Monday, December 15, 2014

Winter 2015 Training Plan

I took quite a bit of time to put together my winter training schedule. I've developed a new role with my friends and training partners - that of trainer!

What I have done is developed a plan to slowly boost cardio fitness while focusing on upper body strength. Still my weakness even after some big gains last year.

We're doing stronglifts and Hal Higdon half-marathon training for the next 12 weeks.

WeekStart DateMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
(monday)Rest dayGym DayRun Day (mi)Gym DayRun DayGym DayLong Daymileage totals%+Notes
112/1/2014RESTStrength A3Strength B3Strength A410NA
212/8/2014RESTStrength B3Strength A3Strength B4100%
312/15/2014RESTStrength A3Strength B3Strength A51110%
412/22/2014RESTStrength B3.5Strength A3.5Strength B5129%
512/29/2014RESTStrength A3.5Strength B3.5Strength A6138%
61/5/2015RESTStrength B3.5Strength A4Strength B5.212.7-2%1 mile warmup, 5k race, 1 mile cooldown
71/12/2015RESTStrength A4Strength B4Strength A71518%
81/19/2015RESTStrength B4Strength A4Strength A/Blizzard Blast8167%6 during Blizzard Blast + 2 Sunday
91/26/2015RESTStrength A4.5Strength B5Strength A7.416.96%1 mil warmup, 10k race
102/2/2015RESTStrength B4.5Strength A5Strength B918.59%
112/9/2015RESTStrength A5Strength B5Strength A10208%
122/16/2015RESTStrength B4Strength A2Strength B13.219.2-4%half marathon

Where A and B correspond to the two Stronglifts sessions. Everyone is excited about the Stronglifts app and hoping for a really good winter training.

I'm just about to start week 3 and it is really good so far. Some hiccups with a sprained ankle, but I'm staying focused now that it has healed.

2014 Update

Past the halfway point in the year and it is turning into crunch time. I've done a lot of races this year, and my year is definitely backloaded with races. That means there are a ton more races left this year. I need to make sure everything is planned so I'm going to try to list them out.

But first I want to look back at my races since the Blizzard Blast, training, and anything else that comes to mind.

The toughest race of the year was the BoneFrog Challenge. on May 17. 10 miles with 44 obstacles. And you can see, they were not easy obstacles. I was extremely proud to make it through the first few sets of monkey bar style obstacles, and I felt pretty good on the trails for the first half. In the second half though, I started to get a flare up.

EDIT: Closing this thread on 12/15 to start over again. Too many races, too much training and I lost track of posting.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

MuckFest MS 2014


About me, and my reasons for running:

As an active person my diagnosis with MS was extremely difficult. Some of my friends may remember how much I struggled to find answers for why I suddenly could not run and kick a soccer ball at the same time. I would literally fall over in the middle of the field. I remember one of the refs who we would often see, look over at me on the bench and ask, 'Are you injured?'. I think I was too tired to do other than just nod. Middle of the game, my eyes would go all blurry and it was a struggle to sit up straight.

After a few months of testing and questioning I was diagnosed conclusively with MS by way of MRI and a couple of spinal taps. The good news was that a week of steroids had pushed back the inflammation in my brain so that I was nearly back to normal - about 95%!

It is still a continual struggle against all sorts of different challenges: numb/burning feet, tight hamstrings/calves, tingling lower back and problems with balance. All minor but they have added up to be a really heavy burden. Worse, they are not going anywhere. Unless treatment improves I will constantly be feeling worse - rescued by steroids - and back to the same cycle. We need better treatment. Right now I am taking a weekly injection, and hoping to be able to move to multiple daily doses of an oral medication in January.

(November 2012) It has been a few years since my last relapse and I am riding a massive wave of motivation. This past year I trained and completed a half-marathon and have firmly planted running into my routine. I love to run, but here is where it gets complicated again. Because of my MS my legs are tight, in particular the beloved Ilio-Tibial Band. Apparently the tightness (spasticity in medical terms) has caused my right kneecap (patella) to move out of alignment. As a runner who was trying to pack on more miles to train for the marathon, that meant knee pain. I'm currently out of training and running and patiently waiting for my Physical Therapy to start tomorrow, December 28 

(July 2013) I am now taking the oral medication, twice a day. No more shots, but it has it's own side effects and it is quite a challenge to stay on the program every day.

(January 2014) I am taking liberal doses of P90X3 because I don't want to fall off any more monkey bars - ever! And one day I would like to complete a Hercules Hoist :)

(April 2014) I'm now training in any number of ways, in better shape than ever, and continuing to stay ahead of my MS. It still has challenges, certain things never get better or worse (feet burning pain, bladder), certain things just steadily decline (balance, agility), but I stay moving and every accomplishment is sweeter.

Competing in obstacle races has been a blessing. I can do this even without the athletic skills I need for soccer, most of the challenges are either endurance, strength, or gross motor. The feeling of attempting to perform a soccer skill, knowing how it feels in my body, and envisioning it in my mind - then simply failing to accomplish what I know that I should - was becoming really difficult. Racing is much simpler, but I still enjoy the feeling of teamwork and camaraderie thanks to my team, the New England Spahtens. I have made new friends, motivated and been motivated by, so many people thanks to my team. I hope I can continue to compete and enjoy myself!


And a handful of other races - such as Rugged Maniac, read about it here: 


I am fully addicted to OCR. I've also completed two 26.2 mile rucks to benefit Carry The Fallen. I've made so many great friends, it is hard to describe the feeling of camaraderie that we share - it is uplifting.

Thanks for reading and considering a donation, thanks to my wife, family and friends for always being there for me.


 -mike