Archive for the ‘feet’ Category

Chilly sub-10

Saturday, January 31st, 2015

Funny thing about today’s run was that I have become so focussed on running faster than 10 minute miles that when I felt a bit lethargic this morning the fear of not being able to run under 10s almost kept me home. How freakin’ ridiculous is that? Add on 32 degrees and I am very surprised to be writing in the blog today. But I managed to get myself out the door. Mostly it was a recognition that if I didn’t go now that I might not later in the day despite the promised 20-25 degree increase in temp. If I had sat around I would have eaten lunch and more than likely that would have been it. So in many ways I had no choice but to try for another sub 10 run. Actually I told myself that it really didn’t matter and that I could look past the stats and take the good I would get from a run at any pace. My first mile seemed really slow. I just felt like I was plodding along. But in reality I was right on track and managed a 9:50 or so. Once I realized that the rest of the run fell into place. I had forgotten to take a half an aspirin before the run and I was feeling a little tight in the chest (all in the head I believe) and my lungs were feeling somewhat congesty. But all went well. The run felt like it was a tough one that required a pretty substantial amount of effort and I feel it.

The bottoms of my feet have been feeling angry at me for starting running regularly again. Today I was thinking maybe I should change out my insert especially since they gave me two sets with the shoes, but I don’t think it has been that long since I got the new shoes. I just don’t think the new models of Altras are as comfy as the last ones I had. Story of my life, new and improved is usually anything but.

Second round of “in-a-rows”

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Continuing from yesterday, a day when I decided not to go to band rehearsal and instead ran and later relaxed, I ran a second day in a row to build off my four days in a row last week. After the four, I took a couple days off (one to rest, one to go to another rehearsal). Now I am building on another mini streak. This one won’t last too much longer, more than likely tomorrow will be the end of this streak as Saturday I have a show out of town to do. But I might squeeze a short one in just to keep rolling, or I might wait until Sunday. We’ll see.

Today’s run was really nice. Cool and misty, but not cold and rainy, big difference. i was telling my wife as she was getting ready for her run that the weather was the perfect weather for my runs. Though the more I thought about it the more I realized that 70 and no wind would be nicer. Still, a really nice day to run. I am at almost 14 miles this week which seems really low to me, but the reality is just the opposite. Last week during my return to running I managed to do 16, so I am right on track, actually ahead of schedule. My fourth run in a row should have applied to last week, but in my new training journal (the Garmin Training Center, so actually old one, just using it exclusively now) it applies to this week. So I really should be at 19 for last week and 11 for this one, but hte heck with it I am not going to fight my new journal for a starting day for the running week. I know I can change it somewhere, but I am not that interested…

My feet have been a little sore recently. I have been using arnica gel quite a bit and it seems to help a lot. Its actually a good feeling, I know I have been working! My weight is high at the moment, 187. I am sure that will start to drop off as I continue the running. If I could just manage to stop eating at night I would be golden. I haven’t gotten that far yet. My pace has been hovering at 10 min miles these last couple weeks, mostly just over, but I have had several sub 10 runs. More on the way!

Hot run

Monday, July 1st, 2013

In my recent return to running I have found myself stalled by the heat and the bad habit I have developed as a musician of staying up late and sleeping in. This has caused me to miss the cool temps of the early hours. Today I got up at 6 or so and thought about running, then thought about needing to take my rebif, then immediately went back to bed. Dang it another day of sleeping into the warm hours! Oh but not this time! While I did sleep for a couple hours I decided to go anyway. Fortified with a cup of coffee and half a clif bar I filled up my water bottle and headed out.

As I snaked through the neighborhood heading for shaded areas I realized it wasn’t too hot out after all. That realization lasted about a mile. then I started feeling hot. But I kept sipping water (and even eventually refilled at a water fountain) and kept going. I felt really good (other than feeling hot) and the problem areas that I have been experiencing (hips and hamstrings) all felt really good. I didn’t have any pain in my hips which I was bummed to see return after my month away from running. But today I felt great and even decided to push my miles a bit back to the 10k base distance I had been doing. My back has been bothering me for the past couple of days for some reason but it actually seemed to improve on the run. Not sure if the run managed to loosen up the tightness or what.

