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Saturday, June 29, 2002

i ran a 10 k !

yes, that's right, i ran over six freakin' miles. on own volition. and there wasn't even any emergency medical personnel involved!

wow, i feel good. it was another great day - sunny and probably in the low 80's. hot enough to make water taste better than i remember, but not hot enough to make me start rambling incoherently to strangers.

today, we had a full crew of eight accidental marathonists and one thirteen year old who decided it'd be fun to stay ahead of me just enough to prove that she didn't need 8 weeks of training to kick my butt.

and to top it off, i discovered two great running cds. thanks to advice from matt , massive attack's mezzanine is now going to be a constant companion on my longer runs. of course you can't go wrong with a little nusrat to carry you through the last couple of miles.

did i mention that i feel great? i think i got some kind of wierd buzz going on that i'm hoping will give me a boosty-boost through the rest of the day.

congratulations to everyone who ran today! you're all superstars.

10:41 AM

Sunday, June 23, 2002

this week marks the end of our "pretraining", where the only goal is to gradually increase endurance and strength to the point where you can comfortably run for 30 minutes 4 times a week.

now, we begin increasing the length of our runs. this week, we'll run 3 miles, 4 miles, 3 miles and 5 miles. we're all feeling confident enough to run the 10 k instead of the 5 mile run. i'm a little nervous, but i think i'll just take it slow and am not really focused on running the whole 6 miles. i think if i complete the five miles and feel good, i'll probably go for it.

as we're starting to pick up the miles, it's interesting to see various muscle aches and pains appear and try to decide if they are "healthy" or "unhealthy". after my run on monday i developed a pain on the bottom of my right foot that felt like i had bruised it slightly. it was more aggravating than anything else, so i decided to run on tuesday - only to have the pain spread through my arch and become very uncomfortable. i did the normal ice, anti-inflammatory and rest routine, but it still was bothering me for the next few days. i started getting the Big Nagging Fear about an inury that could potentially sideline me for weeks.

after much fretting and ruminating, i checked around on the web and decided that plantar fasciitis sounded fairly similar:

"Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the strong tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot and connects the heel to the base of the toes (see image). This common overuse injury is characterized by heel pain that is worse in the morning with the first few steps. Since it is difficult to rest the foot, this problem gradually worsens. With progression, pain may start interfering with activities of daily living."

well, that doesn't sound so bad. but then there's this nugget of wisdom that didn't sound quiet as encouraging:

"Symptoms usually resolve more quickly when the time between the onset of symptoms and the beginning of treatment is as short as possible. If treatment is delayed, the complete resolution of symptoms may take 6-18 months or more."

having visions of giving up training before training really started, i almost missed the tidbit on how effective stretching can be:

"To reduce pain and help prevent future episodes of discomfort, stretch the calves on a regular standing on a stair step with only the toes on the stairs. The back two-thirds of the feet hang off the step. By leaning forward to balance, the heel, Achilles tendon and calf will be stretched."

so i started standing on the steps and stretching and was amazed to find that my calves were tighter than a snare drum. or something like that. the acute pain subsided almost immediately and after two days, i'm fairly confident that the problem has been solved.

i have no idea if i really had plantar fasciitis, but hopefully i'll take this lesson to heart and take time to stretch more thoroughly. all those naggy phys ed coaches were right. stretching is a good thing.

8:04 PM

Sunday, June 09, 2002

whoohoo! i ran my first 5k today! kris and i ran in the Grand Rapids Pride 5K with 4 more "accidental marathonists" who are training for the chicago marathon .

it was a great run for a great cause on a great day. i'm happy to report that i did, in fact, finish the race without walking and even managed to keep close to a 10 minute mile pace. while a personal best time and not too shabby for someone who couldn't run for 5 minutes a month ago, i note, for humilities sake, that i was beaten handily by one of the accidental marathonists pushing a baby in a stroller. hi. ho.

7:54 PM

just in time for summer - look snazzy and support the site at the same time by buying some snowdeal schwag!

"I think you devise your own limits for your own personal convenience. There are some people who wish to have limits, and they'll invent as many boxes for themselves as they want. It's like, you know, men invented armor. They wanted to protect themselves from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and so forth. And people do the same thing psychically and psychologically. They build their own armor. They build their own rathole, whatever it is. And they choose their existence. Whether they do it consciously or whether it is helped along by a government or an education system, somebody is helping to shape this imaginary box you live in, but it doesn't have to be there."

--frank zappa

runner's world / joe henderson / chicago marathon /

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