Grew up outside Chicago and joined the blog while I lived in Salt Lake City. Now living outside Birmingham. I am married with two daughters. Wife thinks I'm crazy for doing marathons. And yes I am crazy I'm a scientist for a living...
Well I finally got my 8hrs of sleep. Thanks to those of you still checking up on me. I've noticed my visitor number has halved, oh well. Not too much fun hearing one complain about injuries. The good news is I'm coming to grips with the injury and will just focus on hard PT etc. The thing that amazes me the most is how quickly my life took a 180... The thing I have to remember is that things are still going well, just in a different part of my life. Look at the title and remember that balance can switch from time-to-time. After getting into work early this morning I left about an hour early and did a run with Kaitlyn to say hi to the geese. The whole way she was asking for seagulls and there was a single gull at the pond, lucky her. Mi 4-T3
Well to actually have a taper this week I needed an additional day off. Tried to see a PT on short notice but didn't get anything done. No big surprise there. Big plan now is to go out and see if I can be a pacer or not. Either way family vacation time...I just finished setting everything up for the trip down. I will probably not be able to update until Tues morning. Good Luck to everyone. So many have trained so hard and in the best way possible, injury free. I suspect we will have numerous PRs by about 9:10am Sat continuing on. Run smart, have FUN!, hope to see you on they way.
Back and into the thick of it. Unlike for many, St. George was a great experience for me all around. However, I have a lot to take care of this week both in work and in family stuff and will update as soon as possible. Sorry about the delay and I have already begun to peak at some other race entries but have three deadlines that must be met this week and my reward will be doing my race report and getting to read everyone elses'...
St. George Marathon (26.26 Miles) 02:47:28, Place overall: 33, Place in age division: 6
Marathon Pace Miles
VO2 Max Miles
Trainer 1 Miles
Trainer 2 Miles
As is my usual
tradition, marathon race reports are a time of reflection for me on my year in
running and life in general. I’ve been struggling if I should even go to the start
line. Now just 36-hrs to the gun I still don’t know the answer. I’m going, but
not sure why and to what end. This year as a whole has been spectacular in
almost every aspect of life. Yet I find myself being selfish and focusing on
this single defeat. While typing I’m watching a replay of the ’08 Berlin
Marathon. For the non-bloggers receiving this it was a significant race. It was
run last weekend and Haile Gebreselassie broke his own world record and was the
first human to run faster than 2 hours and 4 minutes for the marathon finishing
in 2:03.59 or about 4 minutes and 44 seconds per mile. That pace is as fast as
I’ve ever run a single mile. Therefore it is obvious that I am far from Human Limits; maybe “Personal
Limits” is a better sub-title of this chapter. Well here it goes…
I kept the above
just so people would know my mindset going into this race. Now one week later I’m
finally sitting down and typing up my race report. I would like to thank all
the bloggers that had more faith in me than I had in myself. I was so focused on
my injury and what training I wasn’t doing that I forgot about all the months
of hard work that came before. First, a brief comment about that training 13 of
the approximate 15 weeks prior to my injury I was running more than 70 miles
per week. This range 70-80 is normally where I have maxed out. This time
however, 7 of those weeks were over 80 miles. Needless to say it is the best I
have ever trained in my life. It was paying off as well. At 30 years old I was
breaking all of my personal records. The biggest highlight being the 1 hr 12
min half marathon I ran about a week before the injury. I was on cloud nine and
thought that all my running goals in life were going to be accomplished this
year. Then my knee went. This isn’t a huge surprise in that when you try and
redline to get to your limits you are
bound to take one step too far.
That one extra
step came on a downhill training mile in new shoes. Neither would have been bad
on their own, but in typical Adam fashion it came on a week of high mileage and
little sleep. My blog’s title is ‘A Balance’, but I still haven’t found out
what my balance is. A friend of mine told me that I live my life on a razor’s
edge and trying to balance on that is sometimes tough. In any case everything
has worked out better than I would have predicted but I still have a long way
to go before I decide what is next.
my change in plans I wanted to make this race more about family and others to
help distract me from the pain in my knee and not attempting my 2:30. I took
two approaches to this. First, we planned a very short family vacation around
the weekend. Second, I hoped to pace Michelle Lowry to an Olympic Trials
Qualifier (needed 2:46) our target of 2:44.
