A run for the dogs

Yesterday’s run was… Different!

Okay it was 95 degrees and 104 heat index.  It felt hotter than that.  Also I had worked all day and had my Chiropractor yank on my leg and my hip for a while.  I decided to take it slow and not even worry about mileage.  Just see how it goes.

It didn’t go well.  I was sore, tired and hot.  Also I only drank 32 oz of water (but the day before I drank 180 oz).

A new friend

A new friend

As I ran, I debated giving up after 2 miles.  I don’t want to run a hard run and take a chance of getting hurt this close to my marathon.  But I decided to run at least 2 more miles.  Storms were on the horizon, but seemed far enough away to make a go of it.

Then I saw a dog running in the roadway ahead of me.  A car was coming down the road and fortunately saw the dog and almost came to a stop as the dog ran in and our of the road carefree.  I called to it as I ran by to get him out of the street and he moved out of the way of the car and I kept running.

Then I heard a voice of someone behind me saying, “You’ve got a friend with you”.  I looked back and the dog was running right behind me.  He ran up to me and just kept with me.  He ran beside me, ahead of me, behind me, in and out in the street, but was always near me.

At one point we came up on some children with their puppy playing in their yard.  The dog running with me ignored their dog, but their dog ran after “my” dog and the kids (age 7ish) ran after both.  Then “my” dog started chasing their dog.  They screamed and panicked at this point.  So I tried to distract the dog running with me and that didn’t work. Finally I called to him and got him to come to me and I held its collar for a few seconds while the kids scooped up their dog and ran into the house.

And away we went!

Up hills, down hills and throughout the neighborhood we ran together.  I had to point him out to a few more cars and he kept right up with me,photo 1 in the heat, for 2 miles.

Finally we went past a house with people outside.  He ran to them and they called to him.  I never saw him again.  I can only assume he was theirs.  He was a bit mangy and dirty though; like he had been outside on his own for a while.

Then I ran home and threw the stick with “The Dog” outside.

Isn’t it funny how you can have a difficult run in a thousand degree heat and a stray dog can make it a fun run!

Going out to run 11 miles with @BigBigGeek.  My last “long” run before the marathon.  It is 78 degrees at 5:15 AM.  Should be fun!!!

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Running and help for my aching body!

I actually ran yesterday!  I am so thankful I chose to take Wednesday off (see yesterday’s post).  As I waffled in indecision, my Lovely Wife stepped in and helped me to finally decide not to run.  She is always supportive and wise.  I should listen to her more often!

Yesterday was a good run overall.  I got in my 5 miles in 95 degree index temperature.  It seemed hotter than that to me.

The run went well.  My hip and achilles started out hurting quite a bit, but after a mile or so of warm up they loosened and then no problem.  My first mile was at 9:46 and my last was at 8:23 so as I got loose, I got faster.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am not using my phone to tell me my pace.  In fact yesterday I didn’t even look at it.  I just ran what I wanted to run and it worked out.  I ended up with an 8:56 overall pace.  Not bad in the summer heat.

A coworker and fellow runner gave me a massage ball to try using on my hips and back.  It is about the size of a tennis ball but harder.  I gave it a try last night before bed as we watched some TV.  I just put it between the bed and my hip and put pressure where the pain was.  I moved it some and also put it between the bed and my calf muscle some.  This morning I am moving better than most mornings.  I think this might have really helped, but I can’t tell for sure until I try it for a few days.

I have a foam roller but don’t use it much.  This ball was convenient and easy to use.  I could pinpoint my pain and just let it sit in place for a while. It is called a Trigger Point Massage Ball.  He purchased it in a local running store for about $20.  I assume a tennis ball would also work, but this was much denser and was easy to dig into my hip even on the bed.  Time will tell.

A week from today we leave for the marathon.  Wow, it will be here before we know it.

An amazing run that never happened

Listen to your body…

How many times have I heard that over the past few weeks!

Yesterday I was at my Chiropractor and I was glad to be there.  The track run the day before was horrendous on my body.  My good hip hurt so much that it was hard to walk.  I got up in the middle of the night and limped to the bathroom.  Work wasn’t much better.

After my last few blog posts there seemed to be a theme from the comments and that theme was, “Listen to your body”.

As I was waiting for the Chiropractor to come into the room, I had made up my mind I was going to run after the appointment.  Yes I had been in pain and I was tired, but it was to be an easy run and only 5 miles.  I could do this… But in the back of my mind were the “what ifs”.  What if I run and my hip gets worse?  What if I hurt myself and can’t run the marathon?  All those miles and all the pain would be for nothing.  Then came the other “what ifs”.  What if I don’t run and that would have been “the” best run?  What if I don’t run and in some small way it affects my marathon?  It is only 5 miles after all, I can do that much.  Finally, if I ran all my planned  runs this week I’d be at a 200 mile month which I’ve gotten close to before, but never actually achieved.  “I can’t give that up”, I thought to myself.

The doctor came in.  He adjusted me and asked about my running.  He said I was really stiff and spent extra time trying to loosen me up.  Finally he asked if I was going to run after my appointment.  I told him I was waffling back and forth as to whether I should run or take a day off to recover.

