Daily Double

 

On 1 October 2013 I would have celebrated one year cancer free. What an amazing thing. One down and four more to go. I had to hold off on that celebration as some things got worked out. It was tough at times because I really wanted to scream at the top of my lungs that I had kicked the shit out of this thing or something. Instead, I kind of stayed silent. I was with a group of friends after a run having a beer when it came to me and I jotted this down quickly so I could share.

 

“Sitting here around people with the knowledge I have. Not telling them is like living with a shame. I won’t pretend to know what it is like for a rape victim but I think I feel some of that. It is odd, these people (the Team) may be the best to handle this but I am still silent. Maybe it is still because there is some uncertainty as to what it is. At least there is some hope.”

 

I am sorry I could not tell you guys but I was sure glad to be there with you. I had a lot of fun and shortly after I wrote that my spirits lifted. Beer, pizza and the Team really helps. So it daily double of a nasty fungal infection and cancer relapse. So this is sort of how it went down.

 

It was going so well. It was July and I was feeling great. I was running quite a bit and things were progressing. I had been off of any juice for two months and we were all considering plans for the future. The stem cell transplant was off the table and we were looking at a stem cell collection so we would be ready in case. But that was where it went all wrong. I had an appointment with Doc Weiss after a CT scan and he dropped the boom on me. My left lung was showing something.

 

We talked and it was probably a fungal infection so I went back on the micafungen. I had my PICC line taken out two months prior so that meant I was going to get stuck. I really hoped that my veins had recovered from the abuse a year ago. I had false hopes. Andrea had a fun time trying to find a good stick spot. After several trials I gave up and let her take the back of my hand. Honestly it was not that bad. It hurt going in but afterward I had quite a bit of mobility.

 

Now I was a real bastard at times. I was running on Saturdays prior to coming in for an infusion. Therefore, I was quite dehydrated and my veins were even more uncooperative. My rescue ninjas were frustrated till I just decided to give up my one good vein each Saturday. There was also this new system at the infusion center that printed out my meds list every time I came in. That list is a couple of pages long with a cover sheet. I was really pissed at the waste and tried to opt out of it. Eventually I got back at them by reusing the paper.

I should have been an aeronautical engineer. They enjoyed the entertainment or at least they pretended like they did. It was weird as I started to see the staff there and talk with them. They were surprised to see me and we discussed how it is weird. You get to know these people and become quite friendly with them but deep down they hope for the best. That is you get better and they never see you again. I feel the same way. Though I had gone there on occasion and stolen coffee it was not the same.

 

During the first couple of weeks on the micafungen I was collected for stem cells. This is a most unpleasant process. They inject growth factor to have your bone marrow make more stem cells and then they put this catheter in your neck. The bone pain from the growth factor was not fun. I had rough long run during that and it was not my worst run but it was in my top 50. It is weird because in order to get the stem cells they have to literally pump all of your blood out of you and filter it and pump it back in. Honestly, it was not that hard. I slept during the process and after one day of collection I was done.

 

After about a month I had another CT scan and no it was not done. This was okay. Fungal infections like this take a while to respond to the medication and the spectrometric measurements always lag behind. I was cool as a cucumber. I was on top of my game. My training was going great and the Rock n Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon was coming up quick. Check out the race report. It rocked and I was amazing with the help of the Team. I was working on top of the world. Doc Weiss did want me to get a consult from Doc Evans about a surgical biopsy. What a mistake that was. I like Doc Evans but he wanted to take a lobe of lung out. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! I only have five of those and I know that we were looking at a biopsy of some of the more damaged lung parts but come on. Space and I were not pleased. I got over it quick because why not. On a side note, Doc Weiss took me off of cyclosporin which is a immunosuppresent to see if my on immune system would kick in and help with this infection.

 

So it was on like Donkey Kong and I had a CT and PET scan in October. I wasn’t worried. The worst part is moving your arms after the PET scan. You spend about 45 minutes with them up over your head while not moving. Well, as you might guess it was not only bad but it was getting worse. The PET scan showed a couple of spots that glowed like a 1000 watt bulb. We were entered in to full biopsy mode. One problem though I was still feeling great. I was ramping up my mileage and the Monster Mash Marathon was coming up real soon. I was on such a role there was no way I was missing that.

