The pace continues… Where did this come from?

Day 5 of running and my pace hasn’t slowed down.  This may not be a big deal to most people, but for me, I always run faster after a day off and as time goes on, my pace slows.

Yesterday I thought that I wasn’t running as well as past days.  I am still taking 2 Tbs of apple cider vinegar (ACV) twice a day.  Once in the morning and once before my run in the afternoon.  Honestly that is the only thing I can equate to my lowering pace.  I have been running now for almost 2 years (in 6 days it will be 2 years) and have tried almost everything to help my running.  I fell on ACV by accident as I read it was beneficial for weight loss.

Back to yesterday…

I got to the 4.8 mile mark and got a call from work.  I paused my app on my phone with my Pebble watch and talked for about 5 minutes.  I then looked at my pace and it was 8:38.  Seriously. I have been running for 5 days straight and my pace has been almost exactly 8:38 each day.  My last two miles were 8:14 and 8:18.  That is crazy for me.  By day 5, I am usually in the 9:30 area and ready for a break, especially running 5 miles a day.

So perhaps SOMEONE out there in the world who reads my blog can tell me if you use ACV before a run.  Or perhaps someone will give it a try and let me know if you experience the same thing I do.  I honestly think it is the difference in my running and would like to verify that.

Funny, TJ used to tell me that it would take him a couple of miles to warm up and then his runs would get much better.  I never experienced that myself.  I just felt pain and tiredness throughout my runs, but I continued out of commitment and the desire to reach my goals.  Now, I am hopeful that I can start enjoying running the way others have and start really making a difference in my life.  I have a half marathon in just about a month.  Hmmm.  I wonder if they make ACV GU Energy Gels.  Nah.  Probably not.  That might just be a little too disgusting.

Until next time…

Tom

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Finally… a run

I survived the weekend and came out the other side feeling much better.  My recent bout of sickness culminated Friday with me leaving work early and crashing at home.  I thought some fresh air and a slow walk would help, but… Nope… I started out and then headed home and got rest.

The weekend was not restful however.  Saturday I went with RS to get a new TV for his room, JR got a new bed and HM got tires for his car.  That was just the major parts of the day.  I must say, through I wasn’t feeling great, I was better.

Sunday found me running again.  I don’t think I went too soon.  I felt good, it was a beautiful day and so TJ and I went to the park to run a few miles.  I had hoped to get in about 6 or so, but could only manage 4.  I still have some congestion in my chest which the run helped, but it also impacted my ability to run further.

So I am 90% better.  I don’t want to have a relapse, but I think I am past that.  I must say, this was the first time in my memory of the past few years that a cold knocked me down for a week. It was pretty rough overall.  I looked so bad on Friday that my boss made me go home early from work.  That was a first also.

Today finds me tired, but doing much better.  I really want to get back to my running schedule as I have a half marathon in 7 weeks.

By the way,, the weather today is going to be strange here in the deep South.  It was in the mid 50’s when I got up.  By lunch we will be in the 30’s and by the time I run this afternoon we will be back in the 40’s.  All we need is snow to make this a perfect day. 🙂

My pain in the back (literally)

I finally got into my bed Friday night after two days on the floor in the office due to the snow. It felt great!!!

However…

I awoke with an old familiar pain. As I rolled over in the middle if the night, I had such a sharp pain in my back that I woke myself with a moan. Okay, maybe between a moan and a small scream. This happened throughout the night.

3 years ago when I weighed almost 300lbs, I injured my back while taking bags out if a hotel. It mimicked heart pain, so I spent a day in the hospital while they cleared me of a heart attack. Later this pain got so bad I had to live in a recliner for weeks and move as little as possible.

It is muscular and in my right middle back. It isn’t nearly as bad as it was 3 years ago, but I also weigh 100lbs less.

I went to the doctor yesterday and got Meds for pain and muscle relaxers. I can walk okay with just a small jab here and there, but rolling over in bed wakes me up.

So sadly I have an injury that isn’t from running, but will prevent me from running. I hope taking off a few days and not doing too much will get me out of this.

