Saturday, June 28, 2014

Monthly 100 Miles Ran. Achieved!


From when I started running on my own. I have set goals and every goal I have reached. Each one has been increased. So from my first 3 miles I ran (none military affiliated), the next would be 5 miles, then 8 to 13 miles. So on and so forth. So far I'm at 20 miles for one run but I have not yet mastered that. Anyways, during those goals. I did not notice the mileage I have accumulated. 

2013

July - 42 
August - 85
September - 35 (injured)
October - 35 (recovery)
November - 43
December - 111

2014 

January - 100
February - 44 (Race events)
March - 38 (Race events)
April - 42 (Race events)
May - 61
June - 107



As you can see my milages fluctuates for many reasons. Injuries *even when I'm not suppose to run*, TAD to the US and running race events. My New Year Resolution is to either run 100 miles in month or a total of 1200 for the year. I am at 392 miles and I still have over 600 miles to accumulate. I believe I can do it. 



Anyways, achieving that 100 miles a month gives me a sense of accomplishment. Something to brag about and having that awesome feeling when someone says your crazy. Haha! In reality, anyone can run 100 miles a month. All it takes is running 5 miles day for 20 days. Is that hard? Nope! People just have the tendency of not taking the first step out the door. 



I am very ambitious on trying to achieve that goal and at the same time stubborn when pain is involved. Haha! I know its bad, So what? *Do not follow my foot steps. It's my choice to run through the pain. So don't point your finger at me that, I've motivated you to do so. haha just saying* 

So go out there, set your goals and see if you can reach them. There is nothing else we do in life but to set goals. I mean we do it every day, from graduating high school to getting a degree in college. Leaving your home town and making it in the real world. So running 100 miles in a month time span is the easiest thing you can do in your life. The easiest goal, you just gotta do it. C'mon your missing out on the beauties of the world.







Friday, June 27, 2014

Runner's High


  1. [Runner's high - is said to occur when people exercise so strenuously that their bodies reach a certain threshold. It is suggested that endorphins are responsible for this state. Endorphins are released during long, continuous workouts of moderate to high intensity, corresponding to prolonged physical stress.]

    With every run, my main goal is to achieve, "Runner's High." Why? It's because its the best feeling when you can just run forever without breaking or slowing down. Just a constant speed without worrying about anything. Your mind is so clear of stress and just puts a smile on your face. It also feels good when you still have that high after your run. 



    According to my research and the definition up above. In order to reach that high, you need to push yourself to your limit, in order for your body to reach that high. Maybe that is the reason why I'm stubborn when it comes to running through my pain or run when others say I shouldn't but that's not the way to achieve it. I remember when I reached my high during my second time running 13 miles. At mile 7, I started to feel like I was floating. I didn't feel pain where I usually would feel it. My brain was focused and my breathing was relaxed. 



    Right there is when I told myself that I should aim my body to get that, "runner's high." Yet, that was the only time I felt like that on my own runs but when I started running at race events. Now I wasn't sure if it was the same feeling as being pumped up but it had a similar effect on me. 

    Yet, being pumped up at the beginning of the race isn't good because you tend to end up sprinting. Which you end up using up all your energy. So technically it has the same effect but one hits earlier.  Which is a no go for me.  So do your best to achieve this feeling. Once you there, your unstoppable.



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Training for my 1st Marathon

So, I've decided to fulfill one of my New Years Resolution this year and that is trying to run and finishing a Marathon. Well, there is a Marathon being held on December in Naha, Okinawa. This year, its a lottery based race. So you have to sign up and they will give you a number. Once you receive a confirmation stating that your number has been chosen, then you go head and complete the registration. I believe, but most of the times. With my luck, I never win these things. 

The other issue that may stop me from running this Marathons here is that I have received orders to leave back to the states. Permanent Change of Station (PCS) Orders to be checked in by January 2015. Sucks, but that may change. 



Okay enough of the bad news, So I have decided to follow a training plan that a friend of mine showed me. Whom is also, training for this marathon. We are basically on the same level, except she just recovered from an injury. So I say she's at a high level than I. haha!

