Sunday, November 29, 2009

5 miles 55 minutes

I compromised and did 5 miles to see just how my right leg held up and - while it wasn't 100% pain free, it felt decent if I was 1) on level ground and 2) going at a comfortable pace.
I tried to slow down but it was so tough to not just go for it!
I tested my race outfit, goofy I know but you know - gotta test everything.
The band felt ok - and I think if I slow down I will do just fine.

Things I saw on this run
- a lady with pink hair living out of her car and re-arranging everything in the trunk
- a bus stop that fell over thanks to the wind
- two homeless dudes drinking beer near the railroad tracks
I'm feeling good about next week and taking it easy, there's no need for me to push it. 7 Days! I hope your Sunday is awesome!
Oh yeah splits
1 10:33
2 11:11
3 11:14
4 11:40
5 10:40

One Week Away!

My leg is now almost up to 100% ! Yesterday I went to the gym, did some walking on the treadmill to baby it and after warming up (yes you can warm up walking! I put on a TON of incline) I swam for about half an hour then soaked in the spa for a bit. During my swim I also did some running in the pool. This always gets me funny looks but - honestly if I cared about that I would not be into running. Have you seen the things we runners wear? :P
Now -we are at the week away point and I'm up early before everyone else in my home. These last six months I've had a routine -long runs on the weekend with me up at 4:30 AM or so to either put down miles by myself or with my friend Steve. I woke up early today with a tickle in my throat, and wondering how long I should run for and over thinking whether or not I've run enough!
So many questions - should I run a longer run? Just more shorter runs? I have one more week...
(click on the image for the larger version)

One more week, 7 more days and then I get to see the results of 6 months of training.
All of this over-analyzing is brutal, 'taper-itis' 'tapernoia' 'taper syndrome' etc. I want to just run!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Run To Feed The Hungry Wrap Up

What a fun race! I paced the Mrs. so she could try and beat her PR and was hesistant about running and getting back past the 1 mile mark. I don't know why I worry so much, my IT band felt achy - but not debilitating. My right leg hamstring was acting up a bit but once I got running everything felt great. I didn't even notice the band on my leg! Temperature was warm, I think wearing the jacket was too much. So many people, and so many people that don't listen to directions!
The walkers/untimed participants had yellow bibs and on the back of the bib it specifically said "do not go into this staging area" but there they were! Strutting on in with strollers, backpacks, lawnchairs etc. Ok maybe I'm exaggerating about the lawnchairs during the race - but these guys were definitely there!

The race had two (well really three) components.
Timed 5k/10k/runners and walking/running/rolling untimed participants. These folks were awesome because hey -every person that paid an entry fee was helping out a great cause. Unfortunately, these folks also sort of got in the way of the folks who really wanted to run. Even with the wide course and the delayed start (the 10k started first and the 5k started 20 minutes or so later) it was still a packed madhouse.
I felt great afterwards and my wife didn't make her PR but I still consider it an overall success for both of us.
It was a ton of fun to run together, and she told me afterwards that I needed to push her more, whereas I thought I was being too pushy and castigating her for walk breaks etc. I'm fond of saying any run is better than not running and this is definitely true for this run. Last year I got my PR in the 5k here, this year I was just excited to run relatively pain free!
PS There were multiple llamas at the race. Why? I don't know - but here's proof!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy thanksgiving !

Quick entry to just out down how excited I am to do a 5k this morning pacing my wife.
I'm thankful for so many things, health, family, friends and today the ability to run. Happy thanksgiving !

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Last night I did a one mile run for the first time since my disastrous grueling 23 mile run.
Amy and I did a quick 1 mile jaunt around the neighborhood and tested staying at her race pace for the 5k we are doing tomorrow, the Run To Feed The Hungry. I felt some discomfort, but nowhere near the excruciating pain I was in 11 days ago. This morning I got up early, went to the gym and before my usual swimming routine hopped on a treadmill and knocked out another mile there - again - not as bad. The band seems to be helping and while it's not 100% pain or ache free it's far less painful. Tomorrow will be the next test - if the pain stays even - I can hang. If it increases during 3 miles - well - I'm still going for it. The worst that can happen is I run in pain, and hey I've already done that before right?

There is hope!
Music related thoughts - I am loading up  my ipod with a ton of Amon Amarth, Path of Resistance, Sepultura and Bolt Thrower. Although I am anti-wearing ear buds while running. Some music played through the speaker of my iphone might give me a boost during that last mile or so. I'm giving it to myself as a reserve treat, much the same way that I reward myself with walk breaks or a particularly delicious or less disgusting GU. :)
Happy Thanksgiving day Eve folks.
I have a lot to be thankful for!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day 7 - no running - well wait!

