Gearing up for the FTR

I’m running the BURCS Free to Run Half on Saturday.  While it’s got some nasty incline, in general this should be a good shake-out run for me.  I’ve been feeling the miles lately, and with 7 weeks or so until the NYC Marathon I’ve got to get myself ready to go.  In fact my coach has assigned me 5 MORE miles after I get home from FTR.  Sadist.

Part of me looks forward to the end of my scheduled races with NYC.  Part of me dreads that, because I will have to make some decisions about what to do next.  I really don’t want surgery.  I also really don’t want to hurt anymore.  We will see what wins out.

Anyway I’ll post a race report when I’m done Saturday!

Welcome to September

So I’ve been negligent in posting, mostly because not much was going on.  After Sweltering Summer my foot was kiling me and my miles low.  That all changed a little over a week ago when I went on a business trip to Vegas and ran up in the mountains there.  Beautiful territory that I was totally unprepared for!14089040_10210627038301856_9087211700239794953_n

For starters I got there ahead of the sun cresting the peaks.  This was a little later in the run, but to start it was in the 50’s.  I had come from 100+ degree heat all week and was FROZEN!  My hands were actually super stiff.  It warmed some later but I should have expected that.

And of course I also had to deal with the elevation.  I live at about 390 feet or so normally.  The trail STARTED at 8800 feet and quickly climbed above 9200.  I was sucking wind big time trying to get a breath.  Running was out of the question for the first part, I was just trying to move one foot in front of the other!

14067624_10210627037621839_7454873592243143744_nStill the view was amazing and I was enjoying myself… mostly 🙂  I was due to do 12 miles which would have meant doing the loop twice.  Given my pace I would have been out there a long, long time.  Mistake number two was I had nowhere near enough food and water for that so I was resolved to do a single lap and then get more miles in later in the day.  I was definately feeling the pain!

14184542_10210627036701816_3429800543396246236_n

About 2 miles in I fell.  Now, I fall a lot.  But falling in New England usually involves a relatively soft forrest floor maybe with some roots.  Falling here?  All rock.  Very sharp, very painful rock.  I avoided banging my head but I cut up a knee and banged my arm (more on that in a sec).  I was also getting very dizzy I assume from the elevation and was seeing spots.  I said screw it and turned around, choosing the shorter 2 miles back to my car rather than the 4 miles to finish the loop.

About 10 minutes later I was actually moving pretty well down hill.  I was beating myself up for my decision to turn when I happened to glace down at my forearm and said… what the hell??? I had a GIANT lump on my forearm.  It was just weird, and I kind of wondered if I had broken it or something.  I kept heading back to the car and over the next 10 minutes ANOTHER huge lump appeared and my whole forearm looked like a mess!

14191922_10210627035821794_6072440828000917928_n

I thought for sure I’d broken it.  I was in a panic and trying not to hyperventilate.  I made it back to my car finally, and went down the mountain all ready to drive to the emergency room.  After a while driving reality set in.  I could fully move the arm.  It hurt, but it was a bruised hurt.  And the swelling was starting to go down!  By the time I got back to my hotel it was still swollen but no longer looked broken.  So I lived with it.

A week later I hurt and still have a small goose egg but it isn’t too bad.  I suppose I still might have cracked it a bit, but whatever.  The immediate swelling was scary but I’m guessing was something to do with the elevation.  I really wish I had gutted it out and finished the loop.  Have to wait a year before I am back in Vegas to try it again!

14107892_10210627036141802_5695377836509890332_o

5 days out from 50k!

In 5 days I’m tackling the Sweltering Summer 8 hour, and hope to top 50k.  It should be doable as long as my foot holds out.  And that really is starting to be the problem… every week it’s getting worse.  I am now popping Ibuprofin like it’s going out of style and ice soaking the heck out of it.  Doesn’t seem to be helping very much.  I can’t let myself get too beat up, I still have to deal with NYC in November and then I can rest.

It’s been a taper week so my mileage was down, just 18 for the week.  The weather has been nasty so I did a fair bit on the treadmill.  I’m leaving in a week for a work trip and then vacation, so I have to get on a plane 36 hours after running the race.  I’m sure that’s going to be fun 🙂  I’ve got to get everything together for the race, plus I have to get everything ready for my trip.  Fun times!  Next post will hopefully be a successful race report!