So anyways, this running plan has you running at a total of 20+ miles a week but for some reason I feel that is kind of weak. Well to where I am at in my running level but a running plan is a running plan. I just have to suck it up when it comes to running only 4 miles that day. So I am kind of excited actually. 

At the same time Im following this training plan, I am also trying to find ways to change my eating habits. So that I can perform better during my runs or even at the race event. I have asked tips and another friend of mine has told me to literally just start creating everything from scratch and away from processed foods. Also, that I have to get my stomach used to it but ill end up feeling like i have food poising. haha! Yet that is the process when your eating something new, so I am willing to try. 

So Day 1 of Training was running 4 miles. So we decided to run it in the morning and in the rain. Which felt great, the rain kept me cool and it wasn't humid at all. 


But Day 2 (yesterday) My stomach wasn't feeling too good. I tried to leave my place but I ended coming back to sit on my throne for an hour or so. Ehh.. It wasn't a good day. So Day 2 would be a rest day and Day 5 will be a running day and not a rest day. Well today is Day 3 and we are planning on running 6 miles. The awesome thing about is that there are 4 other's from Okinawa Pavement Pounders Group that will be joining us. So it's going to be a no sweat easy run. haha! Cant wait. 

Overall I know I can get up to 20 but my actual challenge is finish running at 26.1 miles. My partner and I decided to take the challenge after this 16 week training, we wanted to test it out by running a mock marathon on our own. So we will see. 


The training as begun!







Sunday, June 22, 2014

Pushed by Human Will

With every sport there is always a struggle and during that struggle time all of a sudden slows down, flashes of memory go through your eyes. Finding a way to make your body move with a different use of energy. An energy of pure human will, an energy not fueled by food or drinks. But fueled by inspirations, heart, reasons, or survival. 



I say runners above all other sports, are used to this. Everyday, not everyone wakes up wanting to go for a run. We have to push ourselves out the door and start running. During that time, we are fueled by reasons. Reasons like, "I need to lose some weight," or "I need to reach my goal of 100 miles for this month." This reason is what gets us out the door. 



Sometimes in some runners during the first 0-2 miles we start to think to ourselves. "What the heck am I doing?" Or "Damn, I want to go back." Your mind starts to doubt you. Then this is when we start running with our hearts. Since our brains thoughts and our feelings from our hearts are always constantly battling it out every second of the day. Our hearts, is also fueled by a different type of energy that isn't food. That would be inspiration but before you even decided to start running. There was something that made you want to. Which in turn inspired you to run. Am I right? So your heart is filled with inspirations. Which inspires you to run for your reasons. So use your heart to block out your doubtful mind during your first stretch of your run. 



As I continue to run, I am always trying to push myself to go faster and longer. Every runner is different and as well as having different thresholds. In order to run longer distance, I needed to conserve my pace, rather trying to see how far I can run at a fast pace. Which in turn would use up all my energy. So as a beginner, I would rather conserve my pace. 

(My walk back in the blazing sun)

At the same time you need to wary about the elements. If it is rainy, snowy, cold, hot, humid or sunny. Then after you know what your going to be running into, then you need to listen to your body. If your body says, "I quit." Then stop running but that doesn't mean to call a cab. No, just walk back. Which I did during my 20 mile run when my body just hit the wall at mile 16, I just walked the last 4 miles back. Yes it was torturing and it hurt, but to me. A mile is still a mile if your running it or walking it, it's still a mile. I pushed my body but at the same time the sun was shining down on me, which didn't feel too good. So my body went into survival mode. haha! Yes, I said it survival mode. Every shade I came across, I rested a little. I kept filling up my water bottle with every bottle of water bought from a vending machine. *Thank you Japan* So, I just continued to walk. I eventually made it home, not caring about my pace time and I never injured myself. At the same time, chit chatting with another runner, which kept my mind off some pain. 

(I needed to get some calories in. Don't judge.)

Overall, all we need to do is to push ourselves. To reach our goals, if not, then understand how to get their. There is no failure when you are pushing yourself. Just acceptance and progress. We all can run a mile but those who say they can't. Are those who haven't tried. Anyways, I hope this kind helps open your eyes about running. This is something I have always followed when I run or in tough situations. 

