Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Road To Boston VI

Earlier this week I reported that the road to Boston was under construction. I thought it was closed, but it now appears that there is one lane open.

I went in for another ART session yesterday afternoon, and decided to run this morning. Amazingly, I had little pain, or discomfort. I followed this routine: 1) stretch; 2) walk about a 1/4 mile before running; 3) reduce pace and distance (I went 3 miles at @ 8:30); 4) walk a 1/4 mile after running; and 5) stretch after walking. I also rolled a hardball under my foot while working at my computer. Even though I wasn't training hard, I was training. The relaxed pace also made for an enjoyable run. I was able to be more aware of my surroundings and the night sky. I'm going to throw pride to the wind. If I can cruise 26.2 miles at an 8:30 pace I'm running Boston. First, I will have to see how much I can increase mileage. So, my plan will be easy runs and vigorous cross-training and a gradual increase in distance. Essentially, I'm reverting back to my "first time marathon" experience.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Yellow Springs Rendezvous

This past weekend was the annual Yellow Springs Rendezvous in Stony Valley. Our roster was up to 17. This was a new record.

We got on the trail around noon on Saturday and hiked in 3.5 miles to the abandoned village of Yellow Springs. We camped just a few hundred yards from there. There was a about an inch of snow on the ground. The temperature was in the 30s during the day with no wind. It got down to 19 that night, but that was far from our record of 5 degrees. The one inch of snow was also far from our record of about 20 inches.

After camp was established, a roaring fire was built. Some of us went for a hike up to see the remnants of an abandoned coal mining operation. Others began the yearly ritual of "busting caps." We concluded by firing the FPF.

Supper was great as members of our party brought venison and caribou from this past falls hunting season. We also had plenty of fry bread and other snacks, but sadly, no boilo.

Had a great time spinning yarns, shooting, and partaking in revelry. I'm already looking forward to next year's rendezvous. Below are some Pictures of the weekend.

The Road To Boston V

The Road to Boston is under construction. Last week I successfully cross-trained and lifted weights, but I didn't run. Yesterday, I went in for ART, and then ran later in the evening. This morning I could hardly walk. I have decided to defer to 2009.

Looks like my next event will be the "Got the Nerve" triathlon in Gretna this coming May. I'm actually looking forward to a little rest after almost 6 months of marathon training.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Crushers Update

The Crushers bowled four games today. Our first two games were a combined 386. we fell off a little in the second set, 366. Kyler was fitted for his bowling ball today. I can't help but think of Roy Munson:

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Road To Boston IV

I got back to running this week, but it may be short lived. On Monday morning, I swam 1600 yards, then later in the day I did 4 miles at mid-tempo pace, 7:25 per mile. Foot felt good, so I decided to plan a track workout for Thursday. Tuesday I did intervals on the bike trainer in the morning and lifted in the afternoon. Wednesday morning I was back in the pool for 2150 yards. Thursday at lunch I went out to the track for 6x800s @ 3:10. Started out well enough, but the fast running aggravated my arch. I'm going to have to train without doing speed work for at least a couple of weeks. I'll probably just run tempo runs and a weekly long run from here on out. Wrapped up Thursday with lifting in the afternoon. Rested Friday. Saturday I was up at my dad's and step mom's in Perry Valley (Liverpool, PA). I did a very hilly run in the Appalachian foothills. My foot didn't feel too bad, but it was still a bit sore when I started out because of Thursday's 800s. If it wouldn't have been for the speed-work, the long run would have been much better. Consequently, my foot is a bit sore today. I'm going to lay off for a bit, and stick to cross-training. I'll resume my running again after next weekend's backpacking trip.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Road To Boston III

Good news: I went out last evening for a four mile run to test my foot. Before running, I taped my arch. It was a little stiff at first, but it loosened up nicely and I was able to average 7:25. Afterwards, I iced it for 20 minutes followed by stretching and a dose of "vitamin I." It was a little sore this morning, but it subsided by the time I got to work. Continued to roll a hardball under my foot while working at my desk, and I did some stretching when I could. I found a dance site that has some good arch strengthening exercises which I incorporated into my weight routine this afternoon.

