Friday, February 27, 2015

The Running Roots of the Glass City Marathon

     The Glass City Marathon has a long and rich history that dates all the way back to a time before I was born.  Since 1971 the Glass City Marathon has seen its share of changes from title sponsors, slight name changes, location of the event and the time of year.  Faced with the adversity of losing its title sponsorship which forced the race to shut down for a short time, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the GCM has been reborn to become the vital linchpin of Northwest Ohio's running community.  Below is a brief overview of that rich history and those that worked so hard to make it a true gem of Toledo, Ohio.

The Beginning: 1971 – 1983

The very first Glass City Marathon started and finished at the University of Toledo on June 20, 1971. Sy Mah ran the race that day, as did two Churchills (Walt Jr., a key founder of the Toledo Roadrunners Club, and Walt III) and a runner named Fred Lebow who came all the way from New York City. We hear that Lebow accomplished some things later back East and are glad we could give him some ideas. The race remained on Fathers’ Day and anchored at the University of Toledo until 1981 when the race was moved to the Fall and to Side Cut Park of the MetroParks of Toledo. In 1983 the race moved to downtown Toledo and was titled the Pepsi Challenge Glass City Classic Marathon. Despite the seeming momentum of a new downtown course, Pepsi did not renew its sponsorship and the race fell dormant for the next six years.

Rebirth: 1990 – 2009

     In 1989 a group of influential Toledo Roadrunners revived the Glass City Marathon and Pam Graver was key to this revival as she took on the task of directing the race. The race was dedicated to the late Sy Mah, who had passed away in 1988. From 1990 to 2009, the Glass City Marathon served as the key cog in the running world of Northwest Ohio with the course starting and finishing downtown.

Rocket Return: 2010 – Present

     In 2010, the Toledo Roadrunners Club decided to return the event to its historical roots at the University of Toledo and give the event a new look and new energy. The results have been dramatic. The half marathon has sold out every year since the event’s return to the University of Toledo and participation in the marathon, half marathon, marathon relay, and 5K races has grown from over 3,200 in 2010 to over 4,500 in 2011 to over 5,800 in 2012. In 2012, Owens-Corning came on board as the sponsor of the half marathon and Medical Mutual of Ohio became the title sponsor for the Glass City Marathon. 2013 and 2014 saw continued growth topping 7,000 in 2014 with the Owens Corning Half Marathon selling out for the sixth consecutive year.

Pam Graver-Koenig

     Pam Graver-Koenig was a special person, an avid runner, and a dynamic contributor to the Toledo Roadrunners Club of historic proportion. Pam was a member and past president of the TRRC. And there may not be the TRRC Glass City Marathon were it not for Pam. In 1990, after six years without a Glass City Marathon, Pam agreed to help renew the event, became the race director and played a major role in the resurrection of a Northwest Ohio running tradition.  Pam was also a TRRC Sy Mah Award recipient, the award the club bestows for lifetime achievement to the club and the sport.
     Pam passed away on July 4, 2011. In 2012, the Toledo Roadrunners Club Scholarship Fund in Honor of Pam Graver-Koenig was established. For more information on the scholarship or to give please go to the Toledo Roadrunners site.

Sy Mah

     Sy Mah was an influential figure in the running boom of the 1970s. Mah was an assistant professor of physical education at the University of Toledo from 1970 to 1988. Mah did not start running marathons until he was 40, yet at the time of his death in 1988, Mah held the record for the most lifetime marathons at 524. The Sy Mah Memorial Scholarship at the University of Toledo was established in 1990 by his friends and family with financial support from the Toledo Roadrunners Club. In addition to meeting various academic standards, qualified recipients within the College of Health Science and Human Service are required to be “avid social runners.”

     Mah ran the Glass City Marathon several times, including at the inaugural event in 1971. Runners in the Glass City Marathon pass by a life-size statue of Mah in Olander Park Mah is believed to have said, “I believe Americans have been brainwashed with the idea that they must do less because increased age will result in less energy and diminished capacity. I have found this is simply not true if a person does not allow his mind to accept the traditional view of aging.”

