Tuesday, January 27, 2009

16 Days

Thanks to all who weighed in on the accounting issue. I've decided to pretty much continue what I've always done. If I'm on a training "run" it will count towards my mileage totals, no matter the run:walk ratio. If I'm simply walking or biking as an alternative to help maintain fitness, it gets written down for posterity, but not counted toward the lifetime mileage. Right now I'm writing down more activity than I'm adding to the total but that will change again someday.

Where do 16 days go? There's no way to capture the all the minutia of the last two weeks so I will try to hit the highlights.

Weather wise we've gone from temps in the 80's to chilly 40's, from sun to rain and back to sun.

I've been running very little, but running non-the-less. Even though my running isn't where I'd like it to be, I am active. I ride the bike and use the elliptical at the gym and I'm really enjoying lifting weights and working on improving my core strength. I haven't done a leg work out since a couple of weeks before St Jude, first in anticipation of the marathon and since due to the injury. Two weeks ago my trainer still wouldn't let me do a leg workout. In his words "It will only take one thing to go wrong and we won't work legs for a whole year." He was probably right. The following week he relented and I finally worked the legs with no apparent ill effects. My only rule was no jumping - white men don't jump! It was a pretty benign leg workout but my quads sure let me know they weren't used to moving that way.

The first week since my last post I covered 8 miles in two runs. I stuck to a 2:1 run:walk ratio. The hip and IT still let their presence be known. I also biked for about 2 hours and got one good 5 mile walk in Bonelli.

The second week, last week, I upped the running ante up a little to 12.7 miles in three runs. For the second two I upped the ratio to 3:1. That week also included the leg workout. By the end of the week the hip felt fine and the IT still creaked now and then. Besides lifting, I rode for about 90 minutes and walked 12 miles.

One of those runs last weekend was on Saturday morning. It was a misty morning. I had told myself I would stay on the roads to take it easy on the leg, i.e. no hills. But on the way back I couldn't help myself and ran about 2.5 miles on the muddy trails. While I was running a tune was playing in my head that included "misty morning" and "I come following you." I looked up lyrics and can only come up with Mr. Tambourine Man, but that's "jingle jangle morning..." The tune sounds right in my head but I don't know where misty morning fits in or if I'm confusing two different songs.

This weekend, Super Bowl Sunday, the first of my 2009 goal races will go un-run. I had hoped to run the Surf City Half Marathon. Admittedly, I was running it for the super cool medal and the chance to complete the California Dreaming Series. Alas, I run Huntington Beach all the time and as the the Cub's fans always say, "There's always next year!"

The appointment with the orthopedist, I scheduled back in December when my hip and ITB would not let me run and even walking was painful, is finally scheduled for next week. At this point I'm not sure I should keep it. The hip pain that I feared was serious is 98% gone and I know how to deal with the ITB. Part of me wants to save the deductible expense, but it took almost 6 weeks to get an appointment, part of me feels like I should keep it. Probably by the time I post again, you'll know what I decided to do.

Let's not wait 16 days to get together again, OK?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Running Accounting

Last week, while on vacation, I walked 39 miles. Of those 39 miles I ran about 1 of them in Peters Canyon. My running log shows a whopping 1 mile for the week 12/29 to 1/4. That got me thinking. What can I actually take credit for? What will I actually give myself credit for?

I'm a runner. I keep a running log. I keep track of the miles I run - or do I?

I ran/walked my first seven marathons. I've done plenty of long runs using the run a mile, walk a minute strategy. Most recently I ran Memphis with Joe using a 3:1 schedule. I did the rough math and figure I "ran" about 22.5 miles and "walked" the other 3.7 miles. My running log clearly shows 26.2 miles. I allowed myself credit for each of those miles.

In 2008, I was injured, and I wouldn't have even gotten to Memphis if I had insisted on running every step of the miles I had in my plan. I currently find my self injured again, so walking it is. I have absolutely nothing against the run/walk technique. It has served me and many others very well.

But last week my walk segment far outweighed my run segment. I don't feel right taking credit for those 38 walked miles, but I proudly wrote down the 1 mile I ran. My questions: Do miles covered when I only walked count? Why is it all right to count miles that are covered with a combination of run/walk? Should the Peters Canyon Run really count as 6 miles since I technically ran at least part of the planned route?

