Thursday, July 8, 2010

Summer Blog

After 11 weeks of not running, I finally got two runs in this week. I did a 5 miler on the trails of Griffith Park (uphills were easier on the back than the downhills) and then I did a 5 miler with Chris (@ChrisSchauble) Peter (@lamarathon) Liana (@FITtorrent) and Bob (@RCMCoach) . Today I feel great although my legs feel a little "dead" from the "new" activity I am introducing them to. When I run I am still super cautious (almost too much) and am constantly thinking "is this a dream?" Today is a swim only day and tomorrow I might do stairs or make it another swim day or aqua jog. I am going to slowly get back into this running thing, the last thing I need to do is get injured again rushing back to soon. the younger me would rush back, the older wise adult (?) is going to ease back into it.

I plan outlining my recovery plan later this week. I just wanted to tell everyone that I might be back and racing soon. I am actually signed up for a 5K Sunday at the annual Keep LA Running. I don't plan on racing it just having fun. It did feel good to get this tweet from @massayaka
"@cmoss23 tnx, dont mind finding it out 1st hand. r u gona Keep LA Running this wknd? u used 2 kill my AG. bet u still do... ". It is nice knowing that I "killed" my age group when I used to be able to race. That will motivate me to return to my racing pace.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Major News!

Major news on the home front. No BP didn't stop the oil spill. No America did not win their soccer match in the World Cup. And no I didn't lower my insurance using Geiko. It's BIGGER. I just ran 20 minutes on the t-mill without pain!!!!!!!! I know, I know it doesn't seem that important in the grand scheme of things but to me it means a lot.

Earlier this week my lovely (and can I say beautiful since I think she is still reading my blog) principal had 3 treadmills delivered to school. A necessity, no. A want for my running team, yes. And regardless if she is reading this, she is wonderful since she actually came through on her promise. When school started she said she would get me a few treadmills to help me evaluate my runner's gait so I could place them in proper shoes and we could use the t-mills on rainy days. True to her word we got the t-mills earlier this week. I was going to wait until Sunday to try my t-mill run but I said "what the hey, I am here and I should see how well they work", so I ran this morning. LOVED IT!

Now I am really starting to get encouraged and looking forward to my next stage in rehab, the long road back to running great. At least I know I can start incorporating more runs in while I am rehabbing to keep me sane.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Oh and if anyone knows of a gym who would like to donate old treadmills or cardio equipment we would love them and they would get a tax write-off. Win win for everyone.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Gym Dislikes!!

Let me start off by saying I hate the gym! I don’t hate working out/lifting weights or the benefits from working out with weights; I hate all the boneheads that make going to the gym a horrible experience. I love gyms like Jordan’s Virtual Fit Club. It is the size of a strip mall liquor store and is packed, PACKED with weights. It is like working out in your own private gym.
Since I have been relegated to rehabbing in the gym, I have noticed even more things I dislike. Jeff Bomberger touched on gym etiquette before, but this goes beyond his.

Dudes the shower wall is not a tissue!
Dudes that walk around naked in the locker room have been discussed, but do they really need to SHAVE naked? Come on man show a little respect!
Speaking of respect, what the hell is up with guys that don’t want to say thank you for holding the door that extra second for someone. I am not gay and hitting on you or I don’t think that you can’t open the door; it is a polite gesture that a civilized society respects. I don’t care how much muscle you have saying thank you doesn’t make you a pussy.
Speaking of guys thinking you are gay and hitting on them, that is NOT the case when I see you struggling with too heavy of a weight and I ask if you need a spot. It’s not that I don’t think you can lift it (you shouldn’t be lifting it if you are struggling so bad with poor form but that is another topic), it is that I don’t want to waste my time later filling out a report as to what I saw when you crushed your skull with a 95 lb. dumbbell.
Now for too heavy of weights; if you are using dumbbells you do not need to slam them on the ground for attention. If you are not strong enough to be able to control the weights back to your legs and stand up or control them enough to get them to the ground gently, you are not as strong as you think and should mix in a few stabilizer exercises once in a while.
Treadmill racer guy, I am rehabbing an injury I am not here to race you. Don’t look over at my t-mill and increase your pace to better mine. I am just here because I have to be and couldn’t care less how fast you think you are with your board shorts and Vans.
Other treadmill/stair master/elliptical dorks don’t jack up your pace or the incline so high that you hold on to the handles for dear life. That totally negates the effects of the workout.
OK- this one happened last week it is not BS. Dude, do not get in the pool/hot tube in your Hanes boxer briefs! Nasty!
Last one because I am busy- girls going to yoga classes that are late and rushing through the gym all stressed out they are late. Yoga is supposed to be relaxing and a de-stressor. You are completely missing the point if you are huffing and puffing at the lady that is slowly checking people into the gym because you will be 2 minutes late to yoga class. RELAX the class isn’t going anywhere.

Ahh. Feels better now I can go the gym and smile at all you boneheads.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Crushing my hopes

So after seeing my regular doctor 2 weeks ago, I finally received my referral request for a cortisone shot- DENIED!!!! Man I hate my insurance. So I stay fit my entire adult life, never ever see the doctor except once a year for an annual check-up, and when I finally need something, "nope, sorry it isn't going to happen". So what the hell am I paying for?

Sorry, had to get that rant out. Anyways, I guess that means more icing, more therapy, more Advil, and keep praying my hip gets better (unless some knows someone who can administer cortisone shots!).

Today, I am going to attempt to walk stairs. There is a flight of 300ish stairs in Stevenson's Ranch that I will walk up and down for 30-40 minutes. I know my quads and calves will get sore (in a good way) I just hope my hip/groin doesn't get hurt in the bad way.

Have a great day!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Weekend Update

True to my word and against better judgement, I decide to run 10 whole minutes on the treadmill on Sunday. I set the pace for a 10 min a mile so I would run an entire mile. Three shitty things: 1. 10 min/mile felt like a decent pace (fuck I can maintain sub 6's for 10Ks man how I have fallen. 2. 6 minutes in my hip hurt. 3. I got bored (not surprising but if I have to rehab for a few weeks on a t-mill I will hate it! After my "run" if you can call it that, I did my rehab exercises and stretched for 15 extra minutes. I then went home and iced a few times and did my rehab exercises again. I was really distraught throughout the day because of the discomfort.

Now the good. I swam 2500 meters on Saturday faster then I have ever swam in the past. Then I did a sick-ass chest/back/ab circuit on Sunday which killed me. And now for the best news (fingers crossed), my hip and legs feel great today! Maybe all the icing and extra stretching helped loosen things up? Who know but I feel good and will try and run on the t-mill again this Sunday.

Congrats to everyone who raced this weekend. You inspire me to race more often (when I get better) and make me jealous that you are out there racing while I watch TV on the couch.

Enjoy your Monday everyone.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Injuries Suck

I haven't run on land in 45 days due to tendonitis. I know the exact days because the first day of my injury was the first day of the BP oil disaster. Everything I read about tendonitis says that it should take 4-6 weeks to heal. I am no mathematician but 6 weeks x 7 days a week is 42 days. I should be feeling great. And I was feeling like I was getting better so I started aqua jogging. I did ten minutes one day. Then skipped 2 days and did 25 minutes. Then skipped 3 days and did 40 minutes. Never once did I feel any pain or discomfort while running or the next days that followed. I thought I would be on the treadmill by Sunday. Then yesterday happened. I was in so much pain, it was like the first day of my injury. WTF???!!!!!??!?!?!?! I am so upset and distraught I can't even begin to explain. I am almost at wits end and at that point in an athlete's 9I use that term lightly when talking about myself) life where I feel that if I am going to be in pain without running, I might as well run and then be hurt.

Oh well, hopefully someone, somewhere will come through for me and find someone who can administer a cortisone shot (or 2 or 3 like I really need) since my insurance company thinks everything is fine with me (they suck ass just like injuries)

Despite all of this, I WILL have a great weekend and I hope you all do too.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I am back

When I first started a blog, I wanted it to be about my training for upcoming races, my coaching experiences, and maybe be a little motivational with how hard I push myself. Then I got injured and felt blogging about rehab and not training would be boring. A friend told me that talking about what I am going through could be as motivational, if not more, for people who are dealing with injuries as well. So I guess I will start blogging again sooner than I had planned.

