A Year of running

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(I wrote this last week.)

Yesterday was the 4th of July.  In America this is a big deal, we all get drunk, bar-b-que and light stuff on fire.  Its one of the two days a year where home sounds like a war zone without the actual fear of being exploded or shot killed and fireworks.  It tends to gets loud and smoky.

I was reflecting that last July Forth, I had just purchased my Nike Fuelband.  At that time it was my highest FuelPoint day ever.  I remember being so tired, physically tired from all the holiday festivities.  Lighting stuff on fire, bar-b-queing, not exploding and etcetera.

It was July I started running again.  Slowly at first 1-2.5 miles runs several times a week.  I increased mileage all the way up to a 10k in October.  I ran 30 days straits in November, even while on vacation.  I ran 69 miles in October of 2013 a record at the time.  In the new year of 2014, I signed up for a half marathon.

In March of 2014 I stepped in a hole at the beach and hurt my knee. Early April ran nearly 5 miles.  I took the rest of the month off from running.  I missed running in the early morning terribly during this time, although it was nice to sleep in.  

In May I ran a half marathon.  Everything hurt when I was done.  It was so much fun I signed up to run the Long Beach half marathon later this year.

Along the way I learned about “Good Form Running” (GFR) and midfoot striking.  This caused me quite a bit of pain in my calves and shin splints.  I learned this as part of the half marathon training class.  I’m not sure training someone how to run a new way is a great idea when they are setting off for a half marathon.  All the reading that online suggests that this should be done when not training for a race as it often causes injury to the runner.  It did for me.  

This is not to say that I’m not glad I learned GFR.  I was running mostly using my legs and not getting other body parts into it.  I’m a stronger runner now.  During my month off I worked on calf strengthening exercises which would alleviate the shine splints.  GFR is further exposing weaknesses in my physique.

I’m still dealing with the aftermath of stepping in that hole today.  I have runner’s knee.  I’m taking the next three weeks off from running to let it heal and working on strengthening, hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings, and everything else.

I inspired my 13 year old son to run.  I think he decided to run with me when I finished the half marathon, even though he was asleep in the van parked in the lot when I crossed the finish line.  We have been doing Couch to 5K together in the evenings when I get home from work.

All in all it has been a great 12 months of running for me.  

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Running In the Morning

It smelled like morning this morning. Sometimes that’s the best thing about running in the morning.

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13.1 Miles for the First Time

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It took two days to recover.  After four miles i was ready to stop, just nine miles to go.  I drank something at every water stop.  Miles 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 where all up hill, or at least it seemed that way.  I joined the walkers club at mile 10, oscillating between walking and running.  Actually I was ready to quit then, i was done, everything ached and it was hot.  If wasn’t for the fact that the finish line was three miles away and I would have to walk there anyway, I may have quit.  A week later is was pointed out to me that I could have gotten a ride to the finish line, I did not think of that at the time.

I’m a little hung up on the walking bit…  I’m ok with it now, but its a run.  Aren’t  you supposed to run which means no walking?  I get annoyed with walkers in the first mile of 5k or 10k.  It just seems wrong, signing up for a race that you can’t run half the distance in one shot.  I know now that some people do interval running or actually train to walk a 10k etc.  I joined the walkers club.

I ran the last one point one miles, the band playing “Anything Anything” by Dramarama  as I’m sprinting across the finish line as fast as my tired sore body could take me.  I received my metal, too tired to get my picture taken at the end.  Those last three miles were willpower.

I was worried about my leg and it was fine.  I knew going in that I might have to drop out with an injury.  My knee, calf and shins were fine after the half marathon.  I’m pleased by this.

I’m proud of my accomplishment.  I finished in 3:03:38, which is slower than my expected 2:30 to 2:45 finish times.  But those last two months my training really wavered due to injury, so I’m not disappointed by my time, I’m just happy to have finished.  I’ll do better next half marathon.

Oh there is going to be another half marathon, I signed up for the Long Beach Half.  I’m doing it again.

