City Hunter Runner

I’ve been successfully upping my mileage over the past few weeks.

After running my marathon in September, my mileage went from near 200 miles a month down to about 40.  Mixed in there were various injuries, specifically my hip.  So I would take time off and then try running again, get hurt, take time off and then try running again (you get the picture).

Finally I settled on a 3 mile route in my neighborhood.  I ran that route and only that route for a month or so.  It was getting really frustrating to be doing so little, but my theory and experience was that I needed to rebuild a base and allow my body to adjust to running again.  Here was a guy who just ran 26.2 miles and was having trouble with 3 miles.

Anyway, I finally added about .8 miles to my run by running a little different route.  This became my route for another few weeks (with a couple long runs built in).  So 3.8 miles became my base.

A couple weeks ago I added another half mile to my route.  That got me up to 4.3 miles a day.  Then this week I added another half mile.  So now I am close to 5 miles a day.  So now I am up to an amount of miles that I feel is acceptable for a while.

Generally I try to not add more than 10% to my mileage a week.  This will vary if I run a long run with TJ, but I am trying to keep my daily milage to a figure that isn’t more than a 10% increase.

The past two days of 4.8 miles have been good runs.  Monday was awesome.  I went slow and felt I could have run another 5 miles if I wanted to.  Yesterday went well.  I went a little faster, but it was coooold outside (for Bama).  It was 34 degrees with a 10 mph wind.  Fortunately I bought a face/neck wrap at Dicks Sporting Goods on Sunday and broke it out.  I was warm/really warm for most of my run and all I had on was a light jacket and shorts (along with the wrap).

Here is a picture I took after my 5 miler yesterday.  My Lovely Wife is enjoying Korean dramas at the moment and so this picture I call my “City Hunter” look!

City Hunter

City Hunter

Before you kick the bucket, Runner’s World suggests you run on Oak Mountain’s Peavine Falls Road @aldotcom

It was so cool.

Yesterday a coworker sent me a link to an article on that references a Runners World article called, “27 GORGEOUS running locations to add to your bucket list.”


#17 is the mountain road run that TJ and I ran on Saturday.  Wow, I only have 26 more to go before I give up running.  How can I get all those in in only 50 years?  I’ll figure out a way.

Here is the link:
Before you kick the bucket, Runner’s World suggests you run on Oak Mountain’s Peavine Falls Road

Here is the Runners World original article:
Rave Run: Pelham, Alabama

Not far from downtown Birmingham, Peavine Falls Road provides a hilly, serpentine three-mile route through Oak Mountain State Park.

So we have run the run.  There is a race that will be run on the 4th of July this year up to the top and back down.  I think I’m in!

32nd Annual Rick Melanson Peavine Falls Run

Anyway, just thought I’d share that little bit of news. It is exciting to think that I ran this before I even knew it was a Runners World run.


A strange, dog rolling, race runners, mountain run day

It was quite an adventure.

TJ and I went to the state park to run up the mountain that we ran up a few weeks ago.  

As we started running the road that leads to the mountain road, suddenly 200 runners were coming at us.  A race started the same time we started.  Being understanding of not getting in anyone’s way, we had to run off the road and down an embankment.  Finally we got to the end of the runners and continued on the road to get to the mountain.

Then something happened that I have never witnessed before…

We were running on the left side of the road facing traffic.  A car went past us on the right.  It wasn’t going too fast as the speed limit was only 25.  The back window was down and a small dog was looking out it.  Suddenly the dog jumped out the window.  I couldn’t believe it.  It landed on its legs and tumbled about 3 times, got up and walked to the side of the road to relieve itself.  I was in shock.  The car stopped and I went over to make sure it didn’t run away and the owner came over to get it.  He said, “she’s never done that before…”  The dog was fine, they got back in the car and kept going.  Very strange.

Finally, TJ and I got to the narrow road that goes up the mountain.  We did this once before so I knew what to expect.  It is a 2 mile, 800 foot climb that takes you to the top of the mountain.  Beautiful view, but hard to get there.  The nice thing about this run is that I don’t normally run hard enough to get my heart racing.  I mean, I was breathing as hard as I could.  We got near the top and I checked my pulse.  95.  Wow, I am pushing as hard as I possibly can and my pulse isn’t even over a 100.

So we got to the top and started back down.  On our way I asked TJ if he thought it would be harder to run up the mountain or to ride a bike up.  As we were starting to head back down we passed two guys pushing their bikes up and a runner passing them by.  I guess it is easier to run up the mountain.

