2 days – 2 runs

Another successful run yesterday.  I decided to stop after 3 miles since I was a bit sore from Sunday and my heel spur was acting up.

During my run I came up on 3 women out power walking.  They were taking up the left half of the road, so I had to go around on the right.  As I approached them I noticed that the one in the middle had a jogging stroller.  They were talking and having a good time.  I went around them and they commented about me running so fast (which was a pleasantry as I wasn’t running fast at all).  I looked back after I got around them to look at the baby and there was a dog in the stroller!  Ha.  They called out, “bet you thought it was a baby in there!”  That made my run a bit more enjoyable.

So I ran my route and headed home.

All in all it is nice that I got two runs in a row in.  I am not hurting at all today and feel like I might have turned the corner.  Of course I have 10 extra lbs now I have to work on losing, but it could be worse.

Finally, I have had several blog nominations lately.  Thank you to everyone.  I plan on working on them as I get my life in some sense of order.  I really appreciate you all!


Runner’s mood boost

I ran yesterday.  The first non-stop run since my SI joint acted up last Tuesday.

All in all I’d say it was a good run.  I didn’t push myself as I didn’t want to get hurt again.  At this point, I’d rather run slow then not run at all.  I think my family agrees as I seem to be addicted to endorphins.  When I can’t run, I get just a bit grumpy.  I’ve never been one to get a runner’s high, at least not that I’ve noticed.  I can notice though, that if I don’t run I just seem more moody and angry at the world.  Fortunately I am a pretty laid back person, so I can hold in most of my frustration. It is amazing though how I miss that ability to get my frustrations out while on a run.  I guess I get a runner’s mood boost rather than a runner’s high.  Either way, it really helps.

So my running yesterday was a good thing for everyone.  I ran in my old Saucony Mirage shoes.  I am trying to get away from my Fastwitch shoes because I think they might be some of the reason for my injuries.  I am a heavy runner and they are basically a racing flat.  The Mirage are much more built up and steady.  The Mirage I ran in yesterday also only have about 100 miles on them, so they have plenty of time left on them.  I will be going to my Brooks PureFlow 2 after I get over my SI joint issue.  I don’t want to introduce another variable into my running until I know I am well.

Back to my run.  I got in 3 miles at about a 9:30 pace.  My hip felt a little strange.  It didn’t hurt, but it did feel like it wanted to turn inward as I ran.

Today I am going to walk a mile before my run.  I hope that will loosen me up more and remove any stiffness.

I guess running has become a way of life.  I never thought I’d become so dependent on it, but I’m glad I am!

Running legs!

I think I finally have my running legs back.

Yesterday was warmer and I was tired, so my run didn’t go quite as well as the two previous days.  But I am excited to say that I did run negative splits and once again ran 4 miles.

Negative Splits!

Negative Splits!

For me, 4 miles seems to be the point at which my body loses weight.  I have experienced this over and over.  I can run 3 miles a day and gain weight.  I then up it to 4 miles and I lose weight or at least remain steady.  I’m not sure why that is specifically, but I’ll take it.

I’ve really enjoyed running lately.  I think for me (post marathon) 4 miles is a good amount of running, at least for the next few weeks.  It gives me some cardio, but doesn’t feel overwhelming.  Funny, when I was only walking last week I had the same mental issues as I did while training for the marathon.  Just the thought of doing something for 2 hours puts me into a mental spiral.  I thought it was just all the running, but I’m really glad to know it happened while walking.  Now I need to train my brain to stop the negative thoughts and to just enjoy what I am doing.  That is my goal in running right now.  I want to enjoy running again.

So all in all things are going in a good direction.  I really can’t complain!!!


Better kick makes a better run

It was a cool morning yesterday.  Yes, 59 degrees cool.  I ran well.

I only had 3 miles on my plan for yesterday, so with some encouragement from TJ, I decided to pick up the pace a bit.

I have noticed that at a faster pace my achilles/foot issues don’t seem to be as aggravated, so with the cool morning and only three miles I picked it up.

  • Mile 1 – 8:51
  • Mile 2 – 7:53
  • Mile 3 – 7:44

It felt great.  I concentrated on my form.  However this time I thought more on what my legs were doing behind me rather than in front of me.  I read something a few weeks back on the ShutDownRunner’s blog.  He mentioned about working on kicking back and getting power from his legs that way.  Also I had read in an ebook recently about the fact that it isn’t as important on what part of your foot you land on as long as it is under you and not in front of you.  

So I chose yesterday to not worry as much about where my foot landed and think more of what was happening with my legs as I pushed off.  

Does that make sense?  