So where do I start? Mondays, which were usually 5 milers, are now 1-1/12 hours at therapy doing all kinds of stretches and leg exercises. They are getting easier and I am getting stronger so I guess it is helping. Tuesdays, which were usually 6-7 miles of hill repeats, are now swimming days. I try to get in 1500-2500 meters. Wednesday, which was usually a 6 miler, is a day on the bike. I try to do 1 hour on the trainer or 20 miles. Thursday and Friday are off days since I work two jobs and don't have time to get in any cardio. Saturdays, which were usually 6-10 miles, are swim days (same as Wednesday distances). And Sundays, usually 10-15 milers, is now another swim or bike day. Major differences.

On all these days I do my therapy twice a day and go to the gym for a 2-body part circuit. So I have been very active and have been watching what I have been eating to keep the weight off. So far it has worked.

Over the past 43 days without running (imagine not running for that long of time-SUCKS!!!!!!), I have learned a few things:

First-If I put in the effort I could actually be a decent swimmer
Two- I fucking HATE riding a bike!
Three- I should have listened to my therapist sooner.
Four- I really LOVE running and miss it so bad
Five- I will never take running for granted and think "Man I don't want to run my miles today"
Six- Most doctors are ignorant about running injuries and couldn't careless if you actually are diagnosed correctly.
Seven- As much as i should be more supportive, I hate going to races if I can not run them.
Eight- Seven leads to this one- I appreciate spectators and volunteers even more at races since I hate to be there and not run.
Nine- My wife is wonderful for helping deal through all this crap (actually- I didn't just learn this one but it made my beliefs even stronger)

So that's my life as of now. However, I did try and aqua jog this past weekend and felt great. I am going to try 40 minutes of it today and see how it goes. If I feel good I will try the dreaded treadmill this weekend.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Starting to feel fat again!

Almost two weeks ago I ran the Boston Marathon, fighting through months of injuries to even get there let alone finish. I promised myself that I would take at least a month off of running after to allow my body to recover from all the injuries I have. Here it is,not even 2 weeks in, and I want to run this weekend so bad. I know I shouldn't but I am feeling so fat that I might cave in a run a few miles on Sunday.

I have been trying to get other forms of exercise in but it isn't the same. I have been using weights and doing circuit training to burn calories, but still not equal to running. I also made it back to the pool. I stopped swimming in January to focus more on running since my time is limited. I got in the pool twice and that is it. Hopefully I can get a swim in today, Saturday and Sunday. I was going to ride this weekend but I really do not enjoy riding.

One of the beautiful things about running is all you need is your shoes and a street or trail (there is a little more to it especially if you are a girl but you get the point). To swim I have to drive to s specific gym, to ride I need to lug all my crap to school, not as easy as running.

I hope to get in some swimming this weekend so I can avoid running at least one more week so I can rest my body longer, but if I do run, I hope my wife doesn't kill me.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ragnar Relay

Boy am I tired. After leaving Boston and landing late Tuesday night, I woke up early on Wednesday and Thursday to teach and get ready for Ragnar Relay. Friday, I was up at 5:00 to get my 3 teams of runners to the starting line of the Ragnar Relay in Ventura by 8 am. I had no clue what was in store for us.

39 hours later, I finally got to sleep on Saturday night. In between was freaking amazing!!!!

All I knew about Ragnar was that we were supposed to have 12 runners per team and each runner would run 3 legs ranging from 4-9 miles per leg. At the end of the race, 200 miles would be completed with the finish line being in Dana Point. There were some safety rules we had to follow but that's all I really knew.

Our 3 teams of middle and high school runners started at 9 am on Friday morning. At the first exchange they were all dead even. Then things started happening. One girl from the second team went the wrong way and wound up running 1 mile in the wrong direction. We found her and didn't want to violate any rules so we made her run back to where she strayed off course. That put that team 16 minutes behind. the rest of Friday was spent driving a mile stopping and cheering then driving a mile and cheering as the runners would pass by.

Then night came. It is pitch black in some of the areas and thankfully we had 2 bikes to help illuminate the course and keep our runners safe. However, we only had 2 and needed a third bike for the 3rd team. Thank God we made it through the night without incident.

Saturday brought sunlight, heat and new cities we had never run through before. Finally, the 36th leg and we were almost done. We drove to the finish line to wait. After 200 miles, 2 of our teams were separated by only 10 seconds. AMAZING!!!!! Then we had to wait for 2 hours for our last team.

After talking to so many adults and learning that a lot of teams couldn't finish because they were tired, sore, or too slow, really made me proud to know that that was never an issue for us. We looked at 200 miles as a fun run and we knew we would finish. We just hoped for a decent time.

Looking back, I am absolutely amazed at how well a bunch of 13 and 14 year olds did. It was such a major accomplishment and I couldn't be prouder of all of them. Even though I didn't sleep for 39 hours, didn't eat very much, lived on coffee for an entire 2 days and still haven't recovered from the lack of sleep, I would do it again tomorrow if we could.

I can't wait until next year.

Thanks Ragnar Relay.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Boston Marathon Recap

Wow, where do I begin? I could go on for days and days about ever aspect of the race- from the overall atmosphere in Boston to the crowds along the course. The entire event was absolutely amazing and the second I stepped off the plane I realized why I, and so many others, work their butts off to get to Boston.

But let's talk about the race itself. Going in I had doubts, and those were compounded by the fact that on Saturday and Sunday, my lower back seized up so bad I couldn't stand up straight and had to stop every 10-20 feet to bend over and stretch out my back. I spent a lot of time on my hotel floor rolling out on tennis balls and lying flat on the floor with my legs up on the wall, perpendicular to the floor. My injuries leading up to the race, my under-trained racing legs, and the possibility of rain all were weighing on my mind.

Marathon Monday. I got up, it was cold 35-40 and windy. I went to athletes village to wait out in the open for 2 hours before the race. I was cold, my So Cal blood can't handle that crap. Anyways, I was mentally going over the race plan I had posted earlier. I really wanted to stick to it.

So the race finally starts and here I am, after 23 months of hard work and waiting for this day, I am scared to start. I am scared to let everyone down that is counting on me to do well. I am scared I will disappoint my wife whom traveled with me and was hoping I would happy with my time. As I get to the starting line (3:00 off the gun time) I slowly get into my slow run. I am going to stay with plan of starting easy for teh first 10 miles. Man did I feel like an ass. EVERYONE passed me! It is one thing to go easy at a marathon and have a few people pass you that you know are fools, but to be at THE Boston Marathon all these fast, fit people pass you like you are walking. But, I stuck to my plan. It just made me feel less like a runner and even a little out of place.

The first 10-11 miles were on pace and I almost felt bored going at that pace. Then mile 12. I get excited that Wellesley is approaching, just like everyone else. And that is just what I needed and planned. I get the boost I need from the girls and my legs and head feel better. I am followin my plan. I use the energy to get me to mile 15-16. Here I decided to put on my Ipod and hit the hills. I maintain my same pace up and over all the hills, which is really tough considering you are at mile 17, 18, 19 going up fairly steep hills.

After the peak of Heartbreak Hill, I am feeling good but tired. I know I can hang on for a respectable time. However, some quick math tells me that I could re-qualify for Boston if I picked the pace up and eliminate 5 minutes. I think about and realize that I am better to just keep a good pace then to run really hard and maybe blow up and not finish strong.

I keep on chugging along and I start to feel it at mile 24. I just need to hold on until mile 25 then I know that I can get it done. Sure enough I get to mile 25 and now I know I am home free. The legs are feeling lifted by the thousands of people out cheering. It is 10 deep on each side! It is so loud for the last mile you can't think- which takes away all the pain. Once I see the final right turn before the famous "left onto Boylston" I start to smile. Others are grimicing in pain and I am smiling my ass off. I see the Convention Center, make my left on Boylston and boom! there is the finish line all big and beautiful. 800 meter celebration run. Wave, smile, wave, smile... then cross the most historic and memorable finsih line in the history of our sport.

My final time- 3:22:25 . For all I had beenthrough I am blown away with my time. I couldn't be happier.

I actually ran a slight negative split for that course amazing!

Moss, Craig

5k 0:24:06
10k 0:48:15
15k 1:12:18
20k 1:36:24
Half 1:41:41
25k 2:00:25
30k 2:24:31
35k 2:48:02
40k 3:11:43



Thursday, April 15, 2010

Last thoughts On Boston

Last night I woke up and couldn't fall back asleep. My mind was on Boston and my prep leading up to it. I started doubting my training, yet I was thinking about a good time. Crazy how the mind works. My best ever Boston is 3:01. My worst is a 3:12. I probably won't get anywhere near either of those but I really would love to. But that would require a low 7 min/mile average and my training wasn't that great due to my injuries.

