Monday, February 22, 2010

Feeling Sleepy

I don't have a whole lot new to report, except,
  • I'm back out running short distances (3-6 miles) and plan to build up again very gradually.
  • I'm pleasantly surprised that I can still do anything after such a long break, although holding a 9:30 pace is hard and if left to my own devices I've been drifting over 10:30.
  • The knee has been OK; naturally I'm aware of it and it doesn't quite feel 100% right, but definitely has not been giving actual pain.
However, I've been shocked at how tired I'm feeling and am praying it's just my body getting used to running again.

I'm feeling a little bit cheated because conventional wisdom states that exercise gives you more energy, rather than leaving you feeling wrung out like a wet rag at the end of the day. And clearly, 29 minutes of running should not exactly be a Herculean effort.

One of my 2010 goals is to run a half marathon in under 2 hours: at the moment that's looking like a large hill to climb.

How about you - do you find exercise gives you more energy, or does it leave you yearning for a nap?

Cartoon found here, original source unknown, sorry.

Monday, February 15, 2010

New Gear, New Hope

I didn't want to sing from the rooftops too soon, but I've now been out 3 times post-knee-rest-period and I'm comforted that it does look as though I'll be able to run at least short distances again. Even if the much hoped-for marathon is not within reach, I will be able to do 5k Turkey Trots with my head held high :)

My knee was not exactly quiet as a lamb, but it didn't hurt, either. I guess I'm just much more aware of it and every time I leap from sidewalk to road surface, I'm wondering if it's going to scream at me. We probably just need to work our way back to trusting each other again (ooh, deep).

To give my joints the best possible chance of success, I went to see the nice folk at Fleet Feet in Menlo Park. After some very low-tech staring at my knee caps, I came home $140 poorer, with a new pair of hold-me-stable shoes and some fancy insoles. Yes, of course I'm skeptical, but sooner or later you just have to let go and trust someone.

Hence, I'm breaking in new shoes as well as testing out my doddery knee, so there are a couple of variables at work.

My other new piece of kit was a birthday gift: a runner's headlamp. When I first saw other people wearing these, I pretty much thought, how geeky, until I tried running around our neighborhood at 6AM. I'm not too worried about perverts, but tree roots and uneven sidewalks strike fear into my heart. I tripped while running a couple of years ago and believe me, in your thirties, these things really hurt. So I'm now happily able to trot at a decent pace and not fall over any dozing raccoons, squirrels or Canada Geese. Which was the unfortunate fate of this runner:

Better safe (and geeky) than sorry, methinks.

Photo thanks: REI, Failblog

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Thanks so much, everyone, for the good wishes during my period of knee-rest. I started this blog really as a personal record of my (anticipated) marathon "glory" (hah!) and am very touched to have a small but loyal crew checking in on me.

I've appointed tomorrow as my day to try a gentle 3-mile run and see what happens. That will have been a 40 day break from running (wow, went fast!). With luck, my knee will be fine and I'll simply puff and pant my way around the local sidewalks at some embarrassingly slow, but pain-free, pace.

Meanwhile, I wanted to give a quick mention to Geoff Turner. I was being somewhat flippant when I said here that there's always someone with a worse injury than you. Little did I know, Geoff is an amputee who lost his leg in a car accident in 1991. Yesterday, he ran the Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon in San Francisco in 2 hours, 2 minutes. That's a full 6 minutes faster than my best time so far. Geoff, I salute you, you inspire me, and I hope to have the honor of finishing a race behind you some day.

Photo thanks: San Francisco Examiner

Monday, February 1, 2010

Getting itchy feet

Well, my house has never been cleaner and my piano has never been played more than in these last few weeks that I've been able to run :)

That is the positive part about being 'injured' - I have gained at least 4 hours per week, not to mention more energy on a Saturday afternoon through not hauling myself out of bed for a 15+ mile run in the morning.

However, even with these benefits, I can hardly wait to run again. So I've been amusing myself by looking for events I might be able to enter if my fitness level allows. If you're in California, will you be considering any of these?
  • March 21, Across the Bay (12km)
    I've done this race twice before and it's a wonderful route from Sausalito, across the Golden Gate Bridge and along the waterfront into San Francisco. But frankly, I only want to do it this year if I can give my previous time a good kicking, and I'm not sure I can get fit enough in 5 weeks (even if my knee behaves).

  • April 11, Santa Cruz (half marathon)
    This looks wonderfully scenic but I've heard it's hilly!

  • July 11, Los Gatos (half marathon)

  • July 25, San Francisco (half or full marathon)
    This is how it all started - Beloved Husband did this last year and frankly, made it look a bit too easy. Muggins here promptly signed up for Napa, and you know the rest. :)
    I won't be fit for 26 miles by this date, but I quite fancy the second half of the course. Last year, this race was timed so that in theory Beloved Husband could do the full 26 miles and I could join for the second half. That's a nice option to keep in mind if you and a friend have different running abilities.

  • October 3, San Jose Rock 'n' Roll (half marathon)
    We did this for the first time last year - it's a nice route and well-organized race, but this year I have a somewhat stretching goal of getting 2:08 down to 1:something.

  • October 3, Sacramento (marathon)

  • October 10, Wine Country (marathon)

  • October 31, Silicon Valley (half or full marathon)

  • November 7, San Francsico (half marathon)
    If I fail to beat 2 hours in October, I might still be chasing it on this date.

  • December 5, Sacramento (marathon)
    Realistically speaking, I really do hope to be in fit shape for a marathon by this time.
Photo thanks: Emerald Across the Bay, San Jose Rock 'n' Roll half marathon.
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