Thursday, May 26, 2011

Three Things Thursday

Uno)  I haven’t run since last Friday.  Work and home has been busy and I’ve taken the time to let my shins recover. 

Dos)  We’re leaving today for a trip to Texas. We’re flying into Dallas today. Tomorrow we’re driving down to Houston for a friends wedding, and back up to Dallas (Yeah I know, that’s over 8 hours on the road).  Family is coming down to Dallas on Saturday and Sunday, then we fly home on Monday.

Tres) I’ve been talking with a friend about taking a 4-5 day backpacking adventure.  We’re looking around the Rocky Mountains.  Roughly 6-10 miles per day. IT should be a great trip. Still in the early planning phase right now.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Decision

After Sunday's painful run, I took four days off of running to let my shins recover.  Along with it, I decided against wearing my orthotic for now.  Reasons being:

a) the pain.

b) the doctor never watched me walk or run to analyze the mechanics.

c) the problem (posterior heel pain) I went to him for has been resolved.

At this point, I am planning to find a good sports medicine physical therapist that can analyze my walking and running and provide guidance. 

Yesterday I was able to sneak in a short run between thunderstorms.  I'd hoped to get in three laps for a 2.25 mile run, but thunderclaps cut it down to 2 laps.    1.54 miles in 13:21.   Legs felt great too! 

On the family front, Jen took a week off from her own 5K training because she was getting shin pain herself.  In my opinion, she jumped from walking into run/walks and increased her distance too fast, which caused the problem.  I insisted suggested she take the week off and let the shins recover then start back with the walking group and see how it goes. Last night she met with the group and walked 2.5 miles and reported no pain.  Great Job! 

She really wants to run/walk the race as her first 5K (she's walked a few before, but not run any).  Who knows? Maybe she'll be running a marathon in the future!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Orthotics – 2, James – 0

two with the orthotics and I felt shin pain within the first 2 minutes.  I took them out and finished up with them feeling better, but still slightly sore.  I wasn’t feeling it to begin with so I ended up only running a mile.  I gave it four days since the last run too!  My podiatrist said that I need to break them in.  His suggestion:  Start with 25% of my running and gradually build up.  Well if I only ran less than a mile, then that might work.  With pain only two minutes into the run, I think not! 

At this point, I’m not planning to use the orthotics to run in.  My running has been fine without them (and frankly so has my walking).  I’m feeling the need to re-evaluate the need for orthotics.  With wearing a night splint (although to confess, it’s been very hit or miss lately), and stretching, my heel has been much better.  Why complicate things with adding an orthotic?  I’ve read too many personal accounts of orthotics causing more problems.  Sure, the orthotic could be inappropriately fitted.  The doctor cast my foot without weight bearing, and he never even looked at my shoes.  So for now, I’m going to cautiously wear them while walking, but not again for running. Why mess with something when I wasn’t having problems to begin with right?

In related news, I registered for the Army 10 Miler today!!   It’s on October 9th in DC.  This is one of my “must run” races.  I ran it for the first time last year and love the course.  It takes you from The Pentagon, through The Mall, and back to The Pentagon.  Next on the scheduling agenda….. narrow down a half-marathon for the fall. 

Now off to recover my shins again.

What are your “must run” races and why?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Orthotics Ordeal

Last week I received my custom orthotics from my podiatrist.  A month before, he fit me for a pair due to my Achilles tendon issues.  I've been wearing them gradually, according to his instructions, to break them in.  The right side has been perfect. The left side keeps sliding up and I can feel pressure where the arch and ball of the foot meet.  Nothing major, but enough to notice.  I intended to give it another week or so and see if it works itself out.  Other than that, no problems with getting used to them.... until yesterday.

Yesterday afternoon I decided to attempt a run with the orthotics.  I intended to do three laps around the lake for a 2.25 mile run.  I only completed 2 laps.  Midway through the run I noticed both shins were getting sore.  I finished the second lap and it felt like I had shin splints.  Even 15 mins after the run I could still feel it.  Now of course I've not had any issue with my shins in well over a year.  I had a bit last year when getting back into running, but a change in shoes quickly corrected that.  So I'm 100% confident it has to do with the orthotics.

I've read a lot about orthotics and how you have to get used to them, but most of what I've read is in regards to the feet themselves, not shins or upper legs.  I'll definitely be contacting the doctor today about it, but I'm wondering if any readers might have had a similar issue.

I'm taking it as similar to changing to a minimalist shoe.  I'll need to gradually increase the use of the orthotics with running and let my legs adapt to the shift in mechanics.

Anyone else have experience with orthotics and running?

