Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Real Pain in the Ass

Literally. Well, except I think it's more in my right groin.

I've been complaining recently of various right leg pain issues. The hamstring has been the culprit on multiple days. Sometimes the right calve. Sometimes the IT band is tender. Sometimes my glute and/or groin. Every other run leaves me with a tender area somewhere on my right leg.

I think I'm getting into mind game territory now. I've been monitoring this for the past several weeks. Here's what I've noticed. When I'm distracted (listening to music, taking in the scenery, etc.), I have very little - if any - muscular discomfort after a run. If, however, I focus on my "tender" right leg during the run, I end up with greater leg pain.

It seems like I might be changing my stride a bit, or overcompensating, to protect whatever muscle group I feel needs protection and thus irritating another muscle group. It's all in the head. I need to forget about a sore hamstring or sore glute and JUST RUN. It's changing my stride. I've noticed I start running more on the outer edge of my foot once some groin soreness starts...which exacerbates my calf, etc.

Head games. I need to focus (or, not focus maybe in this case) and get back into my easy, natural stride. I believe that will clear up some of my leg issues.

I've been slowly coming to this realization over the last few weeks but last night was the clincher. After a couple nice, pain free runs over the weekend. Last night, I went for a 5 miler and was concentrating on nearly every foot fall. About 3 miles in, I noticed I was now running on the outer edge of my I compensated the other direction...made little adjustments, etc. In the end, my right glute and groin were back to being very sore again.

Maybe I'll bring a book and read the next time I run. You really have to concentrate on Don Quixote.

The Future

I'm reading Mike and Lisa's plans for 2008 races/events and it's got my juices flowing. I'm already anxious to throw some more races on the calendar but no. No. I need to get Disney in the bag first.

I think next year I'm going to again focus on some 5k's. I've only done 1 since 2004. I think I have a sub 19 minute one in me somewhere.

All of this will be spelled out in my anxiously awaited 2008 New Year's Running Resolutions due late this year! All runners should make their own.

Happy trails.

Monday, November 26, 2007


I loves me some statistics! And look, I found another statistic to play with.

22.5/39.3 = 57.25

As in 22.5 miles ran this past weekend (7.5 on Friday and 15 on Saturday) and 39.3 for the distance of the Goofy Challenge in January. It sure seemed like a lot of miles but as I was endlessly looping the one mile snow and ice covered trail at the Civic Center park in Traverse City, MI, I was working through some long division to come up with the actual percentage. (Really, I came up with 57.4 but who's counting?).

Only 57 and a quarter percent? I was pretty whipped by the end on Saturday. This body isn't used to running on consecutive days. And I still need to go another 42%, or 16.8 miles, in just under 7 weeks???

I'm officially slightly concerned that this is going to turn into another 10 mile walk to the finish. However, the next 3-4 weeks are crucial mileage building weeks. I should feel a lot more comfortable come Christmas. I'll peak out my training for this on Dec. 23rd with a consecutive day runs of 10 & 20 miles (or 76.3% of the total race distance for you fellow statistic geeks out there). The other quarter of this "challenge" will come through sweat and tears (but hopefully not blood) on the day of the race(s).

Traverse City had a nice round of driving snow and ice over the Turkey Day weekend. Both runs were in the 27 degree range with about an inch of fresh snow covering a layer of thin ice on my path. This caused a few slip, sliding saves to prevent a crash to the ground. It also forced me to slow up a bit. I averaged around 7:30/mile on Friday and 7:45 on Saturday. And very little leg discomfort afterwards (yes, I know you are still there cursed hamstring).

The plan this weekend is for 24 total miles (61.07%) split 8 and 16 as well as a short run during the week.

I do enjoy running in the winter. It's quiet. It's cool. It's usually real relaxing. I could do without the cool breezes that turn my sweat into tiny little icicles jabbing me all over though. Besides that, what fun!

Hey, look at that! I'm 7 weeks through my 14 week training plan for this race.


Happy trails.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Off With Its Head!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

I look forward to the pleasantness of turkey flesh being digested deep within me. MMMM, turkey.

This week, a 5, 7.5 and 15 miler planned with the last 2 on back-to-back days as I continue to ramp up the training. I am now starting the "building mileage" phase after creeping slowly upwards over the last 2 months. Overall, my legs are fresher...but not free of discomfort. My right hamstring refuses to cooperate.

I'll need to live with it at this point. I took it easy last week. Really, over the last 2 weeks I've cut back a bit on mileage and pace with so-so results. The legs are back to about 75% but start complaining around the 10 mile mark.

I shall proceed with caution.

Enjoy the time with friends and/or family.

