May - Pittsburgh Marathon (started, but DNF about the half way point)
June - Riverview 5k - Bummed I missed signing up for this one. It's one of my favorites!
Sept - Gatorade/Steelers 5k. (Signed up!)
Sept - IKEA Montour Trail Half (prob not, but leaving it on here)
Sept - The Great Race 10k (My Running 101 goal race)
Nov - Dirt Monster 5mi (Gotta do it again no matter what!)
Long-Term Running Goals:
Finish recovering from my injuries and build mileage. That is all.
My name is Wes, I'm married with two wonderful children. The nickname BaldNSpicy came from the fact that I have been balding for a (long) while now and spicy for my love of very spicy foods (Thai and extremely hot wings are my favorites). If eating doesn't bring me near tears and leave me sweating, it's not worth eating. :-)
Oh, and I'm also known for my doorags.
"Running without hills is like motorcycling without corners." - rAtTLeTrAp
"Excellence is not a singular act, but a habit. You are what you do repeatedly." - Shaquille O'Neal
"A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else." - John Burroughs
It was a nice chilly day today. I slept really poorly last night. Didn't get to sleep until almost 4am. Woke up at 8:30 and knew I needed to get out on my run by 9am if I had any chance of getting even a few miles in today. My daughter has Homecoming tonight and we have the Homecoming Carnival at the H.S. at 11am.
The right big toe joint was still pretty sore this morning but I had hope that with the slight X-acto carving I did on the orthotic last night and the newer shoes would keep the foot happy. Legs were really sluggish this morning, but I kept going. About the 2 mi point, the toe was growling a little. I decided to start heading back so I didn't get too far away if things got bad. They didn't get better so I just bagged it.
I think I'm going to find a new podiatrist or even an orthopedist to go see. My podiatrist (she's seen 3 of the 4 of us for several years now) is very good, but the deterioration of these orthotics has really upset me. I love them, don't get me wrong, but my big toe joints have worn through the top cover layer where everywhere else looks and feels firm. I've put 700-800 miles on them over the 10 months I've had them. Other runners that wear them have them for 5+ years and are putting 80+ mpw on them. I think these are just more "general" use orthotics that would be fine if I weren't running in them.
I know that my right leg is turned in slightly (looking straight on, the right knee points in more than the left). I'm pretty convinced this is the reason my right foot always has the issues. An orthopedist might be the best route so I'm on the hunt for a good one that is a runner. I need to get this solved before next year.
Did a double today. I had 1.5hrs in the middle of my day that was the only open time on the calendar so I was going to hit the road and try to get in 5+ miles but I had to deliver a package to a contractor and they were late getting there so I only ended up with just under an hour. I quickly changed and ran out the gym door. I had brought in a long sleeved tech T on monday so it was perfect for the temps. Legs were pretty cold with just shorts on when the rain would come down. I started out on a 5k loop that I do but then mixed it up and came back a different way to make it a little longer to about 3.5. Not super fast, but I think the AP was low 8s. A little stretching and I got back just in time for my 1pm. Iced the foot.
I needed more mileage and so when my 1-5pm meeting let out at 4:30, I decided to run again before going home. I donned my smelly clothes and started my warm up inside this time, on the treadmill. I immediately felt the sore hamstrings and calves and knew my shortened stretching the first time around was coming back to bite me. So I just stayed on the TM and ran the 5k program. After the first 1k or so, the muscles were fine. Previous best was 23:33 (7.9mph avg) on Sept. 21 so I decided to make sure I PR'd on it since I was staying indoors and wimping out. I started off at 8.0mph and after 2k bumped it up to 8.2 then was up to 8.8 before the 4% hill at the 4.3k point, dropped down to 8.0 before the hill was up, then "sprinted" the last .3k at 9.0mph. New PR: 22:42 (8.2mph avg) which is just slower than my actual 5k PR. I'll be so excited when I go sub-20 on this program. Cooled down and stretched really well. Feeling pretty good.
