Thursday, July 29, 2010

Miles and miles and miles pass by. The content of this blog has become fairly sparse. I haven’t found the urge to write as regularly. Days are filled with running, working, family and sleeping. I don’t know how elite runners can put in 100 mile weeks on a regular basis. I suppose that is what makes them elite.

The issue with my toe seems to be resolving itself. I ended up taking a full week off from running to allow it some healing time. It hurt quite a bit the first few runs back. It is still sore on occasion now but overall it is much better.

My training is still in forward motion. My goal at this time is simply to keep building the weekly mileage. I feel like it is going well. These last two weeks I have been in the 50 mile range and have not suffered any lingering pain or injury. I feel myself getting much stronger. I’m learning just how much further you can actually go even when your body is screaming for a break. With the higher mileage I am getting lots of practice on tired legs which will prove valuable in later stages of the big run.

For the last 2 weeks I have been adding in some runs with my old New Balance 790’s with the insoles removed. They are very minimal and almost completely flat but unfortunately they still have some heel rise that I don’t like. The best thing about them is they don’t offer any arch support or stabilization and they are pretty light. I started using them for a couple reasons. One, I blew the big toe out of one of my VFF’s and now have it duc-taped together. Two, when I hit over 40 miles in the week I begin to experience a lot of sensitivity in my feet post run. Mainly, I feel this is a conditioning problem that could be worked through but I am afraid to push the issue this close to October and suffer a potential injury and set back. For the big run, I may end up using both VFF’s and some thin shoes. I’m a little worried to run the extremely rocky profile of Busiek without a little more substantial sole. Suffering a stone bruise on my heel in the middle of the night would make for a very long finish.

I have found myself missing my bike lately! After spending an entire year of riding daily it seems strange to only ride 1 or 2 days per week. I have a feeling once I am done with my birthday run I will get back to more regular riding.

Week of 7-19, 32 on bike, 47 on foot.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The last week I have been limping about telling myself it’s just a bruise. There are some injuries that are just bad enough to nag. They may be the worst kind because they don’t force you to rest. They allow you to live on in denial and just keep pushing through pain repeating to yourself that it will be better soon. I’m starting to lose hope for a fast recovery. It’s nothing too terrible. The closest I can pin it down to is the joint in the big toe on my left foot. The pain radiates through the ball and toe whenever I walk or try to bend my toe. Again, it’s not severe. It just has that dull ache and stiffness. I thought it would be gone in a matter of days but as I approach a full week it seems worse today than it has all week. I skipped a scheduled long run this week because of the soreness but it appears a more focused rest may be in order.

The shame is in the way that it happened. It wasn’t an accident on my bike with another vehicle. It didn’t happen on a late night trail run. I wasn’t doing anything even remotely active or interesting! I was in the shower, attempting to wash my foot, when I slipped and jammed my toe into the floor of the tub. I will begin an icing regimen tonight and try to recoup it fast. Hopefully, it will be gone quickly!

Week of July 5th - 52 bike, 36 on foot
Week of July 12th - 32 bike, 36 on foot

Friday, July 9, 2010

Running for Cash?

The plan for my 40th birthday 100 mile run is developing. I’m at a crossroads with the plan though and I’m not sure where to go with it. It now seems to be morphing into something a little larger. I guess the way I originally imagined it all was me running through the day and night while having my family there and maybe a few interested friends to see me off on each loop with a little motivation. If I were lucky, a few people would train some themselves and then accompany me on a few of the loops to help me through the challenge.

As we have talked about the run with different people, several have brought up the idea of using the run as a charity fundraiser type thing. I’m not sure why this is giving me pause. I have nothing against charity by any means. It would be kind of cool to do something that would not only be fulfilling a personal goal but also provided some aid to someone less fortunate than myself. I think I’m afraid of making the whole thing into too large of an event.

Maybe I’m just becoming more introverted with age but also it could be I'm a little afraid to be the center of such attention by taking on such an endeavor. Not to mention, I absolutely suck at asking for and collecting money. I had a miserable and short career as a door to door vacuum salesman that has soured me on cold calling people for money. I feel like hosting a charity run might become more of a project than I am capable of doing well. I’m great at putting my head down and persevering. I’m not so great at planning, organizing, and rallying people.

On the one hand, I really don’t feel like my run merits that much attention. In the large scale of ultramarathons, mine will be mediocre at best. There are lots of people doing 100 mile, or even longer runs, and many doing them in far more impressive times than I will ever be able to manage. On the other hand, I know that my finishing time doesn’t really matter and if I can inspire a few people to get active with their lives and also raise some money for a good cause, what could possibly be wrong with that?

I think I have this fear of it turning into a big spectacle with friends, family and strangers showing up to support, people pledging money and news crews there to capture it all and then me failing miserably! I have to wipe such thoughts from my head. I will be successful.

What do you think?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Finally a solid week of running. 57 miles on foot and 48 on the bike.

One of the biggest obstacles I come to in training is how to manage the time. For a slower runner like myself, it took about 11 hours of running to cover the distance I did this week. I have never been able to find this amount of time on a regular basis before. For some reason, I have always enjoyed running after work in the afternoon the best. The problem with this is I feel selfish taking off for 2 or 3 hour runs during what is often the only quality time I could be spending with Jake and Sara. I could get up at 3 or 4 and get the miles in. That always sounds like a good plan the night before, however when the alarm goes off, it becomes a much larger hurdle.

Running to work has allowed me a compromise. I have found I can leave the house at 6 am and get 10 miles in before work. I can then run 8 miles home and be there before 6:30. 18 miles for the day and I didn't have to do it all in the predawn hours or spend the whole evening running when I feel like I should be hanging with the family. 2 days of this and a longer run on Saturday or Sunday and I'm at close to 60 miles! I intend to add another day of running to work before to long. Another benefit of this program is the second run of the day is on tired legs which is excellent training for the 100 miler.