Good starters

I’ll take a good starter over being consistent any day.  Consistency is the key for long term success but how do we get there if that’s not our strong suit yet?  You have to be a good starter.  You have to start the first time.  Then you have to start at lunch. Then you have to start the next day.  Then you have to start the next week.  But, guess what, we all fall off and make mistakes.  So, what separates us?  The ones that start right back up again; the good starters!  Once you’re a good starter you work on your consistency and you see that being a good starter is all consistency is really about.  I’ve tried this philosophy out quite a few times in January.  It usually ends sometime in February.  This time, I started it late July after having my coach write me a meal plan.  I’ve mostly stuck to it since.  I stray just like every normal person does, but you just start over again at the next snack or meal to get back on track.  I’ve reset my body weight set point down by 10 pounds.  This means that where I used to “hover” for body weight is now much different after following this plan for more than 7 months!  I’ve tracked my body weight since 2008-2009 so its really fun to see the changes I’ve made over that time!

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Rough week

Whew, last weekend (march 4) was a rough training weekend.  I did 70lb walking lunges Friday evening and was supposed to do a 22miler on Saturday morning.  I am breaking in some new trail shoes and had some seriously sore quads which led me to only getting 16 of those 22 miles in.  I also had some knee pain that was ultimately why I cut the run short.  I was lucky enough to have a buddy and nice weather though.  That was nice 🙂  I think I need to take recovery more seriously from now on.  These longer runs and tougher workouts require a whole new level of recovery!  My old (and some of my new) tactics just aren’t cutting it.  So, I decided to take last week off.  While I was off, I had my knee worked on (graston, art, cupping and myofascial release).  I still haven’t really run again any significant mileage to speak of due to some lingering pain, but it’s getting better.  I planned on running this past weekend (march 11) or this week.  It’s been raining here so I’m taking a little extra recovery.  Typically, my recovery consists of drinking water, stretching, rolling out, taking an overnight recovery pill, muscle cream and ice/heat as needed.  I know there are some more things that I could be doing, but they usually cost some additional money.  I’ve tried cryo recovery, deep tissue massage, estim and ice baths but have not tried compression yet. It gets a little nerve wracking when you sign up for a race and then you have stuff like this happen.  It never fails though, train all year long with no races and have no issues.  Then you sign up for a race and start having silly little nagging pains.  That’s how it goes.

Thanks for joining me on this journey.

NUUN Ambassador

I’d like to thank NUUN Hydration for selecting me to be part of their Ambassador Team this year.  I’ve really enjoyed learning more about what NUUN has been up to recently.  They recently released the NUUN + and the NUUN vitamins which is really cool.  I am most familiar with the NUUN Active hydration tablets.  I really like that they are flavored but not too sweet or heavy.  They have a slight bit of carbonation mouth feel.  I’ve continued to use this the night before and during my training and races.  I’m grateful for the opportunity to be part of this team!

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Intense focus

I learned a few good lessons at HorseShoe this year and was able to apply some things I’ve recently learned as well.  One of the things that I was able to apply was something that my son taught me.  He taught me that sometimes a very intense focus is needed to overcome something that is directly in front of you.  This thing can be a physical or mental obstacle.  It’s the type of obstacle that makes it very very hard to think clearly.  It feels like it just scrambles your vision and your brain.  It feels like an earthquake inside your brain.  From these types of experiences I’ve learned how to find that focus and apply extreme intensity to it so that you are able to process and overcome this obstacle that stands in front of you.  This type of extreme focus helped me to process, categorize and prioritize thoughts and actions to get through HorseShoe.  Sure, this was only a 25K.  Sure this was only a little mud as opposed to war or death.  However, it’s what I needed at that time.  We all need something different to adapt and overcome.  We all need a little different training to be prepared.  We all need a little different thing to feel confident.  I’m grateful for all the help and support that my family, friends and ambassador teams provide to help me be successful!

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Learning over time…

As part of my goal in creating @mckennaonthemove, I want to help and encourage people to accomplish their health and fitness goals.  I’ve always run for one reason or another, but I didn’t always know what I was doing.  For my entire soccer career I had help from family, coaches and specialists to help guide me to do the things that I needed to do in order to get better everyday.  However, when I stopped playing soccer and started running, I didn’t have that.  I spent lots of time, money and trial to figure out what worked best for me.  Disclaimer: What worked best for me may or may not work best for you.  However, I’m happy to share what I learned and see if we can adapt it to your experiences and goals to get you where you’d like to be.  First and foremost was interval running.  Some call it walk/jogging.  I started this with a $30 timex.  I advanced from that Timex to Garmin running watches.  Each and every one I’ve had I set a 4:1 jog/walk.  I can then choose to use it or skip it as needed.  Secondly, (years later) would have to be cadence.  I learned about this through the book called Chi Running.  I’m not saying that everything in the book is for everyone or that everything in the book will work for everyone.  However, you read/listen to the whole thing and then apply what you think will work for you.  I learned that you can get a free metronome app for your phone.  You play the metronome in your ear buds while running to find your cadence.  You can also use a Garmin watch to find out what your current cadence is too.  Once you know your current cadence you can decide if/how much you want to change it.  I decided that I wanted to be closer to 180 BPM (beats per minute).  So I increased the cadence by 5% or less every week until I was running at my desired cadence.  From there I spent a year on the treadmill building muscle memory for this cadence.  You see, Chi Running taught me that cadence and pace are supposed to be independent of each other.  However, when I tried this outside I found it hard to believe.  When I tried it on a treadmill, I found it was true.  Once I built muscle memory around this for a year I was better suited to apply it outside.  The pace is supposed to come from 1 degree or 2 degrees (or some very small number) of lean forward.  Lean forward speed up, straighten up and slow down.  Just take some time to figure out what works for you when you read or listen to what others say on how to get better.  Take your time and don’t make too big of changes at once.

thanks for joining me on this journey.

Honey Stinger Ambassador

I’d like to thank HoneyStinger for selecting me to be part of their Ambassador Team this year.  My wife and I have been using these products since we did our first MS150 in 2012.  I was so shocked and excited when she came home to tell me that she had joined an MS150 team that I immediately went out and started researching what kinds of fuel and hydration and gear we would need for that long of a ride.  I found that many use the HoneyStinger Waffle.  We have used and loved that product ever since.  I’ve recently found their gummies.  I’ve used other gummies before finding these and really enjoy them.  I use them on all of my longer training runs and races.  I’m excited to continue using these awesome products to keep me fueled up on each new step.

thanks for joining me on this journey

My first trail race

So, I did it.  I ran my first trail race (about a month ago).  I ran the Horseshoe 25K with @TrailRacingOverTexas.  This race was billed as the toughest Mountain Bike single track trail in the Houston area.  I liked the idea that it sounded challenging and was near the beginning of the year.  I also liked that it was further than I’d ever run before, but not so much further that I would need months and months of extra training.  I’ve been training with a coworker most days of the week with mileage getting longer and longer every week, so I felt comfortable doing it.  I love the fact that (within reason) I’m not as concerned about my pace while running on the trail.  That certainly relieves a lot of pressure and anxiety.  I signed up for the race pretty late in the process to make sure I felt good about it when I did.  It rained for about a week before the race and the night before as well.  Turns out that trail races are susceptible to weather.  About 13 miles of the race was either mud or under water.  Therefore the 25K took 5 hours and 13 min to complete.  The best part about it is that I didn’t mind at all.  I’m just thankful that I completed the goal and had my friends and family backing me the whole way.  On to the next…

Thanks for joining me on this journey