Monday, December 20, 2010

Twas The Run Before Christmas.....

Week 17 for St. Louis was a very gentle, loving, caring week. The right hip/groin/thigh is very tender and hurts on pretty much every run until I get warmed up. I'm wrapping it to provide strength and support and hope to survive the early weeks before the miles get big. I'd like to be hitting more miles but......

My total for the week was a very pedestrian 17 miles. I did three short runs totalling 3 miles each and threw in a long run of 8 miles on Saturday. I also rode the mountain bike once for about 30 minutes which came out to about 5 miles. It was single digit windchill so 5 miles was about all the body would tolerate and honestly all it needed.

I'm pretty excited about St. Louis and want the Full Marathon for which I am entered. I have the fitness to do the program if the body will heal and permit the longer miles. I'll be very forthcoming, you Triathlon guys are gaining my attention. I think the training variety would be excellent for my body. The muscle balance and recovery time that it would provide is starting to look more appealing all the time.

Its going to be interesting over the next few weeks to see how well I do at moving forward and making a run at the full monty in April. I hope everyone is doing well. Its cool to read your blogs and check out the weather conditions that many of you are functioning in. Especially those of you who are to the north in climates a bit less friendly than what we have here in Missouri.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good run!! Thanks for reading!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

And the Winner of the Free Trip to the Chiropractor is....

Ok, haven't headed there yet, but.....

I had a great first week of training up through the first three runs. I kicked in a 6 mile trail run last Sunday followed by a 3.5 miler on Monday.

After taking a couple of days off, I came back Thursday with another 6.5 miler this time on pavement. It felt great. No pain in any manner.

However.... the best was yet to come. Or the worst? Wow. Friday was lousy. Right hip, leg, glute, groin. Alignment issues according to the trainer at school. He lined me up and I felt great but later on in the day it was back.

Today, I wrapped the right hamstring nice and firm and high and went out for a 3 miler. It loosened up ok. Not the best. But ok.

All together, I got in 18.5 miles for the opening week of the St. Louis Program. I'm very pleased with the total but a little concerned with the leg. Tomorrow, I plan to cross train which I need to do a little more. Hopefully a little muscle balance will result as well as some active recovery.

It pretty good right now. I've done some of the trainer stretches and have also worked really hard to work on the IT Band. (Can of Corn) Its pretty good right now.

Gonna settle in for a nice quiet Saturday night with a Ham and Cheese from Subway and The Expendables. Check in later for my review.

Hope this finds everyone well. Happy Holidays.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Lock and Load Baby

I have been searching for the last two or three weeks for the big event of the spring. As one of my teaching buddies says, "Lock and Load!!" Its Week Eighteen. Here is the story.

I was talking with this gentleman today (we teach across the hall from each other) about whether his wife was going to run the Little Rock Half Marathon. She and I ran Lewis and Clark together. He said she was kind of wavering on it and that I needed to call her. We had both been kicking around the L.R. event....

We got started talking about different events and she got me to thinking. I checked the calendar on my phone and the Go St. Louis Marathon Weekend was eighteen weeks away. Exactly eighteen full weeks. Wow! Do I hear my Running Daddy (Hal Higdon) calling my name again? I went to the park and ran a leisurely 3 miler to have a little think time (while sitting on a rock).....


Soooo..... its week eighteen. Remember, I count DOWN as I move toward the event. This helps me with how far away I am from the actual event. This will be my 3rd regular marathon and my first since St. Jude in December 2005 which I ran in 4:28:58.

I have no goals in mind at this point other than finishing but those will come as the training progresses. I have a goal weight in mind. That mission starts tomorrow morning at the official weigh in. (Picture a big heavyweight title fight. Complete with reporters.)

I'm pretty excited as you can tell. I have to thank my former student and running buddy (T.C.) for her conversations this afternoon. She is the one who mentioned St. Louis and got me to thinking. After seeing the 18 week thing, having some brief thoughts and a great talk with with Hal while sitting on the rock in the park, it was inevitable. Thanks Girl. Decision Made.

It feels good to have an event planned which I feel passionate about. I'm looking forward to the challenge and the demands of the long runs but I do have some "feet" concerns but that simply means to be careful and proceed with caution. I'm really looking forward to making this a RUNNING BLOG again!!

Every day is a good day, some are just better. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas In Cobden 5-K Race Report

We made the trip to Cobden, IL yesterday for the second time this year for a 5-K run. We went there for the Peach Festival 5-K back in August so when the flyer came in the mail a couple weeks back, I thought this would be a great finishing event for the year.

The race itself was on almost the same course as the Peach Festival run. If you went to Cobden, you would understand why. Its a pretty small place with not a lot of room for variety in terms of running routes. The start-finish line was in an old feed store which a couple from town have set up as their residence. Talk about history. You are stepping back in time in this old building. It was pretty nostalgic.

The race itself started out with a nice uphill start which meant the finish was downhill (duh). It was an unbelievably small group. I would estimate 30 to 40 at most. I went out to push the pace a little on the first mile. Once you got to the top of the first climb right at the start, you had a long gradual downhill on the other side to make the first mile a relatively quick (for me) 7:59 split. It was an out and back course which made it excellent to determine your overall placing following the turn around point. I was excited to be running in the top ten at this point so I had some motivation to compete a little over the last half of the race.

I hit the two mile mark recording an 8:46 split. The tenth time was around 55 seconds setting up a final mile attempt to keep myself in the top ten overall. Approaching the final climb and subsequent descent to the finish, I was holding my place but was followed closely by the first overall female runner and another racer running with her. There was a group of about three runners directly behind them.

Too make a long story somewhat short, I aggressively attacked the final climb and hammered the downhill finish to place 9th overall. Even more impressive--I forged to a tie for both first and last in my age group. (Insert smiley face here!) Hey, they don't print this stuff on the medals. It looks good hanging in its spot!

The final mile split came in at 8:50.... so the splits go: 7:59, 8:46, :55, and 8:50 for an overall time of 26:31. Not super fast but definitely not too bad for my current level of fitness. This was my 16th running event of the year so 2010 has been a pretty decent year as far as activity. As 2011 approaches, I would like to get back to a little more disciplined diet, get the body a little more functional and add both a little speed to the runs as well as some endurance.

I honestly haven't decided my focus as to my next big event but it was good to go out for a good workout, compete a little and give the heart and lungs a good test. There are a couple of local runs still on the calendar but this is most likely the final run (race) until the Snowman Shuffle comes up January 8th.

As always.... Every day is a good day, some are just better. Thanks for reading!!