2022 InterSystems Invitational 5K

This week we are in beautiful Seattle Washington for the InterSystems Global Summit 2022.

After two years of virtual summits we are are thrilled to be here in person, enjoying each other’s company and having a bit of fun along the way.

InterSystems Invitational 5K

This year we didn’t plan an “official” 5K, but since many of us are runners this run sprung up spontaneously like a shoot in the warm spring soil.

Our ring leader was Don Woodlock who gathered us together at 7AM Pacific Time in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency.

About a dozen of us headed out of the lobby for a fun run in the cool Pacific air.

Some of my colleagues from Brazil were bundled up like they were going out for a February run in Boston. They thought the rest of us were crazy to be wearing shorts!

The Old Man in not Down the Road

Don said he was going to run about a 9:20 pace. Normally that would not be a big deal for me, but I’m dealing with a never ending string of issues. The past few months has been a calf strain that I got going down a flight of stairs!

Hey, I’ve heard of people breaking their leg getting out of bed in the morning! So stop laughing. 😉

They tell us that they are pretty strict enforcing the J-Walking laws here in Seattle, so we stopped at all of the lights.

This allowed me to keep up with the crew for the first half-mile. At that point my left calf started to cramp and I had to walk. A colleague from Brazil stayed with me to make sure that I was alright.

I assured him that I was and that this was an old injury that I knew how to deal with.

At this point I had to give up my dream of a nice morning run along the water front in Seattle.

It was a little disappointing, but I was close enough to the Public Market that I was able to play tourist and take a few selfies.

 

After I took these photos I limped my way back to the hotel.

I took my phone hoping to take some additional photos and possibly a group shot, but everyone else continued on what I am sure was a great run.

Normally when I travel I go out for a run or two to see the city. Running is a great way to discover a city and get a feel for the vibe and energy.

It was fun to be part of this run and I’m glad that I at least gave it a shot.

The BAA 10K is on Sunday and this makes me worry just a little bit!

Run well my Friends!

Andy

Boston Marathon Training 2018 5 Weeks to go

The Boston Marathon is rapidly approaching! How is your training going?

I was away for business last week and only managed two treadmill runs. One was 6.61 and the other was two miles. Not much but better than nothing.

Boston Marathon Training on the Road

Training while traveling can be a challenge. Running shoes take up a lot of space and can force you to check a bag that’s just too big for the overhead bin. You also have to remember to bring everything you need. Who wants to go for a five mile run in black dress socks!

Running Shoes, Surviving a Conference, Boston Marathon TrainingI’ve gotten to a hotel and realized I didn’t pack running shorts. All that effort and extra weight and I still couldn’t even go to the gym. Yes, you can always buy a pair of shorts. But when you have as much gear as I do, it’s painful to spend $30 to $50 for a pair of running shorts or yet another running shirt.

Most of my conferences have a packed schedule that has me leaving my room before 8 AM and often not returning until after 8 PM. This doesn’t leave much time for running.

I usually arrive the day before and try to run in the gym that night. It helps me relax after a long flight. The next morning I might go out for a short run around the neighborhood. This is more of a recon mission than a training run.

If you don’t know the area it’s best to go out during the day and see what the neighborhood looks like. I’ve been hemmed in by highways. Other times I couldn’t run more than a few hundred feet before stopping at a corner. Many towns don’t consider J-walking a sport like Bostonians do.

If I’m lucky and get to bed at a decent time I run in the mornings before the conference begins. A few miles in the clear morning air is a great way to start a long day.

If I can’t get to the gym or outside, I have yoga and body weight exercises that I can do.

Cross training is important in any training plan. A strong core and hip muscles will take you far. Simple things like planks, squats and stretching can give you a pretty good workout. I avoid anything that involves jumping, like burpees or jumping jacks.

I also avoid working my legs too much. It’s easy to knock about 100 squats and lunges when you’re bored and there’s nothing else to do. But then you have to walk and stand on those beat up legs the next day.

Eating on The Road

Surviving a Conference, TapasAt most conferences and meetings there is more food than you should eat. Sometimes the food is really good and it’s difficult not to go back for seconds or take an extra pastry.

The best thing to do is load up on fruit and yogurt and go lightly on bacon, sausage, fried potatoes and those delectable pastries!

