My Running Log

This is the running log of Ed Connell. I started running regularly again at the age of 44, in May of 2008. Thankfully, I did so, because while I wasn't planning on keeping it up, I started it on a whim, and it has shown itself to be the best long-term therapy for my chronic lower back pain. I still have back episodes, but they are fewer, they tend to be less debilitating, and I'm much quicker to recover from them. I consider myself as "cured" as I'm ever going to be.

After nearly a year of running 5 days, taking one day off, I was forced to do a road run for the first time due to a snowstorm making my running trail impassable. I was shocked how winded I became from that road run. I did a driveby, just to verify how long it was, and was shocked that the 3.2m loop took that much out of me! How much had I not been running I wondered? So, I got out my old distance wheel that I'd bought years ago to measure the bike trail I had cut along the Christina River in Newark, and got to work. Here, I had been barely pushing 2m workouts and really wasn't in much shape at all. The back was doing well, but I really wasn't in running shape. Since I was mostly in it for the back, big deal? Well, something got in my craw, and I decided to ramp it up a little. Long story short, ramp it up I did. I even started to do some 5k races with the idea that if I had to do this running thing, I might as well have some fun with it. Well, the short story is I overdid the training for my age and found myself in quite a struggle to locate my own personal running boundaries.

I was introduced to active.com through the registration process of the local running site races2run.com, and posted a discussion thread on my struggles as a 45 year old runner. I got some really great feedback on how to reset myself, and try to build my running fitness level in a much more methodical way. This diary has become an extension of that advice. I am training in a much more controlled, slightly more scientific purposeful way, rather than my previous way of "I think I can do 5m, so I'll push it to 6, no pain no gain". That method served me fine at 18 years old, but it doesn't work at all for a 45 year old body.

Running Diary
Next Race - Run for the Buds 5K 10/24/2009 (Pulled the Plug!)

12/27/09 It's official. I'd been thiking my running log would get overtaken by my Garmin at some point. The Garmin software itself wasn't all that great. The SportTracks software however is a tad bit better. Better enough that it makes little sense for me to continue to jot down my training log here. Actually, it may make sense for me to continue here to jot down more official thoughts and strategy, but the ST software could facilitate that as well. Truth be told, I'm doing less official stringent training at the moment. Something about my post infection training has taken a toll on me. I'm feeling at a loss, beaten down quite a bit, and having a tough time figuring out how to proceed. I've been pretty much just taking it every other day now. My mileage has increased, but I'm wondering what I can expect to achieve on an every other day type of schedule. I guess if it is the best I can hope to do, I'll do it. Something about it diminishes the whole thing to me, and makes me less enthusiastic about it. My back is about the same; no big outages, but no big tasks which would take it to the limits either. I feel like I'm in a gradual funk. Life is winning, I'm losing. Getting old, and slowly giving in.

12/05/09 Slogging strategy continues, with increase in splits to 5min jog, 1.5 minutes walk. Covered 3.45m in 38.5 minutes. Probably should take an extra day off. Talk about wimping out. Oh well, have taken 2 steps forward, so better back one up.
12/03/09 Slogging strategy continues, with increase in splits to 3min jog, 1 min walk. Covered 3.45m in 42 minutes. Weight is up about 3-4 pounds in the past couple months, big shock.
12/01/09 Same slogging strategy. 3.22m in 40minutes.
11/28/09 Same slogging strategy. 2.9m.
11/26/09 One more day in my progress of trying to turn back the hands of time yet again. Today, I kept the same distance and pace of the prior outing. I split the intervals into 2 mins slog, 1 minute walk. Came to about 20 mins of slogging. Didn't feel noticably worse. I'm still struggling to find an explanation of what's wrong with me. Best I can theorize is I'm suffering with this "Compartment Syndrome" as Dr. Knox said was a possibility. So, assuming that's likely, I'm then thinking somehow that Levaquin actually made that condition substantially worse in a short period of time. The conicidental nature of that drug and my recent problems is just too coincidental. So, what to do about it? Just going to continue what I'm doing for now, and hope that my muscle sheaths find some elasticity through a gradual increase in exercise. Rubbing them down with self massage does seem to help some as well.
11/24/09 Continuation of my "start". How's that for taking it easy? I had a day of yard work thrown in and some around the house work, and took it easy, i.e. no exercise, during that stretch as well. This is just ridiculous. Anywho, another repeat of the last outing with just a little more jogging thrown in and a little extra distance. 2.55m in total. Can still feel a twinge in this calf as if it may pop any second if I try to pick it up, so I don't, and just stay easy going. Did I write this is ridiculous already?
11/20/09 Today was a start. "Mostly" free of the calf pain I wrote 6 days ago. Yesterday, today, I decided I was free of the calf pain. But, what's that mean I asked myself? Was I ready to try again? Well, I gave it one more day. Today I stretched very lightly, tried not to really pull anything hard. I grabbed my Garmin, and determined to keep it light. I pretty much was able to stick to that. I felt a twinge or two which made me really think hard about what I was doing. I altered very light jogs and stretches of walking. Jogs were about a minute tops, while the walking ranged from 1.5-2 minutes. I think I set out to do more mileage than I did, the twinge made me rethink it during the run, and I was already planning my next rest phase. Yup, I'm taking tomorrow off again, maybe two or three days before I go out again. This is crazy. I can't figure if I'm coming back from an injury, or leading out into a new phase of old age. Crazy? This just sucks.

11/14/09 Nothing. I only came here to see how much downtime I've been treating myself to. The last exercise I've done was on 11/8. The pain in my calves was just not right. It wouldn't subside. And, it wasn't localized, it was all over, both legs. Just didn't add up. I've no idea what is behind it. The coincidentalness of the meds was too much for me. I suppose it could be related to my back pain, but that would be something new for me. And, I surely don't recall such pain with such little exercise. But, I've rested now for 6 days. Most of those days I haven't even walked. Being extremely busy at work I would assume is a good thing in this regard. I don't know. Exercise is good, not exercising is good. Some things just never add up.

So, current state. I'm mostly free of the calf pain. But, not completely. I just rubbed them both out a little, and there is lingering pain. My strategy I guess at this point is to just keep doing what I'm doing - mostly nothing. Let the pain go away, if it will, and start from ground zero. I don't see that I have any other choice.
11/08/09 YEEE-OUCH! - well, I for sure ain't right. Now, this I supposed could be from "rest", i.e., doing mountains of time in the office chair since I'm busy as he$$. But, people on the board said rest, rest, rest. So, I got up from my chair, thinking I'd take a walk and another excruciating cramp through the back of my right calf. Trying to work it out over and over, massaging, stretching, whatever I can do. That tendon is so sore as well. Some good this period of extended rest is doing me. I think I'm gonna bag the resting idea, since it surely doesn't seem to be doing me much good. Now that I've got a better handle on the work crisis, I should be able to find some more exercise time real soon now. Gonna bike a little today to treat myself.
WTD: 3.2; PC: AB:0;LtIC:l;LtC:4;LtT:0;RtC:4;RtIC:1;RtT:1;Groin:3
11/07/09 3.2m - on around a 31 pace, using my new Garmin. First time out since the infection. Didn't feel like my old self, but that old self wasn't ever that great anyway. Still would like to get back to it soon.
WTD: 3.2; PC: AB:0;LtIC:l;LtC:4;LtT:0;RtC:4;RtIC:1;RtT:1;Groin:3

11/01/09 It's been...let me l@@k...wow, since 10/20 since I've not run. That's nearly 2 weeks. I've been slowly working up some walking, and a couple days back I was able to make it too laps on the trail without feeling alot of pain. I could still feel a spot in each calf, but it was definitely better. I biked 3 of the past 4 days: 5.4, 4.5 and a whopping 11.7 miles today. Hasn't been too intense; kept it under 12mph average. I'm thinking in a couple days I'll take a mild jog. Just don't want to push it before I'm ready, especially since I've no friggin idea what those meds really did to my legs. But, definitely getting through it, and hopefully won't have another meltdown.
10/27/09 Almost had a meltdown today. It's the 27th. I've not run really in a week, since pulling up lame last Wednesday. To drive the point home, I've not biked in several days either. I'm really not in any position to exercise at all. I can't walk without pain in my left calf. It may hold off for a while, but I know it's there. Then, after a mile or so, it starts to really take hold, and let me know its there. My back? It's not gotten any better. In fact, as I always know, when I can't exercise, it only takes a few days to let me know I'm on thin ice. Tonight, wrapping up my non-walk, it just started to sink in. I don't know, maybe some self-pity, I don't know. I've not much to say. It's not that I don't want to get back in the saddle, I can't. That's the fact of the matter. I can't. The "I can't" is starting to take a toll on me. It's starting to wear on my mind, starting to creep in that I always knew this day would come. Question is, Is it here? That will be hard to adjust to. It is winning and it is taking its toll on my psyche.

