C25k … Week 2, Day 1

Last night I was able to exercise before the rain started again. I rushed home after work and got ready while listening to the weather man say that the rain will start again in about one hour. That was plenty of time to get in a workout.

I was able to do Week 2, Day 1 of the C25K program. The agenda called for 3 sets of running for 90 seconds and then walking for 90 seconds and then running again for 90 seconds and then walking for 2 minutes. Of course, there is a 5 minute warm up and a 5 minute cool down before and after.

Believe it or not, just as I finished the workout, the rain started.

The C25K app that I downloaded to the iPhone tracks the mileage and pace for the workout. It’s pretty cool how this technology can do that. So, for this workout, my total mileage was 1.96 and my pace was 14:02. Which, I guess is ok since this is only the fourth workout in the program. But, however, it’s really dismal considering that four months ago I was running at a ten minute per mile pace, even in those awful shoes. But, at least I’m able to do something and at least I have restarted (again).

There was some minor pain in my left shin so I guess that stress fracture isn’t completely healed. I was still able to run and just ignored the pain. There was hardly any residual pain after the workout.

I hope the best for everyone today … onward !!

Am I Lost?

wonderNotLostPhotoIt was a different world for me in the late ’60s and 70’s when I was growing up. Black and white TV was still the norm and summer vacations were longer. Today, video games and the internet seem to keep so many indoors. Unlike in my youthful world, staying indoors on bright and sunny summer days was unthinkable. There was nothing to do inside a hot and stuffy house. There was a world outside the house to explore.

On my youthful summer days, it was not uncommon for me to walk along the creek and kick and throw rocks, explore the wooded areas, listen to the trees and the wind. Although I spent much of my summer days wandering around the country side and my feet and on my bike, I was never lost. I always knew where home was.

I miss those days of youthful bliss and unknown ignorance. Today I worry about stress fractures and broken bones and insurance premiums to pay for the stress fractures and broken bones. I should and need to worry about that since I’m an adult and have to provide for myself and the people dependent on me. Yet, I miss so much the time I spent roaming and exploring, carefree and happy and so very blessed.

Onward now …



Couch 2 5K … Day 2

Yay … I got out of bed this morning and completed the Day 2 Week 1 of the Couch to 5K program.

The air temperature this morning was over 70°F … wow … and it is early May … but it felt like mid summer already.

The only issue I had this morning is the stress fracture doesn’t seem to want to fade totally away. It was giving me some pain. But, I ran through it. Not that it was a great challenge as I was only running for about 30 – 45 seconds at a time and only covered less than two miles. Hopefully, that stress fracture will fade totally away soon.

I hope that everyone has a great day and a great run. Onwards.

Starting The Couch to 5K Program (Again)

Believe it or not …. I dragged myself out of bed at 4:30 am this morning and rummaged around for my running shoes, checked the weather, found the C25K app on the iPhone and … and … and actually went outside for a run.

It has been over seven weeks since the last time I ran.

I believe the stress fracture has finally healed. At least there is no pain in my left shin any more. So, I believe it is safe to risk going out for a run.

I decided to start the C25k (Couch to 5K) program again. The 8 week program starts with a little running and a lot of walking in the first few weeks to build stamina and in the later weeks you find yourself running for almost 30 minutes. In my youth I would have just ran a 5K to impress my ego and prove I still had fitness after a 7 week layoff. In my old age, I am no longer in a hurry and don’t mind taking two months to rebuild my fitness. Ego, or no ego, I would rather run a little instead of being sidelined for another 7 weeks with another stress fracture.

Today, I ran 5 sets of running for 45 seconds, walking for 90 seconds, running for another 45 seconds and then walking for 60 seconds. I covered less than 2 miles in the 29 minutes it took to complete Week 1 Day 1 of the program.

There was a little pain in my left shin after I walked home. Hopefully I’m not re-stressing the stress fracture. I can’t tell if it is just discomfort from moving my body or real pain.

Anyways … hope everyone has a great day and a great run. Onwards.

A New Painting

I missed out on the 2014 Mini Marathon and feeling the deep emotional pain from that. I feel so much like a loser for not overcoming my physical and psychological pain to at least participate. But, hopefully, the rest of this year will be better for me, at least in the running department. Instead of running, I spent this weekend working around the house, in the yard doing the normal yard work (mulching, fertilizing, trimming … the normal yard work) … and trying to keep my mind off of failing to participate in the Mini Marathon and the other stuff that is going on in my life right now.

