Nov 28 2012

“No shoulder ride?”

Aaron
"No shoulder ride?"

In late September in the first 1/10th of a mile of a 20 mile long run I stepped on a rather sharp pebble about 3/4″ in size that hurt the ball of my right foot but it felt better quickly so I kept running and went onto finish the best long run I’ve ever had. Upon sitting down to eat lunch afterward, my right foot started getting wicked sore so I iced it for 15min and it felt perfect. Case closed. Then a month later the same spot began hurting for no apparent reason. “Overtraining” I thought. I’d already forgotten about the pebble. I ended up going to see an ortho surgeon at the local foot/ankle center about two weeks before the race because I didn’t want to run the race and make things worse. He said it was either the cartilage band around the base of the big toe, or the tendon that runs under there. Ice, Ibuprofen, and tape it and you’ll be fine. So I did, and everything went great up to the race day.

Saturday 11/3 was the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. I started the race and hung at the reserved and proper pace I was easily capable of for the first 16 or so miles. In fact, within a few seconds I was dead on target for my goal finish of 3:25:00.  Then I noticed my “good” foot, the left one, was really tightening up. Very rapidly things fell apart and by about the 16.5 mile mark of the race I sort of fell back from the pack I’d been with most of the race and took a really long walk break to try and flex the foot into feeling good again. I felt great and energetic otherwise. This happens sometimes in training, you just lose your steam for whatever reason (sore muscle, tired, mind wandering, etc) walk a little and you get back into it. No big deal. Except the more I walked, the more my left foot hurt. So I took turns running and walking, mostly walking. At this point I’m thinking about quitting. Except I refuse to do that, I trained very well this year to just give it up, I didn’t feel that bad. Besides, it started sleeting and I wasn’t really dressed to sit in drizzle while waiting for a few hours for the trailing “bus o shame” to pick up stragglers.

As I alluded to in my last post a few weeks ago I decided at this point to just make the most of the experience and put on a smile, be glad I am blessed enough to be running a doggone marathon, and finish the race as well as I could. I ended up mostly walking the last 10 miles with a tad of running tossed in for pride’s sake and to try and keep warm. Nothing like freezing to motivate you! I finished the race in a time respected by many runners as desirable but for me it was defeat.

So, time to fess up. As it turns out I fractured my left foot in the marathon. I see you out there. This is where you non-runners secretly gloat about how pointless running is and exclaim how it just begs to break and damage the body. Not so fast!! Because if running is done correctly it doesn’t hurt you, it makes you stronger not weaker! The arch ache ended after the race, but a pain in my heel picked up the next day and wouldn’t go away for a few days. Marathon +5 days I went for a short 20min run to loosen up and see how things were and the heel pain came back full force and then some. I felt perfect except the left foot. The sharp pebble bruise on the other foot was fine by this point and never did bother me during the marathon or since.

I immediately called the ortho doctor’s office and got in the next Monday. An X-ray discovered an avulsion fracture of the plantar side of my cuboid bone. An avulsion fracture is where a soft tissue like a tendon/ligament/cartilage so fiercely pulls at an anchor point on a bone that the bone peels/splinters off. It was small but bad enough to stop me from even walking without a crutch that we had in the closet. Fortunately my Doctor is not what I’d call a hypochondriac. In fact he’s so nonchalant in a positive way that he makes you feel like it’s no big deal. His best case scenario was that I’d be able to get back to running in a week or two but I needed to chill out in the mean time. Ibuprofen, ice, rest; same old stuff. No cast or braces needed, just take it easy. The bad news is the fracture will never heal. The bone fragment will be loose for the rest of my days. The good news is it shouldn’t bother me, freaky huh?!

So my follow up appointment was Tuesday 11/27 and though I ran a little bit last week and the pain subsided, the good news is I’ve been released and declared good enough to get back to normal life. He agreed that what likely happened is after the pebble bruise from September, my healthy foot subconsciously started doing most of the work in walking, playing, running, etc. That led to the left foot being overtired and during the marathon it just said enough is enough and fractured. So you now see the great news is that had I not stepped on that stupid rock all would be well. It wasn’t overtraining, overexertion, or just the simple act of running that caused the fracture.