I wrote this post last week but my Chromebook ate my blog post.  I rewrote this in the car to San Mateo yesterday.  Tonight I’m posting from my hotel after spending call day at Alcatraz Island.

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Run in Doubt

Its a day out… The big run.  The run I have been training all year for, the OC Half Marathon.  This time on Sunday I will be done, one way or another.  What does that mean?  The race will be over for me, whether I finish or not.  I know that I’m scheduled to run. I know that I want to run. I know that I’ve paid to run.  I have my bib that says I’m allowed to run.

I have not run for the last four weeks, due to a leg injury.  I stepped in a hole and hurt my knee while foolishly running in the dark on the beach trail.  With this oddness / pain below my knee in my calf I continued to run.  Not knowing what was going on and not feeling any pain in my knee joint (which I know is bad) I ran.  As I ran the time between runs had to be extended as the movement hurt more and more.  I stopped for a couple weeks and then ran experiencing further discomfort and much disappointment.  Its been four weeks since I last ran.

Unlike previous times when I ran, my calf does not hurt at all.  Although I have had my knee taped up with a knee strap for the last four weeks.  I ran a quarter mile this week to test my knee out and it appears to be fine when running with KT tape and a knee strap.  

This whole experience has been emotional for me.  I’ve been sad, angry, depressed and jubilant as I’ve gone from “running will not be an option” to “I may be able to run”.  I was resigned to not run and then my leg stopped hurting altogether.  Its been emotional.  I’ve been training all year for this, to not do it, is disappointing.  

So, I’m going to give it a try.

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Rain, Running, Snoopy and Pie

It rained, I ran and got wet.  Then I got a metal with Snoopy on it and ate pie!  I like Snoopy and boysenberry pie.  I ran the 10K in the Coaster Run at Knott’s Berry Farm this morning.

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How did I do?

Last year I ran my first 10K at 1:13:42 (pace of 11:51).

This 10K my chip time was 1:12:12 (pace of 11:39), which is a tiny bit faster.  My watch time was 1:07:16 (pace of 10:49), I had to take a pit stop (you know what I mean?).  So I was faster.  It was a good race, I felt good. 

Nike Fuel: 2640 per the Nike GPS watch, which could not connect to GPS and under reports the race distance.

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No Running This Week

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I have had soreness in my shin all week.  Running a 10K on Sunday!

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Sunday Run Feb 23, 2014

I woke up with the alarm sounding off.  I hit snooze.  The alarm rang again, I got up and hit snooze.  Laying back down in bed, thinking its Monday I checked the time.  The time glowed from my FuelBand 5:55.  What time do I have to be at work… My brain, awake enough to remember running this morning, it’s Sunday. Oh no!  What time is it?  Slowly my brain processes that I’m not late and I have enough time to get ready.

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I make breakfast, one egg, half a banana and an english muffin toasted half with peanut butter and a glass of water.  I change in to running clothes and pack my bag.  I then brushed my teeth before heading out to the car.

I’m early as I pull into the parking lot, everybody watching my tiny blue car.  Today was the largest class yet.  We break from chatting to warm up.  I pick out a GU Orange flavored energy gel and set up my watch.  Its blank, my watch is dead.  I run to my car and plug it into this computer, a Samsung Chromebook, it blinks on with the charging symbol.  Shit, the batteries flat!

When I unplug it, it stayed on for about 45 seconds before flashing the low battery icon and going blank.

Today I ran with Wendy, eight miles with a pace of 11:34, per her GPS watch.  Start time was 7:29 and finish was 8:54.  Wendy did not stop her watch when we were at lights or the four mile mark where we ate our snack and the bathroom stop.  I insisted on the bathroom stop, the pressure was getting annoying bouncing around.

This morning I skipped coffee at Starbucks and decided to have pancakes at Steve’s.  I’m writing this up on the aforementioned Chromebook without Internet access.  Steve’s it not classy enough to have internet.  The Chromebook is reporting that “All changes have been saved offline.”  I sure hope so!

Next week is the Coaster Run at Knott’s Berry Farm, I’m very excited!  We are running the 10K as a group.  I’ll wear my Snail shirt.

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