Thursday, September 29, 2011

Home is where the run is

Shoutouts:
  • To 2Slow4Boston who outright WON a 5K in 20:08 to set a PR at the Valley Center 5K!  
  • To 50After40, who set a 15K PR in 1:04:14 (1st in age group) at the KC 15K and did the Sioux Falls Marathon in 3:21:15 (3rd fastest marathon ever).  Is he man or machine?  The world may never know.  
  • To Dangle the Carrot, who set a half ironman PR of 5:21:14 at Rev3 Cedar Point!  I actually want to go to the Cedar Point theme park, they have some insane rollercoasters there.  
  • To Fast Cory, who set a marathon PR in 4:24:32 at Top of Utah!  
  • To My Dirt Road Anthem, who set a half marathon PR in 1:36:51 at Montana Governor's Cup!  She has been running out of her mind in 2011.  
  • To Slowly Tri-ing, who had the race of her life and set a 5K, 10K and 15K PR all in the same race at the KC 15K!  
  • To Small Town Runner who set a 10K PR in 40:13 at the The Best Dam Run!  Sub 40 will only be a matter of time.  
  • To The Athletarian, who set a 5K PR in 23:17 at the Yorkville Run!  
  • To The Running Laminator, who ran a 5:01 mile at the Fifth Avenue Mile!  This race is on my bucket list to do, running down Fifth Ave in NY sounds pretty awesome to me.  Lam's amazing 2011 running season continues.  
  • To Twenty Six and Then Some, who set a half marathon PR in 1:30:21 at the Nor Cal Half Marathon!  I might try to do this race next year.    
  • To Why I Run who set a 5K PR in 24:50 at the Chiropractic 5K!  

Around bloggerland:


MIA:
You probably noticed that I haven't posted since Sept 8, I guess I've been busier with things, and also have felt a little lazy about posting.  I guess it's easier to simply comment on your blogs, instead of writing my own! lol  Small Town Runner even posted on my blog with this comment "Where are your posts!!  Get to work!"  haha

My body is feeling better:
Probably the main news since my last post is that my body is actually starting to feel better it seems like.  After 5 months of battling with the injury gods, my body is finally being slowly returned to me.  I am just thankful that I am starting to feel better, somedays I wondered if I would ever feel better again.  There is no longer discomfort from getting up from a chair, and way less dull pain while sitting down for long periods of time.  The daily or constant pain that I felt for a long time is starting to dissipate.  I still don't fully trust my body, but I think that trust will come over time.  I realize now that trusting it is one of the hardest things to get over.  We will see how this goes over time.

No idea what exactly the reason for me feeling better is, but I'm not going to question it.  Maybe it has something to do with the new casual shoes I bought recently? (Nike Lunarglide 3).  I think the Mizuno Wave Nirvana shoes that I was wearing for casual use provided too much pronation control for me, I realize now that I have a pretty neutral stride.  Soon I'll do a post about everything that I think helped me feel better.  Last week I actually felt good enough to try a couple 30 minute walk/run sessions (I walked for 2 minutes, then ran for 2 minutes at 5 mph).  They seemed to go okay, I did feel some soreness after, but I think that was somewhat due to the fact that I haven't ran at all in 5 months.  Honestly it was really weird to run again, I hadn't run at all in 5 months.  I got a little emotional the first time I tried running, it had been so long since I had ran at all, and I missed it a lot.  I was consulting some with 2Slow4Boston and SwimCycloRun offline regarding knee braces, which has been useful to hear their thoughts.  And I wanted to say how much I appreciate your comments or thoughts from all of you on this blog, I always like to hear what you think about things.

Running rehab plan:
The main question that I'm starting to think of now (and I'm thrilled that I'm even thinking about this), is that I probably need to follow some sort of running rehab plan to get back into running shape.  I assume that the plan will be a mix of walking and running at first, and then gradually ramping up to full running longer distances.  My goal is to get back to be able to do 5-6 miles like I used to do on trails.  It might take me 2-3 months to get back to this point, but that sounds great to me.  I am definitely going to take it easy, the last thing I want to do is to re-injure myself again.  I emailed my PT about this, she hasn't gotten back to me yet.  In the meantime I've been keeping up with doing rehab sets, yoga and leg strengthening exercises on a regular basis.

