Currently I reside in the Twin Cities area however I grew up in Esko Minnesota. I will always be a country boy at heart.
I have run 8 marathons. Grandmas marathon 7 times and Hampton Bays Marathon which was on Long Island in New York. I ran my first marathon, Grandma's Marathon, in 1999, the 7th in 2009. In addition to the marathons I have run in several othe events from 5K's throguh 30K's. I enjoy running.
My quote for running events "I may not get my best time but it will be my best on that given day."
May 31, 2009: Week 15: He's Back
After running 16.2 miles today with no side effects I am cautiously saying that I am back to form. I am being as extremely careful as I can to keep it that way. My running is over easier routes than what I expected to be running at this point. I am also trying to keep myself reined in from pushing the limit as far as pace is concerned. Getting through today’s run has me significantly more optimistic about finishing G’mas marathon and still looking at competing with my PR.
This week was a very good week. I logged over 35 miles for the week. There is no problem with the soleus muscle. Pace has been respectable. At the moment it appears everything is back in alignment.
Per a recommendation from a friend and following that recommendation with a bit of research I chose to buy compression sleeves for my lower legs. The compression sleeves help in keeping the muscles warm, helps the blood flow and provides a little support to the calf muscles. I wore them on my 6 miles run last Thursday and today’s 16.2 mile run. I feel that they do everything that my friend said and what the research said they would do.
Physically the runs during the week went very well. I followed my plan of running every other day. Each day felt better than the prior run.
Today’s run was a lot more of a mental challenge than a physical challenge. As I said physically everything seems to be quite well. At the start of today’s run I did not seem motivated at all. The run seemed to be more like a chore through the first 6 miles. I had thoughts of shutting it down and trying again tomorrow. However those thoughts were followed by thoughts of there is no pain so why should I not keep going. It was quite a conversation going through my head at that point. I kept on going and my whole perspective changed somewhere between mile 7 and 8. I overcame the negative thoughts and completed what I set out to do.
Since I have been at this for so long I knew that I would be able to overcome the negative thoughts. It’s really quite a battle every once in awhile. Overcoming those battles gives me a little more help for the next battle.
Onto week 16 there’s no looking back.
May 25, 2009: Week 14: Coming back
Over the last 8 days I ran 5 of those days. Although I was short of what my original scheduled called for I am quite happy with the numbers. It’s far better than the two previous weeks.
I may have been a bit over anxious to get going again by trying to run 3 consecutive days. My runs on Sunday and Monday of last week went so well and knowing that I wasn’t going to run on Wednesday I thought an easy run on Tuesday would be okay. It was for the first two miles but my soleus muscle cramped just after that 2nd mile. I stopped immediately and walked the half miles home very slowly. AS many others do I feel into that trap of pushing it just a bit.
I have decided for the next couple of weeks to stick to an ever other day running plan. That started basically with Tuesday’s abbreviated run. I did not run Wednesday. I ran 2.2 on Thursday. I ran 4 on Saturday and then today I ran 10.2. Sure there were a few glitches along the way of each run however all went away during each run.
Two run that I feel are noteworthy from last week. The first was the 4 miler on Saturday. That was an event in a small town here in MN Mahtowa. Part of that town’s annual event called Wurst Day Celebration, as in Brat Wurst. For participating I got a free T-Shirt & a Bratwurst. The noteworthy part is I ran the 4 miles in 34:00, an average pace of 8:30. The other run was tonight’s 10.2, which was my goal. It feels so great to get back to double digits. There was a little tightness at mile 8 but that went away when I walked the .2 miles which was part of my running plan. The plan I followed was walk .2 then run 1.8 and repeat that process for as long as I felt comfortable. I had 3 mile splits under 9:00 with the other tow being 9:13 & 9:10. Those two runs have brightened my outlook on the future a little bit.
The splits are encouraging because that is where I was at prior to the injury. That also brightens the outlook a bit too.
The every other day plan will continue through this week and the next week. So with that it’s onto week 15 and no looking back.
May 17, 2009: Week 13: Time to heal
It became clear that I needed to rest my leg a bit longer. On my Wednesday run I experienced extreme tightness not even a half mile into the run. As I did before, I stopped and walked back home.
I felt prior to continuing I needed to confirm the problem wasn’t serious. I was fairly confident that the problem was something that just needs time but reassurance would help ease my mind. I made a doctor appointment for the next day. My thoughts were correct. The problem is a strained soleus muscle. Taking it easy for 3 to 4 days was in order. I needed to do some stretching exercises at least 3 times a day and ice it periodically throughout the day. I followed my doctor’s instructions and will continue to do so through this week. It shouldn’t be a serious issue as long as I am careful.