On a side note, the Doc noticed in the X ray of the fractured left foot that I have an extra bone in my foot on the inner side of my foot below the ankle. It is about the size and shape of a kidney bean. A review of an older X ray of my other foot shows the same bone there too. So, I have 2 extra bones in my body. Weird! Apparently about 20% of the population have this extra bone. I asked the Doc if it will somehow make me have superhuman powers or anything and he crushed my hopes and said it actually makes me prone to having a certain type of tendinitis. Oh well.

During all of this my family and friends have been praying for my foot to heal swiftly and I’m grateful. The boys took it pretty hard though. The first night after the news of the fracture, Abel asked me to give him his nightly shoulder ride which ends with me plopping him in a heap on his bed. I said, “I’m sorry dude but my foot is broken, so I can’t give you a shoulder ride until it heals.” He was destroyed. While crying he just looks at my foot and accusingly says,”No shoulder ride?” and takes my hand to be dragged off to bed. Every night since then he has asked if tonight was the night for a shoulder ride. Tonight, I was able to say “YES!”


Nov 3 2012

I run marathonS

Aaron
I run marathonS

It wasn’t pretty but I completed my second full 26.2 mile marathon today. I can now assuredly tell you that I run marathonS. I badly bruised the ball of my right foot back in September and for the most part it healed but recovery required that I cut back substantially the last few weeks. Between that and the freezing rain today made for a race that was less than desired.

Oh well. At a certain point I decided that I could get bent out of shape about it and drop out, or just be thankful that I am blessed to able to run (regardless of speed today) and plant a smile on my face, make the best of it and finish no matter what.

I am very glad I opted for the latter.

In running, just like in life, there are good days and not so good days. The difference in the outcome is how we decide to deal with the days as we live them. For me there’s always next time, and at some point I will have a great day on marathon day. Really, I’ve had 2 years of good races so to finally have one not so good day is, in my opinion, a blessing statistically speaking.

“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24


Jun 11 2012

May Update

Anna
May Update

Here is our May!

Our annual trip to the zoo - The kids loved it!

Abel was really into all of the animals this year. It was so neat to watch him!

This was one DETERMINED duck to get at some snacks under our table!

Abraham very proud of his first 150 piece puzzle completed "all by himself."

It was a nice morning and I decided to let the boys paint! Thank goodness I took them outside for this!

These two had so much fun:)

Mini Marathon time! We saw Daddy off at the beginning of the race.

Here's a photo of Aaron crossing the finish line in 1:39:08 that was snapped by a photog on the course

We were waiting for Daddy to cross the finish hoping to get a picture...no luck. He was too fast!

Celebrating Daddy's good finish!

 

 

Ham also fist-bumped Papa at the finish but I could NOT capture it on camera.

Abel was so cute at the race. He carried around his "Doggie/Buddy" and "woobie" all morning.

Abel thought his booster seat looked great as a hat!

This was taken just down the street from our house. They have started construction on some new homes and the kids got to "ride" in the equipment!

Ham's first foot race! Getting ready to go!

Ham in line at his 1st race.

This picture is awesome. Notice the cup and what it says...

We took Abel and Abraham to Bounce Spot since I still had a freebie admission and Abel was still free too! Abel actually enjoyed this until he came down the slide and couldn't find a way out fast enough. After that, there was NO going back in ANY bounce house.

Abel and I played games instead - Skeeball...a fave for both of us!

Daddy and Taters

35 weeks 3 days (Abel's birthday too) - As you can tell, I am VERY pregnant!

This kiddo is so big, he actually fits his brother's booster. We already bought him one but he likes to unbuckle himself. We will stick to the 5-point harness car seat just a tad longer.

Abraham and Daddy quite proud of the new 300 piece puzzle that the 3 of us put together in just about an hour.

Buddy pile - they had WAY too much fun with this:)

Abel's first run at the "shooting" game at IPC!

Just to let you know I haven't forgotten about our daughter - here is a picture of the curtains I made for her!

This is a close up of the pattern of the curtains. It is still blue but much more girly!

That was our May (except Abel’s 2nd birthday stuff…see later post) and we enjoyed it greatly!


