I joined a gym!

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As part of my therapy for the stress fracture I’m not allowed to run at the moment but I am allowed to use a stationery bike (and hopefully tomorrow I get the go ahead to use an elliptical) so last week I joined a gym as I don’t have a bike or elliptical at home. Planet Fitness were doing a good $10 signup and no minimum term and $10 a month which seems pretty good – the only downside is that they don’t have a pool, but to join a gym with a pool would cost an extra $80 a year so I opted out for that at the moment.
Anyway, I’m currently doing 30 mins of biking and getting about 8 miles on the bike each time I go – increasing every visit which is a good sign. I’m also starting to use the weight machines but that’ a bit intimidating as I have no idea what I’m actually doing or how much weight to use on the machines – but slowly learning.
The gym plays music over the sound system – thankfully it’s not the radio so no ads (especially political ones). The funny thing is that a lot of the songs that they play are 80’s or 90’s that I like but today it seemed that most of the songs they played are also songs that have been mashed up with different songs by the (recently discovered) DJLobsterdust and Wax Audio sites. It’s very weird listening to the songs as they were originally intended as opposed to the mashed up versions.
One of my favourites is Stayin’ Alive in The Wall –

Tomorrow I go back to the doc again – hopefully not to get a ‘carry on doing what you are doing’ speech, lasting all of 2 minutes and costing $70 but get the go ahead to start using the elliptical. My knee still occasionally hurts though (although strangely enough they both hurt – not just the one with the stress fracture) so we’ll see what he says.
This week was also the anniversary of my first race, the Tyler Burchett 5k run – October 29th 2011 seems such a long time ago. Although it was “only” a 5k – it was the goal that kept me motivated to run. It was also a charity race for a friend so had a special meaning to it too. I was originally intending to do something special to mark the anniversary but totally forgot until the day after – oops!

Volunteering at the 2012 Columbus Marathon

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It’s been a month since my last post, but as I’m not actually running at the moment, that is not really surprising.  Since the last post I’ve been to see the doc twice and have got the all clear to not need crutches. Last Friday was my last visit and after being left in the room waiting for the doctor to arrive I found out a few minutes later that the door was not unlocked and the doctor was not able to enter the room – apparently that happens on the first appointment every morning. I did get the go ahead to start doing some exercises and just to take it carefully and don’t overdo it so I decided to help out with the water stop at the Columbus Marathon on Sunday.  This should have been my first marathon so although it was sad to not take part, it was still nice to get some of the race experience in.

Sunday morning came round early and I was up at 5am which seems crazy for being a Sunday AND because I wasn’t running but we had to be at the aid station by 6.34am.  I’m not sure why it was 634 – it’s not like people have 4 minute snooze buttons on their alarm clock – I’m sure most people have it set to 10. The morning was pretty similar to a race morning – I got dressed in my gear that I had laid out the night before but this time I dressed in layers – no shorts and a tshirt this morning! After having the coffee, bagel and the usual morning routine I headed into Columbus.  As I pulled onto Broad Street at 625 I drove past a couple of aid stations that were already busy filling cups, but they were the first two aid stations so would be getting the people a few minutes before us.

I got out the car, grabbed my gear and walked over to the group to get my orders. I started off putting cups out but was soon asked to start filling the cups with water. I was glad I had brought a pitcher with me as it was so much easier to pour water from than some of the other containers that were in use. I just kept filling cups and then going to refill my pitcher and then heading back to the table to try and work out where I (or someone else) had left off. Due to the darkness and the shadows in the cups it was actually pretty hard to tell whether the cups had water in them so I went back to the car and grabbed my running torch and headed back to keep filling (side joke for the american readers – don’t worry about having a torch on my head – the abundance of water meant I was not concerned about catching fire)

The tables were stacked up to four levels high and then it was time to grab a group photo (thanks to the Columbus Running Company for their photo)Group shot of the Columbus Running Company volunteers at the Columbus Marathon mile 6 water stopIt was quite funny – as we all lined up for the shot an ambulance came from behind us with it’s sirens going so we all had to move over to allow it to pass.  We all lined up under the inflatable race marker normally used for the start and finish of races – I’m not sure if the Start Logo would be demoralising after running for 6 miles already. If you look carefully, in the bottom right of the picture you can see the aid table for the elite runners.

