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irun2win's Blog

36 Posts

attitude adjustment

Posted by nowirun4fun Mar 22, 2011

So, I had a takeaway from my last blog.  That was to determine at this point in my evolution what needs to change.  The idea is I have reached some milestone in this running phase of life, have determined that I will continue on, and that to continue to make marked improvement the "same old same old" probably is inadequate.  So, my thoughts were to take time and lay out some tweeks to my current training regiment to continue to make strides towards improved raceday times.

 

Last night was my regularly scheduled swim jog outing.  So much for new ideas.  But, I'd not tackled "The Change" as of yet.  I am particularly sore after Sunday's 5K effort, particularly in the left calf area, less so on the right.  Quads are pretty sore as well.  Mental note - that's what to be expected from giving it your all, great conditioning or not.  So, off to the pool.  Did my hour and then some, but didn't feel I had the energy to push the cadence much above 100.  Focused a little more on the 2 initial warm up phases.

 

Then, on the way out of the Y it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I knew what needed to change!

 

Attitude.

 

That's it, attitiude.  Plain and simple.  I have conveniently lulled myself into this idea that my conditioning, and speed training (maybe to a lesser extent), and the whole thing is getting close to my peak potential at one week shy of my 47th birthday.  I've bought into the conventional wisdom of the idiot sports doctor, myself, and pretty much everyone else that, "you're not 20 anymore".  No, I'm not 20 anymore.  But, I am 47.  I think settling in to that wisdom as gospel, and accept the underlying notion that my body at this age can't continue to change and adapt to still greater amounts of training is just plain wrong.  Why would this be all that it can handle where I'm at now?  It has started to adapt to this level of training with less overall pain, and incrementally greater levels of performance.  Why does that mean I'm near the top?  Indeed, my attitude is the problem.  I need to toss that wisdom out the window and start over from here.

 

So, running in the end is putting one foot in front of the other.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Improved raceday running performance comes primarily from increased amounts of running in the training space.  That's really what needs to change.  More miles, more days, more speed work.  The trick is going to be how to mix in all these "mores" without falling back into the same injury cycle I've just barely seemed to pull myself out of, and that having never really been complete.  Also, to be honest, I'm not really sure how much increased mileage I could expect to get from an every other day routine.  This will be the trick.  I'm over 8 as it stands now, more likely close to 9.  I can't believe taking my average every other day mileage to 11-12 miles an outing is the answer.  Somehow, someway, I'm convinced I need to start trying to mix in running more on days at this point which have been "off days", "recovery days".  In other words, the days I've determined are required to fully recover from my running workouts.

 

This will be tricky.  I'm a little leary of it.  Perhaps its just my mind having accepted the idea that if I were a Kenyan without a car and had to run to wawa to get milk I'd be Olympic caliber.

 

Just like starting over.  This should be interesting.

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somethings got to change

Posted by nowirun4fun Mar 20, 2011

So, time for a little review and common sense reflection of the current situation.

 

I've been going basically full bore since the short break right after the Philly Half.  Of course, leading up to the PH, I was pressing, pressing, pressing.  Anxious to make that race, but needing to recover from my major injury meltdown after my 5K PR on 7/31.  I've had some additional injury issues throughout this 8 month period, but have worked through them without any major downtime, and basically have been able to keep on track for the beginning of the 2011 racing season.

 

There's been considerable mental discipline required to keep to that task.  Times are frequent when I'm wondering if and what I'm doing is worth it.  Why am I doing what I'm doing?  What's the goals?  Really.  I have no hard fast goals other than to reach some abstract idea of greatness I guess is the best way to charactorize it.  Maybe tha's what most people who take up running are doing.  But, I'm not sure most people are as intense in reaching that state of performance.  It is a very tough road to travel.

 

The challenges I face are real.  But, in reality they're just normal challenges one should expect with this journey.

 

I work.  I need to earn a living.  Running does not pay the bills.  Running is a pasttime.  It needs to fit into my work schedule, not the other way around.  Work stress needs to trump running stress.  Sometimes I think I miss the mark on that.  But, I live with the stress of both things.  Running cannot keep me from work, for sure.  But, work, now that can keep me from running.  It is many a day when I've been beaten up at work that I just don't feel like I can muster the energy to run.  But, to date, I've always forced myself to dig down and find it.  I think I am always rewarded for doing so.

 

I still ache.  I still pain.  Something about the ego seems to want me to believe that at some point my fitness level would just be.  And, when I've reached that level, my workouts would only be constrained by my physical abilities - not by the latest knot in my IT bands, or the inflexible tugging in my hams.  I think I'm resigned to what I consider fact now that this is not to be.  Shall I continue on this journey, the act of taking my current physical state and exerting new neverbeforeseen pressures on it to take it to a new level of performance is going to cause my physical being to stress out, suffer, and be in pain.  That just goes with the territory.  And, for the most part, I've learned that usually, it is quite possible to continue to run through great pain.  That's right.  Many quite painful and sore conditions can be run through.  This is very counterintuitive based on all the training related ideology I've been taught and researched over the years.  If you've got a great pain, rest it.  Let it heal.  Then, slowly get back to business.  Indeed as recently as last month, Doctor Sports Fitness says, "you're not twenty...I think you need to moderate blah blah blah..."  If I followed this conventional wisdom, I would be stuck in a perpetual state of running funk with minimal performance gains.  Of this I am quite certain.  To reinforce the thought, assume I'd done things differently.  Can I possibly think if I'd not ran the hundreds of miles that I have while in great pain in one form or another that my times would have come down from the upper 20 minute range to the upper 18 minute range?  No, I cannot possibly believe that they would have.  So, run through pain.  If you want to be all the runner you can be, it is part of the job description.

