Week 10

Total Miles – 36.8

Runs 37-40

The week started off wrong.  My Haglund’s deformity had me hurting, so much so, that on Monday morning I called my coach and prepped him for me not running for the foreseeable future.  I called my doctor, whose office was closed.  I called my insurance provider and spoke to a nurse.  I was told, dude, you don’t need a referral.  Find a podiatrist and go!  So I did!  I called around until I found someone that could see me that very day.  He confirmed Haglunds, gave me a treatment plan, showed me what I could do for the plantar on the other foot and sent me home feeling much better!  At least mentally.  Monday was skipped!

Run 37 – A Tuesday run, since my Monday was shot! First time running knowing that I had this condition.  I have had it for a while, first time it affects my running.  Smart man that I am :sarcasm:, this was my first run with the Hoka One One Gaviota 2.  (That was not a typo, that is the actual name of the brand, Hoka One One).  I did the loop I have been doing.  I started the run at an easy pace as indicated.  I also went from side to side on the road.  Crossing the street over and over again to change which foot had the most stress.  If you look at the way roads are built, they are done so in a slope for drainage purposes.  Crossing from side to side, kept the stress equal on both feet.  (Crazy I know)

At around mile 4, I felt Haglund.  I was still over 2 miles from the house.  I dreaded having to stop.  Thankfully it tugged at me a handful of times.  Threatening to bring my run to stop, but never fully doing so.  

Run 38 – Back to the Treadmill.  The snow is killing me! This was for the best I guess, since I had speed.  

The recipe was a 22 minute warmup, 4 rounds of 8 minute pace for a mile with a 2 min jog for rest purposes, capping it off with 10 minutes cool down.  I keep saying that the mind is a powerful thing.  The 22 minute warm up  was normal.  My mind was already making excuses as to why I was not going to be able to run 4 sets of 1 mile at an 8 minute pace.  

Round 1 – Normal, 8 minute pace is 7.5 mph on the treadmill.  Not awful, but for a whole mile, it’s definitely felt.  That’s like 10k pace for me. 

Round 2 – Normal at the beginning.  Towards the end it was a struggle.  I started feeling phantom twitches in my Haglunds.  I started thinking, why I am pushing.  I started thinking about the excuse I would tell my coach.  

Round 3 – I was defeated before I started.  I changed to Hamilton for music.  “Satisfied” got me through this round.  “He will never be satisfied, I will never be satisfied”. The jog for resting lasted 3 minutes this time.  

Round 4 – I had already planned, in those previous 3 minutes to call it quits.  I was going to tell Javier that my foot hurt and I could not keep going.  I then remembered that we agreed I would still finish, just at an easy pace.  So I said FUCK IT.  Just run it!  I started with my favorite Hamilton song, “Wait For It”!  Then I pushed it and finish with “Non-Stop”! 

The cool down, had me with Jefferson getting back from France and the run was done. Thank you Hamilton for getting me through this insane run!

Run 39 – Easy Run and more snow!  Back on the treadmill.   I won’t write much about this, except to say it was my second run with Gaviota 2’s.  It was on the Treadmill.  I did half the run listening to Fake Doctors Real Friends, the second half with Hamilton.  Even then, the run felt interminable.   The max on the treadmills at the gym is 60 minutes.  That is a ploy, not to limit people’s time on the treadmill, but to keep their sanity.  

Run 40 –  Longest long since 2019.  It has been snowing the last two days, so I cannot run in my neighborhood, so hooray for no massive hills.  Again, Martha needs to do 8 miles, so I figured out a way to do it together.  We parked by her house and ran to Central Park.  That’s 1 mile.  A loop around Central Park, that’s 6 miles.  During this loop we stayed together the first mile or so, after that Martha was always ahead of me.  So I spent my time looking at her booty as she headed further and further away, slowing down when she noticed how far back I was, or when she needed water/gels. 

At mile 7, we said goodbye, she had a mile left to get to her house.  I was doing another half loop around Central Park and had 9/10 miles left.  I did not know exactly the route I was going to take.  I just knew that I would head down and exit the park at Columbus Circle (59th and 8th) and zig zag my way over to the west side, to finish the run along the Hudson River.  Since I did not plan any of this, I did not know how far down I should be going.  I figured maybe 42nd Street, yet around 48th, I decided to turn in fears that I would have to walk too much at the end to get to Martha’s house.  Trust your first instincts people!  

My pace dropped after exiting the park.  From a stable 9:15/30 to a 9:50/10:10. I will attribute this to two things.  Running alone and running on the roads.  It’s very different to be in Central Park to constantly having to stop and start in the city.  Also, having someone along you, or in my case in front of you as motivation!

