Saturday, February 28, 2009

On the Trail Again

Today's Run Stats: Farmington Canal Linear Park; 39 degrees; 4 miles; 34:48; 8:42 per mile pace. Mile 1: 8:43, mile 2: 8:40, mile 3: 8:56, mile 4: 8:29.

I was disappointed I didn't see roller blading, disco dancing, karaoke singing, linear trail lady today. However I did see LOTS of dog poop on the crushed gravel, perfect for running, side of the linear trail. Is it too much to ask for dog owners to pick up their dogs poop? I ran 4 miles instead of 3, and am more than satisfied with my splits and total time. Tomorrow begins two weeks of increasing my mileage up to 4, then 5 miles per run. I'm actually nervous about it. In the back of my mind lies the fear that as I increase my mileage and speed that my achilles will pop. I honestly don't ever want to have to give up running. Running is my temporary escape from reality. There are no problems in my life, nothing is bad in the world, and it's the highest of highs whenever I run. True, I still have a ways to go as far as getting back to my usual 8-8:30 minute pace per mile, but I'm getting there. I'm still sucking too much wind though. I haven't figured out why. I'm running slower, but having more difficulty with my breathing?? At least my pace feels good, and each day it feels like old times again. I'm debating whether or not to run the O'Hartford 5K race in 2 weeks. I'm so anal about my times that I know I'll be upset if I finish it slower than I have the previous two years.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

On the Road Again

36 degrees; splits 8:57; 9:08; 8:38; 26:43 total for 3 miles; 8:54 per mile pace.

I decided the time had come to run a 3 miler on the road. It had been 47 long days since I last challenged myself by running on the road. I'm officially bored running the Farmington Canal Park trail, or any trail for that matter. I felt the need to once again dodge cars and trucks and inhale their exhaust fumes. It was time to take the next step(s) towards preparing for this years road races. I was only 5 days ahead of my podiatrist's recommended "return to the road" running schedule, so I felt I was justified in going for it.
To steal an old Jackie Gleason term, "How sweet it is." My apprehension about "pounding the pavement" is officially GONE! I'm finishing this blog 12 hours after completing my run, and my heel, feet, and legs feel great. I'm more than satisfied with my splits, and my overall time. It is and was an important and gratifying moment in my "comeback." Plus, I experienced an excellent runner's high for several hours afterward, like the good 'ol days. I'm giving myself the next two days off to recuperate, just to be safe. I'm encouraged that I will be able to increase my mileage enough and run in the upcoming races that I have tentatively scheduled. Life is good for Marathonman101108! P.S. Check out the latest "song" that motivates me while I'm running!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

"Smokin'" in the Rain!

Today's Run Stats: Farmington Canal Linear Park; 41 degrees; 3 miles; 25:46; 8:35 per mile pace. Mile 1: 8:45, mile 2: 8:50, mile 3: 8:11.

A rainy day, but I didn't care. It was just a soaking wet me being entertained by the pouring rain and the sound of my breathing. It felt like old times again, especially the last mile time of 8:11. Damn, I still DO have it. I haven't lost my "mojo" after all. I ran as fast and as comfortable a pace as my legs and heel would allow me to. So far, 2 hours later, all is well. I'm hoping that I still feel this good when I wake up tomorrow. Hey, maybe running a half marathon 6 weeks from today is a possibility. Tomorrow I will not run. I do have to take it easy and not overdo it too much. Life as a runner is good...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Big Bird Drives a Yellow Car

Today's Run Stats: Farmington Canal Linear Park; 39 degrees; 3 miles; 27:10; 9:03 per mile pace. Mile 1: 9:03, mile 2: 9:12, mile 3: 8:55.