Soccer:
I also decided to try playing soccer with my friends last Sunday, overall it went okay.  I didn't go all out, I probably played at about half speed. (probably the speed I should be playing soccer with the whole time even if I am fully healthy)  It was just nice to get back out there and play again, I hadn't played in 5 months and missed seeing my friends out there.  I feel like I am part of the discussion with my friends again when we talk about soccer, because the subject seems to come up quite often.  My brother is also playing now, so more of us are playing!  I didn't feel much discomfort at all when I got home or the next day.  I'll probably start playing weekly now, unless I feel a lot of pain or something.

Bowling:
I've also been back to bowling consistently, which has been great.  It is nice to see my friends again and do something fun every week.  I've actually been bowling pretty well recently, getting around 130-160 pretty consistently now.  If I could hit my spares on a consistent basis I'd have a shot at 200 I think.  Yesterday I missed 5 spares after I had gotten 9 on the first ball, haha (ended up getting 148).  And I'm also a lefty like Barack!

Moneyball:
-----SPOILER ALERT------
If you haven't seen the movie yet and don't want to learn what happens, please stop reading now.
I saw Moneyball the movie last Friday, it was awesome!  I'm a big A's fan, and was really looking forward to the movie.  I saw it on opening night with some friends, and I even wore my A's hat and shirt, I felt like I was going to an A's game!  lol  Before the movie started I even did a "Let's go Oakland" chant, haha  Seeing that movie brought back a lot of memories of the good times the A's had.  I went to probably 5-10 games during the 2002 season (the season that is discussed in the movie), so it was awesome to relive the season again.  During the A's 20 game winning streak I went to at least 3-4 of the games I think, I just remember the stadium being completely packed every game.  I believe that on the night of the 20th win, we tried to go to the game, but it was literally sold out - I checked the records and 55,528 fans were there that night on 9/4/02, making that one of the highest attended games in A's history.  Now the team is happy if they get 34,000 to go to a game (they are averaging 18,000 fans a game right now)

This is going to sound cheesy or lame, but during the movie I got a little emotional during the 20 game winning streak because I thought about how awesome it was going to games back then, and how good the team was.  The team had an awesome pitching staff (Hudson, Zito and Mulder), and a great lineup.  They just didn't have a big enough payroll to give those players big contracts when they became free agents.  So basically all of their good players were lost to other teams who offered them huge contracts.  While the A's had great regular season success, in 4 straight seasons from 2000-2003 they lost in game 5 of the first round of the playoffs.  I remember all of those playoff series, just crushing losses.  I even went to the 2003 game 5 playoff game vs the Red Sox, the A's should have won that game, but they lost to the Red Sox.  That game is still the craziest baseball game that I've ever been to.

Even if you don't like baseball I recommend seeing the movie, it's a classic David vs Goliath story, and Brad Pitt puts on a great performance.  I hope the movie gets some Oscar buzz.

Back during the 2002 season I happened to buy a shirt commemorating The Streak, so of course I wore it to the theatre!


Jimmy Eat World in concert:
Back in July, Blonde Ponytail asked me who my 3 favorite bands were, and I responded with: Green Day, Jimmy Eat World and New Found Glory.  Maybe it was fate, but about 2 weeks after that, I got an email that Jimmy Eat World was coming to town!  Now I was pumped about this for at least 3 reasons:
  • Jimmy Eat World is among my top 3 bands
  • Concert was at Fillmore in SF (my favorite place to see a concert - amazing acoustics and it is super tiny)
  • They were playing the Bleed America album (by far my favorite album they put out)
The concert ended up being a great time, Jimmy put on a great show as usual.  It wasn't as fun as seeing them at Coachella, but it still was a fun time.


