Monday, October 31, 2011

Extended Break

I took a little break from blogging. Actually I took a two year break from blogging. I guess Facebook kinda took over my online sharing like it did for just about everyone else. I'm probably not going to blog very often, but I do want to write down my thoughts about running as I train for my first full marathon.

I have run two half-marathon's. The first one was at the Frederick Running Festival in May of 2010. I didn't enjoy that race very much and I decided that maybe distance running wasn't for me. A few months later I tried to reconsider and get back into it but I started having a lot of problems with Plantar Fasciitis that I struggled with for a long time. I ended up having surgery in February of 2011 that didn't do much to help. I struggled through the Spring and Summer of 2011 not being able to run and being generally unhappy. I gained weight and then I gained some more weight. I spent hundreds of dollars on doctor visits and eventually just gave up on the idea that I would ever be able to run without pain.

Somehow arriving at this conclusion was very liberating. I had been told by my podiatrist that running wasn't going to damage my foot any further (by now they had diagnosed me with arthritis) but that I should expect my foot to hurt every time I ran. So I said to heck with it and decided to try and run some distance. I was surprised that it didn't make much of a difference if I ran 3 miles or 6, the pain was about the same when I got done. So I got into a pattern that worked for me. Run 3 miles on Tuesday and Thursday followed by a long run on Saturday. Ice, ibuprofen and rest for a day or two after. Rinse, repeat.

When I was able to run 8 miles and still mow the lawn afterwards I decided to enter the Baltimore Half Marathon in October. I entered late and had a nervous couple of weeks to see if I would be accepted from the wait list. I decided that even if I wasn't accepted I was going to run 13 miles SOMEWHERE the day of the race so I kept training. I eventually found out that I made it off the wait list and that I would be running with 11,000 of my closest friends through down town Baltimore. I was fortunate enough to have a friend near by that was training for the race too and after we went on a 10 mile training run together we decided to try and meet up at the start line and run together.

As luck would have it we were able to meet a few minutes before the race started. We jogged together through the hilly streets of Baltimore for about two and half hours until we both finished. It was a fun race but as soon as it was finished I started thinking about the idea of running a full. I have always wanted to complete a full marathon and it appears that now is as good a time as any to work it into the schedule.

It's kind of interesting but as I have added more training and more miles over the last couple months my pain has decreased considerably. I still have pain when I wake up and it is sore after long runs but it seems like it is slowly getting better.

I have selected the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach as the race I want to train for. Training through the winter will be difficult. I don't own a treadmill and don't belong to a gym. I enjoy running in the cold but when it snows I will be forced to either alter my training schedule or find a gym and run on a treadmill.

I guess that's about it for now. I'm going to see if there is a Garmin "gadget" that I can hook into this blog so I can post my training runs here too. For now I guess I'll just post links to my "My Garmin" page. Today's run:

UPDATE: I figured out how to put a tab at the top of the page that I have cleverly labeled "My Training Log" that will take you to my Garmin site.

If you have any questions or comments, go for it.