running & racing.

Running. Training. Resting. Repeating. And generally over-thinking my runs since 2008.

running (noun)

fast feets

Some of the words I post here are about running races, training for specific races, or specifically about racing.

more feets.

4 hours 52 minutes ago

January 2023

It's going to be weeks, maybe months, before I stop feeling like I'm jinxing myself or getting ahead of the recovery process in writing this kind of thing.

That said, last night I hit another minor milestone: I ran with the crew.

I haven't run with the crew since last July.

Sure, it was a short 6 klick run. And sure, I fell behind at the last kilometer because my cardio endurance hit a bit of hump that it took me an extra bit of energy to climb over.

But it was a group run, and yet another destination reached on the road map to the Chicago Marathon start line.

And that has been on my mind a lot lately, not just because it's in my mind as this thing I know I've registered for. It's been on my mind because I've needed to start telling people: letting work know that I need vacation time, booking hotels and (imminently) flights, and answering questions from curious friends, coworkers, and others about why I'm suddenly pushing to start training so much.

Eight months is a long way away, but I mapped out that metaphorical roadmap into a training plan across the upcoming spring and summer and ... it's tight. That thought of getting to the start line in Chicago with the training and confidence to actually run it means that I've got some aggressive timelines to live up to and checkboxes on training, recovery, endurance, and overall fitness to mark off.

It's not trivial. It's not simple. It's not obvious that I can do it.

Right now it's not much more than a plan and an idea. A vision on a start line, eight months, countless training hours, a healed knee, a couple thousand kilometers, and a mountain of motivation between here and there away.

2 days 5 hours ago

But. But, I've been running for nearly two weeks now.

According to my Strava log, and as of last night, I've logged a meagre total of 25k in the last two weeks.

Not much.

But also, not bad, because that's about 20k more than I did in the total second half of 2022.

Not bad because I'm running at least three times per week right now, logging at least 3k per run and slowly (SLOWLY) building back up the endurance and strength I used to have.

Again, I don't want to get ahead of myself, but…

But I seem to be on the mend.

Mending.

Mended.

Enough to run a bit, and hopeful for a chance at that Chicago 2023 start line.

That does mean I may have something to write about in the coming weeks and months... something besides griping about my sore knee and my lack of motivation to do anything because of my sore knee.

I might get to do some writing about recovery, rebuilding, retraining, and re-racing.

I don't want to get ahead of myself, but… I might be back.

2 months 3 weeks ago

If you are one of the small handful of people who read this site, and maybe just for my own reference in a couple years, I wanted to note that my absence online through October was not accidental. Over the past month I deliberately chose to post less and spend less time on screens. Somehow, I still managed to write a few updates, and poke my nose through here and my other sites, but generally I pulled back and unplugged.

the actual updates

Of course the knee-hab and the work continued.

Early in the month, right around Thanksgiving weekend, my knee started acting up again. Really bad.

I'd been swimming and active and was even starting to think about kicking the running back into gear after a literal month of further healing after my last attempt flopped.

Thanksgiving was a Monday and I was a bit sick in general so I wasn't surprised that I was a little more sore and grumpy than usual, but into Tuesday and Wednesday things got pretty bad. By Thursday I felt like a pressure cuff was tightening around my knee and the muscles above and below the injured ligament were in a constant state of pre-cramping-like hair-trigger pain. I actually (but briefly) entertained a hospital visit because the Alberta Health site suggested that such pain may be related to a blood clot and required immediate medical attention.

I called my physio instead, and his concern was less urgent.

An appointment on Friday afternoon had me with two big wins.

First, "it's healing well" he told me after another evaluation and the pain was actually pretty normal at the end of that three-month stagnation of a major joint, but...

Second, your muscles all around the knee have atrophied and now the hard work begins.

I told him that I was planning (registration hadn't happened yet) to sign up for Chicago Marathon next year, at that point almost exactly one year away. "That's our BIG goal." he said and wrote it with great excitement into his file notes.

Almost four weeks later I've been back for another appointment and have a third upcoming this weekend. But the takeaway has been a fairly formal plan of stretching and mobilization on that joint. I've backed off my swimming in lieu of my three times per week physiotherapy efforts at the gym which require a long bike warm up, a ton of stretching, and about thirty minutes of walk-run (but mostly walk intervals) on the treadmill... followed by more stretching.

And? Results. Actually factually.

That first set of intervals I was logging about 2 minutes total of run time. My last effort just the other night had me up over ten minutes and only stopping because of some calf pain... or put another way NOT knee pain.

On top of it all, I've taken up a personal challenge of logging fifteen thousand steps per day of walking or running through November (an effort made more difficult with the abrupt arrival of winter cold and snow after a mild October!)

I'm hoping by mid-month I can actually start doing some real runs again, even if it's only on the track at the rec center to start.

And being offline (mostly) has meant that I haven't felt too accountable to hit random goals for workouts or fitness on my lightly-read website, and instead have just been focusing on recovery.

unsocialble.

Following through on my offline efforts, with November being the month of my cake day, I've decided to forego New Years resolutions and instead do a couple New Age resolutions. As I turn 46 I'm going to act my age and back off my social media participation.

