Tuesday Night Club Run?

I finally got to have a Tuesday Night club run.

My Physical Therapist prescribed only a 5 minute run just to see how it feels.

A few months ago when we started to get back to running my left knee began to ache. After a month or so of treatment the knee is mostly better.

So I went from sore Achilles and heels to less sore Achilles, knees and added a sore knee.

Over all, things are getting better but 5 minutes was about right for tonight.

5 Minute Tuesday Night Club Run

When it takes me more time to get ready for a run than actually running, it kind of feels like a waste of time.

But when the run is therapeutic, it is a necessity. Running for a half hour or for a 5K would have been a mistake.

My 5 minute Tuesday Night club run was therapeutic in more than just the physical way.

Seeing my friends and having a wave and a smile as I headed back to the barn was really nice. It’s hard to explain the comfort I felt being out for a run with friends. Even if I was heading back and in the opposite direction.

Tuesday night club run, therapy run

So, my Tuesday night run wasn’t very long or strenuous, but it was worth the time it took to get there.

As always, I’m planning to get back to regular running. I’d like to run some 5K and 10K races this summer and perhaps run a half in the fall. Perhaps the BAA Half Marathon.

But recovery is a one step at a time process that requires patients and dedication to that process.

Run well My Friends,


August 8 Check In

I’ve edited and updated some evergreen posts such as the New England Marathons Fall 2021. A directory of New England Marathons requires regular updates, even in a normal year.

But I haven’t been running or racing much these past few months.

The mid-summer Check In

So here’s a recap of the past few months.

Running Check In

I’ve had Achilles tendonitis since November of 2020.

Throughout 2020 I had been running three times a week. My long runs were often half-marathon or longer and I was feeling pretty good.

In November I ran three legs of a relay race and during the last two miles I could tell that something was wrong.

Any runner will tell you that it’s not unusual for something to hurt during a run. Even if it’s just a few miles.

This race was a little over 14 miles.

Over the next four months I spent a lot of time on the couch with my ankle on a pillow with an ice pack waiting for things to get better.

I also ran short runs in the neighborhood just to try and keep something going.

This managed to knock back the discomfort back 10%, but I was in no condition for Spring Training.

Finally in March I went to an Orthopedist. He looked at my x-rays, did some poking, twisting, turning and applied pressure.

The good news was that nothing was broken. The bad news was that I had a classic case of achilles tendonitis.

He gave me a 24-hour NSAID, told me to rest more and ice at least four times a day. If nothing improved in the next month or so I could come back and get fitted for a boot.

I did everything he said and even stopped running for all of May.

In June I tried to get back to running with short runs around the neighborhood. I even ran the virtual BAA 10K.

While my pain had decreased maybe another 10% the 10K confirmed that I was not ready to get back to training.

I called to make an appointment for The Boot. I was gonna be a Storm Trooper!

Instead, my original ortho had me talk to an ortho who specialized in runners. We are a special breed! ?

For this appointment I got to do a tele-health visit on my phone.

I know that some people don’t like these but I loved the convenience. Since I had already been physically examined there was no need to go into an office.

Doctor’s Orders

On top of being a nice guy, this Doc knew how to talk to a runner.

Right at the beginning of the call he said that “we both want the same thing and that is to get you out running again.” How could I disagree with that?

He said no running or long walks for the next 6-8 weeks and to go see a physical therapist. He knew the PT practice I use and gave me a referral.

I’ve been to PT about 8 times since mid July.

My PT Doc gave me four exercises to do at home, which I thought was great. Previously I’ve been sent home with pages of things to do. Does anyone get past the first page?

My ankles are still tight when I wake up in the morning but seem to be getting better.

Better yet, last weekend I noticed that I could fly up and down stairs without pain! Mid-flight I realized I was going down the stairs strait and nothing hurt!

I told my PT about this and that there is a 5K coming up on the 14th. But she looked at me and said “you could run it but it will probably set you back.”

That’s all I needed to hear. I’ve been dealing with this for eight months, so when the doctor said she wouldn’t advise it in so many words, I listened.

Instead of saying no she just told me what would happen. Pretty smart!

Following Doctor’s Orders

My Ortho told me not to run or go for long walks. So I haven’t even gone for a hike in the woods or to the beach.

I’ve even impressed my self with how well I’m following my PT plan.

Every day I do the entire plan and sometimes I do a bit more. Just like running, it’s important not to over do it. So I only do some of the routine several times.

All of this has pretty much trashed my summer, but what can I do?

I want to run again and not be in pain every day.

It’s a small price to pay even if it is a few more months.

About 10 years ago I had what I thought was bursitis in my left hip. It lasted for about three years and I thought my marathon running was over.

I kept to short runs and settled into the idea of running just for fitness.

But eventually it went away on it’s own and hasn’t bothered me since.

If something like that can get better, so can this.

Running Off The Mark

Early this year I set a personal goal to average three running miles per day in 2019.

