hatchdad

Evolution of a Man


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Decisions, Decisions…


Sigh.  I’ve been dodging writing this blog for a while.

My last run, a few weeks ago, was a longer one.  I had planned on an 18 mile run, from Ashburn, VA out past Leesburg (9 miles out and 9 miles back, along the WO&D trail).  It all started well.  My pace felt good, and I wasn’t very sore at all.  It sure was cold though, but the running kept me warm, so I didn’t notice much.

On the way back, probably around mile 15 – I started to feel it.  It was a slow throb in my right hip.  I tried to push through it some, but it wouldn’t go away.  I stopped for a moment to stretch it out (as my physical therapist had instructed), but when I went to go back to running I didn’t make it very far before the pain was back, and this time pretty unbearable.  It got to the point that lifting my leg to run was too painful to do.

I ended up walking the last two miles of the trail back to my car. By the end of the two mile walk it hurt to even walk.

This wasn’t my first injury from long distance running, it was more like my 5th.  I’ve been working with a physical therapist for more than two months now, and it’s not making much of a difference, and I’ve made a decision.

I’m going to switch to the half marathon.

That sucks just reading it.  I hate to admit defeat – but at the same time, it’s for the best in the long run.  The same way you have to know when to retreat from a losing Risk battle, before you over commit forces you cannot afford to lose, I feel it’s my time to call this one a race.  If I continue with thinking I can complete a marathon when my body is telling me in no uncertain terms that I cannot – I might end up with a permanent injury.

So, I’ll be running the half-marathon in DC instead of the full, and I’m going to be happy about it.  It’s still a whole lot of effort put in, and I’m proud of my progress – regardless of my stupid body’s rules on what it will and will not accept.


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Post Injury and Training


My last post was on the 11th of January, and it was after I had hurt my knee.  More accurately, I had hurt my quadrilateral muscles at the place where they attached to my knee.  This was after I had run 12 miles for the first time.

Since then, I’ve been going to a physical therapist,  It’s been really helpful to have some guidance on the types and amounts of stretches and strengthening exercises.  I started them the Tuesday after the 12 miler where I aggravated them in the first place, and skipped all my runs for the remainder of the week, and we pushed our Saturday big run until Sunday..but I still missed it come Sunday.  My leg still just wasn’t up to snuff.  I tried to run again on Monday, and only got a half an hour out when I knew I had to stop, or else.

I had thoughts of dashing the marathon.

I really didn’t want to give up though.  Twice a day since then, I’ve been doing my exercises, and have seen the Physical Therapist 4 other times (with two more scheduled).  On the 19th, I went out with Chris to run, having the blessing of my PT and the feeling like I could go and do it…and I DID!  I ran 14 miles on January 19th, which surpasses the 13.1 mark for a 1/2 marathon!  My knee felt really good, and I was happy to have made it out.

I thought with my stretches that I’d be able to run my regular monday/wednesday/thursday/saturday schedule the following week.  This was not to be however.  My knee strikes again!  after the 14, I couldn’t muster the will to run through the pain (and I didn’t want to really damage an already achy knee).  Additionally, come Wednesday, it snowed heavily here.  The paths were icy and slick, and we decided to not run and risk injury (especially in the dark wee hours of the morning).  It persisted even on Saturday, but I needed to get back out there.

I ended up going to Claude Moore Park, where they have an indoor running track, full gym, and pool.  My PT had mentioned that running in a pool could keep me training when I couldn’t handle the impact with my knee, so to Claude Moore Park I went on Saturday the 26th.  I thought to eschew the pool until I needed to, so I went to the elevated indoor track, stretched for a good half hour before hand, and began.  I had intended to run 16 miles, but ended with 13.3 miles in, having run for about 2 hours.  Boredom had done me in, in the end – the Fellowship of the Ring was completed, and I had neglected to bring the Two Towers to continue the quest.  Music was ok for a while, but every lap I saw the clock on the wall, not moving.  It was pretty demotivating.  After the 2 hours of running, I gave up the goose and did another 20mins of stretching.  I had a banana, and a blueberry protein shake (which both felt amazing).

This morning Chris and I ran 8 miles.  The backs of my legs and knees felt pretty tight, but it wasn’t unbearable and I was able to keep running for the finish.  My goal this weekend, in keeping in line with my schedule, is to run 18 miles this weekend.  That’s a fair clip farther than the 14 we ran, and we never ran the 16 we were supposed to hit.  I think it’s worth doing though, especially as we wind down towards the marathon.  Those long training runs are going to be essential training for our mental state of being.  We need to know we can run that far before we get to the marathon.  They say its a mental game, and I’m starting to believe that it will be, but that’s only if the physical game allows us to get there.

Until then.

Greg


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Week 15, where I learned that running 12 miles is hard.


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The run of the 6th of January was my 49th training run, the last run of the 15th week!  (Week 15: Dec. 29th-Jan. 6th)

49 runs in, 15 weeks down, 10 weeks to go and I’ll be running the Saturday Rock N’ Roll Marathon in Washington, DC.

