Sunday, May 28, 2006

Training 5/22 - 5/28

Mon-Boatman Hill Rd, 4 mi, 30:30, 7:37/mi

Weight-lifting, 30 min


PT Exercises, 18 min

Tues- Tripp 10K, 6.2 mi, 45:55, 7:24/mi

PT Exercises, 18 min

Wed-PT Exercises and met with my physical therapist. I’m continuing to have upper tibia pain at times and mostly when running. I asked if I could run twice per day. He approved me to run 4 miles twice per day as fast as I want. Appointment in one week.

Thurs-Rock Quarry, 6 mi, 45:55, 7:39/mi

Boatman Hill Rd, 4 mi, 32:17, 8:04/mi

PT exercises, 18 min

Fri-Boatman Hill Rd, 4 mi, 35:57, 8:59/mi; legs feeling sore and tired

Boatman Hill Rd, 4 mi, 38:15, 9:34/mi

PT exercises, 18 min

Saturday-MKT, 4.4 mi, 37:05, 8:26/mi

Boatman Hill Rd, 4 mi, 43:15, 10:49/mi (feeling really stuffed from dinner at Lone Star and sore legs)

PT Exercises, 18 min

Sun-Cycling, 15 mi, 1:08:18, 4:30/mi; no pain at all in tibia when cycling

The tibia is still giving me problems. At least 2 nights this week (including Sat. night), the pain has awoken me. I mowed yard today and it didn’t even bother me at all. I’ve barely noticed it at all today other than this morning when I woke up.

When running sometimes it hurts the entire run and sometimes only the last 2 miles. The pain isn’t so great that I can’t run, but it is there. Once I start walking, it is usually gone. I’m not planning ahead at the moment for races and training and just taking one day at a time. I was happy with my milage this week and much better than last week. The hills are challenging. If I can keep up the twice per day running, I should be able to get some good milage and build a base even if I can't run much more than 4 miles at a time for awhile. Although, I'm seriously considering taking several consecutive days off from running this week to see if that corrects the problem.

Weekly running miles: 36.6

YTD: 803.5

Monday, May 22, 2006

Training May 15 - 21/Paws in the Park

Mon-weights, 63 min, stretch

Tues- Jaira's Jaunt, 7.1 mi, 58:47, 8:17/mi; I wasn’t sure how far I was going to run, but decided to do the entire course after the first 2 miles since legs felt pretty good. The hills were tough for me though.

Wed-Met with my physical therapist for the first time to evaluate my ankles. My ankles are causing me to severely overpronate so that every time I step down a lot of the weight is distributed on my inner right ankle and outside left ankle. My arches are collapsing inward with the right one worse than the left. The right inside ankle has pain while running and the left hurts after running long. Every time I run long, I am basically spraining my left ankle which is causing stiffness, pain, and swelling. The PT says that my recent pain/discomfort in my right leg (top inside of tibia) is likely caused by my ankle problem. He had me complete some walking and standing tests and it was quite obvious to me that I have a problem. I can’t walk like a normal person.

The only treatment is orthotics (arch supports) and we are starting with over the counter. He told me to get the biggest arch supports that I can find and maybe new shoes. I purchased a pair of Mizuno, Wave Inspire which were recommended at the store. At first, the PowerStep arch support felt a bit severe, but by the end of the night they felt better. The ankles look a lot straighter. These should allow me to run more efficiently and with less effort. I’m also wearing the arch supports in my other shoes since it makes it much easier to walk as well. I am supposed to wear shoes as much as possible and it is difficult anyway for me to walk without shoes. He also gave me some exercises to do to help strengthen my feet and ankles.

Thurs-Rain Run, 7.1 mi, 51:15, 7:13/mi; I ran with the new shoes and inserts. Everything felt okay and a very decent run although I should probably have run only 2 – 3 miles in the new shoes to get used to them.

