Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bring in the third string...

I am currently out of commission. I have been complaining of pain since late July and it got worse last week. I could usually run through it, but my stride would be totally off and the stiffness and pain wouldn't ease until about two miles into my runs.

Two clues it wasn't just something little... 1) I was limping while walking and didn't realize it. Two people at work noticed and asked about it, which is how I found out. 2) I quit half way through ultimate frisbee last Friday. I wasn't willing to run for a game that I love to play.

Kristin and I had a chat about this Saturday and determined I need to see a doctor. My thought, though, is that I don't want to go the doctor route until I have properly tried to rest it. So I have decided to take two weeks off. I took off one when this pain first started, and it obviously wasn't enough. So I'm taking two, and if there is any pain at all when I try to start back up then I am going to the doctor.

This is totally going to throw off my mileage. I am going to be struggling to hit my mileage goal for the year after this hiatus. It will be a steeper hill to climb, but definitely not impossible. If I can stay healthy, then I can do it. I will just have to work harder than I thought I would.

To make matters worse, Kristin was out on a run Friday and ended at the frisbee field. By this time, I was already sitting out, so we stayed and watched everyone finish their games. We started to walk home afterwards, but a friend that was meeting us at our house drove by. So I hopped in the car, and Kristin elected to run the rest of the way home. Just before she got home, she ended up stepping on a rock that was in the middle of the road and she slipped and hit the pavement. She hurt her foot in the process.

She was limping around that day and for the next couple days, but decided not to go to the doctor. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, but I would diagnose her as having a mild sprain.

She wanted to try a run on Tuesday, and she did well. But her foot was hurting worse on Wednesday. I'm not sure at this point what her plans are to rest it further. I haven't updated our mileage on the site recently, but when I put it up you will see that she has been doing great lately. I hope her injury doesn't slow her down too far.

We are both signed up for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5k in Cleveland on September 13. And Kristin is signed up for the 12.5k leg of the Akron Marathon relay on September 27.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Plan

The burn is getting better. There is still a bit of pain at times, but it never got as bad as I had expected. After Sunday's post, I realized that even the tops of my feet were burnt. The only other time this happened was at Nassau when I was on a Disney Cruise. Too bad I wasn't in the Bahamas this past weekend. That would have been much more fun than swimming in Ohio.

I devised a plan to get to 60 miles this month. I needed about 34 miles and I had between Aug 19 and Aug 31 to complete them. This is more than I have ever run in this short a time frame, and I figured it would be less stress on my body to keep the runs shorter and throw in a couple extras than to just make all of my runs longer. I realize I should be increasing mileage, but to meet my goal this month, I am going to hold mileage increases for September.

I have 13 days available, two of which I know I won't "run" because we'll be playing ultimate frisbee. That game is constant sprints mostly ranging from 10-30 yards. I usually credit myself with 1-1.5 miles for a full evening of play (I won't bore you with that calculation unless someone asks) plus the .5 mile round trip run to the field. So let's say that ends up being three miles for the two nights. That leaves me needing 31 miles in 11 days.

The rest of the plan involves eight 4-mile runs and three days of rest. It is a busier schedule than I am accustomed to with only three rest days mixed with 10 running days, but it's what I need to do. Also, if I mess up somewhere, I can always make one of the runs longer.

The plan was to start last night, but that didn't go to plan (I know what you're thinking...but don't worry). We got our last delivery of dirt, so we spent about two hours after dinner shoveling and moving four yards of top soil. It was nearly dark when we finished and I was very tired from the work. I was ready to get in for the night, but decided that I could manage a short run. So I went out for a quick 1.5 mile spin around the block.

I think rather than losing a rest day, I will just up some of my runs to 4.5 miles to make up for the couple miles I missed last night. So with that in mind, I've still got three days I can rest until the end of the month. Tonight will not be one of them.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

If it isn't one thing...

I'm still on my goal of reaching 60 miles this month, but it's not going well. I feel like I'm entering excuse mode, but I'm trying to avoid it. I got through the major leg pain, though I am still having minor problems with pain. Mostly better, though, and usually eases after I get warmed up.

I ran 14.7 miles through the 9th, so I would need to average just over 15 miles per week for the balance of the month to meet my goal. This week started good. The plan was runs on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Tuesday's run went well. I planned 6 miles, but went off of my regular courses. I realized that I ended up at 5.65 after I got home and mapped my path. Thursday's run didn't happen. I had a buddy over helping set up for a party this weekend...and long story short he needed someone to talk to. Not wanting to kick him out, he ended up not leaving until it was nearly my bed time. So no run. I couldn't make up the miles Friday because of existing plans right after work that didn't get me home until about 11:00.

Saturday, I ran as long as I could given what still needed to be done with the party. 4.5 miles. Not too bad. That left me needing about five miles for the week. The plan was to just throw in the extra run today.