Noramally I would like to get in 3-4 long runs of over 18 miles, 2 of which wouldbe negative runs, meaning the second half of the run would be faster tha the first half so I could practice finishing strong. The only long runs I got in were a weak 15 miles, a decent 19 miles, and a great 21 miler.

Second I would like to have averaged at least 50-60 miles a week. I could only get in 30's at the most. This leads me to feel under-trained.

Finally, I would like to get in once a week mile repeats on a hilly trail. The injury would not even come close to allow me to run faster tempo type runs. The best I could do is get in weekly quality runs of close to race pace for 5-7 miles. Not ideal for me.

So going in I feel under trained and so I worry about my time. Hopefully all of this negativity will disipate before the start so I can enjoy my race and just be happy about being in Boston. Hell, this is my 6th and hopefully not my last, you can't always PR. I need to just have fun. Turn around thoughts!!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Boston Marathon Game Plan

Today, after school, I have my final California pre-Boston Marathon training run. My next and final run will be Saturday, in Boston probably down the famous Paul Revere Trail to the Boston Commons or by the Charles River, either one is spectacular in the Spring. Then it is game time!

So here is my plan:
First, you take a bus out to Athlete's Village at Hopkington High School where you will sit under a massive tent or in the open on the grass. So my first plan is to take a small, fold up chair that I can discard before the race. I learned the hard way a few years ago that the ground can be very, very cold up there. I will also wear multiple layers of clothing to keep me warm for the few hours you must sit around and wait.

Once the race starts, I plan on being patient and go easy. Usually, I am really good to start slowly but at Boston it is so hard to hold back. You are starting on a downhill and everyone starts so fast that you almost get "caught up" in the moment and want to run fast too. I did it once and blew my race up!!! So I plan on doing my first 10K very slow.

After the first 10K, I will gradually pick up the pace ever so slightly. Still don't want to sabotage my race. The tough stuff is ahead.

At the half-way point I will pick it up again. This time it will be easy to get a little bit faster (almost too easy and can get you moving too fast again). The half-way point is at Wellesely College and the massive amounts of girls that come out to cheer is mind-boggling and ear shattering. My first time I was shocked and amazed that you could actually hear the cheers from a half-mile away! Once there the sheer thrill and excitement carry you through like you are floating on air.

After that it will be maintenance. I will maintain that new pace for the next 3-4 miles. Then we get to the hills of Newton. Here I will pan my attack. If I am feeling it, I plan on attacking the hills since hill running is one of my very few strengths. I will use a short stride with a quick turn-over and get up the hills fairly easily.

Once get past the top of Heartbreak Hill I will take it easy down the backside (fairly steep decline) into Cleveland Circle. Once on the flats, I will try and emulate what I did at LA and really pick up the pace. I hope I am feeling good from saving my legs early on and can "get up and go" at this point.

I can visualize the wall of people you run through on the way into downtown Boston. I can visualize the infamous Citgo sign telling you that you are almost there. I can visualize running down Commonwealth Ave, and I can visualize the most amazing turn in all sports, the turn onto Boylston Street. From here it will be a straight, half mile shot to the finish. I can see myself finishing.

Finally, I can visualize myself walking past the finish line, medal in hand, and seeing my wife on the side waiting for me. The best will be when I can give her a big hug and kiss and tell her in her ear "I DID IT!".

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ebb and Flow of Running

The ups and downs of running, that's what I am going through. Some weeks you feel great/the next like crap. Last week, I swear I though I would never run well again. Everything hurt, I couldn't get into that running "groove" no matter how fast or slow I ran. Everything was a struggle. This week, I feel great. Killed Saturday's run and then ran well Sunday and Monday.. Today is a rest day as part of my Boston Marathon taper. All that is left is Wednesday's 8-9 miler and a 4-5 miler Saturday. 2 runs left and then the big race. Wow it is really here.

I am so excited. I want it to come so bad. I go to sleep early every night so that the night will go by quicker which means Patriot's Day will be here quicker. My thoughts are consumed with the race, my game plan, my running outfit, my race morning routine, what to take, and visualizing the race (I remember most of it and try and see myself running effortlessly through each town).

Tomorrow or Thursday I will detail my race day game plan.

Enjoy your day

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Weekend Before The Boston Marathon

One week from today I will be sitting on a Jet Blue airplane heading towards Boston. So excited/nervous. This will be my last weekend of training, then it is a maintenance week next week. I am such a geek. I already started packing things for Boston. I am so excited to finally go back that the little things like starting to pack, getting my Heartbreak Hill play list ready, etc are keeping me sane.

Next week I will try and explain what Boston means to me and try and give you my perspective of the course/weekend. I will be busy getting ready for Boston, setting my classroom up for a substitute teacher while I am away, submitting my own classwork for my physics class so i don't fall too far behind while gone, and also trying to finalize/tie up any loose ends for the Ragnar Relay which is on the Friday of when I return. So I may not get around to it, but i will try.

Have a fantastic weekend. For anyone racing- GOOD LUCK!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Wow, yesterday's 7 miler went surprisingly well. No real pain, no real discomfort and I felt pretty smooth. Now 7 is nowhere near a marathon distance but it does give me hope that I can salvage a decent Boston Marathon. With only 7 more runs schedules, everyone matters to me at this point. Not so much for the fitness it provides but for the mental edge I need to have a decent marathon. I am off today from running but that didn't mean I would be resting. I still did weights for 45 minutes. My weight training is fairly hardcore and requires me to almost become anaerobic at points. Tomorrow is a 5 miler then Saturday off. Sunday I will try a 10 miler.
Hope all goes well.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

OK I am back. For the 3 readers who enjoy my blog sorry, I was on a mental break while I tried to relax during Spring Break. Now I am back to blog about my upcoming Boston Marathon.

After feeling GREAT at the LA Marathon (and I mean GREAT I haven't felt that strong at a marathon in years) and how well I felt the next two days, I thought I could resume training lightly so I didn't lose too much fitness for Boston. That Wednesday after LA I jogged 30 minutes very easy on grass and stretched well after. I took Thursday off and ran 5 on Friday. I was feeling so good. Saturday, I woke up and it was really windy so I headed to a trail that is protected by a canyon. It wasn't windy there but the 6 miles of trails made me tired. Then to complicate matters I went out for a bachelor party that night and had a few drinks. All of this messed me up bad.

Since then I have been struggling to run well at any distance or pace. My hamstrings feel like there are locked up, my hip flexors feel weak, like they can't lift my legs, and to make matters worse, my old hip/groin injury has come back with vengeance. So I am not too happy with my running at this point (one semi-highlight was the 12 miles I managed to get in this past Sunday but that didn't even feel good).

So with 12 day until Boston, I am actually worried about my race. I am not worried about hitting a time goal, I am worried about even performing at a level acceptable for a Boston Qualifier. See, I feel that this is the "regular" person's championships and you should try and come with your "A" game. Pro's wouldn't go to the Olympics to just hope to finish, I shouldn't either. So I am under pressure from myself to perform.

I have a new round of therapy this week so maybe all of my worries will be alleviated with some massages and stretches.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Boston Marathon/post-La Marathon recovery day. It is so hard to balance recovery from one marathon while trying to maintain your current fitness levels for the next marathon a month away. I am always amazed by people who recovery quickly enough to run a race again the following week of a marathon. I am not that genetically gifted. I get sore and stay sore for at least 4-6 days after a race. I follow the advice of others who do run within a week to walk or do a light jog the first few days after a race, use a bike to get the blood flowing and do light stretching to help aide in the recovery process. Still it never helps. In fact the one time I really tried to get back to running by the next weekend, I hurt myself. So you can see my concern while I try and get back to running for Boston.

The plan today is a 30 minute light jog on my grassy field at school. I will try and do it tomorrow too. Then take Friday off. Hopefully by Saturday I can get in a 6 miler and the same Sunday.
Then next week it will be back to a decent amount of training. That's the plan in the head- hope the legs agree with the plan!

