Post Marathon Week Zero


My post marathon week zero for recovery has not really started. When I finished the marathon, I thought I was relatively injury free. No problems with my knees, feet, back, etc. But something kind of unexpected.  You see, I’ve had a chronic stiff neck since around the end of June or beginning of July. Nothing too bad though. Everyone gets stiff necks from time to time. After seeing my Doc in July, I was prescribed PT to loosen and strengthen my neck.

After the Marathon, everything hurt, quads, calves, glutes, and shoulders. Over the next couple of days, everything got better, except my old neck pain. But now the pain was a lot worse and had radiated to my right shoulder and down my arm with numbness along my arm to my thumb and a little to my fingertips. I started taking Acetaminophen, naproxen, and what remained of my flexeril from my first appointment but it barely took the edge off the pain.  So I went back to the Doc and it turns out I have Cervical Radiculopathy (Pinched Nerve) on my right side.

cervical_radiculopathy

 

I guess I have had a minor case of it since June but I must have really aggravated it during the Marathon. He upped the dosage of my meds and off I went.  As the days progressed it got more and more painful to the point that no matter what position I was in, standing , sitting or lying down, which was the worst, was pretty much unbearable.   So I called in sick on Friday and after being up all night pacing, taking meds, ice pads, heat pads, and anything else to find relief, my wife, who has much more common sense than me, said we needed to go the ER. My Doctor isn’t available on  the weekends. So 5:00 am we headed to the ER where they confirmed the diagnosis and prescribed some stronger pain meds. Finally I was able to sleep.

The pain is much less now and I have a follow-up next Friday. The BIG down side is no running!  😦  I can ride a bike or use an elliptical but as you know, it’s just not the same. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery and fixing whatever the cause of this is so it won’t happen again.

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Categories: Post Race Recovery | Tags: , , , , | 21 Comments

ING Hartford Marathon Recap


Friday night I got everything ready and packed and got to bed around 10:00. I set my alarms for 3:30 and 3:45 and got up at 3:45 of course. Got dressed got my stuff and had a light breakfast and a big glass of water. Then My wife, eldest daughter, and I left for Hartford around 5:00 to get there around 6:00. I was afraid I was going to get caught up in traffic or not be able to find a parking place or something that was going to stress me out.

We got there around 6:00 as planned and found a free parking lot a block away from the starting corral  and next to a long line of porta-potties which was pretty sweet. Since the Pace Groups were not going to meet until 7:30 and it was in the high 40s, I decided to wait in the nice warm car for a while. After a couple of bio breaks I went to the Pace Group meetup. I didn’t bother to use the baggage check since it was about a half  block from where I parked which was nice since the lines were way long.

I found my pace group for a 4:45 finish and met some really nice people. I figured I wanted to run with some experienced marathoners, the pace group leaders, during my first one. I didn’t stretch but jogged in place to warm-up. I took a GU at 7:15 and 7:45. At about 7:45 we moved into the corral. It was hard to stay with my group but I was able to see the sign the leader was holding.

CAM00142

 

It was a beautiful day for a run. With the sun now up it was in the low 50s, low humidity, and a nice breeze. I think I probably got spoiled a bit but I’ll take it.

I was a little nervous but excited and confident at the same time. I hadn’t run for a week and a half trying to get my knees to feel better and this morning they felt great, but for how long, I wondered. After all, 26.2 miles is a long way. I got settled in as close to my group as possible. The opening ceremonies were great. I was surprised that when they asked everyone who was running their first marathon to raise their hands, it looked like half the people there did. At one point we all sang Sweet Caroline in honor of Boston. Once the race started, it only took about three minutes to get across the starting line since my group was pretty far up.

Once we got across the starting line and moving, it was very exciting. I was actually running in a marathon! The full and half marathoners were running together at first and then split up after a couple of miles. We ran through downtown Hartford, through a nice park and the into some nice neighborhoods. Water stops with both water and Gatorade were setup every mile and a half, GU Gels available at about mile 8 and 14 and race clocks at every odd mile.  I walked through every stop and took a GU at 8, 14, and 21 miles. At about mile 9, I took another bio break and lost track of my pace group. I wanted to try to catch them but I was afraid to run too fast at this point. I kept track of my pace using the pace band I picked up with my packet and was about a minute or so behind, a pace I was able to maintain.

My knees were a little sore for the first few miles but were fine after that. Somewhere around 11 miles in the bottom of my right foot was starting to get sore. After a couple more miles I thought maybe my shoelaces were too tight so I stopped to loosen them and immediately felt some relief. Everything else felt fine.

I hit the halfway point at 2:20:56 with a pace of 10:46. I still felt great and was on track to finish around 4:45. The volunteers, police, and residents cheering us on were great! I made mile 20 at 3:34:00 with a pace of 10:42. Still doing great. I was pretty tired but the gravity of what I was doing and thinking of every one of my followers and family kept me going. I now only had a short weekly run to go and knew I could do it. At about mile 22, the bottom of my left foot started hurting as well as my right. It felt like I was running on fire but it didn’t feel like I was injured. I think my pace slowed here though. A lot of people were walking or run/walking at this point but I just kept going except for the water stops.

The last couple of miles got me back into the city. I smiled and raised my hands in victory for every camera. Finally, I saw the finish line and had the biggest smile, thanking everyone for cheering my on. Then I heard my name as I approached the finish line, something I hadn’t expected. Hands raised up and a big smile, I crossed the finish line. 4:48:05, pace 11:00.

I’m now a Marathoner!

