Sunday, September 30, 2007

Vote for Quotes!

I decided to put a motivational quote on the back of my shirt for the marathon. I've narrowed it down, but am open to new suggestions! If you suggest a new one, the only rule is it has to be a short quote so people can read it.

I'm not sure where you guys get those fancy polls, so just leave comments!

Here are the ones I have it narrowed down to:

"The real purpose of running isn't to win a race; it's to test the limits of the human heart."
- Bill Bowerman

"When everything seems to be going against you,
remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it."
- Henry Ford

"The difference between the unattainable and the attainable lies in a person's determination."

"Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true."
- Leon J. Suenes

"What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals."



Race Ready

Gu: Check
Legs: (One.. two) Check
Shoes: Check
Shorts: Check
Shirt: Check (Really bright, easy to see!)
Feet: (One.. two..thr.. no, two) Check
Haircut: Check (You call it short, I call it aerodynamic)
Socks: Check
Somewhere to sleep: Check
Loads of pasta and rice: Check

I'm ready to go. Lets do this thing. My hip is feeling great again, back to normal great. But I'm erring on the side of caution. Tuesday is my hip's debut with an easy couple miles. If it goes 110% perfect I'm going to go for a run on Thursday with one or two miles at race pace just to remember what it feels like. All the details are worked out. I just need to eat a ton of carbs this week to push that wall back as far as possible on Sunday!

Today I jumped on the exercise bike for an hour. I had to prove I still have some mental toughness left in me, so I hit it about as hard as I could for that hour. Heres the heart rate over that hour. No breaks, just a whole lot of pedaling! I went and got a haircut today too, and picked up a shirt for the race. I'll run in it beforehand to make sure it doesn't bother me, don't worry! I know I'm not supposed to try out something new on race day, but I never train with a shirt on, and its going to be a little chilly at the start; so regardless, whatever I wear will be new.

Me and my sis are both decorating our shirts before the race too, with "TEAM CICHON" and the phonetic spelling too! My name will be on the front too, so if you're there, look for the guy in a tennis ball colored tank top that says "DOUG" on the front and "GO TEAM CICHON" on the back!

The weather next weekend is supposed to be great! I know most public weather forecasting sites don't have it posted yet, but I have a friend studying meteorology so here's the inside scoop! At the start of the race we're looking at mid 50's, and towards the end mid to high 60's. There is a small chance of rain too, he claims about a 30% chance. These are absolutely perfect conditions to run. Lets do it!

I'm getting really, really revved up just talking about it (in case you couldn't tell by me ending more sentences with exclamation points than periods)! I may explode by the end of the week! Luckily I have most of my homework out of the way so I don't need to really concentrate on anything, because concentration just isn't happening until Sunday is over.

Be prepared for more of me being way too excited this week, and feel sorry for any non-runner that asks me about my plans this weekend!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Fun with Numbers!

I bet most of you haven't heard that since grade school math class! Except this time, its for real. Really. Honest. Loads of fun!

The Chicago Marathon is estimated to have 1,500,000 spectators this year. The average person thinks "gee willickers, thats a big number mister!" but lets put it into a number we understand! If we divide that by 26.2 miles, we get 57,251 spectators per mile. Now, divide that by 5280 feet (the number of feet in a mile). You get about 11. That means, on average, there are 11 people per foot of the marathon. I think that number is much easier to understand!

Time for more fun! If you travel from Chicago, through my home town, by my old dorm at Eastern Illinois, past my apartment in Lexington, and to Boston, its 1,440 miles. So far this year, I've run 1,414 miles. Add a marathon onto that and you're sitting at 1,440. Quite the journey from Chicago to Boston, but I don't think its a coincidence!

Also, just to make Jess a little more nervous: only EIGHT more days until Chicago! I don't have anything fancy to do with the number eight, but its a small number!

Regardless of the fact I've barely been able to run the past few weeks, I'm staying positive about the race. Every time I've run, my hip has felt great during the run. Its afterwards that is always the part that is bad. And everything is supposed to hurt after a marathon anyways, right?

No worries, though, I'm not being stupid. In fact I'm erring on the side of caution more than ever this week. I was really looking forward to a run today, but decided not to just because it doesn't feel perfect. I jumped on the exercise bike yet again. I'll probably do the same tomorrow and try running once or twice next week. I also have the go ahead to take the medicine that makes my hip feel better for a day or two before the race, although its not safe to take it long term so I'm on a break from it right now.

Also, every time I've gotten out to run recently, I don't feel like I've lost much fitness at all. I feel about the same as I did a few weeks ago when I run, despite the fact my legs feel weak compared to how they felt before when I'm not running. As long as they can carry me when I'm running, I could care less how they feel when I'm not!

When the race comes around, I'm planning to forget I've taken these weeks off. Wipe it from my mind! It will help enormously with my confidence, which is what I need most right now. I've lost very little physically these past few weeks; most of what I have lost is in terms of 'mental toughness'.

Back to work for me! I'm making a dent in my huge pile of stuff. The big projects are out of the way, and the load on my back is getting lighter!


Friday, September 28, 2007

Nine days

We're down to single digits people. Nine days until Chicago! Thats right, nine days until I try to run more miles in 3 hours than I've ran in the past 3 weeks. Does that make me nervous? Um, yeah. Just a little. Okay, I'll be honest: I feel a little like the average person would giving a speech to 1000+ people, naked.

I'm doing my best to stay on top of everything. Stretching and icing are happening several times a day, and I just got done on the bike. I only went 10 miles on the bike since I'm tapering. Generally I feel like I still have the fitness I had 3 weeks ago. My run on Tuesday didn't feel any harder, nor does biking. Its just that running currently tears apart my hip.

Homework is keeping me crazy busy, which is keeping me from worrying too much about the race. I'm looking at today through Sunday as having about 48 hours to work on everything (8 hours sleep, 16 hours work per day) and feel like that should help me at least make a dent in everything.

Yesterday was really productive; I got my big assignment done for today (16 pages typed) and a good start on my project for Graphics due next Friday. I still have loads of grading for Monday, Graphics homework due Tuesday, and Algorithms due on Wednesday.

All this means I need to stop typing and get to work. I hope everybody's running is going well.

I almost forgot! Make sure you go check out Amy and Tom's runner's lounge; its a great way to meet other runners, they've really put together a great website!


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Going Crazy!

My hip is feeling better today, but I promised myself no running until Saturday. Honest. None. Okay, fine, I admit it: I ran across the street on my way to class. Today it is almost like the deity of running is torturing me. The one day I decide no running, is the one day it rains. Running in the rain is one of my favorite times to run. I haven't been able to run in the rain for months.

I'm mostly taking care of my hip. The medicine I was on to heal it up is done with, so I feel like I need to be extra careful now. I'm stretching and icing as frequently as I remember to. I could probably do it more often, but with the amount of homework I have right now it keeps slipping my mind.

I plan not to have free time for about four weeks or so, except for marathon weekend when I refuse to do anything for school, except maybe some grading on the plane. Loads of stuff due in the next week or so, then mid terms are going to slap me in the face.

