Monday, January 31, 2011

Things are progressing

I am knee deep in training for round two at the Lincoln marathon this spring.  Things started out slow but my mileage has been slowly building up.  I am feeling good about my training so far and trying to play it smart as to not exacerbate the potential for any injury.

I have really enjoyed the Lincoln Marathon class that I joined.  One the group motivation and structure of the class has helped me getting up my mileage again.  It was nice to look on dailymile the yesterday and see that I had two weeks now of 35 miles.  The schedule this week looks like this:
Monday: 5M steady strides
Tuesday: 6M: with 6x hills
Wednesday: Spinning and Yoga
Thursday: 7M with 1M temp/1min easy x 3
Friday: 5M recovery
Saturday: 16M 5 middle M @ MRP
Sunday: off

For a total of 39 miles.  In addition to picking up the mileage, my pace is also slowly improving.  I can run steadily on longer runs (> 6 M) at a 9:00ish pace. Last year at this time, I was routinely running ~ 1.5 mins per mile faster.  Hopefully my speed keeps improving!

On other news, Lindsey and I booked our trip to Boston for the marathon.  We were shocked at how expensive the how trip is going to be.  We were struggling trying to find a hotel in the area but they were all super expensive.  We went to travelocity and saw that there was a "super secret" hotel in back bay.  With the "super secret" hotel they tell you the general location but do not tell you which hotel it is or exactly where it is.  The good thing is that this hotel was super cheap at 178 a night.  We took the gamble and booked the hotel and it turned out to be just a few blocks from the finish line.  It was a very nice surprise and was exciting to see a gamble that paid off!

In honor of the passing away of Charlie Louvin last Wednesday is "I like the Christian Life" that he sang with his brother back in the day.  This song was later made famous by the Byrds on their album "Sweetheart of the Rodeo"

And one more recent song by Charlie:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

well hello there

I bet you all thought I had just dropped off the face of the planet. And in some sense I have.    My last post was in June and so much has happened since then. In fact, so much has happened that it has kind of kept me from posting about it.  I have been really wanting to start blogging now that my life has kind of settled down again.  To catch you up I am going to do this in a summarized list.

 At the time of my last post, i had just started running again after taking 6 weeks from the knee injury I incurred training and running the Lincoln marathon.   It was difficult getting back into it given the intensity that I was working at the lab but I was preparing for a Fall marathon.

Here is what happened since then in sequential order:
1) I accepted a job at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.  This offered me several benefits but most of all I would no longer have to drive the 6.5 hours to Lincoln from St. Paul. I moved there at the end of the August into Lindsey's house and love my job and being here. Between the time I accepted the offer and when I actually moved down here, I had to bust my hump getting things caught up before I left. I did not want to leave my lab in a lurch because I was leaving early, so the last month was spent by being in the office for long periods of writing and analysis.

2) Because I was not training as hard as I should have, and things kind of fell apart for the Wineglass marathon I decided to run to half marathons in the Fall.  The first one I did was the Omaha half marathon. It was my first half marathon and it was actually a pretty fun distance to run.  There were some issues I had with the race and there is room for improvement but all an all it was positive race.  Some of the issues can be seen here and here. My overall goal was to run it in 1: 30 mins but I finished sadly at a 1:41. Dissapointed but I have lots of room for improvement in future half marathons.    The second half marathon (13.4 miles) was the Bohemian Alps Endurance Run.  This run was probably the among the most challenging but fun runs I have ever done.  It is located in the small town of Brainerd, NE and they have a half marathon distance and a 50K distance a few weeks early.  Primarily on gravel farm roads (hilly) and cross country trails this course covers many rolling hills that can easily wear you out.  I ended up running this in 1:49 and placing 11th overall.  For doing that I received this sweet medal.  I think I am most proud of this medal.  There are two reasons for this: 1-Not everyone got a medal only the top finishers (15 I am guessing) and 2-this was very hard.  I can't wait to run it again.
3) Shortly after running the Bohemian Alps run, I was biking to work one cold morning. As I passed through an intersection (that is a designated bike path) I was t-boned by a pick up truck.  The truck was moving around 30 mph and nailed me right on the left side.  The driver did not see me because the sun was in his eyes. This was by far the most intense pain I have ever felt in my life.  The EMTs came to the scene and thought that I had broken my pelvis and was rushed to the trauma center.  After being thoroughly x-rayed it was determined that I had not a single broken bone, just severe bruising down my left side (I will spare you all the ghastly pictures).  I was put on pain medicine and essentially bed ridden for several weeks.  I am so lucky to have survived this, it could have gone wrong in so many ways.  If this had been played out more times, I know I would not have faired as well.  I am lucky to be alive and that I can still walk around on my own accord.  I am sure this will be a subject of future blogs.

