Finally success running smart!

I had a successful week running last week.  For me it was amazingly successful.

I’ve been running 41 miles a week for several weeks and to prevent a crash in my running, I decided to have a low mileage week.  My goal was to run 31 miles during the week with my longest run being 6 miles.  I ended up with 30.9 (but whose counting).

By Sunday, I felt great again.  My soreness was gone and my body “felt” healed.  This is huge for me.  In the past (1.5 years ago when I used to run this kind of mileage), I would keep running the higher mileage and then after a month or so I’d get hurt or have some issue that set me back into the low 100s.

Yesterday was going to be and 8 mile run, the first run of my 45 miles week (post recovery).  I did run, but it was raining hard and getting dark as the afternoon got late.  I got a late start because of issues beyond my control and by the time I got to 6 miles, I called it a day.  It was raining so hard toward the end of the run that it was like I was in basic training in the army.  I could barely see through the rain.  It was awesome.  I had negative splits with the first mile at a 9:40 pace, down to 8:15 my last mile.  I’ve learned to start out slow and then work my speed up throughout my run.  It makes all the difference in a good run.

There was one other soul out running at the same time as me in the park.  Just us two, going opposite directions and passing each other slashing in the puddles.

So my plan was for 8 miles yesterday, but I settled for 6.  I’ll make up the other two sometime this week.  Today is an 8 mile hill run, then Wednesday 4 miles, Thursday 8, Friday 4, and Saturday 13.  Sunday will be a 10 mile bike trail ride with RS and then it all starts over next Monday.

By the way, I was reading the recap of my only marathon and all the comments from it the other day.  Oh how I want to run one again.  This time, I want to run it smartly and with strength.  No plans yet, but maybe Chicago?  That would be cool! Maybe I could see my friend at 🙂

Happy trails.


Running, heat, childhood and me

I am not a summer person.  I love the cold.  I’m originally from Pennsylvania and I don’t think I miss the cold winters, but I do remember the hot summers.  We would get into the 90s and we had no air conditioning.  I just had to sit and melt.  I learned then that heat was not my friend.  I can remember trying to sleep in my room at night with the window open and listening to the trucks on a far off highway… and sweating!  Fast forward to more recent times.  Before I began running, I would never go out in the summer.  The most I’d be outside was just enough to walk to my car.  I hated the heat – and I still do.  I love the fall.  I love the winter.  I love the spring.  I hate summer (which only begins tomorrow).

I started my run yesterday… 3:00 in the afternoon.  Five days in a row.  Four days of 100+ heat index.  The real temperature was in the mid 90s.

I got about 100 yards and turned back, went home, got on my headsets and decided to walk.

Honestly, until this week I’d only run 4 times in all of June.  So I am feeling good about my running at this point, heat included.  I ran my mountain for the second week in a row last Sunday and ran 4 miles in my neighborhood Monday – Wednesday.  Yesterday I ended up doing an even amount of running and walking.  My legs were shot and I only had 5 hours of sleep the night before.

On to a quick thought about the heat index.  Does anyone know how they decide what that is?  As a runner who hits the streets at 3:00 in the afternoon, I have a feeling that the heat coming up from the asphalt is about 100 degrees hotter then that index taken from some field in the shade.  Just sayin’.

Moving forward.  It was a the best week for me in about 2 months.  I have no idea why and I have no idea why the past two months have been so difficult.  I’m not going to question it anymore, I’m just glad to be feeling better.  Today is Friday and we have the whole weekend ahead of us.

Life is good better!


Running reply

I got this comment from Bernie at GetGoingGetRunning this morning and I thought it would be good to just make my answer into a post:

Hi Tom, I was wondering where you had got to!
Don’t be hard on yourself. You’ve got an injury. Every runner gets injured at some point. It’s just part of the trials and tribulations of the sport.
So you’re not running? Tell us what you’re doing instead! What weird nasty exercise has the chiropractor got you doing now? How much do you want to meet the inventor of the foam roller so you can tell them what you really think of that little tube of pain delivered in such a calming pastel colour?
I’m sure I’m speaking for everyone here when I say we’re rooting for you to get back on the running train, and that we all understand from our previous experience what you’re going through and we are just as interested to see how you’re dealing with not doing what you’ve come to love.
See you back on the running train soon!

First of all, thank you Bernie and everyone for your support, advice and encouragement.  I do appreciate it and it has been a huge help.

Okay, I think I am back to normal.  I say that because I have no pain and feel pretty well.  I started taking Turmeric as a natural anti-inflammatory and it seems to be really helping.  I also have spent more time with my heating pad at night than my Lovely Wife. 🙂

As everyone who has ever read this blog knows, I am not a huge cross training type of guy.  It honestly isn’t that I am against it.  I did get out my late sister’s bike the other day and was going to ride it, but I need a helmet and stores are proud of their biking helmets.  They can be expensive. It’s hard to spend as much money on a helmet as I did on my new shoes that sit in a box by the couch.