10/24/09 Pulled the plug on the Bud Run. Woke up this morning, well, hell all night long in bed I could feel the back of my legs pulling, so it pretty much was a no brainer. Too much risk to doing myself further injury even if I were to try and take it easy.

Went out this morning for a walk, which turned into an intermittent jog mostly. Stopped repeatedly to stretch the back of my legs. Pulls on the lower back, but its got to be done. Can't think of any other way to try and get those things worked out back there. So, we'll call it 2m. Hopefully, tomorrow, I can do a repeat and then start a light week on Monday. Can't wait to see the urologist on Monday. I've got a pressing question to ask about that Levaquin.
10/23/09 Crosstraining for 8.1m yet again, because I can't run, I can barely walk. I may do the Run tomorrow, at a slow relaxed pace, just to hopefully get a jog in and know that I still can. This "week" has been a complete bust. I've got no routine currently other than to try and push through this and try to come out functional on the other side, hence no tally board. What's would be the point?
10/22/09 In my completely frustrated state, I just couldn't bring myself to exercise today. The pain in my calves persists and I was at a complete loss to explain it. Round and round in my mind, trying to figure out what made sense. Perhaps since my back was out, and I was doing my arching religiously, at the same time I couldn't stretch the back of my legs (which I actually rarely do anyway) well, I must be in a new world of back pain sideaffects, and will have to be extra careful. But, the frustration at not even being able to take a walk around the development without pain where it shouldn't be, well, that is just hard to explain. Then, on a whim, after work I decided to get that empty bottle of pills out of the trash and look up what the prescription was. Not sure why I did it, but what I found sent me through the roof. Levaquin.?. No big deal, an antibiotic, or at least that's what I thought. There in the first part of what you need to be on the lookout for..."may cause swelling or tearing of a tendon (the fiber that connects bones to muscles in the body), especially in the Achilles' tendon of the heel...and then this..."may cause swelling or tearing of a tendon (the fiber that connects bones to muscles in the body), especially in the Achilles' tendon of the heel". What the F***!!! Noone ever told me that dung! Now, I'm just pissed. I still can't piss real well, and I'm pissed. I didn't need this kind of shit thrown on my plate at the moment. I really feel like suing somebody.
WTD: 7.5; PC: AB:0;LtIC:0;LtC:5;LtT:0;RtC:8;RtIC:0;RtT:0;Groin:1
10/21/09 Killed the running idea, since my calves are really in an unusually bad state. Decided to keep with biking for now as much as I can stand, did the 5.5m loop.
WTD: 7.5; PC: AB:0;LtIC:0;LtC:5;LtT:0;RtC:8;RtIC:0;RtT:0;Groin:1
10/20/09 Pulled up lame after 0.7m. Decided to call it a day instead of risking further injury. Clearly this infection has taken a widespread toll on my body. Almost feels like two pulls in my calves.
WTD: 7.5; PC: AB:0;LtIC:0;LtC:5;LtT:0;RtC:8;RtIC:0;RtT:0;Groin:1
10/19/09 Cross training on bike, 7.9m. Pushed it a little more, but still recovering. Hopefully, will be able to do my run tomorrow. This has been a real setback.
WTD: 7.5; PC: AB:0;LtIC:0;LtC:4;LtT:0;RtC:4;RtIC:0;RtT:0;Groin:1
10/18/09 Cross training on bike, 4.6m.
WTD: 7.5; PC: AB:0;LtIC:0;LtC:4;LtT:0;RtC:4;RtIC:0;RtT:0;Groin:1
10/17/09 Cross training on bike, 3.7m. Kept it light since still recovering from yesterday's setback. Got my new Garmin, and it seems pretty slick. The software tool looks fairly minimum, and I'm thinking that's because they want you to sign up for a online pay service.
WTD: 7.5; PC: AB:0;LtIC:0;LtC:4;LtT:0;RtC:4;RtIC:0;RtT:0;Groin:1
10/16/09 Scheduled off day. What was unscheduled was a vicious onset of a UT infection. Really knocked me off my perch. Fever rose +104o and had to go to the ER. Took the edge off the back pain for a bit.
10/15/09 4.4m on 37m pace. Cold and wet. Calves really sore, must be left over from the race. Will need a break to get them settled down. Back is still bugging me immensely, unless I'm running.
WTD: 7.5; PC: AB:0;LtIC:0;LtC:4;LtT:0;RtC:4;RtIC:0;RtT:0;Groin:1
10/14/09 7.5m crosstraining. Pushed it beyond my early plans. Back is killing me still, but I think I'm gaining the upper hand on it.
WTD: 3.1; PC: AB:0;LtIC:0;LtC:2;LtT:0;RtC:2;RtIC:1;RtT:1;Groin:1
10/13/09 3.1m - on around a 30+m pace, but I lost track of time. Soreness from Saturday's race has really set in. I actually ran much harder than I thought. Also, my back is really bad at the moment. Surprised I went out, but as usual, when I'm done it feels the better for it.
WTD: 3.1; PC: AB:0;LtIC:l;LtC:4;LtT:0;RtC:4;RtIC:1;RtT:1;Groin:3
10/12/09 Cross training day, 6m on the bike.
WTD: 0.0; PC: AB:0;LtIC:0;LtC:1;LtT:0;RtC:3;RtT:0;
10/11/09 Off day.

10/10/09 Supporting Kidds 5k - actually looks like the local races have dropped off attendance wise, so I might actually be a Star tomorrow :)
Stuck to my plan pretty much. Stayed within myself, found an old guy to run with, and finished around 21m. I pushed him a bit, he pushed me some. Placed in the top 10, but didn't place in my age group. If I had any kind of read on the finish line before the 3 beside the road, I would've taken him. I closed in on him from probably 20 yards in the last .1m and he just crossed in front of me by less than a stride. I clearly had more in the tank than he did, but it was all for fun, right? Felt stayed within my element really well. Didn't feel what you'd call strong, but came away feeling that despite my occassional bump in the road, I'm starting to feel like I've built a good base since my last outing on 6/27. That's less than 4 months ago. By the start of the next season, if I stick to my plan, I think I'll be someone to be reckoned with. I think people on this circuit will start to learn my name. We'll see.
WTD: 15.2; PC: AB:1;LtIC:1;LtC:2;LtT:1;RtC:2;RtIC:2;RtT:1;
10/09/09 2.0m - game dey decision. Decided to do a 5K run tomorrow. Took a easy pace jog today, up tempo just for a short bit to stretch out the stride a bit. Will try to keep the pace down tomorrow and make it mostly for the fun.
WTD: 12.1; PC: AB:1;LtIC:1;LtC:2;LtT:1;RtC:2;RtIC:2;RtT:1;
10/08/09 6.6m cross training. Back slightly improved, but long way to go. Thighs seemed to be a little underyling soreness, possibly due to increased biking.
WTD: 10.1; PC: AB:1;LtIC:1;LtC:2;LtT:1;RtC:2;RtIC:2;RtT:1;
10/07/09 3.8m on the trail, untimed, since it was pretty gingerly. Back is in a bad way again. This is not good. Since early Sept I've had more bad back days than not. Still, the run actually seemed to relieve some of the pain. Didn't get to stretch much and back pain covers all the others.
WTD: 10.1; PC: AB:1;LtIC:1;LtC:2;LtT:0;RtC:2;RtIC:2;RtT:1;
10/06/09 Cross training day, 7.5m
WTD: 6.3; PC: AB:1;LtIC:1;LtC:2;LtT:0;RtC:2;RtIC:2;RtT:1;
10/05/09 Day off.
WTD: 6.3; PC: AB:1;LtIC:1;LtC:2;LtT:0;RtC:2;RtIC:2;RtT:1;
10/04/09 3.2m - on around a 28.5m pace. Calves tight, but pain not too intense.
WTD: 6.3; PC: AB:1;LtIC:1;LtC:2;LtT:0;RtC:2;RtIC:2;RtT:1;
10/03/09 Cross training day, 7.5m
WTD: 3.1; PC: AB:1;LtIC:1;LtC:2;LtT:0;RtC:3;RtIC:3;RtT:1;
10/02/09 3.1m - on around a 28m pace, but I lost track of time. Didn't feel as bad as I'd feared. Calves, achilles are tighter, and that right soleus started to pain mostly towards the end. Gotta go ice it down. Was thinking maybe I need not cut back this week during the run, but towards the end it became obvious its what I need to do. On a positive, the back has been pretty good.
WTD: 3.1; PC: AB:1;LtIC:1;LtC:2;LtT:0;RtC:3;RtIC:3;RtT:1;
10/01/09 Cross training day, 8.8m on the bike. While I don't have a hard fast plan on dealing with this calf, it definitely will consist of backing off on some mileage and tempo, and probably an increased amount of biking. Hence, the increase in CT today. As best I can tell from googling, it is something to do with the soleus muscle.
WTD: 0.0; PC: AB:0;LtIC:0;LtC:1;LtT:0;RtC:3;RtT:0;

09/30/09 Off day. Taking a quick review of the month that was; the month started with some soreness, which I'd associated with yardwork. I upped my mileage during the month fairly successfully. I managed the pain fairly well. I introduced a greater amount of rest. I worked through a couple back issues during the month. Those were the positives. The negative is that I blew this right leg out on the recent 4.5m outing to close out the month. In the shower that night, I noticed the inside of the calf was actually bulging, which could not be a good sign. I've been icing it some, trying to rest it, wrapping it and elevating it. This is definitely going to call for some planning finesse, and a heightened sense of caution on my outings.