 

Doc Weiss said it was time to go on with that surgery and we put the slam down on him. Really we just opened up a new possibility with Dr. Hehn better know as Boyd. He was the pulminologist that has been in my lungs the most and most recently. Space and I wanted get his input about it prior to the cutters getting all up in me. Weiss agreed and we met with Doc Evans and Boyd on the same day. Actually, Doc Evans had already consulted with Boyd and agreed to a bronchoscopy as a first step. I was in.

 

First thing was first. Boyd wanted to see what my lung function was before any surgery. So up to nuclear medicine and they injected me with technetium. When I asked me what it was that I was injected with they told me and told them it is the lowest weight element without a stable isotope. The doctor learned something new that day. I love chemistry. It has maintained such a wide open universe for me. As it turns out my left lung is crap. Over 75% of my lung function comes from my right lung. Well at least some part of me is conservative. Before the bronchoscopy I went and ran the Monster Mash Marathon. It was awesome. I cannot wait to get to that race report. Two days later Boyd asked me how the race went before he had me knocked out and lung scoped. Long story short. The results were inconclusive. So off to surgery.

 

At this point it was the end of November and thanksgiving was upon us but best of all Doc Evans was going for a new approach. He was going after a lymph node adjacent to my left lung and a wedge cut out from the upper left lobe where there was some good glow. I went in for the surgery and had to wait and wait and wait. I could not eat so I was getting real cranky. Naps were helping but not enough. I was taken from the pre-op room to the operating room area. There a couple of docs came and talked to me and explained to me what was going on. An anesthesiologist came by and put two elephant tranquilizer needles in the back of my hand and my wrist. He was talking more about the procedure and mentioned that they would probably use the robot for the surgery. I immediately asked if it was Three Laws Safe but all I got back was a puzzled look. What a shame. I am surprised I made it out of there alive.

 

I woke up with two chest tubes in my side and a foley catheter in. It was not a very happy time. Always avoid a foley catheter and chest tubes are a bad idea. Taking each of them out is beyond description. Needless to say it hurt. The good news is they gave me happy button for the pain. It was fun but it made me itch. After two days of observation I was out of the hospital and getting hungry for Thanksgiving. I tried to be patient and waited an entire week before calling for results. They were not in and I was told to wait till I saw Doc Weiss in two weeks.

 

So there I was. I had just gotten my stitches cut out from my side by Doc Evans. They were tough to get out. It hurt and he kept apologizing and backing off. I tried to convince him to just keep going. Pain is temporary except in torture which this was. He got on with it and they were out. They sucked and I determined that there will be no more major holes put in me for a while. Doc Evans wanted to know if I wanted the biopsy results but I declined. I wanted to stay ignorant for a few more hours. Back at it. Sitting there in room 24 with Space just waiting for the inevitable. Doc Weiss comes in and sits down. I ask him to “sock it to me and if the results were inconclusive I was going to scream.” Actually, my reaction may have been worse. Here comes the problem. He rambled. There was good information but it all boiled down to this. I do have a fungal infection and that needs to be taken care of quickly. Then the R word. Relapse. The cancer was back and a new fight was on.

 

Fucking cancer. After we take this fungal infection out with some new harsher drugs we will take this cancer on with a new chemo regimen followed by a stem cell transplant. We will kick this. I just have to continue fighting and running. I cannot forget that I have the Disney Dopey in less than a month. No reason I can’t have some fun along the way.

 

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The Path of Most Resistance

Just a few days ago I was all happy and jumping up and down while kicking my heels together.  Why?  Because it was snowing and I was running in it.  I mean it was fantastic.  Later that night it snowed more and it was just beautiful.  The flakes of white just falling ever so gently to the ground.  The panicked East Coast drivers driving even worse than in dry conditions.