Anyway, it was a good run.  That along with some breathing hints given to me by @BigBigGeek on Saturday’s run made my run much better.

My goal for this week is to run 4+ miles each day.  My weight is up a bit so I need to lose several pounds.  I’ve noticed in the past when I run at least 4 miles in a day, I lose weight if I don’t eat poorly.  

Walking then running – Why didn’t I think of this before?

Interesting run yesterday.

It began with my daughter JR and me walking for 2 miles.  She used to love to run and exercise.  Then she had a series of health issues that has kept her from doing much in the form of exercise for the past few years.  So, I thought I could walk a couple of miles with her each day after I get home from work and before my run.

I got home, put on my running clothes, said goodbye to my Lovely Wife and we headed out for our walk.  It was a very nice time of walking and talking.  It was in the low 90s, but the humidity was low, so it wasn’t too hot during our walk.

After we got home, I headed out for my run.  The interesting thing is that it was the first painless run since my marathon.  It was only 3 miles, but that is also the most miles I’ve run since Sunday.  Also I ran 9:16, 8:51 and 8:17 pace for an average pace of 8:48 for the three miles.

When deciding whether to walk with JR before or after my run, I decided to walk before to see if it would help warm my muscles up for my run.  That seems to be exactly what happened.  It was so nice to run without issues and run relatively fast for the heat of the day.

It was a great day, until…

I was heading out last night to get some milk and jammed my little toe into a wall on my way downstairs.  Needless to say it is hurting this morning and I don’t know if I will be able to run on it today or not.

Still I am thankful for the fun time with JR and my great run.  Life doesn’t get much better than that!

My 2 mile run

I ran yesterday!!!

First run since Sunday’s marathon and for a whole 2 miles!!!

The 2 mile run yesterday was the same 2 miles I used to run in March 2012 when I first started running.  That was pretty neat.  It has been a LONG time since I just ran 2 miles and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

No pressure.

No pace.

No long distances.

I could stop if I wanted and not feel badly.


I wondered what emotions I would feel after my my first marathon.  Would I feel a let down as I worked so hard toward a goal and now it was over?  Would I be upset if I didn’t make my goal?  How would I feel?

I feel great.

Not to relate this to pregnancy, but I will anyway.  It is sort of like after a woman has a baby.  All the pain of the pregnancy and labor is forgotten after she sees the baby (so I hear).  I look back on this race with joy.  I know it was hard and I was in a lot of pain, but I would so do it again.

So life goes on.  I’m out of pain.  I’m running again.  I’m looking forward to the next race (not quite sure what it will be yet).

I’m happy!

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!!!

Run around life

Yesterday was pretty much an insane day.  Here is how it went…

  1. 1:30 AM Get up
  2. 3:30 AM Dr. Appt.  (Yes that is correct)
  3. 4:45 AM Pick up daughter and take to work
  4. 5:20 AM Arrive at my work
  5. 1:30 PM Leave work
  6. 2:00 PM Find out upstairs heat pump isn’t working
  7. 2:10 PM Take Lovely Wife to our Chiropractor Appt.
  8. 4:00 PM Arrive home and work on getting air conditioning back on
  9. 4:30 PM Run 6 miles
  10. 5:30 PM Finish run
  11. 7:30 PM Get in bed for the evening
  12. 8:30 PM Sleep

Wow, I look at that and wonder how I got through the day.  I almost gave up my run.  I was tired and still sore from workouts and the weekend runs, but I thought that I really don’t have many more runs before tapering and I hate to miss one this late in the game, so I decided to run.  I told my Lovely Wife that I was worried that being tired I might get hurt and she made me promise to run SLOWLY.

So that was my day.  Today I’m still worn out and have a steady state run this afternoon.  I am going to try something different in my quest to run somewhere other than my neighborhood.  I am going to run a bike path near work that is about 2.5 miles long.  It is much flatter than my neighborhood and somewhere different to run.

Just over 2 weeks to go before the marathon.

Have a great day and if your not training for a marathon, get some rest.  🙂

5.5 miles in 105 degree heat. The “wild-eyed runner”

Boy will I be glad when the Fall arrives.  Of course here in the South, it doesn’t really start getting cool until the middle to end of October.

Yesterday was another hot day.  Not too hot by the temperature, but over 105 with the heat index.

I got home from work, kissed my Lovely Wife, pet the dog, said hi to the kids and headed out for my run.  I really just wanted to run with no intentions.  I hoped to even make it up to 8 miles, but I decided to play it by ear.  Several people have died in my area from the heat and I didn’t want to be numbered with them.

