Wednesday, June 30, 2010

June: What A Bust!

It's the last day of June and this month just flew by.  After having a great month in May, June has come off rather crappy running-wise.  I plan a 3 miler tonight, but wanted to get the review done and put June behind me.

Looking at my calendar for June, there really isn't much to say about the running other than there was considerably less than last month, and most of those were either pain ridden or just lackluster runs.  On the plus side, I did do a lot of walking this month.

It was a very busy month.  I had vacation, a field pest survey, and emergency trip to Oklahoma for my Grandma's funeral.  Sometimes it's easy for life to get in the way of things and June just happened to be chock full of it.

June stats (minus tonight):
Number of runs: 9
Longest run: 8 miles
Total miles: 30.2
Number of blogs: 10

Travel catchup:
Last week I was supposed to have spent the week collecting ticks, larviciding mosquitoes, and killing wasps in preparation for the Boy Scout National Jamboree at the end of June.  With the news of my Grandma, it was cut short.  The 3 days I was there went well.  We did a ton of treatments, and feel pretty confident that things will go smooth, pest-wise, for the Jamobree.  On thursday Jen, Connor, and I flew into Oklahoma City and stayed with my parents and sister (she's still on vacation from the FL trip).  It was a great trip, other than the fact we were there for a funeral.  My sister and I had a nice run together, and I got a second run in on Monday morning.  We got the chance to see family I haven't seen in years, and Connor got to play with his cousins (Lily and Miles).  Unfortunately Paige wasn't with us.  It was her father's week, and frankly, we couldn't afford another impromptu plane ticket for her.  We made it home LATE Monday night, and I had an EARLY pest survey in DC yesterday morning.  Today I'm finally feeling like things are back to normal, and now it's time to plan out July, catch up on everyone's blogs, and get my run on!  Here's hoping for a great month!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Travel Update

I had to cut my work trip short due to a death in the family.  My grandmother who has been in the hospital for awhile passed away on Tuesday.  We're heading to Oklahoma for the funeral tomorrow morning and will be there until Monday.  She had a long life and towards the end things started going down hill.  It's better for her to have gone now than to have become an invalid stuck in a nursing home withering away.  She was ready to go.

As for this week's trip, it was hot and humid.  I got one run in last night, around 3 miles, I haven't mapmyrun it yet.  The run was nice and relaxing until the last stretch running along a small lake.  It wasn't my feet this time!  It was those damn deer flies!!  I had about 15 hovering around me trying to snipe my skin and drink my blood.  Maybe my next work focus will be on controlling them!!

I'll be back Tuesday.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Return of an Unwanted Friend

This morning I got up and readied myself for a long run.  It’s been three weeks since I’ve done a long run (8 miles), and I was anxious to get back to it.  I headed out to my favorite running spot (NCR Trail), did some stretches and took off.  The first couple of miles went great.  Smooth running, a nice day, and was feeling great.  I had told myself that depending on how I felt at mile 3 I would either turn back (6 miles) or keep going (8 miles).  Around mile three I noticed some inner thigh chaffing.  Ooops!  I forgot to apply body glide.  Too late now!  My legs were feeling great so I pushed on. I hit the turn around, had an energy gel and walked a bit.  I could feel some tightness in my left big toe.  It was here I realized 8 miles was too far today.  I decided to do my best and run/walk the return trip.
So, with thigh chaffing and a increasingly sore toe, I pushed forward, walking when I needed to.  Around mile 6 I gave in and just walked the rest of the way.  No point in pushing my foot and the chaffing was starting to burn.  It was a nice walk back, other than having to hobble along.  I returned home, took an indomethicin, and a nap.

The reason for it all, gout.  The first of my foot ailments. I typically keep it under control by taking tart cherry extract and celery seed extract, but occasionally I slip.  As is the case this time.  Since returning from vacation, I think I’ve only taken them twice.  Bad James, Bad Bad Bad!  So now I’m waiting for the inflammation to go down.  It usually goes away by the end of the day.  I hope so.  I guess I need to quit thinking the problem is going away and just accept I’ll probably deal with it indefinitely. 
I will be gone this week for a field survey.  As I’ve mentioned before, we are assisting with the Boy Scout National Jamboree and will be conducting some pre jamboree work this week.  Basically it will involved mosquito larval reduction, tick surveillance, and wasp nest removal.  Should be a fun week.  Work isn’t too hard and we get to stay in cabins.  I’m planning to run a few times there,  probably tues and thurs evenings.  If I get a chance I’ll post if not, see you next weekend!