In 2018 I ran 809 miles for an average of 2.22 miles per day. Moving the bar to three miles per day would be 1095 miles for 2019.

You would think that adding 0.78 miles per day would be easy.

Running Off The Mark

Early in the year I was doing pretty good and on more than a few days I was ahead of my three-miles-per-day goal.

Between training for The Boston Marathon and running three half marathons in the first quarter, I was keeping up with my goal. Almost every Sunday I ran at least a half marathon either as a race or a training run.

In one day I could cover 4 days of my mileage quota with a bit to spare. Adding in the Tuesday Night Club Run and one or two shorter training runs and I was doing okay.

In March I ran almost 131 miles. I hardly ever run more than 100 miles in a month!

In April I ran The Boston Marathon and ran a total of 84.68 miles for the month. Still on the mark.

Then in early May I pulled a muscle doing some work around the house. I know exactly when it happened.

The pull didn’t hurt but I noticed it after the Portsmouth Half Marathon.

It’s not unusual to have a few aches and pains after a half marathon, but this time the ache was in my lower belly.

An odd place to feel discomfort after a race. But I figured I must have done something and waited for it to go away like any other running injury.

After a week I consulted with my doctor and he agreed I probably pulled a muscle while working on my car. I didn’t have any symptoms of a hernia or other internal injury.

Waiting it out

There isn’t much you can do for a muscle pull. Doc said to rest and apply heat.

I applied a Frozen Peaz PeazPak each evening while watching TV. These paks have glass beads and fluid in them that hold heat. You just microwave them for a minute or so and you’re good to go.

After a few days of rest and heat paks I still felt some discomfort in the area when I ran. Even light stretching in the gym aggravated the pull.

I’ve had to go back into my foggy memory and remember what a muscle pull is like. They take time, just like any other injury.

In 2016 I had a quad pull and that took months to heal. I kept running but my 5K times were generally four minutes slower than the previous year. My BAA 10K time was off by 23 minutes!

I’ve stopped running long on the weekends and usually only run once or twice a week now. I’m trying not to push it and it’s a challenge.

Year to Date

If I look at the past 365 days my miles are 875.4 or 2.4 miles per day.

Looking at year to date (153 days) I’ve run 444.93 miles for an average of 2.91 miles per day.

With a total mile goal of 1,095 I need to run 650.07 miles over the next 212 days of 2019.

That will require an average of 3.06 miles per day from now on.

Looking at the numbers I’m not so far off of my mark. But the longer my injury lingers the harder it will be to hit that 3.06 miles per day mark.

Each week that I let up on my running schedule my fitness level decreases and I become more accustomed to the sedentary lifestyle.

I’m trying to keep things in perspective and to remember other injuries and how long they have taken to go away.

The good news it that almost all of my injuries heal 100% given enough time. Even my knees are doing much better than last year.

So grasshopper must have patience!

Run well my Friends!


A Real River Run

An afternoon run looks like a run on the river!

river run, marathon training
Running down the River?

I went out for a Friday afternoon run at work. We were having another unseasonably warm day and I couldn’t resist. This was my second River Run for the week. When I ran across the Longfellow bridge on Tuesday there was a huge crowd on the bridge returning from The Patriots Victory Parade.

Today the crowd was light but my first mile pace was sluggish. Not sure why, but I ended up running an 8:23 pace over 5.03 miles.

When I got home and loaded my run into Garmin Connect I saw this interesting graphic. The green circle is supposed to be where I started my run. In the middle of The Charles River!

There is ice on the river, but barely enough for a duck to walk on. It’s mostly open water again.

Every once in a while I get a crazy result like this. I’m never sure why.

My watch locked onto satellites quickly and nothing seemed unusual. It was just another fun run along the river.

Do you ever get crazy results like this with your watch?

Run well my Friends and stay off the ice!


2018 Summer Marathon Training Week 7

Summer marathon training can be a hot sweaty mess. I’m lucky to have a club running program to help!

Sunday Long Run Seven

Sunday Long Run Seven in the summer marathon training program was this weekend. I still haven’t signed up for a Fall New England marathon, but I do have three halfs on the schedule. If you’re still looking for a Fall marathon check out my link. Fall is a busy marathon season in New England!

We had a good sized group of about 30 people run this week.

This week probably a dozen or so of us ran the 14.6 mile course, or some semblance of it! There are a lot of turns for the week seven run, but I know these roads by heart. Early in the run we made a loop around Ell Pond across from Melrose High School.

I always enjoy this loop because we only run it a few times a year and there are some amazing homes in this neighborhood.

Sunday Long Run Seven, summer marathon training

I ended up running most of the course by my self. The long run group made the loop of Ell Pond and the short run folks did not. So as we ran up the Fellsway Hills I caught up to several people and had some running conversation with them.