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Hello are you there? It's Wednesday Weigh In

     Hello All!  It feels like forever since I have written a post, let alone a Wednesday Weigh In.  It is mostly due to my life becoming very busy and a little complicated lately.  A couple of friends of mine run a regional publication and due to some unforeseen circumstances need some graphic design work done to help them out.  Needless to say that has added to my responsibilities when I get home from work, which has left me minimal time for other things.  I had a little extra free time today and I had some great news that I wanted to share. 
     First though, let us get to my weigh in.  I don't want anyone to think I was hiding my weight because it was going up, but it did start to tick up and last week it was up to 177lbs.  It was nothing to freak out about, but I was getting pretty laid back with my nutrition and portion control.  I decided last week to really try to buckle down and get it right this week; combine that with how well my training has been going I was able to drop two pounds and get back to 175lbs.  Now if I can just get those last to freaking pounds to hit goal.

2/25/15 official weigh in
175 lbs
Change: -2 lbs
Total loss from heaviest:  142 lbs
Current BMI:  27.4 (overweight)
Change: n/a

Here are the weigh in pics from the last couple of weeks

      Now for the great news!  I was officially released by my physical therapist today!  She feels that with all my hard work I have put in at home and what we accomplished during our visits I have been able to correct the issues that were causing me all the knee pain.  Now just because I don't need to see her anymore doesn't mean my rehab is over.  To continue to run pain free I need to continue the work that I have already put in.  She has given me 7 new strengthening exercises and finished my training plan for the GCM Owens Corning Half Marathon.  It feels so great to be back to how I felt before all this came about.  I have learned so much that will pay dividends for years to come.  
     Anyone in or around the Toledo, Ohio area that is suffering from a sports related injury or is in need of physical therapy that is not sports related, than get in contact with Alisha at:

6919 W Central Avenue
Toledo, OH, 43614 

Monday, February 16, 2015

GCM Owens Corning Half Marathon Training Week 2

Sunday 2/15
     Mandy and I headed to Texas Roadhouse around 11:30 for an early lunch and to beat the church crowd before running some errands for the day.  Normally Sunday is a rest day, but because of the way things went down on Saturday with the weather and the hours of the gym versus my work schedule, I took my rest day on Saturday and did my Saturday workout today.  I had one mile warm up at a 10:00-10:30 pace followed up by 20 minutes of a tempo run at a 9:30 pace and a one mile cool down back at the 10:00-10:30 pace.  I decided to run it on the treadmill at the gym so I could keep a close eye on my tempo.  I was so worried that I would get a cramp or end up throwing up do to eating a huge lunch just three and a half hours before, but the run went well with no issues and no knee pain.  Once I finished I had enough time to get my therapy strengthening exercises done be for they gym closed up for the day.  

Monday 2/16
     This morning I had a 3 mile maintenance run at goal race pace of 8:45-9:00 per mile and get 20 minutes of cross training done.  When I have to use the gym for my workouts I am pretty limited on time so I wasn't going to be able to get workouts entirely done so I chose to get the run in and if there was time left do some cross training.  I was having issues this morning maintaining my cadence and my pace.  I started out listening to music and I just couldn't get my pace and cadence to settle into a nice rhythm so around 3/4 of a mile I shut off the music and turned on my metronome app to get my cadence back on track.  Once that smoothed out my pace, for the most part, just kind of fell into line.  I finished with about 10 minutes to spare, but not enough time to get settled in on a stationary bike or elliptical, so I shot a few hoops on the basketball court.  Not much of a work out, but it was something.

