Category Archives: rightfoot

Good and Eh

Start time: 10/25/07, 8:00am
Location: Thomas Jefferson Community Center
Distance: 4 miles
Average pace: 8:37min/mile

The plan was to run earlier in the week before Thursday, but Monday through Wednesday I had such a horribly bad shoulder/neck pain that even moving my head hurt. So it wasn’t until Thursday that I felt good enough to actually run again. I went to the gym and used their indoor track; the first mile I did at a 9:00, and then without trying to the next three shifted up to 8:30. I felt good, no foot soreness, big thumbs up.

Start time: 10/27/07, 2:30pm
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 8 miles
Average pace: 8:49min/mile

I finally picked up new inserts for my shoes, put them on, and decided to run a 10-12 miler. Before I even started, though, my right foot felt a tiny bit sore. Hmmm. After about a mile things seemed ok, and my pace felt good. (8:41, 8:58, 8:42, 8:52) Four miles in, though… the foot started hurting. Oh, hell. I turned around and headed back; the hurting never got any worse (yay) but didn’t get any better either (boo). At least the pace stayed the same, so that’s better than nothing. (8:47, 8:46, 8:55, 8:47)

So now I’m wondering, maybe it’s the pair of Brooks Beast that I got back at the start of September that are the problem? I was wearing an older pair of shoes for my last two runs (that were also an earlier model, I think) and the foot problems weren’t so bad. At this point I’m thinking I will go to the podiatrist again this week, and also go back to the old shoes through race day. Fingers crossed.

Last Group Jaunt

Start time: 10/21/07, 8:00am
Location: National Mall
Distance: 8 miles
Average pace: 8:58min/mile

After the last run and my foot problems, I did indeed see a podiatrist, who diagnosed the problem as a tendon strain in the arch of my foot. For two weeks, that meant no running while I let the foot heal, although the elliiptical (being non-impact) was deemed ok so at least my legs were still getting exercise. With all that in mind, I was a little nervous about today’s run.

The bad news is that the foot was a tiny bit sore at the start and end of the run; the good news is that it was nowhere near as bad as it was a couple of weeks ago. None the less, the podiatrist had said that if it was still bothering me to go back and they could inject it with a steroid to try and speed up the healing. So I will probably do that in a bit.

Other than that, though, the run was nice. Dave was sitting out because of heel problems but came by to see us off (the final long run for the group of the season), and Laura, Dvora, and Erika were all there. As a nice surprise, halfway through the run we ran into Paul (who had not realized until the morning that since his partner had the car he was without transportation) who then ran with us for the rest of the 8-miler. A nice way to wind things down.

“I just want to hear your rhythm.”

Start time: 10/7/07, 7:00am
Location: C&O Canal Towpath (and a touch of Rock Creek Park and the Capital Crescent Trail)
Distance: 22 miles
Average pace: 10:15min/mile

The last big run of the season, and it was… eh. (Well, aside from Bruce Springsteen’s “Radio Nowhere” being stuck in my head, which was a nice accompanyment for the run. Thus the post title.)

We ran three miles up in Rock Creek Parkway, then another mile to get to the Capital Crescent Trail, for another mile and a half. All was going well with me, Dave, Dvora, and Paul. Then we hit Fletcher’s Boathouse, where we were supposed to switch up onto the C&O Canal Towpath. Only thing was, Dave decided he didn’t want to run it. (Turns out he’d already arranged for his boyfriend to show up on the Cap Crescent on a bike for the path back in.) The big problem with running Cap Crescent is that all of our planned water stops were on the C&O Canal, and after you pass a water fountain at CCT marker 6.5, there’s no more water all the way to what would be your turn-around at CCT marker 1. So that’s 11 miles with no water, unless you abandon the trail when it goes through Bethesda and buy some. And today’s high temperature would be 90 degrees.

I said that I thought this was a bad move, and if everyone else wanted to run Cap Crescent, I’d just catch the next group (who had just run by while we were discussing this) and stick with the C&O Canal. Water, Gatorade, and support in case of disaster? I knew which sounded better to me, anyway. Dave and Dvora took off on the Cap Crescent, while Paul and I stuck with the C&O Canal. (Dvora had a CamelBack water pouch so we knew she’d be good.) Now the canal’s towpath is a little gravelly and rocky in places, but the further out you get, the better it actually is. As it is, we had a nice run the rest of the way out, and for about halfway back. Up through mile 16, we were averaging around a 9:45min/mile pace. Paul was starting to slow down at that point, though, and I walked for a little bit to eat a gel… and then when I tried to start back up, my right foot started cramping again.

Oh, great.

Now, the cramping wasn’t as bad once I’d been running for a bit; it was when I was walking that it actually hurt the worst. The problem was, I was also starting to run out of energy; the sun was high in the sky and it had really heated up fast. Paul decided he needed to slow down and told me to go on ahead, so I pushed on as best I could, a bad combination of taking a walk break, cringing, then slowly running again until the cramping went away and picking up speed… until I needed another walk break. Nothing like your time suddenly dropping by about a minute-and-a-half per mile.

