Mileage Recap ~ 10 – 16 July…Hmmmm I Wonder What They’re Doing In Dublin Right Now?

Feeling this tonight…

01 A Horse With No Name

Let’s come back to Dublin in a minute.  I have been blowing through my water on my long runs like a fish during a feeding frenzy.   At the moment I have a small and (old) water belt that I use.  I’ve had it since I started running. Two lovely golden pods.  One is larger than the other and the pods don’t always stay on the belt.  Especially if I have been running and listening to my music too loud I don’t hear it fall off and literally on my return of the route path, I have seen a pod laying in the street.  I have done this about three times and I have found the pod each time.  It’s like the belt that won’t die.  So, you can see why I haven’t given it up on this old belt.  It’s a zombie belt!  Just keeps coming back from the dead.

I decided that I would try some of the electrolyte tabs to give me an extra boost.  I went down to my friendly Big 5 sports store and all they had was GU™ tabs.  I wanted NUUN™, but to be honest, I’m not sure why.  Probably because that’s the brand I hear about the most.  I’ve used GU™ gels of course, but not the electrolyte tabs.  The purpose of the electrolyte tab is to replace electrolytes when you sweat.  As I have said many times, I’m in the land of sweat…and sand.  Sometimes I think I’m the Queen of this land….

There were many flavors to buy and it reminded me of all the flavors you can find in Gatorade™. I decided to try the Tri-Berry.

On the bottle it says that “the tabs are reformulated with xylitol to help reduce gastrointestinal distress (thank goodness that’s one thing we don’t need) when compared to sorbitol”.  So did I feel magically delicious after drinking it?  No.  I tried them before I ran to see if they upset my stomach and like most of these things I find them  too sweet and leave that tongue smacking after taste in your mouth that you can’t fire hose away.  Don’t get me wrong it was good tasting it’s just that it was too much sweet for me with the recommend 16 ounces of water.  That’s just me, of course.  I diluted it a bit more, which probably defeats the purpose, but I found it much more palatable. I did use them on last weeks run and I felt like I always do…”Brother can you spare some water?  I’m out of GU™ drink.”  I always want to ask the passing cyclists.  Maybe the metric is I wasn’t face down on the pavement?  Hmmm, not sure.   The overall assessment is that heavy sweating = loss of electrolytes.  These babies will replenish that loss.  They are easy to carry and it didn’t upset my stomach.  Will I try them again?  Yes.  A different flavor and of course a different brand as well.

This weeks mileage is inching up there!  Exciting!  I have about 118 more days until the Dublin Marathon.  Oh that reminds me, let’s check in with the Dublin cam:

Dublin Cam  I can’t wait to stand outside the Temple Bar!  Maybe you’ll see me on the drunk cam, oh I mean Earth Cam, Earth Cam!  This is a G blog you know.

Ok, back on topic, this weeks mileage.  The runs this week were really good.  The body is feeling good, despite the heat.  I am settling in to a nice groove by waking up at 4:15 and being out the door and on the road by 5am…most days.  It’s imperative on the long run day.  This weeks long run was 7.5 miles, the pace is a little slower than I would like at around 12 minutes.  The run felt good and even was a little overcast today with some humidity.  I logged 21.61 miles for the week with 6701.82 miles gratefully remaining.  May all your clovers be four leafed!  Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 2 – 9 July…Running in Monsoon Season

Last week’s runs were pretty uneventful.  Which I guess is good because there hasn’t been any injury and physical therapy is keeping things in check.  For the most part, I’ve been doing and feeling well. The long runs are still a walk and run combination because of the heat.  I don’t really want that but the heat is just too harsh.  I go for as long as I can, walk to catch my breath then start back up.  My goal is to not walk at all… but I guess if I have to pick between walking a bit and passed out on the side of the road, I’ll pick walking…for now!

The monsoon season has officially started here in the desert.  The normal run dates are July 7th and September 13.  It’s kind of a double edge sword.  For running it cools things down, but kicks up the dust making it hard to see and breathe.  In actuality, it can be down right dangerous.  If you haven’t been here during the monsoon season, may I offer you a taste?

Courtesy of Dreamstime

Courtesy of Arizona Painting Company

 

The monsoons can be very dangerous but like I said it is nice to run in the rain.