The trek up the West Side was great, it did have one caveat.  I know it too well, so I know exactly how much is left at any given time.  It plays with your head.  I also, did not listen to myself and had to over shoot Martha’s exit and keep going on the west side for a bit to add more time.  This also, plays with your head.  To finish it all up, the massive hills going from the West Side to Amsterdam were my end.  My speed drop to a 12 minute pace going up what felt like Everest to my tired legs and debating mind.  Yet I was able to finish. My Haglund’s deformity is inflamed and I am currently icing it. We will see how it holds up.

I bought another pair of Brooks Adrenaline! These will likely be the shoes I run the Marathon in. We shall see how they feel when they arrive! Bring on Week 11. Almost there people!

Week 9

Total Miles – 33.1

Runs 33-36
It’s actually Wednesday 2 runs into Week 10 as I write about Week 9. I actually pondered not writing since it turned out to be a week of pain, a week of changes, a week of doubting moving forward. Enough preamble, let’s get to it.

Run 33 – I keep doing this new loop that takes me through Bronxville and into Tuckahoe. Depending on the way I do the loop, dictates the hills, there is one massive one! Which I try to take at the end by slowly going up the long way and then jotting down. Taking it at the beginning on the way up, drains you too quickly. This was was a simple easy run, finishing at a tempo pace. The snow is out there and I ran on the road against my better judgement. When it came time to actually do the push, I did so with caution and not a true tempo pace.

Run 34 – More hill training, and again the treadmill was the place to do this run. The snow is still out there and there are no real hills where I could push with abandon. The treadmill also keeps me honest here. It’s a lot harder to slow down the treadmill, doing so takes deliberate action. Whereas, slowing down on the road is simply letting go a bit. The hill parts got pushed back to 6 repetitions, BUT, of 1 minute each. Those extra 20 seconds make a world of a difference.

The rest of the hills workout was what it has been the last couple of weeks. The next day my abs feel this workout more than my legs and it really puts you to the test. Another reason to do it on the treadmill is that I really do not have any areas around here with no hills. It’s all hills! So it’s hard to do the hill/flat hill/flat you can do with the treadmill.

Run 35 – Easy Run – Used to find a route to run with Martha tomorrow. The plan is a double loop for me, where I do the first loop with Martha and then continue for a second whammy, of a tad bit more length.

I did the same loop as Monday, but, in reverse and with slightly modified turns in Tuckahoe to get the extra mileage needed with Martha. That hill you read about in run 33, I hit that one head on like at mile 2. Uff! It takes a pounding! Oddly, I did not slow down at all as I hit the hill. But my heart felt it at the top and eventually had to slow down to settle myself. Good final easy run before my long run!

Run 36 – Hurt Again! Weird medical conditions, and HILLS., OH THE FUCKING HILLS! (Sorry if there are kids reading this). BUT FUCK THEM HILLS. The first part was a slightly extended version of Run 35. I added a mile at the beginning extending the loop to 7 miles. I then continued with a loop through Mount Vernon and into New Rochelle of 8 miles. I figured I would end the day with something around 14-15 miles.

The first part was great. It felt just like it did the day before, right at the beginning we hit a huge hill by the college, a product of that extra mile or so I added. At mile 3ish, we hit that big hill again. Midway up, Martha called for a break and my legs and heart happily obliged. The rest was uneventful. Martha was kick-ass getting her miles in. As for me the next 8 miles I hoped would be just as uneventful.

I started off heading from my side of Mount Vernon into the more precarious parts. I wrongly thought I had done the bulk of the hills I was going to do, and BOY, was I mistaken. Right at about the half mile mark of my second loop I hit the mother of all hills and the biggest one of the day. Not only was it steep, but it was LONG! With the road falling to pieces, I think I came to an almost complete stop.

After, I picked up the pace again, until I reached New Rochelle, where the hills welcomed me yet again! Also… the cars as I traversed Mt Vernon were not runner friendly. In Bronxville and Tuckahoe, you get a wide berth, in Mount Vernon the proper city, it’s playing Frogger, and they pretend you are not even there. Add to that the complexity of the snow and ice, and it made for a stressful run. I can honestly say I am NOT a fan!

I wound up doing a little over 14 miles, but I paid the price. My body was shot and my right heal was screaming at me. It was screaming bloody murder!

Turns out, and I went to a podiatrist on Monday to confirm this, that I have a condition called Haglund’s Deformity or “pump bump” because it was common in woman that wore very high pumps. It’s a bony bump that appears on the back of the heal. Because it protrudes, certain activities, like the long run, can cause it to inflame and cause dramatic pain. The podiatrist hooked it up, and gave me some anecdotes to deal with it. I feared this had ended my Marathon hopes, but, in the end it will just make me stronger. After deeper conversation with the podiatrist, wearing my Duck Boots unlaced, which i was doing a lot off lately was a likely cause of both this episode and my plantar fasciitis on the right foot.