4) While I was bedridden and fighting off the depression of not being able to run and be active of any kind I ended up purchasing a garmin 305 with a soft heart rate monitor strap. I got it from heartratemonitorsusa.  I was a little hesitant about buying from this site because I had never heard of it before and some of the reviews I read from a long time ago really criticized their customer service. BUT, the price of both of the watch and the heart rate monitor was only 235.00.  That was a deal I could not pass up, especially because shipping was free. I have since used the watch and the monitor and I LOVE it.  I do not know how I ever ran without one before.

5) Lindsey and I are now engaged.  I had a ring designed by kateszabone on Etsy.  The ring came out so great.  If you are looking for some jewelry, definitely look at her stuff, I could not have been happier with the whole transaction. We have not set a date yet but we are planning on getting married sometime this year.

6) Getting back into running has been a struggle.  I ended up gaining 25lbs during my hiatus from running and I think thats adding to my slothy feelings. Runners World recently had an interesting article about this.   Its now been about three weeks of running about 15-20 miles per week and I am feeling better.     To help build up my motivation I joined the Lincoln Y marathon class.  The class has structured schedules, group runs, and speakers.  One crazy thing about it is that there were 185 people that registered for it. A record! I figured that the group motivation and structured training will help me get back in shape for a redo of the Lincoln marathon this year.  This past Saturday, I completed my first long run (probably since Bohemian Alps) and it felt really good!  I am so glad to be back in it.

Well I think that is everything up to now. I will be posting at least once a week so if you stopped reading expect to hear from me more often.

I will leave you with one of my favorite albums of 2010.  Justin Townes Earl on Dave Letterman the other night.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

its been a while ...

Well I just spent sometime writing my first blog in a while and when I tried to publish it, it has disappeared.  So I am going to go through this again and hopefully it will work.  Its been rough since I last posted following the Lincoln marathon disaster.  My knee was in pretty intense pain for the first couple of weeks following the marathon and the worst is that it just felt incredibly weak.

I ended up going to the Dr. about the knee and after looking at the xrays he said structurally (bone) everything appeared ok.  When he started palpating my knee he hit these bumps on the inside of my knee and I almost jumped off the table.  It turns out that those lumps are plica and in a small part of the population they get folded over and inflamed, called Plica Syndrome, from over use.  I was told to stop running, cycling, etc for several weeks and hopefully it would become less inflamed.  In addition I am/was suppose to ice the area several times a day and take a very healthy dose of ibuprofen. If it still bothers me after a month then he would do a corisone injection.  If that does not work they can go in an snip the area.

It has been surprising to me how much and how quickly I missed running.  Over the past year, I have really begun to identify myself as a "runner."  Not only do I truly love the physical aspects of training and pushing my endurance but I love the mental aspects of running.  That mental struggle of pushing through the wall, whether thats when I am having a crappy run and I am only at 7 miles or whether its at 23 miles, is something I like.  Without running I felt like I lost that mental reset button that I need on a daily (or close to daily) basis.

Well, today I decided to go and give my knee a test run around Como Lake.  The lake is relatively short and I knew if I needed to stop it would be easy to get back to my car.  Also, the doctor had warned me against doing any sort of I ended up doing two laps and my knee held together fairly well.  I could definitely feel that my knee was It was obvious that I had not run in a long time as my lungs felt like they were full of cobwebs.  I am feeling good right now (icing the knee) and I hope I can keep up with these short runs.

Well it has also been a while since I shared another honky tonk gem with you.  Here is Tennessee Ernie Ford backed up by Jimmy Bryant and Speedy West.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Lincoln marathon -- Race report

As many of you know that run on a regular basis, you have good races and bad races.  This race was a very bad one.

Expo:  I had been to the expo last year and bought one of my first pairs of running shorts.  This year I returned and found some more running shorts.  These are a little shorter than the ones I bought last year but not as short as my short blue shorts, exactly what I was looking for.  I also found a pair of sleeves and calf compression sleeves by Skins.

The Lincoln Running Co. was selling them for 20$ each (normally 45). I bought a set of each but my arm sleeves were white.  The expo is pretty small but I kind of like it that way, only a few vendors but really how many of the same booth can you look at.  Lindsey and I picked up our chips and bibs (#298)

The Race: Lindsey, her brother Aron (1st half marathon), her sister Abbie (1st half marathon) headed down to race around 6:15ish Sunday morning.

Lindsey, Aron, and Abbie pre-race

Me and Lindsey pre-race.

Gun time was around 7am.  The place was pretty packed by the time we got there and after a pre-race bathroom break we settled in our pace groups.  Lindsey and I started at the 9:00 minute and Aron and Abbie around the 10:00.  The gun went off and it took us about 6 minutes to cross the start line.  The Lincoln marathon has grown considerably in the past few years.  This year there were close to 8000 runners and next year they are going to open it up to 10000. Most of these are halfers but it is still a considerable showing.  At the beginning of the run I was feeling great and felt like I could not quit.  I stayed with Lindsey for the first mile or two but started picking up my pace.