 

What I am doing is working.  I may not do all the best things, I may not know everything there is about running, but my current regiment is working.  If I decide to keep on, then it is hard for me to want to mess with success.  Things I've adopted like taking Phi-Zymes regularly, drinking Accelerade throughout the course of a workout, running every other day, swim jogging on off days, with the 3rd off day being rest only day, sticking to the same basic running workouts, and doing regular sessions with The Stick and The Grid Foam Roller are paying dividends.  Those dividends are fewer injuries, less pain, and ability to gradually increase training mileage and expended effort, with very gradual improvements in average pace over the course of several months.

 

So, yesterday was to be the first measure of what all that translates to on the race course, if anything.  I am convinced it has paid off by making me a stronger 5K runner this year.  Given the fact that I am another year older, that has to be a positive.  But, I didn't set a PR.  Hmmm.  Well, I then can fall back on the conditions were more difficult than last years best effort.  Yes, that is true.  But, then I can argue if I was considerably stronger, then that should even out one would think.   So, I guess in my convincing myself how much stronger I am, there is some level of doubt still.  But, I was strong yesterday.  For over two miles I felt it, and my splits showed it.  The wind in the final stretch - well, that was very difficult.  But, I know in my heart that I was digging, digging, digging, and not letting up.  And, my body responded but it wasn't easy.  Tears were streaming down my cheeks.  My face was clenched.  My quads were screaming for mercy.  But, I kept digging, and my body didn't let me down.  If that wind wasn't there, that last mile effort would've been well under 6 minutes, and I would have had a mid-life 5K PR.  Funny that wind.  Seems like fate had just stuck it's nose in the whole thing yesterday.  Friday was beautiful. I knew Sat was to be chillier, but when I got in the kitchen at 5am, and heard that wind howling outside, I just got a sinking feeling.  That can't be good....that wasn't part of the plan...  It actually seemed to let up on the way to the race, giving me some hope and encouragement, but then they really picked up again by 9am as the sun came out.

 

So, a possible 5K PR.  At what cost?  Is it or would it have been worth it?  And, is it worth continuing?  Why not just do as "everyone else"?  "Just relax."  "Take it easy."  "Try to just enjoy running."  "Don't be so hard on yourself."  I have to admit it sounds quite appealing.  It is hard to suppress such things from my mind.  Couple that with the fact that I know it expends a toll on my family in addition to myself makes it all the more difficult to continue to pay the price.

 

Yesterday post race was a good time for me.  I sat and ate lots of post race snacks and drank 3 ultras.  Then, while the Mrs walked over to Dollar General, I went an bought a horrible tasting cigar and smoked it sitting in the cold, sheltered from the windw by a brick walled small stairwell at the strip mall.  Sat there, smoking away, listening and singing to Freedom 90 and Pearl Jam Just Breathe over and ovver.  Then, I walked over to a coffe shop.  Stood in line for 20 minutes for a cup of coffee, and picked out 6 cookies and a double chocolate turnover.  Haven't ate all those just yet.  Then, went back to McGlynns for lunch and 3 more Dog Fish 60s.  I was drunk, stuffed, content, relaxed, and satisfied with my efforts.  Rich and Carrie stopped in later, one thing led to another, which ended with still more eating at the local mexican place with 2 more Miller Lites.  Yet more drunk, stuffed, and somewhat less content and relaxed.  As is so funny with post race adrenaline I had to hold myself back from taking a run last night.  With all the soreness that was building that wouldn't have been too bright.

 

Still, the questions continued.  Still they continue.

 

Bottom line is they're not really questions to be answered I think.  I feel like I can experience them without answering them.  Just continuing to do what I'm doing I guess is answering them.  I set out to find how good I can be.  Continuing to question that journey is just part of the journey itself.  I'm not answering the "why nots".  Why doesn't matter.  Why has no answer.

 

So, the journey continues.  I need to change some things.  That is part of the journey.  What needs to change I need to develop.  I'm not sure.  But, taking this to the next level requires something to change.  Change will need to be planned, and gradual.  Monitoring will need to increase to be sensitive to any ill effects of change.  Later today I'll spend some time on change.  Time is nigh.  It's go time.

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live to race another day

Posted by nowirun4fun Mar 19, 2011

Well, it didn't exceed my wildest expectations.  But, I think, given the conditions it at least did meet my expectations.

 

I was pleased with my effort.  Think I gave it 100%.  If not, it was pretty close.  Felt strong through the first 2 miles definitely.

 

DC tried to hang with me.  I was surprised he was even trying, but when I saw it was he off my right shoulder, I let him go ahead.  Till about the 3/4 mile mark I'd guess.  Then, as the rest of the front runners started to put distance on us, I determined I wasn't content with running with him today.  So, I pulled out my pace changing move I've been working on in training.  Counted about 180 steps, and he was toast.  I then settled back into a more sustainable rhythm.