Tuesday 2/17
     I was feeling really tired last night when I went to bed so I decided to let myself sleep in a little.  To tell you the truth that extra ten minutes of sleep, yes I said 10 minutes, was so worth it or I just got a really good night's sleep.  Anyway, I woke up with a little bounce in my step and headed to the gym to get 30 minutes of cross training done.  This is the one part of the new training plan I really don't like, only because I feel like a hamster on a wheel when I used the machines, but if it helps keep me running pain free I'll suck it up.  Today I hopped on the stationary bike to grind out 30 minutes of my life before I got my rehab strengthening exercises out of the way.  I have to say my legs felt like jello after doing pistol squats and side plank leg lifts after 30 minutes on the bike.
     Ok yoga didn't happen again last night.  I got home from work, ate dinner and watched one of my favorite show and by that time I just felt exhausted and wanted to go to bed.  It was only 9:30, what the hell?

Wednesday 2/18
     Today being my day off, I decided to sleep in a little bit and had Mandy wake me up when she left for work around 7am.  I ate a small amount of cereal to get something in my belly and decided to do my yoga that I should have done last night.  Once I finished yoga I got ready and headed to the gym to put in 6 miles on the old dreadmill.  I hate running on the dreadmill, let alone doing a long run so I took my iPad to watch something to help pass the time.  Overall the run went pretty well for me.  I didn't have any pain or stiffness to speak of for the duration, except for one quick moment I thought pain was about to set in, but it did not. 
     One of the big things I have been working on is my cadence.  Hitting 180 steps per minute has been pretty easy when I have a metronome going in my headset, but I can't deal with that forever.  I really want to bring my music back into the fold, but I quickly change my cadence to match the beat of each song that would come on.  If I can't figure this out I might be sunk. 

Thursday 2/19
     Much to the dismay of my therapist, I skipped my workouts today.  I woke up this morning and just couldn't do it.  My hamstrings and thighs were quite fatigued and I just felt like some rest would do me some good.  After talking to my therapist, the run she had scheduled for me was designed to aid in my recovery, so in other words, don't skip a workout. :)

Friday 2/20
     Intervals were on the menu this morning.  The legs were still tired, but I gave it a go anyways.  I was having problems keeping my cadence at 180 steps per minute when I was running my fast pace.  I kept wanting to speed up my cadence and I even hit 192 spm at one point.  Once I figured out that I needed to lengthen my stride and push off a little harder I got back on track and felt pretty good for the remainder.  

Saturday 2/21
     Today's tempo run was canceled due to the fact it was snowing when I got up and because the gym opens 2 hours later than it does during the week I was unable to get the run in before work.  So why not after, well because of all the snow and it was getting dark by the time I got home from work there was no way it was gonna get done.  Again I switched up my rest day tomorrow with today.

Half Size Me Podcast

     Well I can finally let the cat out of the bag and tell you that I was interviewed for a show called the Half Size Me podcast.  It is a weekly show dedicated to sharing stories of those that have struggled with weight loss and obesity and what they have done to over come it.  I was introduced to the podcast when my friend Katie, who writes the blog Runs for Cookies,  was a guest on the show.  It is a wonderful podcast with a lot of good and useful nuggets of info that can help you in your weight loss journey.

      As I mentioned Katie had been a previous guest of this podcast and after she had a follow up interview a few months back, you can listen here, she had suggested to Heather, the show's host, that she should contact me for a possible interview candidate.  Well, I think it was back in early October I received an email from Heather's assistant that she wanted to set up a time to interview me.  Needless to say I was excited, but I was also pretty nervous as well.  I accepted the offer, but with the available recording time slots and my work schedule early January was the earliest that we could hook up to do the interview.

     When we were all done Heather stated that she thought that with her release schedule it should be available to the public sometime in February.  Well after my workout this morning I checked all my podcasts I like to listen to to see if any new ones were available, and sure enough my interview was up on her site.  So if you wish, you can go to Heather's site or if you are like me you can download it on iTunes to listen to it.  The interview is episode 158 of her show.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Week One Training in Review

     Well training this week went well for me.  I was able to get in almost all of my workouts and for the most part my IT Band issues seemed to be non existent for me.  I am sure the weather has played a huge factor for everyone who is also training for The Glass City Marathon, the Owens Corning Half Marathon, Glass City 5K or the Glass City Marathon 5K.  The cold has been so brutal and has forced me to run on a treadmill more, which I hate,  but I am learning to like it.   

