Thursday, September 8, 2011

A year away...

It's been a year away from the blog for me. Things are busy, but good. I completed the Howl at the Moon 8-Hour ultra on August 13th (race report to come shortly) with 33.9 miles and had a great training camp leading up to it. Next will be the St. Mary's 5K this Sunday to support the cancer center that treated my dad. I'm really looking forward to the Fall running season and setting my 2012 calendar.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

It's been a while...

So, it's been a long time since I updated things on the blog. Making a job transition late last year kind of kept me away and caused me to refocus. Things are going well though it's been a busy year. I've opened my own law firm and have been putting significant time into learning all of the back office things needed for the business.

On the running front, I had an awesome first half of 2010 just running locally and not in any organized races. New trail sections were discovered and even the heat didn't phase me. My mileage was up and I was getting significantly stronger and finding more endurance. A dislocated rib in my back has now put me on ice (literally) for the past month, but that's probably a good thing to remind me to strength train and do more stretching to keep everything in balance. Although I had to scrub running Dances with Dirt Hell 50, the back is settling down steadily and I look forward to getting back to running this week while on vacation. Will build back slowly and see if I can get an ultra in toward late Fall.

Friday, November 13, 2009

2 in 2

Two marathons in two weeks and I'm feeling great! The Marine Corps Marathon was planned for a while but I decided a little later in the year to add the Rockhead Trail Marathon if my legs were adjusting nicely to running sans orthotics. Well, things improved quite well and I gave it a shot. Some minor cramping is all that the legs incurred.

Marine Corps went great. It was a litle slow and had a different feel, considering 32,000 runners, but I really enjoyed the run. The weather warmed up a bit more than I anticipated which probably dehydrated me a bit more than otherwise. So, caught in a herd and the heat, I just decide to have fun, take in the sights, and chat up a few people. Seeing family on the course just made it that much better. Thanks for all of the love & support! You made it a great week in DC! Thanks also to everyone who donated to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Your generosity is greatly appreciated!

Rockhead Trail Marathon....what a blast! ( Run in Waterford, MI, this was the innaugural year of the event. The course was challenging with many hills, many more rocks, some switchbacks, a water crossing, and some nice mud added in for good measure. The directors need to be commended for putting on a great first shot at this event. A few tweaks on aid stations and course markings and they're really going to have this one dialed in. A field of 50 split the full and half marathon distances. The legs held up well until mile 18 when I somehow caught a boulder (ok, maybe not that big) that was under a pile of leaves and did a faceplant into the trail. Luckily my handheld water bottle took the brunt of the fall. Unfortunately, my calves cramped during this moment and never released for the duration. I was not about to DNF this thing, so there's only one way home.....left foot, right foot, repeat! I ended up finishing 9th of 21, so I'm not complaining. I met new people, found a new event & trail system, and had a great day. What beautfil autumn weather!

Now it's time to work on stabilizers a bit more during the winter. Plyo and balance exercises to further strengthen the ankles. Not ruling out the possibility of some fun winter runs. We'll just have to see!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ice Age Trail - Kettle Moraine

I had the chance a few weeks ago to run a portion of the Ice Age Trail in Kettle Moraine State Forest - Southern Unit. The weather was cool and partially cloudy when I started. Perfect, I thought, for a nice trail run.

Knowing tick season was in full swing, I layered on the precautionary DEET, wore long sleeves and hat, and headed out. The first mile and a half was smooth and really enjoyable. Unfortunately, the humidity rose, the sun appeared bringing on a lot of heat, and a huge infestation of bugs decided to feast on my face and neck. I know it's a forest and am no stranger to bugs, but this was crazy insane! It got bad enough that I was constantly blinking my eyes, behind full sunglasses, to keep them from entering my eyeballs. Moving faster didn't deter the suckers as they found a way to repeatedly feast on the back of my neck when swatted away from my eyes and the front! Luckily, speed was on my side and I was able to break into open fields and enjoy not only the sun but some nice flowers along the way.

As I was doing an out and back route, I had to once again return to bugtown at my 10 mile turnaround. Seems as though sweat only encourages the bugs more! This time I was prepared - I put my hat on backwards so the bill (lowered) protected the back of my neck, put my head down, and made an all-out assault. Yeah...well...that was fun. The bugs found that my forehead was equally as tasty as the parts they previously sampled. The result was my neck and head looking as lumpy as the Toxic Avenger.

So, what have I learned? To run this trail in the early morning! Somehow the noon day sun just brought them out in mass quantities! Also, I think running it in spring or late fall might be a better option.

Am I disappointed with Kettle Moraine? Hell no! It was my own decision to be there and it IS a forest after all. The trail was absolutely awesome and I'd love to run a marathon or ultra up there in the future. I just need to plan better.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Answer? Maybe...

So, for the past 6 months (+/-), I've been fighting a nasty IBT/piriformis issue with marginal results in improvement. New shoes, foam roller, stretching, massage, name it, I've been trying it, including reducing my running. Nothing has seemed to really remedy the issue. Frustrated, I looked back into my past before the issue flared up to see what has changed. Surprisingly, the answer may be that I put orthotics in my shoes. Originally, orthotics were recommended because I had a constant issue with ankle sprains and was told that I significantly overpronate. While the orthotics are supposed to help remedy such issues, it only works if the fit is correct. In my case, I've been experiencing discomfort since obtaining the orthotics, even after a refit. So, I decided to get back to where I originally started - no orthotics. Low and behold, I'm seeing a marked improvement in my ITB and piriformis. Do I think this is the solution? Maybe, maybe not. I'm not sold on the whole "barefoot runner" concept, but know that I ran on these legs for many years without stability shoes, orthotics, etc., so it makes some sense. Maybe I just need to keep getting refit until they work for me. Not sure, but the experiment is benefiting me at present. I'm finally able to increase my mileage and get training in for MCM and a few other Fall races, so I'm sticking with what works for now. Will re-evaluate things later this year.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Strong Survive

Saw this commercial recently on Vs. I believe it originally aired during the Tour de France. What an awesome message!

Game on, friends!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Focus on the here and now...

"Look to this day, for yesterday is but a dream and tomorrow only a vision. But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope." - Sanskrit

With all of the stresses of life, it's good to remember that we cannot change the past nor predict the future. The only thing we can affect is the moment in which we are currently living. If we follow this mindset, personal peace, happiness, and hope will be the result. This certainly rings true with me in dealing with my current piriformis/ITB issues. Concerns of family, work, the economy, etc. can be a mental weight that prevents me from stretching, icing, and doing all that is necessary to take care of myself. By letting go of that which I cannot immediately address, the mind is able to focus of that which is present. Taking care of yourself and living in the moment, in turn, opens the door to freely address the other issues of life as they move from the periphery to become front and center. One thing at a time, one day at a time...