Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Not the best news from my podiatrist today. Yes, I can run again, if you call running an 11 minute per mile pace for 1 1/2 miles every other day for the next 2 weeks "running." I'm on a gradual running schedule to build myself back up to my longer runs by the spring. So, after two weeks, I can increase my mileage to 3 miles every other day at an 11 minute per mile pace. Then increase my mileage to 4 miles or so, at about a 9 1/2 to 10 minute per mile pace. You get the idea. Plus, I still have to wear my night splint, and my heel cup for the next month. My goal of running a half marathon again on April 5th is gone. I'm not even sure when I'll even be running a 5K race again. The Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon will not happen on May 3rd. My new goal: Running a half marathon on June 28th. This sucks. PLEASE, fellow bloggers, appreciate your running even more. I will continue to be inspired by all of you as you continue to blog your race reports. By the way, congrats again, Lisa! You really kicked some half marathon ass!!

Back to the Doctor Today

It's been 12 days since my appointment with a podiatrist. 12 pain free, put a heel cup in my left shoe, wear a night splint to bed, don't you dare even think about running days. Today, at 4:15, I go for my follow-up appointment. I'm hoping for the best. I need to hear the words "You can start running again." Anything else will be unacceptable. I'll do whatever I'm told, please doc. just let me run. I'm especially anxious to pound the pavement after reading Lisa's blog a few minutes ago. She recently completed a half marathon, and ran a personal best time. She just gave me an adrenaline rush as I read her race report. She was able to do what I haven't been able to do: run. Check out her blog:http://lisasepiphany.blogspot.com. I'm ready to strap on my brand new Garmin Forerunner 305 with all the cool features and hit the open road. I want to feel the cold Connecticut air blowing in my face. I want to get a runner's high. Please doc, just let me run....

Monday, January 19, 2009

So Far, So Good

4 days post cortisone shot, and my heel is feeling GREAT! However, is it because of the shot, or the rest, or both?? Hopefully both. January 27 (new appointment date) isn't coming quickly enough. My idea of "fun" has been snowblowing. "Woo-hoo", says he sarcastically. So, for now I sit here, staring at the box containing my Garmin Forerunner 305, and dream about the future. At least I already know how to use it, since I've read the instructions about 10 times. So, fellow bloggers, "run on" and do an extra mile for me.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

It's Here!!

Yesterday I received my Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS-enabled trainer with heart rate, time, distance, pace, and calories burned. I wish I had doctor's clearance to run. Instead I'll be snowblowing 4 or 5 inches of snow and watching football. Also, today is the Tradition Run, which would have been fun to run in the snow. Sigh.......

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cortisone Injections HURT, and other Bad News

OK, I admit I'm not the bravest person in the world when it comes to getting a shot. But today's cortisone injection allowed me to reach a new level of pain from a shot. As the podiatrist warned me, it indeed did burn and hurt. Not only that, he was courteous enough to give me a play-by-play account of what he was doing to cause my pain. I am barred from running the next 2 weeks minimum. I have Achilles Tendonitis, not Plantar Fasciitis, which seems to be the lesser of the two evils. I also have Raynaud's Disease. Here's the Mayoclinic.com definition: "Raynaud's disease is a condition that causes some areas of your body — such as your fingers, toes, tip of your nose and your ears — to feel numb and cool in response to cold temperatures or stress. In Raynaud's disease, arteries that supply blood to your skin narrow, limiting blood circulation to affected areas." Freakin' fantastic. When I'm finally cleared to run, I'll still be limited by what the temperature is outside. My minimum running temperature is 35 degrees....34 degrees or below, and I'm home bound. So, a cortisone injection, a heel cup to be worn in any shoes I wear, and a night splint to be worn while I'm sleeping is my short term gameplan to get me back to pounding the pavement. By the way, I normally sleep on my side. It's going to be a long two weeks of trying to sleep on my back. I have a feeling I'll quickly be banished to the couch by my wife.


Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you for placing an order with us! Your order has been shipped out today. You will receive your tracking number via email within the next 12 hours.

This shipment contains:
1 Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS Personal Trainer - 010-00467-00

Thank you for your business!

