Friday, December 21, 2007

off the schneid!

I tried a short treadmill run on Wednesday night which was, to reuse a term from a few months ago, craptacular. My shin never loosened up and kinda hurt. I was about to bag after a half mile or so, but it got a little better as it warmed up, so I stuck it out for 2 miles at 10mm. It hurt after, it was sore in the morning and I was po'd.

But what a difference 24 hours makes! by lunchtime Thursday it felt great, so I got back on the treadmill Thursday night and only felt the slightest bit of tightness. And after a half mile, not even that. Just 3 miles of nice easy pain-free running at 9:30 pace. Best 3 miles I've run in a long time! Schweet!

Now I just need to work on not being so stupid!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Big Progress

So there's nothing to report on the running front, but my shin is feeling better by leaps and bounds. Today there really is no pain, and I've got great range of motion, and only a little soreness when I stretch it. I've started doing some ankle flexibility and motion exercises, and some balance ones as well, and it's really feeling good, although I still do get some swelling by the end of the day.

I may do a few short treadmill runs in the near future just to keep from going completely crazy, but things are looking up. Woohoo!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Still on ice

Well that's a bad pun.

The shin is progressing well and I'm now over a full week off. I thought it might feel good enough for some short runs this weekend, but I am playing it safe. Soon enough.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

X-Ray negative, that's a positive!

So I finally heard from the doctor's office, the x-ray was negative. I had pretty much assumed that to be the case, but it was nice to get the info. I was feeling good enough last night for what passes for XT - an hour or so of raking in the front lawn. This got my shin warmed up and it was a little sore afterwards, but it is feeling good today. I'm planning to take this whole week off, and if the shin is pain-free this weekend, try some light jogging. If not, I'll give it a bit more time.

It's been a year since I've taken a whole week off from running, and to be honest, it feels really weird.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Visit the doc & an x-ray

So I saw my doc last night. He and I are cautiously optimistic that it is just soft tissue damage, but I got an x-ray this morning just to be safe. The doctor wrote on my prescription "runs 50-70 miles / week". This caused quite a bit of discussion in radiology as to whether or not such a thing was even possible, whether that was 5 or 7 miles per day (hope you are not the one running the controls on the x-ray!), etc.

Less swelling, no redness, more flexibility, but a little more pain today.

Thanks for the ideas on the last post. I think pointing the finger at not cutting back the weeks after the marathon is probably as good a guess as any.

Monday, December 10, 2007

And then ACK! I killed my leg!

So last week was going pretty swimmingly according to the log. I ran 58.5, with a 17 mile long run on Saturday, and was going to make it about 70 on Sunday. The beginning of the week was fine:

Mon: 8 ez
Tue: 8 ez
Wed: group run 9.5 with the middle 7 around 6:30-6:45 in the snow
Thu: 8 ez
Fri: 8 ez
Sat: 17 falling apart

Friday I noticed that my right shin was little tight. It really wasn't anything notable, any more or any less than any other ache that you get running. I didn't even write in my log, where otherwise I sound like a whiny hypochondriac.

Then on Saturday, I went out in the late afternoon for my long run. I remember that both of my shins were tight fairly early on, but this is pretty common for me. Especially in the winter here, it's a tough balance between starting out too fast or being overdressed later on. Both were fine by mile 5 or so though. Around 6.5 I remember looking for a place to stretch my right shin because it had started to tighten up again.

I stretched it, and in hindsight, this should have been the warning, it just felt worse. Usually that sort of in-run stretching helps me out.

After another 2 miles or so the hurting got more intense and I realized the run was doomed. Unfortunately I had planned an out and back, so I was about 8.5 miles from my car. Carp!

Again in retrospect, I should have called my wife to load the kids up and come down and pick me up, but that idea never really dawned on me.

The trip back to the car was bad, and getting darker by the minute. The last 5 was especially bad and I was wincing every time my right foot hit the ground.

I did make it back, and then discovered in the car that this is also the gas-pedal muscle, and I drive a standard, so that was tough.

