Just A Little Frustrated – PMT 5/31/18

Yeah the title says it all.

Let’s start at the beginning of the day. I did Bennie’s first walk and for the first time since I screwed up my hamstring, there was no pulling feeling in it. I was able to walk free and easy – it felt great!

Even on our 2.5 mile walk down-back (after they just got through grading the road), the hamstring felt damn near normal – finally. I was heartened to say the least that I was on the other side of my rehab.

I still did the elliptical and did an easy 4.0 miles on it and then planned on doing another 2.0 miles outside. I still ran conservatively and didn’t attempt to stretch out the stride at all, even though the pace was a bit quicker than yesterday. I even thought about doing another mile, because everything was feeling so good. Unfortunately, about 1/2 a mile from the finish the hamstring decided to complain a little. Continue reading “Just A Little Frustrated – PMT 5/31/18”

Good Day and I Was Bad – PMT 5-30-18

What a gorgeous day outside – of those top 10 days that we never have enough of. Right around 70*F, bright sunshine, low humidity and just hint of a breeze. Nice!

However, I am really attempting to baby the hamstring by doing most of my “run” on the elliptical and then immediately doing the last part out on the road, so I don’t over do things. Which I would never do, ummmphhh yeah right.

So I did 8.0 miles on the elliptical, which with my running equivalent is 4.0 miles, so I need to do a couple more outside to get to my planned 6.0 miles for the day.

This was the part of the work-out that I really enjoyed. Like I said the weather was gorgeous. I purposely am going slower than I normally do and working on activating the glutes and relaxing the hamstrings when I am running. Which is tough, like too many runners I tend to use my quads and hamstrings too much and not enough of the biggest muscle in the body my arse. 🙂 alias the glutes.

Continue reading “Good Day and I Was Bad – PMT 5-30-18”

Being A Bit Odd

This morning while walking with Bennie and now that I am sitting here eating breakfast reading my email (mostly junk), looking at the news (mostly bad) and getting ready to start what will turn into another busy day – I gotta admit that at times I and probably more than a few other people, do think that I have an odd way of looking, seeing or even doing things…

Especially this gotta do a marathon thing.

No, I am not having second thoughts about whether to chase this goal/dream or not. It is something I gotta do, but to start marathon training next week, when I am still having troubles running more than a mile, seems…well odd and I am sure that many runners and especially non-runners would wonder if I am being sensible or simply out of my mind. Continue reading “Being A Bit Odd”

A Little Ray of Hope – PMT 5-29-18

PMT – Pre-Marathon Training 😉

It is was just a beautiful day outside this morning, too damn nice to be stuck doing a workout inside on the elliptical! However, it is not time yet to go full hawg and have yet another setback to slow the progress I am making with my hamstring. It is slow, but there is progress.

That is the thing about hamstrings, they are a bear to take care of and treat/rehab to the point where you will not reinjure it again. If you watched the NBA playoffs and noticed that Chris Paul of the Houston Rockets suffered a hamstring pull and had to sit out games 6 & 7 of their series loss, you can understand a little better how frustrating a hamstring pull can be. He is a professional athlete with the best medical care in the world and could not play no matter how badly or how tough he was.

It doesn’t matter how much you want to run on the injured hamstring, when you do and it ain’t ready or if you are too aggressive with how you attempt to come back (I will raise my hand on that one), all that you will do is screw it up again and be even further behind. That being said, there is not a runner or athlete who has suffered a hamstring pull that thinks it is feeling good enough and attempted to get back on it way too soon and took 2 steps forward and 5 steps back.

From my experiences with a pulled in the past (several actually), they take about 4-6 weeks for someone who is not under medical care and not going through physical therapy and screwing up the rehab by running too hard too soon a few times. So I am about 3 weeks into this recovery phase and as long as I do not screw it up too badly, should be back to fairly normal running in about 3 more weeks.

Which means for me, even on beautiful days like today, I am in on the elliptical. Today I wanted to get in 45:00 minutes on the machine and I did the work. However, while I was on there I got this great idea of heading outside to do a mile on the pavement. The hamstring felt really good and I just had to get out the door.