 

I hung there till late in the 2 mile mark.  There was another guy who had me by probably 20 yards the whole time.  I decided to try to do the same move on him.  Took a bit more effort.  But, I eventually reeled him in and took him.  Then, the home stretch.  OMG.  A brutal headwind for the last probably over half mile.  I dug and dug, not giving in.  But, it took a toll on me for sure.  The final turn to the finish, probably 100-150 yards.  Headwind died off, but I was tanked.  I ddn't quit digging.  I thought I heard footsteps from behind, then it was undeniable.  That guy hadn't given up.  It was too late to correct by the time I picked up the pace.  In the end, he got me by less than a second.

 

18:54.  5th place overall.  Tough day for my age group.  Top 5 finishers had 3 between 40-49.  The winner was 47.

 

I'm very pleased.  Very full from post race relax, food, and lots of drink.  I think it was just what the doctor ordered to get me motivated for the year.  What's the goal though?  I'm thinking something in the 17's.  Next race, on better good conditions, should be a PR.

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lock & carb-load

Posted by nowirun4fun Mar 18, 2011

Whelp, I'm as ready as I'm gonna be.  Feeling somewhat anxious.  Guess not overly so.  Feel a little bloated.  I know generally people think carb loading for 5Ks is silly, but as a calorie starved individual during the week, well, I think my muscles can use a little juicing up 36 hours before race day.  I've had a solid rest.  No real running since Tuesday.  Leg muscles are fairly pain free for once.  Went out and legged out the fly shoes a little today for about a mile.  Feel pretty good.  A little twinge here and there.  Worse problem is my back has been bugging me for about a week now.  Doesn't seem to want to let up.  I have a feeling 1/2 mile into it tomorrow, I won't feel a thing in there.

 

Tomorrow is all about performance, and payoff at this point.  Really that's what it is all about.  Was the a$$ busting all winter long when everyone else was snuggled up inside worth it?  We'll soon find out - less than 12 hours from now.  I've got no firm expectations - other than I expect to match last year's PR of 18:30.  If I don't, and still come in the low 19s, or barely break 19 even, then I'll be doing some serious soul searching at the bar after the race.


Some head games going on for sure.  But, I'm sure I'll get them under control by 9am and will be fired up to drive this home strong.

 

It's early in the year.  Last year I actually took 4th in this race.  Was thinking depending on who shows, I may actually be able to win it?  If 19 minutes wins it, well, safe to say I won't be pleased.  I do hope a couple of the big dogs show.  My man Dennis Rodman surely won't be able to stride with me tomorrow.

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the time is nigh

Posted by nowirun4fun Mar 14, 2011

I've been on a decent training stretch.  It's been about a month since the break in my last meltdown.  For now, I dodged a pain in the back which crept up doing my running clothes laundry on Sat.  Also, yesterday's run started to concern me quite a bit.  I was doing two green laps at fair hill, and was pressing the pace more than I have to date on those trails.  Started to realize that the leg pounding at different places was pretty intense, probably moreso than an equivalent pace on the roads due to all the twisting and turning.  My left foot started to pain me quite a bit out of the blue.  Wasn't exactly on the frozen toe which has the orthotic adjustment to alleviate some of the pressure, but seemed more back in the middle part of the foot.  I was really getting concerned about a stress fracture or something.  I was able to curl up the planting of the foot and get through the rest of the run.  Hopefully it wasn't the start of something new.

 

Some recent highlights of my training are a 9.17 mile outing at a 6:48 pace which is my first substantial training run substantially below a 7 minute pace.  I did what is probably my first real concerted LSD run-a 16 mile outing at an 8:21 pace.  I was quite shocked how difficult that was and am determined to mix more such runs into my training.  I guess I figured doing 9 miles regularly would make a 15 mile slow run a piece of cake, but that wasn't true.  Also, I've been more regularly mixing in the track work, with improvements in speed and confidence in being able to complete the track work without dying.  My last track session, 4 sample quarters paces were 5:07, 5:17, 5:23 and 5:26.  All quarters over the 3 miles of pyramid work were sub 6 minutes.I've been trying to mix in real cool down mileage as well.  Yesterday I did the blue loop at an 10-11 minute pace for example to cool down.   I just finished up another high mileage 4-day stretch at 42 miles.  Some of my cool down miles I am not mixing in the overall number though, so it is actually higher than that.  Don't really expect it matters though.

 

On the frustration side of things is diet and weight loss.  I think I've been pretty tight on my diet over the past couple weeks, and really didn't make any headway.  Then, the binge restaurant Sat outing wipes out any progress if there was any.  I just don't get that.  I'll probably keep after it some, but may have to be just content on managing to balance here rather than managing to 5 fewer pounds.  I've rather do with 5 less, but I probably can live with this without too much personal frustration.  Found these BMI calculators on the web, which I don't know if they're any good, but they seem to have me at an unhealthy-to-underweight BMI rating already, whatever the heck that means.

 

The time is nigh.  I'm convinced that I am as ready for my first 2011 racing outing on 3/19 as I'll ever be.

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smoking

Posted by nowirun4fun Mar 2, 2011

That was suh - weet!

 

I just am tickled pink.  Came came off a speed outing at KHS.  I wasn't in great frame of mind going, and haven't been lately.  Seem to be struggling a little with the pushing through it.  That comes and goes.  But, I'm prepping for a couple day rest period and this on the plan is the last outing before that.

