Feeling Under the Weather While Running in Wet Weather

With my wife battling a cold for the last 10 days and a co-worker bring a cold to the office, I kept a positive mental attitude, proactively loaded up on vitamin C and washed my hands all the time to steer clear of catching something myself.

It was a galiant effort. But it got me. Finally. Dammit.

While I did my best to heed off the cold, probably what did me in was insufficient sleep. Hey, I like writing and sharing information, but it does keep me up later than what my bedtime should be.

But I continue to do my best, running through a head cold. Helps me clear out my system. But yesterday it was pouring rain most of the day and I didn't stay out too long.

This brings me to running ware in the rain. It is so infrequent that I run in the rain that, while I know what I should be doing, I usually am not prepared to do it. I wore 2 layers of cotton and it was raining on me. Within 15 minutes the shirts were soaked. Not a good thing as those wet, heavy shirts can do quite a bit of chafing on the chest. Luckily, I didn't run long and I escaped the dreaded shredded nips.

Layering is good. In the colder winter months I layer my tops and often take the outer layer off during the run. But in the rain, the outer layer should repel the water. If you anticipate taking off the outer layer, the inner layer should too. A "technical" shirt made out of non-manmade materials is the way to go. If you are running in strong rain, placing protection, like a bandaid, over the nips, is not a bad idea.

I survived that run. This morning I woke up and it felt like a bus hit me. My sinuses are clogged. But I got out there anyway for 35 minutes. Felt terrible most of the run.

Ah yes, the joys of winter running when sick. The toils of a marathoner.

Week of Recuperation Post-Tucson Marathon

It is now 1 week post-marathon and I'm starting to feel better, not 100%, but maybe 80%. Went out today for my longest run since the marathon...only 35 minutes, about 4 1/2 miles, and felt fine. It has been raining literally non-stop today and that included my run. Got fairly soaked but felt good.

Tucson sunset night before the marathonI was extremely sore in my quads the first couple days post-marathon, to the point I couldn't walk down stairs without holding the handrail and going one step at a time. Some people walk backwards going downstairs to ease the pressure on the quads. I was tempted but didn't go quite that far.

The 3rd day post-marathon I alternated walking with jogging for several miles. Still sore and tight, and later that morning my lower calves had a sharp pain. Must have been due to the awkward way I was running.

The 4th day, Thursday, I jogged slowly the whole 2 1/2 miles and ended up with a new pain, this one a sharp pain in the middle of my right quad. Felt like someone stabbed me in the leg. But luckily, it pretty much went away on its own overnight.

Friday and Saturday were uneventful. With the pouring rain outside, I opted to "sleep in" until 8 a.m. and I didn't go out for my run until 10 a.m. Body felt like it was hit by a truck. Extremely sluggish. Guess my lack of adequate sleep caught up to me. Left calf was sore this time.

Today I ran around 8:30 a.m. after sleeping a bit late again. Had a chance to run a 10 miler with some friends who also ran the marathon but felt my body wasn't up for it. While I felt fine for the 35 minutes, I just didn't feel like running further. Two marathons in 4 weeks...I deserve a holiday break :>

Betting on Long Runs to Power Me Through the Marathon

I started training for the Singapore Marathon at the beginning of June, then changed my plans 7 weeks ago to run the slightly more local Malibu Marathon on November 14th.

This blog has not dwelled too much on my daily/weekly mileage over the last 22 weeks, but I do track it. I measure weekly mileage starting on Sunday through the following Saturday. Here it is for those of you who like numbers:

5/30-6/5: 43 total miles, 10 mile longest run

6/6-6/12: 42 total miles, 8 mile longest run

6/13-6/19: 25 total miles, 6 mile longest run (back problems took me out this week)

6/20-6/26: 50 total miles, 10 mile longest run (came back and ran a 17:27 5K)

6/27-7/3: 34 total miles, 6 mile longest run (this week the stomach flu laid me up a bit)

7/4-7/10: 46 total miles, 7 mile longest run

7/11-7/17: 34 total miles, 13 mile longest run (2 full days of travel cut into my training)

7/18-7/24: 60 total miles, 15 mile longest run

7/25-7/31: 40 total miles, 6 mile longest run

8/1-8/7: 57 total miles, 17.5 mile longest run

8/8-8/14: 54 total miles, 17 mile longest run

8/15-8/21: 57 total miles, 19 mile longest run

8/21-8/28: 57 total miles, 22 mile longest run

8/29-9/4: 41 total miles, 8 mile longest run

9/5-9/11: 44 total miles, 10 mile longest run

9/12-9/18: 60 total miles, 22 mile longest run

9/19-9/25: 43 total miles, 7 mile longest run (ran 17:30 5K)

9/26-10/2: 53 total miles, 22 mile longest run

10/3-10/9: 45 total miles, 9 mile longest run

10/10-10/16: 42 total miles, 19 mile longest run

10/17-10/23: 21 total miles, 5 mile longest run (sick with a cold, bronchitis, sinus infection)

10/24-10/30: 45 total miles, 19 mile longest run (still recovering, ran 19 on antibiotics)

10/31-11/6: TBD total miles, 13.5 mile long run on Halloween (still recovering...)

