Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Post Hurricane Six Miler: 8/28

Umstead park was closed this weekend because of Hurricane Irene.  However, like many other folks in the area, I didn't let this stop me from heading into the park for my Sunday run.  The park was full of runners and bikers as usual, and other than a few down branches and washouts the park seemed to get through Irene fairly well.  My run went fairly well considering I had just run an 8k race the day before and that my longest runs for July and August were two five milers I had done that week.
I was a bit nervous that going for 6 miles so quickly might be pushing myself too hard, but I became more comfortable with the idea as I ran.  I feel as though my recovery is getting better, but my lingering breathing problems make it hard to deny that I might be dealing with a mild form of asthma.  My legs felt good throughout my run, but I had periods of time where my oxygen intake seemed off.  Luckily, my breathing was much improved from my last run in Umstead.  However, the most important thing about this run was that with it's completion, I am not hitting all the goal for my train schedule. 

6 mile in 1:09:56.45 for 11:39 pace.

1 10:47
2 12:08
3 12:23
4 11:40
5 10:19
6 12:34

Monday, August 29, 2011

Raleigh 8000 8/27: Race Report in Pictures

Generally speaking, I don't carry a camera with me during a race, but considering that this race was being run in a Hurricane, and I was returning from illness and injury, with my only goal in mind to finish the race, I decided to take a few pictures as I ran.  Most of the pictures didn't come out, but a few did, and snapping pictures along the way took my mind off the lingering doubts that I had about running after my bout with the flu, sinus infection, and reaction to Levaquin.  I signed up for the race after my initial bout with the flu before relapsing with the sinus infection and allergic reaction.  Otherwise, I would not have thought about running a race just yet.  However, I am glad I did register because having a race so quickly after starting running forced me to push myself rather than feel sorry for myself.

I was dreading the race up until Thursday morning and for a while hoped that it would be canceled by the hurricane, but after some encouraging words from my wife and an okay run on Thursday, I began to look forward to the run.  Overall the race was awesome!!  Really well organized, a fun course that mixed Raleigh city streets with the Greeway system, and Shelley Lake.  Just a wonderful course!  Also, what can you say about volunteers willing to stand out in a Hurricane and put on a race?  Totally awesome job by them and the Raleigh PD!  Many, many props!  Even the race shirt was top notch -- a nice tech shirt with a good color and logo that makes it ultra wearable and not something destined for goodwill.
What is more remarkable about the organization of the Raleigh 8000 is it was it's inaugural race!  Just a stellar job!  
Moving toward the starting line

Runners are happy despite the hurricane

People driving by must think we're crazy!

The rain was pretty mild to start with and I felt good as we made our way to the greenway

I'm still pretty dry, but that is about to change

Running through this tunnel -- awesome!
Just past the first water station, I was doing well but began to feel some constriction in my chest.
Geese out for a stroll

feeling a bit better

By this point the constriction seemed to pass and I felt better

All flights are grounded, sorry geese!

Crosswind here nearly ripped of my race bib!
The Rain is coming down and the greenway is getting messy

and a little flooded.
wind blowing through the tress and bushes

Just a little wet but runnin' well
The camera fogged up around mile three, but I took a few pics after I finished to make sure that it still worked, so here are some random people crossing the finish line

My times 8k in  48:43.67 for 9:53 pace
Mile 1 9:01
Mile 2 9:25
Mile 3 9:43
Mile 4 10:22
Mile 5 10:58

About four minutes off my PR, but I'll take it, just really happy to get back to racing!  I've missed it, and this race was a big confidence builder for me.

8 Days of Workouts and Runs Come to an End -- 8/25

The Raleigh 8000 looked bleak for a while.  Last weekends runs were soul crushers and left me riddled with doubt.  I workout and ran for eight straight days in hopes of getting close to a acceptable fitness level so that I might complete the race.  By Wednesday night, I still was suffering from massive self doubt and hoping that Hurricane Irene would cause the run to be canceled.  I've never before felt like this before an event.  That night I shared my dread with Hiroko, and she told me "don't worry, come race day you'll start feeling excited.  It might hurt a lot, but you finish the race, and it will help you get your confidence back."  Immediately, I started to feel better.  Her faith in me steadied my nerves and helped me to relax.

