Monday, February 28, 2011

February Recap

February hasn't been too good of a month for me.  Right at the tail end of January I had a minor treadmill incident that's left me with a lingering hamstring injury.  Real pain never surfaced but discomfort has been there all month.  The entire month I've been recovering from it and it's put a damper on my marathon training and mental attitude.

On the positive note, I did get in an 18 miler which I'm darn proud of.  It's the furthest I've ever gone and I feel accomplished just for making it that far.  Lastly, I ended the month with a not too shabby 7.5 miler which has brought me out of the injury funk.

February Recap:

Number of runs:4!!  I did get in a bunch of walking though.

March Goals:

Finish marathon training.
Complete the marathon (no time goal at the moment).
Recover from marathon.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Felling Better (Mentally and Physically)

Today I had a good run to get my spirits back up about the race.  I'm still having some discomfort around my left hammy and after only running 3.5 miles last Sunday I had been feeling down about the possibility of not running the marathon.  I felt some discomfort but no pain so I think the foam roller is helping to work it out.  I'm still going to call my doctor to get a sports therapist to check it out.  Hopefully on Friday.  Today’s run was only 7.5 but it was a good run which I needed more mentally than physically.  I did 1:1 run/walk and still had a 12:14 pace, which suprised the heck out of me.  I was going really slow… or so I thought.  I ran around the neighborhood and it turned out to be an excellent day for a run.  I was hot though, as I wore my jacket.  Still going to take it lightly this week and we'll see about my 20 miler next weekend.  That's the last chance for a long run before the race. 

We had our new fridge delivered yesterday and it is nice!  We bought an open box item from Best Buy and besides a few small dints, we got a $1300 fridge fro only $900!  We also picked up some under cabinet lighting which looks nice.  I still need to mount all the wires out of site but the lights are up and running.  We still need to pick out a new dishwasher soon as we’ve disconnected ours already. Once it’s all done I’ll post pics!  

Off for a nap with the boy!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Not much to report on running.  After my long run turned short on Monday I'm taking it easy, again, and just walking this week.  I want to give it time to heal but also know that I need to keep up with my moving and hopefully get in a last long run if I'm going to be able to run the marathon next month.  I have 25 days until race day and I plan to be healed up by then.  Sure, it's early in the season and plenty of marathon opportunities left in the year but I'm confident/hopeful/optimistic that I'll be refreshed and healed by race day. 

In other news, we've begun remodeling out kitchen.  Our fridge ice maker broke and started leaking into the freezer creating a frozen pool of water. Last weekend we went shopping and bought a new (open box) fridge.  It's a french door model similar to the picture at the right. 

Now we couldn't bring in such a nice fridge to an outdated kitchen so over the weekend we ripped out the old tile flooring and will be replacing it this week along with painting the walls.  Out cabinets are old and ugly so we decided to remove the upper cabinet doors and going with an open look.  Next (Phase Two) we'll be replacing the dishwasher and microwave, resurfacing the bottom cabinet doors, and down the line (Phase Three) replacing the countertop and sink.  

Phase One should be done by this weekend and I'll post some pics. 

Lastly,  I've been working with BuildASign on my stickers and they should be here soon.  I'll have plenty to give away so send me your address for a free one (xm41907@gmail.com)!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Why You Little Hammy!

Today's recovery run sucked.  I didn't run all week because my legs were sore from last weeks run.  I did walk quite a bit though.  Today I was hoping to get in between 6-8 miles but only made it 3.43 miles. The same spot that's been bothering me since my treadmill incident three weeks ago is still acting up.  It was slightly worse than it was when I began my long run last week.  I decided to shorten the route down and just get back so I wouldn't be pushing it any further.  More rest/walking this week and see how it goes next week.  It was supposed to be my last and furthest long run (20-21 miles).  I can push it back one week but after that it's too close to the race to do a long run.  This week will be a lot of pampering of it!

I haven't gotten a foam roller yet, but a friend at work let me borrow their "The Stick" and I've been using it on my legs.  It does hurt, similar to how I imagine the foam roller would until things are worked out with the muscles.  I'm not sure which would be better, roller or stick?  

I'm starting to get concerned that this injury won't be recovered enough by race day.  At what point should I start considering a DNS??

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Year Ago Today

Now that my blog is over a year old I can reflect back on what I was doing at this time last year.  Today, one year ago, I was discussing why I am excited about running.

