Some Improvement

Showing some improvement.

I haven’t taken any ibuprofen in two days. There is some pain but it’s not enough to call for ibuprofen. I’ve taken a lot in the last 2-1/2 weeks.

I’ve been able to do more ‘normal’ things without much pain. I can take deeper breaths than I could just two weeks ago. I’m walking a little faster. And, I was able to work on the porch project, albeit in a very slight way. At least it is some sort of progress.

But, still can’t run.

I tried to run this morning. It wasn’t a formal, laced up the running shoes run to see how far I could go. It was a ‘trot’ across the garage before the garage door came down.

I have temporary roommates. My son and his girlfriend moved in for a few weeks. They are  waiting for their apartment to become available and needed somewhere to stay. I have only one garage door opener and I gave it to them. So, as I was leaving for work this morning, I pressed the button to close the garage door and ‘ran’ the length of the garage to the driveway passing under the garage door as it closed.

It felt like a weight was jiggling in the left side of my chest. Like something is floating around in there. Strange sensation. In just that few feet of trotting I realized I have a ways to go before I am healed enough to actually run. At least run without something jiggling.

Why do rib injuries take so long to heal? I know there are complicated mechanics involved in the healing process. But it’s a slow slow process.

On Sunday, 8/30, I took a long walk around Mounds State Park in Anderson, Indiana. It was a beautiful day and I thought a long drive and a long walk would do some good. I was surprised that I was able to finish Trail #5 for 2.5 miles. It took a while because I was walking slow. While walking on the trail I thought I should be able to run this trail one day. About that time a pair of trail runners passed by. I came to realize Mounds State Park is a trail runner’s mecca because there were several trail runners passing by during my walk. I was jealous they could run and I couldn’t so I vowed to return to Mounds State Park and run Trail #5 one day in the future. And, as fate would have it, with an internet search I discovered a central Indiana trail running series called DINO (Do INdiana Off road). And, they sponsor a trail run at Mounds State Park. Here’s the link. So very cool.

Last night I walked 2 miles around the neighborhood. I walked a little fit faster than I did on Sunday. I was able to take deeper breaths and even worked up a slight sweat due to the humidity. It was a little progress. Baby steps to a full recovery.


Answers : How Was My 2013 Running Year?

Running coach and author Miss Zippy has encouraged all runners to evaluate their 2013 Running Year. You can read her blog post here. So … here’s my evaluation of my 2013 running year.

Best Race : Planet Adventure’s Winter Trail Marathon. This race came in January and even though I raced in other events, this one is my best race for 2013.  I only ran in the Quarter marathon but it was a fantastic time. The race was staged at night and it was my first trail running experience. To add more excitement, it snowed the day before so there was about 3 inches of slippery snow and ice on the trail. There were about 400 runners with head lamps and reflective gear running in the dark over snow-covered trails. What a sight … so very cool!

Best Run : The Windmill Run. I ran 5 miles on country roads through a windmill farm in north central Indiana. It was a breath-taking experience to run underneath these huge windmills.

Best New Gear : The Go Pro Hero 3. I love the extreme wide-angle of this camera and the fact that it’s small enough to attach to a head strap and record the sights and sounds of a run. I posted my first 90 second running video here.

Best Piece of  Running Advice You Received : “Just Finish”. I know this is simple and we hear it all the time … but sometimes my ego gets too big to hear it. Too often I’m more concerned with how I measure up that I forget that finishing is most important. When I ran in the Muncie Mini Marathon (October ’13) I had not trained enough and I knew my finish time would be about 3 hours, which really depressed me (my half marathon average is 2:10). I thought about not showing up for the race but someone told me to show up and just finish the race regardless of the time. It was my absolute worst half marathon performance at 2:41 but it was a great run and great event. So very happy that I took the advice and showed up and finished.

Most Inspirational Runner : The Thin Lady Inside. She’s running, shares her struggles and stays the course. Ever since I came across her blog I’ve been inspired.

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Mixed. I wish 2013 was a better year for me. I had that heart issue in July and August and couldn’t run and lost two months of running. My domestic life is in a tail spin so I was too depressed to even get out of bed at times. The really only success I have during the year was I lost weight and reached my goal weight. But, I quickly lost focus and regained much of that weight back. It was a mixed year and I’m looking forward to 2014.