I need to start by talking about roller blading, disco dancing, karaoke singing, linear trail lady. Somehow, someway, no matter what time I run, I manage to see her once or twice a week on the trail. She kind of looks like a skinnier version of Big Bird on roller blades. Maybe I'm thinking that because she drives the brightest yellow car I have ever seen. She's tall, VERY tall on roller blades, and roller blades along, swaying from side to side, and does a disco dance by repeatedly rotating her arms forward as she skates. Plus, she always seems to forget that I can actually hear her singing as she zips by. Funny thing is, I never recognize what she's singing. Probably because I'm too busy laughing and trying to get out of her way. So, once again roller blading, disco dancing, karaoke singing, big bird looking, linear trail lady, thanks for putting a smile on my face, and not running me over.
Today's run was rather boring. Of course, running day after day along the trail will make it boring. At least I'm following my podiatrist's orders as far as not running on the road. But, as you read above, I once again ran faster than my 11 minute suggested pace. Today I actually ran smoothly for most of the run. The first half mile or so was a struggle, as my stride was awkward trying to run slower than I wanted to. Once I focused on running however fast I wanted to, everything fell into place. The 9 minute miles felt good, as I wasn't pushing myself, or running too slow. My form felt good, and the awkward feeling quickly vanished. What still concerns me is the "out of shape" feeling. A 9 minute mile pace should be a piece of cake. Right now, it isn't. This coming from a person who pre-injury was running 8 minute miles without much effort. Hopefully my increased stretching prior to running, and a gradual increase in days run per week and distance run will help. I'm still "yoga curious," and am looking forward to March 6 when we try it at work. I need to do something to become more limber, and also need to find the time and make the effort to strengthen my legs. I think I need to sign up to work out with a "hot" female trainer. Now THAT would motivate me! (My apologies to the women...LOL)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Faster Still!!

Today's Run Stats: Farmington Canal Linear Park; 36 degrees; 3 miles; 27:34; 9:11 per mile pace. Mile 1: 9:29, mile 2: 9:23, mile 3: 8:42.

I decided to live dangerously today. I decided to run for the second day in a row, and even worse, I ran at a pace of 9:11 per mile, which obviously is WAY below my podiatrist recommended 11 minute mile pace. Why? Because I'm a runner, not a walker. As those of you who read this blog know, it's extremely difficult to run an 11 minute mile for a short distance. I did it the first two weeks, and felt as if I was causing more harm than good. My form was off, my steps were off, and my entire body felt out of alignment. So I ask, was it really helping me? I think not. So, as you've read in my previous blogs and this blog, I've increased my pace a week early. I'm saying a week early because the next two week's runs were supposed to be at a 9 to 9:30 pace for 4-5 miles. I had all intentions of not being overzealous. My first mistake was listening to "Eye of the Tiger" as I started. I wasn't too reckless until mile 2.25. BUT, there it was, beckoning me...a straight, flat, paved portion of the linear trail. The final 3/4 of a mile to the finish was in my view. Above it was a beautiful winter sky. The wind was pushing me from behind. I couldn't hold back. I just had to run faster; I had to feel the runner's high that we've all experienced when it just feels right. So, off I went, faster, feeling the wind at my back, and savoring the last leg of my journey. My arms were pumping, my feet were flying, and my breathing was...labored! Damn, I could tell I hadn't pushed myself in a while. It turned out to be the most difficult 3/4 of a mile that I've run since I first began running. However, I finished my 8:42 last mile with a smile, and smelling like a sewer. (Lucky for Carlee she didn't run with me today). Speaking of Carlee, who's a teacher, I decided to be more proficient in the composition of this blog. I'm hoping that there aren't any spelling or grammar errors. P.S. I've penciled in the Danbury 1/2 Marathon on April 5th. I'm hoping I can make it happen, since I have 46 days to prepare.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Running "Buddy"

Today's Run Stats: Farmington Canal Linear Park; ?? degrees (Oops, forget to check; 3.05 miles; 30:22; 9:57 per mile pace. Mile 1: 9:36, mile 2: 10:07, mile 3: 10:06.