Here are some highlights and my current thoughts on the matter:

"I do miss the camaraderie that goes along with training on a team, but I'm definitely not in this for glory."

With everyone I interact with on the blogs, I've regained a sense of camaraderie that helps keep me going.  Many times, when I'm out there and feel like stopping, or thinking of not running, I think of my blog and what I can say about the run.  It helps keep me moving forward.  As for glory? Nope, I nowhere close to winning a race, or even my age group for that matter.

"I've come to the conclusion that when I'm running, weather it be a dead slow pace or a sprint, I love the feeling of being out there." 

Still true today.  When I'm running and feeling great, I feel like I'm free and open.  I liken it to what a bird might feel like flying through the air.

"The joy I get from just being out on the road, going where I choose, when I choose to, and how fast I get there is liberating. It makes me feel like I can do anything, if only I persevere."

I still get the joy, but with my marathon training and the issues I've had, it's been harder to keep the feeling like I can do anything.  Marathon training isn't for the weak willed.  It takes a lot out of you to keep running for 3 plus hours.  While I'm still happy I'm running one, I am definitely waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to this training.  Other than the immense self gratitude I'll get from finishing the marathon, I'm really looking forward to being to run when I'd like and how far I'd like.  The freedom of just going for a run for the sheer enjoyment of it has been missing.  I'm ready to get it back.

Comparing last year to this year, I can see a mental difference.  Last year I was just getting my feet wet again.  Trying to find my running self.  This year, I'm with purpose. Dedicated and vigilant but hoping to return to that childlike mentality come March 21st 2011 (The day after my marathon).

Monday, February 14, 2011


Our office had a Cupcake war for a fundraiser today.  I purchased 4 of them to take home for the family.  Since 11:00 this morning I've been smelling the sweet smell of temptation.  Unbelievably, I've resisted the urge to eat one.
I resumed my lunchtime walks today.  It was awesome out, during my walk it was above 60F!!  Winter time is nearly over!  

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Eighteen on the Books

Finally!  I hit the big 18 today.  I headed over to Centennial Park in Columbia, MD.  It’s a nice park, full of walkers, bikers, and runners.  There is a 2.5 mile loop around a lake that’s paved with a large width.  Perfect for my needs, minus one part.  The back side is HILLY.  Nothing major, but a bunch of small sharp incline/declines.  A good hill workout was definitely had. 

Here are two views of the park.  Not anything like the conditions today.

ellicott_city_md park

I’ll not lie, the run was anything but easy.  With my hamstring tendon issues, I took it cautious and slow.  1:1 intervals the entire time.  My goal was to run 7 laps getting me up to almost 17.75 miles, then finish off with a short extra out and back.  Laps one and two were nice and easy.  Lap three I started feeling my hammy issue creep up.  It was a slight pain and I’d thought about stopping but made the decision to keep at it unless it became sharp.  I took a short stretch/bathroom break after lap three. Laps four and five were mixed. The hammy was staying the same, a slight dull pain.  I couldn’t even feel it during my running interval but I could during the walks.  Again, another stretch/bathroom break after lap five.  Lap six I was wearing down.  Those back hills were tough.  I started adjusting the intervals so that I could walk up the hills.  I finished lap six thinking “This is it.  I’m going to finish 18!”  The back hills were even tougher.  I came into the last bit of lap seven thinking I’ll only have .25 miles to finish.  That was not the case!

Here’s were I interject and mention I bought an android phone yesterday.  Motorola Droid R2D2 model to be percise!  I love it!  My first smart phone and I’m a tinkerer so I love messing with all the apps.  But I digress.  I’m mentioning it because I have a app that integrates with my running log (Runningahead.com),  Handy Runner. Today was my first time using it and it seems to work rather well.  Now back to my recount of the run.

As I came to the lap end, I pulled out the phone and checked the mileage to see exactly how far I had left, another .5 miles!  Of course it was disheartening but I pushed through, ran out and back to finish with a 18.02.  And in a not to shabby 13:32 pace. Slower that I’d have liked but with my hammy I’ll take it.  Boy were my legs tired! But I finished!  Now I can put that barrier behind me and focus on my 20 miler.

Do you use a smartphone?  How do you measure your runs?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hello running shoes, it's been awhile.

I finally got myself back out there. After the treadmill trouble of two Sundays ago, I haven't run a lick.  I've been feeling something behind my left knee that I'd assumed was a pulled hamstring tendon. I never experienced pain though.  I realized on my run today it's best described as feeling like I have a piece of tape over the area.  Oh well, it didn't hurt, that's the important thing.

