Half-Marathon Unplugged

2016 Half-Marathon Unplugged
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As part of “my year of Stronger, Faster, Healthier, Better,” I wanted to run a half-marathon so I signed up for the Half-Marathon Unplugged. Having (almost) never (since high school) ran more than three miles, I started running a few months ago. While I only ran a handful of times -about once or twice a month since January-, I was able to get up to eight miles before I got sick and had to take a couple weeks off.

My breathing finally recovered from my sickness on the day before the half-marathon race. With self-doubts of cold weather, too much distance, and lack of fitness creeping in, I pushed those aside and laced up my shoes. Having never ran that far before, I read that you should keep a conversational pace – a pace where you could easily converse with another runner. So I did just that – a slow, steady pace of around 9:30/mile for the first 8 miles miles or so.
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2016 – My year of Stronger, Faster, Healthier, Better

New Year. New Shoes
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I’ve been thinking a lot about 2016 and what I want to accomplish. I usually don’t set New Years resolutions or goals, so this year I’m trying something different. This year will be my “Stronger, Faster, Healthier” year.
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Spartan Sprint – 2015 Killington

2015 Spartan Sprint

A few weeks ago, I participated in my first Spartan Race. The Spartan Sprint was held at Killington Mountain Ski Resort and was described as a 3+ mile obstacle course with 15+ obstacles.

Before talking about my experience, I’ll give a brief overview of my physical fitness. Over the last 5 years or so, I’ve ran a handful of times and never worked out. I’ve never enjoyed going to the gym or running, so with the exception of high school cross-country & track and my years in the Marine Corps, I only had a few years of running.

That is until a few months ago when I joined my local Crossfit gym. I read about Crossfit last year and wanted to join, but it was one of those things that I never got around to doing. So with about 2-3 months worth of Crossfit training and a dozen or more ~3 mile runs on the bike path, I made a last minute decision to register for the Spartan Sprint. (I registered on Thursday and ran on Sunday.)

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Summer of Change

Shoes

Well, it’s summer, so I’ve decided to change some things. First, I restarted running again. I was running about 3 times a week before I joined Crossfit. My run pace is still more of a fast jog pace than actually running. I’d love to get my average 3 mile pace under/around 8 minutes/mile – which isn’t very fast but fast enough for me. Right now, my best is an abysmal 9:22 min/mile for a 3 mile course.

ShoesNext, as mentioned above, I joined Crossfit. I’m doing this 3 or 4 days a week and running on the alternate days about 2 or 3 times a week. There’s a lot of weight lifting, which I’ve always avoided. I realized that I’ve lost most of the upper body strength which I used to have, so doing pull ups, which used to be very easy, is now more of a challenge than I expected. I’m enjoying the variety of exercises and movements and it makes working out non-boring which is a good thing – because I get bored of working out really fast.

I’ve purchased a camera. It’s not too fancy of a camera, but it’s fun. It’s an introductory level DSLR and the kit came with a few lens adapters and an additional lens. It’s been pretty fun to just walk around the yard and take photographs. I’ve captured a lot of local insects, wildlife, and birds and I’ve attempted to identify each of the species. You can check out the photos in my Instagram account.

Acoustic GuitarLastly, I also purchased an acoustic guitar. I’ve always wanted to learn, so I’m also in the process of scheduling some lessons. I’m not expecting much, but if I can learn how to play a few songs, then it’ll be fun to practice during the winter.