I'm attempting to stay in good spirits. I really appreciate all the encouraging comments you guys are leaving! Thanks! Hopefully I'll be more up beat in a couple of days.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Roller Coaster Ride

This post has the opposite tone of yesterdays. Welcome to the roller coaster that is my life.

After my run yesterday, I felt great. Hours later, though, my hip started hurting again. Nothing bad, but present. Today is more of the same. It isn't really painful, but there is discomfort. Running on it will just do damage.

Yesterday I was pumped up that I was ready to go. Today I'm back in a hole just hoping I can run a few times before the race. I was looking forward to my run today, and until 10 minutes ago had every intention to go out for a few miles. But a few miles isn't going to give me much benefit at all, especially if its tearing my hip apart.

I'm taking today completely off. No running. No exercise bike. Just me and my homework.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Twelve Days

...until the big day! I'm revved up, I'm ready to go. I just finished a really great workout with the 5:30am group. My hip is solid again. I can tell I lost some fitness, but not much. It could all be in my head. During the two mile hilly part of the run where we run quick, I was averaging about 6:15/mile and my heart rate was about 184 bpm on average. At the very end of the run one of the guys, Duane, who is about 20 years older than me, decided to give me a run for my money. Lets just say he was surprised to find out about the last few gears I had waiting for him!

It was really great to be back out and running with the group, especially since I hadn't seen them for about two weeks. A lot of people were asking about where I'd been, and seem glad that I recovered and am back on my feet.

My original plan, before my hip injury, was to start my taper after this workout. I'm sticking to this plan, because today definitely wasn't a workout that would be part of a taper; far from it. The taper begins now. Be ready to hear about my taper madness. Backing off because of an injury is one thing. But when I know I'm perfectly capable of running, and can't, things can get messy. This is a warning. Take heed!

The plan from here on out is to go easy on Tuesday and Thursday. Saturday I'm planning 8-10 miles at marathon race pace (6:52/mile) just to confirm what it feels like and burn off a little bit of anxiety I have building up before the final week of my taper. Next week I want to run 15 miles during the week. This will probably be 6, 5, and 4 on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday respectively. On Saturday I may run a mile or two at a very easy pace just to burn off some nervous energy. If you are going to be in Chicago for the race that weekend, let me know if you'd be up for joining me for a mile or two on Saturday!

After that, well. We get to see what I'm made of. We get to see what my sister is made of. And Susan. And Nic. And Jess. And Tom. And the other 44,994 runners I didn't mention.

Happy running,


Monday, September 24, 2007

Quick Weekend

This weekend flew by so much quicker than I imagined! I got home around 10 or 11PM Friday, and left Sunday afternoon around 1PM. Talk about a short trip considering it was a 400+ mile drive!

I already told you guys about the race, but I never posted any pictures! I brought my camera to the race and somehow broke it so the display didn't work anymore, but fixed it Sunday morning. "But Doug, how did you fix the camera?" you ask. I fixed it the only way I know how to fix a camera, I punched it in the face! And by punched it in the face, I mean I smacked it a few times out of frustration, and it decided it better listen to me. Hey, I'll take it! Here are some pictures from the race:

The pavillion, finish line, and start line around 7am.

Ready, set, GO!

My setup for timing (those slow pokes, Prefontaine would have finished by now!)


I was smiling the whole way back to Kentucky (okay, maybe not) until....


Okay, thats all for the pictures, I think!

Yesterday I put in another 4 miles. I could definitely feel a little pain in my hip, but it was minor and not getting worse! Afterwards it felt fine after stretching and icing it. Today, it feels great! And I haven't even had any Aleve, imagine that! The only thing that stinks is that I'm just getting off this break, so I'm ready to rock, but.... its taper time! Ideally I would like to put in 30-35 miles this week, then some minimal amount next week, maybe 15-20.

Judging my fitness after my break, I still think going under 3 hours is attainable (sorry, Nic). Whenever I stopped paying attention on my run yesterday my pace would slowly creep under 7 minutes. I guess I was doing something right on that bike! I am not going to shoot for 2:50 at Chicago anymore, not this time. Maybe at Boston!

I'm really pumped to have a functional hip again, I can't really explain it; use your imagination!

I hope everybody had a great weekend!

Happy running,


Sunday, September 23, 2007

My butt hurts

Just a quick update to tell you all I'm back.

Both back to Lexington, and back with running. I ran 4 miles this morning and it felt pretty good. The pain is still there, but it is healing and tolerating the runs. After my rest day tomorrow, I expect it to be 100%. Success!

I just finished with my 3 bajillion hour drive, which is why my butt hurts. I'll give you guys a real update tomorrow, but for now I need to finish grading, entering grades, and plan for lab tomorrow in the next two hours. This will be fun.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Hip Check

Today was good. After driving for 9 freaking hours yesterday, and not getting much sleep last night, I somehow woke up at 6:30am energetic and ready to go!

The 5K this morning went really well. I helped with registration and handled the timing of the race. There were some little mishaps, such as clicking too many times or not enough when runners cross the line, but all was resolved in the end. The race went off without a hitch, and age group results printed as soon as the last finisher crossed the line; like clockwork. Tell me, does it get any sweeter than that?

Being at the race this morning was great. Its wonderful to see all the familiar faces when I go to races near my home town. People who understand how nerve wracking it is to go through injury this close to a race, appreciate my views on training, and have given me tons of advice as I've progressed as a runner. I saw Charlie today; he's an older guy with more marathons and ultra marathons under his belt than I care to count. When I was 9 years old and ran my first road race, he told me to have my dad buy me new shoes. I finished my first race in my humongous basketball shoes!

But the big news for today isn't the race. Nor is it the fact that I meant to get a lot of grading done and didn't even look at it. Its not the freaking amazing rib dinner I had with my family either. Although all of that is absolutely wonderful, the news for the day is my hip!

While helping at the race this morning, I would jog wherever I had to go. It was mostly to build my confidence up that I was actually ready to run. By the time I watched the race, I was pumped up and ready to run! Afterwards, I went out for a short run. Just enough to test things out.

I forced myself to only run 2 miles since anything more might do damage at this point. But during the run, it felt pretty good. I won't say it felt perfect, because it didn't. Afterwards, it felt not horrible. Tonight it doesn't hurt. I don't feel like I did damage to it today, which is a step in the right direction. Because the run went good, me and my dad decided against the injection in my hip, and went with a different solution to finish the healing process.

I'm not sure of the official spelling, but it sounds like a 'medrol dose pack.' Its worked wonders for me before when I had trouble with my heel. I take 6 today, 5 tomorrow, etc, down to 1 on the last day. I might take more if my hip needs the extra juice. I'm hoping this will one of the things that will push my hip back to being normal.

As of right now, I'm planning to run 4-5 miles tomorrow. I will also base this on how I feel in the morning because I don't want to push it and undo all the healing that happened this past week. I am remaining optimistic, as usual. The key thing, in my opinion, is it felt worlds better after my run today than it did after my run last weekend. Healing is happening.

