Post 5K scare

So after our extremely successful 5K on Sunday, I had a bit of a scare.

My hip was doing fine and my SI joint was a little sore as expected after running as hard as I did.

In the afternoon during the football game I went outside to give to dog some exercise.  I really didn’t run, but trotted along to get him going.  After a couple of steps my left leg collapsed beneath me.  Literally I fell to the ground as if my leg wasn’t there.  Hmm… that can’t be a good sign.

Since then my leg has improved greatly.  I used the heating pad all day Monday and took anti-inflamitories.  I also rested and haven’t run or walked (for exersise) since Sunday’s race.  Yesterday I almost couldn’t drive to work because I use a stick shift and pushing in the clutch was painful.  Also at work as I got up from sitting, I would be in a lot of pain for about 15 seconds and then it went away slowly.

Today I feel about 80% better.  No problem using the clutch and getting up doesn’t hurt.  So, I think for the most part running that race didn’t set me back too much which is good.  I am still doing my stretches and using anti-inflamatoires to keep things settled down.

Don’t worry.  I am not running.  I will not run today and I’ll see how I do over the holiday weekend.

One thing I learned from my last 6 week pause from running because of my hip is… Doing too much too soon, is not a good idea.

To be brutally honest, as I was in the middle of my 5K, I thought to myself…  I am running this race to the best of my ability.  I am not going to be stupid, but as long as my body cooperates, I will finish the race and run as hard as I can!!!

Once I get back to normal, I will begin building a base for our half in February.

It is cold in the South today (37 as a high) and very windy.  Today might be a good day to take off and rest… I’m glad it isn’t 70 and sunny!

It was an excellent race

The Magic City 5K will be memorable a memorable race for me!

The temperature was 30 degrees at race time with 10 – 20 mile an hour winds.  My app said the windchill was 17 degrees.  We froze.

TJ and me running warmup laps - reflection of us in the window of a building.

TJ and me running warmup laps – reflection of us in the window of a building.

TJ and I ran some warmup laps and then waited at the starting line.  The race started and he was gone.  After the first turn I never saw him again until the end.

For me, I enjoyed it a lot.  The first mile went great.  I managed a 7:05 pace which is good for me when I am training, let alone recovering from an injury.  After that mile I slowed down a bit.  My hip started hurting again right around the beginning of mile two (I know – I started to quickly).  It never got bad enough to make me stop, but I was wondering at one point if I might have to get a ride back to the finish.  Luckily that never happened.

As I entered my final mile, I could see only two people in front of me.  One was a 10 year old boy and one an older man.  We stayed about 30 yards a part the whole mile.  As we were on the last leg, the kid took off and passed the man.  I just watched from a distance.  I thought I might have a good chance of winning my age group since I didn’t see too many people in front of me and didn’t hear anyone behind me.

As I came up to the finish, I misread the clock.  My PR is 21:48 and the clock read 23:15.  I got confused and thought my PR was 23:48, so I pushed really hard the last tenth of a mile (I paid for that decision).  I finished at 23:53, which is a 7:41 pace.  I was thrilled to learn I finished 11th out of 379 which, even if it isn’t a PR, I’ll take it!

As I finished TJ met me with the news that he won the race!!!  Wow, he has come in second in a couple of races, but never won.  In fact he had to run behind the lead cop car for most of the race which meant he couldn’t run tangents.  Still he came in 1st out of 379 people – very cool.

We hung around for the awards ceremony which had already started.  TJ went up to get his metal – I was so proud of him.  When they got to the age group awards, I didn’t get one.  I did notice that we must have missed the mens masters.  Could I have placed in the masters?  When the awards were all given out I went to the guy with the results.  I asked about the masters and he look on his paper.  There I was, 2nd in the masters category.  Not bad for a gimpy old man.

All in all it was an awesome day.  We got to meet Ruben Studdard since this is a race he put on for his charity.

We finally got to head home and enjoy our memories.


The Pebble run and 5K prep

Yesterday’s run was hard.

No, it isn’t what you think.

I made the decision that I would run slow and easy since I ran hard on Wednesday.  In the past I would run as hard as I could, even the day after a hard run.  Well my recent 2 month off and on sabbatical from running because of my hip has made me a little wiser (I hope).  So when I started my run I told myself that I wanted to run between a 10:00 – 11:00 pace.  I decided that if I looked at my time and I was under a 10:00 pace then I would walk for a bit and then start my run again.  That way I would keep pulling my nature to run hard in and hopefully keep from getting injured.

I got a half mile into my run and had to walk.  Actually I felt a twinge from my hip and looked and I was running near a 9:00 pace.  So I walked for a few minutes and started running again.  It wasn’t long before I was walking again.

Enter Pebble watch.

The most frustrating thing about starting and stopping my run was the fact I had to keep starting and stopping my iPhone.  So one of the times that I was walking, I started pushing buttons on my Pebble and found that the middle outside button actually pauses and starts the app on my phone.  So as I started my run I would press the button and my app would announce that it was started.  When I walked, I pressed the button and my app would tell me it was paused.

So cool.