Thursday morning, I forced myself to get up early and run the 5 mile training run on my half marathon training schedule.  The run wasn't good or bad.  It was just a run, and I tried to focus on my music and the predawn city and not worry about my lungs or legs.  The miles clipped of rather quickly and I felt like for the first time that I might be getting back on track.  By the last mile, I thought that it just be time to post this song on my blog enjoy:

Back in black,
I hit the sack,
I've been too long I'm glad to be back,
Yes I'm let loose,
From the noose,
That's kept me hanging about.

I've been looking at the sky,
'Cause it's gettin' me high,
Forget the hearse 'cause I never die.

I got nine lives,
Cat's eyes,
Abusin' every one of them and running wild.

'Cause I'm back,
Yes, I'm back,
Well, I'm back,
Yes, I'm back,
Well, I'm back, back,
Well, I'm back in black,
Yes, I'm back in black . . . .

5 miles 52:17.15 10:27

1 10:47
2 9:54
3 10:41
4 10:37
5 10:15

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Another 12 days: 8/24

  1. Lap around the indoor track (1/15 of a mile)
  2. Step up (each leg) 
  3. Dips
  4. Push ups
  5. Bicycles
  6. Prisoner Squats (with an elbow to knee leg raise on each side)
  7. Side oblique crunches (each side)
  8. Lunges w/ 15lb weighted ball (each leg)
  9. Standard Crunch
  10. Crossover Crunch (each side)
  11. Standard Crunch 
  12. Bird Dogs
I did another 12 days of Christmas workout.  I could feel a big improvement can tell that I have actually missed crosstraining.  It is hard to imagine, but it is true.  Perhapes slogging through classes that were boring just took the joy out of my workout.  Who knows?  But, I have enjoyed these last few workouts.

Enjoy some Scorpions in honor of this weekends weather:


Afterwork Run that Didn't Suck: 8/23

This run didn't suck, but I was nothing to brag about.  I didn't have to stop and walk, but I wanted to at times.  However, I was able to muddle through.  Nothing about this run that would make me think that The Raleigh 8000 was going to be anything but a total shit show like the one below:

My Run:

3 miles 30:27.75 10:09 pace

Mile 1: 10:01
Mile 2: 10:12
Mile 3: 10:15

Cross Training To the Rescue: 8/22

  1. Lap around the indoor track (1/15 of a mile)
  2. Step up (each leg)
  3. Fire Hydrant (each leg with a leg extension)
  4. Dips
  5. Push ups
  6. Bicycles
  7. Prisoner Squats (with an elbow to knee leg raise on each side)
  8. Side oblique crunches (each side)
  9. Standard Crunch
  10. Crossover Crunch (each side)
  11. Lunges w/ 15lb weighted ball (each leg)
  12. Bird Dogs
After a weekend of so so runs, a good day of cross training was just what I needed to clear my head.  No much to say, so enjoy so Dio:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Bad Day Running is Better Than Dealing With a Dystopian Life Clock (8/21)

Is my life clock blinking red?  Honestly, fed up with feeling like hell when I run.  To say this run sucked is a vast understatement.  I went out to Umstead for the first time in God know.  And it was a total shit show.  I planned on running 5, but that was pure fantasy.  The first mile was alright, but right around mile two everything went to hell.  My legs kept moving, but I was running on a glorious combination of personal pride and stupidity.  By 2.6 miles, I actually felt dizzy and had to stop.  On the way back, I was just hoping that I didn't fall down, and I stopped again at 3.3 mile.  I only used one of my inhalers prior to this run, which was just effin' stupid!  At four miles, I finally wised up and called it a day and walked back to my car.  Meh!

