Monday, June 27, 2011

Deep Discussions

I was with some friends from work Friday evening and was asked by one of them why I run. To be slightly more exact, the question was with a statement. It went something like this:
Everyone I know that runs, is running from something. What do you run from?
Wow. Talk about a deep question when you are sitting with 7 of your other co-workers. My immediate answer was I enjoy running and have a goal of Detroit this fall (even though running in Paris is another goal). But it made me think.

Why do I run? Is it for the exercise? Do I do it to clear my head? Is it just something to do which I enjoy? After a few days of contemplating, I have determined it is all of the above. Running isn't a shelter from life, but rather where I solve (or attempt to solve) my own and the worlds problems. It isn't that I need to get away to do this. I just choose to clear my mind when I run.

This is a short post, but think about my co-workers statement. What are you running from?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Staying On Schedule

Quite often you will hear runners talk about how far they "need" or "have" to run on a specific day. We do this so we can reach our specific goals. After getting cleared by the doctor and starting physical therapy, I needed to get back on track. As much as I want to go out and run 5 miles every night, I know my body isn't ready for it yet.

My schedule for this week is consistent but not huge in miles on a daily basis. Sunday I was supposed to run 5 miles, but I ran/walked a 5k with my daughters instead. On Monday, I was scheduled to run 3 but because I did the 3 miles on Sunday I did 5. Tuesday was scheduled to be a rest day, but I decided to do 4 miles on a trail with hills - in a thunderstorm no less. Wednesday I rested since I didn't on Tuesday. Today, I'm going to run that trail again and get my 4 miles in. Friday, same thing, unless I get my 4 miles in at the Relay For Life. Sunday is 6 miles.  Each week the miles will increase. As we get closer to October my long runs will be double digits.

I am making myself run on the hills. Hills are my weakness (a realization from Chicago). I don't expect any significant hills in my next race (Air Force Marathon in Fairborn, Ohio), however, I know Detroit will have the climb over the bridge to Canada and we will have a steep uphill coming up the exit of the tunnel from Canada.  The hills will also help with the endurance. It isn't always a fun, but I remind myself hills are my friend during training.

Every runner will have their own training plan. The miles or type of run may change based on personal goals but one thing will always hold true - we have a schedule and will do everything we can to stick to it.

Until the next update - stay on your schedule and keep on running.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

No Games. Just Sports.

I went to physical therapy today and was given homework for the next two weeks. Who would have thought lifting your leg would be so hard?? The therapist said I could run as long as I did my exercises, so I headed out.

I didn't want to over do it so I kept it short. I only went 2.45 miles tonight. The hills killed me Chicago so I headed over to Dawes to go over the hills. There will be some long down hills, the some small up hills then flat, then up hill again. It is a nice run.

One of my newer Dailymile friends would call this run "getting the mad out". This wasn't an angry run, but more of a "figuring it all out" run. So much is going on right now with work, relationships, running, and my car ( I have a nice new dent thanks to the massive piece of wood someone ran over and politely placed in my hood). I just needed to get away and run.

I didn't solve the worlds problems - heck I am still working on solving mine. But it was nice to just be out there in nature, alone, just me and the road. As I was running, and thinking about everything, I remembered a fictitious Nike commercial from the movie "What Woman Want". The commercial says it all. The road doesn't care how you look, if your are funny or not, how old you are or how much you make. It's just you and the road. Here is the link so you can watch the commercial for yourself.

To all of my running friends, if you ever need to talk to someone, the road is there and so are all of your running friends - no matter where we are located.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Another Half Complete

Chicago was a challenge for me. I knew about the hill at the start of mile 7. I had mentally prepared for it many times. My splits were good up to mile 7 as well. So what happened? Needless to say it was steep, very steep. It felt like I was running up 5 flights of stairs! I walked in the hydration station at the top of the hill and started out again. My times were a little lower (around 10 min miles), but I was happy with it. After all what I thought was the toughest part of the course was behind me.

Around mile 9, I could feel my body wanting to slow down. I made sure I had my GU and my liquids, but I was physically starting to feel tired. As I kept running my left foot started to hurt. I had been concentrating so much on the hill at mile 7 I didn't realize the end of the race was an uphill climb! I was toast. I would try to jog but then half to walk. All the while, my left foot was hurting. My foot will be fine. I just need to take a few days off then I can start running with more of a routine. I ran in my Kinvara's  and I had never gone that far in them before so maybe my feet weren't ready. Oh well.

I finally made it to the finish line. People were running by me as I was jogging, and I didn't care. I just wanted to finish. I knew I was close to a new PR so I kept pushing. I made the new PR by about 1 minute. It doesn't sound like much when you consider I ran 13 miles, but if you remember the hill at mile 7 and the incline at the end, then I'm very happy with it.

