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Just over a year ago, on December 22, 2012, I participated in the first “26.4.26” run in Nashville for the victims of the Newtown shooting. Each of us was asked to carry an “angel” card with the name of one of the victims (pictured left). It was an emotional, but awesome experience to see the running the running community come together in such a big way. The following is what I wrote immediately after finishing the run:
26.4.26 – it wasn’t easy, but little Grace and I made it all the way through today. 26.38 miles completed in 3 hours and 43 minutes. I faded a bit in the last of the 4 loops but I was determined I wasn’t going to walk a step. I thought a lot today about Grace and the 25 other precious souls that lost their lives in the senseless tragedy at Newtown. We need to continue to pray for those families. I’m proud of the city of Nashville and our awesome running community for supporting this effort in such an overwhelming way. It was awesome to be a part of it.
Back in December 2013, rumors started to fly that one of the co-founders of the 26.4.26 Foundation could not account for over $70,000 of the approximately $103,000 that was raised by runs across the country.
Yesterday, this was essentially confirmed when the other co-founder stepped forward and explained that his partner had been caught purchasing personal items with some of the money, and then cut off all contact. I’m still hoping this is somehow not true, but it sure seems like things are very amiss.
- $70,000 in Newtown donations missing, says Nashville-based charity (Tennessean.com)
- $70,000 in Newtown donations missing (USAToday.com)
This absolutely breaks my heart. I keep thinking, “How could someone possibly do this?”
It wasn’t pretty, and it sure wasn’t fast, but for the first time since returning to running back in November I completed a run with double-digit total mileage.
On a brisk and beautiful morning on Old Natchez and Moran with our running group, I completed 11-miles at a 9:23 average pace. My legs were absolutely toast at the end, but it still felt Great!! Big milestone for “The Next Chapter.”
That is All…
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This blog has not featured much in the way of running content recently, but I’m excited about getting back to the business of training and getting fit in 2014. After taking 2-months off from running with various injuries in late 2013, I finished with the year with a meager 33-miles in November and 34-miles in December.
For 2014 I’m going to take it month-to-month with my goals, trying not to get too far ahead of myself. To that end, here are my goals for January:
- Run an average of at least 20-miles per week
- Workout for at least 30-minutes per day (except Sunday)
- Lose 8 pounds
I got off to a good start this morning, running 5.5-miles with my group through the streets of Belle Meade on a brisk but beautiful New Year’s Day. Ran the entire way with my friend John, and really enjoyed the conversation.
Hoping to get back to running track workouts with the group tomorrow night!
Next Chapter: November 12, 2013
On Tuesday night I hit the roads of Bellevue for a 3.68-mile run/walk in windy and chilly conditions. These temps felt quite brisk, especially during the walking segments. Even though the temps were below 40°, which is normally my threshold for tights vs. shorts, I really didn’t want to wear tights. The shorts weren’t too bad since I was only out there for just over 38-minutes.
For this week I increased my running time from 4 x 4-min to 4 x 5-min with 2-min walk breaks in-between. Overall I felt really good, and kept my pace in the low 8:00s for the final 3 intervals.
Next Chapter: November 16, 2013
I had really intended to run on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday this week, but my schedule just didn’t work out. So, I missed Thursday, but went out for a mid-morning run today on the Harpeth River Greenway. Unlike the chilly conditions on Tuesday night, today was warmer and muggy with temps in the low 60s. This seemed to make a huge difference in my energy level, as I felt significant fatigue during the final 2 running segments even though they were slower than Tuesday night. It made me realize that starting over from scratch after 8-weeks off is very hard, especially considering how little cross training I did while I was off.
The highlight of today’s run was seeing the new section of the HR Greenway that is under construction, which will finally bring all of the various sections together. Back in the summer they finished a new extension of the original section, but it was left at an abrupt dead-end. Well, this morning I was able to run on the gravel, and newly constructed bridge, that will connect the original section with the section that was farther out. Very Exciting!!
Next Chapter: November 9, 2013
On Saturday I did the exact same “workout” as on Monday and Thursday, but this time I decided to push the pace a little bit more during my 4-minute running intervals to get my heart-rate up a bit higher. My paces for the 4 x 4-min intervals were 8:42, 7:33, 8:10, and 7:51. The end result was that I was WORN-OUT after my little 3-mile effort, but I still didn’t have any trouble with my hip!!
All-in-all things felt really good. I ran on the new section of the Harpeth River Greenway, on what turned out to be a beautiful afternoon. I love the new section of the Greenway, because there is an almost constant view of the river. My plan for this week is to run on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, and kick up the time on my running intervals just a touch.