For now, I’m icing my bump, and getting some orthopedic soles. For the plantar on the right I am also taping it up to remove pressure.

On an equipment update, I have returned the New Balance. I also got a pair of Hoka’s . Their best stability shoe is the Gaviota and I scored last year’s model on discount from REÍ. Once I get my credit for the NB’s I will get a second pair of Brooks. The Hoka’s I got mainly because of Carlos the Runner. If you don’t know who he is, please please please, click on the name and head over to his Instagram. Really takes a fun approach to running and is a Hoka Ambassador. I will do better next week, with posting this a little more timely.

Week 8

Total Miles – 27.7

Runs 29 – 32: The start of weekly writing vs after every run.  I just recently finished my long run of what was suppose to be an easy week turned difficult by Mother Nature.  We got a massive snow storm that dumped 21 inches of snow on my small town.  If that sounds like a lot it’s because it is. 

Run 29 – This was an easy 50 minute run that was suppose to happen on Monday but was shifted to Tuesday since, we got dumped on Monday with those 21” I just mentioned.  I wound up having to wait until late in the day to run.  The gym did not open until noon on Tuesday due to the snow and I could not go right at noon because to add complication to the week, Tuesday was also the start of an internal conference at my company. I wound up finally going out around 6pm.  50 minutes on the treadmill is no easy feat.  It’s suppose to be, but no, it’s not.  To top it all off, I wore the New Balance which are not fitting as well as I had hoped.  I experience quite a bit of discomfort on my ailing arch, but nothing overly concerning.   I figured the new book I started listening to would distract, yet it did not.  I spent the 50 minutes, changing speeds and elevation to entertain myself.  

Run 30 – Hills, but on the treadmill again.   Last week I almost died with 6 rounds at an elevation of 8 and a pace of 7:47.  This week I had 8 rounds at the same pace.  The rest of the workout being identical.  The same 25 minute warmup, followed by sprints, then hills, then 10 minutes at an 8:00 minute pace and finally a cool down.  

One thing I can honestly say is that, it has become a standard that I start doubtful of being able to complete the training, then, being able to do it.  It’s true that running is a complete mind game, it’s getting past the barriers we ourselves create.  Last week I barely finished the 6th one, today, I got all the way to the 8th with no ill effects.  This week the hardest part was the 10 minutes at 8 minute pace. The treadmill making it all interminable.  

Run 31 – Taking to the roads! 21 inches of snow do not disappear in days.  We have more snow incoming tomorrow Sunday.  So today, I laced up the New Balance and hit the road.  A brand new loop avoiding trails that are not usually cleaned, preferring just streets.  Even the streets, I needed to avoid sidewalks since those are also not all necessarily cleaned.  So edge of the road.  I created the path using the most desolate roads I could find and while the hills were murderous, it made for a very interesting loop.  The New Balance started off weird, but by the end, they were fine.  I tightened them up similar to the brooks and that made some of the difference I think. 

Run 32 – Short Long Run ending on a speedier end.  60 minutes at easy pace, 25 minutes at Marathon pace, or I think that is Marathon pace ending with 10 minutes at Half Marathon pace.  To top it all off, since I don’t feel safe pushing on the road, we woke up with a lot of black ice on the roads, I headed to old reliable, Central Park.  

I started  the run with my girlfriend who needed to do 5 miles.  She’s training to do a half, while I am training for the Marathon.  We stuck to the bottom loop avoiding the massive hill at 110th.  The first loop was uneventful, Martha took off and even though I continued to tell her to slow down, I spent the whole 5 miles looking at her booty from afar.  After she exited the path at 100th on the West Side.  I continued, 10 more minutes at an easy pace, followed by those 25 at sub 9.  That sub 9, was fine, until I reached Cats hill on 72 in the East Side.  That could be the worst hill, it definitely was today.  I was coasting at about an 8:40 pace, and keeping that up that hill was nye impossible.  I think I did, but only because I was able to speed up after.  

The hardest part, was speeding up to 8:00 pace for the last 10 minutes.  My body was not into it, yet somehow all of a sudden I‘m struggling to slow down to that pace.  I took off too quick and started in the mid 7’s.  By the time I controlled myself to an 8 pace.  My body was done and I started to slow down with 3/4 minutes remaining, not because I could not keep the pace, but because I exited the park. 

With snow tomorrow, I have more treadmills in my future next week.  Training for a Spring marathon in NY, sucks!… ENOUGH said for this week.  See ya’ll next week!

