Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pain, Pain Go Away

I'm starting to get a little nervous.  For the last 3 weeks I've had a dull ache in my lower abdomen and right side (ahem) "nether region".  I jokingly said that this pain is probably a hernia but really thought I had just tweaked something and it would eventually go away.  However, instead of ebbing the pain is growing.  I know that rest would probably cure this but I'm playing the ignorance is bliss card because I have a 5K tonight (paid $ for), a half marathon in 2.5 weeks (paid $ for) and, most importantly Clarence DeMar in 31 days (paid $ for).  This is frustrating because I don't feel as though it is a running injury at all.  Perhaps its more of a parenting injury (lifting, bending, turning, holding, buckling, changing, etc.)

Uh oh. I'm very conflicted.  Do I stop running and take a few weeks off to try and cure?  Maybe I should just tough it out the next month and then go see a medical professional. Not sure what to do. Although I've no PhD, I know exactly what the diagnosis will be: "You've strained something.  No running for 2-3 weeks and then come and see me again." 

No thanks.

For now, its manageable.  I'll just continue running, hope nothing gets worse, and wait until 1st of October to worry about it.  Just like sh*t vehicles I've owned in the past, with numerous problems I was unable to fix myself, if I just ignore it maybe it'll go away.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Last Week of Unofficial Summer

MON. - 7mi. (road) --ok run.  A tad tired from Sunday run. [51:04]

TUE. - 8mi. (CHS Track) -- had to go solo at CHS in the morning but Jonny showed up.  Ran 4 x 400, 8 x 200, 2 x 400 (200recs,400 between 2s and 4s).  Ran them hard.  I was beat but happy we did them.  [77,75,77,76,/36,35,36,35, 35, 36, 36, 35/ 74, 75].  Wobbly legs in final 100m of last two.

WED. - 0  WTAC final fun run.  Good day.

THU.- 8mi. (bike path) -- from Kingston.  1 mile w/u then 6 miles @ suspected MP, 1 mil c/d. A "NFW" (No Effin' Way) run.  26.2? Happened last year and was also discouraging, and I'd like to do a couple more to humble my spirits in the next few weeks. [6:27-6:37 each] ///// 4mi. (road) -- easy run.  Maxson and relaxin' in the evening.  [ain't no watch]

FRI. - 6mi. (road) -- ran this one angry.  As a result, 6 miles of No Man's Land.  I'm a pouty bitch sometimes.  Don't run angry, friends. [40:12]

SAT. - 20mi. (road, trails, & track) -- from CHS down Pine Hill Rd, 112, NS Trail, Kenyon Hill, Richmond neighborhoods, Pine Hill II, Carolina Mgmt. Area, and finally CHS track.  Got a late start (0715) but still felt good for this one.  No knee pains or troubles.  Ran last 2 miles on the track, a la Olympic style final lap.  Ran mile 19 @ MP pace (6:33), then easy final mile. Good run. [2:32:XX]

SUN. - 4mi. (road) -- easy recovery run squeezed in between family time during the middle of the day. Loosened up pretty well. [30:20]

--> three quality runs this week again despite missing my mileage goals by a little.  Whatever.  The summer unofficially ends in about 7 hours when I go to bed.  Back to school.  Mentally, I'm ready for it and sort of excited.  Hope it doesn't interfere with running too greatly. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Nothing Like Waiting Until (Almost) Last Minute

I finally pulled the trigger and officially registered for the Clarence DeMar Marathon in/around Keene, NH.  It's a tiny one but that, along with some picturesque scenery, makes me like it even more.

I've procrastinated for so long that I really haven't been doing any organized marathon training but I have a decent enough base with longerish runs/hours on my feet.  Just sat down with a calendar and mapped out (roughly) the key long runs and MP runs that I need in the next 5 weeks.  Surftown Half Marathon on 16 September should be a fantastic indicator of my fitness two weeks out.  Either way, I'm out $80 anyway no matter what my fitness level is. At least I didn't blow the four Andrew Jacksons on cases of Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPAs.

No sense in worrying now.  I should be fine.....