 

Had an idea to pyramid the work.  Up till now, I've just been doing repeats of 800m runs.  They typically have been between 5:50 and 6 minute pace.

 

My pyramid was 400-600-800-1200-800-600-400.  Just one.  Ain't that plenty?

 

Lap tracking with Garmin on that kind of thing is a bit not perfect.  But, when I loaded up the data and just looked at splits for 1/4 or halves, they look really good.  Some decent improvement.

When viewed as 1/4s they are all under 6 minutes.  3 of them ranged from 5:27, 5:31, 5:32.  I gotta say, I'm damn pleased.  Did I say tickled?

 

So, a few more outings like this - if they should continue to go so well - and I think I'll be a force to be reckoned with on the local scene in 2011, much more so than hacking away in the 19 minute range as I was last year.

 

I'm feeling like I'm ready to go out now.  Lately I've almost been feeling like I'm reluctant to go out and see what I've got.  Now, I'm starting to feel like I wanna know...real bad.

 

Time to really buckle down and kick it up a notch.

 

WTF!  Am I kidding me!

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groovy, or so i hope

Posted by nowirun4fun Feb 24, 2011

Feels like I'm settling into a groove again.  I always hate to ponder such things, because routinely when I do, something breaks.  The loss I suffered due to my recent muscular problem earlier this month has been minimal for the most part.  Again, I'm so relieved I didn't throw in the towel - it was so, so, close.  I did punish myself for even considering it by dropping an additional 5 pounds over and above what I tacked on in my moments of weakness and despair.  Maybe fate was just testing my determination to let me know this is the real deal, and I've shown the most important person I'm in it for the long haul - that's me.

 

But, as I've posted before, I can't get too encouraged, or start making too many training plans for the long haul, because that is the clincher which will ensure something breaks.

 

So, I actually just wrapped up a 4 day stretch at 37+ miles, on a pretty intense overall pace.  3 of the outings were between 7 and 7:20 pace, the 4th was a stressful 11+ run in the winter tundra of Fair Hill.  Feb is actually registering as my best paced month overall, or so I think.  Granted its never an apples to apples comparison, but the trend continues to be lower over time.  Kind of like the weekly government unemployment claims.

 

I did feel a little tired today on my 9 mile run, a little burned out, but I expect that goes with the 37+ miles and 2 days of runjogging.  Tomorrow is an off day.


Here's where I should shut up, but I'll continue.  It seems to me my overall pain level is also trending down somewhat.  Now, that can change in a heartbeat, but my trouble areas are pretty consistent now - IT bands and hamstring  soreness on both legs.  The right leg is the worst of the two.  Quads are not a big problem, nor are calves at the moment.  So, this seems to be good progress.  Wouldn't that be something if I can ultimately break the cycle of pain.  It's been a long two years where that has been pretty much non-stop, and moving from one area of my legs to the other.

 

God help the other runners, if and when it comes to the point where the only thing limiting me is my cardio levels.

 

Still haven't really chosen a race strategy for the year.  Don't know when I'll take my new stride out for a test drive on the circuit.  Sometime in March for sure.

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little caboose that could

Posted by nowirun4fun Feb 18, 2011

So, not to trvialize my derailing.  That was a serious challenge to my determination and will to continue on this quest.  I got so close to throwing in the towel, and all the wheels were in motion.  I was eating like a glutton, and drinking like a fish, and really down and depressed about my situation.  I've never been so down in my 3 year journey, which has had many more such down moments than ups. 

 

The uniqueness with this episode was the fact that my running physiology and my back physiology both broke down in tandem.  This was a first.  And, it very much seemed like the back issues were a direct effect of the running related issues.  And, since running is my elixir that I've found to keep my back in check, it started to generate thoughts from that part of my brain which realizes that the two are so intricately intertwined - so much that when I can no longer run, I'll be faced with back issues until I die.  Also, if my running becomes an aggravator of my back, rather than a healer, the fate will be the same.  This is the place I was so worried that I'd finally reached.  One would have to have lived with the back issues I faced up till 3 years ago to be able to understand why that is so depressing, and so frightening for me to consider.  Massive drinking will most definitely be the end result when that day comes.

 

So, as I struggled through these thoughts, I determined myself to at least try to get out and run.  And, so I did.  There was nothing encouraging about it.  The running didn't fix anything.  In fact, it just seemed to make things worse.  My right ham was so damn tight, my leg wouldn't extend at all, and that made the whole running thing an effort in fast hobbling.  My brain took over at times and forced my leg to try to extend and forced the times into areas they surely shouldn't have been.  I was pissed at life, and pissed at my body.  The body was force to pay the price.  In my office I put my leg up on the big ball and stretched it like it shouldn't be stretched.  I took it through the pain points, took it through the tearing point, and just said F-it - I don't care if it rips the muscle to shreds, I'm sick of this.  Every day I can feel the tearing that had to have happened in that ham now.  Hopefully it will heal.

 

So, I mixed it up, even ran out of schedule back to backs.  Nothing drastically improved till about the 5th outing.  The back eased up, and the ham and hip started to loosen up enough to get through a 7 mile run at a decent low 7 minute pace, with not a whole lot of additional pain than I had before the layoff.  Thankfully, one outing led to another, and I've had 3 decent outings and went out for some speed work at the track today, and am feeling like that very scary episode, less this ham  tear, is getting put behind me.

