Monday, April 16, 2012

Wesley Korir

I had a few people I was cheering for today in Boston. Most of the Americans who made the Olympics are deep into training. All the ones who didn't have switched their workouts to try for the 5 or 10 in track. That left a pretty lousy US turnout. Then I saw Wesley. Figured I had to get on here and tell my Wesley story.

When I was a graduate student there was this horribly rude and arrogant kenyan runner who ran for Lindenwood University. His name is Soimo Kiplagat. One of the first races of the year he was quite physical with our tiny Kenyan runner Francis Kioko. A few of our better Kenyan runners were red shirting the Cross season so our team (which was normally quite strong) was about as wimpy as it had ever been. Soimo ran the 8k course blowing kisses to the crowd. Making hand gestures to Francis. Slowing down to taunt him. All kinds of horrible things that even his own coach reprimanded him for.

I wasn't in shape to be racing because Dmitry and I had just returned from Russia and I was allowing myself to get horribly out of shape. I wasn't happy about Francis beating me, but I was really unhappy about such a jerk like Soimo beating me and taunting everyone while doing it. I set to work training myself silly for a bit. I wasn't sure I could beat Soimo.....but I figured if I was at least fast enough for him to try the stuff on me that he did to Francis that I could enforce a little Cross-Country justice when we went into the woods.

About a month later we were at a meet where Virginia Intermont was supposed to be there. I was desperatly hoping Fernando Cabada, David Cheromei, and Corey Duquette would be there to assist me. I pictured us working together to kick his ass so we could all blow him kisses. Unfortunately they brought their "B" team to the race. So it looked like it was just Francis and I....and a probable repeat of the humilitation we'd already recieved from Soimo.

When Francis and I were warming up a friendly Kenyan came over to run with us. He was interested to know about the course because it was so muddy. He was amazed that a white guy was running barefoot. I had done a lot of workouts there and was planning to race barefoot. I often ran extremely muddy races without shoes (bez shipofki). I just felt faster and actually felt that I had better traction. Vladimir Golias had talked me into doing it once. At the time I was worried about it, but I decided anyone who can run 8:16 in the steeplechase must know what they're doing. Anyways....that fellow who came and ran the warmup with us (and ended up racing barefoot that day as well) was Wesley Korir.

We all lined up. Soimo doing his best to be a complete jerk. Francis and I determined to show him who was boss. Instead the gun went off and promptly Wesley went to work showing each and every one of us just who the real boss was. I think he ran 24:15, Soimo ran 25:08, I ran 25:12...(GRRRrrrrr!), and Francis 25:14. Soimo didn't blow any kisses at least. Boy did I want to be Wesley that day :-) I think we ran the first 2 mile right around 4:58 and then Wesley just hammered like a 4:30. It was amazing. It seemed he didn't even have to slow down for the corners. like he was floating. I'm not exactly sure of the times...but I know he beat me by just over a minute for 8k.

Anyways, after that Wesley and Francis became pretty good friends. Each meet we'd run into Wesley and do the warmup and cooldown. (He ran for Louisville, not Illinois as the announcers said during the race) I can't say we were friends or that I REALLY knew him. I knew he was/is a really, really nice guy. So today....when I saw him at mile 6 milling around in the pack I started to cheer for him. When he made that courageous move after heartbreak to bridge I was pumped. When he put the nail in the coffin on Hereford street......I almost gave away that I was live streaming the race at work.

That was awesome!! Way to go Wesley :-) Blow all the kisses you want man...because you've earned it.

Friday, April 13, 2012


I've been able to run 5 days in a row now. Yesterday I actually felt like I was training. Cumulative fatigue started to hit me. I like that.

Wednesday I headed over to Route 7 after work to do the Difficult Run/CCT trail. I had a loop in mind but wasn't sure how far it was. I was thinking it was 8 or 9 miles but it ended up being 12. I took it really easy. I had to hike here and there on the River trail because it was so rocky and because the view of the Potomac was so beautiful. I'd get distracted and on a few occasions realized I'd better watch where my feet were going or I may just plummet 3 stories down into the cold river. I found some neat places that I'll need to investigate. Might be some good cliff diving spots. Looked deep enough.

