Saturday, December 15, 2012

Post Injury Running and Marathon Training

Got anxious this morning and went for a run. I've not run really since the Hot Chocolate 15k where I messed up my IT band. I decided to go for a slow mile, focusing on form (which I'm trying to change).

The best news of all, I felt ZERO pain during the run!! This was by far a surprise. Runners know that when you can't run for practically 2 months due to injury, knowing you can get back into the swing of things is great.

The good news is that I put down a good time, far faster than I imagined while trying not to heel strike. Heel striking is probably one of the most common causes of Plantar Fasciitis, which I had in both feet! Another change, new iPhone App. Nike+ was simply not cutting it anymore. It's nice to get props from Kara Goucher and other accomplished runners but I can live without that. Runmeter gives far more details about the run, and I'm a nerd, so that's important to me. Details on the run can be found here.

I've been listening to a bunch of podcasts on running and reading even more about it. It's helped keep me motivated during injury. One of the podcasts is called Marathon Training Academy. The podcast is free but they also sell marathon training plans at several levels. I know there are free plans out there, but I'm a big believer in "you get what you pay for" so I decided to buy one after gaining a special level of trust in their advice from the show. Their advice so far in the plan I'm using (Beginner Level) calls for running just 3 days per week. I think this will serve me well and avoid burnout and injury. It also calls for 2 days of cross training per week, which is difficult for me since when I walk into a gym I get that glazed over look in my eyes because I don't really know what the hell I'm doing. We'll see how those go, some of their cross training recommendations include spinning, so I'll probably try that first. Good cardio workout with good resistance should be good for my quads.

The plan is also 20 weeks, and I'm about 18 weeks out from my first full marathon, so i'll have to condense it a bit. Perhaps skip some of the shorter runs and cross train instead but focus on the long runs and not missing any of those.

Keep up with the information as I run, I'll be posting my runs as I complete them. I don't have a ton of time, so It'll probably post once per week how training went. Until next time, happy running!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Dr. Review and my own mistakes

Bummer, looks like no bone spurs, but with X-ray he couldn't tell if it was IT band or minor tear. Dr waxman said that I'd probably really be hurting if it was a tear and its not too bad. I've also got plantar fasciitis in both feet. Ugh...

I also found out that when I was fitted for shoes back sometime last year I was fitted for Asics GT-2160 EE. Fpr those who don't know, EE shoes are wide shoes. Well, earlier this year I bought Asics GT-2160 shoes but normal width. I'm guessing this is the cause of my pains. I didn't find this out until I went to Running Right in Highland Park and the Mike there was a pretty straight shooter and asked, "those the shoes you run in?" "Yes" I responded. He proceeded to show me why these shoes are too narrow and how my foot was stretching the shoe out on both sides. "You've got wide feet and those are regular width shoes."

Great. At least I'm at fault for my own injuries. I'm going to see about running a short run slowly and test my new pair on Monday.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hot Chocolate Chicago 15k Afterthoughts

Today didn't really go the way I had hoped. Placed in corral E, I thought I had a good position in the corral. I started out with a decent first few miles. Had I been able to keep it up I would have done great. Around mile 4 and again at mile 7 my knee just went crazy. I haven't ever felt this pain before. I've worked through blisters and muscle pain, but never joint pain. The crowded start led to a first mile pace, very inconsistent but given the knee pain, I'm happy with it. Mile 1: 10:57 Mile 2: 8:45 Mile 3: 9:04 Mile 4: 9:13 Mile 5: 9:53 Mile 6: 12:22 Mile 7: 11:33 Mile 8: 12:07 Mile 9: 17:12 That last mile is certainly what did me in. otherwise I'd have been just over 1:30:00 Anyway, the sweatshirt is so awesome. Great fit. The chocolate after the race was very tasty. Check out my review here on Yelp!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hot Chocolate Chicago 15k Tomorrow