Kara … the lady who ran in the Mini under my bib number … did exceptionally well. God bless her and her ambition and desire … something that I really need to get a hold of in my   life right now. She’s a symbol for me in more ways than she would know. I wish her the absolute best in everything she desires.

Even though I didn’t run this weekend … I did think about it and hopefully I will put in a few miles this week. This afternoon, I saw an older man running through my neighborhood. I watched him as he ran by and I wished him the best. I was somewhat jealous of his effort. Actually, I was totally jealous of his effort.

I did find a connection when that old man as he was running by. As I was watching him somehow I stumbled over the overloaded wheel barrow I was pushing. It was full of mulch and in my stumble I banged the shin of my left leg just above that nasty stress fracture. Instantly I thought of how I have waited for over six weeks for the stress fracture to heal and now I’m sidelined again with a bruised shin from an overloaded wheel barrow of mulch. There is a now a huge lump on my shin. Geez.

Even though I failed to run this weekend … I was able to do something of significance (at least significant to me)  … I completed a painting that I’ve been working on for a few weeks.

I know that abstract expressionism is a bit outdated … but it is a genre of painting that I relate to. The chaos of splattered and thrown paint resonates with my psyche.

Anyways, here are some bad photos of my latest painting. I call it “Losing Shannon”.

I wish the iPhone would take better photos as these photos are somewhat out of focus.

Anyways … Onward …

photo-6 photo-5

2014 Indianapolis Mini Marathon

Last night, I went to the Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis to pick up the 2014 Indianapolis Mini Marathon packet. It’s been over 6 years since I’ve run in the Mini and was looking forward to starting with 35,000 other people in downtown Indianapolis and running through the west side ghettos and around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and finishing at Military Park on the campus of IUPUI (Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis). The times I’ve run the Mini have always been enjoyable and rewarding.

But this year things are very different for me.

I registered for this Mini back in September 2013. At that time I was eager to run and was coming off recovering from that heart issue and wanted a “carrot” (goal) to motivate me for the long-term. I figured the Mini, which is the world’s largest mini marathon and in my own back yard, would be the ticket.

Yet, my training broke down in late February 2014 due to a painful stress fracture in my left leg and I haven’t run in over seven weeks. Due to ‘other stress’ in my life, I over drink and over eat and lost my fitness and so I’m in no way in shape to attempt a 13.1 mile mini marathon. It’s a true shame, too. Before my training broke down, I ran through the pain and trained up to 8 miles as my longest run. Had I been able to stay on schedule, I would be fully trained for the Mini by now. I only gave up when I couldn’t run any more through the pain. I’m so disappointed in myself for letting a simple shin splint develop into an injury that stopped me from running. I’m disappointed in myself for letting external stresses derail my internal peace.

Last night, when I was walking around the Expo, I felt like I had a huge “L” painted on my forehead and everyone knew what a loser I am. I saw people of all shapes and sizes with huge smiles and bright eyes saying what a great opportunity it is to be included in the Mini.  The energy was exciting and I wanted it. After I left the Expo, I found a sports bar, sat by a window, drank beer and watched people walking the streets with their Mini Marathon packets in hand.

Since I knew I would not run in the 2014 Mini Marathon, I need to somehow redeem myself from the guilt. So, I decided to give away my bib number to someone who had the desire and energy to participate. Earlier this week I posted an ad on Craigslist saying that I had a bib number to give away. There were several responses within minutes after the ad went online. Of those that quickly responded I randomly picked one and replied to say “you are the chosen one”.

So, last night, I was picking up the packet for someone else. Someone who wanted to run in the Mini. The “chosen” one is Kara and she is now driving down from Chicago to run in the Mini.

Wow, I live in the back yard of the Mini and I can’t muster up the drive or energy to do it. Yet Kara, who has the ambition I lack, scrambles for a last-minute entry and drives from Chicago to participate. Wow, I AM a loser.

I wish the absolute best for Kara. I know that she will do great. We meet up later today to pass the bib so she can run in the Mini. I wonder if she will have the traditional pasta dinner tonight? I will probably drink beer and over eat tonight.

Maybe next year I can fully redeem myself and properly train for the 2015 Indianapolis Mini Marathon. Hopefully things will be different next year.