Tomorrow I drive back to Kentucky, too. Lets hope the drive back goes smoother than the drive here. I'll just say it was a hectic trip. I hope everybody's training (or tapering!) is going well!

Happy running,


Friday, September 21, 2007

Homeward Bound!

No, not the movie with the talking animals! Sure, there are dogs involved, but its much better!

I'm heading home after class today. I'll admit I'm dreading the 7 hour drive, but am really looking forward to seeing family for the first time since early August! My friend Susan is probably (better be!) coming down to visit since I'm home, and my friend Jonathan (now my sister's boyfriend) will definitely be there. We have a big festival in my home town every year called Harvest Days. Well, its big for us, since its a town of about 4,000 people.

Besides getting to see people, I get to see my dogs for the first time in almost two months! Now these aren't just any dogs. These are quite possibly the best dogs in the world. Now now, you'llow, tell me "But Doug, they're both mutts! They can't be the best!" but you couldn't be more wrong, because they do awesome tricks and Sparky's whole back half wags when I get home. Then you'll say "Doug! Its so weird how the female dog humps the male one whenever they get excited!" and, well, yeah you're right. Thats pretty freaking weird, but pretty funny to watch people's expressions the first time they see it happen.

Tomorrow morning I'm working at the 5k race my dad helps organize. Last year I wrote a computer program we run on a lap top which compiles all the results for the race. Its pretty similar to how non-chip timed races work. You hit a button when they cross, then match up the numbers with the times by entering them in order. This one just has a nice graphical interface and its easier to tell if you make any mistakes.

It went extremely well last year, so they want me to handle it again this year! So well, in fact, one of the guys who was doing the other timing (we had two systems in case mine flopped, because it was the first time) told me to patent my system and charge race directors a fee to have me do the results at their races. Now, I didn't go ahead and do this. I don't have time to go around timing races. Plus, if I'm at a race I want to run in it!

After getting done at the race, I'm sure I'll be plenty revved up about running after watching the top guys get amazing times, a lot of people get PRs, and the pure joy on the faces of the first time finishers!

Once thats over, you know what time it is. Thats right. Its running time. I can't wait! My hip is feeling really good today, I daresay it might even be back to normal, but I won't carve that in stone anywhere until I run tomorrow.

Time to get to packing!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hanging on for all its worth!

As I recently pointed out, I've had one insane year of training. And I'm not about to let it all slip away!

This morning Amy had a wonderful post about how important it is to apply our training stubbornness not only to our running, but also to our recovery process. No letting up, do everything possible to get ourselves back in working order! And thats exactly what I'm doing.

I'm not sure if it was Amy's post, the fact it was likely (hopefully, please?) my last day on the exercise bike, or an unrelated burst of motivation, but I tore it up on that exercise bike this morning. Over the past week or two I've gotten much better at getting my heart rate up and keeping it there, even when I'm biking. Since I'm able to get my heart going, the cardiovascular benefit should definitely help sustain my running.

I've put in too much hard work to let it just slip away because of my hip. I'm holding on for all its worth; and its worth a lot to me!

Tomorrow is a rest day, then on Saturday I have my second run in eleven days. Eleven days! I can't believe I'm still sane. After my run in with some dishonest people the other day, I've been pretty put off by the level of cheating which seems to only occur within a certain group of people at my school. I've also been determined to get the guilty ones brought forward for what they're doing. A friend of mine jokingly told me: "You suddenly went from being a normal and happy person when you ran regularly, to not running at all this week and hating an entire race of people." Don't worry, I don't actually hate anybody. Nor am I racist, far from it. I just have a strong dislike for those trying to take the easy way out in life.

Here's to running in 48 hours!

And here's my workout details:

Time: 60 minutes
Distance: 24.25 miles
Avg Heart Rate: 158 bpm
Max Heart Rate: 175 bpm

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

No Running: Day 4 of 6

Its my fourth day in a row that I haven't run; man do I miss it. The one week I can't run is the week when its 60 degrees in the morning and sunny with a light breeze. Its absolutely perfect every day this week, and other runners are out enjoying it. Every day on the way to class I see people running, a lot more than usual too.

My hip hasn't hurt at all the past two days; although it isn't perfect. There has been no pain, but it doesn't feel like my other hip. I don't know how to explain it really, so I'm not going to try. However, the lack of pain is much like Saturday morning, and I'm going to give it a few more days regardless. It simply isn't worth the risk of having to take yet another week off with Chicago only a few weeks away!

Last night I called home, and my dad haphazardly asked me if I'm eating okay down here. Ironically, he asked this at a time where my diet has been one of my top priorities! I don't think my response of all the healthy food I've been eating was expected at all!

I just got done on the exercise bike. Only one more day of biking and I should be back. Right now the plan is to go for a test run on Saturday afternoon. Probably around 2-3 miles. If my hip hurts afterwards then we know I will need the steroid injection, and precisely where to get it since it will bring out the sore spot. So my friend Jim is wrong when he said I just wanted the injection "to get an edge during Tuesday morning push ups!" The one downside to getting it is that it will make it sore for a few days, but should heal after that. Because of this, I can't get it as just a 'good luck' sort of thing.

Workout details:

Distance: 14.25 miles
Time: 40 minutes
Avg Heart Rate: 148
Max Heart Rate: 155


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dirty Little Cheaters

This post has nothing to do with running, so don't expect anything. I just need to vent for a moment.

I have always heard of a vast amount of cheating in graduate school. I always shrugged it off. I don't cheat, it doesn't matter to me. Plain and simple.

This week we have an (extremely simple) assignment due in my Graphics class, and there are 4-5 Indian students who are constantly asking me for help because apparently they can't tell their *ss from a hole in the ground. My rule was simple: I answer questions about ideas, not homework problems. I will explain a concept to another student without blinking an eye, but I won't help you get through #2, etc.

Today my rule has been amended, and it will become official in about two hours. Amendment: "If you ask me 'can I copy your homework?'," you will get turned in without me blinking an eye. At this point I don't care if you get expelled or deported, I'm fed up with this crap. If you want to get somewhere, turn in your own work. Plain and simple.

In class I had a girl flat out ask me to copy my homework; I flat out told her "no." In hind sight, I should have asked her what her name was before I said no, because I have no idea who to turn in besides "the Indian girl in teal who sits behind me and to the left." Either way, I have a meeting with my professor at 6 to demo my homework, with a side of reporting plagiarism.




1. something that seduces or has the quality to seduce
2. the desire to have or do something that you know you should avoid; "he felt the temptation and his will power weakened"
3. the act of influencing by exciting hope or desire

I woke up today feeling great. Especially my hip; even better than it did on Saturday morning, and I wasn't all drugged up on Tylenol or Aleve! I put on my shorts, shoes, and Detroit Marathon technical shirt. It was a wonderful 60 degrees outside. I had my heart rate monitor and Garmin on. iPod in one hand, water bottle in the other. Everything seemed so perfect.

I went down the stairs, but I couldn't hit the roads. Not today, not this week. This week is to let my hip heal no matter how good it feels; no matter how tempted I am to just put in a few miles. I had to go grind it out on the exercise bike again.

