Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Movin' Out

So far this week has been hectic but I've kept up with the running schedule. Nothing monumental, no speed, no tempo, just ticking off the lower scheduled miles at an even pace. Monday I didn't get out until 9:00 p.m., I felt like Wes. It seems to me with his busy schedule he's always getting out there pretty late.

Tuesday I was able to get one more run at Bonelli on the trail along the western edge of the park. A year and a half ago when I first ran this trail is was nothing more than a single track with shoulder high mustard on either side, pure joy. This summer the skinny little trail has become a virtual two lane road through the park. There have been at least 3 fires in the park in the last year, so this summer the heavy equipment came out and changed the trails. They make better fire breaks and allow access for the fire fighting equipment. The trails still go up and down and around, but I miss the ruggedness and confinement of the single track.

Tonight I put in 4 miles. 4 miles seems like so little. Before the hip issue, my short midweek runs were 6 miles. It just seems funny to be running this distance. I haven't run "only" 4 miles since my taper for SEAFAIR back in June.

Tomorrow is the big day. Not for me. For my oldest son. Tomorrow he's taking all his earthly belongings (computer, TV and some clothes) and moving to San Diego. He begins his first year at the Art Institute to study culinary arts. My wife is getting all misty. I'm excited. I've said that this is the day I've been waiting for since the day he was born, literally. The way I see it, this is just part of the natural progression of events.

My own parents were married when my Dad was 20, my Mom was 18. They moved out of their parent's homes and have made their own home together for the last 47 years. When I graduated from high school, I went off to college at 18. I spent the first summer at home and was never back again for more than a week during the next 3 years. Twenty three years ago I moved from OH to CA when I was only 22.

The boys getting on with their own lives has always been my expectation. So far, Tyler has been meeting the expectation. Before I start sounding too calloused and hard hearted, I'm not exactly dropping the poor boy like a hot potato. He's driving around in a truck we paid for (I bought my first car after I moved to CA) and he won't have to worry about tuition, we've committed to paying for that (I paid my own tuition with savings and loans). He turns 19 in a couple of weeks, so I know he'll be home then. Likely with all his dirty laundry (yes, I did that. What college student doesn't?) and we'll send him back with a pantry full of groceries. Hopefully we've instilled in him enough common sense, responsibility, ethics, morality and integrity to serve him well. I'm not too worried.

Tyler, you are going to do great and don't forget to call you mother every once in a while.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

SGM Taper Week 1

After running along side and leap frogging Sam Thompson at SEAFAIR in July, I really got into reading daily about his progress and each of his 51 marathons along the way on his blog. Now I’m really getting a kick out of reading Dean Karnazes’s blog as well as he knocks of 50 states in 50 days, too. For someone like me who aspires to running all 50 states this is a lot of fun. I hadn’t heard anything at all about Sam before SEAFAIR, his 9th marathon along the way. I’ve met Dean before and will get to run with him at St. George in a couple of weeks for his 21st marathon. I hopefully won’t be running along side him. Dean has been finishing around 4:15 or so and I hope to finish much faster than that. The cool thing about Dean’s 50 is all the people he’s bringing along with him to run. He has gotten a couple of first time marathoners to the finish at almost every one so far. Both of these guys are inspiring to me and have given me some ideas on which marathons to run in each state.

I guess I’m officially in taper, but because the hip is doing so much better, I ended up running just as many miles this week as last at 37. I was able to get in 5 runs this week for the first time in a month.

Saturday morning I headed back up into the canyons above Azusa and ran the road up to Cogswell dam. This is the route I took 5 weeks ago to simulate the downhill at St. George. The morning was beautiful and brisk. The clouds hanging around the mountains back there were pretty cool. I really should figure out how to carry my camera along. There were some pretty scenic shots.

I mentioned brisk. My hands were pretty cold for the first mile or so, almost numb, but this was wonderful weather for a run. The West Fork of the San Gabriel River runs along the north side of the trail. The trail is shaded in most places by the mountains on the right. On the way up the canyon, I saw a couple of fly fisherman and three bikers, one going up and the other two coming back down.

The sign at the base of the trail shows that it is 8 miles to Cogswell Dam. I ran up and all the way across the dam just to make sure I got the most miles. I made it up in 1:07, two minutes faster than last time when I was picking off the cross country team. When I got to the top I took a 5 minute break or so to enjoy the view and to take a PowerGel.

