Posts Tagged With: The Quinquagenarian Runner

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

 

 

CDD

 

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.

Categories: Injury, Marathon Training, Races | Tags: , , , | 18 Comments

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.

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

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

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

My Big Week Ending in 20 Miles


This was my Big Week before my taper. I ran a total of 35 miles. Tuesday was 5, which I already posed about.

Thursday I ran 10 miles. My legs seemed a little stiff and my knees were a bit sore. It was a very nice day to run though and I ran a comfortable pace. I still hadn’t picked up some new insoles but this run convinced me to get off my butt and get them.

19 September 13 Run

 

Overall a good run. It’s funny how 10 miles just doesn’t seem like a long run anymore. 😉

Today, I did run a long run though. 20 MILES! This is the longest I have ever run and it went well. I got my new insoles yesterday and the made a huge difference on my knees.

Insoles

 

This is the second pair of these I’ve purchased. I replaced the stock insoles from my Brooks Ghost 5’s with these about 4 months ago. They were noticeably flatter when I compared them to the new ones. I highly recommend them if you are having knee or foot problems. I addition to helping my knees, they also fixed my metatarsalgia in my left foot and subsequently the ITB trouble I was having on that side.

The 20 miles were tiring but invigorating at the same time, especially once I passed mile 18, my previous longest run.  At about mile 16, I really starting getting hungry. I had taken a GU 45 min and 15 min prior to my run along with a breakfast bar and then a GU every 4 miles. Taking one at mile 16 helped my hunger a bit. At mile 18, I started feeling some tingling pain in my right toes which went away as soon as I stopped to walk. I think I had my shoe a little too tight. Here is how my first ever 20 mile run went.

21 September 13 Run

 

So now I start my taper. I have a lot of faith in my training plan so I don’t think I will have any trouble sticking to it. I’m not trying to BQ or anything so that take a lot of pressure off. Now the only thing I’m wondering is, I ran 20 but can I add another 6.2 miles to it? We’ll just have to see.

Categories: Marathon Training | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

First Run After


Yesterday I had my first run after the half marathon. It was 5 miles and went really well. I was kind of expecting to be a little sore from pushing so hard the last few miles of the half but everything was fine. I also tried to speed up a little since I had such a good time. I was able to but I was not as fast on the hills as that nice flat road.

17 September 13 Run

 

I was supposed to run 10 miles tonight which would take me about 2 hours. I got home from work late but still got dressed and ready to run. Once I was totally ready, it was only an hour before sunset. I got my head lamp out but decided it was too risky running for an hour in the dark. There is a lot of traffic on the roads where I run with only about 6 inches of shoulder,  and lots of trees and curves. I’ll get in the 10 tomorrow.

Saturday is my 20. That is going to be interesting!

Categories: Marathon Training | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Surftown Half Marathon Recap


Today I ran my first half marathon, the Surftown Half Marathon and it was GREAT!

Yesterday afternoon I picked up my race packet which came with a very nice technical shirt, a bag and a bib. I got number 676. I could have picked it up this morning before the race but I was in the area and figured it would be one less thing to worry about.  Last night I got all my stuff together and ready to go. I set my alarm for 4:45 since I wanted to leave by 6:00 and get there about 6:45 and the roads were going to close at 7:00. Start time was 7:30 and it would give my time to warm up and stretch out. I didn’t get to bed until about 10:30, later than I wanted but figured it wouldn’t be a big deal. I woke up at 4:45 and before I got out of bed it all of a sudden was 5:20. Still plenty of time though. Luckily, I had everything ready to go. I got up, got ready and had some water and a breakfast bar. Walked the dog and got my daughter Melissa who is my support team. Out the door at 6:10 with plenty of time. at about 6:40 with 8 minutes to go I hit traffic. Bumper to bumper traffic. Great! I have 20 minutes until the roads close. So slow! The intersection where the street was going to close was three cars away and the light turned red. Then green and it is 7:00. Road Closed! Now what? So I go in the direction we were being redirected and my awesome daughter found a back way to the parking lot. Luckily, the roads were not closed and we made it at about 7:10 with a long line of cars behind us. I actually think we made it faster than if we would have stayed in the traffic, so it worked out. I was pretty nervous about making it at all though. I’m really glad I got my race packet the day before. There were people running to get theirs.