The reaction was pretty bad. I had a lot of swelling, and a bright red patch (maybe 3x4 inches) on my right shin. It was very stiff and I couldn't put any weight on it. Through Sunday, ice seemed to help a little with the swelling, but Advil didn't seem to be doing much, and didn't really help with the pain. By Sunday night it was sausage-swollen.

This morning it seems maybe a little better. The swelling has gone down a bit, but considering I had it up in bed all night, that would make sense. The redness is gone. It is still very stiff and sore and I have limited movement. I have no pain wiggling my toes, or raising my foot slightly, but a good amount if I point my toes.

So all the signs point to a good muscle or tendon sprain. I am trying to get into my doc for a confirmation, but I'm pretty sure the prescription will be RICE.

This one is definitely more serious than some of my previous dings and dents, so I am not running until I have clear signs that this is healed.

What's mystifying to me right now - beyond how long this will take to heal so I can run again :) - is how it happened. It didn't pop dramatically like a hamstring pull, and I don't think I had the warning signs going in like with most overtraining.

I think I have been very conservative building my weekly mileage since my calf was injured in the fall, and that injury was in the other leg. I have had no problems of note with this leg.

Here are my weekly totals since then:


Maybe the week of 11-12 should have been a 50, but that was the week I jogged the marathon and I had been running 50s and some 60s all summer. But maybe jumping up to that, then not taking some down weeks after built up some fatigue?

I haven't been doing any fast paced work, nothing much faster than 6:30 pace, except a couple miles in a progression a few weeks back, not tempos, no intervals, no races.

It's possible that I tweaked something on my Wed night group run, we were running decently fast in the snow. But I don't remember feeling it.

It's possible that I've put in a few too many TM miles - I was running all outdoors until the wintery mix started, and I did one on the TM last week, then 4 this week. Usually the TM is kinder to my legs than the road.

Or maybe too long without a day off? My last 0 was 11/26. I've been fatigued, but that's generally how I feel when building up some miles.

Not enough stretching? I've probably been a little lax with it - I've been running more in the morning and with the time pressure of getting out to work it's tough to do.

Obviously I misread badly how it was on Friday and should have cut the Saturday run of. But I'm really surprised by this one coming out of nowhere.

If either of you loyal readers see anything above that points to this, or have ideas on where I went wrong please let me know.

And apologies to Seebo, who I had to bag on a scheduled Sunday run via email since the only way I could have accompanied him would have been leaning out the window of my car.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Another good week. Got gloves?

Another good week getting in some winter miles here. I cut back a little from last week, and ran 56 miles this week in:

Mon: 0
Tue: 5 easy
Wed: 13.5, hilly, 6:45 to 7 pace
Thu:6+ easy
Fri: 6+ easy
Sat: 17 in 1:54, good hard run as the sun went down on the Wissahickon path, steady, just under 6:45 pace, felt very strong
Sun: 8 easy in dicey weather

The Saturday run was a great one, I felt very strong and just kept rolling, just me and the ipod. Probably a little out of whack with the rest of the mileage.

I am in search of new gloves though. For whatever reason I have become more of a cold weather wuss this season and my cold hands have been killing me. Last year I was fine with some cheap fleece gloves that I bought from Campmor. This year they aren't cutting it.

I picked up a pair of Asics Thermopolis gloves last week, but they aren't warm enough. Sunday was sleety, and even covered with waterproof mittens my hands were still freezing and my fingers were turning white. Does anyone have any glove solutions they like?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Where did that come from?

So I thought I would be pretty tired this week after my first dabble with 26 last weekend, but that was not that case. I took it easy on Monday and Tuesday, but my legs felt pretty good so I took advantage of the holiday and some vacation time to get some nice running in. This week ended up about 65 in:

Mon: 4 easy
Tue: 6+ easy
Wed: 9.5 group run, not as fast as usual, but a few miles in the 7s
Thu: Up early for an easy 10, then did a fun 5k with my wife and the kids in the strollers
Fri: 6+easy
Sat: 11 moderately hard on a hilly loop with a fast finish (7 m/m pace)
Sun: 15 progression in 1:38 - out in the mid to high 6's back in the low 6s with the last 3 sub 6

I thought Saturday would be my hard run for the weekend since my legs were a little tired on that run. I was sure Sunday would be just an easy run, and even felt really sleepy in the car on the way to the trail, but when I got out there I felt so good I made it a workout.

