Friday, April 21, 2017

I'm Now Devoting My Life to Desserts

Time for an update on the life and times of Seth.

It's been 3.5 weeks since I last ran.  I stopped because of an ache deep in my lower left leg and a pain on the top of my left foot.  The ache seemed to be a direct result of running and I've only felt it once or twice in this downtime.  The foot pain is another matter - it continued to hurt during this period and I'm wondering if it could be a broken/fractured bone.  I suppose it's time to get it looked at.

About the same time I stopped running I also started to get some chronic neck/back pain.  Yoga and planks/push-ups have also been put on the sideline in the hopes that would improve things in this department but apparently not.  Since the foot continued to hurt I went back to sitting behind my desk at work for the first time since March of 2015.  Two weeks of sitting didn't seem to improve my foot though and made my neck/back feel worse than ever.

So I'm back to standing behind my desk.

Because of these various ailments, I decided to pursue a new direction in life.  Thanks to Easter and my birthday last week I was blessed with a copious variety of desserts.  I made an effort to become an Eater of Desserts.  Instead of wasting time running or doing yoga, I would now be focusing my efforts on consuming ice cream, cakes and brownies.  I ate ice cream cake (my favorite) for six straight days until it was gone.  I also consumed a pan of thick brownies, some wandies and many of those little chalky eggs that are filled with chocolate.  I was sad when the ice cream cake was gone but luckily the following day we celebrated Amanda's birthday where I ate two ice cream cones.

Sadly I felt like hot garbage after the cones and had to once again reconsider my life goals.  I don't think I have the fortitude to consume these delicious treats with the gusto and consistency that an Eater of Dessert must have.

And so I soldier on.  I'm seeing a chiropractor next week about my back and I'm going to make an appointment about my foot.  In the meantime I plan to continue to dabble with dessert but at a recreational level.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Brrr-lingame 10 Miler 2017

Official time: 1:13:28    9th overall.  Results here.

Always fun, always brutal, the Brrr-lingame 10 Miler is a two lap course on the trails south of the Burlingame campground.  It's twisty singletrack with some running on dirt roads and through the campground.  The second lap is always a bitch.  I didn't run it last year as I had been diagnosed with a stress fracture just prior but looking through my reports I was surprised to find that I hadn't run it since 2014.   Apparently I had a business trip in 2015.

Anyway, I was looking forward to getting back to this race.  Unfortunately I developed a dull ache in my lower leg to start the week which had me concerned.  I took it easy for the rest of the week and I felt fine going into the race.  The weather was cool and perfect and the trails were in good shape.  I arrived, did a short warm-up on the beginning of the course and soon it was time to line up.

The race starts on an open field before hitting the woods and ascending singletrack.  Everyone always goes out too fast in order to have a good position before the woods as passing is tough.  Today was no exception and I was probably around 5th place entering the trail.  After a couple minutes I eased off slightly and a couple people passed me.  At this point the field was already spreading out and the front pack already pulling away.  I had a couple people behind me but they weren't super close.

By the time I reached the ridgeline I was alone.  I could see someone off ahead but there was no one very close behind.  Then once I was back in the woods I was alone again.  Along the dirt road section I could see someone way up ahead but he vanished towards the numerous wooden bridges and I never saw him again.  Going through the campsite slowed me down with lots of leaves and knowing I still had a mile before I started my second lap was disheartening.

The second lap of this race always sucks - you work hard on the first one and then you have to do it all again basically by yourself.  I didn't look back on the grass field, afraid of what I'd see and just kept chugging along as I hit the woods.  I would look back at occasional points and not see anyone so I was feeling pretty good but when I hit the long dirt road straightaway I glanced back and saw an orange jersey.

By the time I finished with the bog bridges and turned onto Vin Gormley I could see the orange in my periphery.  I knew I'd be caught in no time.  Sure enough, a few moments after entering the campsites Andrew Neil, aka El Pollo Rojo aka the Red Chicken went by.  He quickly put distance on me and I had absolutely no response.  Over the last mile of the race I watched as he pulled farther away.  There was no one else behind me which was good because the Red Chicken broke my spirit.  I finished in 9th, always happy to be done with this race.  Unfortunately El Pollo made all the difference and led to the Rhode Runners winning the Men's team competition.  Curses!

Still I must tip my cap to Andrew who paced this race well and was able to reel me in over that second horrid lap.  This will be my last race of the series this year - I'm missing the Big River half due to a backpacking trip but since I'm now on the DL with leg issues anyway that may be for the best.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Weekly Log: 3.27.17 - 4.2.17

Monday - Seekonk, MA - 7.8 miles

A cold rainy day but I was determined to get out there.  I parked at the Wheeler School in Seekonk and ran a somewhat new loop.  It was raining from the get go and I didn't have much oomph but I soldiered on.  The rain eventually tapered out for the mid-miles but my legs never found any life.  With three miles to go the sky opened up and I was truly soaked.  More cars than I expected on these quiet roads but I was glad to get this one done and over with.

