Thursday, December 30, 2010

70 Degrees in December

It was too nice to pass it up.  I kept telling myself I needed to take one more day to rest and get over this little bug, but it was just way too nice.  I couldn't pass up 70 degrees, low humidity, and light winds in late December.  I got home from work, changed into shorts and a tech tee and hit the streets.  It was my first "official" run since NYC marathon.  I've run a couple of times during Team-in-Training practice as a coach.  Basically all I do is run a few blocks and chat with the runners and then jog back to pick up a few more.  It doesn't really count as an official run because I run at their pace and take it pretty easy.  This was just me and my thoughts.  I've missed it.  I've missed it a lot.  It wasn't perfect, but it was really nice.  I had minimal pain in my knee and the head cold only provided me with some minor nuisances.  I strapped my Garmin on just for measurement purposes but never looked at it while I was running.  I have a mile loop marked off in my neighborhood so I just ran that twice and called it good.  I wanted to run more, but I keep telling myself to come back slow.  I want to stay healthy.

Today was also my first run in my new Brooks Adrenaline 11's.  These shoes feel like a glove on my foot and are very comfortable.  I would have to say I'm very impressed with the update from the 10 and look forward to breaking them in over the next few months.  I also received my free pair of shoes today that I won in the Brooks ID race series.  I ordered a pair of Brooks Ravenna shoes.   They are labeled as "guidance" shoes, not the full "support" of the Adrenaline.  I was told the Adrenaline may be too much support for my gait based on the gait-analysis done by the local running store, but a pure neutral shoe (the Glycerin's), caused me to have foot problems.  I may try to work the Ravenna's into my rotation on some of my shorter runs to see how it goes.  I hate to mix it up too much when all I want to do is stay healthy though. 

Thank goodness for 4-day weekends!  I'm going to enjoy my last weekend of rest and relaxation before I start up the big road to the Ironman next week.  Ready or not, here it comes. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fantasy Football, Brooks ID, and Oklahoma State University

I'm still sick so I'm resting up again today with no training.  I'm worn out after work so I went straight from my car to my couch.  I'm hoping one or two more days of rest will help kick this stubborn cold or whatever it is I have right now.  The great thing is that tomorrow is my last day of work and then I get a 4-day weekend.  Plenty of time to get healthy and hit the new year with some extra vigor.

I won my fantasy football league this year so I just got a nice little influx into the triathlon bike fund.  It's going to be put to very good use!  It was only my second year to ever play in a league where you had to pay an entry fee.  It has definitely made pro football more entertaining and I feel like the little time I put into it is well worth the payoff. 

Since we don't have an NFL team in Oklahoma, college football is king around here.  Most people cheer for the big, bad Sooners at the University of Oklahoma, but I am a proud alum of Oklahoma State University and my Cowboys play tonight in the Alamo Bowl.  If it wasn't for them playing, I would probably already be asleep.  I really wanted to make the trip to San Antonio, but the timing sucked:  midweek game during the last week of the month.  Never going to happen.  Regardless, I'll be wearing my orange and watching from home.  Go Pokes!!

Finally, I received my letter from Brooks about my 2011 status.  They are restructuring the ID program into 3 tiers : Bluestreak, PACE, and Fanatics.  I got bumped to the Fanatics group which will be less involved than the 2010 program but it sounds like I'll still be able to reap some of the benefits I had as an ID member.  It was a little disappointing, but it wasn't completely unexpected.  I'll still be sporting my Brooks gear though.

Nothing else going on at the moment.  I'm looking forward to a few more days off before we tackle the new year ahead.  I'm starting to compile my 2011 resolutions so I'll share those in the coming days.  It's almost time to say goodbye to 2010....yikes!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Good Doc Visit

Today was the long awaited appointment with my sports doc.  I think I've said it on here a couple of times, but I really like my doctor.  He's an ex-marathoner, who I thought was an avid cyclist, but after conversations today I learned he is a multiple Ironman finisher.  He's competed in IM Florida, Arizona, Canada, and several other full distance races over the past few years.  It was refreshing to know that I was talking to someone who understood what I was doing and had been there himself.  I really lucked into this doctor.  When I started marathon training for Dallas White Rock back in 2009, I just found the number for the sports medicine association here in OKC and dialed it up.  I got assigned to this doctor and it was a great match.  He is an endurance athlete and talks to me like someone who understands the desire/passion for the sport.