On the way through the park I realized it was going to be too far so I shortcut wherever I could. I think it ended up 11 miles. I felt pretty good. There were some good sections where my form felt really perfect. I imagined I was emulating Fernando Cabada. He really has nice form. entire childhood I tried to be like runners 5 or 10years older than me. Now I'm trying to be like runners 5 or 10 years younger.

The last 2 miles I know my heartrate drifted up out of the desired zone. I was cold and tired. I held my form together and didn't have any feet or knee pain. But I did a bit too much. I was worried I'd pay for it.

Yesterday I did my normal 5 mile loop. I was about 40 seconds slower than even my slowest days. I felt pretty tired. Nothing really hurt. I just took my time. It was the first time I felt really, really tired since Brisbane. I like that feeling.

Today is my day off from running. I'm sure my body will thank me. Since I ran long Wednesday I'll swap my wednesday and saturday runs. So tomorrow I'll do the 8 miler.

I'm off to Lake Anne to watch John and Zoya compete in the Rumpass in Bumpass. We're staying in the FeXy house with a bunch of tri geeks. Hopefully the scenery at the race will be good and the company after at the team house will be fun. I'm sure something will entertain me. I'm good that way.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Voodoo Curse

As soon as I typed out that last post I left work for a run. I was pretty excited to get out at noon. The weather was colder than I wanted but I planned a nice 8 or 9 mile run. As soon as I put on my shoes with my orthotics things started hurting. Normally my first 5 steps would be hobbles as my feet and ankles gave me shocking pain. Then my knees would hurt for about a mile and slowly go away.

Friday it seemed to hurt worse than normal and by 10 minutes it hurt so bad I decided to just turn around and go home. Then about 5 minutes later I was only able to walk. Boy did I ever curse myself with a post telling everyone everything was figured out.

The next few days I filled my days with a whole bunch of nothing.

Sunday I was laying around feeling sorry for myself when a word Mr. Anderson used to say popped into my head. I decided to use his word on my orthotics and I "shitcanned" them. I slipped the inserts that come with the shoes and headed out the door. I was angry and I was determined to run even if I had to do it on my knees.

I got out the door and felt pretty good. No normal hobble. Knee pain lasted about 3 minutes and then stopped. I've always raced without orthotics so maybe my body thought I was racing. I got into the woods and just let myself go. I'd run all out for about 3 minutes and then jog for about 5 minutes. On one of my all out legs I passed a guy as I crossed a field linking the woods trails. He yelled to me..."I used to run like that, you're hauling ass!" I thanked him, but made sure I got into the woods before I ended my 3 minutes of fury.

After a nice loop through the woods I headed over to Hunters Station hill. That hurt!! As I ran back home I got to the lake (where it normally takes about 5minutes to get home) and saw my time was 55 something. I decided to try getting under an hour. I went pretty hard and made in in 59:58.

Monday I ran 5 miles really, really slow. I can't find my heart-rate strap so I've not been Garmin'n Sunday it would have probably read 150ish. Monday I kept it really slow. I'd guess 125-135bpm. It took 38:20 to run that loop which is about normal going recovery pace.

Tuesday I ran the 5 mile loop again after a long day at work. I did it about a minute faster. There were a few spots yesterday where my form felt absolutely perfect. Totally effortless. When I got back from Australia I had a string of days like that. I got about 6 minutes of it yesterday. Hopefully that means my form and fitness are going to come back. I held myself back. I'd guess my HR got up to 140 so I was probably a bit faster than I should have but it still felt really easy.

The good thing is I've run 3 days in a row without orthotics. Something I haven't been able to do for 10 weeks with either my old broken ones or my new horrible shitcanned ones. I do still have knee pain and I've been pretty good about icing them. My feet have spots that hurt a bit but nothing that's gotten concerning yet. My hips were pretty sore yesterday. No pain, just noticeably sore.

