23 and Me February

January was a successful month for running. Through Fall I managed to run about sixty miles each month. With a slight improvement each month through December.

In January I ran just over 91 miles. It wasn’t without aches and pains, but it was run with little doubt. I was confident as I pushed the mileage higher that I was on a trajectory towards a 100 mile month in February.

Even with the aches and pains, I showed up on Sunday and ran most of the miles. And I ran 4 to 6 miles Tuesday day night and a few times managed another 5 miler on Thursday or Friday night.

But on February 5th during our SLR 6 I ran into a problem. My knee has been bothering me for a while, but this time it felt different.

My Physical Therapist, Dr. Sarah Marchionne, at Fitzgerald Physical Therapy in Melrose checked my knee thoroughly. I was relieved when she said it was probably an over-use injury. This made sense since I had been ramping up the miles.

February 23 Running

The first run in February was The Sunday Long Run 6 which was a 16.5 course.

My knee had been bothering me from pushing it a little too much the week before. I was feeling strong, so I ran that way. During a few of my runs I even tossed in a few strides and they felt pretty good.

By the time I reached mile 10 of SLR 6, I knew it was a bad idea and run all 16.5 miles. Our next water stop was only 3.5 miles away and I figured I could get there without causing any permanent damage.

I knew exactly where I was going and what the hills were like. There were a few times when I had to walk and my Garmin flaked out on me.

Sunday Long Run, 23 and Me February

When I look at the map for that run, Mile 11 is a little short, Mile 13 is missing and it looks like I ran well over 15 miles. But Garmin gives me 13.6 miles which I literally felt in my bones was the correct distance!

Not my first tough run of this training program but it felt like the toughest run. When I got to the next water stop, I got a ride from Bobby Taylor back to my car! At mile 10 I knew my PT would say, why did you keep running?

Road to Boston SLR 6, Marathon training 2023

When I got into my car I felt like I had run 15+ miles.

As I was running in from Mile 10 I was thinking about what I would tell my PT. When did the pain begin? When did it get worse?

Would I be honest? Should I be? Would she be pissed or disappointed at my foolishness?

You can read about when the pain started in my Road to Boston SLR 6 post, so I wont re-hash it here.

Marathon Training Week 7

After my tough SLR 6, I took week 7 off and manned a water stop on Saturday.

The club ran the Super Sunday 5K and 10K on Sunday so we moved the long run to Saturday. Yes, a lot of people ran 14 miles on Saturday and many ran the 10K on Sunday.

I registered to run the 10K, but Saturday afternoon when I picked up my bib I switched to the 5K. My knee was still wonky and I didn’t want to push it.

My goal is to get to the starting line in some sort of running condition.

I started the Super Sunday 5K in the back and as we started out I just let people pass me. I had a compression sleeve on my knee and wanted to see how things went.

After about a half-mile I realized that me knee was fine, so I picked up my pace on First street and had a pretty good race. We had 42 club members run or volunteer at the race. And I think everyone had a good time.

I had a good 4.5 mile club run Tuesday night, had PT on Wednesday and ran a little over five miles Thursday night.

Marathon Training Week 8

Sunday Long Run for week 8 was an 18.1 mile course that I knew well. It is a long run and has plenty of hills, but the turns are easy to spot with few rotaries or 5 road intersections. I knew I wouldn’t get lost, but I was not sure how my knee would hold up.

Road to Boston, Sunday Long Run 8

On advice of Dr. Sarah I had been wearing a compression sleeve during my runs for the past few weeks. It did help my knee but I was still having that joint pain.

You can read in my blog post for week 8 that I decided to cut 18.1 miles down to 12.9. I even had to walk the last third of a mile.

That Tuesday night I ran a conservative out and back 4 miler with very few hills at an 11:10 pace. Really slow for me, but I needed to get in those miles.

We had some weather on Thursday which actually left snow and ice on the ground. I decided not to risk slipping on the ice and didn’t run Thursday night.

Marathon Training Week 9

For Sunday Long Run Number 9, we dropped down to 16 miles. In a marathon training program every two or three weeks you drop back on the miles to give your legs a bit of a break.

The week before I only ran 12.9 miles, so even 16 miles was a bump up for me. It’s like falling behind on a hike. When the group takes a break you’re still hiking up the trail. And when you finally reach them, they are ready to head out.

On Saturday I bought a Shock Doctor knee brace, Level 3. This sleeve straps to your calf and thigh and has hinges at the knee. Pretty heavy duty stuff and not something I ever dreamed I’d be wearing. Am I getting old?

Shock Doctor Knee Brace, Level 3

It was painful from the first steps and early on I knew 16 miles was not in the cards for me that day. You can read the details in my week 9 post.

That Tuesday night I ran 4.3 miles with the club at a 10:30 pace. Not too bad and the knee brace seemed to make a difference. It was the last day of February and I wanted to hit 60 miles for the month. I ran 60.39 miles in February.

About 31 fewer miles than January and not the 100 miles I was shooting for. But sometimes you need to make adjustments if you want to keep on the road to The Boston Marathon.

23 and Me February 2023, 2023 Boston Marathon Training

Run well my Friends


Road to Boston SLR 9

It’s hard to believe that we’re almost two-thirds through our training for the 2023 Boston Marathon!

The Road to Boston continues with week 9 of our Sunday Long Run Program, SLR.

We are starting to get into some serious mileage as we approach the two-thirds point of our fifteen week program. This week we ran 16 miles which is the shortest distance we will run until we start to taper during week 14.