Drinking a lot of water will also help. Often, conference halls are dry so you naturally dehydrate faster than you would at home. Keeping your belly full of water also helps you avoid the many high calorie temptations. Skip the soda and juice and go light on the sugar and cream in your coffee. Water is best.

If you go out for dinner you may be able to make good food choices. If not, just be careful how much you eat.

Paella, surviving a conferenceAvoiding cocktails, beer, wine etc is also a good idea. They are full of calories and lower your defenses to foods you should avoid. I hardly ever order desert and when I do it always feels like a mistake about half-way through!

Even if you can’t maintain a regular training schedule, keeping your weight under control can pay big dividends when you get back home.

Boston Marathon Training 2018 5 Weeks to go

Holy smokes! Only five weeks to go!

Like most plans, my training plan went off the rails a few times. In January I pulled my left calf muscle on the day I got confirmation I was running Boston. That took me out for about two weeks. When I started back I kept my runs short and many were on the treadmill.

Then my Dad got sick and I spent two weeks in Florida and ran once. January came in at 82 miles and February came in at 60 miles. I was hoping to run 100 miles for both of these months.

My Dad is okay and back home.

The first week of March I was away for business and missed a 20 mile Sunday Long Run. That was an important run that I really regret missing. But I had to fly on a Saturday and I’m glad I did.

Due to weather my flight out of Boston was delayed two and a half hours and I missed my connecting flight out of JFK. The last JetBlue flight out of JFK was 9 PM and I got into Las Vegas around 4 AM Eastern time.

If I did the 20 miler, my Sunday flight may have been cancelled and I would have had to fly on Monday.

As I mentioned above, my training in Las Vegas was minimal. But, now I’m back to the frozen North. Winter is still here.

Boston Marathon Training Sunday Long Run

Sunday Long Run week 10 2018, Boston marathon trainingThe official distance for this week’s run was 16 miles. Due to snow we could not run in Breakheart Reservation in Saugus, so adjustments were made. We have an awesome SLR crew!

Since I only ran 8.6 miles the previous week, I wasn’t to excited about a 16 miler for my first run back.

My weather app said it was 30° and would go up to 37° so I wore Kraft shorts and running shorts. I wore hat, gloves and two long-sleeved shirts. While most of me was okay, my legs were freezing for the first two miles. Garmin says it was 23° and I’m sure it was at times!

We started at Bruegger’s on Main Street in Melrose and headed north. Our first water stop was at Nick’s Pizza in Wakefield. I had my own Hammer Head mix, so I just took a tiny Snickers bar.

From Nick’s we headed to Lake Quannapowitt for a loop or two around the lake. It’s a 5K loop so it works out well.

The plan was to do one loop, head back to Melrose, pass Brueggers and do another loop in Melrose. As I ran towards the lake I decided to run around the lake twice if the wind wasn’t too bad.

I went one way and everyone else went the other way around the lake. As I ran around the lake I got to see everyone. The wind wasn’t bad at all, so I did a second loop and saw more of our crew along the way.

At the bottom of the lake on my second loop I was around 10 miles. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t hit 16 miles if I headed strait back to Melrose, but I had planned to cut the run short anyway.

I stopped at Nick’s for one last stop and had two little Snickers bars and added some water to one of my bottles. This was about mile eleven.

I knew it was only about three miles back to Brueggers, but that was okay.

My knees were starting to hurt and I didn’t want to push it. My last three miles were all under my marathon goal pace of 9:30 and my overall pace for the run was 8:56.

For my first long run in two weeks, 14.1 miles isn’t bad. Next week the run is 17.8 miles and I’ll need to start working on my pace.

I’m pretty good at running even splits. Now I just need to get the splits around 9:30.

Looking Ahead to the Boston Marathon

Being realistic, I will not be in shape to run 9:00 splits for Boston. In Honolulu I only managed a 10:34 pace. This was due to my knee and making four porta potty stops.

When I ran Boston in 2016 I ran a 9:30 pace and finished at 4:09. When I did that I had different knee issues than Honolulu. The Honolulu knee issues persist.

I’ve been working on my stomach issues. I woke up early for today’s SLR and had breakfast an hour and a half before the run. It may be a one-off, but my gut never bothered me for the entire run. I usually eat within a half-hour of a run and that may be a bad idea for me.

