9/30 - 30 min Swim/35 minutes elliptical

Solid workout today - 30 minutes in the pool followed by 35 minutes on the elliptical followed by a 10 minute ab workout.
I decided to break up my pool lap swimming today. I like to swim, but going back and forth gets boring pretty quickly. I tried to keep my focus by doing smaller intervals instead of one big swim. I ended up with doing 3 X 400 - all under 7:30. I never said I was fast, but for a non-racing swim time, I'll take this. I finished up with 4 X 50s on the minute (the swimming takes me about 45 seconds, then a fifteen second recovery), and then did a 200 cool down. Total = 1600 meeter in under a 30 minutes.
The elliptical is the elliptical. I did a cross training workout for 30 minutes with a 5 minute cool down. Total calories burned about 525 calories.
I did the elliptical workout at Drake after my swim. I feel a bit out of place - since it is a college campus in the aerobics room, there are not many, if any college men - just women. I think most of the guys are too busy bulking up versus getting a balanced aerobic and strength training program. So today, it was me and about 10 college women. I'm sure the college women working out look at me and think "What is that old creepy guy doing here working out?"
Oh well!

Anyway, last night we had a great mac and bacon recipe found here: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1918488

Melissa, once again, did the cooking. It turned out yummy. We substituted regular penne past with whole wheat pasta - which is what we usually always do at our house anyway. We served it with green beans.

Here is a picture of the plate - however - this is the magazine picture - I forgot to take a pic of my actual plate.

I would also like to report that it took almost all of my will power, but I did not "snack" excessively last night. After 8 pm, no eating for me. After viewing a couple of tips about emotional eating, I decided if I wanted to see if I could make it through my craving time between 8-10 pm. The above meal filled me up and I was not hungry. I had used most of calories for the day so I knew that I shouldn't be too hungry going into the evening. I'm sure there will be times that I will need to eat in the evening depending on my calorie count for the day, but yesterday was not one of those days.


9/29 - Still getting used to being a non-runner

Okay, I have a few updates.....

Yes, I have not run in almost two full weeks. And yes, I smell like chlorine from the pool.

I have been doing quite a bit of swimming and cycling. On Sunday, I went out for a 30 mile bike ride. I was wiped at the end of cycling 30 miles, I can't believe there are people out there who like to run that far....oh wait a second!!

I have started to take a closer look at what I can do outside of running to make sure I come back from this injury in reasonable running shape. So, I have started to watch what I eat among other things.

I watch what I eat, I really haven't changed what I eat, but I do watch the Little Debbie Cosmic brownie get unwrapped and get into my mouth.

I know that I need to eat better.....

I'm not sure how many calories I actually burn through when I run, but I'm guessing my average 60 mile running week burns an additional 6000 calories or so a week. You can see how the absence of running might effect my diet.

I'm still trying to hit 60 minutes of cardio a day, 6 days a week, with swimming, cycling, and yes, elliptical. I've also started to water jog (yawn). Even with all of this, I seem to have put on a few pounds. I think some of the stress of not running is getting to me and, since I'm an emotional eater, the less I run - the more I eat. Hence - me and Little Debbie getting closer over the past couple of weeks.

So - to recap - less calories burned due to decreased exercise PLUS an increase in "junk" food calorie intake = a bigger Doug.

My wife is great - she is really supportive of helping me through this stress fracture. For example, she prepared a great meal below, and this is hopefully the first of many entries about trying to eat right...

We recently had the Cooking Light's Barbecue Sirloin and Blue Cheese Salad for supper. You can find the recipe here: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1918481

This is what our salad looked like.

It was a great meal. Melissa did a fantastic job recreating the dish. She did substitute a baby greens salad mix for the bib lettuce. For only 269 calories a serving, it really hit the spot. According to Melissa, the preparation of the meal was easy and the whole meal was prepared in about 20 minutes.
That was Sunday evening. Last night was a crazy schedule night with kid activities and I ended up with a Turkey sandwich followed by some brownies and banana bread. Okay lots of brownies - Hey....I'm still a work in progress.......