His response…

“Listen to your body”.

Alright, I might be a little obsessive about my running.  I need to be.  If I weren’t I would have stopped long ago.  But eventually hearing all of your comments on this blog and his response got to me.  I knew I had to take the day off.  Sometimes things are said in such a way, and so many times, that I know it is wisdom and not just a coincidence.  This was one of those times.

So I went home.  I got in bed.  I read your blogs.  I rested with heat on my back and hips.  I slept.  I got up this morning and felt great.  I’m still a bit sore and it was hard when I first got out of bed, but I almost beat “The Dog” down the stairs for the first time in weeks.

So yesterday was an amazing run.  I ran it in my head and not on the streets.  It may have been the difference between a good marathon and a great one for me.  It might not make much of a difference.  Either way, I’m glad I didn’t run.

Ten years from now when I am reading blogs and posting comments to help new marathoners, my advice will be:

Hi IrunBecauseIwantTo (made up blog name).
Years ago I was preparing for my first marathon.  I had trained a lot and had a rough couple of weeks toward the end of my training.  I got some of the best advice from fellow runners that I had received in my year and a half of running.  They told me over and over, “Listen to your body”.  Finally I listened.  My marathon was awesome and I can look back and see it was that advice that made all the difference.  So I leave you with the same advice.  Listen to your body and have a great marathon!!!

Yesterday’s split run

Yesterday was a strange run.  I ran in the afternoon and it was pretty hot.  I realized that for the past 4 days I’ve run in the morning (except for Monday which was my off day).  Since I needed to try and run a tempo run, I decided to try a public track and see how I would do with something flat.

This track is really nice and has a “rubbery” surface (I don’t run track so I don’t know what it is called).  Unfortunately, it really hurt my hip.  I guess the feedback from the track must have messed with me.  I ran one mile at 9:00 pace and a second at 7:35.  Then I had to stop.  I felt disheartened and headed to my car and drove home.

By the time I got home, I thought I would just try to get the mileage in so that I would have my 5 miles for the day.  So I went out slowly as to not aggravate my hip further.  I ended up running 3 miles at 9:25, 9:01 and 7:57.

So it wasn’t even close to a tempo run.  In fact, I would just call it a strange run (oh yeah, I already did).

As I ran I kept thinking to myself, “Don’t over do it.  You have a race in 10 days.  Listen to your body”.

Today I go back to the Chiropractor after work and then run an easy run.  Tomorrow I’ll probably run the bike path near work again.

I admit I’m sore and tired.  I’m close to a record month, but don’t want to overdue it before my marathon.  To be honest, I would probably just run about 20 miles this week and 10 next if it were up to me.   I may take off an extra day this week just to recover a bit.  Next week I start my vacation Wednesday, leave for PA on Friday and run the race Sunday.  Right now the weather is supposed to be in the 50’s when the race starts with a high in the 80’s for the day.

Marathon tapering comments from other bloggers

I am getting ready for the Lehigh Valley Marathon on September 8, 2013 (I put the year in there for posterity sake). BTW, also the day of my mom’s 85th birthday!!!

My blog post on tapering created a great list of comments that I thought would be helpful, in and of itself, as its own post. So I am posting those comments with links to the sites of those who commented for everyone to read.

I really appreciate those who take time to help and encourage me in my quest. Even if you couldn’t comment on this post, know that I appreciate you and don’t take your reading my blog for granted.

Get Going, Get Running!

getgoinggetrunning.wordpress.com

Most marathon schedules would have a two or three week taper. As a weekly 50miler you shouldn’t need 3 weeks. Perhaps try to do 30 miles this week and about 15 miles next week, with 2 rest days before the marathon, with a 1 mile run on the day before to keep loose, with another 1 mile before the marathon to warm up and get your head right. All the best for your race!

Fluency’s Folly

annabellewinters.wordpress.com

First, congrats on the progress in your health and running! So great! Next, I love what Jay Johson, Jack Daniels, and the Hansons say about tapering, which basically boils down to a few things. 1) think about it not as “tapering” but as “peaking”…that is, you’re looking for that balance between getting a full recovery without loosing any of the physiological adaptations you’ve worked so hard for. Essential you want to cash in on as much of your fitness as possible 2) The 14-21 days taper concept is designed for elites who are training up to 12hrs per week or more and 100 miles per week or more, not us age-groupers, and three 3) don’t forget the mental preparation

From the studying I’ve been doing, talking to lots of experienced runners, and some self-experimentation, it looks like a safe combo for you would be something like a moderate decrease in mileage 2 weeks out (say from 50mi to 35-40mi) with your last hard workout/run (e.g. repeats, tempo etc) 10 days out from race day (that’s how long 100% recovery/physiological adaptation takes), and long run with some strides thrown in there (12mi?), then the last week 3-4 runs between 3 and 8 miles, again with some strides here and there to keep your turnover practiced, totally something like 20-25 miles for the week by the time you get to the start of your race.