Sunday 2/8/15
     Today was a rest day from any training, but I still had my rehab stretches and strengthening exercises to do.

Monday 2/9/15
     Today's scheduled workout consisted of a 2 mile run at goal race pace and 20 minutes of cross training, as well as my rehab stretches and strengthening exercises.  The 2 mile run went really well this morning despite the cold and the light snow that fell over night.  I had no pain in my knee and not much stiffness to speak of, but I couldn't really tell you if what stiffness I had was do to my current knee issues or just the fact it was freaking cold out.  The only thing I really noticed was my thighs on both legs seemed to get tired after the first mile.  When I asked my physical therapist about this she stated that it was normal from me changing my gait because I am starting to use muscle in a way they weren't used previously.  After I finished the run I spent twenty minutes boxing with the heavy bag for my cross training and got my first set of stretches done.  After work I got through the rest of my rehab exercises.

Tuesday 2/10/15
     Today I had 30 minutes of cross training to do and 30 minutes of yoga.  I got up around 4:30am and headed to the YMCA and did the 30 on the elliptical.  I am not a huge fan of machines like this, but it wasn't as bad as I remember.  That may or may not be because the last time I was on an elliptical I was around 290 pounds and extremely out of shape.  Once I finished I got my rehab strengthening exercises done and headed home to get my stretches done and get ready for work.  Unfortunately I skipped the yoga, I was feeling tired and figured I can do it tomorrow.

Wednesday 2/11/15
     Well a perfectly good plan gets shot to hell because for work.  Because of the cold, my plan was to wake up and do my yoga early and get my 5 mile long run in when things warmed up a bit in the afternoon.  As a department manager I had to sacrifice my day off and head into work, but not before I went ahead and braved the cold and got my run in.
      The run went extremely well and I had zero pain till the last quarter mile.  I stuck to the road for all but the last quarter mile when I needed to hop on the bike trail.  It was mostly clear of snow, but was covered in very thick ice with deep ruts.  I couldn't hold the new running form that has been helping with my knee and I ended up getting a little light pain in that last quarter mile.  I figured if I didn't have the ice to run on I would have had a totally pain free run.
      By the time I got home from work I was way to tired to do anything else, so yoga got skipped again.

Thursday 2/12/15
     I ended up working a half day today which made it easier to get my workouts in today.  I had a 20 minute recovery run at an 11:00 pace which I did on the indoor track at the gym.  I got home and did my yoga, finally! 

Friday 2/13/14
     I had interval training on the schedule today and decided to run them on the indoor track at the gym.  My intervals were 30 seconds at 7:30-8:00 minute pace followed by 1 minute of 9:30-10:00 minute pace for a total of 16 times.  I jogged a couple of laps to warmup, followed by my dynamic stretching routine that my therapist prescribed for me.  I jogged a couple more laps and then hit the start button on the Garmin.  The Garmin made keeping track of my intervals, pace and cadence a breeze, so I could concentrate on my running form.  A 7:30 pace is nothing new for me, seeing as how my current 5K PR is a 7:13 per mile average, but when you have hardly run during the last three months you tend to lose some of your conditioning.  I wouldn't say it was difficult for me, but I would say it was easy either.  The important part right now for me is that I finished pain free and I was able to learn how to maintain 180 steps per minute while increasing and decreasing my pace.  

Saturday 2/14/15
     Happy Valentine's Day and a very Happy Birthday to my Sister!!!  I have a tempo run scheduled for today, but things are not looking good to get it in.  We are having blowing and drifting snow with almost whiteout conditions, and the gym is pretty much only open when I am at work or traveling to and from.  
     Yeah there was no way I was able to get in the run today safely.  I couldn't make the gym in time and it was so cold and windy out I just don't feel safe when I can just do it tomorrow.  So that is what I think I am going to do.  I am going to swap my rest day tomorrow for today and hit the treadmill at the gym on Sunday.