It's nice not having a goal race out there right now so I can just go easy or hard or long or short - whatever I feel like on a given day.

Sunday was a particularly nice day to be out running - this route was down Forbidden Drive from Chestnut Hill, then down to Lincoln Drive which is a hilly little mile and a half or so and out along the river to the Falls Bridge and back. The leaves are probably just past their peak and the trail and the path were pretty well covered. The last 3 miles were pretty flat out and a felt like a great effort.

Here's a picture from our family 5k. I made the costumes if you can't tell. The kids refused to wear theirs. And I have no idea where my daughter got that hat.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Week in review and oh yeah, I ran a marathon

This week was a little bit higher mileage than I had planned for a reason that will be obvious in a second. 65 miles in about:

M: 6 easy
Tu: 6+ easy
W: 8.5 relatively fast - first 7 in 44 or so
Th: 6 easy
F: planned 0
Sat: 11.5, last 8.5 at sub 7 pace
Sun: 26.2 :)

On Sunday I had decided not to race since I had not really done any race-paced workouts since late September. But I had a bunch of friends in town for the race so I decided to pace one of them through his first HM. He wanted to break 1:40 and we ran a 1:37 together. We had been pacing with another friend on and off for the first 13 so after I went though the chute I ran back out and decided to see if I could catch up with him and run with him for a bit. He was struggling a bit with some GI issues and seemed like he could use the company.

Of course, the last 13 miles of the Philadelphia marathon is an out and back, so once I had done a few I decided I might as well just run the whole thing with him.

He's a 3:05 guy so when the 3:20 pacer passed us while he was in a porta-john he decided the pressure was off and we just jogged it in just under 3:30.

I have never run over 18 before, so it was a fun experience. I made sure to hit the Hash beer station on the way in and out of Manayunk. :) I also enjoyed the whole crowd experience. Very different from even the HMs I have run.

My knees are a little sore today but other than that I feel great.

Now I want to race one for real. I need to figure out when and where.

Chicago? I've heard it's one of the best fast races with fantastic crowd support, but obviously the weather was a disaster this year.

Steamtown? This is a local race for me and a sentimental favorite. It's fast, but not a lot of crowd support and the family could probably only catch me at the end.

Philly 08? Good course, easy to get family to.

Try to get a BQ in December and run Boston in the spring?


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Week of 11/5

So last week was a nice week of running for me on the recovery path. It is now the unusual day where I feel any soreness in my calf while running or after. There is still some soreness at times, but I'll call it about 95% healed. I'm still sticking with largely easy miles in the 8mm range, but I've started to do one of my long weekend runs at a faster pace. I'm also starting to rebuild the mileage a bit, but keeping it around 10%.

This week was 47 miles in

M: easy 5
T: planned 0
W: brisk 7 with the running store (maybe around 7mm?)
Th: easy 6+
F: easy 6+
Sa: 12.5 moderate (7:15 avg)
Su: 10 very easy

Monday, November 5, 2007

More on the trials

I was just over at runinlaw's and it made me think I should put some more about the trials experience up here.

For the last 2 laps we camped out at the 19/24 mile marker (right after the water stop on that side).

It was right at 19 that Browne stopped to try to stretch out his cramps. I was hurting for him. I think Nate Jenkins went by him at that point?

It was amazing to see it all go down. Hall did not even look like he was straining. Everyone else (cept maybe Ritz) was deep in pain-land at that point but Hall was just pouring it on. When he went by, we went nuts, then we all looked back. And waited. And waited...