I also learned that the “other” setting on my Garmin is useless when used on the elliptical. I think in the future I will use the indoor running setting and at least get a good timing of what I did, even if the mileage will be way off.

I headed out the door for my run — Ominous music please.

The legs were a little stiff from the elliptical stride and it took a quarter mile or so, to get back to a running stride. No, I wasn’t going very fast and just let the body do what it wanted. Initially there was a little tugging sensation in the hamstring, but no pain or discomfort. I didn’t try to pick up the pace, but naturally did better coming back to the house, I was warmed up and things felt pretty good.

However, I could still feel that little tugging on the hamstring, so I stopped at the mail box and smiled. I had done a mile, didn’t break anything and could have kept going. There was a time in my life when running a mile was a big deal, but now I am greedy and want a lot more miles. I guess that is a good thing 🙂

As a part of this I did change up the running equivalence of the elliptical to .50%, it is just easier than running by about half. I have been doing most of my miles on the elliptical in the 4:40 to 5:00 minute range and do most of my running in the 8:30-9:00 minute range. So I think that calling it half as hard is a bit more reasonable and when I went back and updated my spreadsheet with that change it made the numbers much more in line with how I run.

So I think I have the running equivalency tweaked to the point where it is more usable. I could probably go down a little more, but this is more about rough estimate than statistical accuracy.

I was going to mow the lawn and do some other outside stuff, but I got messaged by D2 and needed to talk with her about what to get the granddaughter for her Birthday out in Minnesota.

I still think it is pretty damn amazing that I can “talk” with my daughter, get a link, go to a website, order the present and it will be sent to their house within 48 hours. We do live in amazing times and sometime we just take for granted the times we do live in. I know that I have it pretty damn easy and a much better life the 95% of people in the history of the world.

After that Bennie and I decided that taking a nap was a better way to spend some time this afternoon and then it was time for a little walk with him. Then I got back on the elliptical for another 20 minutes. I wanted to check out if the run had done anything to the hamstring, but everything felt fine.

I just have to keep things slow and steady for a while longer.

Overall, I got in the mileage that I wanted today, by combining a real run with time on the elliptical, did a second easy workout just to stretch the legs a bit. I have a feeling that this is how the initial weeks of my marathon training plan will be achieved, until the hamstring gets back up to snuff. There is not a whole lot that I can do to speed up the healing process – this is one of those things I will just have to be patient and it will be ready when it is ready.

Yeah, it sucks, but it is the way it is and there is a ray of hope gleaming that I will persevere through this injury and get back to where I want to be in a little while.

So It Begins – MT Pre-Training Week 5-28-18

Well there – upload failed, so let’s try this again.

Since I have made the commitment to start getting ready for my marathon there is a bunch of stuff that I have started to look at and think about. First of all I needed find a marathon training plan that sort of corresponds with how I much I thing that I will need to train, but not overtrain to get to the starting line.

I found this training plan online from Coach Jenny – someone that I have followed online for several years. It seems to be close to what I am looking for.

Then when I plugged the workouts into my spreadsheet it comes out to starting on June 4th, with the way that I want to do things. So I actually start next week.

Oh shit!!!

That is like in – next Monday!!! Continue reading “So It Begins – MT Pre-Training Week 5-28-18”

Getting Back to Finishing A Marathon

So I have decided to run in the Maine Marathon on September 30, 2018.

Now just because I want to finish a marathon does not mean that I will not run into problems, nay sayers, Harold being Harold activities, life getting in the way or other obstacles, especially the ones that I have between my own ears and a seemingly fragile body when it comes to marathon training.

However, providing the crik, don’t rise too much and make a drastic change of course, I plan on being in Portland, ME that morning to start, run and finish my second marathon. That’s right, when I finish this marathon it will only be my second marathon finish and third marathon start after 40 plus years of running – kind of strange in this day and age of people seemingly running marathons “all the time”.

Which means that I have to work on a few things before I get any further down this road that I have started on so many times before. However, I get a different feeling about what I am going to do this time, almost like it is finally the right time to do this marathon thing.

