Oct 29, 2009

8 days and counting

I am not far away from race day. Ready to get it done. My knee is feeling MUCH better, but still not 100%. I'm being quite careful with it. My diet has been better the past 2 weeks and I feel really good. Everything is booked. And as a surprise, my father is going to drive to Indy from Lima, OH and join us. That means a lot to me. As much as I tried to downplay my disappointment from my Flying Pig DNF, I think he knows how crushed I was about it. So he has decided to come in on Friday and watch the race. No small feat for a guy who's been suffering from Parkinson's Disease for the past 7-8 years. He doesn't get around great anymore, but he does manage without help. It's slow, but it's better than not at all. So to see him AND my wife cheering me on will be great. I'm really looking forward to it.

FTR, tapering sucks. I hate not being able to go run for as long as I want. These 5-6 mile runs seem to be over before they even start. I'll do 8-10 on Saturday, so that'll be OK, but still not the same. I understand the idea behind a taper period, and I'm not going to argue with it, but the longer I go without a good, long run, the more doubt creeps into my brain. I don't want to go out for a "nice, little run". I want to go RUN! Just run, and decide on my own when to stop. To be able to just keep going, on those days when I feel great. Ya know? I hope Saturday gets a little of that anxiousness out of my system.

Hope everyone is running well & feeling well, whether gearing up for a race, recovering from one, or just out there hitting the roads.

Oct 19, 2009

Time to rest, and get healthy

60.32 miles this week. My biggest ever. I'll be around 40-42 this week. Can't believe 40 miles sounds like a nice break. Never imagined that would be the case when I first started all of this, 2.5 years ago.

Had 1-hour leg massage today. I swear there were times where I wondered "how in the hell is this supposed to feel good?!?" Granted, the only other time I'd had a leg massage, I'd just finished a race the day before, and suggested she take it easy on me. Not this time. The weirdest moments are when you can't tell if it feels good, or if it hurts. It would actually make me laugh as I tried to figure out which I was feeling. The best part was when she worked my hips/glutes. She'd press a particular spot, presumably where some nerve was, and I'd feel this tingling rush of "warmth" all the way down to the arch of my foot. Very weird. Pressure points are cool, and painful, all in one. LOL. Right now, calves are really sore, which I expected, so I'm wearing my Zensah sleeves all day, and will probably sleep with them on too. Other than that, a true rest day. Haven't had a complete day of total rest in a long time. 2 rest days this week (today, and most likely Friday).

Knee feels better today too. Or maybe it's my calves making me forget that my knee was hurting at all?

Oct 17, 2009

Final, true, high mileage week before Indy Monumental Marathon

Ran my last true long run today, 22 miles. I knew after about 8 that it was going to be a difficult run. I wasn't running too fast, or too slow. I had a fair amount of fatigue in my legs, particularly my quads. I just didn't seem to have much energy for some reason. At 13.5 miles, I really wanted to call my wife to come pick me up and chalk it up to a bad day. I didn't NEED this run, I just WANTED this run. So I didn't call in. Bad day? Yeah. But not nearly such a bad day that I couldn't finish this stupid run. So I decided this was gut-check time. Struggle through it, and feel good afterward that I did, or quit, and wish I had at least tried to finish. At around 16 miles, I felt better, but still not great. At 20.6, I was right in front of my house. Hmmm, tempting. But I ran by it to the entrance of the subdivision (exactly 0.7 miles away) and back, and I was done. Whew.

Last week's 20-miler felt great, and I ran that at 9:13/mile. This one felt awful, and I ran it at 9:19/mile. Eh. Different days, different results. That's how it goes.

So after I run an easy 6 miles tomorrow, I'll have had (my first) 60-mile week. WOW! Next week, I'll look to run 40-42 miles, then begin my 2-week taper.

My one concern is my left knee. I've been pretty quiet about this, b/c I don't want to start sounding like I'm whining. But it's been sore the past few weeks, and I'm not 100% sure why. I have my suspicions though.

At indoor soccer several weeks ago, a guy took a bad, cheap shot at me from behind, and went straight for my left knee. I swear to God, I was ready to deck him! I got thru the game without noticing any knee issues. But then, it started to hurt, just like it does when you've torn an ACL. That makes me nervous as hell! Since then, the pain has flared up here & there, usually after I play soccer. But I've had no swelling, and when I go thru my strength & stability exercises from my rehab days, I can do them with no issues. So that at least gives me hope that I haven't (partially) torn it, and that it's perhaps just a sprain that needs rest (no time for that know though). That being said, this past Tuesday (soccer is on Monday), it hurt like mad! I had very little range of motion w/o pain, and had to cut my Tuesday run short. Each day since, it has hurt less & less. I've been icing it a lot, taking ibuprofen, etc. The forward motion of running hasn't been much of an irritant. I think the stopping, cutting, change of direction stuff at soccer does aggravate it. So I'm taking a soccer hiatus (which I hate to do) until at least after my race. Hopefully by then it'll be pain free, and I can play soccer again, and determine if that's what's causing this. If it is, then that'll be it for me & soccer. As much as I love to play, if I have to choose running or soccer, it's an easy decision at this point. The other possibility is that I have a case of runner's knee. The symptoms of that seem similar enough to what I'm feeling that I can't rule that out. And the fact that I can put in the miles I have lately, with no swelling, just some occasional, mostly minor pain, really leads me to think it's more likely runner's knee than a torn ACL.