(Its suppose to be 20 miles. This run was on June 21)

"Your capacity is only limited to your will to do something. When you do, you will be satisfied with your results and with yourself."

(Ran in Jan 2014. My first 20 miles)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Where to?

I remember the first couple of months of running. There was only one route that I would run, which would be about 3 miles. Until I got bored of seeing the same things. So I pushed it to 5 miles on the same route. Next thing you know I was running 13 miles on the same route, the same area. So my mind got so used to the route that, when I tried to run a different route. I never performed right, like it wasn't used to the route I was running. 

Before I left for Fort Lenard Wood, MO for 3 months. I decide to run the outside of Kadena AFB which is 11 miles. Why? Because there were some who doubted me and there were some who said it was impossible. Well when I ran it, I felt great. Especially proving them wrong, I mean don't get me wrong my mind wasn't liking it. Which in turn made my body want to just stop. 

Anyways, I got used to changing up my routes and to get use to not expecting my routes too much. Since I have ran a lot of Half Marathons and 10k races. I just got accustomed to different routes and pushing through the challenges. So when I came back, I decided to not go back to that same route I used to run. Well I started mapping new routes and thinking of creative reasons why I should run them. 






Just like these routes I have uploaded. Now your eyes may click to the distance which is 6 miles or 20 miles. So I know what your thinking, that I am crazy right? Well seriously though, I don't even think of that but what I think about is the creativity of my runs. Pretty much how I make my runs fun and interesting to encourage others that there is more to it than just running. 

I run to beat the sun, to enjoy the scenery, and the meaning. Also, I enjoy the company when I can. So my question to you is, do you really know the meaning to your runs? Why you choose your routes?


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Enduring the pain!

This is the first time in a long time that I have ever felt so much pain. Well I started foam rolling my legs and oh the pain. haha! 


So I was looking up on youtube about certain techniques on how to roll your calves, quads and ITB. Oh man it was painfully good, haha! Well mostly painful. I just hope it is not as painful later on as I continue to roll. Overall, I hope that by doing this. It will help increase my performance as a runner and help my muscles better. 


So if you can endure the pain, you will be able appreciate the gains. What kind of gains? Personally, I have yet to try rolling before a run but when I do. I will end up putting up another post but this whole week is going to be focusing on rolling my legs. So no running till the weekend for me. Since I've done 20 miles this weekend. 

After rolling my legs, they feel too tender and sore. I think that is a good thing right? I think rolling will become my painful addiction. We will see. Like many of you have heard. "No pain, No Gain." or for the Marines, "Pain is just weakness leaving the body." Rolling will bring you pain.. a good kind of pain. 


Friday, June 13, 2014

Stairway to Heaven!

Okay, I can understand the meaning to why they call it stairway to heaven. Just stairs that just goes on and on up. Yet, at the same time, its not so heavenly to your legs. haha! My legs feel like they have been through hell. Anyway's today, a couple of the Marines in the shop went to go run our Stairway to Heaven during lunch. The group was mainly made up of new join Marines who just checked into the unit and my Gunny and Staff Sergeant thought it was a good idea to take them on this run and explain to them that there is more to staying in your rooms or drinking beer. So we took them on a run to have their first experience of Okinawa. 


It was a grueling mile and half up this mountain. Which had different sets of steps. One set of steps would be close tight to each step. Another would be spread apart, to where you landing on the edge. Some where steep and some were gradual. 


The trail started down a hill by the parking area, it was a pretty good decline but not too bad. I just hate down hills, it tends to hurt more for some reason. Anyways, as everyone knows. What goes down, must come up. Yup, there was a up hill, once we got to a certain section. We had to take a left onto a trail through the woods. 



It's a pretty nice trail, not too muddy, not too much water but there was a lot of roots sticking out. So if you weren't careful, you'd probably end up face first in the dirt, mud or rock. Which would not be good. As you maneuver through the forrest, you would reach an open area. It seems to be like a park of some sort. Then you would go to the right, where the stairs begin, keep in mind there were stairs before that but once you reach this point. There are stairs. haha. 



