Saturday, March 28, 2015

Running Again, Looking for Pacers, ATB this Weekend

Finally I am back to running again. The calf is not 100% so I have to stay away from hills and trails for now but at least I am able to run. I expect I should be totally back to “normal” in another week or so. I am trying really hard to be smart and sensible about things but the trails tempt and taunt me every single day when I run past High Park. Man this running thing has to be the stupidest sport ever.

So with a return to running I can begin to allow myself to think about all my upcoming 100 mile races. I have already secured a pacer to run with me for the last 50 miles of Western States. Norman Nadon from Running Free Orangeville and Race Director for Chase The Coyote has been kind enough to offer to drag my ass through the Sierra Nevada mountains.

I also have coaching and running buddy Chris Henderson coming out to Utah to pace me for part of Wasatch. Karen Pride, fresh off of racing the Canadian Death Race, will help get me through to the finish as well. I have run with both of them before and they have seen me at the end portions of other 100s so they already have a good idea of what to expect.

I don't have anyone officially lined up to run with me at Vermont but because we are driving to this race I am fairly certain I will be able to drag a few of my coaching clients out onto the trail with me. Kind of gives them a chance to torture me and get back at me for all the ridiculously hard workouts I keep giving them.

That leaves me looking for pacers for Leadville AGAIN. Why I have so much trouble finding someone to run with me here is odd. I mean they have legalized marijuana in Colorado, that should make this pacing gig a no brainer. Okay seriously if you are interested in running (or walking slowly) in the mountains on August 22nd let me know. As an added bonus I all but guarantee that there will be bacon. Pot and bacon, together, seriously, thats like the biggest incentive ever.

Around the Bay
This Sunday is Around the Bay. I have a good group of runners that I have been coaching that will all be running the 30k race. I will be pacing someone as racing is out of the question due to the wonky calf. Should be fun regardless although I am super disappointed that they were forced to take out the big hill at the end of the course due to construction. I think this is the 7th time I have run this race and I have somehow managed to have fun every time. Now if we just get decent weather it should be a great weekend.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Running frustrations, a slight reprieve, more running frustrations

All I can say is wow what a frustrating February and March it has been when it comes to my running. Things had been going so great in my base training until I got the flu in January and since then its been like I am trapped and blundering through a really bad Monty Python skit.

After I got mostly over the flu in January I just could not seem to shake off the cough and lack of energy. I was slow and lethargic even though I was putting in normal base effort. By mid January it was pretty clear that running the Beast of Burden 100 was not a good idea. Honestly I just didn't have the energy that it was going to take me and I worried how much it would end up beating me up for my spring training. I made what as it turns out was a good call and went for the DNS however unfortunately the right call didn't help me as much as I had hoped.

At the end of January I made trip number 1 to the doctor where they gave me a puffer and what I can only call a patronizing attitude. That was on the Friday and two days later I headed out to meet my coaching clients for a Sunday long run. Half way up the hill coming out of the humber valley on Bloor Street my run was reduced to a walk. I could not run at all as I could not breath. Air seemed to be going into my lungs yet failing to make it any farther. What the heck! I walked to the flat area at the top of the hill and tried to run again but same thing. So much for the long run but it was really cold out and I figured maybe that was an issue. Yeah I know thats a total lie to myself, we all know it but it made me feel better in the moment.

Two days after I headed into the gym figuring I would jump on the dreadmill where it was warm, dry and there would be not hills in sight. First attempt I lasted less than 2 minutes before I had to get off breathing like i just ran my 5k pace for 10k. I was incredulous, I walked around the gym in disbelieve until eventually ending back at the treadmill again. I know I stood there for a minute or two sizing the damn thing up like a sparring opponent. If anyone was watching I would have looked kind of silly to them for sure. I figured back on and just go really, really slow. Take 2 lasted less than 60 seconds, what the @%&#.

The next day it was doctor visit # 2 for a second opinion. They put me on a stronger inhaler and antibiotics with suspected bronchitis. I did not attempt to run for 10 days in fact walking up stairs or the escalator in the subway was leaving me winded. After 10 days I headed out for a slow run planning to pace Kim. It was a disaster, I could have sworn that I heard some yell “Ice-burg Ahead” but probably not as I was moving so slowly I could have easily turned the ship away.

I am now totally freaking right out and I mean right out. Seems being able to breath is somewhat important for a runner. Is there something seriously wrong with me (okay bit of a trick question). I stop calling myself a runner and think about taking up smoking right away. Kim must be a saint because I know that I am miserable and must be a great deal of fun to be around, even the cats avoid me.

Back to the Doc for trip # 3. He comes in and he looks like he is about 12 years old which makes me realize that I am getting old faster than expected. He tells me to do nothing and give it 4 more days over the long weekend. I put my smoking experiment on hold for the time being and wait it out.

After the 4 days are finally up I head out for a easy run. Holy crap I can run, not back to normal mind you but at least I can run and breath at the same time. I am so glad to be able to run even if every day it is -25 and the footing is terrible. Time lost to bronchitis ends up being 18 days, damn thats a long time.

I join some of the Longboat guys on Saturday morning for a short run. Its snowing and footing sucks but I actually run my normal easy run pace and it is easy. Hallelujah, finally let the serious training begin again.

Here we go again
Hold on, not so fast buddy. I feel fine after the run and head back home. Sometime later in the afternoon I feel some soreness in my left calf. No big deal, happens all the time to us old dudes. I go back to a more normal running schedule and all is fine for 3 or 4 days except for a bit of discomfort in the calf. Then after my end of week runs the calf sudden gets really angry and apparently hates me as it becomes very sore. Not sore (just tight) while running but really sore when not running.

I try to run through it for a few more days but its clear I need to get it back to normal or there will be no serious training especially hill training. As I type this its day 7 of no running. The good news is I could probably run on it right now but I am giving it an extra day or 2 to play it safe. With any luck the next time you hear from me I will be complaining about how the weather sucks during my runs or some such thing.
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