Tag Archives: injury

I should be running …

I first felt it last night, while walking out to my car after work.  My ankle felt a little stiff and there was pain between the front / outside of my right ankle.  I also felt it bother me a bit during my sleep last night – or at least when I should have been sleeping.

Oh well, up at 2:20am to run this morning!

I needed 15 miles today and another 20 tomorrow to cap off my peak training week for the Yankee Springs Challenge 50k.  The sky was clear, the stars were out, and it was a beautiful morning.

Except … for my ankle.

I felt some discomfort pretty much immediately after I started running.  It was minor, but it was there.  Nothing to keep me from running though so I continued on.

The further I ran, I started noticing that I was changing my stride to compensate for it.  I don’t like to do this because it seems to eventually aggravate some other muscle / joint / leg eventually.


5 miles into this 15 mile route, I was heading back past the house.  With the discomfort increasing, and the fear of injuring something else by over compensating for another 10 miles, I bailed on the remainder of the run.  So here I sit – at 5:30am blogging – while I should be out running.

I’m content with the decision. I feel I have the endurance to run my race in January, and I’m guessing I just need a couple of days off anyway.  It may very well jeopardize my mileage goal though – it was going to be close, even with the 15 miler today and 20 miler tomorrow (which I don’t plan on doing now).  That’s not the end of the world though.

This also isn’t an A list race for me, but more of a target to keep training and in shape through the end of the year.  I’m definitely looking forward to it, but it’s just a short 20 minute drive away.  If it were my 50miler next summer, in Marquette, and I was in this spot, perhaps I’d be freaking out just a bit.


So what’s up with the ankle?  I don’t know.  I’m not a doctor.  And I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.  My whole right leg has felt a bit tight for a few days.  I’m guessing something’s just finally gotten to the point where it’s out of whack and causing the discomfort.  I’ll work a little harder on the stretching / rolling / icing for a couple days and see where we’re at.

So instead of running this morning – I’ve been icing, watching a rerun of last night’s football game and blogging.

I hope you have a better weekend than me!

On the plus side, I did see a meteor this morning!


What makes you think you can run 100 miles?

What makes you think you can run 100 miles, anyway?

I can’t.  Not yet anyway, but that’s the beauty of all of this.  Rome, as they say, wasn’t built in a day.  But I crave the challenge.

At one time I couldn’t run a half marathon.  Or a marathon.  Or a 50k.

I remember the exact spot – 4.5 miles into my first 6 mile run thinking to myself ‘how in the hell am I going to run a half marathon (twice beyond what I still haven’t finished) in a few months??’

I continued to train, fought through pneumonia and knee pain, and finished my first half marathon in as planned.  And it felt Awesome!  I was exhausted, but knew immediately I had to do it again.

I went through a similar experience when training for my first marathon.  It was a 17 mile run day, and I was 14 miles in, and felt like total shit.  I was gassed, it was later in the day than I normally ran, and I just wanted to get home to my wife and kids.  I thought … the actual race will be over an hour longer more – what’d I get myself into!?

I continued to train, fought through a dog bite with rabies vaccine (that’s a story for another day), and another knee injury that sidelined me for over a month, and finished my first marathon as planned.  And it felt Awesome!

Just as I finished a 16 miler training for my first ultra, I thought to myself ‘that was a good run, time for some waffles and coffee … oh shit, I have to run double that, plus some in a couple months for the race.’

I continued to train and completed my first ultra (Kal-Haven Trail run – 33.5 miles) in April of this year.  I loved it and knew as soon as I finished that I needed to do more – go farther.


first ultra!

See – I’ve never been a good runner.  At least I haven’t considered myself good. Hell, I don’t even know what good is.  Does it mean you can run X distance in Y time?  All I know is when I ran in high school everyone beat me.  I haven’t gotten any faster.  I do believe I have endurance – I enjoy pushing myself physically, and mentally, to run farther.  I enjoy the planning that goes with it and the race strategy.  I enjoy being outside in the quiet.  I love it.

Ever since ran that first marathon, I’ve had this thought in the back of my mind that I’d run a 100 miler some day.  And now I’ve picked the race – the June 2017 Mohican Trail 100.