The day before, I usually like to run an easy 3 miles, but you could get the same benefit more or less doing some leg swings and light dynamic stretched when you take pit-stops during your car journey…you’ll want to protect your back and hips nice from getting tight from all that driving.

And finally, visualize. Prepare your mind and expectations.

So, that’s the longest comment I’ve ever left, I hope there is something in here that will be helpful! Clearly, I’ve been thinking about this stuff a lot this year! And, I’ve got a marathon in 8 days! Gah!

Best of luck!

mamagoforarun

(no link to site)

I’ve found that keeping legs fresh while tapering is strangely hard – so while I cut back on my miles, I’ll end several runs each week with strides/accelerations – I’ll do 4-6 that are between 50-100 meters long. These are not a sprint – rather a build up to a tolerable fast pace (thus the name “acceleration”!!)
And congrats to you and your wife on the massive changes to your health/life!!!!

EARLY TO RISE RUNNER

earlytoriserunner.com

Have to be honest – I SUCK at tapering. Mainly because I can’t taper my appetite to save my life so I keep running to keep the weight off. With that being said, since your body is feeling fatigued already, I would cut your miles down to 30 this week. And the next week I would run Monday and Wednesday – no more than 6 miles. When you get to your destination on Friday, go run 2-3 miles just to loosen your legs up. Saturday, I would probably do another 2-3 miles very EASY.
The key is this – at this point, you aren’t improving your fitness level. You are trying to rest your body and get your head on straight, while reminding your muscles of the job they have to do. Do what feels right for you – if you are fatigued, dial it back. If something hurts, stretch and take an off day. Now’s the time to begin fueling your body with good food choices and lots of water. And try to squeeze in some extra sleep (something else that is darn near impossible for me).
You can do this! Just think of that cooler weather you will be heading to!

sf road warrior

sfroadwarrior.blogspot.com

At some point someone I trusted suggested 80%-60%-40% (of peak mileage) for the last three weeks before the race, so that’s pretty much what I’ve always done & it’s worked fine enough for me. But I also think it’s way, WAY smarter to err on the side of tapering too much rather than too little — when I’ve had particularly sore or heavy legs during taper or something was hurting, I would take extra rest days without a second thought (since fresher legs are always better, & at this point missing one or two shorter runs is pretty much guaranteed not to affect your race).

I’m Going Slightly Mad

soveryslightlymad.wordpress.com

I’m sure it’s different for a full marathon vs a half marathon, but I did 48 miles this week and for my last two weeks of tapering, I’m supposed to do between 30-33 miles each week. (This week, my third to last, is about 36 miles to run). You may need to recover more for the much longer race.

My altered running plan

I’m walking slowly today.

I’m sore from my weekend runs and I’m also glad that I am beginning my taper this week.

I started thinking (worrying) about my weekday runs this week.  I am only averaging between 5 – 6 miles a day during the week. I hear from others that they run 8 – 10 miles a day and I started freaking.  Finally I brought myself back to reality.  I just don’t have the time or ability to run more than 5 -6 miles a day during the week.  I get up around 4:00 AM and most days can’t begin my run until after 4:00 PM.  By then I am tired and it is usually about a million degrees outside (okay, that is an exaggeration).

So without really thinking about it, I’ve created my own running plan.  I run about 20 miles during the week and 30 on the weekend.  I think this will work for me and even if it doesn’t, I have no choice.

So this weekend I got to run Saturday with Neill (and a little by myself) for a total of 13 miles.  Then Sunday I ran by myself for another 15 miles.  So for my 50 mile week, I ran 22 during the week and 28 on Saturday and Sunday.  Hopefully the longer mileage weekend will benefit me during my marathon in 2 weeks.

I plan on running about 35 miles this week as my taper begins.  I hope to run 25 during the week and on Sunday and if Neill is running a long run again this Saturday, 10 miles with him.

All in all I don’t think I could have worked much harder to prepare for this marathon.  I hope to never run a marathon in September again as it is way to hard to prepare in the heat of the South, especially since I have to run in the afternoon.  I really think TJ and I are ready for the race and I look forward to finishing it… hopefully in 3:29:00.  🙂

Hangin’ with the dog before my long run…

Great run yesterday with Neill (@BigBigGeek, bigbiggeek.wordpress.com).  We got to run the same route as last Saturday, but I was a bit early, so I ran 3 miles ahead of his arrival.  So all in all I made 13 miles on Saturday and had great conversation and company.

Today is my long run, but I am not going for 20 miles since I am 2 weeks away from my marathon and I did 13 yesterday.  I am going to try for 15.  I am sore, but I had a great night sleep so that will help.

For some reason I’ve noticed that I am usually in a bad mood during the day after my long run.  I don’t know why other than maybe I’m tired?

photoHere is my Hangin’ with the Dog pic for this week.  I cheated and took it yesterday (but I am hangin’ with her this morning).  I think it is funny how she likes to “sit” on the stairs.

Have a great Sunday and thank you everyone who gave insight into tapering yesterday.  It was great help.  I will post my ending thoughts and tapering plan sometime this week.