Feb 11 2012

Boo-yah

Aaron
Boo-yah

Competed in a brisk 5K race this morning, and set new PR for me in 20:55, 6:44/mi pace. Anna and the boys dropped me off 10min early and then drove to the 2mi marker to honk/wave at crazy ol’ dad in the -5°F wind chill. Getting faster still. Mini Marathon Corral B is in my sights…March 3rd I am taking down that beast in the 10K OrthoIndy Training Series.

 


Jan 29 2012

Rebooting life

Aaron
Rebooting life

It has been a hectic last few months for the A-Team. This week I have sort of rebooted my life, so to speak. I’ve not been depressed per se, but we’ve had a few more “downs” than “ups” the last month or so. To top it all off I had to shelf my running (a major outlet for stress and nice source of healthy endorphins) for about 10 days ending last week and that was probably the low point for me. That said, starting with our minor renovation of the boys’ closet last weekend and getting back into running on Monday, this last 7 or 8 days have been a reboot and has been very nice getting lots of projects completed, messes cleaned up, and just feeling invigorated once again.

Have a great week, prayers for a great OB visit for Anna and Abilene this coming Thursday for the 20 week appointment are much appreciated.


Dec 30 2011

2011 Recap and Visions for 2012

Aaron
2011 Recap and Visions for 2012

I would like to provide an update/review of a few things I’ve learned this year and a list of 2012 running goals. I give praise and glory to Christ that I exceeded all of my 2011 goals. For me I was grasping beyond capabilities when I initially set them 12 months ago. Setting easy goals just to say I achieved them is not my style. Below I will cover: things I have learned this year running, weight management and nutrition, and new goals for 2012.

Injury prevention, Correct Form

1. 180 to 190 strides per minute is almost magic. It relieves stress from the joints and lets the natural elasticity of your tendons and muscles carry you forward faster than if you struggle along at a more natural average stride count of 160 to 170. It therefore helps reduce injuries and soreness.

2. Land on the forefoot/midfoot and land with the foot directly under the knee, not reaching out front with the foot. This foot reaching is what will cause a heel strike and the subsequent shin splints and eventual chondromalacia.

3. A good forward lean at the ankle with a straight body posture will let gravity create forward momentum and require less effort to move forward.

More info on this see Good Form Running or The POSE Method.

Weight Management and Nutrition

1. I have lost 25+ pounds since January 1, 2011. I’ve lost a total of 60 pounds (probably more if I had owned a scale during a the heaviest part of my life) since I started taking fitness more serious in 2007. I reckon to achieve a body fat level that I would be entirely pleased with in the long term I have about 10 pounds to go. The general rule for excess weight and running is 1 pound = 2sec/mi so if I want to qualify for Boston Marathon those ~10 pounds of fat have got to go. I can gain some practical muscle weight but anything too bulky is still excess weight to carry.

2. My weight successes I attribute to a renewed discipline in what I allow into my body, and changing what I allow my eyes/mouth/hands to define as “food” and “nutrition”. Things that I have increased several-fold in my diet are fruits, vegetables, and whole/raw, unrefined carbohydrates in general (organic when possible), and white/green tea. Things I have reduced substantially that I consumed quite a bit of previously are nuts, refined carbohydrates, far too much snacking, animal protein, oils/dressings. Things I have cut out almost entirely: Dairy, beer/wine/alcohol. Notable benefits are that I now go days on end without needing allergy meds that I previously took multiple doses of each and every day and still felt terrible. I am rarely sick. Unless I overdo it, I recover from workouts very rapidly. I need less sleep and have increased energy levels. And best of all, it didn’t require starvation. In fact, with fruits and veggies, I can eat until I am stuffed (satiation) and be nothing but happy about it.  See books The 80 10 10 Diet or The China Study for more info on whole food nutrition, improving quality of life, and prevention/reversal of diseases through food.

3. Supplements: For the most part, don’t need them. This is a huge reversal for me. A good multi vitamin, perhaps a quality Omega-3 supplement, and that’s all. Eat as many raw, whole fruits and vegetables as I desire and get all of the micronutrients in the correct chemical formulas the natural way that God designed. It isn’t easy, nor have I mastered it yet, but it is more fun than swallowing pills.