09/29/09 4.5m on the trail @ 38m pace. Did I type that right? A 38m pace??? No wonder I'm sitting here feeling it something fierce. I knew I'd taken it up a hair, but that's 8m less than the outing 4 days back. Glad I'm on an off day tomorrow. Had a brain fart and almost did the 4.4m loop. Boy, I'm really feeling it sitting here, I better go stretch some or walk a little more. What's the plan? Think I'll repeat this week over the next 8 day stretch before taking is up another notch.
WTD: 16.0; PC: AB:1;LtIC:1;LtC:1;LtT:1;RtC:1;RtT:1;
09/28/09 7.5m bike. Back held up okay. Still feel a kink.
WTD: 11.5; PC: AB:1;LtIC:1;LtC:1;LtT:1;RtC:1;RtT:1;
09/27/09 Was scheduled for a 3.2m loop. Did that and added some cooldown mileage on the trail. The 3.2m came in at 27m pace. Cooldown was 1.6m at 16m pace, for a total of 3.8m. Back is still bad, but was noticeably better after the run.
WTD: 11.5; PC: AB:1;LtIC:1;LtC:1;LtT:1;RtC:1;RtT:1;
09/26/09 Game day decision to bag it once again, based on my back pain. Biking and bad backs don't mix real well.
WTD: 7.7; PC: AB:1;LtIC:1;LtC:1;LtT:1;RtC:1;RtT:1;
09/25/09 4.5m on trail @ 46m pace. These trail timings seem a little high, which leads me to wonder if the mileage there I've got shorter than it is, or the road mileage is longer than it is. Felt decent, though my back has been in really bad shape. Was able to run through it. Saw the foot doctor today. Gave me a temporary heel lift, and casted me up for some custom orthotics. Ssid I was visibly tilted when I walked for him, but I know some of that is the way my back is swayed at the moment. Didn't point that out to him.
WTD: 7.7; PC: AB:1;LtIC:1;LtC:1;LtT:1;RtC:1;RtT:1;
09/24/09 Game day decision to bag it, so the 7.5m cross training was skipped. Back is just in too bad of shape right now.
WTD: 3.2; PC: AB:1;LtIC:1;LtC:1;LtT:1;RtC:1;RtT:1;
09/23/09 3.2m at 27m pace more or less. Felt decent, pain not bad, but back is really having an issue at the moment.
WTD: 3.2; PC: AB:1;LtIC:1;LtC:1;LtT:1;RtC:1;RtT:1;
09/22/09 Crosstraining - 6m on bike. Back giving me issues.
WTD: 0.0; PC: AB:0;LtIC:1;LtC:1;LtT:2;RtC:0;RtT:2;

09/21/09 Off day.

09/20/09 4.4m at a 37m pace again. Think may have been a hair quicker than the last outing, but since I'm not jogging for speed, I don't much care. Felt better actually, a little looser, and no real ankle flare ups to worry about. Seem to always be a little looser after yardwork, then I pay for it the next couple days. Should work out well for today, since tomorrow's my off day. Thighs aren't really stinging anymore, so that's a very positive sign, especially since I just finished off a 10% incremental week.
WTD: 15.0; PC: AB:1;LtIC:1;LtC:1;LtT:0;RtC:1;RtT:0;
09/19/09 Cross training day 7.5m bike. Yardwork making me feel a little tired and a tad bit sorer. Wondering when this stone walkway building is ever going to be done?
WTD: 10.6; PC: AB:2;LtIC:1;LtC:1;LtT:1;RtC:1;RtT:1;
09/18/09 3.1m on a 28m pace. Felt as good as have been feeling lately. Of course, now that I sit to type this, I'm feeling like I may be getting what Laura woke up with, the vomiting. Stomach just started to cramp pretty bad. Oh, that's just F'in great. The spot on my right hip seems to be nagging me again. Wonder how to work that one out. It always was pretty concerning to me, and seems to be the one that is hanging on while all the others seem to be able to be worked out.
WTD: 10.6; PC: AB:2;LtIC:1;LtC:1;LtT:1;RtC:1;RtT:1;
09/17/09-scheduled Cross training day-6.6m bike
09/16/09 Mid week break day.
09/15/09 4.4m loop. Had a rough start, with my right ankle acting up. Worked it out though. Kept what I thought was a relatively light pace, but really felt spent towards the end. Look at the clock, 37 minutes! No wonder, comes to about a 8'24o pace. That's pushing the limits of this current round of training. Not sure where that came from. Pain is contained, some soreness. Probably will take tomorrow off, especially since this is the first leg of a ramp up week.
WTD: 7.5; PC: AB:2;LtIC:1;LtC:1;LtT:2;RtC:1;RtT:2;
09/14/09 Cross-training bike 7.5m. Soreness up a tad, lending more credibility that alot of it is attributable to yardwork.
WTD: 3.1; PC: AB:0;LtIC:2;LtC:2;LtT:2;RtC:2;RtT:3;
09/13/09 3.1m trail at a 28m pace. Obviously, picked it up a tad, but felt within my strength level. Pain has dissipated some, probably due to the drenching rain yesterday keeping me out of any yardwork. Felt fairly relaxed and painfree. Good start to a bump it up week.
WTD: 3.1; PC: AB:1;LtIC:1;LtC:1;LtT:1;RtC:1;RtT:1;
09/12/09 Crosstraining - 6m on bike. Rest is catching up with my body.
WTD: 0.0; PC: AB:0;LtIC:1;LtC:1;LtT:2;RtC:0;RtT:2;

09/11/09 Off day.
WTD: 0.0; PC: AB:x;LtIC:x;LtC:x;LtT:x;RtC:x;RtT:x;

09/10/09 3.5m on trail. Thigh still sore, mostly the left. Again, running stride feels stronger though. Made it though another up week, though with the 2 day rest in the middle. Going to proceed with a 10% increment.
WTD: 13.6; PC: AB:1;LtIC:0;LtC:1;LtT:3;RtC:1;RtT:2;
09/09/09 8.8m cross training. Thighs still sore.
WTD: 10.1; PC: AB:1;LtIC:1;LtC:0;LtT:3;RtC:1;RtT:3;
09/08/09 2.6m Feeling stronger, but still feel and underlying soreness.
WTD: 10.1; PC: AB:x;LtIC:x;LtC:x;LtT:x;RtC:x;RtT:x;
09/07/09 Cross-training bike 6m. The rest has done the legs some good.
WTD: 7.5; PC: AB:0;LtIC:0;LtC:1;LtT:2;RtC:1;RtT:2;
09/06/09 Another game-day decision to cancel. Same reasonings. Haven't taken a two day rest stretch since, well since forever. Even back to my last race, I never completely shut down for two solid days of rest.
WTD: 7.5; PC: AB:x;LtIC:x;LtC:x;LtT:x;RtC:x;RtT:x;
09/05/09 Game-day decision. Cancelled. I need to rest these legs some. The yardwork I think is just taxing them on top of working out too much. I'd been already considering 4 days, one day off intervals. This is what maybe the first in a series. Let's see how tomorrow feels.
WTD: 7.5; PC: AB:0;LtIC:2;LtC:2;LtT:2;RtC:2;RtT:2;
09/04/09 4.4m @ 39min pace. Soreness is lingering, much as it was a month ago, though not as intense. May take a day off tomorrow. Actually planted wrong towards the end of the run, and got a kink in the back. Working through that with my McKenzie therapies now. Had XRay of the tibia taken today.
WTD: 7.5; PC: AB:2;LtIC:3;LtC:3;LtT:3;RtC:3;RtT:3;
09/03/09 Cross-training bike 7.5m. Pain, soreness about the same.
WTD: 3.1; PC: AB:0;LtIC:2;LtC:1;LtT:2;RtC:1;RtT:3;
09/02/09 3.1m trail on 30m pace. Stretched pretty good, due to some lingering tenderness in the thighs, shins, calves. Still blaming it on the yardwork.
WTD: 3.1; PC: AB:0;LtIC:2;LtC:1;LtT:2;RtC:1;RtT:3;
09/01/09 Cross-training 6m on the bike. Visited Dr. Knox to get some consult regarding my training. He says the 10% plan I'm doing to keep doing. Says shin could've been one of three things. XRays to rule out stress fracture, or come compartment syndrome could be a possibility, or some structural thing. Measured a 1cm discrepency on the left leg, which could definitely be a contributing factor, and says I should see an ortho to get some measurements and possible custom orthotics if I'm going to continue to try and run competively, which he definitely encouraged.
WTD: 0.0; PC: AB:0;LtIC:1;LtC:1;LtT:1;RtC:1;RtT:3;

