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 months ago

Four sleeps.

I wrote that on some social media platform this morning. After three years and ten months of waiting. A pandemic. A race cancellation. Double deferrals. A knee injury and slow recovery. And an entire spring and summer of hard core marathon training, the race is in four sleeps.

This time tomorrow we’ll be on our first leg of our Chicago-bound flight, so today is the last day of so-called normal before the race travel begins and the adventure steamrolls me towards a start line and…

Marathon five.

Number one was so long ago I’m not sure I can remember the year. It was a local deal and I’d been rubber-arm cajoled in leading the training clinic at the running store where we all hung out. I trained by the book because I was teaching the book and I finished and moved on.

Number two took me to Disney World. I thought why just run a marathon when I can run a marathon challenge, so I “did the Dopey” and ran four races in four days, incrementing through a five k, ten k, half, and ending on my second marathon finish.

Number three was major. A major. I half-jokingly added my name to the group of folks who were entering the New York Marathon lottery in 2016 and was the only one of said group who “won” an entry that year. Won. As in they billed my credit card and as such invited me to participate. It has been my favourite to date.

Number four was a pity race. People were training. Peer pressure got the better of me and I felt a bit guilty for encouraging others to run the local race when I had (originally) no intention of doing so myself. I signed up at the last minute and showed up at the start line the morning after returning from a family vacation. I did quite poorly.

Chicago was supposed to be a redemption run for that showing.

Chicago was supposed to have been over three years ago.

Chicago was supposed to be a distant memory.

Chicago is actually in four sleeps.

Marathon five.

11 months 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.

11 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.

1 year 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...
1 year 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.

1 year 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.

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