Friday, March 30, 2012


After work today I headed up to the gym. I figured if I couldn't run I'd at least do a good core workout, stretch, and try to make my man boobs bigger. (chicks dig the man boobs)

After going through my normal routine I decided that methadone treatment just wasn't cutting it. The stretching had me feeling a bit better. I risked it and got on the treadmill and ran for 10minutes. Running at 86 steps instead of 78 or 80 felt pretty natural today. I found leaning forward a bit made it more natural but then I had to carry my arms a bit lower. I do suppose low arm carriage will be all the rage since that's the form Ryan Hall employs. Anyways, 10 minutes was nice. No pain. We'll see how it goes. It's amazing how just 10 little minutes can put you in a better mood. The addiction that is running just isn't matched by lifting weights. I got my quick fix.

Yay!!! I got my weekly mileage up to....... 9.5... DOH!!! Oh well...Zoya invited Mike and Melissa over to celebrate friday. Then I'll head over to Alexandra's where I've been promised a massage. Almost finished my book about the fellow who rides his bike around Australia. Next up is Running the Edge by Adam Goucher (hopefully all the illustrations are photos of Kara).


I've had a bit of a frustrating week with hip and lower back pain. It seems I have 3 different options.

1) Try to learn to fix my form and strengthen my calves/feet to run without orthotics.

I'm not entirely sure if I really totally need them. The only real time I tried running without them was in my races and my few days when I was in Philly last year visiting Tom and Billy. Usually I'm fine for a few days and them my knees and feet start to hurt...of course... that could be more because of the back and forth. Maybe if I just worked to get used to running without?????

2) Work out some way to get the old orthotics refurbished. I seem to be able to run as many miles as I want on them. feet hurt, and my knees hurt. But it seems more to do with mileage buildup than orthotics. But I could be wrong.

3) Get used to the new orthotics. It could be that it'll just take some time to get used to them.

It seems no matter who I talk to they have some sort of advice as to which of these I should choose. So far both times I've received my orthotics I've ran in them for two days and on both occasions I got horrible hip pain. My feet and knee pain go away pretty instantly with them only to be replaced with this hip problem.

I took Wednesday and Thursday off. I was hoping to run today but my hips are still a bit sore and now I'm tight all over and my back is bothering me.

It's funny how after a few days you don't much care about racing anymore. I just want to get out there and run. Bad form, good form, hurt feet, whatever....just figure out something that will let me run. For now I'll just patiently wait for my body to adjust to these orthotics, threaten people in my work parking lot, and grumble on the internet.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I had to have a talk with coach about his week 1 post. I'm already having to break his orders. I received my orthotics this week and I'm having a bit of trouble getting used to them. I don't want to re-injure my achilles so I'm taking it easy. I'm also still working with the physical therapist on my running form. I figure it's best to work out the kinks now before I increase my mileage and potentially reinforce poor form.

The trouble so far seems to be my hips from biking. I noticed it a lot during the portion of the Wrightsville Beach marathon that I ran recently. From what I can understand ....mmmmmmkay....(that's what my doctor continually says....mmmm...kay) My form is pretty perfect when running between 6:40 and 9minutes. When I try to run faster I start to bounce a little and my feet come toward the middle in front of me. Like I'm trying to run on a line. This happens he has decided, because I'm not flexible enough and because I don't properly increase my cadence when I run faster.

Since I've only been running slow runs with a heart rate under 135 I haven't done a lot of faster running, so my hips and legs aren't quite ready for it yet. That, plus the years of cycling in which your hips never fully extend, have my hips unusually tight. When I tried running faster (I tried 6:20 for that marathon workout) instead of increasing my cadence, I overstride, not noticeably, but enough to wear out my hips and slow me down. On the treadmill it became very pronounced when I tried to run faster than 6 minutes and a bit ridiculous under 5:20..

Most people have a normal cadence of around 80-90 (I'm talking one leg hitting the ground) when running slow runs, and it gradually increases. Studies have indicated 90+ is ideal based on videos of elite runners in races. There isn't a study indicating what they run based on their training runs, but having run with enough elite runners I can tell you that it's slower. I think everyone's cadence dips along with stride length when they slow down. Running the same cadence is possible (as the pose and chi running methods prescribe) but in practice I don't think that's the case. I'm certainly a bit too slow (currently between 78 and 82). I need to get it up to around 86-92. I'm blaming all those slow miles I've been doing.

So for now I'm going to try, even 0n my slow runs, to up my cadence only so that when I'm running fast I'm more comfortable at a faster cadence. When initially increasing my cadence, and with my new orthotics, I'm quite for now I'll hold off on worrying about my mileage until I get those two dialed in. The doctor gave me a bunch of strengthening and stretching exercises to do...mmmmmmkayyyyy...So that's what I've been doing.

That picture was taken by Alexandra. I was busy stretching and watching political shows while she was cooking wonderful homemade soup.

Before the stretching, the soup, and watching the movie "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". We had gone running down at her favorite running place. While I was there, feeling goofy as hell trying to run a faster cadence...I continually came across foreigners walking on the wrong side of the trail. I'm not exactly sure of their nationalities.. I'm guessing Indian's or Pakistani's and some sort of Asians, but wherever they come from it seems they probably drive on the left side of the road.