Chicago Marathon mail:
Last week in the mail I got a race packet from the Chicago Marathon that had a bunch of useful information about the race in it.  I laughed when I first saw the packet, thinking that they wasted $1 sending it to me, haha  Only thing I noticed was that on the outside of the packet on the envelope it had my full name, age, address and bib number.  Seeing this kind of freaked me out a little bit, because couldn't anyone during the process of mailing the packet (ie mail employee or someone else) just write down my info or something?  Then seeing as though I won't be home during that time since I'll be at the race, then burglarize my house?  I would have rather had the personal info on the inside of the envelope, so that only I could access it after opening the packet.  Who knows, maybe I'm the only one that is paranoid about this kind of thing.

Stanford football:
Stanford has played 2 road games, beating Duke 44-14 and Arizona 37-10.  In both games the team started out slow in the first half, but then ran over the other team in the 2nd half.  Only problem is that during the Arizona game it was like watching an injury horror show: 3 players got injured - Chris Owusu (our best wide receiver), Cody Fleener (our best tight end) and Shane Skov (our best defensive player).  The serious injury was to Skov, who has a knee injury and will miss the rest of the year unfortunately.  Watching him got me thinking about my own knee injury, and I wish him luck in rehab.  Owusu and Fleener should be back for this week against UCLA.  Other guys will have to step up to fill in while Skov is out - he was the heart and soul of the defense.  I'm going to the game on 10/1 vs UCLA, we should demolish them.  Tailgating with Toby the Van as usual!

(I realize that this is Duke scoring a TD against Stanford, but it's a pretty awesome pic, check out those guys in the back, haha)


49ers football:
  • Opening weekend on week 1 the 49ers were able to hold off the Seahawks 33-17 behind Ted Ginn's 2 touchdowns (punt and kickoff return).  
  • Then in week 2 the team really should have beaten the Cowboys, but ended up losing 27-24 in overtime.  This loss was really hard to take, because the Niners simply blew it in the end.  2Slow4Boston would be happy, but that is about it, haha  Tony Romo played the game with a broken rib and a punctured lung, which I was shocked that he was able to finish the game like that.  A lot of props to him for coming back and playing, that sounds pretty dangerous to me to play with a punctured lung.  One thing that really annoyed me is that the game was in SF but it almost looked like a Cowboys home game, they took over our stadium!  No idea how so many Cowboys fans found their way to SF, they need to find their own team in their own area and go back to Dallas.  
  • Week 3 followed with the Bengals, who the 49ers were able to hold off 13-8 in a very ugly showing by both offenses (dare I say it was offensive to watch?  haha).  Regardless I'll take the victory!  The team could easily be 3-0 right now.  
  • Next up they take on the Eagles, who are wondering about the condition of QB Michael Vick.  I have no idea what is going to happen, I just hope they put up a good fight.  I see the Eagles winning it, but hopefully the Niners prove me wrong.  The NFC West is horrible, so seriously maybe 7-9 will take the division (because the Rams, Cardinals and Seahawks all look pretty bad right now).  
Ted Ginn after his 2 touchdowns in week 1 vs the Seahwaks

Last day of baseball season:
Not sure who is a baseball fan on here, but the last day of the baseball season yesterday was nuts!  My team (the A's) were already out of it, but it was fun following other teams.  I was at the gym, and was able to see the Rays beat the Yankees, and the Red Sox lost to the Orioles, which meant the Rays made the playoffs!  I have relatives in Tampa, so it is nice to see the team do well.  Evan Longoria of the Rays hit a game winning homer, he's only the 2nd player in baseball history to hit a game winning homer in the last game of the year to put his team into the playoffs (only other player is Bobby Thompson for the 1951 NY Giants - aka "The shot heard round the world").  And in the NL, the Cardinals won and the Braves lost, which meant the Cardinals made the playoffs.  The Red Sox blew a 9 game lead on 9/1, and the Braves blew a 8.5 game lead.

EMZ referenced the song Honestly by Cartel in a prior post, and it got me thinking about the band.  I was a big fan of the Chroma CD back in 2006, and popped it into my car CD player again this week.  My favorite song is track 12 - "A".  No surprise that song 11 is called "Q" lol

Do you have a suggestion for a running rehab plan to follow?  
Have you seen Moneyball yet?  
For those running the Chicago Marathon, did you get freaked out about your info being on the outside of the mailing envelope?  

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Football is back!

