There has been so much going on; it is hard to know where to start!
First off, I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends! I monitored my eating when I could and got in 2 great runs. One of the runs was with 2 of my closest friends from home. I have known Brian and Matt almost my entire life, and I was so excited to get the chance to run with them. It is amazing to think about how far we all have come, starting at virtually the same spot, and ending up with many of the same values and interests. When I proposed going for a run early Thanksgiving morning, there was almost no doubt that we were all going to be there. It was so enjoyable running through familiar areas, catching up on our lives, and reminiscing about "the old days".
Matt had brought along a couple of friends, one of which, Nick Pigg, is the owner/operator of a shoe and fitness store in Galesburg, Go_Outside_and_Play. It was interesting to hear some insight from Nick about running and fitness in Galesburg. Turns out that Nick, Matt, and some others are organizing a half marathon in Galesburg in June! I have already signed up on the mailing list and look forward to running my second half marathon in the town I grew up in!
Next, I did not meet my weight loss goal of losing 10lbs before Thanksgiving; I only lost 6. I had been working pretty hard and I thought for sure I was going to make it. However, I decided go for some "hill repeats" on a Sunday in order to strengthen my hill running. When I woke up that morning, I was not feeling quite right, but I headed out anyway. Finding a decent hill in central Illinois is difficult, but I warmed up with a 1.5 mile jog to the golf course where I knew there were a couple of decent hill to train on. I finally scoped out the hill that I thought would be good for me. The first couple of runs up the hill went well. The distance was very short, probably 100 yards or so, but the incline was good. After about 4 trips up and down the hill, I noticed that my hamstring was feeling a little tight. Ever since I started doing sprints, lunges, and squats, having tight hammies had become the norm, so I thought I could just run through the pain. On my sixth trip up the hill, I would swear I felt a snap and a hot shooting pain in my hamstring. I immediately stopped, called an end to the hill repeats, and attempted to jog home. The problem was I couldn't even jog without being in pretty significant pain. I ended up walking most of the way home. Which felt really weird because, I know this is going to sound like Forrest Gump, for the most part anywhere I am going, I am running. Walking that mile and a half back home felt very foreign.
I think the hamstring pull might have been because I was getting sick, because by that afternoon I had a pretty nasty virus. I had the chills, the sweats, body aches, and nausea. It lasted for a few days and I ended up taking a week off of working out. Ergo, I did not lose the remaining 4 pounds before Thanksgiving.
The hammie still gives me some trouble, but nothing significant. I did cause me to re-evaluate my workout routine. I had been going pretty hard for a few weeks, and I think I may have pushed things a little too hard. I completed my goal of running a 200m dash in less than 30 seconds, plus you know, I pulled a hamstring, so I have decided to not do any sprints for awhile. I am still going to the playground and doing my pull-ups and other body resistance exercises, but I am just incorporating that into some longer, slower runs. I know I am going to have to get back into the hill repeats if I want to do better in the distance running, but I am going to give my leg a few weeks to fully heal. I still would like to lose the remaining 4 pounds and get below 185 before Christmas, but multiple holiday celebrations may throw a wrench into those plans. My ultimate goal is to keep working out and not gain any weight.
Lastly, I have entered into a contest to receive free marathon and/or triathlon training for a year. Coach Jennifer_Harrison is offering one full year of training for no charge at all. Now, I have entered to win probably a hundred fitness and health swag items, but none of them quite as cool as this. The only problem is that it scares the shit out of me to think about actually winning this thing. The time commitment would be significant, but the thought of running a marathon in the next year, plus having the coaching to perform well, is intoxicating!
Anyway, that is all I have; it felt like a lot!