A New Phase

March 30, 2011 § 1 Comment

After “building base” for the last few weeks, I enter a new phase this week–focusing on repetition (strength) work.   Last week was difficult, for a variety of excuses, I missed four consecutive days.  A mini-taper I guess for this new phase.

The difficult part of this first week is that I’m planning on running a race, the Ron Daws Memorial 25k, on Saturday.  I am hoping to do a hill workout on Tuesday and then take easy days until the race.

It is fitting that this race comes during this week.  While most of my training plan is using Jack Daniels‘ plan, the rep work I am doing comes out of Daws‘ book, Running Your Best: The Committed Runner’s Guide to Training and Racing.

Daws credits Arthur Lydiard with the hill drills that he details in his book.  The circuits I do include an uphill portion that include various plyometric drills like skipping, prancing, butt-kickers, bounding, and broad-jumps.  After a recovery, I do 2×200 meter rep, and a rapid downhill.  And repeat.

The trouble with doing this and then racing is that at first, it makes you weaker before it makes you stronger.

But I figure that running the Ron Daws 25k was an acceptable option.  Not only because of its name but because from everything I’ve heard, it is a killer course. A hilly course that will give both a douse of strength work and, because of the distance, endurance work.  May be a bit early in the training cycle but I can always back off during the race.

And, incidentally, I’ve been prehabbing–it seems every year when I start doing these hill workouts, my ITB starts to bother me. Several years ago, I saw a physical therapist for this and was given some exercises to do.  Whenever I have hill-induced ITB problems, the same exercises help make the ITB problems disappear.  This year, I was smart enough to start the exercises before the hill workouts. Let’s hope they work.


Jenna Boren, Keep on running

March 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

A blogger I follow pointed out a new blog, Jenna Boren, Keep on running that looks promising.  Jenna is a runner (ha! that’s an understatement, she is a RUNNER, having run in the 2008 Olympic Marathon trails) , a chiropractor, and, perhaps best of all, another Packer fan living in the Twin Cities.  Boren’s first post, Ouch….why does my butt (ha, ha, butt) hurt every winter? takes a general look at what causes injuries, especially if you’re running on snow & ice throughout the winter or making Defensive Player-of-the-Year type plays during the Super Bowl.

And the Doctor says…

March 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’ve had a bit of soreness and tenderness in both Achilles tendons for years.  As I ramp up the mileage, up goes the discomfort.  Nothing that has hampered my running too much–mostly general soreness in the morning.

But now, with access to more runner-friendly doctors, I decided I might at well talk to someone with actual medical training about them.

Yesterday, I spent an hour getting poked & prodded, X-rayed, and examined by a podiatrist.  Found out I have restricted range of motion in my big toes and my arches have some tendency to collapse (my interpretation of doctor-speak).

The first round of treatment is simple: doing toe-raises, an off-the-shelf insert and switching to a stability running shoe.

He recommended a different method to doing toe-raises than I am use to.  Traditionally, I have done both the raising and lowering with both legs at once.  He instructed me to use both legs to raise up and then switching to one leg to slowly lower myself down.

The inserts and stability shoes are designed to provide more support for my arches.

Physical therapy and/or cross-friction massage are the next steps if the problems persist after a couple weeks.

The X-rays showed some minor heel-spurs and, after paying closer attention this morning, I realized that my heels are a bit sore too.  So add that to my watch-list.

Carpe Viam! Happy 20th Birthday, dead runners society

March 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

Before we had facebook, twitter, and YouTube. Before we had podcasts, ipods, and mp3s. Even before we had http, web-browsers, and the world-wide-web, we had gopher, news groups, and electronic mailing lists.

The mailing list concept is simple–you send an email to one address , drs@listserv.dartmouth.edu, and everyone who is signed up for the list gets the email. Then someone else responds, sending a message to the list. That triggers someone else to reply and all of a sudden you have a discussion breaking out. And, if you’re not careful, you may just learn something along the way.

March 15th, 1991, Chris Conn, the list-guy, created dead runners society, a mailing list for runners.  And, for extents and purposes, the internet was created.  Fancier things would come along but the first killer-app, for me at least, was alive and kicking.

I wouldn’t stumble upon “the deads” until sometime during the spring of 1992 while I was diving completely into an insane running time for me.  I was a college senior who, not knowing what he wanted to do after his pending graduation, was in the process of throwing himself completely into his running with the intent of going back to school for one more semester and make up for the mistake of not running cross county in college.

The great thing about the deads is that they knew and understood the essence of what I had to say, at least about running, without having to try to explain the running part.  I could post about a blister or chafing problem and get serious responses, not “stop running” that my non-running local friends would offer up.

It was a world-expanding, addictive application that I fell completely fell for.  Web 2.0?  It just builds on the interactive communities like dead runners society (drs) from the dark ages.

After graduating, getting a real job, and real-life, dead runners society has faded into the back ground for me.  There have been times when I’ve been complete inactive (un-dead) for a couple years at a time.  Mostly, after the initial couple years, I’ve been a silent observer (lurker) that silently reads posts but doesn’t actively participates in the conversations.  I’m sure the lurkers make up a significant portion.

