Walking down a mountain

I finally ran 6 days in a row last week.  Other then my long day, I only ran about 4 miles a day.  I figure until I can be consistent with running 4 miles a day, why go farther.  So I ended up with 28 miles for the week.

Then, Friday happened.  I was running well, but it was hot and I was tired from the week.  I was about 1/10 mile from home and my knee got a shooting pain that made me immediately stop running.  It was on the inside of my left knee.  I’ve had that pain twice before in the past couple of years and it has never been long term.

Sunday, I went to the mountain with RS to do my weekly run.  It was my first mountain run in my new shoes and I was excited to see how they’d do.  As we parted ways to begin separate runs, I handed RS the clicker to the car and I took the key.  He then asked me, “What if you get hurt, how will I get you”.  I just smiled and said that wouldn’t happen.

Hmmm.

I got to the top of the mountain and felt fine.  I had a good run and took my time.  No issues.  As I began my decent, all was well and then, after about a half mile, that pain came back.  I limped to a stop and let out a cry of pain.  I texted RS and told him I was walking back and then I tried to run again.  I know that was stupid and I new it at the time, but I didn’t want to walk 3 miles back to the car.  So I started and stopped about 3 times.  Each time I ran okay, but then the pain hit and I couldn’t continue.  Finally I resigned myself to walk down the mountain and give up my run.

About a mile after I began my walk, I spotted RS coming toward me.  He ran up the mountain to meet me.  He offered to go get the van, but I declined. We walked back and had a good talk.  Thanks RS!

Now I’m off running for a bit.  Back to ice and heat and stretching.  I don’t know if it was my shoes or just fate, but it is frustrating (although running always seems to be frustrating).

Maybe I should start biking.

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I’m glad I run!

Running has been interesting lately.

My weight has stabilized (thanks to ACV) so I don’t need to run to keep from gaining weight.  Though this is a blessing, it is also a curse in some ways.  It has become harder to get out each day and run in the heat when I don’t “have” to run to keep weight off.

We also haven’t run any races since our half marathon in April.  The reason for this is mainly because of my hip and back issues that have also been solved thanks to my Backjoy Posture+ seat cushion.

So in some ways I have more reason to run.  I don’t hurt anymore (for the most part) and I am thinner.

Finally I have new shoes.  I accidentally wrote that I had Wave Rider’s rather then Wave Precision in my last post.  Either way, I’ve never run in a Mizuno shoe or in a shoe with a higher drop of 4mm.  These have a 12mm drop and I can tell the difference.  The first day I wore them was a bit of torture.  My left heel would scuff the ground as I ran, which I assume was left over from my hip issue.  Also they have a much more cushioned heel, so I had to almost learn to run all over again. That first run in 100 degree HI was difficult.

Yesterday was my second run in these shoes and it went so much better.  It was much cooler out and I ran well with no scuffing of my heel.  I wound up my 4 mile run at nearly a 8:30 pace which I haven’t seen since the heat kicked in.

So new shoes, less weight, little to no pain.  I should be training for a marathon rather than dreading the next run.

I chalk all my lack of desire up to the summer doldrums.  THIS is the reason to make exercise a habit as I wrote for my section in the Runner’s World Big Book of Running (Link).  My running isn’t based on a feeling.  It is based on a habit.  So whether I want to or not, hot or cold, I go out each day for my run.

Running has been interesting lately.  I’m glad I run!

Tom

A good run, new shoes and a strange sensation

I got my run in yesterday (it was a rare cool day here in the low 80’s).

It was a good run, but my legs are still tired.  I don’t quite know why they feel this way, but it might be my shoes.  They have 180 miles on them and they take a pounding as I run down my mountain each week.  Fortunately, yesterday my new Father’s Day shoes finally arrived complements of TJ.  They are Mizuno Wave Rider Precision and I can’t wait to use them this afternoon.  I’ve never run in a Mizuno shoe before and the heel / toe drop is much bigger in these shoes compared to every shoe I’ve ever worn, so it should be interesting.

