Watch Instagram @biggoofyrunner over the next few weeks!

Hi folks – as the post title says, please check out my Instagram account @biggoofyrunner over the next few weeks.

In honor of heading into the final push towards Goofy Challenge 2017, and to do a bit of a celebration of 4 years of this blog, I will be posting a picture a day from along the route of the 2015 Walt Disney World Marathon. I ran Dopey that year and had a blast hitting every picture stop I could.

Most of the pictures will be from the on course photographers taken at the various character stops but a few are taken by myself (those will be the blurry ones).

So have a look and feel some nostalgia if you have done a Disney race before or if you haven’t done one before you can see some of the things to expect.

If you want to see most of the pictures ahead of time – most of them will be coming from the post: 

Final Race – Dopey Challenge 2015 – Disney World Marathon race report and pictures!

Hope you enjoy!

Goofy Challenge training / health update – 11 treadmill miles this morning

I just wanted to get up a quick update this morning for how my training is going for the Goofy Challenge in January. Just under 5 weeks to go – I guess 5 weeks this morning until the Donald Duck half marathon!

My ankle has been improving slowly and steadily and I have been able to get some ok miles in both outside and on the treadmill. I have been careful to not push it too hard and to slowly build up. I figure I still have time to make sure I do at least one or two 20 mile runs before taper time. In fact I was hoping to do one tomorrow, but now I’m not sure.

The ankle is still doing well after 11 miles this morning and a decent speed run on Tuesday night, however I have been fighting something with my lungs I have been getting winded even doing a few stairs since Wednesday. I ended up taking Wednesday afternoon off work as well as Thursday and Friday to try to rest and get over whatever I have.

Potentially it is pneumonia as both kids were diagnosed this week (yay!) but if it is, I don’t think I have gotten it nearly as bad as they did. Both are doing well now besides the occasional wicked coughing fit – antibiotics are a wonderful thing.

So I have missed about 15 training miles this week and I absolutely had to try to run this morning even if my lungs rebelled. However running outside in the cold didn’t seem wise, so I decided on the treadmill. Also, that way if I had to call the run I wouldn’t be miles from the house.

The first 3-4 miles involved a lot of coughing but as long as I kept things very slow I was able to keep moving. In the end the 11 miles took me almost 2 hours but I survived and managed to get it done.

After the run I did some vacuuming to make sure the living room is ready for the Christmas tree and then started bringing stuff up from the basement to start the decorating later. After the third time coming up the stairs from the basement my lungs definitely decided they had had enough. So that probably ends any strenuous activity for the day.

The trick will be if I can try to go longer tomorrow. I will see how I feel tomorrow morning but hopefully I continue to recover and I can go a touch quicker and get a 20 miler in. At this point 3.5 to 4 hours would be acceptable – I just need to start getting the distance in!

Anyway – I will keep twittering and start posting more frequently as we get closer to the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend.

Good luck to everyone training for any of the races! Getting close to the final push!

Update for the past week of Goofy Challenge training and ankle/Achilles issues

Just figured I would do a quick update post for my Goofy Challenge training and how my ankle / Achilles issues are impacting the running.

I managed a decent 5 miles Tuesday night on the treadmill at near the 7.5 mph mark – and my ankle felt good during the run, potentially due to running with my ankle brace on.

Wednesday I only pulled through 7 of my 8 planned miles on the treadmill. I didn’t run with the ankle brace and definitely felt issues with the tendon so I cut out a bit early to reduce any damage that I might be doing.

Thursday was a planned day off and then I ended up not running my planned 5 miles on Friday night due to ankle pain. Instead I did a bunch more icing and stretching.

Saturday morning I did 1.5 miles with the dogs (with no speed work) and 4.5 around the neighborhood after. That gave me 6 out of a planned 9ish miles for the day. I could definitely feel ankle issues during that run and also knee issues on the same leg. I think I was starting to compensate for the ankle and my knee was not happy with the change in stride.

Also on Saturday, our daughter and I took the dogs to the park to give them a good walk. Unfortunately one of them slipped his collar and went after some geese. Luckily he did come back fairly quickly when called because I don’t think I could have chased him down. The pups are just too damned smart for their own good – lesson learned…they don’t go to the park without their running harnesses on!

After that excitement we did a bunch of work around the house and yard taking advantage of the unusually warm November weather. This meant I spent another 3-4 hours standing / walking and I could definitely feel it by the end of the day.

…and that then cost me my planned 17 miles today – instead this morning I rested and stretched the ankle and did some walking around the yard. In the early afternoon we took the dogs to the park again (this time the whole family and with the harnesses!). We gave the dogs a pretty good walk and a bit of running but I felt the running parts pretty strongly in the ankle despite the brace I was wearing.

We also then did some shopping with more walking around (with me still wearing my brace) and as I am typing this I am feeling that I have worked that ankle probably more than it wants to be. So my run for the day may be completely nixed unfortunately.

After supper I will see how things feel but I hope I can do an hour or so on the treadmill tonight to try to salvage some miles but not over doing it has got to be my focus.

