Saturday, September 20, 2008

high school cross country

Today was quite a day. I took my grandpa to see my old high school cross country team race. It was really interesting watching the girls run. I could see in so many of them - myself - especially at that age... thinking that you have given it your all - when really you are capable of much more - if only you wouldn't be afraid to push past your limits. I wanted so badly to jump into that race - and do my high school running career over again. I could have been really good. If only I had believed in myself. I don't want to go to a marathon someday when I'm not able to run and think - wow if only I would have pushed myself - I could have been pretty good. Now is the time to go after what i want and to see what I am made of.
So I was feeling pretty inspired by the time we were ready to leave the race. My grandpa - however was not - he was feeling pretty sick. Long story short - on the way to the car Grandpa started not feeling well and was having a hard time walking. I took off to see if I could find the cop I had seen earlier b/c I was pretty sure we were going to need help. By the time i turned around - my grandpa had passed out - and fortunately steve had caught him and laid him down on the ground. Well the next race had to wait to start b/c not only did one ambulance show up -- but two fire trucks that were blocking the course. Grandpa tried to get up - b/c he was embarrassed but we kept him down and made sure we got him to the hospital. Still not sure what caused it. Grandpa claims he didn't fall and he didn't pass out. I guess it's not falling if someone catches you! He was certainly not responsive for a good minute - though he denies that too. The hospital has decided to keep him over night to run some more tests. So keep him in your thoughts - hopefully they will find what caused him to pass out.
But I digress from positive thoughts. I've just finished reading the latest issue of runners world - and I've paraphrased, edited and plagerized some quotes in there. I've printed them out - as my Towpath to Boston Positive Thoughts. Here they are.

Towpath to Boston Positive Thoughts

To dread a race is to give it too much power, to start strategizing about how to get over it, to calculate your strength versus its distance and grade is a lost-cause algorithm. Only you can work out your relationship to the hill you’re on.
Only you can outrun that inner goon who has not faith in you at all.

There will be a day when you can no longer do this. Today is not that day.

I’ve never regretted going for a run, but I have regretted skipping one.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Highs and Lows

So - I finally had a good workout this week - so I followed it up with a crappy slogfest of a tempo run this morning. Poor Elizabeth was forced to hang with my slow butt. Big thanks to her for being patient and running with me. Just felt like I was running through wet cement. Oh wait we actually did run through some wet cement at one point this morning! Oh well - there are a thousand factors that played into why I didn't have a good run - but the bottom line is they happen - and bad runs are not magic eight balls that predict the outcome of your upcoming race -- that is - not unless you let them. So I am going to put it behind me and be glad that it is done... and be glad that it is friday. Let's see what I learned today.

1.) I still do not know how to use my garmin - I am garmin handicapped - anyone who spends $300 on a piece of technology like that should at least be able to tell you how far and at what pace they ran. Nope not me - elizabeth had to take it from me like i was mentally handicapped so we could figure out how far we actually ran.

2.) There is a plus to sun glare - it makes downtown look beautiful as the sun bounces of the buildings

3.) I do not know my way around the flats like I thought. Took a wrong turn today and spent 25 minutes touring the area -- recognized a lot of places from the st. malachi run - but could not get out!!

4.) fall is definately upon us - my hands were freezing this morning and my nose was running like a leaky faucet!

Ok that's all for today.

Oh here is something odd for you. So as runners we are pretty much all aware of our body size and weight. And... if someone were to say to you - hey you look like you've lost some weight - it's usually a compliment. Well I went to this dinner last night and I ran into an ex co-worker. She said to me... and I quote "you look really thin - I didn't recognize you. You look sick - have you not been feeling well" I am by no means sickly thin - but had I been - why would you say that to someone? what if i was battling some disease and i didn't want to tell you about it? you don't tell someone they look sickly - that would be like telling someone - gee you look a little heavy - have you been emotionally eating lately? ugh. people are weird. ok - that's really it for today... HAPPY FRIDAY!!! ONE MORE 20 MILER AND IT IS TAPER TIME!!! WOO HOO!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

when will i learn?