EDIT:  This stuff works great but puts you in a medicine haze and leaves you wiped out the rest of the day.   I am thankful that my gout isn't near as bad as the majority of people.  When I get it, I can still function, most people can't even get out of bed with it. Cherry/celery seed really does work.  I'm just horrible about remembering to take pills.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Back in the Game!

Yesterday I was determined to get back in the game.  It was time to call it quits on my laziness and since Thursday's are typically when I run with Fleet Feet, I made it my mission to get there in time.  For a back story. I work 30 miles from my house.  It generally takes me over an hour to get home due to the horrendous Baltimore/DC traffic.  I get off at 4:30 and this leaves little time to get home, change, and to the store before the group starts at 6.   When things go well, I make it there with 5-10 minutes to spare.   SO... last night I left work, and wouldn't you know it, heavy traffic right off the bat.  It eased up and I  made it home and to the store in time.

After my Monday Disaster of a run, I was hesitant that my feet wouldn't work with me.  Boy was I wrong.  I ran with a few people doing 2/1 run walks.  Not only were my feet and legs feeling great, but I was feeling awesome the entire run.  We ended up running 4.5 miles to boot!   As some would put it.  I found my mojo.  I plan to run 3 miles tonight, then on Sunday return to my long run with an 8 miler on the NCR Trail. 

On another topic, since I started running again, I really haven't lost much weight.  Looking back, I started out around 217 lbs.  Mostly I've fluctuated between 210 and 215 over the last several months.  This week I started tracking my food intake and have noticed that while I thought I've been eating healthy compared to my old lifestyle, there's still room for improvement.  I realized how easy it is to eat too many calories and/or sodium.  I'm on blood pressure medicine and one of the things I've noticed is just how easy it is to eat way too much sodium.  I'm hoping that if I lower sodium intake, bring my weight below 200, and continue to increase my exercise (both running and non-running), that I'll be able to quit the meds.  So my current goal, adjust my diet to loose around 10-15 lbs and lower sodium intake.  I hope everyone has a great week.  For those with races, good luck!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Playing Hookie

I've not been a good runner this week.  Since returning from vacation, I've only run once, and that was a pretty crappy 3 miler.  Tonight will not be different.  On the way into work this morning, I was almost there when I started noticing a thumping sound and could feel my truck being pulled towards the right.  I pulled over, and sure enough, my front right tire was flat.  A quick change of the spare and I made it to work (only slightly late). Being that my truck is... shall we say difficult, very few tire shops have the size I need.  I found one place and will be hitting it up after work.  I don't think I'll make it home in time for a run, and it's also supposed to be storming tonight.  Tomorrow I MUST get out of this non-running rut and get back into it! 

Not much else to write about now.  Something good needs to happen so I can liven up these posts!

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Crappy Return

So I didn't make my run yesterday.  I was exhausted and slept the majority of the day.  After being on my feet and going all last week, I guess I finally crashed.

Tonight's run sucked. It wasn't that I was so tired, but just wasn't up for it. I made it to the turn around barely. Walked for about 5 mins, then started running again, then stopped to walk the last 3/4 mile. My right calf area still has some soreness to it. This is beginning to concern me and I'm planning to find an new podiatrist/sports medicine doctor. I also continue to have pain in my left heel from a bone spur/bursitis.  It's not too bad but it does hurt whenever I start moving (walking or running) after prolonged sitting.  Otherwise, I think I'm just not recovered from being on my feet all last week. We'll see how tomorrow goes.

Mood: Blehh

Saturday, June 12, 2010

We're home!

We just made it home from our Disney World trip.  It was a lot of fun and we were sad to see it end and have to say good by to the family.  I only got one run in the entire week, but I did do a ton of walking!  Several blisters and swollen ankles.  I'm sure it will take a day or two to recover.  I'll prob try for a four mile run tomorrow, then get back to the routine.  I hope everyone had a great week.  I'll post some pics later.

Friday, June 4, 2010

To infinity and....