After no running activity Thursday through Saturday I did get out today. In addition to the advice he gave me on stretching he suggested a walk a ways before I run. This afternoon I walked about a half mile to a park nearby my house. This park has a crushed limestone path that goes around the soccer/football fields. It’s about a half mile square. I run/walked several laps as my grand children played in the park with grandma and my son nearby. Total distance traveled walking to the park, doing the laps and walking home was just under 6 miles.
Overall I think things went pretty well for the week despite not much running to speak of. The stretching seems to working. The leg is responding and feels not quite as tight. Of course I would like to be logging many more miles but I am not discouraged. I feel quite confident that in the time I have left I can still be in great shape to complete Grandmas marathon again.
Onto Week 14, no looking back
May 10, 2009: Week 12: Injury Timeout
This was pretty much the week that wasn’t. There wasn’t much running done.
On Monday night’s run I felt what I though was a cramp in my right calf. I stopped at about 2.5 miles and tried stretching a little bit/ The tightness wouldn’t let up. I walked awhile hoping that would result in loosening the muscle. That didn’t work either. I just walked home at the point.
I tried everything the good book says to get some relief from the tightness in my calf. I put an ice pack on my calf again hoping for some relief. There was some abatement of the tightness but not a whole lot. At that point I hoped the ibuprofen and rest overnight would be the remedy. In the morning still a fair amount of discomfort.
I pretty much limped through Tuesday. I went to the internet looking for ideas and the possibilities of what else might be wrong. I researched the symptoms in a running book that I picked up on Sunday. By the end of the day I had come up with the conclusion that I strained my calf.
I did what the good book and the internet research suggested. That was to rest it, stretch it slightly and ice it. On Wednesday I umpired the four softball games that I was scheduled to do. There were no problems from the calf all night. In fact it felt pretty good. When I got home I stretched a little and iced it. Thursday I felt good and managed a few stretched during the day.
Since the leg felt goods on Thursday I chose to give the leg a little test. The test only took about a block. I stopped immediately when I felt calf get tight. Needed more time and get back to what the good book said. I decided no running on Friday or Saturday. There would be nothing but stretches, ibuprofen and occasional ice.
Today I run 3.2 miles that I would say went about as expected. There was a little tightness but not to the level of earlier in the week. I cooled down by walking a mile with my wife after. After a quick shower I applied the ice pack to the calf. So I am somewhat optimistic that I can work on running this week.
I will definitely play this situation by how I feel. I am in better shape than I have been prior to my other marathons. I feel quite comfortable with allowing myself to ease my way through this problem. If I feel a substantial discomfort I will stop and give it a few more days. I will not push my way through.
Onto Week 13, no looking back.
May 2, 2009: Week 11: Is it possible
Without a doubt this has been my best training week over my running history that dates back over 10 years. My first run of the week I bonked but after that it was pedal to the asphalt.
On Monday I went out for 4.2 miles feeling just like normal. I made it to 2 miles and I was lethargic. I tried to convince myself to kick it in gear and get going. That didn’t work. I had to walk at 2.3. Couldn’t help but wonder what the heck happened. I did manage to somewhat mange a slow run and made it home. Knowing that a bonk run is all part of the training cycle I wasn’t concerned.
The next two runs were much more aligned with how things have been going this year. My pace on the 6.2 mile run was just a bit above 9:00 miles. I followed that with a 10.2 mile run at a 9:31 pace. Those 2 runs as well as the 4.2 bonk run were over my hill routes. Felt good to have those two runs go so smoothly knowing I was going to attempt to do 23 miles on Saturday.
The scheduled 23.2 mile LSD run this week would be the longest run I have done in all of my marathon training runs. I am very happy to say that I completed the run as scheduled. I did it in what I would call style as well. Keep in mind that prior to this year I have never had a LSD run of over 12 miles under a 10:00 pace. Today I completed the 23.2 miles with an average pace of 9:48. That included an 11:26 mile which was due to a bathroom break. Then there was the 13:29 mile because I needed to apply some foot powder to the toes on my left foot. Yes I stopped to add powder because my toes were hot! There’s a reason why I generally make sure my loops bring me back to where I can take of things like that. Factoring those two events in makes the time all the more impressive in my scheme of things. I am quite pleased with having accomplished a 23.2 mile run with very little trouble.
My PR for a marathon is 4:37. That equates to an average pace of a bit over 10:30. Considering my run today to match my PR I would have 40 minutes to run the last 3 miles. I can’t help but think I have a shot at a new PR. The key now is to keep at it and avoid injury by being alert to body signals. Finishing will be my main goal but the possibility of reaching for a new PR is heavily on my mind. It is possible.
Onto week 12, there is no looking back