Sunday, October 28, 2012

Week 22: The Nu-Way 5K

Wed 10/24  4 miles, including 2 miles barefoot. Had a pile of reasons not to do my whole barefoot routine: I got to the fields to find that darn high school football team practicing, or something ridiculous like that. That they were only using half a field still kept me to the one field. My usual 2:30 lap turned into 1:30 laps. I hate running that many circles. 

But I stayed with it, and ran 17 or so minutes. I stopped halfway through to watch a little of the practice. I think they must have been JV because they weren’t that big. But they were good and played hard. I always appreciate good coaching, and these guys were all over the place, teaching and not yelling.

Fri 10/26  7 miles at Croft. I started this run in stunning sunset light. The trees were glowing anyway, but with the changing colors were particularly shimmery. I intended to finish with my headlamp, and did. Note: get new batteries. The light was pretty dim, and I haven’t run a whole lot in the dark, and not at all since last winter. In other words, I had a great time. I really practiced picking up my feet, and rolled a few times, something my tendons must respond to really well--I rarely hurt myself.

I also wore one yellow Rogue Racer and one red Rogue Racer. I bought a couple of new pairs--thanks, Montrail--and needed to break them in for the Nu-Way 5K tomorrow. I’ve given up on 5Ks--they are either too short or too painful or both--but this one is special. My friend Cate came up with the idea a few years ago, and it’s taken off. More than a hundred will run tomorrow. Since it involves drinking on  the street, we’re a little nervous the city may shut it down, but since two council members run it (and one of them organizes it), we feel pretty safe for now. It’s a great community event, and highlights our commitment to beer drinking, doughnut eating and run/walk/crawling. 

Sat 10/27 5 miles, including Nu-Way 5K. As always, the Nu-Way 5K is among my favorite Spartanburg events. This year over a hundred folks signed up, even paying five bucks to make some dough for a local arts non-profit. Costumes are de rigeur here; I wore my usual cape. The cape, I say, changes the way I see wind in the face. Where I used to feel some letdown if I turned into the wind during a race, in this one I know it’s blowing my cape back.

I actually had a good run here, too. I felt pretty easy, running with a woopie cushion and  another caped superhero, among others. I even met the physical therapist who rehabbed me after meniscus surgery in 2002. As usual, the beer went down easy, the donut sucked. Then again, I’ve been slacking on the donut eating, but I’ve been crushing the beer workouts. 

Trying to drop the woopie cushion.

One of two Elvii. The Charlotte Hornets guy won.

Unkle Burt and Elvis at the start.

Beer and donuts.

The second half went equally smoothly, and another guy and I decided to let the woopie cushion finish ahead of us. After all, he was dressed as a woopie cushion. I finished a minute faster than last year, but deeper I think. Thing’s getting pretty competitive. I ran 25:30 including the three or four minutes at the beer stop.

Sun 10/28 13 1/2 miles at Croft. Ran the half marathon course with John G., Clark, Scott and Seth. It became clear pretty early that I didn’t have legs this morning. I trudged along; thought I might run some extra miles, but I was satisfied with what I got.

 Total 29 1/2 in four runs

Monday, October 22, 2012

Weeks 19, 20, 21: Living in the process

Tue 10/2  4 miles on Cottonwood

Wed 10/3  3 miles

Sat 10/6 8 miles at Croft. Injury warnings, for sure: my sore left-side lower back/upper butt (‘m sure it has a name) was aggravated all morning, and never really loosened up on the run. I went to Croft expecting to run a new route, maybe 14 miles, and feel fit enough to do it. The odd thing is that I felt strong on the run--leg turnover easy uphill and down, and feet quick even with some added Achilles pain in my left leg. But my back was not happy on uphills, and even with my trying to smooth out my gait on downhills, I felt accumulated pain. I’ll do something about it.

from the riding ring: Foster Mill to the Boy Scout hut to Lake Johnson Trail to Foster Mill

I registered for three races this week. On November 2 I’ll run the KT (Kanawha Trace) Darkness Falls 7-mile night race the day before seeing a Marshall game with my mom. I finally signed up the Camp Croft Half-Marathon (November 10) where I hope to better my last year’s time (1:53:00). I also found the Last Chance 50K in the Francis Marion National Forest in December. That should be a good long run before, should I get in, the Uwharrie 40-miler in February. 

I’m excited about the races to come, even with this tinge of injury. It feels like something I can get worked out, especially because the Stick does wonders itself. Add in a little chiropractor voodoo and I’ll be fine. 

Total 15 miles in three runs

Sun 10/14 13.5 miles at Croft. Ran the Camp Croft Half-Marathon course with Cate and Bristol. I haven’t been on the entire course for quite some time. I felt good the whole way as we both were feeling a little out of shape. 

from the riding ring: Foster Mill to Rocky Ride to Foster Mill to Lake Johnson-Fairforest Connector to Fairforest to Palmetto

This was a tough week. I had evening events four days, all of which kept me from running. I do feel good about Sunday’s run and my fitness, such as it is. I had an excellent chiropractor visit, and feel some better. I’m still sore in my left lower back/upper butt, but the Stick continues to do its magic.

Total 13 1/2 miles in one run

Tue 10/16 4 miles on Cottonwood. I felt loose and easy.

Wed 10/17 3 miles. I felt tight and labored.

Fri 10/19 0 miles. I started out the door on a beautiful day as the sun was setting. Within about 8 steps I knew the IT band pain I’d been feeling, especially after sitting for a while, was not good. I kept on for a few hundred yards, but before I really started into the long downhill that drops down into the flood plain of the Lawson’s Fork, I turned around. 

I’ve had IT band issues for a while, though never with pain particularly. I have some scar tissue built up, but my voodoo doctor tells me that if it’s not bothering me at all--no pain, no gait reaction, no limitation in flexibility--that there’s no reason to worry about it. The pain I have is above that little knot. 

I came home and iced my knee, which left it stiff. Using the Stick and my hand to massage right at the pain spot helps. I hit some ibuprofen, which I don’t take often, and stretched, another thing I don’t do often. I’ll try to stay on top of it.

Sun 10/21 18 miles at Croft. What a great run. Seth, Carroll, Scott and I met down at Southside. I’d planned to do two laps, and they all wanted to run 10 miles. The pace was a little hotter than maybe it should have been--and I led for the first few miles. It was just such a beautiful morning, right around 50 degrees, probably, and we had a good group going. Scott and Carroll pulled away in the last few miles. Carroll will finally be fit for the Camp Croft Half Marathon; knowing the course the way he does, he’ll be smoking. 

Southside Loop is definitely an easier run at Croft, especially the four or so miles that wind through the flood plain. There are some climbs, though,and some rough trail that I like for how it strengthens my feet. Through the climbs I felt great, with little or no IT band pain. 

Setting off for the second lap (which I knew I would cut short) was easy. I drank a bottle of Perpetuem, which I’d not tried, and which settled easily. I did hit the hills harder than I’d expected, and ran hard the whole lap. This was a real confidence builder, a run I’ll remember for a while. Even got to trash talk with the cross country team from a local community college.

from Southside: One lap of Southside Loop, then Centerline to Fern Gully to Southside Loop to Rock Creek to Centerline.

Total: 25 miles in 3 runs

Coming up next week: the Nu-Way 5k. I may be a little behind in my running and donut-eating training schedule, but I’ve been crushing the beer drinking workouts. 

Just been listening to Lucinda Williams a lot lately.