Saturday, February 27, 2010

Kind Of A Rough Week

It has been sort of a rough week round here.

After two challenging runs at the weekend (a very hilly 16 on the 20th and 9.5 miles at MP on the 21st) I found that I had done something to my right hip. Trying to run my three-miler on the 22nd was just awful—no juice and very sore legs. I finally decided that something was wrong when even walking and standing became a trial. Advil and stretching helped but did not eliminate the soreness which, to be honest, was actually pain (something I have a hard time admitting when going through it). The question, and fear really, was whether or not this was all muscular or had I sustained some damage to my femur or hip joint (an acquaintance of mine broke his femur head while running the Boston Marathon, not pretty). Ever since my stress fractures of a few years ago I find myself immediately jumping to the "You've done it now Boyo!" and "Well, that does it for your marathon now doesn't it." I took two days off in full awareness of what this was going to do for my training schedule. But schedules are meant to be broken if needed and I needed to do it.

Lots of stretching and rest and I felt ready to have something of a test run on Thursday. Decided to take the dog to Magnuson for our customary 3 miles with a swing through the off-leash area. And here is where things got even more interesting. I got bitten.

Te was out ahead of me romping with some other dogs. They all went around a corner. I trotted after him and, as I went round, a terrier type dog charged me (brown with black brindle and a spade head), whipped around behind me and got my calf. It's owner was right there and I said to her "Your dog put teeth on me!" She said, either to me or to her companion, that "She was not sure what it was about joggers that set her dog off" and proceeded to walk off. Had I the presence of mind I would have gotten information from her but I didn't. Instead I collected Te and we continued on. Blood was flowing by the time I got to the car and where I had been tagged was getting pretty sore, hot, and swelling. Burned it out with Hydrogen Peroxide when I got home and decided to call the doctor to get a tetanus shot (that was a treat). We dismissed rabies as a probability.

I did report this incident and have had a number of calls from Seattle Park and Rec, expressing concern but all of them reiterating the "enter at your own risk" policy that governs the off-leash areas. Seattle Animal Control sent two officers out to the house to interview me and take a picture of my leg. Of course, unless I had identifying information to give, nothing much can be done except to compile reports.

You might be thinking, "You are such an idiot RPD! What the Hell were you thinking running through an off-leash area!?" My answer simply is I was exercising my dog in much the same way that many others were and do. The fact is that this dog was out of control with both me and other dogs in the area (it was going after Terfel too) and the owner plainly does not know how to handle it. Her remark suggests that the dog has done this sort of thing before and, to my mind, the fact that she simply does nothing about it suggests rather poor judgement. I am a big guy but imagine, just imagine, if this dog had gone after one of the many children who run through that park? Not the dog's fault, that prey drive was obviously popping. Owner? That is another story and I hate to be around when her luck runs out. Nuff said.

The good news is that things are healing nicely and I don't have any soreness. The bite broke the skin but there wasn't any deep penetration. Big bruise though that was pretty sore for a bit. Today the tetanus injection site is sorer than the initial wound. I got lucky. Really lucky.

The even better news is that things are looking up. Got some new shoes this week, Mizuno Wave Riders, and had a 6.75 miler today as well as a couple of dog-exhausting runs in the park as well. Hip seems fine with some residual muscle tightness. I got lucky yet again.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Early Spring?

Thought I would just share this with you.

Brilliantly sunny February day here in Seattle, not a cloud in the sky, and we are headed up to the upper 50's or low '60's (12-16 C) today with sunny skies forecast for much of the rest of the week.

This is amazing!

All trees and plants have been fooled and have started budding early. Even the grass in the backyard (or what I like to think of grass) has started growing.

I am in maximum solar radiation uptake mode.

I wouldn't mind this lasting for quite a bit longer actually. Seattle sparkles in the sun and Seattleites perk up, shed their layers of Gortex, and move (lots of company on my run last night, so much that Peter Gabriel's "I Have the Touch" was my theme for the duration).

Of course, this also does not bode so well for the summer—all this sun with no storms on deck isn't doing the snowpack much good.

Still . . .


Thursday, February 11, 2010


Run 7.30-Track (2-mile warm-up, 5X800's, 1-mile cool down)

Not quite Yasso's, at least I think not but there you go.

I decided to run early in the day because the last time I had a hard 7-miler just before yoga class, all the stretchy-bendy stuff just was not pleasant. Running "early" will give my legs time to cool off a bit as it were.

Decided to do the standard AR track thing. Ran a two-mile warm-up around the north part of the lake, did the workout, and then one mile back. It was pretty lonely out there, although half-way through the track portion some guy started walking (slowly) around the track. I used the McMillan calculator to come up with what I thought would be a good target to shoot for (3:25 or so) based upon a 2:03 half. That was too fast but since Higdon called for a 5K pace for this workout 8:30's were pretty good. Decided to split the difference. Two at around 8:30 and two a bit faster with a final 800 pushing a little faster but only if I felt during the fourth that I had another one or two 800's left in me. I did, and went for it with the notion of a strong finish in mind. It went well overall. I don't think I really warmed up until my first 800 but then everything felt pretty good. Hamstrings were very much cooled off and stretched out but adductors and other front-side muscles were singing (will have to focus on this during yoga). Hips felt pretty good, especially after yesterday's trail run. Strong and controlled? I would say, bang on my intentions. I am tired but not thwacked and, therefore, quite happy. HR was a little high, especially stubborn on the cool down run but not so out of whack.

I was so famished when finished that I decided to go straight to Whole Foods for eggs, biscuits with gravy, and BACON! MMMMM BACON!

My legs feel really good, not sore at all but kind of nicely warm and tingly and loose. Blew the gunk out of them today. :-)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Yasso 800's

Well, here is a new one on me. Higdon's week six plan says:
Thursday: Back to the track for more speed training. Today's track workout is 5 x 800 meters, jogging or walking 2-3 minutes between. Do the 800s at about 5-K pace. If you decided to try Yasso Repeats, check the introduction to the Advanced schedules for a reminder as to how this works. You can do this same 5 x 800 workout on the road or even on trails. If you don't have exact measurements, run for time instead of distance. For example, if you normally run 6:00 mile pace in a 5-K, an equivalent workout would be 5 x 3:00.

Hmm. Yasso Repeats? What is that?

Mr. Burfoot provides the answer.

Might give it a try. Now, what was my 5K pace again?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Does this look real to you or like something out of Avatar?

Well, I hope so because I just booked in for the PTK Convention this coming April. The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin.

Looks like a cruise ship on land!

I don't actually have to leave this place for the 4 days (except to go to Disney World—Not going to happen . . . negative data from days working in theme park.

Please, please, someone, tell me there are good places to run!

In Orlando . . .

In April . . .

Well, there is this and this.

(somebody I know will be going to DC. Now there is a fun place to run . . . in April . . .)