Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bike ride 5/26/13

I wanted to post quickly about my first bike ride in over five years.  I decided that since I'm taking a little break from running that I would pull out my bike and go for a short ride today.  It was an amazing day.  Windy, but very nice.

I put a bunch of my running gear on (my running shoes, running shorts, running shirt, watch) for my bike ride.  It felt weird and I definitely did NOT feel like a biker today.  On my ride which was about 4 miles I saw a guy who had all the bike gear on (the most notable was his bike jersey) and I commented to him sarcastically "can you tell I'm not a biker?"  Immediately after I said that I realized that the same is true as with running... if I bike and I consider myself a biker... well then I'm a biker with or without all of the gear.

A big comment revelation that I want to mention here is that exercise is a HUGE coping skill for me, but it must not be the only thing I do.  My relationship with God is even more important than ANYTHING else in my life, yet I don't talk about it here much.  I think one thing that I can focus on more as I have so much time to think is strengthening that relationship.

There is more to life than just running or biking or whatever.  I know that through all of this I will come back much stronger and even happier than ever.  It will likely take longer than I want, but I know it will be worth it.

I'm hoping to do a mile run very slow in the next few days.  Headed off to go to Art Fest and then a Senators baseball game.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

5.25.13 road to recovery - 9 points

As I thought about how to title this blog post I wanted to make sure I focused on the positive.  I have not run in the last several days, but I have learned many lessons.

1.  I have learned that this is likely temporary and that the time I'm not running will allow me to focus on other things.
2.  I miss it a lot and that I look to be smarter about my training in the future.
3.  I think the part of the problem was that I was running about 10 miles on the weekends with minimal if any runs during the week.
4.  I went to my chiropractor to adjust my foot.  This helped a ton, but there are more things that I can do to get back into the swing of training.
5.  I will NOT just run through this injury.  Regardless of whether this is actually Plantar Fasciitis it doesn't particularly matter, I need to take it easy and go slow for the next several weeks.
6.  I have an appointment with a podiatrist in the area on June 21st at 9:15am.  I hope to make significant progress between now and then, but hopefully he'll be able to give me some good answers.
7.  The hardest part of this is the emotional factor.  I miss the benefits of running.  Truth is that this is the primary way that I've been able to cope with the stressors in my life over the past few years.  I miss running with my TNT friends.  I also miss the times that I would run by myself in the mornings (or sometimes in the evening).  I'm not trying to make anyone feel sorry for me.  I think this is probably something that most runners go through at one point or another in their running career.
8.  I have a lot of questions, but the thing I do know is that I plan to come back stronger and smarter after this injury.

Lastly, in the next few days I hope to go for a short and slow run.  I probably will attempt this along the Susquhanna River which is very flat.  I will walk to the river, run about a half mile out and then a half mile back (or a little less if necessary).  After the about 1 mile run I will walk back home.

I appreciate you reading this.  Keep giving me feedback and encouragement.  If you are reading this and you've "been there done that" feel free to let me know by leaving a comment on FB or sending me an email at natewagner08 at gmail dot com

Thanks!  Look forward to reading your feedback.  Have a great day :-)!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Training with the long-term in mind

In the several week or so I have starting having issues with the bottom of my Left foot.  It doesn't bother me while I'm running, but in my non-running shoes or barefoot it tends to be sore.  At this point I decided that I would not run the 10-12 miles this morning.  I really WANTED to do it, but I knew that if I went I would pay for it later.  If I can't run or don't run I tend to get cranky (just ask anyone who spends much time with me).  I want to always keep running in the long term as primary.  I have plenty of time to run in general and I have 16 weeks between now and the Bird-in-Hand half and a total of 22 weeks between now and the Hershey Half.

I look at this as a slight setback, but I'm already running 10 miles on a regular basis.  My long-term ability to run is way more important than getting a sub-2 hour half-marathon.  Obviously this is very important to me, but I'm going to do what I need to do to do this safely.