08/31/09 Off day.
WTD: 0.0; PC: AB:x;LtIC:x;LtC:x;LtT:x;RtC:x;RtT:x;

08/30/09 3.5m on trail. Once again, felt decent. Soreness from yardwork is a definite tell. Guessing that was a large part of my problem. Anywho, made it through another incremental boost week. Let's take a day off and repeat it. All and all, reading back over how this stretch began, it was a damn good week. Weight is hanging in there at 135-137, and doing pretty well on the increased fruit based diet; dusted off a 4 pound bag of raisins.
WTD: 13.6; PC: AB:1;LtIC:2;LtC:2;LtT:2;RtC:2;RtT:2;
08/29/09-scheduled 8.8m cross training. Felt a tightness in the upper right thigh and through the back of the leg. Probably just leftover from yardwork. Feeling some of the muscle workings while I was wheeling the dirt around, it came a little more suggestive to me that alot of my lower leg pain may have been due to working on the path.
WTD: 10.1; PC: AB:1;LtIC:1;LtC:1;LtT:2;RtC:0;RtT:4;
08/28/09 2.6m - not bad; nice relaxing, slow pace. Felt like kicking it up some, but thought better of it and pulled it back in. Am feeling stronger, though, I think there's no doubt of that. Thighs are actually feeling better. Wondering how much if any the diet is to do with this subtle turn of events. Hope it continues.
WTD: 10.1; PC: AB:1;LtIC:1;LtC:1;LtT:2;RtC:0;RtT:1;
08/27/09 Cross-training bike 6.6m. Game-day decision; decided wasn't overdoing it pain wise. Also, tomorrow is my low-mileage run day. So, tapered back the bike mileage a tic, and overall didn't feel too bad.
WTD: 7.5; PC: AB:1;LtIC:1;LtC:1;LtT:2;RtC:1;RtT:1;
08/26/09 4.4m in about 39mins for about 9min pace - had to stop midway through due to pain in the upper left thigh and the right ankle started to actually act up. Was able to finish it out however, with the pain subsiding some. The worst of the pain was just after the most extensive downhill parts of the run. I've been wondering off and on if the downhills are actually worse then other terrains. Was thinking of adding a rest day after each 4 day stretch, instead of waiting till the end of an 8 day stretch. Maybe I'll finish out this week before making that final decision.
WTD: 7.5; PC: AB:1;LtIC:1;LtC:2;LtT:5;RtC:1;RtT:1;
08/25/09 Cross-training bike 7.5m. Felt the upper inner thigh on both legs, so seems to me related to biking. Figures. Calves didn't feel bad.
WTD: 3.1; PC: AB:1;LtIC:1;LtC:1;LtT:2;LtT:2
08/24/09 3.1m trail. Legs still feel weird. Running feels okay. Inner calf increasingly tender in the initial high pain area.
WTD: 3.1; PC: AB:0;LtIC:1;LtC:2;LtT:2;RtT:1;
08/23/09 Cross-training 7-8 miles on the bike. Took it a little more leisurely than making it such a workout. Left leg muscles feel pretty much like shit. That weird feeling again like they just are F'd up.
WTD: 0; PC: AB:0;LtIC:1;LtC:1;LtT:2

08/22/09 Off day.
WTD: 0; PC: AB:1;LtIC:1;LtC:2;LtT:2

08/21/09 3.2m road loop. Went for it. Calf seemed to have loosened up some - gave it alot of self adminstered massage. Feels like one real sore spot in particular, like a small marble sized knot. So, made it through the 8 day stretch, again a little soreness, but ready to try and move on to a 10% increase. Taking a day off tomorrow to prepare. Weight maintenance isn't going so well - think I still lost a pound over the last week or two.
WTD: 12.6; PC: AB:2;LtIC:2;LtC:3;LtTh:3
08/20/09 Cross-training day. 7.5m on the bike. Nearly pulled the plug on this stretch, and still may yet. This thigh muscle is really bugging me now. Not sure how to proceed. For today, I decided to ride through it carefully. Seems may be related to the bike actually, but how can one really tell?
WTD: 9.4; PC: AB:1;LtIC:2;LtC:2;LtTh:4;
08/19/09 3.1m at 30m pace. Muscles seemed better, but my left thigh had some unusual pain today, which did subside during the run. Hopefully it won't return.
WTD: 9.4; PC: AB:1;LtIC:2;LtC:2;LtTh:3;
08/18/09 Cross-training day. 8.8m on the bike. Lingering tightness today, but felt not too bad.
WTD: 6.3; PC: AB:1;LtIC:2;LtC:2
08/17/09 3.2m run, came in about 29m, so the pace is light, steady, and may have ticked up just a tad. The soreness in the calves abated just a tic today, and didn't feel bad on the roads. Definitely can feel it in the stretching though, which takes me back to some discomfort I recall from before the rehab. Hopefully with the 10% rule, this soreness will begin to contain itself. Even more hopeful is that it was somehow related to the yardwork this past weekend with the wheelbarrow. Really has been a hot streak of weather, the worst of the summer. Summmer of 2009 hasn't really been bad for heat, though. Out of a typical 3 weeks of 90+ days, this year we'd had less than a week so far.
WTD: 6.3; PC: AB:1;LtIC:2;LtC:2
08/16/09 Cross-training bike day 7.5m. Calves continue to be tight. Wondering if it is more related to couple days yardwork than exercise. Weight is maintaining in a 135-138 range.
WTD: 3.1; PC: AB:0;LtIC:2;LtC:3
08/15/09 3.1m straight stretch, light pace. Okay, this the 2nd week of an actual ramp up phase, and a repeat of last weeks baseline. My left calf really tightened up noticably today, and I detected a hint of the original strain/injury that led me to this rehab. This is not a positive development. I was doing some yardwork, for sure, but I don't know. Again, if I can't get past this level, them I'm screwed for bigger things. Started to change my diet some to increase the level of alkaline foods I'm taking in.
WTD: 3.1; PC: AB:1;LtIC:3;LtC:3
08/14/09 Cross-training 6m bike day. Muscles were a little tight to stretch, but maybe that has just as much to do with sitting in the damn chair all day. Still and all, the rest seems to do a body good. May look to do some diet changes for old age folks. Posted a thread on active.com.
WTD: 0; PC: AB:0;LtIC:1;LtC:1