Go Lions.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Ambercrombie Daisy May

Thanks for:
  1. Sitting in the back window of the car like a lion resting on a rock.
  2. Those ears that looked like two rugs tacked to the side of your head.
  3. Going head to head with a bunny in a bowl of rabbit food to see who could eat more the fastest.
  4. Posing in the wife and I's engagement photo so many years ago (in between barks at the photographer, of course).
  5. Graciously accepting the arrival of two kids who took attention away from you.
  6. Sitting by the front door when we left and being there when we came back. Every time.
  7. Learning to snap a dog biscuit off your nose (sometimes).
  8. Knowing the difference between regular food emerging from the food closet and microwave popcorn (your only allowed human food).
  9. Barking at the neighbor dog. Only to snort and walk away when he returned a bark.
  10. Allowing my daughter to lay on top of you to give you hugs (I could hear you groan sometimes).
  11. Following your mom around everywhere she went. Even if it meant getting stepped on sometimes.
  12. Your silent protest hunger strikes that lasted nearly 2 days upon returning to your regular food bowl after visits to the grandparents and the special treat of another dog's food (and whatever else "fell" off the table).
  13. The little tuft of hair on top of your head, if we let it go too long between hair cuts, that stood up making you look like Alfalfa.
  14. Signaling with your body and eyes that it was time to go and saving us from having to guess.
April 1993 - November 2007

Thanks for the memories!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Another Successful Weekend

I'm sitting here thinking that I haven't posted in awhile so I should put an update out there but...WHAT?

I don't have much to report. Things are moving along. I'm in the pre-holiday lull before the Christmas - New Year's - Florida - Disney Marathon storm that is gathering and about to descend. Christmas shopping is ongoing. Big gifts are purchased (yes, the Wii is safely tucked away from the kids' eyes). Football is being watched. Scientists around the world are trying to figure out how the Detroit Lions have a 6-3 record at this point. Yes, we all know they'll finish something like 7-9 but don't spoil our fun! I recently upgraded my tube TV to LCD /HDTV and, frankly, can't take my eyes off of it. My eyes are sore by the time I go to bed.

I'm managing to get in 25 mpw still. I'm in quasi-marathon training/nurse muscle soreness mode. In other words, I'm still running but I've cut back about 25% on my original long run goals and slowed down 15-20 seconds on my usual per mile training pace. I may not be in "peak" condition by the time Disney rolls around but I should feel a lot better going in. I feel like my groin, hamstring and calves are almost back to normal. About another week or two of moderate training should find me largely leg soreness-free. I hope.

This past weekend, I completed a 7 miler and 13 miler on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Basically, that is half the distance the Goofy Challenge will present in a little under 9 weeks. I did both at an easy 7:30/mile pace (normally these runs would have been in the 7:10/mile range) and had very little soreness afterwards (the rt. hamstring still barks a little). This is a cutback week. My long run will probably be no more than 10 miles as we are heading out of town for a little R&R. We've had a recent sadness in our house and everyone is looking forward to getting out of Dodge for a few days. More on that later.

The wife and I are addicted to HBO and Showtime TV shows. We don't have a HBO or Showtime subscription but rent the series after they come out. On our rental list is (or has been depending on if the series has ended): The Sopranos, Oz, Weeds, Sex and the City (chick TV, I know), Curb Your Enthusiasm, Six Feet Under, and F/X shows Rescue Me and Nip/Tuck. We are currently finishing The Sopranos final season. We'll miss ole Tony when he's gone.

Happy trails.

Monday, November 05, 2007

1000 Miles and Olympic Trials

I admit to forgetting all about the Olympic marathon trials taking place on Saturday. However, I came back in just as Ryan Hall was passing the 24 mile mark and caught the ending. What a great finish!! It wasn't a close race but packed with emotion none the less.

My first thoughts after seeing Ryan Hall in the lead was how Michigan's own Hansons-Brooks team was doing. Sure enough, Brian Sell had overtaken a cramping competitor and moved into 3rd place ultimately securing an Olympic spot. That was a lot of fun. I wish I had watched the entire race.

Obviously, the news about Ryan Shays put a damper on things though.

All in all, it appears U.S. long distance running is on the upswing. A few years back, I couldn't care less when the Olympic marathon was taking place. Now, I'm eagerly awaiting Beijing!

On another note, I'm slowly building miles again for my upcoming marathon - unbelievably only10 weeks away now. I'm way behind my training plan weekly long run goal. Example: Sunday was planned for 17 miles. I did 11.5.

I am unconcerned. I'm readjusting my plan for the Disney marathon. It's all about fun and finishing. Time goals are completely out the window. Plus, I still have some nagging muscle pain in various parts mainly in my right leg. The legs need rest. So, build slowly, get prepared, but don't overdue it pushing too hard. That's the theme of this training session.

I'll probably hit one 20 mile run before the race and that's it as far as 20+ milers.

On a third(?) note, I hit a bit of a milestone with Friday's run. 1000 miles for the year. For me, that's a personal high.

Not much of note going on these days. Just keepin' on keepin' on.

Happy trails.