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Archive for the category “Getting Back Up”

Marathon Training Injury

A relatively new friend of mine was training for her first marathon and suffered a hip injury 2 weeks out from her marathon. The injury is so serious she is forced to pull out of her marathon. As a runner we all know how devastated we would feel in that situation. 16 weeks (out of the planned 18 weeks) of serious marathon training which was preceded by years of running. Many of us have built up from 5K to 10K to half marathon to get ready for the full marathon. It just doesn’t seem fair.

In 2010 after a layoff from marathon training I decided to run a fall marathon and started my training ramp up a bit late about 15 weeks out. With 3 weeks to go before the marathon I suffered a knee tweak that at first I thought I could fight through it and keep training. I wasn’t successful. I was crushed, but it didn’t break my will. I got in the gym and worked on my overall leg strength and made a plan for both a spring and fall marathon for 2011.

Running to the runner is obviously the basis for a strong existence. We define ourselves by being able to do what we love. Injuries for the most part are a sidetrack, but not a wall. We will find a way eventually. Staying positive is not always easy, but is also the best way not to be defeated.

Mental Game Running Goals

On today’s 11 mile run I was focused on every aspect of my successful marathon experiences vs. the unsuccessful ones. The result being in the training before my Boston Qualifing marathons I was able to fight through fatigue. I would feel awful, but would resist the temptation to walk and keep thinking “once I am past this hill, things will get better”.

The body can do more than mind tells you from time to time and it is your job to override those thoughts to get where you desire to go. Training is as much mental training as it is physical development. The BQ goal can be lost week 1 of training if you are not focused on it from the day you start. That is not to say that one bad day will defeat you, but it is how you recover mentally from a bad experience and use that knowledge to not repeat mistakes.

Mental preparation is something that can be practiced at other times off the course. Driving to work, writing a running blog, a lifting session, etc are great opportunities to  focus on your goals and train your brain to not except less. When I have failed, I wasn’t willing to fight poor mental feelings to reach my vision.

Be strong mentally and you will find your kick.

Chicago Marathon 2016

I got in the Chicago Marathon. 7th time overall and first since they went to a lottery system. What a great feeling. Now it’s time to ramp up the miles and the blog entries. Talk to you all soon.

A Few From Fifty

Wow, it has been a few years since I posted last, a few years since   I last ran a marathon and just a few months before I turn fifty. I suppose it is as good time as any to get back in the swing of marathon training and writing about it.

I entered the Chicago Marathon lotto and will find out Thursday April 21st if I got in (or not). If that falls through the back up Marathon is the Quad Cities Marathon. The  QC is only 2 weeks earlier than the Chi so my training schedules are pretty compatible.

Winter training has laid down a stable foundation and my long runs have been at over 10 miles for more than a month now. Feeling healthier than the last couple years heading into spring training, so this should be a good year.

Looking forward to more of these updates. Talk to you all soon.

Since You Probably Won’t Read This Away….

For 40 plus years I have searched for the perfect workout to both satisfy my fitness goals and keep me entertained at the same time. Well, I finally found it…..Homeless Person Hurdles. Yeah, it’s in really poor taste and illegal in some countries, but heck why not give hope to the hopeless by bounding over a few on your morning run. Better yet carry loose change in our pockets and some might fall out mid-flight. Can you say BONUS!

This was a really poor attempt at humor, but nobody has been reading this blog lately, so I doubt I hurt too many feelings especially since the homeless probably don’t have working laptops with an active internet connections. But if you are homeless and read this blog after stumbling into a library, I am sorry.

If you actually read this far, I will say that a very high percentage of the contents of this blog are intended for the promotion of good healthy activities. Please take a look at the other 158 blog entries and I am sure if you give it a chance, you will find benefit from most of them. Peace. No humans nor any animals were harmed in the making of this blog.

Fonzie the Good Hood

I may have been a bit delirious after an 8 mile run, while mowing the lawn. I kept thinking about having  a comedian say, “It’s not called a Fonzie scheme, it’s called a Ponzi scheme, Fonzie was a good hood.” Not sure if that ever was part of a stand up routine, but it seems to have a moral to the story. One of those “Don’t judge a book by its cover” kind of story.

Some would say that running has a Ponzi vs. Fonzie kind of rep. Most non-runners don’t run because they say it is boring. I have said if running is boring then you are not using both sides of your brain. Obviously the brain power that it takes to run is not much, yet the brain can take care of so many other thoughts and needs while running. Personally I come up with song ideas and start to solve work and family issues while running. The exercise part is a given, yet the thinking part is forgotten.

Now what does the Ponzi vs. Fonzie have to do with running at all? Well Ponzi was trying to sell you a bill of goods and Fonzie was just cool. So when someone says running is a bunch of boring bunk, you can say if you tried it, you would find it to be really cool.

Running song of the day: Feelin’ Stronger Every Day by Chicago is one of those songs that gives you a powerful boast right when the miles are taking their toll on a long run or marathon. Program it to play around mile 20 and feel the benefits.

