Here we go. Getting ready restart my running after 5 years.

After a five-year hiatus, I’ve finally decided to get serious about running after being inspired by a dear friend and my sister-in-law. I will be very careful not to re-injure myself, which means I’ll have to take it slow and easy and work on back, neck, and core along with keeping my plantar tendons from acting up. Read my older posts if you want to see what derailed me. I will be looking forward, not back.

My goal for the year is running the Hartford Marathon in October. The first step, develop a training plan.

Let’s get to it!


The Marathon

If you’ve run a marathon, you’ll appreciate this.

If you haven’t yet, it’s what you have to look forward too.

Only some of you will ever understand this.

This is bDean Karnazes from Runners World. You should check out his blog.


The Marathon is not about running, it is about salvation. We spend so much of our lives doubting ourselves, thinking that we’re not good enough, not strong enough, not made of the right stuff. The Marathon is an opportunity for redemption. Opportunity, because the outcome is uncertain. Opportunity, because it is up to you, and only you, to make it happen.

There is no luck involved in finishing the Marathon, the ingredients required to tackle this formidable challenge are straightforward: commitment, sacrifice, grit, and raw determination. Plain and simple.

So you set about your training to prepare your body for the rigors of running 26.2 miles. You refuse to compromise, dedicating yourself wholeheartedly to the contest ahead, pouring everything you’ve got into it. But you know the Marathon will ask for more. In the dark recesses of your mind, a gloomy voice is saying, you can’t. You do your best to ignore this self-doubt, but the voice won’t go away.

The Marathon rattles you to the core. It deconstructs your very essence, stripping away all your protective barriers and exposing your inner soul. When you are at your most vulnerable, the Marathon shows no pity. The Marathon tells you that it will hurt you, that it will leave you demoralized and defeated, crushed in a lifeless heap alongside the roadside. The Marathon tells you can’t do it. “Ha!” it torments you, “In your dreams…”

You fight back, however, and stand courageously at that starting line, nervously awaiting that gun to go off. When it does, you put your head down and charge into the abyss, knowing honestly in your heart of hearts that you either paid your dues or that you skimped along the way. There is no lying to yourself here, the Marathon sees right through excuses, shortcuts, and self-transgressions.

All goes well for the first half. But slowly, step-by-step, the pain mounts and the intensity of the endeavor amplifies. You remain steadfast, knowing that you did not skimp, that you did not take shortcuts, that every footstep was earned through months of rigorous preparation and hard work. Still, with each draining thrust forward, that little nagging inclination of self-doubt in the back of your mind progressively advances into your awareness.

Then, at mile 20, the voice looms louder than ever. It hurts so bad you want to stop. You must stop. But you don’t stop. This time, you ignore the voice, you tune out the naysayers who tell you that you’re not good enough, and you listen only to the passion within your heart. This burning desire tells you to keep moving forward, to continue putting one foot in front of the other no matter the consequences.

Courage comes in many forms. Today you will have the courage to keep trying and not give up regardless of how dire things become. And indeed dire they do become. At the 26-mile mark you can barely see the course any longer, your vision is faltering as you teeter precariously on the edge of consciousness.

And then, suddenly, the finish line looms before you. Tears stream down your face as you realize you might make it. Now, finally, after years of torment you can answer back to that nagging voice of uncertainty in your head with a resounding: Oh yes I can!

You burst across the finish line and are liberated from the prison of self-doubt and limitations that have held you captive. You have learned more about yourself in the past 26.2-miles than you have known in a previous lifetime. You have forever freed yourself from those chains that had previously held you captive. Even if you can’t move for a week, never have you been so free.

As they carry you away from the finish line, wrapped in a flimsy Mylar blanket, barely able to keep your head raised, you are at peace. That daunting adversary that has haunted you an entire lifetime is now your liberator, your fondest ally. You have done what few will ever do—you have done what you thought you could never do—and it is the most glorious, unforgettable awakening ever.

You are, above all, a Marathoner, and you will wear this distinction not on the medal they place around your neck, but deep inside your heart, for the rest of your God given years. Nothing can ever take that away from you. You are a Marathoner.

Cleared to Run

As you may remember, if you have been following this blog, I finished my first Half Marathon last September and my first Marathon in October. While training for these two events I had developed an annoying neck pain and was seeing a Physical Therapist about it. It seemed to get worse after my longer runs including the Half.

A few days after the Marathon it got really bad. After seeing the Doc again he diagnosed Cervical Radiculopathy (Pinched Nerve). After an MRI, I was also diagnosed with Cervical Disk Disease between C6 and T1 and in my lower back as well. I was told I couldn’t run again as the pounding was just too much, at least not until after a couple of years of PT.

My PT changed with this new information and my Physical Therapist was convinced that my posture was to blame and not so much the pounding. After only four months, I was pain and numbness free. My posture is much better and I have been cleared to restart my running.