(...until mile 22)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Week of 8.13.12 - 8.19.12

MON. - 6mi. (road) a.m. -- felt good to be running normally again. [43:04] \\\\ 5mi. (road) -- legs felt a little tired during the evening session.  Worked outside all day and definitely didn't hydrate nor eat enough.  Underfueled. [36:05]

TUE. - 8mi. (track) a.m. -- CHS with Jonny, Mike, and Gunshow.  Ran 4 x 1000 with the first 200 at hard mile effort then ease back a bit into approximate 5K pace for 800.  We were originally going to do 6 but with only 200 recoveries in between, four of them was bitch enough. I still managed to give it a good go and run consistently, which was a key goal of the workout: [36, 2:40/37, 2:40/36, 2:40/37, 2:42]. \\\\ 4mi. (road) -- mid afternoon shakeout.  Legs a little tired but the heat and humidity bothered me more. [30:39]

WED. - 0 -- in Gazelle's absence I got the chance to yell stuff through a megaphone and walk around with a clipboard at the WTAC Fun Run.  Didn't get to pace Mason so he got to run his first 5K solo and ran a 28:09.  When I asked him how the hell he PRd by so much on his own he implied that the old man had been slowing him down. Wiseass!

THU. - 9mi. (road) -- creative workout with Mike and Gunshow in and around the village of Shannock.  On a loop that was about 2.25 miles we ran 4 x 1 mile repeats at a hoped for 15-30 seconds slower than 5K pace (three short hills along the mile helped tucker you out).  Gunshow aptly described the goal of the workout: first one fast, second-faster, third-fastest, fourth-most fastest.  Once again aimed for consistancy: [5:56/5:52/5:53/5:48].  Hurting on the last one.  [68:XX]

FRI. -5mi. (road) -- felt tired.  Legs understandable from previous day's workout.  But whole body fatigued and mental brain drain.  Only 5-6 hours of sleep each of the previous 4 nights.  That'll catch up to you.  [36:11]

SAT. -7mi. (road & some woods) -- awesome drizzly, cool weather.  Nice run around usual loops with some wooded trespassing thrown in.  My final run in normal Asics DS Trainers--those friggin things are toast! Napped like an Olympian in the afternoon....something about cool weather, with drizzle and overcast skies spells ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. [51:50]

SUN. - 19mi. (road & trails) -- with Gazelle and Mike B through Carter Preserve, Shannock, and Caroling Mgmt Area.  Good run.  Felt great throughout (minus Shannock Hill) until the final mile around turf fields.  The others stopped at 15 but I decided to tack on a few more by looping up to Chariho and around.  Even snuck in 1 mile on the track around MP just to see what it feels like when fatigued (6:28).  A tiny bit of left, lateral knee discomfort and IT band crap the final 1.5 back to car.  Good end to the week. [2:27:XX]

--> a good week but Gazelle reminded me that I'm indecisive and need to make up my mind with the marathon thing.  Still haven't signed up.  Still leaning towards DeMar or Baystate--both have pros and cons.  Not going to pull a Scarecrow and do the "some people do go both ways".  Unfortunately, I haven't really done any focused marathon training yet I'm also feeling like saying "F*#k it.  The base is there.  You've done short speed work.  Just continue with long runs and jump in one.  You won't PR and will definitely be a blubbering mess at the end but isn't that what is supposed to happen anyway?"

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Suck It Hard, Apple!

Sorry. A totally non-running related rant:

Recently, Apple updated their iOS software to the "amazing" 5.1.1.  OK, so what?  Who cares?  I noticed a few small appearance changes and layouts in apps on my iPhone but no big deal.  However, I also own an iHome docking station so that I can listen to music via pretty decent, but small, speakers.  Since this update, I have been unable to operate the iPhone in the docking station.  Instead, I receive the following message "This accessory is not supported by iPhone". Note: this is also the case now with the ipods of my wife and my son.


I've been scouring the internet and the Google machine reveals basically, too bad for you.  This is fairly common whenever the Apple Gods update software or firmware.  Even Apple support offers nothing.  Sometimes, if enough people complain, they'll go back and reupdate the update.  Usually, however, they do not.  Individuals that own devices and accessories that formerly worked are then S.O.L. They have to accept that their "toys" are now obsolete and must purchase the newest sh*t that is compatible with the newest operating system.

Awesome. Shouldn't this be illegal?!?! Imagine if your other appliances in life did this (i.e. refrigerator, stove, washing machine, car, etc.)

Thanks, Apple.  I hope Steve Jobs is in hell.

Maybe a long, sweaty run will fix my attitude.......

PS-if anyone knows of a fix, (other than buying a new iphone), PLEASE comment below and let me know. Hopefully I'm just stupid and there is a really easy fix.