I did four laps (3.08 miles) around the lake at a slow pace. I forgot my watch at home, so I ended up pacing my intervals mentally.  It was nice out!  I even took off my sock hat it was so nice (43F).  Made me really wishing spring was here!  I finished in 35:16 for a 11:25 pace. Not bad considering I was trying to take it slow and easy.

I've renewed confidence for this weekends 18 miles.  I've found another potential trail to run it on.  It's a roughly 2.5 mile loop so I better get used to some deja vu. It's at a popular park so I'm pretty sure it won't be covered in snow still.  I guess we'll see.

Today is Paige's 6th birthday.  Jen is taking her out to an icecapades thing with some friends.  She's excited!  It'll be just the boys so I'm willing to bet we'll either have Taco Bell or Chick-Fil-A for dinner (His favorites).

What are your plans for the weekend?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Happy Blogoversary!

One year ago today I started my blog.  What began as a fledgling running journal has grown into my runners voice. I can't say it's been the best year of my life, but it's been a great one. I've had my ups and downs, injuries and victories, depressive moments and exciting ones.  I've seen my follower count increase, commenters come and go, and have shared this all with many people I might never meet in person.  Lets be honest, I went into this thinking I would fail.  That I'd give into my running pattern of doing it for a month or so then something would come up that got in the way until I just quit. I had hopes that this wouldn't happen, that's one of the reasons for starting the blog. 

So it's been a year.  I feel healthier, have lost nearly 20 lbs, and am more active than before.  I have to give thanks to all who follow, comment, or just lurk.  I don't think I'd have kept my running up had I not had the encouragement and support of you.  I also have to give a HUGE shout out to my family.  Jen, you've kept me going.  Being supportive of my running.  Critical at times, but never in a bad way.  Now, with your own blog and stirring towards becoming a runner too,  I see only good things to come.  Paige, you've been brave.  You ran with me cheered me on during races, and even completed a fair amount yourself.  Connor, you too have cheered me on.  The enthusiasm you've had for your own "I running" always puts a smile on my face.  Soon enough, you'll be able to run as well.  (I'm not an advocate of running am I?) 

Ok, so enough of the sappyness.  When I noticed that I was close to 200 blogs, I decided to make the 200th on my 1 year mark.  In conjunction, I'd been wanting to redo my blog.  I was tired of the old, darkness I had going. Wanted to switch things up a bit and make it more friendly.  So here it is.  Don't you just love my new header?  Check out the different tabs.  I’ve briefly written what each will be about but they’re still works in progress so check them out often!  And now for the gift.  I was contacted by Megan at buildasign.com and offered a promotional sticker.  I'm sure you've seen a few others on here.  What a great way to share and get your blog out there to more people.   Since I was working on a new header design, I decided to adapt it into my own decal.  Here it is:


They should arrive next week and I've got plenty to hand out.  Here's the deal, since I don't want everyone's address being placed publicly on here, send me an email at xm41907@gmail.com with your name and address and I will mail you a sticker.  I'll send them out as long as I have them. 

Here's to my next year!




Is your suspense building?

 Keep a look out for tonight. 

He He He!

Racing Expos

Last night I broke out some Bio-Freeze that I picked up at the Army Ten Miler Expo.  They were handing out small single use samples as well as large tubes.  I grabbed a tube and handful of single use ones, then Jen did the same.  The Bio-Freeze works great.  I'm using it on my hammy and noticed an immediate warm-cold penetration, similar to Icy Hot.  I'm hoping they'll have a booth at the Shamrock Marathon Expo so I can grab more. :)  I'm all about free samples!  Then again, who isn't?

I heard on the radio that we possibly may hit the 50s on Sunday!  I double checked with my usual list of weather websites (weather.com, accuweather.com, wunderground.com) and they're all calling for the upper 40s  to lower 50s!   Awesomeness!!  My trail might be cleared!!

Are you a sample-holic?  

