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Jacksonville, FL, United States
In Life as well as in running the secret is Pace.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

(with apologies to Dickens) “ it was the best of times and the worst of times… the times that try our souls”

Since I last updated you on my training  a couple of weekends have passed.

14 Feb…  Valentine's day and the first day I started to get that sicky feeling

By Saturday it was pretty evident that I had an upper repertory infection.  That was the day I pulled the plug after 3 hours of my Saturday workout.  After the workout I picked up my Donna packet…  went to the clinic…  got antibiotics then slept…  for like 16 hours straight
Selfie at the start

I got up Sunday morning feeling not too bad…  then basically jogged the Breast Cancer Marathon.  Quite surprised to feel okay nailing 10:45s until the wind started beating on my chest at mile 23 (JTB bridge) and my asthma kicked up.  I finished drank a beer and walked home…  not too much the worse for wear.

In memory of an old friend who lost her fight in 2012

Monday I felt groovy…  okay I was tired but did the stairmill for an hour after we slept in (holiday)…  around 5 I went out and did my loop…  basically a 6 mile circle around my house.  2 miles dirt road and the rest sidewalk…  I felt great!

I spent the rest of the week full on swagger…  preaching the gospel of my magic shoes…

Doing my workouts with ease and style…

Killing the Wednesday 10 miler

And even doing a couple of easy "bonus runs" with my old buddy Mark at the trails.

After "rest day" on Friday I started to think that my Saturday workout looked too easy…

So I decided that I would do the Saturday workout in the heat of the day… (Yes folks it was sunny and in the mid 80s) then do my Sunday workout

In the early morning… (less than 12 hours rest) and try to not overachieve too much by running faster than goal pace (YEAH Boyeee!)

Hit the stairmill about 1300…  nothing to it… but to do it.  1 hour at ~130 BPM

Then we went outside… Judi and I ran the first 4ish miles together…  Judi asked me how I felt…  my answer "adequate" the 10:30s we were doing in the 85 degree weather were not easy.  We parted ways and I went on alone…  ran to UNF and did 2 loops of the trails…  hot and muggy back there and I began to suffer….  Pace slowed…  and HR rose
Judi caught this shot of me... as myself and I were having "the talk"

After a few more miles I felt broken…  I wanted to stop…  sit down… my form was in the toilet… and I hurt… while that might have been the most prudent choice I did what any runner might have done….  I had a talk with myself…  picked up the pace…  ignored my soaring heartrate and pounded out the last 4.5 miles on my run at a pace fast enough to lower my average pace to right where it was supposed to be.

I was more than a little cooked.

I slept fitfully…  in a bit of pain

0445 Sunday 24 Feb my alarm went off…

0555 I'm standing outside in the drizzling rain.

0605 after walking .5 miles and retying my shoes I start to run…  my legs feel wooden but on I stumble

0610 I notice my pace is a 13:14 (still running at this point) my left leg is okay but my right leg will not pull through….

0611 start walking

I jogged a couple more times….  Then at 1.84 miles I turned off my Garmin… turned around and walked home…  I might have stayed out there but toward which training goal would that have advanced me?

Once I got home I ate 2 slices of cold pizza…  poured a cup of coffee and went back to bed.

And now it's Monday…  and I begin again.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

"RATS should be my girlfriend"

Author's Note:

Desert RATS – Race Across the Sand is a 6 day stage race in Utah.

From the race website

Run from Grand Junction, Colorado to the world famous Moab, Utah along the beautiful 148-mile Kokopelli trail. Distances will range from day to day between 9 and 50 miles. This is a grueling event that will challenge the most seasoned athletes yet it is designed so that less experienced ultrarunners can train for and successfully complete the course.
The entire length of the trail is stunningly beautiful with jagged canyons and breathtaking vistas and Desert R.A.T.S. racers experience every beautiful mile.

A friend of mine…  let's just call him Mark…  is single and dating.

While we were running trails earlier in the week, he made an off the cuff remark "Maybe RATS should be my girlfriend"

I followed that up with an email the next day


From: Michael
Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 11:44 AM
To: Mark
Subject: RATS should be my girlfriend

Capital idea my man!

