Saturday, April 21, 2007

Another view of the marathon

For the first time in several years, I spent marathon Monday on the sidelines behind my Nikon D59 taking photos of the runners. I had a good time and will admit that taking a year off was the right thing to do -- but that didn't stop me from missing being out there. I was at the finish line for the elite racers and then headed out the Cleveland circle for the rest of the day. In the end, I had about 500 photos and managed to get enough good shots to put together a set on Flickr.

On the training side of things, I am enjoying the start of training. After tomorrow's run, I will have run 18 miles this week which was right on target for the jump in mileage planned. I have an 8 mile run tomorrow and then rest on Monday (I'll be at the Red Sox game!). Tuesday brings speedwork during lunch and a 3 mile easy run with Speedy after work. The weather will hopefully allow me to bike to work and get a little skating in during the week as well. I recently switched gyms and will be heading in this week to get a tour of the new gym and start increasing my weightlifting and use the elliptical.

We hopefully will close on our new house this week so my running at this point is one of the few things helping to keep me sane! The new place is near the area where I do hill repeats so I'm looking forward to just heading out for a warm up and being right there. We will also have enough space to set up the bike trainer and weights in a permanent fashion. I am guessing this will make for a very happy family of runners.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Putting one foot in front of the other

Today's run was simply a process of reminding myself to put one foot in front of the other. The weather was sunny, around 45 degrees, and super windy where I was running. I hit a head very strong headwind going out and was looking forward to a good push home and then found that the wind had changed. As a result, I found myself pushing 45 pounds of running stroller and screaming toddler for 6 miles. Pushing Speedy was something like running with a parasail - good for training but not exactly what I had planned!

In the past 4 months I've torn a ligament in 1 shoulder (picking Speedy up) and dislocated the other one (sleeping) but todays run is the first that I've done pain free in several months. This was good news as I have begun the start of training for Boston's Run to Remember and Dublin in October. The Run to Remember will be slow - just a long training run. I'm really focused on spending time base building and focusing on form, speed, and strength over the next few months. Dublin's course is flat and presents a good opportunity to PR - I'd like to train to get the most out of the Dublin course.

My training also has to prepare me for 2 weeks of hiking/climbing in Morocco right after Dublin. I'll have a week off before heading into the High Atlas Mountains...then 8 hour hikes for a week! Hopefully I'll be strong enough to comfortably do the hiking so soon after completing the race.

The next few weeks are filled with training, work, and closing on our house!!!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Dublin, Morocco, and Disney

So, after running with Dean Karnazes, tearing my rotator cuff, and agreeing to take a year off of running the Boston marathon, I had a hard time deciding what to do for a running/racing schedule this year. So, I've decided to run the Dublin Marathon this October to raise money for Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership. After Dublin, I'll be heading to Morocco for an 8 day trek through the High Atlas mountain range and then home again. Finally, I'm planning on running the Goofey challenge at Disney in January. My hope is that by running Dublin and the Goofey so close together that it will inspire others to give more money to my fundraising efforts.

Want to know more about why I'm running for MBHP? Checkout the Somerville Journal article

For now, that's it here in runningville...I'm off to rehab my shoulder, do some dishes and hit the hay. Take a moment to go to and make a small donation - $5 is a cup of coffee in some places - skip the coffee and help someone have a place to sleep for the night.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Back to Training

With summer upon us, I'm back to training and looking forward to some summer fun runs and preparing for the fall race season. So far, I'm registered to run the Let's Run, Have Some Fun series in Cambridge. The series has 4 races, each with a different music theme, after-party, and band.

I'm also excited to report that Speedy Ima and I picked up our brand new B.O.B. ironman running stroller. I took Speedy for a rollerblade trip last Wednesday afternoon and if the weather holds, we'll be going out for another 12 miles tonight. I suspect that pushing that extra 40-50 pounds of weight while still going fast enough to pass most everyone on the path will help my training. Hopefully, Speedy will continue to giggle as the world flies by while we are out. This weekend, I'll take him out for a short run and start building from there.

This time around, I'll be posting a weekly training schedule so that I can stay accountable and motivated. I can say that there will be some changes to my approach -- lots more jumping, speed work, and flexibility drills. The focus will be on speed and form this time around. I feel like I'm in a good place to build distance for the BAA Half-Marathon this fall and want to focus on lowering my 5K pace over the summer.

Finally, my friend Blair successfully completed her first marathon in San Diego over the weekend while raising money for Teddy's Team -- YAY BLAIR!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Taking a break...

It has been quite a while since my last post -- I've been running around trying to catch up on the parts of my life I ignored while marathon training. Preparing for my final papers has been a big focus lately. The semester ends this week and everything is due on Monday. I had a touch of food poisoning today which didn't help me get any work done. Instead, I came home sick and slept all afternoon so as to pretend the nausea didn't exist -- oh how strong pregnant women are...we guys are mere mortals in comparison!

