Sunday, September 30, 2012

2, 3, 4, 5, 11

No, this is not an attempt at some new number sequence. It's my running miles for the last five days. Low mileage, but not a bad trend. After being out for nearly two weeks after that debacle in Connecticut, not to mention my mom's funeral, it was tough getting back. And the pain is still around. It's subsiding, but slowly.

It's hard to believe that just two months ago, I was putting in 70+ mile weeks. Today's 11 felt like 30 used to. Except it was slower. More so as the run went on. But at least I got through it.

So now it's only a matter of getting back into shape and also staying injury free; no small task. Got an appointment with a chiropractor for tomorrow. Maybe that will help.

Other random thoughts:

Naturally it was tough on me (and us) when mom passed away. But the good part of it was seeing Valerie, Barry, Veronica and Malcolm again. I say again because for the latter three, it was the third time in recent months, and once again a joy. In that earlier post I mentioned how Malcolm actually likes me, and what's more, he likes to run with me. What could be better?

The NorthCoast 24-Hour Endurance Run was last weekend, a day after mom's funeral. I had originally planned to run it, but took a DNS due to the injury. It would've been tough with everything going on anyway. I was lucky that John Hnat had all but assumed the entire role of RD. I was still officially the co-RD, but John did most of the duties just before and during race day. So I wound up just helping out. The run itself went great - despite some very challenging weather. Now I'll be stepping down entirely and only helping.

I was also a DNS for yesterday's Akron Marathon. It was tough seeing everyone at the expo but planning on not running.

I saw a shooting star yesterday! Must be a good omen.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


From the latest MCRR Newsletter:

Achievements. You’ve been hearing about Connie running 149 miles for a 24-hour record. You heard about Roy running 50 100-mile races. And Ron finishing the Mohican 100 17 times. If you’ve been around long enough, you even heard about me running 100 marathons. Yes, except for that last one, those are all great achievements. You may wonder what kind of achievement you will ever be able to accomplish.

Every running club has some super-fast runners, some marathoners, some ultrarunners and some legendary old-timers. So do we. But our club, for some unfathomable reason, has much more than its share of great ultramarathoners. Yes, it’s safe to say that we’re a little skewed.

The interesting, and really great thing about all this is that the achievements of our members inspire others among us to accomplish great things as well. At least things that seem great to us.

And that’s the key. Certainly Connie’s mileage would be world-class for anyone, but for the rest of us, our achievements are pretty darn personal. Remember your first 5K? Your first Marathon? Those must have seemed like great achievements at the time. There’s a reason for that. They were (and still are).

Now your 5K or marathon may seem like old news, and you want to do an ultra. After you accomplish a 50K, you’ve got to try a 50-miler. After that? Well, you get the picture. It never really ends – there’s always something more.

I’m writing this because some of us may feel inadequate if we haven’t managed to achieve the same types or levels of things as others amongst us. I’m here to tell you that you most definitely should not feel that way. If you’re goal is to reach 5K, and you managed to do that, your achievement is a great and wonderful thing. You may want to run a 5-miler or a 10K, but you certainly don’t have to. Your 5K achievement will stand on its own.

Every one of us has our own Mount Everest. If you’ve made it, that’s great. Pick another mountain (or planet for that matter) if you want. But still be happy with what you did. If you have yet to make it, keep trying! The joy is in the journey.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Tale of Two Halves

On the theory that things could not possibly get any worse in my running experiences, I entered a couple half marathons in preparation for the upcoming NC24 and Akron Marathon.

The first one, the River Run, actually went better than expected. This is not to say that it wasn't a PW, but it was a PW in a good way. I ran a fairly steady pace, and finished just under 1:43. Although this was a minute or so slower than my previous worst half, I was actually encouraged. There wasn't an undue amount of pain and suffering, and anytime the pace is even, you feel pretty good about it. On top of all that, my friends were all there, and it was good to see everyone.

After that race I went to work, where I almost always spend all my time on my feet. That's usually not a problem after a run or race, but it was this time for some reason. By the time I got home, my right knee was killing me. That's strange because this was a first - in recent history - for this kind of pain. My back/butt/hip pain had been on my left side, and as I mentioned, it didn't bother me very much during the race.

So I took a day or two off, and sure enough, the knee pain subsided. I ran 20 on the mill mid-week, and it didn't hurt much. In fact, even though that run was simply awful, I wasn't in pain. I was just board and tired.

Thursday was another off day as we drove to Connecticut. On Friday I ran an easy 7 on the Housatonic trail there. I like that trail, and things were looking up.

For Saturday, I'd signed up for the Sam Alpern Half Marathon in Norwalk, CT. I did the same race a year ago, and I'd enjoyed it. Since I was there by chance on the same weekend, I thought: why not? It's small (<200 a="a" and="and" believe="believe" bucks="bucks" by="by" can="can" club.="club." fifteen="fifteen" i="i" it="it" local="local" love="love" on="on" only="only" p="p" put="put" run="run" runners="runners" s="s" you="you">
Things started off fine, as I settled into a nice 7:30 - 8:00 pace. All I wanted to do is keep it steady, and better yet, pain-free. Just like last week. There was just one problem: it wasn't pain free, This time, the pain was in my right hip. And it was on the side, and sharp! The previous hip problems had been with my left side, and generally more toward the back.

Maybe it was from running so much on the side of a slanty road. Maybe it was over-compensation for my other pains. Whatever it was, I kept going. As I started the second loop, I was beginning to think that I could cheat death and make it through this race in one piece. I hit mile nine in 1:10:40 - just about like last week - and then the wheels fell completely off.

I felt something snap in the hip that was already in pain. THIS pain was really sharp. So sharp that I suddenly had to stop completely. I tried to walk a bit, and it hurt like hell. I stopped and then tried to walk some more, and I could hardly make forward progress.

A friendly biker came by and radio'd my position in, so a car could pick me up. A while later, a red Mustang convertible picked me up and took me to the finish. At least I DNF'd in style.

So things have in fact gotten worse. Worse than I could have imagined. And I'm sidelined again.

North Canton YMCA 4th of July 5-mile

Since I have participated in the Ohio Challenge Series many years, I've done this race many times, albeit many moons ago. It's a fun...