Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sunday Stroll

I was actually sore this morning from my easy run on the treadmill yesterday. It is a bitter sweet feeling because I know I will feel this way at least for the first week or so as I get back into running, but at the same time I'm excited to actually be feeling something again.

Today I waited until 4pm to lace up the running shoes. The weather had been begging for me to get out much much sooner, but I had to be sure that the sore legs were really only sore and not telling something different.

I felt pretty good during this run. It was just one week ago that I had to turn around after the first mile because of the burning in my chest due to the cold I just could not shake. However, today was a run of a different color. It was light, brisk, my turn over rate was solid, and I felt like I was actually gaining ground on those lost weeks of rest.

I feel like I can keep increasing my distance, time, and effort from day to day ever so slightly to get back to where I need to be in the next 4 weeks. The New Orleans 1/2 marathon might still be a stretch for me, although I would be able to use it as a training run instead of racing for a personal best. I will keep that in mind as the next week comes and goes and I get a better idea of where I am physically and mentally.

For motivation:

"Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must move faster than the lion or it will not survive. Every morning a lion wakes up and it knows it must move faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve. It doesn't matter if you are the lion or the gazelle, when the sun comes up, you better be moving." - Maurice Greene (attributed to Roger Bannister shortly after running the first sub-4 mile)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Treadmilling in the Rain

Last night I set my shoes to the side along with all the cold weather running gear I would need. Before falling asleep Jordan said it would be raining in the morning so I thought if she was right... which she normally is... I would need a Plan B. Bring on the treadmill.

I woke up to find the sky had opened up once again and the streets were flooding from another down pour. This has become something of a trend these days so I have been scouting out the local gyms to see where I will be guaranteed a treadmill.

So, this morning I got out early and hit the great indoors. It has been a while since I have been on the treadmill so it was mentally harder than the effort I was giving. That is a good thing because I was only keeping a pace around 8min/mile. slow, but I'm recovering from something of a pretty insane cold so I can take the stares and odd glances that aren't really happening but my ego says they are.

I put a solid 30 minutes in on the treadmill with 5 minutes warm up and cool down. This was the first run since December that I really felt good both during and after the effort.

Things could be heading in the right direction!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Back out on the run

This morning I slept in after waking up and seeing another rain storm. That weather has had me sidelined. Not because I don't want to run in the rain but because I think getting out in the elements like that would bring back another week of a hacking cough and that is something I am not willing to risk at this point.

The goal now is just getting my legs moving with the least amount of discomfort and or damage to my upper respiratory system. So, this afternoon I got out and ran for about 15 minutes. My original plan was to run much longer than that, but I could feel my chest heaving and my heart rate monitor was giving me some funky read outs so I decided to turn around after the first mile and head back home.

I read some where that it takes about 2 weeks for every 1 week of time off from running to get back to form. Using that formula I will be building back up for the next 8 weeks. I can't have that. My goal will be to turn this around in 4.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Houston Marathon Spectator

Over the past few months I have been diligently training for the Houston Marathon. My goal... to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I guess it is a normal occurance for an athlete to be sidelined due to illness or injury, but until it actually happens to you, it is hard to relate to just how that feels.

This morning I slept in. My original race day plan had me waking at around 5am for a 7am start with the 3:10 Marathon pace group. Instead, I rolled out of bed around 6:45, poured me a cup of coffee, and walked down my street to watch as the marathoners ran past our street around the 4 mile mark.

It was surreal, watching as those runners I had seen so many times in training past me by with a nod and sometimes a shout. They knew I was in my own silent pain but at the same time I was happy to be standing there. This was the first time I have ever been a spectator at a running event and because of that, I decided to soak as much of it in as I could.

One of the most exciting moments of the race was when the blind runner and his sight guide ran past me. I had seen the both of them on many Saturday mornings and to see their goal race a the start was very inspiring. I decided then and there that I would drive to the finish line and watch that team of athletes cross in victory.

I got downtown with plenty of time to see the Men's and Women's marathon winners. The women broke Houston's previous race record that had been set something like 30 years ago. She was impressive. However, the feeling I got from seeing that record setting run pailed in comparison to the feeling that overwhelmed me when I saw the blind runner and his guide cross the finish line.

I stood behind the barackades shouting at the top of my mucus filled lungs to share in the success the two runners had achieved. And as I began to compare his handicap to my 4 weeks of upper respiratory infections I refused to let my enthusiasm for running, my love for competition, and my overall fitness dedication to be extinguished by a slight set back. My race legs will be back soon and the secret will be smart training coupled with getting my mind wrapped around the fact that I have not lost much over the past couple of weeks. It's all mental.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

First Night of Sleep

Well, my issues with sleep deprivation seem to be over. I got antibiotics and some adult strength cough syrup from the doctor yesterday. I slept through the entire night and opened my eyes at the first sound of the alarm clock. This was something very new to me. Not even on my best night's sleep have I made it all the way through to the alarm clock. I am hopeful that the rest of the week will be the same.

Monday, January 8, 2007

The Diagnosis

Well, last night was total hell for me and Jordan. I slept for about 2 hours with my waking hours filled with a hacking cough that lead to an even worse headache. Needless to say, the issue of deciding if I was going to the Dr. was an easy choice.

The diagnosis from the Doc. was not really something I wanted to hear with a 1/2 Marathon coming up. I have a full blown case of an upper respiratory infection. He gave me a couple of prescriptions that should have me back among the living by Saturday. That will be cutting it close for the race, but I really want to run and I will be keeping my fingers crossed.

Early to bed this week, plenty of fluids, a few vitamins and I'll be good to go!

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Short Run - An Easy Run

Well, I decided to take it to the streets. I have been sitting around the house nursing this cough of mine for over 2 weeks now. It seems that I have been unable to do anything productive recently due to the cold and or flu I've been dragging around from day to day. So, this afternoon I said to hell with the couch, laced up my shoes, and went for a run.

What do you get when you mix 2.5 weeks of no running, and 2.5 weeks of coughing? A high heart rate, slow pace, and an overall bad run. I tried running the easy route that I have set up for rainy days. That wasn't the best idea. I felt like hell afterwards, my lungs were on fire, and I felt like I could have coughed my lungs inside out. That is not a good thing.

I think I'm going to head to the doctor tomorrow if this doesn't get any better. Until then...

  Sunday run in the rain.