Why haven't I learned my lesson? Why do I think that each time I go up to the track by myself - that it will be a normal experience - a nice workout surrounded by other people happily working out? Why do I keep thinking that there will be no weirdos?
Last night - i had to work late - and amie I weren't meeting for our usual track workout. Well after having missed a few track workouts in a row b/c of my foot and etc... I wanted to make sure I got my workout in. So I drove up to the track to make sure there was no football practice or anything - went home farted around for a while - my neighbor stopped by - so long story short - i didn't get out the door til almost 7:45 - with the way it is getting dark so fast - i didn't want to be starting that late - but what can you do.
I go to the track to do my warmup -and it was fairly normally - people walking on the inside lanes etc - but no bikes or anything. There was also a group of what looked like parents having a meeting in the bleachers - but there were no kids and it was dark - so seemed like as strange place for a meeting. Well my workout was 10 400's with 400 recovery. I noticed there was a guy running at a pretty decent pace - he would pass me on my recovery runs and I would pass him on my 400's. Well I started to notice that he seemed to be trying to race me. No biggie I figured - and I ran on. Well i took a pit stop literally behind an equipment building. As I was peeing I heard my car key drop in the grass in the dark. Let's just say it takes a long time to find a key in the dark as it is - let alone when you are trying to avoid the area where you just peed. ok gross i know - but hey it happens. I find the key and get back on the track and I hear yelling. I realize that it is the guy who was trying to race me. I don't know what he's yelling or who he is yelling at. Well I run another 400 and he is really trying to race me - but while he's doing that he's yelling something about wind sprints and being 46 years old and all sorts of incoherent stuff. In the meantime everyone else has left the track. So - i decide that I'm going to call steve to come sit up here for my last 5 400's just because this guy is really creeping me out. I call steve I call our house I call steve several times - no answer - which is really odd b/c he ALWAYS answers his phone. So I drive home real quick - b/c i'm staying up there in the dark with the weirdo and now i'm afraid that steve has hit himself in the head or something while working on the demo of upstairs. I get home and steve is fine - just doesn't have his phone by him - so I say I left my water bottle and headlamp at the track just come up with me to get it. So we drive back up there and the guy is still there - but my water bottle and head lamp are gone. The guy took it and moved to the other side of the track! Well with steve there I started on my workout again. Fortunately after a couple of laps - my crazy yelling friend left. Ended up being a good workout - but sheesh - why can't I ever have a normal workout??? My foot is hurting a little bit - but I discover last night that if i put my foot at a certain angle I can stretch that part of my foot out and it feels better. So i'll keep icing and keep at it. Less than 4 weeks til towpath.... eek!

Monday, September 08, 2008

river run

On Friday - I was reading janet's blog and I saw that she was up in the air as to what do to this weekend race wise. She told me that she was going to run the riverrun half marathon on sunday - do a few miles before and a few after to make it a 20 miler. So - with very little arm twisting i decided to do the same.
On sunday morning - I couldn't sleep - i hadn't really run in a week - and I was nervous - I wasn't sure how to even run this race - do i got out hard to i take it easy b/c it's a 20 miler... I wasn't sure what to do. Needless to say the worrying did not help my foot or my stomach feel very good. I'm convinced now that half my injury is in my head. Funny how my foot felt fine on saturday but hurt sunday morning before the race.... ok i know it's not totally in my head - it's sore today and i know that that is from running - but i really think that it's like the good old bobbi mcfarrin song "when you worry you make it double - so don't worry..." So how bout I sang that song at kareoke on friday - night - a bad song sung by a very bad singer who's had one to many adult beverages... anyway - back to sunday. I met Janet for a 2 mile warm up - and then we were off - I ran with janet for about 3 minutes before I realized I should probably back off a bit - no need to blow up half way through this race. Before the race Janet suggested that I try for a 1:45 - which would be an 8 minute pace - which would put me right about where i need to be for my 3:40. So that in mind I tried to keep around an eight minute pace - didn't push it too too hard - I knew i still had five miles to go after the race - but definately made sure i was putting in a hard effort. Well i was doing great keeping on pace til I got to the water stops. I can't drink out of a cup and run - i have to walk for a few steps...well I learned that I take way too long at water stops - b/c in order to get my pace for that mile split back down to an eight- i'd have to run a 7:45 pace to make up for the 10 -15 seconds of walking. Well as the race went on - I tried to push myself hard on the last few miles. I ended up running a 1:47:31 - a p.r. by 9 minutes and 20 seconds!! can't be disappointed with that. So - according to mcmillian I should be at about at 1:45 - well according to everyone's garmin the course was .1 - .12 too long - and... I definately spent too much time at the water stops. I'm glad I ran this race though - it shows me that I'm close to a bq - I may not be quite there yet - and i might not be there at the towpath - but i'm close and I will get there soon. It also showed me that i really need to take into account the time it is going to take me to gu and take in water and even stop to pee if i have to during the race. I think this really gives me a better idea of what i have to do in order to make my goal. Oh - and I was secretly hoping to get top 10 in my age group - b/c this is a decent sized race with some great runners... I got 7th! i know it's no age group award - but i was really pleased with it! I think I'll definately do this race next year - it was a lot of fun! Oh and if you were wondering - no we didn't run the last 5 - poor Janet was freezing from the time she spent at the finish waiting for me - and my stomach wasn't feeling very good - so we walked the mile plus to the car and called it at day. A big thanks to steve for dropping me off at the start and picking us up at the finish!