I no longer need to even interact with my phone.  I don’t need to have auto pause on (which does not work well on the iSmoothRun app).  In fact, I can put my phone in an arm band and never look at it again the whole run.


Back to my run.  I walked about a dozen times, but managed to get 3 miles in on the 4 mile route and my pace at the end was 10:39 – exactly where I wanted to be.  This is the first time I was able to pull back and not run faster than I knew I should.

Today is another run, hopefully between 8:30 – 9:00 pace and then tomorrow I’ll be walking my 4 miles.  The race starts at 9:00 Sunday morning, but evidently there is a church meeting at the building where the race starts, so we will only have limited access to the building.  It is going to be 35 degrees and we aren’t even allowed inside the lobby to keep warm before or after.  Had I known that, I wouldn’t have chosen this race, but it is too late now.  I do understand the church not wanting a lot of sweating runners hanging around with people coming in for services, but the planners of the Magic City Half Marathon and 5K should have made better plans, especially with the cold weather.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to the 5K and it will be fun to run with TJ again.  We haven’t run a race since the Lehigh Valley Marathon in September. RS has to work and so he can’t make it.

Have an awesome Friday and rest of the weekend.


A fresh start to running

I had the best run of my new running carrier yesterday.

I consider myself as restarting my running as of this week.  Of course that isn’t really the case.  I have 2000 miles behind me over the past 20 months, but with taking so much time off recovering from my marathon and then multiple injuries, I feel like I am having a fresh start.

It’s funny how the human body works.  Some days are good and some not.  Yesterday was good.  In part of my run I actually reached BQ pace for the first time in months.  Of course my shoe untied shortly after I got there.  UGH.  That was frustrating, but I just tied it and jumped right back into the run.

At the three mile mark I stopped my app.  I was at a 8:36 pace for the three miles.  I then ran a slow final mile and even that came in at 9:08.

So I am psyched for my 5K on Sunday.  I really don’t think I have a chance at a PR, but I should be able to be a little competitive if my hip an heel stay well.  It is going to be cold though… Probably in the 30’s by race time.  That is much preferable to the heat and humidity of Summer, but still COLD for Birmingham.

Enjoy your day and stay healthy!


Magic City 5K – My next race

I had a good run yesterday.  Unfortunately I had a little hip pain as I ran, but it was the first time I’ve run 2 days in a row in a long time.  The pain was just sharp jabs – about 3 in a period of a couple of minutes.  So I kept running.  I feel fine today.  In total, I ran 4 miles.  To break it up a little, I run 3 miles, walked a bit and then the forth.  Good times.

I think TJ and I are going to run the Magic City 5K on Sunday.  Assuming I can keep healthy, I would like to run a race.  I haven’t run anything since my marathon in early September.  I really enjoy running more after a race.  I will not be looking to PR since nothing would be worse for my hip than to run as hard as I can for 3.1 miles, but I really want to go for the experience.  The race is in downtown Birmingham.  We last ran downtown was during the Mercedes half marathon last February. 

So with this race I will feel like my running is beginning to get back on track.  With the Mercedes Half Marathon next February, I’ll have to begin training soon.  I haven’t run more than 5 miles at one time in months.  Last year I ran the half in 1:44 and I’d really like to beat that this year if possible.

It is nice to have something to write about again.  Running is fun, walking is boring.  I hope I never get hurt again. 🙂

From the Chiropractor to a 6 mile run

It was a good run yesterday. Actually, probably the best run I’ve had in the past couple months. I was surprised it went so well as I had been dealing with sore muscles since our 5K on Saturday and even as I started the run I could feel the pain of the 5K still affecting me.

The day began with getting up early for work, then after work I headed to the Chiropractor. He was running late and I ended up being there for 90 minutes or so. He is still adjusting my hip, which I think is almost fixed. I still notice it sometimes as I begin a run, but for the most part it seems to be on the mend.

I got home and went for my run. There were dark skies with storms looming and rather than running in my neighborhood as usual, I thought I would go down to the high school track and run so that wouldn’t be far from the car if a storm struck. In the end, the dark luminous clouds never amounted to anything, so I just ran in circles. I ran in circles. I ran in circles. Over and over and over.

It was great.

Here are my splits and a screenshot from my Nike app. Lots of green. That is a good sign!

Great run

Great run

Pretty cool looking

Pretty cool looking

The nice thing about my run yesterday was it was on a level track. My neighborhood is very hilly and the marathon we are going to run is very flat. In fact the website says that if you are used to running hills, it would be good to run flat areas to prepare. That makes sense since running on a flat area means you need to use your own energy to propel you and not rely on going down a hill. Yesterday it was all me and that is why I was so encouraged. I am still not where I need to be for the Lehigh Valley Marathon in 7 weeks, but I am a little encouraged.

If I can get up to 20 miles in a run, I’d feel much better. I have only a few weeks to get there before we begin to taper. Nothing like taking this down to the last minute. However if I do run the marathon and finish (hopefully in 3:30 – Boston qualifying time) I will know that I can really do anything I set my mind to do.

Honestly running has changed my life in just about every way. My confidence is up, my weight is down and after each run, I get to have the feeling of doing something and giving it my all.