When I got to the exercise room, someone was on the bike (he was probably going about 30 RPM's and had the resistance set on level 1, but I won't go off about that right now!). This made it all the more tempting to just go run. After asking him how much he had left in his 'workout' I went back up to my room for 15 minutes, and came back down the stairs. Again I had to make the decision not to run, even though everything was absolutely perfect for a run. Sixty degrees, light breeze, sunny...

Resisting temptation again, I got on the bike. But after being tempted by a real workout three times already, I wasn't content to just pedal for an hour; today was one good workout! I revved it up to level 12 resistance (out of how many, who knows), and started pumping. Most of the time I was going about 100-105 rpm's, except for my 10 minutes easy in the middle, and 5 minutes at the end.

I feel like I got a great workout in, but not nearly as good as if I had gone out and run today. I'm really starting to miss the feeling of a great run; its been over a week since I really got a good run in.

Workout details:

Time: 1 hour
Distance: 23.25 miles
Avg. Heart Rate: 153
Max Heart Rate: 172

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Ups and Downs of 1400 Miles

To drive from Tampa, FL to Boston, MA its 1354 miles, according to Google. However, I have run further than that this year! Right now my yearly mileage is at 1,401 miles, and what a trip it has been. Here are some of the ups and downs:

January: I had just gotten my Nike+ kit and was loving it. I started meeting tons of great people. I was enjoying running a ton with my new found gadget and loved the community of all the encouraging runners! This was the start of my mileage build up. Life was good. I built from 30 to 35 mile per week this month.

February: Who else here was in the mid west this winter? In February was when the ice storm hit that closed the University of Illinois for the first time in 30+ years. There was a tree outside my dorm which normally had branches about 8-10 feet above the side walk. They were touching the side walk because of being weighed down with so much ice. The wind chill was -10 to -20 for a week or two straight. Whatever is a runner to do?

This runner runs. I layered up. I got thick gloves, wore several pairs of socks, and lathered up my face with Vaseline to break the wind on my only exposed skin. The day of the aforementioned snow storm, I ran. I had 10 miles planned, but I only made it 5. I finished up at the indoor track. This is part of what makes me "relentless," I guess. But to me there is something about taking on a storm that shut down the midwest. I remember another run from this brutally cold February where I ran 12 miles in the -20 wind chill. I devised a strategy where I would run into the wind for so long, then run with the wind to warm back up.

During February I built from 35 to 40 miles per week.

March: The mileage build up continues. March was great for running. I got sick at the end, but took a few days off and recovered. I had a lot of big stuff with school this month, including presenting my research to several department chairs, the dean of my department, and the president of the university. Big month! I built from 40 to 46 miles per week this month.

April: I had a craaazy fun relay race this month. 8 runners, 80 miles in a the hilliest part of Illinois! Met some great people who I'm still in touch with. I was wrapping things up and getting ready to graduate college. I built up from 46 to 50 miles per week this month.

May: Graduation, wooo hooooo! Right after graduation I went out for a 15 mile run. After that I celebrated in the only way college students know how! When I got back to my friends place after running, a few (unsober) people there were like "Dude! You're the running guy! I see you EVERYWHERE!"

Later this month, things started to fall apart a little bit. My right knee started feeling funky, and I had a sore spot in one of my Achilles, which felt like my shoe was rubbing strangely. These stuck around for a little bit, but cross training solved the knee problem, and some pads to protect my Achilles solved that problem. I also got my fancy Garmin in May (graduation money rocks)!

June & July: These months went pretty well. I had a problem in my right ankle which forced me to take a week off. It was an over training injury after a weekend walking around Chicago and running 16 miles. I also biked 15 miles to a 5k, then got 2nd place. That day was awesome!

August: Great month for running, except at the end. I moved to Kentucky and met TONS of runners down here! I twisted my ankle at the end of the month, but it healed up real quick. Hey, I'll take it!

September: Here we are! This was a good month, until last weekend. I had my best week of training ever. I was feeling invincible! I made too many mistakes in one week and my body said "settle down!" That week I made the following mistakes: ran on an off day because I felt like it, ran too fast on a rest day, then ran a hard track workout Thursday and a 24 mile run Sunday. All in all, it was too much for my body to handle. Any one of the factors probably wouldn't have pushed me over the edge, but together it resulted in me getting hip checked into the side line.

Now, here am with ice on my hip. Drugged up on Aleve. Am I discouraged? Not at all. Look at this crazy ride I've been on! My hip will heal and I'll be back on the road again. Right now its feeling about as good as it did Saturday morning before my run, so by the time I'm actually running again this weekend, it should be good as new!

If you actually read this whole thing, thanks for reading!

Happy running,


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Never Will I Break

I woke up today and my hip was feeling fairly good. Definitely not perfect, but not horrible either. I spent 90 minutes on the exercise bike, as promised. I mostly just spaced out for the majority of the time listening to music, but one song stuck out to me: Three Doors Down -- Never Will I Break. Part of the chorus is "At least a million times have I fallen, but never will I break," and it really stuck with me!

I did a little thinking during the ride too, about how I might do things with my racing once my hip is back in working order. Maybe I'm setting myself up for a let down, but I'm continuing to be optimistic. Regardless, with a four week taper I obviously won't be in the best shape to race come October 7th. I will lose a little bit of my fitness this month no matter how many miles I put in on that exercise bike.

The idea I'm currently flirting with is to run fairly easy at Chicago. I'm thinking run 20 minutes slower than originally planned, to put me in range to qualify for Boston. This way, even if I have some lingering injuries after the race my plans won't be shot for the spring. After Chicago, I'm looking at recovering for a week, having one hard week of training, then a two week taper and running Marshall University Marathon on November 4th, and here I would go for my 2:50 marathon.

A lot has to go just right for this plan to happen, and I realize this. I need to get this hip functional in the next week or so, but I'm staying optimistic about it. I also need to make it through Chicago injury free, which could be iffy since my 24 mile run sidelined me for a short period. However, I have narrowed down the cause of my injury to my new shoes and a weak core. Hopefully by fixing the causes, the effect won't come back!

I hope everybody else has had a more exciting weekend than me (grading and doing homework)!


Saturday, September 15, 2007

Taper Time

Some of you may have read a post I had up here for an hour or two. I decided to delete it because moping around isn't my style.

I've decided my taper started last week. Running 20 miles next weekend is out of the question, so I'm looking at a four week taper now. Things can't always go as planned. I have 22 days to heal up to make it to the start line of Chicago, otherwise I won't make it to the finish.

Given the tone of this, you may have guessed my hip isn't doing too hot. You may have guessed right. I've been taking care of it all day and it still hurts, and I know running on it was a stupid thing to do; regardless of it feeling great before and during the run.

After finishing my grading for the day, I started looking at what the diagnosis could be. I don't think its tendinitis anymore; the two culprits are bursitis and inflamed fascia. Luckily, both of them have very similar treatments. Ice and drugs. One of them even has a quick fix which I'm going to look into next weekend. Bursitis can be healed very quickly with a steroid injection into the hip. It breaks things up and makes the hip happy again; so I'm hoping that will help! My dad (a doctor) is going to hook me up when I go home next weekend.

