Lake Michigan at Sunrise

Lake Michigan at Sunrise

Monday, September 30, 2013

Quick Recap of 3 Runs

Okay... so to continue from my last post (Doom and Gloom)..

I'll say upfront, I don't use my blog to write coherent thoughts and sensibility after I think through my feelings.  I want to log my raw reactions to not forget it was all candy and sausage when the training season is over.

Okay, now lets get the run recaps over.

Saturday: Easy paced 10 miles on plan. I got out around 5:15am.  My calves just felt like trash. Every step sucked. Sadly, this was an upgrade from yesterday.  I stopped to stretch at mile 1.2 and it seemed to help a tiny bit. I couldn't get my pace under 9 minutes for the first 3 miles. I was begging my legs just to give me the tip and let me move a little smoother. I just couldn't do it, I wanted to just say F it and toss this garbage of a run away.

Not even the garbage man wanted to deal with my trash
But I kept telling myself, just try to easy into this, at least heal up..there is no pace goal for these runs..

Fine, one mile at a time. I eventually warmed up a little by mile 5 and was at least going a decent easy pace rather than a much slower pace. Run done.

Home note: Most of the weekend has been spent preparing to move, so no fun stories to share.. We did make it to Target and got our daughter the normal Halloween candy bucket, this is her CHEESE face:

She also still has a cold, which makes her sound like a raspy old smoker and had been waking up multiple times over the nights, making all of us a bit tired. She is improving though!

Much to the suggestions of Xaarlin, I've been using the tennis ball a lot to help with some trouble spots that stretching and the stick don't seem to help. I think it is helping or just a very big coincidence. 

Sunday: Another easy paced 10 mile run. This run with a bit smoother, I also had a lot more time to warm up at home before my run which may have something to do with it.  I focused a lot on this run with trying to not lean into my right hip, kick back enough and try to keep my strides straight rather than crossing over each

Monday: Recovery pace 8 mile run. I overslept a bit this morning, almost to my second alarm. Doing this basically killed 15 minutes and removed time I like to have for a better warm up, cool down, and any bio emergency. I made sure my stomach would be okay and shuffled out the door. I started my first few miles pretty slow, and kept reminding myself to take it really easy today.  My calves were somewhere between sore and tired, and took a good 4 miles to warm up. No biggie.
I took a couple photos as there was a tiny bit of light as I finished my run:

Now comes the big question for me. 

I still have two more hard runs left this week on my training plan. Tomorrow is a strength run and Friday is the last pace run. I know logically I should say, the benefits from those last two runs might be what, a few more seconds? But to me, it isn't as much about the finish time, as the journey to get there, to prove to myself that I can do the training.

I"m probably still going to attempt to do the runs, even if needs to be at a realistic pace, rather than the extra fast goal pace I did all season, but I certainly won't push it until it hurts..much. If nothing more, I'll at least do the miles.

I'm also waaaaaaaay behind on reading everyone's blogs (and even responding to comments on mine) so hold tight! (Actually don't, I'll probably fall behind more as I move tomorrow hopefully)

Also - Are there talks of a blogger dinner meet up for the Chicago Marathon over the next 10 days?

Friday, September 27, 2013

All the expletives to fit the post

I'm going to put out the positives of my run today before I go into my raw emotions.
I ran 13 miles before work, it didn't touch an ounce of my energy and I got my calorie burn back.

Stop reading now if you don't want to see me go into a little tantrum, as I'm not sure how this post will end yet.

We left off Tuesday, I was sick and convinced myself to rest an extra day. I stayed home from work on Wednesday, I was already falling asleep at 6:30pm Tuesday night and went to bed around 8:45pm. The kid was still sick and clung to me all day. I tried to go for a small jog in the afternoon as I started feeling better, but my daughter woke up from her nap in a mood and was not letting go of me. Okay, so I'm still resting all day. I also had to cancel physical therapy, as I didn't want to infect all of them and their equipment.

Thursday is my normal rest day, I use the gym during lunch to work on my core, arms, and such. I figured, a two day break will be good for my aches right?

Also I have to mention that I've had some constant tightness at the bottom of my calf that happens as I walk, slowly. If I am wearing work shoes, I feel like I am being tortured. So of course, I'm freaking out...but when I run, I don't step that same way and I feel better.