Well like they say, let’s start this journey and the adventures that will come with it, by taking my that first step towards finishing marathon number two. Continue reading “Getting Back to Finishing A Marathon”

Last Weekly Update for a While – 5-27-18

No, I am not going away, stopping blogging or anything like that. Nope, I am just changing things up a little that’s all, but more on that in some other posts that I might have planned.

We got the graves tended to in New Hampshire and Newport. Each year we notice fewer and fewer of the graves are being tended and even us – we talked about we only go to them once a year. As the older generations die, the memories of those who lie beneath the markers are forgotten and the stones are left to themselves or the occasional curious person who happens to wander by, stops to look at the marker, who this person was and then moves on with their life.

Fading memories of past generations is not something new, it is the way life is, but sometimes it is sad to think of the lives we live and how that someday someone will look at our gravestone and wonder who we were. My advice is that we pass the memories and family histories of those you loved to the next generations, because once you are gone those memories you hold will be gone as well. Continue reading “Last Weekly Update for a While – 5-27-18”

Updating My Goals for 2018

2018 has been a good year so far, only one injury – a little hamstring strain that just doesn’t want to go away. However, this injury has slowed me down a little and caused me to re-evaluate what I want to accomplish the rest of this year, versus where I was in January.

Simplifying my goals a lot, but if I can get this marathon monkey off my back…well it will be a good thing.

Keep Running

What do I want from my running?

First and foremost, I want to to keep running. Which gets harder as you get older and as much as I hate to admit it being over sixty is getting older.

So I have to treat my body and think differently if I plan to keep running.

I know that I will always tend to push a little harder or a bit before the old body is completely ready, but that is also who I am. I just have to find a happier medium between the two extremes – “wanting to just run, to too much too soon” and the usual couch potato status due to injuries cycle – that I seem to repeat far too often.

Not really a measureable goal, more one of those holistic ones. However, if I accomplish the next one, I think that will be evidence of succeeding on this one.

Goal: Listen to the old body better.

Run a Marathon

Second, believe it or not I do want to finish another marathon, it is something that has been sticking in my craw since my last one in 1983 and the want part is moving to more of a need thing as I get older.

The thing is I gotta get and keep the old body healthy enough to get to the starting line.

Finishing the Maine Marathon on September 30, 2018 would put to bed a few storylines that have been kept open for far too long. A big reason that I have chosen the Maine Marathon is it is after the 2019 application cut-off for Boston, so even if I trained for a BQ time, it would not do me any good for the 2019 race.

That and I had a did not start for the Maine Marathon back in 2007, when I hurt my right knee a week before the marathon. Which is curious to me when I look back, since it was the same knee that I hurt back in 1983 and do not really remember how I actually hurt it. Coincidence???

Getting to the starting line has been a problem ever since 1983, but I think that getting rid of the need to train for a BQ pace, will help take some of the stress out of my marathon training and keep me healthier.

Save that BQ goal for another day on a different marathon course, this year I have to prove to myself that I can successfully train for and finish a marathon.

The above image is a screenshot of the Maine Marathon home page.

My primary training goal for the Maine Marathon will be to get to the starting line healthy. Which means at some point I will have to think about a training plan that I will use as the basis of my training – not that I will follow it exactly, I never do. However, having one will give me a foundation to build from and some guide rails to keep me from getting too far off track.

Once I get to the starting line, I tend to believe that everything will work itself out, because I will be properly prepared to run the distance and the time will not be the big thing, I will just need to focus on getting to the finish line.

I need to erase the agonizing memories (read about it here) of my last marathon finish and put those ghosts to rest for good – it is time.

Goal: I will finish the 2018 Maine Marathon on September 30, 2018.

Running Shoes

When it comes to my running shoes what is it that I want?

Comfort.

That is all.

I want to be able to run in running shoes that do not cause discomfort or pain for the distances and speeds that I still run. I don’t much care which style, model, Brand’s name or logo is on the side as long as I run comfortably in them.

