Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thursday May 31

Tonight I met Maggi, Julius and Sue G at Pawlings Road.
I arrived early and ran 1 slow mile then went through the stretching routine. Tonight it was in the high 70s but so much less humid that Tuesday night's run. We set out onto the Perkiomen Trail for 1.5 miles at 3/1 intervals. I was really enjoying myself. I felt comfortable. At 1.5 Maggi and I turned back while Julius and Sue continued around the Audobon Loop.

On the way back up the hill(s) heading to the Pawlings Road parking lot I felt a little tightness in my left hamstring again but way less than before. I had none on Tuesday but Tuesday's run was all flat.

Maggi and I did strecthing including seeing 'who could push their car the fartheest :) and before we were finished Julius and Sue returned .A great evening, awesome company and a good run to boot.

Tomorrow is a day off then 5 miles around the Valley Forge loop with the whole gang on Saturday.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Summer Running - Heat Humidity

I met Helen and Mary Kay tonight for 3 miles at Betzwood. Unfortunately we didn't realize John T was coming out too. He passed us on his way out after we turned around. He must have gone longer than 3 because despite waiting around a bit after we never saw him again.

The heat and humidity made for a natural slow down of our pace. I felt great the entire run. Well ok I had a goofy twinge just above my left knee as we walked to the trail but once we started that left and has not returned. During the run I had no pain, no aches, no discomfort (except for the high humidity). Not even the hamstring tightness I've been having. I was very pleased.

After I did a quick stretch of the major weak spots (hamstrings, quads, calves) and still felt good. However, when I got home after about a 35 minute drive my groin was hurting in the 'usual' spot. I began to notice in the last few blocks when it hurt to lift my foot to the clutch. So when I got in the house I dropped to the floor almost immediately and began stretching for another 15-20 minutes. Both legs in all kinds of directions. That seemend to do the trick. I've been fine since. I guess I need to stretch longer post run. At least I'll try that next time and see what happens.

I thought I would do 2 miles tomorrow. I forgot though that we are throwing a retirement party for a co worker tomorrow. By the time we clean up and re arrange the classroom for the next day it will be late by the time I get home. I will have to re-arrange and add a mile to each of my runs on Sat and Sun I think.

Monday, May 28, 2012

You Never Think it Can Happen to You Until it Does

Megan is a running buddy and a Facebook friend. I've recently added her blog to my list. I encourage you to read her inital post. It's called wear sunscreen. By sharing her story maybe someone else can be spared having to tell the same story. Thank you.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Recap Week #1

I've been back running for more than one week but this is the first where I actually set out a schedule and tried to stick with it.

In the end I did 15 miles for the week. I didn't run all of it but I was on my feet for all of it. The unplanned extended walking portions came on Wednesday with my forgetting to eat bonking episode and on Saturday when I was out with a new Phillyfitter and decided getting to know her was more important than running more. As it was we did some run intervals just not as many as I would have on my own.

My original plan this week was 3 each on T, W. TH. Unfortuantely on Thursday I came home from work with a very bad sinus induced ear ache. I can't even begin to describe the pain. By the time I was able to ease it I was too wiped out to run. So I tacked on those 3 to Saturday (making 4 into 6) and Sunday (making 2 into 3).

I debated the tacking on. Partly because I wasn't sure I was up to it and partly because I had just read an article that said don't do that. But I really wanted to get to 15 this week. In the end I decided to let my legs decide. If there was any pain I'd stick with the original plan (4 on Sat; 2 on Sun). I think it helped that I ran 2 before group miles on Saturday and then had about 20 minutes rest before the next 4 which as I already said were at less intensity than I would have on my own. Whatever, I still got them in.

I also decided to sign up for the SEI Rush Hour run on June 7th. This has become a very popular race with Phillyfitters. It is run on the trail that we often use so it's very familiar and the post race food is awesome. For $25 I can run with my friends and get a really nice dinner out of it after.

Tomorrow is a day off. And a day off from work so bonus :). Next week's schedule is
T, W, Th - 3,2,3; Saturday 5 with the group and Sunday 2.

I'm finding it easier to work my strecthing into my day and before and after running. It still isn't a part of my routine though. It's still a matter of 'working it in'. I'll know it's routine when I miss it and miss that I missed it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Can you bonk on a three mile run?