This weeks mileage came to 13.15 with an overall pace of 12.19 for the long run of 7.02.  I did speed work on the treadmill last Wednesday trying to lower that pace.  I was very proud of myself for last weeks long run because I was on the road 0500 with starting temps at 98 but lowering to 94 because of a slight breeze.  I have 6723.43 graciously remaining.  One of these days I’m gonna run for fun….  Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 26 June – 1 July…Have You Hugged Your Physical Therapist Today?

I think everyone should go to physical therapy at least once a year in my humble opinion.  You most likely will be blown away at how out of balance your body gets with the normal wear and tear of daily life.  I first went to a PT after I had my knee surgery four years ago.  As I was doing my rehabilitation exercises my PT casually mentioned that it looked like one of my legs was longer then the other.  Upon closer inspection she mentioned that my pelvis was twisted.  In order to get myself in alignment not only did I have to do knee strengthening but pelvis stabilization exercises.  I have always had hip issues and this was most likely due to that fact.  I had also received an MRI about 3 years ago meant for the hip and you know how that goes.  It’s like taking your car for an oil change and the mechanic says “yeah we changed the oil but did you know your radiator has a leak”?  This was one of those moments.  I go into for the MRI for the hip and come out with a slightly bulging disk review.  Hmmmm.  I know if I just don’t think about it, won’t the diagnosis magically just disappear…….

Fast forward to the present, the doctor wants me to get a follow up MRI. Since I have been having a few niggles here and there I was nervous about the prospect of the bulging disk because I still was having pain radiate down my right leg from time to time and of course the left knee issues.  Good news – no bulging disk!  It was gone.  I was a little perplexed because the doctor told me if there was damage or the disk was herniated then it wasn’t going to fix itself.  So he gave me an order for physical therapy to “fix” what needs fixing.

I love my PT!  She first made me go through some exercises and evaluated me then measured my hips and said, yep your right hip is rotated 1.5″ inward.  Amazing.  So I’m way out of alignment and now I have to work to stabilize and bring the pelvis back.  I asked about the bulging disk and she mentioned that if it’s no more than 9 degrees it can correct itself.  That’s great to know.  She also mentioned that the new running shoes I bought, the ones where they watched me run then made a determination on the correct shoe, were wrong!  That sucks.  Because my arches are so high the “stability shoe” I have is incorrect.  So, I will need to purchase the right shoe before I get up into the longer runs.  There is plenty of information and research on how the wrong running shoe has caused major injury and damage to the body.  My personal mantra is you can skimp on everything else but never on the shoes.  You don’t have to buy the most expensive pair, but a good shoe and one that is correct for you.

I’ve been attending PT for two weeks now and I can tell a difference already in my pain level during and after a run.  It is really amazing.  During my last session I mentioned that my right glute was really tight and I started prattling on about foam rolling and the PT says with a huge grin let’s do some myofascial release! Yay…uh what is that?  As a registered yoga instructor I know about fascia.  Fascia is the thin sheath of fibrous tissue enclosing a muscle or other organ.  The collagen fibers that make up the fascia need to stay supple and be able to slide and move.  When muscles stay tight, the fascia clings to them, and both can become rigid over time.  That’s why it feels good to stretch, foam roll, tennis ball therapy and do yoga.  You may even have purchased an instrument for myofascial release and not even realize it!  For more on fascia read this article:  A Body Part You Never Knew Could Be Making You Miserable .

Back to myofasical release.  The PT tells me to go in this special room.  I’m excited because I think I’m getting a spa treatment!!  She comes back with a tool like this:

It looks like a shoehorn.  I realize there might be people out there that don’t know what a shoehorn is….I’ll give you a clue…it helps you get your shoe on…Google it my friends.  All the while I’m still smiling.  She then hands me the tool to inspect and she speaks in a kind voice, “see it has a little serrated edge at the top almost like little teeth”.  She hands it too me like a dentist hands a child the drill before getting a filling.  See Jimmy, it’s really not that bad, and will be over  before you know it!  Okay….spa treatment!  Then she smiles and says, “Oh yeah this might cause a little bruising”.

How could something so right go so terribly wrong!  My sweet PT went from all smiles to badass in 3 seconds flat.