When I headed back down I could tell that the sun was warming things up. For the most part the run is shaded, except for maybe the first and last miles. In the shade the breeze was nice and cool. When I hit a sunny spot I could really feel the difference in temperature as the sun heated up the asphalt, even the breezes coming off were warmer. At one point on my way down a pretty good breeze came along and carried a snowfall of leaves off the tree above me on the mountain side. They just fluttered down gently, almost in slow motion. It was almost mystical to watch. I couldn’t help but smile at the show Mother Nature was providing for me.

Up until the last couple of miles of the run, I was pretty much alone. I really enjoyed the sound of the stream. At times it was silent, and at others it was babbling over the rocks. Sometimes the canyon magnified the sound. On the way out I came upon some hikers and some bikers, but I never encountered another runner. The downhill is noticeable, but I guess I was taking it pretty easy. My time on the way out was 1:02, 3 minutes slower than last time.

This could easily become a favorite run. For the cost of an Adventure Pass ($5 daily/$30 annual) and an easy 10 mile drive, I get away from suburbia and enjoy an easy run in the canyons of the San Gabriel Mountains. There are actually tons of trails in those mountains, I just need to go explore.

If the sign is to be believed, for the 16 miles total route my pace was 8:04, 8:22 in and 7:45 out. This got me thinking about my expected finish time in St. George. I’m well aware that many runners PR there. If, and that’s a big IF, I could keep up an 8 minute pace, I’d be thrilled. Although, I doubt seriously I can keep anywhere near an 8:00 pace for a full 26.2 miles, downhill or not. St. George is net downhill but not all downhill. I think it’s reasonable to shoot for an 8:30 pace, that would get me a 3:43 PR. What would really suck is a 3:32 to 3:35 finish.

Today, Sunday, my mother-in-law has invited us over for lasagna as a going away for Tyler. The last couple of times we’ve had lasagna at her house I ran there, satisfied that the miles there justified the extra large portions of lasagna she served. I considered running the Lasagna Loop today, but because it was Sunday the lure of my morning “date” with Bonelli won out. I ran counter-clockwise for a change of pace.

Running in this direction means that once I start the loop I do the major downhill first and then spend at least a mile climbing back out. That climb out seems relentless. Once I got back up and hit a fairly level patch, about 30 minutes into the run, I got a sudden burst of energy that carried me along. My turnover rate was noticeably faster and I felt really good. I kept up that effort nearly to the end. It almost felt effortless. I really don’t know what to attribute this feeling to, but I sure enjoyed it. The burst didn’t parlay into a PR time but it was nearly a couple of minutes faster than my times earlier this summer.

Next week is going to be a little hectic. I’ve got a chiropractor/massage on Monday. Thursday and Friday, I will be in San Diego with Tyler and Saturday I’m riding to the beach, about 30 miles with some friends. I’m going to have to get creative to get my runs in. Good thing it’s week 2 of the taper.

Be sure you stop by these blogs, Joe, Michelle, Rob and Sara, and wish them all well as they race the Portland Marathon next weekend, October 1st.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Chasing the Sun

I knew this was coming for awhile now but tonight is was more evident than ever. I'm running out of daylight.

I do the majority of my midweek runs after work. In the three years that I've been running I used to just head out the front door and put in the miles on the streets around the neighborhood. But this summer more than the others I've been doing many of my widweek runs on the roads and trails in Frank G. Bonelli Regional County Park. Bonelli is only a 5 mile drive from home.

Tonight was only a 5 mile run. But by the time I got home, changed and out there and back to the car it was 7:20 and the sun was gone. It's sad knowing that these runs will have to be put on hold for a season.

I imagine I feel much like my older son who's about to move away for his sophomore year of college. He's been spending more and more time in the last couple of weeks away from home, out with his friends getting in the last bit of quality time he can. I have a feeling he'll be squeezing in some more time with them up until next Thursday when we move him into student housing. And just like him I'll be squeezing every last widweek run in at Bonelli before the sun sets by 7:00 or so.