Today was a check-up on my knee which had been bugging me since mid-August.  I had put it off for months because I was in the midst of the Chicago/NYC marathon double and I wasn't convinced going to the doctor would actually help.  I thought rest was the only real option to get better so I just gritted my teeth and pushed on.  After NYC, I took nearly 4 weeks off completely and have since started adding back in the elliptical, cycling, swimming, and some very brief spurts of running.  The knee has felt much better and I can honestly say it's the best it's felt since August.  I went ahead and kept my appointment as a way to get a post-season check-up and see if I could find a way to get into see my doctor in a more timely manner next year.

As is usually the case, they took some x-rays before I spoke with my doctor.  He came in and immediately started checking my left Achilles which was the last thing I had seen him about about 2 weeks prior to my first full marathon in Dallas last December.  It kind of threw me off guard because I was expecting him to go straight for my knee.  I told him all was well with the Achilles and told him my real issue had been my knee.  It was my subtle way of moving him to my knee in case he thought I was back for that issue.  Ha, turns out he was just being thorough.

He then examined my knee and as expected I wasn't really experiencing much pain.  Like I said, it's the best it's felt since August.  However, I started explaining to him the issues I had been having and some of the most recent ones that provoked my calling to get an appointment.  The most alarming was when I was on my bike and I pushed my knee out to grab my water bottle and a sharp pain occurred under my knee cap.  He told me that my knee cap is slightly angled to the outside of my leg as opposed to flat/flush like most people.  He said that every time my leg or knee moves out, it's causing my knee cap to hit bone or irritate tissue b/c it's not properly aligned.  He then explained that with most people you can easily move their knee cap like it's floating on water and mine are very rigid and don't move much when he's manipulating it.  Basically he told me he's surprised I haven't had problems before now.  There really isn't an easy way to "fix" it, but I can manage it.  He said it's probably an issue I'm going to have to deal with all the time.  He told me to use self-management techniques such as icing, anti-inflammatory meds, and stretching as much I can and then when I need assistance to come and see him again.  He also told me that it's inevitably going to hurt during Ironman training.  He said if I'm going to be putting that many miles on my legs, it's going to hurt.  He said he would provide further treatment (i.e. cortisone injections) if it became necessary as my training volume increased throughout the summer. 

After our talk about my knee, the subject turned to future races and what I should expect for the Ironman.  He said it's a lifestyle choice and it will consume all of my time.  He told me to be prepared for 8 hour workouts on the weekends and that my social life will be non-existent.  He said he loves it, but you have to be committed.  He also spoke highly of Ironman Buffalo Springs 70.3 which is in west Texas in late June.  He said he enjoyed it much more than Ironman Kansas 70.3 which I'm already registered for next year.  I wish I had known that about 3 months ago.  Oops.  He then told me about some bike shops down in Dallas that I may road trip to go see at some point.  He talked to me about some tri bikes since I'm currently on the lookout for a new one and then he told me good luck and he expected he would be seeing me again in the next 8 months.  Ha, I hope he's wrong, but I think we both know it's going to be a tough year!

All in all it was a pretty good visit to the doctor and I'm glad to have a fellow endurance junkie on my side.  On a bad note, I'm sick currently so no training for me today as you can probably tell from this long post.  I'm bored and really wanted to ride my trainer tonight.  Rest and cold meds are the only thing on the agenda for me though.  Kids are like incubators for communicable diseases.  I see my niece and nephew for 2 days and I come home with a cold.  I guess they are helping me build up my immune system for the cold/flu season ahead.  I hope to be back to the gym tomorrow but we will see how tomorrow goes at the office.

Monday, December 27, 2010

It could have been worse I guess...

