Tuesday, April 29, 2008

First Bike To Work

I had to drop off the car this morning for an oil change and to get the tires changed. Michele had an early morning meeting so I decided I would bike to work from the garage (after dropping Harrison off at daycare).

So, first day I decide to ride and here is how it went:

  • Last night realize I won't have room for the bike in the car so put the roof rack on at 10:30 (My usual bed time).
  • Slice two of my fingers open with copious amount of blood from my thumb. Not sweet!
  • Ok got the roof rack done, now pack for the ride.
  • Morning comes, repack since it is only 2C out and windy and oh ya it looks like it might rain.
  • Ok, start the ride from the garage, it is windy.
  • SWEET!!! It's bloody snowing out. SNOWING!@!!
  • HEARTATTACK!!! Oh, thank the heavens those two Rottweillers who want to eat me are chained to some heavy stakes. Eck!
  • Ahhh the snow has stopped...now it is raining.
  • Hmmm...should have worn warmer socks...can't feel my toes.
  • Fingers getting numb. I guess I should have worn the winter biking gloves, not the mountain bike gloves.

Finally, I am at work....mmmm coffee.

Overall a good first ride to work. I got my heart pumping and I saved a few bucks gas for one day ;-)

Back to coffee.

Almost forgot, did I mention? I am going running at lunch time today. Here's hoping that +11 high is reached by noon, though I am not holding my breath.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Rebuilding

It appears that the muscle tightness and pains are starting to subside. I did a 16 mile run on Sunday and that went well. Oh ya, Ken told me to start putting the distances up in km so people get more of a picture of how far I am running. 16 mile = 25.75km

How far is that? If you live in Ottawa then start at the police station at March and Campeau, run to the Centrum and then turn right towards Kanata Lakes, head along Terry Fox which cuts through the woods past the Beaver Pond, then cruise through the Kanata Research Park; ok that is about 6 miles, your first 10km is done. Now, turn left onto Carling and start the long run along Carling to Richmond where you will take a left onto Richmond and continue the run down Richmond, past MEC until you hit Busthuka; opps missing about .6 of a mile so run down Richmond a little more to the old Canadian Tire and then return.

There, that is 16 miles or 25.75km. Nothing too it. Oh, be advised you may limp a little after this and feel a little sea-sick. I have read the sea-sickness (ie. feeling the need to lose your lunch) is due to wearing a running waist belt with my water and gels. I have read a running style backpack might be better if I need to carry all my water on long runs. So I will be trying that in the next few runs to see how it works.

Ok onto this weeks post topic: Rebuilding. As the first sentence of this post pointed out my body has crossed a hurdle and has rebuilt itself a little. My stretching, ART (Active Release Therapy) and The Stick; have all appeared to help with the muscle tightness and soreness. I recovered ultra-fast from this past Sunday's run and felt awesome tonight for my 7 mile run.

Due to scheduling constraints I did tonight's run pushing my son in the jogging stroller. It turned out excellent (he loves running with Daddy) and I had good incentive to keep my speed down (when I fell good I really just want to let it rip).

He fell asleep about half way through the run and then just snoozed all the way. I on the other hand got my training run in and it felt awesome to do a recovery run after a long weekend run during which I did not feel like I had weights attached to me dragging me down.

This is my recovery week and I have a series of short runs for the next two weeks. A 6 mile (9.65km), 6 mile (9.65km), 2 mile (3.2km), and a 5 mile (8 km). These short runs are to let my body recovery for my next big obstacle, hitting the 20 mile (32km) barrier that has eluded me during training.

Here's looking forward to busting the 20 mile in two weeks.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Battling Cramping

Well the legs are still tight. Calfs and lower leg of my right leg mainly, with a little tightness in the left and in the left hamstring still.

Two weekends ago I was supposed to run 18 miles but could only get 14.5 miles running before I had to walk. In total 16.7 miles but I was a little let-down by my lower right leg packing it in. It was so painful, the muscles so tight, it hurt to run on it but not walk.

Ten this past weekend I had planned to do 20 miles. Well, as with many plans that did not happen. This time I made it further running but at 15.5 miles (after many stretching breaks along the way) my lower right leg was so tight and in pain that I could not put weight on it for a few minutes. I just stood there massaging my leg and then after a couple minutes, I started walking.

At 16.1 miles my wife arrived to rescue my limping ass and bring me home for some rest and recuperation. Today I am still hobbling and all I can say is thank the lord for an elevator at work. I can go up with some pain but coming down stairs is not for the weak of heart.

It's to the sauna tonight for some heat and stretch. I am stretching twice a day and trying my best to nurse these tight muscles.

I still hold out hope that with 6 weeks to go I can hit my distance target of 20 miles without pain (at least without pain to the point of hobbling me). I figure this is a soft tissue problem and with the right steps I can keep on track for the marathon. If not, c'est le vie. I will register for another and continue to ramp up the body.

You never know what your body is going to do and how it will react. You can have the best intentions mentally and be totally dialed into a goal. But if the body is not willing you have to respect that. Hopefully, I am giving my body enough respect.

Time will tell.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Tightness

Had a good run tonight. Nice to do a "short" run which left me feeling great. Had the endorphins running wide afterwards and I was feeling great. Oh ya, short was 6.25 miles (my iPod ran out of juice so I estimated the distance and mapped it after I got back and was .75 mile short) or 10 km.

As the miles have increased I have started to have tightness in my left Hamstring. This was OK and I was stretching it but it got to the point where 3 miles in it was starting to get really tight to the point where it has started to throw my gait off. Then on Sunday it really acted up and I ended up with my right knee aching. I have had this, left leg muscles cause right leg muscles to get out of whack before.

So, this week it was off to see Dr. Geoff Outerbridge of The Holistic Clinic. He did some ART (Active Release Therapy) on my left hamstring and around my right knee. I have another appointment next week to see how that helped. I saw Geoff last year during my training for the 1/2 Marathon and it helped a ton. So, here's hoping that with some ART treatments and stretching, I will be able to keep logging the long miles.

This weekend is my first ever 18 mile run (28.8 km) which will be the longest I have ever run at one time. The great thing about training for the Marathon for the first time is that you are pushing your limits on a regular basis and you have to put faith in you ability to persevere. Getting past the mental challenges has been as much a part of this endeavour as the physical aspect.

I expect this weekends run to take between 3 and 3.5 hours. We'll see how it goes with the tight ham, the sore knee, and the mental hurdle of running for that long. I think the mental part will be the easy one this weekend.