Training runs...taking different routes, finding new places to run and determining what workout to run....
I have recently be running longer and soon will be approaching a run that is longer than I ever have run before. I am really excited about going the distance. So far I will be running a 5K at the end of this month in Batavia, IL called the Fox Trot 5K and I am also thinking about running a Half-Marathon in Chicago in September. This along with my training should hopefully prepare me to run the Marathon at Disney in January.
I am attempting to post some html code that will show my running progress, but am not sure that it will work on this blog....so if it is unviewable and you understand how to make it work, please reply to my blog and I will fix it.
Thank you for everyones support and I wish everyone a blessed Easter weekend!!
Reading up on running injuries I have come across a couple different viewpoints. For certain injuries it will talk about reducing your mileage or possibly even taking an extra rest day or two then slowly proceed with your workout. Other viewpoints say to rest for a week or longer and then slowly start back into the running routine.
Why have I decided to talk about this in my blog this time?
Well, after my training run of 4.5 miles on Friday, I am having some pain in my right knee. I really didn't notice it until after the run, but it progressively got worse that evening and I could feel it all through Saturday as well. Saturday was supposed to be my long run, which turned into a one mile, slow jog and return to home. I decided that I would take Sunday off as planned and then head out again on Monday very cautiously and after spending a little extra time stretching out the knee and legs.
I don't want a knee injury to sideline me and set me back in my training before I can really even get into longer runs. I do think by taking 10lbs off my body would cause less stress to my knee and hope that I can continue to stick with moderate training runs to keep my base endurance level or even build it some while still taking care of the knee.
I have been looking at getting a new pair of properly fit running shoes and also special stretching for the knee area that I can work on. During previous runs I probably wasn't spending enough time stretching out since I would usually use my first 5 minutes as a walk to warm up anyway.
Today I really wanted to get out there again but instead took one of the dogs on a mile walk to see how the knee would feel after just walking a bit. It felt fine. However when it is in the fully straight locked position it is still a little sore.
Tomorrow I will go out for my normal 4 mile course and it may turn into a walk/run session depending on how the knee feels.
Regarding shoes, I have worn New Balance since I started running and have been happy with them. However, I have been reading up on shoes for my stride and weight and think that Nike may have some that I may give a try. Asics also has some that come with high recommendations. Time to take a trip to Roadrunner Sports and see what the best option is and to get a proper fit. Although, it may have to wait since payday is still a few days away.
That's about all for today, next post will be after the next attempt at a run and hopefully it will go well with no injuries to report.
Run day today...yippee!! Yep, still excited about the training and running days. Could be that I am actually taking a liking to this running thing again. Today it was just a cool 50 degrees and very windy. Fortunately, I took off for my run today with a sweatshirt on which definitely was needed. The wind was at my face on the way out and I was hoping it would be at my back on the way back home since I was running sort of a loop, I wasn't exactly sure if it would be or not. It was, and it made the last 2 miles seem a little easier for me.
The issue I had today was my Nike Plus transmitter that goes in my shoe wasn't working properly. First of all I wear New Balance shoes and not the specially made Nike+ shoes that have the cut out in the sole for the little bugger to go. But, I have purchased a nice specially made silicone holder that attaches to my laces and I have a previously purchased (older) velcro pouch for my other running shoes. Well, today I wanted to use my other NB shoes since it was my second 4+ mile run and they provide a little more cushioning than my NB Zips. I placed the little transmitter in the velcro pouch, attached it to my laces and off I went on my run. Lucky for me I checked my pace at about .25 miles and it said 0.00. It was not receiving the data. I messed with it, tightened it, moved it around and it worked. Well, for about 2 seconds. Needless to say I trucked back home switched to the other pair of shoes with the silicone holder and started up again and it worked fine. My other thought was that the battery was dead since it is a 3 year old transmitter. I think my next purchase will be another transmitter and another silicone holder for my second pair of running shoes. Then, a new pair of running shoes to get me through training.
Ok, so the kicker.....after I was back at home and uploaded my data, I realized something. I just crossed the point of training where my mileage per run is more than what I used to run on a regular basis 2 years and prior. I always used to run 3.5 miles 3 to 4 times a week. Today I ran 4.25 miles, probably 4.50 if you count the equipment issue in the beginning. I also ran 4.5 miles on Monday which means I have logged two runs in a row over 4 miles. I am very excited that I have reached this level and look forward to bumping it up another notch on Saturday with my long run, then next weeks runs at 4.5 each run, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
So, now for a couple little things that are popping up and one other thought I pondered on my way up the final hill to my home.