After the multiple steps and your legs burning from them. You will get to the top and you will get to see the Western part of Okinawa. Its a beautiful sight but today it was a bit cloudy, so we couldn't see too far out. 



Just be aware that there may be some creatures you may encounter. Like our buddy the Banana Spiders. haha! But before you start the run, if you don't see any cars parked there. You're pretty much the first people that are running this route that day. Meaning you'll probably catch some spider webs here and there. haha! I have not yet stumbled upon a Habu Snake. I don't want to ever but there is always a possibility because of how much vegetation there is and that this route isn't a high traffic place. So just be aware, when you go and don't go alone. 

After this run, I was drenched in sweat. I mean it wasn't the coolest day but there was humidity. You won't catch a breeze until you get to the openings. So yeah, just make sure to plan ahead and drink plenty of water. Other than that, this is a beautiful place. Very calm and its worth it. 



Directions: Starting on Camp Hansen. You would exit out the last gate of Camp Hansen and make a left, drive down to the first stop light and make that left. Keep following the road until you see a blue tarp over a fence on the right side and make that right. Follow that road until you get to a Y.  The parking is not he right side. 


(Click on the photo to get a bigger look at it.) 
Route 329 (on the bottom of the photo) You'll take a left (which is the light) Keep follow that road (which is shown in yellow) Then make a right. 


This is were the blue tarp on the fence on the right side of the road is located. Then make that right on the Y. (just follow the start point and follow that road to the yellow line on the photo. That green dot is where you will park. 

Confused? Well then let me show you were to go. Lets plan on a run.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Mizuno Craze!


Well I caught a ride on the Mizuno Wave Rider 17's. I have been hearing from a lot of runners that Mizuno's are really comfortable and are the best. So I had to buy a pair for myself and plus, I have always wanted to try a different brand other than Nike. 

So I have notice that these pair are a lot cheaper then the Vomero's that I bought or even wanted to buy the new Vomero's. So that's always a plus when your trying to keep some cash in your wallet. These Wave Riders are way lighter then my Vomero's, so that can either be a good or bad thing. It all depends how my feet and legs responds to them. 


So, I've decided to take these on a joy run today. It was pouring out earlier but when I step out from my home. There was not a drop of rain but I did wish there was. It was pretty humid. Anyways, the first couple of steps felt like I was walking on clouds. It felt really soft and comfortable, my knees were happy but since these were new. As you launch forward, the bend on your foot. The stiffness was kind of bothering me. I am not sure how to explain it but when ever it bent, it would compress inward but then again these are new and I have to still wear them down. 

It felt really light and I wasn't use to it yet but I did feel like I could of just sprinted the whole time. haha! But could because of the humidity, the maze of spider webs along the pathway and foot traffic. So as for wearing these for the first time, I say it was worth it. I may want to switch from my Wave Rider to my Vomeros every now and then. Just to have a little bit of weight on my feet but we will see. I might just end up retiring my Vomeros since I have already put about over 250 miles on it. haha! 


My sleeveless shirt does not hug my body, that is sweat. Not rain but sweat. Like I said it was really humid. haha! 

Song of the My Run Day

        

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Facing the elements!

Rain



Yup..Rain. If its not sunny here in Okinawa, Japan its raining. Most of the time its flashes of down pour. Sometimes it rains for days, so for myself. Trying not to miss out a day of running, it takes a lot of motivation and thinking to get me under the rain. haha! But when I do, it feels great. As the semi warm rain drops tend to relax me and at the same time cools me down just a little. It feels amazing and refreshing. 

Humidity


What's even worse than rain? Is when the sun comes up and starts heating up the ground. BAM! Humidity, sucking all the water it can. Even from your body. It even sucks running when the sun is up, just because you can feel the heat coming off the ground and shining down on you. 

I try not to run when the sun is up, I usually try to run before it wakes up or when its fallen down pass the horizon. Just to try to stay somewhat cool and away from direct exposure of the sun. This is a quick way to become dehydrated or cause a heat stroke. Thats something you don't want to happen. 