Now let's get to today..Did you ever have a run that was such complete garbage that nearly completely overwhelms your confidence and body? Like you have an instrument that is set waaay too tight, and if you play it too hard it will snap? That is where I felt this was going.

I had that run today. It hurt. I couldn't make any excuse. All I could do was worry and just try and make it home.

The Hanson Marathon Method called for 10 miles at marathon pace, add in warm up and cool down. I woke up at 3:25. I was out the door and started my run at 4:10am. First few blocks felt okay, but then I started

I felt light spasms in all the areas I have issues with, not a constant tightness, just like i'm getting shocked quickly. They subsided. The last time I took four days off, it took me a week to get my legs back. But two days.. I should be able to jump right back in...

I sped up to my pace and noticed something extra was off, my right inner thigh started getting tight..uncomfortably tight as I was in my normal pace. I backed off.. I couldn't really think of why this was happening? Because of the wind in my face? Because I missed a physical therapy appointment? Should I have done an easy run today and moved the hard run to tomorrow?

I was crashing, mentally and physically. I was hitting my 5 mile point and was about to call it quits. Thankfully it was dark so nobody could watch the disaster.

But I told myself, ****, I didn't wake up at 3:25 to do freaking 10 miles. I owe it to myself to at least do the miles, who knows, maybe once the wind is out of my face, I'll loosen up?

Sorry ladies, nope
My legs just got worse. All my problem areas got tight, I know my form was going to shit. My pace dropped horribly. And I knew that nobody cared, nobody will judge me, but I hated it. I felt defeated and worried. I desperately want to finish the marathon plan schedule. Now I don't even know if something else is wrong or I'm just flaring up..

I hobbled home, everything ended up hurting, every part of my body that PT said would hurt due to bad form did, and I knew I was running all sorts of bad today.

Where does that leave me now? Well sorta feeling like this:

I feel pent up, the two days rest stored up so much energy and the run was supposed to waste it, not my body. I want a redo. I would love to say how calm I am about this, I know it is just one run... But I'm trying to stay honest with my feelings and training. I'm not saying I believe I lost anything, I just don't like the uncertainty of things right now.

So the solution?

Stay honest with my Physical Therapist, hope they can help find the kinks.

This run is probably forcing my hand at a longer taper. Not with rest, but just doing my runs at an easy pace..Although I do want to do this run next Friday to see if I am any better.. Will I actually do this? Who knows..

I'd like to say tomorrow I'll feel new, maybe I will. But this is all the rage to fit the post.

If you made it this far..

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hardest Week of Training? Let's Get Sick!

After Sunday's long run that was a fair bit faster than planned, I was hobbling a bit with an ache in my left leg that only comes with walking slow. Of course I started freaking out about this and began thinking about having an extended taper period.

But I know what I always end up doing, I try to do every run to test how much goes away once I warm up.

Monday: Recovery run, 6 miles. I ran this real easy and slowed down any time I felt any tightness or ache. No reason for time concerns today.

Also my kiddo has been sick since Sunday, so I've been getting mentally prepared for catching what she has... and I did.

Tuesday: Hanson plan called for a strength run of 4 x 1.5 miles at marathon pace minute 10 seconds. Now I've been aiming to do that at 6:53, as that is based off a BQ time. In reality, I'll be running at 7:12 or so, so I would only need to be doing like 7:02ish if I was being realistic.

I woke up a fair amount over night every time my kid started coughing.  As a parent, you are very alert to the sounds of your child. I would wake up and wait to see if she was just coughing and going back to sleep, or if I was needed to comfort her. Also, the cat was being very annoying scratching on paneling the last couple hours of my sleep...

Finally 3:40am. I was real tired and as soon as I came to my senses, I realized I was sick. I knew that nobody would think less of me if I slept and rested. I remembered though what the Hanson Book says, try to at least get in a few miles if you can to keep your legs. And I figured, I'll just be feeling worse after today, so let's just try it. I imagine I'll miss 1-2 days or have to just do easy runs until I'm recovered.