Based on previous experience, where the threat of frozen precipitation on the east coast has lauched a traction campaign of epic proportions, I thought I was in for a clear run yesterday.  I mean there is usually laid down more salt and sand than actual snow or sleet.  But not this time.  I was running along and for the most part the roads were in good shape.  As with even the most prepared areas like Cleveland there are some patches that just don’t done right.  I expect that because nobody is perfect. 

… Well except for me and my calves.  Aren’t they pretty.  I don’t think they could be more awesome then I look at them the next day and realize that I was just mistaken.

Any who, this is where Delaware has faltered.  There weren’t patches of ice or snow that was missed.  There were entire sections.  Basketball court sized packed, driven on, refrozen, usually down hill, snow and ice.  This is where I realized I had to take the Path of Most Resistance. 

Usually when you look at nature and the nature of people we like to take the path of least resistance.  Water will flow downhill and not uphill.  Except for in Northeast Ohio where water stands on a hill.  Rachael will kind of move stuff out of the way or behind the door when she is told to clean her room.  Without the aid of a motor or paddle boats will flow down the river.  It just how things go.

A runner usually prefers a gentle down slope to run on.  First, because uphills are all resistance and that pesky gravity is working against you all the time.  Then a big down hill is just as bad.  Why you might ask?  A big downhill should be easy, you don’t have to push hard or anything. 

I am glad you asked.  In a big down hill you are usually putting on the brakes to stay in control.  If you have great control of your legs and body like Ryan Hall then maybe you can pour on the jets and use it.  But if your are one of us then a big down hill can be worse than an up hill.  All the stress is put on the front of your legs and this is where your feet begin to slip in you shoes.  For me it is a lot of stress on my shins.  For this reason a flat to gentle down slope is the best path of least resistance.  And usually that would be the preference. 

This time I was looking for the Path of Most Resistance.  I would hit these Ice Courts and find that the beginning of each was black ice.  I would just be careful and get to the snow.  Then I realized there was black ice on the snow.  Well, since black ice is really clear and only named that because the black of the asphalt shows through making it damn near invisible, so it was really White Ice.  In most cases I would try to run on the white part.  Snow meant some means of traction over ice.  This time I was treading carefully attempting to find that traction.  The Path of Most Resistance.  Keep an eye out for it when you are in need.

Well, I had about six of these obstacles to negotiate over a 10k run.  Okay one per mile is not bad.  One was at an intersection with cars coming at me in two directions and the others were on hills.  One uphill which I am sure was comical as I was probably taking and extra stride every 5 and the rest were down hills.  I survived and had a great run.  I wonder what will happen on Saturday when I run that route again.

The Road to Cleveland: What is an extra hour?

What am I doing.  I just ran the Flying Pig on Sunday yet I felt I was ready to go on a shake down run on Thursday.

As per the usual I went swimming on Monday to work things out and I did the same on Tuesday.  It is good no impact work to get the lactic acid out and stay active.  I should have done the same today but no.  A larger booming voice rang in my ears, “I MUST GO RUNNING!”   So I did.

I knew I would not put a fast pace.  I knew parts of me would be sore but really could they be that bad.  Four miles and off to work.  There I was kind of shaking out my legs and I take the first stride.  Not good but it is just warming up.  Down the street and still stiff and my Right calf is screaming.  Brain says it will warm up.  Brain is wrong.

Half way through I think about my training.  I went on plenty of 20 mile runs then ran just two days later for some tempo run or something like that.  Those were never the best runs but they were okay.  26.2 miles is not that much more and I waited 4 days.  6.2 miles more and twice the recovery time.  I should be good.

What is an extra hour of running anyway?  I have gone out running with no plan and run for a couple of hours with no issue.  An extra hour of running is all I did last Sunday.  No issue, right?  What was I thinking.  I wasn’t thinking.  An extra hour is an extra 20miles.  Lance Armstrong was told before his first New York Marathon that the first 20 miles is the first half of the marathon.  Oh so very true.