Have a great day.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Here I am 2 days removed from the fantastic LA Marathon and I am already looking forward to my next marathon. It just happens to be the Boston Marathon, so you can see why I am so excited. I have 27 days until I leave athletes village in Hopkington and head for downtown Boston. If you have been you know what I am talking about. If you haven't been there yet, as a runner you NEED to get there one day. If yo qualify you HAVE to go.

Unfortunately for me, that was almost not the case. In the Summer of 2008 I trained so hard to run the Long Beach International Marathon and qualify for my 6th Boston, I was crushed when I learned that due to the LA Marathon being moved to May, our SRLA qualifying race would be moved to the Boston Marathon weekend. So being the dedicated coach I try to be, I cancelled my trip to Boston so I could be there for my team as they tried to qualify for the LA Marathon.

Luckily, my BQ was good until this April. So I figured I would go this year. I made all the necessary arrangements and was looking forward to it until my wife got laid off in January. The plans might be scrapped again due to funding. My plan was to roll change, save as much as possible, and work a few extra shifts at TGI Fridays to make the trip happen; but it would still be a huge financial burden.

That will not be the case, I am going thanks to my team. At our annual end-of-the-season luncheon, I usually receive a gift from my team. I hate receiving anything because I do this for love not gifts, but it is still much appreciated. This year, they called me up and said that since I had to miss last year's race, they weren't going to let that happen again this year. They had raised over $500 to help send me to Boston. I was in tears! I couldn't hold back my emotion, and every time I think of it it makes me choke up. I plan on going back there, injury and all and giving it my best shot. I can't let me team down.

Wish me luck.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Whoa what a weekend, and running was the easy part! If you read my last blog, you know how busy I was leading up to the LA Marathon (if not take a peek and see what it takes to get 147 kids ready to run a marathon Mt Gleason Style). Things didn't stiop Saturday.

Sunday morning I was up at 2 am to eat breakfast and then pick up Chris Schauble (@chrisschauble) to go meet the kids at school at 3:45 so we could all be ready when our bus left at 4:30 am. Once we left it was 3 to a seat on school busses for a 30 minute ride to Dodger Stadium. Not an ideal way to stretch out before a race. We were so cramped up it sucked.

Then it is go sign in with Students Run LA, get visors for all the kids, get them in the bleachers, get them ready for a pre-race picture, then finally we can go to the starting line at 7 am. Finally, I can start to stretch and focus on running, but I still need to find all my sub-4 hour runners so we can stick together. Tough, tough stuff.

Finally the race. The pace was dead on for a 3:40 marathon through mile 11. Thne things started happening. The 9 of us who were running to gether started to splinter. So the ones that could stay on pace did (leaving 5 of my kids). We also cuaght Chris Schauble who managed to "sneak" away at the start (so packed couldn't find people 3 feet to your right or left). He was looking strong and confident. He stayed with us a few miles, until we started to pick up the pace. Then it was only Hayley and myslef at mile 15. I kept looking over my shoulder to see if the kids and Chris were back there and I could see Chris and he still looked good (the best I have seen him in later stages of races). At 17 Hayley cramped and told me to go on. So I decided to get in some training . I had 3 more runners up in front of me so I dropped to 7:30 pace (from the 8:25-8:00 we were running) and caught KeKe. He stayed with me from 18 to 21. Thne he wanted to slow down. I dropped to 7:00 minute miles at this point and flew down San Vincente (freakin love that street!). Once on Ocean I cruised to mile 26 where our Mt Gleason parenst were and stopped. The clock said 3:31. I had really picked up the pace to go from a 3:40ish pace until mile 17 to get to a 3:33 pace.

Once there I stopped and waited, so I didn't finish yet. I was waiting for my two adorable seniors whom I train with every weekend. They slowed at mile 12 but shouldn't have been that far back since they are endurance beasts. We had talked about it and dreamed about crossing the line together since this would be their last marathon as Mt Gleason Runners. So I waited and waited and waited. I waited until the clock said 4:15ish and realized that I was getting so cold and stiff and I really needed to eat. I decided to jump back in with any of my team that ran by at that point. When I saw Michelle and Peanut I jumped in and finally finished. My final time was 4:23. That was 50 minutes of waiting. Oh well, my time didn't matter it was the team's times that were important.

When it was all said and done, 146 of the 147 runners finished. One kid had a severe asthma attack and had to be pulled from teh course at mile 11. As a coach I am so proud of the team. I am also super proud of Chris for his new attitude about enjoying the experience even if you don't get a PR. And I am really proud of Bob Frein for his first marathon finish in 5:14.

Now it is time to focus on the Boston Marathon. Today is not a rest day. I will jump on the trainer for 30 minutes so I can get the blood flowing and stretch. Then it will be a light jog on Tuesday.

Hope everyone loved the race as much as I did. The course, the activities, the support, and the runners were all so amazing. I can't wait until next year.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

3 days left until the official start of the LA Marathon. To me though, it all starts tomorrow. One of the rewards our kids get for signing up and running the LA Marathon is they get to miss school on Friday and go to the Expo (last year it sucked cause we had to go on Saturday so no one missed school). So that will take up most of tomorrow day. When we return to school we have to set-up our multi-purpose room for our annual pre-race carbo-load luncheon that is held on the Saturday before the race.

Saturday, I will get up early, drive out to school and get finalize the luncheon details. I have to set-up the buffet area, get the end of the year awards ready, get a speech ready, make sure the sound system is set up and working with a projector to show our end of the year video, all before 500 plus people arrive to eat lunch. Then it is a massive clean up. Hopefully I am home around 3 so I can start to unwind for Sunday.

Sunday morning is EARLY for me. I am up at 2:15 to shower and eat, pick up Chris Schauble, then head to school to get all 147 runners ready for the race. Our bus is leaving our school at 4:30 am so we can get to Dodger Stadium early and get ready for the huge SRLA picture.
Then it is actually race time.

After the race it will be a waiting game to see how the entire team does. Once everyone is done, we get top ride the bus back to school and put away all our supplies. When it is all said and "run", I should be home around 6-7 pm. No relaxing after-race sit-down lunch for me, no after race beer, no after race, shower and lay around the house on the couch day, it is all spent at the finish line and working. Oh well all part of being a coach. LOVE IT!!!

See everyone Sunday and GOOD LUCK to all who are running.

P.S. Don't forget today is the TGI Friday's/Students Run LA fundraiser, please go and support!
TGI Fridays benefit night for Mar 18 can be found here:

Monday, March 15, 2010

One more week. That's all I have to wait until the LA Marathon. After a great weekend of training (Saturday 8 miles, Sunday 8 miles, without any pain really) I am really looking forward to running my 31st marathon.

I will be extremely busy this week getting all the supplies/paperwork in order for my team. Imagine how busy/mind-consumed you are before your own marathon. Now magnify that by 147 (really more than that since we are talking about middle-schoolers and they need a little more attention than adults) and you can imagine how busy I am.

So to fill my void of blogging I added a few short videos from last year's LA Marathon about 2 of my runnerss.

Check them out.

Friday, March 12, 2010

With only 9 days left and only one weekend standing between our team and the LA Marathon, I am super excited and extremely busy. I have to buy supplies for our support station which is on the corner of Orange and Sunset (right between miles 11 and 12). If you are in need of anything including medical supplies stop in. Just look for our red easy-ups and the red Mt Gleason Runners sign. So this weekend it will be training then shopping.

Our training is 8 miles on Saturday, that's my team's last distance run. I will try and do a 6-10 miler on Sunday depending on how my injured leg feels. I am really looking forward to this weekend as the weather is getting better which always makes me run better. The warmer it is the better I run.

Speaking of weather- looks like it will be 70 degrees and sunny for the marathon. Beautiful weather for a beautiful course. The view from mile 23-26 will be breath taking!

Have a great weekend

Thursday, March 11, 2010

10 days. 240 hours. That's all that stands between 20,000 runners and the new Stadium to Sea LA Marathon. I know I can't wait, I hope everyone else is feeling the same way.

I am taking today and tomorrow off to rest and get over this nagging head/chest congestion. Better to rest 2 days this week and get rid of it then push a little this week and suffer the consequences by not being at full strength for LA.