Anyone who isn’t ready to run a full marathon is beginning to feel it on these progressively longer runs. And I count myself amongst those feeling it each week. Last week I managed 12.6 miles running and a bit of walking to get to 12.9 miles out of a run that was supposed to be 18.1 miles.

Starting the Road to Boston Week 9

Over the past week I only ran four miles on Tuesday night and that was a bit of a challenge. On Wednesday night, my PT suggested a knee brace and did a search to show me a few examples.

Shock Doctor Knee Brace, Level 3

Saturday I went to the local Dick’s Sporting Goods and bought a Shock Doctor Level 3 knee brace. Level 1 is basically a compression sleeve but level three has Velcro straps and hinges. I’ve seen people wearing things like this before, and it looked pretty serious.

I wore it around the house Saturday to get a feel for it and make sure I knew how to wear it. On Sunday morning I strapped it on and headed for Melrose.

We had a small crew on this frigid February morning. The snow that fell Saturday was still on the ground Sunday with the temperature holding around 20 degrees. This was our coldest or second coldest day for the Sunday Long Run.

Road to Boston SLR 9, Melrose Running Club, Sunday Long Run Program 2023

I started out slowly as usual, to see how the brace would feel on my knee in real world use. It didn’t feel too bulky or restraining like I thought it would. So far so good.

As we ran down Main Street I chatted with a few people but ended up running most of the distance by myself. I used to run at the end of the fast group. Now I’m running a bit ahead of the slower group.

By the time we reached our first water stop at about 3.7 miles, I knew my knee was not ready for 16 miles. I wasn’t sure how many miles I could go. But I took a Honey Stinger, some Gatorade and was on my way.

While I’m familiar with this route, we ran it three weeks ago, I also know there are lots of turns and that I always miss one when I’m on my own.

So, my goal was to keep someone in my sight as much as possible.

There’s Pain in Them Thar Hills

Running hills isn’t usually painful. It can be tough and it can be challenging, but it’s usually not painful.

When you are training with an injury, the first step of a run can be painful. Add some major incline and now you are talking pain.

After our water stop we ran down hill for about a half mile. As I’ve mentioned before, the pounding from running down hill can be more challenging than running up hill. And at the bottom of our hill was another long uphill.

I was happy to have someone in front of me so I didn’t miss any turns. He kept getting father away, but I did my best to keep him in sight.

To cut a bit off of my run I skipped a side road we always take and continued up Highland Ave in Winchester. I’m not sure that I saved my legs any as Highland is one long hill.

The map that we had for this week had two short cuts that we could use if we needed to. I printed the map, but it was wrapped up with a bunch of other stuff in a zipped up pocket. So like a real runner, I just kept on running to the next water stop.

If you look closely at the map below, you can see the dotted lines where the short cuts are.

Road to Boston SLR 9, Boston Marathon 2023

The water stop was at the bottom of the hill where Highland runs into Rt. 38 in Winchester. I had found the pain in the hills of the Winchester Highlands. And I still had miles to run before I could stop.

I had another Honey Stinger and more Gatorade. The guy I was following headed out a bit before I was ready, but I managed to keep him in sight. And then someone else came up and passed me.

Finishing the Road to Boston Week 9

As we ran through Winchester Center my knee was a constant level 5 of pain. I knew that it hurt but I was in that frame of mind where I kept pushing it out of my consciousness.

How do you ignore pain? This ability may seem magic. Who wouldn’t want to be able to do that?

During a long race, you have to put the pain out of your mind. It’s the only way to run through it and keep going. Even the most elite marathon runners will tell you that they feel pain when they are running a marathon race.

Races are different than training runs and the level of pain you can tolerate is different. I don’t remember who but one runner said, “it’s a matter of how much you want it”. During a race we all want “it”, what ever that means at that moment in time.

Running miles 8 and 9 through Winchester Center and climbing the hill out was challenging. It was around this point when I realized I had entered that zone. It’s not that the pain isn’t there it’s just that it’s 2nd or 3rd on the list of things the old brain is working on.

Number 1 was keeping the guy in front of my in sight. I knew we were headed back to the first water stop. But even the guy in front of me stopped at two intersections to get his bearings. My “it” was not getting lost.

At the water stop I finally looked at the map and decided to use the second short cut on the map. Instead of running 16 miles I ran 13.1 miles. I basically cut 5K off of this long run.

As I ran down West Wyoming towards Main Street in Melrose two other guys on this long run passed me. They were running at a pretty good clip and they looked strong. A quick word of encouragement kept me running even as the road turned up.

You might just as well run a Half Marathon

When I got to my car, Lee Romprey was there changing up after his run. I told him I ran 12.89 and he said I’d be crazy not to jog around the parking lot to get in a half marathon distance.

Part of me just wanted to go home. But when he said, “you’ll feel so accomplished running a half”, I knew he was right.

So like an old shot up bomber trailing smoke from both engines, I jogged an additional .21 miles with a great deal of effort. And I stuck the landing!

While I was truing up my half marathon distance Matt Kerton rolled in. He had run the full 16 miles and seemed to be in pretty good shape. He did have a few icicles in his beard and kind of looked like Jack Frost!

I hung out with the guys for a bit and celebrated my “half marathon.” Lee was right. It felt pretty good to go the distance and not settle on a random number because I was beat.

This really was a mind over reality run. My knee was at level 5 most of the run and spiked up to 7 or so a few times. But when you are miles from your car or anyone else’s car, what are you going to do? Call Uber?

Run well my Friends


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!


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.


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!


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!


© anagelin 2014