Get outside at about 4:15am, a little brisk. I also am sporting my last pair of kicks for the training season and they'll take me into the Chicago Marathon:

As I warmed up, I tried to get a feel for what the hurdles would be. Wind out of the SE, that's going to suck. My wind felt off, no surprise considering the cold. Energy felt like it was draining faster than normal, not that much of a big deal. Okay, lets try the run. Rather than force the issue for pace, I put in the effort that was safe for today. My pace for the 1.5 mile intervals ranged between 6:45 - 7:15. I was okay with it, just glad I didn't quit.  My stomach started going sour around mile 3. Stopped at Belmont to help take the pressure off.

The return run felt easier with the wind out of my face, but my energy started dipping off and on and my stomach just wasn't happy. I managed to get one last good half mile in at full speed, then settle again.

Overall, I am glad I got through it. I'll probably need to make some adjustments over the next 3 days to either rest/shorter miles/or just easy miles, until I feel like I'm on the upswing. Otherwise, I'll end up in the...

And just because:

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Wurst Runner Ever! (Video Gait Analysis Results) and some runs

I got my Video Gait Analysis (VGA) results on a CD Friday, and I figure I'd share the findings with everyone. Maybe you'll see some of the same errors? Solution: Increase cadence by 5% to not give myself time to make the errors and some exercises to improve my form (and hip exercises).

Knowing what I'm doing wrong makes me much more aware of it now when I run, although I don't want to change up too much before the Chicago Marathon. Form and speed will by the goal of the winter.

Now for the weekend runs:

Saturday I did an easy pace 8 miles with my kiddo in the jogging stroller.  No photos. I haven't been too happy with the return of the tightness/knot in my left calf again. Mentally frustrating after having a nice week. The physical therapist worked on the spot pretty hard too, so I shouldn't be surprised. The lady that did my run gait analysis also gave me more exercises and stretches to do. Who has time for all this?!!

Sunday: My legs were pretty tight again, so I spent a good 20+ minutes total doing dynamic warm ups, they seemed to have helped. 16 mile long run with Pete (The Lakefront Trail) was on tap.   My longest run with anyone and it was a lot of fun. He shared a plethora of run experience with me and was a lot of support for me. Then add his powerful speed, he kept me from falling back. We were trying to settle into the 7:40-7:45 per mile time frame, which would be a finish around 2:04 I think. We stopped at Navy Pier for a couple photos. Here is what we got:

Suns out, pistols out
I take serious pictures

Total moving time: 1:59:14 (7:27 mile average), total time with break, 2:02ish.  Hopefully the faster pace isn't going to hurt us. It felt nice and we were trying to compensate for the wind coming back, and compensate we did!

Also on a side note, Lickity Split is serving coffee flavored frozen custard, MY FAVORITE! 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Professional High Fiver.... and I need to grab a straw

Yesterday evening my family unit went out to see the Wurst Running Club Ever make our debut at the St. Michael Oktoberfest 5k.  I wasn't running it, as it is my scheduled rest day and Lord knows my danger zone legs needed it, I decided to at least bring some moral support. For a recap of the race, see Pete @ The Lakefront Trail's recap here (I'm also stealing some of his photos).

I made a sign, and I couldn't even take the time to check my spelling...Wurs(t) sign ever:

And here is a photo of the kid and myself:

And a group photo at the end of the WRCE:
my wife and kid make a little cameo in the back

I had fun giving out high fives to the runners, i'd say after the sub 19 minute finishers went by, I had a really high success rate. I felt like the Todd on his best day ever:

I loved that my daughter, loving to mimic, was trying to hand out high fives too. She got a high five from one lady who then said lets run! And she took off with her.. I had to quickly wrangle her back! woops.

Now here are some of the WRCE members running (I missed Jennifer's photo as we were taking pictures by who had on the team shirt, and she hadn't gotten hers yet, but I did high five her!)

Not WRCE, but funny

Can you name them all?

Okay, now that the fun part is over, lets get to today. I need to grab a straw cause this run suuuuuuccked.

I went to bed around 9:45pm seeing that there would be a good chance of thunderstorms starting at 3am F.......

I woke up at 1am hearing rain and felt defeated. I checked my phone's weather app and saw a giant mass of storms heading our way, double F. I may have to do the run right after work, blah.