I feel too like that high school guy who goes off to college leaving his sweetheart behind, only getting to see her on the weekends. Once the setting sun puts Bonelli out of the reach midweek, it'll just have to be a weekend only running destination until next summer. Unlike the high school guy, I'm fairly confident that Bonelli will still be there waiting for me when I come back.

So for the next couple of months I expect to be running back on the streets under the street lamps and by the headlights of the oncoming cars. I may sneak in a midweek morning run or and early exit from work now and then. Hopefully by next spring the trails will be grown back over a little and I can plow my way through shoulder high mustard again.

Bonelli and I have had a lot of fun together this summer and I'm going to miss it.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

22 That Was, A Half That Wasn't

I went back to the chiropractor on Friday for another massage and adjustment. I got a different massage therapist this time. After we talked about why I was there, she gave me a great massage in my glutes and piriformis muscles on the left side as well as my back and neck. She also asked me about how sore my back was after the last one. I must have made it sound like I was pretty sore; she seemed to take it a little easier on me. But she did a much better job of dealing with my hip than the other one. So now I have to decide which one I like better. I’m not going back until the 25th and will see the second one again. I understand the first one is recommended for really good deep tissue so I may switch back and forth. I expect that once my hip is better I won’t continue the massage but will likely keep up the chiropractor on some routine basis. I have a question about tipping the massage therapist. Since the massage is part of a medical procedure and covered by insurance I’ve been told that tipping is not necessary, but I don’t want to appear to be some kind of cheap skate if a tip is expected. Any thoughts?

Onto the run:
Saturday morning was my anticipated 22 miler. Since most of the CA Cruisers were going to be enjoying the Disneyland Half Marathon on Sunday, there was no officially planned run for Saturday. I headed down to Huntington Beach to get the job done. I parked in Sunset Beach between mile marker 10 and 11 and got started around 6:40 a.m. I headed NW toward the 11 mile mark and then turned around and ran SW to the Newport Beach Jetty roughly 9 miles through Bolsa Chica and Huntington Beach. At that point I headed up the Santa Ana River Bike Path. For the first nine miles my split times were in the 8:40 range.
3:40, 8:44, 8:33, 8:31, 8:38, 8:21, 8:40, 8:13, 8:56, 8:14.

The mile markers don’t continue at this point so I ran based on time to get to the 11 mile turnaround. The first time I check my watch I was only at 14 and change, too soon to turn around. The next time I was at 17:59. I felt pretty confident that I had covered the required 2 miles. 18:08 took me back to the 2 mile mark and the countdown home began. 8:31, 9:01 (the first mile over 9 so far, this is the same mile that was 8:56 on the way out so I think it must be a little long). The next one came in at 8:36. At this point I’m beginning to get tired. Once I hoped back onto the beach trail from the river I saw a couple of guys about half mile ahead of me. I wasn’t able to reel them in for nearly 3 miles until they took a facilities break. I overtook them, not to hard to do when they are standing still, huh. So far during the run, I had overtaken quite a few people and was only passed by people on bikes. I was taking a certain degree in satisfaction in that. A few minutes into mile 18 those guys caught up to me and asked me how far I was going. I kept pace with them for about a mile until they turned around and headed back.

That particular mile went by the fastest as far as perceived time, actually 8:30. One of the guys was training for St. George as well. They each had run it 6 to 8 times before, so they gave me some pointers on the course and a carbo load recommendation to boot. I was on my own again for the next 4 and change. The slow down began in earnest at this point. I think it would have started sooner if it wasn’t for keeping up with the two guys. The muscles in my left hip, butt and groin were getting really tired. They were likely sore from the massage the day before. I kept going, never walking but definitely slowing down. Somewhere along here I saw Tom, a guy I met in HB awhile back. He was heading back so we only got to wave and shout How’s it going?

During mile 21, I got passed for the first time. I got passed by a girl. I thought, Dude you just got Chicked! Actually it wasn’t that big of a deal, I know there are plenty of ladies out there that put my feeble attempts at running to shame. It really doesn’t bother me in the least but I thought it was a funny thought to have, especially since I was so aware of the fact that no one had overtaken me for 20 some miles before that. And before you think there was no one else out there, don’t. HB is always a huge draw for runners. I had plenty of company. She ended up stopping less than a mile after passing me so I didn’t feel bad for long.