Running Goals 2012

To sum it up, ultra-runner Ed Roshitsh recently said it quite well:

“Setting a big goal and failing is better than sitting on your ass watching the world go by.  I highly recommend to everyone to set a huge goal and work towards it.  Even if you fail – You learn.  You get better.
  1. 10K (6.21mi) of 44:59 or better. (7m 14s pace).
  2. Half marathon of 1h 40m or less (7m 38s pace).
  3. Average 21mi weekly, or put another way average 3mi x 366 days = 1,098mi total for leap year. 2011 goal was 14mi weekly, and ended up at 18.9mi weekly. 2012 will be my first year of 1,000mi+
  4. 3h 25m or less in a marathon (7m 49s pace)

Perhaps it is somewhat foolish since the FAA may end up sending me to OKC this year, but I’ve already registered/paid for the following races:

  • 5K on 2/11
  • 10K on 3/3
  • 15K on 4/7
  • Mini Marathon half mara on 5/5

I stopped registering when reality sank in about the FAA. If they don’t send me, I’m probably going to do the Geist Half mara on 5/19, and I’m still on the fence about which marathon to do in the fall. I may start toward my long term goal of completing all 5 of the World Majors and do the Chicago Marathon in October. There’s a 50K race in North IN in December I’ve had my eye on, though I may hold off entering into the crazy world of ultra-marathoning until I complete the 5 majors.

So, if you’ve read this far thanks. I hope you have something crazy planned for yourself next year. If not, definitely reconsider reaching beyond what you think your limits are. You might surprise yourself.


Nov 7 2011

Marathon

Anna
Marathon

First and foremost, I am so proud of Aaron. He trained hard and worked through all of his injuries to meet this goal of running his first marathon. He did AWESOME regardless of what he tells you. He ran the ENTIRE race and he completed it with a good time for his first marathon race.

These pictures were at packet pickup on Friday. We had fun Downtown!!!

Papa with Abraham

Papa with Abel

Now on to the actual day…it was not fun for me at ALL. The boys were FABULOUS. I thank God every single time I even remotely reflect back on it for wonderfully behaved little guys.

We got up super early and headed downtown to drop Daddy off at the race. We got there in good time and he had some time to prep before the race started.

Boys in the Burley sending Daddy off to the race

Papa before the Big Race

It was pretty crowded where we were and it was pretty dark so I didn’t get very many good pictures. We said our good-byes and I waited for the start. Once it did, I took a few videos of the people taking off and then packed up. We got back to the car and I made plans for us to get to our next meeting spot which was at the 17/18 mile marker. We had about 2 hours before we needed to be there but I figured the boys could play outside or we would kill time somehow. Little did I know what was before me.

I had maps and directions from Aaron to get to Butler (which was the meeting spot). I couldn’t get anywhere downtown. Every turn I took got us stuck because of the race course. The worst turn which was only about 10 minutes after I left the parking garage was on West street (going the wrong way but I had no choice). They shut down West street (both ways) but allowed traffic to stack up heading north. We sat during the ENTIRE 5K race. Nearly 1 hour stuck in traffic. The kids were wonderful, like I said. We ate snacks, sang songs, listened to music, played with toys, made up games to play. I familiarized myself a detailed map of DT which we had in the car. I am not the most proficient at knowing all the streets and which way they go but I have a great memory and am good at reading maps. We finally get to go but make this story short and sweet, we never make it to the meeting place in time. Hindsight tells me that I should have found the interstate and just taken that to the nearest exit to Butler and I would have saved myself a ton of trouble. Do you have any idea how hard it is to travel (be stuck in traffic, rather) with a young boy who has to go potty? Or a pregnant momma who has to go so bad she can’t see straight? It was nightmarish. I am thankful we were kept safe because we went through some pretty hairy neighborhoods during this unbelievable trek.