3:20am, alarm goes off. Check radar - all clear and nothing in the state. SCORE! Wait, am I really that happy to be awake at 3:20am?

Hanson Marathon Method called for a 10 mile run at marathon pace, and include a warm up and cool down. So today's goal was to do 10 miles in 1:10:30. Last Friday I did my 9 miles at pace with ease and like a minute to spare...but the weather was also a lot better..

Full Disclosure: I'm planning on running the marathon for a 3:10 finish, which is about a 7:15 minute mile. But pre hammie strain, I was aiming for a 3:05 which is a 7:03 minute mile. I have not changed any of my training paces to reflect a 3:10, but instead still aim for 3:05 goal for my pace chart and so forth.

4am, out the door. Get GPS signal and start stopwatch. Time for the daily game of - does anything hurt?

The bottom of my left calf was tight as was part of my hamstring on my right leg, noted mostly for PT purposes. Stretching after 10 minutes helped.

Now just to keep stay fully honest. I was mentally b*tching the entire warm up. I felt creaky, I wasn't sure if I should bag it and rest. The humidity was rising, near 90% at 4am, almost 100% when I finished. Breathing ended up being the hardest part of the run.

I convinced myself to at least try to do the work out.. I asked myself, what if the marathon is under these god awful conditions? I can't give up then... so I went.

I got a stitch in my first marathon pace mile.. I was ready to just say screw it.. but I didn't. The path was mine. Nobody was out to see me have a fit or whatever emotion I let out.

My main goal for today was to internalize my pace again, but the breathing issue was throwing me for a loop.  My first 6 miles I was able to hold it, but then the last 4 the humidity and heat settled in and my pace started to flubber. I stopped a few times for water after I realized how much I was sweating and my sneakers were like sponges.

End result? 10 miles at marathon pace in 1:11. So 7:06 average... I'd like to say, oh if it wasn't for the humidity, I would have hit my goal, but how often do we get the perfect run? Try harder next time.

At least my energy is amazing, yay runner's high. Physical therapy today and the results of my video gait analysis will be given to me as well.

Long enough post, Happy Friday!

Edit: AND:
Thanks Xaarlin and Erin for letting me know!!

Edit 2: Almost forgot -crushing high five from Erin as well this morning!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Boring Title Thursday Post

Combining Wednesday and Thursday posts into one simply because I didn't have enough for blog post on Wednesday morning.

Wednesday: Hanson Marathon Method called for an easy 7 miles. Tuesday night I was thinking of sleeping in and doing the run in the afternoon with the jogging stroller, but I checked the weather and saw scattered showers possible and didn't want to miss my run due to rain with the kid. At least I got to sleep until 4:20am! Got out the door at 4:50 and start trotting along... and woah are my legs tired.

(Writer's note: As everyone in Chicago experienced, it did end up raining like the end of days, so good call on my end to run early!)

The short recovery period between Monday and Tuesday's runs finally took its full toll on me this morning. Thankfully I had no pain to start, but my first mile was like a 9:50, but after stretching and getting going I at least did the rest of my miles under 9.  I was in no rush and didn't want to push my body to do anything on an easy day.  I did have some periods of aches, fatigue, and tightness in the legs, but I expect that with this plan and knowing I have kinks to work out with therapy.

Physical Therapy went well, most of my complaints seem to stem more off fatigue on my strained muscles than the actual strain themselves. Still some wincing knots, but progress is good.

Thursday - Rest Day.

Here are a couple more photos from Pete @ The Lakefront Trail:


Your Thursday Motivation:

And for those days when you have a bad run/work out, just remember:
Yesterday while at therapy I saw the official program for the Chicago Marathon! I was pretty excited. I'm not sure if they have been out long, but I snagged one and felt proud:

And are you feeling short on freedom? Read this red, white, and blue interaction at Five Guys:

Training Chatter:

Tomorrow is my first of three 13 mile Friday runs with 10 miles at marathon pace. The biggest concern after my rehab is getting the feel for my pace again.  I had it down pretty well pre injury, now its more of an accordion style run, constantly trying to speed up/slow down until I hit the zone late in the run.  I'm going to go back and try counting my steps which tends to end up in my marathon pace.


Happy Friday Eve!