Thursday, November 23, 2017

Gratitude

I am very grateful on this Thanksgiving. I'm a runner. More importantly, I'm a happy, healthy, injury-free runner. Well, make that 95% injury-free (right knee still slightly off). Close enough. Plenty of thanks. Healthy wife, healthy pets, good job, great friends, family, and colleagues. Lots of running buddies.

Also, today begins my Runner's World run-streak: Thanksgiving to New Year's Day. Feeling so fantastic, I started 9 days early! Today was run #10. On January 1, I'll hit 49 days. Can't stop there. January 2 will be a nice round 50 days. That's my commitment (for now).

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and joins me on the Runners World challenge to run 40 days from now through New Year's Day. Appreciate your ability to run. Every single day.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thanksgiving to New Years Run Streak

With my right knee still causing some problems, my next half-marathon race is off the books. With no more races this year, I need a goal. Why not participate in Runners World #RWrunstreak by running every day from Thanksgiving (November 23) to New Years (January 1)? It's only 40 days. Seems doable. What better way to show my damn knee who's in control? Forty days of awesome! Care to join me? It's only one mile a day (minimum). Anyone can run one mile a day, right? Even an old dude with a bum knee. No excuses.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Indy Monumental Was Pretty Good

Fort Ben, Monumental, and Indython medals
I ran the Indy Monumental Half-Marathon yesterday. It was my first time at this event and I liked it. Very well-organized event, nice course around downtown Indianapolis, and pretty nice finisher medal (plus the bonus "Indython" medal for doing the Half at Fort Ben 4 weeks earlier). I stayed at the downtown Hilton and it was a great choice of hotel--one block from the starting line, 2 blocks from the finish, plus reasonably priced parking and close to lots of downtown restaurants (and the race expo).

Race day weather was just about perfect: overcast, light breeze, and high 40s. With my knee injury just 9 days earlier, I wasn't sure I'd even start the race, much less finish. But every day brought improvement to my knee and I woke up feeling good and ready to run. I knew this race would not bring a new personal record, but it could be a solid effort. I planned to run around a 8:00 pace and finish in 1:45. Just 4 weeks earlier, at the Fort Ben Half, I ran a personal worst of 1:51. This would be better, with a bum knee or not!

Even though I started in starting coral #1, I was dodging runners for the first 2-3 miles. Lots of slow people in coral 1. What's up with that? I started at the back of this group figuring a 1:45 finish was "slow" for this coral. I was wrong. Lots of much slower runners. Finally, around mile 3, I settled into a good pace and didn't need to worry too much about fellow runners. I was cruising at what felt pretty easy--around a 7:35-7:40 pace. Heart rate was good too--about 152-154. No heavy breathing. I kept at this effort (pace varied a bit) all the way to around mile 10, then intentionally tried to pick up the effort and pace--mile 13 was a fantastic 7:11. It was wonderful having a fast finish. I guess holding back does pay off in the end. I felt strong from start to finish and ended up with a time of 1:41:09 (7:44 pace). Pretty good for a 51 year old ultra guy. I'm really enjoying these shorter race distances.



This 1:41 time is not even close to my PR (1:32:35), but it was 10 minutes faster than just 4 weeks ago. I'll take it. Pretty darn good. My knee is fine and I feel good the day after the race. When you don't push to your limit, you recover quickly. I'm already planning another half-marathon next month. With a month of good training, I feel a 1:35 is possible.

UPDATE on November 7: First run since the race and my right knee hurts. A lot. Barely made it one mile. No more races this year unless a miracle happens.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Running Gods Struck Me Down

I've been running fairly well lately. Good combination of runs (speed, tempo, endurance) and cross training. Plus, I've raced myself into shape with a recent 5K and half-marathon. Allerton trail race is this weekend, followed by the Monumental Half-Marathon next weekend. I was feeling strong and dreaming of racing success. Maybe I was getting a bit cocky. All was good...until the running gods struck me down! Damn them.

Thursday morning started like any other. Wake up early, get out into the darkness, walk, jog, then develop into a steady running pace. Except I tripped and fell on a strip of road gravel. I hate gravel. My hands took a beating (even through my running gloves). More importantly, my right knee got badly scraped and bruised. I now walk gingerly with a limp. No running. No racing. I'll skip Allerton trail race tomorrow. Hope I can run, not race, the Indy half-marathon next weekend. I've been humbled. Now I just want to heal and run again without pain. Racing will come later.

Appreciate what you have. Healthy, injury-free, running is pretty good. Respect the running gods. Stay humble. And avoid gravel.