Friday, October 16, 2015

Running Race Acronyms

Runner Lingo  50+ Definitions of Common Running Terms & AcronymsWhen I first started running I had to learn running terms, things like the following:

DNF - Did Not Finish
DNS - Did Not Start
DFL - Dead F*cking Last
PR - Personal Record
PB - Personal Best
PW - Personal Worst

There are many more but while I was on a run recently, I came up with one of my own:


Which stands for "Should Not Start", this reflects what I ponder at most of my races :-). So what is the criteria folks use for should I start or not? For me, it's pretty simple. Here are the questions I go through:
  • Can I finish within the time limit?
  • Will I cause more damage?
  • Will it cost me more to go than what I have invested in race fees?
  • Do I have a race streak going?
  • Would I feel better to finish last or to not start?
  • What's the worse thing that will happen?
  • Am I ok with a DNF if things go bad?
  • My last question always is, what do I have to lose?
You might be thinking that a SNS leads to a DNS which could be true but in my case it usually leads to a finish, I guess it also has lead to a DNF, DFL, PR, PB and PW. So all things considered if I look all of my marathons over the last 2 years all were SNS but apparently I seldom heed to logic and common sense.

Now about Mankato, should I go? Of course I will probably give it a go :-)

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Twin Cities Marathon - Ultra Loony Challege Weekend

I went into this year's Ultra Loony Weekend about like last years. Somewhat injured which made me think, why I am doing this. That's easy, because I enjoy it. Yes I would enjoy it a whole lot more if I had no injuries but I still enjoy myself.

Turned out, I took a bit longer to recover from Walker then I had planned, my legs felt great but my PTT had my foot/ankle hurting. My post Walker runs were not good but I was able to get through them and I figured I should still go for it as I made it last year and I was no worse than then.

I met Karyn at the expo again this year, she had decided to run the 10k which meant we could drive up together and run the 10k together. At the expo, I ran into quite a few people I know. I talked with Dane L. who was running backwards from the finish to the start and then back to the finish as training for Javelina, oh to be an ultrarunner again. I then ran into John Storkamp and to my surprise he knew my name, pretty much made my day. I suffer what many back of the packers probably do, I know about all of the runners by name but figure that they don't know who I am as why should they. I had a similar experience a few years back when Helen L. (now S.) knew my name when I weighed in at FANs. Anyway, it was nice, I also ran into a neighbor who was running the 10 miler and a former co-worker who was also doing the 10 miler. My other highlight of the expo was when I stopped by the Twin Cities in Motion booth and when they heard I was doing the Ultra Loony Challenge again, one of them said so that makes you a charter member which means I will be doing it again next year and the year after and so on, well you get the idea. I picked up my numbers and shirts  and Karyn got hers and we were out of there. When we got home though I noticed that Karyn had a 5k chip and shirt, oops back to the expo to get the right chip and shirt.

We got to the 10k in plenty of time, parking again at the same garage as last year which was free and close to the festivities, sure beats paying the $20 for the Sears lot. We ran the 10k together with no issues, I did my run-walk after the first mile and it went pretty well. A little slower (about a minute and a 1/2) than last year but the foot didn't bother me too much. For the 5k, it was chaos, as some walkers got too close to the start so runners were going around, add in all the young kids and I saw 4 or 5 runners get tripped up and hit the pavement. Once we got up the hill, things spaced out a bit and I was able to get into my run-walk routine, for the 5k my time was about a minute faster than the year before but the pace seemed fine and although the foot was sore I was still optimistic about the marathon.

For the marathon, like the year before I asked Karyn to drop me at the light rail station in Bloomington which worked great the year before. Of course this year, I screwed up and forgot my Garmin which led to us turning around when we were only about 5 minutes away but it had me muttering some words that shouldn't be said. Ok muttering might not be that accurate. Well it worked out ok as Karyn got me to the light rail and I made the train with 15 seconds to spare. Even if I had missed that one I would have been fine but I would have stressed a lot more.

The race started and my plan was to use the run-walk approach and if it went well, to finish in 5 1/2 hrs if the foot worked ok, maybe faster. It's funny for me to say that I use the run-walk approach as I can't run longer than a few minutes at a time.

Things got off a bit rocky when I looked at my Garmin after a few minutes of running and it showed a 15 minute/mile pace which caused instant stress. I was running and expected to see 10 min/mile pace. It turned out ok as I hit the 1 mile marker at just under 12 minutes with my Garmin showing the distance at .85 miles which explained the slower early pace. After that it was  accurate and I stayed focused and relaxed. I saw a co-worker at mile 4, ran into Scott Huston around mile 8 or so, we chatted briefly and then I continued.