Saturday is our team's last distance run. It is only 8 miles but since we are at the end of our taper and have followed a 5 month marathon training plan, thus any long run could do more damage then good.

enjoy your day

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The running gods are telling me to take a break and let me legs heal that extra few days before LA. How do I know? They made me sick. See, the running gods follow us on our daily runs. If you are hitting the right pace, all the lights will be grenn. If you are not training at the right levels and pushing too hard, the gods will turn the lighst red and make you take a break. They also can effect our bodies, such as me being sick. They are making me ill enough where I can barely get in a 4 easy miler and not push it too hard. With only 11 days to go until the LA Marathon, I am listening to them.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I don't know if it was the frenetic pace of Saturday's run or the lack of sleep the last few weeks, but i woke up a little sick on Sunday, and it has gotten worse. My throat is killing me and I have tons of phlegm. Nyquil is best friend right now. I am hoping it will pass by tomorrow or the latest Thursday. I did manage a 4- miler at a very easy pace and felt better when I was done. I am thinking that today I will do the same and then go home and go to bed.

With only 12 days left until the LA Marathon I don't want to push anything and leave anything to chance next week. Better to rest now and race hard, then practice hard now and race like crap. I know first hand how it feels to race sick. The last 2 LA's I started sick and it didn't end up going to well those days.

Have a great day

Monday, March 8, 2010

Only one weekend left until the LA Marathon. I usually don't count weekdays as they seem to be filled with work and other obligations, so workouts are usually maintance with the occasional tempo runs. Weekends are the time to shine. The time to treat yourself like an Olympian, focusing on longer runs, extended down time and better meals. So in my mind I only have one weekend left which will fly by.

Our weekend 11 miler went great, except for my leg. We all ran well, and I actually crushedd it. I ran all 11 miles in 1 hour 21 minutes. Super happy with the pace and the way my body and lungs felt, except for the nagging injuries. My left leg felt like it did weeks ago. It hurt so bad after the 6 mile mark. I made it back and iced immediately. Then I went home and jumped in an ice bath. Finally, that night my lovely wife gave me a massage. I felt better on Sunday but still a little worried.

We will see how today's 4 miler goes before we push it a little harder Tuesday.

With only 13 days to go until the LA Marathon, are you feeling ready?

Oh and by the way, thank you Bob (@bfrein) for coming out and training with us on Saturday. We always love having "extra" parent/adult eyes on the kids. Hope to see you this Saturday. And no hard feelings about the "laughing as you pass comment"

Friday, March 5, 2010

After waking up at 4:30 to get in a 5 miler and the working 2 jobs (teaching and waiting tables), I am a little sluggish today. So today will be a chest and core work out day without any cardio (although waiting tables again at night is like walking 5 or 6 miles). This should leave me feeling refreshed and eager to tackle our last double digit LA Marathon training run tomorrow. We have an 11 miler scheduled, rain or shine.

Am I the only one with tunnel vision? I get like this when I am getting close to a race. Ever since I knew that the LA Marathon (and thanks to an inside source I knew months before others) was going to be a new course with the "Stadium to Sea" idea, I have been really looking forward to it. I always have loved LA, have always looked forward to it, vowed to run it every year for the rest of my life, and it holds a special place in my heart since it was my first marathon which lead to my beautiful life. But this year, I have been so anxious for March 21st to get here and now that it is only 16 days away, I can't control myself. I am constantly think about pace, feel, the course (I have driven the entire thing, studied the course map, and enjoyed viewing from @chicrunner's blog), yo9u name it, I am thinking about it. I can't wait!!!!! I really hope everyone is as anxious as I am and we really make this a great event. See you all in 16 days!

Please read yesterday's blog about Students Run LA and how you can help these remarkable kids.

Enjoy the weekend of training and extra rest.

Oh and a huge shout out to my good friend Chris Schauble- he is turning 40, which means he is no longer in my age group for a few more years. haha

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sorry if you are a devout follower of the blog (all one of you, which is probably my wife) and wanted to rad it yesterday, but I was busy. I finally got approval to take a physics class and yesterday was my first day. However, class started on Feb 22nd so I am very far behind. I tried to catch up but ity was tough.

yesterday I got in a good 6 miles (47 minutes) and then did another 5 early this morning. I am starting to get my "quicker" legs back and the pain in my groin is all but gone. As I was running my 6 the team did a 3 mile time trial. Over 90 percent PR'ed and the other 10 percent was close. Even though we are training for a marathon, knowing they are getting faster is still encouraging. All they have left is 6 practices and then the big day.

Speaking of Students Run LA ( please help us. Due to the poor economy, SRLA’s donations are way down forcing SRLA to cancel a few races and cut back on running equipment for the kids. You can help. All you have to do is eat at anyone of the participating TGI Fridays on Thursday March 18th from 4-10pm. If you mention SRLA or have the flyer, 20% of your receipt will go to SRLA. So go and pig out! Tell others to join you. Have your friends or family that live by a TGI Fridays go to their Fridays and eat. All you have to do is eat, pay your tab, and give them the flyer; there couldn’t be an easier way to help all of Students Run LA.


Thursday march 18 4pm - 10pm Thursday march 18 4pm - 10pm
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24201 Valencia Blvd., Suite 102 Santa Clarita, CA 91355 (661) 288-1097
*Valid at these locations only. Excludes Alcohol, Tax, and Gratuity. Know someone in need?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Today is one of the super light, pre-race taper days that you kind of look forward to at the end of 4 months of training. All I need to do is go to the gym and see my chiropractor. No running, no cardio. Simple and easy (although I will kill it at the gym). However, since I have been injured, forcing me to cut back drastically on my marathon training, I am actually not looking forward to today. Each day my leg gets stronger and stronger, which makes me want to run further and push harder. I am trying my best to fight those urges and follow my rehab plan to a "T". So far it has been successful and I really don't want to mess up Boston.

Tomorrow we are running 4 miles for time. This will truly be the first time I actually will "push the envelope" and see what I can do cardiovascularly since early January. It should be interesting to say the least.

Have great day

Monday, March 1, 2010

Epic! That's the one word I can use to describe this weekend's run. That is both for the weather and the course. First, the course. We did a 16 mile run Saturday morning. Our first loop was a fairly flat 7 1/2 miles. We completed the first loop 1 hour. Just the perfect pace for our marathon gaol of 3:40. Then things got interesting. I decided to push the pace down to a 7-7:30 min/mile pace for the first 5 flat miles of the second loop. This was going to really tax our legs so we would hit the hills fatigued and really have to focus on good form to allow us to push through the gruelling hills (not an exageration-these hills we run are very steep and quite long, just ask Chris Schauble @chrisschauble who was a "hill virgin" before Saturday). These hills added another 2 miles to our second loop. When it was all said and done, 2:12 for the enitre run. I felt great, legs were stiff but nothing hurt, and our time was great; hell we only ran 12 minutes slower for the second loop, but we also added 2 miles of hills. That means we actually ran way faster on the second loop. Negative splits are always nice.

Now for the weather. When we started it was mildly overcast and looked like the rain had passed. 5 miles into the first loop, the skys opened up and DUMPED rain on us for a good 15 minutes. Then, the skys started to clear. Once again, it looked like the rain had passed. Then we turned to face the west and I saw a huge grey/black cloud. I was hoping we culd beat it, but no such luck. That sucker caught us with 3 miles to go. This time it rained harder, even sending us some pea-sized hail, the entire rest of our run. That means we had to do the hills in the rain/hail/wind. Not too pleasant.

All in all. a great run. Leg strength was buitlt, leg endurance was built, and mental confidence was solidified. I am a happy camper with 20 days to go until the LA MArathon.

One 11 miler and an 8 miler are our only "longer" runs left. All the rest are weekday maintenance runs. The work is behind us, the reward is in front. Which direction would you focu

Friday, February 26, 2010

Feeling good, feeling anxious- always a good way to end the week. I am looking forward to a wet 13 miler (with the late hills at mile 11 it will feel like a 16-17 miler). My team is also getting those pre-race LA Marathon jitters. The few weeks leading up to a marathon are so tough, luckily I will be busy. First, practice Saturday, which means leaving at 6 am and getting home at 2, then showering and off to Physics class. Sunday is uniform/shoe pick up for the team, which means leaving at 5 am and getting home around. Needless to say my weekend is packed.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

28:30! That was my time yesterday for our 4 mile run. It was my first "harder" effort since being injured months ago. It may not sound too fast but on a normal day I would hit a 25-26. Also this course has an incline for over a mile. Overall, I was happy. It felt good to get out there and move quicker, but I am far from being injury free. My hammy/groin was good for the run but got tight after. Once I went home, iced and rolled on the foam roller, i was feeling good- good enough to wake up at 4:30 this morning and put in another 4 miles ( this time easy). I felt good even though I was stiff from not being warmed up but by the end I felt great. Now my leg feels fine. It is weird, I feel fine but I know that biomechanically something is wrong. Whatever the case may be, I am happy with the last two days of runs.

