Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Back in training.

I may run a full marathon this fall, or it may be a half. But I'm building miles and am starting to do some speedwork. I realize that I'm off to a late start, but I still have a good 4 months to get into shape.

Last week, I ran 40 miles, including a speed session. That's the most I've done in 2009. I'd like to qualify for Boston again and perhaps run it at the age of 50 next year. But we'll see how training goes. I don't want to go back to the 60-plus painful miles each week, beating my legs and back down rather than getting into marathon shape.

An adjustment in form might help out the left quad problem. All of the slow running last year altered my biomechanics which lead to the back problems. I'm hoping to get this nailed down so I can train with a little more confidence.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Thursday, February 26, 2009

In the 2 1/2 months I've been waiting around for my neurologist's appointment, I've run around 100 miles/month. Not much, but enough to be prepared to start building miles once I have a better fitness plan.

Thus far, I've been at around the same weight, which is good, and have been doing daily core and leg strengthening exercises. I don't see much in the way of results from these recommended lunges, crunches and recumbent stretches, but Rob-the PT says to do them until I get tested. So I do. After all, who's more compliant than yours truly?

I do not, however, believe Spring racing is on the docket, seeing that May is a cold 8 weeks away, and I haven't run long and hard in months. On the Feb/March cusp, it's a crisp 3*f outside, with cooling in the forecast.

A note to myself: don't leave the cold in December--holidays notwithstanding--it's too difficult to survive the next three months of brutal snow and wind. And I still have a month to go!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I'm choosing to run and train through the back and leg discomfort I've been fighting since last September. To me, it's more fun training to race than running for health. So, I'm starting to jack-up my treadmill runs so I might run a competitive race this spring.
I've only run an average of 80 miles per month since October. But I can and will soon do more. Sometime, I may need surgery on my back or legs, but it won't be due to excessive running. We'll see what the problem is, but in the meantime I'll train until I can do a competitive HM .

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It's been awhile since I've had a real desire to write about my running. At this point, I'm waiting STILL for some testing to be done; I'm also beginning to run nearly daily again to rebuild the fitness.

It's difficult to run knowing something is wrong with a leg, but resting doesn't help and avoiding excessive mileage can keep me ready for the thaw--maybe 6 weeks out. After that, I can start to run and test myself. No marathons planned for the year, unless there's a magic bullet to the nerve troubles I've had. I ran through them last year...I just ran too far. Now, I'm strength training and stretching. I'll focus on the HM with 15 mile long runs and 45-50 mpw with more speed.

Chances are good this is my last winter living up here. There's no work for me and it's crazy cold here. But who knows?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Progress Report

Today I went to the sports medicine clinic for the first time. My trainer, "Rob" seemed to know what he was doing expertly testing and examining me.

The conclusion (for now): my back is messed up. I knew that, but the MRI showed otherwise. Rob could see the imbalance of muscle on my back. As far as the weak left leg goes: it's not really weak, yet is an inch smaller in circumference. BUT...it does not have good reflexes and shows many signs of nerve blockage. I can strengthen it for now, which will help.

Ultimately the neurological testing will show where the problem lies and how it might be treated. Then, it might be possible to resume normal training if I can get back some of the muscle tone and feeling back. It could also help with the back.

So at least I have a plan. I'll keep with the 4-mile runs until I get going with the therapy. But after that I should be able to train.

Who knows, maybe the absence of pain will motivate me to make a run for another Boston!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My cold weather PR is -29 degrees F. That's the coldest temperature where I was living at the time. I hit it twice, first in Madison, WI in 1/97 and again last winter here in Timmins. I check temperatures a lot when it gets in the extreme range, hot or cold.

This week the record may be shattered. Low temp predictions are for around -35 on Wed. and TH. There's not much you can do when it's that cold. Locals, here in Timmins, might moan a little but they take it in stride...no local sympathy. Obviously there's no running outdoors (it's always windy here as well), so the treadmill will be in full use. And a week ago I was running outdoors in the California sun.

Tomorrow I go to the doc's and get more feedback on what's up. Running on the treadmill seems so my easier on my legs, so the cold won't affect my running. I'm just going 3-5 easy miles/day right now, hoping to get a little stronger.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Will I ever race again?

As an adult, my first race was a 2002 5-miler in a 4th of July festival. It was 90 degrees and I ran it in 42 minutes. My last race was last August in a half-marathon on the trails here in Timmins. I ran it in 1:32, but was hurting the whole race.

Now, I'm hurting when I don't even run. 2008 was a year of high mileage on a bad left leg. I still don't know what the problem is with it, but it's too weak to run on very much.

At 43, in 2003, I shattered all my expectations and BQd for the first of 6 times. It's difficult for me now to imagine the zeal for running I had back then. In Sept, 2003, I ran a sub 38:00 10K and was certain I'd run way under 3:00 in a marathon within a year or so.

At age 48 I ran the highest mileage I'd ever done and my body started breaking down along with my running spirit. By now, I'm just hoping to get my healthy legs back for a racing season. But I know it's iffy.

At the Runner's World site there are so many excited runners in their first 2-3 years of competing. I remember that time well. Running seemed to be all that mattered and I loved it. Everyone deserves the joy I got out of my early years running. It frustrated me to see how troubled some were at not BQing. I don't believe any non-elite runner expects to marathon very well when they first lace up. It's an unfolding of the body's hidden potential.

Have a good running year everyone. I hope I can join you.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

UCSB lagoon: I ran here during the 1980s.

When I consider past decisions I've made, one of the curious ones is choosing to leave Santa Barbara, where I did my undergrad and my mom lived for years.

On my trip, I spent a day walking around the town and my old UCSB campus, which is more breathtaking than ever. From the cold, barren tundra to the seaside campus is a contrast hard to comprehend.

Now that I'm back in Timmins I'll try not to think about it.