Week 7

Total Miles – 33.1

Run 25 – 1/25/21 – Treadmill Return of the Pain – It was frigidly cold today and I decided to not risk further exposure to Mother Nature and headed to the gym for my easy 60 minute run . I also needed to check what the treadmills at the gym had as max inclination just in case the snow on Tuesday actually falls and I need to do my hill repeats on the treadmill.

First of all, I hate running with a mask, once you start sweating up a storm, even the Under Armour one I purchased gets so soaked, it is hard to breath. You are pulling in your own sweat, it’s disgusting! I hate running on the treadmill and then running on it with a mask. Yet, you must adhere.

Before I even laced up my shoes today, I iced my ailing right arch, because it was tender and it just plain HURT. So when I started my slow trot on the treadmill I knew what was coming before it started. It began as a small discomfort, that ended up turning into slight constant pain with every strike. Not enough to change my strike or to slow me down, but enough for me to notice and be mentally affected. To the point where I have to think, what will my hill repeats be like. This is not the shoe, since unlike the original shoe that started this, I don’t feel the stab.

I told my coach and he wants me to see a doctor, which I will. I made the appointment for Thursday. We will see what he says. I will not stop running in the meantime.

The run on the treadmill was what it always is, interminable. It never ends. Even with a good book in my ear. It never ENDS.

Run 26 Hills – Run 27 Easy – Run 28 Longest Run in a Year – I will be honest and say I did not write at all, all week. Except for Monday’s run. This is a recap of the week. Starting with:

Wednesday Hills #26 – I could not run on the road, so I had to take my hills to the treadmill. Part of the reason for running Monday’s run, other than the cold, in the gym was to see how high I could set the treadmill, 15. So hills consisted of 40 second sprints 6 times. Before that, 4 30 second sprints on flat ground to get loose and then capping it all off, with 10 minutes of Half Marathon pace. Sandwich that in between a 25 minute warm up and a 10 minute cool down and it was a hell of a workout. Not treadmill fun! Yet, went rather quick except for the bookends, because of all the changing up of paces.

I went back to wearing the Brooks for this run, to see if I could abate the pain in my arches and that worked. For some reason the Brooks don’t cause the same pain as everything else. I have the new New Balance ready to go for the next easy run. Anyway, the hills were murderous. Running so fast, at a 7:47 pace for 40 seconds with an incline of 8 was not easy. Doable, but no easy. By the 5th go around, I feared not staying on pace but pushed on. On the 6th run, I honestly felt myself slipping but pushed on and somehow sped up enough to stay on the treadmill and not show up in someone’s YouTube video falling off the treadmill like an idiot. The one thing the treadmill does do, is force you to keep that pace. The act of changing speeds or elevation is the act of giving up, and it is much harder to do when you have to press a button to do it.

After the hills came 20 minutes of interminable treadmill hell. The 10 minutes at half marathon pace never ended. After the fast pace of the changes between the sprints and the hills, staying at that pace for 10 minutes was both hard and monotonous at the same time. Follow that up by 10 minutes at easy pace and the last 20 minutes felt 10 times longer than the first 40.

Friday #27 – Easy Run on new shoes. They feel utterly different to the Asics and Brooks, and they hug my feet in such a way to say I got you. Yet, the toe box felt wide and loose. I feared that I would be in pain quick with these shoes, since I felt them on my right foot. Yet, I just felt them and nothing else. While I did feel a tinge of pain a couple of times it never remained. I was able to put on dress shoes after and nothing of note happened. I did my usual home loop for 55 minutes and nothing eventful, except the lack of pain but definitely some pressure.

The doctor on Thursday advice me that I would not do any real further damage, it would just take that much longer to heal. So, we push on!

Saturday #28 – Long Run, actually my longest run in a year when I was training for the canceled NJ Marathon. Again, I relied on the Brooks since pain and Brooks are not synonymous. I create a 15 mile loop, hoping that 15 would be enough to cover the 2hrs and 20 minutes I needed. I went from Mount Vernon, to The Bronx and Baychester Ave. I took this all the way past Co-op city and into Pelham Park. Did you know that Pelham Park is actually the biggest park in the city. The running trails in and around it are hilly and well paved. It was really a joy to run them. From there, I cut back up to New Rochelle and then back to Mount Vernon. Quite the loop!

Here’s the issue with that loop though. The last 3 miles were all up hill. It did not matter that it was a balmy 20 degrees outside. I sweated through the cold and my energy was completely depleted with the hills. My pace went from a steady 9:30 give or take. To a 10:1X. I felt it as I slowed. I felt it as the hills took a number on me. I thankfully did not lose the fight and other than stopping for lights. I never stopped because I could no longer go.

Next week is suppose to be an easy week, that will be made difficult by the Nor’Easter that is incoming on Monday which will make all my runs be done at the gym with the exception of maybe Saturday, which I will do in Central Park.