I’ll spend 2016 training for a summer 50 miler and build upon that into 2017 for my first 100 miler.  I’ve already started putting together the list of races for 2016.  I’m guessing there will be another 50 miler in there between August 2016 and June 2017 as I prep for Mohican.  If anyone has a suggestion, let me know – something in the Michigan / Indiana / Ohio area would be best for me.

And that’s how I plan, in a nutshell, to run a 100 miler.

Thoughts?  Advice for anyone who’s run a 100 miler?  I’ve read a 50 miler is twice as hard as a marathon.  And that a 100 miler is 4x as hard as a 50 miler.

Have you ever looked past one goal to reach another?

There’s a very good chance I hit my mileage goal for the year -> 1350 miles.  Bummer.  At the moment, on 11/6, I have 258 to go.  After a bit of rest and an ankle injury, post GR Marathon, I was borderline based on the training I have planned for the rest of the year.

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Then came the nagging chest cold / cough that I can’t seem to kick.  Every night before bed and every morning when I awake – cough, cough, cough.  That too has side-lined me as of late.  The longer it’s sidelined me, the more frustrating it’s become.

Mentally, it’s been difficult.

I think I finally made peace with it yesterday though.  I started thinking about why I run.  It’s not to run 1350 miles this year.  That was just an arbitrary number I picked out of the air.  It was me thinking – hey, I wonder if I can run 35% more next year.  35% is a lot.  Which is why it was a goal I suppose – otherwise it’d be a given.

No, I didn’t really run to hit that number.

I run to be healthier. -> Ok, so taking the time needed to actually kick this cold would make me healthier, vs. running myself into the ground on limited sleep and risking pneumonia again.

I run to enjoy the outdoors. -> I can still enjoy the outdoors while I’m sick – on a walk with the kids, or sitting on the deck enjoying the evening (what’s left of it now that we’re back on standard time).  I don’t have to push myself out of bed at 3am every day while sick.

I run to train for my next race. -> The longer I spend with this nagging chest cold, the more I jeopardize my training for the Yankee Springs Winter Challenge.  So, taking a break to fully kick this is a good thing.

I run to ultimately run my first 100 miler.

I run to eventually complete Western States.

Both of those final two are far enough in the future that they’re not really impacted either way here.

Ok – thinking through that helped.

Next I thought about what goals I have accomplished this year …

  1. I ran, and finished, my first Ultra.
  2. I ran, and finished, my first trail Ultra.
  3. I ran a sub 4hr marathon for the first time
  4. I already ran more than I have in any other year

Ok – feeling even better now.

Perhaps the answer is – I need to look past one goal (1350 miles) to reach another one (to be prepared to run the Yankee Springs Winter Challenge).

Have you ever had to look past one goal to reach another?

Running and ‘The Hole’

The days clicked off this week without me running a step.  A couple of days I made it downstairs, but most I just slept.  The bed was warm … and safe.  And my shoes sat undisturbed through the week.

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Warm and safe … WTF!?  When has that stopped me from running??  I’ve run for hours before, through the night, on trails.  I’ve run three hours, in -18 degrees last winter – twice – on back to back days.  But here I was – scared back to bed by a 5 or 6 mile run.

I don’t know that scared is the right word, but mentally I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t make myself run.  It’s not that I didn’t want to – I did.  It’s not that I didn’t know I needed to – I did.  My mind was just fighting itself and the piece pulling for the bed won.

Much has been written about how running helps depression.  The brain is powerful organ.  And when you give it a shot of endorphins day in, and day out, life is good.

But can a lack of running send one the other way?  What happens when your brain stops getting its regular hit of endorphins?  That’s what I call ‘The Hole.’  Is it mild depression?  Or just symptoms related to endorphin withdrawal?  I don’t know, but it’s not fun – I feel lazier, the bed feels better, I’m crabby and just generally unpleasant to be around – for others and myself.

Every day spent in ‘The Hole’ feels like it gets exponentially worse.  See – the hole is like a funnel.  At the beginning, you’re not too far in, and could relatively easily jump out, but each day you drop further than you dropped the day before.  And it’s that much harder to crawl out.

So just go run!  How hard is that?  Apparently it’s hard.  Because I couldn’t.  I literally couldn’t run.  I couldn’t even fathom running to the end of the street and back.

