Gym Workouts and Computer Upgrades

It’s been an interesting first week of my alcohol-free diet.  First things first, it’s been way easier than I anticipated it would be.  I’ve been able to go to bed relatively early and am getting some decent sleep.  I’ve logged 14 miles running with another 6 planned today, plus 28 miles on the bike.  It’s windy as fuck today, so I might wait until tomorrow to hit the extra 6 before this weekend’s “Longer” runs.  Not really going to push it.  On Saturday I plan on hitting Drummer for the first time this year.  Chris wants to check out the course for this June’s Race and I always like going up there.  Depending on how that goes, I’ll head out Sunday for some junk miles or maybe hit the gym and do a little treadmill and bike work.

Onto the computer side of things.  I’ve been thinking about upgrading my graphics card for months now and I’m finally settling on a card.  I’m thinking about the AMD R9 380.  It’s locking around Amazon and Newegg for around $200, and maybe in a few weeks I can pull the trigger on it, we’ll see.  I’m not going to lie, it’s all about playing Fallout 4.  I wish I could finagle something about needing it for work, but it ain’t.  I was able to play Witcher 3 on my current card at low settings and it wasn’t terrible, but I’m super jealous of the details I missed, and don’t want the same thing to happen with Fallout 4.

First 20 of the Year

45mphSunday I knocked out my first 20 miler of the year.  It was an absolutely stunning February day and I was able to hit the rail trail for a majority of the run.  I’m pretty enthusiastic about the day and that I got in a 20 miler this early into this training cycle.  My right foot, which has given me the majority of pain since Ghost Train, feels pretty good and the knees were a little pinged later in the day, but mostly I feel my body has recovered nicely and ready for another week of training.

Yesterday I went to the gym for a 20 mile recovery ride on the stationary bike.  I’m actually not really sure how accurate the distance on those bikes are and if I’m going to hard or not hard enough on the tension.  I would love to build a trainer system with one of those fancy-ass computer programs that I see popping up on Strava here and there, but I’m scraping by with 2 pairs of aging shoes right now and don’t have nearly enough scratch to throw at a franken-trainer.

Probably the biggest news of the week is that I am officially quitting drinking until after the Spring Classic.  I’m struggling to drop the weight, and high-octane craft beers don’t exactly add to the strategic caloric plan I want to embrace.  I’m also going to try and do some sort of workout every day.  I’m even considering one of those daily, home workout subscriptions I keep seeing on Hulu.

I know April isn’t the goal month for the year and there are plenty of months left in the year and plenty of races, but I want a strong summer of training and feel like I’m behind already, although the 40 miles I put in this week makes me feel a little better.  Ghost Train registration just went live and I also want to do Pisgah again.  It’s a long season and I need to remind myself that I have plenty of time to run plenty of trails.

Beard, No Beard

I’m trying hard to beat the February doldrums with anything I can to shake it up.  Yes, even shaving the beard.  When I was younger and felt I needed to make a mental switch, I’d shave my head.  Not exactly sure why I thought a physical change would help with a mental hurdle, but it did.  Before I shaved the beard, I thought I would miss it or quickly realize that I’d made a huge mistake, but really it’s not that big a deal.  I might put it back on come fall, but for now, I’m enjoying not having beard in my food or food in my beard.

Yesterday I planned on hitting the treadmill and bike at the gym, but unfortunately, ran out of time and was only able to run.  I did manage to get in 8 miles, split between 4 miles of quarter mile intervals and 4 miles of an easier pace.  One thing I love about the gym is that I can catch up on my Hulu queue.  If the wife doesn’t particularly like a show, I toss it into my gym queue.  I’m currently watching the new X-Files and 11.22.63 which I’m completely digging on.  Without spoiling anything, the last few minutes of the second episode of 11.22.63 was so frantic that I unconsciously sped up my cadence and almost ran into the front of the treadmill.

Beard, No Beard

Shredding the Tread

I’ve been a total baby about being outside lately.  Sometimes I’m just so pathetic about it.  My friends are calling me a baby, but honestly, if I wasn’t hitting the gym, I wouldn’t be doing anything.  I stopped running on treadmills for any distance over 4-5 miles because I’d get these blisters on the bottom of my toes.  2Toms to the rescue.  I’ve been using 2Toms as my lube of choice for a while now and figured I’d give it a try on the tootsies.  This has made a world of difference during the crappy New England winters.  We’ve had a very mild winter, but February is my El Guapo and I’d take a treadmill run over sitting on my ass any day.  I’ve also added stationary biking to my workout.  On longer running days like today, I’ll run for 4 miles, add in 10 miles on the bike and then hit 4 more on the mill.  On shorter days, like yesterday, I ran my 4 miles and then finished off with 10 on the bike.  My 10 miles on a stationary bike takes about a half hour and adding that extra cardio is helping in my longer, outdoor, weekend runs.

As for the blog, I’ve decided to close down greyrunner.com and just use this place as my catch all blog.  Starting next week, I’m going to start some new fitness tactics and really try to record them daily.  March tends to go one of two ways.  Shitty, late snow and cold or beautiful early spring.  I’ve been burned too many times thinking positively about the weather, so I plan mentally that it’s going to blow.  That’s why I’m going to make some changes and hit this blog again.