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.

1 month ago

One small side-advantage to being in recovery from a medium-sized injury is that I have been doing physiotherapy and (as a result) have a physiotherapist.

When you pick the right physiotherapist, a sports-focused doctor with a keen interest in running and cycling, the goal of your physiotherapy can be more than just recovery, but also, say, running a race.

So, needless to say, when I started this physiotherapy journey I noted that my goal wasn't just to run pain free, but was to run pain free AND train to run Chicago 2023.

He typed that into my file.

Now that my pain is down to a managed level, and most importantly I can run and train again, I've still been attending my follow up appointments and working out the last little fiddly bits of recovery that are going to take months or years of effort.

That recovery has blended into a bit of performance coaching.

It's still physio, but my physio is working towards that race goal as well as the pain free goal.

Strengthening joints and muscles goes along with doing speedwork.

Fueling and nutrition advice accompany the work needed to support not just whole body health while running, but focussing on muscle recovery and injury prevention.

The knee-fix package has suddenly become the race-training package, and I'm good with that.

2 months ago

I've been mucking around with adding new technology to this site, including the ability to add some maps to some of my pages. So... why not add a map to my Chicago Marathon planning?

I haven't yet run Chicago so this map is from the Strava community page for the Marathon itself. I've already had a bit of a look at the various loops and various doglegs of the course. It also has an interested elevation profile, particularly that little climb at the end... which seems pretty trivial now, but may not after running for four-plus hours.

2 months ago

I started a video series to go along with all the writing about the Chicago Marathon I've been doing.

The introduction is pretty self-explanatory:

I'm hoping to post a video every 2 - 3 weeks, depending on my training progress and if I have anything of value to say. Right now, the "episode chapters" of this series will cover:

  • frozen feets (winter training)
  • feets & friends (an intro to the run crew who are going to Chicago)
  • daily feets (I'm hoping to do a streak around April)
  • thawed feets (spring challenges with training)
  • travelling feets (how to vacation in the middle of a training plan)
  • and more...
3 months ago

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.

3 months 1 week 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.



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.

5 months 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.


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.

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