Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hung Over

Go see this movie. It is pee your pants funny.

I am hung-over. Not the FUN kind of hangover that reminds you (me) of topless dancing on a bar lit on fire with Bacardi 151 (Who am I kidding, I have never seen either). I am talking about a post run hangover. But, let me back up…

Last night, I went for a 3 mile run. It.Was.Glorious. During the run, the pain-o-meter was just barely tipping the scales at a 3.5/10. Not bad. In fact, I talked to my buddy who is running the Twin Cities Marathon last night and told him that if I could keep that level of discomfort throughout the entire race, I’d run it! I iced my knee and lower leg down like a mad man and wasn’t feeling much discomfort at all when I went to bed. On top of that, the great thing about going to bed with a runners high instead of being 8 beers in is that you don’t have to put up with the whole “the world is spinning out of control” thing while trying to sleep.

However, when I work up in the morning, I immediately knew that I was going to be feeling it. To say that my knee was stiff and sore is probably like saying David Hasselhoff had a headache the day after his cheeseburger eating incident. I got up, took a shower, stretched, and iced and hoped that all would be right with the world. While the ice did wonders, I still ended up popping one Advil to sooth away the pain when I got to work. That stuff is amazing. No less than an hour later and I have no pain. Dangerous.

I had originally wanted to run 6 miles today (Tuesday), rest on Wednesday, and run 10 miles on Thursday as a test. We’ll see how that goes!

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Smallest of Victory

I thought that I should give an update on where I am at with my injury. It has been a pretty solid two weeks without any substantial runs. I have a serious case of taper madness that just won't quit. Right now I have this little voice in the back of my head that keeps saying:

-- You are taking off a lot of time, you are going to loose so much fitness.
-- Are you going to be ready for Rock and Roll Arizona?
-- Burn things!
-- Should you really have ANOTHER beer? You're not running, remember?
-- I swear to god, if you make me watch another reality show, I'm outta here.

But, I am seeing small gains in strength and pain management. I even went on a 1 mile very short run on Friday! I am going to follow it up with 3 miles today and see how it goes. The trick is that I have shortened my stride and slowed down substantially - from about a 8:00 pace to 9:30 or so. That seems to have done the trick. Well, at least for that mile.

I am still going to schedule an appointment with a sports medicine doctor. The main reason is that I have a lingering fear that I may have a stress fracture. I have a fairly sharp pain on my shin bone that only hurts when I press on it. So, you know what? I haven't pressed on it! Problem solved. It is either a stress fracture or it is soreness where my ITBS connects to the bone. (It is waaaay up high.) Self diagnosis? You bet - but it is OK, I stayed at a Holiday Inn.

I am nearly positive that I am not going to run the Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday. I'm disappointed, but I would rather rest and be ready for 2010. Don't run for next week, run for next years - run for a lifetime. At least that is what I am telling myself now.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I see famous people

While I travel seemingly all over the country, I am always surprised that I don’t see many famous people. I’d assume that this is because most famous people are too busy bringing sexy back to notice me hustling through the airport. Nevertheless, I can’t help but be surprised that I don’t see even a B-list actor once in a while. Come on Ricky Lake, where are you!?

That isn’t to say that other people who travel a similar amount don’t see all sorts of famous people (B-list included). My brother in law is a commercial pilot and sees famous people all the time. For example, here is a picture of him and carrot top (who looks like he came back from an all night bender). My bro-in-law used to regularly fly in and out of Hyannis Port, MA and would see all sorts of big timers. (I edited him out because I was too lazy to double check that he wanted me to post this. :)

Another consultant friend saw Snoop Dog on a tour bus when coming back to the hotel from the bars. So the story goes, my friend was as drunk as Snoop was stoned. Shizzle.

Well, celebrity dry spell be gone! A few weeks back I was flying home from Atlanta minding my own business waiting for my 3 hour delayed flight, when all of a sudden about 12 highway patrolmen converged on my gate.