I'm so happy about it I'm considering returning in July to run a different half marathon. It is almost in the same area, but with two major differences. First, there is no 100 ft elevation change! Secondly, this course only changes about 20 feet over the entire course - it's flat! I wonder what my time will be on this. Humm.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Unscheduled Run

At the last moment I decided I wanted to run again this weekend. One of my Mt. Vernon Running Buddies mentioned a 5k in Mansfield so I decided to go. While looking at that race and some others I kept replaying the Cleveland run. What could I have done differently to get a better time? I was just under a 10 min pace which I was happy with for not running for so long, but really the goal is to be under 2 hours.

Needless to say I was back on-line looking at other half marathons for this weekend. There was the Carmel half, but the temps were scheduled to be much higher so that didn't sound appealing. Humm, what's this? There is a race in Chicago? I love Chicago! From there I started looking at the course, checking the cost, etc.

I decided to run simply because of the fact that as an athlete if you have what you perceive as a poor performance, you immediately want to get back out and improve on it. It's a mental thing. You could can be told you did a great job by everyone you know, but unless you think you did, it doesn't matter.

So here I am in Chicago hotel room. The pasta has been eaten, the small workout has been completed, the clothes have been laid out and now the second guessing begins. What did I do right in Cleveland? Do I wear the Kinvara or the Ride 3? Do I have enough GU? Should I wear the runners belt?

Needless to say, I will be going to bed early as the race starts at 7:30 and I have to drive 15 minutes to try to find some public parking. I'm sure I will wake up a few times and run the race in my head. I have watched the video of the course a few times.  It is fairly flat (similar to Cleveland), but there is one steep hill at mile 7. The playlist for my ipod is ready and I have the song set for when I should hit the hill.

The goal for tomorrow is to break 2 hours, but realistically, that wont happen. I would like to cut about 6 minutes off my time and get down to about a 9:30 pace.  Stay tuned for the actual results.

Now I need to brag on Running Away Multisport (the folks putting on the event). This event didn't have an expo but the package pick-up was very smooth and fast at one of their stores. Parking was posted well and the store had a great selection of items from shoes to gels, to clothing.  The little bit of swag was actually very nice. We were given a few advertisements for some of the other races they are sponsoring a map of both the 5k and half courses along with a detailed map of the starting line. Now for the good stuff. The shirts they provided have graphics on the front and back plus both sleeves. We were also given a running hat with their logo on the front and reflective material on the back.  It's actually very sharp. 

Well, until tomorrow, I wish everyone well. I'll keep you posted on my results!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dr. Bright

I went running on Saturday and this morning to intentionally try to aggravate my hip so Dr. Bright could find the issue. My hip didn't really bother me so I was a little worried the trip would be a waste of time.  I printed off my running records so Dr. Bright could review them (thanks to After a brief visit, Dr. Bright determined sanalydilsneisiosis. Not really, I just made the word up but it makes it sound like something serious doesn't it? I just have a strained hip flexor. He wants me to get just a few sessions of physical therapy then continue the exercises at home. Now the best news is that I can run as long as I'm not experiencing any real pain.

I'm planning on running a 5k in Mansfield on Saturday.  I know I am behind on my training but I cant over do it to much. On Saturday, I'm going to try to shave a few seconds off my PR, but I wont be disappointed if I'm under 26 min.

Let the training begin. I'm ready to aim for Detroit!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Why We Run When It Hurts

How does that old saying go? Isn't it something like, "If it hurts, don't do it"? That is probably true most of the time, but not always. As many of you already know, I have been trying to get my right hip back to full strength. I injured it in the end of March and it just isn't getting better. I'm scheduled to see Dr. Bright on Tuesday.

So again, if I'm trying to get the hip back to 100% why would I run? Well the answer is quite simple. Ever have your car make that "clank" sound, but once you get to the dealership it stops? Of course, as soon as you leave it starts up again. The same concept hold true here. I want Dr. Bright to be able to easily find the issue. I'm intentionally running today and expect my hip to flair up.

There is also the desire to get back out and run. Depending on the injury, a runner may not be able to run days, weeks, or even months. Believe it or not, when we cant get out to run, we go a little stir crazy! Not to mention, if we have a goal of meeting a certain time, we will do anything we can to get it. If that means feeling pain for the last 8 miles or just trying to keep the pace for another 1/4 mile, we will do it.

This is a short post today. Expect more to come by Tuesday when I see Dr. Bright. Get out and run (if it isn't to hot and humid where you are)  I hope that gives you a little bit of insight as to why when it hurts why we keep going!