08/13/09 Off day. Actually the rest feels good.
WTD: 0; PC: AB:0;LtIC:1;LtC:1

08/12/09 3.2m road loop. Came in at about 29m, which is consistent with 30 itouch time. Legs are holding up, but calves are tightening up. Upper right hip is tighter as well. Thinking of making tomorrow a full rest day.
WTD: 12.6; PC: AB:2;LtIC:2;LtC:3
08/11/09 Cross-training day. 7.5m on the bike.
WTD: 9.4; PC: AB:1;LtIC:2;LtC:2
08/10/09 3.1m straight stretch, holding same 30m pace. Muscles seem tightening up, I'm assuming from the road running, but maybe as much from yardwork. Left leg hasn't deteriorated though I'd say. Thinking an exact repeat of this week may be in the cards, before adding too much variation, thereby just seeing if some of the muscle soreness abates. Was damn hot today.
WTD: 9.4; PC: AB:1;LtIC:2;LtC:2
08/09/09 Cross-training day. 8.8m on the bike. Hot day.
WTD: 6.3; PC: AB:1;LtIC:2;LtC:2
08/08/09 3.2m run. First outing on the road in my rehab. Came in also at 30m, so seems likely about same distance as the trail. Leg didn't feel too bad, so we'll see how it responds.
WTD: 6.3; PC: AB:1;LtIC:2;LtC:2
08/07/09 Cross-training bike day for 7.5m. Leg feels slightly better. Weight creeps up? What's up with that? Because I skipped out on the bike yesterday?
WTD: 3.1; PC: AB:1;LtIC:2;LtC:2
08/06/09 3.1m straight stretch, light pace. No bike today; figured since I'm ramping up the running mileage, and my legs feel a little sore and worn, I might as well back it off some. I'll continue to do the bike cross-training days, but not on the run days. Seems I'm still looking for the perfect balance, and seems to me to add more in one place, you have to steal it from another. I'm wondering if at this age one can really push it beyond this minimal level. Seems to be some top here. Calf is sore for sure. Wife made me a doctors appt for Sept 1. Isn't she a peach? Someone at the Y told her this guy used to be a sports doctor, so we'll see.
WTD: 3.1; PC: AB:1;LtIC:3;LtC:3
08/05/09 Another off day, 6m on the bike, first day of the 8 day week. Actually, this left calf seems to be strained lower than it used to be. Used to be the top near the shin bone was the worst, now, it's moved to middle of the inside calf muscle. Seems strained, and sore. Still feels like dead tissue in there for some reason, and that can't be good whatever it is.
WTD: 0; PC: AB:0;LtIC:3;LtC:3

08/04/09 Off day.
WTD: 0; PC: AB:x;LtIC:x;LtC:x

08/03/09 3.1m straight stretch, light pace. 3m bike cool down. Wraps up 2nd 8 day week. Not completely happy with the shin, but am not completely discouraged either. Will continue to monitor it closely as I ramp up 10% next week. Taking at least one complete day off. Legs tonight actually feel worn, sore, and tired. Pushed it a little too much I think.
WTD: 12.4; PC: AB:2;LtIC:2;LtC:2
08/02/09 8.8m biking. Weight holding between 137-140; began maintenance mode.
WTD: 9.3; PC: AB:0;LtIC:2;LtC:2
08/01/09-scheduled 2.6m with 3m bike ride cool down.
WTD: 9.3; PC: AB:0;LtIC:3;LtC:1
07/31/09 9.3m bike cross training; shin about the same. Started wrapping up the leg again.
WTD: 5.7; PC: AB:1;LtIC:3;LtC:1
07/30/09 3.1m loop, very light pace. Left shin isn't doing better; getting worse if anything. Cooled off with a 3m bike loop. Been forgotting to keep track of time.
WTD: 5.7; PC: AB:1;LtIC:3;LtC:1
07/29/09 8.8m on the bike. Left leg shin can be felt a little again. Tired sore muscle I assume, which means need to take it easy, or at least monitor it carefully.
WTD: 2.6; PC: AB:1;LtIC:3;LtC:2
07/28/09 2.6m trail, light pace; 3m on bike post run. Run felt decent, but soreness, tightness on right side, mostly back of leg. Perhaps left over from yardwork.
WTD: 2.6; PC: AB:1;LtIC:1;LtC:0;RtLg:1;
07/27/09 Off day. 5.5m on the bike (4.4m extended down the road off state?) Shin exercises.
WTD: 0; PC: AB:0;LtIC:1;LtC:0

07/26/09 Another 3.1m straight stretch, light pace. Felt almost good. Had to force back-off the pace a couple times. Lot of yard work again, so left out the bike ride. Wrapped up my first 8 day week. Weight is hovering under 140. Another week should solidify this level, then will be in maintenance mode. Drink up!
Next week will be a repeat of this week, and hopefully that will validate that the shin is healing. Hopefully, I'll not even notice it is there at the end of next week when I start on the mileage 10% ramp up scheme. Trying to figure out how I'll manage increments of .1m in the ramp up. Seems roadwork can help, since the SH loop is 3.2 against my current 3.1 for example.
WTD: 12.4; PC: AB:0;LtIC:1;LtC:0
07/25/09 8.8m biking. Digging in the yard today, so that was quite a workout as well. Don't think it helps the shin.
WTD: 9.3; PC: AB:1;LtIC:2;LtC:0
07/24/09 Repeat of 2.6m trail, at light pace. Run felt decent, pain at bay still, but continue to feel the shin. Took 34 minutes to finish. 3m bike ride to cool down. Decided to track to "8 day" weeks during my rehabilitation.
WTD: 9.3; PC: AB:1;LtIC:2;LtC:0
07/23/09 Rest/cross-training day, 9.3m biking. This left lower leg just feels weird. Weight dipped overnight. Seems to me shit actually weighs very little. Seems the body builds up other crap, then must piss and sweat it out. I see very little weight difference from taking a good shit - then all of a sudden two pounds disappear. Anywho, I'm cresting at about 140 after dinner, so holding below it mostly during the day. Another week should just about do it.
WTD: 5.7; PC: AB:0;LtIC:2;LtC:0
07/22/09 First 3.1m straight stretch, light pace. Abdomen over right hip is still tight, with some tightness also in the right hamstring. Left shin feels like dead muscle tissue, somewhat tingly. Weird. Cooled off with a 3m bike loop. Weight still hovering at the 140 level. Last few pounds always take the longest, though all things considered, probably sticking right to the average. Hopefully the mileage build may begin at about the time I bottom on the weight. 31 minutes to complete.
WTD: 5.7; PC: AB:2;LtIC:1;LtC:0
07/21/09 Rest day, 8.5m on the bike. Built some shin strengthening shoes from my old docksiders.
WTD: 2.6; PC: AB:0;LtIC:2;LtC:0
07/20/09 Modified 2.6m trail, at light pace, with a Wasson loop walk thrown in at the end. 3m on bike post run. Run felt decent, pain off some.
WTD: 2.6; PC: AB:1;LtIC:1;LtC:0
07/19/09 Weight holding at 140-142. Going to take it down one more notch, which should be 2 more weeks, then go into maintain mode.
WTD: 0; PC: AB:1;LtIC:2;LtC:0

Original (order reversed)

06/03/09 Day 1. Measured off an extension to the schoolhouse/wickerton road loop to include the wedge where they intersect in the valley. Adds another 1.1m. Ran the 4.3m at an easy pace followed by a walk/jog cool down on the path. My mind is stuck back on the race. I was feeling it on Sunday, I was. It was a great feeling, but taking out Dennis Rodman will be an even better feeling.Adjusted 4.7
06/04/09 Day 2. Decided to stick to the trail since my legs are increasingly sore. They feel like later in my 5 day cycle rather than only day two. Almost feels like shin splints builing in my left leg. Did 4 figure-8s on the far end of the trail, which I figure to be about 3.5m based on my walking wheel. Legs really stiff, so much so I actually used the hot tub today. After the big race, my mind keeps wanting to take off flying, but then my body kicks in and says...."not so fast" (pun intended). Adjusted 4.5m
06/05/09 Day 3. Decided to lighten up today in hopes some of the soreness would abate. Knew it wouldn't work. Did 2 figure-8s which comes to about 2m. Funny, before my running reality check in the Feb snowstorm, this would have been my mileage outing. So, before I get down on myself, I must realize I've made huge strides (another great pun) in just a few short months. Back then, I must've been hitting 10m on a good 5 day stretch. Now, I'm averaging over 3 a day easy, putting me well over 15 on a stretch. Left shin area is increasingly tender. Ended with a cool down stroll interlaced with a few wind sprints at the far end of the development.

One thing I've considered is if I were carrying around less weight that there's a good chance the stress on my lower extremeties would be reduced, and hence less pain. I happen to have lost at least 10 pounds since I'd got on the wagon and maybe up to about 15. Now I've dangling off the side of the wagon, it'll take quite some effort to keep it dropping. I don't think I could lose another 10 and not wind up looking like a twig. I'm gonna go for another 5 at least. My resting pulse is between 48 and 52. A far cry from the 38 I hit when I was marathoning 26 years ago. Adjusted 3m.
06/06/09 Day 4. Boy, is my lower left leg bothering me. Something feels like its quite strained in there. Gonna hit the 3.2m loop regardless.

Why can't I listen to my body? Decided to make one loop on the Xcountry course on my way past the high school. That tacks at least another 1.25m onto the run, and I surely didn't need it. Well, my leg surely didn't need it. The tenderness in the top inside left calf is for real. It's either shin splints or a muscle strain. I guess if you are going to get a leg strain and you're running, this is the place to have it. Anywhere else on the leg, and you'd be mostly out of commission. Anywho, here I sit, typing with one hand, icing it down, sniffing my stinky socks(PU), and cooling down.