Today I'll run for an hour. It's cold :-( 48 degrees after 60's for nearly a month.

My plan for the week is...

M- 5
T- 5
W- 8
Th- 5
F- off
Sa- 10
Su- 5

Oh sweet....found this..I'm all set :-)

Casting instructions for Unbreakable Good Luck Spell.

so first put the salt and the clover in a bowel (Shit I sure hope that was supposed to read "bowl") and crush them together
then throw away to mushy clover
now put the salt in a ring around the ring and in a line through it

then chant 3 times

fortuna vivere se fortunam
per anulum
quibus habitant potestatem meam

the power is in the ring to take it out into you

chant 3 times

quibus habitant per anuli mei iuris
mihi autem nunc per ot sit

Sheesh....with all these voodoo spells available right on the internet I'm not sure why everyone doesn't have good luck all the time. This is going to be GREAT!!

Base Building!

O.K, so terrible is gonna give it a go without the orthotics for a while. Hopefully, we will be able to see how much of a base he can build with out too much knee, ankle, and hip pains. Base Building. You know the can't shoot a cannon from a canoe. Base mileage is 80% of your total performance. Without a solid base, any attempts at performance take too much out of the well, and set you up for a period of poor training. So, where are we trying to go over the next two months. We will be SLOWLY and PATIENTLY trying to get to approximately 60 miles a week. This will include a few two a days and some consistent medium longish runs, but the goal will to be to make this feel as easy as possible, and to not let any workout feel too stressful. A good idea of how this will look bye the end is three days of easy 4 or 5's at lunch with 4 or 5's in the evening. That will be 24 to 30 of the miles. Then two ten easy milers with some short pickups to 80% of max heart rate for another 20 miles, and then an easy 12-14 miler on the weekend followed up with a day of rest. That should get us our 60 miles that we carry for a month or so, followed by a down week, and then we start to go after tempo's, hills, and finally some speed work, with a good solid few 10K's to 10 mile fall races. So, this is the basic outline. So, terry should start with that 40 miler or so for the next two weeks, and then we will start to build up, with about three weeks up, followed by a recovery week, and then a continued gradual build to 60. So, lets see what happens!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Ready Sir

It seems my hips and feet have come around to the new orthotics. I've been able to run pain free this week. 5 miles monday, tuesday off, 5 miles wednesday, thursday off. I wanted to run yesterday but my work schedule and whatnots just didn't allow it. I'll do a good bit of running this weekend. Probably try to get 2x 1hr and a 30minute run over the next 3 days.

I guess It'll be another pretty wimpy week, but I think my hips and feet are ready to start the galloping gimps training program. My knees are still quite tender after each run but they don't seem to be getting worse.

I had an interesting altercation in Baltimore wednesday night. I was running a very popular path along the waterfront and came upon some people harassing a homeless man. I couldn't believe that everyone was just standing around watching. I wasn't around to see if the fellow deserved harassed or not, but 3 on 1 just isn't appropriate. Plus...once you've made your point, once you've won some sort of victory....there's a time to stop the pummeling.

It earned me a good whack somehow on the elbow. Enough that it swelled up and my hand didn't work right for the remainder of the night. Must have gotten hit on a nerve on the outside of my arm. Anyways, I broke up the shenanigans. When I was leaving, and the crowd was all standing around astonished, I let the the cute girls.... who's big meat-head boyfriends stood around like dopes while the 135 lb guy in shorty shorts was somehow able to combine empathetic thought with decisive physical action, know that they should mark their man's failure to think, or care, or act upon it..... on the negative column of their mental "is he the one for me" checklist. Then I completed the remainder of my beautiful run.

Speaking of running. We get out at noon today because a long while ago the Romans misplaced some dude named Jesus. It seems they placed him under a rock for the weekend and couldn't find where exactly they had placed him. Anyway, in thanks to Roman forgetfulness I'll get to do a nice run during the heat of the day without having to miss work to do it.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dragon Monday

Pops had his surgery yesterday. I talked to Mom and she said he was all doped up. I gave thought to all the wonderful pranks I could play on him while he was in such a state, but I figured he wouldn't remember them I decided it wasn't that good of an idea. I left him to dreaming of dragons and monks...because personal experience tells me that's what old folks think about when they're stoned.