It was like a bad European women’s wrestling match dream.  Spa treatment, spa treatment, spa treatment…I clicked my heals three times as I felt those little teeth digging into my right glute and I realized I wasn’t in physical therapy Kansas anymore.  PT smiles and laughs ~ “you thought you were getting a spa treatment didn’t you”!  I had to laugh…how the heck could she read my mind!

 

I’m not going to lie, it was damn painful.  I’m still feeling the “release” as we speak.  The only problem with PT is doing the homework.  You go and have these sessions, but then you have to be disciplined enough to come back and do your homework.  I would say I’m a C+ student at the moment.  I am doing the exercises, but I could be more disciplined.  Over all I’m pleased and hope this will make me stronger.

Running was good this week.  Still hanging at the 6 mile mark for the long run.  The long run was about at a 6 on the 1 – 10 scale with a pace at 11:57.  Slooowww and hot.   Logged 11.78 miles for the week.   I have 6736.58 miles gratefully remaining.  Even though it’s tough I had this song playing and so true.  Happy Miles to You!!

 

Mileage Recap ~ 21 May – 4 June

I looked at my blog page and my countdown widget now says 4 months to go!  This is really going quick almost a blink of an eye.  I am in the very beginnings of training for the Dublin Marathon.  After my calf injury, again, I rested from running for almost a full two months.  During that time I have been strength training, walking and some riding.  I can’t tell you enough how much the strength training has been helping me.  Working on the core and legs have given me less pain in the knees and hips.

I started off just walking then I incorporated short bursts of running then back to walking and it really has helped.  I had minimal pain in the knees, especially my left, all the while building into longer runs.  So it seems to be working.  There is no pride here either.  If I started to feel little niggles I simply slowed down or started to walk.  The best part was my breathing.  I didn’t feel tired at all.  That was a fantastic feeling.  Although, it is starting to get very hot now, the long runs will have to happen in the morning…on a weekend ~ lol.

This upcoming week will be more of the same, building strength, and foot placement.  One of the nice things about starting from the beginning is correcting the errors.  I tend to slog along sometimes so when I’m doing that I mentally remind myself to pick up the feet and swing the hips more.  May has been my biggest month yet this year at 92.66 miles.  I had a total of 26.33 for this tally and 6786.02 miles wonderfully remaining.  I hope this post finds you well ~ Happy Miles to You!!

Mileage Recap ~ 24 – 30 April…Discipline

There’s nothing like starting over from the beginning, but that’s exactly what I’m doing when it comes to running.  I have a feeling, the knee and calf injuries will always be with me in some form.  Meaning that unless I stop for a long amount of time, it’s going to continue to hurt.  I will say that I am very proud of myself.  I didn’t run or cycle for two weeks.  Instead I have concentrated on strength training at the gym and in yoga.  There are so many different exercise to do that will help strengthen the core and legs for runners.  Google strength training, core, knee pain etc. and you will be inundated with different exercises to perform.  Sometimes it’s just daunting, so I pick out a few I like (that don’t cause pain) and focus on those until I get ready to try something new.  Strength training ALWAYS works.  I can already feel the difference in how my body responds and thus the more I can use my core the lest impact I’m going to feel on my knees, feet and lower back.

It’s all about discipline and not taking the easy way out.  You could insert that sentence anywhere in everyday life.  In order to train for something as big as a marathon you have to be disciplined in the way you eat and exercise.  I’ve often been told by a few people that they would love to run a marathon, but started training and realized that “hey this requires a lot of time and work”.  It does.  I do something at least 5 to 6 days a week to keep up.  Unless you are in tip top shape, it’s hard to come back after not doing anything for 2 to 3 weeks, and it doesn’t get any easier as you age…believe me.  So the starting from scratch part of it I’m not looking forward to.  I was just getting my breath down and kind of getting in a groove.  Now I must start again and when I say start again, I’m going back old school.  You know the walk 2 minutes run 2 minutes program. Physical and mental discipline is key.  In my opinion, injuries give us a chance to listen to our bodies before something big happens.

This week was positive.  I got out and walked and even got in a short ride today!  It felt so good to be on the bike again!  I could have gone a long way today, but I stuck to 11.75 miles.  Everything felt good but again discipline and no pushing.  I was so happy I got in 17.58 this week for a total of 47.09 for the month.  Feels good.  Half of last months mileage, but that’s the way it goes.  I’ve got 4430.66 in the bank with 6884.34 painless miles remaining.  (Just kidding).  Happy Miles to You!!