My son is almost 6 months old and his running stroller is on the way! Speedy Ima and I will be hitting the bike paths and trails soon so that Speedy can see the world, or atleast our little patch of it! I'm looking forward to running with him. We go for a walk when I get home after work each night and soon it will be a nightly run. My guess is that eventually I'll be able to take him on my 10-15 mile training runs as I prepare for the BAA half marathon this fall. The big factor at the moment is how long he goes between feedings -- his growth spurt should be over by the time we pick the stroller up so hopefully I won't have to interupt my run to give him a bottle or some mashed up bananas.

Other than finals and family, it has been quiet on the exercise front as of late. I've been doing a few miles of walking each day and when it stops raining I'm looking forward to getting out on skates or a bike. Friday, I'll run home from my therapy appointment rain or shine.

Next week, I'll get to explore lovely Long Beach, CA as I'll be on a business trip. The conference that I'm going to is about hoarding so I'll definately be in need of a break in the evenings. The hotel also has a pool and weight room so I'm hoping to resume my regular early training routine while there.

Speedy Ima and I have signed up for a fun summer race series by the Charles River. She'll run 2 races and I'll run the other 2. They are only 4 miles per race and there is a BBQ event after each one -- sounds like a fun way to spend the summer. I'm also hoping that these will help me prepare for the Somerville Homeless Coalition 5K this fall. The 5K is the week before my half marathon but I'm actually more worried about hitting my 5K race goal than about my half-marathon time...more on that another day.

I promise to start posting more - and answering the knee injury questions that I've gotten....thanks for reading!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

I had a good post-marathon recovery week. Between taking Tuesday off, the last day of Passover, and my usual half-day at work on Fridays, I'm feeling fairly rested compared to the week after Boston last year. I over did it cooking and carrying Speedy on Friday and my ankle has been bothering me since. I had hoped to run 3 miles this weekend but think that I need to ice my ankle, stick it in a brace for a few days, and hit the Advil before trying to run. So, Tuesday I'm going to take my bike out for a spin and then will attempt to run 3 miles at a relaxed pace on Wednesday after work. I want to take it easy for the rest of April and most of May before jumping back into training.

I know that I want to run a couple of 5K races this summer and the BAA half-marathon in October but I'm still trying to decide which races to really push for. Likely, it will be the Somerville Homeless Coalition 5K this fall. That way, I can spend some time on speedwork and getting a stronger stride.

I've also set a goal of doing an Ironman Tri by the time I'm 40. That gives me 10 years to understand the training needed for triathlons and as Speedy grows up, hopefully finding time to train will get a little easier.

Click here to see photos from Marathon Weekend courtesy of DFMC. Also, for those who have time to search through hundreds of photos, you are virtually guaranteed to find yourself by looking through photos from Jim Rhodes and company!

On the fundraising front, I'm going to continue to try to raise money until July 31st final deadline. Please, if you haven't given, contribute a small amount. DFMC needs you -- $1, $5 -- anything helps in the race against cancer. The finish line is still a ways away but with your donation, we come a little closer! I'll continue to say it -- IF A 6 YEAR OLD CAN GIVE HIS ALLOWANCE, YOU CAN MATCH IT!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

It was only a dream....

So, the process of blogging about marathon weekend will take a few days -- here is another story about the big weekend...

On Thursday afternoon, I made a mental note that after the festival days for Passover and then Shabbat were over, I needed to clip my toenails (which were REALLY REALLY long and grazing the toe of my shoes...). On Saturday, I made another mental note to do this before race day and then promptly fell asleep on Saturday night without doing so.

I got dressed on marathon Monday, proceeded to Hopkinton, and started the race (read previous post for list of things that hasn't gone quite as planned). Down the road a good bit, I started to notice that my feet and toes felt irritated. I chalked this up to rubbing on my socks despite all of the lubrication I put on them to avoid blisters. I was thinking about what else the problem could be and eliminated toenail problems since "I cut them on Sunday evening."

With the race completed, I headed back to the DFMC runner's center to change out of my stinky running clothes and put on a nice comfortable pair of dry socks and my flip-flops. When I took my race socks off, I found a bloody toe - nothing compared to last year but bloody none the less. Upon closer evaluation, I also found that I had not trimmed my toe nails and the irritation I felt during the race was my toenails rubbing the end of my running shoe briefly during each stride.

The medication I am on for depression has listed as a potential side effect "vivid dreams" and I've definately been having some. Apparently, the toenail cutting that I thought happened on Sunday was simply the product of a worried marathon runner on medication that causes vivid dreams! Sadly, it was only a dream. Lesson for next time: double check the toes when getting dressed before a big race.

Thankfully, once cleaned off, the blood was only from a tiny nick in the skin on one toe -- disaster averted (atleast this time)....