A week of long runs, that I’ve thoroughly missed

Being back into a pair of running shoes was something I missed for those couple of months battling through that confusing injury.  I’ll take waking up sore, and missing toenails, over watching people log miles in my daily commute, any day of the week.

I was flipping through some activities on RunKeeper this morning, looking at some of the training runs I have been able to check off for this weekends upcoming Utah Valley Marathon, and the following weekend’s 50 miler down in Bryce Canyon.  Having been off the training for so long, not quite sure how the 50 miler down in Bryce is going to go.  But, it’ll be a step at a time and worst case scenario, it goes MUCH slower than I hoped for, but the views will be an experience in itself.  I’ve personally never been to Bryce Canyon before, so this will be exciting regardless.

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50 miler training log (update 5/29/17)

Day 1, 2/27/17 – Today was the first day of training for the Bryce Canyon 50 mile race that will be held on June 17th, 2017.  I have been averaging roughly 30 miles/week leading up to this training stretch.  And to be honest, I feel nowhere remotely close to how I felt at this point in time last year.. not in a good way. 30 years old has made me realize my body is in control, no matter what my brain says…at times I guess.  Pain and soreness I have never felt before surprises me every few days.

I had ran 13.1 on Saturday morning, 5 miles yesterday (that was pain filled for about 3 miles of it) and then the program I will be following from Hal Koerner called for 6 miles today.  Moving forward, Monday is normally the day off, as this program calls for the long run on Saturday, followed by another mini long run Sunday (ex. this weekend is 15m on Saturday, 9m on Sunday).

This training will test tolerance, and patience.  Lots of pain, lots of sleep, lots of early mornings until June.  Ready or not.

3/26/17 – From the 27th of February until now, I was only able to log 54 miles due to an injury that came in like Miley Cyrus on a wrecking ball.  Today was the first time I have put any miles down since March 7 while on vacation in Hawaii.  I was completely miserable in Hawaii, with all the beautiful beaches and roads to run on, my ankle/leg had other plans in store.  I will be sadly very behind on the schedule for the 50 mile run in June, but at this point, I am just hoping I can begin to start logging miles!  I have been comparable to a hibernating bear the last 3 weeks.  I know the scale knows it, and my waist on my pants knows it.

3/28/17 – Awoke this morning at 0154 and could not for the life of me get back to sleep.  Got out of bed, laid on the couch to see if that would trigger sleep-land again, but no luck.  After rolling around for an hour and a half, figured I might as well get up and get a run in before I headed into the office.  And by run, it’s more of a pain jog at this point.  Pace is hovering between 8:50-9 minute miles.  The pain isn’t so much on the anterior shin/tibula area at the current moment, seems to now be completely focused in on the ankle.  And boy, is it a burner.  Was able to put in 4 miles outside before having to head in and shower before work.  It was about 38 degrees this morning with a slight wind gust heading home.  As weird as it may seem, I thoroughly enjoyed just getting out and moving around, I have had cabin fever on the couch lately.  Not sure how religious I will get with the bright and early headlamp runs before work, but it sure was a great change from what I have been used to the last couple days.

3/30/17 – Yesterday we ran a trail run for the Wasatch Trail Series in Draper, Utah.  I opted for the shorter distance @ 3.85miles, as my leg continues it’s successful efforts in maintaining a steady dose of pain throughout my daily existence.  The run for a little over 2 miles was basically an incline from dirt hell.  Throw in some horseshoe tracks, horse turds, and deep rutted paths, and you got yourself this trail run!  Lots of people showed up turns out.  Apparently this series hadn’t ever seen a turn out like this before, as the race was set to begin at 6:30pm, but it didn’t actually start til 6:50pm due to people still registering…which makes no sense to me, as any other race that has ever existed has never held the trigger on the gun due to, well we are still waiting for people to finish registering.  Race start time, 6:30pm means, in the most simplest English, the race, will begin, at 6:30pm.

That being said, it wasn’t all that bad.  It was a nice change of pace/scenery.  It’s hard not to get caught up in the competitive mindset while in the corral at the start line, but it’s quite simple to take it easy when your leg is basically hanging on by the tiniest fibers of human matter in it’s current state.  That aside, just being outdoors with a pair of running shoes on my hooves was enough to keep a smile on my face.