We were really lucky to be right across the course from one of the Hansons. When Sell came by at 19 - he was maybe 7th? I think Browne was 3rd, Meb 4th, Khalid was in there. Nate Jenkins maybe? Then Sell.

The Hanson guy went nuts running behind the barrier along with Brian. He was yelling at him HS coach style - 'If you are going to go you have to go NOW!!!'.

And he did! He was getting updates from someone on the phone and shouting them out for us. "Khalid is coming back! Khalid is coming back! He's getting Browne!"

It was wild. Just wild.

He came by 24 and the you couldn't have stopped by with a truck. The intensity in his eyes was just amazing.

I have been ambivalent on the idea of running a marathon since I started running but after that I want one and I want it bad.

Also want to shout out for a local Macharia Yout - he's a Widner grad and got in with a 2:22. He ended up 33rd with a 2:18 and looked strong every time we saw him go by! A 4 minute PR!

Bustin' Out

I was saying last week that my leg has been feeling better and better and a friend commented that I must feel like I was getting out of jail. I had been pain free all week so I decided on Sunday to give it a test and run hard and see how it felt. So I hit the Wissahickon trail. The verdict? Pain free.

13 in 1:22:30 (6:20s). Felt awesome. I repeat, awesome. I wore my Garmin but kept the display off and just focused on running hard. Splits were (6:41,6:07,5:50,6:09,6:14,6:10,6:20,6:18,6:38,6:31,6:27,6:33,6:28).

I was really surprised how good I felt after how long I've been taking it easy and nursing this leg (basically a 2 month taper). I felt the lack of endurance toward the end, I was working pretty hard the last couple miles, and I don't know that I would have been able to drop it down to tempo pace for long, but regardless, it felt awesome.

41 miles in 6 days this week.

Mon 5 easy
Tue 0
Wed 5 easy
Thu 5 easy
Fri 10 easy (5/5)
Sat 3 easy
Sun 13 hard

I think I will take this as a sign that it is time to start the winter buildup. 10% / week. Take it easy , especially if I feel anything from the calf.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

NYC Olympic Trials Marathon

So yesterday I was up in NYC to watch the Olympic Marathon Trials. The course was 5 loops of a route in Central Park, so it was easy to see the runners a bunch of times. We setup just south of the reservoir, and for the first few laps we would run back and forth so we could catch them going up, then coming down.

Later in the race we setup and stayed on the down side since the pack had spread out and we decided that we would rather stay in one place and see the whole crowd go by.

Here are some pictures I took there.

Here's the excitement just before the first runner on the first lap. We were just before the 5k. None of the other early ones I took came out - it was too dark. Michael Wardian was the early leader with maybe 50m at that point. He faded quickly.

Some frontrunners early on. Meb is the leftmost, Hall is rightmost. It's hard to take sports shots with a small point and shoot :)

Another pack, still before 5k.

Abdi and Meb on the right. Hall on the left. I think this was around 9 or 14.

Ryan Hall coming through all alone at 24. The guy was flying!

Ritz going by at 24. Also did not look like he was working that hard. :)

Your Olympic team! We were maybe 20 yards from the podium, but couldn't see.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Good running and off to NYC

So maybe Joseph was seeing more in my log than I was when he commented that I was turning a corner. I tried a faster run last week and a 12 miler over the weekend and had some soreness. Since dealing with a sunning injury is so day to day, that seemed like a setback.

But I took a day off on Tuesday and Wed, Thu and today did 5 easy each day, completely pain and soreness free. Woot!

I'm off to NYC tonight to be a spectator tomorrow at the Olympic Marathon Trials and meetup with some friends in NYC. I'm really excited to see this race in person. I don't really know how to handicap it, I thought Chad has a great preview here. I'll be somewhat surprised if one of Meb or Abdi does not make the team. I think the course favors experienced marathoners, so I'd be a bit surprised to see one of the track guys move up. And who knows, is Sell's 2:10 in the wind, solo in Chicago the equal of Hall's 2:08 in London? We will see.

So I'll venture a fairly mainstream prediciton: Abdi, Meb, Sell.