So I walk.  Yes it is boring, but here is my thought…  With rest (as Joey and others have encouraged me) I know I’ll get better.  My Chiropractor benefits are used up for the year.  My main “fear” is that I will lose the habit of running.  So I figure if I keep going out each day at the same time and walk for 45 minutes, I will keep the habit of doing an activity that is similar to running, just slower and more boring.

I may try a slow run today.  I’ll see how I feel after work.  The weather is awesome and I’m feeling great, so I should be good to go.  Worst case scenario, if for some reason I can’t run for an extended period of time, I’ll take up biking.  Maybe there will be a triathlon in my future.

Thanks again Bernie and everyone!!!  It would be so much harder without this blog and reading your blogs!

Quick and to the point

Finally a day off.

Today I’m going to take a rest day today from running in preparation for running my long(ish) run with @BigBigGeek tomorrow.

I’m really tired this morning as I haven’t slept well this week and still need to get up early tomorrow to take JR to work.

So… not much to say today.  I know… you thought that day would never come.  🙂

Have a great weekend – and awesome races!


Another day off from running – Tough recovery week

I took yesterday off running as I said in my post yesterday.  It was a busy day anyway and I honestly would not have had time to run until evening, so it worked out.

I am actually considering taking today off also. I woke up this morning and was still sore all over.  This week is way off from my running plan anyway and so I may as well take advantage of my time and rest today and begin fresh tomorrow.

I am trying not to over analyze the situation in which I find myself.

Slowly but surely I am recovering and I hope and pray that this time off will be just what I need.  I must admit the difficulty of taking a few days off while training for a marathon in 2.5 months.  However my long runs have gotten shorter and more difficult and even my daily runs aren’t easy, so I figure my body needs this time to heal and get whole again.

Thank you for the emails and comments.

Encouragement is always a good thing and appreciated!!!

Sometimes the hard runs are the most important – Never give up!

Wow, yesterday’s post was the most popular ever on this blog!  It is so funny, as I had originally written about my horrible run and then decided to delete the post and write something positive.  There is a lot of good in running and it doesn’t depend on how you feel.  In fact, I would say that most of the time I don’t feel great while running.  Weeks like this week make me wonder why I run.  But I must say, even though this week has been a rough run week, I still went out and ran.  Even though I felt like my legs are full of concrete, I still did my 7 miles a day.  That is why running is so important to me.  It builds endurance, perseverance, patience and determination.  These are qualities I didn’t have a year ago when I started.  But now I look at my world through these qualities.

Yesterday was another “ugh” run.  I decided early on that I would mute my iSmoothRun app and just run at whatever pace I wanted to run.  In fact, in the beginning I told myself that I would run the slowest run I have ever run, just to take the pressure out of it.  It didn’t help much.  By mile 3 I was ready to head home and cut my losses.  Then I thought that I could just run one more mile.  Then I ran another.  By that time I was far enough away from home that I ran home and hit my goal of 7 miles at my driveway.

Here are my thoughts on why this has been a difficult week for me.  Yes it has been hot.  Yes it has been humid.  Those things will make a huge difference, but I don’t think that is why my running has been off.  The reason I think it has been a rough week running is because I am not 30 anymore.  What I mean by that is, a 30 year old can run 14 days in a row and not feel it as much.  A 50 year old, not so much.  As you may recall, on my Monday off day, TJ and I went for a 4 mile run.  Not only that, but we ran 2 miles in a hilly neighborhood.  Not only that, but I went for a 2 mile walk that afternoon.  That was my off day.  Now I am paying for it.

Going back to the beginning of this post.  Even though my legs hurt, my knees hurt, my hips hurt and each step is difficult, I still go out each afternoon and run.  I have to.  It is engrained into me now.  Tomorrow is only a 4 mile day, so I have decided ahead of time to take it off so that I will feel better by my long run day on Sunday.  Looking back, 2 years ago I couldn’t even get out of a chair to take a walk.  A year ago, I was running 2 miles in 24 minutes.  Yesterday I was disappointed at running 7 miles in 1:03.

Yes, I am thankful for all I’ve learned over the past year.  I am thankful for each of the 1,300 miles I’ve run since a year ago last March.  Everything has changed and most of it is good.  Not many people can say that they feel the best, are in the best shape and are the healthiest when they turn 50.

I just hope it continues.

Two weeks off of running

I’ve decided that this would be a good time to take some time off for several reasons.

First, I completed my goal of a half marathon and I think my body needs rest. I have been running 5-6 days a week for almost a year.  I need some time for my body to heal.

Second, I have a minor procedure on Friday that would mean that I can’t run for a week anyway.

Third, I am going to try to cut back on carbs that I have been eating and get my diet back in line.  I have been eating more because of my running and in prep for the race, and I have gained about 5 pounds in the past month.  I need to cut back on the carbs and sugars and cleanse out my system so I can get back to normal eating and running.  Plus I can feel the extra weight and know it isn’t going to be helpful to my running.

All that to say, my journal of running (this blog) may not be as up to date during this time.  Who knows though, I may post interesting articles or thoughts or just musings of my anticipation of getting back on the road with my running shoes.

I miss running already 🙂