VERT Sasquatch Trail Race

A quick note from the side of the road

This week I continued my recovery and managed to get in three short runs, all under 4 miles. It’s pretty pathetic but I know I need to take it easy. Very frustrating!

Monday I go in for my first PT session. I’m hoping the physical therapist will tell me what is wrong, how serious it is and what I can do about it. Until I know how bad things are I don’t dare ramp up my “training”. I had an IB issue a few years ago and PT definitely helped. I’m optimistic that things will work out this time also.

VERT Sasquatch Trail Race

VERT,SasquatchThis weekend I’m running my first trail race. Yeah, I know. What are you doing racing with an injury? I’ve never done a trail race and I don’t plan on setting any records. It’s only about 2.3 miles so I should be okay. I’m really going for the party after wards at the Stone Zoo which features three local breweries that I’ve never had before: Slumbrew, NOTCH and Pretty Things. I’ve heard good things about Pretty Things.

The proceeds benefit the Friends of The Fells, and I like supporting a good cause.

Middlesex fells, trail race,vert

©2012 anagelin

Maine Lobster Festival 2012

Maine Lobster Festival 2012 10K Race

I ran 5.45 miles last Sunday with some friends but that is it. My leg is feeling better and I plan to start training again next week, but very carefully.

I have another race to tell you about. If you are going to the Maine Lobster Festival they are having the Maine Lobster Festival 10K Road Race. The race will be on August 5th at 8:30AM at Harbor Park in Rockland, Maine. Preregistration is only $15, and $18 the day of the race.

It’s a long way to go just for a race, but toss in a lobster or two and it’s definitely worth the drive! There will be a 5K walk and 1-mile Kids Fun Run also starting at 8:30AM. They expect about 300 participants, last year 208 ran the 10K.

Here is the link to the Maine Lobster Festival. Click on Main Events at the top of the page and then scroll down to Road Race, Fun Run and Walk on the left hand side. You can make a fun weekend out of this event.

Thanks for reading my blog and hope to see you there!

©2012 anagelin

6th Annual Granara-Skerry 5K Walk/Run

The 6th Annual Granara-Skerry 5K Race is next weekend

This 5K will be held Saturday September 29th, 2012 in Medford, MA.

running,5k race,granara-skerry

This is a nice flat course where I ran my 5K PR  last year. There were probably 200-300 walkers and runners last year, so it probably will not be a crowded race. Proceeds support pancreatic cancer research. This is a nice local race (Medford, MA) for anyone who would like to try running or walking their first 5K.

The race begins at 10AM, and is an out and back loop from the:

American Legion Hall – 321 Winthrop Street – Medford, MA

Here is the link for more information and registration.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

©2012 anagelin

Recovery and Pontifications

My journey as an injured runner continues

Except for the BAA 10K last Sunday I have not run at all this week. Every time I drive somewhere and see runners, the urge to jump out of the car and run with them is overwhelming. I feel like my entire routine is out of whack and off-balance.

roller, recoveryI’ve been using my new Thera-Roll foam roller every night and sometimes in the morning. Now my other hamstring is a little sore from the rolling! The muscles are not used to getting this type of pressure so it is uncomfortable while rolling and is then uncomfortable afterwards. I think it is working, but this is going to be a long-term recovery.

I went to the running club on Tuesday night but did not run. It was the final night for our Walk to Run program and I wanted to be there as everyone finished their first 3 mile run. It was fun to see them finish. Just about everyone I spoke with intends to keep running with the club. Afterwards Marathon Sports had some food and gift bags for all of the Walk to Run participants.

While I was there I talked to some of our veteran runners about my injury. Everyone agreed that it can take a long time to recover and you can’t rush it. I was also cautioned not to hit it hard when I come back as I can risk a re-injury. Rest, ice, ibuprofen and the roller were all recommended and getting some PT was suggested.  It was also apparent that almost every runner gets an injury at some point in their career. It just comes with the territory.

Being patient is the most difficult part of recovery. I had plans to run a lot of 5K and 10K races this summer as part of my training for my fall marathon. I’m glad I didn’t sign up and pay for those races now. Registration fees are normally nor-refundable. With each passing week the marathon gets closer and just thinking of the date makes me nervous. I’m going to start doing some short easy runs in the next week. If I feel any pain I’ll stop and take some more time off. If everything feels okay I’ll continue with short easy runs, just to be doing something.

This week’s pontification:

There is an adage that goes something like this:

“You’re never more likely to make a mistake than when you are absolutely sure that you are right.“

The logic is that when you are 100% confident in your choice, conclusion or way of thinking you stop looking for alternatives and disregard any facts or ideas that contradict your choice, conclusion, or idea.

In spite of better information you hold firmly to your beliefs even if the alternative is indisputably the better choice and disaster is imminent.