The title of this post pretty much sums up my thoughts on my swim today.  It could have been worse I guess.  I've been a real slacker in the pool lately.  I don't enjoy it so it's one of those things where I have to make myself go and swim.  I think it's boring and I generally leave the pool with a head full of water, eyes that make me look like I'm on crack, and skin that smells and feels like it's been in chlorine all day long.  I just don't find it that appealing.  I think I finally have come to terms that I probably won't ever like it, but I'm going to have to suck it up and get over it.  Maybe I should invest in a waterproof mp3 player to pass the time?  I hate listening to music when I run, but maybe it would help soothe the pain of the pool. 

The day off from work was great.  I had to work from home for a couple of hours this morning, but I could really get used to this lifestyle.  Work for a few hours, go grocery shopping while sipping on some Starbucks, go home and eat lunch, head to the gym for a swim and weights, and then come home for dinner and some Monday night football.  Not too shabby.  It sure would make it a lot easier to train for the Ironman with this much time on my hands.  Heck, I was looking at a mock training schedule for the HALF-Ironman last night and started getting tired thinking about how I'm going to squeeze it all in.  I don't know how you married folk with children do it.  You all are impressive.  I didn't even peek at the full Ironman plan after those feelings crept into my head.  I want to ease myself into this and not look too far ahead.  I know it's going to be an immense undertaking. 

I rewatched most of the NBC broadcast of the Ironman World Championships last night for motivation.  I get emotional every time I think about crossing the finishline myself.  It's even better knowing how excited my family is about going to the race as well.  Every time I see them they are talking about it or asking me questions.  My little brother keeps telling me how he's going to run through the finishing chute and tackle me after I finish and how he's going to cry seeing me cross that line.  It's moments like those that will make all the training worthwhile. 

I feel like I'm getting back into a routine.  I have about 3 or 4 weeks left of offseaon workouts before I dive into my Ironman Kansas 70.3 prep.  It's just around the corner.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas - Can't believe it's already over!

Is it really already the 26th?!  I really can't believe that Christmas has come and gone so quickly.  It's also been 5 days since my last post.  Shame on me. 

Christmas was pretty relaxed this year.  I had a great time hanging out with my family on Christmas Eve.  It was casual, laidback, and we all had a great time opening gifts and hanging out all day.  My mom made some awesome meatloaf (per my request because I LOVE meatloaf) and we exchanged gifts with my parents, two brothers, my sister-in-law, my younger brother's girlfriend, my niece and nephew, and myself.  Everyone pretty much knew what they were getting from me because of this blog.  I ordered Brooks gear with my Brooks ID discount during their friends and family sale and outfitted everyone with some great Brooks outerwear.  I really liked everything I ordered and it seems like the family agreed.  I ended up bringing home a new Under Armour hoodie, gift cards to Starbucks, iTunes, and Outback, a new iHome alarm clock, an Oklahoma State 6-pack cooler, socks, candy, Wizard of Oz glasses and movie (it was my favorite movie as a kid), and some of my mom's homemade salsa and relish.  I was very happy with the haul and grateful that my family has been blessed with another good year.  We are all employed, healthy, and happy....can't really ask for much more than that right now.

Christmas day was spent down in southern Oklahoma with my dad's side of the family.  We had a great lunch and exchanged one gift with someone determined by a name draw.  My little brother actually got  my name down there because our family makes up the bulk of people in the family.  He picked out a new George Foreman grill for me which I desperately needed because I just broke mine.  It was the perfect gift because I really like getting things that I hate buying.  I don't like buying kitchen stuff so if someone else can buy it for me it's a bonus.  I'd rather spend my money on traveling, endurance sports, and things I enjoy.  After leaving my grandparents, my brother and I made our way to OKC to catch the Thunder play the Nuggets.  His girlfriend and one of my friends also joined us for the game with tickets provided by my employer.  We had great seats and the game was up-tempo and entertaining.  It was a great way to end the holiday and start the countdown to New Year's.