Hoping for a 1:30 time. I've run 10 miles at this pace, so I think it's reasonable to expect 90 minutes for 9.3 miles. So I've set up a playlist in iTunes for the race. I've got plenty of music, this is assuming that I'll be skipping songs that don't fit the pace. I had about 6 beers in me when I made the list, so I hope it's not slow stuff!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Upciming Race: Hot Chocolate 15k Chicago

After running a half-marathon race last weekend in Racine Wisconsin, I'm going to run the Hot Chocolate 15k in Chicago Illinois just 8 days later.  This one should be fun.  I've heard it's a huge race, lots of runners so it's not a place to try and set a personal best.  In a 9.3 mile race, I'm really hoping to get below a 9:30 pace.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Skeleton Skamper 2012 Half-marathon Afterthoughts

I really didn't know what to think going into this race.  Having been since high school since I raced, I assumed it would be about the same.  I have watched races on TV and seen the start to them so I thought I would be okay.  I had read about corral and wave starts.  Perhaps this race didn't have enough people in it for them to bother with that.  It was a pretty easy start.  The logistics of the race were incredible.

Packet pickup was well organized, I was early so I had a lot of time to kill.  I ended up waiting in my car to catch a few winks, and about a half hour before the race I went on a quick warm-up run.

Skeleton Skamper Race Bib #1042.  Ironically enough, I had ordered from their advertiser the previous week.

Awesome glow-in-the-dark shirt that is too small for me (Accidentally ordered a Medium)
The organizations and families that volunteered for the water stations were great.  I expected to get missed at a few of them since I ran in small packs but I managed to get water at each station.  The immediate bottle of water and finisher medal was available right after I crossed the finish line.  This was extremely important to me since I recently read that some Chicago Marathon finishers had to wait for their medals, the thought of this was in the back of my mind and I'm glad it didn't happen!

I needed a few days to think about my feelings on my first official Half-Marathon.  I'll start by saying that I didn't do as well as I wanted, but I'm glad I did it and wouldn't change a thing.  I'm disappointed in the fact that I did what I said I wouldn't do on race day.

I got caught up in the beginning of the race go-getters and ran my first mile in 8:21, and the next 3 miles well under 9:00 minutes each.  When I was at the starting line I promised myself that if I felt good, I wouldn't focus on my pace by checking it every mile.  I didn't look at my GPS watch until about 4 miles in and that's when I realized I started way too fast.  I knew my 4 mile time should have been around 36:00 if I wanted to finish under 2 hours.  When I was 1:30 below that, I knew I was going to hit the wall near the 10 mile mark.  According the the pace chart, I hit the dreaded wall and slowed down a lot.

The course had far more hills than expected sine the site said it was a really flat course.  I'm glad they didn't have us run over any train tracks.

I stopped a few times to stretch my legs and eat some Gu Chomps energy gels.  Those helped, but I found the energy was short lived so I may have a bit to learn about that.

I'm pretty sure I'll be running this race every year as a celebration of my first half-marathon ever.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

It's Race Day!!

Gonna be racing today at the Skeleton Skamper in Racine Wisconsin. So much fun, expect a post a bit later with results and more info on how I thought the race was handled. So far, arrived around 6:45 to pick up my bib. I was the first one. Ate my banana and waited in my car with the heat on.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Plantar Issues

I was hoping this issue would shake itself out over time, but after my most recent run, it's flaming up again. My heel pain is the worst in the morning but gets better throughout the day to the point which I feel no pain at all while running. Of course this is making me a bit nervous since I have my half-marathon coming up on Saturday. Upon self-diagnosis I think it's Plantar Faciitis which I understand to be an inflamation of the connecting tendons of your heel. Wikipedia Link for more info. I could be wrong, it could just be irritation. I plan on running my half-marathon using smaller but quicker strides, hopefully placing less stress on the heels. Let me know what you guys think.