Friday, September 05, 2008

phantom foot pain update

I did not run Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. I spent the week icing and taking ibuprofren. B/c of work only swam once and never got to that darned eleptical. That's all i did. I feel like such a cow. I don't think I can ever give up working out - I just feel like a big pile of lumpy mashed potatoes. Anyway - on Wednesday when i ran down the steps in my house to get something - i realized that my foot was finally feeling better. So last night i took the old foot for a test run. It didn't really hurt - but it felt kind of funny - so i just ran 3 miles - no need to do too much too soon. My legs felt like lead though. I ran my warmup mile in 8:56 which i was pleased with for a warm up - but then i decided to pick it up for the next couple of miles. Yeah - 8:53 for mile two and then 7:56 for the last mile - my legs felt like i was running a sub 6 pace. Guess maybe my legs are still a little heavy from all the inactivity. Either that or the the ten pounds i feel like i gained this week... maybe i really gained it - in each leg - and that is why they are so heavy... ok or maybe not.
Well i woke up this morning - and my foot hurt. So i iced it for awhile - feels alright now -- i think i just need to cut my miles a little over the next few weeks and make sure to ice like crazy. I only have 2 more weeks til my taper starts - so i'm hoping I'll be ok. I've got 20 miles scheduled for this weekend. Was going to do it saturday - but I think i'm going to wait til sunday to give my foot another day of rest. If it starts hurting - i'll forgo the 20 -- it's not like i haven't already run 3 20 milers in this training program. Ugh - i just hope this doesn't all fall apart now... Keep your fingers crossed that things work out!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


So the long weekend is over and i'm back at work. Looking at the lake - i don't think it's happy the long weekend is over either -- The sky is a beautiful blue but the lake has the strip of gray yuck just hanging over it. I just watched the blue angels take off for what I can assume is their flight home - and it was kind of sad because it was hard to see them against the gray blech backdrop of the lake today. Well hopefully it's just fog and it will burn off. I had a nice weekend - too busy like normal but nice. Went to cincinatti to visit some friends - celebrated my mother in law's 60 birthday yesterday - and even got most of my closet cleaned out.
Here's the "ugh" part though - tell me if this makes any sense what so ever.
Last tuesday after work - i change into my running clothes and put on my running shoes. As soon as my right foot is in the shoe - i feel pain on the outside of my right foot. So i take the shoe off feel in there to see if there is something - put my foot back in -- repeat this for several minutes -and figure - oh well it will work itself out once i start walking. (note i haven't run since saturday and it is tuesday already) Well i meet amie at the track for our weekly track workouts - where she tells me she is having knee pain since saturday's run.
So - apparently my phantom foot injury decides it doesn't want to be outdone by amie's actual knee injury - and it starts really hurting - like i didn't finish my mile cool down hurting - and if you know me - if my workout says - mile cool down - i do a mile cool down - no matter what - so this is a big deal. Well I ice my foot and i don't run until friday after work. I'm suppose to do 10 at marathon pace - well i just wanted to test my foot out so - i just ran about 4.5 at marathon pace - i know not quite the same - but i was planning on running 15 the next day in cincy - so i figured i should take it easy. While i ran my foot was uncomfortable - it wasn't a sharp pain - but it wasn't right - but it also seemed that it wasn't getting any worse as i was running - just staying the same.
Saturday morning I set out on the bike path in loveland ohio -- it's kind of like the towpath - but there is no canal - just a river and it is paved - so it is more of a bike trail than an all purpose trail. Well i took my new garmin - and i had the best run ever. I set it to give me the average pace for the current mile i was on - and let me tell you how well that worked for me - I was able to average about an 8:25 pace (in case you are wondering bq is an 8:24 pace) - -easily/comfortably - which i attribute to the fact that I would look down and see that my pace was sub eight or in the low eights and I would slow it down a bit - so that i would not blow up. During this my foot hurt - but nothing that I couldn't run through - for example in a race if my foot hurt like that - i definately wouldn't stop - but in a training run - i figure i need to take it easy if i'm hurting like that. Don't want to do further damage So i went out 6 miles and came back 6 miles - thinking i could go out and back the other direction for the last three miles - well i got about a quarter of a mile to go steve was waiting for me - so we ran the last quater mile together. When we stopped i was hobbeling pretty good - so i called it quits. I haven't run since and i made sure i didn't bring all of my running stuff with me today so that i wouldn't be tempted to do my track workout.
I hate this - i know i need to take some time off to let my body heal - but after a run like i had on saturday - i feel like i am in such good shape - that i don't want to lose it - and i know i'm not going to lose 18 weeks of training in a few days - but still it's frustrating... especially since this injury seems like a phantom injury that my subconscious made up. How else does your foot not hurt one second and then the next second your self diagnosing yourself with tendanidous???