Last time this happened I was in so much pain I had to get an MRI. It found that I have 3 disks bulging in my neck (this was from a childhood accident), but nothing wrong with my back. I asked a good friend to ask people to pray for me and the day after the MRI I woke up fine.

Anyway I have a lot to do but don’t want to overdue it.

I still wouldn’t have changed a thing about all that I did during the storm. I just hope this clears up soon. I just signed TJ and myself up for a half marathon in April!!!

One year of writing a running blog

Today is my 1 year anniversary of writing this blog.

Okay, that deserves a picture!

Happy Anniversary To Me

Happy Anniversary To Me

It has been a crazy year.  When I started this blog, I had only run 5Ks and was preparing for my first half marathon.  I also had lost about 85 lbs and would loose another 15 (10 of which I gained back over Christmas.)

Since then, I ran my half marathon in 1:44, my marathon in 4:15 and PRed a 5K in 21:48.

I got hurt.  I thought I hurt my achilles, but actually it ended up being a heel spur.  I also jammed my hip during my marathon training and am still getting past it all.

I trained for my marathon in the hot Alabama Summer.  Nothing like getting up at 4:00 AM, working until 2:00, going to the Chiropractor till 4:00 and then trying to run in 100+ degree heat.

I missed qualifying for Boston by 45 minutes.  Still not a bad first marathon.  I had wonderful participation on my blog during my marathon as I ran and my brother kept people up on my progress.  TJ missed qualifying for Boston my 3 minutes – I was very proud of him.

Also a year of my Lovely Wife supporting me and putting up with me being out running 1-3 hours a day!!!  Thank you Lovely Wife! I honestly couldn’t do this without you!

So here I am.  One year to the day of starting my blog.  This is my 322nd entry.

Thank you to all of you who follow and encourage me on my journey.  It has been a heck of a ride so far.  I am not giving up on my goal of Boston.  I am going to do it.  I will continue until I make it and then… maybe start ultras?

One year down, another on the way.

God bless you all.

Tom

Run/walk/Boston/Hip/Mercedes post

Well this is the longest pause I’ve taken from my blog since last January.  I guess since the running hasn’t been happening and the holiday weekend was very busy and I only walked once…  I just had little to say.

About running.  I tried yesterday and my hip didn’t cooperate.  I got about 3/4 of a mile in before I had to walk.  As I ran I knew I felt stiff and pushing it wouldn’t be good, especially since it didn’t loosen up as I ran.  I blame myself for this.  I was just too busy to stretch and do the things I needed to do to recover from the 5K I ran a week ago.  I really wasn’t at 100% to run the 5K, but I wouldn’t have done it any different.  It was so much fun to see TJ win and me do well also.  Now I’m still paying for it.  That is fine though.  I am not complaining.  I’m thankful I can do what I can at this point.

It seems the Boston dream drifts further and further away.  I guess that is why I put that in my blog’s title, so that I would keep that as a goal.  I have to keep reminding myself that I have only been running for 20 months and have come a long way.  It is amazing what the human body can do when it is pushed.

Anyway, sorry to ramble.  I have started taking my meds for my hip again and doing my exercises.  Hopefully I’ll be back running my 3 -4 mile route soon.  I really want to run the Mercedes 1/2 marathon in February.  I ran it with TJ and RS last year and it was my favorite race of any I have run.  Lots of fun and finishing at 1:44 was a thrill.  I want to get better soon so that I can make it again this year.

I do know I’ll get better in time.  I learned a lot from my last time out for injury.  I just need to be patient and not push myself and hurt myself more.  That is hard, but easier this time than last.  I guess we learn wisdom with our experiences sometimes!

Today will more than likely be another walk as my hip hurts even as I write this.  Hopefully I’ll be better by the end of the week.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving / weekend / life!

Tom

Hill runs and races – workouts and payoffs

Hill run day yesterday… Need I say more.

