A Good Run…

I didn’t want to run today.

I haven’t really been out on a real run since the wedding in October.  My failure to complete 30 Days of Running coupled with all of the travel from the wedding/honeymoon, then the stress and fatigue of moving in November.  I just haven’t felt good enough to run.

My wife and I have developed a tradition of running on Christmas and Thanksgiving.  I didn’t run on Thanksgiving, but I did bike.  This Christmas I knew we’d be running and we did a decent cold and windy 5 mile run.  That’s not a lot of miles for most of you “runners” but it’s a fair amount for me after 2 months of no running and dealing with pain.  So it took a toll.

Then we did another short run two days later.  Still sore but we did it.  And then there was today…

Getting ready to run at Memorial Park

I really didn’t want to run.  My feet were sore, my quads very sore and I just didn’t feel like it.  I lobbied heavily for No-Run, she almost bought in but ultimately didn’t and we left for a run.

The Memorial Park Loop was busy, people everywhere.  As we started our run my feet settled in pretty quick and the pain went away.  It was a nippy 34 degrees but the sun was out so it was nice, just the way I like it.  As we passed more and more people I started feeling better and could feel my body settle into a solid stride.  For once, I was setting the pace on this run (Merelyn usually sets the pace as I struggle to keep up).

The more people I passed the more people I wanted to pass.  I started getting the race mentality and looking for stronger runners along the trail that I could chase down and pass.  Soon, we were passing nearly everyone and my stride felt easy and natural and I pushed it on.

I didn’t make any new PRs or break any records but it was a good run and, more importantly, it felt good.

I’m glad I ran today.

First test of the Suunto Ambit…

Suunto Ambit GPS watchI just received the Suunto Ambit I ordered and needed to take it out for a test drive.  I had hoped to be restarting my 30-Days-of-Running challenge by now and the Ambit would be assisting me with that, but my knee hasn’t allowed that yet.  For the past week or so my knee has been a swollen mangled mess and I’m not sure exactly what I did to it.  So while it’s recovering, I am impatiently waiting to get some training in.

Well, the knee is feeling a little better and mobility is returning but it is still extremely stiff.  I have an important hike this morning (which is why I’m typing this at 3AM) and I really needed to try to get the knee stretched out and test how much strength I really have. I decided to go for a quick bike ride yesterday.  It would allow me to test and stretch the knee, take the Ambit for a dry run AND check out a little of the new neighborhood.

lake near the bike path at Hayden Park Scottsdale

I took off from the new place in Scottsdale and took a leisurely ride around the Green Belt that runs along Hayden Road.  The biking / running trails along Hayden go for miles and see a fair amount of use.  It really nice to see so many people out biking, jogging or walking the paths.  I think we’re really going to enjoy this area.

another lake and sitting area along the bike path on Hayden Road Scottsdale

I didn’t go too far since my knee was really tender on the bike.  I was definitely stretching the limits of what I should be doing but it felt good to push it a little and let it open up.

I tracked the ride with three different devices: The new Suunto Ambit, the on-bike computer and my GPS fitness tracker app on my phone.  Each device gave me different data at the end of the ride (which is expected) and I was surprised by the gap in the final distance calculation.  The Ambit showed me traveling 7.49 miles, the on-bike tracker had me at 7.68 miles and the phone app showed 7.73 miles.  That may not seem like a lot but in only seven miles I had managed to accumulate a quarter mile discrepancy.  In a race, or tracking a specified route, this could be dangerous.

My hope is that the gap doesn’t grow with longer distances being tracked.  I will continue testing it against the other devices.  I also had some trouble getting the Heart Rate Monitor to track consistently while I was biking.  I managed to get it to recognize the device before I started but it quickly lost connection and so my HR data is very spotty.  This will be important to figure out as HR monitoring is a big part of why I wanted the Ambit in the first place.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the Ambit so far.  It’s a comfortable piece to wear, light, easy to read the display.  I like that it can cycle through a variety of custom screen options during exercise.  I really like the method by which it connects and transfers data to the computer.  Instead of having a small port which could get clogged with dirt, broken, etc. it has a clamp that lines up with 4 little contact points on the back.  Once attached, it sends the data to the computer via USB.  Easy, clean and it charges while it transfers data.  It also has an auto shut-off when it’s not being worn to save battery life.