Average weekly mileage 45. At my marathoning peak 15 years ago I was running upwards of 80 to 90 miles per week. I've aged quite a bit since then and stay up too late and don't sleep enough...so I'm happy all things considered to average 45.

More importantly though, while I'm not fooling myself into thinking I'll be running a sub 2:40 marathon like the good ole days, I am very pleased to have run 18+ miles 7 times (I'm rounding up the 17.5) in preparation for this marathon. As long as I "hold my horses" and not take off running Malibu like a 10K race, I should be able to do around 3 hours for the marathon.

That said, the Malibu course has a 200 foot climb over 4th quartile of the course (miles 18 to 24) which may present some challenges. Not exactly a "fast" course it would appear. The good thing for me is the course I ran my long runs on had some hills.

13 more days until the marathon...time to start easing up and resting....

No Long Run, No Race and No Running!

That was my weekend. After weeks of decent training and long runs, my plan was to run a 5K in Westlake Village yesterday. Didn't happen.

Has been a week since the cold that knocked me out and about 5 days since I thought I had it completely beat, but doggone it...I still have the congestion in my chest.

The congestion in and of itself seems to remedy itself after moving around a bit and loosening it up. But my body has been telling me...SLEEP...PLEASE SLeeppp....ZZzzzz. I've been having a hard time waking up before 7 a.m. And the feeling continues.

But...I was DETERMINED to run the 5K yesterday, even knowing I was low on energy. But then came hurdle #2...the wife...

My wife has been laid up with a cold and/or sinus infection for the last 4 or 5 days, and she laid down the law with me yesterday. YOU ARE WATCHING THE KIDS!

The kids weren't getting up for a 5K and my body wasn't cooperating anyway, so other than a visit to IHOP, I didn't do much of anything on that rainy, dreary Sunday.

But then towards 6 p.m. I thought I might be able to sneak out to do a run. Within minutes, instead of running, I was driving off to local pediatric Urgent Care because both of my little ones came down with a combination of pink eye, cold/sinus infection and ear infection.

We closed down urgent care at 8:15 p.m., brought home our stash of eyedrops and antibiotics and that was the end of my weekend.

Not a good weekend. Still not feeling up to snuff. But I'm alive and hoping that this forced rest helps me in 4 weeks as I run the Malibu Marathon. What I'm really hoping is that I can run one last 18 to 20 miler next Sunday.

Saved by Cloud Cover in Mid July

Yesterday I spent the day in Santa Barbara with the kids at the Museum of Natural History and didn't get home until late. I was pretty tired and started falling asleep at 9:30 p.m. while reading a story to my 4 year old. But I managed to catch a second wind and ended up messing around on the computer and watching a show until...(gulp)...2:30 a.m.

That wouldn't have been so bad had I not had a plan to run long in the morning. But in my old age (soon to be 46), I've lost a bit of my self motivation when it comes to getting to bed on time. Hey, I'm a busy guy. I enjoy to many things and thus, my sleep takes a hit.

This is not healthy for sure and I'm probably taking years off my life with my miserable 5 to 6 hours a night of sleep. But I don't blame anyone but myself. In fact, it's 10 p.m right now and I should be in bed as I have an early morning flight out of LAX, but feel compelled to write this instead.

So in any case, in the back of my mind I was hoping for a continuation of the unusual weather pattern we've had all July....massive cloud cover in the morning here in Ventura County, lingering into the afternoon. Luckily this played out once again today.

I was up at 7:45 a.m. off of 5 hours sleep and decided I had to make a go of it. So within 5 minutes I had my hat, watch, beverages and gels ready to go. My pre-race consumption was half a bottle of water and one pack of gel. Yum. My goal was to go around 1 hour, 40 minutes, or about 10 minute longer than my previous long run of the year.

Mission accomplished. I plowed away, not particularly fast, but without any pain, aches or complaints. It actually felt good.  One hour, 39 minutes, about 14 miles. I could have run longer. I attribute the success of today's run to cloud cover and mid 60s temps for the duration of the run. Had I encountered full blown sun and 80 degree heat more expected for an 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. run mid-July, I don't think the run would have been so pleasurable.