Hill runs are good for you I hear.  TJ has really helped me in understanding the reason for the various workouts we do. Hill runs are just another part of the puzzle.  I’ve mentioned this hill we run before, but just to say it again, it is huge.  It goes straight up it seems for about a tenth of a mile and then levels out a bit and then is just semi steep for another tenth of a mile.  In fact the first part is so steep, I can’t run down it.  I’ve tried and it is more of a defensive run than a run.  Also, if I try to run down it, my knees are killing me afterwards.  So now I run up and walk (or walk in a falling forward motion) down.

All this for the workout.  I must admit that workouts really help break up the routine of running 6 days a week.  I start with a tempo run (I’m at 3 miles now) and then 2 days later do my hill run and then 3 days later do my long run.  Unfortunately I don’t recover very well from the hill run.  As of yet, though I’ve only done a few hill days, it takes until my day off (Monday) to get over the soreness.  I know that will go away, but wow I am sore afterwards!!!

The good news is that yesterday I was able to do 4 repeats up the hill.  That is the most so far and wasn’t too bad.  I didn’t sprint up the hill, but just tried to keep a steady pace.  I can tell that it really works out my lower body, which is good.

The 5K is just under 2 months away and I really want to do well.  I don’t know about other runners, but TJ and I really work at speed and distance.  I love 5Ks because they allow you to push hard for a short distance and really see how good of shape you are in.  I really enjoyed the half marathon because I had to pace myself and not push, but try to hit a sustainable pace for 13.1 miles.  That took much more strategy than the 5Ks I’ve run and in some ways made it more enjoyable.

Ultimately it is the races that make running fun.  They keep me pushing forward, up and down hills, fast and slow runs, over and over, week after week.  On race day, it all pays off.  I can’t wait for May 18th, our next 5K.  I only hope I can make my goal!!!  Only time (and workouts) will tell.

Use gravity

First, Kudos to TJ for running a 5:15 paced mile a couple of days ago.  Wow, that is amazing and he has been running less than a year.  He is really moving forward with his running.  Ah to be young again…

I have had some issues getting back to running which actually suprise me a bit.  I always have some pain becuase of my running, but not during my runs.  In fact, my back was really bad before the half marathon, but only when I wasn’t running.  While I was in my run, it never hurt.  Strange, I know.  Now, the second day back running 3 miles again, I have had two days with muscles pulling during my run that actually slow me down.  Yesterday, I thought I might have to stop during my run, but I got through it.  Another strange thing is now it is the opposite.  I hurt during my run and not after.  In fact, I have been running my first mile really slow, and my others at a faster pace, but still rather slow for me so I don’t think it is because of my warm up.

Half way through my run as I was starting to hurt, I remembered some things I used to practice that I had forgotten about.  To begin with, as soon as I hurt, I told myself to relax.  I let my shoulders down, I made my arms loose.  I even relaxed my jaw and forehead.  I relaxed my whole body, including my legs.  My feet started almost flopping on the ground as they hit.  After about a quarter mile of doing this, the pain went away and I was better.

It was then I had a flashback to the half marathon.  I was about 8 miles in (which was the hardest part for me because of some big hills) and a local runners club was on the side with signs and yelling encouragement to us as we went by.  One thing I heard and remember was, “use gravity”.  Oh yeah, I thought to myself, I need to use gravity.  I had practiced that a bit, but had forgotten during the race.  The idea comes (or at least I first heard of it) from Chi Running.  Although I bought a book about it, I admit I haven’t read it.  I have done Internet research on it though.  The main idea is to run tall and balanced and lean forward at your ankles allowing you to be in a controlled fall as you run.  Then as you move your foot under you to “catch” your fall, you move forward.  Basically using gravity to propel you rather than energy.  This makes running not only easier, but also prevents injuries since you are not using as much effort and putting strain on your muscles.  There is a lot more involved, but this is a quick summery of what I learned.  The main website is at www.chirunning.com, but you can search the net and get a lot of info from a lot of people about it.  I consider this the reason I have gone a year and only missed 2 planned running days from injury.  That says a lot coming from the out of shape old man that I was a year ago.

That is it for today.  My run today is going to be 3 miles.  It is to be warmer and the winds should be less than 20 mph that they have been the past two days. I am looking forward to that.