In a little over three hours I will be off work and getting ready to head to Florida for vacation!  Technically, our flight isn't until the butt crack of dawn tomorrow, but it's going to be a busy and hopefully early night tonight.  I have to take the dogs to my brother-in-law's, get a hair cut, dinner, finish packing, and still get to bed early. 

Jen, the kids, and I are meeting my parents and sister in Orlando for a week of magical moments, animalatious antics, universal umbrellas, and epcot...um...... epcotiness.    Yeah, we're going to Disney World (Universal Studios and the beach too).  It's not very often we get the chance to see my family.  In fact, the last time we saw my parents was a year ago, and the last time we saw my sister was a year and a half ago. I know they are overjoyed to be able to spend time with the kids.  Annie has only been around Connor for less than a weekend.  It should be a great week, weather permiting.  They are calling for more than usual evening showers.  I don't think it will rain all day, let alone all week, but umbrellas are in order. 

As for running, I plan to run with my sister several times.  I don't know about a long run, we're probably just too busy and all.  Also, I've had some odd pain in my right peroneus longus (side of the calf) that comes and goes.  I don't know if it is associated with my running, as the pain hits me at random times, and lasts only a few seconds.  I'm going to take it easy none the less.

Now off to finish my work day and get ready to leave.  We'll be back late next Saturday. I don't know if I'll have internet access so I'll see ya when I see ya. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

May Review

May was a great month for running, not so for a few other things.

Starting off, I ran my second 5K of the year and PR'ed by over a minute.  Granted my first race was dead slow, and this one didn't go as planned but a PR is still a PR.  A week later I PR'ed again by over 17 seconds.  Still not what I had hoped for but a PR is a.... oh, you get the idea!

Running also became contagious in the Runners Bug Household. Paige occasionally runs with me.  Jen has started herself, although she mostly walks during her lunch.  She's hesitant about running because of bad knees.  Lastly, Connor has fallen for running and goes "running" every chance he gets.  The kids and Jen enjoyed two races themselves this in May.

My training jumped leaps and bounds in May. I increased my regular run's to around 4 miles, I started a long run on Sundays, and even broke my distance record of nearly 15 years.  I found a great place for my distance runs, and joined the Fleet Feet Running group nearly weekly. Monthly total was 53.1 miles, nearly 20 miles up from April.

For the downside, I developed tendonitis in my right wrist, and had to keep it wrapped for about 10 days.  It's mostly better now but I still have to be cautious with it so that it can fully heal.  Also, I had a truck breakdown and ended up shelling out over $1300 for repairs, leaving me with no money to repair the trucks AC that is out.

All in all it was a great month.

Happy Running Day today.  I'm planning a 3 mile luncher today!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Anniversary and Evening Run

Today was Jen and mine’s 3rd anniversary.  We took the kids to Ginza Japanese Steakhouse for some hibachi fun.  It was a nice evening. Paige had a great time.  Connor on the other hand did NOT like the sound of the knifes clanking and the sizzle of the cooking.  He kept wanting to leave.  Poor guy!  Afterwards we hit up our local Home Goods and Connor was back to his happy-go-lucky self.  He still loves to go “running” and it is so funny.  His arms do not swing the same.  His right side swings normally, but he flairs the left arm  out every time, yelling “running!”  We really need to get some video of it.

After getting home, watering the garden with the kids, and letting the massive amount of food digest for a bit, I then headed out for a 3.1 miler.  Took the familiar neighborhood route.  It’s been awhile since I ran this route.  I’ve been reading up on “evolution running” and “chi running” and so I decided to try their suggestions.  Mainly to shorten my stride length and increase my stride/min pace.   I must say, it felt weird.  I felt like I was running in place and barely getting anywhere. The increase in stride pace made me feel like I was running too fast, but the shortened length made me feel like I was as slow as a slug on a hot summers night.  Also, I kept the mantra in my head of trying to run smooth and not landing on my heels. 

I think it actually worked for me! I had a pretty decent time 30:14 for a 9:46 pace.  Even though I felt like I wasn’t going to hold out with the quick stride pace, I actually felt good the entire run and even probably could have gone faster.  I’m definitely going to have to keep working on this and see where it goes.  I hope it wasn’t just a fluke!