Saturday, October 27, 2012
My back/rib pain had been improving all week. I was able to run up to 6 miles without too much discomfort. Then yesterday, since all my repair parts had arrived, I decided to work on the motorcycle. Not a big job, just replacing clutch perch and lever, and remove and replace shifter peg. I was able to do this without real pain. Nevertheless, I was up and down a lot, and had to be a bit aggressive turning a rusted bolt on the clutch adjustment cable. I did feel some pain then. So, I may have overdone it with exercising the sore back.
When I fell, I landed on my left side, and more on the back. My pain was on the rear of my left ribs. The soreness was improving somewhat, and I was optimistic that I'd be ready for my marathon next Saturday.
Then last night after all that work, it got to hurting again. So, being concerned about my fitness to do a marathon, I spent another couple of hours researching stress fractures, deep bruising, and blunt trauma injuries to the ribs and back. Also, checking if runners had been able to run long distances with these types of injuries.
I was rewarded with story after story of those who had run marathons with similar injuries. Apparently with this type of trauma, and without sharp pain during running, runners have able to run through the pain and complete their races. This anecdotal sampling of mine included a few older runners, as well.
Being as driven as we can be, and having paid in advance for these marathons with time, money, and not an insignificant amount of training, we don't find it easy to cancel our big day. Even if we've run 30 marathons before, we don't want to cancel.
So, today, I have an 8 mile run scheduled. I am also very sore again. I will not do that 8 miler, I'm thinking about taking the entire week off and just recover as much as possible before race day. Then run a damn 'to finish' race come Saturday. In my last 6 miler, I actually got into a zone where I forgot I was injured, and was just running comfortably. That's not to say I will duplicate that zone for 26.2 miles, but still, it was encouraging.
I know some people will find my decision unwise, but I truly believe I can do this, as others have. I have a pretty good pain threshold, and I am able to deep breath comfortably. My DW is a retired orthopedic nurse, and even though not enthusiastic about my running on Saturday, is not really pushing me to stay home on race day, either. I know she's been watching me too, so I suppose she hasn't seen any behavior in me that would give her reason to insist I not run.
I have the option of dropping out at the half marathon point, and going on to finish the half only, if I find I am in trouble and can't finish the entire marathon. So, there's a way out of the DNF category. I can't see that happening, but there is an out for me.
Thanks for reading and have a great day!
Sunday, October 21, 2012
That's what you do when you live. You weigh the odds and take your chances.
Being a natural born genius, I am aware that riding a motorcycle is both a dangerous and fun thing to do. So, I went to Biketoberfest. My friends would be there, my daughters were going, and it is a fun time indeed.
In the back of my mind, is this little voice, no doubt that left side that keeps me safe. - "Dude, you have to run a marathon in two weeks, do you really NEED to go to Biketoberfest? You could get hurt, and there goes all that training" Right side says, "Dude you aren't getting any younger, go ride you bike and have fun, you'll be fine. That left side can keep you out of trouble, but he also weighs the odds for you. He's told you that the odds of getting injured are so miniscule that it's fine to go have some fun."
I love both these guys. And lately, left side wins out almost all the time. But I wanted to have fun at Biketoberfest AND run a marathon so off to Biketoberfest I went.
And yes, dear blog ready, as you have correctly inferred, I did indeed run into trouble. Trouble in the form a four wheel Crown Victoria driving person, who did not feel it necessary to fully ascertain that the left lane was unoccupied, before swerving into it.
I was in that left lane. I saw him coming, but could not stop quickly enough. He clipped my front tire, and I spilled onto the pavement. Luckily, at a slow rate of speed. I could probably run faster than I was going.
I got a bloody elbow and knee. My left side is hurting a bit. I landed with my left arm tucked into my left side. Yes, I was well enough to ride the bike back to my hotel. But, yes, I was hurting.
That was Friday, Today is Sunday. I feel a lot better. (Thanks) and am able to fill my lungs with air, and stretch out fully, but I think I will skip my longer run I had scheduled for today.
I'm optimistic that I will be well enough to run my marathon in 2 weeks. But, let's just see about that. Fingers crossed, to say the least.
I really didn't want to write this blog, But, there ya have it.
Even though the guy who hit me was 100% at fault, I take full responsibility for my actions and choices in life. I would do it that same tomorrow. It does seem, on the surface, to be kind of stupid to get on a motorcycle and enter traffic these days. I know. Perhaps I will stop doing that some day.
Thanks for reading and have a great day!
Saturday, October 13, 2012
The Green Thing
Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.
The woman apologized and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days."
The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations."
She was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.
Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.
We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.
Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right. We didn't have the green thing back in our day.
Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana . In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she's right. We didn't have the green thing back then.
We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn't have the green thing back then.
Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.
But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?
Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smartass young person.
Remember: Don't make old people mad.
We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us off.
Monday, October 08, 2012
It turned out that the longest training run before my upcoming marathon came on a day we would be visiting my daughter and the grandkids. We take our RV, park on her covered RV pad and sleep there during our visits. I wasn't too eager to do my run there, because it's hilly where she lives.