I believe the treadmill dissed me today. I went down to the gym after getting my flu shot at our clinic and warmed up for a few minutes. I had to get on one of the older treadmills since everyone takes the newer ones first. No biggie, the programs are the same, the displays just aren't as nice. So I punch in the 10k program thinking I'd just cruise on it at an 8:00 pace (7.5mph) and see if I can hold that for the whole program or see when I start to fall off. Hit start and I'm cruising along just fine. I get to the 1.16k 3% hill and decide to back it down to 7.2mph (8:25 pace or so) for the hill. About 1k after the hill, the treadmill comes to a stop saying the program is complete. What the heck?? I was at 5.80k and 30:00. I think the treadmill kicked me off because I wasn't going fast enough. Guess you have to be an elite to run on the older treadmills. Guess I'll use the newer ones until next 2012.
So, I was then going to do the 5k program, but decided to challenge myself in a different way. I cranked it up to 7.0mph and 3% incline. Ran that for 8 min then backed it down to my Easy pace of 9:05 (6.6mph) and starting at 3%, each minute I increased the incline 1%. I got to 9% before I decided I'd had enough and took it down to 2% and cooled down. I think I'll do some more of those "hills," but extend the time or maybe bumping it up by 1/2% instead to get more mileage in. 1.5mi before I cooled down.
I'm working up my marathon training plan and trying to decide what paces to use since winter is coming and when running in the snow and ice, my paces slow down. I guess I'll just be going by effort/time and then using the treadmill PRs to track my progress. I prefer to run outside even if it's cold, slushy, icy, etc. but I don't mind the treadmill unless it's going to limit me to 30 minute workouts. (The gym does have signs saying there are 30 min limits during peak hours, but I was there after 3:30pm which isn't peak. Unless they changed the machines, they've never limited me to 30 min any time of the day. As long as there's an open treadmill, I don't have a problem finishing my workout even if I'll be on there for 60+ min during peak hours. That's just the kind of guy I am.)
THEN, I get home from work and my daughter, who thinks that my laptop is hers, has decided to surprise me with a little change to my desktop. She designed it herself and is very proud of it (I didn't specifically say that she created it herself using Photoshop on FB and heard about it later). She loves the song and she loves to torture me with it every morning on the way to seminary. Anyways, here's a picture of my desktop - professionally designed by Annalee. Copies of the background image are available for $0.99.
Couldn't pass up heading outside. Nice, easy run on the streets of Pittsburgh. My big toe was fine today (I think I've adjusted my stride enough to land more on outside of the foot to take the pressure off it), but my left neuromas were barking pretty loud during the run. Tonight, they're very painful to walk barefoot. I didn't get shots in the left foot last time since only the right was hurting. I've got to find a more permanent solution to these nerve problems in my feet. I'm about ready to cut them off and get a set of these:
I'd have to get some cool sunglasses though and I don't think my insurance will cover those so I may suffer through it a little longer. But don't push me! :-)
Decent run this afternoon. Temp in the 60s and sunny! I didn't have as much time as I had hoped for the run but it was nice and I figured I'd save something for tomorrow's long run. Feet were bothering me some so I tried to take it easy even though this was mostly up and down hills.
Hmm. I'm not going to take the time to figure out how far 318' are in "miles" so I'm not putting any miles in. I walked down the hill from my house and my left neuroma was sore even after putting the gel inserts in (thanks for the suggestion, Mike). I thought it was just the pressure from going downhill. I started my run and the pain was unbelievably that only got worse the farther I went. I knew I wasn't going to get in any distance and so I called it quits and walked home. I took some NSAIDs and will ice it. I'll probably try for some miles later this afternoon. Looks like I'll be getting in to the podiatrist on Monday for some shots and discussion on how to permanently fix these issues.
Foot was sore most of this weekend but I needed to get out so I took some NSAIDs this morning and since I was working from home, could leave almost any time I wanted to. I finally got out about 1:45pm and it was gorgeous weather. I started walking down the hill and the left neuroma was sore but not as sore as Friday. I started my run like Friday and it hurt but not as bad. At the 318' mark, I considered calling it but really wanted the miles and figured if it didn't get any worse I might be OK. After about .5mi it wasn't hurting at all?!?! What's up with that? BUT, I had terrible cotton mouth and at that point I remembered I hadn't eaten or drank anything since the water with my NSAIDs this morning. Whoops! Not good, and certainly explained my extremely heavy legs. :-(
I dealt with the cotton mouth the whole run and not until I hit about 3mi did the neuroma start hurting again but not as bad as at the first. Weird! Normally, it gets worse the longer I'm on it but today it got better by running on it? Makes absolutely NO sense! Oh well, finished the run and was glad it was over due to the cotton in my mouth and the heavy, tired legs. I downed a bunch of Gatorade and ate some protein.