The first ten miles of the race were really great.  There was a lot of crowd support but the support was different.  There were a ton of people but few cheered for the runner they did not know.  The past two marathons I had done, the crowd cheered for everyone coming through.  As I was running the first third of this marathon I started to think that I was going to PR this race and PR by quite a bit.  I knew it was unlikely that I would BQ but I truly felt at the top of my game.  I was keeping a steady pace at the mid-7s, taking the few hills in stride.

My only real complaint of the course was between 8-10 miles "by Highway 2" where the marathoners were forced onto a path and it could not accommodate the number of runners that were there.  I had latched on to a 3:30 pace group (and was running 2 minutes ahead of them) and they were having a hard time passing people.  Especially a lot of people staying on the far left of the trail with head phones on, oblivious to the people trying to get passed them.

I started getting a bit nervous about my left knee around mile 10.  It suddenly started getting a bit tight and I had not felt that since the beggining of this marathons training.  I thought it might work its way out though.  We made the first pass by the stadium around mile 13 where the halfers left the race.  Right before this turn off, I saw one of the halfers in front of me start to teeter almost as if he was on stilts and he just crashed down on the ground.  Luckily, there were a couple of National Guard soldiers that were close by and they rushed to his aid.

Shortly after the halfers turn off, after the transition from another trail, I stepped off a curb crossing the street and thats when I realized I was in trouble.  My left knee seized up and the best way I could describe it was having a screwdriver jammed into the side of my leg.  It was excruciating.   Despite the pain, and maybe stupidly, I kept pushing myself.  I knew I was loosing pace but truly felt it at mile 20.  Right before the 20 mile marker, and I was beginning to struggle mentally through the intense pain, I heard someone yell my name.  It was Lindsey and she was flying.  She looked so good and was running strong. I told her that I was going to have to start walking, so she should keep moving.

The next six miles of the race were probably some of the longest and most grueling of my entire life.  I would try to run but the pain would build up to high and I would be force to walk.  It was truly demoralizing, particularly when I got to about mile 23 and I could see some of the racers driving down the road with their medals on.  People were being supportive, rolling down their windows, and cheering me on.  I can appreciate what they did now but their cheers and words of encouragement had the opposite effect on me, making me more frustrated.

The finish line for this race was in the stadium and I hobbled my way towards it.  As I entered the stadium I could see I was closing in on 430 and they called my name and I did not hear a single cheer or clap.  That was not fun but at that point I was just glad to be done.  I could not find Lindsey anywhere and it turns out that there was a good reason.  I went and collected my bag with my jacket and settled down outside hoping I would run into Lindsey eventually.  [subsequent pictures taken by Lindsey's mom, Tina]

After a couple of minutes of sitting on the ground, I heard Lindsey call my name and she came running over to me (I do not know how she had the energy).

 It turns out Lindsey kicked serious butt, running the race in 3:36 qualifying for Boston in the process. Looks like we are going to make a trip to Boston next spring! Despite feeling crappy and seriously dejected I was and continue to be so happy for her.  It truly turned out to be  a silver lining in the crappy black cloud of this marathon.  Aron and Abbie also did super well on their first half.  I am truly proud of the whole Filbert clan!

Aron Lindsey and I post race

Lindsey and I

Abbie and Aron showing off the goods!

I spent the next few hours rethinking the entire race, wondering if I had done something differently if I could have not experienced this injury.  I am not sure if there was anything I could have done.  Now though, as I sit here with a swollen, spasming knee I want to get back out there and redeem myself.  I do not think that I necessarily tore or did serious damage to it but it hurts and I figure it will continue to be for a bit. There is nothing I want though to get back out there and to start training again.

Several things I liked about this race and primarily these focused around the  aid/water stations were perfect!  There was a great mix  of Gatorade and water (one table of water then gatorade, then water and Gatorade) at each station, with the cups having lids and straws.  Each aid station also had oranges, bananas, and GU.  The support staff at each of these   stations was excellent.  Whether it was the National Guard folks or just the volunteers these people had the stations down pat.  I would have to say that these water stations far exceeded any other of the other marathons I had run.  All and all I recommend this marathon to the midwesternerns that can get there.  It does not cost an arm and a leg (like Austin), the course is not difficult (few hills), and the water stops are phenomenal!

My stats (even though it kills me to see these):
Overall place: 734
DIVPL: 99/120
10K:  48:53
13.1M:  1:42.30
20M:  2:44:27
Last 10K: 1:40:26<-- Last 6 miles took as long as my first 13.1 miles.
Chip time:  4:24:53

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Been gone so long and premarathon nerves

I have missed you my blogging world.  With the delightful turn of the weather a few weeks ago, there was also a corresponding severe uptick in my work load at the University.  I think the last day off I had was when Lindsey was here a couple of weeks ago.  Not fun.  I have only sporadically been able to check on all your blogs.

