Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I've not gotten much running in lately due to this stupid foot.  This has been the longest that a gout attack has ever lasted.  The intense pain has been gone for quite awhile, but this lingering dull pain keeps coming and going.  It's making me paranoid that it will flare up again.  I've gotten in a couple of rather lousy runs in since my 16 miles a couple of weeks ago.  Lousy in that both were mid day with high heat and I didn't have much energy for them.  My running life is sucking right now, and I'm supposed to be in full marathon training.  Thankfully, I hit the 16 mile mark about halfway through my training program, so this little backslide shouldn't hinder me in the long run, but it still sucks ass!

In other news, I've been hitting the juice machine again.  I started on Friday and have been juicing it all holiday weekend.  This go-round, I'm not strictly adhering to a juice-only fast.  Instead, I've added in several freshly-made pureed soups, and yesterday I splurged and had some fish and veggies for lunch, plus a treat.  We did a short road trip south of Annapolis and hit up a few Chesapeake Bay towns.  I'll probably try to continue the juicing at least through the work week.  I've lost a good 8 lbs so far and would love to loose another 6 before transitioning out.  My goal is to focus more on steamed or lightly sauteed fruits and veggies and less on restaurant food, which is always my Achilles Heel.  I've been good since January, but I've relied too much on restaurant pastas such as Olive Garden, Noodle & Company, and Cosi. 

Getting back to running, I'm debating what my week will be.   I'm thinking that I'll not plan a run until the weekend, and focus on completely eliminating the inflammation through my old friends cherry juice and celery seed extract (the stuff I was using before I got onto Allopurinol.  They're both supposed to be good at reducing the inflammation.  We shall see. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Day of Firsts

1.  Today was the first run since my 16 miler, and first since the gout attack returned.  My toe still had some lingering soreness, but it seems the run loosened it up a bit. 

2.  Today was the first day to run in my new Montrail Mountain Masochists.  I got these for the Golden Gate Trail Marathon in July.  They’re my first pair of trail shoes.  I liked them, when running off road, but the felt cumbersome on pavement.  Then again, they’re not made for road running.  Good thing the marathon is nearly all trails.

3.  Today was the first time at a new trail.  It’s only about 10 minutes from the house, but it’s a well kept secret.  It’s actually been there for years, but I just found out about it.  It’s a small trail, mostly paved and secluded, but there is also a nice stretch with a hilly mulched trail.  Not really good for hill work, but a nice area to run.  The total length of the trails is about 3.4 miles so no go for distance runs. 

4.  Today we built our first, of two, fish ponds.  It’s about 7 feet long x 3 feet wide x 1.5 foot deep.  There is still a ton left to do, but the hole has been dug, liner installed and filled with water. Next will be to get rocks for the edging and build a small waterfall.

Friday, May 18, 2012

One Tough Cookie

Nope, I'm not talking about myself.  I just came across this story and it was inspirational.  Makes my measly toe pain look like nothing. :) 

Paralyzed Woman Finishes Marathon

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Episode Two: The Gout Strikes Back.

And so the saga continues...

Nothing report, other than the status remains the same.  This round has been mild, but lingering.  I can walk fine with relatively little pain. There is one tender spot, the bottom side of my left big toe right under the callus,  that will just not let go.  It's been pretty much the same condition since Monday.  Grrr.  I just want to go out for a run!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Round Two. Boo!

Well crossing my fingers and knocking on wood didn't work.  Saturday my left big toe started hurting a bit, not as bad as the previous attack, though.  I'm unsure if the 16 mile run triggered it, or if it was spending all of Saturday bending and crouching while staining our fence, as it was feeling fine Saturday morning.

Speaking of the fence, it took two of us over 15 hours to stain the entire fence.  Why so long you ask?  The required design is called board-on-board, or shadowbox, and it leaves all four sides of the wood exposed.  We had to bend and reach in between each board to ensure full coverage, quite a tasking effort.

