The perfect run plan (for me)

It has been a great couple of months running… with no purpose to run.  I have no races planned, no “reason” to run.  I have, however, run more miles in the past two months then anytime in the past 18 months. 

My run plan has changed. I used to have a plan I posted on this blog each week.  That stopped after I crashed and burned post marathon.  Now my plan is simple and consistent. It works for me, so here it is (if you care ūüôā ). 

Monday: 8 mile hill run. This is about building my strength and helping my back and hip. I credit this weekly run with the reason I have been able to run so much the past 2 months. Also, Monday is the beginning of my running week and it is motivational to have an 8 mile run and a hill run out of the way first thing.

Tuesday through Thursday all depends on my run cycle. I run 2 long weeks and 1 short week and then repeat.  On my long weeks I try to get in 2 – 3 eight mile runs a week with shorter runs in between. On short mileage weeks I generally stay at 4 miles a day for the rest of the week until my long run on Saturday. 

Friday: I try to keep Friday short. Usually about 4 miles. The main reason is Saturday morning is my long run and my run Friday is late afternoon. I can still “feel” my Friday run on Saturday morning, so I try to take it easy. 

Saturday: Long run: At the moment, on my long weeks I run 13 miles on Saturday morning and short run weeks are 10 mile Saturday’s. This has been huge for me as running a 13 mile run each week has never happened for me in the past three years. It puts my 8 mile runs in perspective and really helps finish the week off on a good note. 

Sunday: This is to be a day of rest and letting my body heal for the hill run I’ll do on Monday. However, Sunday is the only day RS and I can ride trails at the state park, so generally we will do that for an hour or so Sunday morning. 

So that is my run plan. At the moment, I run 45 – 50 miles on long weeks and 30 – 35 miles on short weeks. 

Really I do have a goal. My hope is that I’ll finally developed a base to run more miles and keep injury free.  So far so good.  I’ve slowed my pace down about a minute a mile and increased my mileage by about 1/3 over the winter. I REALLY want to run another marathon this year, and though I’d love to BQ, I am not obsessing about that right now.  One day I may make it to Boston (maybe), but if I don’t have good form and a strong base, it will stay a dream and never become a reality. 

Sorry for the longer then usual post, but I’m sitting in an airplane on a trip to visit my mom. I haven’t seen her or my brothers since the day after my Marathon 18 months ago, so I am really looking forward to it. 

Be safe. Run your own plan. Get help from others, but know that running isn’t done in a cookie cutter fashion.  Fine your spot, run your plan and you will succeed. 

Tom  

Advertisements

Finally, an update on running, racing, hills and bikes!

It has been a long time since I last wrote. ¬†Honestly, I just didn’t have the time to get a post out. ¬†Life has been rolling at a thousand miles per hour for the last month, but I did get to run a race, run most days, do a huge hill run and bike some trails.

Red Shoe Run (formally the Red Nose Run)

This was the 3rd time TJ and I ran this race for the Ronald McDonald House.  It was a great race for us.  RS joined this year for his first year running this 5K and a coworker of TJ came also.

Cool things about our race:

  • TJ came is second overall out of 340 runners of the 5K. ¬†Wow!
  • I came in 2nd in my age group (the old guys) and 19th overall.
  • RS ran his first race in 6 months and beat his last time by 10 minutes. ¬†He has just started taking up the running mantle again.
  • TJ’s coworker¬†ran his first 5K. ¬†TJ has been running with him once a week and the guy went from out of shape, to running his first 5K, first 3 mile run and best time he had ever run. ¬†TJ was so excited to have such an impact.
  • It was 18 degrees and windy at race time. ¬†Okay, that wasn’t cool… it was cold. ¬†I couldn’t feel my fingers in my gloves by the time I finished. ¬†Alabama isn’t supposed to be that cold, EVER.

It was a good race and as always the Ronald McDonald House did a great job and raised a decent amount of money.  We joined the race too late to do any fund raising, however it was a great event to be a part.