My running equivalent is this:

“You’re never more likely to injure yourself than when you are feeling strong, healthy and confident.”

When you have all of this going for you it is easy to feel that you can tackle any run at any pace. It makes it easy to disregard fatigue and disregard the fact that you are pushing yourself beyond your normal limits.

You can injure yourself in an instant and sometimes not even realize it.You may not feel an injury until the next day or your next run. While as humans and runners we need to push ourselves in order to make progress, we should not disregard common sense and safety. When we are at our peak or maximum we also need to realize that we cannot push much harder without risk of injury.

We all have limits. Go out and find those limits, but be careful about pushing too far beyond those limits.

Recovery can take a long time and is frustrating. Some injuries never go away completely, so it is best to try and avoid injury when you can.

Run well my friends.

©2012 anagelin

BAA 10K 2012

BAA 10K race recap

On Sunday I ran the 2nd Annual BAA 10K in Boston. It was another blazing hot day much like The Boston Marathon but with higher humidity.

The race started on Charles Street boston,Public Garden,Common, BAA 10Kwhich is between the Boston Common and the Public Garden. It’s really a great location with plenty of room for runners to lounge and stretch and for the spread that the BAA puts out for us.

I drove into Cambridge with my friend Gail and we parked in my work garage; very convenient at the end of the Longfellow bridge. It was about a 10 minute walk across the bridge and down Charles Street to The Common. Charles Street is a beautiful classic Boston neighborhood and a thoroughly enjoyable walk. We got to The Common about an hour before the race and picked up our shirts and bag for our gear.

We hung out, used the facilities and met up with some friends from our running club. It must have been 80 degrees in the sun at this point.

We found a patch of shade next to a building with a narrow window ledge to sit on. We sat, ate some pre-race food and watched all of the beautiful people. Since my hamstring was all ready giving me problems I only did a few light stretches and watched everyone else do their routines.

Like many runners I’ve developed a pre-race routine that I like to go through and work on any tight muscles. You can get contorted into some odd positions and it probably looks like one-man Twister to some people.

Well, Sunday was my day to watch the contortionists. I saw this one guy holding onto a barricade doing these high leg swings with a lot of force and wide range of motion. It made my leg hurt just watching him. I did my best to ignore all of the really fit females in their tight little shorts doing their contortions. But, oh my god! Why didn’t I start running when I was 20 and single?

Around 7:45 we made one more port-potty stop and headed for the corrals. They were packed like a Chicago stock yard. Every 20 feet or so hung a sign for the pace you should be running if you wanted to be in that section. We kept walking.

Eventually we stopped at the opening for the 7:00 – 7:59 pace. Neither of us were going to run that pace. But just about everyone was going to start out running at a 10 minute pace for the first ½ mile and then as everyone spread out the pace would pick up.

At the start

At 8AM they started the wheel chair racers. They wisely used a verbal start and not a starting gun. If they had fired the gun I really think that most people would have started running and it would have been a disaster.

A few minutes later they let Wave 1 go and the corrals moved up to take their place. At 8:05 they started Wave 2, and we were off.

On the run

As we turned off of Charles and onto Beacon Street the mob was all ready beginning to spread out. I was paying very close attention to my right leg at this point. I had not run since I hurt myself the previous Monday and I was not sure how the leg would respond. I had the normal base-line pains, but I did not have any twinges that would indicate trouble. When I checked my watch our pace was all ready under our 10 minute mile target pace.

Beacon turned left onto Arlington Street and then we turned right onto Commonwealth Ave. I felt pretty good and was confident that I could finish this race. Gail and I kept to between an 8:30 to 9:30 pace which was faster than we planned but comfortable for both of us. At the 1K sign we were in our groove.

As we hit the 1 Mile mark I felt like the race was taking shape, people were settled into their pace and there was finally some room to run. As we approached the right turn onto Charlesgate East I made sure Gail was okay with the pace and she was.

We turned quickly onto Beacon Street for a short distance and then onto Bay State Road. Bay State goes though the Boston University campus and I think mostly surprised people greeted us as we passed by. Before we turned left onto Granby Street we hit the 2 mile mark and had managed a 9:06 mile.

Granby took us back out to Comm. Ave. The Boston University section of Comm. Ave is wider than the Back Bay section of Comm. Ave and there are no large trees over the street. We were in full sun now and I could feel the heat and humidity: I could feel the energy.

My shirt fit me very well and was now damp and clung to me like a second skin. I was pretty sure I would not have any chaffing problems today. The loose wet shirts are the ones that cause problems.

Heading out Comm. Ave, on our way to the turnaround in front of the Agganis Arena, we locked into a comfortable pace around 9:00. The three-quarters of mile before Agganis is a slight uphill, but nothing too serious.