It was shortly after that when my foot/ankle started causing me more issues. I tried to focus on my form which can help me ignore the pain but by mile 12 I knew the day might go longer than I hoped. I held things together until around mile 15 when I almost had to sit down as the pain was so intense. I hopped on it a bit and walked through it and then walked a bit more and it calmed down but the problem with the foot/ankle is that when it gets intense I walk slower and run slower as I can't push off and I lose time which causes stress. I accepted that my time goal might be lost and hobbled my way forward.

I just wanted to get to the Franklin bridge, and then the Medtronic water stop, Alarc wall, St. Thomas hill, have a beer somewhere on Summit and eventually get to the cathedral one more time. One thing that kept going through my head when I debated dropping before the bridge was that I can't as I am a charter member of the Ultra Loony so I had to keep going. I had my beer around mile 23 (thank you Growler) and then just kept going and although it seemed like forever it was over with before I knew it. My slowest Twin Cities ever (5:49:06) but it was a marathon and an Ultra Loony finish so I was happy to have it over.

This year everything worked out, the volunteers were fabulous, the weather was the best ever and the course is gorgeous. My thanks to the organization, sponsors and volunteers, great event. Can't wait until next year to do it all again.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Walker North Country 2015

Well it happened, I have finally run a marathon and finished DFL but I finished. I debated long and hard running the Walker North Country this year but I couldn't resist doing it again. After all it was my Birthday weekend, what better way to celebrate a birthday.

Here's the story, I am still plagued by Posterior Tibial Tendon pain and when I run any trails it tends to get pretty painful. Well the Walker North Country has trails and I had pain.

I signed up for the early start as I figured I might need the extra time. Saw Karen G. at the start, turned out she too had signed up for the early start. We decided to start running together, I warned her I would be doing my Galloway run-walk and she was welcome to join me. We did it maintaining a sub 12 minute pace until we hit the trails after mile 7,  I told her I would be fast walking the trails as I feared the trails would cause my foot to get a bit unhappy and by the time we left the trails around mile 12, the foot was hurting. Anyway, back on smooth trails we got back into the run-walk rhythm. I was hoping the foot would calm down but it was throbbing as we hit the second trail section which did me in. Karen took off during this section, I had felt bad that she was staying with me and kept telling her she could take off so was happy to see her go as she was running well. I switched shoes at mile 19 1/2 (Hwy 34 crossing where Karyn was waiting, she had again run the 10k and it sounded like she enjoyed herself) with the hope it would help. I had started the race wearing my New Balance 980's which I had hoped would protect the foot as they are about my stiffest pair of shoes.

Switching shoes (to Altra Repetitions) helped but stopping would have been the best option. I basically hobbled the rest of the way and may have been better to not have switched, regardless I continued to hope that I could get the foot calm which never happened. I eventually walked the final hill, ran through the finish and thought to myself that I bet I just finished in last place. Turns out I did,

All things considered an enjoyable day even with the foot, it does confirm that I need to stay away from trails although one thing that did work that I tried was wearing a compression knee wrap and I was thrilled as I had no knee pain on the trails, granted it was more hiking than running but that is still the first time since my knee surgery that I was able to be on trails without knee pain :-).

Oh well no permanent damage was done and I think it still counts as a marathon finish, now it's on to the Ultra Loony Challenge at TCM.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Update time

It's been a busy summer, actually it's been a great summer although not so much from a running perspective. After Grandma's I hemmed and hawed about what to do with the foot and finally scheduled the MRI, I knew it would either end my running for awhile or force me to make some changes.

Image result for posterior tibial tendon attachmentThe good news is the MRI was negative, no fracture, he bad news is that means that I have tendinitis. Specifically the Posterior Tibial Tendon at the attachment point to the navicular. I have pretty much figured out all of things that aggravate it and am working to deal with those issues. I may need some PT before I get it all resolved but my concern is that Doctors/PT folks focus on the pain points not the cause so I so I am being my normal stubborn self and working my way through it. I am sure the cause is the calf tear and am foam rolling that and taping the tendon.

As I work through it, I am ramping my long runs with plans to run Walker, then the Ultra Looney followed by Mankato and who knows maybe a few more yet this year.

One other thing, I have pretty much given up on trail running. I have tried a couple times over the last few weeks but my knee just can't do it, funny thing is it is ok on roads. So I am going to take what I can do and be content. The only thing I can figure out is that there is something about the uneven surfaces must be causing my lack of meniscus to cause what feels like bone hitting bone. My plan is to work to get the tendinitis resolved and then maybe try it out again next year. I do miss my trails.

Oh yeah before anyone comments, yes I know Walker has trails but my plan will be to walk the trails so as not to cause me issues. It will slow down my time but I can deal with that.

Happy trails to all...................


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