It also seems like my recent time off from running has helped my knee recover somewhat. I was bumming about missing the 20 miler, but while running today I was glad when I realized how well my knee was doing.

I’m always looking for the upside in any situation. The “rest” in Las Vegas was good for my knee and I may have a handle on my stomach issues.

If things go my way I should be able to run between 9:30 and 10:00 minute splits for the Boston Marathon 2018!

The Boston Marathon 2018 winners will be showered and doing interviews by the time I head down Boylston Street.

This will be my Eight Running of The Boston Marathon and it still has a special place in my heart. I get excited just thinking about it! I know it will be difficult and painful, but the joy is in the challenge and over coming.

I am grateful to have the opportunity to celebrate running with 32,500 other runners on Marathon Monday!

Run well my Friends and let me know how your training is coming along.

Andy

I Fell for The Friends of The Middlesex Fells 10K

The Friends of The Middlesex Fells held their second annual Middlesex Fells 10K and 5K on Sunday, November 5th at Medford High School.

Melrose Running Club Sponsors Friends of The Middlesex Fells Races

The Melrose Running Club was a sponsor of the race this year. The MRC supports local races by providing volunteers and financial support. Many of our members run in The Middlesex Fells often, so it is important for the club to support the work that The Friends of The Middlesex Fells does.

Middlesex Fells 10K

I’m a road runner and rarely run a trail race. The Middlesex Fells 10K was my first trail race of 2017, and it was on November 5th.

Our club had a table and tent at the event, so I arrived early to get things set up. Gail Severt and Lois Parker-Carmona ran the 10K and Liz Hecht ran the 5K. I hope I didn’t miss anyone. Paul Locke, Duncan Locke, Liz Tassinari and Catherine Kane helped set up our tent and manned the booth.

The 5K started at 1 PM and the 10K started at 1:45 PM. Both races used many of the same trails so they couldn’t have both groups out there at the same time. Makes sense, but it still seems late in the day to have a race.

Friends of The Middlesex Fells 10K and 5KBefore we headed to our last minute race prep and to line up, Paul Locke took this photo of Lois, Me and Gail.

The start was on the ramp down from the soccer fields. It was nice to start on a down hill for once. We were back from the start about 10 feet and there were still a few 5K runners coming in.

The 10K crowd looked small and I turned around to see if everyone was behind me. Probably more than half the runners were behind me, but we only had 78 10K runners. For a tight course like this was probably good.

The race director gave instructions, but the band never stopped playing, so a lot of people behind me couldn’t hear him. Fortunately, the trails were well marked and they had plenty of volunteers to guide us at key turns.

Running the Middlesex Fells 10K

Around 1:48 they gave us the go and we were off.

Right after we crossed the start mats we took a sharp left and ran across the parking lot behind Medford High. Just as we turned the corner heading to the parking lot by the Vocational school, we entered the woods.

I quickly noticed how clear the trails were. I saw a lot of volunteers heading into the woods when I arrived and it looked like they raked the leaves from the trail for us.

Having a clear trail was very helpful for a novice trail runner like me. I had a hard time finding my pace and rhythm. As soon as I would get into a pace the trail turned rocky or there was a hill. Or the trail narrowed and I could not use my momentum to pass anyone.

Even with clear trails I soon realized that I needed to stay off the heal of the runner in front of me.

For a trail race you need distance between yourself and the runner in front of you so you can see the trail. Roots and rocks appear quickly and you need a split second to react.

A mile or so in, the girl in front of me almost twisted her ankle on a rock. That was a wake up call for me. I have a marathon in a month. I cannot afford to get hurt.

After about two miles, the clear trail became littered with leaves. I couldn’t tell how my foot would land in the leaves. Rocks and roots sometimes were visible in the leaves. But not always.

When we got onto a fire road or wide trail I used my speed to move ahead. When we got to hills I used my climbing ability to scramble up and over.

Some hills were very steep rock outcroppings and didn’t afford much traction. I took it on faith my my shoes and momentum would get me up and over without falling on my face.

All of the hills were taking their toll on me. My legs began to burn on the hills and my form was getting sloppy. I decided to take it easy going up the hills and outcroppings and focus more on the trail and my running.

