Runner's Notebook

Pavement, Pain, & Perseverance

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05/16/2018: 30DC Week 1, Day 1 - “Test Day” Finally, this evening was clear enough for me to start the 30 Day Challenge; therefore, we’re going to start our numbering over again. Today was “Test Day”. The purpose is to determine a baseline from which improvements can be made. For W1, D1 I was required to do the following:

  • 30 Minute RunI haven’t run for about 3 1/2 weeks which made this run a little intense but felt great. Since I’m prone to injuries, I started by dynamic stretching for 10 minutes using the RunnerStretch app. This app is great for warm-up and cool-downs. Most importantly, it’s free.I initially planned to take this run pretty easy, for the most part, using a level 1 to 2 Tempo Run as my preferred method. I alternated between walking for 1 minute, running at a slower, level 2 pace (around 10:30/mi) for 10 minutes, walking for 3 minutes, running at a fast level 3 pace (at 9:10 to 9:30/mi) for 20 minutes, and walking for another 2 minutes. My total time was 3.1 miles in 30:08 (9:32 pace).
  • Push-up (as many as you can do in 60 seconds) This part of the test is pretty humbling. My preconceived notion was that I’d be able to complete the full 60-seconds without any problem. That is not what happened. I began to count…1…2…3…4………5………….6…………….7……………..8………………9………………..10. I had to shift to a modified version using my full body going down and knees coming up. I made it to 20. I’ve got a lot of work to do!
  • Hollow Body Hold (for as long as you can)I found this exercise to be less difficult. Picture a four-legged bug who had just been sprayed with Raid bug spray and you’ll have a pretty good image of what I looked like. While on my back, I brough my knees to my chest while lifting my head and upper back off of the ground (as in a crunch) and my arms stretched down by the outside of my knees. I added additional elements by straightening my legs and arms one at a time. When I was done, I successfully completed this exercise in 2 minutes, 30 seconds.

The first day of the 30DC went pretty well. It felt good to be back on the pavement and moving at a decent pace. I look forward to Day 2. That is if it doesn’t storm.

Time for a protein shake!

05/15/2018 - 30 Day Challenge: RAIN & LIGHTNING

One thing that I come to learn quite a while ago is that living in Florida starting at the edge of summer, is unpredictable. That is to say, it rains a lot. Mind you, I don’t mind rain one bit. Actually, rain can make for a fun and refreshing run. Lighting, not so much. Guess what it did during this evening’s scheduled run. Yep, you guessed it…lightening. Did a few stretches instead.

Crossing my finger for a good day tomorrow.

05/14/2018 - 30 Day Challenge - RAIN

Day One started out great! No, I’m kidding. It didn’t. It rained…A LOT! Since today was originally supposed to be “Test Day” to determine your current baseline, I decided to make it a minor stretch/rest day instead.

See you tomorrow!

BTW…some of these posts may be backdated due to the time it takes to get to them.

05/04/2018: The Start of the Finish Line

To get to the finish line, you must first start well before the starting line. This metaphor is about life, not just a feet-to-the-pavement race. Why did I start Runner’s Notebook, you may ask. I started it for three main reasons; to keep me accountable, to keep track of my training schedule, and to give others an insight into my fairly new life of running. Frankly, if I can accomplish my first objective, I’ll be happy and will have succeeded.

Why do I run? I’ve been asked this question more times than I can count on two hands. Many people run to escape the crazyiness of life. They want to run away from their problems, release tension, and let the road be their therapist. Sure, I could claim the same reasons, but I have a good life; one that I’m not trying to run away from. To be honest, I like the feeling of running. The accomplishment of finishing a race with a new personal best. The adrenaline of finishing a goal that I once felt was too far in the distance and not obtainable. That’s why I run.

It didn’t start out this way. A year and a half ago, I would’ve told you that I hate running. Wait, that’s wrong. I wouldn’t told you that I HATE running! I participated in one race during the April of each year; the Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston, South Carolina. After each run…er…run and walk, I’d vow to myself that I train for the “next” race. January would arrive and my new goal would make its way to my New Year’s resolutions. I’d start out too ambitious, running too many miles the first and second week. Then, injury. Shin splint became common, causing me to table my training a few weeks. Then, complacency set in, April would arrive and I’d be no closer to a PB than I was the previous year. My time was always the same, no matter how prepared I felt: 1:09:50-something. After the race, the cycle would start again.

Injury Changes Everything

In January 2017, I once again created a goal to break 1:09; and once again, I started strong. Too…darn…strong. During the second week in January, I ran 10 miles and felt pretty good. Short lived. During the 3rd week, I decided to go for a short 2 mile run, as soreness from the previous week was seeping in. After 1 mile, I began to feel a twing in my knees and my shin. I attributed to normal runner’s pain; my inexperience showing. By mile one and a half, my twing has turned into a full blown limp. My knee was on fire. My shins were on fire and my knees were weak. My training was over.

I made the decision. I am going to make an appointment with an orthopedic doctor. He sent me for exams and found that I had a severe case of shin splints, and my knees were weak. He sent me for physical therapy. I hung on every word of the physical therapist, followed through with every appointment, and performed prescribed exercises every day. Do you know what happened? It worked!

After that visit, I vowed never to face a painful climb down stairs, have knee joint problems, or have a pirate limp again. Even though I still ran a 1:09:58 time the following April during the Cooper River Bridge Run, I felt good. Really good.

That was just the beginning. In 2017, I ran 5K, 10K, 15K, and a half marathon; all totaling nearly 250 miles. In 2018, I started out strong and have run a half marathon, 8K, and three 5Ks. Now, I’m gearing up for the New York City Marathon in November. I’ll write about that during a later post.

So, that’s the setup. The majority of these posts are going to be about my training leading to November. To start, I will be participating in the 30 Day Challenge by The Run Experience. I’ll explain more about this awesome training club and the other tools I use in later posts.

For now, lets get running!