Other than that, I seem to be OK. On Monday morning, I'm going in for a 1-hour massage of my legs. That couldn't be coming at a better time. I'm looking forward to it. But she might make me cry like a baby too. LOL.

I think I have all my gear issues figured out, just need to see what the weather will actually be like that day. Booked our hotel room. Great location. Literally about 1 block south of the start/finish. Now I just need to get there as healthy as possible.

Oct 10, 2009

My review of Zensah's compression leg sleeves

So today was my time running in these. I'm doing so because of what happened to me at the Flying Pig this spring, i.e. severe calf spams starting at mile 14 that finally stopped me at mile 22.

My first impressions (pre-run):
1) very comfortable, but was worried if I'd feel like I was roasting in them
2) expected them to be more snug than they actually were, but was happy with that
3) didn't feel self-conscious at all in them (I like to think I have a pretty strong self-image)

My impressions in-run:
1) never felt too warm, in fact, felt good how they kept my calves at a great temp (ran in mid-50's weather)
2) couldn't even tell I had them on
3) I was so relaxed, it almost seemed like my calf & shin weren't even there, and that was a good thing, if a little weird

My impressions post-run:
1) quite simply, I'm impressed as hell
2) I'm normally mildly sore in my calves after such long runs. Today, they feel great, as if I'd run 3 miles instead of 20

Truth is, I can't find a single negative thing to say about them. I'm thrilled with them and wish I'd tried them sooner. Now I'm wishing I'd bought more than just the one pair. So, if you have calf or shin issues, I'd recommend these highly. About $40 for 2 sleeves.

Oct 9, 2009


LAST CALL!!!!! Sign up at http://www.worldwidefestivalofraces.com/cgi-bin/home, find somewhere to run, lace 'em up, and get out there. You know you want to. I know I'm in!

Oct 8, 2009

Hey, Indianapolis! ARE...YOU...READY?!?

On November 7th, I come to you ready to run. I come with a lot of excitement, a lot of anticipation, and a lot eagerness. I also come to you humbled, nervous, and with an "appropriate" amount of trepidation. I respect you, but I do not fear you. Yes, you have the ability to defeat me, but I think I have the ability to overcome. I will not arrive with any sense of arrogance or cockiness. I have a healthy dose of respect for the challenge you present. I do not look to embarrass you, so I hope you do not embarrass me. I'm once defeated in this quest to officially be called a marathoner, and it has haunted me since. I've finally picked myself back up and I now look to make my mark on your streets. I do so with dignity & honor. I do not look to make an example of you, but rather I hope you will help me make an example of myself. I am ready to scratch, fight and claw my way to the finish line. And when it's all said and done, I hope we can be friends. Because this time, if I'm fortunate enough to finish, you will be the place that holds that very special place in my heart. My first marathon.

So, are you ready? Because I can tell you...I am.


Oct 3, 2009

Can I do anything right?


This morning I go out for my long run. 4:30AM, I'm out there, ready to throw down 18 miles. Proud as hell of myself that I got up at this ungodly hour. Ready to run, no less. So I decide this is a perfect time to make an in-run recording. Now, the other day I go out and do something I think will be a smart move, and buy rechargeable AAA batteries for my recorder. Yeah, that's thinking, Rich. You are one smart cookie. Devilishly handsome too I might add, but that's not important right now. I pop one battery out of the charger, and I'm off. I record during my 1st lap of 6 miles. As I get close to home, where I'll be stopping quickly to replace my water bottle, I think to myself that I was very happy with I'd recorded. Very usable stuff, in my opinion. I'm stoked. I get home, pop in the new bottle, and decide to swap mic for headphones, so I can listen to SOME REAL PROS do a podcast. As I go to select a podcast, I realize that the "Low Battery" is flashing at me. WTF?!? I'd had that battery sitting in the charger for the last 2-3 days, to prepare for today. OMG, I'm pissed off.

So I now take off for Lap #2 in a very foul mood, and with nothing to listen to (iPod is in the foyer, and I didn't want to startle my wife & step-daughter at that hour by opening the door and having the dogs go crazy), and nothing to speak into. But during the lap, I manage to settle down, I finish the lap, and now I do run in quickly to grab my iPod, and listen to something during Lap #3. Run ends, I'm feeling great, but I'm wondering about my "recording". Unfortunately, I have a very busy day, barely have time to shower & change before we're out the door for the day. We get home at 6PM. I watch the end of the Notre Dame game (GO IRISH!). And now, I grab my computer, and recorder.

I pull up the recording I made, curious as to how much of it I actually did get down. I'm thinking I had to have gotten quite a bit. I'd settle for 30 minutes. What do I see? 4m 2sec. What?!? 4m 2sec?!? All that good podcast material I thought I'd laid down, and all I have the first 4 freakin' minutes of it?

I check the charger, make sure it was in an outlet that worked, that didn't cut power when you flip the light switch off. Check. Everything seemed fine. What happened? I have no idea. Are the batteries bad? No idea. I'm recharging them again now, and will test very, VERY THOROUGHLY before recording again. Otherwise, I guess I'll just be dropping coin on regular AAA batteries from now on. I'm getting very fed up with the delays I keep running into. Or am I causing them, because I'm just that stupid? A little of column A, a a little of column B, is my guess. But I'm tired of it. And really disappointed. I was so proud of what I thought I'd recorded.

I'm in complete meltdown mode right now. No sharp objects, no high ledges for me until.....Tuesday, I think.