 4 miles in 44:22.78 (minus the stops) for 11:06 pace
1 10:26.49
2 11:17.03
3 12:06.95
4 10:32.04

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Bad Day Running is Better Than Dealing With The Guy Who's Clearly Hiding a Zombie Bite (8/20)

No idea what is up with me recently, maybe I've been bitten by zombies?  No, idea.  But my recent runs have been a struggle.  I don't feel as much constriction as I had in the past, but something is clearly off with my breathing.  Saturday, I tried to run without hitting my inhalers before the run.  Mistake.  I felt like rubbish by the second mile and had to stop in the middle of the second mile.  I paused old Bob so the times below only reflect the time that I ran.  The odd thing is that I am not coughing, wheezing, or gasping for air.  I just feel like I am not taking in enough oxygen.  One good thing is that the weather here has been just awesome, so at least there is that. 
I ran 3 miles in 30:47.09 for a 10:15

Mile 1 9:56.03
Mile 2 10:01.69
mile 3 10:48.02

Monday, August 22, 2011

Return to Cross Training: 12 Days of Christmas -- 8/19

To say that I've gotten soft after six nearly two months of little to no cross training is a massive understatement.  To make matters worse, the state of my cross training was not that great prior to my illness, so the slide that has taken place was all to predictable.  I really don't mind cross training, but I had become too dependent on workout classes to provide me my cross training.  These classes were often boring, frustrating and time consuming, which provided me with plenty of ways to justify my own slacker ways.  Now that I am training for the half marathon, I have decided to hold myself accountable for my cross Training and will depend upon workout classes to provide my with my workout.  I have selected of few of my favorite workouts from the classes that I really enjoyed and will be doing them on my own in order to get in my cross training.  I started planning the workouts in advance and have them planned out for the next three weeks.  I will do my best to make sure that they are varied and intense enough to produce the type of result that I need.  I did the first of these workouts last Friday:

  1. Lap around the indoor track (1/15 of a mile)
  2. Step up (each leg)
  3. Dips
  4. Bird Dogs
  5. Push ups
  6. Bicycles
  7. Prisoner Squats (with an elbow to knee leg raise on each side)
  8. Lunges w/ 15lb weighted ball (each leg)
  9. Side oblique crunches (each side)
  10. Standard Crunch
  11. Crossover Crunch (each side)
  12. Fire Hydrant (each leg with a leg extension)
This workout was really good and got me really sweaty.  I also rode my bike to and from the gym as a warm up and cool down for this workout.  The lunges left me painfully sore for the next two days.  I can't remember the last time I had done them in a workout and the were certainly needed.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Good Run on Garbage Day: 8-18

This run was my best effort since my return to running.  I hoped that I would be a sign of steady improvement, but I'll give you a spoiler of future posts -- this run was a bit of a tease, and the ones the have followed seem to be minor steps backward.  But, before I get too far ahead let me talk about this run.  I got up early and ran before work.  The sun was up but the streets were quiet for the most part.  It was trash pick up day for most of the neighborhoods that I was running trough and the garbage trucks were out adding to fragrance of the morning.  Maybe it was the bouquet of the dumpsters and bins or god just has a sense of humor because my breathing was close to normal for most of this run.  In addition, my legs felt good as well.  I did use my inhaler prior to the run, which may have contributed to it's success.  Also, my state of mind was pretty positive as well because I was really happy to have gotten up early like I had planned.  I am a firm believer that runs, which begin with a good mental state have a significantly higher rate of success than those that don't.  However, I sometimes lose track of this when I am beginning my run. 
I am happy to say that it is starting to feel like I am really training for my half marathon.  Of course my health is not where I want it to be, but I am running, and that is the important detail that I mustn't loose sight of at this time.  The half is two months from now, and I'll be ready or I won't.  Worrying about it not really is pointless because I just need to focus on where I am now and not where I may or may not be on October 15th.  Granted, that is easier said than done, but I am trying to stay focused.   