Silly questions maybe, but can you relate?

Since going back to work for a full week, my "movement" routine has been up in the air. I did use the elliptical on Monday for 15 minutes before my workout and made it back to the gym on Wednesday for 45 minutes on the bike. Friday, my wife lured me away from the gym with an invite to an Italian place we hadn't tried yet. (Our time together was fun, the food was mediocre).

Saturday I volunteered at the Boney Mountain 21K. I walked about 5 miles of the course. I ran this course last year.

Today while the Chargers were freezing their pattooties off and losing to the Steelers (I'm originally from N Ohio. There's no way I could ever root for the Steelers, NO WAY!), I was over in Bonelli. It was sunny and in the high 70's. I went around my 5 mile loop and used a 2:1 schedule. There was no problem with my right hip and quad. My right ITB squawked a little but not much. I made it home in time to see the second sad half of the game.

I had no problem recording the 5 miles in my running log when I got home.

2009 racing plans are on hold. I had things in mind but until I can run more consistently and pain free, I am wary of making any plans. If the plans were on paper I would push myself to get there with the risk of injury. Knowing that, I will hold off putting anything on paper or here until the time is right.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

St. Peter(s Canyon)

I don't know if there is a patron saint of runners. But after today, I'm convinced that he is St. Peter.

As you know I haven't been running since Memphis. Over the holidays I took up serious walking as a substitute mental/physical boost. I've put in at least 5 miles a day for the last week, consistently. This morning the CA Cruisers were meeting in Orange County for a little trail running in Peter's Canyon. From the Alberton's on Jamboree, around the reservoir, up and over East Ridge View Trail and back Peters Canyon Road is a little over a 6 mile loop. For something different to do besides Bonelli, I decided to join the group and would walk the loop.

Our group today was quite large. We had runners from the Brea Snails Pace store joining us for a change of pace running venue. The group took off and I was surprised how quickly I was left behind. I knew I would be alone, so it wasn't a huge factor. I marched along, up and down the rolling hills of the East Ridge View Trail. There were several runners coming in the opposite direction as well as many people out for their morning walk, so I wasn't exactly alone. Peters Canyon is wedged between to fairly expensive housing developments, so many people take advantage of the park. Civilization is almost always in your peripheral view.

Once I made it too the far end of the park and began to head back on the flat Peters Canyon Road, I was feeling pretty good. I decided to give my leg a little test run. I set my watch for a one minute interval and off I jogged. There was some stiffness and a little weakness, but things held up. I followed that with a one minute walk segment. One minute later, the watch beeped again, and I was off and "running". I kept that up until I reached the end of the park and was back on the sidewalks. I think I ran at least ten 1-minute segments on the forgiving path for about 1 mile of running. I can't tell you how good it felt to even get that little bit of running in. It was a giant step forward.

I was all smiles when I met up with the Cruisers for some carbs, protein and coffee at the coffee shop where we'd parked. Then I was off to the gym back near my home. At the gym I rode the stationary bike for 60 minutes and then did some leg and core exercises. I've gleaned a lot of good tips from books I have, from the web and from fellow bloggers. I want to thank Wes and Nick for their ideas on how to beat the ITB and to strengthen the core.

And thanks to St. Peter for being kind to me today and letting me run, even a little bit, for the first time in 4 weeks.

Friday, January 02, 2009

2008 Ups and Downs

2008 could be called “The Year That Darrell’s Legs Gave Up”. 2008 was my lowest mileage year, 750.2, about half the 3 years preceding it. I had three months with less than 50 miles and two with big fat zeros.

2008 was the year of the stress fracture, the shin splints, and most recently the strained quad coupled with a super duper case of IT band syndrome that has kept me from running, not for lack of trying, since Memphis.

2008 was the year of my first ever DNS when I had to back out of the Catalina Marathon in March due to the stress fracture and then my second DNS at Big Sur in April. I didn’t even bother to sign up for the inaugural Big Bear Marathon in September and the Pasadena Marathon in November. I ultimately had to bow out of my first attempt at a 30K at Twin Peaks, rescheduled from February to December.