I started going to the gym a few time a week and spent 20 to 30 minutes on the elliptical and treadmill. I’ve been extra mindful of my posture and have had no ill effects. I’ve done a lot of research on proper form, core strength (as recommended by my Physical Therapist), and injury prevention. I’m developing a daily workout routine to incorporate these aspects along with continuing the strengthening exercises I learned while going to PT.

I also did a lot of research on shoes and narrowed it down to the Hoka One One and the new Brooks Transcend. I went to Fleet Feet of West Hartford, CT to get properly sized and have a gait analysis done. The staff at Fleet Feet was very helpful and knowledgeable. After trying different shoes and different insoles while having my gait checked for each one, the Brooks Transcend with my original insoles (Dr. Scholl’s Active Series) was what turned out to be the best for me. I also found out that I was wearing a half-size too small.


My new Brooks Transcend shoes!

My new Brooks Transcend shoes!


One thing I picked up on during the gait analysis was how much I heel strike. This is something I am looking to improve on. I’ve done some research on drills and techniques to stop heel striking. I’m sure this is something that contributed to my neck problems along with my posture.

So, over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be working out my workout plan and what works best for me. I plan on gradually increasing my mileage focusing on form while improving foot and ankle, core, and upper body strength while also maintaining good posture. I am going to try to only add miles after making sure I have correct form. This will be my plan for the next year.  No organized races to goad me into training too fast. Next year, maybe, I’ll get back into racing.

Nutrition (or lack there-of) for Runners

Interesting information.


There’s a lot of hype around nutrition and running. Gluten-free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Sugar-free, Whole-Food, Paleo, Eat whatever you want, and more. Is there any (real) science behind these besides the placebo effect? I decided to dig into a few research studies to find out what fuels athletes. Combining the chemistry of nutrition and the chemical reactions that happen when one runs, it should be easy to figure out the fuel necessary right? Turns out it’s not quite that simple and nutrition is a hot topic and constantly debated. The data is ever-evolving but there are some common themes that do fall back on basic chemistry and nutrition sciences. These haven’t changed and while attempts have been made to refute them, they remain solidly irrefutable:

1)      Our liver holds a certain amount of glycogen. The amount it holds is based on its weight. It will typically hold a minimum amount that…

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Started PT This Week – Eval

I had a good eval this week. Found lots of thing that cause pain then I knew about. Tested all sorts or range of motion, strength between my left and right side. Too many things to really remember. Except two things:

She asked me what my goal was. I said running again. She said OK that’s the goal.

After everything, I asked if my running caused my injury. She said no. It was a combination of age related disk degeneration, stuck upper thoracic and lower cervical vertebrae and the big thing, bad posture while running. Running with my bad posture for nearly 5 hours is what caused my nerve inflammation. I am not in really bad shape!!

may will be able to run again. I have to work as hard at my PT as I did for my marathon, but I know I can do it!

Someone Who Truly Inspires Me – Emma

Emma is the daughter of an old shipmate of mine.

If you ever need inspiration, motivation or to just brighten you day, come here.

Emma finishing the Columbus Marathon with her dad.

See more about Emma’s journey here:

Run because you can! On Pimping the Beast!

One of my favorite running bloggers.

On a Jam Hunt

Socrates | On a Jam Hunt Blog

After reading a post last night from one of my favorite blogs The Quinquagenarian Runner, written by David Lawrence, I got a wee bit emo.  In this post David writes about results he has received from an MRI which he had shortly after completing his very first full marathon less than a month ago.  “I got the results from my MRI today and it looks like my running career  has come to an end due to Cervical Disk Disease.”

Much in Davids true spirit he replied to the comment I had left him with this – “Thank you so much for your kind words. I may not be able to continue my current path but my passion and determination, my fire to live a fit and healthy lifestyle has not diminished. I’ll just be taking a new path on my journey. There are people who have overcome so…

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The End of the Run or At Least a Significant Hiatus

I got the results from my MRI today and it look like my running career  has come to an end due to Cervical Disk Disease. At a minimum, we are talking a year or two with physical therapy or other treatments with no guarantees that the pain won’t re-occur if I start running again.

cervical disk mri





A possible resolution is surgery to either fuse the affected vertebrae or replace the disks. In either case no running for me for at least a long time. I’m going to really miss running.

Some other things I can do is use an elliptical, a spinner, ride a bike, light weights, and swimming. I’m not really into any of those right now but I’m sure something will piqué my interest and get me off my butt. I’ve already gained 17 pounds in a month of no running. I have some soul-searching to do and find a way out of the funk I’m in. At least I finished a marathon before I was sidelined. A goal I’m very proud of and it was worth every one of the approximately 1,899,200 training steps I ran to get there for a total of 2,004,000 steps.