Monday, February 9, 2015

The Shoes On Your Feet

     I got my runners world magazine in the mail a few days ago and one of the main topics was the introduction of the new shoes for 2015.  I thought with everyone gearing up, pun intended, for their spring races like I am for the Owens Corning Half Marathon at the Glass City Marathon on April 26th.  I have changed brand and/or model of shoes six or seven times over the course of my two plus years in the sport, which I wouldn’t recommend.  For those of you that are new to running or are thinking about getting started, if you take anything away from this post take this; get professionally fitted for your shoes by an expert at your local reputable running specific shoe store.  I made the mistake of trying to run in the cheap shoes I bought at a local shoe carnival and boy did I pay the price for it. 

     Now I am by no means an expert and what you will read here is only my opinions and what I have read online.  This post is designed to get you thinking about your shoes and why you bought them.  I will mention places and brands of shoes I have purchased and will tell you what I think of them, but please remember when you read this that I was not paid, compensated or asked by any of these shoe companies or retail establishments for my thoughts and opinions on this topic.

     Now that the legal shit is out of the way let us talk shoes.  Back in October of 2012 when I got started on my running / weight loss journey I was running in a cheap pair of Nike shoes, like I said earlier, I bought at a local Shoe Carnival discount shoe store.  The shoes were fine for going to the gym to lift weights or use the elliptical, but once I gave running a try, I was immediately in trouble.  I started to develop pain in my shins and after a quick research trip via the internet, I was pretty damn sure it was due to my shoes.  I headed over to Dave’s Running Shop, which has been a staple of the running scene here in Toledo for years and years.

      The easy way to describe my feet would be short and wide.  Depending on brand I normally wear around an 8 ½ in a minimum of a 2E width.  When I got to Dave’s the guy that helped me seemed to really know his stuff and how to properly fit me.  He had me walk in my bare feet away and back towards him so he could see how my feet reacted when they hit the ground.  Based on that, my size at the time and my feet measurements he narrowed my selection down to three shoes.  The one I went with was the New Balance 840v1.  It had the best feel to me and seemed very comfy to me.  I only put around a hundred miles on them before I was ready to trade up for another shoe.  The reason wasn’t because they weren’t comfortable, it was because they just felt big, heavy and clunky to me.

     I returned to Dave’s to check out some other shoes and I ended up picking the wrong day because they were extremely busy and if you know how impatient I can be and I got frustrated and left.  I headed over to Second Sole, which is more of a franchise style running shop in our area.  They were really busy as well, but their people seemed able to handle the multiple customers.  I look back know and realize this isn’t a great trait to have when you are trying to purchase something as personal as running shoes, but I was new to this and didn’t know any better.  The kid seemed very knowledgeable about shoes and performed the same tests as Dave’s shop did, but it seemed like he was just throwing shit at the wall and seeing what would stick.  We settled on one shoe but I ended up returning them the next day, which should have been a red flag, but they continued to help me and eventually got me fitted in a pair of Asics Gel Cumulus 15.  I really liked them and they seemed to serve me well.  I got around three hundred miles on my first pair and around the mid two hundreds on my second pair before I switched shoes.  And here is why. 

      One of my biggest problems is I am a self proclaimed internet junkie, meaning I am constantly on the web researching looking for something better than what I already have.  The Asics were working great for me and I didn’t have any reason to switch, but I heard about the Altra brand shoe story.  I am not going to go into it here, but if you are interested click here.  After reading their story I really wanted to go into a zero drop shoe, but I heard a lot of horror stories from people who made the switch to zero drop to fast, which scared me off while I was training for my first marathon.  What I ended up doing is looking for a shoe with a lower drop heel to work my way down to a zero drop.  After visiting Dave’s again I ended up going with the New Balance 1080v3.  These have been great to me and have been my go to shoe for almost a year now.  When the 1080v4s came out I read some reviews that said they were not as good as the v3s and I thought here we go again, I got to find another freaking shoe.  I ended up buying the v4s through Runners Warehouse because I got them at a discount and they had a nice return policy.  For me, the v4s were just as good, if not better than the 3s and my marathon training continued.  