It should be a wide open and very strong race - so let's see on Saturday how wrong I can be!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Week in Review

Just over 40 miles this week, still on the easy train.

M: 6 ez
Tu: 6 ez
Wed: 5 ez + massage
Thu: 7 at LR pace with a few mid 6s mixed in
Fri: 5ez
Sat: 0
Sun: 12 ez

The calf is doing much, much better this week than last, although I think I may have jumped the gun a little with a faster run and a 12 miler. There's not really any pain, just some soreness. I didn't even notice it during the long run, but did feel it a bit on Monday morning.

I think I will aim for around 40 this week as well and see how it feels.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Feeling better

So last week wrapped up with an easy 30+ and an easy run over 10. I'm paying very close attention to the calf muscles and trying to stay on top of recovery time and stretching.

Monday and Tuesday have been on the brisk side of easy, 6+ both days. Wednesday I'm back in for some massage work.

Other than that, not too much to report.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

More easy

Got out for an easy untimed 5 on Monday and again on Tuesday. Just nice gentle running, probably mid 8s. Still paying very close attention to any of the squawks coming form my left calf. Feeling some weakness in the soleous, but no real soreness or pain. I started trying to stretch some new calf and hamstring stretches, but I was feeling some soreness from that, so I've backed off a bit and I'm just doing a little more of my normal stretches.

We got out this weekend to Elk Mt which does a nice fall festival with my parents. They open up the ski lift so you can take the lift up and see the leaves. Very cool! The kids liked it, but the little guy did not want to ride back down, so we decided to walk down the slope. Note to self: there is no calf workout like walking down a ski slope with a 35 pound kid on your shoulders! Owee zowee! My knees and ankles are still a little sore from this one, but I don't think they'll be a problem.

Either way, the views were fantastic!

Elk Fall Fest

Monday, October 15, 2007

Taking it easy

So I've completed my first week of taking it easy and, heck, it wasn't too bad!

Of course I've wanted to be out running more and going faster, but a few days off and some slow runs have been great for my calf. Got in just under 20 miles last week with 4-5 mile runs of EZ pace. I did 6 on Saturday and dropped it down to normal long run pace and the leg felt great.

I've been paying very close atention to the feelings I get in my left calf while I'm running and I've noticed that on each of these runs I get a weak feeling in the soleus around 2 miles (very minor) then around 4 or so a very clisht soreness in the gastroc. This isn't surprising and confirms my feeling that this started with a soleus strain and everything else has been the other muscles compensating.

This week I'm aiming for maybe about 25 miles, again almost all at EZ pace.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Saying it differently

So I was reading Tuscaloosa and a quote from Frank Shorter that I couldn't find via Google it, so I'll just paraphrase - that the sooner you accept the reality of a situation, the sooner you can make gains.

I was reflecting on that and my left calf this weekend which I have over the past few weeks called "tweaked", "sore", "troublesome", etc. My background in undergrad and grad school is in philosophy, and a big focus of modern philosphy is in the interscetion between language and thought. It should be more than apparent to me then that how I react to a situation has a lot to do with how I name it.

So I am going with a new one "injured". As soon as I accepted this (and I still do think this is a minor injury) planning has become much easier. So I will amend what I wrote last week.

What is hurt: My left calf. Maybe it started as a soleus strain, but now when I run I get sorenes that moves around while I run from the left, to the back into the shin. Lately I have also developed a shinsplint pain in this leg.

When: The first note in my log of it hurting was 8/6 (2 months ago)

How did it happen: Overtraining. What specifically is always hard to say. Maybe too fast of a buildup after 5k season in mileage. Maybe adding a hard Wednesday run in August and keeping a tempo run on Tuesday. Clearly by mid-August this was more than just nagging soreness and I was icing. But still did a tuneup race on 8/18. On 8/20 I knew i was hurt but wanted to make it through the PDR.

Running fast makes it sore the next day. Running slow does not seem to. A week after the PDR with only easy running I had no pain. So I picked back up with my fast Wed night runs, ran a 5k and a weekend with back to back workouts and it got worse.

