A Pain In The Neck

November 27, 2005

For the last year or so, I have been having some awful pain in my upper back. It flares up, sometimes as often as every few weeks, and takes up to a week to go away. Usually, I get trigger point massage and it clears up in a few days. This episode is particularly bad, and the massage hasn’t worked. Running with it isn’t that bad, but it definitely takes my focus away from the run. The pain tends to put a negative spin on the run no matter how well it might be going. Each run is more suffering than satisfaction.

One day at a time, I will get through it. Just like this past week. Ninety-four miles in 7 runs, a new one-week record for me. I’ve been focusing on keeping the pace reasonable and simply getting the time and miles on my legs. I think that’s how Lydiard puts it. I’ve noticed a kind of heaviness or pressure in my legs on the longer runs that I don’t remember from my previous long runs. After about ninety minutes, I get a sensation almost like DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) without the pain, and it goes away within a minute or two after the run. It’s an interesting sensation.

Here is the week in review:

Sunday :: 26.2 in 3:06:11
Monday :: 8 in 1:00:37
Tuesday :: 14 in 1:41:32
Wednesday :: 10 in 1:12:30
Thursday :: 13 in 1:33:42
Friday :: 13 in 1:31:52
Saturday :: 10 in 1:12:15
Total :: 94.2 in 11:18:39 (7:12 pace)

My legs have been feeling really good, which is surprising. It’s early still, but it’s definitely a positive sign. I’m not sure if I will go for 100 yet this week. I did a three-hour long run this morning, so I have a shot at it, provided I keep feeling strong.

Marathon Man

November 20, 2005

Today’s 26.2 mile run was notable for a couple of reasons. My previous longest run was 23 miles and I had never done a three hour run before. I was feeling pretty good after an hour or so, and had planned on 2:15 to 2:30 anyway. It was a nice day, about 30 degrees, and the sun was shining, so I took the opportunity to do my first unofficial marathon. Overall, it went pretty well. I’m a little bit stiff, but I would have expected that anyway since my last two hour run was a couple of months ago.

Also, I saw a good size whitetail buck out on a golf course while I was out. Just a 3×3, but pretty thick through the body. I was as close as 60-70 meters, which is about as close as I care to get without a gun. Those things are unpredictable, powerful, and stupid. Kind of like the idiot chasing it around on the golf course.

26.2 miles in 3:06:11 (7:06 pace)

The Hardest Part

November 18, 2005

So far, the most challenging part of this has been the blogging. The running is going great. The last seven days totaled 65 miles, and my legs feel as good as they did when I was running 30. But what is worth writing about? What do other people want to read? What do I want to remember from this time? What do I record for my kids? Why am I putting so much pressure on myself to be relevant? I don’t know?

Okay, so my legs feel fine, but my brain is obviously suffering. Let’s just do a weekly log today and see where things go.

TIME PACE MILES
Nov 12 1:32:02 7:05 13
Nov 13 1:04:02 7:07 9
Nov 14 45:13 6:57 6.5
Nov 15 1:04:12 7:07 9
Nov 16 45:08 6:56 6.5
Nov 17 1:26:37 7:12 12
Nov 18 1:04:38 7:10 9
Totals 7:41:52 7:06 65

Up again at 5:00 for 90 minutes tomorrow morning, and it’s getting late (almost 9:15!), so more blogging tomorrow…

That’s More Like It

November 12, 2005

Today is officially my first day of winter. The weather made a turn for average, and I did my 13 miles in blustery, overcast, sub-40 degree conditions. Not that it was bad…it has certainly been worse. Today just reminded me that it will inevitably get ‘leave with two, return with one” cold.

I expect to hold back the pace a bit for the first 5-6 weeks and get right up to 100 miles. You guys with more experience can probably give me some guidance here. I’ve been running 6:30-6:40 pace for pretty much everything the last couple of months, so, for example, I held back to 7:00 to 7:15 miles today, and averaged about 7:05 for 13. Ten hours after my run I feel very fresh, even after racing yesterday. Would it be reasonable to push right up to 100 in 3-4 weeks? According to Lydiard’s book, this should be okay, provided the individual tolerates the stress and is conservative regarding his response to aches and pains. Maybe I’m asking, and maybe I’m just convincing myself that it’s okay to try it.

My biggest week in the last couple of months has been just over 50 miles (6 sessions), so I think this week I will shoot for 65-70, then add ten a week up to 100. Time will tell how it works out. I could find myself on the couch with a Corona by Wednesday!

Also, thanks for the comments and the welcome! I’ll look forward to conversing with you all more as days go by.

The Veteran’s Day 8k

November 12, 2005

Today’s race was, first and foremost, a lot of fun. The weather was phenomenal…62 degrees and just a few clouds, which, on November 11 in North Dakota, is a once-a-decade occurrence. A great day for a great race. I was able to reach my goal, to break 30 minutes on the course (29:52), which is a nice bonus. Thank you High School Kid for going out too hard and dying at the end. It’s always easier to run through the pain when you’re catching and not being caught. I ran out of room and ended up in third place by a stride. The spectators were pretty amped up over the whole Race For Second Place, so that was cool. I wish I could have seen it.

Spikes on rocks? This should be interesting…

So, with that in the books, tomorrow is the first day of the Experience. Speaking of books, I received today, via the good people at Amazon.com, two books that should better inform my plan for the next several months, possibly years: Running With Lydiard and Daniels’ Running Formula. I can tell already the Daniels book is going to be a tedious, if logical, read, although I’m sure parts of it will be useful. Lydiard, on the other end of the spectrum, is very abstract in his descriptions. What is a quarter effort for me? Anyway, I’ve just given the books a glance at this point, and I’m sure with time I will come to understand it all better.

I’m starting this blog, as titled, as an exercise in utility. The idea is to see if being accountable to an audience (real or imagined) will positively influence my motivation and help me reach my goals. I’ll write about my goals at some point in the near future…just not now.

Now I am focusing on finishing my race calendar for 2005. I have been training relatively consistently since July, and have had some decent results. Nowhere near my college times, or my high school times for that matter. But, I never raced ten milers or half marathons back then either, so, really, why make the comparison?

Where was I? Finishing my race calendar. Every Veterans’ Day we have a *fantastic* race here. It’s billed as an 8k european-style cross country run, which means it runs like a golf course on a bombing range. Part of the course follows the Red River of the North, which means logs, brush, mud, steep embankments, and generally poor footing. All in all, it makes for a bit of fun. The Veteran’s Day race is probably my last until March or April 2006. Until then, I plan to experiment with the Lydiard Method of training and see where it takes me. Here are a few stats, just so everyone knows where I’m starting from…

Personal Records

  • 400 meters :: :57 (1995)
  • 800 meters :: 2:04 (1995)
  • 1500 meters :: 4:07 (1995)
  • Mile Run :: 4:26 (1995)
  • 3000 meters :: 8:57 (1995)
  • 3200 meters :: 9:51 (1990)
  • 5000 meters :: 15:26 (1995)
  • 8k XC :: 24:52 (Oct. 1995)
  • 10000 meters :: 31:48 (May 1995)
  • 10k XC :: 31:55 (Oct. 1995)
  • 10 Miles :: 59:48 (Sep. 2005)
  • Half Marathon :: 1:23:10 (2003)
  • Longest Run :: 26.2 mi – 3:06:11 (Nov. 2005)
  • Highest Miles In A 7 Day Period :: 124 (Jan. 2006)