So it's been a week since my long run, and today I am finally feeling tangible results.
I actually feel less worse!
I did a lot of work this morning with the foam roller, listened to Killing Time and did some cardio (crouching punches) for about 20 minutes, then headed to Fleet Feet in Davis to get a band/bandage for my IT band.
It was SO worth the drive! On top of getting IT band recovery advice from the owner, he saw me run and assuaged any fears I had about being fitted incorrectly(I am definitely a neutral runner, NOT overspronating)
He also mentioned that my injury most likely had to do with simple mileage.
Prior to this year I have never run further than 3 miles, and in 2 weeks will be doing 26.2!
Then the Davis Heather showed me a jacket that made my eyes light up, a Mizuno running jacket that warms up when moisture hits the fabric. Incredible!
So I got great advice, got some clothes to daydream about and got something for my IT Band, a great day at the store. The Run To Feed The Hungry is next week, I am doing the 5k and helping pace the Mrs. - I hope it's all system go for the big one.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 5 of no running - adventures in rolling

2 things
1)These cliff bars are delicious!(and vegan in case you guys were wondering)

2)I still haven't run. I did go swimming this morning -then did several repetitions of rolls on the foam roller.
20 in the AM, 30 in the PM
Tuesday I did 10 in the morning, 10 in the evening.
Wednesday (yesterday)I did 40 in the morning, 20 in the evening.

The pain is down a tiny bit, but I can't be sure if it's because of the swimming, the massage, the rolling or some combination of all of the above. I'm not emotional about not knowing if I'll get better in time for the CIM. I'm more, clinical.
I'm experiencing a sort of clarity that comes in situations where one is forced to make a decision. I'm doing all I can, and I cannot do any more. I will either recover in time, or I will not.
It's very relaxing knowing that there are some things that are just out of my hands, out of my control.
Let's hope tomorrow brings less pain, how's that for optimism?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Day 2 - No Running. Massage and Fleet Feet(s)

So yesterday I went to Fleet Feet Sacramento to check out the training day and ask questions for Amy. I also saw on their facebook status that they were offering "Free Injury Assessment " so Hustled on down to check it out. No dice. The doctors were there early in the day but I missed out. I did see Heather(who fitted me in the spring) there so told her about my injury and she confirmed what I had dreaded/suspected. IT band. She swore that she thought I needed a support shoe, and even offered to refit me once I was healed up and offered to take back my 1063s. I shrugged and nodded but really I was just mad at myself for running so long on my leg.
They were out of foam rollers, but she did explain the use of an IT band 'belt' that wraps around the knee. I thanked her and came home. 

Today I went to Fleet Feet Davis and got a nice foam roller, spoke with a different Heather there, and got almost identical advice. She suggested I get my wife angry and have her massage my knee! Pretty good advice and definitely doable :P
Amy was a doll and set up an appointment for me to get a massage in Davis. This was my first massage ever and I was a bit apprehensive.Zipped there right after work, got my massage, it was painful but felt awesome and I felt a glimmer of hope afterwards like "ok this might work"
We'll see right?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

23 miles - the pain begins

23 mi / 05:00 13:02 pace
just a 5k short of a marathon! However, time will tell if this was a good decision or not. It was freezing cold, temps down in the 40s, I started out the run with compression pants under my camo shorts, gloves, cap, etc. Steve felt pretty confident and started out aggressive. Our first splits were too fast, but I figured we'd be ok. (11:17 or so) took our first WB crossing the river and kept a steady pace. Somewhere around mile 6 or so, I felt a numbing pain in my foot, and pain in my right leg. I winced, figured it might be a shoe issue . Adjusted the laces, still nothing. Searching for an explanation, I darted into a porta potty and switched out of the compression pants and into shorts. (I thought that maybe the tightness of the shorts/pants might have cut off circulation) Still nothing. We slogged on through, passing unmanned aid stations and other runners also on their long runs (the water bottles and looks of determination are a dead giveaway, and the CIM tshirts are also a hint!)
When we got to the halfway point I stretched and it seemed to offer a tiny bit of relief, we turned around and headed home. We didn't see any wildlife on the parkway this time around.
The pain which was at about a level 7 spiked up to a level 9 or 9.5. I couldn't NOT think about it.
Every single signal in my body told me "stop" but the thought of NOT completing 23 miles and my anger at the whole situation pushed me on.