On Sunday, after finishing the last 5 hours of the fence staining, we hit up The Avengers for Mother's Day.  It was an awesome flick.  A must see if you're into scifi/fantasy/comic books/etc.   And here's a hint.  Stay for the ENTIRE end credits.  There are TWO hidden scenes to view.   The last one was Connor's favorite part of the entire movie too!

But I digress (doesn't it sound so professional to use that phrase!),  my foot is still somewhat sore from "da gout".  I've started a heavy dosage regimen of Naproxen to try and knock it out for good.  I do not want it coming back after my next long run (hills), that is scheduled for this coming weekend.  I'll most likely give it until Thursday before getting in a short run.  I want as much of the inflammation gone as possible.  I want to normalize the situation as soon as possible so that I may resume my marathon training at full strength.

I think next time I'll hold of on saying that the attack is over.  :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

I Did It! I Finally Did It!!

It’s been literally months in the making, but I finally did it.  That’s right, I switched over to my summer gear and retired the winter clothes for the summer!  A such relief it was to run free and unencumbered.  ha!

Today I ran the long run I was supposed to run last Sunday.  It was my day off and with Mother’s Day this weekend, I wanted to knock it out while I could. 

I did changing things up for the run too.  Typically, when I do interval runs, I run either a 1:30/1:00 or 2:00/1:00 run/walk ratio.  For this run, I wanted to ground-prove a longer ratio, so I went with 5:00/1:30, and it went off quite well.  I’ve been pondering the need for such frequent walking breaks, and have come to the conclusion that it’s not

really necessary to have that much walk time, at least for me.  I’m sure some of my fellow run/walkers will disagree, but hey, go with what works for you right?  I highly doubt I’ll ever return to straight runs for such long distances, but limiting the amount of walk breaks just seems right.  I’ve posted before about how I rarely can hit the “runner’s high” while doing intervals, and that’s something I’ve missed.  Today, I did get there, a few times.  The less frequent breaks also made each one feel more beneficial too.  Increasing it to 1:30 allowed me to catch my breath a little better, and relax a bit better. 


I do have to say that the last two miles, it got difficult to hold out the entire 5 minutes, and several of last sets, I had to take a couple of mini walks in the middle of the run interval.  I’ll attribute that to my body not being used to that longer distance, and the fact that I was moving pretty quickly for a long run.  It didn’t feel that way, but the less walking dramatically increased the time. So much so, that my half marathon distance for today was actually 5 minutes faster than my Half Marathon PR!  I was taking it fairly slow too! 

I sure hope that the long run doesn’t re-instigate my gout attack.  I don’t think so, I’m back on the meds and it’s feeling much better but we’ll see.  *fingers crossed, knocking on wood*  Ha!  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Bye bye gout

I got out for a 3.15 mile straight run today.  It's been 9 days since my last run.  The gout swelling and pain has gone away, mostly.  Time to get back to it! 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Are You An Obssessed Tracker?

I wrote this as a comment on someones running blog that's been having some difficult times with their running.  I thought it'd be good to share.

If you’re one that’s become obsessed with tracking things, you might try switching to a more qualitative record of your runs than quantitative. I rarely track my pace anymore, and found that I enjoy my runs far more. Here is what I track:

Distance – given.

The following are all on a 1-10 scale, and I usually give some comments:

Overall – just a basic idea of how the run went
Enjoyment – Was it a “git r done” kind of work out, or pure pleasure
Experience – Did anything interesting happen or did you see anything interesting
Effort – leisurely jog or hardcore sprint work
Pain – anything worth noting about

You can take a look at mine for examples at:

As a side note, my gout attack is mostly gone but there has been some lingering inflammation.  I opted to push back my 16 mile run until next week to give more time for healing.  I've taken the entire last week off of running but did get a chance to follow in Rocky's footsteps...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Catoctin Mountains Park Trail

Sunday I had hill work on the agenda so I hit up a local mountain for some offroad hill training.  It was a great run, or should I say, when I could run and not be held up by the terrain

Location: Catoctin Mountain Park is small mountain range in the north central area of Maryland.  Approximately 60 miles northwest of Baltimore, and 60 miles north of Washington DC, it sits in a rural area of the state.  The most well known aspect of the area is the Presidential retreat at Camp David, which lies on the western side of the mountains. 