 

All I can say is I'm so glad I didn't throw in the towel.  I'd actually even wrote as much on the active board at one of my lowest points - that I was/am planning to look back on this low point and find some pride in the fact that I didn't give up.

 

I didn't give up.  I found the motivation to get through what has been the worst of the worst.  That which doesn't kill me still make me stronger.  It's certainly not a given, but I've learned that the "which doesn't kill me" is not necessarily an instantaneous thing.  It can very much be the start of a long painful unsatisfying death of a person's spirit.

 

I'm back baby.  Just as I was in May 2009.  Get used to it.  And, if you're planning on beating me in a 5K or any race anytime soon, all I can say is you better bring your game face.  Ain't no quit in me.  Not yet.

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derailed

Posted by nowirun4fun Feb 6, 2011

No other way to put it, really.  I was humping up on it, really.  Everything seemed to be coming together so nicely.  Every outing I was exceeding my expectations, usually both in distance and pace.  I made a plan to get back on a plan, and that went pretty spectacular.  I was mixing in speed, and my up tempo runs were feeling fine.  Wrapped up with a 14 miler in the low 7 minute pace, and it was rest time.

 

Of course, I'd felt this thing brewing on my right side for a week or two.  Maybe even longer.  But, I was able to run through it, no big deal.  It seemed to stay the same, maybe get a little worse, but wasn't holding me back.  The rest would surely do it good.  It was in the right hip, pulling up in the glute area, and maybe even tightening up on the ITband area, or hams.  I was anxious to rest it.

 

Well, I even think my 14 mile day was precipitated by my back feeling like a disc issue brewing.  Oft times running has healed that in the past, so naturally, I stuck to my schedule.  Well, rest day one, the back, hip, hams, and everything seemed to decide it was time to make a statement.  They haven't shut up since.  At the end of 3 days rest, when one would think I was fired up and ready to go, I wasn't feeling at all rested.  My back was bad, walking was difficult, and the right ham, hip, and glute was all tightened up.  I'm sure the back is related to the hip now.  And, to top it all off, I've got some serious knotting on the left hand side lateral area.  There's one serious know surrounded by seems like five other smaller ones.   I tried to work those out, first with hand rub, then resorted to a tennis ball.  All I wound up doing is brusing the leg.  It's still all knotted up.

 

I did get back to running on schedule.  First day out was absolutely awful.  It was all I could do to keep it under 8 minutes for 7.  At the end of the run I was just talking to myself-"I will not let it end this way, I will not..." over and over again.  Another day off, no swimming yet, and the next outing yesterday wasn't any better.  I actually had to walk some.  I purposely pushed a few of the miles and really tried to force stretch this right area out, but really didn't have alot of success.  Mileage and pace about the same.  Still pain to walk around the house and the ham/hip and back still are all f**ked up.  Today was an off day, but I just had to get out again.  Makes no sense it would help, but I can't make sense out of why I'm here now.  So, I went out for 5 holding about the same weak 7:45 pace.  That's all I'm good for now.  The muscles obviously aren't working right, and the whole running routine is just so laboring.  It's like I'm starting anew, not coming off my best mileage month to date.

 

Towards the end of the run today, I think I've just decided, I will take what comes.  I'm not quitting, but I"m not going to try and beat myself up either.  I'm going to push as hard as I can to get through this, and hopefully come out stronger on the other side.  I may lose some of my edge, but I'll figure that out if and when I get there.  It is disheartening to be here, I cannot deny.  I had such high hopes and still do.  I put my all in trying to reach new heights.  I've got a training log which many runners would wish they could call their own.  Running I always think isn't about the 5K events or the half marathon times.  It is about what it takes to get there.  The quiet lacing up of the shoes every day.  Pushing yourself day after day, hour after hour, to perform for that small 20 minute window of time on a weekend with a couple hundred other runners.  I may not break 18 this year.  But, I could have.  I have the training routine to prove it.  Time, life, age, may keep me from that weekend outing I've so been preparing for.  But, in my heart, I know I made it.  I am an elite runner.  I've got the heart and spirit to prove it.  My aging body isn't up to showing everyone else, but that's okay.  I have to be content with what I've proven to myself what I am capable of.  I'm not a quitter.  I've pushed myself to my human limits and beyond.  There is no shame in what I know I've accomplished.  It doesn't matter if anyone else knows.

 

I run to win, and I have.  After all these years, I think I'm finally at peace with it now.

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blah blah blah

Posted by nowirun4fun Jan 29, 2011

Wonder at times if these blogs are just a waste of time.  Dear diary...running style.  Semi-therapeutic I think to keep my head focused on the mission at hand.  Talking through things, plotting, scheming.  Sharing my troubles and hopefully my overcoming the same, with myself.  Probably especially helps for an aging person like myself, because my mind tends to be a scatter brain, and writing things down helps in making sure I stick to my plans when I have an idea.

 

I've thought about moving to a more fancy schmancy blog site, like the wife is doing for her personal blog, but I think I like the no frill option here.  Just lean and to the point, no nonsense, minimalist.  Don't think I've jumped on the minimalist bandwagon for running yet.