So all in all, I am still in the same spot as last week – I need to get more long mileage runs in to be ready for the Goofy Challenge in 9 weeks but if I do myself a solid injury by pushing too hard it won’t be a good thing either.

That means I need to push to the edge of what the ankle can take but really listen to it to make sure I don’t go over that edge and set myself further back. That should be an interesting challenge.

If it was still summer I would try to maintain conditioning using the backyard pool to deep water run but that isn’t an option right now so I will just have to see what other options I can come up with. Maybe grab a couple month membership at a local gym and use the stationary bikes? I don’t know yet but I still have hope that I won’t have to do that. I did get in more miles and more activity this week than last and in all honesty the ankle feels better than last week as well. So I am getting better but I really need to be careful!

Either way I will keep everyone posted!

Test run on my ankle…total of 5.45 slow miles this fall morning

I got up this morning and was surprised to find that there was no aching from my right ankle. There was a nice bit of swelling around the Achilles tendon though unfortunately so I knew a longer run was a bad idea today.

It can take weeks to rehabilitate an Achilles tendon issue from what I understand but it is only 10 weeks today until the Walt Disney World Marathon and I am not sure how long I can back off on the running without losing even more of my running capabilities. So I have the old runners’ dilemma when trying to recover from an injury – how much is too much and too fast? 

I decided I needed to at least take the dogs out this morning especially since it was a such a nice crisp fall morning. I figured I would dress to run, put on a light ankle brace and see how a light jog with the pups went. If the ankle did ok I would maybe try a bit more of a run but if it rebelled I would just walk a bit to get the dogs some exercise.

I didn’t try any faster running with the pups but a light run felt ok. So I took the pups home after a mile and I went out for a slow 4.45 mile loop around the neighborhood.

The loop was not bad either – I certainly didn’t try any speed work on this run either because I was probably already risking my ankle more than I should have as it was.

After the run the ankle feels not too bad, still swollen around the tendon but no worse than when I got up. I am now icing it again and will be doing a bunch more stretching and strengthening today for it as well. And then probably icing again later today.

The big test is going to be how it feels tomorrow – if it is ok then I suspect as long as I take it easy and ice and stretch properly I should be able to keep up some easier light mile runs for the next few weeks to maintain some capability at least. I can then start to ramp back in more mileage from there and hopefully do ok during the Goofy Challenge. I won’t be a speed demon but if I can go in healthy I will be happy!

Stay tuned!

Running / ankle update. Achilles tendinitis…

Just wanted to put out a quick update on my running since the WFPS Half Marathon.

I have done a few runs since the race but I am way off schedule at this point. About a day after the WFPS Half my right ankle started to ache pretty bad when I tried to move it and it essentially locked up for a day or so. For a few days after that, if I sat at my desk for any length of time it would lock up again resulting in a fair bit of limping.

I’ve done a few runs since that went fairly well with the ankle feeling ok but with same issues popping up the next day and for a few days after.

And then a couple days ago the ankle was aching a bit more than it had been and I noticed some swelling just above my ankle. It was a pretty decent lump that was visible through my sock!

Looks like it is achilles tendinitis. Yay.

I have been pretty consistent with stretching it since it started aching and doing some strengthening exercises but now I have also started regular icing of the area and have doubled up the stretching at work to make sure it doesn’t stiffen up.

There isn’t much more I can do about it at this point besides take it a bit easy…but of course the Goofy Challenge is coming up so I can’t back off completely. And then on the other hand I want to make sure I don’t cause a permanent issue by taking it too lightly.

With that in mind I have come up with a bit of a plan:

  1. Keep stretching and icing regularly (doing it right now)
  2. Keep doing ankle and calve strengthening exercises
  3. Any run will be proceeded by a warm up – I am getting older and maybe I shouldn’t be starting out at speed. On the treadmill nights that means high incline walks to stretch and warm up. On outdoor days I am going to have to start slow and build up speed.
  4. Ankle will be iced immediately after any run
  5. Monitor, monitor, monitor – if things go south or don’t improve I will need to make other changes quickly to avoid injury

I will follow that over the next couple weeks and see how things go – clock is ticking though as in 10 weeks I will be Orlando for the Goofy Challenge and I need to make some improvements before then.

So what caused the issue though?

For the Fort Garry Rotary half in mid September I ran in an older pair of shoes that I thought were still ok but apparently they weren’t as I had some ankle pain after that race. I didn’t think much about it at the time though.

Then a couple weeks later the Lemming Loop took place and about 6 hours into that race I switched to the same shoes that I had worn during Fort Garry Rotary Half. And I had ankle issues again that definitely ate into the number of miles I could have done. Combine that with not being really ready for the Lemming Loop and that would put extra stress on things.

WFPS was good and I used a completely different pair of shoes but I did push the speed more than I have lately so I put extra stress on the ankle there too.

Long story short – I ran in a bad set of shoes and then compounded it with a very long run and some time in the same set of shoes. And then I pushed fairly hard on the stressed joint.

So now I need to rebuild…again. But if I do it smart I can still do well at the Goofy Challenge!