This Saturday we have 13 miler scheduled. It is a loop course that we will do twice. The first 6 are flat. then the second time around we will add 1 - 1 1/2 miles of hills at the 11 mile mark. This will make us "push through" hills when our legs are tired. This is a great confidence builder and will build mental strength leading up to LA in 23 days. Once again, Chris Schauble will join us for the run. He needs this workout to help build his leg endurance for later in races. Hope the rain that is scheduled to dump that morning won't scare him away (oh yes that is a challenge!).

23 days until the LA Marathon- that means my team only has 9 practices left. We will be ready, will you?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

yesterday was a long day. I left the house at 5:45 and didn't get home until 11 at night. But it was well worth it. Last night, I attended a cross country/track coaches clinic at Nike in Culver City. They have 2 of these a year and they are so worth the time and effort of fighting LA traffic at 5 in the evening to get there. They usually have previews of upcoming shoes and apparel, talk about upcoming events, and then have a quest speaker. Yesterday's speaker was none other than Joe Newton, the legendary cross country coach from York in Illinois. For an 81 year old man he was motivational, inspirational, super informative, and funny as hell. I came away thankful for being able to coach and inspired to be a better coach. Thanks Nike and Mr. Newton.

Today we are doing a 5miler. This will be our first "real" run since the 18.6 miler on Sunday. I am looking forward to it, but my leg is not. It has really been sore since yesterday afternoon. I hope it is just stiff from not getting a therapy/stretching session yesterday. If I feel good, I plan on trying to get in another 4 on Thursday before work at 4:30 am. But let's not get too far ahead of myself.

24 days until LA- are you ready?????

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

So busy today writing workouts in between classes, I didn't think I would get a chance to blog. Anyways, yesterday we did a 2 1/2 mile easy, easy recovery jog with 10 minutes of stretching. My left leg which is the one that has been injured felt good, it was the right that hurt. Achilles pain, knee pain, and shin pain all made me struggle with the run. After the light stretching I felt better but choose to ice my knee and calf. Weirdest thing happened, my right foot, the outside back portion fell asleep, and still has not woken up. I am kind of worried I did some nerve damage with the ice. I can still walk and do everything normal, it just has that "tingling" pins-and-needles feeling. So strange. Today is a rest day so it will be weights and therapy.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I ran 18.6 miles yesterday! If you would have asked me how far I could run on February 21st a month ago I would have said a mile maybe. It wasn't easy and it wasn't pain free, but it was tolerable. It gives me confidence leading up to the LA Marathon where I only need to do another 1.5 miles to hit the 20 miles I will be running that day.

As far as the coach in me- I couldn't be happier! My entire team qualified, that is a first. Usually one or two miss it by a few minutes. And the faster runners showed how good we can be. We took first and second in the 12 and under age group and first for 13-14. That was our boys. Our girls took 2nd and 4th in the 13-14 and 2nd and 3rd in the 17-18 age groups. Man I love these kids.

Finally, yesterday was a pleasure to run with my buddy Chris Schauble. Usually we are at different paces but yesterday we stayed together the entire way. I just wish he would talk and not wear head phones!!!!!!!

If you get a chance look at all the great pictures that super, uber-photographer Rich Cruise took at the race

Have a great day

Friday, February 19, 2010

Why Being Fat Was Good For Me!

It’s funny; my students see my blog and think it is weird that it is titled “Thank God I Was Fat”. They know I used to be fat (275 on a 5’10” frame) yet they don’t know why I am thankful, they think I should be grateful I am no longer fat (which of course I am). See what they don’t realize is that being fat made me who I am today.
Being fat made me:
1. Never ever want to be fat again
2. Makes me want to train my butt off 365 days a year
3. Makes me unsatisfied with my body so I am constantly trying to improve it through weight training and running
4. Makes me have a strict diet
5. Makes me not want to drink too much alcohol
6. Makes me understand the plight of those who are struggling with weight even if it looks like I was never fat
7. Makes me the self-deprecating funny guy who would rather poke fun at himself than those around him (if you make them laugh at you first, they can’t make fun of you)
8. A coach of middle/high school long distance runners.
9. Have a ridiculously amazing work ethic
10. And most important- gave me the confidence to know that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to.

Now some people might look at these as negatives (What you don’t drink much? How do you enjoy happy hour?) but I really, really like myself; who I have become, what I have accomplished thanks to fighting through all the years of ridicule.

The day I started to lose weight was the day I started running. I hated it at first and only did it because it was the quickest way to lose weight. After months of struggling to run a block or two, I slowly started to enjoy the peace and solitude that running offered. When I was running no one could make fun of me, well they could as they drove by but I couldn’t hear them, so I started to spend more time running.

This lead to the unthinkable for me, trying to run a marathon. I had dropped almost 100 lbs. and had completed three 10 mile runs so I was curious. Three hours and twenty-four minutes later, my first marathon was complete. I was hooked and have since run 29 more marathons which include 5 Boston Marathons. I lowered my PR to a painful 3:00:58 (stupid 58 seconds!!!) and have run a 3:01 at Boston (that one I am really proud of).

I have gone on to really enjoy running and racing (except the 5K to short fast) with fairly decent PR’s.
My half is 1:23
My 10K is 35:34
My 5K is 17:15

Other vitals:
Went from 275 lbs to 170
Went from 34% body fat to 6-8%
Went from a size 46 inch waist to a 32 inch waist

These last few months I have been struggling with an injury which has made me think two thoughts: one- I really want to come back and kick ass, being faster than I was before. Smarter, wiser, more body conscience should lead to better running. Two- my best years are behind me and I am breaking myself down, it is time relax and enjoy the beauty of running without the hard training and racing.

Being fat has lead to almost every great thing in my life. It made me become a teacher so I could educate kids about health. Being a teacher lead to me being a long distance coach for middle/high school kids as a part of Student Run LA which is now one of my greatest joys in life. Being a coach and teacher allowed me the opportunity to meet one of my runner’s sister, which led to the greatest joy in my life, she became my wife. So you can see that being fat, losing the weight, and wanting to help others, had really formed my life and made me who I am today.
I would really like to thank McDonald’s and Jack-In-The-Box for the contributions to my previous, fat filled life.

Enjoy your day

Thursday, February 18, 2010

If you have been following my blog the past few months then you know I have been injured. I have gone to multiple doctors and tried all kinds of treatments. You may also recall that I found a great doctor in Pasadena, Dr. Smith of Smith Chiropractor. He understands runners and works well with us. I highly recommended him in the past. Things changed yesterday. Now I HIGHLY, SUPER ENCOURAGE anyone to use them!!! See yesterday I had another round of therapy scheduled, however my wife is being laid off (anyone know or need a graphic designer???) so we need to cut back on all "extra" expenses. When I called to tell Robin, the receptionist/wife, she said "Oh my GOD! I am so sorry. Come in today and we won't charge you". Are you kidding me???????? What kind of place does such a thing? I was blown away. Like I said they are AWESOME! I recommend everyone to go out there, train hard and get hurt just so you could go see them.

Today, after a 5 miler yesterday I am feeling great. This injury is so weird. I plan on getting in a short 4 miler tomorrow and then rest for Sunday's 15 miles. Things are looking up.

Tomorrow I plan on following @bfrein idea and let people know more about me and who I am. I briefly did it on my second blog, but tomorrow I will go more into depth (time permitting).

Enjoy your day

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My gifts finally arrived. Last week I ordered a muscle stimulator and an ultra-sound machine (very inexpensive) and they arrived last night. Even though I had therapy earlier in the day I was eager to try them out. Once I figured out how to use them I was really happy with the out come. I now have the ability to treat myself when I want. I also have the ability target more than one area. Usually at therapy I get ultra sound on the groin or the hammy, not both. Today, because of both treatment sessions I feel great.