Shortly after the photo was taken, the wheelchair athletes zoomed past followed by the elite runners and then the hordes came.  At first there were only a few people but when the first pace group hit, it was really crowded.  We were holding out the water cups, shouting Water, Water and trying not to grab cups as fast as possible.  I did find that having long arms really helped – I was able to reach out and pass to some of the runners who were not able to get close to the side of the stop as it was really crowded.  When it wasn’t too busy, it was possible to read the name on the bib and then hand the water over with a hopefully encouraging personalised word mentioning the runners name. I know that when I was running the Capcity half – it was really neat to hear someone call my name out – but it did surprise me the first time.  For those runners who had distinctive dress, costume or gear it was great to see their smiles as we recognised their effort. My favourite were these two.

I was very impressed at how many runners said thankyou for volunteering and thanks for the water as they came past. It was really nice for them to take the time and the energy to thank us and we got tons of smiles too.  Everyone was really friendly and seemed to be enjoying themselves even though it was pretty crowded at the water stop. I was amazed at just how many people and how close together everyone was as they came through – I know it would have driven me nuts if I had to run 26.2 miles with that many people packed together, but I think it was just the sheer number of people hitting the narrower and slower water stop that was causing a bit of a bottle neck.

I kept a look out for the several runners that I knew were running the race and saw 4 people that I recognised but only gave water to one of them.

After the official pace car drove past, there was still quite a few walkers behind the vehicle so we stayed a bit for the last few people and then packed up which went pretty quickly. Then it was back home. I was pleased that my leg hadn’t given my any problem despite being on it for 3.5 hours with a lot of carrying water and then turning for cups. In fact my left arm probably ached the most due to holding out that many cups of water.

I was a good morning. My preperations of a decent pitcher (mark with your name), headlamp, thin gloves to keep your hands a bit warm, rake to gather the cups and waterproof trousers and several layers meant I kept warm and I helped the waterstop run efficiently. I think the weather was perfect for running and I was glad to be involved in a bit of running culture – something I have missed for the past two months. (Although today I joined a gym and was really glad to get some exercise in – that elliptical and treadmill are looking very tempting – especially as the stationery bike that I’m limited to at the moment really makes for a sore bum)

If you get a chance to volunteer for a race – especially if you are sidelined due to injury, then I highly recommend it, especially if it’s a Columbus Running Company one 😉

For more photos of the race, check out their Facebook album.

What is your snooze time on your alarm clock?. Have you ever volunteered at a race and what has been your favourite running costume that you’ve worn or seen?

 

Underarm crutches are painful and a new gadget – Bone Stimulator.

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Two weeks ago I saw my potential surgeon / specialist for a consult after getting an MRI and the combination of the MRI and xray images show that I have a stress fracture at the end of my femur. As I get confused with all the funky bone names, here is a helpful picture. You can also see the meniscus that I had repaired in December last year.

 

 

 

Due to the fracture he wants me on crutches for a while and to have a bone stimulator machine run to improve the bone growth. I’m also scheduled for followup appointments every 2 weeks.

Fortunately I still had the crutches from the Meniscus surgery last year, so for the past two weeks I’ve been using those and as a result my underarms and sides are getting really sore from the constant rubbing as I move around. So I’m really living the high life today and got some forearm crutches on ebay today. When I asked about these crutches the doctors assistant didn’t know what they were called, looked them up on her iphone and then got a prescription written for me but was not able to tell me where to get them from and warned that my insurance wouldn’t pay for them. So based on that, it seemed a lot easier to just get them from ebay. These are the same type of crutch that I had in the UK when I had my cancer surgery on my left leg and they were much better – I have no idea what I did with the UK ones although I think we gave them back to the hospital as they are just loaned to you rather than given to you. In the meantime it is strange that I’m getting excited about receiving crutches in the mail 😉

Last Thursday I also had an appointment to get my bone stim machine. It’s an Exogen Ultrasonic Bone Healing System as shown below (image from Exogen’s website)  and if it’s as good as they say it is, I’m hoping to have the stress fracture showing significant signs of healing (or complete) within 2-4 weeks.