So here I go.  Thinking I only ran another 6.2 miles or an extra hour.  Thinking that I should be able to lace up and sprint out the door of the Y like I was a teenager again.  Thinking I knew better than my body did.  That was the most awful 4 miles of my life.  I ran through blizzards, in -10F weather, in down pours, on hurt feet(you got to finish a race), with a belly full of soda.  Those pale in comparison to running during a recovery period.  This is not the way to be ready for the Cleveland Marathon in 1.5 weeks.

I think I will concentrate on ignoring my brain and listening to my body.  Of course I am sure Space said something to me about not running too soon but I probably wasn’t listening to her either.  Brain Bad, Body and Wife good.

Heres to the next week of recovery and developing a fool proof plan.  Remember that, I am a special type of fool.

The Flying Pig: Training Blog Complex

Well the Race is over and things went well but before I put everything together in a Race report I plan on consolidating my training Blog. Here goes. Well here goes.

  1. The Flying Pig: Week 1
    What a weird start. I had this awful run in the cold on sunday with the temperatures getting to about -10F with the wind. I 4.5 miles out and had to turn around because my mid section was getting way too cold. This Core warms with working out is bull. Either way, the week progressed better with the realization that I needed to start my training. I am 15 weeks out from the Flying Pig Marathon on 4 May and I needed to start. I figured this out on Monday. Plan in place I just started. Oh well. Bad and good things happened this week. I lost one of my lights on Tuesday. It was the purple one. That was the bad thing.
    The good things is I found it on Thursday. Two days later it was still flashing with a light covering of snow on the Track at Bedford H.S. I was elated.
    On another note I tried to sign up for the Goofy Challenge 2009 this week. I seemed to have not been successful. Oh well.
    The milage was fantastic and I feel real good. Another things is that I forgot to take advil twice this week and it was okay. I cannot remember a time in either of my running careers that I was able to funciton without advil. As a matter of fact I was dropping so many in high school that I was actually addicted to them and didn’t know about my shin splints till I ran out one day. That is another story. Till next week.
  2. The Flying Pig: Week 2
    A weird week. Everything started out just fine. I had a great 10 mile run on Sunday and a good 10K tempo like run on Tuesday.
    I had to be downtown on Tuesday night and decided I would jog around Cleveland a little and to the Mariot for some Tackle the Tower training. The building is 25 floors and is perfect for training. I went up twice and it was tough. The air is real dry in that stairwell. I left the Mariot and jog a little more back to my car. That is when I realized my calves and thighs were on fire. All of those steps had really done some damage. I was sore the rest of the week and am still have some after pains.
    As usual most of the pains only occur during walking and not running. Another 10 miles over Thursday and Saturday rounded out a nice 29.9mile week. The Saturday Triathlon was helpful in working out some of the kinks. A good kick boxing work out during the aquasocial hour.
    Another help was the ice bath I took on Thursday night. I feel bad about cursing that much late at night with Rachael across the hall asleep but she is almost unwakable. It did not help that I was reading about Dean Karazes’ South Pole Marathon while in the tub. Reading about cold while in a cold bath is just not the right choice. Next week the mileage should increase a bit. All is well and I cannot wait for race season to begin.

  3. The Flying Pig: Week 3
    Totally awesome. The race season has started and I am pumped. From the end. The Tackle the Tower race was on saturday. It was fantastic, 37 flights of stairs in 6:30 something. I shaved over a minute off of last years time.
    The best part was a 4 mile run afterwards. Dave and I jogged around the city for awhile. We followed the end of the Cleveland marathon course and then the first mile of course. It was a bunch of fun.
    The rest of the week was great. I had a fantastic 16 mile run where I ran into (not literally) another runner where we discused hydration and training goals. (See my Post on it.) The run was fantastic and a real boost. The week brought on two 10k’s for training. Tuesday was mostly recovery and felt good. Another run around bedford. I like it though.
    Thursday’s 10k was another story. I think my legs were recovered from the stair training and they just kept turning. The training schedule called for a tempo run of 3 miles. Well, I stomped out 6.2 mile tempo run and it was fantastic. I never felt better after such a huge effort. Base training has really helped this winter. Next week is the first 5k of the year. Lets hope for a great speed workout. Toodles.

