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Running Again

I started the long road back to running this week – 3.5 miles of run walk combination completed in 38:40 for an average of a 12:54 mile. It was slow, it was boring, but it was running, pain free running and it has been a long, long time since I have run without pain.
At the beginning of 2012 I though I had recovered from my last set of injuries (groin, ankle). I started to build up the miles again little by little. I thought I was doing it slowly, but clearly it wasn’t slow enough. On March 17th I wrote this in my running journal after a ten miler:

Felt strong through the first six or so then the left PF/achilles started acting weird. Always something.

After that I spent a couple of weeks barely able to walk. Hobbling around New York, wincing in pain every time I had to walk anywhere. I tried running again three weeks later. It was too early. Then more time off, with little improvement. Finally I made a doctor’s appointment, started physical therapy, and a commitment to stretching, icing, and the strengthening exercises the PT prescribed. Three months after the injury, I think I am on the mend for real. Pain is almost entirely gone and Wednesday run was entirely pain free.

I plan on heading out there again today for a very slow run/walk of 4.5 miles. I’m going to keep it at that for a while. Two days a week, 9 sad little miles. I’ll supplement with all the other activities I’ve been doing to not get fat, biking, rowing, rock climbing, lifting, bodyweight stuff. Then, maybe a month from now, if all goes well, I’ll add a little more. 2012 is clearly a bust running-wise. I won’t be racing anything, but if I do this right, if I take it really slow, and keep up the exercises and strengthening work, I might after two years of shit running, actually be back in the game by the fall 2013.

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RECAP: Still here, still running. Insanely busy with work, but fitting in some miles and keeping to my promise to build the miles slowly and not get hurt.  Last week was the first time I hit thirty miles for the week since November and it felt fine. In an abundance of caution, I took a slight cut back this week. Next week I plan to be back up over thirty again.

 

In other jock news, I’m spending a lot of time lately learning how to rock climb. So far I’ve only been dabbling in bouldering at the rock climbing gym here in BK, but I’ll be getting outside this spring .  Expect lots more on rock climbing around here in the coming months.

 

Rushed today (as always) so here are the numbers:

 

Summary:

Run Streak: 0

Average Weight –186

Running Miles: 25.7 in 4:11:22

Bike Miles:  ? in 30:00

Strength and Flexibility: 2:45:00

Total exercise time: ~7.5 hours

Daily Breakdown:

Monday – 1 in 9:00

Tuesday –Off

Wednesday – 6.5 in 1:05:00; Pull ups (7,3,2)

Thursday – 6.5 in 1:03:00; Spin Bike: 30:00

Friday – 6 in 59:40; Pull ups (4,3,2); Push Ups (25)

Saturday – thirty minutes of stretching and foam roller

Sunday – 5.75 in 54:42; 1:30 of bouldering; 10×4 V-ups; 10×4 push ups

 

Goals for Last Week:

  1. n/a

 

Looking Ahead:

The running is coming along fine, it’s slow, but it’s getting better. I’m determined not to push it, just thirty miles this week, no need to get hurt just when the weather is starting to get good.

 

 

Goals for Next Week:

  1. Run 30 miles
  2. Exercise for at least six hours
  3. Decide on a body weight program
  4. Stretch daily

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Looking Back:

2010 was a year of unfulfilled potential. I started the year off with an injury, bounced back for a strong spring and summer, and finished the year with two serious injuries and a very disappointing fall racing season. I ran 1582 miles this year, roughly one hundred miles fewer than I ran in 2010. I set a PR at the 5k, but failed to PR or meet any of the time goals I set for the year. I did not even run a marathon.

Statistically, this year was a profound disappointment, but there were a number of intangible successes. I joined a local running club and raced more often than I ever have before. I ran too much and too fast, but I learned a lot about the science of running and what it takes to stay healthy. I made a whole bunch of mistakes. I got smarter, and, for a while there, faster. Now it is time to take the hard lessons of 2011 and put them to work.

 

Looking Forward:

As I’ve written about here before, I need to acknowledge that I am old and injury prone. I have consistently upped my mileage, or my speed work, too quickly, and I have consistently paid the price. No more. From here on, I am going to be smart. I am going to follow the ten percent rule; I’m going to take cut back weeks. I’m going to be patient, consistent, and disciplined and I am going to work very, very hard to stay injury free.

That right there is my major goal for 2012 – stay healthy. But me being me, I have to set a couple of concrete goals as well. I am trying to keep these modest, but challenging and focused on the events and aspects of the sport I enjoy.

First, I hope to finally hit 2,000 miles for the year. I enjoy the long run, I enjoy racking up the miles, and I hope by building my miles slowly and safely, and not taking on any speed work for some time, I can stay healthy enough to make this a reality.

 

Second, I’d like the break twenty minutes at the 5k. My current PR is 21:49. A minute forty nine in a year is a challenge, but doable. The 5k is a great distance. You can race them almost every weekend through the spring, summer and fall. I plan to race this distance a lot and finally understand this distance.

Third, run a 1:35 half marathon. This is also a stretch, but not unattainable if I stay healthy.

No marathon goal for now. I’m not sure I’ll race the distance this year. We’ll see. A lot depends on how my fitness is come the summer. For now, I’m excited to just be running again pain free. I hope to keep this up, adding the miles little by little and eventually, someday, years from now, towing the line at Boston.

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RECAP: This week was the Philadelphia Marathon and Half Marathon. Initially, I had signed up for the full marathon, but injuries upon injuries this fall made me back down to the half. It was a gorgeous day for a run, but I just wasn’t in shape. I finished the half in a disappointing 1:54 and change.