Even though I haven’t run a lot this summer I felt strong pushing up the hills. I kept telling my self that I was running longer than a half marathon so I should be a little bit conservative. But I’m not a very good conservative so I ran at a comfortable pace that was a bit faster than I probably should have.

Miles four and five were up the hills and I managed a 9:43 and a 9:40 mile while gaining 159 feet over the two miles and loosing 120 feet of elevation. After the charge up the hills I never had a sub 9 minute mile the rest of the day. But that was okay.

I managed a 13.93 mile run at an average pace of 9:23. This was 23 seconds/mile faster than last week when I ran 14.02 miles and had less elevation gain.

If I hadn’t pushed the hills maybe I could have run the full 14.6 mile course. Distance is important but I was able to push my pace on a fairly challenging course and I ran longer than the distance I’m training for, the half marathon. So over all, I think it was a good run.

I’m still adjusting to a new editor called Gutenberg from WordPress. It’s supposed to be wonderful, but so far I find it difficult to use. I know it takes time to adjust to and learn new things so I’m sticking with it for now.

It does dampen my enthusiasm to sit down and write since I have to spend more time trying to figure out how to do things. I’m also finding that I can’t do things I could before and I can’t do things that Gutenberg is supposed to do.

So if things look clunky for a while and I don’t write as often, you know why.

Run well my Friends and enjoy the rest of this summer!


Saturday Long Run

Sometimes a nice summer run is just what you need to clear the cob webs.

This week I changed things up a bit. Instead of doing a Sunday Long Run with the Melrose Running Club, I did a Saturday Long Run on my own.

Getting up and out by yourself can be a challenge. When there is a group of runners expecting you, you kinda gotta show up or get some razzing the next time you meet up.

When I’m sitting on the couch clearing the DVR of shows I just couldn’t make time for but just can’t miss, it’s easy to watch just one more show and then go for a run.

I know my self well enough to know that I am susceptible to this laziness.

To combat growing roots and never moving I changed into my running clothes during the commercial breaks. Instead of fast-forwarding through the breaks I used the time to move my self closer to the door.

Saturday Long Run?

As I headed down my street I wasn’t sure exactly where I was going. All I knew was that I was going to run through Medford Square and over to West Medford and head out The Mystic Valley Parkway. So I headed in that direction.

At the Wedgemere train station where the Parkway ends at Bacon Street I wasn’t sure where I would go. This point ended up being five miles from my home and you can see it on the map below.

I could have turned around and had a nice ten mile run. The last time I ran out this way I took a few turns and ended up too far from home and unsure of my location. With that run in mind, turning around would have been reasonable.

Saturday Long Run, Summer Running

Since I’ve been running on the light side lately I decided to head south on Bacon Street towards Medford. I wasn’t sure how many miles I’d end up with, but at least I was heading home.

What I think about when I Saturday Long Run

Running on a warm, humid summer morning is a gift. After my legs warmed up I began to feel good and confident. I knew that where ever I ended up on this trek, I was prepared. My belt had supplies, cell phone and two bottles of Hydralyte.

After I got over to The Parkway I had a wide bike lane to run in. The Parkway is next to The Mystic Lakes. Most of the time all I heard were my own shoes hitting the pavement.

The soft, moist breeze carried the pine and spruce forest into the air. With just a few other runners, two cyclists and a handful of cars, I almost felt like I was running in the woods.

Since I didn’t push my pace too much it was a very comfortable and enjoyable run. It was a run that I hope will come to mind the next time I’m at home trying to visualize a route and build up the steam to get out the door.

The temperature seemed to be in the low 70s the entire run. And even though it had rained Friday night and sprinkled during my run it never felt humid.

So what did I think about? Since it wasn’t a race or a long long run I didn’t have mission control in my head constantly doing systems checks and fuel assessments. It was all systems on cruise.

I thought about how polluted the Mystic Lakes and Mystic River are. That there must have been all kinds of factories over here in the old days. Who knows what they made besides a huge mess that no one wants to deal with. The sediment on the bottom is so contaminated that the experts figure it’s better to leave it be.

They may be right, but then, what mess are we leaving for our great-grand children to deal with. Are we always so short sighted and ignorant that humanity constantly screws things up?

I ran by some magnificent houses and imagined who lives there now and many years ago. Who built it and why that style? What were they trying to say, if anything?

Lot’s of random thoughts and also time with a clear mind not thinking of anything other than the run.

Summer is setting like the Sun

It seems like just yesterday it was the beginning of June. Then my Father died on June 13th and it seems that ever since, I have cascaded from one event or task to another.

Work has me travelling a lot, my garden is a mess and my to-do list lies mostly un-touched. I enjoy being busy but I also enjoy living life and not just passing though it.

Taking a nice Saturday long run in solitude gave me an hour and a half with just my thoughts. Maybe someday I will look back on those 93 minutes as a highlight of the summer of 2018. A moment when the foot came off the accelerator and a deep breath of life filled my lungs.

Run well my Friends,