2008 was the year that I was only able to move 2% closer to my goal of 50 states by adding Tennessee to the list in December. I have gotten 4 states in previous years.

2008 was the year that all my race times were slower, well beyond anything nearing a PR, almost back to square one race times.

Even with all that, 2008 was a year full of incredible running experiences.

2008 was the year I started off on the trails. I ran the Boney Mountain 21K in January, rescheduled from October the prior year by wildfires. It was a tough 21K, but I love the trails.

2008 was the year that I was able to continue on the trails by finally running the Winter Trail Run Series put on by Baz in the mountains of the Cleveland National Forest. I ran the series with my running buddies Terry and Mike. Jim and Julie from the Cruisers were there as well. Even though this was the beginning of the stress fracture it was a hoot heading to those trails every other week for the four race series.

2008 was the year I ran the sloppy, muddy, rainy, windy, hilly, whole heck of a lot of fun Mission Gorge Trail 15K. Tyler volunteered at the finish line and was soaked through the bone as well. I’m still a little miffed that he didn’t save me a finisher’s medal (wink, wink).

2008 was the year that I cheered for runners at the finish line of Big Sur along with my friend Kitty, also on the DL. We rang some good cow bell out there. The night before the race I had an enjoyable dinner with Donald, Eric & Michelle, and Dori and her husband. Tyler ran the second leg of the marathon as part of 4 Cruisers relay teams. He went on to run leg 3 up Hurrican Point as well. It was a great weekend in a beautiful place.

2008 was the year I made my running comeback at the Surf City 5K on July 4th. The time was not stellar but I was glad to be running again.

2008 was the year I was able to run the last 2 races of the Summer Trail Series in Peter’s Canyon. It seemed only appropriate to balance the Winter Trail Series with the Summer Trail Series. I ran into to Jeff for the first time in a long time and was able to meet his wife and little guy, tc.

2008 was the year I got to spend the weekend with my wife in a cute little hotel in Crestline and I ran the Run Through the Pines Half Marathon. Four loops around Lake Gregory accompanied by half dozen or so of my Cruisers buddies.

2008 was the year I finally gave in and ran the Long Beach Half Marathon. Many locals use this as a precursor to Los Angeles Marathon in March. I paced my friend Terry for the first half and she went on to finish the full.

2008 was the year we made a trek to Temecula for a day of wine tasting that starting off with me setting my 10K PR of 55:45. This race was one week prior to my scheduled marathon. The quad pain that had been bothering me for a while was evident at the start but seemed to dissipate during the run. It seemed to grow worse as the week wore on. I hobbled through 3 miles two days after the race and didn’t run again until Memphis.

2008 was Year 3 of the December Blogger Reunion. I met Joe and David in Tennessee. Joe and I ran a very enjoyable 26.2 miles through Memphis, hitting Beale Street twice plus an extra trip for post race barbeque. I finally crossed the 13th marathon off the list.

In a nut shell my races were:
Boney Mountain - 21K
Winter Trail Run Series – 12K, 15K, 18K, & 21K
Mission Gorge Trail Run – 15K
Surf City 5K
Peters Canyon Summer Trails Series #2 & #3 – 5 Miles
Run Through The Pines – 13.1 Miles
Long Beach Half – 13.1 Miles
Temecula Turkey Trot – 10K
Memphis St. Jude Marathon – 26.2 Miles

Post Memphis I decided to give my self the luxury of a full week off. That stretched to two when it became apparent that running on my right leg was an impossibility. The pain with each impact radiated from my knee to my hip accompanied by a sense that the whole thing would collapse mid stride. On December 19, I tried to do a Christmas Light Fun Run with the Cruisers but I ended up having to walk 90% of the 2 mile loop.

Since then I have put all my efforts into riding the stationary bike at the gym and walking. Since I been on vacation for the last two weeks, I’ve taken at least a 5 mile walk everyday since Christmas with all but one of those being on my Bonelli 5 Mile loop. The hip doesn’t hurt while riding the bike and the pain is tolerable while walking.

2008 was a forgettable year and a memorable year, like most years I guess. Up next - my plans, hopes, wishes and dreams for 2009.