Evolution of a Man

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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.


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


“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!

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


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.



Third week of training Complete!

“Life is a journey, not a destination”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The 13th was my 12th training run, the last run of the third week!  (Week 3: Oct. 7th-Oct. 13th)

12 runs in, two weeks down, I’m 22 weeks from March 16th, where I’ll be running the Saturday Rock N’ Roll Marathon in Washington, DC.

Week 3 Statistics!

Average Run

  • 30:35 minutes

Average Pace

  • 8:39.54/mile

Average Distance

  • 3.52 miles

Notable week 3 achievements:

  • Time expected was ramped up to 30 minutes per run.
  • The hills in this run are a killer.  I’ve been working on my pace, not to go faster, but to find a natural rhythm.  My goal is to breathe only through the nose, inhale and exhale.  Whatever oxygen my body pulls in is the oxygen I’ll be able to use.  The trick is consciously modifying my pace to go slower on hills, to be able to keep with the oxygen intake I’m receiving.  The other trick, is to improve my cardiovascular health, so that each breath is being maximized.
  • This was a solo week.  My training partner was away for the week.

If you have built castles in the air; your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.  -Henry David Thoreau

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“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” -Greg Anderson


This is during my 4th training run, the last run of the first week!

(never mind that this is a terrible picture!)

Four runs in, one week down, 24 weeks from TODAY I’ll be running the Saturday Rock N’ Roll Marathon in Washington, DC.

Today’s Run

Week 1 Statistics (if you’re into that sort of thing, and I am)

Average Run

  • 20 minutes

Average Pace

  • 10:36.41/mile

I used the Runtastic app that I mentioned I would be trying out, and already it’s much better and more functioned than the Nike+ app.  It has a ton of information you can very easily check out while you’re running, where as the Nike+ app was pretty limited to just your total time and your map.  It isn’t a deal breaker, because I wasn’t looking at my app all that much while running, but it was nice to look down and see my pace really quickly, or very easily change or pause songs.

This is a great beginning to my running challenge, and I look forward to many more.

“There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth…not going all the way, and not starting.” -Buddha


Run tracking software


I like the idea of a running app for my phone. It functions as a run diary, keeping track of your runs, the route, your run pace, your overall pace, etc.

I’ve been using the Nike + running app, mostly because I had Nike+ shoes with the sensor (before I had GPS on a phone), and I liked the way that it worked.

Yesterday, at the end of a timed run, I must have mistakenly turned the app back on after stopping it, because it recorded at extra 2.5 minutes of walking and talking.

This extra time got factored into my pace for the run, and subsequent to that got factored into the overall pace for my entire run history. For some one who loves to track data, this is terrible. It poisons not only that runs data, but the entire well of data.

No problem, right? Just truncate the 2.5 minutes, right! Except the app has no such feature. Neither does the website.

After talking with them, found out I could delete the run and they could manually add one in to fix my pace, but I lose the map and elevation stuff. Half fix, and lose 30 minutes of life on the phone with them.

SO, trying out a new running app. It’s called:

Seems to have everything that the Nike+ app had, plus the ability to take photos from the app on your run (pretty cool), and LIVE updates, so supporters know where you are on your run…pretty awesome for a first marathon I think.

I will give a review after checking it out for a while.