Mileage Recap ~ 2 – 16 April…Damn

Happy Easter!  Any time you have a post with Damn in the title you know it’s not going to be great.  I was starting off pretty good with the running.  I was running on the treadmill a couple of times a week with the long run building up on the weekend.  At the moment I’m going between running and cycling.  Everything was moving along swimmingly.  I was able to get up to 5 miles for my long run.

This week I was going for a shorter run and then my right calf muscle pulled…again.  This is an old injury.  This started about three years ago.  It comes and goes.  Most likely due to over use.  I have been really hitting the training hard and I’m doing a lot of different things.  Weights, cycling, yoga and of course running.  No doubt it’s overuse.  Right now I take 1 to 2 rest days.  I really hate losing momentum but it looks like I might be out for two weeks of running.  My ankle is now swollen because of the calf injury.  Foam rolling, ice and Aleve™.

I’ll give myself a week of no leg action, but still continue with my strength training.  Then next week will most likely be a walk week.  Minor set back, but something that needs to be addressed now.  Pay now or pay later and I really want to be strong for this run.

Finished with only 15.17 miles this time.  Disappointed but not a show stopper.  I have 6890.17 miles to go.  Resolute ~ Happy Miles to You!!

Mileage Recap ~ Mar 27 – Apr 2. Six Months to Go!

I have changed the appearance of my blog.  I didn’t like how things were laid out and the purple.  I could have changed the color, I know but I wanted a more streamlined look.  In the process I have screwed up where things were located on the menu.  I’m not sure this one is better – but I’m still working on it.

As I was messing around with my blog and happen to notice my count down widget and it is now at 6 months!  Man….time is passing quickly.  I’m glad I still have plenty of time….I’m glad I have plenty of time….I’m starting to feel nervous!  Planning hasn’t extended past Dublin yet.  Meaning I’m still deciding what to do after the marathon.  I’m meeting a girlfriend there and we are still volleying around what we want to do next.  It’s exciting, but I need to get a move on.  I’m slooowly going through Rick Steves “Ireland” book.  Which is phenomenal by the way.  So I need to decide where and what to see next.  I have already received a change of itinerary from my friends at Aer Lingus ~ thank goodness it’s nothing big, but dang!

This weeks training was decent.  I continue to focus on strength training and can see much improvement and lessening of pain in my left knee and lower back.  Honestly, strength training is something I should always keep as part of my routine, but I tend to let that go.  Sometimes I have a tendency just to want to ride and run.

I ran twice this week.  The goal was to get up to 4 miles comfortably.  The first run was great.  I felt good and had a decent pace.  The second run can only be described as Sir Sucks A lot.  I was dragging.  It was funny because my body felt fine but I was breathless.  I had to stop and walk a bit then picked up and ran the rest.  Had a great ride, of course:

Was able to complete 23.3 miles.  The weather here has been great lately.  I love this cycling jersey!  You can’t see it but there is a big cat on the front.

 

 

 

 

I was going to make Sunday my rest day, but I decided to go to South Mountain for a little hike.  I had every intention of just going up one of the mountains and ended up on a nice 2.79 mile hike on the rim of about three of the mountains there.  It was a trail that I’ve never taken before and ended up being really neat.

Pretty steep going down.  I should have brought my hydration pack but I was carrying a water bottle.  So I was doing the one hand shimmy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phoenix behind me.

 

 

This was really interesting.  As I was ascending there was this nook that was barred up.  A guy was there trying hard to take a photo.  I asked what is this and he said it was graffiti from the 1500s of Friar Marco de Niza.  So, I Googled and sure enough a Spanish explorer.  Amazing.  You can see 1539 towards the bottom.  Click here to find out more:

http://www.psi.edu/about/staff/hartmann/coronado/journeyofmarcosdeniza.html

 

 

I completed 85.52 miles in March ~ a heavy climb from the 35 in February.  I hope to keep climbing.  I am about 1200 miles from the halfway point.  I am still excited about my journey.  So many new experiences to have.  This week I completed 34.07 miles.  There are 6905.34 miles waiting.  Happy Miles to You!!