I witnessed this in Australia almost instantly when I was there. Since they drive on the left....they also walk on the left. I made a conscious effort to comply with the cultural norm. Sometimes I'd forget...most dangerously and embarrassingly when I was flying down the road on a scooter after hours and hours and many stops to admire the view...on a lonely road without traffic. Not paying attention to where you're going, and following the flow are irritations I probably developed cycling. Founded by numerous circumstances where others mistakes often were paid for by my skin being left on the pavement. So I've become a bit of an intolerant grump in that regard when I'm exercising. Especially with the numerous folks playing with cellphones who become oblivious to the life and beauty going on around them.

Last night there was plenty of mixed traffic to remind them where they were, and plenty of beauty to be seen outside of cellphones... so I'm guessing these folks were either unaware of our practice of sticking to the right or not entirely caring to comply. What ensued was a rather comical game of chicken. Me doing some sort of goofy (it felt anyways) prance around the lake counting my steps. Them walking head down consumed in their thoughts. They'd look me straight in the eye. I'd move a little more right...I thought they'd move, they thought I'd move...I didn't move....and sometimes it didn't go well for them. Unfortunately some lessons are best learned the hard way. I meant no harm by it. It's just much easier if we all comply, as I do believe they have now realized.

Here's the Garmin data from that run on Monday. 4 miles at like 7:30 pace. Notice some of the complete stops. usually that was to step over someone after concluding our chicken dance.

Tuesday I ran 4 miles on the treadmill so that I could increase my cadence without varying pace. I don't have data from that run. I ran 6:40 pace because the 86 I was clumsily able to accomplish felt ridiculous enough at that speed and nearly impossible any slower. Hopefully 90 will slowly get more comfortable. A trick I learned is that if I run right up at the front of the treadmill...fear that I'll step on the front keeps my feet back forcing me to chop my stride. I don't remember cadence being a problem before so hopefully I'll relearn this quick without looking like a prancing fruitloop.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Week 1!

O.K., since we are trying to adjust to the new orthotics, how about we do a nice 6 days of 4 of them at 4 or 5 miles at your regular pace of around 7:30, or more importantly, at an average heart rate of 133. I assume these are lunch workouts. On the weekend do a long run of 10 or 12 miles easy (keep below and hour and a half), and a midweek ten miler. Now on the midweek ten miler, we will try some pickups not to exceed about 80% of max heart rate. Since we are starting with an estimated max of 178, that would give you about 142 HR for 80%. After warming up for a half hour or so, try and complete 8 to 10 of these striders. These are more for your biomechanics, because the slow stuff tends to tighten up your quads, hamstrings, and hip flexors. Now if your orthotics allow, do these pickups until your heart rate hits around 142, and then recover back to 133/134. Keep them less than two minutes even if your heart rate doesn't get to 142 on the first few. Remember, these are more for biomechanics and to see how the orthotics feel at faster speeds, not any kind of real speed work. That should give you around 36 to 41 miles. Then take saturday or sunday off to enjoy your gal. Once we get your pains to subside, we will start to build!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Garmin share test

Tried out the new orthotics. Still feeling pain in my hips and knees before I started running.  The new orthotics have a higher heel lift so I feel funny.  Seems I run too flat footed for my liking.  I'm sure I"ll need to run a bit to come to a real opinion.  Didn't feel very natural but my breathing and all felt fine.  It was colder today so no cuties on the bike path.  Here's the Garmin profile.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Father And Son Coaching!

There have been some interesting father and son coaching teams in the past....think Seb and Peter Coe (most excellent!), and Andre and Mike Agassi (not so much). So now my boy Terrible and I are going to give it a go. I have tried on a few occasions to coach my son in his youth and young adulthood to mixed results. Some of it worked well, and some of it was more than a bit frustrating for us both.

Now Terry is turning 37 soon, and has a huge amount of wear and tear on that muscular small frame of his. He has done many years of national class running and professional bike racing. My goal for him will be to try and make one last major run up to age 40, and a couple of years of hoped for national class masters success. After that, it would be nice if he shifted to triathlon, but he and his body will have to decide that.

I believe that his strengths include stellar genetics, a monster engine (his heart, both literally and figuratively, is huge!), the requisite pain threshold and willingness to visit there, and the ability to visualize success. His weaknesses include many miles of wear and tear, on and off troubles with his stomach that he is working on with a doctor, some mechanical issues with his pigeon toed supinating form that he is working on with both new orthotics and exercises, his self flagellation with bad racing and training, and patience, patience, patience. When given a training plan, he tends to look down the road many weeks and goes "crap, I can do that now!". What then usually happens is a few really good weeks, followed by breakdown, poor training, and frustration.

So, one of my jobs in this process will be to try and keep him patient and focused on the here and now. I will also avoid giving him too much future training information too soon. We will follow a Lydiard/Benson Heart rate based training program working thru base, hill, tempo/strength, economy, and speed periods a few times, and then restart again in cycles as we build toward the ultimate 40 year old age peak training and racing cycle. He will be racing along the way, but saving those well digging efforts for more important goal events toward the beginning of his masters career. The most difficult part of all of this now will be to see how much mileage his body can stand at this age, and more importantly, with the number of miles he already has on his body. While 50 to 60 mile weeks would be a good base for 10K to half marathon success, 70, and for a short period, 80 miles would be best for his marathon peak, but it is unknown what his body can absorb at this stage. That we will discover slowly together.

So now we will begin this journey of where to start, setting some short term and intermediate goals, and seeing if "TEAM TERRIBLE" works. Terry will use the blog to post his successes, failures, anger at his coach, and whatever else goes on while we move forward. For those wanting to follow along, please feel free to critique either of us, and enjoy the ride!