I have met a few deads–in the early years there were two, Mike Daly and Dave McNaughton, that lived locally and I saw a few times at races.  Mike moved away when Cray computers laid off a bunch of engineers.  Dave drifted away from running for awhile.  I did meet a couple others at larger races–Grandma’s Marathon mostly.

Regardless of my current involvement with drs, it has been part of me since the first, fatal fling.  Phrases like  “your mileage may vary” (ymmv), obligatory running note (ORN) and planned obligatory running note (PORN), and many other that I realize and don’t realize are embedded in my BIOS from those early days.

I’ve known, that just like Woody and Andy in Toy Story, that drs always offered that You’ve Got a Friend in Me.

Through the years, posters have come and gone–sometimes silently, sometimes with a flurry, “stop sending me this shit.  eric”.  There have been fights, there have been marriages, there have been babies and there have been deaths.

One thing drs started early on was get-togethers.  The first “World Conference” was held in 1993 and they have been held almost every year sense.  While, to my non-benefit, I’ve never participated in one, I think this grew drs from a “community’ to a family.  (Sidenote: I think this is the same dynamic that Steve Runner, et al are after with their Mojo Loco vision).

I cannot believe its been 20 years already, but dead runners society has been a good part of my life for a long time and I look forward to 20 more years.  Maybe I’ll even start participating more.

Carpe Viam!

That’s more like it.

March 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

The next 10 day weather forecast is exciting:

The temperature is supposed to get above freezing every single day for the next 10 days.

This has been a long, tough winter for running. We received a lot of snow early and while not horribly cold, the temperature was cold enough that the snow has stayed and stayed and stayed. So we still have snow banks and ice patches. The footing has been tough and it has been slow going so I’m looking forward to a melt-off and clear running. Not to mention discarding a few layers.

Boy was it tough getting up at 4:45 today after running long and switching back to Daylight Savings Time. Right ankle is a bit sore from yesterday’s run, as are both Achilles tendons but that is typical. Plan for an easy 3 this afternoon for a purely recovery run.

Well that went well.

March 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

After a pretty lame week, I finished off with a long, easy run of 12.25 today.  I plotted out a loop through the country roads.  Spent the first 7.5 cruising easy, a little under the 8:40 pace I was shooting for, and listening to Steve Runner’s Phedippidations.

Had a scare at 2.5 when my right ankle bent sideways they way it’s designed not to when I stepped on a frozen tractor track–had a sharp pain for the a bit and thought I may need to use the cell phone to call for a ride but after a hundred yards or so, it was feeling better and it felt fine after a half mile.  I’ll see how it feels tomorrow.

I switched to the Beatle’s Please Please Me. After P-dip.  I’m glad to run in the country where I don’t have to worry about anyone, other than an occasional cow, hearing me sing along.  I’m an awful signer to begin with, but throw in my breathlessness and the fact I know only a tiny portion of the words and the results would be pretty awful.

My pace did start to slip during the later half–I was also interrupted by a “pack” of dogs from someone’s yard, one that looked pit-bullish and a couple of big, black slobbery dogs.  They just barked but came onto the road, so I ended up walk-jogging through their territory.

I pushed the final mile to 7:48 pace, finished off with an easy quarter to get home.  Overall 12.25 in 1:46ish.

Only have to do one more mile and I’ll be doing my race distance, that always helps the confidence.  I have two more easy weeks before I start throwing in actual work-outs.  Not sure how I’m going to approach that first week, I’m suppose to be doing rep work but have a 25k (15.5 mile) race scheduled–I’ll probably do one introductory rep workout early in the week and the run the race on Saturday.  I’ll run the race hard but not truly be racing.

This Week Has Sucked

March 12, 2011 § 1 Comment

Last week my running went great–got in two mid-length runs 6 & 7 miles, a fast 2.75 tempo run and a long run of 11 miles, my longest in many months, on Sunday.

This week my running has been next to nil.  A few shorts runs–3, 4.5, and 2–interspersed between days off.  Took the days off mostly because I wasn’t feeling well.

I’m not outright sick but I’ve had a feeling of something just not being right.  I’m a little dizzy, a little nauseous.  Nothing that has completely knocked me down–well, Wednesday night, it did knock me down.  I came back from dance class (my daughter’s dance class, not mine) and done immediately into bed, did not get undressed, did not pass go, and didn’t collect $200 and I just shook.  Had a case of the shakes.  Came out of nowhere.  Haven’t felt right yet.

Not time to panic, I have really only missed two medium work-outs.  I ate normal meal last night so hopefully that will help.  I’m considering the days off as recovery days and when I get back to running they will just have made me stronger.

I should also be a bit stronger because I joined a gym.  Haven’t actually been back to the gym after signing up but plan to do some core work.  Wife has been wanting to tone up some and as long as we visit regularly, my health insurance will pay for most of it, so we signed up.  It is part of a chainand has a small location about a half mile from mile house and about a 30 second walk from my work.

With Daws Hill workouts coming soon, the one thing I know I should be doing is some exercises to help protect my ITB bands.  Each year as I shift into Hill work-outs (combined with plyometrics) they start to bother me.  Problems go away as soon as I do my ITB excercies–shown to me by a physical therapist to rehab from ITB problems, they use big rubber bands and various drills.

Anyhow that has been my week so far–it also included my 41st birthday–well not spectacular, if I get a decent long run (12 miles) in tomorrow, it will have been a good week.


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