So today I had my cake and ate it too. I stayed up way later than I should have and survived with a smile on my face my longest run since my last marathon on December 6, 2009. Rolling with the punches. Next long run I'm likely to encounter heat...so I'll definitely have to get to bed EARLIER so I can wake up and beat the heat.

I felt so good today that later in the day I stopped by the gym for one of my Conejo Joe Signature 20 Minute Workouts.  What a great day of fitness. Tomorrow unfortunately I'll be on an airplane for most of the day...which means an opportunity to catch up on my sleep!!

Back at It, Almost Recovered

I'm not real happy to report that last week's mileage was only 28.5 feeble, slow miles as I battled a combination of lower back pain, hot weather and general tiredness and lazyness. My longest run was a slowpoke 5.5 miles.

Six weeks until the Santa Barbara Marathon and at this point I'm not really sure I want to run it.  My mileage and training has been hampered by illness and injuries but we shall see. 

Truth be told...the back spasm was less of an issue than my general inability to wake up and run.  I am so looking forward to the additional hour of sleep this Sunday as Daylight Saving Time goes away until the spring.

In the latest Runners World magazine the publisher had a nice discussion about his own training and how he's doing all the right thing in preparation for an upcoming marathon.  Something that hit home with me was his insistence on getting to bed early enough so that he could wake up for his early morning run.  He mentioned he was dedicated to the task, with the occasional exception of his hometown team playing late.

My commitment to this "comeback" marathon has waned of late I think in large part to my inability to train properly.  On the other hand, MY SLEEP HAS BEEN INADEQUATE for most of the last 6 months.  Probably 75% of that is my own fault...staying up late with this website that I love, writing, corresponding...and then winding down at midnight with the TV on.  Not good at all for the training...

So here I am at 10:15 pm...writing this blog post and planning on a 20 minute run afterwards.  Shower and get to bed by midnight. 

Do as I say, not as I do...

Running Tired...Join the Crowd!

Before I blab away, let me update my latest week of training.  Weekly mileage was slightly lower, 40 miles, since I ditched the long run for a 10K this weekend.  I fully intended to wake up early on Wednesday to run longer but, as usual, that didn't happen. 

So sleep, or lack thereof, is the topic of tonight's post.  It feels like I'm always tired.  Most of that is brought on by myself (heck, I should be sleeping as I type this).  But seems like there's always something that "gets in the way" of training.

Like last night.  My wife knew I had a 10K race in the morning and that I wanted a decent night's sleep.  So at 8 p.m. she informs me that her friends from out of town are staying the night at our house.  Oh, and let's let them sleep in OUR bed as they need a good night's sleep and they have to wake up at 4:30 AM to make their flight out of John Wayne Airport in Orange County.

What the??  I really like her dear friend so what am I gonna say.

So I get to bed around 11:30 p.m  on the COUCH in the family room, underneath MY master bedroom. My wife slept on the couch in the living room.  I tossed and turned a bit but finally fell asleep. Then around 4 a.m. my 3 year old decides to accompany me on the couch. My wife helped retrieve him and 20 minutes later I hear movement upstairs as our guests are preparing to leave. They leave and I doze off for another hour and its now time to wake up.  Got maybe 4 to 5 hours of sleep.

Such is life.  I'm so used to interruptions that I've baked in a semi-zombie state into my race expectations.  There's no way I can run 100% off of 5 hours sleep.  So I've learned to just go with it and feel good doing the best I can. 

There were roughly 500 people in the 10K today but my main competitor was me. I ran a 38:30 10K and while that time is several minutes slower than my times 5 years ago, I was pleased.  For motivational purposes you can compete with others in these local races, but the reality is that you are doing this for YOU, not anyone else.

Most of us will NEVER feel we have adequate sleep, sufficient training, proper diet, enough mileage, etc. and thus we will always have built-in excuses for not running our best.  Let's face it...nobody really cares what your excuses are.  We are out there to have fun, to do the best we can and enjoy the camaraderie.

So I stopped myself this morning.  Instead of boring my friends with "excuses" that they could care less about, I savored the moment.  Met some new people.  It was a great morning.

The fact that you are out of bed, out of the house and physically exerting yourself on a Sunday morning wins you some major brownie points in this game called LIFE!

On that note, I want to congratulate the organizers of the 2009 Senior Concerns 5K/10K Love Run in Westlake Village.  The event was well organized and there appeared to be a record number of entrants.