More shots of the bike path:

The stats on each exercise are downloaded to Movescount.com where you can see all the charts and figures from your workout.  Here is my data from the bike ride:

<can’t get iframe to embed>

30 Days of Running – Failure…

Well, it started out with the best of intentions…

The last update was day 8 and it was a good 3 mile run.

Day 9 we were swamped with wedding guests and as they continued to pour in, I took time to myself and got in a decent 2.5 mile run.

wedding party

Day 10 was our wedding day, I still managed to get a short run in, but didn’t track the distance.  I would guess it was somewhere around a 2 mile run, but I was focused on a mission and didn’t track time or distance and stopped several times to investigate stick-piles.

Day 11, the day after the wedding, we had time scheduled with our photographer to do the “trash the dress” shots in the lake.  We casually hiked a mile or two to get some of the shots, but there was no running on this day.

trash the dress

After Day 10, there was no more running.  We endured marathon-level air travel to get to Costa Rica which left my wife and I exhausted.  We intended to do some trail running at the resort in Costa Rica, but what passed for “hiking trails” there were not what we expected.  Very short hikes to small vistas, certainly nothing that we could really run.

Then I spent most of our second night and third day there sick.  Really, it was 24 hours of abdominal interval training with 2-3 minutes of intense ab work at 1-hour intervals.  Good times.

36 hours awake and still going....kinda

The next two days after my, um, “Interval Training” were filled with tours.  These did included some hiking, but for the most part were nothing I would consider exercise.  I will get in to the disappointing nature of Adventure Tourism in another post.

After that, more travel back home, another couple of exhausted days of recovery and then catching up on work after being gone for two weeks.  30 Days of Running died…

Now I knew I was taking on something that would be difficult, if not impossible, to stick with through a wedding and honeymoon.  It was just something I did NOT want to keep putting off.  It was a now or never sort of decision.

So now the decision to make is: do I resurrect 30 Days of Running and start from scratch?  Was it annoying to see the daily running reports on my blog?  Should I find a better way to report the runs and stay accountable?  What do you guys think?

30 Days of Running – Day 8…

Writing this one a day late, things are really starting to get busy up here in Tahoe.  So much to do to pull the wedding together and now people are starting to show up fast and furious!

We did manage to sneak away for a bit yesterday to get a run in.  We did the same 3 mile loop around the casinos and back to the hotel.  This time it was mid-day and warm (but still way more pleasant than running in Phoenix).  I’m starting to feel a little better on the hills and finishing strong.

Running in South Lake Tahoe

Today’s Run…

Left the hotel at 3:24 PM.

Weather was a warm 75 degrees.  Ran on pavement.

Total run was 3 miles in 29 minutes 30 seconds.  Felt good and finished strong.

My foot is feeling much better today!  YAY!

 

30 Days of Running – Day 7…

This morning my foot was killing me!  This is a bunch of crap, it’s SO sore.

Best thing for it?  A run…sure, why not!

I have to get the run in right?  So let’s do this thing.  We picked a route that dropped down the road from the hotel to the lake, then along the lake for a bit before curving back up the hill and across the border in to Nevada.  The hill was rough, especially at about 6,500 ft, but Merelyn and I busted it out.

It was actually a pretty nice run once I got used to running with the pain in my foot.  Ouch.

Morning run at lake Tahoe...

Today’s Run…

Left the hotel at 8:24 AM.

Weather was a nice, chilly 40 degrees.  Ran on pavement.

Total run was 3.05 miles in 33 minutes.  Felt good and finished strong, despite the fighting the thin air.

I really want my foot to stop hurting!  Stupid foot!

