Thursday, September 30, 2010

cleaning out the brain attic for a sec.

tues. 6.5 miles with ava

Wed 9/29/10- 4.5 miles @ 8:00/mile with brandon.

legs still feel OK. soreness in the hamstrings, lingering pain in the left foot, but i think it's just beat up...not cracked or anything more serious.

i've been thinking about the winter coming up and running goals, a few scattered thoughts (i'm a little hungover and nyquilled up):

-core training. now that my torso is healed from the car accident, it's time to get the back and stomach in shape!
-revisit barefoot(ish) training. even though i run in pretty minimal shoes (i.e. racing flats and the inov-8 212's), it's been a while since i did any running in the vibrams/feelmax shoes. i think my feet could use the toughening up and i'd just like to start mixing up my routine a bit more. though the risk of injury is slightly increased, i think that if i'm wise that results will be only beneficial.
-learn to use and train with a heart-rate monitor. this is something i've wanted to do for a while but have been sort of loath to actually begin. i don't like having to deal with quite so much data post-run, but i've heard SO many positive things about using a HRM that i can't ignore it any longer.

all of these thoughts for winter running revolve around a similar theme: breaking out of a rut. i don't think i'm really and truly in one, but i think that now that the racing "season" is over (or at least i don't have any big races coming up for a while), i need a new source for inspiration in my running. i need a new way to push myself a bit more. my base is very solid right now and i really want to keep trying to become a better runner. honestly, i would love to see if i have the stuff to run at a much higher and more competitive level. i've thought about my reasons for this and as much as some of it is ego driven (as in, i want to win/be the best), i feel fairly secure in saying that the main drive to try and improve is simply that i feel like i can. my body feels pretty good and all signs are encouraging me to run longer and faster. i'm young(ish) and have been running a fairly short amount of time (5 years or so?) and it's too soon to stop being curious as to how far i can push myself.

thurs- 7 miles. HRM is fun.
fri/sat- off. my foot is still bothering, more now as i've started running on it. in an effort to speed the recovery, i've been drinking local brews by the growlerful and eating an INSANE amount of food from the farmer's market and the local orchard. it's time to ease back on the old appetite and get back to enjoying this beautiful fall running weather. my running shorts are starting to fit as tightly as the casing on the bratwurst i ate for breakfast yesterday.

sun - about 11 miles. pretty fast although the watch died fairly early on. my foot is still bothering me a bit, but i'm icing it and trying to treat it right. chocolates, flowers, love letters on the pillow, etc.

weekly total: 29 miles. still unsure of how i feel after run woodstock, i guess.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New best running buddy.

I had run with Ava before, but it usually involves a lot of stopping and starting and shitting by the side of the road and chasing little kids...and sometimes the dog even slows down, too! har. har. har.

Anyway, my first run since the 50 went pretty well. Some very sore spots, a little foot pain, but nothing that seems especially out of whack. So, Ava and I ran 6.5 miles at about 7:30/mile...I was seriously impressed with that little dog! She was not even slightly tired out by that effort. I think I may have a new training partner for the fall.

I like how this photo looks like one of those old museum displays: "Anglo hunting dog amongst shoreline vegetation."

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fitty in da bag.

Well, the Run Woodstock 50 miler went well. I finished 7th overall in 9:19 (11:11/mile). The first 16.6 mile loop i ran with this guy Dean, who was dead-on at a 12:00/mile pace. I was really nervous about going out too strong so I ran very conservatively. I was focused on finishing, not on achieving any sort of time goal. After that first loop, I still felt really solid so I thanked Dean for letting me run with him and took off on my own. That second loop was really fast, but because I wasn't wearing any watch I can only guess at my time. I think I was running somewhere around a 9:00/mile pace overall. By the third loop, things started to really hurt and I think I was down to about 10:00/mile. At the very end, my dad and mom ran the final 5 miles or so with me which was really great. When I think of all the countless hours i spend running alone, it's honestly pretty touching to suddenly have someone close to you running by your side. Luckily between Gabbo, mom, dad and friends (lookin' at you Celine and Celeste!)...I've got a pretty sweet stable of able amblers. And yes, that's a tiny painted hippie VW bus that I'm holding...the age group trophy. All in all, it was just a great weekend of running. Run Woodstock may be the best event i've gotten to be a part of and i recommend it highly to anyone...especially the naked races on friday and saturday night...and their champagne aid station.

naked champagne aid station.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Run Woodstock

The Run Woodstock weekend of bands, running and drinking begins this afternoon up in Hell, MI! I'm pretty excited about the whole deal, let alone my last chance for 50-mile redemption. Gabbo is still having some issues with her knee, but is signed up for the Friday 5k (naked, i hope) and the 5 miler on we'll see how she fairs. Really, though, it's been such a great summer of running that all we're really planning for this weekend is having as much fun as possible and maybe stop and pour out a little booze in honor of the great spirit that unites us all (running).