Back to yesterday.  I was running and another guy ran in front of my at an intersection.  This guy was young and probably running at a 7:30 pace, so I knew I wouldn’t be able to catch him, but as I pulled in behind him it was like I was in a race.  I felt my pace picking up and even though he pulled in front, it made my run much easier.  Finally he pull off a side street and I lost him.

Nothing much more about my run.  Being cooler and with my unknown running friend, I pulled below a 9:00 pace for the first time in a while.

Finally a question.  Has anyone experienced a tingling sensation go down their arms in the beginning of a run?  For about the past 4 – 6 weeks I have had this sensation of tingling going down the top side of my arms starting below the elbows and going down to my hands.  It is fairly quick and only happens in the first mile.  It can happen several times, and it happens during every run.  It seems to mimic the tingling you might get when you are startled.  It is hard to explain and I have just ignored it, but with it being a consistent feeling I thought I’d post and see if anyone else has had that sensation.

I hope you all have an awesome week.  Run, walk, bike and have fun.  Life is too short to live it sitting down!

Tom

Running/mountains/life – the good, bad and the…

One thing I’ve learned since I began running in March of 2011… some days you feel like superman and some you don’t.

Yesterday TJ, RS and I went to the mountain to do our weekly run.  If you have read this blog at all over the past several months, you will know that I found this crazy road going up a mountain in our local state park.  I’ve run it many times now.  A few weeks ago, TJ coaxed me into going further past the top of the mountain.  There is a long hill that goes down and then a very steep climb up to the end of the road.  By the time we leave the car and make it back, we run about 7.5 miles on the mountain.

Back to my starting sentence.  Yesterday I didn’t feel like superman.  We started our run (RS likes to run alone, so he left after us) and my legs had no strength.  They honestly felt like rubber.  I kept racking my brain as to why this would be.  I hydrated well this weekend and last week.  I eat well.  I slept better then normal.  Also I walked Friday and took Saturday of.  I should have been smokin!

Not!

I figured by the time we got going my legs would wake up.  They didn’t.  I got to the top of the mountain and felt like I was on mile 20 of a marathon.  I was shot.  What kept me going?  Other then being almost 4 miles away from the car and running with TJ, I kept thinking to myself, “This will help my legs get used to running tired – like at mile 20 of a marathon”.

So I finished.  It wasn’t pretty, but I didn’t walk.  I pushed through.  To be honest, coming down the mountain was the worse!  I had to concentrate to keep my legs from giving way as we pounded down the steep inclines.

Running really does mirror life sometimes.  There are days when you wake up and you feel like you are at mile 20.  It is not only hard to get going, but it can be hard to keep going.  But we have to keep our eyes on the prize and push through.  Every up also has a down and every down has an up.  Life is never going to stay as good as you feel right now or as bad.  Life means change.  When you are tired, just keep going.  When you are happy, be thankful.  When you are sad, know that one day you will be happy again, whether you feel like you will be or not.

Before I sign off I want to congratulate RS who made it to the top of the mountain for the first time.  As we were coming back, we passed him.  I told him he made it and he said, “Really?”.  He didn’t know he had made it to the top!  Hmmm.  Seems like life also.  Sometimes we have everything we ever wanted, we make it to the top of the mountain and don’t even know that we have arrived.

Running/mountains/life.  Gotta love it!

Tom

Running, heat, childhood and me

I am not a summer person.  I love the cold.  I’m originally from Pennsylvania and I don’t think I miss the cold winters, but I do remember the hot summers.  We would get into the 90s and we had no air conditioning.  I just had to sit and melt.  I learned then that heat was not my friend.  I can remember trying to sleep in my room at night with the window open and listening to the trucks on a far off highway… and sweating!  Fast forward to more recent times.  Before I began running, I would never go out in the summer.  The most I’d be outside was just enough to walk to my car.  I hated the heat – and I still do.  I love the fall.  I love the winter.  I love the spring.  I hate summer (which only begins tomorrow).

I started my run yesterday… 3:00 in the afternoon.  Five days in a row.  Four days of 100+ heat index.  The real temperature was in the mid 90s.