It comes with a bean bag weighted strap that rests over the knee (kind of like a gps mount for the car dashboard) and the transducer fits in a hole in the strap and it then sends the ultrasonic waves down to the bone.

I’ve used it for two days so far, so it is too early to tell any difference but the process is very easy. Just lube up the transducer with a gob of goo, push the button and then fight Frankie off the knee. (He’s actually been pretty good and prefers sitting higher up on the leg anyway). You don’t feel it doing anything, just have to sit still for 20 minutes and then there is a ding from the timer, wipe off the goo and pack it up for the following day.  Apparently it stimulates the bone cells to repair for 30 hrs after use so just needs using once a day.

Unfortunately the machine is expensive and I’m waiting to hear about payment methods for it – I’ve not reached my deductible yet so theres a potential that I may have to pay for the whole thing up front but there’s a possibility I could get a better deal from their patient advocate department, so here’s hoping.  Having said that, the cost of physical therapy and Doctor visits means I’ll be hitting the deductible total pretty soon anyway at which point it won’t really matter but it’s still an expense.  But, once I’m done, if anyone wants to rent the equipment for $200 then let me know 😉

Also Wednesday was talk like a pirate day – I’ve perfected my peg leg impression but did get some funny looks from my coworkers when I spoke a few pirate phrases (although my pirate accent sounds a lot like my Devon farmer with a tractor impression).

Needless to say from all of the above I won’t be running for a while unless I’m crazy enough to do what this guy does….

Full Columbus Marathon registration transfer available.

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My leg is still hurting and I haven’t run since Aug 3rd and I’m due to see the doctor on Tuesday but it sounds like I might have meniscus problems on my left leg now. Either way it is still very painful to straighten and the outside ITBand is also painfule (but that could be the meniscus – lets hope so).

Therefore I’ve made the hard decision to pull out of the Columbus Marathon as there is no way I’d be able to run that distance after having surgery sometime in the next few weeks (I hope – the last wait was a month and way too long to hobble everywhere although this time the pain isn’t as bad as the right leg).

So – if you haven’t signed up for the Columbus Marathon yet and would like a discounted registration then please let me know – You pay less than the current $105 and I get some of my registration money back.  There is a $25 transfer fee that you as the recipient will pay to Columbus and then we can discuss a reasonable balance to keep us both happy 😉

Transfer deadline is August 31st

IT Band issues.

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I went to the Dr’s today to get my left leg checked out after the pain I’ve had at the last couple of runs. Naturally (before) I went to see them and my leg didn’t really hurt much so it was hard to explain what the problem was, but after being examined, poked and prodded my leg is now hurting again 😉  Not as bad as it has been but certainly more painful than first thing this morning.

I was glad when they could actually find a tender spot on my leg as it had just felt painful everywhere with nowhere specific but there is a bone sticking out of the left of my left knee that sounded like they said globulus maximus (but I know that is not right and sounds like a character from an Asterisk book) and that is where the pressure point was.

Anyway, it all comes down to an IT band issue and they’ve given me some exercises to do at home, physical therapy appointments and a follow up for 3 weeks time. No mention of dropping out of the marathon so that is really good news – lets hope the therapy and exercises do the trick.

 

Dublin Irish Festival 2012 5k runcap

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Dubln Irish Fest 5k 2012 medalAlthough it now seems a while ago, last Thursday was the 2012 Dublin Irish Festival 5k race. I had been looking forward to running this race since I started running last year. I had only been running about 5 days when the event came round and there was no way I would have been able to complete a 5k race this time last year. In fact looking at the stats from last year, I was running just over 2 miles including the warm up and cool down but at least I was running. The big reason I wanted to do this race is that it goes right past my front door. In previous years it has been frustrating to have the race go past my door as it meant it would be hard to get home if I was out in the evening (and I was invariably trying to get home after doing projection or sound at church) and I can remember at least one occasion that I had some takeaway gyros getting cold and I couldn’t get near the house.  This year I was looking forward to running the race.

