Wednesday, July 20, 2011
So far I have had one chronic problem while running and that is a blister/callous on the tip of my first toes. I have read that this is usually caused by having shoes that don't have enough room for your toes. However, having been properly fitted to alleviate this problem did not solve it. Instead I can tell you that the problem occurs because I have a tendency to curl my toes while I am running, with all the extra space in the front of my shoe. So, the tip of my first toes on both feet rub on the bottom of my shoe while I am running. No amount of trying to consciously keep them straight has helped. Maybe some of you have some suggestions? Maybe I need to consider moleskin, or taping my toes together? In any case, I've had blisters, had them turn into callouses, removed the callouses, then developed new blisters. Not sure why I never had this problem until this past year. Maybe I need smaller shoes?
7 months after I hurt my shoulder, I was finally able to get an MRI and then went and got the results back today. The MRI showed no tendon or rotator cuff tears, only some mild tendinosis in two places. The next step is a referral to a sports therapy/medicine specialist who will help decide if I just need to rest it, or if a shot into the joint will help clear it out and speed recovery. So, mostly good news. No surgery needed. But, still a long road to recovery ahead.
This morning I was running my 3 mile training run that was supposed to be somewhat of a speed workout, but I wasn't feeling particularly motivated. Then, from behind me on the other side of the street, comes this girl/woman/lady and she's really running at a good pace. It just happened to be at right about my 1 mile spot, so it worked out good for me to pick up my pace for the next mile. Wow, I could *not* keep up with her! She was *really* moving! And it did not look like she was going to slow down any time soon. I ended up running somewhere around a 7 minute mile trying to keep up with her (I couldn't), so she had to have been running at *least* a 6:30 or faster mile pace.
It made me think back to when I used to be able to run that fast. I would really like to be able to run that fast, again, but at this point I am still really doing this for my health and to run these distances for the first time so I can say I can do it - speed is not the point (just a side effect). Will I get faster? Yes, probably. Will I get that fast? Depends on how hard I push myself (probably not, with my current training schedule and intensity).
Anybody want to come coach me? :-)
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
This past Saturday I had a 14 mile run which I did with the aid of my Camelbak (it's third trip). I had planned on purchasing more Gatorade to use in my pack (1/3 Gatorade, 2/3 water), but never managed to make it to the store. So, instead I had to make-do with only water. I pre-fueled with a granola bar and a glass of water and packed my Camelbak mostly full with plenty of ice (maybe a little too much). If I had to guess, I think I probably filled it with around 60 ounces of water and ice. I turned it upside down to bleed as much air out of it as I could.
When I started my run, the ice was still pretty thick on top and so as the water sloshed, the ice created a racket as it bounced against the hard plastic quick-fill lid. It was about 71 degrees when I left, so not overly hot and I figured the ice would last a while. After a mile or two, it had either melted or be drained enough to drop below the level of the lid and the noise ceased, much to my relief. :)
I tried to take regular sips during my run which increased in size during the last 5 miles of my run - especially during the last 2 or 3.
When I finally reached the end of my run, I began my cool-down walk and maybe 100 feet into my cool-down I took my last sip and had drained it dry. Fortunately it was a cool-ish day and I had left early, so it had only reached 80 degrees by the end of my run. The high for the day ended up at 96.
So, 60 ounces worked pretty well for that run, tho during my cool-down I seriously wished I had some more water to drink and quickly drank 16 ounces of water plus another 10 of orange juice when I got back to the house.
I definitely got a little lucky with the cool weather. On a more typical summer day the temps would have started out closer to 80 and ended up closer to 90. Next time definitely I need to remember buy some gatorade and also allow a little more time to allow the ice to melt (or include in a little less) before I start my run. I also need to make sure that if it's a hotter day to fill it up closer to the full 70 ounces.
Otherwise, it worked great for this its third time out. It took about a mile to get all the straps tightened enough to get it nice and snug, but then it was perfect for the first 7 or 8 miles. After than, it loosened up as I continued to drain the reservoir, but since there was less than half left, it wasn't so bothersome since it was also very light and didn't move around too much.
Will put all my lessons learned to work on my 10 mile run this upcoming weekend. :)
Saturday, July 16, 2011
This morning - a Saturday morning - my alarm woke me up at 4:45am, like it usually does 3 days out of the middle of the week. I almost went back to bed, but managed to get myself up and into my running clothes and then downstairs for some water and to get ready to run. I made a few annoyingly loud noises, but managed to make it out the door with my camelbak, keys, and phone without waking my wife or our 13-month old daughter. I walked to the corner and then off I went for my longest run, yet.