PPS-if I disappear from the face of the Earth, know that the SS division of Apple (who are surely monitoring everything) have come to my home and relocated me to an "education camp"

Friday, August 10, 2012

Week of 8.6.12 - 8.12.12

MON.- 3mi. (road) -- intended to be easy shakeout and first of two runs.  Instead, I got two miles out and had unbearable lateral, left knee pain/IT band probs.  Awesome.  Turned around and made it one more mile before having to walk/limp home.  [untimed]

TUE.- 0

WED.- 4mi. (road) -- really easy at WTAC Fun Run.  Paced Mason again.  He was upset with a non-PR but what are you gonna do?  [9:11/9:49/9:36 --29:39].  No real knee pain.

THU.- 5mi. (road) -- a fairly normal run.  [35:41]

FRI.- 5mi. (road) -- 0530.  Had to sneak in a shorty before Mandy left for her long run.  Struggled and felt like I was working way too hard on this one.  Hills gave me more trouble than they should have. Humid as shit. [37:56]



TOTAL: 17mi. (wow!)
--> yup.  That is not a typo or a glitch with  17 miles with double goose eggs over the weekend.  I chose to not run either day.  Sort of a baby mentality--the week was shot to shit, my legs were feeling crappy so I opted to spend all of my time doing fun things instead.  Start over again next week.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Week of 7.30.12 - 8.5.12

MON. - 5mi. (road) -- I think I was happy to be "recovered" from the Blessing and running a regular base run again.  Went a little to fast.  Felt good though.  Was going to double again in the late afternoon but took a nap instead. [34:40]

TUE. - 9mi. (track) -- CHS track with Jonny and Mike.  After warming up without a concret plan we ended up doing 3 x 1600 at 5K pace.  I was able to run really consistently without overdoing it (which is usually something I struggle with). [5:28/5:28/5:27].

WED. -6mi. (road) -- A.M. Legs were tired a bit from yesterday. Humid (again...obviously).  Just tried to focus on form. \\\\\ 5 mi. (road) -- P.M. WTAC Fun Run. Paced Mason again to yet again another PR.  He ran much better this week and was able to kick it in.  [8:50/9:36/9:36 --29:03]. 

THU. - 0 -- Lake Compounce cross training. I can't handle wooden roller coasters like I used to.  Banged up with a headache.

FRI. -7mi. (beach) -- had to run in midday (Mandy ran long in the morning).  I was in a bad mood and it was so damn hot I decided to run barefoot on the beach.  I hate running on the beach. So hot and humid and crowded with tourists.  I hate running on the beach.  I decided to make this my 3rd "interesting" run of the week so ran 6 miles at MP pace (perceived effort really--probably closer to high 6:00/low 7:00). I hate running on the beach.  Probably looked like an NFL RB weaving in and out of people. I hate running on the beach. Quick swim afterwards. I hate running on the beach.  [48:22]

SAT. - 4mi. (road) -- early morning run before heading out on the boat.  So humid I quit after only 4.  Ugh. [30:18]

SUN. - 22mi. (trails) -- Arcadia sweat and sufferfest with Jonny.  Parked at DEM HQ and looped up around all the usual trails.  I don't think I ate enough food yesterday.  Only an hour in my quads began protesting.  I tried to keep up on the hydration and managed to do a pretty decent job.  Jonny is an animal--he never fueled at all and never struggled.  He kept pulling away from me.  I'm starting a committee to look into allegations that he is doping.  Pretty sure he might be.  Knees started hurting the last half hour (probably due to tired quads causing me to get sloppy with footstrikes on rocks).  I'm luggage now.  [3:00:XX]

--> a pretty good week.  Today's run (Sunday) was a little humbling.  The last several miles sucked.  My legs were dying.  Hopefully it was due to the high dewpoint and high 70s/low 80s temps.  Runs like that shouldn't crush me and have me feeling like I was in a bad dream out there.  I'll have to try again in a few weeks (or months) when temps. drop a little.  I'm also going to force Jonny to spontaneously jump into a road marathon this fall (October? November?)  so he can crush it.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Hey, I've Heard of That Guy!!

Just got the newest issue of Running Times in the mail.  Per usual, I flipped through quickly--will settle in and read it later with a beer, (or 3) of course.  It was pretty awesome when I flipped to the final page "Art of The Run".  Featured here was a full page shot of this year's Mt. Washington winner, Sage Canaday around mile 5.  I thought to myself, "What a great shot!" Naturally, I looked over at the photo credit and it was none other than, local Scott Mason. 

Sorry, couldn't resist promoting him.  I don't know him personally but I really like a lot of his race photos.

Check out his stuff here, (and be sure to see the photo in the magazine too).