Electronica Direct Fulfillment Department

Now, let's see how my Podiatrist appointment goes today...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Moment of Truth on Thursday

Well, my wife and I lost more than we won at the casino. BUT, I hit a slot machine for $75, so overall I stashed away $90 towards my purchase of the Garmin Forerunner 305. I just did some research on the internet, and have found it for $162 delivered. I'm probably going to buy it. I guess it will be what is referred to as "Putting the cart before the horse," since I can't run right now. I was able to schedule an appointment for Thursday with the podiatrist. So I'll know more about what I need to do in just 2 days.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Today I Will...

Today I will go to work, schedule a doctor's appointment to have my left heel and other assorted aches and pains looked at, and go to Mohegan Sun Casino with my wife to hopefully win enough money to buy a Garmin Forerunner 305. As I've been saying, "I want an official Garmin Forerunner 305 high sensitivity GPS receiver with new courses feature and robust wireless heart rate monitor for optimal performance." I took a vacation day tomorrow, so my wife and I will be staying at a hotel tonight and spending some quality time together. Perhaps a trip to the casino and lots of free beer will allow me to stop obsessing on not being able to run.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Fun is Over

"Because you had a bad day
You're taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around" Bad Day: Daniel Powter

Today's snowstorm was delayed until the afternoon, so I decided to go for a 4 mile run on my toughest hilly course. I made it about 4/10 of a mile. My left heel pain isn't going away. Matter of fact, it's gotten worse. It's gotten so bad that I'm overcompensating for it while I run, and affecting my entire running mechanics. Time for me to shut down. Time for me to make a doctor's appointment. Time for me to realize I'm not running at all in the near future. Time for me to go cry in my beer. This sucks...

Friday, January 9, 2009

I'm "Over the Hill(s)"

Having given myself the last 2 days off to rest my heel, today was a must run day. Decisions, decisions...what route and distance was I going to conquer?? As much as I hated to admit it, I needed to run a route with some challenging hills. In 9 days I plan to run the Tradition Run. It's a run that, well, here's what it's all about:

"This year the Tradition Run will take place on Sunday, January 18th at 10:30 A.M. There is no charge to participate. Registration begins at 9:30 A.M. at the Maintenance Facility in Hubbard Park. The run is sponsored by the Meriden Parks and Recreation Department and the Record-Journal newspaper.
It starts at the old zoo area, running 3.1 miles to Castle Craig. There is a 700 foot elevation gain, 500 feet in the last mile. There will be water at the top, and a van to bring you back down, but the hardcore runners run down the mountain to make it 6.2 miles for the day. There are pre/post run refreshments and a raffle prize." (I plan on being "hardcore" and run down the hill also)

So now you understand why I need to do some hill training. I chose my most difficult and hilly 5 mile course and checked the weather: Temperature 28 degrees, feels like 23 degrees. Perfect! I was dressed appropriately for the weather, and off I went. I took a look up in the sky, wanting see whatever I might see...clouds, the sun...no, I saw the moon. It was almost full, and big and bright considering it wasn't even sunset. I was already getting a runner's high, and I had just begun running. I was actually enjoying the cold, brisk, winter day. Yeah, I know. I always complain how much I dislike winter. For whatever reason, today was different. Maybe the fact that I was running comfortably and pain free in my heel helped elevate my mood. Mile 1 came quickly, although it was an average time of 8:21. Mile 2 was slower, 8:34, which surprised me since the first mile is mainly uphill, and the second mile is mainly downhill. Mile 2 to 3 is the "torture test," with a total incline of about 300 feet. Mile 3 split was 8:46, a nice surprise. I say that now, since I was timing my split times, but not looking at them while I ran. Mile 4 was 8:20, and my final mile, mainly downhill I confess, was an 8:06. Total time: 42:07; 8:25 per mile pace. Considering I hadn't done any serious hill work lately, it was a great run. Most importantly, I kicked some hill ass today. Tomorrow to Sunday we're supposed to get around 6 inches of snow. I've run 9 of the 18 total miles I'm supposed to run for my marathon training. Looks like I'll come up short again for the second week in a row. Well, May 3rd is a long way off. I won't worry about it yet, since it's only week 2 of my 18 week training schedule.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Two Days Off, and a Good 31 Degree Day Run