To which he responded:


From: Mark
Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 2:04 PM
To: Michael
Subject: RE: RATS should be my girlfriend

She is a beautiful siren.

But what are the list of reasons?


My list is below

From: Michael
Sent: Thursday, February 21, 2013 10:40 AM
To: my old buddy Mark
Subject: RE: RATS should be my girlfriend

1.      Because you think you can't
2.      Because you are 45 years old…  and have a precious few years left to try something so daring
3.      It is an endeavor that takes dogged persistence… unwavering singleness of purpose…  intense planning…  attention to detail… and daring.  And you my friend embody those qualities as well as anyone I know.
4.      Camaraderie and team spirit on the trail
5.      Because you are looking to apply logic, hard work, research, and dubious effort to find a match (.com) and as Crash Davis said "I don't believe in quantum physics when it comes to matters of the heart."  but I bet he would say the opposite of RATS

6.      Chicks would dig you more if you weighed got down to race weight
7.      Your blogs about the journey and experience will be the stuff we re-read and laugh about when we are old
8.      Because you will feel small
9.      But tall enough to almost touch the stars
10.  Because food tastes better when you are truly hungry
11.  And water (even tepid) is sweeter than any wine when you run through the desert
12.  But most of all because of the people you meet…  listening to their experiences… and sharing your own.
13.  In the end it is a race…  but in essence it is a journey to see who we really can be… runners, yes…  competitors, maybe…  but in truth a band of brothers (and sisters) doing something truly unique and forming lifelong bonds
(I can name pretty much everyone in this picture…  and tell you their fascinating story)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Super Bowl

Lots of talk around the office this week about the Super Bowl…  BeyoncĂ©… power outages etc…

And I did watch both Super Bowls this weekend…  the football one and the Cyclocross World Championships

Inevitably the argument starts about what sports are boring, overhyped, misunderstood, too Americanized, real football is soccer…  or rugby…  or only in Australia

My only contribution to the discussion is to ask…  why watch when you can compete

I enjoy doing sports... I played Football in HS... and cried like a baby when my last game was over... I thought nothing else could touch it... nothing in life could be better than playing football.

but so many things have taken its place over the years. Running, cycling, jiu-jitsu, being in the army, parenthood, corporate IT

and now... I have cyclocross... almost 30 years later and I get crazy excited to put on a helmet and run through the mud with a bunch of other guys...

I'll let others gripe/obsess about sports and sports fans... until my body gives out I'm going to continue to be an athlete

Friday, February 1, 2013

The groin thing….

Doctors…  golly gee….  They really do live in a stovepipe world. 

I have had an issue with my groin on the right side for about a year

I waited 90 minutes to see the Orthopedic for about 5 minutes.  He did have an x-ray done…  no visible tear…  which means nothing for an ortho to treat. (he offered pain meds..  I refused)

And I'm back to the "healing myself" thing… 

What it is

1.   Pain in the groin and up into the abdomen – mostly on the right side but sometimes in both
2.      Activated by
a.     Rolling over in bed
b.     Sit-ups
c.       Pull-ups
d.      Planks
e.     Adductor exercises
f.        Lateral movement
g.     To a much lesser degree running
3.      Sometimes affects sleep
4.      Occasionally effects running (past 2.5 hours)

What I know
A.      I may have a micro-tear of the oblique (sports hernia)
b.      I will have yet to find a doctor that has heard of it…
c.       There does not seem to be one in Jacksonville
B.      It could be something else
a.      Psoas
b.      Groin strain (as the good MD surmised yesterday)
c.       ???
C.     So while the issue might yet be adductor related…  the associated pain is just as near to psoas as adductor.
D.    Interesting aside - none of the 3 health care professionals I have been to explained this to me…  Dr Google did

The good news

1.      I now have a PT referral (for ultrasound) which means that Chris Kopp (my PT) can work on my hips (and maybe Psoas) some more
2.      I have built a good base
3.     The mobility work I continue to do has my body handling and recovering from workouts better than I ever have.
4.      The pain is less since I quit aggravating it on a weekly basis racing cyclocross

The Plan

1.      Keep training J
2.      Maybe start introducing longer than 2.5 hour runs to see how my body handles the stress
3.      Continue mobility work
4.      Explore the psoas with
a.      Smashing
5.     Continue my research