Week 15 Statistics!

Average Run

  • 00:58:17

Average Pace

  • 8:55 /mile

Average Distance

  • 6.51 miles

Notable week 15 information:

  • We ran 12 miles on Sunday…technically it was the the first run of week 16, but we really just pushed our Saturday run to Sunday…bygones.  We took the W&OD trail for the first time, which is a trail in Virginia nestled in the right of way of the former W&OD railroad tracks.  It’s straight and level, and goes on for MILES.
  • The run was good, and I wasn’t having any problems at all, until around mile 10.  At this point, my leg was starting to dully ache, and my knee was as well.  Plus, you could see down the trail for miles, and I could see the overpass that marked the ending of our route.  It was torture to see it so far away, and never feeling like it got any closer.  Those last miles were like standing and intently watching a pot boiling when you’re starving.
  • Along the trail, EVILLY, there is a restaurant called Carolina Brother’s Pit Barbeque.  I’ve never wanted barbeque so badly as I did when passing this joint.  I’ve put it to Chris, I’d like to park next to the place next time, and start on the trial FROM there, so we can end there and pig out (no pork puns intended).  Plus, next week it’ll be 14 miles, which means we’ll complete, for the first time, a half marathon!  Well, more than half actually, half is 13.1, but whatever.
  • My wonderful wife had cooked a delicious fish for lunch, and it was served with a salad and some gluten free pierogies, and it was all delicious.
  • I had the power gel for the big run, and it was OK.  Much more liquid than the last, but still mostly shitty.  Chris had these gummy things with gel inside, much better and easier to eat.  I’m going to have to get a pack I think.
  • balins-tomb2As has been my usual, while running I was listening to the Lord of the Rings, unabridged, on my iPhone.    The fellowship of the rings is deep in Moria, and the drums have been sounded.  They’re surrounded, and the words written by Ori in Balin’s book are looking doubly grim.


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Week 14!


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The run of the 29th of December was my 45th training run, the last run of the 14th week!  (Week 14: Dec. 23rd-Dec. 29th)

45 runs in, 14 weeks down, 11 weeks to go and I’ll be running the Saturday Rock N’ Roll Marathon in Washington, DC.

Week 14 Statistics!

Average Run

  • 01:11:18

Average Pace

  • 9:24 /mile

Average Distance

  • 7.52 miles

Greg running in SnowNotable week 14 information:

  • The Saturday big run this week was 11 miles.  That’s from my house in Lowes Island, down Algonkian all the way to Route 7, and back.  Seems like such a long time….
  • Chris and I went to Potomac River Running.  I went specifically for new gloves (I had cheap Champion brand gloves from Target).  I give them 0/5 stars.  First, they were supposed to be useable for touch screens.  That capability went away in the first week, for some reason.  Second, they busted the seams in short order, that was about week 3.  This was with NO holding things, just running in the wind.  BOOOO.  I bought a pair of Saucony gloves, with mitten covers, and the thumb and forefinger pull back to enable you to use touchscreens.  I plan on these lasting much longer.
  • I also bought a balaclava, anticipating biting winds and colder temperatures as we roll deeper into winter.  We talked to them about what to wear for cold temps, and we’ve been doing what we’re supposed to do; layers, layers, and more layers.
  • I had a big strawberry whey protein shake when I got home, and it tasted really great!  I was happy that I wouldn’t have to choke down a whole jar of stuff I didn’t like.
  • I’ve tried out some gels for some calories on the longer runs.  at around 6 miles I pulled out a Montana Huckleberry Hammer Gel.  It did the trick, and I definitely got a boost out of it – and not in a bad, or jittery way.  I just noticed that I had some energy.  The problem was, it had a consistency of thick toothpaste, and it stuck on my lips when I missed (a reality while running and trying to eat).  It tasted well enough though…but I think next time I might try the Cliff Shot Bloks.
  • It started to hail around mile 6, and settled into fluffy snow around mile 8.  It wasn’t cold, or if it was I was too warm from running to notice.  I did notice the piece of hail bounce off my eyeball though, that SUCKED.
  • Frodo finally reached Rivendell, having faced the Nazgul at Bruinen, and survived with the help of the Elf Lord Glorfindel.  Fabulous reading.

Nazgul at Bruinen


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Week 13, and allllllls well (except for my leg, and calves)



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        “This sign is delicious”  -Tree

The run of the 22nd of December was my 43rd training run, the last run of the 13th week!  (Week 13: Dec. 16th-Dec. 22nd)

43 runs in, 13 weeks down, 12 weeks to go and I’ll be running the Saturday Rock N’ Roll Marathon in Washington, DC.

Week 13 Statistics!