I'm going to switch my anti-inflammatory of choice from Tylenol to Aleve per my dad's suggestion. He told me to "blast it with two in the morning and two in the evening every day," and I think I will start doing just that! Update: I took some Aleve and its really doing the trick, I should have taken your advice a week ago, SLB! On top of that I need to keep icing and stretching it, but most importantly, I need to not run on it.

At this point I've done my moping and thats no fun, so now all my energy is going towards getting to the starting line.

By having this extended taper, I believe running a 2:50 will be out of the question. Pending on a whole slew of factors, my new goal will be either 3:00 or 3:10. Maybe I'll end up running with Nic, who knows. If running under 3 hours is going to jeopardize my running after the race, it can wait until later!

I'm determined to stay in good spirits despite this set back, sitting around feeling sorry for myself won't get me anywhere! I want to follow SLB's lead and stay on top of my recovery until I'm back on the road!


When I woke up this morning my hip was feeling pretty good. I had a different pain that, in my lack of an equally accurate word, was in my left butt cheek. Since it wasn't a pain associated with a joint, I decided a run would be a good idea; and it felt great to get out there!

The weather this morning was around 55 degrees, which is a rare treat after this summer. My hip never had a horrible pain during the run, but a very dull pain was present. One rather strange detail is that when I run faster, it hurts less. The only explanation I can think of is that when I run slower, I could be putting some of my energy into vertical motion which results in landing harder on my hip. When I go faster, more energy goes into horizontal motion so there is less up and down pounding. Anybody have other ideas?

Immediately after my run, my hip wasn't feeling pleasant. I stretched, iced, and massaged it as soon as I was done. Right now, it feels worlds better than it did a few hours ago; it isn't painful but I can tell it isn't exactly appreciating the 4 miles. I'm hoping putting it in motion at least loosened it up a little bit, but that could be dumb of me.

Tomorrow is going to be played by ear. If it feels absolutely amazing in the morning I will go out for another run. Otherwise I'm going to hit the demon-spawned exercise bike for 90 minutes in place of my step back long run. Yeah. 90 minutes. I better get some really good music on my iPod.

This hip problem is getting very, very frustrating. If it persists much longer I'm going to just call it a 4 week taper before the marathon and hope it works on race day, then still functions well enough to drag myself onto the plane to get back to school.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Massage & Nutrition

Today was day one of making a few changes to my diet. It isn't full swing yet, but I'm giving it a go. I'm going to list what I ate today so it is open to public scrutiny and will help me get things right. You will notice I eat very, very frequently.

7:00 Frosted Mini Wheats for breakfast
8:00 Drank about 12-16oz of water during class
9:00 Banana after class
10-11 OJ/Blackberry Smoothie (made too much, but drank all of it. About 4 cups worth)
11:00 Rice for lunch (about 650 calories worth)
12:30 Apple on the way to office hours
1:50 Clif bar after office hours
3:30 Apple on the way to my massage
6:30 Left over hamburger helper for dinner
6:30 Chocolate milk with dinner

I will still probably eat something before bed. I don't know what, but I'll be hungry again soon! Update: I started eating again before I finished writing this, some Wheat Thins.

As you see above, I got a massage today. It felt pretty good (duh) and left my legs feeling great! My legs were extremely, extremely tight; which could likely be a cause of the injury in my hip. I do know from prior knowledge that tight muscles lead to injury, so it isn't just masseuse-trying-to-get-my-money hype. She recommended not running for two days afterwards, but honestly, two days off because of a massage? I think not!

My left hip is feeling pretty good afterwards. I plan to at least go for a test run tomorrow, even if I don't make it my prescribed 13 miles. I really need to not take any risks so close to the race; even if I end up having to take a 4 week taper as opposed to 2 week, I'll still be in shape to run under 3 hours. Taking a stupid risk could end up with me not even making it to the start line!

On a more flatulent note: since having my massage I've has a serious case of gas. I don't know if this is normal or not, but I thought I would attack your unsuspecting senses with a mental whiff. I don't see anywhere in my blog description: "I'm trying to woo the ladies with my very appropriate writing topics which have nothing to do with the secretion of gas," so I thought I would share that with you all. Enjoy!


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Nutrition: Round One

I'm that guy everybody has a grudge against for being naturally skinny. Go ahead, hold that grudge! During the summer in high school I would sit at the computer all day and my diet consisted largely of Doritos and Coca Cola; I didn't gain a pound. I'm lucky in that sense. However, this luck left me with little interest in nutrition for most of my life.

I started caring a lot more this year when I really started training seriously, I did the basic things to improve my diet without doing any real research. I cut pop / soda out of my diet, stopped eating a majority of the junk food, went for a lot of carbs to fuel my long runs; things of that nature. Sure, I knew I should be eating more fruits and veggies like Mom always told me, but those rules don't apply to me anymore, right?! (wrong)

This summer I had a friend, Dan W, who was probably the biggest health nut I (or any of you) will ever meet. He was full of information about good and bad foods to eat, and started getting me on the look out for high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils in the ingredient lists of things I eat. I looked a little bit, but ultimately if I wanted to eat something, I would.

Recently SLB put on his apron and threatened to do horrible, horrible things as he pulled out his rolling pin if I didn't shape up in terms of nutrition. I ordered the book he suggested and it came in the mail today, as I mentioned earlier, which immediately gave me reason to procrastinate grading! I read the first little bit and decided I'm going to take this nutrition thing in phases. I can't just turn it around over night, but I'm starting to make changes now!

I learned quite a bit in the first chapter or two. I learned I'm not drinking enough water. Remember that old rule of 8 cups of water a day? Yeah, that doesn't cut it when you're active. Try 16! Thats right, if your pee has color in it, you better get to drinking! I always keep a water bottle with me, but I'm going to drink a lot more now that I got the inside scoop on hydration.

Hmmm! What else did I learn? Oh yes. Fruits and veggies. Eat them! They're very important in those vitamins and minerals and they help prevent injury since they provide what your body needs to rebuild itself. What? Oh, this hip? I guess I should have gotten this book sooner!

Next up, whole grains! When you're not eating whole grains you're eating, well, partial grains. If you're only eating part of it, you're probably missing out on something, don't you think? Yeah. You thought right. The extra goodness in whole grain helps fight disease and offers more vitamins, mineral, and fibers. Sure, most of us probably knew this, I think I had it stored in the back of the vault somewhere, but I'm actually making the switch.

I went to Walmart tonight, since I'm taking my car into the shop tomorrow and don't know when I'll get it back. I made up a list of what I wanted and decided I would cover at least as much as I mentioned above. I switched to whole grain bread and bagels, and bought a whole bunch of fruit including: bananas, apples, frozen mangos, frozen pine apple chunks, frozen black berries, and sliced peaches. I bought a blender too, per a friend of mines recommendation. He makes a ton of smoothies every week to get all his fruits and suggested I do the same; anything tastes good once its a smoothie, right?

