Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Running Rehoboth

Rehoboth Beach sunrise

One of the best parts of running, and, probably the one that keeps me going and really fuels my runner's high, is that it allows me to be outside and explore new areas.  When I first started running, this part was very unexpected, but it was a very pleasant surprise.  When I used to run from my house to Point Pleasant Beach, I rarely ran the same exact route twice.  I would run straight towards the water (not going in of course), but when there I would go up and down the side streets, in and out of neighborhoods ... to build mileage, and in so doing, would explore as well.

I would look forward to going out of town, as it would offer me a new place to explore and run.
I had planned on blogging and detailing running at Walt Disney World when I went on vacation last year, but as fate would have it I got injured, so I blogged about beer instead (which wasn't necessarily a bad thing).

Last week my wife and I took a nice midweek getaway with my best friend and his wife to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
Well, the purpose was to check out the Dogfish Head Brewery, take a tour, and get in some tastings:

I may have to devote an entire post to this brewery started and run by Sam Calagione, and the wonderfully delicious craft beers Dogfish Head creates, like the classic 60 minute, 90 minute, and 120 IPAs, and the rare Midas Touch, which is made with honey and saffron.  Delicious.

Anyway, we spent the night at Rehoboth Beach, which is a beautiful little beach town.  It reminds me so much of my home on the Jersey Shore, but this had a definitely unique character to it.  We of course had dinner and later after-dinner beers at the Dogfish Head Brewpub:

The next morning, I got up and out at 6am and took the opportunity to do my Week 4 Day 1 30-45 minute run by exploring the town before the crowds came.  I did a casual 1:1 walk-run ratio, and stopped here and there to take some pics.

Afterwards, it didn't feel like I run at all.  True, it was a walk-run session, and only 30-45 minutes, but seeing the sights, and new landmarks, and experiencing new terrain, was really enjoyable.  It is exactly what I love about running.  And it felt great.  I am not taking this for granted.  I remind myself that for 8 months I could not walk without assistance, but now I am focusing on wellness.  Thank you!

Saturday, July 20, 2013


I saw my orthopedist the day after my most recent MRI, just as a follow up for my paranoid hip pain, and he said everything was fine! In fact, he told me that, from his standpoint, I could run ... and even added, "Marine Corps Marathon in October!"

(I'm already registered for the Atlantic City Half Marathon instead!)

My orthopedist's latest clearance for me to run is amazing news, and I am so thrilled, happy, and thankful that I am ok.

But I am choosing to be ultra-conservative. I did not like being injured. I did not like ambulating on crutches, cane, and scooter, and having trouble even preparing a bowl of cereal in the morning, and was annoyed at working all day on crutches, being stopped every 5 minutes by someone asking for updates and offering unsolicited advice. I hated, hated, HATED that anxious feeling I had the other day when I didn't know what my pain was from.

So now, instead of focusing what I do not want, I will concentrate for what I do want. I want, and I am, healthy. I want to feel good. I want to enjoy exercise without fear of injury or pain. I want to run the Goofy Challenge.

So to do that, I am limiting my exercise to walking and shuffling. That night, after my orthopedist appointment, I went on the treadmill for W3D2 and per the advice I heard from Jeff Galloway on a recent episode of the Mickey Miles Podcast, I did and ultraconservative 5 sec run (shuffle) : 55 sec walk ratio for 45 min or so. My 5 seconds of running was shuffling -- short strides, keeping feet low to the ground, landing under my body, and light touch. Light touch. Light touch. I may use that as my new mantra.

This morning, for my Week 3 Day 3 long run, I went to the Brick Reservoir (with its pretty 1.6 mile loop around the water), with my Hoka One One Bondi B's, and slipped in my old Road Runner Sports inserts, to try them out again and to keep my feet aligned. I did 3 miles in 48:05:93, a 16:12 pace with a conservative 15 sec: 45 sec ratio. Per Galloway, 15:45 corresponds to a 17 minute pace. Again, I'm amazed at the accuracy of this!  Yes, a humble cry from my 7:40 pace in last year's Ocean Medical Center 5k, but I'm a different person now.

(credit to Brick Municipal Authority for the pics)

Sure, the other runners this morning blew past me, and all were continuous runners, as I had been. But I felt great. I didn't care, I was out there, walking and shuffling on my own, and tried to go on the grass as much as I could, with no pain.

I will continue to be this conservative, as it feels great, until I see my endocrinologist in a couple of weeks. We will go over the most recent set of labs I had done yesterday (BMP, Vitamin D, serum osteocalcim, and urine NTP). And this time, I will listen to him.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Listen to your body!

Around April 2012 my groin hurt after running.  So what did I do?  I ran more.  I ran a half marathon in training, and even PR'd in the Ocean Medical Center 5k.  It still hurt.  So I got it checked out, and my heart sank when I found out it was a stress reaction/fracture of my femoral neck.  So I went on crutches...  I should have listened.

The advice was to let pain be my guide.  so what did I do?  I stopped using the crutches and it still hurt.  I ended up having to use the crutches even longer, and eventually had a bone stimulator, overall five months.  I should have listened.

So I got off crutches, and I started running again, October 2012.  And it felt great.  I ran a nice 7 miles through the trails at the beautiful Manasquan reservoir, then again through the Allaire State Park trails ... and I felt my ankles hurt.  So what did I do?  I ran on the treadmill.  My left ankle still hurt, then hurt even more.  I let it go for a week or so, then got it checked out, and almost fainted when I heard the diagnosis: another stress fracture -- this time in my left tibia.  So I used crutches and a boot and even a knee walker/scooter.  Total time three more months.

