Guest Post - Questions for You

StartHappy Thursday!

I hope you are having a fantastic week, or at least a dry one! Mine was not... Water found its way into our basement on Sunday, but thanks to a wonderful neighbor and some hydraulic cement, the leak is sealed and the only damage is a small hole in the wall where I tore out some sheet rock! I know some people were not as lucky as me, and I hope they are able to get things fixed and back to ‘normal’ as soon as possible!

Today, I’d like to YOU some questions. The race is a little more than a month away, I’m getting SOOOO excited! Nervous too, but I’ll get over that. I’d like to know the answers to three simple questions leading up to the race itself.

1. What routine do you use leading up to a race? Do you start a week before? 2 weeks? I know some people would say, “Joel, it’s ONLY a 5K, chill out!” Maybe to YOU it is, but I’ve never run for distance, plus I’m a 350 pound (for now) man, who tires easily :) Any advice on this would be great (eating, training,sleeping, etc.)!

2. Do you prefer to listen to music while you run, or, if you’re running with a group, is it rude to listen to music instead? Music helps me a lot, and it’s part of my routine. Should I just stick to it?

3. Most importantly: Where is everyone going afterward to celebrate!?!?!? :)

Thanks for helping this first-timer out! As far as my training goes, I’m still running a couple times a week, plus playing basketball and softball. I’m really looking forward to hearing people’s responses, and actually running in September!

Take care, happy running!
Follow my training on DailyMile:

heatherlarson_1365256607_18PS: I saw that Heather, from Power 93.9’s morning show will be the emcee for the event and also be running. Heather is an awesome person! I used to see her when she volunteered at Youthville. She always had a smile on her face and was very involved with the children. She’s a rock star!

Starting To Run

A finish, of sorts

Today I finished my C25K program!  While I still have weeks to go before the Race 4 Freedom I did, indeed, finish my 9 week course.  While it's certainly not the end of preparation for the Race nor the end of my running in general - it is gratifying to me to have finished something like this.  I'm pretty sure the last time I finished a complete workout program was in high school.  I plan on incrementally increasing my intervals over the upcoming weeks, my program finished with having me run for 30 minutes straight.  I need to find a personal balance between running harder and running longer - I'm sure it will reveal itself through trial and error.  I also plan on running the actual route for the 5K very soon - not only because it's extremely close to my house (because it is) but also to test myself actually running a full 5K.

I am really looking forward to experiencing my first actual race as well as seeing all the community support for ICTSOS and the great cause that it is championing.  I know that personally all of my prep for this race and writing this blog has been intrinsically focused - I sometimes lose sight of the real reasons as to why this race and organization exist.  If you need a refresher, take a look at this recent post.  I never want to keep the reason that this race exists to far from my mind.


Walker Schwartz

Starting To Run

Hello all!

The biggest improvement and update to my training that's happened in the last few weeks is that I finally faced the reality that I needed new shoes.  When I started this C25K program I didn't want to get bogged down in conditional requirements or me needing to do or get certain things before I started.  I knew if I did that, I'd never actually get started.  I just wanted to lace up and hit the door - which is exactly what I did.  There certainly was a subtle downside to that - the shoes I was using.  The only pair of kicks that I had that were even remotely suitable for running in were a pair of K-Swiss casual shoes that I bought years ago and now only kept around to mow the lawn (I'm sure you have a pair yourself).  It was just fine at first - my short intervals and running periods didn't lead to any increased aggravation or discomfort.  That didn't last all that long - my calves, ankles, soles of my feet - they all started to hurt more than I thought they should and I realized I needed to get my flat feet into a store.

So I did.  A big thank you to Russel Warren and the folks at New Balance of Wichita is in order as they made it extremely easy. I've never been fitted for shoes before and it was a little daunting before I went into their east location.  It was extremely simple as my flat-as-a-board feet were easy to diagnose and fit.  It was striking, how the proper shoes with the proper inserts and support felt to me - I've never really felt that before.  I quite literately spent 5 minutes just rocking back and forth in my new shoes, feeling the arch support!

My new shoes!

But did it make any difference?  Yes, 100%.  about 5 minutes into my first run with the shoes I felt the difference.  There was no creeping pain for me to ignore as it make its way from my feet to my calves.  It was subtly energizing.  I can not wait to put them on the pavement of the Race 4 Freedom track - It's less than 3 months away!!



Walker Schwartz

Starting To Run


This past week's theme was adaptation and preservation.  I absolutely did not expect the heat on Monday.  Because of my job, I have a lot of flexibility as to when I can run, in fact, I usually run during lunch time.  As I stepped outside on Monday morning, I realized that it  wasn't going to happen that day.  I ended up running at 9 pm Monday night - after a full day - it was not fun.  At all.  Although I did hit every interval and I was glad I did not wuss out.  I decided I needed to do my runs in the early morning from here on out.  My wife runs on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays for the Prairie Fire Marathon, so I could keep my M, W, F rotation with out any trouble.

Wednesday morning, everything went along quite well.  I got up, found everything, and was outside in good time.  I have a habit of opening my running app, turning on my music and just going (not looking at the what my intervals are going to be since the program tells me when to run and when to walk).  That is not longer the case as I had gone significantly farther on the first interval.  I was afraid my app had malfunctioned, so I checked, and the intervals for Wednesday were significantly different than Monday's.  "Oh well," I thought and powered through.

Friday morning I pulled up my intervals just to see what was in store.  There was only one interval: just run for the entire time.  No walking, no splits.  I kinda freaked out in my own head.  I hadn't ran for that long in years - I honestly didn't think I could do it.  I briefly contemplated not even running at all.  I quickly dismissed the idea, finished getting ready and got outside.  I told myself that I was going to run as long as I could and if I needed a 30-second walk break - I'd take it.  I actually had the presence of mind to pace my run and I completed it with out stopping!  I was really stoked as I got closer to the end.  I felt great - I completed a workout I'd almost skipped.  Now that I know I can run that long with out stopping I can run my intervals a bit harder this week.


I also realized that what I eat the day before (specifically the night before) can make a HUGE difference.  How late I eat, how much water I drink a head of time, and how many minutes in the morning I give myself to completely wake up are HUGE.  I know most runners already know this, but having that personal revelation helps me keep focused during the week.  I'm not just eating right because I should; I'm doing it because this program is important to me and it's something I want to do the right way.



Starting to Run


My name is Walker Schwartz and I'm helping Jennifer and the ICT S.O.S. team promote the Race for Freedom 5K!  I've known Jennifer for a little over a year now, primarily interacting with her and her ICT S.O.S. endeavors through Twitter and Facebook. I've been a supporter of her and the ICT S.O.S. cause ever since I learned about the issue and how prevalent it is in Wichita.  In 2012, I decided being a passive online supporter wasn't going to be good enough and I started attending the monthly meetings and quickly found a way to work with Liz and Bailey to promote the Race for Freedom 5K.  I'm so excited for this race to become a fixture in the Wichita racing community!

It became evident a few weeks ago that there was more that I could do, so I decided to start a 'Couch to 5K' program!  I quickly found an app with a program I liked, synced up some tunes and away I went.  This is the first exercise program that I've started in years, and I absolutely needed to do it.  Today, I finished my 4th week!  I have to say, this was harder than I thought (I'm not in good shape) yet extremely rewarding when I hit all my intervals and feel the progress I've made.  Soon my program will ramp up, and I will be logging my progress here on Fridays as I continue, leading all the way up to race day!

Until next Friday,
Walker Schwartz