     Here is my shoe company / Runners Warehouse rant!  I got caught up in the bright color “flashy” shoe craze like a lot of people and was getting really pissed off that no one was making wide width shoes in these colors.  Well first, the shoe companies are, well at least New Balance is, but Runners Warehouse doesn’t carry them.  Runners Warehouse only carries the plain jane boring shoes in the wide widths for some odd reason.  I went to New Balance’s website and low and behold I could order the “flashy” colors through their site, while paying top dollar and shipping.  I really wanted them for my first marathon so I bit the bullet and got them, but it is shit like that that pisses me off.  If they are available why wouldn't Runners Warehouse carry them?   Ok rant over, moving on.

So the New Balance 1080v4s are working great, so lets fast forward to post marathon time.  This is where my knee problem comes into play and I hit the internet to do more research.  After talking with my friend Katie, who writes the Runs for Cookies blog, she has been sold on her new Altra brand shoes after meeting the owner/creator of the brand.  I again researched them and they just seem to have that hometown feel to them that they are in business to help people and not just to make money.  This idea was further evident when I emailed the founder himself and he responded to me with his recommendation of which model of shoe to go with based on my current brand and model.  Again for more info the brand click here.  The big draw to this brand is their designs are meant to promote proper foot striking and a natural foot position.   He thought the Altra Paradim would be the best fit for me to break into their zero drop platform.  He stated the max cushioning of the shoe will aid in the transition and over time I can work my why out of the max cushioning to one of their other models.  That is if I ever want to.

     At the end of the day my IT Band injury was due to a lot of factors I have covered in my previous posts, but one factor that didn’t have anything to do with it, at least in this instance, was my shoes.  What I mean is, I made the switch to Altras thinking that my shoes were a factor when they were not, so I could still be in the 1080s, but I am enjoying my Altras so much I think I will definitely stick with them for the foreseeable future.  I have around fifty miles on them so far and they will get plenty of use training for the Owens Corning Half Marathon at the Glass City Marathon on April 26th 2015.

     This was a glimpse into my crazy shoe journey I have been on.  I wonder if it is the same for other people as well or do you find that one pair that works and stick with them through thick and thin?  

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Let The Training Begin

     Well here we go!  Training for the Owens Corning Half Marathon is officially beginning for me and with only 79 days till race day I don't have a second to spare.  I have been working very hard with my physical therapist to get back on my feet and get back to regular running.  I am by no means out of the woods yet and I still have some pain and tightness as I have increased my mileage for each run, but I can say my therapist has been very happy with my progress thus far.  

     My rehab up to this point has mostly consisted of stretching exercises to get my legs, my right leg to be exact, loosened up.  Along with a handful of strengthening exercises, performing a side plank while doing leg lifts in particular is my favorite, and getting into yoga has really helped progress the distance I am able to run to this point.  Oh and let us not forget foam rolling, you end up having a very special relationship with your foam roller while rehabbing this injury.

     Recently my therapist and I discussed my goals for the OwensCorning Half Marathon and my training history over the last two years.  To be honest I didn’t have a goal for this race because without her help I didn’t think I was ever going to be able to run again.  Sorry to be so dramatic about it, but that’s how I felt and I want to be honest about it.  I told Alisha, my therapist, that I would like to finish right around where I did last year, which was one hour fifty seven minutes and change.  However, I also said at this point I don’t care what the time is I just want to be able to finish the race pain free, even if that means slowing to a 2:30 finish or whatever.  I then shared with her how the custom made plans I made for myself was focused only on running and the miles I was logging, nothing else.  

