An eventful year

December 30, 2008

It’s amazing how quickly the year has gone by. I had 3 different jobs, went from running at most 15 miles a week to averaging 60, and ran a marathon under 3 hours. There were also a lot of changes for friends and family:

  • Worked at a start-up for 9 months in between working two different jobs at the same company (yes that’s confusing)
  • Saw friends make a big change in their business, taking some risks to chase their dream
  • Got past the guilt of spending money on myself
  • Had 3 patents get approved … finally
  • Waited too long on the wrong platform and let the trains go by … figuratively
  • Ran a marathon under 3 hours
  • Read 7 books
  • Learned to be more trusting of people
  • Saw people that worked for me come into their own
  • Regretted not going with my gut instinct in work and life (read “Blink” if you haven’t already)
  • Found inspiration from a team that rekindled my passion for running
  • Didn’t spend enough time with long time friends and family
  • Served as a board president for a non-profit
  • Started using twitter
  • Went on vacation to Tuscany with lifelong friends
  • Learned what “creme fraiche” is
  • Took a weekend trip to London on a whim to visit friends

A week of firsts

December 28, 2008

I’m really not one for new years resolutions but it seems like a few things have come together right around the new year. As I’ve written in earlier posts I’m trying to train harder this season than I ever have before and it’s going to require some serious dedication. The three related to training I’m working on:

  1. Increasing my weekly mileage to between 75 and 85
  2. Running paces that are “uncomfortable”
  3. Cooking to improve my nutrition
  4. Going to the gym

3 and 4 are really so I can sustain 1 and 2. And this week was a first in many ways, I decided to order a couple of cook books and have managed to cook regularly the last two weeks. I’ve also been keeping up with strength work that I’ve mentioned in recent posts. As my mileage ramps up from my current 55 miles a week to my hopeful 90 mile a week peak I’ll have to try and keep all these things going, let’s see how it goes.

Current wins: Learning what Creme fraiche is, pace pickups during runs, posting on my non-running blog

Current losses: Too much TV, hesitation

First week of training for Boston ’09 is over

December 27, 2008

Today’s 16 mile run put me at 55 miles for the week. This is the first week of consistent running and gym work since the marathon (CIM) on the 7th of this month. I’m feeling recovered and my legs feel good, maybe too good so I know it isn’t going to last. I’ve been able to keep my easy pace below 7:40 without much effort. 7:40 is where I averaged for all the long runs training for CIM and it’s my natural cadence for an easy run, I just lock into it. During the training for Boston I’m trying to change up my paces a little, pushing for a few minutes at a time on long runs as well as a run or two during the week. Steve said to do it so I’ll do it.

This week was an “up” week for sure, I felt great on every run. As with any training season there are going to be some down weeks coming. Today I averaged a 7:20 pace which is where I’d ideally like to be as I work on getting down to a 2:50 marathon. Yes, that is the goal, when, we’ll see. That’s a 6:30 pace for 26.2 miles which is what I think I would run a half marathon at so I have lots of work left.

As I try and pick up the paces on some of these runs I need to really take advantage of my recovery runs, like the 7 mile run tomorrow morning. I don’t want to burn out or get injured by running harder all the time.

Current Wins: Shopping and clothes that fit, cooking again, emptying the house of stuff I don’t need

Current Losses: distance, leisure reading,

Christmas morning run, an Austin tradition

December 25, 2008

The morning started with another Austin tradition. It’s a good run with runners from different groups and a pot luck breakfast to finish off the 5 mile run around the capital.

The little things that can lead to injury

December 24, 2008

I’m going to go into one thing that my recent work with Marc at South Congress Athletic Club highlighted. I posted recently how he analyzed a few things about me and one was that I was distributing my weight unevenly between my left and right side/legs. Specifically he noticed that when I was standing neutrally the Tibialis Anterior Tendon was engaged more on my right foot than the left … I put more weight or strain on the right than the left.

Muscles and Tendons in the Foot

Muscles and Tendons in the Foot

The right foot is the one I’ve been having trouble with in the toes with a sprain in the area between the feet. I also had a foot sprain on this foot in the past and have had minor plantar faciitis.

Today Marc worked through some of the exercises that are part of the program he’s put together which I’ll be doing on my own. One of the exercises was a seated calf raise. What’s shown in the video does NOT cover what he wanted me to focus on but just shows you the machine and what you’ll see people at the gym doing.

There were a few things he wanted to make sure I focus on. The first was keeping my body upright. One of the ways I’ve often heard people describe good running form is to feel like there’s a rope going through the center of the top of the head straight down and we’re trying to keep it taught. Marc makes a point of in all the exercises pointing out one or two things to “feel” or “look for” to ensure it’s working the muscules the right way for me. So I had that in control and he said I should feel my calves activate.

The strange thing was I noticed pretty quickly that the calf in my right leg was not activating like the left. That was pretty strange so I spent a little more time with Marc on that. What I noticed was that in the right foot I was pushing more from the outer pad of my foot (outside three toe foot area) than the left foot. As soon as I focused on engaging the inner foot pad my calf in the right foot engaged, it created a more even distribution of force across the foot.

It was insightful to see the imbalance between both my feet and how I use them. All this work has given me more insight into why I tend to see the same injuries over and over and why they tend to differ between my left and right side, now I hope all his trying to balance the body out helps keep me fit and running.

Getting into the gym to support the running

December 23, 2008

Today was day one of my gym work. I saw Mark at South Congress Athletic Club yesterday and he worked through the things I need to do one day a week. This morning after the 9 mile run with the group was day one at the gym.

The total workout didn’t take too long, around 4 minutes. The majority of the exercises were upper body related. I’m not quite sure how to describe it but they were a balance of things to curve the spine and then to straighten it. Also a few for the legs and the arms/shoulders. I’m writing this entry from the phone so I’ll have more on each exercise is future posts.

First long run since the marathon

December 20, 2008

Today was an easy 10 mile run with the Team. It was nice to loosen the legs up. Overall it felt good, a little humid but otherwise comfortable. My right calf is still a little tight which then impacts the Achilles but I think it’s under control. Looking at my gradual build up back into base phase I’m hoping to do run 50 miles this week with a 14 mile long run, then a 16 miler before heading back into the 20 mile weekend long run area. Barring injuries I’ll peak at the end of Jan and then try and maintain a base between 70 and 75 miles a week from Feb till Boston in April.

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