And now that I will be without a car for the next few days, I'm locked up in my apartment with only this healthy stuff to eat, so this ought to be good for me!

Its a big change, though, because generally speaking, I'm one picky eater. I usually try new things if they're offered to me, but rarely on my own. I am the one person on this planet who doesn't like lettuce, and that is not going to change unless I get amnesia; or maybe if someone can prove simply by eating lettuce I will knock 20 minutes off my marathon time, not likely!

Theres still other changes I have to make to my diet, but they will come in time. Things to add include: fish, even more fruits and veggies, and whatever else this nutrition bible recommends. For now, I need to work on getting used to this batch of new stuff!

Round one!


Last day on the sweat machine?

My hip feels great today! But as promised, today was another day on the dreaded sweat machine. Someone actually was on the workout room today too. Five minutes into my workout, a guy got on the treadmill. Fifteen minutes into my workout, he was done -- nice workout, dude. I sat on the bike for exactly one hour today, and according to the machine that I'm convinced needs to be calibrated, I rode 22.1 miles. These last few days make me feel like Marcy, except I've never had conversations with my crotch, thank God!

Since this is all I have about my workout, here is my heart rate chart during my biking. See, I'm not slacking on the bike! I left my workout going on my watch after I stopped, which is why there is a drop at the end.

I'm sticking with my usual heating, icing, tylenoling scheme today, even though my hip feels great. I figure it can't be 100% just yet, so I'm going to give it as much encouragement as possible to get there! After tomorrow off, and the massage, I'm extremely optimistic it will be ready to go Saturday; but honestly, when aren't I optimistic?

The book I ordered Monday night should be here soon. I got the 3-5 day shipping on Amazon, but according to their tracking website its already somewhere in Lexington, even though the earliest estimated delivery date was the 17th; hey, I'll take it! Update: The book just got here, approximately 60 hours after I ordered it with one of the cheapest shipping options. I love amazon!

Also, the other day CollegeGirl suggested Pilates to help strengthen my core. I might look into it sometime after Chicago since I don't want to mix things up too much this close to the race. If you know of any good books on them, let me know!

Thats all I got for you. I need to clean up and eat so I can get to grading a bunch of quizzes and labs. Is it bad that I look forward to grading simply because sometimes the answers are so ridiculously stupid I have to take a break because I'm laughing so hard? Does that make me a horrible person?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

More miles to nowhere...

Okay. I admit it. I'm sidelined again.

After my long run Saturday lots of things hurt. If it was between my waist and my knee, it wasn't feeling very pleasant. However, as my quads and hamstrings healed up, one pain stuck around; my left hip! I ran Sunday because it all pretty much blended together. I took Monday off as per usual, and ran Tuesday because it felt better than Monday; and because I'm stupidly stubborn.

Today I decided to stop being so stubborn and admit that I need a break, again. Its really frustrating since I had to take a week off for my ankle just two weeks ago, but I gotta do what I gotta do. Running is only going to cause more harm than good right now, and thats what I gotta focus on!

I've been doing my wonderful icing, heating, stretching, tylonel(ing?) routine the past couple days, and its making progress. Especially since I jumped on the sweat machine (stationary bike) rather than running today. It actually felt good on my walk back from class, which is really promising since it was hurting pretty good on the way back yesterday. Tomorrow will be more time on the sweat machine, regardless of how good my hip feels, its getting the extra day off! I can't afford to take any chances with the marathon in 25 days.

My friend Stephanie also told me she had hip problems a little while ago and a massage fixed her right up. This Friday I have a massage scheduled with the lady she suggested. I figure best case: my hip works again, and worst case: I get a massage. So, um, I'll take it! I have extra birthday money laying around anyways!

Two days ago SLB gave me a motherly scolding about my diet. However, instead of giving him an "I knowwww mommmmmmmmm," I'm going to take his advice. I ordered the book he suggested pretty much right after he suggested it, since it was only $15 on amazon. Honestly, I thought I was doing pretty good for myself, but if I can revamp my eating habits in order to run faster and feel healthier, I'll take it!

Hope everybody's running is going good. Put in a few miles for me :)


Monday, September 10, 2007


After this weekend theres only a few words to describe how I feel, "exhausted" and "pooped" are probably the best. I felt pretty good this morning, but it hit me square in the face about halfway through the day; that zombie-like feeling we get on days we get 3 hours of sleep and can't seem to find any caffeine. The only difference is, I got 8 hours of sleep last night, and took a nap yesterday, and the day before!

I'm going to go ahead and plead guilty and admit to a little bit of over training, who's surprised? Not me! This week was a planned recovery week anyways, so I'm just going to take it extra easy. The game plan is to cut back the miles to about 60% of usual, and get some extra sleep. I canceled my morning group runs and decided a few extra hours of sleep is good for me.

I'll be honest too and admit there is a little kink in my left hip. It feels a ton better than it did this morning, so I'm not too worried; but another reason to take it easy this week! I self diagnosed myself with a minor case of tendinitis in my left hip, and did a little reading. The cause is due to putting in a lot of miles while having a weak core. The solution is to get back on top of my ab workouts, and complement them with some exercises for my lower back. Also, since its a tendon issue again, I gotta get on top of eating a lot of fruits and veggies since they help heal up tendons and ligaments.

Heres a brief summary of problems I've had recently and solutions that work for me:
  • Knees: Extra, and correct stretching seems to completely alleviate my knee problems.
  • Ankles: Once again, stretching helps. I'm also keeping on top of some ankle strengthening exercises to beef up what my sister calls my "sissy girl ankles."
  • Hip: Hey, guess what: stretching. On top of that, core strength training to help stabilize everything.
  • Shins: Do I really need to say stretching again? Also, once I started doing a warm up and cool down with every hard run my shin problems completely dissipated.
Today I also did what I always do on rest days. Thats right, I looked at running stuff online during my office hours. I started gandering around for some ultras to do next year, and one jumped out and bit me in the face! I'm already planning a fairly 'easy' (relative term) 50k for January 12th. Although there is another much more challenging one on February 23rd, which is mostly on single track and has some serious hills. Its the Mount Cheaha 50K Trail Run, check out this elevation chart! I think this would be a great test run to see if I've really got what it takes to do the Pikes Peak Marathon in August of 2008.

My race calendar is getting pretty packed, but I should have a month or so to take it relatively easy and heal up after Chicago. So far it looks like I'll have races: Jan 12, Feb 23, April 21, August (??), and probably something in the fall. All of this is definitely subject to change, based on how injury free I can stay. This also shows how (overly) optimistic I am, although I'm not chiseling any of this into my wall just yet, I could easily cancel any of these based on the circumstances that come up.

Happy running!


Sunday, September 9, 2007

Weekly Recap 09/03/07 - 09/09/07

Whew, one crazy week! I'm somewhat surprised I survived. But here I am, and here is the recap.

Monday: Usually a rest day, but I felt like running! 4 1/2 miles this day, it felt great to go out and run for fun!

Tuesday: Tempo/hill workout. I didn't run as hard as usual because I wasn't sure how my ankle would react to a hard workout. It handled it just fine.