     She gave me her input on how she builds training plans that isn’t so focused on total mileage because some of the runs are set to a time limit at a certain pace verses a mileage limit at a certain pace, which is what I always did.  Her plan includes more structured interval and tempo sessions along with long runs at the proper pacing and a recovery run that is designed to be done way, way slower than I thought was the correct way to run them.  She also folds in cross training that does not include any running and a half and half type day where you do a little light running and some cross training, oh yeah and yoga, can’t forget the yoga.  She shared that her other clients have had lots of very good success with her plans and feel very prepared for the race distance they are doing, so I asked her to work one up for me.  Being that I am technically still rehabbing an injury, she has designed a plan for me that we are taking two weeks at a time.  She wants to know how each day’s run feels and if I am having any pain or tightness in my right knee or leg.  As we go she will then make adjustments, if any, to the plan that will simultaneously prepare me for the race while continuing to rehab and strengthen my knee.

Here is what my first two weeks will look like:
Sunday – Rest day
Monday – race pace run / 20 mins cross train
Tuesday - 30 mins cross train & 30 mins yoga
Wednesday – long slow run (1-1:15 slower than race pace)
Thursday – Super slow recovery run / 30 mins yoga
Friday – intervals 20 mins
Saturday – tempo run with 1 mile easy warm up & 1 mile easy cool down

     At this point I am struggling to get the runs in because we don’t have a treadmill, we have had almost a foot and a half of snow dumped on us in the past week and temperatures have plummeted into the single digits and colder.  I could get a gym membership, but I don’t want to pay for one that I will only use for maybe a month or two until things warm up a bit and is safe to run outside again.  The local YMCA that I use to be a member at has day passes that are $1 to use the track only or $7 if I want to get into the area with the treadmills, stationary bikes and ellipticals.  This option isn’t the smartest option, but it looks like all I got.  I will just have to pick and choose my battles and any chance Mother Nature gives me to run outside I’ll have to take advantage of it!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Snow Day Run

     Well any of you living in the midwest today knows that a huge snow storm is moving through the area and dumping a lot of snow on us.  I was scheduled to work today, but because of the weather we decided to play it safe and close today as several other business did.   After I spent the morning shoveling the first few inches that fell I played with the dogs out in the snow  Our chi-weenie Jedi freaking loves the snow.  It was so funny watching him try and run through the snow.  He had to do more hopping than running really.  The snow was that perfect packing type snow so I made a snowball and we started playing fetch with it.  It was so cute when I would toss it and seeing him run back with a huge snowball in his mouth.

     When we finished I decided to head out for a run sense I hadn't run since Wednesday.  My therapist has given me the go ahead and try a four mile run and see how that goes.  I was able to get the entire four miles in despite the snow coming down.  The parks department plowed the trail just before I headed out so I had a pretty good place to run.  My knee had felt a little tight and stiff the last couple of days and it was definitely there today.  I have been working hard to get my cadence up to 180bpm, but have been struggling to do it with keeping my pace down, but this time, I headed out and seemed to maintain my cadence and kept my pace slower. 

     The entire first three miles was fine despite the snow and worsening conditions out there.  As far as pain goes, the knee was doing well for those first three, but the stiffness was still there.  The last mile was a different story however.  The aching slowly crept in and steadily got worse.  The pain started and got to a one and then to a two on a scale of 1-10 pretty quick.  I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but my therapist doesn't want me to run on it if it gets any higher than that.  I posed this question to her as well because this is where I may or may not be making a mistake.  When the pain begins I become so conscious of it I start to mess with my stride thinking that how I was running is the cause.  The pain would then subside for a little bit and then come back so I end up making a change again.  That happened several times over that last mile. 

     At one point with a little less than a quarter mile left, the pain almost got to a three and I was about to stop when I changed my stride again and it fell to a one so I went ahead and finished.  I also noticed over that last mile that my right leg seemed to get tired out way more than the left, which may be because of all the attention I was giving it. 


I want to apologize for the lack of posts lately.  The last couple of weeks have been very busy with a lot going on in my personal and professional life.  I sometimes get a little down with this knee situation and wonder if I'll ever be able to run regularly and pain free again.  Plus this cold and snowy weather isn't helping either.  Anyway, they say time heals all wounds so enough boohoo about this I need to remember this injury needs time and patience to correct it.

Enjoy the Super Bowl tonight, and if you don't like football than enjoy the Super Bowl commercials!