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Blessing of the Fleet 10 Mile Road Race

Once again, on the final Friday in July, I found myself in Narragansett, RI to run the Blessing.  I'm too lazy to go back and look through my logs from each year but I think this was to be my seventh time running.  Each and every time I've managed to run it faster than the previous year and was hoping to do the same once again.  As with most runners, I have a love/hate relationship with this race.  I guess I love to hate it or hate to love it -- I'm not sure which.

After arriving at the school/starting area at around 1700, I was annoyed to learn that the race start time (both walkers and runners) would be pushed back due to a fast incoming front of heavy rain and T-storms.  Instead of timing my warm up perfectly, I had to sit in the truck and fester.  After a damp warm up during which the walkers were sent off later than normal, I snuck into the starting corral (it's ok, I was supposed to be there) and, after a couple of striders, I waited for the race to begin.  Some small talk with Gunshow Folsom and Matt Pelletier helped pass the time but before I knew it, we were off. 

As always, my intent was to go out at my goal race pace for the first mile (right around 5:59-6:02).  Instead, caught up in the adrenaline-fueled chaos and the slight downhill initial mile I came upon the first clock in 5:32.  Yikes!!  Okay ding dong, don't panic.  Just ease up slightly and rest assured with the fact that you now have a 28 second "cushion".  I let up a tiny bit and watched Brian M. and Gunshow pull farther ahead of me.  They continued on at serious sub-6:00 pace and I continued to worry a little bit.  I had anticipated running right around the same times as them and wasn't sure if I had to really speed up (or risk losing them) or perhaps they were going to slow down and I'd catch them later on.  Also, at this first mile marker, I hit the Start/Stop button on the Space Watch instead of the Split button.  Oops.

I realized my mistake at mile 2 (11:25 total time) but apparently managed to NOT hit either  button this time.  Alas, I have no real recollection what most of my remaining splits were.  Later on (mile 3) I gave up, turned off the watch, and focused on the running (shouldn't that always be the case anyway?). 

Unfortunately, at this point, the sun broke through around mile 3 and sh*t got really steamy, really quickly.  I started to get uncomfortable and began to worry I'd fall apart.  Mile 4 and its slight uphill before turning onto Rte 108 was just as unpleasant, however I continued to pass several people.

Finally, on 108, (just after the mile 5 mark) I was able to catch up to and pass Gunshow and then Brian M.  At this point, perhaps it was all mental, I began to loosen up, feel "better" (or at least comfortable with my discomfort) and sort of relaxed.  I gained a little bit of confidence back.  Although a couple of fit guys passed me just before mile 6 (and the blessed shade of Old Point Judith Rd and Kinney Ave.), we continued to then battle back and forth.  The group of 4-5 of us picked up the pace slightly and traded leading and following.  This helped me immensely.

The only other split that I accurately recorded (mentally) was at mile 7.  I remember hitting this at 41:52 and began talking to myself, possibly outloud.  "OK, lost a little time earlier on.  Still have an 8 second cushion.  That's cutting it a little close.  Time to pick it up." 

At this point you begin to run back through significant spectators.  In fact, around 7.5-7.75 miles you turn back onto the start of the course and run through perhaps the thickest crowd (other than the finish) and run through hordes of people that creep in and allow for only enough space for 2-3 runners wide.  Normally in races, this would annoy me, but in this race, under these conditions I actually love it.  You're able to forget about your discomfort, buckle down and push onward. 

I remained with the pack of younger guys past the high school, Avice Street, and out onto Kingstown Road.  There was no mile 9 marker that I could see but at this point it didn't matter anyway.  I had turned off the watch and knew that the final mile was upon us.  This is always one of the fastest of my miles and was again this year.  It has an ever so slight negative grade and I was able to find my final giddyap.  Over the course of this last mile I was able to really cruise and felt really good although photos would suggest otherwise--(Why do I turn purple like that?  Why does it look like I'm heel striking, damn it? ).  I passed all of the other guys in "my pack" and finished up in 59:35--a new PR and about 20 seconds faster than my goal. 19th OA.  Results here.

Hiding off to the side of the finish line....
All in all, I'm really pleased with this race.  I feel as though I've put in the work this year and as we all know: hardwork equals results.  I'm happy with what seems to be an improvement in my pacing/effort monitoring ability.  Still, could I work harder?  Run faster?  Drink less beer?  Eat smarter?  Sure to all of those.....but where's the fun in that?

It was really hot inside of the 'Gansett costume but I had fun
posing with finishers like this guy.