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dances with Dirt DNF

well, my first 50 miler was a bust. i signed up for the Run Woodstock 50 almost immediately after returning home in shame, so i'll give it another try in a couple weeks.

rules i had set out for myself prior to Dances with Dirt:
-don't race anybody. just finish.
-two-week taper
-aim for 12-min overall pace

mistakes during DWD that led to DNF:
-raced people...all of whom turned out to be 50k runners who finished at 31 miles, by which point i was finished too (why didn't i check their bibs?)
-three-day taper
-ran 9:30/mile until i could ONLY shuffle at 12:00/mile

Lastly (and this one really kills me), because i had to camp the night before the race i couldn't go to the methadone clinic in the morning...and after running for 6+ hours i think withdrawals really made a punishing race just totally unbearable. i sort of knew something was weird in the morning when my feet, of all things, were really aching. i hadn't run for three days, my feet hadn't hurt in weeks and the day before my feet/legs/everything had felt great...but the morning of the race they feel like they're bruised all along the bottom? i ignored it at the time (what would i have done about it anyway?) ...but as the race went along and i also got weird cramps in my inner thighs (a place i've NEVER had a cramp before while running) ...i guess i'm concluding that my dependence on methadone affected my ability to run...and that makes me so fucking mad at myself i can't stand it. after all that training (and work at quitting drugs), i am saddened that this on-going addiction recovery has cast such a long shadow over my running now, as well as other parts of my life.

Big plus to the weekend, however, included Gabbo's first turn as my "crew." She anticipated every little whine and bitch that i had and did her homework on each leg of the course before i got to it, so i was dry when i needed to be dry and fed when i needed to be fed and caffeinated when i was droopy, etc. Then, when i first tried to quit, she joined in and ran with me...for the ONE section of the course that involved wading through crotch-deep muck that smelled like baby shit. So...basically, i'm indebted to her for at least the rest of the fall. Hopefully i will get to return the favor sometime next year and crew for her.

Run Woodstock is in a little more than a week. It's my last chance for 50 miles before winter settles over us.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Getting up to speed...

OK. The week beginning 8/30 is mostly dream-fog. I ran...monday, tues, and wednesday i think? they were good runs...two of them were 12 miles or so...that run i've been doing where i speed up at the end. i took thursday and then friday off in anticipation of hitting some new trails with my good friend dan dehaven who i went to visit out in cleveland. however, we did NOT go running at ALL. instead, we did the primary thing we are most inclined to do when we hang out and that is drink very very heavily and act very very badly in public. luckily, the one other person who perhaps inspires this same level of drunken stupidity (my cousin grant) now lives near cleveland and HE came to visit TOO! so...that was just one hell of a bender weekend. it's been a while since i really tied one on. i'd forgotten how much fun it is to invest significant time into a good drunk. you know, really letting that stuff soak into the deepest folds of your brain. hours and hours of marinating in alcohol.

skipping ahead.

Sunday- dizzy, hungover 5.5 miles. went to San Marinese picnic with Gabbo and her family. ate an insane amount of delicious food. handmade italian sausage, cannolis, eggplant, homemade foccacia bread...all of it was out of this world.

Monday- nothing. i'm all over the place. more rehab monkey business that i'm tired of thinking about. our country is so ill equipped to help people like me and i have developed infinitely more sympathy and acceptance for people with addiction issues. my brother wrote me an email that was the most touching, sincere and gorgeously constructed piece of art/correspondence that i have ever had the pleasure of receiving. it was so loving and exacting in its expression that i wept (yeah, not cried. wept.) and called him the next day to thank him as much as my feeble mouth and feebler brain would allow me. i am the luckiest person alive. yes, luckier than you. sorry, dude.

Tues- horrible meeting with a psychiatrist. there is nothing so nauseating and deeply saddening for me than to have an important conversation with someone who is so unwilling to speak or act with any candor or integrity. this appointment went so badly that it changed some of my views on life and how best to live it. that's all i can say at this point. my resolve and hope was shaken on this day. back on the methadone, i go.

good run, though. 12.5 miles at home then went to wildwood with gabbo to run a few more. it was so hot today and for the longer run i thought, "hey it might be kinda neat and cathartic to punish yourself by not running with any water." by the end i was in full-blown suffer-mode and when i met up with gabbo and she went out the gate a little hot, i couldn't keep up! i had to rest and she did a trail loop and then met back up with me! yeesh! anyway, we went out for sushi and it was really nice and i'm in love with her and that psychiatrist didn't even exist by the time we paid the tab and were on our way home.

WED 9/1/10 - more teacher in-service stuff getting ready for the school year to start next week. i have done little to prepare and am not nervous? i think that must mean i'm stupid. if you've read any of this blog, you should have already come to that conclusion by now so my unpreparedness in the face of a great necessity for preparedness should come as no surprise.

7.5 mile run. very hot again.

THURS - 11 miles

FRI- 7 miles

SATURDAY 9/4/10- ran the Boyscouts Eagle Half-Marathon in Bowling Green, OH. Got rained on in the first couple of miles and was super cold. Ran it with Gabbo, who did gritted her teeth and ran through some serious pains in her foot and knee to finish in 2 hours...11 minutes faster than the Glass City half in April. Nice job! 13.1 miles.
SUNDAY- sabbath. day of rest. weekly total 60 miles, on the nose.