Another day, another run

To follow up on my previous post, my exhaustion experiment was a moderate success. After the shorter run I hit practice up and it went ok. I was a little tired and had some moderate focussing issues, but it wasn’t too bad. Part of that could have been due to the band working on some new and difficult pieces, but I do think the run had its affect. I am going to attempt this again and see if I notice some patterns (well more patterns than I already see).

On other notes I am having an issue with my Altras and am exchanging them. First about two weeks ago the logo pealed off. I didn’t really care as it was just a decal that floated on the middle of the side, I actually applauded the logo falling off, but hoped it wasn’t an indication of some sort of glueing defect. Everything else seemed fine and properly attached. Then today on the same side of the same shoe another part started peeling off and this seemed more structural than decoration. So I will try another pair and see how that goes. I hope it will be ok as I really like this model.

This week I have been battling a cold I brought back with me from our Reno trip, mostly a head cold and a bit in the lungs. On Monday I went for my first run in two weeks after the trip and the cold. I chugged along but it felt pretty good. About halfway through I was getting warm so I stripped off my jacket. I usually don’t stop to unzip it and just pull it over my head on the go, which I did again. All of a sudden I felt a sharp pinch/cramp in my upper back. I stopped and walked for a bit hoping it was more of a stitch and would go away, but it didn’t in fact it just got worse. Figures I was at the halfway point of my run, quite possibly as far away as I could be on this route and I slowly made my way home. That night I took a anti-inflamatory that I had laying around and smoked some indica, a strain meant for pain relief and threw in some icing. I think both helped tremendously as I felt a bit better the next day, so I repeated my relief the next night as well. I was really worried that I was going to have a longer recovery, but my se;f prescribed methods seemed to do the trick and I was able to run today. I also kept active after I did whatever I did and went on a couple longer slow walks.

Today’s run went well, somewhat slow (10 min miles exactly), actually probably a bit faster, but my first 1.25 miles didn’t register as I had turned off my watch instead of disabling the watch bevel (it was raining a bit and leaving the watch face active tends to cause trouble in the rain, my jacket sleeve sometimes causes issues too.) So I had to edit my run on and I just went with the same speed as the rest of the run. The run itself was a good one and I felt strong throughout. I was not so happy with the rain and cold (it was warm for the last couple of days when my back was out, grrr) but it wasn’t too bad.I took a short walk at one point, but jumped back into normal pace pretty quickly up a hill that I could have easily walked. Good run.

Garmin issues. Since I switched over to the new Garmin Connect system I have had nothing but trouble with the watch syncing with the computer. It is supposed to immediately sync once you are within range, and that is how the old system worked. But with Connect I seem to be a run behind and often it won’t let me re-sync to get today’s run into the system. I have tried to massage the settings on the watch and thought I had it figured out, but apparently not. Still I was able to manually sync today and get the system to acknowledge that I ran today (as well as my last run which wasn’t showing up either). I do like the watch a lot and would probably get another when this one finally dies, but I am starting to get a bit frustrated with it.

Soggy rebif run

Why do I call it a rebif run? Well, cause this morning I woke up, grabbed my rig and shot up with the junk. I really shouldn’t make it sound as if I am a junkie, but maybe I am? I say that because my disease modifying drug seems to make my runs go better. I have no idea if this is a real thing or not. Perhaps it is just isolated to my particular physical system, as I have never heard anyone else mention a rebif “boost” but I seem to get it. Makes me wonder if ms folk need to be banned from competition for taking rebif. Does this diminish the success stories of msers running in marathons? Is rebif the next steroids! I honestly don’t think that those of us who have been diagnosed with ms have an advantage over others in the competitive arenas, but maybe we actually do. This could actually be a good thing for ms people as we could get some competition price wise with the black market. I would love to see big pharma squeezed out by my neighborhood pushers! I would be much happier going to my local gym and handing over $50 for a rack of rebif than spending $4k+ for 12 doses from CVS Caremark. This way I also wouldn’t have to deal with the excessive packaging I get from CVS as well. Of course there probably would be a quality hit with getting my injections from Bruno. But what real assurance do I have that my syringes aren’t filled with sugar water? I have never tasted my rebif. Perhaps the sugar boost explains the improvements inm my runs? Perhaps not. Still, some competition for big pharma would be welcome.

So what is the boost I get from rebif? I found this article that indicates just the opposite (sort of) The study does say that only women seemed to be negatively affected in terms of exercise by taking DMDs. While the study says there is this decrease in exercise tolerance, the “study” looks to have only had three people involved? Is that right? I would say that is more of a “guess” than a “study”. But what do I know? Still the rebif boost I get seems to be real for me, I have seen it somewhat consistently for years. So it isn’t all bad news for msers! Today I managed my full 5 mile run without walking the hills for the first time in awhile. It wasn’t like I flew up the hills passing disgruntled reed students by like leaves in the wind (there was actually nobody around on account it was so early in the morning – 11AM). Plus it was raining. Actually the real rain didn’t hit until I was out of the canyon and back in Woodstock. Then the skies opened up on me. My last mile I may as well have been swimming.

