Sunday, February 7, 2016

Knock on wood!

I don't want to jinx it, but, while I've been keeping the mileage short and the pace moderate, my hamstring is still behaving.  I've run almost every day this week, and no twinge. Yesterday, M and I went for a 7 mile run outside, and nothing bad happened.  I'm pretty excited to be moving out of the ranks of the injured, and hopefully for a while.  Now, of course, the frustration is fitness lost.  In October I was in sub-4 hour marathon shape.  I ran 20 miles at about an 8:20 pace.  Now, even an 8:30 mile feels ambitious.  I'm wondering what my next goals are.  There's a 4-miler in Prospect Park in two weeks. I'm not sure if that will be a confidence builder or a confidence buster . . . Hmm . . .

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Mediate Goals

With Comrades the goal for Spring 2016, I need things to get me there.

Thing 1:  the Seneca Creek Trail 50K.  I'll be running this one with long-time running buddy J__.  J__ coaxed me into my first marathon, my first Ironman, my first 50 miler . . . maybe even my first joint.  It will be nice to be back sharing a starting line with him.

Thing 2:  a marathon.  Any grand ideas for April or May?  I'm tempted by this silliness, with 7000+ feet of elevation gain and billing itself as "America's Toughest Road Marathon."

I like how all the grand ideas of running sub 3 hours are gone and I'm just out looking for adventure.  And I do mean I like it.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Running Mysteries

I will never cease to be amazed at the surprising ways in which our bodies react to offbeat stressors.  I've discussed "good pops" and "bad pops."  Now it's the mystery of the blizzard.  I've been wrestling with a pulled hamstring since Thanksgiving.  Consistently after a few miles, my right hamstring would cramp and force me to walk. Recently it seemed to be getting worse, not better, kicking in after only a mile.  I was working it out slowly on the treadmill when the snowstorm hit, and I did the foolhardy thing. I ran outside, in the snow, two days in a row, and increased my mileage.  Boom, the hamstring pain vanished.  I don't want to count my chickens, but I have now run 3-4 miles each of the last three days, twice outside and once on the treadmill, with no pain.  I've kept it slow.  I've stretched a lot, but I'm a bit flabbergasted.  What was it about slow snow running that finally got the stubborn muscle to let go.  I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth (stop that metaphor), but it's odd.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Morning After

I thought twice about running at all today.  Yesterday was great, and I felt like I got away with something, because my hamstring never twinged.  Three days in a row seemed like asking for trouble.  Spencer is in town and he invited me to Manhattan to explore Central Park.  I declined, quite frankly, out of fear.  Nothing would be more depressing than coming up lame in the middle of a snowy Central Park.  I decided to stay close to home, and, again, keep it very slow.  Now I feel bad.  I should have pushed Spencer to come join me.  I kept it slow, running 11:30 ish miles.  The surface varied from wet pavement, to packed snow, to unpacked snow, to climbing over snowbanks.  So, the pace was not as slow as it might seem, but it was pretty slow.  I decided to run down to Brooklyn Bridge Park and see if it was runable.  It was. Indeed, it was spectacular.  There were dads dragging kids on sleds.
Dogs off their leash.

Dads demonstrating how to sled, sorta . . .

There was even ambiguous art:


Whatever . . . It was cool.

Anyaway, I probably would have taken even more pictures, but my camera froze.  The end result was a successful, slow, 5 mile run with no pain!!! Hooray!!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Blizzard Run

I was going to take the day off and swim, but the gym was closed due to the blizzard of the century.  Instead I did 3.1 super slow miles, through the snow.  My pace was laughable, but still, no pain in the hamstring.  That is something.  I was worried that running through the snow would aggravate the injury.  Instead, the soft surface and slow pace, interrupted periodically by the need to avoid a snowplow, or climb through a drift, seemed to be okay.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Cross-training, and not . . .

The transition to triathlon a few years ago taught me some great things about cross-training.  It allows us to increase training volume with less risk of injury.  It fights off boredom.  It exercises different muscle groups.  It also allows us to shift events when injured. All of these things are good.  One thing is bad.  There is a big difference between running 5-6 times a week and running 3-4 times a week.  The same thing goes for swimming.  I notice less of a difference with cycling, but FWIW, I'm more of a natural cyclist than the other two.  When I increase my focus on running, my running form improves.  Right now, I'm not running, so I've been swimming a lot more.  My swimming is improving.  I wonder if we shouldn't work more periods of training that focus on improving just one of the events, while deemphasizing the others.  Is it possible to improve, and then maintain the gain, or is it better just to keep rotating.  I suspect that there's not one right answer to this question.