We headed down
to St. George to be hosted by Ken and Paula, parents of our friends Brian and
Shirley. They were nice enough to let all three of us crash at their house. Thank
You!!! We ended up hitting the road after breakfast and got to the expo in time
to drop of my elite water bottles (I sure wasn’t feeling elite at the time) and
pick up my race number, 35. We stopped briefly to talk to Steve C. but he was
swamped with costumers and we just headed out. After dinner I tried to get to
sleep early for my 4:30am wake-up. I managed a decent amount of sleep for
pre-race and Sandra dropped me off at the bus stop. As I got on the bus it
started to rain and wouldn’t stop until 15 minutes after finishing the race… The
whole ride up I distracted myself in conversation with the person next to me.
He was running his 3rd St. George but his first in nearly a decade.
At the start the
scene was surreal. People were huddled around the fires in plastic bags trying
to stay warm and dry, neither of these approaches really worked and I was
shivering slightly at the start. It was great to see all the bloggers in the holding
pen. The surreal nature was in place as I was not sure if I was going to be
able to run, which kept away the pre-race nerves. The main thing I was worried
about was that I wouldn’t be able to help Michelle and just have to drop out,
little did I know. After talking to many of the bloggers it was time to get
started. The wind was blowing something fierce and the rain was not letting up
but it was time to go. In an attempt to stay dry and warm as long as possible I
was wearing the garbage bag to the start. Michelle lined up ahead and I told
her not to worry that I would be along in a minute. The gun went off and to my
left a few people went down. I later found out one of them was Kory as he
passed me showing his battle scar of a bloody palm, not something you want at
the beginning of 26 miles. This didn’t deter Kory and he still had a pretty
Michelle was up
ahead and I was already worried about keeping up. Despite three Aleve in my
system I could feel tightness in my knee but no sharp pain so I just went for
it. Michelle was rearing to go and I finally pulled alongside. The first mile
was a bit fast but nothing too out of the ordinary with the adrenaline at the
start of a race (1-6:20). We settled
into a group of 4-6 people and just went with them trying to use them as
windbreaks as best as possible. The next mile we compensated a little in the
other direction but that was good so that things could get under control (2-6:35). The problem with that is that
the others in the group didn’t like seeing that split and pushed. Not wanted to
be left in the cold (literally) we went with them. This was probably an ok
tactic but the splits were still not coming naturally and I was a little
concerned that I was not providing support for Michelle. The next three miles
were all within a few seconds of our goal splits but on the slightly fast end
with the group and slight chatter (3-6:05, 4-6:04, and 5-6:09). In total those three miles were only 10 seconds off of
pace. In fact at mile 6 we were ahead of pace. Under other conditions this
probably would have been ok but since we were against the wind it was tougher
than I would have liked.
The good news is
that we still had company to work off of; the problem was that this company was
probably hurting us more than helping by keeping us at a too fast pace. The
other problem was that we could see the lead female and I think that the
temptation of passing her was too great. The next two miles were both fast (6-5:55 and 7-6:03). At this point we were about 15 seconds under the total
target time, not bad only about 2 seconds per mile. I reminded Michelle not to
chase the ‘ponytail’, that we had a long race to go and to try and pass her at
mile 20. She started laughing and I was afraid my “job as a pacer” was quickly
going down the tubes. If I have her laughing and she gets a side stitch I would
not forgive myself. Soon after this though, Michelle took her first potty break.
This was actually a great move as it allowed the main group to move on so that
we could assess pace more appropriately. I stopped and waited and we were off
again. Somewhere in there we also got our first elite (the second) water stop
and I had to stop to get my bottle. We also probably pushed a little too hard after
the bathroom break as we hit the next mile in 8-7:26 which is only 6 seconds slower than target (including potty
time = too fast). We got our heads clear and settled down. Took the next mile
easy so as not to kill ourselves (9-6:48)
and were moving again. At this point I was starting to feel my knee again and
the thought crossed my mind to drop out at the half way mark. Also at this
point I noticed Michelle’s breathing change and turned my entire focus to her.
This helped me so much and I am so thankful that I was able to be part of her
race. From this point on I was completely motivated by her and doing my best to
help. The great part of this is that it allowed me to focus on running and not
the weather or my knee.
Miles 10, 11,
and 12 were a blur as I was not sure how to help or if I could help. I was
regretting not more formally having a plan of attack. Having only run one
previous time with Michelle and not knowing how to adjust for the weather I was
playing it by ear and just going off of her body language. As she would fall
back I would put my hand down for her to come up to, but not knowing if she
knew this “trick” I didn’t stick with it. Turns out I should have as she does
but hind sight is always 20:20. These miles were pretty even but a little slow
from pace (10-6:41, 11-6:49, and 12-6:41). The next mile seemed to drag on but we survived it and
even managed to pick up the pace a little with the downhill (13-6:35). At this point I had been
thinking about dropping out and now I was thinking that I was feeling good. Not
great, just better than I had ever felt at the half-way point of a marathon. I
knew the second half had the majority of the downhill and even though the half
split was slow for our target time I still thought we could do it.