As much as I've wanted to run these past two days, common sense prevailed, and I took them off. That left me one mile short in my first week of training for the Flying Pig Marathon. Today's run was my more difficult 4 mile road course, with 2 "killer" hills. I felt the need to challenge myself and see how my heel would fare. I felt a little pain at the beginning, which soon went away (or was I ignoring it?). My splits were good: 8:16, 8:14, 8:09, and 7:52, for a 32:31 total time and an 8:07 pace. I was psyched that my "lead legs" were gone, and my running mechanics felt better. BUT, the plantar fasciitis in my left heel is beginning to concern me. Once again, I completed my run, took a shower, and am now limping around the house. So I did some internet research and found a good website that explains all about it, and even has stretching and strengthening exercises I can do to help myself. Here are some highlights from the website: "In general, plantar fasciitis is a self-limiting condition." "Unfortunately, the time until resolution is often six to 18 months, which can lead to frustration for patients and physicians." (Ya' think?!) "However, overuse (like training for a marathon I bet!) rather than anatomy is the most common cause of plantar fasciitis in athletes. " "A history of an increase in weight-bearing activities is common, especially those involving running, which causes microtrauma to the plantar fascia and exceeds the body's capacity to recover." I think that means I'm screwed, unless I do what I absolutely hate to do, which is stretching and strengthening exercises. So, my blogger buddies, I'm off to do my exercises.........

Sunday, January 4, 2009

2009 Running Goals

I've never been one to make New Year's resolutions. I kind of feel obligated to at least make a few in regards to my running in 2009. That's because every other running blog I've read has them. Such pressure! Okay, so here goes. 1) Always have fun whenever I run (Hey, that rhymes!). Yeah, sometimes, like yesterday, I moan and groan after I've completed a run. That needs to stop. 2) Stay injury free. 3) Run at least 1 marathon this year; two if my body can handle the training. 4) Place in the top three in my division in any race and win a cheesy award. Best I've done so far is placing 4th in a 5K last February. So I'll have to run that race again and run faster! 5) Read as many running blogs as I can, and be supportive of my fellow runners by commenting in their blogs. 6) Buy the Garmin Forerunner 305 so that I can better track my progress. I'm like Ralphie from "A Christmas Story" right now. Ralphie said: "I want an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle!" I say: "I want an official Garmin Forerunner 305 high sensitivity GPS receiver with new courses feature and robust wireless heart rate monitor for optimal performance." 7) Run as many races as possible with my daughter. It's definitely quality "father/daughter" time. 8) Run a race with a "blog buddy." I don't know if that will be possible since I have a very limited readership.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Long Run

"Who is gonna make it? We'll find out, in the long run" The Long Run: The Eagles

Today I received a nice 8x10 certificate from the ING Hartford Marathon. It reads: Rick Held has completed the full 26 mile 385 yard marathon in the 15th annual ING Hartford Marathon in Hartford, Connecticut, October 11, 2008 Time 4:22:19 Place 1173. It was the lift I needed after running a wretched 7 miles today. Today was supposed to be a nice Saturday afternoon leisurely run on a new road course. I purposely didn't drive and check it out ahead of time because I didn't want myself to be anal and worry about split times or even my total time. I had set myself up for success. I even did more stretching than usual before I ran. Stretching isn't my favorite thing to do, so I'm just not very flexible. Touch my toes? Forget it! More like touch my ankles. Anyhow, I parked at the Linear Trail parking lot, turned on my music, and off I went. No trail running today, just the open road, 70's music, and a cold and windy day. Oh yeah, temperature was 34 degrees, with a feels like temperature of 29 degrees. That's about average for this time of year. My first mile was being run into a 10 mph wind, which I wasn't concerned about, because again, today was going to be a stress free and fun run. I turned onto my next street, and the wind was no longer a factor. Time to be warm, and warm up, since it usually takes me a mile or so to warm up. I did start to warm up, and knew that the next 6 miles or so I was going to be "just right" temperature wise. What wasn't right was how I was feeling. I guess I can describe it as "lead legs syndrome." My legs didn't have the usual bounce. At times I felt like I wasn't even running right. Since when did I have to actually think about how to run?! I tried problem solving in my mind. I had only run 3 miles yesterday, so that wasn't an issue. I had eaten my usual breakfast, wasn't overdressed, had my usual running shoes on, hadn't done anything too strenuous the past 24 hours, etc. Damn, I was baffled!! I was cursing myself for creating a new course of 7 miles and running it today. One hour, one minute, and 21 seconds of a 7 mile unfun run. My pace per mile was a respectable 8:45, however. As I sit here hunting and pecking on the keyboard, I'm thinking that maybe my overdosing on homebaked cookies and other junk the past week may have caught up with me today. That has resulted in "found pounds." Hey, maybe I've f*cked up my equilibrium!! It's probably a good thing that I return to work in 2 days. Being home for 12 straight days, surrounded by holiday food (cookies), has been a bad thing. OK, so now no more cookies. In addition, any leftover cookies will be brought to work to be devoured by my co-workers. Sounds like a plan. No more cookies, eat healthier, and keep on running. Okay, glad I vented here. My mood has gone from "Why do I bother running" to "I can still run, have fun, and feel good again." Thank-you blog that hardly anybody reads....

