Monthly Archives: April 2012

Day 19

Long Run Sunday again. Pushed the run distance up to 5 miles, first time at that distance since the surgery. Skipped the morning caffeine as well, all in all it went well. Did have to stop about 1 mile in to help some golfers retrieve their ball from the other side of the road, bit of a weird request. I mean how much is a single golf ball? It really wasn’t that big a deal but just struck me as strange. The 5 mile run was a bit slow but no slower than my 5k or 4 mile runs have been. A little tight the day after but otherwise feels like good progress. I have a 5k race on day 22, keeping my fingers crossed for sub 28 minute and to beat my coworkers 🙂

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Social Running vs. Solo Running

As with many runners, I run alone most of the time. I think of running as a solo endeavor except on race day and the occasional group run. I always thing of the old Iron Maiden song, “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner”. Maybe not the full lyrics but at least the title. I like going to races especially where there is a group of friends but for training I prefer to run alone. Just me, my GPS watch and my iPod. I’ve run with a running club but it started to feel like a chore to make it on-time and run with the group. I’m thinking to run with them occasionally but not on a weekly basis and just focus on my solo training. This might be just my personality. I really enjoyed doing day/multi-day relays with groups due to the social part but doing this on a regular basis is just too much for me.

I have a 5k race in a week where many of my running club (well part time running club) and several co-workers will be there. It should be a good time as the rare occurrence but then it will be back to solo training.

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Day 12 – Long Run Sunday

Today was long run Sunday, so I went out for my long run after mowing the lawn. The wind was blowing 25mph (40kph) from the North making for an unusually cold day at 49F (10C) with a windchill of 44F. I ran 4 miles which sounds like a ridiculously small distance but things are progressing well and we’ll see if the knee stays pain free tomorrow. The knee has been pain free for better than a week and surrounding muscles have been getting better each day. Need to keep everything stretched and stay on the training plan no matter how good it feels. No sense in pushing it and re-injuring it. Should be over 50 miles for April, not too bad considering. Overall I’m feeling good and think my progress is on track.

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Day 10 – New Shoes

I ordered some new running shoes, couldn’t find the alternate color in the store. I already had 1 pair of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12
so I wanted the alternate color so I can tell them apart and track the mileage on each. These are my first pairs of Brooks after several years of running with ASICS. They were recommended to me while I trying on the ASICS I planned to buy. The Brooks just felt more comfortable and I’ve done several runs on the first pair and I really like them. 

I hadn’t planned on a another new pair of shoes this year, at least this soon, but the pair I tried to salvage after Dances with Dirt last year didn’t fair well and between washing and the mileage, they didn’t feel quite right. Given the knee recovery, I didn’t want to risk additional injury just because of worn out shoes.

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Day 7

Worked 11+ hours on my birthday and took nearly 1hour to drive home (twice as long as usual) but went for another 5k run anyway. Cleared the mind and made me forget about the long day.

Not fast again but felt better during the run and for the first time, everything feels pretty good a couple of hours after the run . Hopefully the there will be no pain tomorrow and I can head out for another run. Only 26 weeks to go till the marathon and just 2 weeks until my first 5k race with my coworkers. This is a small charity run with a group of people who are mostly non-runners so it should be very casual. Would like to run in sub 28 minute just for my own satisfaction but that might be too ambitious. My original goal was under 30min and I’ve running that for the last week or so. Would like to start building mileage soon, maybe this Sunday I can move up to 4 or 5 miles just to start building some stamina. I’d like to be faster but I really shouldn’t complain only 5 weeks after surgery and a 5 month layoff.

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New Toy

My daughter bought me a new toy for my birthday. Well not really a toy, but it seems to help the knee muscles after a run. I’m not big into massages but if it helps the recovery then I’m game. I plan to keep using this for the duration of the training as long as it seems to be working.

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Day 5

Got a 5k run in between rainstorms. The knee is pain free but still weak. Waited for the Red Wings game room end and the temperature to warm to the mid 60s. My strengthening exercises seems to be working, just have to keep up with it. Expecting thunderstorms and high winds for the early part of the week, so it looks like indoor work until mid-week.

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Training with Technology

I’m an engineer who loves data. This means that I track every mile I run. I’ve been using RunKeeper recently. I have an Android phone that I love but the 4.3” screen is difficult to carry when I run. I have a Garmin Forerunner 205 that I love and now that I can import my data directly from the watch to RunKeeper, I plan to put all my training data there.

I will still maintain my spreadsheet log just because RunKeeper owns my data and if/when they get bought out, I don’t want to lose my training history. I found this excel spreadsheet, a few years ago and it has proven to be an effective log that I keep in my dropbox so I can view on any device. I’ve tried to convert it to a google doc but it doesn’t work well with the complex formulas and macros. It has more information than I really like some of the info including the tracking of mileage on shoes.

I keep eyeing the latest training devices but so far have been able to resist. I’m looking at the Motoactv but I only wear a watch when I run so some of the activity info would be lost for me. I like the form factor for the FitBit but lacks the GPS function that I depend on so I don’t have to have fixed running paths.

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Knee Surgery to Marathon in 27 weeks?

Last fall I tore the Meniscus in my left knee. I spent several months trying to avoid surgery before the doctor ordered an MRI to diagnose the meniscus was torn. I was able to only run a little from November to March when I finally had the surgery.

It has now been a month since the surgery and I just completed my first 5k run. The run was a bit slow, just under 29 minutes, considering my best was 23:22. I’d like to get below 27 min for a 5k race I plan to run with co-workers in early May. The weakness of the muscles around the knee (picture of the loss of muscle tone in one leg, fair warning not for the feint of heart) have been the biggest surprise considering the other leg isn’t as bad and I haven’t been running on 1 leg for the last few months 🙂 

My secondary goal for this year is to run a full marathon. I tried this goal last year but didn’t quite make it for various reasons including the knee injury but also work was crazy due to the Japan earthquake/tsunami. In addition, I’ve had a bit of a training wall at the 3 hour mark that I have to work my way through as I increase my distance of the next few months.

I have a little over 27 weeks to train for the Free Press Marathon. Assuming I continue to make progress as I have so far and I can get by the wall in my training, this should be enough time.

This is my public, maybe not well known or popular, but very public goal to run a marathon this year. This should be sufficient motivation to ensure that I keep up on the training and barring injury, achieve my goal of running my first marathon.

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