Tag Archive for Running

10.75 miles this morning in some light rain – just to prove to myself I still could

I got up this morning mentally trying to find a way out of running.

This kind of sucked because I had made a conscious and clear choice to not run last night so that I could force myself to do a longer outdoor run this morning.

Weather radar showed rain coming so maybe I should just do a shorter run on the treadmill instead of a longer run outside? But if I looked honestly at the radar I could tell that the rain was mostly going to miss us anyway.

I eventually got myself out the door (with a bottle of water this time!) and was getting rained on before I got to the end of the street. Just a light rain though so I wasn’t able to convince myself to stop.

I then continued on from there at an easy pace and got to about 1.25 miles in – at this point I could make a right turn and do my standard 4.45 mile loops around the neighborhood or I could continue out on an out and back stretch that would mean I would need to do at least 8 miles.

If I did the standard loop there was a good chance that I would convince myself to stop after one lap and not hit my goal of getting a double digit mile run in again finally. (I haven’t done one since the Spruce Woods 50k in May.)

In the end I was able to force myself to go on the out and back knowing that I would get at least 8 miles and depending on how I was doing around 7 miles in I could make an adjustment and get closer to 11 miles.

I kept my pace fairly slow and steady and really didn’t need any walk breaks until 7 miles or so – that was a nice surprise.

Thankfully around the 7 mile point I was able to convince myself to not take the short way home and stop at 8 miles and continued on a path that would take me to the double digit mile zone.

Still getting off and on rain at this point and at around the 10 mile point it was coming down pretty good. Since I was now over 10 miles, I decided that I had accomplished my goal and headed home.

In the end I got in 10.75 miles in around the 2 hour point. Definitely not fast compared to what I have done in the past but the real victory was that I got out there and did the miles. 

I have to keep reminding myself though that just because I could do it better before it doesn’t mean I can now. I can get back there but I need to rebuild and that means not comparing myself to past me except as motivation and not as a way to get frustrated and stop.

I have a bit of a mantra…”Run your own race!” basically meaning run to your own abilities and training and the victory is not in beating the other runners but in doing your best. The issue with this now is that the other runner in this case is me…but me from a few years back. I can’t just discourage myself with “I used to be able to do this” but instead build myself up with “I will be able to do that again!” and take the steps necessary to get there from where I am now.

My hope is now that I have broken that 10 mile point again that I have pushed through whatever mental barrier I have been fighting with doing the longer runs. I think the next few longer runs will still take a lot of coaxing to get going but now that I have set a precedent it should be easier.

Now I have to follow my rebuilding plan to get stronger for a decent fall race or 2 and build a base for more dedicated training for Dopey Challenge in January!

2017 plans. A return to form and a push to Dopey Challenge 2018!?!

With a new year we get a chance to reflect on things both good and bad from the past year and make plans for the future. What do we want to change? What should we keep doing? What can we do (or not do) to build ourselves and others up?

For the coming year there are a few things I know I need to change both running wise and just for life in general.

I don’t like to make resolutions since they usually get broken pretty damned quick – instead I am going to make a few commitments to myself.

 

First Commitment:

2018 Dopey Challenge – I am just days away from heading down to Orlando / Disney World for the 2017 Goofy Challenge but I am committing to running the 2018 Dopey Challenge now and doing it well. I want a better overall time than I got when I ran it in 2015. I was very happy with my overall time and strength that year and if I want to better that time, then I need to start work now and build through the year. I did 1971 miles in 2014 leading up to the 2015 Dopey Challenge so I will be trying to beat those numbers for 2017. I also set my PRs in the half and full marathons in 2014, so I will have some work to do to rebuild here.

In 2018 the race will be the 5th anniversary of the Dopey Challenge, the 5th anniversary of the Minnie 10k and the 25th anniversary of the Walt Disney World Marathon. That is a party I want to be involved with! I suspect there will be many who feel the same way so hopefully I can get in through the early entry with my annual pass!

My wife and I want to bring the kids down for this one too. I am doing Goofy Challenge this year and Heather is doing the Glass Slipper Challenge in February. We both have fallen in love with runDisney races and we really want to share that with the kids and get them more active at the same time. So we intend to do the 5k with them and see where else we end up. Our son is old enough to do the 10k so we will see if we can get him interested in that too. We are going to start building them up to this with the Pro Bowl 5k on January 28th – they will get a taste of a race through Epcot and hopefully they will catch the bug too!

