Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Goofy Running

Since my last post, we spent a few days in Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Based on the picture below, who do you think enjoyed it more - Cam or me?

Actually, it was a fun few days. It's not a cheap place to visit, but Cameron enjoyed it very much. All of the people working there are so over-the-top friendly and perky. Even the guys directing people to the parking spots, cleaning up around the parks, or helping you in and out of rides were all so super-outgoing and cheery. I would never fit in with them!

Here's a pic of Cam with Goofy ...

and another one of him outside the Lego Imagination Center in Downtown Disney. Cam is a big fan of Lego, and we ended up purchasing a few things there.

I didn't do a lot of running while down there, getting in just one run of 5 miles on the hotel treadmill, and another 8 miles during a morning run outside. The days were just so long and filled with activities that I had trouble squeezing in the time or energy to do any more than that.

This past week was a different story. It was really the first week since the marathon that I have been happy with my running. I got in 43 miles, including 16 comfortable miles today. We have had a great month of weather this November, with temperatures milder than normal, allowing for nice runs. According to my schedule, next week marks my first of five weeks in a row of fifty miles or more. Based on the past week, I'm feeling good about it.

A couple quick notes on the medical front. I visited an orthotist this week, and it was very interesting speaking to him about my feet for 45 minutes - seriously! We spoke about my condition, which does appear to be posterior tibial tendonitis (or post-tib, as those in the know like to say!), and we spoke about a couple of other things. I discovered that my right foot is about half a size larger than my left foot, which I also found out is quite common. He gave me recommendations for some running shoes (neutral still work for me ... especially those with more room in the forefoot), and yes, he took casts for some orthotics, which I'll try out in a couple of weeks.

The other medical appointment I had this week was for my hernia. I'm going to have surgery for it in January, and I won't be running for a few weeks afterward. The timing will work out well; it will be just after the Houston marathon (which I would be recovering from anyway), and in the depths of winter. I've heard conflicting reports on the expected recovery for this - for some it wasn't too bad, while others suffered for weeks. I'm hoping I'll be back on the roads before the end of February.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Going to see Mickey

Tomorrow we head out for a short visit to a spot that's a little warmer than here. I'll get my runs in while there, hopefully in a decent neighborhood. Pictures will be posted on my return.

My running is starting to return to normal. I logged 35 easy miles last week. Unfortunately, my heart rate reflected runs that didn't seem so "easy". Perhaps it takes longer than I anticipated to get back to my previous state.

I must say that my attitude for training for the January marathon in Houston does not match the level of enthusiasm I had for the fall marathon in PEI. Perhaps it's because the weather is getting cooler, or maybe it's just a bit of a letdown from finally completing my first marathon. I often find myself looking forward to the training next summer, and my fall marathon (likely Mount Desert Island). Regardless, I'll stick to the current schedule as long as it holds my interest sufficiently, and as long as my foot holds up.

Speaking of the foot, it feels no worse than it did one or two weeks ago, so I'm continuing to run on it. I visit the orthotist the day we get back, which should be interesting.

A little humour to end this post. Check out this link with pictures of the old Adidas ads entitled "Runners, Yeah, We're Different". I expect several runners can see themselves in some of these photos.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Scary Stuff

Look who I live with - Darth Vader! Also, Faith Ann with her latest hair and makeup. I spent yet another year without dressing for Halloween ... perfect!

Last bit from the PEI marathon ... a few pictures!

The chilly beginning ...

The lighthouse pic ...

Look at this one ... after reading Mike's blog, and looking at this picture, I think he was making a real effort to have our feet cross the finishing mat at the exact same times.

It has now been two weeks since the marathon, and last week marked my return to running. I did a couple of five mile runs while in St. Andrews, and another five mile run and a nine-miler after returning to Fredericton. In all the runs, my legs felt heavier than normal, and my heartrate was higher than expected at the slow paces that I was running. I plan to stick with my predefined schedule, and am hopeful that the legs will return to normal before long.

The feet are another story. I had an appointment with my general practitioner today. He pressed my foot in a few areas, and noticed when I winced. He then proceeded to give me a pamphlet on plantar fasciitis, saying "You probably already know everything that's in there". I think he was right. He also referred me to an orthotist. I have an appointment scheduled on November 16th. I wouldn't be surprised if that leads to some overpriced orthotics.

The doctor also confirmed my hernia, and I'll be seeing a general surgeon sometime for that. The hernia bothers me when I'm standing around or walking, but it does not bother me when I'm sitting or running. I had the hernia prior to the PEI marathon, and I was able to run that without it bothering me, so I'm not worried about it for Houston.

So there is surgery in my near future. I'm hoping it can be scheduled very close to my return from Houston in January, so that I can recover from the marathon and the hernia surgery at the same time.

I have my own suspicion as to how I developed the hernia, and it is related to my bad foot, as odd as that sounds. In late September, when my foot bothered me most, instead of running I did lots of biking and some core work to maintain my fitness level. One night after the core work (or maybe the next day?) I mentioned to Faith Ann that I felt I had a hernia. I am quite certain the core work led to it.

So the bad economy leads to a higher jobless rate. What things are associated with a higher jobless rate? Some things that come to mind include an increase in personal bankruptcies, failed relationships and higher post-secondary education attendance rates (can't find a job ... go to school). Something not so obvious is running. Apparently there is an inversely proportional relationship between the economy and general running levels. Perhaps that's a bit of a reach, but that's the conclusion this article in the Wall Street Journal seems to draw. It says the higher jobless rate allows more time for exercise/running, resulting in a 39% increase in Boston Qualifiers over the past year. Unfortunately for me, it doesn't seem like I'll be losing my job anytime soon.

Faith Ann just passed this interesting link on to me too. Rather, it's as interesting as a story can be when the subject centers around reaching drink stations in a marathon .