I have been barely keeping up with my runs too.  Despite the stress and just being generally tired, I have been having some really good runs. I can run consistently at about a 7:30 to 7:40 pace.   If I can sustain that pace, I would PR at Lincoln on Sunday.

I really can not believe that the marathon is closing in so fast.  After this marathon I am going to take a breather from marathon training for a couple of months.  I will continue to run on a regular basis but instead of hauling my butt on long runs I am going to go on much longer cycling ride.  I like following schedules but I am not sure what I should do when I am not training for something specific.  My next marathon wont be until October.  Any suggestions on a running plan 30ish miles a week?

Well the weather is looking good for the marathon on Sunday.  Right now the weather is forecasted to be a high of 67 and 8 mph winds.  Kind of sounds super nice.  We will see if it stays that way.

I will be back with a marathon wrap up and here is a great song/video that sums up my feelings of Nashville.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Redo of a run one year later.

I am really lucky to be living in the Twin Cities.  There seem to be never ending trails to go and run and if you plan it correctly you could run on a different trail with different types of scenary every day.  In fact the number of trails in Minneapolis has been a contributing factor that moved us past Portland, Oregon as the most bike friendly city in the US (according to Bicycling magazine).

Today, I decided that I would revisit one of the first longer runs I ever attempted.  On April 24th of last year I ran from my house down the Trout Brook trail, down the Gateway, around Phalen and back to my apartment.  This is approximately 10.5 miles.  Looking back at my running log, it took me 1:40 at a 9:07 pace.  I remember getting done with this run and wonder "How in the hell can anyone run a marathon?"  I had started to doubt that I would ever be able to run a marathon let alone run a half marathon.  I was so tired could barely move after this run.

Well fast forward almost a year and I redid that same run, but this time I brought my camera.

Me running by a little pond on the Trout Brook trail

The trees along the trail are starting to sprout some leaves

An old Rail Road bridge along the trail

Getting a bit closer to Phalen

Passing under the roads to get to Phalen

Still no leaves on the trees at Phalen but it sure was windy.

Some guy fishing

If you look closely this is the guy who walks his cat on a leash as I mentioned in a previous post. Unfortunately there was no monkey man.

Finishing up the loop around Phalen.

I finished up the run in 1:22 at a 7:50 pace and had a lot more energy in me.  Not only did I shave off 20 mins from the run but it was barely a struggle at all.  Its amazing to see how far you can come with a little training.

Todays music selection is one of my from one of my favorite current stars of the Honky Tonk, Wayne "The Train" Hancock.  I chose this song not only because it is one of my favorites but also for the thunderstorms that rocked my apartment this morning.  Enjoy!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Last of the "long" runs until the Lincoln marathon!

Well I have not been doing such a great job at posting lately but I have kept up my running.   I was down in NE last weekend visiting Lindsey and we had a couple of good runs.  Saturday was a Easter family get together and we went for a 5+ mile run with her brother and sister (both running the Lincoln half).  The weather had been nice and warm but the wind was insane.  On the way back the cross wind was actually blowing my legs into each other.  On Sunday, Lindsey and I went for a 20-miler on the Billy Wolf and Rock Island trails.

This is us running across the Dam at Hydes Park (I think that was the name of it)
Just shortly after the above picture was taken we saw a kid flying a kite

On our long run, something curious happened.  My left foot went totally numb while I was running.  It stayed numb for a mile or so and then curiously disappeared (the pain not my foot).

Last week was a great week, the first week I had run 40+ miles since the beginning of January.  I typically have been running about 30 - 35 miles a week but wish I could run much more.

This week I got back to my 30-35 miles week.  I would have done more but did not get a chance to get out on Monday and Tuesday.  Most of my runs this week, I was running consistently at below a 8:00 pace and most of my pain issues have slipped away.  On my long run yesterday along the river, the numb foot started up again.  I looked online at a couple of places (here for an example) and they said that it is typically from a small shoe or overly tight laces.  I do not feel like my laces are too tight and it only occurs in my left foot.  I hope its not the shoes because I have fallen in love with my Mizuno Waveriders and they feel perfect on my feet.  Since I had these shoes, my PF and shin issues have pretty much disappeared.

The Lincoln marathon is three weeks away.  I am feeling pretty good about it.  There are two things that I am looking forward to:  One, the course is very flat compared to the Austin Marathon a couple of months ago.
Click HERE to see Austins.

Second, the Lincoln Track Club has tried to get the finish line to finish in the Huskers stadium since they started the marathon and finally was able to get it to occur this year.

And .... a video from Webb Pierce!  Happy runnings.