Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Heatmiser ... You Don't Scare Me

I have tremendous respect for hot weather, born from some bad/stupid experiences, but I am not afraid of the heat.
Raleigh jumped from temperate-Spring to surface-of-the-sun hot in the blink of an eye.  We hit 94 today with swamp-like humidity, and I'm definitely not adjusted yet.  My wife is out of town for a few days, so my early-morning run became an after-the-kids-are-at-school run, and the heat was wilting.  It added about 30 seconds a mile to my usual non-pushing pace, and I was dragging by the end.  Not really a complaint, more just an observation.

I like running in the heat.  I like to sweat.  I'll get acclimated, but for now the heat has me on the ropes.  A worthy opponent, but I'll start gaining ground soon.

I felt a little tweak/twinge in my right hip after my 9-mile run on Sunday, so I actually listened to my body and skipped my run on Tuesday to let myself recover.  A year ago that's something I never would have done.  Despite what my wife and kids say, apparently I am able to learn something new.  No hip issues in my run this morning.  Sometimes being a better runner has nothing to do with what your Garmin tells you.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Me No Pace Good and I've Been Twittered

I readily admit that pacing, and being able to 'feel' my pace, is not something I'm very good at.  I've been working at it, and thought I was getting better, so I decided to test myself a bit last night.  Running has been going pretty well for me lately since the week off to rest my ankle.  It still gets a little sore, but the pain hasn't returned.  I suspect I've got a little tendinitis going on, but feeding it ice seems to be keeping it happy.  Left calf and shin are generally grumpy these days, but I'm opting to strangle them with compression sleeves and not listen to them.  Something always seems to hurt, so the wheel-o-hurt seems to have settled on lower left leg right now.  All part of the joy of running/aging.

I had to do a late-night run yesterday, so I decided to try a tempo run for the 5 miles on the plan.  Planned to go-out with a moderate pace for the first mile, then do 3 miles at around marathon target pace (shooting for 8:00/mile), then slow things down again for the last mile.  Since it was dark anyhow, I decided not to look at my Garmin throughout, and just listen for the beeps at the mile-marks to know when to hit the gas or the brakes.

Net result - I still suck at pacing.  It ended up being a really good run, but way faster than it should have been.  I'm still anticipating ankle pain every time I step with my left leg, so I think that is screwing with my ability to just 'feel the run', but other than that I don't really have an excuse.  Pacing for the run:

Mile 1 - 9:04
Mile 2 - 7:46
Mile 3 - 7:32
Mile 4 - 7:20
Mile 5 - 8:23

Too fast starting with the first step of mile 2.  Oh well - I do pretty well with this if I'm checking the Garmin, and I have no problem looking at that thing every 10 seconds.  If I paid all that money for it I want to get everything out of it I can.  I'm a slave to the machines.

9 mile long run on the plan for Sunday, and I'm returning to the path where my knee unraveled before my last marathon.  Not typically superstitious, but I'm a little nervous about running there again.  Hopefully uneventful.
Thanks to my desire to follow along with Emz and her 100-mile treadmill ownage, I have been officially sucked into the world of Twitter.  For someone that spends most of his life working on computers for a networking company, I'm pretty slow on the uptake for social media.  Have to admit Twitter is pretty amusing, and seems to have more momentum than Facebook these days.  Also nice to be limited to only a couple sentences worth of characters if I just don't have anything blogworthy to say.  If you want to find me in Twitterland I'm @EvolvingThruRun. If I say anything embarrassing, or more embarrassing than usual, it's all Emz's fault.

Best of luck to all running races this weekend, especially the folks getting after it in Fargo.  Mind over Miles. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Date Night aka Seafood Coma

This week has been a mixed bag.  Can't seem to get the personal and professional world on the same page.

This week was pretty good on the personal front, highlighted by no more kidney stones, and a successful return to the world of running.  Apparently the week off did a body good.  Got through two runs without any recurrence of the mysterious ankle pain.  Maybe it was ankle stones.  Don't want to think about how exactly those got passed.

On the professional front, this was a rough week.  Our company announced impending layoffs, along with a timeline that takes them all the way through the summer.  Talk about a dark cloud of stress hanging over everyone for days on end.  No fun.  This recession can kiss my arse.

Tonight, however, should be an epic display of my dining prowess.  Tonight is a rare date night with the lovely and talented Mrs. Evolving.  That alone is cause for much rejoicing, but we're talking dinner and a movie, and the dinner is a 'Seafood Extravaganza' with some good friends from the neighborhood.  Words can not express the depths of my love for seafood.  I get a little lightheaded just thinking about it.  I could happily grill a Spongebob-kebab, follow that with a plate of fried Squidward, and still have room for some Patrick bisque.  To pick a favorite from the world of seafood would unnecessarily diminish the glory of any item.  Seafood's dial goes to 11.  Tonight's menu:

I've already apologized in advance to the folks who will be sitting with us for the display they are about to witness.  Apologies also to King Neptune and the Little Mermaid. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ankle Bones and Kidney Stones

Sometimes I do the right thing.  Sometimes I let my brain win out over my body.  Sometimes, when my wonky legs start talking, I actually listen.