Gail and I managed to keep our pace going and passed a few people. We stayed to the left side of the road to make a good and efficient turn. As I came out of the turn I headed to the right side of the road to get out of the crowd and looked for Gail.

It was easy to spot her blaze red running shoes in the gaggle of shoes kicking about. Her bright head band and top stood out like a blaze in a forest of runners. She was moving right along and looked like she still had plenty of energy to finish strong.

Now the road was down hill and we hit 7:54 for a short distance. Gail reminded me to take it easy and not to overdo it. So we backed off and ran mile four at 8:38.

As we ran down the hill and headed back towards Kenmore Square I was feeling great. I just had the base-line discomfort in my hamstring. It had not blown up like a tractor-trailer tire going down the highway. This far into the race I was confident that my leg would hold up for the second half of the race.

The sun was baking down on the pavement and the air was full of heat; a slight head-wind provided some relief. Everything was going great and I was thoroughly enjoying this race. If I had been by myself I would have kicked it in and tried for an 8:00 mile. Thankfully my running mate was there to reel me in, and we ran mile five at a 9:01 pace.

As we came around Arlington onto Boylston Street, Gail could tell that I was raring to go and wanted to kick it in. She had coached me this far without injury, and told me to go ahead if I wanted to.

We ran to the finish just as we had started out, together. We finished at 56:00 and collected our finisher’s medal.

As we walked through the shoot Gail said she needed to go to the Medical Tent. For a moment I was scared that something was wrong. I had checked with her often during the race to make sure that the pace was good and she always said it was.

I was afraid that she had just been going along with me and now she had an injury. Then she told me she needed ice for her plantar fasciitis and that she wasn’t going to die of heat stroke.

The Medic gave us bags of ice and told me a $1.20 for the lady and $3.00 for me! For a second I thought he was serious. She iced down her foot and I iced down my leg. It was a brilliant idea. I never would have asked for ice and it made a world of difference. After 10 minutes or so my leg felt as good as it had before the race and it never bothered me for the rest of the day.

We both had a great race and a great day. I had a great time in spite of my injury and Gail achieved a new 10K PR!

©2012 anagelin

Half full glass

Monday, monday

Monday I wrote about my disaster in the locker room where a bottle of spray-on sun screen discharged completely into my gym bag and ruined my brand new, never worn tie. I’m still determined to salvage the tie and I’m having some luck.

I ran 10K Monday morning before work and thought I was doing great. I’ve never run before work and I was able to knock a good piece of my weekly mileage off. Over the course of the day my right hamstring got tight and started to hurt. Every time I got up from my desk my leg was killing me. On the drive home my leg hurt so bad that my foot was getting numb! It was unbelievable. So while I thought it was a great thing getting in a Monday morning run I had actually just caused myself problems.

roller, running injury recoveryAfter supper Monday night I ran over to Marathon Sports and bought a Thera-Roll. People have been raving about these rollers and what they can do for sore muscles. After my killer ride home from work I was desperate and willing to pay “whatever the cost may be” to get some relief.

As I mentioned Tuesday, the guy at Marathon Sports answered all of my questions and let me try out all of the rollers until I found the one that was just right.

I’ve used the roller every night this week and it seems to be working. But I can’t tell if the improvement is from not running or from rolling. Probably a little of both. I’m going to keep using the roller and see what happens. People have an almost religious zeal for these things.  I’m also making an appointment with a physical therapist.

If you want to see what the roller is all about click on the photo.

I had my summer race season planned out in the spring. Part of it was running the BAA Distance Medley. This was the 5K the day before the Boston Marathon and now a 10K this weekend. So now I’m trying to figure out if my hamstring will allow me to run this race and if running this race is going to take me out of action for the rest of the summer. I know I can’t go for a PR and that just finishing is going to be an accomplishment. I’m taking it day by day right now.

Oh, and the third race in the BAA Distance Medley is the BAA Half Marathon the Sunday before the ING Hartford Marathon which is on a Saturday. So my hamstring is a mess, I have a 10K before I have enough time to recover and then I have a half marathon with barely enough time for a healthy runner to recover before a full marathon!

I know that injuries are just part of being a runner. Earlier this year I hurt my foot because I bought the wrong shoes. This time I was just being dumb, over ambitious and thought I was invincible. And at my age I’m supposed to know better! Ha!

Here is my pontification

I’m always hearing people talk about the glass being half-full or half empty. In my mind this congers up an image of people sitting around contemplating the “glass of life” and merely ruminating or stewing on it. Well isn’t that special.

I say pick the freaking thing up and drink down the glass of life! Half-full or half-empty, chug that bad boy down until it is dripping down your chin and you are gasping for air. I assure you, that you will find it quite refreshing!


Chug down the half full glass and enjoy life!