The Runner’s Paradox

It was a long weekend trying to rest so that my back would feel better.

I tried, but didn’t succeed.

No, I didn’t run.  That would have been a mistake and I’ve made that mistake in the past.

Unfortunately my Lovely Wife, who has had a bad back for 3 years with 2 ruptured disks, woke up Saturday morning with what seemed to be a pinched nerve in her back.  She was a trooper and went out with me to do errands all weekend.  My only issue was helping her in and out of the car, which was not easy with my own messed up back.  She was better by last night, so hopefully she is on the mend – as much as one can be on the mend with 2 ruptured disks.

Then there was the toilet that broke.  I had to try to replace the insides of this toilet that I “fixed” 3 weeks ago.  That was an hour of leaning over a toilet and without a hangover to enjoy (just kidding).

Finally, between Church Sunday morning (Catholics do a lot of kneeling) and fixing TJ’s broken deadbolt, I don’t think I am in much better shape then when the weekend began.

On a good note, I slept well and am still below 185 lbs, which after pizza on Friday night and burgers last night, I’m thrilled.

Back to running (pun intended), I may try some easy miles this afternoon.  I’ll have to see  how I feel when I get home.  I am in the runners paradox.  Do I try to run to keep in the best shape of my life, or do I keep resting even though it hasn’t done much for me?  To be honest, while I am running I don’t feel any pain.  It seems to come on me after walking all day (I average 2 – 3 miles walking a day at work).  I tend to walk fast in order to get a lot done, but today I am going to slow it way down and see if that helps.

I miss running!

Tom

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Fast slow run or Slow fast run

I decided to walk yesterday as after my run on Tuesday my back was not happy.

However, as I got about a half mile into my walk, I was feeling fine and thought that I’d try running slowly and with little pounding.

Confession: I have a hard time with a LSD (Long Slow Distance) or any slow distance.  I don’t say this to brag, but to confess a weakness.  When I run, I do run to feel, but after a bit I am running faster then I should on an easy run.  Of course I have the faster runs down, but doing a fast run everyday is bad, not only for my body, but also for my mind.  If I am running hard everyday, then I am always pushing myself and never just enjoying the run.

So my goal is to slow down, especially now that it is getting hot out.

Back to yesterday.  I achieved my goal… sort of…

I managed to run about a minute a mile slower then my normal runs have been over the past month.  It felt really good.  I wasn’t huffing and puffing.  I wasn’t tired.  In fact I received a call about 2.5 miles into my run and answered in a normal conversational voice.

I have been reading about bloggers who are going beyond the marathon.  You ultra marathon runners really impress me.  A coworker had a friend in NY who ran 50 miles last weekend.  That would be a cool goal.  If I could just run at a pace that was comfortable and run longer, that would be awesome and maybe one day I could do something beyond what I have already accomplished.

My goal for the time being is to slow down, especially for the summer.  I’ll keep running my mountains and doing faster runs and workouts, but on my normal average day, I will try to develop a running style that has much less impact and will allow me to go further with less effort.

Sounds like something I should have figured out before now… huh?

Tom

Recovery by feel

Yesterday I had a good run.

I am trying to run to feel after my last race.  Monday I didn’t run as my heel and hip were sore from my mountain run on Sunday.

I went out yesterday and felt really good.  I got a mile and a half into my run and noticed I was at a 7:15 pace.  Not good, as the heat index was getting close to 90 and the weather had been cool lately.  By the time I got to the two mile mark, I was really feeling the fatigue.  So I walked.  I walked 3 times during my run.  I’ve decided that I’m going to work at not doing the things that have injured me in the past.

Here is my plan:

  • Run to feel.
  • Run 4 miles a day during the week and 8 on a weekend day.
  • Don’t increase my mileage until I can run 2 weeks straight without pain.
  • If I have a bad day, walk the next day.
  • Walk every day that I feel badly.
  • Have fun and don’t push it.

I don’t have another race for a month and that is a 5K, so I have time to take my race recovery slow.  It usually takes me a month or so to recover fully from a hard run race.  I think that is because I come back too quickly and I push too hard.  I have to remember that I have only been running for 26 months and though I am in the best physical condition of my life, I am over 50 years old.

Yesterday, after my run, my hip/back hurt.  I was actually hurting quite a bit, so I’ll won’t decide if I am running at all today until I see how I feel this afternoon.

Have an awesome day and I hope my musings help someone “out there”.

Tom

Running as a habit… The good and the bad

Well… taking a break yesterday didn’t go as well as I had hoped.

I got home and decided to just run/walk slowly.  You need to understand that my success in running is based on habit.  I have developed a habit of running 5 – 6 days a week over the past two years.  The good thing about habits is that they become automatic as long as you do the same thing at the same time each day (not time  like a clock, but time as at the same point in your day – i.e.: after work).   Everyday I get home from work and immediately get on my running clothes and head out to run… EVERYDAY during the week.  From the time I get home to the time I am out running it is usually about 10 minutes.  I have trained myself to do this.  It is an ingrained habit that has worked well for me…

Except…

When I need rest, it is almost impossible to stop.  I do rest by taking a day off a day a week, but usually walk on those days.  A true rest day only occurs if I am sick or the day is so busy that I cannot get my run in (usually a Saturday).