Saturday is Right for Running

With a tight weekday schedule, the weekend opens up to get those extra miles that a lunch hour doesn’t allow. Running 4 or 5 times a week for 4 miles a pop is nice, yet I can’t wait for Saturday to get out and stretch the legs miles into the double figures.  Even though a fall marathon is not in the picture, I can feel the urge to increase my mileage and put a 2014 marathon on the schedule.

If it has been a few years since your last marathon, it is never too late to put the pieces back together and build a fitness foundation to get back into marathon shape. Seeing a 78-year-old running a marathon gives me hope that my running days are nowhere near over. Finding inspiration and motivation from others is one way to get back on track.

Whatever it takes, whenever it starts, get it going soon, like now.

Song suggestion of the day: Far Side of Nowhere – Social Distortion. Great song for running, motorcycle and road trips in general.

Mile High and Higher

As kids, my parents took us to Colorado on a family vacation. We found a basketball court and played around for a short while. Short because we felt the effects of the thin mountain air. Today the experts call it “altitude training” back then we just called it “sucking wind”.

My best marathon was after some mountain runs, so I feel like it helps to work out at altitude, however there were several other bonus attributes (lowest weight and overall conditioning) at that time, so the results are not scientific. I can attest to running in the mountains to be much more difficult than running at sea level, so that is all that is important. Like riding an old heavy steel bike compared to a new high-tech light one, the hard makes all the difference. I’ll take the hard every time in training to make the final event feel easier in comparison, which does wonders for the mental aspect of competition. To struggle in training makes it much easier to be run relaxed when it counts.

I was fortunate enough to hit the mountains of Truckee, CA over the weekend for the first time in about 10 years. My lungs burned as I ran up from 6,600 feet to around 7,600 feet. I got in about 15 miles over 3 runs (pulling a double on Sunday) in 2 days. Not a lot of miles for a weekend, yet the inclines were brutal, so the miles weren’t my main objective, survival was.

I have a cousin who lives in Monmouth Lakes, CA, which is where many elite marathon runners go for their altitude training. 8,000 feet in city and only up from there in the mountains. He says he can feel a big difference from Truckee to Monmouth Lakes. I sure would like to visit and give it a test. Maybe next year.

Now I am back home to 95 degree heat. Will have to see if heat is more of a challenge than hills and thin air.

Off for a run. Talk to you all soon.

36 Again

To be 36 again. Huhmmmmm, that would be a trick. I remember going to the official time checker at the after party at the 2004 Chicago Marathon. The guy entered my information and said, “3:14:11, great job!” He then gave me high five and I felt pretty darn awesome for the rest of the evening.

Flash forward 9 years and that marathon time is a distant memory. 2 more Chicago Marathons sub 3:28, but never close to another Boston Qualifying time. Yeah it hurts, especially since both times I qualified for Boston, I didn’t go to Boston. Sure I am part of the group that can called themselves BQs, but to never have run Boston still stings.

50 is rapidly approaching. Do I have one more shot at Boston? Maybe, maybe not. What I do know is that running is a lot more relaxing now that it is just about my sanity and overall health. Would I like to line it up in Hopkinton and take that hilly trek into Boston? Sure, but will I lose sleep over it? Probably not. Could I take any more wishy with my washy?

After 4o running takes on a different meanings and that is okay. I think.

Rollercoaster Ride

The following post I started to write on March 29, 2011 as I prepared to run the Fargo Marathon in May of the same year. For some reason I stopped writing and didn’t post it:

It is a cliché’ to say that life is a rollercoaster ride. We all know that things go well and then they don’t. Rinse and repeat.

I have never run a marathon with 2 good knees. I injured my knee playing basketball in January of 1991, waited to have surgery until December of the same year. I didn’t rehab the knee as well as I should and have had stability issues with it ever since. When I started getting serious about running I was always able to run straight forward without pain, but never without fear that the knee would play tricks on me. From time to time the knee would tweak while going down stairs or while playing with my kids in the yard, but I was always able to run. Now within the last year, my knee will tweak on occasion while running. Today was one of those days. It stinks. I feel like I can run the marathon

The interesting part of this finished post is that I can hardly remember the knee tweak in question as I was able to complete the Fargo Marathon that year with no issues with my knee. What I do remember is I did where a knee sleeve for both that marathon and Chicago 2o11. The curse of the knee sleeve…

This year I dedicated myself to running unaided (no knee sleeve/support) and so far it has been a success. The knee feels stronger than in more years than I can remember with no trickiness while running. Yeah it still gets weird on me at the oddest times, but if I can run with no pain in that knee I will take that deal every time.

I once heard a story about a man who was told by his doctor not to run as he had some damage floating around in there. Instead of quitting, he ran longer and imagined the pounding was grinding the debris into minute particles that no longer bother him. That man went on to be a Ultra-Marathoner. The mind wins again.

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