I figured I must need more iron and protein so I suggested to the family we hit the Pittsburgh Steak Company's All You Can Eat Prime Rib dinner! They were more than supportive of my running needs. They're a super family and I love 'em to death!
Glad I got in some miles and I hope the feet hold up this week so I can get in 25+. Only a couple of weeks until the Dirt Monster!
Foot wasn't cooperating today so it was treadmill day. I didn't want to get out there 3 miles and then have to walk back or something if I was in pain, so I missed an incredibly nice outside run. I went easy on the treadmill. I figured it deserved it. Plugged in the 10k program and just cruised at about a 9:13 pace. Foot was sore through the whole thing. I did kick it up a couple notches for the 6th and 7th km to about a 7:30-7:20 pace. Felt good except for the sharp foot pains. Walked a 1k and hopped off to go chat with Jake while I stretched. Got back to the office and immediately called the podiatrist. I've got an 8am appointment tomorrow for cortizone shots. If my eyes are red afterward it's allergies.
Oh, congrats to Jason from the running class who ran (his first?) Half in 1:44:xx. He did great and was very excited about his time...as he should be! He's a good strong runner who has a 1:30 easy in his near future.
ps: yes, that's 1.5 hrs of sleep. Insomnia was awful last night. Sigh. I watched some awesome 80s music videos though! I hope to skip the videos and jump straight to REM tonight!
Finally got to sleep just before midnight so I got a good 5 hrs before getting up to take my daughter to seminary. I'm still tired, but functioning today.
Went to the podiatrist today and we had a nice discussion about my options. Part of my late night last night was doing my internet research on my neuroma options, etc. I went in thinking that the alcohol based injections were the next step but after talking with her (Dr. McFeaters - yes, that's her real name, lol), we decided to do the cortizone shots today (OUCH) and since I've met my deductible for my insurance, we're ordering up some new orthotics. I talked her through my analysis of the orthotics, the wear patterns, etc. and what I thought I needed based on what I've read and she agreed with a couple of suggestions of her own. So, I think the orthotics I get next will be a lot more helpful in keeping the neuromas at bay as well as helping the pain I get under my big toe (right, usually) from the nerve becoming irritated. She also agreed to switch the top cover of the orthotic since it wore through so quickly. She had ordered that one since it has it's own padding built in but I think we'll go with something a little more durable this time.
She also wrote me up a script for some physical therapy. With our on-site clinic at work, the PT will be free (no copays), so I figured I'd give it a shot and see if it helps. There was no way I was going to be able to afford paying $30 two-three times per week for a month or more. Who said running was a cheap sport? lol
Anyways, it's been a few hours now and the cortizone is doing it's job as it always does. Unfortunately, it only lasts for a month or two before I'm feeling the pain again. She said that generally, if someone needs the cortizone shots more than 3x/yr that means that they're not lasting long enough and other options need to be considered. Neuromas are tough buggers to crack and may not go away permanently. But, with some new orthotics and some PT, I hope to get rid of them enough that I can continue increasing my mileage and be able to run marathon distances without having them bother me or stop me from running...especially during a race like it did during the JASR.
It's surprising how many people deal with neuromas. They are mostly women so maybe RT and I have girly feet. Mine are dainty, I will admit. I hope this non-invasive route works for me. From what I read about the alcohol injections, although they have a pretty high long-term success rate, they also seem to sideline you for several days to weeks after each round due to swelling and pain. Typically 4+ rounds are required with 7-10 days between rounds. So, that would have meant I'd be dealing with that as I approach the Dirt Monster.