  4. The Flying Pig: Week 4
    I only thought I was fast. As usual I took a 16 mile run last Sunday when my training program called for 14. I really need to find a 14 mile route. I even thought about it when I hit the 7 mile point on my 16 mile route that I should turn around and do it right. But there are three ways to do things: the right way, wrong way and the Max Power way. I know what you are thinking: “Isn’t that the wrong way.” Yes but faster!!
    The 16 was great with a temp of around 10 with wind chills much below 0. I ran through these little snow tornadoes that effectively froze my face mask and my beard. Luckily my eyelashes stayed separate from each other. It was slow going but fantastic.
    Tuesday’s run was mostly recovery in some decent weather. I decided to mix in some swimming. It was a good cool down and got me arms working. Thursday was a great tempo 6 miler but my eyes dried out real bad. It was weird because it has never happened before. More swimming made things real nice.
    Saturday marked the beginning of the race season where I kicked it off with a bang. I hit the Chili Bowl Classic 5k with a 23:46 which is a PR. I wasn’t expecting it but it happened and I have to live with it. What a great race. I wish I could have run the last mile a little faster but that is what it is. This type of speed work is just what I need. The next week is a mini-taper to get ready for the 30k. TTFN.

  5. February 25th, 2008 at 16 The Flying Pig: Week 5
    Finally, I have run my 16 mile run when I was supposed to. It felt real good a 2:36 in mild weather. My athletic supporters even came out and gave me some much needed water around the half way point. That would have been the high point of the week.
    Afterwards my feet and knees were in some bad shape. Also, a purely psychological ankle pain came up on Wednesday morning. Either way, I fought through the onset of a flu and logged some quality low intensity miles over the week. One more week till the Catch A Leprechaun. I cannot wait.
  6. The Flying Pig: Week 6
    I hate being sick. I got a bug that damn near stopped me in my tracks. I got to thank Rachael for waking up early on Sunday. I was just about to get dressed for a good 12 mile run when she woke up and distracted me. We proceeded to watch a movie and I skipped my long run. I think I may have really hurt myself if I had gone out that day.
    I did get out on Tuesday. I got up real early and put a good 15k down. I was soaked by the time I was done but it felt good. I was still sick but it was worth it.
    Thursdays run was just a short 5k but I put some stomp into it and made it count as well as the 5k I put in this morning.
    I am over that bug and will be ready for the 30k on Sunday. Then I can get back into my training. This Mini-taper has been a disaster. Toodles.

  7. The Flying Pig: Week 7
    I am in the zone. I have had the best comeback from my two weeks of mini-taper and illness. I went to the Catch a Leprechaun 30k and busted a new PR by over 25 minutes. 2:42:34. I was just in a zone. I was worried about going out to fast but I just listened to my body and found a tempo that fit my expectations. Everything felt good and I only lost 4 minutes on the second half of the race. A real bad thing did happen. My shoes have had it. I realized this at about mile 11 or 12. They still have a few more miles but I was forced to invest in new footware this saturday. Its alright.
    Tuesday was I nice 4 mile recovery at a moderate pace. Some tweeks but it is what should be expected after the stomp I put out just two days before.
    Thursday was back to form with a great 10k at Tempo pace. It was getting a little slippery at point but all was good.
    Saturday was another story. A blizzard has smacked NEO and has all but shut down everything. Even the 24hour Walmart which just opend closed its doors. But I went out there and ran my absolutely slowest 5k at 37 minutes. Thats right a 12 minute mile. It is okay I was trudging through a foot of snow. White out conditions 10 mile an hour winds with gusts and my beard, mustache and eye lashes were freezing. It was fanstastic.
    To top it off I got two strength workouts with my snow blower on saturday. It is awesome.
    On to the footware. I picked up some new Brooks Trance’s to replace my Pearl Izumi’s I will strart breaking them in next week. The Pearls were good to me. I wish I had more time with them. Well, It is off to prepare for my 20 miler on Sunday. Wish me luck.