The group I had been running with moved further ahead of me. Then, I couldn’t see anyone in front of me and relied on the flags to keep me on course.

At mile 4 they had a water stop and I grabbed some sports drink. Like a road runner I didn’t slow down, spilled half the drink and got one gulp. I could hear the poor girl from whom I snatched the cup commenting on my method. On pavement, my method works much better.

I felt a bit of energy in my legs soon after my one gulp. The trail was fairly clear so I tried to catch up with the group in front of me.

Between mile 4 and 5 the trail twisted all over the place and crossed over itself several times. Fortunately there were plenty of guides.

Falling for the Middlesex Fells 10K

Soon after the water stop the trail became much more technical. I’m pretty confident on flat pavement but on a trail I have no idea what I’m doing. I tried to keep up with the gang, but as the hills kept coming I had to back off.

The surge of energy from the sports drink was short-lived. My legs were tired and I was probably getting sloppy.

Around mile 5 at just about 47 minutes into the race I fell. I caught my foot on something or slipped, I don’t know.

One instant I was moving through the woods, the next instant I was flying ass over tea kettle and the next instant I was slammed into the ground, head and body. Like a fly on a windshield.

If you’ve ever fallen you know how it happens in a split second but so many thoughts go through your mind.

Right after I made impact, I realized that I had managed to get both arms folded in front of my like I was resting my head. My vision was blurry and I wondered if I had blacked out for a moment.

I had the wind knocked out of me but nothing seemed to hurt or be bleeding. I’ve broken an arm before, so I know lack of pain doesn’t mean too much.

I struggled to my knees with little pain, but could not catch my breath. I wondered what broken ribs or a punctured lung felt like. What didn’t I feel yet?

I realized my vision was blurry because my glasses had fallen off, and my watch was missing. I quickly found my glasses and one side was bent pretty bad. After I got them on I found my watch, but half of the wrist band was missing.

I got to my feet and felt a little weird. I hadn’t had a full breath in a bit and my body had just gone from running hard with a heart rate around 180 beats per minute to being slammed into the ground. I had no idea what was going on with my heart, I just wanted a full breath. So weird didn’t seem weird.

I took a few steps and still could not catch my breathe. I looked around and I was all alone. I didn’t even hear other runners. I didn’t panic but I was a little worried to be out there like that by myself.

Before I could catch a full breath I started calling for help. Oddly, I didn’t even feel pathetic. With very little breath my voice was not very loud. If I couldn’t hear runners slamming through the woods, there was no way anyone was going to hear my pathetic pleas for assistance.

As I stood there doing damage assessment, another runner came down the trail. I called out for help in my weak voice and the guy was kind enough to stop for me.

I cannot tell you how greatful I was to have someone there. At this point I wasn’t sure if I was injured or how bad anything was.

I thought I had a leaf stuck to my face but my buddy told me I had a good sized egg right under my eye. It didn’t hurt, I could see fine and I had other things to worry about.

He asked if I was okay and I told him what happened. He walked with me for a bit and I began to get my breath back. My chest was sore but it appeared that nothing was broken. After a hundred yards or so I felt well enough to tell him to go ahead. He double checked with me and headed off.

Eventually I got to some clear trail and began jogging. My glasses were a mess and I could barely focus on the trail.

When the trail became cluttered with leaves again it really became difficult. I couldn’t tell which eye really saw the trail and which eye was distorted. I wear progressive bifocals and one lens was an inch further from my eye than normal and at a bit of an angle.

I saw several guides along the way and no one seemed to notice how messed up I was. I took that as a sign that I wasn’t that messed up.

I saw Duncan Locke a few times as I wound through the woods on the last mile. Then I saw him jogging down the trail towards me and said, “You’re almost to the parking lot Andy.”

It usually takes more than 6.2 miles to make me want a race to just be over. I’ve run 10Ks with an injury before, but this is the first race where I got injured during the race. I just wanted it to end.

Soon we came out of the woods where we entered and had a short run across the parking lot to the finish.

The announcer called out all the bibs finishing in front of me, but I didn’t hear him mention my bib. Once again I worried that I was a bigger mess than I thought or felt.

When I stopped my watch it said 1:02:47. My official time was 1:05:07 or 43rd place.