So my plan for the next couple of days is to try to repeat this run, though maybe not the full distance as I have music all week to perform (three shows! and two rehearsals!) My hope is to run tomorrow and the following day, I think I can do it (as long as I get up a reasonable hour.)

Even my feet felt pretty good on this run. I have been running in standard running shoes since getting back into it. I am thinking about trying to make a full foot lift (rather than just the heal) to use with my zero drops in hopes of evening out how my hips are situated. We’ll see.

Coming back from a cold

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Cold, flu, whatever it was is still in my lungs a bit, but I am coughing less. I have been meaning to write after taking a week off. I have run through illnesses before but this one was particularly nasty. So my first run back went pretty well, that was four days ago. 10K slow, I felt pretty good through the run. It was hard and I had to push myself along at times. But I made it through it and even ran again the following day. This run was tough and I walked a couple of times, but I got through 5 miles +. I followed this up with a couple days off mostly to perform better (actually played really poorly, kept forgetting my notes…)

Which brings me to today. I started out with some overcast but that quickly burned off and got warm. I didn’t bring water and that was a mistake. But I was going by water fountains on the run and I did ok, still should have had it with me. My pace was fast right from the start. I stayed conscious of my pace trough most of the run and pushed myself several times. For the last mile or so I knew I would make it averaging under 10 min miles. I finished my 10k distance just over 60 minutes and ended with a 9:46 pace, I was happy with that. I felt pretty beat and a shower flet great but I recovered throughout the day pretty well.

My feet have been bugging me a bit lately and today was no exception. Yesterday I had to play a show standing on audio cables which felt really uncomfortable on the bottoms of my feet. Today on the run I was feeling it. Weird feet!

Ramping back up

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Once again on the road to recovering my fitness. After two weeks off and before that short runs with the dog, I am ramping up my longer runs. Well not necessarily super long runs but 6+ milers (to start). Getting back into running after a break is always a difficult thing. The runs all seem harder than they used to be and your pace seems slower than you remember it. The frustrations appear around every corner but the only choice is to blast through them and keep going.This time no exception. The good news is that I at least feel like I have stopped on the precipice of falling out of shape and turned back. My health almost instantly feels better, I feel thinner and firmer. It might all be a mental thing, but hey I’ll take what good feelings I can get.

One bummer is that my feet seem to be aching more now. I thought that the two week rest would do some good, but it appears as if just the opposite has happened. Its as if the running develops some sort of barrier to the pain/discomfort in my feet. Taking time off removes that barrier. Maybe I am just no longer used to it and my body is reacquainting itself with the discomfort. I have done four runs since restarting and it actually does feel a bit better, but at first (and maybe I was expecting my feet to feel better from the break) I was dissapointed. Even during the break my feet were bugging me, but those first couple of runs they were barking!

Yesterday’s run was not too fast but my HR was really high through a lot of it. Made me think that I need to get back to working in recovery runs (my goal for the day!). I really would like to get back on a HR training program and perhaps that is what I will do. Time to break out the HR books and get some inspiration. For the moment, a recovery run will do!

I have also been thinking about picking up a pair of Newton shoes which are well known for their ability to mimic the barefoot runner experience while offering your feet protection (and not looking stupid, so damn important!) If they weren’t so damn expensive $150-200 I would try a pair, but I keep getting caught up with the cost. That and the fact that I haven’t seen them locally and would have to get them online. Not that that has ever been a problem for me in the past!

Hard run after week off

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Not that it is surprising after my increase in miles, but I took a break for a week. Actually it had more to do with the cold wet weather w have had, but my tired body wasn’t arguing. Certainly wasn’t screaming for me to get out in that rain and run! I felt bad for our dog who has been my running partner for the last couple weeks. She gets to go out with me for the first mile and then gets dropped off at home. She loves it! It was funny yesterday near the end of our run she was getting pooped and started to lag behind. Then we cam upon a woman walking her two dogs and Fig perked up to show off darting ahead of me to set the pace. Funny pooch.