I was pretty tired from my Sunday run. A bit too far and too hard for my fitness. I used to be fit enough so that 9 weeks of inadequate training wouldn't feel like completely starting over....but that's where I am. Yesterday I was excited to get out and run. Running 2 days in a row is the start of a trend and I wanted to be hip.

I got out the door and got going ok. No pain anywhere, just fatigue. About 1/2 mile into the run I felt absolutely horrible. My legs were heavy and my heartrate felt pretty intense. I gave thought to just running 3 miles instead of my planned 5, but by the time I got into the forest things were smoothing out. I took it pretty slow and just enjoyed being out there. The leaves are all in now but still a fluorescent color of spring green.

At the bottom of the the hill I somehow got this song in my head.

I'm not sure where that came from.... It's not like I go around jamming to Lou Graham on my ipod.

As I ran I remembered my words from just a few days earlier as to just how I didn't really care about racing...that I'd be happy to just get out and run. So even though I was dragging and barely making 9minute miles I just enjoyed getting out there. I suppose while pops was dreaming of ninja monks and bridled dragons I was out enjoying the run enough for the both of us.

By the end of the run I could tell I was running junk and over-training. No elasticity in my muscles. No pain...just horrible form and fatigue. Today I'll take off.

Here's the run. Pathetic...but I'll take it :-)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Knee day

Well...I got 20 miles last week. Now that I've had 9 consecutive shitty weeks in a row I guess I'm pretty much starting from scratch...again...but at least I'm not laying on an operating room table. Pops is probably laid out on a table about now ready for some snipping and sewing. I hope his meniscus surgery goes well. The old man needs to run at least a few times a week for at least a few more years. Hope all is going well down there and that I'll hear from him soon.

Nobody I knew won that mega millions jackpot. I dind't play but I'm confident anyone who reads my blog would ship me a wheelbarrow load of gold bullion if they had. I guess that means I'll need to keep going in to work to dazzle them with my enthusiasm and work ethic. I do suppose if I had a wheelbarrow full of cash presented to me I'd stash it somewhere and go live a life of material poverty and empirical wealth. The cash surviving only as a lifeline to save me from my eventual drift from savoir vivre into anathematized chaos.

I snuck in a quick 10 minute run on Friday and didn't have any pain. I was excited to run on Saturday but the day got away from me. I took a nice motorcycle ride into the mountains and then visited my cycling friends. That left me with not quite enough time to test my hips with a 5 mile run.

Sunday Alexandra came over and rode her bicycle with me while I ran. I decided to not pay any attention at all to my pace, my form, my heart rate...or any of the many things that seem to be cluttering up my runs lately. Instead I decided that until my legs are better I'll just run for a bit however feels best. I picked a loop that I thought was 8 miles. The first 2 miles my hips and knees hurt horribly and I kept hoping it would go away.

After about 3 miles it went away but I felt pretty tired the entire way. I guess I was running a bit faster than normal but it was sunny, I had good company, and I was out there. The loop ended up being 12 miles so at 10 miles I shut it down. No real pain but I was feeling pretty darned tired. Actually the 2nd toe on my left foot was hurting. It felt like it was digging into the bottom of my shoe. Like I was trying to grip the earth with my toes on every step.

I think I averaged around 7min miles (taking out the stops) the first 4, then 6:50's for a couple, then 6:30's for the rest. I felt pretty beat up last night. My knees and feet were hurting. Those things hurt without the orthotics so it makes me wonder if all this is actually worth it. At least I ran and I have to eventually get used to something and get going.

I'll not start Tom's week 1 workouts yet. I want to run a little everyday this week and see how my legs feel. A bit of unstructured running until I feel confident I'm able to actually train. Hopefully I don't end up on the couch sharing blogposts with him remembering when we could run...

Here's the details from Sunday's run.