I had forgotten how nice it was to run with someone. Sometimes when it's warm enough, meaning 40 degrees or above, my daughter Stephanie will run with me. I'm proud to say that even though she's half my age (26 vs. 52), I still run at a pace comfortable to her. That's a polite way of saying I'm faster than she is! During the winter I miss the quality father/daughter time we spend together during our runs. I spend my winter runs listening to my mp3 player (no, I don't own an i pod) filled with over 100 songs that are mostly from the 70's. Yes, I live in the past for the most part when it comes to music. Anyhow, it was not necessary for me to listen to music today. Today I ran with my "blog buddy" Carlee. We both happen to live in the same town, and met through our blogs. Cool, huh?! Carlee happens to be my daughter's age. Even though she's running further and faster than I am at this time, she was nice enough to agree to run my limit of 3 miles, and at a 10 minute or so per mile pace. I felt guilty asking her to run according to my restrictions, but was psyched that she was willing to run with me. Carlee was easy to chat with while running, and our 3 mile run went by quickly. For once I was focused on talking and enjoying my run, and not worrying about trying to keep a steady pace and not messing up my form. I tend to talk TOO much when running, according to my daughter. So Carlee, if I talked too much and drowned out your music, I apologize. But as I said, it was great meeting you and running with you.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I'm Up to 3 Miles

Today's Run Stats: Farmington Canal Linear Park; 40 degrees; 3 miles; 30:07; 10:02 per mile pace.Mile 1: 10:00, mile 2: 10:13, mile 3: 9:53. I love my Garmin Forerunner 305!

OK, I felt like a real runner again. True, it was only 3 miles, but it's progress. Still no pain, so that's a gain! My stride was better, since I've decided to take a chance by disregarding the 11 minute per mile pace my podiatrist wants me to run, and instead focus on running a slower than normal, don't push myself, comfortable pace. By running a 10 minute mile pace, I'm not off stride and in my opinion not causing further harm to myself. I'm off from work this week, so I'm looking forward to running one or two extra days this week, providing my left heel continues to cooperate. I may even have a running buddy for one of my runs, which would be cool. I just have to remind myself to take it easy. I still am hoping to run a 5K race in a month as a short term goal, and a half marathon in 4 months as my long term goal. Tomorrow I'm going to take a look at a yoga dvd that my daughter, yoga, yoga!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I'm Running Out of Patience

Today's Run Stats: Farmington Canal Linear Park; 42 degrees; 2 miles; 19:51; 9:50 per mile pace.

It's getting more and more difficult for me to keep my pace slower than usual, plus only run shorter distances. At least I can run 3 miles each day for the next 2 weeks. Today I was "chicked," as some of you fellow bloggers call it. I made the one mile turn on the linear trail just before a slow running female. About a tenth of a mile later, she passed me. The competitive part of me wanted to run after her and pass her, especially since I'm estimating that she was doing about a 9:30 mile. The sensible part of me didn't allow me to. So, I ran behind her, running at a 9:50 per mile pace, a minute and 10 seconds faster pace than my podiatrist wants me to run. As I completed my run, I watched her heading up the hill on North Brooksvale Road, her turquoise top and black running pants fading away in the distance. I was jealous, so jealous I wanted to cry. I almost punched the "Lock 12" sign, but thought better of it, because 1) It's a nice sign; and 2) It would have hurt like hell! Dammit, I want to run up hills, I want to run 9 miles, like Carlee did today, I want to run faster. Instead, I run slow and steady, hoping that my left heel doesn't "pop" and cause further problems. I keep reminding myself that it will all be worth it when the warmer weather arrives and I'm back to a normal running routine. For now, maybe I will have the school I work at make me a shirt with a disclaimer that says: "It's my podiatrist's fault I'm running so slow." By the way, I've heard that yoga might be good for injury prone runners like myself. Anybody out there do it? If so, please let me know your opinion about it. I'll try anything that may help me. Besides, I need to become more flexible in more ways than one!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

64 Degrees and No Time to Run Today!

Oh well! Family committments and my part time job at Weight Watchers kept me from running today. Darn it! It NEVER gets to be 64 degrees in CT in February. At least my left heel is behaving.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pain, Pain, Go Away

Today's Run Stats: Farmington Canal Linear Park; 42 degrees; 2 miles; 20:30; 10:15 per mile pace.

Sorry Doc, but the 11 minute per mile pace just isn't happening. I'm just wondering if the cortisone injection from a month ago is wearing off. I was feeling some discomfort in my left foot, in a new area, a few hours ago. But it's gone now. Was it psychological, or was it real? Tune in tomorrow, folks...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Too Fast, Too Far, Too Bad!