 

By mile eight, everything hurt. My groin injury came back, my ankle was killing me and I all around felt like shit. At this point, the less said about the whole thing the better. I’m already plotting for next year.

 

I also need to note that, tragically, two runners died this year at the marathon. That is very sad news. MY heart goes out to their families, I just hope that in the coverage of these unfortunate deaths running is not portrayed as an overly risky endeavor.

Anyway, here’s the week in numbers:

Summary:

Run Streak: 26 days

Average Weight –186

Running Miles: 31.6 in 4:42:56

Bike Miles: 0

Strength and Flexibility: 2:40:00

Erg: 8500 meters in 41:30

Total exercise time: ~7.75 hours

Daily Breakdown:

Monday – 4.5 in 41:46; 20:00 S&F; row 6k in 28:56

Tuesday – 3 in 26:59

Wednesday – 3 in 25:38; S&F 45:00

Thursday – 4 in 36:03; S&F 20:00; Row 2500 in 12:36

Friday – 3 in 29:00; S&F 1:00:00

Saturday – 1 in 9:30

Sunday – 13.1 in 1:54:00; S&F 15:00

 

Goals for Last Week:

  1. Ice ankle everyday – DONE!
  2. Run everyday – DONE!

 

Looking Ahead:

I am signed up to do the concept2 holiday challenge, that’s 200,000 meters of erg rowing in a month. I’m hoping it’ll function as a nice break from running all the time. I still plan to get out there every day and get in a couple of miles, but for now, rowing, stretching and pampering the ankle are the priorities. That and planning for next year.

 

Goals for Next Week:

  1. Start Holiday challenge by rowing at least 15K
  2. Ice ankle everyday
  3. Run Everyday
  4. Make a plan for being a better runner.

 

 

 

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RECAP: Well holy shit, a week of running! Seems like it has been a long time since I could say that. 34 miles in five hours isn’t high level training, sure, but it is better than what I have been doing for the past month. I’ll take it, and build on it.

Alright, the numbers:

Summary:

Run Streak: 10 days

Average Weight –185

Running Miles: 32.2 in 5:12:44

Bike Miles: 0

Body Weight Work: 0

Total exercise time: ~5 hours

Daily Breakdown:

Monday – 4.5 in 43:46

Tuesday – 4.5 in 41:25

Wednesday – 8 in 1:10:00

Thursday – 3 in 24:57

Friday – 1 in 8:15

Saturday – 3.25 in 30:00

Sunday – 10 in 1:34:10

Goals for Last Week:

Run every day – DONE!

Looking Ahead: I hit bottom in my training two weeks ago, but I feel like I am on the way up now. This week will be about building up a few more miles and toying around with the paleo experiment. I am going to keep the goals modest, I’ve got time.

Goals for Next Week:

  1. Experiment with the Paleo thing and see if it works
  2. Run at least forty miles
  3. Do all physical therapy exercises everyday

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RECAP: This week was the turn around, I can feel it. I hit rock bottom in my running, thought about giving it up for a while, and then rebounded and ran through the streets of Columbus, Ohio of all places loving the feel of covering ground. It was not a great week numbers wise, or even “feel” wise, I was sore, my ankle hurt, I felt fat and slow (even though I wasn’t nearly as slow as I thought I would be). But I ran. And I felt much, much better.

There is not much point in recapping the week day by day. I went twenty miles in five runs. That isn’t much but it is the start of something. It was not a strong week and I didn’t make any of my goals but all of that seems secondary. What is important is I am running and soon enough it will feel good again.

For this week, there is only one goal – get out there and run. Everyday. Enjoy fall in New York and rediscover why I do this stupid sport.

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RECAP: When I started running seriously last year, I was training for the Vermont Marathon. My mantra when I dragged myself out in the snow and cold that winter was “respect the race”. At that time I had run one marathon, badly, and I didn’t want to do that again. So I rarely missed a run and I ran that race one hour faster than my first marathon.

Respect the race is something I still believe in. There is no point in running a marathon if you aren’t prepared. If you aren’t ready, then don’t run. Its better to fight another day than to beat yourself up for a guaranteed poor showing.

Well, I’m not ready. Philly is a month and a half away and a combination of injuries, work, and travel have absolutely destroyed my fall training. I haven’t run longer than ten miles in weeks. I still have some groin pain when I run and my work load shows no signs of slowly down. With all that in mind, I’ve decided to cancel Philly. While this bums me out, I’d rather race well than suffer through a subpar performance. I’m going to try and figure out a couple of 10Ks for the fall so all this training wasn’t totally in vain, but really I am already thinking about next year.

Alright, the numbers:

Summary:

Run Streak: 0 days

Average Weight –182.5

Running Miles: 14.5 in 2:12:00

Bike Miles: 0

Body Weight Work: 0

Total exercise time: ~2 hours

Daily Breakdown:

Monday – 4.5 in 40:00

Tuesday – 9 in 41:23:00

Wednesday – 1 in 9

Thursday – Off

Friday – Off

Saturday – Off

Sunday – Off

Goals for Last Week:

  1. Run at least 50 miles – FAILED!
  2. Run a decent long run of at least 18 miles – FAILED!
  3. Reincorporate stretching – FAILED!
  4. Schedule physical therapy appointment – DONE!
  5. Lose a pound – DONE!

Looking Ahead

The less said about last week the better. Not running Philly is something of a relief though. now I can concentrate on fixing this groin injury and losing some weight in preparation for what I hope will be an awesome 2012.

Goals for Next Week:

  1. Lose a pound
  2. Run at least forty miles
  3. Stretch 3xweek

 

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