The next few
miles with the downhill and my “second wind” we started to move again. Michelle
is a fighter and I was inspired by her strength. Also, around this point I
could see the lead female way off in the distance and we were gaining on her. (14-6:29, 15-6:04, and 16-5:57). I
was super psyched by these splits and Michelle really seemed like she was
getting a second wind as well. Nature called a second time though so as we
neared a port-a-pottie we made a super fast second stop. In the next two miles
we came upon a port-a-pottie just to have it open and have the leader step out
about 200 m or so ahead of us. I just kept thinking four more miles and we will
take her. However, she was coming back faster and I think this helped fuel both
of us (17-6:40 and 18-6:19). I also think at this time I
started getting too excited. I knew Michelle was going to take the lead in the
next 10-15 minutes and I was feeling so good that I wanted to stick with what I
initially had told her and that was run ½ or to 20 if I could. I however,
thought that I was going to be dropping out at either of those points and now
just wanted to run my heart out for the last 10K to see what was left. Very
strange feeling to have energy at the end of a marathon and I felt once
Michelle was in the lead it was all her.
The next mile
was a brutal climb but Michelle was a champ and powered through it (19-7:02). As my Garmin beeped 19 we
passed the leader and it was now Michelle the lead female running near me. I’m
not sure how much of an adrenaline boost it gave her but I was so happy to have
witnessed it firsthand. At this point I didn’t know what to do with myself I
was so jumpy and just rearing to go. I ended up sticking with Michelle for 2.5
more miles at which time she had a good 200-300 m lead on the next woman and
wanted to do a quick VPB. I felt the end of a marathon is the racers and
Michelle had shown beyond any doubt that she was a competitor and would rule
the rest of the race. (20-6:24 and 21-6:11). So with her stop I took off
to get the crowd ready. My goal was to finish strong and drum up as much
support as I could for Michelle. The last 10K had a good number of people out
cheering despite the weather and I made it my mission to let all of them know
that the lead female was coming and that her name was Michelle. This helped
distract me and I was having the most fun ever at this point in the marathon (22-6:22).
For the last
miles I noticed despite my crazy cheering for Michelle that I was gaining on
people and this completely fueled my competitive flames. I just took off and
was having a ball (23-6:02). I had
something to prove at this point and didn’t want my knee to rule me. I wanted
to take charge and prove to myself that injury or no injury I’m a Runner (24-5:53 and 25-6:04). The
last mile has two turns and I was feeling it but couldn’t believe what I was
doing. Back at mile 22 the thought of still going for sub-2:45 was at the
surface of my thoughts but I knew that wasn’t the case. So as I approached the
finish I had a new plan to make this the family vacation weekend I wanted (26-5:59). As I approached the finish
line I frantically searched the crowd for my wife and daughter. I finally saw
Sandra’s umbrella and I think to everyone’s surprise I ran toward her and
stopped. I asked her to get Kaitlyn out of her stroller and to hand her over to
me. I put Kaitlyn on my shoulders and ran hard the last 100 m across the finish
(0.26-1:50 or 7:02 pace with carrying Kaitlyn on my shoulders).
Final place 33rd overall. Final
time 2:47.28 (with ~5 stops). Average HR 178, Max HR 195.
next? I had done something I didn’t think possible with 6-wks of de-training. I
now know I am capable of a 2:30, the only question is when. This gets back to
the balance. Training at this level is difficult. It becomes selfish at times
but to stay healthy you need to sleep properly which takes even more time away
from the day. I know what I want to do and how to get there; the question is if
it is next year or the year after. Part of the reason why this is a spectacular
year is that my second daughter is due the second week of December and I know
this will yet again shift the balance. However, after such a great year of
hitting goals and making time for family and career I think that 2:30 will be
sooner than later.
I finished I turned to wait for Michelle to see her finish in a spectacular 2nd
at St. George! I was happy that I had been a part of her race and I hope I did
more help than harm.
rest of day I took a nap and then we headed to Zion for our mini-vacation and
belated anniversary celebration. We stayed at the Lodge and did a 1 mile hike
that night. The next day Kaitlyn and I did two more hikes. I even ran some more
carrying Kaitlyn as it is clear that she really enjoys this. It is amazing to
think that I was running the day after a pretty quick marathon, much less doing
it carrying my daughter. I think I am done with this injury and time to move
on. There is still pain but obviously I can work through it.
again for your continued support. To the bloggers, I promise to be back soon. I’ve
started to read the race reports and drafted comments but am waiting till this
is posted to put them down.