First the one other thought as I approached the last turn and could see my house.....
1. When I reach the ability to run a marathon, I will be able to successfully run todays route 6 times...HOLY ?&*!, crap, !#%!, !@$", ...ok, a half would be 3 times, let's just focus on that for a bit...that is a much more foreseeable goal at this point. Whew....I just about yacked when I thought about that at first. But then, slow gains each week will bring up my endurance level and in a few weeks, the half may be reached and then the full 6 times will look as the half does today...ya, that's it, that's the ticket, see no biggie..........yack!bleh. Damn, that still is a long way to get to Marathon. What was Pheidippides thinking on his way to Marathon, and why did everyone think they should repeat it again????
and, the other things......
2. I never understood why runners always said they have black toes. Today I think I might realize why. As I was nearing the end of my run, my two middle toes on my right foot began to rub against each other or thats at least what it felt like. In fact they still hurt a little bit now. Now wouldn't this be because your feet flatten as you run spreading your foot and if the toe box of your shoes don't have enough space they get crammed in there? That is basically what it felt like. I think for my next pair of shoes I will have them fitted properly so I know that other issues won't creep up on me like this one. I can't imagine how that would feel after 26.2 miles, let alone hurting at the 4 mile mark.
3. The other minor issue is the outside of my right knee. It is just slightly below the kneecap but only on the right side. I did make some changes from concrete to pavement to grass a few times today and was wondering if I may have twisted it. I didn't notice it while running and for now am hoping that tomorrow being a rest day will allow it to start feeling better. Any suggestions on this or the toe issue would be appreciated.
So, for this afternoon and evening....the wife and I went on a lunch date to a Chicago style pizza place and had a chopped salad and deep dish pizza loaded with veggies. YUM! We shared a game of scrabble on my iphone while waiting the 30 minutes for the pizza to cook to perfection in the pizza oven and had a very nice time together while the kids were in school. It is nice to be able to take a few minutes just for yourselves when you can and we have tried to make that a priority recently. It is very enjoyable, thanks for the date dear, I love you!
On the way home we stopped at a store that was advertising openings so I could inquire about a Management position and picked up an application after talking to the HR rep. I took it home and filled it out and returned in an hour with my resume, professional biography and application in hand. They are supposedly reviewing applications this Friday when the Store Manager returns and are to get back to me early next week...This particular employer makes me feel good and actually took the time to talk for a bit which is nice. Since so many people are out looking for work, it has been tough getting a phone call let alone the ability to talk to the H.R. employee. Well, I am hoping for the best and making the most out of each day in regards to a position. Be it talking to past business contacts, applying online for positions and through word of mouth. The biggest piece of this is to never lose hope and stay positive in the search and that is what I intend to do.....LIVESTRONG!
Today mental preparation was needed before my run. After all, I was going out to surpass my comfort zone of years past weekly runs. I had made it past the every other day runs of 3-3.5 miles and was planned to run 4.5 miles today, Wednesday and Friday this week. With the way training has progressed so far, I was prepared to complete the 4.5 and had the route mapped out already. Slipped on my running attire, shoes and new dual layer running socks from that trip to the running store and out the door I went.
Yesterday, I had remembered a training tool that I used to use and wondered if it was still out there. I used to listed to Steve Runner's Podcasts on iTunes and sure enough he is still created them. I eagerly downloaded the last five or so episodes of the podcasts and looked forward to listening to them on my next set of runs. I remembered that they are usually around an hour in length and were made of of Steve telling stories about training, his running of races and marathons, everyday life and basically a mixture of things including some music intertwined. The majority of the podcasts are completed while he is actually running. You can hear his pace and his breathing as well as his voice change during the parts where he is running.
The episode that I listened to today was randomly picked and what was it? It was on him preparing himself for the Boston Marathon in only 5 weeks. He talked about the standard safety training plans of a gradual increase in mileage of around 10% per week, but something was drawing him to run this marathon that was only 5 weeks away. He was quick to point out that he had been running through the Winter doing maintenance runs of approximately 20 miles per week. So he cautioned that even though this 5 week training was an accelerated program, he did have a base to work off of. This would not be recommended for someone who just decided 5 weeks out to run a marathon with no prior running experience or base to fall back on. Even the trainer, who he invited to talk on the podcast warned to "do not try this at home" and that because Steve Runner had run 19 other marathons and this would be his 20th, plus he had a solid base of mileage that they would be basically ramping up his mileage over the next three weeks and today was a 16 mile run for him while he was creating this podcast.