The morning of my run, all my 'stuff' had been laid out the night before, so I was ready fairly quickly once I woke up at 5:30 or so. It was foggy, 100 percent humidity and 72 degrees at 6 AM when I started out. I got out alright, but developed a problem with my Timex GPS watch at mile 1:29. It started beeping and there was a message that the memory was full. So I had to delete some previous runs, and restart the watch. In the dark. On the side of a rural road adjacent to an orange grove
Got that done, but was frustrated that I already lost time messing with the watch. I kind of wanted to get an idea of how long it would take to run 22 miles in relatively warm weather. I forgot to look at the time before I restarted the run, but I guess it was around 16 minutes, since I started slowly. So, I never got an exact run time.
I went out for a mile and a half, turned around and came back to the lake that I usually run around. It's 2 1/4 miles one way on the lake running track, but I decided to continue and go off track and return to my starting point, all the way around the lake. That was just about 3.33 miles one way. I did a couple of these, then backtracked on the running path, just trying to change up to not be so bored.
During the run, around mile 11 or so, I saw my daughters BF standing on the side of the road, next to his car. He had a cold bottle of water, and was checking up on me. That was cool. I stopped for a bit, ate another fig newton and had a sip or two of the cold water. It was getting warm already, the cold water was good. Better than the warm water I had been drinking from the fountains placed around the running/walking track on the lake.
Being a Saturday morning, there were other runners and walkers out there. Lots of them. When I started out in the dark, I was the sole runner for what seemed like a long time. Then they came, in droves. Mostly all cheerful smiling faces. Old guys walking and talking. Young runners flying by in each direction. Women with kids in strollers. Moms and daughters. I like seeing other runners, makes it more fun.
So, I continue to run, it gets warmer and eventually, I am the only runner out there again. Wow, this is a long run. No runners, some runners, lots of runners, the herd thins out. Now they've all gone home, because it is too hot to run. But, I continue. And man, it feels like a hundred degrees out. I'm really wearing down. And there is daughters BF, Tom, again.
More water, and best of all, encouragement. He took my picture, told me I was looking good. And being the nice guy he is, asks me if I want to sit down for a while. I smile graciously and said, "Naw, I think I better keep going, but thanks anyway". I drink some of his cold water, and am silently grateful that my daughter chose such a nice guy for a boyfriend. He asked how I was doing and I checked my watch, told him I had about 5 more miles to go.
I run some more. Now I have about 2 miles to go to make 22 miles, I head back to the RV. I'd underestimated how far it was to the house, so it turns out I was to run farther than 22 miles, about 22.5 actually.
The sun is beating down, and I am whipped. My heart rate is over 170, and I am concerned it's too high. So I walk more. I try to run, but almost immediately the HR goes up to 170 plus. I had read about being careful in the heat, and pay attention to heart rate, so I'm going to play it safe, shelve my ego and walk the last mile. It is now 82 degrees, and I'm in direct Florida sun, I try to run, but that danged HR keeps going up. Besides, the way home is uphill. Like I said, there were lots of hills on this run. So, I mostly walk back, and soon enough I am done.
Total mileage was about 22.5 and the time was just about 5 hours and 7 minute. Not a bad effort for the conditions. I was pretty tired, but still resisted the effort to crash. I did my foam roller and stretches for a short time. Rested a bit then did the stretches and rollers again. I remained kind of tired all day, this run took a lot out of me.
Oh yeah, my knees were perfect! No real pain. My new Altra zero drop shoes are working fine for me. My feet were sore. No pain like I'd been having. Sore is fine, though.
Today, 2 days later I feel fully recovered. So, my longest run ever was a success. I sure hope it is cooler in Savannah when I do my marathon. That would be good. But, even if it gets up to the 80s, I know I can finish.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Even though I've been careful about what I ingest, I deliberately ate a lot of carbs yesterday. Today would be my longest run - ever. I was scheduled for 19 miles today, and I wanted to ensure I had fueled up on both food and water.
My strategy seemed to be working, because I had plenty of energy this morning. It was cool but humid, and I ran strong. When I got to the 11 mile point, I was feeling like I could run like this all day. But, logically, I knew the point was coming that would change my mood.
Once the sun came out and it got warmer, and the miles piled on, I was indeed getting tired. My feet were doing fine, though. They'd been giving me lots of trouble. I ordered a new pair of Altra Instinct zero drop shoes to try to change that. After putting in metatarsal pads, these shoes were nice. My feet never hurt as I passed the 7 mile point, where they usually started acting up. At 11 miles or so, I first felt a bit of foot discomfort, but just that. Not real pain like I had become accustomed to.
I brought along water. G-2 gatorade, fruit slices and fig newtons. I took in about 50 calories every 2 miles, and drank a few sips of water of gatorade as well.
I was feeling worn down at around 15 or 16 miles and my pace slowed, and I rested/walked more. The temperature was around 80 degrees by now, too. My heart rate always goes up in the heat, and I could see it was around 160-170 at peaks. Too high. So, I slacked off.
Then as I rolled by the 17 mile point, I was in new territory. Farther than I had ever run in my entire life! I tried to step it up, and finish strong the last couple miles. I wasn't really running fast, but faster. According to my Timex Ironman, my last 2 miles were indeed speedier that the few miles preceding them. That's encouraging, being able to attain negative splits in the warmer temps, and running low on energy. I felt pretty exhausted at the end, in fact, felt like I didn't do as well as I wanted. But, my watch tells a different story.
But, this was not a race, it was a training run, during which I learned I was capable of speeding up at the end of a very long run. Good news for me.
I ran 19.34 miles in 4 hours and 16 minutes today.
Thanks for reading, and have a great day.
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