I deleted Facebook four years ago and have only been back once to get some contact information from an old connection.

With the ownership switch in Twitter I've logged out of my accounts and don't intend to return, not that I was a big tweeter or a blue check or anything, but one less user is one less user.

I post a lot of Instagram, but I'm putting together my own photo sharing website which I plan to send off to a select few people soon and then I can back off that degrading pit of increasingly irrelevant content.

And while I've slowly been more and more active on Reddit this past year, it's starting to churn the same sort of samey content through my feed and it won't be hard to ditch.

Instead, I'll focus on my own private platforms. I have a couple sites to feed and water, and if you know about them you know.

In the meantime, physical, mental, and emotional refreshes to self are on the menu for the rest of this year and next, and I'll have no shortage of words to share here... stay tuned.

3 months 1 week ago

October 2022

Neglecting to write here in a while has been something of a deliberate choice as I turned October into an excuse to reduce my screen time. I've been writing ... on paper. Journaling, etc.

But I figure at some point I'll wander back here and start writing and tracking again, and when that day comes I may want to mark this week as important in the long, dark story of my declining sanity.

So. I registered for a marathon.

What?

Back in 2019 I put my name in for the lottery for Chicago. 2020.

If you've studied your recent history you may have heard of a little thing called "the world shut down for two years because of a viral disease!" that happened. Chicago 2020 did not happen. Not for me. Not for anyone.

The folks who organize it, kindly sent a note letting all of us 2020 lottery winners know that we could instead run in a later year, either 2021, 2022, or 2023.

In 2021 things were getting back to normal but international travel was not on that normal list.

The 2022 race happened about ten days ago.

And the 2023 registration, my last chance to use my deferral, opened up with an invitation email about 48 hours prior to me writing this.

So. I registered for a marathon.

It's in about fifty and a half weeks. Almost a full year away. And though I haven't run in three months and can barely walk, my physiotherapy seems to be paying dividends. I'm hopeful. Or crazy. Probably both.

4 months 2 weeks ago

It was backwards day yesterday, it seemed.

After being unable to run without pain for over two months, I smacked a two and a half klick knee test run around the local park and felt good afterwards. A couple hours later I went to the pool, and after fighting with the crowds I bailed early when they called a code brown and vacated the lanes.

Good run. Bad swim.

But it begs the question: what now?

I'm loving the swimming routine. I'm feeling stronger, I've lost about five pounds, and it's kinda this forced solo activity. It's great to run with friends, but you can't really chat and swim (at least not effectively) so it's perpetually going to just be my own thing. It relies on having an active rec centre pass, of course, but that's a low bar right now.

I haven't replaced running with swimming, but running has been my go-to fitness routine for over a dozen years... except when it hasn't, like for a month after covid and then a sequential couple more months with a knee injury. I'm still imperfectly aware that full recovery from wrecked MCL could last a couple more months, but that run yesterday gave me hope that I could at least start the long slow climb back to recovery after an effective three month break.

So it begins.

Right?

Um. Right?

This means I need to plan out a new plan, and climb back onto the platform upon to which I'd climbed a couple months back when I declared on this site that I was going to "refresh" everything... just before that plan refreshed me right in the knee.

A regroup is in order. But a carefully planned regroup.

5 months ago

It's been nearly two weeks since I updated, but it hasn't been due to lack of effort elsewhere.

I've had a nice little nine day vacation from work wherein we went to the mountains and did a couple hikes and some kayaking.

We ate some good food, but burned a lot more of it off in the wilderness.

Then we came home for a couple days, got some yard work done, went to a local festival, and I continued my solid swimming progress with a couple more one klick sessions at the pool.

And on my last day of vacation I went to watch the marathon.

Watch.

Not run.

I'm not running yet.

Well.

I'll get to that.

We were standing around the finish line for a solid three hours, watching the winner break the course record for the marathon, watching the half runners stream in, the full runners trickle in a little more doggedly, and then the tens leave and return, some with epic times.

It was the first running of this race (in which I've made a few memories myself over the years) since the pandemic shutdown.

And I got to watch it.

Watch.

Not run.

It's a sad sort of place to be, watching others do this thing you should be able to do were it not for some limiting factor. And I know it's a temporary pause I'm in with this knee, but having shelved my involvement with our little Adventure Run Summer club and now fully and completely missed our flagship local race. Ugh. It's like a big old anchor has been wrapped around my right leg joint and dropped into the abyss.

And after nearly twenty klicks of various holiday walking and hiking in and around the mountains, then a bunch more steps back home, the knee while still achy and at times twinging, is definitely improving and healing... so much so that on my morning dog walk earlier today I did a little test. I ran about 25m. Yeah. Twenty five whole meters. Testing it out.

And?

It wasn't bad.

It didn't hurt. It doesn't hurt now an hour or so later.

I'm not ready to head out on a ten klick run quite yet, but I think in a week or so, maybe sooner, it might be time to try a lap around the park. One klick. Just to trial the progress.

It's not a marathon, but it might be just as satisfying.

time on feets

A kind of blog, I've written about a number of running topics over the years and each year seems to have a different focus, flavour, and tone. Everything gets compiled into one big long read, or ends up that way at the end.

even more fast feets