9/24 - elliptical - 45 minutes

Seriously - the elliptical??

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against the elliptical. I admire people for getting to the gym to workout and put forth a strong effort on these machines. But for an ultra runner to use a machine like this? He must have a stress fracture.....

I received an email from my running coach. I wanted to know what I should do while I'm sidelined from running. I was looking for some advice on what to do for general strength training. He mentioned to me to watch the video "building a better runner" available at runningdvds.com.

I sent a copy of the email to my buddy John asking if he ever heard of this obscure video. He replied with a note of "I have a copy at home, you can borrow it for a bit."

John has everything related to running. I secretly think he has some sort running museum in his basement that has a history of running.

It sure is nice to have a friend like John!


9/22 - Update

Okay, the last few days, I have facing a runner's nightmare - Stress fracture. I continued to workout with spinning, elliptical, and swimming so I have still been working out, however, I don't get the same amount of joy from those workouts as I get from running. I guess there is something about a runner's high???

Okay - now for the updates on the MRI. My doctor has reviewed these results. It appears I have a high grade III stress fracture. I'm out of running for 8 weeks. Yikes. That puts me right up against Turkey Day. Even when I return to running, it will be a slow methodical return. In other words - no competitive running until late spring/early summer of next year.

There are many factors contributing to the stress fracture.
1. Nutrition - with the amount of calories and protein I need to maintain for the ultra distance training, I am likely not getting the proper amounts at the key times. Think pre/during/post race nutrition here.
2. Core/General Strength/Flexibility - nuff said - don't do enough of this.
3. Bio mechanics - the front of my tibia is taking more than its share of the workload than needed.

I'm taking a look at options on how to proceed, but likely get some help with all three of these items.

It should be an interesting 8 weeks. Oh yeah - I can still cross train and do some strength training.

Looks like a lot of indoor training for me with the exception of an occasional bike ride.


9/17 - One hour of spinning - eating

I always think spinning sounds funny. Like I sit on one of the kids toys, I think they are called "Sit-N-Spins".

So no, I didn't sit on a sit-n-spin for an hour. I cycled hard for one hour. I actually attended class. It was not easy, a good challenging instructor, and lots of time in zones 3 and 4 made for solid workout.

I've started to pay more attention to what I eat. Missing out on 60-80 miles of running a week due to shin injury means no more milkshakes and pop tarts as a bedtime treat to maintain calories.

Also - I have been reading more and more lately about foods that not only healthy but also good or "green" for the environment.

I picked up a book by Mark Bittman titled "Food Matters". I am not sure if I agree with Mr. Bittman a 100%, but he at least makes me think about what I eat and the "cost" of that food - not just the price I pay, but what impacts the food I could eat cost the environment around me.

Anyway - My MRI for the shin is tomorrow, not sure when I'll hear from Dr. Chad and crew regarding results, but my shin is feeling fine. I would normally be running, but I'll wait until results come back. Swimming against Shaq, cycling, and lifting seem to be distracting me enough at this point not to run.

I may start talking more about my nutrition since I'm not running. There is only so much I can think about while spinning in a room for an hour.


9/16 - Swim - Shaq vs.

Okay, since I'm off of running for the immediate future, I have to focus on a new challenge.

I think I found it. I want to beat Shaq in the water.

Did anyone else see Shaq vs. last night when he took on Michael Phelps?

Okay - I really don't set the bar all that high, but I wanted to go to the pool today to see how I could compare to Shaq, at least in the pool. I'll admit, he didn't look pretty in the pool, and he looked slowed compared to OLYMPIC athletes. Don't get me wrong, he is not a pro, but his times were decent.

For his 25 meter race, I believe he raced it in 18 seconds. For the 50 meter, he swam it in something like 38 seconds. (I can't seem to find his actual times on the Internet). Nothing too fast here - but than again nothing too slow.