Unfortunately I did something to my left leg over a week previously and I had not run for a week so I was a bit nervous to see how my leg would hold up, but walking around during the week I had no problems.

Thursday after work I came home and hastily put together a sign for the front garden, got changed into my running gear and then headed to the mailbox to stash a frozen bottle of water to grab on my way past.

I headed down the road and stopped off to say hi to the neighbours who were manning the first water stop. They were putting the signs and banners up as I left them with instructions to cheer me on as I came through and then I started to run to the start.

I tried to keep the pace slow as it was hot, slightly uphill and I didn’t want to tire myself out. My leg didn’t start to give me any trouble until about half way and as I was early to the start I then headed up the road to Kroger to get some ibuprofen and washed some down before the race started.

The race is put on by the Columbus Running Company – my running group, so as usual it was nice to see some familiar faces and hang out before the race started.

There were loads of people there, most of whom were wearing the race tshirt as there was a garmin giveaway after the race and you had to be wearing the sponsored tshirt. Due to my leg hurting I lined up with Chase who was the 1030 pacer but had intentions of hoping to do better than that if possible.

The race started and the first part was all downhill, very congested and felt slow. It was really funny to hear everyone groan as they turned right and saw the hill. Normally I hate this hill as it is at the end of my run, so I am hot, tired and have to face this hill to get back into the neighbourhood. It took me ages before I could run up it without stopping but today I smiled at the groans from the other runners and pushed myself up the hill, powering up and overtaking tons of people and felt really good. IMy pace actually increased to sub 9 minute mile as I went up the hill. At this point my legs seemed to have eased up and I enjoyed the run through the neighbourhood with tons of spectators.

I got to my house and pulled off to the side, flpped the mailbox lid down and pulled out my water bottle. It felt so good to be holding an ice cold bottle and the water was really refreshing. I heard a couple of laughs and comments about what I was doing but then headed off to the water stop two doors down the road and grabbed a cup of water to dump on my head.  The neighbours were so busy with all the runners, noone recognised me so I didn’t get my cheer Sad smile

Not to worry, I headed down to the bottom of the hill and turned right back up another hill (or few). I was pleased to see that the leaders had not yet made their way back so it felt good knowing that I was making a reasonable pace.

About 1.3 miles into the race as we were going up another incline we saw the leaders heading back down the race and cheered them on and then it was our turn to head right and towards the turn around point. At this point, MothAudio on RunnersWorld describes it in his race report very well – “The road is rising, the sun is in our face and the devil in screaming in my head. All I can do is look straight ahead for the lead runners knowing the turn around can’t be much further.”  Rings Road seemed very long and very slow and even the water stop half way down on the return journey took forever to get to.

The way back was tough but seeing other runners from the Thursday night Turtles group and getting cheers from them helped me to keep going.

As we turned the corner on High Street we could see the finish line in the distance. I looked at my watch and it was 27.15 – there was no way I was going to be able to run the entire length of the road in 45 seconds to beat my pr so I decided to just keep my pace going but about half way along Robbie jumped in with me and ran, pushing me onwards and I started to increase my speed. I kept increasing my speed and finished the run as fast as I could do –probably not good for me, but it feels good Winking smile  I did make sure that there was plenty of space between me and the person in front in case there were photographers but so far I’ve not seen any finishing line photos but I crossed the line smiling with no trace of pain in my legs at a time of 28:53 placing 423 or 39th in the M40-44 group.(Official Results)

I was surprised to see we got a medal for this race – so this joins my half marathon medal around the cats neck and I grabbed a banana and water to cool down and went to look for other runners. About 3 minutes later my left leg was screaming and it hurt to walk up an incline, let alone up the kerb at the side of the road. Standing still it was ok and I had to move slowly with a bit of a limp but I still had the runners high (which was probably just as well).