Today marks one week without running.  Self-imposed exile to hopefully stop some slowly building ankle pain from reaching full crescendo.  Thanks to the comments from my last post regarding my shin/ankle issues, I removed my head from my rear and shut things down.  I’m 6 months out from my next marathon, so doing something stupid now that would continue to bother me for the next 6 months would be foolish.  Fairly typical for me, but foolish nonetheless.

I can’t really tell if the time off has helped or not.  The ankle still feels a little ‘off’, but not especially painful.  I don’t know that ‘rest’ is exactly the right term for it, since I spent countless hours hauling 25 cubic yards of mulch all over the place trying to make our yard presentable.  More accurately, 25 cubic yards of mulch were delivered.  I think I managed to get through about 15 this weekend.  I’m trying to do a true rest-day today, staying off my feet as much as possible.  Tentative plan is to try a short run tomorrow morning and see what happens.  I’m itching to get back to running, but dreading the possibility of no progress in the healing once I really test it out.

As a fun activity to pass the time while not running, my body decided to focus its efforts Thursday on moving a kidney stone from inside my body to the outside world.  Fly … be free.  This is the fourth fun-filled episode of kidney stones I’ve dealt with, but the first in nearly 7 years.  Made for a long day, but thankfully I birthed that little bugger Thursday night, so the pain didn’t linger beyond the 10ish hours on Thursday.  Called my doctor in the midst of the stone-party to schedule an appointment, and they were kind enough to fit me into the schedule 8 days later.  Where’s the love?  Went to see a different doctor on Friday, and the xray didn’t show any more lurking in my kidney, so I think I’m safe for a little while.  Ahh … the wonders of the human body as we get older.  A fine wine I am not.

Weather in NC is crazy beautiful today.  If the run goes well tomorrow I’m looking forward to some sunny, cool, early morning Spring runs.  Much love.

Couldn’t close this out without a mention of the 100+ treadmill miles in 24 hours that Emz threw down in her charity run for the Sojourner Center on Friday/Saturday.  You can still donate to the cause HERE, and I hope you will.  Such a good cause …. Such a good person.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

RUN EMZ (Throwback Training Tunes - Emz Edition)

Not much that I could say today that would be more important, meaningful, or physically impressive than what Emily will be undertaking less than 24 hours from now.  For the few that don’t already know about this, starting at 6AM Friday morning she’s doing a 24-hour treadmill run to raise money for the Sojourner Center, which supports victims of domestic violence.

Check out her blog today for a news story about the run.  Yes, she is a TV star as well as a running star.  If you have the means, please make a donation as well.  Great person, great cause.
‘The Stairs’ – INXS (1991) Today’s only entry to the Throwback Tunes is a longtime favorite of mine from one of my favorite bands.  As far as training songs go, this one has a long, slow, building intro, followed by some surprisingly thought-inspiring lyrics.  Originally written about living in a busy city, I think it says a lot about human interaction, and our desire to find our place in the world.  It’s a great song for starting out a run, or for when you need some inspiration during a run on a slightly deeper level than a driving bass-line or catchy guitars.  There are several lyrics in here that I think apply well to what Emz is doing, and really anybody that tries to connect with and help other people, and in turn helps themself.  My favorite verse, and one that I’ve borrowed from in the past for a blog title:

Climbing as we fall
We dare to hold on to our fate
And steal away our destiny
To catch ourselves with quiet grace

Go Emily!  24 hours of making the world a better place.

You’ve freaking got this.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hmmm ... That Doesn't Feel Quite Right

The good news is that I got my first double-digit mileage run since November completed on Saturday, and it was great.  Actually only planned on 8-9 miles, but ran in a new place with a friend of mine who will also be running MCM (a rare non-solo run for me), and when all was done we had done 10.02 miles at 9:00 pace.  The run felt good, and the pace felt a little slow, which is a good sign.

However, a nagging soreness on the lower interior of my left shin has progressed to a little more than nagging, and when I did 4 miles on Sunday there was actually some accompanying pain on the interior of my left ankle for about .5 miles in the middle of the run.

Thus, I find myself at a bit of a crossroads.  I don't think this is something terribly serious, but despite my repertoire of injuries to draw upon for self-diagnosis, this isn't something I've experienced before.  I'm supposed to run 4/6/4 miles on Tues/Wed/Thurs, but I've already decided to skip the Tuesday run and lift legs (just quads, nothing weight-bearing on the ankle) instead.  I'll probably give the Wednesday run a go, but I'll just see how it feels Wednesday AM.  I don't want to get myself injured again, but I'm also in a great groove with the training where I find myself craving it.

Me and my frah-gee-lay legs.