Today was a catch-up day for me at the house.  I spent a lot of time doing laundry, picking up around the apartment, and watching NFL football.  I'm in the finals of my fantasy league and if I win this week I get a nice little sum of cash to supplement the tri-bike fund.  While I was watching football today I also hopped on the trainer for about an hour and ten minutes.  I used an old bike workout in my TrainingPeaks account because I'm not currently paying for a coach.  I think I'll probably rejoin forces with Ryan on January 1st and have him lay me out a plan.  I also need to sit down with him and plan out my race schedule for 2011.  A lot of the local race calendars just came out so it should be easier to plan.  I'm hoping to have a race a month beginning in March, but we'll see if that plan actually comes to fruition.

Tomorrow is officially a day off from work, but I still have to get up in the AM to log on and do a few things for next-day business.  It will be good for me to wake up early tomorrow and take advantage of the full day.  I'm planning on hitting the gym, running a few errands, and may even go start lusting after tri bikes.  I hope to buy one sometime in February so I want to start looking and get some ideas.  The rest of the week will be pretty abbreviated because we only have to work Tuesday-Thursday.  I still have my appointment with my sports doc on Tuesday.  The knee has felt ok lately, but I still haven't been running much.  We'll see what he says and then I'll go from there.  I'm expecting it will be a non-event, but maybe I can get him to give me the number to his bat phone so I don't have to wait 2.5 weeks next time I try to get in to see him.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Breaking the habit

This week I've made it a point to get back into a routine.  So far it's been working out well, but we are only 2 days into this thing.  I have a feeling that the upcoming holiday will throw a kink in my plans, but at least it's only a minor hiccup.  I really don't have a ton planned for Christmas at the moment.  We did my mom's side of the family this past weekend.  I'll go down to my parents house on Friday and celebrate then because my mom has to work on Christmas day.  Evidently hospitals don't shut down for holidays - go figure.  On Christmas, I'll go down with my dad and brothers to my dad's side of the family and spend the afternoon down there before trekking back to Oklahoma City for a Christmas evening date with the OKC Thunder and Denver Nuggets.  All in all, not too hectic of a schedule.  I'm almost positive my gift count will be pretty small this year, but I like it that way.  My apartment is extremely cluttered at the moment and the less stuff I get, the better.  I really need a maid or something. 

Today was my second ride on the trainer and I really enjoyed it.  I popped in my newly acquired Spinervals DVD that previews the IM Louisville course and settled in for an hour ride.  I would love to think I could just hop on and go for hours, but we all know I'm far removed from my peak training shape so I'm easing my way back into it.  The DVD started out at the transition area and takes you out of the city into the hill country.  I only made it an hour into the ride, but from what I can tell this course is going to be TOUGH.  The rider who made the tapes kept talking about how brutal the heat is going to be for the ride and how tough the course is for an Ironman event.  It was a great reminder of what I'm getting myself into in 2011.  The guy stressed that you will have to put in the miles to get through the race.  You can't sneak your way into this one and still manage to make it out unscathed.  I'll have to be focused and dedicated with my training and seek out some hot, hilly courses during training.  I guess I better get ready to buckle down and get to work. 

Another thing I really enjoyed about the DVD is the advice and tips he gives throughout the video.  I know I'm only an hour into it, but it's good for me to hear how many calories I should be taking in each hour (at least 200-300 calories), the advice on how to properly prepare for hills, the techniques I should be using for hills, and all the other bits of information he interjects along the way.  I can tell I'm really going to like this video and will make it a part of my training routine when I can't get outside to train.  The plan for the rest of the week is to hit the weights again tomorrow and probably do 30 minutes or so on the elliptical.  I think I'll still try to stay off the knee for a little while longer.  No reason to push it now.  I'll either do another trainer workout on Thursday or maybe go get in the pool.  My pool of choice is drained right now for yearly maintenance so not sure I'll make it to the downtown YMCA to fight the crowds.  It's a zoo at the pool. 