I do love running.

My running “adjustment”

A quick update as I need to get to work and didn’t get a chance to write this last night…

The Chiropractor went really well.  He took x-rays and said that everything looked great.  He did an adjustment that really did seem to help, but I was sore afterwards.  He then gave me some exercises to do and said that if I get my muscular issues taken care of, he thinks my pace will improve quite a bit.  I hope so!

One interesting thing.  This morning was the first morning in a LONG TIME that I walked down the steps after I woke up and had almost no pain!  Don’t get me wrong, my hip is still hurting a little, but my body wasn’t sore and my legs felt good.  That could the be the Chiropractor or the fact I’ve had 3 days off from running.  Either way, I’ll take it!!!

So he told me to take yesterday off and that I could run again today.  He then called me last night to see how I was doing.  I go back tomorrow morning for another round of adjustments.

Today, after work I’ll be running for the first time since Sunday.  I really thing this has been a good thing.  I felt like my body fell apart Sunday and I hope seeing this Chiropractor will begin getting me back in the running mode for the marathon.

BTW, I forgot to mention we have signed up for a 5K this weekend.  It is a fun race at 6:00 in the evening.  Summer evening, 5K, in the South – I can’t wait.  If I have too, I’ll walk the course; but I don’t think that will happen.  🙂

CityFest 5K: Cancer survivor, Biggest Loser and a Masters

The CityFest 5K was quite an event for me.

It started while in line to pick up my bag and bib number. I met a woman behind me who was running her first 5K. She was a cancer survivor and said that running a 5K was on her “bucket list” of things to do while she was in recovery. Evidently she had leukemia and almost died. Now she was running her first 5K and even her doctors were amazed. I regretted not getting her name or picture so I could put it in the blog, but it was very inspirational.

Then the race. My Lovely Wife and JR came to cheer us on and TJ, RS and I ran warmups around the track and got ready for what we knew would be a tough course. TJ didn’t race, but paced me and kept me motivated. I really needed his help several times. The first was at the start. All the adrenaline of the start got to me and I began by running under a 6 minute mile and my goal in the beginning was to run a 7 minute mile. TJ kept saying, “You need to slow down”. I felt like I was walking by the time I slowed down enough.

Although we started at the front of the starting line, there were about 10 people ahead of us. We passed a few in the first quarter mile and one other teen about half a mile into the race. After that, we were on our own. There was another teenager ahead of us the whole way and I was passed by a teen about 2 miles into the race, but I was able to hold my own up and down all those hills. Not bad for a 50 year old.

As we got to the stadium where the finish included a lap around the track, TJ remarked that I was only 3 seconds way from a PR. Wow, that was exciting. Then the only bad part of the run happened. A gate was open going into the stadium and so we headed for it. Then a nice runner who was making his lap around the track saw us and shouted for us to run further around the stadium to find the entrance. So we had to stop and turn around and get back on the road that lead around the stadium (I noticed later that the gate was closed). So I lost a lot of time and missed a PR by over 30 seconds. It totally threw me off.

We entered the track and ran the lap and TJ peeled off and I finished 6th overall. It was a fun run. TJ went to find RS and help him to finish strong. After a few minutes we saw them entering the stadium and we cheered RS to a strong finish. Not a PR for him either, but 2 minutes faster than two weeks ago and he was running on 4 hours sleep because of work.

We all went in the gym for the giveaways and the awards ceremony. It was neat because Gina McDonald from “The Biggest Loser” was the MC. As many of you know my Lovely Wife has lost 86 lbs and I have lost almost 100 lbs in the past two years. Gina lost 113 in her quest. So it was a cool thing to hear her story. We don’t watch cable since I don’t think it is worth the price, so we didn’t know her when we saw her. But I can see why she was chosen. She is very vibrant and energetic and obviously worked hard to lose her weight. So that made things a lot of fun. My Lovely Wife got to meet her after the event was over and tell her how much she had lost. Very encouraging.

Okay, so overall I came in 6th and won the Masters division age 40 and up! I finished at 22:19 (36 seconds off my PR). RS came in 16th overall and 3rd in his age group with the only two others who beat him also beat me. Once again, I can’t thank TJ enough for all his help and motivation during the run. And it was fun seeing Neill Tyler @BigBigGeek (who came in 3rd in his division!) and @David_Topping at the race. It is always fun to run with friends.

I will definitely run this race again next year!

Now to marathon training. TJ says I need to get into the 50 mile a week range, so that is my goal for this week. I’ll see how it goes as it isn’t supposed to be as hot this week as it was last week.

Running never stops!

Neat view of beginning of race (circle around TJ and me and arrow pointing to RS)

5K CityFest summary – More tomorrow

Yesterday’s race went really well.  I don’t have time today to write, but I will in the morning.  Suffice to say that it was the first time I won the overall masters 1st place (age 40 and up).  I couldn’t have done it without TJ pacing me and encouraging me to keep going.  RS won a medal as did @bigbiggeek. Congrats!

Anyway, check back tomorrow for a recap.  I think you’ll enjoy it, the dog did. 🙂