Ok so the good news is that I had none of the niggling aches and twinges that I experienced yesterday. I did feel the tightness in my left hamstring but it was very short lived. Also I felt it about a half mile earlier than before but that may very well be that I did my first significant hills since the injury. The not so good news is that we (Maggi and I) had to walk most of the last mile. I suddenly got very weak. Not dizzy just no gas left in the tank. It felt like I was going to fall down. My legs were wobbly. After thinking about all the possibilities I think it is likely a combination of the humidity and lack of calories. I've been realy watching my food intake this week. Trying to get back to more sensible eating. More fruits and vegetables smaller portions in general. What I forgot is that I usually have something to eat in the evening by 6 pm. We didn't start our run until 5:45. Ididn't go hime between getting off work at 4 and our run. I should have brought an extra banana or an apple or something to hold me over. I hydrated well during the day for a normal day but the extra humidity probably called for something extra. A banana would have solved both issues I think. If it's not one thing it's another.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wimp or Warrior

Is it real or is it memorex? Ok showing my age with that one. But that's what I was thinking during my run tonight. Stretches - 3 miles with a one minute walk after each mile - followed by more stretches. My time for the run was 1.5 minutes faster than Saturday's 3 miles but I took less walk breaks so that makes sense.

HOWEVER.... right at the start I felt twinges and aches. No pain just aches. Left leg between knee and hip in the front (that's a new one) and the outside of right foot and a little on the outside of the right hip (the opposite one from the current issues) It all went away after about half a mile. I just kept slowing down until it did.

My fear is knowing whether these are phantom or real. Are they something I should worry about? Last time I had aches that went away after running some it turned out to be a major problem. I know I'm hypersensitive right now to anything that doesn't feel right. Trying to balance between being a wimp and doing the right thing is a little unnerving.

For now I'm going to keep tracking the aches and twinges (real or not) and see what happens.

I do have to say that stretching after my workouts has brought very positive results.I can't put it in words except to say I can tell the difference. And 3 hours later I have no soreness, aches or twinges. I can get up and walk without wobbling.

Yeah, I know. I'm old. Deal with it :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

1/2 mile run; 1 minute walk

Just a brief update. I ran out ahead of our Phillyfit meeting today to mark the trail in one direction. It was a little chilly but I warmed up quickly. The first marker needed to be placed at the 1/2 mile mark where the trail splits and I didn't want any new folks getting lost. So I started a slow jog to that mark. I felt great! I made my marks and decided to try for another 1/2 mile before walking. Again it felt great. I wasn't pushing it. I continued this trend out the 1.5 mile turn around and then back to the start.

My hamstrings are still tighter than they should be. I have to work harder or more often I guess on the stretches. But things are moving along.

It was another gorgeous morning for a run and I know that helped. :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

20 Minutes of good

20 minutes No walk breaks (not that I have anything against them, of course) No pain No soreness No tightness Yay! Stretches before and after. Three and a half hours later and everything still feels good. Full disclosure I was ridiculously breathless at the end which means I pushed too hard but geez I was really not going fast. Average pace 11:21.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Nothing to lose

Well actually I probably did but it all worked out anyway.

Today was opening day for USAFit/Philly. Originally I planned to see the group through their first day and do my 5k minutes tomorrow (Sunday). I got so caught up in the energy of the day that I decided to try to run after the group left. It was not the brightest idea but it worked.

I set my Gymboss for 3 min run/1 min walk and went off. I felt pretty good through 2.5 miles. Then my left hamstring started to feel tight. So I backed off my pace (which already felt glacially slow) and concentrated on not favoring the leg and risk messing up my hip balance again. I think I did ok with that. I stretched for 17 minutes after returning to the car (my start spot). This is a first for me and perhaps the primary reason I got into trouble in the first place. I should have done some light stretching before though. I was certainly warmed up after walking and running a bit keeping the group on target for the morning. But some light stetching before heading out would have been a good idea I think. It may not have helped a lot but it would not have hurt at least.

I've lost some speed since March 24th and lots of aerobic capacity. It's frustrating and I'll have to work hard to get it back and improve.

I also failed miserably in the nutrition / hydration department. It was  a very warm day. I had a glass of milk and a glass of water and a banana at 5:30 am. And that's all I had before heading out to run about 10:30. Not a smart idea at all. I was into mile 2 before I realized that. It was a warm day and I had a headache when I was finished - likely due to dehydration. I do know better.

So I guess I did have a lot to lose now that I think about it. *SMACK*. I'll do better next time.

I also need to get serious about losing weight. The layoff added to the pounds I needed to lose. I generally dont't weigh myself. We have a scale...... in the basement. Purposely out of the way because I do not want the numbers to control me or my mood. I've seen that happen to too many people. I go by how I feel or my clothes feel and sometimes by how I look in the mirror. The mirrir isn't a reliable source though. Anyway combined with the umbers the on the doctor's scale and feeling a few extra since then I know I need to get serious. Probably about 15 pounds worth. Ouch!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Gray hair and bow ties at National History Day in Pennsylvania 2012

Note to anyone reading this blog - until now this has been strictly a training and race blog. I plan to add posts about other stuff starting today. For those of you used to reading about 'other stuff' on Dave and Paula's Road Trip, that blog still exists. I'll post our joint ventures there.