Friday, January 2, 2009

I Actually Figured Out How to Do Split Times

Temperature: 31 degrees. Feels like 26 degrees. Today was going to be my 7 mile run. Well, my son's power wheelchair and my daughter's tire had other ideas. Long story short, my being a Dad will always take priority over running. Therefore, I settled for a 3 mile run. At least I was able to wear my new Nike running outfit! I decided to look at the owner's manual for my wristwatch/timer to see how difficult it would be to actually use the "lap time" feature. It was easy! No longer will I have to attempt to memorize my split times. Life is good. Yesterday's conjecture about the sun melting the snow on the road was incorrect. The snow did a great job of slowing me down as I ran through it, and also sticking to my shoes once I was out of it. The first 2 miles of uphills and downhills consisted of me focusing on staying upright and out of the path of motor vehicles. My split times were 9:10 and 9:06, but more importantly I didn't wipe out. The last mile was mainly snow free, and I closed with an 8:12. Overall, My time was a slow and steady 26:28, which averages out to an 8:49 per mile pace.
As I wrote in an earlier post, as of now I'm planning on running the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati, Ohio on Sunday, May 3. I now have a beautiful looking marathon training schedule courtesy of my son Robert's personal care assistant, Christine. After struggling for over an hour to set it up in a table, I decided to ask her for assistance. Fifteen minutes later, it was done. It is indeed a work of art! The training schedule is the same one I followed as closely as possible for my two previous marathons. Fortunately I'm only required to run a total of 17 miles (or more) this week. I need to run 8 more miles in the next two days, which shouldn't be a problem.

My Next Marathon??? Just 120 Days To Go...

As the one or two people who actually read this blog know, my favorite word to describe my runs is "fun." Well, I may have found my next marathon to run. It's the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon on May 3rd, and from reading reviews from previous runners, I know it will be "fun." I did a lot of research before deciding this may be it! It depends on whether or not I can get time off from work (probably yes), and whether or not my significant other (my wife) is willing to go to Ohio in May. I will probably go even if she doesn't want to! http://www.flyingpigmarathon.com/

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Total Miles Run in 2008: 1,018; Total Races Run:15

Well, we received about 4 inches of snow yesterday, so once again my running is on hold. However, despite a wind chill in the single digits, the snow on the road is actually melting. Yeah I know, part of the reason it's melting is because of the sand and salt from the plow trucks. But my point is, the snow on the side of the road, where I run, is also melting. I'm hoping to go for a 7 mile run tomorrow on a new course I created on the usatf.org website. I like to come up with a new course at least once a month in order to break up the monotony of always running the same routes.
A new year means a new running log for me. My "running log" consists of me sitting at our computer after every run, logging into Microsoft Word, and hunting and pecking the computer keys to record the date, distance, time, and average pace per mile. My daughter and my wife laugh at how anal I am with my recording. I do it because it helps motivate me to run, especially when I see I've been lazy and not run for a few days in a row. It's a great way to track my progress, whether good or bad. It also allows me to track mileage on my running shoes, so I know when the magic number of 500 miles comes and it's time to buy a new pair. Lastly, I know my personal best times in my races, and for my road and Linear Trail runs. I also have a separate document in which I rate races I've run. For example,

Stratton Faxon Fairfield Half Marathon *BEST RACE!! * chip timing


*lots of por-to-lets

* several hills, but none too difficult

* mile markers with digital clocks every mile

* lots of water stops with Gatorade;GU20 mile 8

* several showers along course

* Crowd: 5 out of 5: Very vocal!

* Post race: 5 out of 5 rating: bagels, pizza, watermelon, yogurt, water (not bottled), juice