Then during mile 22, I could hear the footfalls of someone coming up behind me. Louder and louder, dang I’m really slowing down now. It ended up being a 60+year old man. So now I’d gotten passed by a girl and an old man, talk about a blow to the ego. Actually, it was just my brain trying to add a little drama to an otherwise uneventful long run. Those last 4 miles were done in 9:04, 9:18, 9:13 and 9:44 plus the last 5:39 to get me back to the car.

I made it through the 22 without any major glitches, all kidding aside about getting passed. My final time was 3:14 for an average pace of 8:49. This is just slightly better than my SEAFAIR marathon pace. So I think this bodes well for St. George, especially since now I have the inside scoop on the course. I took the rest of the day pretty easy. The hip is sore, muscle sore, not the kind of achy joint pain I was having before.

Sunday I headed back over to Bonelli in the afternoon for the third time this week on my favorite 5 mile loop. The temps were warmer today than during Thursday’s PR, but at 48:18, I was happy with the effort.

All told, I ended the week with 37 miles on 4 days of running and the hip is well on its way to recovered. Not where I’d hoped to be, but not such a bad place three weeks out from a marathon. The next two weeks call for less daily mileage but continue the 6 day schedule. I will definitely scale back to 5 and may consider 4 depending on how the hip feels. I’m not ready to give up on a PR effort in St. George but I do want to guarantee that it won’t be my first DNF.

At the Disneyland Half, my buddy Jesse came in at 1:29:36, 8th place in his division, my division. I’ve got some work to do. Terry from work came in at 2:02:39. The bib I might have worn came in at 2:02:28. This was good enough for 4th place in the M65-69 age group. That’s kind of scary because if I had run my plan was to run along with Terry and she was hoping to go 2:00 or less. A 1:58 would have gotten 3rd place. I’m capable of that on a good day and I would have stolen someone’s thunder. I’m sure I made the right decision.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

What's the 4-1-1

Me! I'm the 4-1-1! What?

I finally signed up today for the First Annual Phedippidations World Wide Half Marathon on October 7 and 8. My bib number is 411. Goofy, I know but what do you expect from me. I had read about this race quite awhile ago on both Planet3rry and Steve's sites. Since I'm already signed up for a full marathon that day I figured I ought to join in the fun of a world wide half marathon. I just have to decide which half of the marathon I want to report. So if you haven't signed up yet head on over here and get signed up. Then get out there and put in 13.1 miles; easy for some, a challenge for others. Just get out there and do it. It should be fun running a half marathon with fellow runners from all over the world.

As far as the Disneyland Half goes, I've pretty much decided that its not in the cards for me this year. I would have just run it for fun anyway, rather than raced it. Running with someone's bib is somewhat problematic considering the guy I'd be pretending to be is older than me. But who am I kidding, they are tons of older guys that can kick my sorry behind any old day, so it's not as though I'd be stealing anybody's thunder. Maybe I'll work it in next year, but I can never get that Inaugural thing back (you know what I'm talking about, Drew?). And yes, Donald, the medal is a little more "cute" than it is "cool". I should resist that whole Disney mega-marketing thing anyway, but I'm so weak.....

Anyway, tonight I headed back over to Bonelli for 5 miles. I felt so good on Tuesday, I decided to do the Sunday morning loop again today. I don't really know why, but I really, really enjoy this loop. And although I'm a watch guy (sorry Rob), on a run like this with no mile markers I just "set it and forget it". So I left the park and ride lot headed over the freeway overpass, hit the start button and never looked back until I crossed back over the freeway.

When I finished today, I was like "NO WAY!". I had made a pretty serious improvement in my time. I realize not everybody is interested in this but I went back and checked my log for the year and looked up all my times for this 5 mile route. I have run this particular loop 10 times this year ( yes I keep track of this stuff). I've actually run it more times than that but the others were part of longer runs so I don't have the 5 mile times for all of them. Anyway when I guessed on Tuesday that my 47:41 was the best time on the loop, I was right. My next best time on the same loop 49:54 back on April 9. I've done the loop in as slow as 57:06 on June 25. Tonight I can't really explain what happened. We did get an usually cool day today, low 70's at best, and overcast pretty much all day. I was lovin' it. My final time was, ta da, 45:21, over 2 minutes better than just 2 days ago. 45 minutes is what I used to run on the flat path at the dam, not on the hills in Bonelli. I'm stoked about that, no doubt.