During my defeat, I had left the meeting place (after a potty break, thankfully) and we started heading back to the finish line to meet up with Aaron. We were stuck once again. We were sitting in traffic for about 25 minutes or so and I was watching the runners go by (they were running parallel to us just the opposite direction). I started noticing their numbers….Aaron would be close possibly. I seriously began fervently praying that we would see him so he would know we were okay. I was so worried that he would think something terrible had happened to us, that he would lose his focus on the race. I don’t think I stopped praying that entire 25 minutes. Then there was a break in traffic…I had to make a decision. We hadn’t seen him yet, but we needed to get back to the finish line. I moved over a lane to the break and we stopped again. I look over and there was Aaron! We honked and rolled down the windows and yelled! He saw us and waved!!! YEAH!!!! I was so emotional I just started crying (again…I cried a bunch that morning because I was SO frustrated). This time I was able to explain that my tears were of happiness because I got to see Daddy. Traffic opened up in our lane because we wouldn’t cross the course and we were on our way. I did a quick couple of tries to get across the course to get back but got fed up with it and headed for the interstate (why this didn’t occur to me earlier on is beyond me). We hopped on the interstate and made our way back to the finish line! We only missed Daddy by about 15 minutes from crossing the finish line. We met up with him rather quickly and it was a wonderful reunion! I was emotional (duh) but understandable. I let the kids out and they got to run around a bit while we got Daddy some warm, dry clothes and we took some photos. Then we hightailed it out of there because this momma was STARVING!

Daddy at the Finish

It was an experience to say the least and I am just ever so thankful that it turned out as “good” as it did. There were no accidents or bad situations. God has His hand of protection over us for sure! Plus Daddy finished and did great with no injuries (just leg cramps, but what do you expect when you go fast for 26.2 miles on foot)!

**And just for the record, this not being able to get from point A to point B was not the fault of ME. I am a very capable driver. My in-laws were trying to get to the same meeting place to see Aaron and they ended up turning around because they couldn’t get through either!**


Nov 2 2011

Monumental Marathon this Saturday

Aaron
Monumental Marathon this Saturday

Well, the big day is almost here; my first full length 26.2mi marathon! This Saturday, 5-NOV, is the 4th running of the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. Packet pickup and the convention are on Friday (I am bib #983) and the race starts promptly at 8am Saturday at Missouri St & Washington St downtown.

Not that I really think anyone cares that much, but if you want to track my race results in real time you can signup here to receive emails or text messages. Messages will come in as I cross the halfway point (13.1mi), 30k, and finish. Anna and the boys will be crewing for me, the plan is to meet me where the race course passes the Christian Theological Seminary (~18mi mark, near the aid station at the NW corner of Haughey & 42nd St) to have spare socks, jacket, hat, food, and drink should I be needing anything. Hopefully I’ll just stop for a quick  photo op and a tasty recovery drink and keep on trucking. I’m right at my intended race weight (not my ultimate goal weight, but it adds up as every extra pound = 2 seconds/mile) and I feel better than ever. This will be my first of many marathons, coming soon will be a post announcing my long term fitness/health plans, and it has potential to involve the entire A-Team 🙂

Prayers for the safety of all 7,000 or so runners and walkers + all of the volunteers this Saturday are much appreciated. The weather forecast looks almost perfect; a tad cool to start off with at 36F , but a nice high of 61F. Regardless of how I do this weekend, I give God all the glory in getting me to this point!


Sep 25 2011

165,000 Feet

Aaron
165,000 Feet

So this past Friday morning I was supposed to run 20mi, but I just could not get out of bed and was in a bad mood. I overslept a few hours and still couldn’t get going (thank God for second shift work hours!). I know, boo-freaking-hoo. This literally never happens, oh well. So when I finally did get moving I got on my running gear and just tried to keep putting one foot in front of the other and make my way to the kitchen and making preps to get out the door.

I’ve not posted about it, but for the last 3 weeks I’ve been fighting some deep, sharp muscle pain in my right Vastus Medialis (quadriceps muscle just above and inner side of the knee). I even had to cut my 20mi in half 2 weeks ago because at mile 11 the quad muscle told me if I even thought about going another step it was going to make me do a face plant. I had to do the limp of agony/shame 3/4mi home, defeated. This is possibly the subconscious mental block I had on Friday that was preventing me from getting going this morning. Last week I had my first “easy” week since May (a paltry 12mi total). It did the trick as this week my quad was back on track.

So on Friday I got a way late start, which is fine as I avoided the rain. About 2mi into the run I thought, “hey why not add another 6.2mi on and make it a full marathon length run?” I really like to go into a race knowing that I’ve already completed that distance before in training, it just makes it not such a big deal. 11/5 is my marathon and I’ll be beginning my taper here soon so I figured it was do 26.2mi now or not until race day. I at least told myself I’ll take it easy and see how it goes. I certainly do not want to hurt myself this close to a race and would fall back to the original 20mi if needed.