We hung around for the finishing ceremony and I was 11 away from winning the new gps and then had a very long, slow walk home. Even the cops asked if I was ok as I walked home and laughed with me as I said I had probably overdone it but still enjoyed it.

As I walked back up the hill again towards the water stop, I joined the neighbours who were having a party afterwards. It was good to hang out with them for a while and grab a burger. Getting up after the rest was painful though and I hobbled back home.

Friday morning was not fun. My leg had totally tightened up overnight and it took me about 5 minutes to get to the bathroom in the morning – really not how you want to start your day as I shuffled around at about 4” per step. I eventually got to the other side of the house and grabbed my crutches which made it a lot easier to get around and I ended up using them all day Friday. As it didn’t seem to be getting better and this is the second time in a fortnight that this has happened, I’ve made a Dr’s appointment for Tuesday.  Saturday I needed one crutch for half the day and then the evening and Sunday I’ve been moving around the house slowly without any crutch. The leg is feeling a bit tight but better so I’m currently wearing my compression socks to see if that helps.

Speaking of which – Pro Compression are currently having a 50% off sale on their socks. Normally they retail for $50 but you can get them for $25 with free shipping too. Just enter the coupon code “socks” to get the discount at Pro Compression. (Offer expires 8/12/12) I’ve not tried these one but they’ve had good reviews and this price is a bargain.  I’ve ordered a pair so I’ll have a pair to wear whilst training for the Marathon (which I still hope to do)

I totally had to miss out on the Irish Festival events – crutching around a festival n 95 degree weather would not have been much fun, so I’ve taken the opportunity to just relax and catch up with some of the running blogs and finally getting around to writing this runcap.

Anyone else run the Dublin Irish Festival 5k run? What did you think – did you write a recap? Do you write recaps for 5k runs?  Anyone ever checked their mailbox in a run or had a race go right past their front door?

1 Year running anniversary

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Today marks 1 year from the date I started running. Back in July 2011 I helped some friends move and they were looking at selling their treadmill rather than move it.  I was interested in purchasing it but not sure if I would actually use it. At the time I wasn’t really doing any exercise but had been thinking about doing something to get fit. I was still undetermined about buying it until they mentioned it hooked up to the internet and at that point I was sold. (As it turns out it doesn’t hook up to the internet as the company have moved on their fitness program to ifitplus instead of ifit.

After getting it home, I put it together and on July 30, 2011 I had my inaugural run.  This was probably the first run I had done since the dreaded cross country run at school which I hated – about 23 years previously. My notes on the first run read – “Inaugural run on the treadmill at 4.5mph. Felt good after it. Could have gone on for longer but I didn’t have water bottle or towel with me. ” I ran a total of 1mile at an average  pace of 13.5 minute mile.  Surprisingly I felt good about this run and looked into the Couch to 5k program as a means of getting myself a training plan that I could follow. August 8th I started on Week3 of the plan. It was tough – some days were really hard to complete although I think my treadmill’s 10min per mile pace is way faster than it is when running outside and although the c25k plan is really based on time spent running rather than the distance, they do include distances which averages out to a 10min pace (which I later discovered is pretty fast for a newbie runner)

Half way through the c25k I made plans to run a 5k in aid of a charity for a friend from work. The timing was perfect as it came about 2 weeks after the end of the plan. The race was pretty small and I came in 3rd in my age group which was a tremendous boost to my confidence.

September 29th I made my first appearance at the Turtle Thursdays group run – an awesome group of friends that meets at Whetstone Park of Roses. It was a very memorable event as I locked my keys in the car and everyone waited for me to be rescued which is a great icebreaker and a show of friendship. It was also my first 5mile run.