 

So, progress check-in.  I've had 3 outings since my last post.  The first was a pretty smoking 8.8 mile outing at a 7:05 overall pace.  Knock off the 1 mile warmup, and it was 7 even.  Next outing I took a rest, overdue probably, but did a decent distance at 10.5 miles.  Pace was a somewhat stressful 8:36 due to icy road conditions and wintry weather.  A period of sleet felt like my face was being sandblasted.  Drivers are just idiots, and even more so when the road conditions are bad.  I'm working on a spitting technique to lay a good loogee on these cars who insist on trying to run me off the road.  Pickup trucks are by far the worst.  Shouldn't be any surprise there.

 

Then there was last night.  My back decided to start bitching yesterday afternoon, couldn't have been more than a couple hours before it was time to hit it.  Not sure why.  Just the simple leaning overs, and I could feel it slipping around in there, gradually getting worse.  I'm not sure if the pain in my lower right *** is somehow causing imbalances to build which are starting to force something to give way in there.  I just have this feeling it's all being held together in a great wondrous balancing act, and one little thing can cause it to fall apart.  So, I had a choice to make.  I've not let the back get in the way of my running hardly at all, and I sure wasn't going to let it this day.  It let me know it was there for most of the run, if not the entire thing.  Made some parts more uncomfortable than others.  Up hill travel it was pretty noticeable.  I think the pain helped to push me more than I otherwise would've, and brought home a decent 8:53 at a 7:18 pace, 7:09 less the initial mile.

 

The back got worse throughout the night, and today is one of those days where I McKenzie it about once an hour.  I've recently also begun to try to press in on any potential trigger points in the hip area, not sure if there are any or if that helps at all.  Don't think it hurts though.  Today is my pool day, and tomorrow is supposed to be a long run day.  I hope to stick to both of them, but the pool is definitely in jeopardy as I'm feeling now.  The one positive outcome is this always serves to keep me anchored on why I do the running in the first place.  The back problems have brought me to this point of performance running, that's it plain and simple.  It was what motivated me for almost two years.  Now, running for performance has overshadowed the initial influence of doing it for the strange value added back therapy.  But, when and if performance running becomes less important, I'm thinking most likely due to age factors detracting from performance potential, then the back issue will always keep me lacing up my running shoes.  That's how I see the future anyway, and it's held together for 3 years solid now.

 

January was my new high mileage month.  Given the same number of outings as Dec, it exceeded, and there's still one more day to go.  The training pace average isn't my best, which probably goes to November 2010 (7:29 vs. 7:27)  I'm sure November weather was better conducive to running, a couple outings were in Charlotte which is flatter, and the Nov training mileage wasn't as substantial (67 vs. 87).  That's the vote for I'm better in Jan 2011.  The vote against is I'm still measuring myself against November, and haven't got a substantial improvement to speak of, regardless of the weather.

 

Need to start considering how I'm going to approach the racing season.  February is a short month, and March I'm sure is going to bring on some 5K interest for me.  As a general progress meter, if nothing else.  I need to own Duane this year.  My goal is to not let him beat me one time.  Funny, since I don't even think I approached last year thinking I could even beat him.

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solid

Posted by nowirun4fun Jan 23, 2011

So, I feel like I'm turning a corner.

 

All my struggling lately with blaisse attitude, just overwhelming lethargy, lack of motivation, needing to dig deep almost everyday just to get out there and do it, well, I actually feel like I'm finally starting to come out of it.  Maybe because it's Sunday and I've had a relaxing weekend?  Could be...will wait and see what Monday, etc brings.

 

Yesterday was good for me.  Once again, I had no plans to do much, and extension of feeling lost in my training regimen.  I had a 7.3m at an easy pace on my mind.  But, as I laced up and got into my warm-up routine, well, it just seemed like something more was building.  Something in the back of my mind kept reminding me that I'm at my peak mileage and need to be really careful not to pop something here.  But, I got to it - coldest day of the year by far.  I just decided I was going to play, and do some fartlek/interval work.  So, I did.  Probably had over 3 of the 7+ at race pace.  Some of the splits were pretty good.  Anyhow, it just felt good to let loose, push it, have some decent numbers, feel like things are going in the right direction.  It really set something off in my mind to recognize that things actually are just that - going in the right direction.  Then, later that night, as I was thinking of sharing with D about it, I thought, this is my problem.  I can't really even consider that things are going in the right direction.  I can't feel glad that I've made and continue to make progress.  It seems every time I've tried to feel good about what I'm doing, I have a major setback.  So, I'll just try to ponder quietly where I'm at and consider that my body finally seems to be settling in to what I'm asking it to do, and that I'm doing an okay job of managing the pain, and pushing myself to newer limits each and every week, if not day.

 

I know I'm not setting the world on fire.  I know my splits and speed work aren't effortless to the point where I know I can do a 17 minute.  But, I know I'm making gains, how incremental or substantial is yet TBD.  Funny thing is I have no desire whatsoever to do a 5K at the moment.  I want to focus as much as I can on where I'm at right now, and really take advantage of this period of training I've been afforded due to the winter break.  I've got about a month and a half, maybe two until I think I'll be in a position where I really want to take my show on the road and see where I'm at.

 

My base is good and feels more solid than it's been in the 2 plus years I've been focusing on performance running.  I push my body, and it takes it, and heals and moves on rather than taking me out.  I'm starting to regularly work in speed training for the first time.  I'm sticking to my pool work, my secret weapon.  And, I'm working in some rest too.  This can only work out for the better.