Fast forward to the 6 mile mark, it occurred to me that:

  • You may recall that I have 5 running goals this year, one of them being to run 50K all at once.
  • Saturday 9/24 was my original planned date for a 50K run (31mi, 362 feet) that was cancelled since I have been getting my workout plan from my coach (hired a coach for a season as a birthday present) instead of using my plan.
  • If I wanted to do a 50K before the weather turned mega nasty I should consider doing it today otherwise it will likely be nearly Thanksgiving before I get the chance to do the 50K.

So I went about it in the same manner as at mile 2 when I considered to do 26.2mi. I would take it one mile at a time and see how it goes, if all went well I was going for 50K! (Legal notice, DO NOT TRY ADDING UNPLANNED MILEAGE MIDSTREAM TO ANY WORKOUT WITHOUT PLENTY OF EXPERIENCE OR RISK SERIOUS INJURY)

I am happy to report that I did the full 50K, with a little extra for good measure. End results were 31.25mi/50.3K, and even 2 days later no injuries, not even a blister, hot spot, chafing, sore muscles or even sore feet! I must also say that I had to lean heavily on the Lord for strength to complete; for the amazing weather; and the wisdom to be honest with myself throughout and make determinations on whether I should call it or keep going.

I had some very serious foot cramps hit me at mile 30 that I was afraid if they didn’t go away I was done. I walked it off for a minute or so and was able to get on with it. The beautiful part was how great I felt at the end. And I also have bragging rights to my entry into running Ultramarathon distances. Booya!

So in summary a quick update for my 2011 run goals:

In 2011 here are a few things I will accomplish, God willing:
  1. Complete my 5th half marathon, the Mini, in 2hrs or less. Preferably <1h 48m but this year I’ll take <2hr. Did it in 1h47m 😀
  2. More than double 2010′s mileage goal and step it up to 730mi. Though I only run a max of 3 days each week, that is 2mi x 365 days.
  3. The route may be too dangerous, but if I can do it safely, run from my house to my friend Zach’s house. It will be around 18-20 miles.
  4. Run 50km (31.06mi). All at once.
  5. Run my first full marathon. The Indianapolis Monumental is what I’ve chosen on 11/5.


Jul 1 2011

Goal update, Independence Day

Aaron
Goal update, Independence Day

Quick update for my 2011 run goals:

In 2011 here are a few things I will accomplish, God willing:
  1. Complete my 5th half marathon, the Mini, in 2hrs or less. Preferably <1h 48m but this year I’ll take <2hr.
  2. More than double 2010’s mileage goal and step it up to 730mi. Though I only run a max of 3 days each week, that is 2mi x 365 days.
  3. The route may be too dangerous, but if I can do it safely, run from my house to my friend Zach’s house. It will be around 18-20 miles.
  4. Run 50km (31.06mi). All at once.
  5. Run my first full marathon. The Indianapolis Monumental is what I’ve chosen on 11/5.

I just finished 20.1mi this AM in 3h 5min. I feel great. God must be a runner, as he rolled in the clouds to block the sun about 20 minutes after I started and a cool breeze…which totally rocked to keep me cool and prevent sun burn. That beats what the forecast said, 91F and no wind.
Though I didn’t get to run it from my house to Zach’s as I’d have liked, but I had to be honest with myself and decided the route, no matter how I picked it, was too dangerous. It just isn’t worth getting hit by a car in order to say I ran to Zach’s house. So like a rat in a maze I ran 8 laps on the 2.5+ mile course I’ve laid out in my neighborhood. Regardless, that’s one more off the list for 2011. I’m +56mi in the positive for goal #2 at the year’s halfway point, a nice cushion in case I need to take a break for reasons yet unknown.

I’m also somewhat proud to say that I ran the entire 20.1mi this morning without eating anything since 8pm the previous night. I drank about 8oz of a zero calorie electrolyte drink (Zip Fizz) at the end of each lap to stay hydrated, but the goal was to build endurance, stamina, and teach my body to build larger glycogen stores instead of operating off of carb calories like what would happen if you eat before and during a run.

Anna and the kids made a nice sign on the driveway whilst waiting for me to finish. I let them draw a chalk outline of me if you look closely or zoom in. A nice long weekend to recover too! Have a safe Independence Day, and don’t forget to reflect on our nation’s glorious history.