Unfortunately shortly afterwards, 11 days before Thanksgiving I was running with a friend  and felt good but my knees started to hurt after the run and I ended up going to see a specialist and found out I had torn my meniscus. Surgery was scheduled for 29th December and it wasn’t until Jan 15th 2012 that I did my first run – this time 50% longer than my first run and at a 10.5min pace.

The spring was spent training for the CapCity half marathon on May 5th that I finished in 2hrs, 18 minutes that I was really pleased with. It felt easier than I expected (although still tough) and made me wonder if I was able to run a marathon.

Now – 1 year later I’m now in week 5 of training for the Columbus Marathon in Oct. I’ve ran a training run of over 15 miles a couple of weeks ago, run several races and am looking forward to the “big one”. The number of miles that I have run this year varies depending on which application is used to look at the data but according to Runkeeper I’ve run 513 miles, my furthest distance is 15.4 miles, my best week was 32.1 miles and my best month was 82.6miles. All those miles took me 87 days, 12 hours and 5 minutes and I burnt 64,829 calories. For those of you in the States, thats the equivalent of running from Columbus to St Louis or for the UK, Lands End to Dumfries in Scotland – now quite up to John O’ Groats

View Larger Map

View Larger Map

Unfortunately at this moment I’m having to rest as my left leg is hurting that makes running painful – I actually had to cut short my run and go back to crutches for the evening last Thursday which is obviously not good. However I’m hoping to complete 732 miles this year – 2 for each day. At the time of writing I’m exactly 400 miles in.

 

Longest distance (for now) of 15 miles run

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Yep – thats not a misprint! Had a great time this morning. Got up early and joined the 7am group for the first run this morning and we did a 9min pace, 5.5mile run and got to the store about 10 minutes before round 2. Looked around the shop to see if there were any shoes to buy, got excited when there was a pair for $8.88 that were allegedly my size but too small once I tried them on 🙁
New Balance were at the store this morning with loaner shoes to try, so I swapped out the Glycerin’s for 890’s (I think) and then we headed out with the large group for the second part of the run.  Stupidly I forgot to check the distance for the first run but was told around 5.5 so my next goal was to beat the 13.2 mile run from the half marathon. To round it up to the next mile and have a decent milestone, I figured I’d run 10 miles to hit that 15.  The first 3 miles or so were running in the rain – really nice as it cooled you down and it wasn’t really raining hard enough that you could feel the rain coming down. Continued on a good run out to the half way point with someone from the group at a decent pace and I kept going until the garmin bleeped 10 miles – slightly more than the distance marked on the ground but I wanted to make sure I hit the 10 on the watch. At this point I was questioning the wisdom of wearing new shoes for a 10 mile run – they were hurting the top and sides of my toes so it was a bit painful to run back – I think part of the problem was that I was wearing cotton socks and they were soaking wet from the sweat and rain.  Also the way back was a solo effort and a lot harder. At this point I had run 10 miles already so there were a few walking breaks including up Emerald Parkway – there was just no way I was ready to run up that one.  Somewhere towards the top of Emerald Parkway I hit 13.2 miles – the rest of the run from here on was just a bonus. It was good to stop for a minute at the last/first water stop to refill the bottles, dump some water on my head and then continue back towards the store.  These last two miles were tough – but that is the point of running long distances. I kept going wishing I had brought more swedish fish to eat but I had eaten the last one about 3 miles previous. Soon I rounded the corner and finished at the store 2:42:20 less the 11:25 between the two runs meant I had run 15.45 miles in 2:31 – an awesome feeling….for about 10 minutes and then the back of the legs started to hurt.
I hung around the store stretching, got a free towel and a well earned doughnut with thanks to New Balance and then headed to Kroger for some food and a large bag of ice for an ice bath. I wasn’t sure how long to sit in the bath so did a quick search and found anything from 15-30 minutes but also found out that it was going to hurt. I didn’t find it hurt that much but my toes were complaining about the cold at the end and I found it hard to pour the ice into the bath (after I had got in) as it was in one big chunk in the bag AND then sit back to relax, drink some coffee, eat some chocolate cake and read a book. At which point I realised I had left the phone/timer the other side of the bathroom so had no idea how long I was in the bath so I read “until the end of the chapter” a couple of times and then got out and enjoyed a hot shower before a nap 😉

