Numbers Lie…Effort Doesn’t

effort

I am a big fan of trying to simplify things down to the most basic level. If you do this, then this will happen. I believe most people try to overthink things. Most to the point that the answer becomes so cloudy and unclear that you never get the answer you are looking for. I am very motivated by a challenge. I do best when I can set a goal and work towards that goal. The best part for me isn’t even actually accomplishing the goal. When I accomplish the goal I have a slight feeling of apprehension. My goal is gone, therefore my motivation is gone and I don’t feel settled.

The journey is what I love. I love working towards a race and adding a mile to my distance each Saturday. Every week I go further than the last and each week I feel good about my accomplishment. Well, that’s the way it is supposed to be anyway. No matter how much we plan and want things to work out it doesn’t always go the way we want.

Continue reading Numbers Lie…Effort Doesn’t

Why Do You Do It?

why

I was getting up this morning for my run well before the sun was out. I started my routine to get out the door and just stopped and stood there for a minute. My brain was processing that if I laid back down in bed I could sleep for another hour or even more. It seemed like a great idea. I could run tonight and sleep now, what could possibly make getting up this early a better idea. Continue reading Why Do You Do It?

Why PACE Workouts Should Be Part Of Your Plan

19983733_1943853982499977_7332069200769460994_oSome of you may be reading this post thinking “What in the world is a PACE workout?”. Others may be thinking “I’m not trying to be super fast, I’m happy with my current pace.” Hopefully at least a few of you can back me up on saying that PACE workouts are a huge benefit to any runner.

If that is a new term to you the simple definition I would use is: Pace refers to the speed at which you are running, so a Pace workout is a workout that focuses on the speed more than distance or anything else. Pace workouts can be very structured like the Asics Pace Academy Challenge I have been doing on Thursdays or they can be very organic. The Asics Pace Academy is a six workout plan that has you go through different types of pace workouts with the goal of getting you to finish with a 5K PR at the end. I am not overly concerned with a 5K PR, but I need to increase my pace on my runs to get my half marathon PR and this has been very effective.

If you aren’t into plans or things being overly structured you can make up your own pace workout as you go. The simplest form of pace workout is probably the weirdest running term I have ever heard, fartlek. With fartleks, you simply run at your normal pace and periodically pick up the pace to 80-90% effort and run for a period of time. Then back down to your normal pace for a while and repeat as you wish. A great way to do this would be to pick one of your weekday runs and run normal for the first mile, do fartleks for the next mile or two and then normal again for a cool down mile.

If you want to be just a little more structured head out to the track at EKU and do some 400m repeats. 400m is one lap around the track. The workout would consist of doing a warm up lap or two around the track and then do a lap faster than you would like but something that you can complete (maybe 75% effort). The next 400m do slower than your normal pace (considerably slower) to give your body time to recover. Then repeat your fast lap again.

The reason you want to do some of these pace workouts is that it teaches your body new things. Your legs learn what if feels like to turnover at a new rate. Your lungs learn that they can recover from being pushed hard and do it all over again. Your mind learns that even when everything else wants to stop you can push that last little bit and feel accomplished. Doing these types of workouts regularly will change how you run. It isn’t just designed to make fast runners faster. It works just as well for beginners. The pace may be different, but the increases are still increases.

Give it a try. Go out there and pick a tree out in the distance and run to it like it’s the finish line. When you get there instead of stopping slow down and let your body recover for a bit. Then do it again. Over the last couple months as I have been doing the Asics Pace Academy Challenge I have taken my 3 miles training runs from 9:10 to 9:20 pace all the way down to the point that this morning my 3-mile run was at 8:00 per mile. That wasn’t a pace workout that I was trying to push hard that is just what my body carried me at. Pace workouts do work. If you want help coming up with a plan for your workouts let me know. We would be happy to help.

Historic Haunt 2017 – Bigger and Better

Historic Haunt-Brave-Enough2017 It seems a little bit hard for me to believe that people are signing up for the second Historic Haunt. It seems as though it was just a short time ago that the decision to start Run Richmond was made. When that happened I started running regularly at White Hall. I got to have a real love/hate relationships with some of those hills. So when we decided that a race was going to be the best way to help build and support the running community in Richmond it made sense to do it at White Hall. I am so glad that things worked out the way they did.

The first Historic Haunt didn’t go off without any hitches. We made a few mistakes and learned some valuable lessons. Overall though it was a huge success. We donated over $3000 to local organizations. We had numerous people commenting that this was the first 5K or 10K they had ever done and we had a couple dozen kids possibly start a love of running by doing the free Little Goblins Run. We had fun, from what I heard you guys had fun it was just a big win all the way around.

Like I said though we learned some lessons from our mistakes. We applied those lessons to the Water To Wine 5K this May. That race became even bigger than the Historic Haunt in registrations and in exposure for Run Richmond. The Water To Wine 5K was a tremendous success all the way around. The good news is that we learned from that as well. We want to take the lessons from our first two races and keep improving both of them.

The main thing we learned from the Water To Wine is that we loved partying with you guys. The “Twine Market & Design Party In The Barn” was awesome. That is the type of thing that builds community. Spending time with each other talking and having fun. That is what we want to add to the Historic Haunt. That is one reason that we have moved the start time to 5:30 pm. We loved having the food truck at the Water To Wine 5K. Food trucks for morning races don’t seem to make as much sense to me. Plus, let us be honest, a party is going to be better on Saturday evening than bright and early on Saturday morning.