All in all, it was an 8 mile run and we finished 3 minutes faster than last time.  We ran this run Saturday morning and I am still sore.  It is a good sore though.  I used muscles that I haven’t used in a long time.  Our finishing pace was 8:50 which is really good for me.

So it was a satisfying day and a strange, dog rolling, race runner day.

It was a good weekend overall.

Back to work.


My life, my running, and stuff you never knew about me

I write a running blog.

Most of the time, all I write about is something to do with running.  Something related to running.  Something/anything I can relate to and want others to relate to.  I write about a tiny slice of my day.  I have written a post for this blog about 90% of the days since I started… Just about running.

Ideas can be difficult to come up with. Sometimes when I run I think of what I will write the next morning.  Hmmm, there is a pain in my left foot… A blog post was born!

One of the consequences of magnifying a single part of my life is that people get the impression that this is all of my life.  If I am hurt and writing about my depression of not running, then people get the impression that all I am all day is depressed and hurt.

There are 23.5 hours of the day that I never write about.  Sometimes I’ll include some personal stuff in my blog, but that is rare and when I do it is usually related to my running.

So I decided to write some random personal things about myself that I don’t think I have written about before, or that people who are new to my blog don’t really know unless they have gone over the 300+ posts from the past year (and I don’t think they have).  Also this is in part accepting the Sunshine award that runningtoherdreams gave me last weekend.  Thank you.  It means so much.  It made me think of putting just a little about myself “out there” and I hope people read her blog.  It was one of the inspirations that got me to my marathon last August.

Here we go:

I was born the youngest of 4 children.

I am now the youngest of 3 living children as my sister passed away in a cave diving accident.

My mom went into labor with me at a Penn State football game.

I was born with hips that turned in so severely that I spent a long time with corrective shoes and a bar between my feet.

I could hear when I was born, but soon lost my hearing. My adenoids grew and blocked my hearing.  Since I could hear for some time, I learned to read lips, so no one caught on that I couldn’t hear.  One day when I was 4 years old my mom put me on her lap, facing away from her and asked me if I wanted ice cream.  I didn’t make a move (I’ve always loved ice cream).  My speaking was so poor that my late sister was the only one who could understand me.  So after lots of tests and a surgery, I woke up from the anesthetics and the first thing I said was, “I can hear”.

I lived in a small town in Pennsylvania.  We left our doors unlocked and open when we left the house.  Us kids would all play at the other kids house and vice versa.  It was a good childhood.

We moved to Northern Va. (Mt. Vernon area) when I was in high school.  George Washington used to fox hunt in the backyard of the home my parents bought (long before I was born ). 🙂

I used to race sailboats with my mom and dad on the Potomac.  We won many trophies over those few years.

I was a messed up kid from the time we moved to DC (age 15) until after my freshman year of college.  During that summer after my freshman year I became a Christian (that story is under my “Faith” tab) and my life has never been the same.

I am married with lots of kids.  They are almost all grown (no more child tax credits), and have all turned out to be honorable, good children.

I have been an evangelical Protestant Christian my whole Christian life, and am becoming Catholic on Easter this year.

Although life has thrown in some challenges over the past few years, I am so thankful and grateful for my life, my family and my work.  I couldn’t have created a better life for me if I was the one creating it.

The day Joe Paterno got fired from Penn State, I was going to have wrist surgery, I weighed almost 300 lbs, I couldn’t get my wedding ring off and they threatened to cut it off, so my Lovely Wife “helped” me get it off.  Hmmm. That hurt.

I lost 100 lbs in under a year.

Running is a big deal to me because it has allowed me to do so much more in my life since I stated.  It was almost 2 years ago when  I ran my first 1.5 miles.  I have run many 5K’s a half marathon and a marathon since then.  I enjoy the outdoors for the first time since I was a child.  I am in great shape for the first time ever in my life.  Since the age of 49, my life has been more impacted from running than almost anything else.

Okay, I’m done.  I guess I wanted those who read this to know that running isn’t everything.  It is just a thing God has used to add value to my life and give me experiences that I never thought I would have.  One day when I finish this ultimate race I am running called life, I will look back and be in awe over my “midlife crisis” called running.

Thank you all for being a part of it.


Musings on my running

Yesterday was my second run this week.  I got out Tuesday for 4.25 miles and another 4.2 yesterday.


Sorry, did I say that too loud.