A couple of hours later (and not *entirely* due to the nap) my legs dont feel sore – they do feel stiff and I won’t be climbing many flights of stairs today and I’m super hungry and a bit tired but on the whole feeling great for achieving a new distance record and knowing that a full marathon is not that much further (Think positive right?)
Funny thing is, this is actually the end of week 2 of my Marathon rookie training plan. Somehow I don’t think I stuck to the plan  😉

PS: Did the half marathon distance 10 seconds faster than my actual half marathon in May, over 10 minutes faster if you don’t count the 10 mins waiting between the runs.

I am now registered for my first marathon – the 2012 Columbus Marathon in October.

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Today, 11 months after starting running in July 2011, I registered for another race – this time I’ve registered for the 2012 Columbus Marathon. Although I didn’t complete a marathon by the time I was 40 (which was a very, very optimistic idea), hopefully this means I will complete a marathon while I am still 40.

Throughout June I’ve been training hard with the goal of running 4 times a week to get the base mileage up to about 25 miles a week – Getting to that number has been quite interesting considering I’ve only been running 3 times a week in the past. I remember running 3 days a week last year and my legs would ache all the time. Eventually I got used to running 3 days and my legs stopped aching. I didn’t really realise that was the case until I started to run 4 days a week and now my legs ache nearly all the time! The higher temperatures we’ve been having this month has been my biggest concern due to overheating and sunburn but the heat has not been as hard to cope with as I thought it would be – as long as I have my water belt with me – even on the short runs.

Last Saturday I ran 11 miles for my long run and only started to find it hard around mile 8 – and that was mainly due to the heat – the legs and lungs didn’t feel too bad. Considering 11 miles is actually week 6 in the Marathon Rookie training program, I feel I’m doing pretty well and have a good base ready for the next few months.

Chatting with other running friends this weekend was really encouraging and recapping my progress over the year was an reminder that I now find things easy that used to be hard, so the prospect of running 26.2 miles is not that daunting (yet)

Keep an eye on the blog as I continue to run, come join me in my training runs and good luck on your own training plans.

I’m looking forward to the RunFest2012 on July 7th, a kick off event for training and hopefully I’ll win a door prize and get some running gear.

Who is with me in running the 2012 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon (to give it it’s full name)?

New shoes from Roadrunner (but does anyone ever stop at just shoes?)

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As I intend to run the Columbus Marathon this year and I’ve put 350 miles on my New Balance 759 shoes I decided it was time to get some new shoes.  Roadrunner Sports do a good deal with a 90 day return policy on shoes if you are a vip member and also have a guide online that helps you determine what shoes would be best for you. Going through the website I ended up as a Stable runner, high arch, 11.5D shoes. I shortlisted my options to the New Balance 890, Ghost 4, Wave Rider 13 or Asic Gel 1150 or 1170’s.

As they also have a store in Columbus, I went over to see what they had in stock and to try the shoes on as I wanted to ensure I had some comfy good fitting shoes.

Arriving in store they got me to take shoes and socks off and initially I was measured for shoe size and they matched the 11.5D size that I already knew. I then stood on a mat and they used the computer to work out my arch form and where my center of gravity was. The arch’s were high (funnily enough I used some brown paper and water to work this out – they used a computer) and my weight was slightly to the right and rear – the same as Wii fit. Then they got me to run on the treadmill barefoot whilst they videotaped the running form. I was pleased to see my feet were straight and my achilles heel had a slight flex but not too much. I was not pleased to see that I was heel striking though but I think that was mainly due to running barefoot as opposed to shoes – I’m not sure but I don’t think I heel strike too much.

Next they got me to stand on some shoe liners which they then moulded to my feet as I leant backwards and forwards. This took some time and seemed a bit gimmicky to me and I was waiting for the sales pitch but it didn’t arrive yet.