Ok, I'm going to be like Joe and I'm not going to complain about my feet any longer. If this route doesn't "fix" me, though, I reserve the right to start complaining again but not until I've given this a fair shot. :-)
Big fat zero again for today. I'm not allowed to complain about my foot so I'm not going to. (sarcasm on) My foot feels completely awesome! I can't believe how well I can walk on it. Walking to and from work was like walking on clouds - no limp at all. And look! Two days later you can't even see the injection sites or any bruising! (sarcasm off)
I can't believe I am posting a picture of my dainty foot - yes, I have all my nails on both feet. Maybe that will change with my marathon training as soon as I can run again. I don't know why my veins look like they're huge, but I think it's just the angle of the photo.
So I tried to run on it tonight a little and as long as I was going downhill or flat I was semi-OK. But pushing off too much or uphill was out of the question. So I'll wait and see how things feel this weekend. I'll run tomorrow if it doesn't feel too bad on the walk in. I'm really surprised the pain has stuck around this long this time. The other times, I've run the day after and even a couple hours after the shots. Weird.
Oh well, it's making me take the time to work out my marathon training plan. I'm almost there! I've got about 30 weeks before the River Towns Marathon in May so I have plenty of time to get ready! I'm so excited to begin the journey. So much to do, so many things to learn (ie: how to run and drink from a cup without spilling it all down the front of me, what a Gu tastes like along with all the other cool marathon runner energy foods, what it feels like to run 20 miles at a time, etc, etc!). One day I'll be an experienced (and hopefully an accomplished) runner. Until then, I'm in learning mode.
The Chinese podiatrist must make a fortune fixing neuromas:
I was able to manage some treadmill time today. I had about 30 min so I was thinking of doing some easy running. Anything over 2% incline hurt the foot so I kept it at 0-1% so I could run. Started off at 10:00 pace for about a mile or so, then worked my way up to finish the last .25mi at 6:40. It felt good to run again but the foot didn't do so well. Iced it for quite a while afterward.
The foot is just OK. As long as I'm not standing on it for long periods of time or am just walking, it's not too painful. But if I try and run, it definitely hurts and the underside of my 2nd and 3rd toes are in extreme pain. For instance, walking back to the car from work today, about 1/2 way there I was crossing the street and a car was coming so I started to jog to get out of the way and within two steps, I was limping across. I'm going to give it until Wednesday and if it's still like this, I'm going back to the podiatrist. Not running is killing me and it's never been this bad. Normally, after the shots, a couple of days at the most and my foot feels normal again with just a slight pain at the injection sites. I was able to run on it by the end of the day, and certainly the next day. Not so this time which worries me some. Maybe she missed getting the cortisone in the neuroma. I don't know...
Funny story: So, the night before I was going to see my
podiatrist, I sent Mike a message on facebook checking in with him on
his foot, how his first cortisone shots were going, and also asking what his research had revealed to him on the
alcohol injections, etc. I was seriously considering pushing my doc to do the alcohol and just kill those darn nerves. I didn't get a reply for a few days and thought that was curious, but we're all busy so I didn't think much of it. Then I get this reply to my message...from my high school friend Marc Davis, who is glad to hear from me and happy he could help with my foot problems.
He goes on to tell me how he had had his own experience with a surfing accident in Hawaii but that it was feeling fine. He said that he normally doesn't deal with the feet much (he's a chiropractor) but he offered a few suggestions and said next time if I need a quick response to just give him a call. There wasn't any...are you sure you've got the right guy? type response. I was using all kinds of running terms, TM, BQ, mpw, etc and the nature of the post was like we had talked a million times before about this. I then realized my mistake and had to reply to him! He was all serious in his response which made me feel like an idiot. His last sentence was to let him know what I learned from my podiatrist. So I replied and had to tell him the first thing I learned was to make sure I was sending the message to the right person. I had typed it up on my phone and I must have just put in Davis and it took the first one. Kind of embarrassing, and I haven't received a reply yet, but he's still in my friend list, so that's a good sign, I think. What if I was asking for help with ED or something!? Whew, glad I sent the ED help message to the right person...or at least I think I did! LOL
No running lately. I go back to the podiatrist on Monday to figure out what's up with the continued pain. Plus, I've had a cold for a couple of days. Hopefully, I'll be back to running early next week!
2 painful miles on the track. I thought maybe the track would be a good surface, but I guess it makes no difference what it is. Within 10m of starting my jog, the pain was awful and continued until I stopped at 2mi. I was determined not to stop before 2mi.