Now, I considered making a run for it – assuming that they had finally caught up with me on all of those rolling stop sign stops that I’ve made. But before I could get all of my crap together, I saw a black SUV pull up on the tarmac. Who jumped out? Well, none other than the Georgia governor himself, Sonny Perdue. Here he is getting interviewed in the airport. How cool would it be (for about a day) to have reporters following you around all the time?

Well, come to find out he was there to personally congratulate the girls little league world champions who are from the little town of Warner Robins, Georgia. I never felt so old than to see these little 4th and 5th graders get so much praise. They deserved it for sure.

Of course, the main difficulty of this story – who was more famous? The governor or the little league world champs? The little leaguers did get more pictures taken of them, but the cameras were way smaller.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Beach Cures All

I am not going to lie. I was in a dark place on Monday. I went for a ~100 meter run and could go no further without pain. Bummer. Not even the majesty of the USS Midway could snap me out of my post run blues. Side note: does 100 yards even count as a run? Sorry Usain Bolt, I’m thinking no. Any distance that I can run and still hold my breath the entire time doesn’t count.

So, for those of you that failed US History liked I did, the USS Midway is in San Diego (and so am I)! Arguably my favorite place in the world. It has the perfect mix of beach, bikinis, relaxed California living, night life, bikinis, and cross the border Tijuana kidnappings to make me very happy. Last night I went for a quick walk on mission beach, in my work clothes, to clear my head - letting the sand squish between my toes. Lovely. It was like I was in an episode of Friends. You know, the one where Joey does something dumb and that annoying girl with the guitar sings about her cat…or something. All was right with the world.

As crazy as it sounds, the walk on the beach was all that I needed to get me in the right frame of mind. I’ve never DNS (Did Not Start) a race before but I suppose that there is a first time for everything. First thing this morning I told my best friend, whom I had planned to run with 10 months ago, that I would likely not be able to do it. Right now I put myself at about a 20% chance of running. I would need to feel something special to pound away for 4 hours (that is what she said) and risk getting seriously hurt. As much as I am a tight ass and hate to waste the $100, I would hate to USE the $100 only to set myself up for $2500 worth of surgery. So, it is really like I just SAVED $2400, right? Helloooo carbon fiber bike.

So, now what? Well, I have been calling around trying to get into a sport medicine doctor. Unfortunately, the one recommendation that I received is booked through 10/19. Honestly, if I am still hurt by then I’d sure better be under the knife. Other than that, I’m going to do a bunch of things that I should have been paying more attention to all along. I am going to work on core work, polish up the guns, possibly some intense stretching, and I am finally going to look into strengthening my leg muscles so I don’t require knee straps. Oh, and I’m still going to try my 100 meter runs every 4 days or so. I’ll probably even hold my breath. What NOW Usain Bolt??

Monday, September 21, 2009

Day 9 - No running

That is right, 9 days. I tried a quick 3 miler on Friday, but my knee throbbed for the rest of the day - my body's not so subtle suggestion that I should wait even longer. So, 9 days without running and counting. The other statistic? I have 13 days until the Twin Cities Marathon. Oyy!

I am hoping that I will be able to run it with some level of comfort and ease. Up until this weekend I was fairly confident that I was going to be able to. Now I am not so sure.

I have tried to fix my knee with all the usual ways that I try to get something done. I've yelled at it, I've insulted it's mother, I've even gave it the silent treatment! Nothing. Stubborn foe.

But, I should look at the bright side. The good thing about not running is that I have LOADS of free time. Like some sort of hibernating bear, I slept in both Saturday and Sunday to the point that I think that I got too much sleep. As a result, I slept like crap for most of Sunday night. Stupid double edge sword.

So, hopefully I don't loose too much fitness. I am fully willing to rest all 3 weeks of taper and run the marathon on muscle memory alone. But, I am not naive. I will loose some speed because of this little 'break', but hopefully my friends will still talk to me.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Foto Friday - Facebook Funnies

This morning I went for a 3 mile run for the first time since Sunday. I finished the run but it wasn't a fun experience. But, once I stopped and iced my knee down, the pain doesn't seem to be any worse than when I started. So, I'll try it again tomorrow or Sunday for a bit longer.