I love getting out. I many times see something interesting to make the journey worthwhile. Today's first surprise was the fox on the far side of the development. I'm guessing he's probably the one I've seen around these parts over the last year. Well, we won't be seeing him around any longer. He was smooshed all over Wickerton Road. And, then today there was one guy apparently teaching a newbie on a motorcycle. As I'd stopped to walk off some of my pain, I saw cars in the road stopped in front of the tennis courts on State Rd.. This couldn't be good, I thought straightaway, and of the motorcycle guys. Sure enough, there was the newbie I'd assumed laid out in the front year of the old Joslyns house. His buddy was helping him right the bike. I've no clue what he did other than spill the bike, but was dying to go over and ask. I passed.

I don't know. Sitting here averaging up my mileage, it only comes to just about 3m a day. This much pain, wear, and tear on just that kind of regiment is pretty disheartening. If I weren't convinced pushing it through wouldn't help, I probably wouldn't push it so much. But, push it on I shall.Adjusted 4.2m
06/07/09 Day 5. 4.3m SchoolHouse/Wickerton Rd loop, followed by a loop on the trail. Icing my leg seemed to help some yesterday. Worked all night so was extremely weary. Looking forward to the running day off tomorrow. 5 day total: 22.5m for a 4.5m daily average.Adjusted 5.5; I can't add, and have no idea how I got the 22.5 in the previous sentence. Either or, the conclusion is the same: a 4.4 mile average at this stage is extreme.
06/08/09 Off day. Iced my calf.

06/09/09 Day 1. Did the 3.2m loop with a Xcountry loop thrown in, call it 4.2m. Was dodging lightning bolts; were I to get hit, that would fall under the "I was going to die trying" qualifier. Picked up the pace just a tad a couple times; didn't feel too bad, but the calf is still tender. Iced it up since that seems to help.
06/10/09 Day 2. 4.3m with one trail loop at 1m (at least), call it 5.3m. (Adjusted to 6.6m!!!) Was a muggy run, good sweat. Had to take it slow-the joint pain was pretty apparent, even though this morning, my legs actually felt better than usual. Iced up my calf. All in all, an easy run. Chased by a German Shepherd and almost run over by 4 cars who thought they were hugging the apron at a nascar speedway at a curve with extremely poor visibility on Wickerton road. Tomorrow has to be a back it off day.
06/11/09 Day 3. Legs were really achy today. More on that in a sec. Determined to keep it light by staying on the trail. Would do 2 figure 8's. That had to be less than 3m. Boy, was I feeling really bad. Tried to leg it out a little, but it was really hurting. The sore spot in the left spread to the right calf. Needed to ice it up again. Not a good sign. What is going wrong?

So, I decided to double check my marks a bit. Got out my wheel, and marked off the primary out path. What? This couldn't be. 4280? I had it pegged before at 3220. Something must be wrong. Finished walking the outer bands, then measured it again. Sure enough, 4280! I've been really selling myself short on the trail runs in a big way. Holy cow, no wonder my legs are killing me! So, today call it 3.2m. I really need my day 5 break! Correcting this weeks numbers to reflect the screwup.
06/12/09 Day 4. Was intent to keep the mileage low today to try and reduce some of the mounting leg pain. For the most part I did. Did the 3.2m WSch loop. Actually, held a decent pace for some reason. Possibly because sometimes it seems running to speed causes less leg stress than slow jaunts, as bizarre as that sounds, and I don't believe it anyway. Turned in about a 24minute clip, which isn't race pace, but isn't bad. Call it under 8m miles, and I wasn't killing myself. Heat was up today. Got an ace bandage to hold the ice on my calf. Based on my leg pain, and looking back over the week, it's pretty obvious a 6m workout causes considerable issues at this point, and probably should be avoided.

Looked up the 2 races I'm looking to run over the next two weeks. The competition from last year at those events seems slightly better than at Dupont. I may place in the back of my age group again, but certainly its not a given. The first race I don't intend to go all out, but who knows. We'll go with the flow.

As far as weight goes, I'm around 147-148 now, almost down 20 pounds since mid January. That's about a pound a week. I'll probably be looking to level off at 140, though we'll see how it improves my times and leg strain, if any. If so, I may decide to go lower.
06/13/09 Day 5. Oh My God, That was Friggin Brutal! - Last day out before my day off. Decided to go to the high school and do 3XC loops for roughly 4.5m. Figured the grass would take some of the strain off my legs. Well, that was the most painful run I've had in a long time. Every stride was agony. Couldn't leg it out, and couldn't even slow jog without misery. It was one of those days when I should've just said the he$$ with it. When I'm out on one of these days, I tend to think back to that video forward Marie Robinson sent me of the man with cerebral palsy who'd walked all the PGA golf tourneys. I guess him overcoming his pain has become my inspiration. Another day of muggy air, and had to even stop a couple times due to thunder too close by for comfort. Once I wasn't going to stop, but a sharp pain shot through my ankle which hasn't happened in months, so I figured maybe that was some sort of fate moment telling me to stop, or else. Call it 4.2m of pain. 5 day stretch total: 21.5m, for a 4.25m daily average. That is what I assume is killing me. At this age, statistics seem to be everything. Probably 3.75-3.8 is my current daily avg limit, lol. If I'd been this dedicated when I was a senior in HS, I'd have probably won the district title as well. Now, I can't get over 4m a day. Where have I been? I'm assuming back in January, when I had the great awakening, that I was averaging maybe 2.4m a day. So, in 5 months, I've increased my daily average 58%. Course, now that I'm actually keeping track here, I'll be more accurate in my progress from here. 5 day average again is about 4.3m. Cannot run at this level yet.
06/14/09 Down day.

06/15/09 Day 1. SH + Trail & Wasson loop-5m. Pain, but manageable. Pace was light. Going to try to keep my week on the light side to see if the pain works itself out. Race coming up on Sat.
06/16/09 Day 2. SH+Wedge+Trail Main. Isolated the pain in my upper hip area to tendons which are running across the top front of my hips. Boy, are they sore. Never knew they were even there till a few months back. Didn't kill myself today, but once again pushed it further than my original intentions. Call it 4.75m. Registered for M4M run today. Need to back it off the next couple days to prepare. Will be interesting to see if a couple 3m days results in substantial pain reduction.
06/17/09 Day 3. Trail variant call it 3.3m. Pain is raging away in the upper thigh area, and actually stretches across the abdomen some. I haven't classified my calf issues as "shin splints" yet, but upon Wiki'ing the term, it obviously is. I was more accustomed to thinking of them in a chronic stress fracture type of issue, but that doesn't exclude the normal shin muscle pain type, which can degrade to a severe issue in and of itself. I'll definitely have to keep an eye on that.

It's time for a timeout and introspective look at things. What have I learned? I've learned I'm old. I've learned there are definite limits to how much I can push my old body. I've learned I need to listen to it better. Failure to acknowledge what it's telling me, and allowing my ego and mind to take over has done little to promote the greater good here. My goal of backing off today was forced on me anyway - I had nothing left to give. Towards the end of mile 3, my mind was saying, "You have to stop. You have to stop." But, I finished it up anyway.

I do not believe I'm at my body limit. I think there's still higher levels to reach. However, I'm definitely pushing it past what it is ready for. I need to back off. I need a plan.

Tomorrow, I'll back down further to 3 or less. I'll be mostly off Friday, and run the race Saturday. Sunday I'll likely rest again. Monday, I'll start again. I'm not sure what the overriding issue is here. Is it any day of 5+ miles. Or is it an average above 4m? After Saturday's race, I plan on backing down to a 4m average or less. Maybe the biggest variance I can tolerate is .5m on either side of the 4m average. I have enough time to experiment for sure. I don't want to back all the way down to 3m yet, but may have to. Instead of building my workout a mile at a time, perhaps I need to take it in much smaller chunks. After all, a mile is a 20-30% increase, which I suppose is quite substantial on a 45 year old carcass. I'm not 12 again, that's for sure.

The weight reduction hasn't helped as much as I thought it might, or at least not to the magnitude I'd hoped. It may have helped far more than I'm giving it credit for.
06/18/09 Day 4. Recovery Day I posted my concerns of pain to the active.com discussion board, and got a decent level of interest. The responses were mostly encouraging, but each also stuck to a central theme - I need to back off. One person even related personally with my experience that running is excellent therapy for back pain. Anywho, backing off is easier said than done. I'm not sure exactly how I will implement it yet. Seems not running is as difficult as running now. I actually suited up at my normal time today. Instead I focused on stretching. Immediately I noticed that my groin area, which I never stretch, is on fire. Bottom line is I'll be giving renewed focus to stretching prior to my outings. The left shin remains quite tender, and it's becoming quite apparent that running through it is not such a great idea. Be that as it may, I'm not prepared to call it time for a 2 week shutdown. I plan on still running the race on Saturday. Not sure what tomorrow will bring. One fellow actually had a good idea for shin strengthening exercises - use a plastic shopping back dangling from the toe. Boy, that would've come in handy back in the day. The best I could figure out was a bucket which was extremely clumsy and uneffective.

