Saturday, October 30, 2010

Watkins Mill 13 miles

A crisp start to the morning (42F), where I ran most of this run at Watkins Mill State Park with my buddy Travis who ensured I would not be lazy. First three miles were a warm-up, and the goal for the next three was 8:10. We ran 7:57, 8:00 and 8:08. This, despite the fact I'd forgotten how up and down this course was. Sure, there were downhills, but definitely a few uphills we had to push through. I had to really work for that third (sixth overall) mile, with one of the two biggest hills almost at the end of it.

Then, easy two miles, nice recovery, and a goal of repeating three more miles at 8:10. Again, I was struggling with the hills a bit, and managed 7:58, 8:15, 8:21, which were flat, small hill, the two biggest hills, respectively. The way the last mile fell out had precisely the two biggest hills, one at the beginning and one at the end. I didn't have the gas to keep it at that pace with the uphills. It was a good effort and I was still strong, despite the 8:21 pace. In fact, I believe had the mile been flat, I might have beaten the 7:57 first fast mile I'd run.

Then two more miles easy to wrap up the recovery and a total of 13 miles. I'm extremely happy with the effort, especially the fact that this run was by no means flat. Better yet--nothing is bothering me. Topped it off with a crossandwich from Sonic--which I believe might have been the best tasting breakfast sandwich in my entire life. I thought I might have died and gone to heaven.

Watkins Mill Run from Garmin Connect - Details

Saturday, October 23, 2010

LBTT 12 Mi Trail Run

I'm not superstitious. But, I felt like posting that I've been running again after such a deep depression from a string of nagging issues would somehow ruin my good stretch of running. Like, washing my favorite football jersey after a string of victories would somehow wash away the team's chance of success.

Sort of like, show me the runs. I'm not talking about it. I didn't even post my first two weeks back. I'll believe it when I see it.

So here I am, the last two weeks of 40+ mpw behind me, and I'm solid.

Today I chose the LBTT with Rick who also is coming back from a series of nagging issues. The trail was a bit muddy after a steady rain all night, and there was steady wind out of the south. But the temps in the mid-60s and cloud cover felt great, and I was as strong at the end as I could ever hope to be.

My Garmin Details

It feels good to be back running again, with some belief that this is going to continue!

Monday, October 11, 2010

I Didn't Run Chicago Yesterday

I sat there on the exam room table, clutching my x-rays from the urgent care center a few days earlier and dangling my legs which were nowhere near the ground. I felt childlike; small, unimportant and intimidated by my surroundings. Needing guidance, help from someone who was supposed to have my best health care interests in mind.... and not sure I would find it.

My left foot was in a large boxy boot somewhat similar to the picture on the left, covering my toes to my knee. It kind of reminded me of a moon-walking suit. Not that I could really walk. In fact, the reason I'd come to my regular doctor was in hopes he'd either send me to a specialist or let me get some additional testing done to find out why I was in so much pain. My x-rays from a few days earlier indicated nothing was amiss.

He came in, pronouncing my name formally and then sat at looked at my chart. He looked up at me disdainfully, and stated: "Haven't you had a couple stress fractures from running already? It doesn't look like your body agrees with running. Maybe you should consider not running." Well, that was helpful.

I had hoped, at least, to walk out with a plan. Get an MRI, make an appointment with a podiatrist. Receive a suggestion of what might be wrong and how long it might take to heal.

If, it would in fact heal. The fact was, it had been thirteen days. And I was in more pain that I was on day one. I was worried.

After chiding me for running and pointing out further that I was no longer of an age to run and the repeated injuries should be my signal to stop, he poked around where my foot / ankle hurt and said, "I'm not going to send you for an MRI for that. Keep the walking boot. I don't have a better idea."

I limped out; defeated. Swing-thud; swing-thud; swing-thud. I was more depressed than ever. After all, it was a stupid, chain reaction thing. Not an over-use injury, but I simply got caught wearing the wrong shoes and a cascade of issues resulted.

Yesterday, I watched Chicago from afar. I filled my list of runners and hit refresh / reload hundreds of times over a four-and-a-half hour period until my last runner-friend crossed the finish. How I wanted to be there. I was thrilled and overjoyed to see a few people do really well. I actually got chills watching some friends just nail it and get stronger and stronger. It is a gift to be able to have everything line up to execute your marathon strategy, and I celebrated vicariously for several of you as you crossed the finish!