Apre Middlesex Fells 10K

As I walked back to our tent I grabbed a water and trudged along like all the other runners. No one looked at me so I must have been okay. Then I looked down at my knees and saw that my right knee had all kinds of dirt smooshed into it and was bleeding or had been bleeding. When I was running I didn’t even notice.

When I got back to our tent Paul Locke and Liz Tassinari didn’t immediately notice my condition. I showed them my knees and then I think they noticed the right bow of my glasses sticking out.

I told them what happened and about the leaf on the side of my face. Liz took one look at that and headed off to get some ice for me. One of the vendors had hummus on ice and Liz grabbed one of the freezer packs from them.

running injury, fallingPaul took a couple of pictures for me for posterity. How often does this type of shit happen? Not very, I hope!

I didn’t think I needed it, but Liz is a nurse and told me it could swell up and close my eye. That got my attention. A few minutes later she said I could have landed on something and lost the eye. Now that kinda freaked me out!

My brother had eye surgery last week. Enough with the goddamned eyes!

We hung out during the 5K awards but the crowd was thinning and we were getting cold.

Gail placed first in her age group, but the rest of us were also-rans. We packed up and left before the 10K awards.

10K Crash Landing

This is what a crash landing looks like on Garmin:

The Friends of The Middlesex Fells 10K, Falling, running injury At about 47 minutes I went from about an 9:47 minute pace to 0 MPH. Talk about sudden impact! I’m really shocked to see that in about two minutes I was moving again.

About 8 minutes after my fall I was running almost at my average pace for the race. While I was doing this jog I observed that my knees must be okay or I wouldn’t be able to do that.

The Friends of The Middlesex Fells 10K, falling, trail running This is an exploded view of the time of impact. Somehow, the sudden deceleration seems funny.

I went down like a ton of bricks and it all happened in a flash.

As I sat at the tent with the ice pack on my face I chuckled at how lucky I was. I managed to get my arms in front of me as I fell. I didn’t land on any sharp stones or sticks and nothing seemed to be broken.

There was actually some granite sticking through the leaves less than a foot in front of my face when I fell. How lucky is that?

It’s no fun taking a spill but I got super lucky. running injuries, fallingAs I write this I can feel my back tightening up and I know my face will be a mess in the morning. But I’ve got my teeth, both eyes and no broken bones.

I even fixed my watch! Half the band didn’t fall off in the woods. Somehow it pulled out of the watch but the clasp held it on. I didn’t even notice until I got back to our tent. When I got home I just slipped everything back together again.

As far as falls go, I’ll take it!

Run well my friends and be careful out there!

Andy

I’m over trained?

I’m over trained?

I feel like the laziest marathon runner in the world. Sure I do my long runs and put together plans that I never follow. I never run 50-100 miles per week. People who work at the marathon run those miles. I’m too lazy for that. How could I possibly be over trained?

Last night at our club run, a veteran runner suggested that my injury in January may have been from over training. I was shocked that anyone would even think that I could possibly have over trained. Me?

He noted that since I took three weeks off I have come back strong and set two new PRs. Basically, the time off did me a lot of good. The more I think about it, the more I think he is right.

In January I was at the beginning of my marathon training plan. I had a 20 mile per week base to work from, but I was pushing the miles up. My knee started hurting near the end of a 13.1 mile treadmill run. I had to cut the run to 12.8. This was my third treadmill run in six days totaling almost 24 miles.

I was also doing a gym leg work out that was/is killer. Lots of squats, lunges and burpees. Lots of stress on my knees. The combination of maintaining the gym work and the increase in running miles put me in the “Over Trained” category.

Beyond the rainbow 5k, 5kThe moral of the story is that even everyday runners like you and me can over train. You have to pay attention to all of the exercise you are doing. Seems like common sense, right?

How many of us have jumped into a training plan too quickly and sustained an over use injury? Same type of thing. Not paying attention to what we are doing.

Patience is a virtue. It can serve you well in a marathon and it can serve you well while training.

Run well my friends!

Andy

© anagelin 2014

Being Flexible

Being flexible was the theme of BAA’s recent Clinic

Many runners sustain injuries while training for a marathon, especially their first marathon. At the Boston Athletic Association’s recent Runner’s Clinic they discussed the importance of being flexible with your training plan and your race goal.