An absolutely beautiful day to run. The temperature was 52 degrees, and had it not been so windy, I would have run wearing shorts. Today I was back at the Cheshire Linear Trail, which actually is called the Farmington Canal Linear Park. I don't know why I haven't been calling it that. There's a great website, for anyone interested in knowing its history. It felt great to be running for my third day in a row, and an 11 minute mile pace just was not going to happen. So I ran at what felt to be a comfortable pace, which ended up being a 9:59 per mile pace. I also decided to go the extra half mile, and ran 2 miles. You just don't get many 52 degree days in February in CT, so I took advantage of it. Total time: 19:58. I'm taking tomorrow off and seeing how I feel on Tuesday. So far, so good on my slow road to recovery.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

This Run's For You

OK, Running Mom, since you're dedicating mile 8 of your run today to me, I decided to dedicate today's 1 1/2 mile run to you. It was a "heat wave" by Connecticut winter standards, meaning it was 40 degrees when I ran. Just to see different scenery, I went to another paved trail in Meriden, called the Meriden Linear Trail. It is about 3 miles or so from my home, and runs alongside a river. Since the trail was still covered with packed down snow, I ran in the snowmobile tracks, and as a result was very close to my podiatrist recommended 11 minute per mile pace. Total time was 16:28, or a 10:58 pace.

Friday, February 6, 2009

1 1/2 Miles, and 2 Black and Tans

Well, my second run of week one running 1 1/2 miles at an 11 minute or so per mile pace. Once again I listened to my podiatrist and ran the linear trail. However, I did violate the "35 degree or warmer" rule since it's only 25 degrees outside. My total time for my 1 1/2 miles was a "blazing" 16:18, which is a 10:52 per mile pace. It was difficult, no impossible, to maintain a consistent pace. I spent as much time looking at my Garmin as I did enjoying the scenery. Oh well. Since it's Friday, and I blew off my co-workers at Happy Hour, I've decided to have my own version of it. So here I sit, hunting and pecking on the keyboard, listening to 70's tunes on pandora radio, and drinking my second black and tan. Thanks to my brother-in-law, I'm now hooked on making them myself using the $4 black and tan spoon that I won on ebay. This weekend is supposed to be warmer-40's to 50 degrees, which is perfect running weather for February here in Connecticut.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Today I Was (Finally) a Runner

Run time temperature was 40 degrees, or warm enough for me to run. So after my morning "bitch session," I went to the linear trail and ran 1.51 miles, according to my Garmin, which yes, I did figure out how to use. My time was 16:14, or a 10:46 per mile pace. Close enough to the recommended 11 minute per mile pace. I decided that I already love my Garmin. What a fantastic "toy" it is. By the way, I wouldn't have even come close to earning some "bling" in the Run For Refugees. I checked the results, and even if I ran a personal best 5K time, it wouldn't have mattered. What's most important right now is that I'm pain free, and feeling much better. It was great to be able to run again, and I was ok with the slower than usual pace. I still have 47 days until the start of spring and warmer running weather, so life is good. If you don't know the importance of warmer weather and me running, go back and read my January 15 post.

Today I Was Going To...

Today was going to be the day I placed in the top 3 in a race and won an award. Today I was going to run in the "Honest Tea Run For Refugees" 5K race, and place 3rd or better. I missed 3rd place last year by only 22 seconds. Today I was going to attack the long, uphill part of the race (Hills are not a problem for my long legs), get to the turnaround at the top of the hill, and run as fast as I could the mostly downhill last half of the race. I was going to run a personal best 5K time, and get my "bling" for placing in the top 3 in my division for the first time ever. I was going to be able to cross it off my running goals for 2009. Well, sh*t happens, and if you've read my previous blog posts, you know what sh*t I'm talking about. Instead, today I'm planning on starting my long road to recovery with my first run of 1 1/2 miles at an 11 minute mile pace. Oh well, at least I'll be able to use my new Garmin Forerunner 305. Now, if only I can figure out how to use it...LOL.