Monday, October 22, 2012

REGISTERED! - Chicago Rock & Roll Half-marathon

I've been watching the Rock & Roll Marathon Series website hoping that registration will be open the next time I check.  Well, I was reading my morning facebook feed and there was a post stating that the race registration was open AND if you register in the first 2 days, you'd get $20 off the fees!  Well, I couldn't pass this one up, no way no how.  I'm in.  The race is in July 2013.  I've seen these medals, I can't wait to get one!

View Race Information

Friday, October 19, 2012

Skeleton Skamper Half Marathon Initial Thoughts

As you may know already from previous posts, I'm planning on running the Real Racine Skeleton Skamper Half-Marathon.  I'm most excited about getting the medal and hopefully being able to set a PR for 13.1 miles.  I received a single medal in my lifetime, which was for my placement in the Shamrock Invitational in my sophomore year of high school.  That was about 12 years ago.

In effort to hit my 400 mile goal for the year I set out on a 10 mile run a few days ago and hit that goal.  I've heard of people training for a full marathon running a 20 miler around two weeks from their race date.  I took the same ratio and applied it to a half marathon with the exception of it being a few days closer to the race.  I also planed some shorter runs this week in planning for that race, probably a 6 and 3 mile run by Thursday.  I'm hoping for 9:05/mi, or just under 2 hours, to be my half-marathon pace.  I think with the race time adrenaline, a better night sleep and better meal planning will help me shave that 30 seconds off the pace per mile.  I'm not sure if this goal is a long shot, but I did run 13.1 in 2h 7m 28s earlier this year and that wasn't even a race.

I'm trying to cut out simple sugars and stick to normal meals, fruits and vegetables but I'm addicted to candy.  I occasionally have a soda, but snacking happens mostly on almonds.  The occasional cookie or two...or three.  The usual dinners include a veggie, entre and usually rice or potatoes.  We'll see how that works.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

48 Runs in 16 Weeks

Well, I've made a goal for myself to run 3 times per week throughout the Chicago winter. I may not run some weeks, and may run 5-6 days during other weeks depending on temperature, wind and precipitation. Current goal is to keep each run above 5 miles at a healthy pace (around 9min./mile). My reason for starting now is that my final run in this challenge will be just a day or two away from my birthday.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Tech Woes, iPhone GPS w/ Nike+ or Sport Watch

So for this entire year while running I have been using my iPhone along with the Nike+ Running app. That served me well for a bit but I tend to get a bit nervous running longer than 10 miles simply due to how much I sweat while running. I've also used Pandora or iTunes Match for music while I run. Not only does this zip through my cellular data but my battery takes a huge hit in the morning.

With longer runs, I've felt for the need to change the running technology that I use. Having used the Nike+ website for so much of my mileage/pace log, I didn't want to break away from that. I decided to buy the Nike+ SportWatch GPS with TomTom. I purchased it used on eBay since it was about $50 cheaper than buying a new one. I've used it for a few runs so far totaling about 12 miles. Since its been getting cold in Chicago, my runs have been shorter. I'm looking forward to a 10 mile run here pretty soon so we'll see how the watch holds up. So far I really like it.

Look for my post on comparing the watch vs. the app.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

First Post

So I've been mulling over the idea of training for the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge. Well, I've decided that I will train for it, I will run both races to the best of my ability.

I ran a small amount in 2011, and began picking it back up in March of 2012 by running once that month. Completed a mile in 12:40. From a bit of training this year, my fastest half marathon was 2:07:12 (9:43/mi). My goal for the Goofy Challenge is the half marathon under 2 hours, full marathon under 5 hours.

I learned a lesson about goal setting this year. When I signed up for the North Shore Turkey Trot 10k I told them my pace would be around 9:30/mi. What seemed to be a lofty goal when you ran a mile in 12:40 just a few days before. Well, I've recently run a 10k at 8:47/mi.

I'm not a fast runner, I enjoy it. Would love to form a community around folks chasing this dream.

Let me know in the responses below.
Take care,