"hatred, drives me onwards, across the desolation"

This was the most painful run I'd ever done in my life. I was praying for my other leg to ache so it would take my mind off of my right leg, I sang songs in my head to stay distracted, instead of speaking I just told myself "One more mile and you can walk, get a walk break, stretch" and kept this up for the next hour or so. There was no relief. If I was running alone, I'd have called Amy and gone home. If I wasn't running alone, I'd have allowed myself the luxury of crying.

3 miles away from Discovery park, we finally saw volunteers at an aid station and surprised them.
They were kind enough to share some water, I stretched and winced and wondered if I should just give up and got a text from Amy "You are almost done!"
I sighed and broke down the remaining distance into segments I could wrap my mind around.
3 more miles, a simple 5k. Two of those and I'm home!
Normally at this point in our runs, it hurts more to stop than to keep running. Now, everything hurt, stopping, running, stretching - with running being only SLIGHTLY less painful than everything else. Steve was a trooper and kept telling me "hey it's only X left" "we can totally do this" etc . Mile 21 we both took a walk break and cussed the entire time. I leaned over a railing on the I street bridge and heaved but nothing came out. We trudged up to the top and shuffled on. 22 miles, now I was the cheerleader. Steve began to take walk breaks and I told him "come on we have 1 more to go!" I couldn't stop - it hurt too much. I turned on some music on my iphone and forced myself to run one more mile. I was done. The training was done. All that was left was the taper, the recovery and the race itself. Amy brought us fruit, chocolate silk, and raisin bread.
I stretched and got in an ice bath for the first time, hoping it would heal my right leg but I found out later that I am suffering from IT Band issues. So now I am 3 weeks away from my first marathon and must begin the process of healing, repair and recovery. Pray for me.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

10 miles of fun in fog and sun

10 mi / 01:50 11:00 pace

Running in the fog while wearing a cyclopean headlight is fun! Wiping away the sweat + fog droplets till finally giving up and removing my glasses is not quite as fun. I've learned a few things this last week
1 - recovering from runs in the 20 mile range require more than a day for me. Last Monday I forced myself to run, but I should have just gone swimming or done an easier, slower, run. My legs never got a chance to 100% recover. I can't believe I thought I was going to do 22 this week!
2 - I pushed myself today to see how fast I could go, RRP and all that - I ended up between 10-10:30 at the beginning of the run, took a few walkbreaks/shoe adjustment breaks/water refill breaks (some a combination of 2 or 3 of these) I should have gone a tiny bit slower let's say 10:30-11 throughout. Because I have not yet mastered the art of locking into a pace I always veer wildly fast and slow - and when I go fast I go way too fast (for training anyways) I finished at a decent time today, but there's no way I should start out that fast come race day.
3 - right foot still aches a bit where the pre-blister is, I just need to tighten that shoe up and dedicate a 3mile run to adjusting shoes and getting it just right. When I was at the Roseville FF, they didn't put these on and lace them up for me, but when I bought my first pair at the Sacto FF - they did. That might be the difference because these are the exact same shoes and my feet haven't changed THAT much in a few months!

The headlight is courtesy of my wonderful motherinlaw, who got me this contraption so I can run handsfree and scare the dickens out of people. Regular readers might know that I enjoy saying hello to each and every person I encounter while running, today I startled homeless persons, sleepy bus stop nappers, and the drunk guy outside the donut shop who managed to simply utter a "gruhh" when I turned my head to face him and say "HI!"
By the time I got to Capitol Mall, the fog had lifted a tiny bit. 4th street was a surreal scene, crows everywhere squawking, patches of fog and daylight peeking through, and the moon still out. I don't know why I didn't take a photo then instead of the porta potty tipped onto a car.
I felt good throughout the run, achy but never completely into the "I can't go any further department" but I definitely should have been in a lot better shape after running 20 miles last week. I will baby my legs this week to get ready for the 22-23 miles this coming week.
I said hi to a guy in sweats and a tshirt and he returned with a "good morning!" I did a doubletake and realized it was none other than Mayor Kevin Johnson, I remembered my manners and shouted "oh - and congratulations!" saw a lot more runners on the way back home and did the last 3 with no wbs.
I can't believe I am doing my marathon in less than a month. I just shuddered!
1 10:38
2 10:37
3 11:16
4 11:16
5 10:43
6 10:30
7 12:41
8 10:27
9 11:00
10 10:58

Have a great weekend guys!