Archive for January, 2007

There’s snow business like… running in the snow!

Monday, January 29th, 2007

Not exactly what one might want to see first thing in the morning on a day one is supposed to be doing a run, but then again, nobody said this was going to be easy! Yes, the disturbingly mild winter has finally broken and we had our first proper snowfall in New Jersey.

The Mighty Buick in the snow

Fortunately, by the evening, the snow had cleared from the roads so I could venture out without too much fear of sustaining a broken limb. Today I did what those-that-know might call a tempo run. That’s a shorter run at a faster pace than your ‘race pace’, designed to allow you to work on your running style, improve your efficiency and, hopefully, your eventual time. Sounds good to me!

Of course, I’ve still got a long way to go to build up my milage, but I’ll be doing that on my weekly ‘long runs’. Between these shorter tempo runs and my longer endurance runs, I should be able to build my stamina to last the distance and my speed to avoid my time being measured in days, as opposed to the more traditional hours and minutes. So the theory goes… I guess the proof of the pudding will come on April 22nd!

Back to basics

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

After a weekend of relaxation, it was high time I got back out on the road. The day after my visit to see Dr Lavine, I was somewhat concerned as my foot was actually feeling worse than before! Not to worry though, as Dr Lavine reassured me that this was not uncommon: after all, the foot had been eased back into a shape that, due to the injury, it had become unfamiliar with… the right one!

Now, I have to say, it’s feeling just fine and I’m enthusiastic about trying it out on the road. Not wishing a repeat of what happened before, I thought I should start gently again, so went for a modest 3 mile run today, stopping when my foot started to feel ‘worked’. I think I need to build the strength back very gradually, but time is pressing, so I’ll be out again on Saturday and try and build the distance a bit more.

Spoke too soon

Friday, January 12th, 2007

Bother. Depite a 6 miler yesterday that felt great while I was doing it, I’m paying the price today. The old ankle’s certainly letting me know I’ve been using it. Interestingly enough, the discomfort is in the sole of my foot more than anywhere. More rest and swimming for me, I guess. Just as things were starting to look more hopeful…

Wibble wobble

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

In the words of Borat: “Great success!” Today I took delivery of a Wobble 360 wobble board, from the good people at Fahtee Corp.

The basic idea of these contraptions is that by simply learning to stand on them without falling off, you can improve your balance, coordination and all that good stuff. Using a wobble board for training can also help recover from and prevent injuries.

Why this sudden interest in wobbling, you may ask? Well, the idea came from the esteemed Jennifer-Ann Gibbons, who I visited back in December. In fact, she suggested that I not only learn to balance on a wobble board, but to juggle on it as well! I’ll let you know how I get on!

Lookin’ up

Monday, January 8th, 2007

Things definitely looking up: ran just over 4 miles this evening and no complaints from the ankle. Some complaining from the legs, but not the ankle!

We’ll see how it is in the morning, but I’m quietly optimistic that I’ll be able to start ramping up the miles now. I’ve deliberately been very cautious about doing too much too soon, so I’m hoping that my patience will be rewarded and I’ll be able to press on without risking a recurrent injury. Fingers crossed!

Green? Pleasant? New Jersey?

Saturday, January 6th, 2007

Pakim PondI am always surprised how green and pleasant New Jersey quickly becomes if you drive in the right direction. This morning, that direction was south to Lebanon State Forest about 50 minutes away to join some colleagues from work who had convened for a spot of mountain biking around the parks 34,725 acres. Thanks to Jim’s kind loan of a decent bike, I was spared the indignity of attempting to navigate the park’s various tracks and trails on my road racer (that would have been a spectacle worth seeing!), but thanks to Jim’s thundering pace, after about 16 miles, I was ready to drop.

Mountain biking through Lebanon State Forest again

I believe that this sort of activity falls in the category of ‘cross-training’ and is something heartily recommended by those-that-know as part of one’s marathon training program. The idea being simply to introduce activities other than running into your schedule in order to help build all-round fitness, reduce injuries, keep motivated and so on.

Mountain biking through Lebanon State ForestRunner’s World has a nice article about the benefits of cross training for those that are interested. My plan is to make cycling and swimming feature heavily in my training schedule, so that should give Jim et al. plenty more opportunities to give me a good punishing. Splendid!

And we’re back

Monday, January 1st, 2007

First bit of proper running since the injury: a gentle 2 km on the treadmill today, before my flight back to the States. Felt pretty good, all told. We’ll have to see if that’s still true after 7 hours on a plane, but a good sign for sure!