I jogged a bit to warm up and made it to the starting area in time for them to call the runners up. I found the 2:30 pacer and fell in behind him. My fastest half during training was 2:24. I had decided to not bring my phone since I wanted to see how I would do without it in a race. I also didn’t bring my water bottle.  The race started a little late I think. It might have been because of the traffic problems, which was nice of the race officials. I say I think because I didn’t bring a watch either.

Once the race started, I started to run but being in the back of the pack, I quickly realized I needed to walk. By the time I got to the starting line, about a minute had passed. As there were race clocks along the route, I knew I could take a minute off each one. I started off just running an easy pace not wanting to get caught up in the excitement and go out too fast too early.

The crowd started thinning out pretty quickly and I fell into a comfortable pace. At the 1 mile marker the race clock said 11:07 which I knew for me was about 10:07. I passed the 2:30 pacer a little after that. There were water stations about every 2 miles or so water and Gatorade was no problem. There was one station that had GU at about mile 7 which was OK since I bought 2 with me.

At about mile 3, I was still feeling really good so I decided to pick up the pace a bit. Before I hit mile 4, I was passing the 2:15 pacer but still feeling really good. My knees were great and my feet were too. I kept that pace and realized I was slowly passing more and more people. I felt really encouraged about that but resisted just taking off. I really had no idea how fast I was going since I didn’t have my phone or a watch. I did take time to walk through every water station which is something I read about and I feel it worked out well for me.  It was easy for me to catch up to where I was in the pack and I gave me time to drink a whole cup of water and Gatorade at each stop. I highly recommend this method.

At mile 5, the race clock said 50:12 which was 49:12 or so for me, a little under 10 min/mi, really good for me. I guess training exclusively on hills and then running on a basically flat course paid off.  This is when I took my first GU.

At the halfway point I was still feeling great and hit it at 1:03:54.

Halfway!

Halfway!

 

On to the second half!

On to the second half!

Great pictures by my support team, Melissa! The second half was a little more hilly. But they were not bad at all. It was a beautiful neighborhood with lots of shade. Good thing since I chose to wear my long sleeves. I was afraid 48 degrees and the ocean breeze would be too cold. It was pretty chilly but it warmed up. At about mile 8 I still had a lot left so I really picked up the pace. Nice long strides and passing more and more people. It felt really good and I was in a nice rhythm. I took my second GU at mile 9.

At about mile 10 there were 2 rather steep hills in a row but they were short. I just powered up them, passing a lot of people and hearing cheers of encouragement. Once it leveled out, I caught my breath for about a quarter mile and the resumed my previous pace which I was judging by effort. The last water station was at about 11.5 miles. I walked through it, got a drink of water and Gatorade, and the took off. I picked up the pace again and really felt like I was moving. I was getting tired running this pace but knew I only had a little over a mile left.

With the finish in sight, I really started to kick it! The cheers and the applause were great and very motivating during that last 400 yards. Crossing the finish line was the best feeling! YAHOO!

FINISHED MY FIRST HALF MARATHON!

FINISHED MY FIRST HALF MARATHON!

 

Personal Record!

Personal Record!

YEAH!

YEAH!

Nice Medal.

Nice Medal.

 

The is my first PR and it was also a personal best. I actually set three PBs on the run.

15 September 13 PB Half Marathon

15 September 13 Surftown Run 3 PBs

I really felt great after this race. Knees, feet, legs, all good. I guess a half marathon late into your full marathon training plan works out pretty good.

Surftown Half Marathon Finisher!

Surftown Half Marathon Finisher!

The medal is really nice and it is like a sun catcher or stained glass.

Surftown Half Marathon 2013 9

This was a good race with great volunteers. It was well organized and had plenty of water stations.

Next month, the Hartford Marathon!

Categories: Races | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

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