Fastest (and soggiest) five miler this year

Today’s run was cold and wet and for some reason I cranked it out at a pretty fast pace clocking a 9:50 time. I knew I was running fast as I saw that both of my first two miles were sub 10s. But around the 3.5 mile point I looked at my watch and saw that all of a sudden I was running 8 minute miles! I couldn’t figure out what happened until I noticed that I was looking at calories instead of miles. Still, I’ll take the sub 10 minute miles! I was really surprised I was able to do that as the rain was pretty heavy today and the roads were really wet which led to much hopping around puddle dodging.

I am feeling really good after the run today, my third in a row. After tonight, this will also be the third run in a row I have done when I have a rehearsal in the evening. Last night’s 2 hour soul band practice was rough, we worked hard and made it through most of our songs in prep for a show this weekend. I was pretty pooped after it was done, but I think most of that had to do with not playing my alto sax for a month or two, my armature was suffering. Tonight is another soul band rehearsal except this one will be an hour longer! I am going to focus on getting some protein in my body and properly hydrating. Hopefully that will what my body and mind need to get me through three hours of horn playing.

I am really glad I am working on getting over my not wanting to run on rehearsal days. I think I have been using that as an excuse to not do it (running that is). I still need to recognize that I may be feeling ms fatigue, but I want to push myself through it and figure out methods to allow me to do both. I think perhaps limiting myself to shorter runs on practice days will be good but then I need to combat my dislike of short runs both in terms of the prep (pre and post), the neighborhood and my desire to burn more calories. If I can just wrap my brain around the idea that shorts runs are better than nothing then I think I will be ok.

Second round of “in-a-rows”

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!

12 miles, cold and wet style

Actually, 12 and a quarter and that’s the miles not the rain gauge, though I suspect it was close. OK, ok I am exaggerating a tad. The rain was constant but not hard and I managed to get 3/4s of the way through before I dragged my foot through a big puddle. Still these warm dry clothes that I write in were highly welcome!

I thought of my route last night before I went to bed. My thought was to head down the Springwater Corridor until I got to the Sellwood Park where I diverted and ran through the park to get to Sellwood proper. Next onto East Moreland where I skirted the edge of the neighborhood past the golf course and nice homes. In my mind last night I figured I’d be about 8-9 miles at this point, but the watch said only 7.5. My original plan was to continue down Crystal Springs to meet up with a shorter route of mine around Brentwood Darlington park and home. I thought I would have to add on some miles to get me to my total I was looking for (12-13). Well, I am not sure where I thought this would take me but I soon found myself in the lower southeast hillbilly bario. Big potholes and even bigger trucks! And I was nowhere near a route that would have taken me to the park in question.

I continued on down roads with huge puddles for sidewalks which forced me into the road and into the way of unforgiving motorists. Surprisingly I managed to not get splashed and continued on my way. I made it back to sidewalks eventually and congratulated myself for remembering to bring a Clif bar which greatly reduced my wooziness from hunger. Actually it was a Clif bar and gel that really made the difference and pulled me away from dreaming of burritos.

Soon I found myself in more familiar territory and the run ended with me buying that dream burrito (actually it ended after I ran home with my bag). All in all it was a good run despite the neighborhood I ran the last quarter through. It was good to do something different. All of my long runs this winter have been different routes though I think I am running out of new local areas. I feel pretty good after.

Winter sluggishness

Well actually my winter sluggishness has been more about my blog than my actual running. Though to be honest I have been somewhat sluggish with running as well. A little improvement in the running and blogging categories would do me much good. Part of the running slowdown has had to do with my schedule and me not wanting to over do it. I think this is a good thing (not over doing it) until it becomes an impediment to actually getting a decent amount of running in. Tough balance. The schedule thing has been more of an issue. I don’t really like running on the days when I pay music as I get too tired to really be able to focus on the music. I am finding that I can run on days when I have rehearsals though it is hard (especially the Brownish Black rehearsal nights as I have a long bus ride home.) But it seems doable so I think I have checked off one of my excuses for not running (in theory anyway, now on to practice…)

Today I ran for the first time in 9 days (other excuses of cold rain have been in effect this week.) It felt good to get out there and move. I ran pretty slowly, but I had pretty solid energy for most of the run and kept adding more and more on. I ended up doing 7.5 miles and felt strong afterwards. We’ll see how I am doing later in the evening when the soreness sets in. I am sure I have some stretching in my future.

Running this time of year is good for strengthening the ankles as I keep finding myself having to adjust my footwork to avoid puddles and wet leaves. This makes for an interesting sort of random dance step routine!