the Garbage Day 4 miler 41.48.52 for a 10.25 pace

1) 10.07.84
2) 10.06.62
3) 10:56.48
4) 10:30.97

Friday, August 19, 2011

Steady Imporvement: 8/16

Ok, this run felt better.  It started out rough but each mile got easier, which is the opposite of how things have gone recently.  Also, my splits were within under two seconds of one another.   I am still having some tendon tightness when I am not running, but they are fine as I run.  I am worrying less about the effects of the Levaquin with each run, but I am still having a soreness in my lower legs of which I need to be aware.  I've been hitting the inhalers that I was prescribed before I exercise, which has help my breathing.  Overall this was the best three miles I have done since late June.  I don't want to say I am back because I'm afraid that I'll jinx myself; also, I have gotten pretty soft over the last month and look like my personal trainer was the Pillsbury Dough-boy.  I need to get back into X-training in the worst kind of way.

 Here is one of my favorite songs to listen to while I run.  It seems really fitting for this post for many reasons.

 Today's run was3 miles in  30:57.44 for a 10:18 pace.

Mile One 10:18.05
Mile Two 10:17.33
Mile Three10:18.63

Monday, August 15, 2011

Ups & Downs of a Return to Running: 8-14-11

I planned on resting on Sunday after Saturday's run but was seduced into changing my mind by near perfect weather.  My legs were sore from the previous day's three miles; however, most of the soreness was in my quads rather than my feet and ankles.  This came as a great relief to me and even though I am still worried about the ill effects of the Levaquin I was on, I am confident that, with caution, I'll be able to run and avoid some of the nastier side effects. 

I once again took my I-pod with me on Sunday's run in order to avoid some of my more paranoid thoughts.  Also, NC State students were moving back in this weekend for the fall term and the I-pod helps deter people from yelling at you from their car as you run along the side walk.  Granted, it doesn't eliminate the problem -- some people are just committed to proving what a dumb-ass they are regardless if you will hear them or not, but it does help.  

This run was a bit of a struggle.  It started out well, and the first mile was pretty good.  The second mile was more of a struggle and caused me to stop and walk around the block before running out the last mile.  My chest is still constricting badly after the first mile, which combined with soreness in my quads, forced me to stop and walk a bit before running the last mile.  Still, despite the breathing issues, I feel like I made some improvement with this run. And, I can't wait for my next run on Tuesday.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Runnin' in the Rain -- 8/13

The temperature has finally settled in to the 80's, and I am just loving it.  I doubt that we are done with the killer heat that has driven me to the brink of madness, but I'll take whatever respite is offered.  Following Tuesday's run my leg were stiff and sore.  So much so that any idea of running of Wednesday was just  complete folly.  Hiroko was planning to have her wisdom teeth removed on Thursday, so I decided to wait until Saturday for my first run in-order to take care of her.  This would mean that I would have been off Levaquin for a whole week and might not be in as much danger of suffering it ill effects.  Due to a mix up with the doctor's office Hiro's surgery was delayed until Friday, but I stuck to my plan because my quads were in full on riot mode.

Hiro surgery went well, and I was able to sneak out for a run around mid morning.  The temperature was just awesome -- right around 82 degrees.  My legs were still a bit sore, but felt much more normal than they had on Tuesday.  I had very little discomfort in my achiillies tendons.  The Plantar tendons were a little worse, but neither was anywhere near as bad as they had been on Tuesday.  I was able to run with a normal stride which put a lot less stress on the rest of my body. 
About a mile into the run the sky just opened up and started pouring rain down on me, but I just didn't care.  I kept on running.  I was running with my I-pod for the first time in months in hopes that the music would take my mind off of all of my health concerns.  Granted, running in the rain may not seem that wise, considering my recent battles with the flu and sinus infections, but I knew that I would be fine as long as I changed out of my wet clothes when I got home, which I did.  The first two miles were just fine, but the last mile sucked.  I wasn't coughing or spitting up any of the grossness that I had over the recent weeks, but my chest was tight and I felt as if I were doing a Giles Corey impersonation.  I stopped running right at three miles and called it a day!