  8. The Flying Pig: Week 8
    Forget the Zone. I am a Kenny Logins song. Highway to the Danger Zone. I am flying and I think I like it. Ok how about this. “I feel the need, the need for speed”
    Well things did not start of real fast. I had my first 20 miler of my training. It was tough but still a great work out. It was the last run for my Pearl Izumi’s. Good by old friend.
    Then came the break in for the Brooks. Every new pair has it issues at first. These seem to be coming along just fine. We had a couple of miles this week then came the races. St. Malachis was this weekend and I put a stomp on. Two more PR’s for 2008 with a 13:2? 2 mile and a sub 40minute 5 mile. I felt great today.
    My other runs were fine but being a break in period just after a 20 mile run on top of some long hours at work and the like made for shorter than usual runs. Either way it has been yet another fantastic run and a good time. I cannot wait for next week.

  9. The Flying Pig: Week 9
    A week of discovery. I ran my first long run with my new shoes. All was okay till about mile 14 when my feet really started to hurt. As I was working on it during my run I realized that my legs were getting really fatigued. I finished up the run and got a good stretch and headed home. When I got home I could barely walk. My feet were in real trouble and my legs were not far behind. I decided to try something.
    On Tuesday I took the inserts out of my shoes and put the manufactures inserts in. I hadn’t felt better in days. My legs seemed to heel themselves. Another 10k down. I put on an uneventful 10k on Thursday and another 4 miles on Saturday. In all 32 miles. Not much but enough.
    I need this snow to go away so I can get some track work in. I miss ladder intervals. I know what you are thinking. I am sick and should be committed but it is nice to put some real all out effort at different distances. Also, I will be finally getting some more focused strength training in the next few weeks. Till next week Hugs and Kisses.

  10. The Flying Pig: Week 10
    I’m late I know. This week was rather uneventful. A good 12 mile run on Sunday was followed up by a short 5k on Tuesday. I really need to wake up earlier. My shoes are holding up real nice. They are starting to get dirty and that pains me. Either way.
    The best part is that it is Spring and we all know what that means. Another heavy snow in the coming weeks!! And… the weather is getting better. So good that the snow melted off of the track. I took advantage of this and did 1600 intervals. 4 of them with some jogging in between. I haven’t felt this good in a long time. The track was just speed. I have never run that much on a track by myself but it was fantastic. Either way. Another 5k on Saturday and the week of recovery was ended on 25.1 miles. A big week awaits and I am ready.
    Remember, see you next week: Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel.

  11. The Flying Pig: Week 11
    Oh wow. What a week. I got to see my friend and Saturday Morning Task Master Josiecomplete her first race. Way to go. I then decided to run my 20 mile run from that Bridges To Recovery down to the Tow Path. What a great idea except for the head wind for the 15 miles. I kind of hurt myself but it was worth it. I love running from one place out of the way back home or at least to the familiar. Things did not stop there. Space started actual training for her running. And I am the trainer. Scary isn’t it. She ran on the track for about two miles with interval runs interspersed. It was cool.
    I kind of hurt my heel on the 20 miler so I took it easy on Tuesday with a 10k. Really I took it easy. I just let everything loose and didn’t worry about speed. I thought it was a bad run and I was still faster than the pace I had intended. My percieved effort to pace calibration is being thrown off.
    On Wednesday, I had Jen do some 20m wind sprints with some form exercises. Coaching rules.
    Thursday was another story. 7 mile Tempo. Well it was supposed to be 5 Tempo with a mile warm and cool. Well I warmed up but after a mile I poured on the jets and let it loose. It felt real good to jsut push and pust and keep pushing for a long time. Things are clicking and I haven’t felt better about it.
    Saturday was the Jog into Spring 5k and 1 mile fun run. More on that later. When I talk about pushing I did nothing but stomp for 3.1 miles in 22:57. This was also Jen’s first Race. Even more on that later.
    All in all I had a fantastic week with a 20 miler and some great speed work that totaled up to 37.24miles. It only gets better with time. Stay tuned for Scenes from the Next: ….