So yesterday I planned on resting, but I ran.  To be fair, I ran at a pace 1 to 2 minutes slower than normal and I walked from time to time (about a half mile of the five mile run).  So it was a resting run. 🙂

I didn’t sleep well again last night.  I’m not sure what is happening.  No stress, no pressure, no caffeine or sugar.  I fell asleep late (late for me anyway) and then kept waking up.  I woke up at 3:00AM and just waited for the alarm to go off at 4:00 (and then didn’t want to get up).  Although I feel fine, I wonder if I am not fighting some sickness or something.  It has been a strange couple of days, but at least it hasn’t been more than that.

Finally, I had a hit on my blog yesterday where someone typed into Google, “278 to Boston Boston marathon 2014”.  Ha.  That was pretty neat to see.  I assume someone wondering if I qualified yet or not.  Well this runner will have to wait until at least 2015 and I probably won’t have a real chance a qualifying till 2016.

Goals.  Habits.  Life. All is good (now if I can just get some sleep).

It gets complicated when I can’t run

Relax!

That is what I kept telling myself yesterday as I ran.  Relax and run easy.

I hadn’t run since before the snow last week.  After getting home and realizing I injured my back by my antics at work (sleeping on the floor, walking in the ice, falling on the ice, etc), I had to hold off running.  That is not a good thing for me.

I think because I run  5 – 6 days a week, if I go a few days without running my emotions take a dive.  I don’t know if it is the lack of endorphins or just lack of sleeping well, but I become a monster emotionally.  Just angry with the world and everything in the world.

Sunday was another one of “those” days.  I just had to leave.  I went for a 2 hour walk and ended up in a park and sat for an hour.  Actually that seemed to help get me back a little.  It was a rough day and I could feel it from the moment I woke up.  One week without running makes one weak, if you ask me.

Monday I just didn’t feel like running.  My hip was bothering me.  I decided to take “the dog” out for a walk.  That was nice, but it bothered me that I didn’t want to run.  It isn’t like I love my runs, but I love the aftereffect.  The peace.  The satisfaction of finishing a run.

Finally, yesterday I ran.  I got in 4.25 miles under a 9:00 pace.  I feel better.  I like that feeling after I run of my lungs breathing in full and easy.  I like the peace I feel and the fact that after two years, a run still finishes my day.

So I guess I am back again to my running days.  This crazy weather has been playing havoc with my hip, but I just relax and run easy and that helps (going back to how I started this post).

Relax.  Enjoy.  Run.  Be happy.

Sometimes I make life too complicated.

Tom

Running Back

Well my back is better, thank God for that!  The last time I had the same issue it took months to get over.

I haven’t tried to run yet, but did walk 5 miles yesterday and had no problems sleeping last night (which is when my back is at its worse).

So I plan on running today, Lord willing.

Thank you for all the thoughts and prayers.  It was a rough week last week.  This is a new day, week, month.

I am thankful.

Tom

Southern Snowstorm (Part III)

Honestly I have nothing to do, so I thought I’d write a post for my blog.

We are stuck.  Massively stuck.  The road where my work is off of only has two ways out.  One side has a sharp hill that is ice and the other is filled with a quarter mile of cars that were abandoned yesterday.  The Interstates are crawling and abandoned cars all over them.

Basically the weatherman made a booboo.  He said that this storm was going to be much more south than it was.  So they sent all the sand trucks (and what few salt trucks and snow plows we have) south.  Thus we had 2 inches of snow on frozen roads that turned to ice and no way to move.  I know people up North say, “2 inches of snow… those wimps”.  I am from the North and I’m telling you, if you had this snow with no equipment to clear it or melt it and sub freezing temperatures… Okay, you would have handled it better than us Southerners who haven’t seen snow in 10 years, but still it would have been a mess.

So I spent the day getting medicine and supplies from a CVS a few miles away and walking a co-worker to her husband’s hotel.  Oh yeah, I also worked some.

Another night her in the office and probably most of tomorrow.  I don’t see them getting these cars cleared very quickly.  It is a mess.

No running for me, but I did walk about 7 miles in the ice.  That should account for something.

UPDATE:

It has been two hours since I started this post.  Seems some cars are moving on the Interstates, but our road is still blocked.  Ugh.  The guys who brought the good came and picked it back up.  I’m not sure where they were going, but they were so nice and said to keep anything we needed.  The main guy was a pastor and his deacon was helping him.  Very nice people.

So another day is done.  I may write in the morning if I can keep my eyes open.  I have nothing to sleep on, so it will be another long night.  Reminds me of my collage fraternity days.  Sleeping on the floor in strange rooms. 🙂

I am so thankful for this experience.  It has been hard and I miss my family, but we are all safe and warm and have food and shelter.  There isn’t much more we can ask for in this life.

Goodnight!