It’s not always an injury that forces us to be flexible. Life gets in the way of training quite often. Regardless of the reason for you to modify your training program you cannot ignore a change in your circumstance. Piling on extra miles to make up for a missed run is not a good idea. Thinking you can still shoot for an aggressive goal even after an injury or significant reduction in your training is also not a good idea.

You need to be flexible

Injuries need to be addressed. Continuing to run with a persistent pain is foolish. While you “tough it out” and run through the pain you may be causing additional and significant damage that may reduce or eliminate your future running. Is it really worth it?

I always say it is better to survive and run another day than it is to be a hero. Or stupid. You need to listen to your body and stuff your ego.

Life is about living and running is just a part of that. Work obligations need to be attended to. Your family needs you to be involved and engaged. If you have to travel or work extra hours for work, then you need to plan your training around that. Guess how you pay for running?

Like time, family time can never be repeated. Once your child’s birthday party is over, it is over. Don’t sacrifice important time with your family to run. If you are really that dedicated you will skip the cake and ice cream and go for your run after you help clean up from the party.

Training Flexibility

Since my knee injury about two weeks ago, I’ve had to be very flexible with my training. I didn’t do anything leg related for 10 days. I went to the gym a few times but only did core and upper body work. This helped me feel like I was still doing something and not turning into a blob.

I’ve seen a nurse practitioner who advised me to continue taking ibuprofen, ice my knee and not run any races. So far so good. Next week I have an appointment with a physical therapist. The PT I chose is a runner and several people in my club have used her and had great results.

This week I started using the Elliptical thingy at work. Every time I am on one of these machines I feel like I’m learning to walk again. It’s such an odd and un-natural movement. During my third session this week I started to feel comfortable.

A guy I run with once trained for a marathon using only the elliptical and stationary bike. That race is still his 3rd best PR. This was really encouraging to hear.

Goal Flexibility

I’m being flexible with my goals: I’m not looking for a marathon or a Boston PR. All I want to do is get to Hopkinton in good health and be able to cross the finish line. If I have to use alternative methods of training to achieve this, that’s what I’ll do.

In my mind I’m even reshaping what this race will mean to me, what it will be all about. I’ve run Boston a few times. In prior years I’ve trained hardly at all out of ignorance and other years I’ve trained hard with a goal in mind.

BAA, Boston Marathon,
Boston Marathon 2006 – somewhere in Newton

I’m past the date on the calendar where a good program would set me on course for a PR. I also can’t jump back into training and push extra hard to make up for lost time. When my PT gives me the green light I will be following her plan. To avoid re-injury, I have no doubt that my miles on the road will be reduced. I’m hoping she will be okay with me piling on the miles on the elliptical and bike.

This year Boston may be more about having a good time than achieving a goal. I always enjoy the crowd. By the time I get to Brookline I’m as altered as the drunks yelling to me from the curb. We have a good time.

Run well my friends!

Andy

© 2014 andrew nagelin

My First DNS

After speaking with a medical professional on Tuesday, I’ve decided not to run the Derry 16 Miler this Sunday.

My first DNS

As I said in a previous post – what ever it takes to get to Boylston Street. Right now that means giving my knee time to get better. If it doesn’t get better, then I may not get to Boylston Street. I need to give the healing process the time it needs and see what happens.

I’m still a runner, even though I can’t run. I’m still thinking about how I’m going to get back on track. I’m still thinking about the races I’ve signed up for. Mostly I’m thinking about getting an ice pack on my knee several times a day and making sure I don’t OD on ibuprofen.

It is difficult to know I’ll be sitting at home when my friends and thousands of other runners will be running a race I paid for. The not running part will be the most difficult part.

Being Flexible

For me it’s more important to get to the start line in Hopkinton than it is to run any other race. Boston is a goal for so many runners and I have yet another opportunity to run the race that is a dream for so many runners. Why would I put that in jeopardy by being foolish?

Sometimes what ever it takes means doing nothing. I cannot race and I have to significantly alter my training plan. I can’t just push through the pain and expect everything to be alright.

A DNS is a small price to pay to run the Boston Marathon.

I’m still a runner!

Run a mile for me my friends!

Andy