Friday is a scheduled day off. The first official Friday off in six weeks on the new schedule that my hip has blown all to pieces, but I'm taking it none the less. I go to see the chiropractor for the third time tomorrow as well. Then its off to Huntington Beach on Saturday morning for 22 miles. The hip is feeling better so I guess the rest wasn't for naught and as a bonus I achieved a PR time in Bonelli.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

It Figures

This Sunday is the Inaugural Disneyland Half Marathon. If you remember I waited a day too long to register for it. Then when more spots opened up, I was a day late once again, having to check on possible work travel plans before plunking down $85. I might have used my friend Terry husband's entry if his training didn't go well. He's running after all and I'm glad for him. Call it karma, call it bad luck, the race didn't really fit into my marathon schedule very well anyway, falling on a weekend of a 22 miler. So I pretty much gave up any thought of running this event. My wife had even cancelled our hotel room on Tuesday.

Then today I got a call at work from one of the Cruiser's. There's a bib available if I want it. I initially declined the offer. I thought that with the hip less than 100% and really wanting to get the 22 in on Saturday, that a half the next day probably wasn't the best idea. I have nothing to gain by running this except for a really cool medal. As the day has worn on, I'm thinking more and more that I want to go run it. There's also the ethical ramifications of running with a non-transferable bib. If the sponsor was someone other that the BIG Disney machine I might feel a little bad about doing it.

An another note, I ran into Lonny at work. He's the coworker I ran into at the Great Race of Agoura. He is going to pace for someone in his running group this weekend at the Angeles Crest 100. He's going to run from 52 mile aid station to the 74 mile aid station. There's only one aid station in between. He expects to be running during the dark. Looks like it should be a lot of fun. I'm not sure I'll ever be up to that distance, but if I were its right here in the mountains I see everyday. Good luck to Lonny and his pacee!

My run last night was spectacular. I headed over to Bonelli after work and ran my 5 mile Sunday morning loop. I was able to push hard and ended up clocking in a 47:41, probably my best time for this particular route. I'm usually in no big hurry on Sunday mornings after Saturday long runs. I guess running less miles has it advantages. The hip is getting better, but I took tonight off anyway.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

So Much for Schedules

This is killing me! Putting all those big fat zeros into my training log and then again into my Excel spreadsheet. My weekday runs have been nearly non existent. The week before last, my only run was a 22 miler on Saturday.

Last week I went out for 5 on Wednesday. I got my 15 miler completed on Friday morning before we left for the Napa Valley and then on Sunday I did 4.7 miles around American Canyon, CA. My hip is still bothering me, even though I've seriously cut back my schedule. Week 6 of the 6 days/week schedule at 50 miles, turned into 1 day at 22. Week 7 planned at 45 miles in 6 days became 24.7 miles in 3 days. This week, #8, has 5 days for 42 miles including a 22 miler on Saturday. I plan on keeping the 22 miler and taking at least one extra day off, probably tomorrow for about 35 miles. After that I'm officially into taper but I think this time around the taper is going to be more of a super taper, hoping to be completely ache free by St. George.

Friday's run went amazing well in terms of pace. I ran the San Gabriel River Bike Trail. Mile one was a conservative 9:25 and includes the immediate climb up onto the top of the dam. The next 7 miles ticked off in roughly 8:30 pace. After the turn around, I knocked off miles 9, 10 and 11 in 7:56, 7:46 and 7:41. The last 4 miles were between 8:14 and 8:03 for a total running time of 2:04 or an 8:16 pace overall.

On the intestinal terms the run was a near disaster. Note to self and anyone living in the proximity of Los Angeles. Do not ever, under any circumstances, eat a Hollenbeck burrito from El Tapayec in East LA the day before a long run. Don't get me wrong the burritos are awesome. Any other day, I would go there in a flash. It is a little hole in the wall with room for about 30 people crammed inside and there is usually a line to get in. The food is seriously good, but it doesn't want to stick with you on a long run. Thank goodness disaster was diverted and the bathroom along the trail that had been closed for renovations was back open. I hit it twice, on the way out and on the way back, and I hit it hard. Just a word to the wise. I've learned my lesson. I didn't count those little breaks in my overall time!