I figured, I could go to the pool today and beat that time. No such deal. I did swim a half mile before attempting the fast swims, but still, I do occasionally swim and in my mind, look faster than what Shaq did on ABC.

I did two 25 meter runs - 20.1 second, and 19.08 seconds. I did one 50 meter swim fast - 40 seconds. It was hard and I was flying. Crazy a guy as big as Shaq can move that fast in the water. I'm sure he was using all his upper body strength but hey, if it works.....

Okay - new goal for the next couple of weeks - a 37 second 50 meter swim and a 17 second 25 meter swim.

Thanks for giving me something to shoot for Shaq!

9/15 - Biking for 45 minutes

Okay, my shin needs help. I went to see the doc for some guidance. Bad news is it may be another stress fracture. Good news is he'll allow me to swim, cycle, and aqua jog during recovery. As for the workout, since the shin is being looked at, I went cycling/spinning for 45 minutes inside today. It was a nice hard 45 minute cycle, almost like running repeats. Almost.

Just to get people caught up - it is either a level 1 or 2 stress fracture (MRI will determine treatment and how long I'll be out) OR it is something with my tendon/muscle irritating my bone - which doc thinks can be corrected with orthopedics and I can still run this fall. Only a MRI will give him a definite answer. He suggested that we could do a trail and error - for example, get fit for orthopedics and see if helps (although it would be up to me if the pain was getting better) OR no running till Jan (assume bad stress fracture and let it heal for 3 months) and start running again; if the pain returned than it is likely not a stress fracture.

Either way, I'm not sure I like this medical elimination approach.

FYI...Our health care system is a mess. Try calling around and getting a quote on "lower extremity without contrast MRI". I received an answer of $991 (after about 3 hrs of calling about 6 different imaging labs, I only received this one answer). That price is before my insurance carrier discount; which I called my insurance carrier and they didn't know what the final price would be. I received somewhere between $700 and $900. Why can't I shop around for MY MRI????


9/14 - Swim 45 min

Okay, maybe I should rename this blog to "Not so Regular Guy Runner". Or maybe that means something else....

Anyway, after the run on Friday, my shin was not happy with me. I took the weekend off, cycling on Sunday for 60 minutes, and decided to swim today.

After a couple of email exchanges, I decided it was time to go in and get the shin looked at.

I'm not optimistic regarding the outcome of the Dr appt, my guess is it will be take some time off (4-6 weeks) and some stretches etc.

I'll continue to run through others, keeping track of all my running friends and their journeys to whatever their next race for me.

Oh well, I'll be a regular guy runner soon!


9/11 - 13 miles 8 min pace

It was a warm and humid run this afternoon. I ran a 7 miles before picking up Carla for 6 miles. All the miles were right around 8 minutes. It seemed pretty hard - amazing to me that just three weeks ago I completed 50 miles and now 13 feels hard to do at the 8 minute pace.

For the first 7 miles, I ran around the Marriott hotel for a couple of laps, headed out for 6 miles, and came back to finish up around the Marriott while waiting for Carla to start the last six.

Why? The Circus is in town; specifically, Britney's Circus. There were about 5 different tour buses surrounding the hotel, and Britney was likely somewhere inside.

The first thing Carla asked was "Did you see her?" Nope. We headed out on the the remaining 6 miles of my run. I was hoping Brit might come out and want to run a quick 5 miles with Carla and I. After meeting us, she would comp us tickets for tonight's circus show and be her special guests since we are just that cool.

No such luck. Apparently it is a strength training day for Brit.

Dave Mathews will be in town in a couple of weeks - anyone know if he is a runner?


9/10 - 30 min swim, weights

Today's swim rocked. It was a furious swim, where I finally hit 1600 meters under 30 minutes. Okay, not going to win a gold medal, in fact, I think if I had a 75 meter head start on a 100 meter race, Phelps would still kick me to the curb.

After the swim, I went to lift weights and do my core workout. All was good, a solid 1 hr cross training effort for the day.