Shoutouts:
  • First off to anyone who ran Hood to Coast relay, it has been fun reading your recaps!  My hope is to do the Tahoe Relay next year, I couldn't do it this year due to injury.  
  • To 50 After 40, who finished 13th overall at the KC Royals 5K in 19:09!
  • To Slowly Tri-ing, who despite having a bad shoulder set a 10K PR in 1:14:17!  She is having shoulder trouble, my hope is that she is on the road to recovery soon.  
  • To Pancakes and PostcardsRoserunner and Runners Rambles who all did the SF Giants half marathon!  Hopefully I'll be able to do it next year, it sounds like a fun race.  
  • To Small Town Runner, who was the first woman across the line for a mile PR of 5:41!  I liked the race pictures a lot, the race photographer did an awesome job.  
  • To Canadian runner in exile, who set a half marathon PR in 2:26:38 at the Disneyland half marathon!
  • To Running, Life, etc, who also set a half marathon PR in 1:58:33 at the Disneyland half marathon!
  • To First in Philly, who recently did the Tri For Sight triathlon!  She had an awesome jumping picture at the end!  

Non-shoutout:
  • First ever non-shoutout goes out to Adventure is Out There and Small Town Runner, aka Oregon Duck fans!  Boooooooo!!! (kidding)  Anyways, sometime I need to go up to Oregon's Autzen Stadium for a game, I've heard that place is super loud!  

Around bloggerland:
  • This past week, 2 of my favorite blogs decided to go on a blog hiatus (The Manly Runner and Caution: Readhead Running).  I've enjoyed reading both of their blogs a lot.  I feel like Morgan has been my partner in injury crime, a lot of her posts I could have simply copy and pasted and put as my posts.  I hope her bone heals up, and she is back on the roads soon.  And for Chris K I hope that he gets that 3:20 marathon, I bet he will.  

Stanford football kicks off!
  • The biggest game in Stanford history will most likely be on Nov 12 vs Oregon at home.  Most likely the Pac-12 North title will be on the line!  Stanford lost to Oregon last year, time to get revenge, haha
  • QB Andrew Luck is the preseason Heisman favorite right now!
  • I'm not sure if Stanford will be better than last years #4 final ranking, but they will be right up there - they had some key losses on the offensive and defensive line, lost their head coach (Harbaugh) and defensive coordinator (Fangio).  
  • My guess is the team goes 11-1, not sure about the Oregon game though!  Should be a fun year!  If you are ever in Palo Alto, let me know if you want to go to a game, I will go to every home this year except for 1 (Oct 22).  I will also be at the USC road game on 10/29   I tailgate with a group called Toby the Van.  Go Cardinal!


Stanford vs San Jose State:
The Stanford football season kicked off on Saturday 9/3 with the first game of the year.  It was great to see the gang from Toby the Van, the last time I saw a lot of these guys was back in Miami for the Orange Bowl on New Years.  Amazing times on that trip.

Even though I didn't go to Stanford (went to SCU), everytime I go to a Stanford event I feel like I'm going home, maybe it's because it's so familiar because I've been going to games there for about 20 years now.  =)

The tailgate was in full effect, great times as usual

I think this play actually ended up being a safety for Stanford, haha

Stanford just ran over them right from the start, honestly I kind of felt bad for SJSU and their fans.  I'd rather see a closer game!  Next week's game against Duke should be another mauling by Stanford too =)

SF Giants Star Wars day:
The next day on Sunday 9/4 I went to the SF Giants game vs the Diamondbacks, it happened to be Star Wars day!  This actually turned out to be a lot of fun.  

The costumes were in full effect - Chewbacca and the bounty hunter, haha

This was probably my favorite part of the day - the umpires came out of the tunnel to the music of Darth Vader, and the stormtroopers were surrounding them, haha  Hilarious stuff!

Pitcher Ryan Vogelsong in action, he had a good game (gave up 2 runs over 7 innings I think), but it wasn't good enough unfortunately

Justin Upton (guy getting restrained) ended up being thrown out of the game for arguing balls and strikes, this was pretty entertaining too, haha

Unfortunately the Giants ended up losing 4-1, after they were up 1-0 heading into the 8th inning.  This put a big dent in their NL West division title hopes.  I don't really care that much, since I'm an A's fan, but I'd rather have the Giants win than lose.