My training is going to be 5 miles on the grass while my team does 4 miles of extreme hills, finished off with 5 short hill sprints. These workouts are making their legs very strong as witnessed by their improved times at the longer distances. For the team, this will be their last madatory run before Sunday's 18.6 LA Marathon qualifying race (Students Run LA requires that all kids run under 4:50 for 18.6 miles). I am letting them rest up and do a mini-taper so they are fresh and ready to race. I am not too worried about them not qualifying as most did this past weekend's 22 miler in under 5 hours (all under 5:30).

Hopefully, I will feel good today running, then do some self-therapy so I can get a few miles in of the treadmill before work tomorrow. Then I will shut it down so my body can rest for the 15 I will be running on Sunday.

31 days until LA- so excited
2 months until I am in Boston for the marathon (even more excited!)

Have a great day

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Today has been all but stellar. I woke to a throbbing pain in my groin. Thus, I feel I am regressing. I hate battling injuries. One day great, the next pain again- just when you think you are turning the corner. Oh well. I will do another round of therapy today and tomorrow and hopefully it will improve for Sunday's 18 miler (I plan on only doing 15).

Today is a rest/recovery day for me as well as the team. I will do weights as a workout and do some light stretching. Other than that not much planned for today.

Enjoy your training

Monday, February 15, 2010

It is amazing what one day can do. My therapy was going great and I was making plans to start resuming training and running on the streets this past weekend. I was also starting to look at the big picture and see about getting in my longer runs so the Boston Marathon would be salvaged and I could possible get a respectable time. Then I had a horrible day. Wednesday night, after therapy, my leg and hip were hurting more than when the injury first happened. I thought it might have been the new area that we focused on with the ultra-sound and muscle stims, but when I went back to therapy the next day, Dr. Smith said that that should not have happened. Well, we continued with the treatment, went to Sports Chalet and bought a neoprene thigh wrap, and I went home. I woke up Friday a new man. I felt great. It was as if I had never been injured. I was now excited for Saturday's 11 miler.

Saturday, I woke up and went through my normal running routine. I ate breakfast and drove out to Sunland to meet the kids for our practice. The only difference was I wrapped my leg with the thigh wrap. I was supposed to pace our leading group at an 8:30 pace for the first 11 miles then I would drop out and and they would do the second half on their own. I was lucky to have my good friend Chris Schauble (@ChrisSchauble) join us because he will be pacing them along the Los Angeles Marathon for the first 6 miles so he needed to be familiar with us and the pace.

I was so "caught up" with getting a chance to run with my kids that I didn't even think about my leg until the first water stop at mile 5. It was fine so I kept going. I didn't feel anything until mile 10. Then it started to get a little tight. At mile 11 I was fine and deep down I wanted to continue but thought better of it. I went back to the finish and waited for the team.

My group was supposed to come in at 3-3:10. They all started trickling in at 3:05-3:08. Great day for them. A 3:40 marathon looks possible for them. I was so happy with them and my own performance, 11 miles, on the street with out pain. I was amped actually. To make the day even better, my entire team finished in under 5:30 for the entire 22 miles.

Yesterday, oh my GOD, I was so sore. It was if I ran a full 22 miles. My quads and calves ached from not being on the streets. I did a lot of stretching and sat in the hot tub after a 60 lap swim to loosen them up. I started feeling better later in the day. Today I tackle a 5 mile run on the track. I need to stay on soft surfaces while I get back into the regular swing of running. I am really looking forward to Sunday's 15 miler for me and my team's 18.6 mile (30K) qualifying run at Hansen Dam.

Have a great day

Friday, February 12, 2010

So I have one day until I test my leg with a run on the roads. My plan is to get in 11 miles. However, if I feel that I am doing more harm than good I can stop at the 5 mile mark or the 8 mile mark. Let's not have that happen. On Wednesday I was sure I would get the distance in. Then on Thursday, I was in so much pain (in a new area go figure) I was re-evaluating Saturday's run. After another round of ultra-sound and muscle stimulators I am feeling better today. I am so anxious and nervous about tomorrow's run that I actually have butterflies in my stomach. It is like the day before a race. So weird, but kind of cool.

Speaking of muscle stims and ultra sound, I decided to purchase my own instead of ponying up money each time I went to therapy. Shockingly, smaller versions of what a PT has are not that much money. They should arrive Saturday or Monday. I will let everyone know how self-therapy goes next week.

Enjoy the weekend and your training.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Three days. That's how many days are left before I test my body on the hard streets of Sunland. I am so anxious, yet so nervous. I have successfully completed 7 miles on a track without too much discomfort. I need to stop babying myself and get out there and see where I stand when it come to hard surfaces. Plus, I really need to get out there and set the pace for my group of runners that wants to run a 3:40 at the LA Marathon. All 14 kids in that group, and the 2 adults, all start too quickly, then everyone else responds by trying to stay with them, which will blow up anyone's hopes for a 3:40. Saturday I will keep them all at an 8:30 pace for 11 miles (if body holds up).

Today is a 45 minute run on our grass field at school before therapy with Dr. Smith. I love going to therapy since I feel so much better leaving then when I first walked in.

The team's run today is a 5 miler on the streets with a good, steady 3/4 mile climb at the half-way point. Just the perfect distance for them in the middle of the week. Don't want them training too long/hard before they run 22 on Saturday.

Have a great day

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

It is amazing how fast dreams can be crushed or altered. October of 2008, I qualified for my 6th Boston marathon. I was so excited to once again go to Boston and run, I almost broke down at the finish line. I started all the planning, looking for hotels, airfare, and of course sending in my registration. Then, my plans were altered because of the LA Marathon. When it was scheduled for a May date, it pushed all my other races back. This included my team's 30K qualifying race. The people at Students Run LA didn't know the exact date of the 30 K so I waited and waited to see which date it would fall on. Typically, we have the 30K 1 month before LA, which would have put the race on the last weekend of April. That would have been perfect as that would NOT effect my Boston plans. But when the date of the race was posted, it was scheduled to be run the Sunday I was going to be in Boston. I decided that one of my responsibilities as a coach was to forgo my own pleasure and dreams and be there for my team since they run better when I am present. I felt they needed me to help them focus and qualify for LA. Thus I missed the Boston Marathon in 2009.

Fortunately, my qualifying race at the Long Beach Marathon was in the right time frame to allow me to not have to re-qualify and use my time for the 2010 Boston Marathon. Come hell or high water I was running this race. The LA Marathon was back to a March date and I was going to train great to get there. Well, if you have been following my blogs, my training was side-tracked by an injury. However, I decided early in the injury cycle that my wife and I were going regardless of the severity of the injury. I was going to run a great race since I might be able to recover by then, run a slow race and enjoy the scenery, or use the weekend as a vacation and be a spectator. But yesterday's news might crush 2010's dream.

See, my wife's company was sold and they are moving it to San Mateo. Thus, she is getting laid off. So financially we probably won't be able to make the trip to the Boston Marathon this year. And since my qualifying time ends this year, that means I will have to train and re-qualify again at another race later this year or next. Man, I want to be in Boston in April.

I still plan on training like I am going though. Today I did 45 minutes of aqua jogging and I plan to head back to the gym later to repeat the same workout or do the StairMaster for an hour. This will follow my therapy and back adjustment by my chiropractor.

Hope you have a great day

Monday, February 8, 2010

What a great weekend! First, I got in 1 hour of running which equates to a 7.5 mile run Saturday at the local track. No hip pain and only a tight hamstring at the 45 minute mark. Then on Sunday I got in 2500 meter swim, 20 minutes of aqua jogging, followed by 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer. And then the best of all- the Saints won and Peyton lost. Ahh, what a great weekend.

Today I plan on running 45 minutes on the grass field at our school which is about 5 miles. Then it is another round of PT with Dr. Smith. I hope by Saturday I will be able to run 11 miles on the streets. I am starting to get really excited about returning to training mode. Who doesn't love the feeling of chasing a dream? Can't wait for Boston!!!!

Enjoy your Monday

Friday, February 5, 2010

One week of therapy and I feel like a new man. After some very aggressive sessions of muscle stimulation, ultra sounds, stetching, and specific exercises developed by Dr. Smith to target my weak stabilizer hip muscles, I feel as if my hip/back/groin never was injured. I am getting ansy to get out there and start training again. With my main goal of running the Boston Marathon in April, which is quickly approaching, I need to get back "on the roads". In the past I would jump right back into training like I never missed a day, but as I get older and wiser, I know I need to ease back into it. So today will be a 1000 meter swim followed by 30 minutes of aqua jogging. Tomorrow I will try and do 6 easy miles on the track at Verdugo Hills High while the team does and easy 8 miler (we were going to do our 22 miler but we voted to put it off until next week since it will probably be raining on Saturday)

My plan next week is to do 3 more days of PT and one day of chiropractic adjustments and then hopefully, God-willing, fingers crossed, praying, get in an 11 mile training run on Saturday with the team.