Wednesday: Recovery run *after* my 8am class, when the sun was out and I could see those pot holes! Good run, it was too quick for a recovery run.

Thursday: Yasso 800's! This run told me I'm in better shape than I thought. I averaged 2:48.6 for 10x 800m with active rest. This tells me I should be ready for a 2:50 at Chicago!

Friday: Rest! Finally! Lots of stretching, rice, and pasta.

Saturday: Long long run, 24 miles! This run felt great. I had a slight pain in my left hip the evening after this, but it didn't stick around.

Sunday: Easy 5 miles with the Bluegrass Runners. I took this run very easy because of my legs recovering from my extremely long run yesterday.

Total mileage: 56.55, a new high!

All in all this was a great week of training. I may have pushed it too hard, since I had to cut back a little bit last week for my ankle. Regardless, it is said and done. We will find out if I'm able to recover from it over the course of the next few days. Next week is a recovery week, and I need it! One hard week after that, then its time for taper madness!

Happy running,


Recovery, group runs, ice cream, and a new training partner!

Hoooeyyyy, my legs do not feel pleasant today! Nothing feels like injury, just the usual aches and pains of the day after a long run. Quads are killing me, hamstrings are tight, that usual game. I did a lot of stretching today to at least loosen my legs up a little bit, and even made it out to my group run tonight, which ended up being an ice cream social afterwards!

The run hurt pretty good, but ultimately it helped loosen my legs up a little bit. Because of the ice cream social, a ton of people showed up tonight. One of whom will probably be a training partner for Boston. Its pretty rare to find other runners at my pace, but I knew there had to be some out here! But here's the catch: its a girl that can keep up with me. She's never really trained properly for a marathon, but has run around 3 hours. Talking to her I found out one of her goals is to run a 2:47 to qualify for the Olympic Trials! This reminds me a lot of high school, honestly, because back then my usual training partner was a girl who was the #2 cross country runner in the state. Needless to say, I'm pumped about having someone to train with!

Right now, my legs aren't feeling perfect, but they feel better than before my run. This recovery run is very much needed after this extremely intense week of training (see weekly recap, I'll be posting that right after this). I don't think I'll be running very many hard miles this week, and if I do I need you guys to start yelling at me!

I hope everybody else's training is going well!


Saturday, September 8, 2007

24 Miles: Focus on Strength and Efficiency

"Focus on Strength and Efficiency," that was my mantra at the end of my run today. Sure, it doesn't have a ring to it. I'm not a poet, I'm a runner and a computer scientist, deal with it! It was exactly what I needed, though. Staying focused kept me from accidentally falling into a mental slump, strength as a reminder to focus on a good push off each step, and efficiency is another way of saying "good posture." Posture is what gets a lot of people near the end of races. They get tired, stop holding their body in an efficient position, use more energy, and its a downward spiral from there. Very important stuff!

I started my run with Kristin and Jill at a pretty easy pace. I think I accidentally pushed them a little too hard, but I was only running with them for the first 3 miles since we were running with separate groups once everybody else showed up. Then I ran 2 more on my own because I didn't want to stand around for 20 minutes. After this I took off with Ken, John, and a guy who's name escapes me; I'm bad with names. We ran about 7:45 to 8:00 per mile for most the run, I have a tendency to push the pace of whoever I'm running with, Kristin called it "The Doug Effect." I'm not sure if its a good thing or not!

The miles rolled on. Five dogs, three gu's, a lot of Gatorade, and 23 1/2 miles later, I arrived back at the club house. Wait! Crap! 23.5?! The hardest part of the run had to be running past the club house for a quarter mile and back to get my full distance in, but I made it! Afterwards my legs felt pretty heavy, but I doubt anybody is very surprised by that. I have no pain that feels like injury, just the usual muscle soreness after a long run.

I stuck around and socialized for a while, talking to the various runners who were still around. One guy asked me "Does UK's track coach know you're here in Lexington?", which I thought was quite the compliment, but I definitely don't have time to be on the team! Traveling to meets takes up way too much time, and I'm not sure if graduate students can join the team anyways.

During my run today, I was talking to Ken about various races we were planning to do. I mentioned that I was considering doing a 50k in January. When he was leaving, he said five words that hit home, "good luck with your ultra!" Woah. I've never heard anybody say that to me before! This very well made it official that I'm going to be running that 50k. Five words is all it took.

Eventually I left, and on the way back listened to some of my favorite songs lately, by Switchfoot: This is your life, Meant to live, and (appropriately) Twenty Four.

On the way back, though, I saw a car accident which easily could have been me. It was near an interstate off ramp intersecting the road I was on. The light was green, so I was going through. The van waiting at the light from the off ramp was making a right turn, and was edging forward to go after me. However, the truck behind the van thought they were going. When the van stopped, the truck slammed into it. Not like a fender bender, either. The van's back window completely shattered and the truck's air bag went off.

Nobody looked injured, although the person in the van looked shaken up. I can't help but think if the van wasn't there, the truck would have ran straight into me since he clearly wasn't paying attention. People aren't joking when they say accidents happen fast, either. All of it happened really, really fast.

And now I'm recovering from my run with my post-run lunch of champions: Hamburger Helper. Carbs to restore some fuel, lots of protein to rebuild muscles, and plenty of tastiness to go around! All with a big glass of OJ to get some sugars.

I think its time for a well earned post-run nap!

Happy running,


Friday, September 7, 2007

Rice, Pasta, Chocolate Milk, and Stretching

Ah, Friday. My much needed rest day this week. Because of my fun run on Monday, I've had workouts of some sort Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday; three of which were difficult.

Today I'm mostly getting ready for my long run tomorrow; the game plan is 24 miles, the peak distance in my training. Starting last night, I'm making sure everything I eat counts. Nothing like poor diet getting in the way of a long run. This is especially difficult because I just got cookies in the mail from my family, and I had to limit myself to just a few until Saturday!

I can definitely feel my workout yesterday. I'm not horribly sore, but I can definitely feel it in my hamstrings. With a bit of stretching today, they shouldn't pose much of a problem tomorrow, especially since I plan to run the whole long run at an easy pace.

Tomorrow the run will be out at Todd's Road. I'm still trying to figure out exactly who I'll be running with, but someone will probably turn up. Its very hard for me to find someone to run with on these runs, since my relaxed pace tends to be a bit faster than other's. I know there are a few guys who will run 13-ish around my pace, so maybe I'll just end up doing the last 10 alone; I can handle that!

Unless something goes horribly wrong the next two days, this will undoubtedly be my highest mileage week ever. My current high is 52, and tomorrows run will put me at 51 for the week and I still have some miles to put in on Sunday.

Heres to rice for lunch, pasta for dinner, some chocolate milk, and a lot of stretching,


Thursday, September 6, 2007

My friend Yasso says....

...its time to start taking names.

I ran my Yasso 800 workout this morning, and it went great! For those unfamiliar, Yasso 800's is a workout where you do 10x800m, with an active recovery equal to the time of each repeat. Whats so great about this? For a lot of runners, it proves as an accurate predictor of marathon performance. The idea is, if you can run each 800m repeat in 3 minutes and 15 seconds, you're in shape to run a marathon in 3 hours and 15 minutes.