49ers football is back!
I'm also really excited that NFL football starts today!  The 49ers open the season on Sunday vs the Seahawks.  Unfortunately I don't think the team will have a very good year, I'm guessing they'll go 6-10 or something.  Their offensive line doesn't look very good so far, our secondary is pretty weak, and our QB is still Alex Smith which doesn't bode very well.  Hopefully I'm wrong and we end up going like 8-8 or something.  Last year I thought we would go 9-7, but we had some bad breaks in a couple games and ended up going 6-10.  Regardless, go 49ers!

Personal training workout:
I got a free personal training session at my 24 hour fitness gym, so I decided to try out a session with a trainer.  I had no idea what to expect, the first thing they did was to measure my bodyfat %.  No idea how accurate it is, but mine came out to be 19%.  This is about what I was guessing when I went in.  I know right now I'm just in okay shape, so this number doesn't surprise me.  If I had been tested while doing marathon training I bet my number would have been around 15% or so I would guess.
We did a variety of workouts, here are the main one's: (2 sets of everything below)
  • leg extension - I've heard that this exercise is a little dangerous to do with runners knee (60 lbs I think)
  • oblique side dips - body weight only
  • hip adduction (groin) - 190 lbs
  • hip abduction - 130 lbs
  • leg press - 150 to 210 lbs
  • hip flexor swings - 70 lbs
  • mountain climbers - first time doing these, not sure if these were the best to try with my knee problem, I was a little tentative on trying them, I think they went okay though
  • leg circles 1 min - laying on back, hands under butt, lift legs off floor and move legs in a circular motion for about a minute, legs closer to the ground the better
  • step up (sprinter)
  • medicine ball rotation - this one was tough, while sitting with your butt on the floor and legs off the floor but bent, she throws a 10 lb medicine ball at me, I need to catch it, rotate it to the other side of me, then toss it back to her.  It was a tough one, haha
Overall the workout went fine I thought, it was nice to learn some new exercises to try in the gym.  I'm still trying to dial in on the right weight I should be using for the exercises above, I might just copy what 50 After 40 does since he seems to be fine with his routine.   I actually do a lot of these exercises now, even after I get healthy I think I'll continue to do these exercises on a regular basis.  Now I have a lot more exercises to try next time.  Now that I've been injured I've started to realize the value of exercising your legs even if you are going through marathon training or something.  Seems like you need to continue to do leg exercises to keep your body strong, just running alone doesn't seem like it is enough for your body to stay strong enough.  

Knee update:
Since the last 2 posts I've done have both been about races in the past, thought I'd give you a knee update.  Overall I do think I'm gradually getting better. While some days are still better than others in terms of pain, it seems like I feel less pain now than what I did a couple weeks ago.  I think the leg workouts at the gym are helping my rehab, because I am strengthening the muscles around the knee, to better support it.  I've also been able to do 20 minutes on the eliptical recently, which has been a good improvement for me.  I have noticed some mild discomfort while on the eliptical, but I realize that it can't be perfect when you are working out.  

Nike Lunarglide 3:
Lastly, I got some new shoes for simply casual use - I realize that I think my casual shoes that I was wearing before (Mizuno Wave Nirvana, same shoe as my old running shoe), was providing too much support, stability and pronation control.  Based on the running store evaluation that I had a while back, they recommended the New Balance 890 shoe for me, which is basically a neutral shoe.  So more than likely I was in too supportive of a shoe before with the Mizuno Wave Nirvana.  So I figured that I should change my casual shoes to something more neutral.  I tried on a couple of shoes, and settled on the Nike Lunarglide 3.  It is a neutral shoe, with some very minor pronation control I believe.  I also tried on the Nike Frees, and while they did feel good to me, they didn't seem to have enough support I thought.  I might try them on again, and only wear them occasionally, I liked how flexible they are.  Not sure I would ever run in them, but walking some in them probably would strengthen your calves a lot.  

Are you excited for football to start back up?
Have you ever worked out with a personal trainer?  
What are your thoughts on Nike Free shoes?