Single: Well I finally got out the door. This was not what I wanted as far as a run goes but beggars can't be choosers and something is better than nothing, right? I had planned 4 to ease my way back in, but the knee started hurting from the start so I turned around at 1-mile. I'll see if I can get in for a full work-up later this week or next. I thought the time off would have done it some good. I was also so optimistic after the marathon but there is still something going on and I don't want to be chronically on A.I.s if I can help it...
Eight weeks to the day since the knee started bugging me. I woke up with it a little tender from the "hard workout" last night. I'll watch it over the day and try another two tonight, it could just be sore from neglect?...
Single: Two runs in a row. Two steps in the right direction. Knee felt about the same during the run but not as sore after. Focusing mostly on these short runs and then good stretching and some strength training...
Knee better this morning than last. Current plan is to keep doing the same thing, pumping up the mileage a "few steps" at a time. Also, get through all the SGM race reports. I just going down the list one or two a morning before I start my day.
Single: Unfortunately my knee felt more like Tues than yesterday :(... That being said I will stick to plan and get that doctors appointment for next week. The thing that confuses me the most is that I can obviously run on this injury (SGM?) but I don't see improving with pain. Baby steps next marathon season is still a long way off and I've rebounded from injuries before...
Slept in an extra hour last night. Work was painful. Just trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up and the looming end of the year and grant time (mid-Jan) put my progress into perspective, that and I'm trying to distract myself from the lack or "real" miles. The good news is despite the equal pain last night my knee felt about the same this morning again. I may have to take today off but try 4 tomorrow...
Single: Today had to be about the perfect temperature outside. Also, clear skies and no wind. Just overall very nice to be out. I went for a run with Kaitlyn to SH and stopped to feed the geese. She is so funny about throwing out one cheerio at a time and waiting for it to get eaten before she throws out another. Both on the way out and on the way back we were on a Halloween hunt to find decorations. My knee hurt the worst it has since the initial injury so I'll take off until I can see a doctor... I'm at work now as I still have the third "deadline" to meet from before SGM and I have lab meeting as well.
Non-running blog spot. My knee actually hurts more this morning than yesterday? Most likely stress. As the year nears an end I reevaluate where I am on my career development and I'm still a good stop away from an independent move. Not a big problem as I'm only half way through this stage in my career but for whatever reason it is sitting heavy on me. Most likely due to the continued inability to run pain free, an addition to the household, and general obsessive personality. I did contact a PT last night in hopes to get evaluated this week. We'll see...
Knee much better than yesterday. It helps not hitting it against furniture. Just keeping focused on my year end deadlines trying to get two projects wrapped up. Also, the last few nights have been filled with setting up the house for "Little Sister" not too much longer. Tomorrow is the PT visit. Hopefully she can find something.
I said it was time to get back on the wagon and the PT agrees. It turns out that the PT I saw Robin Marcus is a member of the Black Sheep and knows Chad, Josh, and company. Sometimes I'm so horrible with names, I've probably even met her but she didn't remember me either so maybe we didn't overlap for a workout. So I now have both an Ortho and a PT telling me that there is no obvious tear. That is good news. The bad news is we are not 100% sure. However, Robin was VERY thorough and came up with a bunch of suggestions and things for me to try as well as referred me to a third party to get one more thing checked out. So it is time to stop moping around and get back to running. I'm to try a few miles each day and as long as the pain doesn't get worse go with it. Also, I have some familiar stretches that I've neglected that I HAVE TO GET BACK TO... Finally, the "third party" is going to see if he can fix my orthotics. As they are over 8 yrs old it is probably about time. So the news is better than I was expecting, I was convinced there was a tear. We will see what happens next...
As promised back to it. My knee was especially sore this morning after all the twisting and poking yesterday but it didn't get worse during the run. I ran out and back to the waterfall near my house with Kaitlyn. She could tell the reduced pace from the time off and kept saying faster daddy faster... Overall not bad but there is room for improvement. We'll see how I feel later today and tomorrow. In work now for a couple hours then to errands and a local Halloween party.
Rest day. Yesterday's run went ok and so far I have lasting additional pain. I'm keeping up with the stretching. Today after a morning of usual routine I took Kaitlyn for a hike at the top of Millcreek after her nap. We went for an hour hike but didn't make one mile. It was great though. She liked all the leaves on the ground and running with me for a portion of the hike.