  12. The Flying Pig: Weeks 12 & 13
    I know I have been slacking. I totally missed last weeks update. Actually I think I am doing pretty well since I wasn’t sure I was going to keep up with this. Well, last week was yet another in the list of long runs. I had put on a great 16 mile run but was still feeling the effects of the 30 miler in the previous week. I had hurt my heel and it was still bothering me. Things workd themselves out after about an hour but it is still there and I know it will make me pay later. The best part is that I am not really pushing but my pace is still real fast compare to the past. I am glad.
    Another easy 10 on tuesday kept the tradition going and a 10k tempo run at 8:23/mile got me ready for the race weekend. I stomped out a 22:25 5k and got third in division at Run For Your Life. It was great.
    Now comes the bad. I was ready and willing and on my way. I had my last 20 miler ahead of me and I started off. Things were feeling pretty good. I was a little tight from the previous weeks and of course this is the begining of Taper. I got toa turnaround point at 5 miles out and my foot was really not feelling right. I stretched a little and looked at the clock. This was going to be a long run. On the way back to the start point my foot was still feeling real bad. By the time I had gotten back to my car I was not quite in pain but my entire stride was more of running limp. My arch was all tight and not stretching with the impact. I thought about it for a second and a big part of me said run through it. The smart part of me said cut it short you have enough training in and let the foot heal. To hell with the smart part I must run on. Body do battle with brain. Brain wins. I cut my run at 10 miles and went home for some strecthing and lunch. Lunch was good. Stretching was not as good.
    I put the usual 10k in on Tuesday. The foot was in much better shape. I am glad I heel fast. Due to some travel I had to make my next run on Wednesday. 4 x 1600 at race pace with 800m inbetween. I loved it. Track work is so much fun. I had a good lay off over Thursday and Friday and because I had a race on Sunday I put a great 12 mile run in on Saturday. It felt fanstastic. I was also the first good run in shorts for the season. I almost overheated. What a blast. Either way I am in taper now and it is starting to get on me. Two weeks of training, 31.5 and 36.1 miles. Another couple of weeks till it come to a head.
    You won’t believe who gets voted off next….

  13. The Flying Pig: Week 14
    Well this was it. I have finalized my training and we are in that uncertain mode where I am unsure that I have done enough.
    On Sunday I had the Bedford 5 mile Run and Pancake breakfast. What a great race. I got a little over heated but things went real well. As usual I went out too fast and slowed it down to a steadier pace. See the Race report. It was weird not putting in a long run on Sunday but that was okay.
    On Tuesday I put in a an easy 5k. There are some kinks and this run help to work them out. I really took my time with the stretching and kept things easy.
    Thursday was a great 10k tempo run. I felt real good and most of that Taper apprehension was gone. No real pains and the legs were real loose.
    Saturday could have turned into my biggest mistake of my training. I ran the Cleveland 10 miler. This is not the best move just a week before the Marathon but I have loved this event the past two years. I could not imagine missing it this year. Things went well and I set another PR. More on that in the Race report. All in all a great week at 24.27 miles.
    I rounded off the training on Sunday with a 3 mile shake down. I most likely will be swimming through the next week to give my legs a break but keep the blood pumping.
    Less than a week. I feel ready but I am unsure about everything. Check back before the race I may have more. Either way wish me luck. May 4th will be a blast.

An Awesome Encounter on 16 Miles of Dehydration

I was on my long run this Sunday as I usually am.  I found out afterwards that my training plan said 12 miles but I had already chosen to run 16.  I wanted to get out and run for close to three hours and clear my head in the mild weather.  It was about 32 degrees with no wind and no rain.  All was going okay till a point.