Lastly, I'm still waiting on word from Brooks about my 2011 status.  I've heard from several people that they have received letters updating them on their status so hopefully I'll get a letter soon.  They are sending them by snail mail so it's anyone's guess when it will actually show up.  Hopefully they like me and keep me around in one of the upper levels of the ID program for 2011. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

December - Month of Gluttony

Saying that I'm experiencing some offseason weight gain doesn't even do it justice.  I've effectively managed to pad my midsection with an extra 7-8 pounds since the first week of November.  I know I haven't lost all of my fitness yet, it's just not possible, but what used to feel easy now seems laborious.  I guess that's what happens when you skip about 6 weeks of working out regularly. 

Tomorrow is the start of my pre-Ironman base building phase.  I'm making myself get back into a routine.  No more holiday party excuses.  No more college football weekends in Stillwater.  It's time to get serious.  I'm sure watching the Ironman World Championships on TV yesterday probably helped kick this into gear, but I have been antsy to get back into the swing of things for a while now.  This last week provided no opportunity to get back into any sort of routine.  I was traveling for business on Monday/Tuesday, went to the gym Wednesday, had 2 Christmas parties on Thursday, went to a Thunder game on Friday, and then had family Christmas events this weekend.  I did get in one decent workout on Wednesday and actually ran about 2 miles on Saturday morning during my Team-in-Training coaching duties.  The knee actually felt pretty decent...go figure.  I finally called and made a doctor's appointment and the first run after I made the appointment was one of the better feeling runs I've had in a while as far as pain/discomfort goes.  I'm still going to keep my appointment for Dec 28th though.  I figure it can serve as a end of the season check-up/preseason assessment of my body.  I want to go over my plans are for the upcoming year and see if he has any advice and a hotline available for me to get in to see him quicker.  I guess having the end of the year deductible scramble, he was mostly booked up until after the Jan 1st.  I'm hoping that's not going to be the case every time I try to go see him now.   He's an ex-marathoner turned cyclist so he's been through all the aches and pains before himself.

Now it's off to catch up on laundry and get ready for the shortened work week ahead.  Only 4 days this week!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Indoor Trainer : Cyclops Jet Fluid Pro

My company has a very generous Living Well program that allows employees to gain bonuses if they stay active and healthy throughout the year.  Basically the requirements are to maintain a healthy weight range, participate in local races or corporate activities, exercise 3 days a week, and record certain vital stats (blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, etc) within recommended ranges.  Basically it's free money for any endurance athlete or semi-active adult.  It helps them lower insurance costs and we reap the benefits of a healthier lifestyle and a little extra cash.  We received those bonuses on this last paycheck and I decided to "invest" part of that bonus into a piece of equipment that would help me to continue to live well.  In other words, I finally bought an indoor trainer for my bike!

I've been wanting an indoor trainer for a while now.  I kept putting it off last year when I bought my bike because I knew the weather was on the verge of getting better and I didn't have a need for it when the spring/summer started.  This fall I pretty much retired my bike for a few months when my knee started hurting and focused on just trying to stay healthy for the marathons.  Now that winter is settling in and I need to get back in bike shape, I went ahead and pulled the trigger and bought my first indoor trainer. 

Based on recommendations from several people, I opted for a fluid trainer versus magnetic or wind.  The brand I ended up buying was CycleOps because my local bike shop carries that brand and was offering 20% off through the holidays.  I have heard that the fluid trainers are much quieter than the other types of trainers and provide a more realistic feel by better mimicking actual road conditions.  I'm sure my neighbors in my little four-plex apartment building will appreciate the quieter ride.  Assembly of the trainer was next to nothing because the CycleOps Jet Fluid Pro comes already assembled.  I took it out of the box, replaced the back skewer of my bike wheel with the provided training skewer, placed the wheel in the notches on the trainer, and locked the resistance unit against my back wheel.  Easy money.  After set-up I flipped on the tv, set up an oscillating fan, put on the cycling shoes/bibs, and settled in for my maiden voyage.  Being that this was my first time back in the saddle of my bike in nearly 3.5 months, I took it easy and just did a quick 30 minute ride to get back in the flow.  I can tell I'm going to get some good use out of the trainer over the next couple of months and have already ordered the Spinervals "On the Road" DVD that previews the IM Louisville course.  All in all, I am very happy with my purchase and am ready to sweat and suffer in my apartment when the weather turns nasty outside. 