My average over the 3 day span this week was again at 4.35m. The conclusion from the prior 2 weeks was I ran about that average as well, and it is just too intense for my level of conditioning at this point. My resolve needs to be get the average down to a more modest level and increase the amount of recovery time between runs. My intensity level over the past 3 weeks has been fairly mild, since I've mostly been concentrating on lengthier runs. Also, since I'm backing down on mileage, I'll need to keep a more concerted effort on dieting to keep the weight loss on track.
06/19/09 Day 5. Recovery Day 2. Not sure where I go from here? Back to Day 1? Sitting here icing up my calf again. Had the day off, so took plenty of time to stretch. Didn't really run, but mixed in a few trots throughout my 3m. walk of the path. I'm not in as great of pain when I'm not running. Hmmm. Duh. On my trots I could sure feel my abdomen pain. Also, the calf is still mighty tender. I have a feeling that will take quite a while to heal. It's not just sore, its damaged. Tomorrow, I'm doing Miles for Molly. We'll see how it goes.

06/20/09 Miles For Molly 5K - so much for taking it easy. Was perfect racing weather. Temp in the 60s, pouring rain. My warmups felt not so bad, so I had a feeling it was going to be hard to hold back. Dennis Rodman lookalike was there; kept him in my site for most of the race and anxious to see how much ahead he was at the end. I'm thinking 20 seconds tops. Looking around I had a feeling it was going to be more competitive than Dupont. Sure enough, it was. Finished in 19th, about 5th in my age group. Held my pace fairly well, though it was still hard to judge how far we were into the race. What happened to the people who called out splits? My misjudging caused me to start my push to the finish just a tad too early, and I didn't have anything in the tank to really find the energy to hold off two folks at the end, one of which was a female...arrgh! Can't complain about the time really. Not sure what it was yet, but it was in the 20s.
WTD: 3.1; PC: AB:6;LtIC:6;LtC:3
06/21/09 Recovery Day - very easy day. Residual soreness compounded by digging out my path. Took to the trail for 2 far loops, though intermixed some walking throughout. Call it 2.5m. No tempo at all, just a very slow relaxed jog. Soreness in the abdomen is still there, as it the shin splint in the left. Right shin appears to be almost healed. Will continue to back down to find a better baseline from where to ramp it up again.

Was pondering really how much lower I could possibly drop my 5K time without some serious mileage to back it up. I've got to be near the low end of my current capabilities, that is to say, I doubt my time can go much lower. Increased endurance is what will serve to lower it, and without some serious mileage, I've got to be range bound here, probably between the mid 19s and 20s.
WTD: 5.6; PC: AB:7;LtIC:8;LtC:3
06/22/09 Want to call it yet another recovery day, but I suppose to be more truthful, it was a workout, just a very mild one relative to the workouts that got me into this current mess. So, to be accurate in developing a possible solution, I must remain true to the diary. Did 3 far loops, very mild pace, with a few walking stops thrown in. Maybe I should do this all in table form, with encodings. Call it 3.5m. Pain in the left shin and hip areas still, and left calf was particularly tight. Overall, pain is down from last week though, so recovery mode must be helping. Had the day off and worked for at least 5 hours shoveling the path, so that likely contributed to the pain, and hopefully some conditioning as well. Weight is 144-145, down about 3 pounds in 2 weeks, or right around my pound a week average. The gut is pretty much where all the weight reduction potential remains. Everything else is pretty trimmed down it appears. Will definitely take a full break from running tomorrow, and look to do a 4m outing on Wednesday.
WTD: 9.1; PC: AB:6;LtIC:7;LtC:3
06/23/09 Off Day. Stretching. Iced calf. Walking. Was planning on a 4m day tomorrow, but maybe I'll keep it to 3. Shin is also somewhat tender to walk on I've noticed, though it's a bit better today and seems to loosen up some in a walk.
WTD: 9.1; PC: AB:4;LtIC:6;LtC:2
06/24/09 Back to a run today, though much more controlled, according to the program. Did the 3.2m SH block in 30 min for a 9:22 pace. Pain still evident. Hot sweaty run. Left calf is quite a bit tighter today, feels almost like a knot at the base of the sheath.
WTD: 12.3; PC: AB:5;LtIC:6;LtC:4
06/25/09 Another easy paced run. 2 far loops for 3m Pain still evident, not much different. Left calf seems to be increasingly tight. The knot is very tight, hard, as one might expect. Rubbed it out a little. Opened up my stride for a few times to stretch out things. Didn't feel great for sure. Hips are very much resisting.

With tomorrow being an off day, I have my first actual baseline for applying the 10% rule. This is assuming I'm okay at the current distance of 15m a week. This is just over 2m a day average, pretty piss poor if you ask me, and pulled back considerably from my prior weeks of 4m a day. But, given that I'm probably actually injured at the moment, its probably a good thing. Next week, maybe I'll just repeat this week exactly to clearly establish the baseline.

My weight is holding steady, trending down. Noticed my face actually is showing the weight loss, with my cheek area becoming shallower.
WTD: 15.3; PC: AB:6;LtIC:6;LtC:4
06/26/09 Off day. Getting alot of positive feedback on the active.com community. One post led me to think I had sore hip flexors. I googled some, and did a little self-diagnosis, and then, while I was doing that, it became just so apparent that the majority of my soreness is contained solely at the base of my abdominal wall. Hurts like the friggin dickens and is apparently vital to running. Very little helpful info that I could find so far. But, looks easily like I've got to strengthen that area, and perhaps tend to it in other ways.

06/27/09 Race For Time 5K - not a bad outing. PR of 20:20, Age Group another 5th; 38th overall. Was a much more competitive field than the previous 2 runs. Of course, at this level, I'm primarily just competing with myself. Was a mile one split timer, and I cleared that in 6:11 which was pretty impressive to me. Of course, immediately thought I'd got out of the gate too quick and thought about backing off. Toward mile 2 I was really feeling winded, and probably 21/2 I'd started to try and put some distance on the girl behind me which really caused me to struggle the last mile. Was excited to see a digital timer at the finish giving me something to shoot for, and legged it out for the PR. Duane had a good outing, rising to the level of the competition. I could tell he was just out of reach today from the start, and didn't even think about trying to hold onto him. My pace today was inline with his prior 2 outings, so that just goes to show he has quite a bit more in the tank than I do. I doubt I will catch him this year given my current level of training and my need to back down to start anew. So, in summary:
  • I didn't hold back like I probably should've, but one quality run a week I might be able to tolerate.
  • The pain level during the run wasn't apparent, and my biggest struggle was being winded.
  • Will be interesting to see how the race recovery goes over the next two days, since I'm feeling tight already.
  • Am going to stick to a repeat of last weeks workout to further establish my training baseline.
  • May stop by the running store in greenville to get some appropriate gear.
06/28/09 Recovery Day - very easy day. Log entry should look identical to 7 days ago, some I'm still establishing my training baseline. So... Took to the trail for 2 far loops, though intermixed some walking throughout. Call it 2.5m. No tempo at all, just a very slow relaxed jog. Soreness in the abdomen is still there, as it the shin splint in the left. Right shin appears to be almost healed (and it still is). Will continue to back down to find a better baseline from where to ramp it up again (still on target).

Was pondering really how much lower I could possibly drop my 5K time without some serious mileage to back it up. I've got to be near the low end of my current capabilities, that is to say, I doubt my time can go much lower. (I still agree on this point) Increased endurance is what will serve to lower it, and without some serious mileage, I've got to be range bound here, probably between the mid 19s and 20s. (all still true).