I felt like I wasn't running that fast. My camelbak always seems to make me run a little slower, which for my long runs is a good thing since I have a tendency to run them a little too close to race pace. The ice in my camelbak was clattering, but it was a necessary evil as the forecast high for today was 96. And that was also why I headed out for the sun came up. It was only 71 when I left and hopefully I would be done before the real heat came out.
Once the ice melted in my camelbak, it was quiet and I was able to completely focus on my running. It felt like I was running around an 11 minute/mile pace which is a little slower than I would like, but it felt like I could run forever and 14 miles sure seemed like forever, so I didn't try to speed up.
Around mile 3 I turned the corner behind another run and followed him for about a mile as he slowly pulled away from me until we hit a stop light just before a small hill and I caught up to him just as the light changed. I took off from the light first and I was surprised that he never caught me. 3 miles later I turned the corner again and looked back to see that he was still running, not too far behind me. I wondered how far he would be running, but I was going a different direction and never saw him again.
Between miles 6 and 7 my knees started to get sore. If there is any reason I never complete a marathon, it will be because of my knees. They were pretty good going into my first half marathon, but as I've continued my training they've become sore off and on. I hoping they don't become an issue.
Around mile 9 the sun was now well up in the sky and I was running in and towards it for most of the rest of m run. I could also tell my body was starting to tire. My thighs were starting to get sore and tight and I was taking more and larger pulls of water from my camelbak.
Around mile 12 I was counting the blocks I had left and was ready to be done. I also tried to decide what to do with my run in 2 weeks. 15 miles or 12 miles? I missed my long run during my vacation and today was supposed to be 15 miles. In two weeks I have 12 miles scheduled which is my last long run before I start my taper, 2 weeks before my next half marathon. Should I drop down to 12 miles to make sure I am not burnt out before my race, or make it my final hurrah at 15 miles?
When I finished my run I was pleased to see that I finished my 14.22 miles in just over 2 hours 30 minutes - a pace of 10:30 minutes per mile. According to my mile splits, I only ran one mile (mile 9) over 11 minutes. I felt like I was running most of my miles slower than 11 min/mile pace, so I was very happy to see that. It wasn't my faster run, by any means, but it was my longest, ever, and even tho I was tired at the end, it felt satisfying and it's a good sore.
Hopefully, once I am completely over this cold I will feel even better for my next long run (however long it may be) and I will be all set for my next race.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Love this quote I heard on a Saucony commercial and I want to share it:
"Maybe strong is all you have left when you've used up all your weak."
Something to think about.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
One of the benefits of living near the West Coast is living near In N Out Burger! My sister and her husband live in the mid-west and whenever they make their yearly visit, their first stop is always to In N Out. Did I mention that they are runners and in excellent health?
So, of course, on Saturday evening my sister posts a picture on Facebook and then mentions on Twitter that they are eating In N Out that night and then probably again at least one more time before they head home. I haven't eaten at In N Out in a couple months and my sister's posts had me and my wife salivating. So, what is a couple to do?
Sunday morning my wife headed to the gym for her 3 mile training run and I played with our daughter while she's gone. She gets home at 10 and puts our daughter down for a nap. Neither of us had eaten breakfast, yet (which is unusual since we both are habitual breakfast eaters). I ask her "do you want In N Out for lunch or for dinner?" She tells me that her mother is bringing over some food for us for dinner, so it will have to be lunch.
At 11:30 I head out and bring back In N Out. I had a double-double, fries, and a 7-up. It was delicious. It was heavenly.
It was NOT guilt-inducing!
Why? Because I planned it into my daily/weekly routine. I had skipped breakfast. I begged off any snacks that I didn't want, anyway. I didn't overeat my MIL's meatloaf, green beans, and new potatoes that she brought over for dinner (she makes the *best meatloaf, btw - sorry, mom!). It fit right in with my calorie count for the day and for the week. And I ran my scheduled 9 miles on Saturday and 5 miles on Monday.
And then on Monday morning, the scale showed a drop of .5 pounds!
So, it is without apologies that I let you all know that I ate fast food and I enjoyed it and I don't feel one iota guilty for it. It can be done!
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