PT exercises, 10 min

Fri-I met with the PT again and today learned a few more exercises and a couple stretches. He wants me to soak my feet in cold water every night for 10 min plus ice the tibia area. I’m also supposed to limit my runs to about 4 miles for now, but can run as fast as I want to run. I also have to do the new exercises twice per day. Exercises/stretches take about 18 min to complete.

Saturday-Paws in the Park 5K (actually about 3.4 miles)
The dogs didn’t seem to suspect anything unusual on Saturday as we dressed for our run. I took them both out for a walk before we left. Then we loaded them into the car and they were overly excited in anticipation of getting to run. We arrived about 30 minutes early so they had plenty of time to sniff and growl at other dogs. Rusty takes more offense to the sniffing and Bruno doesn’t seem to mind.

We were told to line up runners without dogs and then runners with dogs. This didn’t make any sense to me since the runners with dogs always start faster. There were no runners without dogs brave enough to get in front so several runners with dogs were in front at the start line. There was one tall runner with his dog and they both looked fast so I figured I wouldn’t have a chance to beat him unless he had a problem with his dog.

We were off to a fast start with Rusty pulling. For a brief moment I noticed Hugh and Bruno not far behind us. I was in second place and the fast guy was already pulling ahead. This run was on the MKT trail and an out and back. The first mile was 6:20 and Rusty had already started to slow down a bit. I held the leash loosely but was slightly pulling him from that point. The second mile was about 7:04. I was not getting closer to the guy in first place so I knew we weren’t going to win this year. The last leg of the race we ran in 8:30, and finished in 21:54. However, 2 people with GPS’s said they had 3.4 and 3.5 miles and I suspect that was correct since several people’s times were slower than they expected. I expected to finish in about 20 minutes with Rusty based on last year’s time.

Hugh finished 4th person/male with dog. Bruno kept going and didn’t stop once during the race and no potty incidents on the course. No runners without dogs finished ahead of the first 4 guys with dogs. Unfortunately, only 1st place in this race gets a prize so we went home without anything (other than a free frisbee and tennis ball from one of the vendors), but the dogs seemed to really enjoy the race and seeing the other dogs and people.

Sun-Boatman Hill Road, 4 miles, 38:53, 9:43/mi; I felt tired so took it very easy.

PT exercises twice, 36 min

The tibia is feeling better and ankles are fine. As soon as I go 2 days in a row without any tightness or pain, I will know for sure if it is cured. It seems to be a little less each day and at times, there is no problem at all. The ankles are fine, but the real test will happen whenever I start to run long again. Miles are really low, but I guess now is a good time to heal everything. I’m uncertain as to what I will do for training since 4 mile runs were not in the plan, but at least I can run shorter races and fast for now. I don’t really want to push it too much and run long until everything feels right.

Weekly running miles: 21.5

YTD: 766.9

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Training May 8 - 14


Tues- Dreier's Dirty Dozen (short course)-5.5 mi, 55:28, 10:05/mi; Quads pretty sore so took it very easy. Once I started, the ankle loosened up and felt fine. I probably should have made the run shorter since my quads were not recovered at all.


Thurs-MKT to bridge-8 mi, 1:07:50, 8:29/mi; Quads felt better, but 6 miles would have been more appropriate.


Saturday-MKT-10 miles, 1:26:35, 8:39/mi; Legs felt more recovered, but should have only run 8 miles. Inside side of .lower leg below the knee felt tight and hurt slightly the last couple miles.


Leg feels better today, but I've obviously done something to it. I think my running form is off for some reason and is likely the cause. The slightly painful area is below the knee, and to the inside of the leg. I think it is the inside top of the tibia bone. It hurts sometimes, but feels fine if I try to run. I mowed the yard this morning and felt fine. When walking, the leg is dragging just a little. I'm planning to take Monday off from running and will take it easy next week. I need to be ready for Paws in the Park 5K on Saturday.