Running in general

My running is picking up a bit. ¬†In December I hurt my heel (heel spur to be exact) and had to slow down. ¬†It still hurts from time to time, but I can and do run each day. ¬†I am trying my best to get out of running 4 miles. ¬†I have been stuck in a rut since summer and need to get some distance. ¬†Last week I ran a 5 mile and 6 mile run, so that is a beginning. Running in the cold isn’t my favorite thing to do, but it is better than the heat. ¬†The last few days it has been between 60 – 70, so life has been quite good for running.

Hill Run

I told TJ over the weekend that I really needed a hill run. ¬†I haven’t run hills in a long time and I could tell. ¬†My legs have felt tired during my daily runs and my hip/back hurt much more over the weekend after I picked up my mileage last week. ¬†He asked if I wanted to run the hills in a nearby neighborhood and I agreed. ¬†It was insane.

We ran a total of 8 miles (my longest run in a long time) and 700 feet in elevation. ¬†He stayed with me though and I made it through without stopping. ¬†The day before RS and I road bikes on trails at our state park for an hour and my legs were already tired. ¬†So the hill run wiped them out. ¬†Toward the end of the run we ran¬†the biggest hill around. ¬†I almost didn’t have the strength to make it. ¬†My breathing was labored, but my legs had nothing left. ¬†I plowed through and made it to the top of that hill, but I’m sure I wasn’t moving very fast. ¬†The last quarter mile I put everything into the run I had left. ¬†I can honestly say I have never felt so tired since my marathon.

The good news is that my legs feel better today. ¬†Yesterday, the day after the hills, my legs still felt off. ¬†My 4 mile slow recovery run was very slow and not fun. ¬†Today, after a good night sleep and some time between me and the hills, my legs feel better, my back is better and my hip doesn’t hurt. ¬†I don’t like running¬†hills,, but they are worth the pain, at least for me!

Conclusion

Life is beginning to return to normal. ¬†My work has been insane (14 hour days at times) and as a result, life was stressful. ¬†Work is still hectic, but I feel like I am beginning to get a handle on things. ¬†I hope to possibly run the Shamrock Half Marathon in March (was trying for the marathon, but… NOT). ¬†If I can stay healthy and increase my mileage, I should be label to do it.

Virginia Beach, here I come!

 

Tom

PS РMy weight got up there after the holidays and injuries.  I was near 200 lbs January 5th.  Today (Jan 21) I am back to 188. I hope to continue this downward trend in my weight for about another 10 lbs.

My 2 mile run and quest for slow running

2 miles.

I ran a 2 mile run for the first time in two weeks yesterday.

My heel has been hurt.  Might be my achilles.  I stopped all running until I thought I could give it a good try and yesterday was the day.  The run went well.  Of course I paid a bit too much attention to my heel, but I had no problems.  TJ bought me new shoes that have more of a built up heel and I could really feel the support.

I honestly think this latest injury was caused by 3 things…

1) I had new shoes. ¬†They ran great. ¬†I won’t mention¬†the brand here, but I loved them and felt like I could run much better then ever before in them. ¬†Sadly, about 20 miles into wearing them, I felt a tug of pain on my heel. ¬†Not wanting to give up on shoes after 20 miles I kept going. ¬†I tied them differently to try and give more support. ¬†Finally, one day the pain wasn’t feeling better. I ran one step too far and something sprang in my heel. No more running for two weeks.

2) Speed. ¬†The need for speed. ¬†I’m an old man (not really, but older then most of you I’m sure). ¬†I have been on a quest to run faster and farther since I started my running career almost 3¬†years ago. ¬†I’ve done well. ¬†I’ve won my age group in many 5Ks. ¬†I finished in the top 4 percent of my age group in my Country Music Half Marathon. ¬†I ran half of my only marathon at an 8 minute pace (and the second half at a 12:00 pace). ¬†Speed is fun, but for me, it causes injuries. ¬†So I am giving up on speed and going to start running for distance. ¬†I want to run another marathon, an ultra marathon, perhaps a 50 miler. ¬†There are far more goals for me to achieve beyond being fast and taking chances at getting hurt. ¬†I still hope to BQ one day, but for now, that dream is set aside.