That said, funny picture time. The URL to the following pictures were posted on SloMofo's (John from Hellasound) twitter page. Go to his website, buy one of his beats per minute songs, run faster. Done and done.

The pictures were a link from the 'Best Article Every Day' who looks like they stole them from CollegeHumor. So, why stop with the plagiarism here!? I figure that since they are something like 4 times removed, they are fair game, right?!

Of course, if you don't have Facebook, you aren't going to "get" this. If that is the case, you should get on and then friend me.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fontaine Classic - 1/2 marathon tune-up photos

Day 4 of not running. I wanted to go out REALLY bad last night, and almost did, but I promised myself on Sunday that I would wait a full day longer than I thought that I needed. So, instead of running and slowing down the healing process even more, or even hitting the exercise bike, I laid around in my hotel room like a big blob. Sort of like Jaba the Hut but without any the fun bikini clad Princess Leia. (Wow, I really called out my nerdiness just then. I feel naked and exposed.)

So, what do washed up has-been athletes do when they can no longer perform? They reminisce about better times. So, that is what I am going to do! Two weeks ago, along with my running club East Valley Runners, I ran a tune up half marathon. This thing was no joke. They had a timer on a tripod, volunteer manned water stations, and popsicles at the finish line! Let me tell you, nothing is better than a popsicle at the finish line of a hot race. Nothing.

I had brought my camera but I forgot it in the car. Fortunately, I was able to hit up the club president who was well equipped with his digital SLR. Here are a few of the pictures that he sent along my way.

A few of the East Valley Runners getting ready to start

Here I am lining up at the start after running an early 5 miles (shooting for 20 on the day). I never realized how much of a WRECK I look like after only 5 miles!! I look like I am ready to faint! (click to enlarge to see how wobbly I am)


Mingling after the race. I am almost positive that I was grabbing a second popsicle and missed the picture.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Injury Gremlins

Well, it is official. I’m hurt bad enough that I’ve had to take a few days off. Whenever I am hurt, I like to think of little injury gremlins getting into my joints and wreaking havoc. Think of those little Lamisil gremlins lifting up the dude’s big toenail. Gross. Of course, the reality is that it is my own stupid body mechanics that are likely to blame.

I can’t 100% pin down the official cause of the issues, but my knee was stiff and sore after my 20 miler last weekend and throbbed during my 4 mile recovery run that was cut short from a planned 5 miles. So, again putting on my doctors circle mirror head dealie, I’d have to say that it was a combination of:

Working and bending over in the yard last week
Being dehydrated over the last week
Running my recovery runs a bit too fast
Injury gremlins
Running on shoes that were just barely past their prime
No longer lifting weights
Taper madness
Being PISS POUNDED in my fantasy football league(s)
Obama’s healthcare plan (Kidding, kidding)

Now, to puff out my chest and act like a man for a while, it isn’t like I couldn’t run. I could probably run on my knee if I was being chased by a cougar. (Those wealthy old ladies just can’t get enough of my baby blue eyes.) But, this is one of the first times in a while that my injury hurts when I am NOT running – so I thought it best to take a break.

Since I am in taper mode for the Twin Cities marathon, I honestly don’t think that it will be too big of a deal to my training. I’m going to try to jog some VERY slow miles Wednesday night (which will be a full 3 days off) and see how it goes. Again, if I still have pain while walking around, I’ll probably hold off another day or so. No sense being stupid about it.

Question to the group: Does Advil actually help in the healing process or does it just mask pain / symptoms? My pain isn’t bad enough that I am foaming at the mouth to take yet another pill, but if it will help I’ll be more than happy to pop a few Vitamin-I.

Monday, September 14, 2009

What I did on my vacation - Mixed with motorcycles

I imagine that, if I were in 2nd grade, this would be my report after summer Labor Day vacation. Some of these were just posted, but if i worked 4 days straight on it, they are probably worth posting twice. Enjoy!