 

I want to make the most of where I've worked so hard to be.

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same old, same old

Posted by nowirun4fun Jan 20, 2011

The winter blues, burned out rut continues.  Don't know what is going on.  I think it's related to just general malaise from the ongoing pain and tightness in my legs.  Seems to be wearing my psyche down.  Maybe it's because I have such big ambitions and the longer this goes on I start to question the likelihood of hitting any of those plans.  What I do know is I haven't given up, and don't plan on it.

 

My recent plan was to take a few days rest after the obvious build up of soreness from have two of 4 days exercise at a bust out tempo.  I came back with a different plan, and haven't been able to stick to it.  For example, the last outing was supposed to be 8:45 at 7:33 pace, and I pushed it to a 7:19 outing.  So, the plan was shot.  I was going to regroup by taking it easy today, with an eye towards a trail day at a decent pace.  So, today I go on uncharted route, and wind up doing 10+ at a 7:37 pace.  Not sure what to do now other than try to get back onto the plan.  So mileage is up, overall pace is about the same, maybe a tick lower.

 

Trying to look at the big picture but that has different views.  First, I'm remaining generally injury free.  The trigger points surely don't help, but I'm able to work through them so far.  Second, my mileage is at its highest point.  But, I don't know that any speed is being realized from it.  All I can is my pace is generally the same, perhaps lower, but I've no races to really gauge.  I don't want to race right now.  Third, the racing season is drawing nigh.  Only a little over a month until it begins in earnest.  I'm not where I wanted to be I don't think.

 

I'm just rambling.  Kind of like my training at the moment.  I need to get it together.

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killed it, or vice versa

Posted by nowirun4fun Jan 12, 2011

I was not really looking forward to Monday's run.  It was slated to be my up-up tempo run.  My current target for that outing is a 7:19 pace for a 7.3 miles road run.  So, lower 7's when the first mile warmup is factored in.  Not sure why, but dreading workouts is something I'm struggling with these days.  Usually I'll start to pump myself up a few hours ahead of time to prepare the mind.  It works okay.  I think Monday was also hindered by a long workday, giving me a later start than I prefer.  But, determined, out I went.

 

So, as usually goes with determined, or determined to be determined, I didn't let up and pushed it pretty good.  The splits came out much better than the 7:19 rate:

 

TimeDistanceSplitPaceElev Chg
8:081.008:098:09+106
14:382.006:306:30-150
21:093.006:326:32-27
28:144.007:057:05+109
35:255.007:117:11+54
42:186.006:546:54-19
49:097.006:466:46-77
51:107.332:056:25-27

 

Those are pretty good all things considered.  At basically a 6:46 pace, not much off a true 10K pace, and given some of the elevation around here, heavy clothing, and general not race conditions, I have to take that as killing it.

 

Part of my malaise I think is the creeping back in of the DOMS.  December was my high mileage month, but it had two stretches of more down time.  2X4 day breaks and 1X2 day break.  These weren't planned mind you.  One was due to my right quad incident, and one was just due to a cold/virus thing as xmas tends to go.  But, the 4 day breaks were rather close together, and as I recall, my level of DOMS dissipated pretty well.

 

So, I'm not sure what I'm thinking.  I'm only talking this through myself because it's been about two solid weeks rebuilding after the last 4 day break, and the bad side affects are starting to take hold again.  I did my aqua jog last night even though I considered taking that day off.  Today my left calf is worse than yesterday, worse than the day before.  While I was really determined to stick to my schedule, it just is weighing on me that its time to take another day off, maybe two.  I really hate that.  Why?

 

This is the curse of being a 40 something year old athlete.  Every day you're one step closer to death, one second added to your potential PR.  Every day you miss is one you know you can never get back.  But, I've really got to learn to listen to my body and not let those thoughts push me into doing things that just make the situation worse.  Pushing the muscles into things they aren't ready for is just going to set me back, and add possibly many more seconds to that PR.

 

How to balance the down time with the up time.  That's what I really struggle with.  For that other nonsensical thought that runs through the athlete's mind, I think I've proven to myself and anyone else who cares that I'm not pusseeing out by taking an extra day off or two.  I've pushed myself to the limit, and continue to do so.  I don't back down.  The limits are the problem, not my determination to push through them.  I've got to be smarter in learning how to mix in down time before it becomes forced onto me by pushing too far past my limits.  So, today I'm being smarter.  I decided to sit here and blog about training, rather than be stupid and actually go do it.  This type of training is just as important as the other at my age.

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zing...

Posted by nowirun4fun Jan 8, 2011

I dunno.  People with over inflated egos just get on my nerves.  Some of them have decent hearts, but still can't get past their own attitude.  Homey being one.  I've read his stuff for a long time.  He just seems to want to advertise his wonderfulness even though anyone with an actual reality check would know he ain't all that wonderful.  Some people run a 6 minute mile or take home a top 3 piece of plastic on a poorly attended 5K then let it go to their heads.  I'm gonna get zinged back for that comment.  I don't care.  He needs one to get past himself and hopefully find some real greatness.

 

I'm not at all that delusional, despite my line up of placing medallions adorning my wall.  I can sit here and admire them all night long.  Ahhh, what a wonderful achievement!  Me the Great.  Oh F!  Give me a break.  Only reason I got one is because John C*** wasn't running, or name any other person who I know that can kick my a$$...  Get a clue folks.