This coming week is going to be a tough week for me to get in much training.  I'm still not fully back into the meat of my schedule so I guess the busy social calendar isn't a huge issue yet.  Plus, I finally am going to break down and call for a doctor's appointment to have my knee checked out.   It's time to get serious about it and take action.  Keep your fingers crossed it's nothing bad.  All I know is that every time I think it's better, I tweak it again and it starts hurting.  I need to get the problem resolved before Ironman training begins in earnest. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Yes, I swam....

Last night I ventured into the basement of my work's fitness center and reacquainted myself with my arch-nemesis : the pool.  I hadn't missed swimming.  It wasn't one of those things that I was longing to get back into my routine.  It's not like biking and running where I entertain myself by looking at the scenery, waving and smiling at people passing by,  and enjoying sunrises and sunsets that only an Oklahoma sky could produce.  No, it's boring.  It's just me staring at a long black line at the bottom of a pool, sucking water, struggling with my form, and constantly wishing I could swim faster so the suffering would end sooner.  I wasn't forced back into the pool yesterday.  I chose to go there.  I count that as a sign of my commitment to crossing that finish line on Aug 28, 2011.

My workout in the pool was nothing special.  I basically just wanted to get in, reintroduce myself to the suffering, and try to get back into some sort of triathlon routine.  I could tell early on that being away from the water for 2 months wasn't a recipe for success.  It was a struggle and one that will serve as a reminder that I have a lot of work to do in the next 9 months.  The one bright note was that I met another Ironman-in-training who was having about as much fun as I was in the water.  He's signed up to do the local Redman full-iron distance triathlon in September.  He's also signed up to do the same race as Patrick, over at The Road, in June : the Ironman Hawaii 70.3.  We exchanged contact info and plan on doing some of our long runs and rides together when we both start hitting it hard in late January.  I'm a little worried he's going to run and ride way too fast for my liking, but maybe on a good day I can keep up.  The reason I say this is because he just got back from Dallas White Rock and ran a 1:28 half marathon....yeah, he's a little faster than me.

I also have started up a strength-training workout that I will be doing 2-3 times a week to help with injury prevention.  It's going to be key for me to stay healthy this year to be able to keep up with the training.  I'm hoping I can learn from my mistakes and make it a full season without any major hiccups.  My knee has felt much better the past week and I think the strength and cross-training has definitely helped.  The goal for the next few weeks is to start getting back into a routine and try to rein in the nutrition.  I don't want January 1 to be a complete shock to the system when I make the transition into an Ironhead (that's my name for those of us taking this journey together - we're stubborn, dedicated, and dumb aka Ironhead)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Brooks ID Race Series

Today I received a nice little surprise to help curb the Monday blues!  Here is the little nugget of joy that showed up in my e-mail inbox today:

Hey Bryan,
Congratulations, you are the OK State Runner Up for the Brooks 2010 ID Race Series! You can expect to receive your Hoodie in the mail soon. The following code can be used on the pro site for one free pair of shoes.
Obviously I removed the code because I wanted to be selfish and use it for a new pair of shoes for myself!  One disclaimer, there are only a handful  of Oklahoma Brooks ID members so it wasn't like I beat out 100 people to get 2nd place, but I'll never complain about a free Brooks hoodie and a free pair of shoes.  I didn't race a ton this year, but evidently I raced just enough to win some gear.