If you Google it, you'll find a lot of controversy around it because it only works for some runners. I wanted to find out if I'm one of them or not, so I ran it. Whats the worst that could happen? I get a good workout in? I think I'm okay with that risk.

So, what did my friend Yasso tell me? He told me I'm ready to go. Here are my 800m splits:


average: 2:48.6

And here is the MotionBased goodness:

So, does this mean I'm in shape for a 2:48 marathon? Maybe. Either way, it was one of my best workouts in a while and shows me I'm in a lot better shape than I thought I was! Now I just need to recover in time for my long run on Saturday morning.

Happy running!


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

"Recovery" run without a twist

Running after the sun was up definitely made this recovery run go better! Not only did I not twist my ankle, sometimes its just more fun to run when there are people around. Maybe I'm being a pain to other people (you know, those crazy non-runners, I'll never understand them!), but I have a blast finding a path around people who are stumbling to their "early" 10am classes.

In fact, I might be having too much fun for a recovery run. Because for me "fun" translates into "not paying attention to how fast I'm running" and I end up running my easy day too hard. I'm hoping it doesn't catch up to me tomorrow when I have a hard workout on the track, but theres nothing I can do about it now! Maybe taking a nap later today will help. Yes, I think that is definitely the way to mend this problem; no doubt about it!

All in all, the run felt great; albeit a little quick. Okay. More than a little quick.

The details of this run are:

6:29 (oops!)
1:57 (for 0.27 miles, 7:21 pace)

Distance: 5.27
Time: 36:23 (6:54/mile)

On a note completely unrelated to running, my first big slew of grad school homework is due today. I've been working on it pretty much non-stop since Saturday afternoon, and its a huge relief to have it out of my hands! I was worried about struggling through a few problems, but after talking to some of the other people in class it sounds as though I'm doing better than I thought; maybe I'm cut out for this grad school thing after all!

Happy running,


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Enjoying every step of it!

We've all heard the old saying "you don't know what you've got until its gone." For me, when training is going good I generally take for granted what I'm capable of. This last week though, I got that horrible taste of injury. Running was gone and I missed it!

Maybe I'll shut up about enjoying running again sometime in the next week or so, but I'm still loving every step of it!

This morning was 7 miles, two miles of which was on a pretty hilly stretch. All in all I averaged a little under 7 minute miles, but tended to speed up throughout the run. My ankle felt as good as before I twisted it, so I'm definitely back now. Jim kept telling me where the bad stretches of road were (read: pot holes), and a few people kept asking me about my ankle during the run, so every time I would start paying attention and ask:

Brain: "So, ankle, how ya doin'?!"
Brain: "Yessssss!" *fist pump* (think: Napoleon Dynamite)

Afterwards it felt completely normal, too, which is great since this was my first hard run since spraining it. Mentally I feel a lot better this week too, because without my endorphins I just get to feeling blah! I am an endorphiend, after all!

Current game plan: Recovery run tomorrow (AFTER my morning class, you know, when I can see the pot holes), Yasso 800's Thursday, 24 miles Saturday. Sunday is still up in the air, I want to run 10 miles, but due to my unscheduled run yesterday it would put me at a whooping 62 miles this week, and that could be begging for injury.

Happy running!


Monday, September 3, 2007

Running for the love of it

Today I got in another great run. Normally, I don't run on Mondays but I was getting antsy. I wasn't quite sure what kind of run to make it, so I just went out and ran however I felt!

Running simply to enjoy it is such a treat, and today pointed out to me I need to do it more often! It may be difficult when I'm peaking in my marathon training, but I have a new goal to have some fun with a few of my runs every week. Going out today simply because I felt like it was great! Don't get me wrong, I enjoy going out for all my runs. I feel like my day just drags around on days I don't run (last week was horrible).

As for the details of this run, I ran for about 4 1/2 miles. I didn't have a set distance. I just ran a few little loops however fast I felt, which actually turned out pretty quick since my legs are completely rested after a few days off. Some of the time I was even down to 6:30 pace without even thinking about it, which really raises my confidence level for the marathon (in 33 days)!

Tomorrow training resumes as usual, stay tuned for more of me being revved up about being back on the roads!


Sunday, September 2, 2007

2.36 Miles of Awesome

Today I had my first run since Wednesday, and it was wonderful. I made it a short one, just in case. I wasn't going to get a huge benefit out of a simple five mile run anyways, so I treated this run solely as a test for my ankle. It passed with a B+ or so.

It never hurt during the run, but it started to feel a little tired towards the end. I think it just needs to get loosened up a little bit. After this run I am planning to commence normal training on Tuesday, with the possibility of another test run if I get antsy tomorrow.

Getting out on the roads felt great today, though. The first block or two was vary cautious, as it should have been, listening intently to my ankle. Although after that, I just got into it and went a little faster than I should have. It also helped that every time I come back from an injury, it seems people are waiting for me. Today I was running down the side walk by a fairly busy road, and a car full of strangers honked, waved, and cheered me on as I was going along. Great boost after having a couple days off!

Afterwards everything felt good. I kept icing my ankle afterwards as a precaution, and I will continue to do so for the next week or so.

I'm continuing with my array of different ankle stretches, on both ankles now. I've also been doing a few different ankle strengthening exercises to try and beef up my ankles so they stop getting injured so easily.

Its great to be back!

Happy running,


Saturday, September 1, 2007

Forty Miles to.... Nowhere?

A week ago, I had a 24 mile run scheduled for today. Well, for anybody reading you probably know of the pothole that changed my plans. Since I couldn't let myself off the hook on some sort of endurance feat today, I headed to my apartment's fitness center and jumped on the bike.

I'm not sure I can imagine anything more boring than working out on something that doesn't move. I know a lot of people work out regularly on treadmills, stationary bikes, elliptical machines, etc; honestly, I have no clue how you tolerate it! I even brought my iPod along to keep me entertained, but all in all it wasn't as rewarding as actually going outside, going somewhere, seeing things!

The most eventful part of the workout was when I decided to take a halfway break to walk around and make sure I wasn't tearing my ankle apart without realizing it; luckily, I wasn't! However, although the bike had a nifty 'pause' button, the moment I stopped pedaling it turned off and reset my workout; makes sense right?! This happened again when I dropped my water bottle and had to stop, so I have no clue how far I really biked, but I was questioning its accuracy anyways. I did wear my Garmin to track my heart rate though, and I went for 2 hours!

During the ride, my mind wandered aimlessly. In the process I realized I'm just as excited, if not more so, about my sister running her first marathon than I am about whatever I end up running it in! She's been having a few problems with over training and general fatigue, but I'm sure she'll pull through. Our parents don't raise no wusses!

Well, now that I'm done eating a huge lunch, its time to hit the books for a while. Tomorrow I'm finally hitting the pavement again! Today I woke up and couldn't really feel a difference between my ankles; good news!

Happy running,