After reviewing the results with me on the big screen the assistant handed me off to someone else to get shoes. I was a bit surprised that I was handed off to someone else but they discussed the findings (they recommended Neutral Plus for the marathon running) and the guy went off to get some shoes.

The first ones he came back with were the latest New Balances but the 11.5’s were too big and sloppy and unfortunately the 11’s were too small. After trying those shoes on I then had to wait whilst the guy dealt with another customer – it was somewhat irritating not having someone dealing with me all the time, but it did give me chance to jump on the treadmill and run a bit to see what the shoes would feel like.  I couldn’t actually tell the difference between the shoes with the shoe liner and the ones without so I didn’t bother to try the liners with the rest of the shoes and it was nice to not have a hard sell on them (although he did manage to flog a pair to the woman who I was sharing the assistant with).

Next were the Nike Vomero’s. They were awful. They looked butt ugly, very plasticy and the ridge where the shoe bends on your toes felt like it was going to chisel its way down the top of my foot. Next up were the Asics Nimbus 14’s – they were ok – but I wasn’t 100% happy with them but they were the best so far.

Next was the Mizuno Enigma – they were weird and I don’t think I even got to run in them – the front of the shoe curls up pretty drastically and I could feel my toe’s being pulled up – wearing those for 26.2 miles would make me feel like I was running in elf shoes.

After that he went out to the back room and came back with the Brooks Glycerin 10’s. Putting the shoes on – they felt extremely comfy and then running in them was great – Getting off the treadmill he asked me how I felt – “These are the ones” I replied and he laughed and said “You sound very definite on those”. He gave me the box, told me to tell the checkout who helped me and let me go on my way. Interestingly enough, the blurb on this shoe states it has “full-length Brooks DNA midsole customizes cushion to your individual stride” which is yet another reason I didn’t need the Roadrunner foot insoles.

I then took the opportunity to look around the store and grabbed a foam roller and some Body Glide (although I think my recent chafing issues are caused by the particular shorts I was wearing as I’ve only had issues when I’ve worn the same pair). I was also looking at Nuun and Guu tabs for drinking but didn’t purchase any as I don’t carry a 16oz water bottle. I’m not actually sure how much water fits in my Amphipod water bottle belt but I normally drink it all on a Saturday run. Also neither of these tabs had prices on them and one of the Nuun containers had the bottom broken and the tablets were exposed – a bit disconcerting that the stock wasn’t really being looked after. Do any of you use Nuun or Guu drinking tablets and if so what do you prefer?

Checkout took forever – there were 3 people in front of me and about 2 behind me but it took at least 10 minutes before they even added another person to the checkout. At checkout they asked if I was a VIP member, I wasn’t and they tried to sell me the membership for $20. However the website has it for $1.99 and I had printed off the shopping cart. They changed the membership to $1.99 with no problems and I then got my “discount” on the rest of my items. They were also doing an offer of a $10 coupon if you donated to a handbike for children charity but what they didn’t mention was that you had to spend $50 or more on your next purchase. I also got a $10 coupon for my next purchase of $75 for signing up as a VIP reward member.

All told I got $35 discount off the items – not bad for a $2 outlay although I was annoyed this morning when I got a 20% discount coupon in the post, but that is about what I saved anyway.

The Glycerin is a pretty new shoe and the Roadrunner price seems pretty competitive (they do have a price match policy) so it was a good choice to buy my shoes from them. I think if you know the shoe you want, then its basically a price comparison between Roadrunner and Running Warehouse – the advantage of RW is that you don’t have to pay tax unless you are in California which can save you about $10. I think the choice of shoe was pretty limited compared to online shopping and you really are at the mercy of whatever shoe the fitter brings out. No prices are ever discussed for shoes so it was a bit of “HOW MUCH?” when I went to check out – but if they keep my feet safe in my Marathon training it will be worth it.

Update: For what it’s worth I was not impressed on their inaugural 3.5 mile run. Left toe box was tight, rubbing on the inside of the left foot and it felt like my right foot was slapping on the pavement with each step.