Gray hair and bow ties were everywhere as the judges gathered for day 1 of National History Day in Pennsylvania. I was there with my brother Thomas and sister Meg for the state competition. I had the gray hair of course and I'm tempted to wear a bow tie next time.

I was assigned to Junior Individual Exhibits for day 1. My partner and I were to judge about a dozen exhibits created by 6-7-8 graders. This year's theme was "Revolution, Reaction and Reform". Students had to include at least one of those in their project. The purpose was to choice an event or issue and relate it to the theme. Students were encouraged to research their selected event or issue and draw conclusions about the theme and present it. In the first round we interviewed the students although the exhibits should stand alone in communicating the theme.

Our goal on this first day was to select 3 exhibits to go to run-offs on day two where they would be viewed with three others from the same category. The first and second place exhibits after day 2 qualify for the National Championships in Washington, DC in June.

We saw some interesting stuff. Several of them although really well done were nothing more than a presentation of the history of the event or issue the student chose there was no real conclusion about the theme. Those were easy to elminate from contention. Truthfully the top three were not that hard to distinguish either. The hardest part of the competition as a judge is having to provide constructive criticism. They worked so hard it's tough to say anyting but positive things. Still if they want to go on to Nationals or try again next year they need to know.

On day two of the competition I judged run offs in Senior Group Documentary. It's amazing what these kids (9-12 grade) can do with technology. Our role this day was to rank the 6 finalists in order. The first two go to Nationals. Our choice for first place was "The Revolutionary Electric Guitar: The Sound that Changed the World".

This is a clear case of you have to approach these things with an open mind. The title sounds like a real stretch. The three kids who produced the documentary did a great job though of relating it to the theme. The demonstrated how the evolution of the guitar from acoustic to electric bridged race and cultural gaps in society over the years. It was clever and well done.

On a personal note, Cara, my brothers second daughter placed second in Senior Individual Performace earning her a spot at the National Competition.

C25k Week 2

This week's workout is 15 min walk; 1 min jog/2 min walk 4 times; 10 min walk. I was not quite back home yet so the full workout was 40 minutes instead of 37. No harm done there.

I was careful to stretch before I went out. My left groin/hip was a little sore in the first 5 minutes but as it has in the past that went away and more importantly did not return after I was done. It was probably the cam impingement pain then. Doc told me I'd still get that pain because of it. The inner side of my left hamstring was sensitive while both running and walking. I may have performed the stretch too far. Other than that all went well. It feels a little weird running so little but until I can do this without any pain I'm going to stick with it.

Working hard means doing what has to get done. For now that means holding back and following the program even if it is maddening.

When I got home I repeated the glute and hamstring stretches and followed them with leg lifts (back and front) using 2 pound weights on my ankles, the silly looking clam shell maneuver on both sides and then did two sets of front, side, back, side plank holds for 30 seconds each.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Being Irregular

The appointment with the doctor was encouraging and informative. he finished the appointment by telling me "If you were a regular person and all you wanted was to be pain free and able to walk again you'd be done." If I want to run races again I need to continue to add strength excercises to the strerching ones I've been doing. Overall he was very pleased and sees no reason why I can't get back to running....eventually.

He was also able to explain to me what happened. My non-existent stretching routine did nothing to hel my tight hamstrings and weak glutes. This understandably affected my gait and footfalls and put extra stress on my hip flexors. As I tried to increase my weekly mileage - even using the 10% rule - my hip flexors continued to be stressed to the point of giving in. This left me without the strength to carry my leg under its own power. Rest, the PT and my obsessive dedication to doing the excercises (now) has restored enough that I can walk without pain or limp. If I want to run any distance without pain or discomfort I have to build up the strength and continue to stretch. The 5k plan turns out to be a good one. As long as I add the strength excercises while slowly building the running segments I should be ok. Consistency with the excercises and slow build up are key.

Meanwhile the xray revealed a cam impingement in my hip. This means that the ball of my hip is not perfectly round so the ball and socket bump eachother when they should slide. This causes pain in the groin/hip area. While not normal it's not that uncommon. It explains why I get pain in the groin/hip area frequently. It is not what caused the hip flexor least not by itself. It does explain why I went too far with the hip flexor weakness. I get pain in that area a lot on long runs and it will go away once I'm warmed up. But this time the pain was not all from the same source.

The cam impingement requires a commitment to maintaining hip strength which in turn stems from keeping the muscles in my legs strong- something I'm going to have to do anyway if I want to run.

Lastly the xray did not show any significant arthritis which surpised but pleased both of us.