Repeated from Previous Update
For those that didn’t see this on Friday’s update….In related news, I found out the “pinched nerve” causing severe pain and weakness in my left shoulder and arm is not really a pinched nerve. It is very likely an autoimmune disorder called “Brachial Neuritis” that attacks the peripheral nerves in the shoulder and arm as a reaction to a virus present in the body (I had a bad cold at the time this happened). This has basically left me without the ability to make any external rotation movements with my shoulder. The good news is that this is usually temporary and strength should return to the affected muscles over a period of 2 to 4 months. There is still a slight possibility that this could simply be a mechanical problem with my shoulder, so I’m going to see an Orthopaedist next week to cover all my bases. Anyway, I’m no stranger to autoimmune disorders, since the Small Fiber Neuropathy I continue to live with is also of this origin. I’m just happy that the pain is starting to subside, and we’re slowly working our way toward a definitive diagnosis.
Next Chapter: November 7, 2013
While I originally intended to get a run in on Wednesday, my crazy schedule just wouldn’t allow that to happen. So, I ended up running on Thursday afternoon, and it felt sooooo good. As a matter of fact, it felt so good that I caught myself a couple of times pushing the pace down below 8:00 during my running segments, which is a bit faster than I need to go.
I ended up doing just over 3-miles through Bellevue, using a 4 min / 2 min run-walk pattern. Just like Monday, I didn’t experience any pain or discomfort in my hip, and it still feels good today. I keep having this nagging worry that it’s going to start hurting after I run, but so far, so good.
In related news, I found out the “pinched nerve” causing severe pain and weakness in my left shoulder and arm is not really a pinched nerve. It is very likely an autoimmune disorder called “Brachial Neuritis” that attacks the peripheral nerves in the shoulder and arm as a reaction to a virus present in the body (I had a bad cold at the time this happened). This has basically left me without the ability to make any external rotation movements with my shoulder. The good news is that this is usually temporary and strength should return to the affected muscles over a period of 2 to 4 months. There is still a slight possibility that this could simply be a mechanical problem with my shoulder, so I’m going to see an Orthopaedist next week to cover all my bases. Anyway, I’m no stranger to autoimmune disorders, since the Small Fiber Neuropathy I continue to live with is also of this origin. I’m just happy that the pain is starting to subside, and we’re slowly working our way toward a definitive diagnosis.
All-in-all things are going very well, and I’m extremely blessed!
The Next Chapter – November 4, 2013
There was definitely nothing impressive about today’s run, but every stride was still glorious! It felt so good to hit the road again after missing over 8-weeks with a hip injury. I have no idea what my hip will feel like tomorrow, but everything felt just perfect tonight. No goals this time around except for just getting to the next run, which I hope will be on Wednesday.
Tonight I did 4 x 4 min / 2 min run-walk sets in addition to my warmup and cooldown. I started to get a little bit tired by the last running set, but overall felt much better than I expected. Good start to the next chapter in my running story.
Today was supposed to be the day that I lined up with over 40,000 other runners at the start of the New York City Marathon. Instead, it has now been 8 full weeks since I’ve completed a run of any distance. As a matter of fact there are many days where I don’t even feel like a runner anymore, much less someone who has completed 13 marathons and 13 half marathons over the past four years.
My plan had been to try and maintain fitness and build a good base for the future by completing P90X while on the bench. However this was also derailed by a pinched nerve in my neck that I’ve been dealing with for the past two weeks, which has significantly limited the use of my left arm (prayers for this would be appreciated).
Needless to say this is all been very frustrating ,however I’m determined to turn the page and begin writing a new chapter in my running journey. With that in mind I’m going to attempt to begin running again tomorrow. Even if things go well I’m going to take it very very slow, and just try to enjoy each and every stride. I don’t know if or when I’ll race again but I desperately want to run.
Thanks to everyone for your continued encouragement.
P90X was starting to go really well but then I got slammed by an upper respiratory illness. Spent all day Saturday and Sunday in bed trying to recover. Sometime during the day on Sunday I woke up with some of the worst pain that I’ve ever felt running up and down my left shoulder and arm. I’m guessing that I have a pinched nerve somewhere in my neck or shoulder.
The soonest that my doctor can see me is Thursday and I haven’t been able to find any over-the-counter medications that do much for the pain. Hoping that continual rotation of heat and ice, along with some gentle stretching, will have me back at it in a couple days.
Until then, this is really frustrating.
That’s More Like It!
Week 2 of P90X is in the books, and it was so much better than week 1. I’ve still got a long way to go, but this was very encouraging. In week 1, Plyometrics nearly killed me, but this time I had enough energy to attack it and got a great workout. I also made steady gains in all of the resistance workouts, and even in the group yoga (a.k.a. Bodyflow) at the Y. Looking forward to starting week 3 tonight. Last normal week before the first recovery week!
In addition to P90X, I also hiked the 4.5-mile red trail in Percy Warner park on Thursday and Saturday. Not quite the workout of running the trails, but it was still good work. I plan on trying to do this at least 2 to 3 times per week while I am recovering from my hip injury.
I mentioned in my last post that I was over 20 lbs heavier than I was for my first marathon back in 2009. Well, after 1-week of going back on my training diet I dropped exactly 2 lbs. Small steps!
P90X Ate My Lunch!