Later in the afternoon that ache in my lower leg came back - I had hoped that I had it licked but apparently not.

Tuesday - 0 miles

7 minutes of planks (longest - 4:20)

I went to lunch yoga - not my best session.  We did a bunch of moves I'm not familiar with and I felt like I was floundering throughout.

Wednesday - 0 miles

8:30 minutes of planks (longest - 3:02)

Ugh.  My left leg is all achey today.  The ache's coming from the shin I guess.  I guess even yoga makes things worse now.  I was going to do some easy trail miles but what's the point?  Better rest it and see if tomorrow's any better.

Thursday - East Providence, RI - 2 miles

So there seems to be two separate issues with my janky left leg.  There's the dull ache emanating from the shin/outside lower leg and then there is the ankle/upper foot pain.  This morning I woke up with the ankle pain.  I could feel it on and off throughout the day.  I went for a walk at lunch and it was noticeable at times.  Not promising.  I'm fairly committed now to taking some time off to hopefully let this deteriorating appendage heal up.  I had once grand plans for this April with my return to ultrarunning but instead it looks like I may be opting for a longer lull to let this heal up.  It's unfortunate but there's no point in ignoring/denying the issues I'm feeling.

Friday - 0 miles

8 minutes of planks (longest - 3:02)
145 push-ups (standard/wide)

I woke up intermittently through the night and could feel the ankle aching.  Let the gluttony and rest commence!

Saturday - 0 miles

April Fools Day, my most hated of days.  I'm way too gullible and easy to fool.  Ezri almost tricked me into eating a dog treat thinking it was an oyster cracker.  I realized at the last second.  In honor of the day, I'm now renaming this blog Janks and Pranks.  I hope everyone enjoys the new direction.

Sunday - 0 miles

Welp, the dull ache in my leg/shin hasn't been noticeable since my last run on Monday.  But the ankle soreness has lingered which is strange.  I plan on resting for the next week and taking it from there.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Belleville Pond 10k 2017

Official time: 53:38  6th overall.   Results here.

The third race of Mike Galoob's winter trail series is always a fun one.  After a couple 5ks the distance doubles and there are often truly winter conditions to contend with.  This year was no exception - after a quiet and (mostly) snowless winter, we got a good half foot the day before and so it would be another snow covered race.  This is a good thing as this is what the series is all about.

My training had been spotty over the last few weeks with an sore ankle but I showed up in good spirits and ready to race.  It was pretty cold - in the teens and there was a brisk wind whipping over the pond.  I had on the Salomon Speedcross and intended to run with just them but after a warm up along the pond I encountered enough ice to justify the microspikes.  I threw them on after a half mile and felt they had much more grip on the way back.  Probably overkill but they were definitely helpful for the icy spots.

I met up with folks just before the race began.  I had on my tights but Crutch, Jonny, Jeff and others represented with just shorts (including one guy in nothing but shorts, yikes!).  At the start I quickly found myself in third following Jonny and Brightman along the single broken trail.  I was probably working harder than I should have and I slowed after a bit.  Soon Gazelle went by me followed by another guy.

The course turns onto some hilly singletrack that runs alongside the pond and I was already feeling worn out.  I tried to stay behind the others through this section but had to pass one of 'em on the hills as he was slowing down.  Once we reached the rail bed I could see that Walker and company were already well ahead.  The footing was better here but I wasn't able to get any closer.  Andrew Neil went by and I tried to not let him get too far ahead.  I was hopeful that I would be able to make up ground along the Route 4 section where there's usually choppier snow which favors me.

The Route 4 section was indeed choppier but not a sufferfest as in a previous year.  Andrew aka the Red Chicken had passed the only guy ahead I wasn't familiar with but I was making any ground on this mystery man.  I was now very much in no man's land, well off the others and no one very close behind.  As the course turns back turns towards the powerlines I could see Jon Short not too far behind and tried to find another gear.  The race now featured another section of park- the relatively newer "Middle trail."  This twisty section was slow going and when the course veered back towards the far parking lot I had a sense that this version of the course was going to run long.  I could still see Neil and mystery man up ahead and I held out hope that I could catch them during the next singletrack section.

The twisty stuff along this side of the pond was equally slow going and I only occasionally caught a glimpse of one of the other racers up ahead.  By the time I returned to the rail trail I could see them way up ahead and knew I had no chance to catch them.  I tried to pick up the pace on this somewhat more packed down section of trail but I was running out of steam.  There wasn't anyone close to me so I didn't have any motivation to kill myself on the last section of hills and roots.

I came through the finish in 6th place.  I was worried that mystery man was running for Rhode Runners but luckily he was unaffiliated and the WTAC men grabbed their first win of the series.  After a cooldown with Jon Short and some award presentations I joined a group over at the Oak Hill Tavern.  Another great winter race in the books!