I got about 100 yards and turned back, went home, got on my headsets and decided to walk.

Honestly, until this week I’d only run 4 times in all of June.  So I am feeling good about my running at this point, heat included.  I ran my mountain for the second week in a row last Sunday and ran 4 miles in my neighborhood Monday – Wednesday.  Yesterday I ended up doing an even amount of running and walking.  My legs were shot and I only had 5 hours of sleep the night before.

On to a quick thought about the heat index.  Does anyone know how they decide what that is?  As a runner who hits the streets at 3:00 in the afternoon, I have a feeling that the heat coming up from the asphalt is about 100 degrees hotter then that index taken from some field in the shade.  Just sayin’.

Moving forward.  It was a the best week for me in about 2 months.  I have no idea why and I have no idea why the past two months have been so difficult.  I’m not going to question it anymore, I’m just glad to be feeling better.  Today is Friday and we have the whole weekend ahead of us.

Life is good better!

Tom

Summer running

The heat, my goodness how am I going to run in this heat?

That was my thought yesterday afternoon as I headed out in 100+ heat index for my run.

I learned last year that running in the heat is an acquired trait.  It is similar to running at a high altitude.  The reason being that the body sends extra blood flow to the skin to cool itself down.  This flow takes away from the blood flow that it is used to using during a run to give energy and help muscles.  Therefore running in the heat is sometimes similar to running through mud.

Fortunately, eventually as with running at a high altitude, the body compensates for this extra blood needed to cool itself by creating more blood (I think I have this correct, but I am about as far from a doctor as you want to get).  So after a few weeks of running through mud, runs get easier and this can actuality help you run more efficiently in cooler weather.

I haven’t been running much lately.  Just life getting in the way.  Yesterday I went out and felt okay.  It as HOT, but I ran the first two miles well.  I left my Pebble watch at home so that I wouldn’t be looking much at my pace.

By mile 3 I melted.  I went from an 8:30 average pace to a 10:00 pace and had to walk about every half mile for a minute or two.  Last year this would have devastated me.  Not only did I not understand what was happening to my body as it got hotter, but I also began training for my first marathon in this heat.  What a mess.  Yesterday though, I took it easy.  No pressure.  I know now that I have to take some time to get used to this heat and build up some endurance.

In the end, all will be well.  Summer will fade into Fall and running will become fun again.  Football will begin and my favorite time of year will make an appearance.  Here in the South the weather won’t turn cool until the last half of October, so I will just have to push through until then.

It is similar to life.  Sometimes life is like running through mud.  Those days make us stronger and then when the good times come, we appreciate them all the more.

Tom

A Fathers Day run and busy weekend!

It was a good Fathers Day weekend overall.  The one exception was a migraine yesterday, but at least I got to run.

Saturday was busy with errands to run and things to do.

Yesterday, though, I got to run the mountain with TJ.   First we eat breakfast (his treat) and then headed to our state park to run.

It was humid and I was soaked by the time we finished, but it was a lot of fun.  We ran the same route as last week, but without stopping (except for the ports-potty).  We finished yesterday’s run in the exact same time as last weeks, which was pretty interesting.

The mountain was quiet.  I didn’t see any other joggers and only a few cars.  AND, after the run, I had no pain in my hip or back.  That was the most amazing part.  I guess this seat cushion has really helped.

After the run and Church, we “ran” a few more errands and that was when my migraine started.  To be honest, some of my kids and my Lovely Wife suffer with headaches a lot, but I almost never have one; so when I get one, it shuts me down.  I did make it to TJ’s for burgers, but that was about it.  I came home and went to bed.  I fell asleep pretty quickly, but woke up with my head raging about 10:00 last night.  Fortunately I woke this morning feeling pretty good, so I got up and headed out to work.

All in all, it was a good weekend.  Lots of food (too much food).  Funny, I weighed in at 184 today and felt badly that I weighed that much. 🙂  A few months ago, I’d have been trilled to weigh that little.

I hope everyone had a good weekend and an awesome week.  I hope to begin running everyday again now that I’m feeling better –

Tom