Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Reality Strikes (Again?)


So far this year, I am averaging about 47 miles a week. That's not too bad.

All of the miles, however, are pretty slow. We're talking 14 minute pace. I am, nonetheless, still out there logging the miles. 

I've been in Orlando the last three days. First and foremost, most of the places out around the attractions; the resorts, the convention centers, are terrible places to run. No trails, no sidewalks, no bike lanes even. So, in order to get in some miles you either a) take your life into your hands (which is actually just a saying because what you're really doing on these highly trafficked roads is putting your life in other people's hands) or b) you run the hotel grounds, or, I guess c) you stick to the fitness center treadmill. All sucky kind of options if you ask me.

Anyway, I opted for the so called "running track," basically a sidewalk through the hotel grounds. Originally this loop was about 1.5 miles but with a plethora of hotel construction, it has been significantly altered. 

Sunday afternoon, upon arrival, I could only tolerate the loop two times. Then, I headed out to the danger zone to get in a total of 7 miles. Monday morning before teaching an all day class, I ran just the loop, in the dark (who invented daylight savings time, anyway, and why do we still need it?). This morning, another combo run.

All runs were uneventful until this morning.

Being struck with the massive amount of oxygen down at sea level, I got just cocky/confident/stupid enough to quicken the pace. That was a mistake. Knee pop after knee pop after knee pop. Now, I've had runs like this before but not in a LONG time, so frankly, the whole thing was a bit annoying. But also...... a reality check.

My 14 minute miles are comfortable and they get the job done when it comes to the running fix. They don't, however, work if I ever plan to race again (or even do workouts to test my fitness). If that is ever going to happen, it'll be because I had the dreaded knee replacement.

I've avoided even thinking about this mostly because I have little or no interest in having foreign objects placed in my body for any reason AND.... who says they will achieve the desired result? But now, firmly realizing that in order to run any faster, something has to change, I find myself a hair depressed about the whole thing.

Is there an answer here? I actually don't think so. I mostly just want to take what's been in my head today and express it in another, less inward way. So, thanks for being on the receiving end.

Run on.


Sunday, March 14, 2021

Up, Up, Up, Down. Meant to be that way.


So this week was/is the easy one. After a three weeks build (45 miles, 50, 56), it was time to back off a hair AND, it just so happening to coincide with two major events: me going on the road to teach and 2) the latest Blizzard of the Century.

A week ago, I went 12 miles. I was only planning on 11, but got a little carried away and tacked one (well, half of one) on at the end. It was a run the began very slowly for the first mile and a half before I fell into an okay pace (for me). Around 3 - 3 1/2 miles, I felt my knee pop a couple of times (see: http://runspittle.blogspot.com/2020/09/pops-and-buckles-what-happens-to-my-knee.html to now what that means) followed by a full blown knee buckle. Surprise was my most obvious reaction as nothing like this has happened in quite awhile. So, I backed off a bit, hoping to regroup, and not have to call for a ride home. 

Amazingly, the knee calmed down and from about 4-12 was never to be heard from again. 

I won't say it was easy, but I cannot remember the last time I ran 12 miles in one setting. It was clear by mile 9, that by the time I got home (it was a run home kind of run), it would be 11.5. Well, in the world of whole, rounded numbers, THAT would not be tolerated. Thus, the extra.

Followed by a nice run on Sunday, it brought the weekly total to 56, a very good week. It also brought the yearly total to 445.

Because we build training over time, we occasionally need to take it easy. As Dr. Jim Loehr said, "In order to be fully engaged, we must periodically practice disengagement." So the was this week. I did have a nice run this week in Twin Falls, ID. I say nice because Twin Falls is a great place to run.

The trail begins in town (so for me that means near whatever hotel I am residing) and heads over to the ridge overlooking the Snake River. Then it stays across the top until it hits a trailhead the sends you down into the canyon. The whole trail is actually 12+ miles, but for me, it's usually a 4 out, 4 back kind of thing as I am always rushed for time in the morning.

What I did miss was the good run in Boise. Usually when in Boise, I try to go to the Riverfront trail or if I want some hills, to Camelback Park. Today, time was limited so I looped the mall parking lot across the street. Mall running is not my favorite thing, but whenever I am pressed for time, staying near a mall, and running in morning darkness, the mall fits the bill just fine. And for this day, it was good enough.

All in all, a good time, especially for a week of disengagement.

Run on.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Let's Catch Up!

It's gotta be the shoes

So, it's March already and 1) we're still in a pandemic (and we didn't even know what that was a year ago), and 2) I'm still running.....

Yep, the pandemic is still here. 

Race much? Maybe VIRTUAL racing. I did a few of those and have a few more scheduled for the first half of 2021. But REAL racing. Nah, mostly that is reserved for the elite.

But, yes, I'm still going at it. Today is March 2 and I have run everyday this year.... AND.... if you take that "streak" back, it goes to my last day off on October 12, 2020. I won't add that up, I think it's bad luck or juju or something, but it's been awhile. Significance? None except it means I have been injury and sickness free for awhile and that's good!

And yes, I'm still REALLY slow, but I'll tell you what: it still feels good to me.

I was supposed to get my knee replaced ages ago and for many reasons, it didn't happen. Well, unless I decide I want to do some serious racing later in life, I might just pass. As I have written before in this platform, I'm not excited about having someone violate my body with some artificial knee. So, we'll see. I might just be content to get in my 2000+ miles a year slowly.

In the world of super/cheater shoes, the news is everywhere about all the great shoes and now spikes that give you that little extra push forward. Unfortunately, for me, investing that money is kind of silly even if it might drop my mile pace from 13 to 11. Nonetheless, I grabbed a new pair of my present fave shoes, the Nike Epic React in, yes, purple (see picture of my purple feet)!

On the bigger scene, there has been racing to be watched. Flotrack, Runnerspace, and others have been streaming elite track and field and cross country. In fact, my Grandson Mason, will be running in the Mountain West Cross Country Championships on Friday and I can't wait to tune in.

Theoretically, this is all setting us on the path to the 2020, errrrr 2021 Olympics. In order to do that, the U.S.must have the Olympic Track and Field Trials. After heading to Eugene in 2016 for the Trials, I was/am chomping at the bit for this edition. Unfortunately, all signs at this moment are pointing to a spectator-less Trial. DAMN. I so wanted to see the new Hayward Field. Well, maybe at the 2021, errrrr, 2022 World Championships.

No matter what, Spring is right around the corner meaning earlier sunrises, later sunsets, and warmer morning temps. So.....

Run on.

Reality Strikes (Again?)

So far this year, I am averaging about 47 miles a week. That's not too bad. All of the miles, however, are pretty slow. We're talkin...