Update: Someone on one of my running groups suggested Patellar Tenditis and the description seems to fit the symptoms that I am experiencing. I can continue to run if no severe pain but will need to stretch and also do leg strengthening exercises targeting the quads. It's supposed to clear up within 3 weeks.

Weekly running miles: 23.5

YTD: 745.3

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Flying Pig Marathon Report

I wasn’t sure what to expect at this marathon. My goal after running Portland in 3:02:39 in October was to run sub-3 hours which I knew would not be easy. After running 2 PR marathons last year, I figured it was going to get harder to reduce the time. My last 2 long runs (March 9th and 16th) went very poorly and my legs were dead. However, by the end of the second bad week, things had improved a lot and I tapered a little more aggressively than usual (other than the races that I ran the 2 weeks before the marathon). I went out to run 3 miles they morning we left and didn’t feel fresh so decided to stop at 1 mile. I didn’t sleep well so that may have been part of the problem. Since I didn’t know what to expect with the hills on this course, I decided any time between sub 3– 3:10 would be acceptable. I didn’t run a lot of hills during training so probably wasn’t as prepared for the hills as I should have been. Almost all of my long runs were run on flat courses. I had a plan, but remained flexible. I averaged 40 miles per week during training and had hoped to do more speed work than I was able to complete. Since I race so often, I guess that counted as most of my speed work.

We arrived in Cincinnati on Friday afternoon and picked up our stuff at the expo. Saturday evening we had dinner with the LCAR group and went to bed about 8:30. After a pretty good night’s sleep, we were up at 4:30 am (3:30 am Missouri time). It was probably the best I’ve ever slept the night before a marathon. I had a protein shake, banana, yogurt, grape juice, and some water. I received a call from Letty which was nice. I took a short shower, packed the car to leave later, and we were off to the start line at 5:15. We jogged part of the way and then walked the rest arriving about 5:40.

Hugh lined with the 3:30 pacers and about 10 min before the race, I moved to the front near the 7 minute group about 15 ft in front the start line. I wasn’t sure how I felt (other than excited to be there), but I was ready to run. The first mile was not too fast and I held back the pace to keep it reasonable. I wore my Triax pacer and HR monitor to help with the pace. My Triax has not been very reliable recently, so the plan was to use the HR monitor if it failed. For the first 2 miles, it seemed to be accurate and then it was obviously reading a pace slower than I was running so I switched to the HR monitor screen. I also used people ahead that looked like they were running an even pace to pace myself.

I don’t remember a lot of details since I seemed to be more in the zone than I have been when running recently. There were people cheering along the course, but I don’t remember a lot of the scenery. The anticipated hills began at mile 5 and continued through mile 8. They were not that bad in my opinion, but they did slow my pace after the first mile. I let my heart rate increase to 162 on the hills. The total elevation climb was 300 feet. Mile 5 was 6:55, but I slowed to 7:15 for mile 6, and 7:18 for mile 7.

After the hills, at the beginning of mile 8 my pace picked up to 6:45 on the downhill. Several people were asking me if I was the 3:00 pace group since I was wearing 3:00 on my back with my name. One runner asked if I minded if he paced with me for awhile. At some point he went ahead and we would pass each other back and forth for quite awhile. He said his PR was 3:05. I took water at every station except for one where they had the Gatorade second and I missed the water. At the other stations, the Gatorade was first. Usually would just take about 1 – 3 swallows and discard the rest.

I didn’t feel like I was pushing the pace, but running a nice comfortable and reasonable race pace. I would try to pick up a little speed on the downhills, but mostly felt like I was playing it safe. At 13.1 miles, my split was 1:30:52. I assumed that I could not make up 53 seconds (although now that sounds reasonable) and break 3 hours, but thought I had a chance at a PR. At this point, the miles seemed to fly by and before I know it, I’m at 20 miles. I decide to hang on to the pace and there aren’t very many runners near me at this point. In awhile, I do pass a quite a few runners that are starting to slow down in the last segment of the race.