Work went well, but I was feeling quite tired.  I honestly think I am still feeling lag from my adventure in the snow last week.  But I knew what I had to do.  I got home, I went upstairs and got into my running clothes.  I put on my jacket.  I went out into the 40 degree cold with 20 mph wind and ran 4 miles.

I was glad that I did when it was over.  Also it was a fast run for me.  I ended at an 8:45 pace for 4.2 miles.  I was in pain somewhat with my hip.  I think when it is cold out, I hold my body tight and that isn’t good for either hip.

Last night I woke up with my good hip hurting.  Hmmm.  Will I ever just feel good running?  Maybe not.  I also wonder sometimes if I will ever get back to my 200 mile months.  I am not going to push it right now, but it has been a long time since I went up that high in my mileage.  If it weren’t for the snow last week I would have broken 100 miles for the first time since August.  Actually last month was double of any month since before my marathon.  So I can’t complain.


Thinking of running a marathon again, let alone qualifying for Boston is so far beyond me at this point that it is rather upsetting.

I guess I have to forget what is behind and push forward.  I have to see today, tomorrow and a year from now.  One day I will get back my mileage, I will run a marathon and, Lord willing, I’ll qualify for Boston.


I am still a 51 year old man who has lost 100 lbs, and can run 6 days a week.

It could be worse.


It gets complicated when I can’t run


That is what I kept telling myself yesterday as I ran.  Relax and run easy.

I hadn’t run since before the snow last week.  After getting home and realizing I injured my back by my antics at work (sleeping on the floor, walking in the ice, falling on the ice, etc), I had to hold off running.  That is not a good thing for me.

I think because I run  5 – 6 days a week, if I go a few days without running my emotions take a dive.  I don’t know if it is the lack of endorphins or just lack of sleeping well, but I become a monster emotionally.  Just angry with the world and everything in the world.

Sunday was another one of “those” days.  I just had to leave.  I went for a 2 hour walk and ended up in a park and sat for an hour.  Actually that seemed to help get me back a little.  It was a rough day and I could feel it from the moment I woke up.  One week without running makes one weak, if you ask me.

Monday I just didn’t feel like running.  My hip was bothering me.  I decided to take “the dog” out for a walk.  That was nice, but it bothered me that I didn’t want to run.  It isn’t like I love my runs, but I love the aftereffect.  The peace.  The satisfaction of finishing a run.

Finally, yesterday I ran.  I got in 4.25 miles under a 9:00 pace.  I feel better.  I like that feeling after I run of my lungs breathing in full and easy.  I like the peace I feel and the fact that after two years, a run still finishes my day.

So I guess I am back again to my running days.  This crazy weather has been playing havoc with my hip, but I just relax and run easy and that helps (going back to how I started this post).

Relax.  Enjoy.  Run.  Be happy.

Sometimes I make life too complicated.


Running Back

Well my back is better, thank God for that!  The last time I had the same issue it took months to get over.

I haven’t tried to run yet, but did walk 5 miles yesterday and had no problems sleeping last night (which is when my back is at its worse).

So I plan on running today, Lord willing.

Thank you for all the thoughts and prayers.  It was a rough week last week.  This is a new day, week, month.

I am thankful.


My pain in the back (literally)

I finally got into my bed Friday night after two days on the floor in the office due to the snow. It felt great!!!


I awoke with an old familiar pain. As I rolled over in the middle if the night, I had such a sharp pain in my back that I woke myself with a moan. Okay, maybe between a moan and a small scream. This happened throughout the night.

3 years ago when I weighed almost 300lbs, I injured my back while taking bags out if a hotel. It mimicked heart pain, so I spent a day in the hospital while they cleared me of a heart attack. Later this pain got so bad I had to live in a recliner for weeks and move as little as possible.

It is muscular and in my right middle back. It isn’t nearly as bad as it was 3 years ago, but I also weigh 100lbs less.

I went to the doctor yesterday and got Meds for pain and muscle relaxers. I can walk okay with just a small jab here and there, but rolling over in bed wakes me up.

So sadly I have an injury that isn’t from running, but will prevent me from running. I hope taking off a few days and not doing too much will get me out of this.

Last time this happened I was in so much pain I had to get an MRI. It found that I have 3 disks bulging in my neck (this was from a childhood accident), but nothing wrong with my back. I asked a good friend to ask people to pray for me and the day after the MRI I woke up fine.

Anyway I have a lot to do but don’t want to overdue it.

I still wouldn’t have changed a thing about all that I did during the storm. I just hope this clears up soon. I just signed TJ and myself up for a half marathon in April!!!