 

I'm tired of being a hack.  That being said, and as I've said to others, it means absolutely nothing.  There's nothing about life, or just plain desire, that just because I don't want to be a hack anymore, that I'll be able to get beyond myself and achieve true greatness.  I can't proclaim myself to be wonderful and have it be so.  You getting this Homey?

 

Life is drawing nigh.  I've got a couple years left to be all that I can be.  By the time I reach 50, well, it's all over.  But, what can I be?  That's the great unknown.

 

I want to run with the big dogs.  Around here I guess must be good enough.  That puts me in the low 17s.  Is that all I want?  HELL NO.  But, at some point, time, etc etc must be factored into the whole reality equation.  I could want to be at 15, but deep down, I know, ain't no way in hell that's ever going to happen.  Just some things aren't humanly possible.  I didn't ever run in the 15s when I was 18, so how the heck could I ever consider that in the realm of possibility at 47?

 

Thursday I had a track speed day.  I finally found a school track at Kennett High with some level of public access within reasonable driving distance.  F&&k You Avon Grove!  So, I lined up to do my 5X.5 mile routine.  That 5th half is a killer.  Once again almost pulled the plug on that last 1/2, but looking back, thank Gawd I found a way to make it happen.  Maybe I should've done a 6th just to punish my pussee a$$!!!  So, I guess I'm pretty content with the 5 splits at this piont.  Only thing is, if they're above my limits, I'm a long way from a low 17 5K.  The Garmin pegged 3 of the 5 at a 5:47 pace.  That puts me at an 18m pace barely, if by some stroke of magic that I could maintain that for an entire 5K.  I'm not going to sit here and project variables onto the workout like carb loading and racing flats to say that gets me where I want to be.  I'm not even close.  Bottom line is I've got a whole lot of a$$ kicking to do to get where I want to be.

 

I'll wrap with a mention of today's outing.  Went to Fairhill.  Plans were simple:  2 blue laps and 1 green to pull me in at 11.5 more or less.  Pace about 8 or below.  Bob's your Uncle.  Well, the green lap went according to plan, and the beginning of the blue as well.  The first stream crossing, I decided to take that left fork rather than the overly treacherous right hand turn.  I'd expected I could get back on the blue.  WRONG.  That thing took me who the he$$ knows where.  I got really lost for quite a while.  And, the snow started to come down, just as my mind started to kick in with a slight worry.  Felt like I was in a blizzard, likely to get lost, frost bite, dead on the trail....."he died doing what he loved to do..."  Well, I eventually found a way back to the blue, and the even doubled back to pick up the mileage.  The footing on the blue and splinter of blue was especially well, treacherous.  Frozen tundra, foot plant was anything but predictable, and I nearly torqued an ankle, well too many times to count.  Thought more than once I was risking too much in the way of an injury to continue, but I kept on.  Oh well, the spilts for the first 5 were respectable, but the last 7 were very slow-high 8s to 9 range.  Was mostly the terrain, etc so I'm not all that upset.  Was to be a less than stressful outing since the one two days from now is the up tempo no holes barred 7.33 run.  Today was a grueling, almost brutal outing.  Intense.  Sweet.  On to greatness....

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no rhythm

Posted by nowirun4fun Jan 3, 2011

Tomorrow I'm back to work.  Over 2 weeks off and I don't know, I'm not all too impressed.

 

I don't much like the holidays, never really have.  And, now that I usually am saddled playing catch up on use it or lose it vacation, it seems an annual 2 week break.  Having to put up with kids out of school is always torture as well.  The two week xmas break really gets me out of my rhythm, running and otherwise.   Going into this break I had my quad issue and was feeling a little taxed or something.  The break didn't help.

 

Too much eating for sure.  Even after trying to determine to not over do it, I kept overdoing it.  Dang wife baked way too much shyte.  And, way too much drinking.  Looks like I may finally have added five pounds.  I tried to do the morning/afternoon starvation routine to work off the prior days over indulgence, but hasn't kept me ahead of the curve.  So, starting off the new year with 5 pounds to lose.  Probably will take the whole month of Jan.

 

My workout routine wasn't routine.  I did get quite a bit of extra curricular activity painting the foyer, so that had to help.  I missed my swim cross training a few times.  I took a few day off stretch around xmas as well,  That made twice  in December.  Hard to believe I still got my high mileage month at about 115, so all is not lost.

 

I'm determined to get back to the routine I laid out before the quad incident.  I'm nearly there.  I did have  a couple trail outings of 12 and 10.5 miles the past couple weeks.  Also had a nice 8 mile run yesterday at a pretty intense 7:09 pace.  Really not bad with the hills.

 

So, in summary, I'm looking for a good couple month stretch.  Thankfully, the quad didn't sideline me for a long stretch.  While I'm not at all looking forward to going back to work, I must admit, I miss my groove.  But, I feel poised to take things up a notch.  Being poised doesn't get it done though.  Have to go out, grab it, and inspire myself to exceed my wildest expectations.

 

Interesting - just ran a sportrack report from my Garmin uploads.  2010 has me at 977 miles average 8:21 pace.  8:21 pace?  Wow.  I haven't had a 8+ minute paced month in a while.

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nowirun4fun

nowirun4fun

Member since: Oct 22, 2010

This site is so screwed up, I just had to add a blog to found out how bad it is

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