So this year the Historic Haunt is going to be new and improved. Our vision is for there to be fire pits lit after dark with people roasting marshmallows while people tell their “ghost stories” from the White Hall State Historic Site. We hope to have the Apollo Pizza food truck on site providing the best post race meal you could imagine. What hope for more than anything is that we have a ton of new runners that chose this to be their first race. We hope that you decided to push past your 5K comfort zone and choose the 10K. We hope that registrations go so well that we get to write over $5000 in checks to our charity partners for this event.

If you haven’t already get registered right away.  Tell your friends about the race. Share the Facebook Event. Contact us if you are part of a business or know of a business that would like to become a sponsor for the race. We will be doing tons of marketing over the next few months and our sponsors will get a bunch of recognition.

Change Is Good, So We Are Going To Make Some Changes

change is good

Anyone else do there best thinking in the car? Well, I don’t know that it is accurate to say my best thinking, but I do know that I think about things in the car. The drive to and from work, for some people, is about the only time you are alone to think and process. Process life quitely is a very healthy thing to do. So with that knowledge we should all be thankful of traffic jams…OK maybe that was a bit too far. Anyway thinking is good and I have been thinking. Continue reading Change Is Good, So We Are Going To Make Some Changes

Wins Are Fun. Failure is Fundamental.

failure

A win is always a win. It feels great, it can build confidence and it can let you know you are on the right path. Sometimes I think we can get so wrapped up in the positive vibes we get from a good win that we forget how amazing a failure can be for us. Does that statement sound crazy to you? I believe that wins are fun, and failures are fundamental. Continue reading Wins Are Fun. Failure is Fundamental.

Do You Have A Plan?

a goal without a plan

I did it. I ran the Bluegrass 10,000 along with approx 2500 of my closest friends. Actually, I ran it with several Run Richmond friends, sort of. Next time we organize a spot to gather for a photo. I couldn’t find most of you in the mix of people. It ended up being a pretty good day to run. A little muggy, but the rain held off mostly. The streets had lots of spectators braving the potential rain and that always make a race more fun.

If you read here often you likely know that I have been working to get back to racing fitness. An ankle injury and then a sickness knocked me out for about 2 months and I lost almost all endurance. So this 10K was my first test to see if I was on the right track. Trying to get back on track has been frustrating, to say the least. I am a firm believer that walking some in your runs is OK and that every day a run/walk is better than a walk. Along with that, a walk is better than the TV. Two years ago I ran my first half marathon and didn’t walk. I was past the point of needing to walk in my long runs. Continue reading Do You Have A Plan?

Funk’s Headed To Bolivia

compassion1Most of you that have spent time chatting with Trent or myself probably learned that we met each other through our church (Crossroads). We have both been attending the Richmond campus of Crossroads for years and what started as a friendship and mutual love of running has turned into a partnership. We also share a love for the organization Compassion International. It is a child sponsorship program that is well ran and truly investing in the kids that you sponsor and making a difference in communities all across the world. Continue reading Funk’s Headed To Bolivia

Do Your Best Today, So You Can Be Your Best Tomorrow!

hill runWay back in 2015 I started a journey that saw me lose 50 lbs and get to a level of health that I hadn’t seen in over 20 years. The great part about that was how well everything else started falling into place as the weight kept falling off. I had more energy which made doing stuff with my family easy. I was running seriously for the first time in my life and I just kept setting new goals and not only hitting them but exceeding them. In the fall of 2015, I got below 200 lbs for the first time since I could remember. It would have probably been my first year of college, but I don’t know for sure.

I tell you all that so that you understand what 2016-2017 has looked like. Over the last couple years, I have continued to run. I have continued to write articles trying to encourage others to stay focused on getting healthier. I even ran my first full marathon. The problem is that during that time I have slowly gained weight back. Not all the weight, but enough to make it hard for me to keep going at the pace I was before. My races have not been PR races. My energy level may still be up from what it once was, but it certainly isn’t where it could be.

This has been a big frustration of mine over the last year. I got settled into a routine that wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t great. I was still doing lots of good things for my health, but all of a sudden it seems they have been overshadowed by the lack of discipline at the dinner table. Then I had my ankle injury this spring. That really set me back. Not being able to run for almost 8 weeks was really rough on my body. I need to get those miles to counteract some of my other choices. When I wasn’t running I gained weight quickly. I fell much farther back on my fitness level than I would have ever dreamed.

So I found myself quickly back to a place I was in early 2015. Unable to run an entire workout without walking. Needing to get a serious diet going to lose weight. Most of this spring that has been my place. Needing to do those things. But when I would run I would get discouraged because I knew what I SHOULD be able to do. I would quickly lose motivation with the diet because I felt as though it was a lost cause.

I have said it before and I know I will again, but I am motivated by a challenge. So I challenged myself to sign up for the same fall half marathon that was the first one I ever ran back in 2015. The one that started it all. The challenge those is to get my time for that race from the 8:37 pace from the first time to an 8:00 pace this time. Clearly, that can’t happen with extra weight. So I have gotten serious about my diet. Since I have put pressure on this it has been so much easier.

I feel good that I can meet my goal, but I also have decided that if I do the best that I can each day that is all that’s necessary. I may not be able to run today like I did a couple years ago. But the only way I will ever be able to is to do my best today. I don’t beat myself up for walking on 3 mile runs right now, because that is where I am right now. I know I can run better tomorrow, but today that is who I am.

Most likely the greatest critic you will ever have is you. I know this is true of me. I can get so frustrated at myself for the letting things spiral backward. I just happen to be in a spot right now that has reminded me to work like I did back in 2015 if I want to get to the places I got to in 2015. If you work now the way you should you will be better soon. It takes time but continued hard work will always come with a payoff. So no matter how much it hurts or how bad you want to throw in the towel, just keep at it. Do you best today so you can be your best tomorrow!