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This is not a fitness blog, but it is my diary, so I'm writing this down. - if you can't be witty, then at least be bombastic [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
kyle cassidy

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This is not a fitness blog, but it is my diary, so I'm writing this down. [Aug. 1st, 2013|06:57 am]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |VNV Nation: Space and Time]

After I ran that 10 miler in April I promised myself "no more long distances" because ten miles seemed crazy. Six miles, I thought, that's a nice distance. And it is. But right after that 10 miler there was a half marathon and I figured since I'd already trained for 10, I might as well give 13 a shot and I did and somewhere along the line I figured it would be silly to lose the advances I gained, so I kept up on a more or less rigid training schedule of short, medium, long, every Monday, Wednesday and Sunday. I've been getting up at 5 am on Sundays because it's so freaking hot out and either riding my bike down to the river and running along there, or starting at the house. This usually translates into something like 3, 6, 10, but once Nike+ told me I'd run 100 miles in the last 30 days, I can't let that number go down (because I'm OCD like that.)

It's nice to run at 5 am for a bunch of reasons, firstly it's cooler, and secondly, the only people out are other people who are running. The streets are deserted. And you sort of get to know people. You wave. There's a guy who does tai-chi (I guess) in the same spot by the river every morning and I pass him touching his toes a hundred times in a row.

So this Sunday I'd planned to run a long distance, I wasn't sure how long when I started, but at least ten miles, maybe thirteen. And when I got to ten I felt pretty good and I figured why not try and break my maximum mileage? This was 13.8 set when I ran the Odyssey Half Marathon (you think you're going to run 13.1, because that's how far a half-marathon is, but what you don't realize at the time is that every time you cross the street to get in some shade, you're adding to your distance, and over the course of a lot of miles, that adds up to a lot of miles. Serious Runners hug the edges of the course from shortest distance to shortest distance like race car drivers for the same reason. And races are officially measured by people who find the absolute shortest distance the race can be completed in. It's an odd but interesting science.) So, anyway, I ran 14.3 miles on Sunday and though I felt like I may puke during the last 200 yards, I pushed through and finished strong.

Running through the graveyard, early morning. Clickenzee to Embiggen.
Captured by the cemetery paparazzi who, it seems, also got her finger in there.

What I didn't realize, though it seems obvious, is that with all these miles, speed is just sort of happening by itself. When you run ten miles not infrequently, three is a breeze and it seems that at least once a week now I'm breaking my 5k record. This happened again last night when I was out with the West Philly Runners, I'm still by far one of the slowest people in the group but the distances are helping my feet move faster. Which is nice. The other nice thing was knowing that I kept slacking off when I was doing this, so I haven't reached the end of the rainbow yet. This is good, because running 14 miles slowly gets BORING. I'd like it to be over sooner.

Physically I can also really see the changes in myself, my stomach is pretty flat, I don't suck in my gut when I walk past the mirror in the gym anymore because there's not actually much worth sucking in. My face looks thin, and one big thing is that my glasses no longer cut a channel down the side of my face, which they'd done for a while now. It's odd to think that every day now I'm the oldest I've ever been, but at the same time, almost every day now I'm also the fittest I've ever been. My resting heart rate is so slow galapagos tortoises think I've died.

This is as big as this one gets.

I need to figure out what my goals for the future are -- at the moment they're all nebulous "do some more half marathons, wear my medals on the street corner and wave at cars, get faster" but there's not really a place I know that I want to be apart from "not where I was last October", for the moment, wherever I am is good enough. (I've also run out of episodes for Season Two of Zombies Run.)

Do you blog about running/fitness somewhere? Let me know where so I can read your posts. And if you're a FB friend who writes about running, let me know so I can add you to my runners list.

Add me: [LiveJournal] [Facebook] [Twitter] [Google+] [Tumblr]

[User Picture]From: gekko
2013-08-01 05:15 pm (UTC)
I'm not a runner, but I do ride. After a 10 year break, being horseless, I finally rectified that this winter. In December, I was reasonably small (about 135 lbs or so at 5'6"), but woefully out of shape. Just posting a trot around the ring would leave me winded. Now I can do that all day. I can see the changes in the way my clothes fit, my carriage, and my ability to do other things, like really run agility with my dogs, or take an easy lap in a class with a giant breed (I had to demonstrate how to correctly move a great dane in the show ring the other night...I didn't even get out of breath!). My size 6 jeans are loose, and I can visibly see muscles. I should make a separate blog about rebuilding myself (and my horse at the same time--he and I are getting fit together!). I'm 38 now, but I'm planning to hit 40 in far faaar better shape then I was in when I hit 30!