I’ve only fallen into the running hole one or two other times over the course of almost three years of running.  I think this time was a combination of tapering for the GR marathon, followed by an ankle injury, followed by a chest cold that I can’t seem to kick.  Is the chest cold a valid reason not to run?  I remember having pneumonia a couple years ago.  It wasn’t fun.  And I don’t really want that to happen again … but … could the chest cold just be an easy excuse to continue not to run since I was already falling into ‘The Hole’?  I don’t know … but regardless, it’s caused me not to run.

The last time I remember falling into ‘The Hole’ was around last Christmas.  I finally began to break out when I hopped out of bed, came straight downstairs, put on my shoes, and left.  I ran in my pajamas.  I didn’t want to give my mind anytime to say ‘no.’  I didn’t go far – only 3 miles, but it helped me turn the corner.  Even if it did look odd to be running in flannel banana pants.

My wife grabbed my arm yesterday and literally pulled me out of the chair in our family room.  ‘I’m going for a nap, but you go run.  You need to run.’

I got up, she walked up to nap.  I walked to the couch to lay down.  I took a short nap myself, but then woke up knowing what she told me was true – I did need to run.

I threw on my running shorts / shirt / shoes, but that was it.  No HR monitor / hydration / etc.  I just wanted to get out quickly and run.  And it was wonderful.  Cold and wet, but wonderful.


I took this picture yesterday just before it started pouring.  45 degrees and pouring rain is a little chilly for shorts / t-shirt, but it only made me run a little faster.  I ran 6.1 miles and hopefully the rain helped to wash away some of the dirt from being stuck in ‘The Hole.’

I wouldn’t say I’m out yet, but working my way in the right direction.

Anyone else experienced this general funk / negativity when you haven’t run in a while?  How’d you pull yourself out?

Week in review – 10/25/15

Miles this week: 3

2015 YTD: 1067

After my 3 miler on Tuesday, I spend the week on the DL.  My ankle was in rough shape after the Grand Rapids Marathon.

I spent the weekend, in New Orleans, with my wife.  I took my running shoes, but never ended up running.  I’m anxious to get out there this week and test the ankle again.  While I never ran in the big easy, I did walk about 20 miles over the course of the weekend and the ankle felt pretty good.

New Orleans was a good trip – awesome food!  If you make it down there, I recommend Lüke – very good gumbo and shrimp / grits.  Also, if you make it down there – DON’T STAY ON BOURBON STREET.  It might be fun to party, but when you’re ready to sleep, it’s nice to sleep.

The beignets at Cafe Du  Monde – definitely a winner!


‘Coffee is strong at the Cafe Du Monde
The donuts are too hot to touch
Just like a fool, when those sweet goodies cool
I eat ’til I eat way too much’ – Jimmy Buffett ‘The Wino & I Know’

We spent Saturday riding out to a couple of the plantations, had a nice lunch at Oak Alley and awesome tour at Laura Plantation.  It was on the drive out to the plantations that I saw my alligator roadkill – not something you see in Michigan!


The remnants of hurricane Patricia rolled in late Saturday night so we had one last nice dinner and bounced out of town early (Sunday vs. Monday), and we’re back to Michigan.

Here’s to a week with some more miles and more stars!

Time for a Trip to the DL

Seriously!?  You just announced to the world that you’re running a 100 miler two hundred mile races, and blogging about it, and you’re hurt already!?

What can I say?  Shit happens.

My awesome Grand Rapids Marathon came at a cost – I’m injured.  I don’t recall anything specific happening during the race, but my left leg did bother me during the long out and back section.  As best as I can figure, I think it was due to me running on the right side of the road (all runners were running ‘with traffic’ as the road was closed).  Typically I run against traffic so I can see what’s coming.  Therefore the crown of the road typically has my left leg lower than my right.  During much of the race on Sunday, it was the opposite.

Perhaps it was something else, but that’s the best I could come up with.

I noticed my left ankle is stiff with pain on the inside.  I don’t have my full range of motion with it either.  I ran on it this morning, and it felt better once I was going, but that made it worse later in the day.  According to Dr. Google, it looks like it could be some tendonitis – which leads to stretching, and this … (please ignore the pink towel – I’m the only male that lives here)

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Holy crap that was cold!!!!

So I’ll on the ice / ibuprofen / tiger balm treatment for a few days.  It’s a bummer too because I’ll be out-of-town this weekend, for a long weekend.  Running is always a great way to see somewhere new.  Oh what the hell, perhaps I’ll take my running shoes anyway – just in case …