Onward … !

Tecumseh Trail Marathon

tecumseh-250About this time of the year (early December) I lament that I am not trained up, prepared for and ready to run in the Tecumseh Trail Marathon.

And this year is no exception.

Earlier this year, in January 2013, I ran a Quarter Trail Marathon. Although this race was only 6.55 miles, it gave me a great introduction to trail running. Trail running is similar to road running in some regards. But, it is really a different beast. Running on a trail you have to jump and hop over tree roots, rocks and fallen trees and whatever else there is on the trail. You need to skip across creeks and most likely your shoes and your clothes will be soaked. Depending on the weather, you can get muddy, wet or sun burned. And the hills can be short and steep and long and steep.

After running the Quarter Marathon, I thought that I could train for the Tecumseh Marathon. I intended to spend the next few months running on trails to build endurance and stamina. I thought that this year, 2013 will be my year for the Tecumseh.

Other than the Quarter Marathon, I only ran on a trail system one other time during the year. On that occasion, I planed a 6 mile route. But I bailed out after a few miles when I crossed a road and then walked and ran on the road back to the car. Those few miles on the trail was enough for me on that day.

Although there are many trail marathons to choose from, the Tecumseh Trail Marathon holds my affection. I’ve never entered the marathon but I have hiked several sections of the trail. The northern terminus of trail is in Morgan Monroe State Forest. In my younger days, I’ve backpacked through the forest. The trail winds through Yellowwood State Forest and ends near Morgan Monroe Reservoir. The Trail is over 40 miles in length but the Marathon only uses 26.2 miles of it.

A section of the Trail that runs through Yellowwood is close by some property my family owns. I’ve hiked from the property through Yellowwood to the Tecumseh bridge many times. And every time I’ve done that hike I’ve always thought how cool it would be to run the marathon on the trail. I say to myself that “this year is the year I run the Tecumseh”

However, even if I had trained for the marathon, winter storm Cleon had different intentions. This year the winter storm dumped over 10 inches of snow and ice in Morgan, Brown and Monroe counties the day before forcing the promoters to cancel the event.

On Saturday, December 7, on the same day that the marathon was scheduled to stage, I drove my little 2000 Honda Civic through Brown County to check on the camper we park at Cordry Lake. The 10″ of heavy wet snow collapsed one side of the camper and the little Honda “almost” got stuck in a snow drift. Thankfully I was able to coax the car out of the drift and up the snow and ice-covered dirt road. I’ve been stuck at the lake several times in the snow and it’s not much fun to dig yourself out. I was lucky this time. Occasionally Morgan, Monroe and Brown Counties get a blanket a snow like what Cleon left. But, this on is a significant event and I understand why the promoters canceled the Marathon.

Still, it’s a bummer.

According to the web site the event may be staged at a later date. I didn’t register for this year’s marathon so I can’t participate even if the event is rescheduled. But, as I say every year, “There is always next year!” to run the Tecumseh.


Indiana Trail 100

indianaTrail100_logoI came across this web site for the Indiana Trail 100. It is a 100 mile trail race staged at the Chain O Lakes State Park in northern Indiana. It’s the only 100 mile trail race in the state (so far). It’s scheduled for April 26-27, 2014.

I haven’t signed up for this race. I don’t think I could finish that distance at this stage in my running development. Although I would like to work up to it and do this race one day. For this race, you have 30 hours to complete it. Last year, the first place finisher completed the race in 17 hours and 35 minutes.

I looked at the online registration page to see what the cost is. The cost for the 100 mile race is $180 and the 50 mile race is $95. The minimum age is 18 and the maximum age is 75. Although they allow 15 year olds to run in the 50 mile race.

I’m envious of people who have the drive, determination and endurance to train for and compete in a race of this magnitude. Ultra marathons are a new concept to me and I’ve watched a few you tube videos on the topic. At times, I can hardly drag myself out of bed to run a few miles around the block let alone run 100 miles. But … it’s now a goal … time to get out of bed.

Stay Running!