Week 1 of P90X is in the books, and what a humbling week it was. Not sure how this played into my string of injuries, but my lack of dedication to cross-training became painfully evident last week. This was especially true during the lower-body workouts like Legs & Back, Yoga, and Plyometrics. I couldn’t even do all the leg reps during the Legs & Back workout, which was quite surprising to me. I knew I would struggle with the upper-body stuff, but never dreamed I was in this bad of fitness in my legs.
This is my third time to do P90X, but even my very first time doing Plyometrics was not as difficult as it was last week. I wasn’t wearing a heart rate monitor, but I know it was through the roof. I’ve got LONG way to go.
Taking my initial weight was also quite eye-opening. I’m over 20 lbs heavier than I was for the 2009 Chicago Marathon, which was my first Marathon. This has to change, and I’m getting serious about my diet along with doing the P90X workout.
So….I’ve got my work cut out for me, but I’m determined to get myself back into shape, and ultimately back on the road doing marathons again!
After 2 weeks of doing absolutely no exercise, I finally got off the couch today and headed to the gym. I spent an hour on the elliptical, and then participated in a hour-long “Bodyflow” (i.e. yoga / tai-chi / pilates with music) class with Olivia and Kate.
As I mentioned yesterday, I was fairly apprehensive about doing a group yoga class since I really stink at it. I was also nervous about the possibility of being the only male in the class (which turned out to be the case).
All-in-all it turned out to not be that bad. Though I was a little self-conscious, it was a very challenging workout and showed me several areas where I’m badly out of shape.
Olivia and I are talking about using this class as our weekly yoga workout for P90X, which will be good. It’s much easier to stay motivated with an instructor and a group. Anyway, hope to get started officially on P90X on Monday.
I Love to Run, and I HATE Being Injured!
After my first significant running injury last August I attacked cross training to stay fit. I was in the pool or on the elliptical almost every day until I could get back to running.
After my second significant running injury in March of this year I had a harder time getting to the gym to do cross training. However I still got in 4 to 5 days a week of good work.
With my current injury I have done absolutely nothing for the last two weeks. Not being able to run New York has been crushing to me mentally, and with no other races ahead of me, I find that I’m seriously lacking motivation to cross train.
Hopefully this couch potato phase will come to an end tomorrow. I plan to hit the gym for an hour of cardio and then do an hour of group yoga (a little nervous about this one, because I stink at yoga). On Monday Olivia and I plan to start P90X again and go through the entire 90 day program. This will be my third time to go through the full P90X program and I’m hoping that I can find the motivation to see it through.
At this point I’m thinking of taking a full eight weeks off from running. Since my last run was exactly 2 weeks ago this means I’ve got six more weeks to go. Once I start back I plan to take things very slowly and wait for quite a while before even thinking about registering for a race. I’ve got to get my mind right and in a position where I feel like I can run and stay healthy.
I’m hoping that doing a full course of P90X along with some additional cardio will set me up in a good position to begin running again without injury. I know that over the past 12 months my dedication to cross training has been very lax.
So, that’s where things stand as of today. Hoping to get things off to a good start tomorrow.
Well…I gave it one last shot:
After taking 2 weeks off to try and heal my leg / hip, I ran a very, very easy 4.5-miles on Thursday, 3.75-miles on Friday, and 11-miles on Saturday. There was no pain during or after my run on Thursday, a little pain after my run on Friday, and quite a bit of pain after the Saturday run continuing on through Today (Monday). I could probably run on it for a few more days, but I know where this is headed. At this point it is extremely unrealistic to think that I could somehow be ready for NYC in less than 8 weeks. So, that leads me to one final conclusion…
Needless to say, this is CRAZY frustrating. I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do going forward. At some points I just want to quit running altogether, but then I think about how much I love to run and race, and realize that I have to at least try and get past this cycle of injuries. Part of me is thinking about just shutting it down for the rest of the year, and maybe cranking up the full P90X again. Whatever the case, my hope to run NYC for 2013 is done.
What a difference a day makes. Last wednesday I posted about trying to push through with my hip injury to still be able to line up in NYC this November. Well, the very next day I attempted a tempo run with Nathan, and it was a complete bust. The pain started radiating down my leg from the first step and never let up. I got through the tempo section by gritting through the pain, but eventually had to stop and walk back to the car.
Since that point it has been hard to even walk without a limp. So…to sum up my chances of actually being able to make it to NYC:
I’m going to take at least the next two weeks off from running and see what happens. Not sure yet of whether or not I’m gonna go see the MD again, or even who I would go see if I decided to go that direction. Just really frustrated with not being able to run, and about the prospects of not being able to run in NYC. This has been a tough two weeks for me personally, and I’m now without one of my primary emotional outlets. This has also been a rough 12-months from a running perspective. I’m now on my third significant injury in that period of time, and this one comes after making some drastic changes in my training. Beast Mode is definitely not ON.
However….I do know that this is really insignificant in the grand scheme of things. I am a very blessed man.