So what's next:

No racing - no racing for at least a month
Cut the fast running - no track work, no Wed night group run, no LT runs (at least a month)
New shoes - done
Start massage therapy - first session was Monday 10/8
Better stretching - got some new stretches from the massage therapist. Need to work on these.
Keep with the EZ running. But with reduced volume.

Right now, I think the shinsplint pain is the bigger worry. I think the muscle strain will respond to rest fairly quickly.

Last night was an easy 3.5 on a soft cinder track with lightning flasing in the clouds. Very little pain.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Utterly craptastic

Just one of those runs last night. On the way up the street I ran into a running buddy, but he was heading home and I was heading out. 7 ez miles and my left calf/shin balked on and off and a knot in my right quad never loosened up. Blech. That is all.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

10-4 Good buddy

Got a nice 10 or so with the running store team last night in about 65 minutes. It was icky humid, but I felt surprisingly strong. My left calf was bugging me again. I have decided that I need to get a little more serious about trying to clear this up before it takes a turn for the worse.

For now, my plan is to:

- Continue with icing after fast runs. EZ runs don't seem to irritate it, so I'll take those by feel
- Try a few sports massage sessions
- Continue daily stretching

If 2-3 weeks from now I'm still in the same boat I'll have to think about some other ideas. I did 2 weeks of low volume and little fast running, which were pain free, but as soon as I brought the fast work back the pain returned. That said, the pain comes and goes, but does not seem to get substantially better or worse.

I'll wait and see.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Monday was a planned 0. Last night I ran a nice quiet, easy 9. Just mid-8s or so. I was surprising sore from running hard Sat and Sun.

I saw that the Jenkintown running team took the top 3 spots at the Parkway Run this weekend. Outstanding. As I've gotten faster I've started paying a little more attention to the top of the leaderboard and the depth in the Philly area is just amazing. You have to be ready to run mid-15s just to compete for the top, even in smaller 5ks. I've got work to do. :)

Last week was about 53 miles.

Mon: 5 ez
Tue: 6+ez
Wed: 9.5 group run moderately fast
Thu: 6 ez
Fri: planned 0
Sat: 13.1 progression 90 mins, out in low 7s back in high 6s
Sun: 13 miles with a low key 5k (2nd oa in 17:35)

Sunday, September 30, 2007


I ran a nice medium-hard progression run yesterday afternoon - 13 miles on the wissahickon trail. Went out in the low 7s, back in the high 6s. Nice day for it.

This morning I decided to mix a low-key 5k in with my long run. It was only a mile from my house, so I kinda felt obliged. My plan was to do a few miles, hit the 5k, size up the competition, and run based on that. If I thought had a shot at winning I would go hard, but otherwise would do a fast tempo.

A young guy took off at the start and I knew right away there was no catching him. He ran 15:40 for the win (Talked to him after the race - he just graduated and his PR is about 14:40!)

So I just ran for place and did a strong tempo at even 5:39s and took second in 17:35. My split at the turnaround was a perfectly even 8:47. It was a nice morning and it is a nice flat out-and-back, so I will have to see if I can drum up some more locals for this one next year. I ran another 3 or 4 while the rest of the race finished up, grabbed my hardware and headed out for a few more, then home.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Went for a nice run with the local running store team. The four of us did about 9.5 or so in 63 minutes. One of the guys had found a back route into a nature preserve, so it was nice to spend some time on the trails. First fast run since the PDR and it felt great.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

For the fall...

One of the problems I run into is that my goal races the past 2 years (Broad St and the PDR) both fall right at the beginning of the spring and fall racing seasons respectively. Thus my training schedules are always a little compressed and I take more risks building up mileage than I should. Plus I taper and peak for an early race. When I'm done with it I have no idea what to do for the rest of the season.