3) Cycling. ¬†God gave me the wisdom to buy a fairly cheap bike on Black Friday. ¬†If it weren’t for that purchase, I’d be walking everyday because of my ankle and hating it. ¬†So, instead I’ve been riding. ¬†Not everyday as I’ve been out of town some and had other commitments, but several times I’ve gotten out an ridden with my kids. ¬†Sunday was awesome. ¬†RS and I road¬†trails at the Mountain State Park for 6 miles. ¬†I probably should have thought differently when I saw the sign to “Rattle Snake Ridge” and let RS talk me into going on that trail. ¬†We made it, but it was a bit above my comfort zone. ¬†Also, after our 6 miles with RS on the trails, I got to ride with JS for 13 miles at a small park near our home. She suffers from fibromyalgia and to be able to ride that much at one time was quite a victory.

RS at the top of Rattle Snake Ridge

RS at the top of Rattle Snake Ridge

So, all that to say, speed is out (except on the bike) and running long and slow is in. ¬†It is a new chapter for me and will take time to get into my head (don’t run fast), but I think it is the way to go, at least for now.

Hey, maybe I can get to Boston running for a charity.  Who said I have to kill myself to reach my dreams.

Have an awesome week.

Tom

 

The agony of de-heel

I was feeling good.  The day before, I just had the best 5 mile run, coming in under an 8:00 mile.  This day I chose to take it easy and not push it.  As I ran, my heel spur began to bother me.  It has been bothering me a lot lately.  So I concentrated on my form and tried to relax.

The run continued and I sped up a bit. ¬†I was really wanting to have another good run. ¬†I shouldn’t have done that. ¬†My heel began hurting more and I kept relaxing and running. ¬†At the 4 mile point, it hit. ¬†The pain. ¬†There was definitely something wrong. ¬†I stopped immediately and began to walk. ¬†Shortly the walk became a limp. ¬†I had to walk¬†a quarter mile back to my car and it took almost as long as it did to run¬†the 4 miles.

I then limped for 4 days. ¬†I had a lot to get done and didn’t ice it like I should have. ¬†I still don’t know if it is my achilles or heel spur.

The good news is that I bought that bike over black Friday. ¬†My heel didn’t hurt at all riding the bike. ¬†I rode with my only daughter one day. ¬†She has suffers a lot from Fibromyalgia and it was great riding slowly through the neighborhood with her.

Sunday was also good. ¬†I went riding at the State Park with RS. ¬†We rode a lot. ¬†We rode mountain trails and roads. ¬†The trails were really hard to get used to at first, but by the end, we were riding hard and having a lot of fun. ¬†We rode some roads for a while and then headed back to the car. ¬†Going up the hill to where we parked was hard as my legs were rubber. ¬†Funny that I can run 5 miles hard and fast, but I can’t ride 5 miles without major effort.

Today, 5 days after my injury I am doing better. ¬†I walked without a limp and have little pain. ¬†I won’t have time to run again until Wednesday, so I should be good to go.

I was just thinking a week ago that what has kept me from running most lately has been other health issues (stones, mainly), and then this…

Either way, I will be back. ¬†I will run. ¬†I will keep the edge and, Lord willing, I will run another marathon… Boston maybe!

Tom

Running with my new bike

With everything that has happened to me over the past couple of months, I decided to try to mix things up.

No, I’m not going to stop running. ¬†In fact I hope that by the middle of March I will have completed 2 half marathons and 1 full. That might be wishful thinking, but hey, a man can dream.

Going back to Black Friday, I wondered into Dicks Sporting Goods with 2 of my kids.  There, in the back of the store were the bikes.  By that evening all three of us had new bikes.  These are by no means expensive bikes or ones that you might take a 30 mile ride on, but I really felt the need to have another avenue for my exercise and have been contemplating cycling for a while.

Yesterday I went out for my hill run and got back with tired legs and then RS and I hopped on our bikes and road a couple miles. ¬†I didn’t want to overdo it and didn’t want to make me too sore, but it was a lot of fun and just enough to finish off what strength I had left in my legs.

My plan is to run and then bike each day for a while. ¬†If I get hurt and cannot run, then I’ll just bike instead. ¬†Done are the days of walking for an hour when I can’t run. ¬†Of course walking is still an option, but now I have 3 options rather then 2.

Thanks for all the well wishes from my post from yesterday. I’m hoping and praying that I am now done with carrying stones in my body and can concentrate on moving forward again.

Tom