A tale of two runs

Five miles to run isn’t far.  I remember when my long run day was 6 miles and I was so exhausted afterwards I walked into the wrong house.  That was embarrassing.

On the other hand, sometimes a five mile run is an eternity.

One day last year I was running 5 miles and it wasn’t going well.  It was hot, I was tired from a long week and hurting physically.  I tried to keep with the run to master my body and make it my slave, but in the end, I stopped and walked home.  I made it 3 miles and couldn’t take another step.  Oh, and did I mention that this was 2 weeks before my first marathon?  My thoughts went to, “I’m running a marathon in a couple of weeks and I just stopped a 5 mile run 2 miles early”.  To say I was a bit worried is an understatement.

Two weeks later I ran that marathon.  I completed 26.2 miles in 4 hours and 15 minutes.

I learned from that run.  In fact out of all my training runs for that marathon, that 3 mile failure sticks out the most.  I can even see in my mind where I stopped and claimed defeat – or was it defeat?

Yesterday I mimicked that run.  It was a 5 mile run and I wasn’t doing well.  It was hot and I wasn’t feeling well (sore, tired, etc).  I stopped a time or two to make sure that I wasn’t overdoing things and also I wanted to make it through my run at whatever the cost.

NOT

I stopped.  I stopped at 2.46 miles.  Not even an even number.  I just couldn’t run any more.

I could have pushed myself.  I have pushed myself in the past and have been pleased that I persevered.  This time was different.  I knew that if I continued, I could hurt myself.  I can’t explain why I knew this time was different.  I guess over my years of running I have developed a sense.  But just as when I had the 3 mile run while training for a marathon, I stopped and walked home.

Ultimately I count these runs as success.  Everyday before I run, my Lovely wife tells me to run fast, have a good run and be wise.  I think I was wise back a year ago and wise yesterday.  Success in running isn’t always pushing harder and making the goal.  Success in running (and life) is knowing when keep going or when to stop.  Stopping isn’t failure, getting hurt if failure.  Pushing through or stopping early, we just need wisdom to know how to proceed.

Today is another day.  It is going to be hot again, but Saturday will be sunny and in the 60’s as a high.  Wow – Fall weather is coming and I can’t wait.

Until next time…

Tom

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Running, hurt, better, running, happy

Somedays running can be ordinary.

Somedays you think your run was ordinary, but it really wasn’t.

Somedays running is fun and you feel like you can run forever.

Somedays you get two miles into a run and know you need to stop or risk getting hurt.

Monday I ran my 4 miles.

Tuesday I ram my 4 miles.

Wednesday I woke up and my ankle hurt so much I could barely walk.  Strange that I was fine during my Tuesday run.  Of course it was HOT and I was tired.  I hadn’t slept well the night before and the heat, though not as bad as at other times, just got to me.  I ended up walking several times.

So I woke up Wednesday and limped out of bed.  At work I had to walk slowly and favored my other foot.  It hurt so much, I wondered if I had sprained it.  I had visions of having to take weeks off of running and just keep weight off of it all together.  That afternoon I decided to walk through my neighborhood.  I figured it would work its way out of make it worse, but at least I’d know what I was up against.  So I walked a couple miles and headed home.  To be honest, it was better after a while.  I still couldn’t run on it, but I could walk without issue.

Yesterday I woke up and felt fine.  No pain.  No limp. All was well.

So I went for my run yesterday afternoon.  It was awesome.  Not only did my ankle feel fine, but I felt like I could run forever.  I ended up running 5 miles, which was longer then I’ve run in a long time.  I felt comfortable. It was cool outside (I love the polar vortex in the summer) and all was well with the world.

This morning I am back in the 184 range for my weight.  I have been creeping up past 184 off and on since my vacation.  184 is not where I want to be as a goal, but is acceptable to me, so that is good news.

Ultimately, somedays are good and some are bad.  I’ve said this before, but if you have a bad day, know that a good one is coming soon.  If you have a good day, don’t be shocked at the next bad day because it will happen.  That is the way we are made and that is life.

I’m glad I had a good day yesterday.  I really needed one.

Tom

 

Running backwards

I did a dumb thing.

Last week, I ran through Thursday, walked Friday and didn’t run all weekend.  On top of that, I eat like a king (not a good king) for the second weekend in a row.

I think it’s the summer heat that has gotten to me.  That and a very busy schedule that seems to be getting busier.

The bad part of my dumb thing is that I have gained weight.  More then I think I should have, but considering 2 weekends of eating frenzies, I guess I understand why.  I’m not too concerned as when I get back out and run, I can loose the extra weight pretty fast.  However, I really should have been more self controlled this weekend.

Saturday I was out with my family shopping this weekend and ended up in a bike shop.  I had a great sales guy just try to give me some biking basics and help me price out a bike.  Wow, biking is so much more expensive then running.  For a basic bike and all the stuff that I’d have to buy to go with it, I was looking beyond $1,000.  Fortunately my old running buddy @BigBigGeek is now an avid cyclist and he things he can get me going on an older bike my sister left to me for a lot less.  I hope that works out.  I’d like to add biking into my routine, but I honestly don’t want to spend $1,000 until I know I want to go that route.

Back to my weight.  I did another stupid thing.  I skipped my apple cider vinegar (ACV) yesterday.  I was just too busy and decided mot to drink it.  I paid for that today and I was back on the ACV train this morning.

About ACV, I know now that it really helps my workouts.  I run in the afternoon and in the summer, it gets HOT outside.  I forgot to take my ACV twice last week before my run and I was spent after 2 miles.  I basically had to run/walk most of the rest of my route.  Then Thursday I remembered it and had a much more consistent run.  I wasn’t setting any records, but I only stopped twice.  I can really tell the difference.  It must have a property that I need or that helps endurance in the heat.  Either way, I am still hooked on the stuff.  I just wish someone could make it taste better!!!

That is about all for me for today.  I hope everyone had a great weekend!  It was way too short for me, but I guess that means I got a lot done!

Tom

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

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!

Tom

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!!!