Planning on some running tonight. Yesterday both my wife and daughter woke up with colds, again! I'm coughing a little but nothing like the two of them. Kaitlyn attended three Halloween parties last week so take your pick of were they picked it up from. So I didn't sleep well between them coughing and me worrying about them. Knee was a little more achy today than yesterday but two days post run and with the hiking... Also, I have to stay focused on rest to heal and that wasn't happening last night. We did watch some movies this weekend and that was something but otherwise finishing house set-up (of which I think I'm done) and lab work. I have my next meeting in two weeks and I have to have the poster prepped a week from today, not a problem BUT I'm still waiting on data from one of my co-workers and he was supposed to have it to me by last Monday and I still haven't seen it... Oh well worse comes to worse I present the same poster as the last meeting :)...
Just keep it simple. Knee hurt a bit but kept it short and easy.
Sleepy, sleepy... I'm very tired. I had a total of 14 hrs of work today. I got some done but just have too much on my to do list for the next two weeks. The great news is that I was able to get in a run after the bedtime routine. Just an easy three again but this is the best I've felt running two days in a row for about two months. Tomorrow I meet with an orthotics specialists. He is supposed to look at my orthotics that I've had for about 7 years. Robin's advice was that maybe by tweaking it a little and keeping up with a good stretch routine I can get back to some "real" training...
Well today was just adding to the "fun". Those of you who have
been following (thanks JD for the continued push), now know that I've seen an
Orthopod, a PT, and now an Orthotics specialist. The good news is none of them
have found anything overtly wrong. The bad news is that none of them have found
anything overtly wrong. I'm confused about this pain. I think it is an overuse
issue. Mainly too much training without proper rest and stress relief. I think
as my life gets more hectic combined with elite level training something has to
give... Unfortunately that typically turns out to be my knee. When I look back
over my injury record it almost always happens as my mileage crests 80 mpw, my
work week crests 70 hpw, and something big is going on in life, marriage,
birth, graduation, move, etc. I speak of a balance but have yet to find it. I
know Jon had a great thread awhile back about, impossible to run 100 mpw, or
something to that effect. I think for me I need to focus on stress relief,
keeping up with the stretching, and proper sleep. If I cannot do those three
things I'm too high in one of the three things that I do with my life (family,
work, and running). I'll continue to struggle with this and hopefully find the
answer. I would like to run competitively for at least 5 more years if not 15
more years... We shall see.
On to today. I got up and into lab early as I had some experiments to do
before heading to see Bill about my orthotics. Got there on time and he had a
look at me. He came to the same conclusion as the others as well as the PT I
saw in St. Louis. That is that I have no flexibility, my right leg is about
1/8-1/4 inch shorter than my left, and my leg has a slight twist outward. He
said he would not feel comfortable changing my orthotic at this time since I've
run in it for so long now. He stressed the importance of the stretches that
Robin told me about last week. So I will continue with the slow recovery and
just keep in my mind that when I do get back to 80+ mpw that I will need to keep
up with the stretching and maybe get some monthly sports massage...
Now to add insult to injury I finally caught one of the colds my household
has been incubating over the last month. For the last four weeks my wife and
daughter have been alternating colds. Today by noon my throat was sore and by
4pm my head was so stuffed I wasn't thinking straight. I misread the clock and
thought it was 5:30 not 4:30 and was rushing around lab like an idiot because
my wife had something at church and I had to be home on time... The good news
is when I ended up getting home almost an hour early we were able to head over
to the Union and vote early. The rest of the night I laid on the couch feeling miserable.
I took some Nyquil and crashed but woke up at 3am, was finally able to get to
sleep and then when my alarm went off I gave myself another 1.5 hrs of sleep to
6:30. Took a Dayquil and now my nose is at least clear but my throat is still
pretty sore… Now I’m in lab trying to get things organized and focus on how I’m
going to finish off this year. This last part is actually Thurs morning...
One step at a time. The cold started bugging me again at about 2pm. I forgot to bring a second dose of Dayquil. After work we did some pre-Halloween trick-or-treating... Then I did two easy miles on the treadmill to get warmed up enough to stretch well. I was coughing a little but the run overall made me fell a little better. My leg was stiff but I think that was because of all the twisting and poking yesterday.
Happy Halloween. In to work early this morning so that I could leave early. Left at about 3:30pm so that we could go Trick-or-Treating at Foothill Village. It is nice that the shops to that for the community. It makes life a lot easier. It was packed but still fun. After that we went to dinner and then hit a couple more houses. After bedtime I did a few easy miles on the treadmill. I bumped the pace to a blazing 7:30... Felt ok and just made sure to keep up with the stretches afterwards.