Route: There are several trail systems within the park.  For my run, I initially chose to run the Cunningham Falls/Hog Rock/Blue Ridge Summit Loop, which would have made the run 5 miles.  Mid-run I decided to add another trail to make it 8.58 miles total.  The trails were very hilly (which I was seeking), but on top of that, approximately 60-70% of the trails were rough rocky terrain, making running difficult.  

Many times, I felt like Frodo running down the hills of Amon Hen after Boromir tried to take The Ring from him (If your familiar with the movies, it’s the location at the end of The Fellowship of the Ring, where Boromir dies, and Frodo/Sam split from the group).   

The coolest part of this run was reaching several summits and seeing the views.  Some of them were spectacular.  The photos below don’t do them justice.  I really need to get a nice small camera for these runs.  My cellphone camera just isn’t that good. 

Another area of the park was Cunningham Falls, Maryland’s largest waterfall.  It was pretty cool, but fairly crowded at the time, and I only spent about 2 minutes before heading up to the first summit.

The Experience:  I have to say, this was a very difficult run.  I was winded within the first couple of minutes and often throughout the route.  I tried my best to maintain a 2:00/1:00 interval, but the terrain just was not cooperating.  When I could, I’d run for more extended lengths, to try and make up for the constant stopping to “hike” an area because of all the rocks. 

*Check out the last picture for an idea of how rocky I mean!

I would love to go back and spend a full day there hiking and taking it all in.  I don’t think this one will be a family hike though.  We could possibly do the falls/first summit and back, but I’m sure Connor would be complaining and saying he’s “tired” as that’s his favorite phrase these days for when he doesn’t want to do something. 

The weather was wonderfully cool in the morning and warmed up to a nice breeze, making the run that much more enjoyable.  Overall, this was a great, albeit grueling, run.  I don’t think I’ll be coming back for hill training, though.  Entirely too rocky for trainings.

Ok, now for the pictures!

The Visitor’s Center.


Part of Cuningham Falls.


Cunningham Falls in the background. It was much cooler in person.


Hog Rock Summit.


Me at the summit.


Finally!  some terrain I can really run on!


Blue Ridge Summit Overlook


More runnable paths.  YAY!


Thurmont Vista


Wolf Rock


On top of Wolf Rock


Chimney Rock


This run is making me crazy!


Along Hunting Creek


About 7.5 miles in and still surviving.


Cool rock formations


Ok, this was the trail for most of the last mile, and there were many places similar throughout the run.  How in the hell are you supposed to actually run through something like this?


Well Crapola!

This post was supposed to be about my awesome hill training on Sunday.  I hit up the Catoctin Mountains and did 8.58 miles of intense trailing running/hiking.  The trail was very rocky in some places, so it was a pseudo-run/hike, but well done nonetheless. 

As I stated already, this post was SUPPOSED to be about that.  But alas, it’s not. That post will come, pictures and all, but right now, I’m laid up with a throbbing left toe.

Yesterday, I could tell there was some soreness in my left foot.  It was dull and hard to pinpoint the source.  I was hoping it was because of the rocks from Sunday.  I was wrong.  My old friend Mr. Gout is back.  Yup, I’ve not had an episode in nearly a year (http://runnersbug.blogspot.com/2011/04/rainstorms-whining-and-inflammation.html).  That one most likely happened from missing several doses of meds.  This one, I haven’t taken the meds since January.  The harsh run on Sunday probably was the trigger.   I had hoped that changing my diet and loosing weight would keep it away, I guess not.  Time to get back on the meds and stick with them.  YUK!