7-24 Week In Review

Well, I forgot to post last week 😉  Sorry!  Not that I think anyone reads this but who knows.  Anyway I am tapering down towards my 50k at the Sweltering Summer 8 hour in 2 more weeks, and yes I am very nervous.  I think I may finally have my food and hydration under control but we will see when it comes race time!  I do know my legs are fairly beat, so I am looking forward to the taper!

So a couple weeks ago I got a diagnosis for my ankle and foot pain that finally makes sense. For 3 years now I’ve been fighting pain in my foot and had diagnosis ranging from PF to Posterior Tib (never mind that my symptoms never matched any of them) and finally capped with ankle surgery to remove a chunk of cartilage floating around in there. Since the surgery I now have the joy of a far weaker ankle, a screwed up running gait that messes with my leg muscles and opposite shoulder swing, and still just have an almost constant level of pain. Fun is.

Anyway, talking with the doctor a couple weeks ago he said that what I have is tarsal tunnel syndrome… carpal tunnel but in my ankle. And that I have the choice of live with it or get an even more complex surgery that will mean I can’t run for a year and a half and may NEVER be able to run distance again. In fact it might not even help the pain. On the flip side he’s done this for other distance runners who have been able to come back better than ever.

So what to do… I won’t make decisions now, I still have a few races capped off with the NYC Marathon. But some day I’ll hit a point where the pain is just too much and I’ll have to get this damn thing done. It’s not a day I am looking forward to 🙁

7-10 Review Week

Another hard week under my belt, peaking out for my Sweltering Summer 8 Hour in 4 weeks.  I topped out at 24 miles on my long run with 42 total and now it’s time to taper which is good because I am so freaking tired.  I have never really felt like I needed a taper before but right now I am screaming for one.  Of course I “ONLY” have to do 18 this weekend.  Eeeks.

trackI did 16 of the 24 on a 1/4 mile track Sunday.  It’s just mind numbing to run in a circle that much, and yet it was only half of what I intended to do in 4 weeks.  I would have done all 24 but I forgot to tape my nipples and started chafing very, very badly.  Bleeding through a shirt chafing.  I highly recommend KT tape for covering the boys.

Otherwise I did well from a nutrition perspective.  I used Tailwind, salted boiled potatos, and a UCAN bar.  Not #NSNG for sure but for the first time in forever I didn’t get sick on a long run.  To me that’s a huge bonus.  The weather was pretty cold especially for mid July so I didn’t get to test out my hot weather strategies but I should have my ice bandana ready for next weekend.

The Week in Review

Rough week… we had to live out of a hotel with our 2 dogs all week because our floors were getting redone.  Did terrible things for both my diet and my running 😉  Diet because I ate out all week, running because the hotel treadmill SUCKED and I had to run outside at the hotest part of the day from a hotel that was on top of a big hill.  Starting out was easy, getting back not so much.

rabbitThis morning was fairly light, only 10 miles.  I had this little guy as my pacer for a bit.  Ironic given my leg tattoo of a running tortoise.  Next week is my peak (I think?) of 24, then taper down to my 8 hour timed event August 6th (Sweltering Summer 8 hour).  The goal is 50k.  I’ve been feeling terribly sluggish which could be tired legs or could just be my crap diet.  Also put on a couple pounds which is the wrong direction.

Nothing new on the gear front this week but I am going to be putting on some sleeves next week to try the trick of shoving ice down them.  Also making a nice ice bandana as per the instructions here.  Got all the stuff from Amazon, just need my lovely wife to stitch it together.  I am torn about whether to actually try a semi-duplicate of what my race will be and head up to the track at the high school.  Although shorter than my race loop (it’s like .35) I need practice with the monotony, as well as with having a cooler and all to stop at.  So I may give it a go.

Finding a running vest for a fat guy

So here’s the deal… because of the restrictions at the Boston Marathon I need a vest that a) is lightweight, b) has bottles and not a bladder, c) has room for my junk (nutrition stuff), and d) preferably has the bottles facing forward.  The truth is all this is NOT easy to find for a fat guy.  Over the next few posts I’ll be talking about what has an hasn’t worked for me!

So wait, what are you doing again?

I’ve owned this blog a long time, and even tried launching it a time or two.  Inevitably though I gave up running and let the blog lapse.  So rather than pick up years later I figured it made more sense to start over!  The why do this is pretty simple… as a (still) fat guy who tries to enjoy running, I know if can be hard to get good info on gear and methodology for actually running as a heavy person.  Things just don’t work the same!  So I’m hoping you can learn from some of my trial and error so that you don’t hit some of those same challenges.