Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Running on Isla Mujeres Again

One of my favorite places to go is Isla Mujeres and going for a run first thing in the morning is great.  The views by the ocean are incredible, the weather is always great, and it is mostly flat.  Here are a couple of pictures from my run yesterday morning.

These pictures were taken on the northern end of the island looking out on the ocean side.  There is a "boardwalk" built right next to the water that always has a steady breeze and these great views.  In the last few years we have seen workers out repainting parts of the wall between the sidewalk and the water, which you can see with the bright colors in one of the pictures.

Friday, March 8, 2013

One More Detour

I started this blog about running, or maybe it's really a blog about running stories, when I realized that a foot injury was going to be a long term issue for me.  I wasn't going to be a full time runner anymore, so I decided to write about it and get the occasional run in when the stars align and my foot is good.

I've had another detour on my return to running, which is really pretty minor.  Not sure what the correct phrasing is for this, but I had (or developed or discovered or came down with) a hernia.

It turns out that  hernias don't get better on their own.  You have to have surgery to get them fixed.  So this past Monday I was at the hospital at 5 am.  Surgery started at 7 am and I was out of recovery around 11 am.

So no running for a week before the surgery, because I had a hernia and it kinda hurt to move quickly.  And now no running for at least a week after the surgery because it hurts in a different way to move quickly now.

So another detour for running, just a short couple of weeks this time.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Injuries Suck

One of the darkest times of my life was when I had stopped running due to my foot injury, and then a few weeks later realized that I wasn't going to be able to run anytime soon.  When I initially stopped running, I had assumed that I would go to the Doc and get some help and be back to running soon.

It didn't work out quite like that.

After a month or so, when it really started to sink in, that I wasn't going to be returning to running I was depressed.  I had been running almost every day for the previous three years.  Suddenly I wasn't able to run at all.

I had always heard people say that one of the most important things was your health, but I didn't understand that until I had an injury that directly and permanently affected my everyday health.  It totally makes sense to me why professional athletes have a hard time stepping away when the time comes.  I know why football players with concussions want to get back to playing as soon as possible.  Admitting that an injury or age has permanently limited you is scary.

I've been able to return to as a runner, in a much more limited fashion.  I only run a couple of times a week.  I wear custom shoe inserts all the time and keep ice on my ankle after running.  I'm slower than I used to be and really can't run more than about 3 or 4 miles at a time.

While injuries definitely suck, I did get to run around the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona, along the beaches in Mexico and Texas, and in sunny California last year.  I make the runs count!  Going to do more awesome runs this year.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Running in Circles at Soccer

I almost got really dizzy at soccer practice after running in circles for thirty minutes.  I'm not talking about my soccer practice of course, but my kids soccer practice.  They were doing lots of soccer type drills, with defensive postures and not over committing and waiting for the other player to make a mistake.  No circles for the soccer players.

It was me doing the circles.  The beginning, but highly experienced, runner doing relatively slow circles around the kids soccer practice field.  Their highly energized coach urging them on to be better.  I wish that he could have thrown in some encouraging advice for my running occasionally, but maybe that would have seemed weird.  Probably best that he didn't.

It's interesting the things that you notice as you make way too many laps around a soccer field.  The grass around the goal closest to the parking lot is much more bare than by the far goal.  The people having the most fun at practice are the little brothers and sisters playing on the nearby play scape.  There is actually a very slight uphill when on the back stretch of my loop around the field.  This is strange because there doesn't seem to be a downhill on the other side.

By the end of practice I've manage to get a run in, learn about how to play defense in soccer, and only gotten slightly dizzy.

Run when you can.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Running Is The Easiest Thing In The World

There is no exercise that is more simple than running.  It is the easiest thing in the world to do.

Everybody learns how to run when they are a child.  My daughter actually learned how to run before she learned to walk.  She would get into the standing position and let go of the coffee table.  Then she would start to lean forward.  She would lean too far forward.  Which meant that she was either going to have to move her feet quickly or fall.  She kinda ran from the table to the chair to the wall.

The required list of equipment is very short.  You just need a pair of running shoes.  Unless you don't have shoes - like these kids in Kenya. But most of us would want shoes and some workout clothes.  Maybe sunglasses and headphones would be nice too.  All of it will easily fit in a small gym bag.

You can go for a run just about anywhere.  You can run in your neighborhood or near your workplace.  I really love to run when I travel because it allows me to explore the area and see amazing places.  Running along the beach, or in the mountains, or on my own street are all as easily done.

Any time is also a good time to get a run in.  In the morning, before work, during your lunch break, after work, after dinner, in the middle of the night.  Whenever you have 30 minutes or an hour free.

So maybe this really adds up to running be very convenient.  I'm sure that you will want to curse me or somebody when your legs burn and your chest is aching as your try to sprint up that last hill. So try to focus on the easy parts and don't worry about the hard stuff.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New Life In New Orthodics

My attempted return to running last year kinda fizzled out.  Back in August I got some new customer orthodics and my hope was to be running more.  I ran a handful of times and frankly, my bad ankle / fallen arch did not feel great.

I really pushed things further when I went to Barcelona in October and did tons of walking and running.  Totally worth it.  Some of the best running I have done.  But afterward it was time to shutdown the running and regroup with another effort.

So in December I had an appointment with a real live podiatrist.  He looked at my feet and at my existing custom orthodics.  He says that I really need something with a firm arch support - more firm than what I have - and he recommended getting fitted for some custom orthodics through his office.

Had some molds made of my feet and just got word today that the new orthodics are ready.  My plan is to try them out tomorrow.

New year and new hope for getting back on the journey.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Lightning Fast On The Treadmill

I ran as fast as I have in over a year this morning, on the treadmill.  I really don't like running on treadmills (which means I hate it, but don't like to use the word hate), but have been doing short stints while at the gym.

I started with the manual program and a pace of 6.0.  I felt surprisingly good with a spring in my step that hasn't been there for months.

I'm back!! I'm a runner again.

Time to speed up the pace to closer to where I used to be on these accursed treadmill things.  I push the up arrow until the speed is at 6.5.

I still feel really good.  Legs are moving easily and heart isn't beating too fast.

I punch the speed on up to 7.0.  This is the pace that I used to be able to keep on the damned treadmill for my entire run of 30 or 40 minutes.

It is great to realize that maybe I can still be a runner.  Even though there isn't any wind in my hair while running inside on a stupid machine, it almost seems like there is a slight breeze.  Probably just my imagination.

After half a mile I realize that while my legs feel good, my lungs aren't quite up for keeping this pace for very long.

I'll just dial the speed back down to 6.8 or 6.5.

The down speed button isn't working.  Speed still at 7.0.  I press harder on the evil contraption's down button.  Speed remains at 7.0.

I accidentally press the up button, well it was actually because I was pressing on the down button so furiously and running at the same time.

Now I am going lightning fast at 7.1 on the treadmill.  I keep up the pace until .75 miles and then jump off.

Stop the run.  Reset the program.  Carefully get speed to 6.0 and finish out the run.