3 miles 31.23.79 10:27 pace

1 10:30.55
2 10.01.72
3 10:49.70

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

3 Little Miles -- 8-10-11

Hiroko came with me, and I am glad that she did.

I ran three long slow little miles.  My form was aweful, and I was afraid my achilles would rupture with every step.  But, I still had to run.  My breathing was labored at best.  12 minute miles.  No Joke, 12 minute miles.  But nothing burst and my lungs didn't burn.  I stopped three times after feeling a twinge in my heel, but each time they passed, so I ran . . . gingerly. 

My legs were sore everywhere and my achilles and plantar tendons felt like garbage afterward.  Serious Garbage!

Was it smart to run? No.  Did I need to run? In the worst way.  Mentally, not running has been harder than being sick.  When my doctor started me on levaquin, I never imagined that it would add injury to my illness, but now the fear of injury worries me more than I care to think about.  But still, I needed this run.  So, today I'll be listening to a lot of songs that help me relax.  Rivers of Babyoln is one of the best, and I love this version that I just discoverd,  Enjoy.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Levaquin . . . not fun! -- 8/8/11

Here is an update from my last post:  I spoke with my doctor about Levaquin on Friday, and he took me off the medication. The doctor told me when he gave it to me that it may increase my heart rate, but it really began to race the more I took it. Thursday night was bad. Also, I started feeling a lot of soreness in my achilles, my feet, and a little in my elbow. The doctor said I was certainly having a reaction and gave me a new prescription but said that I should wait till Monday to get it filled, since I had done 7 day of the old one, and it may have been enough to shake the infection.  I ended up not getting it fill and other than a little stuffiness and a very slight roughness to my voice the sinus infection has healed.  However, I am now feeling a lot of tightness in my lower legs and feet.  There is some infrequent popping and clicking as well.  I have everything taped up and have been using the frozen H2o bottle and ice bag.  my cat, Basil, loves watching me roll the water bottle under my feet, but other than his considerable cuteness, this kind blows! It will take a week to get the levaqin out of my system and during that time I need to be worried about tendonitis.
I have no idea if the shortness of breath will continue once I begin to run again, but if my luck holds up, I am sure it will.  As for Levaquin, it is now on my list of medications, which should be avoided and I would highly suggest that anyone else avoid it they can.  Honestly, I would rather have not taken anything than have taken that poison! 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Paranoia Sets In, But With Good Reason -- advice needed: Aug 4th

Hypochondria, FDA warnings, Internet rants, and nearly two months of shitty-shitty luck are making me paranoid as hell.  Here is the deal -- I had planned on beginning my training for my first half marathon (Neuse River Bridge Run) next week.  However, as you may well know if you are one of my regular readers, I have been sick for most of the last six weeks.  Currently, I am on a bunch of drugs, which have me feeling a lot better but still not nearly 100%.  Also on of the drugs I am on is Levofloxacin the generic form of Levaquin, which has a nasty habit of turning tendons in dried twigs and producing spontaneous tendon ruptures.  I remembered reading  a post by Adam about an antibiotic that he was on a few months back and the two are in the same family: Levofloxacin is Cipro's bastard cousin.
Paranoia Agent

Compounding my paranoia is the fact that I have had plantar fasciitis problems in the past and usually KT the heck out of my feet and ankles just as a precaution, which I plan to do once I start running.  I only have four days left on the antibiotic and doubt if asking my doctor to change at this point is worth it.  Plus, it does seem to be helping with my illness, which already survived a Z Pack.  Also, I'm beginning to worry about my readiness for my half marathon because I lost most of July to this illness.  Granted in June I was way ahead of where I needed to be and was already doing nine mile long runs.  I think that if I can shake my illness, I might be able to get back into the train groove quickly. 

I guess my questions are how worried should really be about the Levofloxacin?  Has any of you had any experience with this drug?

Also, do you think that I should adjust my training program to a 8 or 9 week schedule?  I have seen a lot of 9 week programs, if I went two 8weeks I could use the next two weeks to ease myself into working out, but do you think 8 weeks is enough time? Any advice would be a huge help.