Walking now, I got my medal, a water bottle, a goody bag, and mylar blanket.

CAM00147 (2)

 

They had lots of good food available but sadly with my wheat allergy, I couldn’t eat most of it. I did get a complementary massage though and decided to get a nice steak on the way home.

This was one of my best days ever!

The day after the race my legs, hips, and shoulders were sore all day. I felt like I was walking like a penguin. I escaped pretty much injury free though with only a couple of blisters on the toes of my left foot. Monday, I did some foam rolling and everything is feeling much, much better.

20131012_150735

Categories: Races | Tags: , , , , , | 20 Comments

Finished My First Marathon


ING Hartford Marathon Results 2012

 

Finished the marathon! I’m a bit tired but relatively injury free. I felt real good throughout the race and kept really close to my goal pace of 4:45. I’ll give a full recap later. I thought of you all often and it really kept me going. Last night I read a great post about marathon advice by Kris Lawrence (no relation that I know of) that also really helped me out.

Best of luck to all those running in Chicago tomorrow and in other places.

Categories: Races | Tags: , , , , | 30 Comments

Taper is Done, Race in the Morning


Well today I finished my taper. The last time I ran was Wednesday a week ago. I felt I need to really pamper my knees and they feel great. I wore knee braces for a few days and have been icing them every night.  I’d say they are about 98%. I’ve also been fueling up over the past week. I had a big Carb dinner last night and a smaller one tonight. I’ve gained six pounds during my taper but read that is not necessarily a bad thing if you are tapering and fueling correctly before a big race.  I have no worries about my strength or endurance. I’m positive I’m strong enough to go the distance both physically and mentally.

Today I picked up my race packet!

20131011_185053

It was really awesome seeing all those people who will be running with me tomorrow. Bib number 1919, easy to remember and a nice long-sleeved shirt. They also had Pace Bands. I was thinking about buying one online but I’m glad I didn’t since they had them for free! I’ve decided to join a Pace group for a 4:45 finish. That way I won’t get too carried away, plus I’ll get to run with some experienced runners for my first marathon.

All I have left to do is get everything packed up and laid out tonight so I don’t forget anything. Hartford is about an hour away and I want to get there about 2 hours early to find parking, account for unexpected traffic, and meet up with my pace group an hour before the race. That means leaving about 4:30ish.

I can’t believe tomorrow is the big day. The year has gone by so fast. Thank you for all the encouragement during my journey. I will be thinking of all of you during my run and I’m sure I will feel your spirit with the whole way.

 

Categories: Marathon Training, Races | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

The Journey


I find this very true for me so far.

Categories: Marathon Training | 3 Comments

Taper Week 2 and Fitness


I started my second week of tapering today. I was supposed to run yesterday but I wanted to give my knees a bit longer to feel better. I’m nervous that if I’m not careful, they are going to give me trouble on the marathon. I had planned on running a nice easy 6 miles and decided to run on a nice squishy track. I was shooting for about a 11:30 – 12:00 pace. I started off nice and slow and kept trying to hold back. I felt like I wanted to just take off but I wanted to have a nice taper run. Here’s how it went.

2 October 13 Run

 

Wow, I really went a lot faster than I thought I was going. Running on a nice flat track compared to the hills I normally run was a lot easier than I expected. When my App said 9:03 at the first mile, I was a bit shocked. I haven’t been able to run this fast for this long since I was 25! Turns out I set 4 new PBs which I figured would be a LOOONG time before that would happen after the half marathon.

2 October 13 4 PB

 

After 3 miles of running that fast, I have to admit I was a little excited and got carried away, I figure I needed to stop so I wouldn’t undo all the rest for my knees. Tomorrow, I have three miles scheduled too but this time I’ll pay more attention to my pace.

My fitness stats have really improved over the last year. I’ve been tracking them on Endomondo.

Fitness Measurments Oct 12 to Sep 13

 

You can really see how my hard work is really paying off. For September, these are my stats.

Sep 13 Performance Totals

 

I feel really good about my effort and how I feel. I haven’t been this fit since my mid twenties! I hope this continues, I think it will. 🙂

Categories: Fitness, Marathon Training | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

TAPER TIME


Some awesome and easily understanable info here.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

First Tempo Week, Two Weeks To Go!


I Finished my first Tempo Week and can’t believe I only have two weeks until my Marathon. Monday was a nice 5 mile run but my legs were still a bit stiff from the 20 miles the Saturday before and my knees were too.

24 September 13 Run

 

I was not feeling well on Wednesday so I skipped running which was probably for the best anyway. Thursday I was real busy so I skipped running that day too.  I felt good for my 12 miles today though. I actually slept in and started around 11:00.  Everything felt pretty good. I have a little soreness on my right side but it’s hard to isolate it. It could be ITB, sciatic, or glute. Maybe all three. My knees felt really good until about mile 8 and then started to get sore. I had to walk a bit at mile 11. I know I didn’t hydrate enough so that may be part of the problem. I have some Ideas that might help, I’ll let you know haw it goes.

28 September 13 Run

Categories: Marathon Training | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Inconceivable


This just amazed me.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/half-marathoner-accidentally-wins-marathon-ontario-canada-article-1.1469991

And inspired me.

Categories: Marathon Training, Reblogged | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Energy Gels


I found a very interesting article “Everything You Need To Know About Energy Gels” by Jeff Gaudette at running.competitor.com that I think you will find interesting, I know I did.

http://running.competitor.com/2013/08/nutrition/everything-you-need-to-know-about-energy-gels_44642/1

energy gels

Categories: Nutrition | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

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