Followed the run with a nice protein shake.

30 Days of Running – Day 6…

Day six was a very busy day!  Saturday was spent all day traveling to Tahoe.  By the time we made it up to South Lake, we were both exhausted and I really wanted to spend a night getting used to the elevation change.  So instead of going for a late run, we decided to walk to dinner.  It wasn’t a run, but it was something…

South Lake Tahoe

Today’s Run…

Left the hotel at 7:30PM.

The weather in Tahoe last night was AMAZING!  Nice, clear, cool, slight breeze…perfect.  Walk (mostly) on pavement.

Total run was 4.2 miles.

My left foot is a mess since I got here.  I don’t know what is going on with it this time, but it really sore.  The walk helped.

30 Days of Running – Day 5…

Today’s run started late and I was a little worried about the heat, but it turned out to be pretty nice.  After the shorter run yesterday, my legs and feet felt great and the run finally felt easier.  I kept an easy pace that didn’t feel too sluggish, my breathing was pretty controlled and it didn’t feel like a struggle.

At about 20 minutes in I decided to push a little harder and up the pace some.  Still not breaking any records, but my time is improving.

Neighborhood Running on pavement

Today’s Run…

Left the house at 8:40AM.

Weather was a sunny 78 degrees with a clear sky.  Ran on pavement.

Total run was 3.25 miles in 29 minutes 45 seconds.  Felt good and finished strong.

I’ve still got some random twitchy thing going on in left leg above the ankle.  The bottoms of both feet are sore and tender too, but I am chalking that up to the trail run.

Followed the run with a dip in the pool and a protein shake with banana and peanut butter.

30 Days of Running – Day 4…

I treated today as a rest day.  I was still feeling the effects from the trail run in my ankles this morning and felt like I could benefit from something a little different.  So I did a much shorter run today and focused on trying to open up a little bit and run faster.  I think this proves I still have a long way to go to get back even to where I was before Summer.

Pavement Running...

Today’s Run…

Left the house at 7:50AM.

Weather was a sunny 77 degrees with a clear sky.  Ran on pavement.

Total run was 1.5 miles in 12 minutes 30 seconds.  Felt slow at first but I finished strong.

Left ankle and foot are sore but muscles feel good.  I’ve got some weird twitchiness the tendons just above the ankle joint, not sure what to do with that.

Followed the run with a cup of coffee and water.

30 Days of Running – Day 3…

When my buddy sent me a message last night asking if I was up for a hike/trail run in the morning I was excited at the opportunity to get off the pavement!  I prefer trail running over pavement running any day of the week.

I got up earlier than usual to make sure we could hit the trail before 7AM.  The weather was amazing this morning and the trail wasn’t very crowded at all.  I strapped on the GeigerRig 500 and we hit the trail.

View from the summit of Thunderbird Mountain

Today’s Run…

Left the house at 6:30AM and was on the trail by 7AM exactly.

Weather was a nice 74 degrees with a clear sky.  Ran/hiked Thunderbird Mountain trail.

Total trail was 3.6 miles and we probably ran close to 3 miles of it.  Total time on the trail was 51 minutes.

Run was slow, but felt good.  My legs were not as sore or tired as I expected them to be.  My left ankle felt weak but I’m sure that’s due to running pavement and will improve with more trail running.

Followed the run with a protein shake with peanut butter and banana.

30 Days of Running – Day 2…

I did not feel like running this morning. I was still sore from yesterday’s run. Even when I was running pretty regularly, it wasn’t every day so I am not used to this yet.  But I GOT THE RUN IN.

Today’s run

Left the house at 7:20AM

Weather was a sunny 77 degrees with a clear sky.  Ran on pavement.

I ran 3.25 miles in 31.5 minutes.

Ran slow, sore and slow.  Feeling soreness in my hips and groin from yesterday’s run.  Slight muscle pain in left glute.

Followed the run with a quick dip in the pool (awesome!), and a protein shake with banana.