For a brief moment at 21 miles, my legs feel a little dead and I wonder if I’m in trouble. I take the last Honey Stinger and the feeling passes quickly. At 23 miles, I’m wishing I had someone to run with to the finish and I hear a runner behind me, and instead of passing me, he runs beside me and we say nothing. I hear people cheering for us which I appreciated, but I was in the zone I usually didn’t say much other than thanks to most people.

I continue to feel like I am keeping the same pace, but mile 25 my split was 7:35. I did not question at the time, but have since heard that mile was off. My last mile pace was 6:40 and I felt like I picked up speed, but not that much so the mile marker surely was off. I’m guessing mile 26 was about 7:05, which is the same as my 1st mile. I had read at some point during my training this time that one should run the 1st mile at the pace they expect to run the last mile. I guess it worked for me this time.

I felt like I finished stronger than ever before. I’ve never had a last mile split in a marathon this fast. Here are my splits and I’m estimating the last 2 miles:

M4-6:48 (honey stinger)
M5-6:55 (hill)
M6-7:14 (hill)
M7-7:18 (hill)
M8-7:04 (honey stinger)
M12-6:48 (honey stinger)
Half Marathon Time-1:30:52
M16-6:45 (honey stinger)
M17-7:00 (hill)
M21-6:48 (honey stinger)
M25-7:10 (estimate)
M26-7:05 (estimate)
2nd Half Split: 1:30:56

Time: 3:01:58; 6:56/mi pace

Placed 65th of 4172; Sex rank: 62; 15th of 365 in 35 – 39 age group.

Heart rate average: 156

After having my chip removed, eating a banana and having some water and Gatorade, I waited in the finisher’s area for Hugh to finish. I waited until 4:05 and assumed that I had missed him since he was running with the 3:30 pace group. I checked the reunion area, walked around and went back to the car and left a message. He called about 1 hr later. He finished in 4:22 after having heel pain at mile 8 and his pace steadily got worse. He ran/limped to the end. It is most likely plantar fascitis since he was experiencing the same pain intermittently for the past several weeks and even the day before the marathon. The good news is that I don’t think it is too bad (other than trying to run a marathon with this condition) and he can probably fix the problem with some ice, rest, and stretches.

Today, the day after the marathon, Hugh is walking just fine and I am the one that is shuffling. My left ankle which seems to flare up after longer runs began to hurt yesterday. I guess I am lucky it doesn’t bother me at all during the run. We stopped a few more times than the trip to Cincinnati to get out of the car and walk around. This morning, I could barely walk but by the end of the day, it is immensely better and hurts very little. My quads are a bit sore but other than that everything feels pretty good. I think I will try to find out if my running form is causing the ankle problem. I would really like to avoid the pain if I can. I’m sure I could run slowly today if the ankle wasn’t aggravated.

I’m happy with the result taking 41 seconds off my PR on a more difficult course. I’m getting closer to that sub-3, but still have some work to do.

Purple People Bridge

Flying Pigs

Hugh and Cheetah Pig

LCAR Group, dinner at Dewey's Pizza

LCAR Group, Kelsey shirts and pig noses

LCAR Group

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Training May 1 - May 7th - Final Taper Week


Tue-Tripp 10K, 6.2 mi, 48:00, 7:45/mi; Today was going to be a run where we earned a bead if there were 60 starters. I think we were 2 short so no bead other than 1 for perfect attendence. Hugh ran to help our numbers and beat me. I thought he took a short cut since I didn't see him. I was trying to keep my HR to 140 and averaged 139. I was surprised by my pace. I was thinking I was running around 8 - 8:30 since it felt easy. Planning only 4 miles on Thursday. I'm feeling ready to race today. I hope the feeling holds on a few more days.


Thur-MKT, 4.5 mi, 37:50, 8:24/mi; Easy with sprints.

Fri-1 mi, 9:25; I planned to run 3, but felt tired.


Sun-26.2 mi, Flying Pig Marathon

Weekly Miles: 37.9

YTD Miles: 721.8