I find his podcasts motivating since not only does he run while talking and thinking intellectually, he is very entertaining and he holds your interest. He keeps your brain on its own journey as the miles go by. On todays run, I found that I was able to be completely absorbed into the podcast between miles 3-4 and really felt my stride smooth out. I was almost on cruise control and letting my body control its own pace while my brain was involved deeply in this training program that steve was working on. This could once again be my answer to completing my training. I felt really good during my run today. Yes I still took a couple short walk breaks, but I can see how I can shorten my walk breaks and slowly turn my whole run into a run and not a run/walk.
If you have an ipod or use iTunes, I highly suggest downloading the podcasts by Steve Runner and giving them a shot. Not only can you learn while you run, but be entertained at the same time. Great to listen to and a change from the constant beats of music. I recommend the podcasts and will be listening to them for my next several runs. Thank you Steve for your inspiration, your thoughts, training tips and the ability to grasp my mind and just let me run! Good luck at Boston by the way!!!
Getting off to a start this morning took 2 cups of coffee, a little News on the local network, time to sit and talk with the family and a few postings on facebook. After hearing from Krissie, Matt's wife that he had just left on his run for the day, I had enough energy to get ready to run. After quickly downloading a couple new tracks for my iPod I took off for my long run today that was scheduled for 3 miles on my training program. (updated this, more later)
I felt really good, starting off slow and knowing that I hadn't eaten made me feel light and not worrying about getting a side stitch. I had my first mile and checked on the nike + and I was just under a 10 minute pace. After about 1.75 miles I took my first of three short walk breaks lasting about 30 seconds and took off again. Overall, it felt good to be running in the morning hours and also before this afternoons rain and bad weather rolled in. I came home after completing 3.5 miles to a busy house with everyone working on cleaning and various tasks. I walked in the garage stretched for a moment and then walked up to the step to enter the house when just at the same moment my wife was opening the door taking out a bag of trash. Her eyes were on the trash bag and when she opened the door I was right there with a black stocking hat, black addidas jogging pants, black running gloves, Grey sweatshirt and most likely a sweaty red face from running. All I know is that even with my headphones from my iPod still playing a track, I heard a very, very loud startling scream. I guess she wasn't expecting me to be there nor was I expecting her to open the door at that moment. Fortunately, my heart rate was still up slightly so it wasn't that big of a shock on my system as it was for hers. Funny how things happen at just the same time or when you are least expecting it.
Anyway, I was happy to complete my run, and another day of training. Oh, regarding the training. I have adjusted my training schedule to a 9 week 10K plan instead of the marathon training plan at this point. On the marathon plan that I was on, I would have been prepared for the marathon in the month of September and my race isn't until January. Since I have a 5K in May and possibly at the end of April, I took some advice and am focusing on a little lower mileage and then will start a marathon training program in June to be completed in December just a week or so before the race. If your reading this, I would like to hear your thoughts about this plan.
Ok, now for the title of this blog, Running Store Visit. This afternoon, I took a trip to a new running store in our area in nearby Naperville, IL. Road Runner Sports has opened a store there and I wanted to take a look. The plan was to take a tour of the store and just see what they had. Well, they had some really good clearance running clothes and very knowledgeable staff that I ended up talking to for some time. I will definitely be back to this store as my training progresses. I was so impressed and excited about the store that I applied for a position there. Work should be something you love, I love running and a few other things so I figured hey, why not. I would be able to share customers stories about running, gear, training, and also utilize my retail management background. Hey, this could be a perfect fit. Besides, just being there gave me a good feeling and I found myself talking to a couple customers while waiting for the cashier to look something up about the Nike plus system. Great store, at least from my experience so far.
Tonight we ended the day with a movie, just the wife and I. A date night you could call it I suppose. We went to see the movie, Knowing and well, the popcorn was good. The movie, well,,,,if you remove the last 20 minutes, it might receive 3 out of 5 for me. Just a strange ending that didn't take you there with it so to speak. Personally, I was thinking about running toward the end of the movie and what was going to be on my plate for tomorrow, my day off from training.
Any running stores that you like or enjoy? I know that there are online stores a plenty, but what about at your local strip mall or in your local town or city? What makes a good running store? Customer Service? Good selection? Knowledgeable staff? Bare bones pricing? Why do you keep going back? Lets here it.......
This blog is to track my daily thoughts about running. I will list my personal private feelings for the day, maybe talk about the weather and local events and simply the motivational factors on my way to training for the Marathon at Walt Disney.