I did finish, though, and I’m going to make an appointment with a podiatrist to see what exactly is going on. As it is, I think this week I am going to just scrub any running plans.

And last but not least? I was wearing a sleeveless running shirt because of the temperatures… which ended up chafing my arm pretty badly. Nice big red stripe for those who care to look. Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch!

Catching Up

Start time: 10/2/07, 6:30pm
Location: McLean High School
Distance: ~3.5 miles
Average pace: 9:15min/mile & 7:00min/mile

You know what happens when you’ve skipped your LTRs for a month? They stink, that’s what. I ended up only doing a little over half of the prescribed amount and then thought I was going to go splat. (This strange “oh look, August temperatures” phenomenon isn’t helping matters either.) Right foot was cramping again, although it eased up after a mile or so.

Start time: 10/3/07, 7:00pm
Location: Wilson Boulevard (Clarendon, Virginia Square, Ballston)
Distance: 4.25 miles
Average pace: 9:11min/mile

Just a quick jaunt up Wilson Boulevard and back. And, yet again, right foot strange cramps were in the house. I’m now wondering if the problem is the new pair of inserts in the shoes, so I swapped the right foot insert out today before going to the gym to use the elliptical and rowing machines. No foot pain, so fingers crossed, a bum insert was the problem! We’ll see on Sunday.

Leading Up

Start time: 9/30/07, 8:00am
Location: National Mall
Distance: 8 miles
Average pace: 8:54min/mile

Today was an easy 8-miler, the last run before my final long training run of the season. More importantly, though, it was the last run before Laura heads off to Portland, Oregon to run the Portland Marathon. I remember years ago saying, “You should run a marathon!” and her response involved a lot of laughter. This year she’s been out kicking butt and taking names; I have no doubt in my mind that her finishing time will beat my personal record for the distance, because she is just that good. It’s been a real pleasure to train with her—I can’t wait to hear how she does!

(Same problems as last time with the right foot. Time for ye olde tennis ball stretches!)

Less and More than Expected

Start time: 9/26/07, 6:15pm
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 10 miles
Average pace: 9:01min/mile

My schedule called for a 12-miler on Thursday, but with book club that just wasn’t happening. Instead I shifted it to Tuesday, with the idea to get the bulk of it run in the morning and the rest in the evening. When I woke up Tuesday morning, though, my legs felt stiff and sore so I decided not to run and went back to sleep. Upon waking back up 90 minutes later, though, they felt fine. Hmph.

After work, I decided to pick up something in the 6-to-8 range and then just call it a day. Heading out, the first three miles were slightly uphill and also heading right into the setting sun. It was an unpleasant run at best, with me feeling too warm (it was almost 90 degrees) and less than thrilled. (8:51, 8:36, 8:55) When I hit the turnaround at marker 8, I decided that perhaps 6 miles would be all I’d get in. By the time I made it back to marker 5 (and my car), though, I’d convinced myself to run at least a tiny bit more, even though I was definitely slowing down a great deal. (8:46, 9:00, 9:08) So, onwards I ran. I hit marker 4 (9:12) and then decided I could pick up another half mile before finally turning around, which would be a grand total of 9 miles, perfectly respectable. As I was closing in on that turn-around point, though, I could sense there was a runner right on my heels, so I turned a bit and said something like, “Sorry about that,” assuming that he was trying to pass my slow butt.

As it turned out, he was drafting off of me to keep going, so we ended up running together for another half mile. His name was Justin, and he’s training for his first marathon this November in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. It was nice to talk with him, and while he dropped back a bit before I hit my turn-around, it definitely made me speed up for what was my eighth mile. (8:54) From there it was a slow uphilll trudge back to marker 5 and my car, and I was glad to stop when I did. (9:17, 9:25) Considering I was expecting to get no more than 8 miles in after work, picking up 10 was a nice surprise even if a bit lacking in performance by the end.

Additionally, I had a brand-new sort of foot pain; a strange sort of cramp on the left side of my right foot. Hmmm. I’m skipping spinning today to let it rest; hopefully that will do the trick!

(insert witty title here)

Start time: 03/15/06, 6:00pm
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 4 miles
Run:Walk ratio: 6:1
Average pace: 10:35min/mile

On the bright side, better than Monday’s pace. And very consistant as well (10:27, 10:41, 10:37, 10:34). But I know Julie wasn’t happy with it, and to be honest I was less than thrilled as well. I told her that on Monday I was bringing a tazer and she gets one zap for every second below her pace. 🙂 More later, but I just accidentally deleted the data out of the watch so I figured I should post this now before going to bed and forgetting it all.

Groove 1, Greg 0

Start time: 03/12/06, 9:00am
Location: Washington DC
Distance: 8 kilometers (4.97 miles)
Run:Walk ratio: 6:1
Average pace: 8:58min/mile

Today was one of those “glad it’s over” sort of races, but for no real definable reason other than “I never found my groove.” (Paging Stella.) It didn’t go badly, don’t get me wrong… but I just never really felt into it. I was a little tired before we even began (and darn it, I was in bed last night at a reasonable hour), and that’s never a good sign.