As far as next year goes, I'm not really sure if I'm in the Brooks ID program again or not.  I love the program and I love the Brooks brand so I'm hoping they see me as an asset and keep me around for another year.  The program is transitioning from an application program to an invitation-only program.  The first round of "sponsored" athletes were notified sometime last month and I wasn't on that list.  I'm pretty sure you had to be referred by someone to be included in that group and I don't know of anyone with a direct connection with Brooks who would have put in a referral for me.   Our last ID e-mail indicated that a second batch of renewals would be sent out sometime before the end of the year if we were invited back for 2011.  I really don't know what the likelihood is that I will be invited back, but hopefully the 2nd place finish and the Brooks ID event I hosted in June give me an edge on some of the other folks waiting to hear back.  My schedule is going to be very triathlon-heavy next year, but I still plan on throwing in some road races as part of my training.  I can't quit running cold turkey!

Today I actually hopped on the bike at the gym for a bit.  I still am sans-trainer at my apartment so I'll have to use the stationary bike as a substitute for a couple of more weeks.  My plan is to have an indoor trainer by the end of the year.  My local bike shop is having a sale on them until January 1st so I definitely want to take advantage of the discount.  I also ran across a Spinerval DVD of the IM Louisville course yesterday when I was shopping online.  Score!  I can preview the course and prepare myself for the hills.  I wonder if turning up my heater in my house will count as heat-acclimation training.  I am going to need all the help I can get.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Team-in-Training : First Run

Today was my first attempt at running since the NYC Marathon.  I was on-duty with our local Team-in-Training chapter.  My main duties are to provide a water/fuel stop and be course support for the participants.  I really enjoy my time with this group and am glad I have been able to stay involved.  I was set up about the 1.5 mile mark today.  We are early in our training schedule for OKC Memorial which is on May 1st so the half marathoners ran 3 and the full marathoners ran 5 miles.  It was brisk this morning.  Winter finally decided to make a trip to OK.  It's been very mild here so far this fall/winter so the cold temps were a reminder that we actually do have winter on the horizon.

I didn't wear my Garmin or even really plan on running today, but when I got out there I just had to try it out to see how it would go.  I basically just ran up and down the course with participants as they came up to my water stop and then let them go on their own after 1/4 of a mile or so.  I would say I probably ran at least 2 miles of varying paces.  It felt good to run again.  I've really missed training.  It's definitely time to get going again.  The knee still isn't 100% percent, but it's so much better than it was 4 weeks ago.  I figure if I can get back in a routine and focus on swimming and cross-training I should be back to running before I know it.  I'm still considering going to the doctor this coming week.  We will see how work goes and if I can get a timely appointment. 

I also used my Brooks ID discount to buy Christmas gifts today.  Although my family isn't a bunch of runners, they are going to get some quality running gear for Christmas.  I know they read this blog so they just found out what they were getting, but oh well.  I tried to get things that were multipurpose such as jackets and hoodies.  I think they will like it.  I just hope it all fits!  It feels great to knock out the bulk of my shopping from home.  Thank goodness for Friends and Family discount day at the Brooks ID site!  Run happy!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Motivation - Starting to Return

Well, the good news is that my motivation is starting to return.  The bad news is that after 2.5 miles on the elliptical yesterday it was very apparent that all was not well with the knee.  I'm sure it's probably a combination of not doing anything for 3 weeks and not being fully healed.  I'm going to see how it goes for a few days and if I'm still concerned I'm going to see the doctor next week.  I have plenty of time to get healthy so I'm not overly worried about the long-term ramifications.  I just need to get it taken care of and move on.  I have been focused on strength training for now and hope that helps to alleviate some of my injury prone tendencies.

I'm still messing around with the race schedule for 2011.  There are so many things I want to do, but I know I need to limit my races and focus on staying healthy.  Patrick, over at "The Road", recommended that I look at the Rev3 series to see if any of those events fit my schedule.  Unfortunately it looks like the closest to OKC is in Knoxville, TN, and I'm not sure I'm going to have the available vacation time next year.  I'm already planning on taking nearly 3 weeks next year so I don't really have many days to spare.  I am currently looking for some other triathlons or duathlons within a few hours drive.  The TRI-OKC group has a decent schedule of events so I think I may be able to stay local and plan out a pretty productive season.

One final note : I really wish all my family and friends were runners and triathletes.  Buying Christmas gifts would be a breeze!  Unfortunately that's not the case.