Basically, all my running this year must lead toward this goal.

 

Second Commitment:

Spruce Woods Ultra – I let myself down on this one in 2016. I didn’t run my own race and it cost me. I know I could have completed this race and it eats at me a bit that I messed it up. So this year I will do it again and do it properly (properly for me – RUN MY OWN RACE). The only thing here is that I will have to decide what distance – 50k, 50 miles or 100k (smart enough to know I will not be ready for a 100 miler any time soon). Completing the race will be rebuilding my confidence so I need to figure out if I will feel better running a very strong 50k or if going well beyond 50k will work better.

The decision here will depend on how well my Achilles tendon continues to recover. I also don’t want to jeopardize 2018 Dopey Challenge with a big injury during the year. I realize you risk injury on every run and you can’t let that hold you back from reaching your goals…but there is a big difference between taking chances and deliberately flitting with disaster.

This race is in May, so I have some time to decide how things are going before I finalize my plans.

 

Third Commitment:

24 hour Lemming Loop – considering I really had no idea what I was getting into and my Achilles tendon didn’t cooperate  at all, I am a fairly happy with what I accomplished at the 2016 Lemming Loop…but I know I can do better.

I want to do this one again when I am stronger and healthier and just see what I can do. I have always thought my strength as a runner was more about endurance and quick recovery and this event lends itself to those traits. And I want to know what I am capable of here.

 

Other things:

These aren’t quite the same as the commitments above but they are things that will either need to happen or I want to happen over the year.

 

Lose weight…this one starts to sound a bit like a New Years resolution but it really isn’t. With my reduced mileage and injuries, my weight has crept up over the past year and a half and I have probably gained back 20 of the pounds I had previously lost. This needs to be rectified to achieve my goals above. I know how to do it and this will happen.

 

Marathon Maniacs – there are about 4 marathons run near(ish) to where I live and either combined with each other or with the ultras listed above I should be able to get Marathon Maniac status this year. I think this is something that would be pretty cool – but I am not going to commit to it as being healthy for the above races will take precedent as will various family commitments through the year.

 

Half Marathons – there are a few I like to do every year and I will most likely do so again with the goal of getting some speed back. My half PR is 1:46:00 and getting back there this year might be difficult but I think I can get back down to sub 1:50 and I would be quite happy with that.

 

Stress reduction – Over the past year or so I have been dealing with some big stressors that have been impacting my running motivation. I need to find a way to deal with those. At this point I suspect doing additional writing on the blog will help. I have been a bit lax over the past year on the blog but I will be picking it up and posting more. I find the writing helps focus my brain and lets me come up with solid plans better…so let’s do that.

 

As a conclusion, I have to say I am fairly excited about the upcoming year of running and looking forward to see where I end up!

Good luck to everyone in 2017!!

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!

20 treadmill miles last night brings my 5 day total to 47.5 miles – 5 more days off. How far can I get?

Just wanted to get a bit of a recap up for the past 5 days of running along with a bit of a set up.

I took this week off of work to hang with the family for the last week of summer before the kids go back to school and with the weekends, I am off work for 10 days.

As a bit of test of where my readiness is for the 24 Hour Lemming Loop starting on September 30, I figured I would see just how far I could run over the 10 day and still feel healthy and have energy.

Saturday Aug 27 – 11 miles and then an extra 1 mile run with both pups

Sunday Aug 28 – started with 1 mile run with our son and both pups. Then I went back out for another 4.45 miles. Followed this up with mowing the lawn in some wicked heat.

Monday Aug 29 – started with 0.9 mile run with our daughter and both pups. Then 9.1 miles on my own. We then did several hours walking around the zoo.

Tuesday Aug 30 – no run but did spend hours cleaning the carpet in my home office / computer room (the cat has decided that she doesn’t like the litter box…at least I caught it early)

Wednesday Aug 31 – finished the month with 20 miles on the treadmill. I threw some speed work in there as I have a half marathon (Fort Garry Rotary Half) in a couple weeks and I haven’t done nearly enough speed work.

So technically at 47.45 miles so far.

Woke up this morning and took the dogs out and my legs feel perfectly fine. So far, so good for my body being able to take some of the punishment of the 24 hour race.

Let’s see how far I get over the next 5 days.