Average Run

  • 00:44:54

Average Pace

  • 8:31 /mile

Average Distance

  • 5.25 miles

Notable week 13 information:

  • Week thirteen marks the halfway point in my marathon training!  13 down, and 12 left to go.
  • I ran 10 miles on Saturday.  10 miles is a heck of a long way, and my body is telling me about it even now, 5 hours laters.  My hips hurt, and the back of my calves are stiff and sore.  I see a bath in the future, or at the very least some icy hot.  The run itself wasn’t bad, in fact I felt great running it.  It was the last leg of the journey, the last 1/4 that was a killer.  I was feeling it, but not too badly.
  • Chris and I still haven’t gone to get the gel stuff for running the long runs, nor are we taking water with us.  We’re heading this week to the running store to pick up some gear and tips.  This morning, about a half hour before I went, I ate a half a banana (chewed extra thoroughly), and chugged a whole glass of water.  I am always cautious now of eating before running, but it worked out fine.  Not a hint of a cramp, and not a hint of dehydration upon return.
  • I’ve begun working on protein replacement upon return.  It has to happen quickly – first thing when you get back. I’ve ordered some protein from Dr. Mercola’s website (some organic stuff, with no ingredient whatsoever that you don’t find growing or right out of an animal), but it hasn’t yet got here.  I downed a big glass of milk for protein this time, and fixed two large egg/ham/mayo sammiches, and man were they good.
  • I’ve continued on my book journey; reading the Lord of the Rings on audio CD for the 5th time.  Frodo and company have just met Strider in Bree, and shit just got real with some Black Riders.

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“..all that is gold does not glitter” – Gandalf


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Week 12 – 8 miles is a long way to run.


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“Don’t judge each day by the harvest that you reap, judge it by the seeds that you plant” – Robert Louis Stevenson

The run of the 15th of December was my 39th training run, the last run of the 12th week!  (Week 12: Dec. 9th-Dec. 15th)

39 runs in, 12 weeks down, 13 weeks to go and I’ll be running the Saturday Rock N’ Roll Marathon in Washington, DC.

Week 12 Statistics!

Average Run

  • 00:45:23

Average Pace

  • 9:03 /mile

Average Distance

  • 4.98 miles

Notable week 12 information:

  • My injured leg is feeling much better.  It still gets a little sore after a run, but not sore enough that I have to quit, nor sore enough that i can’t make my following run.  I am going to stick with the stretches and keep it limber, and keep going to the chiropractor for adjustments.
  • I ran 8 miles on Saturday.  8 miles seems like a long way to go and it is…but I never felt like it was too far, or that my leg was going to give out on me.  I remembered seeing a commercial on television during the Olympics, where a guy was doing running and was listening to books on his iPhone.  I have tons of audio books, I used to listen to them while I worked, so I put the unabridged Lord of the Rings on my phone, and have been listening to it.  What a difference it makes!  I can zone out to the book, and even though i’m running it feels almost like I’m curling up with a good book to get entertained.   I’m almost ready to go run again, if only for the chance to hear the next chapter in Frodo’s saga.

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” – C.S. Lewis


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Week 10! Big Milestone reached


Week 10!

5miles
It’s been a big week.  This week was the first week we were challenged to run 5 miles, which we did, on Saturday.  It was exciting to start the run, and I felt great about getting into it.  Mile 1, 2, and 3 went by pretty uneventfully (as I’ve been running this distance almost 10 weeks now).  Mile 4 and 5 were interesting.

I had been keeping up a blistering pace (for me, anyway) – under 8 min/mile, and I felt really good with it.  I decided to try and keep it up for the whole 5 miles.  Usually, I’d fall off towards the end.  I did keep on the gas though, and I started feeling my chest getting tight in the middle of the 4th mile.  By the 5th mile, I was hurting, and as I had designed my route to have a hill at the end I knew it was going to hurt even more.

I ended up having an average pace for the 5 mile run of 7:57/mile (39 minutes, 51 seconds), my best pace since I started running.  I know it’s not all about pace – but it was a minor goal that I was happy to reach.  To the stats!

The run of the 1st of December was my 34st training run, the last run of the 10th week!  (Week 10: Nov. 25th-Dec. 1st)

34 runs in, 10 weeks down, 15 weeks to go and I’ll be running the Saturday Rock N’ Roll Marathon in Washington, DC.

Week 10 Statistics!

Average Run

  • 36:01 minutes

Average Pace

  • 8:33 /mile

Average Distance

  • 4.19 miles

Notable week 9 information:

  • As said above, 5 miles run!
  • I went walking through the mall afterwards, and my outer groin (right where the hip connects to the inner thigh) was KILLING me.  it hurt for each step.  I’m going to have to investigate which stretches can help me keep this limber to avoid painful runs in the future (especially when I am running further distances).
  • If you add up all of the miles over the 10 weeks that I’ve run since starting training with the Runtastic app, it’s 104.21 miles, or past Baltimore and just about to Elkton, MD

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I normally end with a quote.  Usually it’s some encouraging words that are relevant to the weeks run, something that is inspiring that might help inspire someone else.  While searching for something this week, I came across this, and have to share, because I found it very inspiring (and I freaking love Bruce Lee).  It also has to do with running, with reaching 5 miles, and with reaching your upper limits.

Bruce-Lee-Inspiration