Sunday's run in American Canyon was just a nice leisurely run. American Canyon is on the very southern end of the Napa Valley. We stayed in American Valley, as my father-in-law had booked the rooms and they were the only Marriott affiliate (we kid him that anything less that a Marriott is roughing it) in the Napa Valley that he could find for less than $300 a night. The front desk staff had no recommendations as far as places to run. The hotel was on Highway 29, a 2 lane divided highway. Google maps were not complete, since the city is experiencing a growth. I just headed out and found a nice stretch along Wetlands Edge Rd. There was a nice wetlands, duh, along one side and new housing development on the other. I eventually ran into a bike path and ended up with 4.7 miles (determined on gmaps-pedometer) upon my return home.

The trip to Napa was quick but enjoyable. We always have a good time visiting with my wife's Dad and his wife and her brother and his family. Dad and Susan had flown in from PA. Brother and family had driven over from the Sacramento area. It took us about 6 hours driving time to get up to Napa. The boys were less than thrilled being in the car for that long but they survived. They actually complained about taking bathroom breaks because it was going to take longer to get there. We had dinner Friday night at La Strada in American Canyon.

On Saturday, while the grownups visited a couple of wineries, the boys got to play paintball at a park in American Canyon. Number 1 son got to spend Saturday evening with a couple of high school buddies that were going to school at the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo, CA just down the road from our hotel. The adults took a tour of Beringer Vineyards and Chateau Montelena. Both places gave very informative tours and we enjoyed the wines, as well. Lunch on Saturday was at the Calistoga Inn. I would recommend it highly; very delicious weekend brunch menu and great service. Dinner Saturday night was at Pacific Blues Cafe, another great meal. The menu is an eclectic mix of burger, Mexican and American comfort food.

The trip was very enjoyable. Too short, but fun. This was only our second trip to the area in 22 years of living in CA. The last time I was in Napa was to run a half marathon in 2004. We aren't huge drinkers and don't really plunk down any huge sums of money for wine, but it is a fun way to spend a weekend every now and then. Wineries aside, the area is beautiful, lodging is plentiful although pricey and there are tons of world class restaurants and shopping, so a great weekend could be had, wine or not.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Worked Over

Wednesday I had my second chiropractic appointment. Before the adjustment I was treated to a 30 minute massage. She worked over my back and tried her darndest to get deep into the muscles on my left back side. There was some pain involved, but it was the good kind of pain. During the adjustment, the chiro stretched my hamstrings. She said we needed to work on those in the future. I have no doubt about that. I left there feeling really good.

So good in fact I went over to Bonelli for 5 miles on the Cottontail out and back. No signs of hip pain what so ever during the run.

Thursday at work I could feel the pain again, but it felt mostly muscular and moved around from upper part of my left cheek, down into the hamstrings. I had to adjust my sitting position depending on the chair. By the afternoon, my back starting feeling like I had been hit by a large vehicle. Things were definitely sore. This is a side effect of the massage I hadn't counted on.

I'm going to go out tomorrow morning and put in my 15 miles. Later in the morning I'm driving the family up to Napa to visit my father-in-law and his wife and my brother-in-law and his family. I hope to get at least one 5 miler in somewhere in the Vallejo, Napa, Sonoma area before the drive home Sunday afternoon.

One more long run next weekend and then its taper time. Didn't I just do this not that long ago. Three months sure flies by quickly.

Everybody enjoy their runs this weekend. Remember to root for Donald at Big Kahuna, Jeff at The Robin Hood Marathon, Jessica at the OC Heart 5K and Sarah at the McKenzie River Trail 50K. That pretty much covers most of the commonly raced distances. (My apologies to those I missed.) Get out there and have a great time.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Running Hopeful

Dang Blogger! Dang computer! Dang Internet!

I just finished my masterpiece of writing. I wore my heart on my sleeve and its all gone. Way too much time spent composing and editing in Blogger's dashboard and poof its all gone into the neverland of cyberspace. (Truth be told it was probably just another one of my run-on stream of conscious ramblings, but I guess we'll never know.)

Here's the short version.