Trail running surely takes running to a completely different realm.  Watching your footing while pounding the pavement is far from watching your footing while on the trail.  One single moment of empty mindedness can result in quite possibly the most horrific, gruesome, sprained/compound fractured ankle of your lifetime.  Finding myself focused on the individuals in front of me didn’t last too long, for had my attention stayed on them, I would have awoke at the bottom of the mountain covered in trail rash with missing teeth.

With about a mile to go, there was a creek running right down the middle of the trail, with no seeable way around.  Coming up to it, I recalled a chapter from Hal Koerner’s ultra marathon book, where he talked about finding the “easy way”, “dry way”, or neck of the body of water in the way of your run.  He talked about watching people run down/up the water line to find themselves far off trail and their final decision was the same as anyone who came to the water: go through it.  As my right foot submerged the ice cold water up to my shin, I laughed at the squishyness as I was heading back up the hill.  For not having really made my mind up about running this until the day of, it turned out to be quite the enjoyable time.

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3/31/17 – After work today, I met up with Sean Wayne with Active Myotherapy in the Ogden BDO to have him do some work on my ankle/leg.  I had never experienced the graston technique before, and boy was it painful at times.  Not sure if the legs will see any mileage this weekend in hopes that this thing magically disappears sooner than later.

4/6/17 – Road block.  Saw Dr. McMillan today, I’ll be in a boot for at least 3 weeks to see what exactly is going on with my ankle.  Most likely will end up getting an MRI after the 3 weeks to get a better idea on what I’ve been working on here.  Ultimate depression status at the moment.

4/23/17 – I have been in a walking boot for nearly 3 weeks.  The pain that was present was affecting my normal walking and I finally tossed in the towel.  At the current moment, there is still a little bit of pain in the medial shin and ankle, but nothing quite what it was back on the mornings in Hawaii where every walking step was like someone was pushing little needles into my ankle.

But, because I am stubborn, and a male, I did go on a 3 mile treadmill run on Friday night, and a 4 mile run yesterday morning that was very slow, but like I’ve said before, just being on the road was such a great feeling.  Hopefully whatever it is, it’s making it’s way out, or fixing itself.

5/4/17 – Did a 6.2 mile run today…after I took a short nap when I got home from work.  After a week like this has been, maybe my mind was just cooperating with my body more than usual lately and allowed me to get a runtherapy session in.  Since probably the beginning of March, today was by far the best I have felt during a run.  There is still discomfort in my ankle, and the runs I have been on lately hover between 8:30-9min miles, but I am just trying to ease back into the fight and hope I never have to go through anything like this again.  As of today, there are 44 days until the Bryce Canyon 50 miler, and by how these last few months have gone, if I do end up running it, it won’t be setting any records, that’s for sure.

5/15/17 – The past two weekends I have fortunately been able to run a 20 miler and a 12 miler, and let me just say, it’s sucked super awesome.  I thoroughly missed long run Saturday, waking up before the sun wakes up an getting outside.  I whine and complain about it superficially, but deep down, it’s what life is all about.  This upcoming weekend is the Ogden Marathon, and I will be running under my little brothers name, because he came down with an injury that has put a damper on his training and shot at his ultimate redemption and taming the beast known as the Ogden full marathon.  If it shows any signs of rain/hail/snow, I’m out.  Ain’t happening again, not after last years near death experience.  No way, no how.

5/29/17 – Well, long runs are back!

Was able to run the Ogden Marathon on the 20th, was able to knock down 21 on Friday night, and 13 miles yesterday morning.  Still am far, far from where the fitness level used to be last year at this time, but I’ve said it a lot lately, just being back out on the road with music in my ears and a pack full of water & CLIF shots, I couldn’t possibly ask for anything else.

6/11/17 – Got to be a pacer for the Utah Valley Marathon yesterday, and it was a treat!  I was given the pace time of 4:25:00, finishing @ 4:24:04.  I give high praise to the pacing elites who can dial in consistent sub 4 hour marathons when they pace.  It’s truly an art, a science, a God given talent if you will.  If you ever follow a pacer, from here on out, I will surely thank and bless them for their assistance, because at times, it’s nerve racking realizing individuals are counting on you to help meet their goal.

Next weekend is the big day, 50 miles down in Bryce Canyon National Park.  I’ll be taking this week off to nurse my soreness from yesterday, but ultimately, very excited to be able to be a part of a race you couldn’t have bet me I’d be signed up for 5 years ago.

50 miles, here we come!