a good 10 minutes stretching prior to the run. When I started it still hurt- felt tight. The good news is that by the end of the run it had loosened up- still hurt, but I completed the run.
Today I venture off on a 20-25 mile run. Why the 5 mile differential? On my training schedule the goal is 12 miles. But as I did not have the opportunity to run 23 miles last Sunday- I was travelling home from skiing spending a great deal of time delayed in Denver- I need to do an LSD run today. After today I have one more 20+ mile run before the tapering begins.
O.K… I just finished running 25 miles. It was a great day for run…mid 30’s…blue sky and sunshine. I felt good for most of the run. The first 19 weren’t bad at all. Miles 10-19 went uphill. I didn’t plan it that way but I am glad it went that way. After the hill climb I needed more “fuel”. I drank my Recovery Drink and munched the Performance Bar too early in the run and felt a little dehydrated when I finished. During the marathon I will need to intersperse drinking water with the Recovery Drink I will carry in my fuel belt. Hopefully that will take care of the dehydration problem. I will also need to take 2-3 Performance Bars to munch on as well. All in all I was pleased with the run. My goal was to keep this LSD (Long Slow Distance) run under 10 min./mile- I averaged 9:57/mile. (Total time 4:09) Did I have 1.2 miles left in me? I believe I did.
With March starting, it is time to step up the workouts even more. Seven weeks from tomorrow is the day of which I have dreamed. Four more weeks of hard workouts and runs followed by a couple of weeks of tapering will allow my body time to recover and repair itself. For the month I did my P90x workouts, ate well and logged 163 miles, as well as went skiing for four days in Utah. Not a bad month at all!