I took this:

turned it into this:

Put in a few sprinklers:

Planted a few trees:

Then went on a motorcycle ride with my dad (notice how he looks cool with a dorky helmet on and I look....dorky)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Musings from the Road

As I sit here, glass of wine in hand contemplating last week's runs, I can't help but think that it had some certain highs and lows. Well, that and how I would be much cooler if I had a smoking jacket Hugh Hefner style.

This week's runs were especially hard because I was running in the morning and then working hard on the yard (yay rhyming!) during the day. Oh, did I mention that it was over 100 each day? Yeah, sucksville.

First, the highs. I had a good long run and I KILLED my interval run. Since no one likes to hear about long runs I'll speak to my interval run a bit. I did 8x800 at an average pace of 5:52 minute miles. (Somewhere around 2:56 per 800.) I was cruising throughout all of the intervals as I ran back and forth and back and forth in front of my house. The great thing about running around my place is that I get to wave at all sorts of my neighbors. AND - even if they didn't wave at me the first time, by the 4th or 5th interval, I was getting all sorts of waves.

Now for the ever present lows. The strange thing is that the lows are centered around my intervals as well! Putting on my circle mirror head dealie and pretending to be a doctor, I am nearly certain that I strained a hamstring during my speedy intervals. Bummer. I took Friday's Marathon Pace day off and will take my 20 miler on Saturday very easy. Other than that, I caught a really bad case of runners gut on my "sorta long" 10 mile run and therefore had to make a quick pit stop in a gas station. After that pit stop, everything was OK, but the run was still not the same.

The Twin Cities Marathon is three weeks away and starting Sunday, I'll be in full on taper mode. I still haven't decided how much of a taper I'm going to do - but I'll figure it out based on how my legs feel. Either way, I'm really excited to spend some time in the north!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Where were you?

During 9/11?

I was watching The Today Show with my (now) wife eating a bowl of Fruit Loops. I saw the 2nd plane hit live on the Today show because they had traffic helicopters covering what they thought was a fire in one of the towers.

I skipped my first college class (for the first time that year) and went to the second one which was let out after 15 minutes.



Yeah, so remember how I said I would post on Thursday? When I said "tomorrow" I meant "tomorrow in guy time". Which means "within the next few days give or take". Not to be confused with the duration of business time. 30 minutes quickly becomes 4 minutes of an elbowy, sweaty romp.

Either way, I'll get an update on running, yard work, and general hilariousness this afternoon!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Landscapers Challenge

Of course, by Landscapers I mean "Amateur dummy and his knowledgeable dad" and by Challenge I mean "Nightmare".

Honestly, everything happened about as well as it could have. The Arizona heat just knocked us down.

The reason I haven't posted in the last 4 or so days is because my dad is in town and we are putting the finishing touches on the yard. I've been ridiculously busy. I'm consistently running 7-10 miles per day and am working 6-8 hard, long, hot hours in the yard. *insert sexual innuendo about hard, long, hot here*.

Essentially, I've been taking this:

Changing it to this:

Having fun with power tools (like this mini-chain-saw) all the while:

I'll post more pictures tomorrow. Tonight, I need to get back on the computer and finish up my fantasy football picks and make sure I am locked and ready to clean house tomorrow with the start of the season! Everyone who is in my league(s) should be scared, very very scared.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Racing Shoes

Well, I completely forgot to thank everyone for their feedback on whether to get a pair of racing shoes or not. I agree that getting a pair of shoes specifically for racing seems a little frivolous. “Look at me!! I’m important enough to spend $100 on shoes that I wear 6 times a year!” (Of course, said while bouncing around like an attention deficit kid after a triple espresso.)

So, what did I do this past weekend? Spent $100 on a pair of racing shoes. So, maybe I actually listened to most of the people who loves them some new shoes too.

As you can see in this victory lap after my run (and shower) this morning, they obviously make me fast.