I ran 22 miles on Saturday down at the Santa Ana River Trail in Yorba Linda with 16 of my CA Cruiser buddies. I ran the first 5 with Michelle, Rochelle, Jesse and Anet. The next 4 with Jesse and Michelle. 6 more alone until I met Terry from work and turned around and joined her for 3, followed by 5 more on my own. The final time was 3:31 for a relatively slow, for me, 9:36 overall pace. Because of the hip issues I intended on taking things slow so I was really happy overall. I did manage a couple of miles at 8:35 and 8:36 in the middle when I was running alone.

Final analysis: no hip joint pain during the run and yeah, no blisters either. The only aches are in my glutes and hip adductor muscles on the left side. I'm thinking these are from the chiropractic adjustment. I've been doing a lot of reading in magazines and the web about hip injuries. For me sitting is the most uncomfortable position. It could be any number of things, but self-diagnosis is probably less than reliable and self-treatment even less so. For now I plan on keeping my chiropractic appointments, scaling back the training program and keeping a watchful eye on the hip. I don't want to "cry wolf" too soon and run off to a specialist before it's absolutely necessary.

Only 5 weeks to St. George and I don't want to do anything stupid at this point (hopefully I haven't already) .

Friday, September 01, 2006

Random Reflections

How does a week without running feel so busy? Yeah, I decided to give my hip a week to heal and hopefully I can still salvage the 22 miler on Saturday. I'm just considering it an unplanned taper.

I really love what's happened over at The revamped Complete Running Network is full of great RBF writers and personalities and is superbly informative. I do miss the Running Blog Recents page. I used that page to keep up with my favorite blogs. Although I've got links to some of them on the side bar of my little blog, I couldn't tell if there was something new to read or not without first checking in. I have finally subscribed to many feeds with Bloglines. I guess this is something that you all knew about, but I'm a little slow on the uptake when it comes to technology. I run sans a GPS, a HRM, or even an i-Pod. Heck I can't even take pictures with my cell phone. With Bloglines now I know when you've all added some interesting little tidbit I will want to read.

Drew has added a cool new tool on his blog to connect with other RBF members. Check it out! You never know who you might meet.

Speaking of CRN, I love today's quote: "It is very difficult to train for a marathon; but it is even more difficult to not be able to train for a marathon." —Aaron Douglas Trimble. I really hope this doesn't become my reality.

Wednesday I went out for a bike ride, rather than a run. I got on my stock, 8 year old GT Aggressor for a ride on the streets. I rode over to the far end of Bonelli, through Bonelli and down San Dimas Ave and then back home. San Dimas Ave is the street that Jeff road at 40 mph during his triathlon (June 10). I know I went nowhere near that fast but I went as fast as the GT would roll. I had it in the highest gear and all I could do was just spin the pedals. I ran out of daylight putting in 18 miles in 1:20. I felt like I had kept up a pretty decent pace, but post ride calculations come up with a measly 13.5 mph. Even more reason to be in awe of you Ironmen that clock huge miles at 20+ mph for an easy ride. The good news is that the hip didn't hurt during the ride.

Thursday night we said goodbye to Janice. Yet another work friend moving on to the next big thing. First Brian, my running partner, off to dental school in Boston. Then Celeste, another running partner/friend, off to a new job. Now Janice chasing her dream to become a dentist at the University of California at San Francisco Dental School. I was able to bring her over to the dark side (she got hooked on running) and I got to share her first half marathon.

This evening I saw a chiropractor, to see what she could do for my hip. Along with the hip pain, I can also feel that my back and neck are out of whack. So hopefully getting everything back in line will help. If not, then I will consider the next step. I have seen chiropractors in the past with very good results. This one comes highly recommended by many people at work, including Terry, my one last remaining running buddy at work. I got a little e-stim and "racked and whacked" (the chiro's description). Now, I feeling a little sore, but I expected that.
August Milestone:

3 years at or below goal weight!

182.5 miles for the month. Off my goal of 200 miles, but my highest month yet by about 1.5 miles. Could this be the cause of my hip pain?

One of the races I was thinking of doing, a marathon relay with the CA Cruiser at the inaugural Inland Empire Marathon, has been canceled. That leaves me an opening for another interesting event I'll disclose later. ;-)