The course was crowded but full of eager runners, but it was crowded enough that I never saw the first two mile markers. (Julie said she never saw them either, but could hear other people seeing them.) I really wasn’t sure at what pace I was really moving, and good ol’ self-doubt showed up several times in those first three miles. This was also only the second race I’ve ever run entirely by myself (the other being the Worst Organized Race Ever), which was a strange feeling. I know, most people have the reverse, but it’s what you’re used to.

Anyway, I hit mile marker 3 at 27:05, which meant that I’d been averaging 9min/miles for the first three. That’s good. Unfortunately, I was also starting to lose some steam when that’s when I wanted to begin to pick it up a bit. That groove was nowhere to be seen as I hit marker 4 in 9:32. Hmph. I buckled down at that point, threw out the last scheduled walk break, and tried to just keep moving forward. The final two-block stretch of the race was me playing my “I’m going to beat… you!” game where I picked a runner up ahead (in this case a tall leggy guy with a bright orange shirt) and made it my mission to pass the object of my determination. It worked well, and I finished the last mile (well really the last 0.97 miles… stupid 8Ks…) in 7:57, for a finishing time of 44:35. I’d say “and I got a PR!” but really, since it was my first 8K just finishing is a PR. But it was an 8:58min/mile pace, which was faster than my last 10K pace and that was the important thing.

Julie did well too; she lost a couple of minutes when someone in front of her wiped out hard and she helped him up and over to the sidewalk and then gave him some Advil before police finally came over to assist. She’s far nicer than I. Even with that delay her finishing time was a 55:12, which is very respectable indeed.

Oh yeah; once again, right foot going slightly numb around mile 3. I’m thinking more and more that my shoes shrunk slightly after getting washed from the Mud Extravaganza last month and that getting new shoes will nip this in the bud. Sometime this week, Metro Run & Walk will be very happy to see me.

And now that I’ve gotten home, scrubbed out the fish tank, put in some new water, and emptied the trash… time for a shower. The best part, by far, about a race is the post-run shower. Ahhhhhhhh.


Start time: 03/08/06, 6:00pm
Location: W&OD Trail
Distance: 6 miles
Run:Walk ratio: 6:1
Average pace: 9:15min/mile

Back home once more, I was on my lonesome for my run on Wednesday. This was going to be an interesting run, since the next one I have will be the St. Patrick’s Day 8K and my last race was back at Thanksgiving. Trying to figure out a strategy for Sunday, I figured a good starting point would be this run.

Since I did better down in Yulee running with my splits, I kept them around and hit the first two miles with really pleasing results: 9:04 and 9:07. This is also where I knew it would get interesting, since starting with mile 3 I’d have the strange game of having some miles with two walk breaks and others with just one. (Something that was never really much of an issue when at a slower pace, but with longer run cycles and shorter mile times, it’s something that’s going to yo-yo back and forth.) It’s not a bad thing, per se, just something that I’m going to have to learn how to anticipate. Adding to the bizarre nature of it all, miles 3 & 4 ended up each having 1 1/2 walk breaks thanks to hitting the third marker around halfway through a walkbreak. Ha! 9:20 and 9:35 were the times for those miles, which I was ok with, although less than thrilled about a 9:35. Mile 5 pushed it back up to a 9:16, and a 9:09 closed it out.

That’s a 9:15 average pace for just a maintenance run, which gives me high hopes. My PR for a 10K was a 9:22, while my PR for a 5K was an 8:31. With some good pushing of myself I think this 8K will work pretty well; under a 9min/mile pace would be ideal, but really so long as it’s a faster pace than the 10K PR that’s good.

Oh, and same right foot vaguely asleep problems. I really need to get new shoes and see if that will fix it all.

And how have I already scratched one of the buttons on my new running watch? Good lord, I’m a clumsy oaf.

One more run around the development.

Start time: 03/06/06, 9:30am
Location: Yulee, FL
Distance: 4 miles
Run:Walk ratio: 6:1
Average pace: 9:20min/mile

Unlike Saturday’s run, I stuck with just a single loop around the neighborhood, and likewise instead of just running it went back to the old 6:1 run:walk. When I completed the loop it was a bit faster than my “just plain running it” loops from Saturday, and afterwards I used the car’s odometer to measure it out. The end result was pleasing—a 9:20min/mile pace that was extremely consistent.

My right foot felt like it was on the verge of falling asleep the last mile or so. Hmph. Did my right foot get jealous of the problems I’d had with the left one? I’m hoping that this can be fixed with a new pair of shoes; it could be that washing them made them shrink a bit. It’s either that or seeing if instead of a 2E wideness I have to shift to a 4E. Yikes! We’ll see what the foot measuring device at Metro Run & Walk has to say, first.

I’m ready to go home.