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Sprinting We Will Go

After work today I headed over to the track for a quick speed session.  I intended to do a lap warm up, 8 half lap sprints, and a lap cool down for a total of 1.5 miles.  Unfortunately, I blew my energy out on the first sprint and ended up cutting the number of sprints in half.  Other than that, it went pretty well.  I carried my android phone running Handy Runner and tracked the workout.  Here is a graph of my pace:


As you can see, I had a nice warm up lap, then did some short stretching.  The first sprint was too fast at around a 5 min/mile pace. The next three were fairly consistent though.  My cool down consisted of a walked half lap then a light jog to finish it up. 

Next week I plan to repeat this and hopefully make it to eight sprints, or at least six.  We’ll see.

Don’t you just love technology?  Being able to review my effort is so cool!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Bloomin’ 5K Race Report

adc6f6a7cb1c5e1ed9b6d0a03ba6d0f9 I PRed!  by 3:31 at that!  The race was a local 5K similar to the Pikesville 5K I ran last year.  It was only about 10 minutes from the house, in a business park.  Jen and the kids came and cheered me on. Pre-race wasn’t much to talk about.  I was unable to pick up the packet last night, so I grabbed it first thing.  The shirt is a tech t and looks pretty cool.  A warm up Zomba  workout took place, and no, I did not participate.  I’m not into that sort of thing.  While lining up, we sighted this older Asian guy that has been at almost every local race I’ve run.  He’s in his 60s, and is fast.  Always getting a medal.  He must race every weekend! 


The course was decent, a big “P” shaped out and back with loop at the end.  Paved road the entire time.  The first mile was some long rolling hills.  I was unsure of my pace until this point.  I tend to start out too fast.  Coming into mile one I was at a 9:08, right about where I wanted.  Directly after the mile mark, the course turned, and headed down hill, great!  I picked it up and was flying down the  hill. Of course, what goes down, must come up and there were some rather steep inclines through the second mile.  I stopped and walked the water break, then took back off.  Another long gradual hill before turning back towards the finish.  Coming into the last .5 miles I was doing great.  I started picking it up.  Several finishers were walking back cheering us on, something I think is great.  I need to make more of an effort of cheering on those still out there after I’ve finished.  I hit the 3.0 mark and started kicking.  A short loop around I was done.  28:55 (3.15 miles by my GPS, must be my weaving).  I grabbed a water and met the family. 

The post race celebration was fairly nice.  Fresh griddled pancakes, smoothies, and other goodies on top of the typical fruit and granola bars.  We sat around, listening to the winners by a rather annoyingly exuberant announcer, and the more than 30 door prices.  None of which did I win.  Oh well.  After that we headed home. 

It was a fun race. Not too crowded, well run, and nice weather.

In other news, the Wifey has joined a training group for the Baltimore Womens Classic 5K.  She’s torn between walking and run/walking at this point. Good luck babe!

Does your significant other run too?  If so, do you run together?

Thursday, May 5, 2011


3.03 miles in 27:45 and feeling good!   I think I'm ready for a kick butt race this weekend.  Yes, I signed up for the Bloomin' 5K.  Second race of the year. :)

I took some photos for a before/after look at myself, and was quite surprised.  I literally stopped running, walked maybe 50 feet into my building, up the stairs to my office and took the after photo.  I don't look much different!  I've never been a profuse sweater, but I generally get bright red in the face.  This looks like I didn't even run!  MUST....TRY....HARDER. :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Two Miles

Two miles, that's been my running lately, at least in the area of two miles that is.  Today's run was right on the dot.  2.0 miles in 18:04 (9:02 pace).  But why only two miles instead of 3.1?  Well, the Army Physical Fitness test has a running component and it's a timed 2 mile run.    Not quit a sprint but not quite distance either.

For those of you that don't know, I work for the Army.  My office is about a block away from Garrison Headquarters and the Parade Field where PT tests are conducted.  Two laps around the parade field equals two miles.  A good goal for a lunchtime run.  I've been running a modified lop though. From my office, I run a single lap around the field, then head for a half lap around the lake and it's about 2.25 miles.  Today, I just cut it short to see how I handled just the 2.0.  Not too bad.  How does my running compare to the Army PT test?  Well let's just say I was 14 seconds shy of passing.  Then again, I wasn't pushing it either. Maybe soon I'll attempt a mock test.  I'll go ahead and mark my pushups a fail.  Situps, I could possibly pass with a bit of training. Running, I'm sure I can do it. 

As for races, I found a local 5K this weekend that is about 5-10 minutes from the house.  I'll most likely be signing up for it today.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bye-Bye Gout

The flair up is gone!  Well, actually it was gone by Saturday but we had a full weekend and I just didn’t get around to a run.  Today I hit the ole’ work lake loop and got in 2.33 miles at a 9:39 pace.  Not bad.  Still getting used to straight running so my lungs weren’t liking me but otherwise it was good. No stitches and I finished strong.  My immediate goal:  run 5 days this week.  Another goal, sit down and find some races.  The Army 10 Miler registration opens on the 15th and I know I’m registering for it.  I need something soon though. Better hit Active.com tonight.

What sites do you use to find races?