Specifically what I'm doing:
1.  Bought new shoes for work that should make a huge difference.  I made the mistake of using old shoes for too long (truth be known I've been using running shoes that I used to train for the marathon at work... which I will never do again).
2.  Taking a voluntary rest day or a few days is way better than being forced to take off 8 plus weeks to recover for an injury (like some of my friends are doing right now or have done recently).
3.  Keep the long-term running in focus even though it doesn't feel good at the moment

At this point I don't know for sure what's wrong, but as I read information it could be the dreaded Plantar fasciitis.  Things that I'm reading and that I'm going to try:
1.  Icing the bottom of my foot.
2.  Use a golf ball (or something like it) to rub on the bottom of my foot
3.  Freeze a water bottle and use that on the bottom of my foot
4.  I don't really stretch (which I know I should) so I will be doing some calf stretches.
5.  To not be stubborn, but ask the TNT coaches and to do what they suggest!

I think the biggest thing I want to keep in mind is to be willing to re-evaluate the sub-two hour half marathon goal.  If I'm not careful with this starting of an injury then I won't even be close.  I want to run the rest of my life and that's what's important... not being fast, but running until I'm 100.

Thanks so much for reading.  Give me suggestions if you've been there done that.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Hiltop Road Hershey 5/13/13

Today was my first run since I was on vacation in Florida.  It was fairly chilly in Hershey today even though I did my run close to noon.  I decided that I would start at the Cocoa Beanery located on Research Boulevard in Hershey, PA.  I ran up Bullfrog Valley Rd made a left and than took the second right onto Hiltop Rd.  This means that I slowly went up to the top of the hill (via Bullfrog) and then quickly went down the hill (via Hiltop Rd).  I decided to have a water stop at the Hershey Free Church (I am a member there).  As a reference point it is about 3 miles from the Beanery to Hershey Free.  My next "leg" of my run was to be my most challenging.  I have wanted to run up Hiltop for at least a year (since I heard tails of the "killer taper run" of 2011).  I did made it up the whole way, but about 3/4 of the way I stopped to walk the rest of the way.  I don't take this as failure... but rather more reason to get in better shape to conquer it next time :-).

Lessons learned:
- Run earlier in the day, it's more fun.
- Don't allow challenges to get me psyched out.
- Since I know I can do Moore's mountain at Messiah, I KNOW I can do Hiltop Rd.

I originally planned running 10 miles, but I cut it short today.  The primary reason was due to time constraints, but the truth is that my mind was not in the game today.  Next time, I know I can do it :-).   My cutting it short was 8 miles.  I typically would have made myself do the 10 miles, but I know that something is way better than nothing.  Also, if I'm not mistaken because I did 8 today I can do a simple workout at the gym and then continue my week as planned.

This coming Saturday (5/18) we will be running at Messiah College.  This is by far my favorite place to run (because I like to be tortured by hills).  Looks like it's a 12 mile run... I'm hoping to help one of the participants do her longest long run for her half coming up in a few weeks.  We'll see if I can keep up with her :-).

Remember I run for those who can't.  Running happy!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Florida 10 mi run

Today is Tuesday and I am in vacation in Florida.  First note is that running in Florida is challenging in a few ways.  1.  I'm running in a very different climate than I am used to in PA.  2. The humidity and sun is way more intense. 

On the other hand my route was super flat.  I'm not sure what the elevation change was but it was very minimal (didn't even notice it).

Running on vacation is awesome because there isn't the time constraint of needing to rush off to work.  I started my run this morning around 7am.  It was slightly breezy but by mile 2 or before I was sweating a lot.  

This run was challenging for a few reasons.  1.  Humidity.  2. Sun.  3. I knew I needed to run the 10 miles since travels last Saturday prevented it.  

Part of the challenge was the mental game.  One of my TNT teammates always makes sure that she goes at least the distance that's on the schedule.  I did the same thing today which meant that I had to do a partial loop of the neighborhood.  I think it's cool that I was pushed a little bit by fellow a fellow teammate that is 12+ hours away :-).  Thanks Amy!

Until next time ... Running happy for those who can't :-)