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Well I’m really not in pain.  Especially like this guy is:

However I’m still feeling a pulling/tenderness/aching kinda feeling behind and above my left knee.  I haven’t run in a week and a half.  Not since my long run on the treadmill.  It doesn’t so much hurt as it’s a slight discomfort at times.  I’m pretty confident it’s a pulled hamstring tendon and should heal up fine, but I’m 3/4 of the way through marathon training and really can’t afford to just take off from running for an extended period.  I’m holding off until Sunday’s run, hoping it will be better and am trying everything I can think of to help speed it along.  Still, it’s unsettling to have any kind of injury at this point in my training.  What if it doesn’t heal up until right before the marathon?  Should I still run it?  If I can’t make my final few long runs because of it, how will I fare for 26.2?
I have faith it will heal pretty quickly.  I’ve not been in any pain, just discomfort.  I’ve been giving it plenty of rest.  +It will be fine come Sunday.  It will be fine come Sunday”  I repeat to myself.
To flip the coin, I’m debating my plan for this Sunday.  The weather has been a bit warmer, but I’m afraid it’s not warm enough to melt the snow on my trail.  Alternative route is a must.  I think the sidewalks around home will be fine.  I’ll make the decision of running close to home, most likely a multiple loop route, or finding another trail to run on. There is a nice park with a roughly 2.5 mile loop about 30 minutes from me.  Maybe I’ll look into it.  We’ll see!   

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sneak Peak

As I mentioned before, I’m working on changing around my blog to be more readable.  I’m getting closer but I wanted to share a bit.  Also, when I unveil it, I’ll have a surprise to give away.  Stay tuned!





I said it was “a bit”!  lol

Monday, February 7, 2011

Holly Shit my first marathon is in 41 days!

Ok, freakout's over.  Now back to sanity.  

Yesterday was the 4th Sunday in a row where my goal was to run 18 miles and it didn't happen.

1) It was on my calendar, but I was sick, so I didn't even attempt to run.
2) I made it 16 miles and stopped.  I hit the wall mentally and it won.
3) Snow everywhere so I tried it on a treadmill.  Ended up pulling my hammy.
4) Made it out to the trail, but it was ice.  Took it as a sign my hammy needed more rest.

I'm starting to feel about my 18 mile barrier like many felt about the 4 minute mile before the Rodge broke it in 1954, impossible.  Not that I truly belive it, but it's feeling like something doesn't want me to make it. 

I was reading about mental barriers with marathons and one of them is preparedness. Apparently it seems most runners, if asked at the starting line, would say they're not prepared enough.  What really does that mean? Rarely does a training program go 100% as planned.  Minor setbacks abound, but when should you draw the line and except your defeat? 

I don't feel I'm there.  I've made it 16 miles twice.  Both times were on a lonely, flat, straight course with nothing but the cold and me.  The marathon will be full of people cheering, many other runners, and hopefully in better weather.  I can do it.  I have five more long runs before the race to prepare. That's four weekends to hit my max length.  I'll do it, and I'll do it with gusto.... or my stoic version of it!

But will I look like this when I finish?

Sunday, February 6, 2011


NoGoIntersection Today’s long run was a no go.  I got up, prepared myself, and made sure I had everything for the run.  Headed to the trail and wouldn’t ya know it, ICE!, and of course snow.  Now I was expecting some snow to still be on the trail but figured much of it would have melted since the last few days have been fairly nice.  Nope, all it did was melt it enough to refreeze as ice.  My neighborhood isn’t much better so I’m taking it as a sign that I need to give my hammy tendon some more rest.  Better safe than sorry right?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Lazy Wii Day

Today was a lazy family fun day.  We spent all morning and into the afternoon playing the Wii.  We got a pretty good workout with several of the dance games and got a mental workout with trivia games. Then we hit the recently opened in our area Jason's Deli.  I used to eat at them in Texas and was thrilled to introduce the family.  Yum!

I'm iffy regarding tomorrows run.  The last three weeks in a row I've failed to hit my mark  of 18 miles.  I'm afraid tomorrow will make it a forth week.  Today I could still feel some weakness in my lower left hamstring from last weeks run.  I'm going to take it extremely easy on my run and if I feel it coming back, I'll be stopping.  I'm hoping for the best, but preparing to stop just in case.  I'm also going to keep it close to my car.  I'll probably go no more than 3 miles out from the car and just run back and forth.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mostly Wordless Wednesday










The last two days I’ve driven into Washington DC to participate in the Second National Bed Bug Summit hosted by the EPA.  It was a great meeting and I feel confident that the recommendations made will go a long way in out battle against bed bugs.

On the running front, I my knee is much better, but my right heel is sore. Same location as what bothered my left heel.  Ice and NSAIDs today and I’m hoping for a short run tomorrow.