For all those running the Surf City Marathon (full or half) enjoy the race. I would love to be there with all of you, but my thoughts and prayers are with you all-GOOD LUCK!!!!!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Rehab seems to be working. Yesterday I had my second round of muscle stimulator and ultra sound on my torn hamstring, today it feels great. I got the therapy done at Dr. Smith's ( and I am convinced this is one of the best doctor's offices ever. As soon as you walk in you feel like you are walking into your family's house because everyone is so friendly and caring. On top of that, Dr. Smith really knows his "stuff". He is very knowledgeable and explains things to you in depth but at a level you can understand. if you ever get hurt, check them out, it is well worth the trip and/or money.
Today I will go back for 3rd treatment and if it goes as well as yesterday I plan on trying to run on 6 miles Saturday.

This morning I got in 1000 meters of swimming and 30 minutes of aqua jogging. I plan on returning this afternoon, after therapy to repeat the same workout. It still isn't like running on land but it is keeping me in decent shape. Once this hammy heals I won't be to out of shape to get back into longer runs. Still, I know I need to patient.

Good luck with your training and enjoy your day.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I am starting to feel like a professional athlete with a team of doctors. Yesterday I had a chrio appointment. She treated my hamstring with a muscle stimulator (if you never had one done it feels like a 1000 tiny, tiny fingers massaging the area) then hit it with ultra sound. My hip feels great today. Tonight I have my 2nd vistit with Dr. Smith for a therapy session. Hope that goes well. Then Thursday it is Dr. Smith again. That will be 4 doctor appointments in 4 days. The cycle starts again next week with 4 more vistits. I am hoping by next Saturday I can get in 11 miles with my team (they are running 22 buut I want to try and get their pacing down for the LA Marathon).

The team is having a 3 mile time trial today. The weather is good and they have been running so many hills lately they should run pretty well. Most of the kids I have seen are already nervous for today's "race".

Have a great Wednesday

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I finally think I found the problem in my hip/hamstring. Yesterday I went to see a new doctor, Dr. Steven Smith at chiropractor, and he was awesome. My appointment was scheduled for 6 pm, meaning I was one of the last people he would see. I didn't leave there until almost 7:45!!!! And it wasn't because he was seeing other patients, that time was devoted entirely to me.
The meeting started with me talking for 20 minutes about all the prior doctors and their diagnoses, all the time he just listened intently and took copious notes. Then he went through each of the other diagnoses and told me why he didn't think they were those. We then went through a bunch of range of motion exercises, various strength tests, and stretches. He finally told me he thinks it is a micro tear of the hamstring where it connects to the buttocks. He told me, and showed me, that if it was a tear of the hamstring why was the hip and abductor affected. Then he told me some really good news and some bad news. First the bad, he has treated it before and it takes a long, long time to heal. Now the good, he said I could slowly start to run a few days a week as long as I stayed away from hills and speed. Man was I happy!!!!!!!

One other side not, he initially thought it might be a labrum tear of the hip. he said if it was he would send me to a doctor in Burbank that is a hip specialist to get an MRI and see about surgery immediately since hip tears could lead to an arthritic hip. He said it would be expensive since it was an out-of-pocket, non insurance covered expense. Obviously I was nervous because that would be expensive. But he said that he would help me fight with my insurance company since they didn't diagnosis it correctly the first time. What doctor does that?

So today I have another physical therapy session with Dr. Smith, and a few more in the next few weeks. Hopefully I will be in decent shape come Boston.

Today's workout is rest. After 5 on Saturday, 45 minutes of aqua jogging on Sunday, and another 5 miles yesterday, my legs are tired and sore from trying to get back into running shape.

Have a great day

Monday, February 1, 2010

Feeling better after this weekend, that is for sure. On Saturday while the team was running 8 hilly miles I went Verdugo Hills High and tried out the hip/back on the track. Intially, my body was stiff and almost unused to running. But the hip/back were fine. I ran 3 miles without any pain or discomfort. However, my hamstring started to get tight, presumably from the hip injury, so I stopped and stretched for a few minutes. I felt good so I finished with 2 more miles, and I honestly could have done more but didn't want to push it. Throughout the entire run I was well aware of the hip as pain would slowly creep in then quickly disappear. The back felt great. When I was done I went back to meet the team and stretched.

Sunday, I decided to finally try aqua jogging. I had purchased a floatation belt to allow me to float and run in place. What a piece of crap that was! So I took it off and decided to try running in place. I found the right spot in the pool at 4 1/2 feet which allowed me to mimic my running motion and not feel strange doing it. I put in 45 minutes and when I got out of the pool I actually felt taxed and my quads/calves were tired. I haven't felt that in weeks so I was so happy. My initial thought on aqua running was that it would be boring and not a good workout. Now I feel different. At times it can be boring, it is similar to running on a treadmill but without a TV or music, but it is different in the fact that you really need to focus on your form because that can easily go to crap. Also, you have to raise your quads higher and fight the water resistance which made for a great workout. I will now use aqua jogging 3-4 times a week as a way to rehad/recover from my injury and I will definitely use it as a 2nd workout when I am healthy. I loved it and highly recommend it.

Today I will run 3-4 miles on our grass field at school while the team does their 4 miles. I also have a new doctor's appointment at Smith Chiropractic Clinic in Pasadena at 6 tonight. Really excited to see him since he comes highly recommended. I will blog about experience tomorrow.

Enjoy your Monday

Friday, January 29, 2010

Another doctor a different diagnosis. My primary care physician said it was a hip joint injury. So she gave me more medicine and a referral for physical therapy. I guess I can open my own pharmacy soon to supplement my income with all these drugs I keep getting. Always finding a positive from a negative.

Tomorrow I am going to attempt to run. I will send the kids on their 8 mile hill run, then I will drive up to Verdugo Hill High School and run some laps on the track top test the hip. I plan on taking some "meds" before to see if that helps me get through a mile to 4. I really hope that I can get in a few, pain free mile. Boston is closer than I would like it at this point. I know I won't do well there on swimmming, stairmasters, and yoga. I did buy a aqua jogger to start running in the pool. I will try that out on Sunday.

I did have another adjustment yesterday from my chriropractor. My back feels great but it isn't helping the hip. I have 9 more sessions with her in the next 4 weeks. I hope all of this is behind me soon. I am getting grumpy from not running and I know my wife is suffering seing me like this.

Have a great weekend and enjoy you training days.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I guess I am an idiot some times. Last night the doctor's office left an automated message saying that I had an appointment at 7:15 am but the day and date inaudible. I was positive it was on Friday the 29th but my wife thought she heard the message say the 28th. So I went to the doctor's office at 7 this morning to ask since the message was "after hours" and I couldn't find out. And of course, the appoitment was for Friday. So I wasted some time this morning. However, it didn't stop me from getting a swim workout. I got in 100 laps so I at least feel good about that.

Today I have my second chiropractic appointment. I hope I come away feeling as good as I did on Tuesday. In fact I feel so good I have false hopes of trying to run Saturday.

After Tweeting a question about a good sports podiatrist for new orthotics, I got a few suggestions. I called a few, but was really impressed by Dr. Smith's office. They want to see all old and new running shoes and any or all old and new orthotic/inserts to help them evalute what is wrong. This seems like they really want to take their time and get a proper diagnosis. Amanda, the lady in the office, also said that their goal is to never see a new client again. They want to get us heathy and running as soon as possible. And to be honest, the cost seem extremely reasonable for an out-of-pocket doctor's visit. So I have an appointment with them Monday. I will keep you updated on my trip there on Tuesday.

Yesterday, my team had a 4 mile time trial. The first boy and girl came in together in 29:00. Then a steady stream of runners continued for the next 10 minutes. We had afew straggle in after 40 minutes but those were few and far between. I was really proud of how well they ran yesterday, especially since they were all saying how easy the distnace felt. I guess the longer runs are building the confidence and endurance like we hoped they would. Saturday's 8 miles of hills should be fairly easy. Next Saturday's 22 miler is another story all together. Hope that goes well.

Have fun training