I am about 90% certain that I won’t run the full marathon in Vancouver this summer. My feet have really been aching with the increase in miles and I don’t think I want to put up with the training pain just to run the race. Also my pace has been so slow that I don’t feel inspired to really push it. That said I want to keep up with the training (gotta fit into my new jeans and all!) and we’ll see what happens. There is a mara in San Fransisco that I have always wanted to do later in the summer and perhaps that will become my goal. After all I have been threatening to do my solo trip/mara for awhile now, this would be as good a chance as any. It is supposed to be really beautiful. I think I will at least try to do the half in Vancouver, I know I can handle that for sure.

My ever present problems with pain/numbness in my feet are bugging me. A woman who is a naturopathic practitioner said I should breathe in Chi through the top of my head and exhale out the bottoms on my feet, then reverse the process. Supposed to make me feel more grounded which dovetails nicely with the natural running I have been experimenting with. I have tried it a bit, but not enough to really do anything. I have also been focusing on my balance and the position of my feet when stretching to make sure they are flat on the ground. The connection with the earth seems to help a bit there.

Well I have a nice break of sun out right now, so I think I will run a couple of errands that I have. Who knows when it will be sunny again in Portland!

Labor Day recovery

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Well not a recovery from Labor Day, that sounds more like a hangover. This recovery was from yesterday’s 15.5 miles of hard road. I awoke feeling a bit worn out from yesterday. A bit might be an understatement, I was sore and felt pretty sluggish. So getting up I decided to have my usual two cups of coffee (as opposed to only one I would have right before a morning run) and a full compliment of toast and honey. I think the combination of breakfast and yesterday’s eating I recovered pretty solidly and was able to take off for a 5 mile recovery run by 10:30. Makes me think I am still up for a marathon training program. That said I am still pretty worn from the long run. My big toe (with the torn nail) is still hurting, but not bleeding nearly as much as it has been. Add on general foot weariness and I begin to paint a picture of my biggest obstacle to marathon training.

My feet seem to be the most effected part of my health from the ms. I do place the blame for a lot of that on running. Still I believe the benefits of running (and more to the point the high level at which I am doing it) far outweigh any discomfort I am feeling. I suppose I may have to change that assessment down the road, but for now all is good (well mostly all).

So back to the recovery run. I started out with a high HR often approaching 160 before I had even gone a half mile. As warmed up (and/or my heart monitor received a better signal due to sweating) the HR dropped down to a more normal place. I have noticed the high HR at the start of runs in the past. I don’t think it is a misread by the monitor as my heart rate does feel elevated even though I am not putting in the effort. Interestingly when I first started feeling the major ms symptoms, they would always seem to come on heavy at the start of my runs. At first one of my hopeful theories was that I was allergic to some sort of plant in the area as the episodes would occur on the same stretch of blocks. Could it have been the higher HR that brought the stumbling/mumbling episodes on? Nothing else made sense, so this could have been the trigger? Though hills and picking up the pace later in the runs didn’t seem to have anything to do with it.

Other than the initial spike, not much interesting happened on this run. I kept the HR at an acceptable level pretty much throughout. The last hill out of reed pushed me over, but I was busy keeping a decent pace to run past coeds… I think I may do another recovery run tomorrow and save any sort of speed work until Wednesday. It is sort of a necessity with band rehearsal Tues night, gotta keep the mind mostly alert for that.

Fine-tuning my running schedule

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

On Monday I ran 10 miles. Last week I did that Monday and Tuesday which I thought was a bit to much two days in a row. So today I ran what is becoming my favorite 6.2-7.5 mile run. I am getting comfortable with both runs these days. In order to do 30 miles a week I need to do one long and 3 short miles. I am thinking it might be better to stretch that to 4 shorter mile distances or possibly adding one extra short (around 4mi, I have a nice run through the canyon and back that is perfect.)

So looking to the week ahead, I think I am going to aim for the 4 shorts, but not pushing myself to do it. We’ll see.

My feet are the biggest concern I want to keep an eye on. With the numbness I am still having I want to make sure that I don’t do anything to increase that problem. I don’t really think I will, it seems other than the slight discomfort, it isn’t causing any motor functionality issues.

So I have been pondering and idea about how repetitious activity repairs the loss or re-routes the necessary signal paths. I notice a lot more control and balance when I am running. I am thinking the repetition drills it into our nervous system. More on this later.