Only significant thing to add is I stopped by the DRC and got some new shoes. I think they may actually help significantly, since the salesperson seems to think I am pronating on the left side. Hopefully this more supportive shoe will do a world of good to the shin. My abdomen soreness seems to be abating somewhat, so I'm getting more cautiously optimistic. Started to do some reverse crunches to hopefully help, but not done enough to draw any conclusions yet.
WTD: 5.6; PC: AB:5;LtIC:8;LtC:2
06/29/09 Same type recovery day from last week. Another day to get accustomed to the new shoes. 3.5m Pain in the left shin is about on par with last week, and abdomen pain was up from yesterday, but some of it feels like it has been introduced by favoring the left leg, and trying to keep my body tightly aligned in a plane on the new shoes. Weight is about 143-144, now, still right around the average loss rate.
WTD: 9.1; PC: AB:5;LtIC:8;LtC:2
06/30/09 Another repeat of last week-off Day. Stretching, walking, iced calf. Again, shin is tender to walk on as last week, and loosened up some walking. Mixed in some very light cross-training with a 3m bike ride. Concern over my shin is increasing somewhat.
WTD: 9.1; PC: AB:3;LtIC:6;LtC:2
07/01/09 Okay, a break in the action from last week. The shin has won, and I've got to figure out how to work it out. Sticking to the cross-training; walking, stretching, and biking. Biked probably about 6m today, maybe a little more. Shin was sore most of the day, perhaps more than usual. Felt better walking tonight after being iced, but then started to come back on me towards the end. Will probably stick to biking for at last tomorrow, and probably look to increase the distance. Maybe I'll take a swim at the Y as well.
WTD: 9.1; PC: AB:3;LtIC:6;LtC:2
07/02/09 3rd straight day off. The shin felt almost normal this morning for a spell, but later in the day was there to remind me a little. Definite improvement though, which would lead me to believe at least it's not a bone fracture. Did a longer bike ride to yesterday. Weight loss dosn't as responsive to the biking, but maybe I'm just being a little too sensitive to daily fluctuations.
WTD: 9.1; PC: AB:2;LtIC:5;LtC:0
07/03/09 4th straight day off. The shin about the same as yesterday. Did 4SH loops on the bike, coming to 12+ miles. Boy, do we have alot of tough hills. Anywho, I got a really decent workout, which must've been on par with a good run. Tomorrow I may take a complete day of rest then make a decision Sunday on how to proceed.

Cut back on my food alot to do some catchup on the weight loss. It responded finally. Been doing some reverse crunches as seen on YouTube at night to help with the abs.
WTD: 9.1; PC: AB:2;LtIC:5;LtC:0
07/04/09 5th straight day off. The shin about the same as yesterday. Did a 6m loop on the bike. Was glad I didn't take the day off. Still a little leary about starting up anytime soon.

Weight settling in at 142-143.
WTD: 0; PC: AB:2;LtIC:5;LtC:0

07/05/09 6th straight day off. The shin maybe a little better today. Did 8m on the bike. Again, glad I didn't take the day off. Thinking I may take a very gingerly jog tomorrow, in addition to more cross training.

Weight settling in at 140-142.
WTD: 0; PC: AB:2;LtIC:3;LtC:0
07/06/09 7th straight day off. Wrapped up a week off my leg. Never would've thought I would've made it. But, here I am. Thankful for cross-training. The bike has done a world of good I think. Did another 9.5m today. Again, glad I didn't take the day off. Felt no pain in the shin to really speak of. Took a few jogging steps last night, with no backlash. May do a few more tonight, or maybe not.
WTD: 0; PC: AB:2;LtIC:3;LtC:0
07/07/09 8th straight day off. Wondering if I'm being a little overprotective now, but if I feel anything in there on a given day, I seem to postpone my return to jogging for another day. Today was probably the best day so far, but still something lingers in there. It can't be called pain at this point, though. About 6m on the bike. Took a few more jogging paces during the lunch hour, though with my ace bandage. Felt pretty good actually.
WTD: 0; PC: AB:1;LtIC:2;LtC:1
07/08/09 Day one back. Did walk/easy jog one trail loop, call it 2m. Took any incline very gingerly, especially the downhills, since I'm unsure that didn't aggravate this shin in the first place. Don't think I'm being overprotective now that I'm moving forward. Did 4.4m bike loop after my jog, and will continue the cross-training at least until I get my full legs back underneath me. Abdomen soreness seems to be on the increase. Continuing on with the reverse crunch routine and the shin exercises.
WTD: 2; PC: AB:3;LtIC:2;LtC:2
07/09/09 Day of rest. 9m on the bike. Shin made its presence felt a little today getting around. Monitoring it closely.
WTD: 2; PC: AB:3;LtIC:3;LtC:1
07/10/09 "Day 2" back. Did same walk/easy 2m jog. with same 4.4m bike loop afterwards. Abdomen soreness still hanging in there.
WTD: 4; PC: AB:3;LtIC:2;LtC:1
07/11/09 Lifes a beach - first day at rehoboth for the year. Was excited to find they'd finished the trail from rehoboth to lewes, and it was suh-weeeeet! Flat, fine gravelled, nicely worn, and well marked. Did lots of biking, and I mean lots, and was able to keep to my running schedule. How would the weight hold up under the onslaught of booze and food that was bound to await, was all I was concerned about.
WTD: 4; PC: AB:3;LtIC:2;LtC:1

07/12/09 Exercise mania. Swimming, biking daily. Easy run/walk 2.5m. Pains seem to be largely abating.
WTD: 2.5; PC: AB:2;LtIC:2;LtC:0
07/13/09 Day off; biking and swimming.
WTD: 2.5; PC: AB:2;LtIC:2;LtC:0
07/14/09 Biking and swimming theme. Measured walk/run 3m. Felt pretty relaxed, largely pain-free.
WTD: 5.5; PC: AB:2;LtIC:2;LtC:0
07/15/09 Day off; biking and swimming. Late in the day, it dawned on me I'd not really noticed my left shin at all. An encouraging sign.
WTD: 5.5; PC: AB:1;LtIC:0;LtC:0
07/16/09 Mostly same 3.25m loop as on the 14th. Same results, though a little more pain, perhaps from the large amount of biking.
WTD: 8.75; PC: AB:2;LtIC:1;LtC:0
07/17/09 Day off; biking and swimming. Felt some soreness probably from overuse. Shin was slightly evident.
WTD: 8.75; PC: AB:1;LtIC:2;LtC:0
07/18/09 Shortened 2 loops for 2.8m. Farthest, most up tempo run on trail since my return. Not as ginger on the inclines. End with 3m bike. Soreness seems to be building, should probably completely take off a day. Shin seems to be waving a flag. Back has also been out for a few days. Weight withstood the weekly challenge pretty well, though tacked on a couple for sure.
WTD: 11.5; PC: AB:2;LtIC:2;LtC:0

06/03/09 Runner's Log Begin - used to keep a running diary back in the day. Haven't done one since I've restarted just over a year ago. There's been very little enjoyable about the experience, really, other than alot of back pain relief. It's not a cure, since I've had about I'm guessing 4-5 episodes in the past year. However, the episodes have largely been shorter, characterized by somewhat less pain, and a much shorter period to rebound. I've had very few days where I couldn't get out of bed, for example. So, all things considered, I'll stay the course. It's better than back surgery in my book.

The biggest struggle is that while my back is in remarkably less amounts of pain, there are new pains associated with running in my lower extremeties. Basically all my leg muscles and joints. The stiffness makes it hard to get around sometimes. Eventually, the muscles loosen up. But, when I sit still, they quickly tighten up again. My joint pain is evolving actually. The pains I've had in my ankles which were unpredictable, but very sharp, as a nail getting stuck in my joint, have largely gone away the more I've run. I hate to write that for fear it will return. My right knee continues to knock together like two blocks of wood. I do think the strengthening of the surrounding muscles has helped, but it doesn't appear that the play in that knee joint will ever disappear. My most recent pain is actually in above the thighs, in what appears to be the tendons that stretch across my hips and into the lower abdomen. This is a very strange pain that I've not experience before. It seems to be related to taking longer strides which I've been doing more of in the past couple months.

To wrap up this entry, I ran a 5k race this past weekend. This was my first venture into anything near competitive running since I ran the Boston Marathon in 1983. I didn't expect much, and figured I could probably do a 24 minute clip at least. Told the wife 21 minutes would be the bair minimum, and never expected I could make that. Actually I turned in about 22 minutes and placed 11th overall. I was very pleased and found the return to competition actually kind of exciting. I didn't have the ease of stride as in the past but I never expected to. I held up pretty good, though, and kept my stride into the late stages of the race when my mind started to say, why don't you scale it back some. I even attacked the final hill. That was actually the worst part of the race, as it took a hard right at the top of the hill, and the officials didn't say anything till I'd past it by. I had to break stride, and turn around, and imagine that added at least 15 seconds to my finish time. The old man (my age) who I'd passed and was determined to stay in front of actually did the same thing as I did, and never got corrected. I felt bad for him. Anywho, I took the 3rd place medallion for the 40-49 age group, though wouldn't have if the overall winner wasn't 46. That guy looked to be in great form. While I've run substantially better times than he turned in that day, I'm sure he probably did when he was younger as well. Bottom line is I doubt if I'll run a 16-17 minute 5K again in my life. Who knows though; I never thought I'd be back to this level either.