Well, not really racing shoes, I bought a pair of Saucony Tangent 3 light weight trainers. These babies are ~3oz less than my normal cement bricks!!! I anticipate that I’ll use them for speedwork, some shorter MP runs, and most importantly 5K and 10K races. Of course, you could have just as easily asked my wife what I would wear them for. Why you ask? Because I answered the question “Why do you need more than one pair of shoes again?” about 4 times. Never mind the fact she has 2 dresser drawers full of purses….but I digress.

Buying them was actually pretty funny. The Sole Sports shoe guy who was helping me was a local High School Cross Country runner. When I was going back and forth between racing flats and the shoes that I got, here is the conversation that we had:

Adam: What do you think about these super flat super non supported racing flats. Since I have some moderate pronation, will they still be okay for 5Ks and stuff or will I totally trash my shins?
High School Guy: Oh, they'll be fine for 5Ks.... I mean, you're only going to be on your feet for like 18 minutes or whatever anyway, right?
Adam: Riiiiighhhhht. Good point…. 18 minutes, you know, give or take. (In my mind thinking… “Yeah, give or take two or three minutes”)

Maybe my wife is right and I did waste the money..... Crap, I hate it when she is right.

I totally killed my tempo run on Wednesday. Overall, 8 miles at 7:26 average pace with 6 tempo miles at 7:17 average pace. I took The Sean’s advice and ran mostly by feel. Love it…Celebrated with a 40 of Bud…in the hotel….by myself…organizing my auto-draft for the fantasy football league I am in.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

August Running

Much like my good looks, my training has peaked for this marathon training cycle. While this week is a step back week, next week I’ll hit a solid 60 miles. That means that I’ll engage in somewhere around 8 hours of running adventures. Mix that with my dad being in town and I’m going to be one busy guy. Busier than a dog with two peckers! (Mission accomplished on trying to use that saying more)

While I haven’t had much luck with my long runs, my day in and day out running has gone quite well. I’ve been able to knock out 5/6/5 miles over the last three days with an average pace at or below 8:10. The real test is going to be tonight with my 45 minute tempo run. I’m going to try to hit this run at around 7:15 pace which is my 10K pace + 15 seconds or so. I’ve sometimes had some trouble sticking out the entire tempo run, but for some reason I am feeling pretty good about this one. Since a tempo run is supposed to be at the pace that you can hold for an hour nonstop, 45 minutes is going to be really pushing the threshold. Pain is good. Right?
On a related note, I hit a new monthly mileage PR during August - 221 miles at a 8:17 average pace. I’m pretty excited as this is the first time that I’ve ran further than 200 miles during a month long period. I uploaded all of my runs into RunningAhead to celebrate. All the while marveling at each glorious graph of running competence.
For that matter, I just clicked past 1000 miles for the year. I didn’t do that for all of 2008. So I have that going for me, which is nice. I’m on track to pass 1500 which is way past my new year’s resolutions. Maybe that will make up for not sending post cards?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cooler weather is a coming

I can’t help but notice that even in the sweltering heat in Atlanta is starting to break. Check out the 5 day forecast:Lows in the 60s!? I’m in some sort of runner heaven. Imagine me floating on a cloud where slower runners always yield to the right (it is heaven, I am the fastest – duh) and my moisture wicking (Nike emblazoned) halo matches perfectly with my moisture wicking harp. Score.

I’m pretty sure that I’ve mentioned before that fall is my favorite time of year. Probably last year when it was also fall. While I’m not sure that fall will smell the same in Phoenix as it did in Kansas City, I am certain that the changes will be just as pronounced. Changes in my day to day life will be obvious as well. Gone will be the 4:00am wakeup calls on the weekend to run to beat the heat. I’ll be able to sleep in as long as needed and crank out a few miles midday without the risk of heat stroke.

Furthermore, I’ll be able to get a set of bikes for myself and my wife. We’ll be able to cruise around hand in hand. I may even spring for a tandem bike! Wouldn’t that be special? I’d have to have some sort of funnel attached to catch all of my vomit. Between everyone staring and sighing “awwww” and the nagging from my wife about my bike driving abilities, I’m sure that my gag reflex would be tested on a minute by minute basis.

But, it would be cooler - so that would be nice.