The shoes that have worked the best for me this year have been the Skechers GoRun Ride 7’s, so instead of attempting to re-invent the wheel, as a part of this running shoe re-focusing/shift, I am planning on doing the bulk of my marathon training in that model.

Over the summer I am planning to have a five shoe rotation:

  • GoRun Ride 7 – I will be alternating two pair for the bulk of my training miles, I have one pair with just over 170 miles on them and another pair that I just got. I imagine that I will probably go through 3-4 pair of GRR7’s over the course of this marathon training cycle. I plan to pick up another pair when the newest model I have reaches 200 miles and retire the older pair to walking shoes, then repeat this shoe replacement cycle until after the marathon. I will in all likelihood run the marathon in the GRR7’s and will buy another pair for the race and get about 75-100 miles on them prior to race day.
  • I honestly do not see me getting enough miles on the rest of the shoes in my rotation to need them replaced.
  • GOTrail – OG – trail running/hiking. I do plan to run the Quarry Road and possibly Bond Brook trail race series using them.
  • GOMeb Razor 2 – tempo or faster paced training – I still plan to do a faster workout at least once a week – but faster is faster for me and maybe use them as my half marathon race shoe if I attempt to go for sub 1:40 – I plan to do at least one half this summer, whether I race it or run it is a different question.
  • Brooks Green Silence – for the occasional 5K/10K race or if I decide to go beat myself up on the track.

The rest of my stash of running shoes will head for storage.

I am hoping that reducing my running shoe rotation helps to keep the body in one piece longer, since it seems the more choices that I have with running shoes the more issues my body seems to have.

Not always looking at or surreptitiously getting yet another pair of running shoes will be the hardest goal for me, since I have been a shoe whore for such a long time and there are still so many great running shoes out there that I still really, really want to try. I imagine that I might slide off the rails of this goal, once or twice ;-), just being realistic.

However, running shoes do not make the runner – genetics, good training, attitude and yes, the brain make the runner, with a little luck along the way, although the wrong pair of running shoes still does suck donkey balls.

Goal: I will stick with my five shoe (2-GRR7, GOTrail, Razor 2, and Green Silence) rotation and only change shoes in this rotation when these shoes need replacing.

The reality is that

I do have to listen to my body better and take care of the niggles before they become major issues and time away from running. I also need to try a more practical view of how I look at and use running shoes…

I have to see them more as tools to run comfortably in, not as a primary part of my blogging.

These goals/comments might seem to be very common sense things for a runner to do, but often-times this particular runner hasn’t had a lot of common sense about running or running shoes…maybe it is time to look at and do things a bit differently.

Which also means being smart about doing this marathon thing.

Oh sure, I could go ahead and register today, that way I have a real incentive to get myself going on my second goal. However, part of goal #1 is to listen to the body and get it healthy enough to start goal #2.

Right now I know that my body is not healthy enough to start marathon training.

So I will wait until the end of June to see where the old body is before registering and taking off on my marathon training adventure. I do not want to set myself up to fail to get to the starting line – again.

Everything between now and the end of June are geared towards getting myself ready to start my marathon madness – once again.

Now to get working on some right hamstring and left Achilles rehab, a lot of walking, a bit of cross training on the elliptical, doing some weight work, a little brain retraining, putting away the shoes that are not listed above and look around to see what kind of marathon training plan best fits my goal to finish the marathon.

This should be an interesting summer.

I know Mary ain’t gonna be thrilled with this marathon idea, but I gotta go with it, otherwise it will be one of those I should’ve things that will just stick in my craw.

No excuses this time.

Berlin, NH Flip Flop – RunLog. 5-24-18

Today was another beautiful day, although I spent most of it driving to Berlin, NH and back home, so we could do Mary’s family gravesite for Memorial Day. Even so, I got to enjoy the outdoors in a few places and then after we got home, I did get out for a 4.0 miler.

Driving over brought back so many memories for Mary and I about last summer and all the trips we made on those same roads for almost six months. Some good, some bittersweet, some sad, but we both agreed we are glad that we no longer have to drive over there at least once a week, every week. Continue reading “Berlin, NH Flip Flop – RunLog. 5-24-18”