I am learning to appreciate running more as I haven't been running everyday lately. I really look forward to runs, and having cross training days such as today, makes being away from running palatable.

9/9 - 9 mile run with 4 miles at tempo pace

The run was one of my three favorite routes. Park loop. Basically an 8 mile loop that is mostly trail after heading up a large incline, then down it on a semi-busy road (Grand Ave).

Carla wanted to get in a tempo run today - my thought was to try and push a temp run - 2 X 2 miles with a 2 mile warm up, 2 mile cool down, and 1 mile easy run in between the 2 miles of tempo. I did not have my trusty Garmin with me today, but according to Carla we hit the faster 2 mile sets at a 7:05 pace. It was fun to go that fast again.

After the run, I sat down to stretch and do my ab routine. I noticed the shorts I was running in had a huge rip in the seam along with a big hole. RATS!! I really liked those running shorts! In fact, they were to be slated to be used at Lean Horse until I decided I need some shorts with more pockets.

My wife usually is the one to throw away "over used" running items for me. I hang onto them way to long, almost like an emotional attachment for me. However, today was different - I simply tossed them after the run. I really like those shorts, there was no hard feelings toward them, and I simply told those shorts (in my head, not out loud); Thanks for all the great runs!


9/8 - Swim

Okay - like my last post said - no pushing the shin recovery. Today was a swimming day. It was a 40 minute lap swim.

Just for the record - I'm amazed at the different builds of people who swim and at which speed some people can swim.

I was between to people today - a young guy who was thin, likely a runner doing some cross training, and an older woman, medium build, who looked like she was totally comfortable in the water.

I was amazed at how skillful the woman was in the water - each stroke was propelling her toward the other end of the pool. As for the young man next to me, his arms were going through the air faster than I could see them but yet he seemed to be swimming in place - not really moving forward at all.

It reminded me to slow down, take it easy, and enjoy what I'm doing. Sometimes it is not about how fast you get to the other side, it is about how you get there and sometimes trying to move too fast just seems to slow you down.

9/7 Trail Run

What a run! John and I headed out to Jester Park for an 8 mile trail run. the 8+ miles took about an hour and 20 minutes - I think it was like a 9:30 pace, but it was exactly what I needed.

I have never really felt like John and I get into a good running rhythm at Jester Park. The trails don't seem to flow together, we usually need to stop and turn around; or figure out which area to run again.

However, today was different. It was a great 8 mile loop that flowed well. We ran through hills, along the lake (or river? I think it is a lake??) and today the loop worked out well.

My shin is getting better - I have ran twice now over two weeks. I'm going to still take it easy though - no need to push the recovery as I don't have a race planned at this point for the late fall or winter.

But the trails just felt right. Maybe I'll skip a marathon this fall and try another trail race before the year's end??


9/4 Run - easy 5 - Rocket

Today was my first run since the 50 mile race.

It was like having a conversation with a friend who you haven't seen in a while.....

Or tasting ice cream on a hot summer day....

Or hot chocolate on a cold winter day.....

In other words, it was comforting to me. I don't know when this happened, but running is so much a part of me, that running actually sooths my soul. It makes me a calmer person, a a patient dad, and (although my wife may disagree) a more understanding husband.

Today's run was an easy 5 miles. I wanted to see how it went. No lies, I even thought running 5 miles after the 50 mile race should seem easy. It wasn't - my two week hiatus from running caused some struggle in the 5 mile run.

Like that first awkwardness of saying hello to that old friend, or eating the ice cream too fast that a "brain freeze" occurs, or you burn the roof of your mouth because the hot chocolate is not "just" hot, but scolding.

Yes, a little bit of uncomfortable is okay, but in the end, you just feel better. When you finish that conversation, eat that last bite of ice cream, or finishing up that list sip of hot chocolate - you sit back and smile.

Those items felt so comforting, you can't wait to do it again.

Yep - me and running - can't wait to do it again.