I should be able to manage this injury, but will have to rethink my goals for Boston: finish and have fun instead of a new PR.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Road To Boston II

This was a week of cross-training, as I'm still resting my right arch. Started out Tuesday on the bike trainer. I did steady RPM work. Later in the day, I lifted. Wednesday, I swam 1800 yards. I was fortunate, because a guy I teach with was there and he is a swim instructor. He gave me a lot of pointers and some drills to work on with fins and a pull buoy. So, for my birthday, I went out and bought a pair of fins and a pull buoy. Adult version of pool toys. Thursday I did intervals on the bike trainer and again lifted in the afternoon. Friday I was back in the pool for 2000 yards. The one good thing about this injury is that it is forcing me to work on my swimming, which is something I wanted to improve at anyway. Saturday was a rest day, however, I took the Marine Corps pull-up challenge at the PA farm show and cranked out 20. Sunday was the bike trainer. I did steady RPM work interspersed with functional strength training (push-ups, crunches and knee bends).

Another week of cross-training is coming up, but I may try out the foot some evening this week. I'm definitely hitting the road on Saturday.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Skiing, Blue Mountain

I made my first runs of the season last evening at Blue Mountain Ski Area. I'm a chaperon for our High School Ski Club. Last night was our first night of five trips up to the Pocono Region (I'm not sure, however, if this area qualifies as being in the Poconos. The AT crosses right behind the resort, so technically and geologically, this area is in the Appalachians.).

I was worried about the conditions, because of the warm weather we were having this week, but it was some of the best skiing I have had in awhile. The snow was soft and granular. They have a 30" base, so bare spots on the main runs were nonexistent.

It felt good to be out on skis again, and I had a great time skiing with the rest of the chaperons, Molly, Dave, Anton, Jason, Joanna and Janet. It must be noted that Anton was born and raised in Sweden. His skiing ability is at a level beyond those of us who grew up skiing at Ski Roundtop. His hometown was located near the arctic circle; skiing was an integral part of PE class.

I'm looking forward to getting out again soon. I hope we get some snow and/or cold weather.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Road To Boston I

Well, the road to Boston has some speed bumps. In an earlier post I lamented about my new injury. This has put a damper on training week I on the road to Boston. Nonetheless, I was able to bike this weekend due to global warming, er, I mean the warm weather. Here's the breakdown: started the week backpacking into Stony Valley, which was good cross-training. New Years day was Tuesday and I ran and swam: I ran 10 feet and swam 10 yards at the Polar Bear Plunge. Wednesday, I had the best intention of swimming for real, but couldn't marshal my faculties after 10 days off work. Thursday was a tempo run, which caused my plantar fasciitis to flair up. Friday I took off, and over the weekend I went biking. I did an 18 mile ride Saturday at 17.3 mph and a 28 mile ride at 16.3 mph on Sunday. All in all, good cross-training. I also lifted Thursday. Oh, and I stopped by the "Inside Track" on Saturday and invested in a new pair of running shoes. They examined my last pair and it turns out I have a slight pronation when I run, which may, or may not have, been the cause of my injury.

Up this week, more cross-training.

The Crushers

The Crushers bowling team kicked off their 1st season. Team members Kyler and Kurt rolled a two game 144 and 230 respectively for a combined score of 374. We have eleven more weeks to go to "crush" the competition. In the spirit of knocking down pins, I give you this:

Friday, January 4, 2008

Injury Time

Well, I've been lucky as far as injuries are concerned, but this past Saturday, I picked up my first one: all symptoms point to plantar fasciitis.

It seemed to come on suddenly after my 10 miler, but then faded after I went backpacking. I didn't train until yesterday. I did a 6 miler - 2 miles easy, 2 miles @ 6:54, 2 miles easy. The pain came on when I opened it up in the middle and my heel has been sore since. I'm going to take a conservative approach and see if a 2-3 week rest along with stretching, ice and ibuprofen can take care of it. I'll probably try a different pair of shoes as well. In the meantime, cross-training. I've been saying I wanted to work on my swimming, so I guess I'll be able to.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

I Am Polar Bear

Happy New Year!! I made my 10th consecutive polar bear plunge along with Kory and Bill. We met up with Tina's cousin and his friends at the Kleinfeltersville Hotel at 10:30. We hung out there until around 11:00 then made our way to Willow Springs Park outside of Richland. The weather wasn't too bad this year. It was probably around 40 degrees, but it was windy. Unlike the previous 9 years, we entered the lake from the left side of the beach. As I ran in, I sunk into what seemed like 12 inches of muck on the bottom. I then swam to the dock, turned around, swam back and another new year was ushered in.

I Am Polar Bear!