Sunday, January 14, 2018

T Minus 15: BORING!

T-minus fifteen weeks until the Eugene Marathon and I have to say that this week has created a more hopeful attitude about the journey ahead. While it was far from a perfect week, it has ended on a high note and for that I am thankful. Yesterday (Saturday) I ran 10 miles. I wasn't supposed to, theoretically it was scheduled as an 8 mile run. But I just felt so darned good that I kept going.

This 10 miles wasn't a PR (don't think I'll ever run 51:45 again), it wasn't even anywhere close to being fast. What is turned out to be was a run of 10 miles without significant knee pain. Haven't had one of those for a while.

What this means, hopefully, is that slowly the knee re-therapy is beginning to take effect. Not like, I'm ready to run a marathon tomorrow, take effect. More like I might actually be able to train for one. AND..... After appreciable effort and a plethora of youtube videos, I have found the Rock Tape protocol that seems to work best. Looking at the taping as a short term psycho boost. For now, I'll take that.

All in all, 43 miles logged and building to 45-48 next week. Feeling confident about a mileage increase as the last four days were 7, 4, 10, 7 with no ill effects. Hoping to stay on a healthy path.

Boring this week? Yep, sometimes it is. Not a fan of drama anyway.

Run on.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Every-Other-Step at a Time

I know from experience that it will be this way for a while: the fear, the gingerness (is that a word?), the focus on each and every time my left foot hits the earth and engages everything that happens up to and beyond my tender knee. Am I slapping my foot down with too much force? Is it going to buckle THIS time? Have I maneuvered one more every-other-step on the road to pain free? Scary stuff when it's your knee. Scary stuff when it feels out of your (my) control. Scary stuff, this every-other-step fixation.

So, this first week of 2018 is in the training log and all is progressing "nicely." Nicely means this: the goal was to run every day, log 35 miles, do my "square one" knee exercises consistently, and get in a run of 7 miles. The actual week was 38 miles with a 7 AND an 8 thrown in for good measure. So, I'll take it. In fact, the 8 mile run, which was today, was highlighted by feeling BETTER as the run went from 2 miles to the end.

I consider one of my strengths to be self-awareness. Self-Awareness comes in several packages: physiological, emotional, cognitive, spiritual. And while it's often easier for an athlete, a long time runner, to be physiologically self aware, I think I have taken this to an entirely new stratosphere. 

I DO NOT, you see, want another knee problem. And, while straddling this fine line between strengthening my knee and using my knee to do this thing I love to do, I'm finding my conscious fixation (translated: OVER fixation) with every other step to be absolutely fascinating (in a weird way). Foot strike becomes really significant; the running surface becomes really significant; flat, uphill, or downhill becomes really significant. Every-other-step becomes really significant.

I guess in a way, this is an easy thing. After all, every-other-step means I have this over-fixation just 50% of the time. The other half, I have off, right? Well, I'm finding that assertion to be false as preparation for the next foot strike becomes almost as big an obsession as the actual foot strike. Wow, sounds exhausting. WAY better than sitting on the couch, though.

Next week is supposed to be a 40-42 week. Hoping for a double digit longer run next weekend, AND..... with sixteen weeks to go until my re-entry in marathon world, it's time to get serious about visits to the pit of misery. But, more on that later.

Thanks for reading. Run on. Oh AND....... saw this today and loved it:



Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Thanks @running_usa, I'm Inspired to Reflect

Had the pleasure today to "chat" with a pretty incredible young woman today on Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/running_usa/ is where you will find her "running_usa." Her goal is to race in every state in the good old USA, and it appears as though she is well on her way. 10 down, 40 to go. AND..... she has also run in some pretty cool spots outside of our country. Thailand, Japan, Cambodia, the Greek Islands; just to name a few. Follow her at the link above (and follow me on Instagram if you'd like at https://www.instagram.com/runningrich/).

So, anyway, it got me thinking about my own journeys as a 51 1/2 year runner with a few miles on the Nikes (111,000+ give or take 15) and where that whole thing has taken me. Turns out I have raced in 20 states (plus the District of Columbia, and Canada several times). It's about a fifty/fifty split between races from my collegiate career, and races as a marathoning old man.

After pondering the racing world, I thought I'd look at which states I have simply run in (sorry English teachers). Oddly, that one was pretty easy as every state in which I have taught a seminar, I have run. That would be 45 (plus DC). The ones missing are Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Mississippi. Looks like a trip to New England needs to happen.

I have to confess to having run in some pretty cool places in the good old US of A. Upon reflection, here are some of my favorites (in no particular order):


  • Mesa Trail, Peak Trail, Barr Trail, right here in Colorado (not to mention my backyard, the Cherry Creek State Park)
  • Nisene Marks State Park and the whole area around Santa Cruz
  • Moab and the Grand Canyon
  • The Strand near San Diego
  • The trails around Chatanooga
  • Pre's Trail and Hayward Field
  • Flagstaff
  • Central Park, NY
  • Belle Isle, Detroit
  • Mosca Pass and the Great Sand Dunes 
  • Sleeping Bear dunes in Traverse City
  • Chicago Lakefront
  • Jemez Valley and La Luz trail, New Mexico
  • The Mall and C & O Canal Trail, Wash DC
  • Boston Marathon Course
  • Porcupine Mountains and Pictured Rocks Lakeshore trail, Upper Peninsula, MI
  • Oak Mountain Park, Birmingham, AL
  • Flagler Beach, FL
  • Na Pali Coast Trail, Kauai
  • Grand Tetons & Yosemite
  • the Mikelson Trail, SD
  • Wolverine Peak Trail, Anchorage, AK
"Just to name a few?" I'm sure I am missing some great places, but this is my inspired list for now. Thanks @running_usa! I needed that.

In other news, most of my New Years cynicism has stalled, making way for some semblance of optimism. A few decent runs this week and knowing that no one gets ready for a marathon in 17 1/2 weeks by moping around has been enough to ignite a few sparks. Still pretty pissed about the downside of a "surgically repaired knee," but it's nothing that some pain free runs won't cure. 

So check with me tomorrow. Supposed to run 7-8, all right here near home. We'll see how it goes.

Run on