After we cleaned up from the party this morning, we went swimming. I had promised Kristin about a month ago that I would take her swimming one weekend, and this is the one that worked out. We spent about three hours at a local watering hole. I burn easy, so I sunscreened twice. But after I got home, it was obvious that we missed a couple spots. First was the back of my arms. My back and shoulders are fine, but the tricep area is burnt. And my legs are burnt for about six inches above my knee caps. I didn't put sunscreen there as it is covered by the swim shorts, but when we were sitting out of the water, apparently the shorts pulled up a bit and exposed that skin.

I tried to run today, but the sunburn is killing me. I was fine to start, but the further I got, the more the clothes rubbing on the burnt skin was causing the pain to intensify. I just couldn't go any further. This may have been a willpower issue that I could have worked through, but all I kept thinking was how this was probably just going to make things hurt worse tomorrow.

So now here I am needing to average about 17 miles each week through the end of the month. I don't plan to run again until Tuesday. Hopefully at that point the sunburn pain is manageable during a run. If not, then I will cancel my golf plans for Wednesday and get a good run in then. I missed my mileage goal last month, I really don't want that to happen again this month.

Kristin is out running as we speak. She said her plans were for six miles. I wish her well. It is insanely humid out compared to what we have had the past few weeks.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Cornfest!

Jeff from the Snowy Tundra had the brilliant idea of having a virtual race today, Cornfest...both 5k and 10k distances. I celebrated the event by signing up for the Green YMCA Caribbean 10k. This was my first 10k and I am glad to say that I did a bit better than I expected.

The course was mostly flat. It was a 2.5k out and back track. The 5k racers ran it once, and the 10k racers did it twice. My only complaint about the whole thing is that they didn't do a good job of yelling times through the course. The only time I heard was at mile 1 -- 8:32.

I did a great job pacing myself from the start. I ran past the 5k finish line at about 26:30. After that, I thought I felt myself slowing down. At approx mile 4 and mile 5 I slowed to a walk for about 30 seconds as I grabbed water, but that was the only slow down I had. Final time: 53:37 -- a pace of 8:38 per mile.

I was hoping for under an hour, and expected my final time to be closer to 56 minutes based on my time for the first half and that I thought my pace was slowing. I feel great knowing that I was able to maintain a very steady pace through the whole race.

Weather was great. It was in the upper 60s at race time with partly cloudy skies. The course was almost completely flat. I heard someone say that they didn't like the course because you went through the same scenery four times. I think it helped for pacing. Mile 1 was marked, and then on the second time through the course, mile 5 had been marked. In the few races I have been in, it has been rare to see mile markers. So knowing where that single marker was on the first lap and then being familiar with the course really helped you to know approximately how far you were at any point in time.

I have been having leg issues the last couple weeks. I am mostly better, but still have some pain in my hip. I was dying to play ultimate frisbee last night since I didn't play last week and won't be able to next week. But I erred on the side of caution and only played three games...we normally play 8-10. My hip was hurting when I finished playing, so I was worried about today, but it felt great through the whole race.

Also, with my run today, we are past 500 miles on the year, into South Carolina, and only a couple miles away from the half-way point to WDW!

Congratulations to everyone who has finished Cornfest, and good luck to those of you still waiting for your time to start.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Better...

But not great.

My leg is much better now, though I do have some stiffness/mild pain in my hip while I run. It was not as bad yesterday as it had been on Sunday. I think I am going to sign up for a 10k for this Saturday.

Painting is moving along. The den is done. We need one more coat in the dining room. The hallway still isn't started, but it won't be nearly as big of a project.

Kristin has put in two 6 mile runs so far this week. She is off to a great start to the month. My goal this month is 60 miles. I plan a short run tomorrow if I finish painting in time and then the 10k on Saturday. That will put me at 15 miles in nine days...which is a 50 mile pace for the month. I'll need to make sure I get at least one long run in per week moving forward. And hope that my leg doesn't act up again.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Back in the Saddle

Timeline of the last week...
Sunday: 4 mile run. Felt great.
Monday: General pain/soreness in my right leg from my hip to my calf. Definitely different from the left joint pain I had had in the past.
Tuesday: Blog post complaining about pain, though it wasn't as bad as Monday. Tried to run, but I was hobbling after only going about two blocks. I stopped to stretch some more, then picked it back up. The pain just got worse. I ended with only 2/3 of a mile for the day.
Wednesday: Limping all day. Very bad pain.
Thursday: Still a decent amount of pain; limping gone.
Friday: Just a bit of tightness.
Saturday: Leg felt great.
Sunday: Leg felt great. Ran 2.9 miles. Leg feels good in general, though a lot of tightness in that hip and in my lower back on that side. We'll see how tomorrow feels.

I'm tired of my body playing games with me. It makes me feel old.

On the home front, we've started painting. We are doing our den, dining room, and a hallway. I've never done actual painting like this before. It amazed me how long all the prep work took...moving things out, taking everything off the walls, taping, etc. We did the prep and bought paint yesterday. Today we worked on the den. Two coats on the ceiling, the primer, and we got as far as doing trim work with the paint. We couldn't devote all day because Kristin had a bridal shower to go to and I had to do some office work at home in order to meet deadlines we have at right now at Smucker's. It has been terribly busy at work, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.