Right now, I am thinking about the following races for the fall:

11/11: Greyhound 5k. I'd really like to get back to this one. First race I ever ran. Worst t-shirt I ever got.
11/18: HM at Philly Marathon
11/22: local Gobble Wobble 5k.
11/24: HS Alumni 5k. I do this every year.

9/29-30 - low profile 5 or 10k
10/21 - Leaf Peeper HM Cortland NY
10/28 - Philly 25K

I'm thinking that once I feel healed up I will plan on running something like this 14 day plan for Oct/Nov and part of December to try to stay sharp for anything from 5k to HM.

M: Off
Tu: 6-9 EZ
W: Mid week fast & long (10ish @ low 6s)
Th: 6-9 EZ
F: LT - 5-6m @ high 5:40s
Sa: 10-12 EZ
Su: 15-17 DP (6:40-7:10)
M: 6-9 EZ or off
Tu: 6-9 EZ
W: Mid week fast & long (10ish @ low 6s)
Th: 6-9 EZ
F: Intervals (8x800 or 4x1600)
Sa: 6-9 EZ
Su: 13-15 DP (6:40-7:10)

A little running history...

My name is Tom and I a 32 year old runner living just north of Philadelphia. I started running in October of 2005 because my wife and I had just had a daughter and I was desperately out of shape. I used to play soccer, but the options for playing got smaller and smaller once I was out of school.

Needing a sport that I could do myself and would keep me from keeling over after carrying my daughter up the stairs, I turned to running. Now I did do some running in HS, primarily as a way to stay in shape for other sports. But I never self-identified as a runner or did any steady training.

This was not the first time since I left college that I resolved to get in shape. There were various mis-fires, including a number of aborted attempts to start running. Why did this one stick? I don't know. Maybe I was just fortunate to be able to start slowly enough to avoid injury. Or maybe having a child made me take it a little more seriously.

Regardless, the running stuck. I started to run a few races. My first 5k was in 10/2005 and I ran just under 24 minutes. Over the course of 2005 & 2006 I steadily ran more miles and more races and drove my 5k time under 20, then eventually under 19.

In the fall of 2006 I put together a training plan and, for the first time, identified and trained for a specific race (a half-marathon - the Philadelphia Distance Run). I started to learn about various training methodologies and put together a schedule based on the multi-pace philosophy of Jack Daniels, and more specifically Pete Pfitzinger. I ran weekly mileage averaging 30 miles with a few in the 40s. I successfully completed my training schedule and hit my goal time of 1:25 for the HM.

I really enjoyed the training and the feeling of setting a goal and succeeding. After a year or so of viewing running as a way to get in shape and lose weight I started to think that I was enjoying the competitive aspects of it just as much and beginning to think of myself as (in my local age group at least) a competitive runner.

Over the winter of 2006 and 2007 I identified my endurance as being the area of my running requiring the most work. I began to steadily build up mileage and run 40-50 miles a week. After just a few months of this, I saw enormous benefits with huge PRs in the 5k and 10 mile distances.

Over the summer of 2007 I spent a while on a dedicated focus on 5ks setting my current PR (16:39) in a race on the 4th of July.

As I headed into the fall I decided to set an aggressive goal for the HM again and setup a similar training plan, albeit with increased mileage, to the plan I ran in 2006. I was able to complete the plan, but struggled with over-training. My confidence in my abilities to do big workouts and high mileage slightly exceeded my abilities. Regardless, I was able to maintain enough fitness and complete enough workouts to hit my goal and set a major new HM PR at 1:16 on 9/16.

Since this race my focus has been on easy mileage and recovering from some of the overuse strains I was feeling. I have a list of races I'm looking at for the rest of the fall, but the only definite at this point is another half marathon at the Philly Marathon on 11/18.

So why blog? And why now?

I think one of the huge advantages that runners have today is that there is an enormous community of runners on the net sharing their experiences via blogs, forums and the like. I've gotten so much from the groups that I read and participate in, and the authors of other blogs that I thought it was time to put another running blog out there, hopefully help other people learn from my mistakes and maybe find suggestions from people who will help me avoid new ones. :)

So there you go.