Snow


Snow.. Yeah you can call me crazy but have you ran in the snow in 20 degree or lower? I thought so, haha! Just messing. I always wanted to go run in the snow. So I got my opportunity over at St. Roberts, MO when I was there for 3 months. 

Running in snowy weather is either a hit or miss. Just depending on what your wearing for you run. For me it sucks putting them on but its the only way I can stay warm. Plus the air feels thinner, so its harder for your lungs to grasp some oxygen because its working harder. Also, the ground being uneven, its like running on sand, its tough on my knees. Oh, watch out for drivers that cannot fully stop because the roads are slick. So just be safe. 

Muddy


Muddy... Hmm we tend to ask for this. Haha! We can either avoid pot holes or not even a mud run event. Usually when we do run these runs, its for motivation, bonding or just trying to push yourself to seek self improvement. Its a tough course to push your limitations and trying not to make you quit. At the end of these mud runs, we tend to feel with great accomplishments. 


OVERALL

We will all face these elements, even the ones I did not mention. Yet we are still on the pavement racking up some mileage, not caring about the weather. We would have to push ourselves twice as much on normal non inclement weather. So we cannot always postpone our runs because of the weather. We just need to gear up and hit the rain drops, night light sun rays and the fluffy snowfalls and just go run. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

I push for a reason



It's funny how people look at me like I'm stupid.

Running all those miles I accumulated. 
It's crazy to think that it sometimes bothers me.
But I question myself can they even keep up with me? 



Running nearly everyday constantly up and down the pathway.
Not for a prize nor any type of glory in any way.
If you knew me from deep within.
I have a raging fire thst constantly burnin.



If you call yourself a friend
You would understand that my running will never end.
To my blood my family,
All I need is your support for me.



I am the age of 30.
But running several miles ain't shit to me. 
If there are times you need to run it off,
I will be there because it's you I care of. 



I run to clear my mind,
Busting all the rust and trying to shine.
Are you with me or not?
If not, then quit trying to make me stop.




Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Poetic Runner



"A runner is like a poet, 
We are fueled by reasons, feelings and inspirations. 
Compelled to complete our goals. 
We will finish with the feeling of greatness and accomplishment. "




"We triumph to better ourselves,
to better the world. 
We will bare the pain of scars,
we will cover our bloody wounds. 
At the end we all will triumph to become the better human, 
to become that brie force. 
To show this world we will never give up, 
to show this world we will never quite."




"Age is nothing! It doesn't mean you should slowly stop with every year that passes by.
Continue to strive, 
Continue to know your limits. 
Push with your mind,
Push with your heart.
Everything else will fall into place because they have a part."




"Don't dwell on failure just to be depressed. 
Dwell on failure to figure out how to over come it, 
in order to succeed.
Cause in this world,
there is no such thing." 



Saturday, June 7, 2014

Sunrise Sunset

There are many pluses when it comes to running. My favorite plus is enjoying the sunrises and sunsets of Okinawa. It is very relaxing and you can appreciate the world.. well universe for what we do not care anymore now a days. 

Waking up at 4:30 AM just to beat the sunrise is well worth it for me. I know it sucks being awake before the sun, but that is one thing that not a lot of people can really experience because we are still asleep. We have seen more sunsets then sunrises in our lifetime. So here are some photos I want to share that I have captured this month. (For the panorama photos, click on them so you can see the full size. You'll be amazed.)







These were taken during my island hopping run and on June 7, 2014. 

Anyways, just as spectacular as the sunrises. The sunsets are just as amazing. I remember when I first started running towards the evening. Most of my runs were more focused on running, until I picked my head up and there it was. Sunset... 

So, I would pause my run, take a seat and just watch then sun goes down. The breeze picks up, making you take a deep breath and just relaxing. Spectating the universe's theater. 









These sunset photos were taken last year but I will be taking more this year as well. 

Well I hope you enjoyed my sunrise and sunset run photos. In hopes it can get you to appreciate running more then just hitting pavement or just going out and enjoying the spectacular universe.