So I headed out.  I tried to start slow, but ended up a bit faster than I planned.  As the run when on, I actually felt pretty good.  Even though it was hot, I didn’t stop at the top of hills or in the shade.  I just kept running.  In fact, without really trying, my pace was under 9:00 for several miles.

I guess 4 miles is where the heat really begins to affect me.  I started to feel a little tired and my legs felt a bit weak.  At 5 miles I was beginning to feel a little light headed.  So, I thought it would be best just to head home and not take a chance with the heat.  I ended up at 5.5 miles at just around a 9:00 pace for the whole run.  Not bad.

After I got back, I sat outside with “The Dog” and threw a stick, but I couldn’t last more than about 10 minutes.  I went back in and stood in the kitchen under the air vent and tried to cool off.  By the time another 10 minutes had passed, the floor in the kitchen was soaked and so was I.  It was like I had just gotten out of the pool.  When I went up to take a shower, even my Lovely Wife said I was “wild eyed”.  I guess running 5.5 miles in 105 heat will do that to you.  🙂

I’m not sure what I am doing today.  The heat continues and I haven’t done my speed workout yet for this week.  The storms on Tuesday really messed with my schedule.  I’ll probably just try to get more miles in and take it easy preparing for my (hopefully) 18 mile run on Sunday.

Thank you for reading and have an awesome weekend!!!

Good runs + less pressure = more fun

I had another successful summer run yesterday.  Two great runs in a row.  Wow.

My app has really helped slow me down as it speaks to me, “Slower” when I run too fast for the preset pace.  This had enabled me to run like I used to before the summer heat hit.  I have cut my weekday runs to 5 miles for now and am working on rebooting my training for our marathon.

I am so encouraged by my runs this week.  Negative splits have changed my summer runs from dreadful to… maybe not exciting, but at least something to which I look forward.

As I ponder the Lehigh Valley Marathon in 8 weeks, I have come to realize (with TJ’s help) that the pressure of wanting to keep an 8:00 pace for 26.2 miles has really gotten to me.  It has made my running a burden and no longer fun.  So I have changed my attitude toward the marathon.  I would love to qualify for Boston in September and hope that I will, but I am no longer focusing on that as my primary objective.  It is an accomplishment in and of itself to finish my first marathon and I may surprise myself and run at my desired pace.  But I am going to relax, enjoy and make this an experience to remember.

So I feel that I am in a much better place now.  I have had a couple really good runs this week, even in the heat.  I have taken the pressure off of myself as to my expectations for the marathon.  I am more positive and enjoying the journey rather than obsessing about the destination.

Life is good!

Finally… A good, hot summer run

Finally, finally, finally.  Yes, I am rather relieved and excited.

I had a good summer run yesterday.

I ran 5 miles in a heat index of somewhere between 97 and 106 (depending on the app).  But unlike Tuesday’s run, I ran negative splits.

As I wrote yesterday, I decided to use my iSmoothRun app and allow the interval coach tell me to speed up or slow down based on my pace and my preset goal.  In the past I did this to keep up a pace, but my goal yesterday was to SLOW down.  I wanted to run the first mile really slow and the second mile slow and then the next three at an average pace.

So I set my app to keep me at 10:30 for the first mile, 10:00 for the second and 9:30 for the next three.  I figured that 9:30 might be too fast as this summer my pace has deteriorated into the 10:00 range, but but I decided to give it a try and see how I would do.

Here are my splits:

Mile 1: 9:25
Mile 2: 9:20
Mile 3: 9:18
Mile 4: 9:14
Mile 5: 9:05
Mile 5.5: 8:49

I choose to keep at the 5 mile range so I would not feel overwhelmed and make the run a negative experience.  My run went so well that at 5 miles, rather than walking home, I ran harder for the last half mile!  I did walk a little during the run, but that was just at the top of a couple of hills and not for long.

So what made the difference?

I really believe that starting out slowly made the run much better.  I kept up my energy and I never had that mental moment of, “I can’t continue”.  The heat was really bad and it was still hard to breath, but starting out slowly really made the run like night and day.  Also I began my run at the top of my street so I wouldn’t begin by running up hill.  Finally the app I use is fantastic.  It doesn’t nag about pace, but gives good feedback and keeps my mind in the run.  In fact the last half mile I didn’t have the coaching going since it was only set up for 5 miles and I noticed my running getting more erratic, even though I was able to push myself.

So this is a major victory for my running this summer.  It has been so tough and tiring that I felt I wouldn’t have another good run until the Fall.

Hopefully today will go as well.  I’ll let you know tomorrow. 🙂