So I listened.  I went to the endocrinologist, found out I had severe osteoporosis secondary to idiopathic hypercalciuria.  I got placed on medications, and was told not to run for at least 4-6 months.  I got a "yellow" light to start, so I started this month, July 2013, running very little, mind you.  Run-walk per Jeff Galloway, and honestly mostly walking.

Then, last week, my hip started hurting again.  I kept running, and today it still hurt.  I listened.  I called my orthopedic surgeon, and got an MRI about an hour ago.

The result:  no stress fracture!!!

I'm not a religious guy, but I'm thanking the Lord and the Universe right now.  Thank you!!

I will see my orthopedist tomorrow morning.  And now --

I will listen.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

W2D3 -- Galloway in action

I did w2d2 (30 min treadmill) run the other night at the and it was okay, but today, wow. Felt awesome. It was hot and around noon, and no, probably wasn't a good idea to run at that time, butI knew it was going to be a relatively short distance (4 mile long run) and frankly I had no other time today.

I went to the bike path near my house and started a 1:1 walk-run for 4 miles. According to Galloway, a 1:1 corresponds to a 13:00 pace. I was always confused, as did mean 13:00 pace during the run portion? Or the average for both walk and run. According to podcasts and forums online, he meant it would be your average pace. But he doesn't specify how fast to run during the run. Surely someone running 6:00 pace during the run portion of 1:1 would be faster than an average runner.

So I didn't think about speed, just cadence, form, and really being strict about the walk breaks. And wouldn't you know it, I did 4.0 miles in 50:33, or 12:45 pace! Galloway was right!!

A little after mile 2, I felt it ... a smile, that warm excited feeling, the runner's high that I had loved and was addicted to before my injuried when I was doing my 10 mile long runs. I'm a different person now, and appreciate it even more, and said, "Thank you!"

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


quick post, because this was more of a walk than anythng else. treadmill, high walk-run ratio for 30 min. feeling some right groin pulls, taking it slow. shorts are tight too. :)

Monday, July 8, 2013

W1D3 of Goofy training -- first "long" run

Today was great.  It was the first "long" run.  Long run in quotes because, well, 3 miles is not long ... BUT, considering that I'm coming of an injury, it was a great accomplishment.  I completed 3 miles in 36.35, average pace 12:10, which is slow for a run, but I must admit not bad for a 1:1 run walk session.  It felt great.  I am really trying to run slow and easy during the run portions, and really conserve energy.  I couldn't sleep last, not really because I was on call for work (ok that was part of it), but because I really got excited about running again, and particularly about Jeff Galloway's run-walk-run method.  In my younger years (ok last year) I totally did not want to have anything to do with walk breaks, because I felt running should be running!  But because of injury I am swallowing my pride, and walk-run is for the best.  I imagined myself last night completing a half marathon in under 2 hours.  Back in training, pre-injury, I ran 13.1 miles in 2:04.  I strongly believe, based on what I've read, and the podcast I listened to yesterday (jeff galloway was on a marathon podcast), that it is possible to get great times using walk-run.  but right now it's not about time, it's about getting back out there and being active again.  I feel great, I achieved the runner's high today! woo hoo!  I missed it.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Week 1 Day 2 -- outside at last, hello world!

Easing in carefully but joyfully back to running after recovering from injury, the 2014 Walt Disney World Goofy Marathon Challenge is in sight. I went outside today, and ran-walked on the bike path near our house. haven't run outside in 6-7 months, and it was amazing. This is the reason I love running, being outside, not on a treadmill, and actually seeing your progress literally, distance-wise. Yes, it was a slow 2.65 miles in 38 min using run-walk in my new cushy Hokas, but it was nice.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Week 1 Day 1 -- and so it begins

I received my Hoka One One Bondi B running shoes in the mail today from Road Runner Sports. They recommended ordering a half size up, and wouldn't you know it these size 10.5s fit perfectly. I was so excited I slipped them on when I got home and didn't even change out of my formal work clothes. Felt the cushioning right away, and I took a few jog steps in my garage. Felt nice. soft yet stable.

After a quick dinner I headed out to the gym. It just so happens that today is the first day of Jeff Galloway training schedule for the Goofy! Yes, the original purpose and goal of this blog, from Couch to Goofy, is in sight. Of course injuries have plagued me this past year, so I didn't just run out the door and "run 30-45 minutes" like indicated and like I was able to do last year. But thankfully -- oh so thankfully -- I am off my crutches and boot, got the green light from my orthopedist, and yellow light from my endocrinologist, and I was able to hop on a treadmill today and do a run-walk session (60/90 sec ratio for now) for about 35 min. It felt great! Hokas were not heavy, and with the 4-6mm drop, it was pretty easy to land midfoot strikes. I was doing more shuffles, especially at 4.6mph, but who cares? I didn't care that my shoes looked like clown shoes, either. These might be the shoes for me, and I have to thank the Mickey Miles podcast.

Afterwards, my feet don't hurt, and other than my sweat and heart rate, I barely feel like I ran at all! My tight socks hurt more, lol.

I confirmed my registration for the Atlantic City half marathon today, too ... which falls just around the weekend where my long run is to be 15 miles. And so it begins. Yes!