Cold wet run

My run today was just after 12:30 or so and I hadn’t eaten lunch yet. I knew I needed something in me so I decided to eat half of a Clif bar. Half is perfect for me before a run, so why did I get distracted and gobble the entire things? No idea, but off I went. I don’t think it had much (if anything) to do with eating the whole thing, but I felt sluggish right off the bat. I noticed it as I scratched the surface of my run while I was crossing Woodstock Park just down the street from me. Previously when I have felt tired at the start of runs my energy level has peaked after a mile or so but not today. I was dragging.

Three miles into the run I checked my watch, my avg HR was really low – 130. This sort of made sense since I was going so slow, but HR seems to creep when I am tired. Even odder was my pace. Even creeping I was running under 10 min miles. Since I didn’t know what the run was before I started, I thought that I could make it a recovery run with an HR under 144 (I had a lot of wiggle room.) But I decided that doing the run under 10 was more important, so I picked up the pace a little (ay least it seemed like it anyway.) I cut the run short for my base run (10k) and did 5 miles even. I was able to maintain the under 10 for the rest of the run but I got pretty close to going over.

I felt a twinge in my groin about halfway into it. It was slight so I kept on and I haven’t felt it all day since the run so I am not too worried. Cold rain didn’t help either, though it actually probably did.

Puddle jumping

As I write this at 2:30 in the afternoon it is so dark here in Portland that my light sensitive outdoor Christmas lights just went on! When I ran a couple hours ago the weather wasn’t nearly as bad as it is right now! Much better blogging weather than running weather. But like I said, my run wasn’t a whole lot dryer. When I got out of bed this morning I immediately got into my running gear even though I suspected I wouldn’t run for several hours. I wanted (and needed) an inspiration I could get to get out in the rain and not blow off another day. It has only been two days since I ran so I don’t feel like I am doing too badly.

I have a rehearsal tonight, so I didn’t want to run too hard or far today. I ended up running my typical distance of 10k but somewhat slowly (10.07 min miles). It was funny my route was all over the place to accomodate a bathroom stop at the college and a return of rotton oranges at Safeway, but it ended up being my usual 10k (or close). It rained the entire time, so hard at the start that I almost backed out. Fortunately it tapered a little after about 30 mins, but it was pretty steady still. My glasses were a foggy splattered mess the entire time which caused me to be extra careful (and let the slow pace excuses begin…) The other thing slowing me down today were the puddles that I was constantly having to jump over especially at the corners of every intersection I managed to come across. But the good news is that I successfully managed to do my rainy day parkour and kept my feet dry on the inside for the entire run. The outsides of my shoes look like typical Oregon running shoes though, brown splattered and a mess.

I’m really glad I managed to get out today, I think it has helped my mood considerably. If I can get a good run in the weather can do just about anything afterwards and it won’t phase me! I have friends who are really hobbled by Seasonal Affective Disorder, but it doesn’t seem to have much affect on me. As long as I can get a run in!

On a side running note last night was the third night in a row I haven’t eaten after 7PM. This is my biggest issue with weight gain, I like to eat at night. I find if I can start a streak of not eating then that I can do it and it becomes much easier (same with running too I guess). So three days down, rest of my life to go!

Snow and rain slowing me down

After the speed work I got a couple of 10k runs in before I was completely snowed and rained out of running for three days. I actually probably could have run a couple of days but convenience got in the way. Plus I wasn’t all that enthused to go out in the weather. We have some serious flooding going on around the state. We are high enough up that it won’t worry us except for making a muddy swamp out of the backyard. Today I broke the three day run-less streak.

When I first headed out it wasn’t raining. I did have puddles to dance around everywhere I went and it didn’t take long to soak my shoes. Pretty soon the rain started and took care of the rest of me. Today’s run was very different in another way too, my watch wasn’t charged. So no stats, no nothing! I knew how far I went cause I often run the 6.3 mi course but no time, no HR info. Jeez what do I do? Actually I only caught myself looking at my wrist a couple times and I knew all the times my HR was high!

Running with wet feet is no fun.

Rainy Run

Today was a soggy day and one that is gonna be pretty consistent with the rest of my upcoming fall. Soggy and cold. Guess I need to get used to that as soon as I can. Best way to do that is just get in the habit of the wet runs. Its not just the wet runs but also managing all the wet clothes after as well. The entire household has to get used to having soggy clothes hanging in the bathroom again. We can do it!

I am now on the back end of a run-free three days. I had a busy music week and I have found that when I run and then perform I have a hard time focusing on the music. I feel pretty fortunate that this is the only fatigue issue I have to face, but it is there for sure on my running days. On days I don’t perform or rehearse I don’t really notice the effect. I think it is the level of concentration needed for the music that pushes me over the edge and into the realm of fatigue. I can apparently do one of the other, extreme physical or extreme mental, but not both!

The one thing about the rain I really don’t care for (well there are actually two, the other being spots on my glasses!) is that I can’t run through the canyon’s dirt trails as they get muddy. Its not the mud so much that worries me as much as the damage I do to the trails. And it is so pretty there in the fall with all the changing leaves. Oh well…