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[User Picture]From: ladycelia
2013-08-01 06:48 pm (UTC)
Hope you don't mind--based upon this comment I went and looked up your user info here. Looks like we have a fair number of interests in common. I'm currently ground-training my yearling hinny. And although I don't show dogs, I do have dogs (Great Pyr x English Setter), chickens, ducks, and soon, dairy goats. Mind if I add you and perhaps pick your brain a bit on training my hinny?
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[User Picture]From: gekko
2013-08-12 02:22 am (UTC)
Wow, I have no idea how I didn't see this comment! I'm sorry! And yes, of course you may add me! I don't know much about working mules and hinnies specifically, but I can try to help regardless. I've always wanted to mess around with them. =)
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[User Picture]From: ladycelia
2013-08-12 10:33 am (UTC)
No worries! Life gets busy. Adding you back. Thanks!
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[User Picture]From: howlokitty
2013-08-01 05:39 pm (UTC)
I think I'm putting my friends off by how often I point out that my neck fat is slowly going away. I break out the pictures of me on Glastonbury Tor and make them compare my old neck with my new neck. I do this mainly because, even after all of the jogging, jogging, jogging, the number on the scale hasn't been going down, and up until a few days ago, I didn't know I was getting any results besides being able to cross off another week on C25K. I had to go back a couple of weeks, too, so I was thinking of that as a setback.

Right now, my only goals are to complete week 4 of C25K so I can move onto week 3 of Zombie 5k and to become an athlete like the medal winning Kyle Cassidy. I've been thinking of posting a little about jogging and jogging with the dog to a blog space.
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[User Picture]From: chamisa
2013-08-01 05:55 pm (UTC)
At my annual checkup a few weeks ago, the nurse was all freakin' out on my excellent resting heart rate and blood pressure. It felt really good. :-)

I don't run, but I have been dedicatedly working on my health & fitness (I've lost about 107 pounds so far and since January have been strength-training, which is a New and Exciting Thing for me), and write about it sometimes on my LJ here.

I feel weird sometimes talking about it, about the changes in my body, about the changes in clothing sizes, about the Lifting Things Up and Putting Them Down, about how I feel, about the challenges and the small victories and all of that stuff, so I don't write about it too often; but you're inspiring me to do an update about where I am right now (I enjoy reading your updates and enjoy reading about other people's fitness stuff)--so if you're interested, please do check my LJ soon! :-)
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[User Picture]From: hoppytoad79
2013-08-01 07:17 pm (UTC)
Congrats on your weight loss! That's fabulous! Keep up the excellent work.
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[User Picture]From: chamisa
2013-08-02 03:24 am (UTC)
Thank you! :-)
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[User Picture]From: hoppytoad79
2013-08-01 07:14 pm (UTC)
Yay for improving and going farther faster!
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[User Picture]From: cynic51
2013-08-02 02:20 am (UTC)
Clearly it's time for marathon prep.
Or some serious trail running, if such is available in Philadelphia.
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From: mermaid2003
2013-08-02 06:26 am (UTC)
I'm not a runner, but a relative is an endurance runner. He's won the Western States Endurance run 2 years in a row (100 miles in about 15 hours) (and that just boggles my mind!)
You might be interested in following Tim-- http://timothyallenolson.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/western-states-2013/
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2013-08-03 02:39 pm (UTC)
thanks! will check it out!
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[User Picture]From: antsswarm
2013-08-02 01:43 pm (UTC)
"My resting heart rate is so slow Galapagos tortoises think I've died.". <-- I just crazy laughed on a bus over this, and now MY heart rate is up because people are watching me like I'm potentially bonkers with a side of violence.
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[User Picture]From: antsswarm
2013-08-03 12:11 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry, the LJ app sometimes deletes 90% of my comments or LJ posts...

The comment said, originally, that the line about Galapagos tortoises thinking you're dead made me crazy laugh on the bus.
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[User Picture]From: rhino_mittens
2013-08-12 03:06 pm (UTC)
I am loving following your transition in to a more fit and health-aware life. I'm just catching up on my friends page after a week away so I see you went out and blasted your 5k PR after this post and totally destroyed your previous best time! Well done! :D I need to do another official 5k time trial as I keep getting new PR times within longer races, so there's clearly a lot of time to come off.

Marathon training is a massive commitment; some people will suggest you can do it right away, others will say you should wait a few years. My opinion is that anyone can do it, if they want it hard enough. In training and in the race itself it is likely you may go through some terrible dark places and you need something bigger than ticking the race off a list to get you through it. I prefer trail running and ultramarathons to road races and look forward to my lengthy hours in the hills at the weekends. It is hugely restorative.

I think I've left you a link to my running blog before, but i'll do it again for good measure ;) I run and write in Scotland where the scenery is big and the hills are even bigger. It's www.redwinerunner.com
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