Previously, in the week there had been some frozen precipitation that has melted and refrozen.  This had caused sheets of ice that we almost undetectable and made for some treacherous motivation.  I had gone on to the Metroparks and decided that I would give the multipurpose path a try and run till I couldn’t or 16 miles which ever came first.  I got to my starting point and downed an e-gel and gulped some water from my tour de France bottle and I set off with my MP3 player blasting.  I found that the ice on the path was that kind of white crunchy ice that afforded some sort of traction.  This held up for about a mile.   There were patches of no white crunchy stuff where I quickly found out were just sheets of black ice.  Well, that lesson was learned and I stuck to the crunchy stuff.  All was good and got better when I turned to the Bedford Reservation and found an almost dry path free from even the crunch ice.  Fantastic.  I was feeling real good about this.  The bulk of my run was to be in the Bedford Reservation and if it was all like this then I was golden. 

It is amazing how things change.  I made it about three miles and then the path turned behind some trees and the ice was in sheets again.  These were at least sporadic at that point.  Another mile and the path was almost impassable.  I must have been a site.  I was switching strides like I was a Fremen on Dune trying not to attract a Worm.  I started off shuffling across some ice with short controlled steps.  Then at another point I kind of planted one foot and pushed with the other to slide across some ice.  Then there were the down and side slopes.  It was awesome.  At one point I actually slipped and just about pulled a bicep keeping my balance.  I have never hurt so much in my upper-body with out actually falling.  It was about that time I decided that I would just run on the road of the Metroparks instead of the path.  I had seen others doing it and for once I thought that was the better idea. 

I am glad I did.  For one thing I am alive to tell this tale which I am unsure I would be if I had not abandoned the path.  The other is that I crossed this fellow runner going the opposite direction at about 6.5 miles.  We saw each other and nodded in acknowledgment.  Then he asked me how far.  I removed my ear bud for clarification and the replied 16 miles.  He nodded and wished me luck.  I did the same and I went on my merry way.  I had another 1.5 before I turned around.  I had thought nothing more of it.  It was just another pleasant interaction with another runner.  Well, there was one more ice encounter of note where I was running across a sheet in one direction to my left and ended up on the right side of the path.  At the turn around I had popped another e-gel and got back on the run.  BTW, I love the Cherry Bomb is the best flavor ever.  Lets say it is the Bomb. 

All is relatively uneventful. I stick the road for the next four miles and almost get run over by one old jerk that doesn’t know that pedestrians have the right of way on all roads throughout the Unites States.  Either way I hit the clear path and keep trucking.  Then up in the distance I see that I am coming up on another runner.  I was trudging up the hill when I caught up the the gentlemen I had conversed with ever so briefly a few miles back in crossing.  It was the crest of the hill and he had stopped to grab a drink from his bottle when I approached from behind and commented on how beautiful the day was for running.  That was when he asked something like “How do you do it?”  My confused look was enough for him explain further.  He wanted to know how I could run 16 miles without hydration.  I really did not have an answer for him. I just kind of patted my belly and said I have a lot stored up.  I had already started to get dehydrated a mile or two back when my palms went dry.  I had told him that I tend not to run with water that much in the winter.  I know it was probably a bad idea but it was just the way I ran.  He asked what I was training for.  Of course the Flying Pig in May and the Catch a Leprechaun 30k in March.  He was training for a 50k in March and Boston.  We stood there for a minute or two discussing running.  He hydrates every mile with 4oz of a sports drink of sort and the bottles were marked lines denoting those 4 ounces.  He has run the past 10 Marine Corps marathon and I explained that I had run last years Marine as well and that my father had run it in 83 and that was my inspiration for running as well.  We chatted some more about the training and races and of course hydration.  I even got a 4oz slug of his drink.  Well thanks went and greetings and I was off.  I was probably 200 meters out front when I realized that I did not even catch his name.  It was a most pleasant experience and only two miles from my finish.  I really regret not getting his name.

I finished my run and quickly downed all the water in my car and considered tapping the radiator if it weren’t full of ethylene glycol.  My banana was fantastic and all was well.  I had a fantastic run with some adventure and I met a fantastic runner along the way.  I hope to cross paths with him again.  I am more fulfilled by the experience and am glad to be part of the community that is running.  Either-way, thanks Dude for the juice and the fantastic camaraderie.  I am going to reconsider my hydration in the future.