Monday, September 29, 2008

Corvallis Fall Festival

We had a busy weekend in the greater Corvallis/Albany area, with lots of fun and excitement.

The Corvallis Fall Festival was this weekend. Jasmine was part of the Corvallis Art Guild booth selling paintings, and Avery was signed up to run the 1k Kids’ race.

We showed about 8:30 Saturday morning. Jasmine went to set up her paintings, while Avery and I looked for the start of the race. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find it. After wandering around a while, I called my friend Todd, who I knew was running the 10k race. It turns out we were a day early – the race wasn’t until Sunday morning! I think Todd got a good laugh out of that.

So I dropped Avery back off with Jasmine, and took off for a run myself, while Jasmine took Avery to her Ballet lesson. After the lesson, Avery’s teacher invited her to “star” in the local production of “The Nutcracker Suite” this December! She’s very excited to be in a *real* play. She’ll be a bunny who hops across the stage once. Yep, I’m the father of a genuine Star. Very cool!

Jasmine had to work the Art Guild booth in the afternoon, so I finished my run back at central park and took Avery for the afternoon. Jasmine called me not long after with good news – for the first time she sold a painting! Yep, I’m now married to a PROFESSIONAL artist! Also very cool!

Saturday night we enjoyed a great BBQ with a bunch of runners, runners' families, and assorted freinds, at the Temple’s. Good food, good drinks, and the kids had a blast, as always, chasing each other around and feasting on desserts and cherry tomatoes, straight out of the garden.

Sunday morning we were back at the Fall Festival, where there really was a race held. Avery’s friends Gina and Carly also ran the 1k, as did one of her new friends from Kindergarten, Sabina. They all did great, and proudly wore their shiny finisher medals while gorging on finish line treats. After the 1k we enjoyed watching other friends run the 5k or the 10k, Avery spent some time playing in central park with old and new friends, and Gina and Avery took in a round of mini-golf. The local newspaper article and full results are here.

Here's a couple videos of the race.

Avery makes a move:

Pushing to the Finish:

Saturday afternoon I managed to sneak in another long run. According to my foot-pod thingie, I ran 29.5 miles. That plus the 1k (I ran with Avery) brought me to just over 30 miles for the day, on top of the 20 miles I did on Saturday, and a weekly total of 88 miles! Sunday was pretty warm, which was good as it’s likely to be warm during the day at Javelina. My IT Band hasn’t bothered me at all, which is really encouraging. I’ve been compulsive about doing all the therapy – the stretching, the icing, the massage with the foam roller. And of course ice baths after the long runs. Sunday’s was a “three-bagger”.

So the Javelina Jundred looks like a go! I don’t plan on any weeks with more running than this week between now and the race, so I figure if I can handle this amount of running, I’m home free. I’ll probably do one or two runs longer than 30 miles in 2-3 weeks, but I won’t to back-to-back long runs those weekends, and I won’t do more than 88 miles per week. This next week will be a step-back / recovery week, with a lot fewer miles, so any residual tendinitis, if any, and any other aches and pains, will have some good recovery time. We’re spending this coming weekend on the coast. In lieu of an ice bath, I guess I can just wander into the icy Pacific waters.

Oh yeah, one more thing: OSU 27, USC 21. 'nuff said!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Doctor's Orders?

I’m officially “back” as far as running goes, feeling pretty much recovered from my IT Band tendinitis that showed up at Tahoe. It was interesting reading about the common causes of IT Band problems: excessive running (check); too many hills (check); uneven surfaces (check); running while overly tired (check); trying to run through the pain (check). Yep, I covered all of those at Tahoe.

I couldn’t run at all for weeks after the race – within a fraction of a mile, horrible pain shot through my knee and reduced me to a pathetic hobble. Finally I went to the doctor, who confirmed tendinitis, and told me to stop running altogether for a couple weeks. So that’s what I did. He told me, when I started again, to run no more than 10 minutes per day, every other day, for the first week. So that’s what I did. Then he said to add ~5 minutes per run each week, running every other day, until I slowly built up the mileage. So I did that for one day. Then I said to myself “F-That!” and added about 10 minutes to each run. Nothing hurt (actually a lot of stuff hurt, but my knee/IT Band felt OK), so two weeks after starting again I decided to push it to about 80 minutes on Saturday and 2 ½ hours on Sunday, on hilly roads and trails (hills were also on the Doc’s forbidden list) on Sunday. I think by my Dr’s plan I was supposed to be running about 25 flat minutes by this time, but I felt OK. The next weekend I ran ~27 miles on Saturday and another 13 on Sunday, and finished the week with about 70 miles. By my Dr’s instructions, I should be doing more like 6 miles per week.

My leg hasn’t fallen off. Also, the Ducks lost on Saturday. Clearly, all is right with the world. (Except for, you know, the global financial meltdown leaving us on the brink of the 2nd Great Depression. But hey, my knee feels good). Don’t tell my doctor.

Also, last night I had my first good running fall in quite a while. Bloody knee, bloody shoulder. I avoided rolling, choosing instead to focus the impact on small, rigid body parts, so as to cause maximum damage. It’s good to be back.

Which brings me to my next goal – running the Javelina Jundred on mid-November. I’ve been eyeing this for a while now, as it’s near my folks house in Az. Whenever we visit, I can’t get enough of the wide open desert running. I expect I’ll have enough after this though. I signed up after Tahoe, even though I couldn’t run at the time. If my IT Band continues to hold up through the next few weeks of hard training, I should be in good shape for the race. If not, I’ll shut it down for a while and take it easy until next year, but right now things are looking good. And I think the downtime after Tahoe may have done me some good, anyhow.

It looks like a quite an Oregon contingent will be at Javelina, headlined by Craig Thornley, Jeff Riley, Neil Olsen, and Todd Ragsdale.

Don't you hate it when you get a rock in your shoe?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Kindgergarten, End of the Road, and Running Again!

Lots going on lately...

Avery started kindergarten last week. So far, so good. Her favorite parts are riding the bus to school, and recess. She's making lots of new friends, and learning all about the letter "A". So that's good. Of course, Mom made sure she was decked out in a brand new outfit for her first day. I think all the girls were dressed up for their first day. The boys mostly wore ratty t-shirts.

My little red Isuzu truck finally drove off to tha road in the sky this month. I'd had it since 1994, and it was my first car. It leaked oil pretty badly, and the last few times it started, thick white smoke poured out of the tailpipe, smelling of anti-freeze. I'm pretty sure the head gasket finally gave out. Given the cost of repairing it, and the blue-book value of it, we decided it was best to let her go, rather than fix it. It was a good car though. It'll be missed.

On the running front, I'm finally running again! For six weeks after my Tahoe run, my IT Band was giving me fits, and I couldn't run even a mile without some pretty sharp knee pain flaring up. I tried a few times, but after a month, I finally gave it two weeks of zero running. Finally by about the seventh week I could run a mile -about 10 minutes, very slowly, every other day, without pain. The next week I extended this to 20 minutes, 25 minutes, and 30 minutes for three runs, all pain free. Finally this week I decided to see what happened when I pushed it a bit. I ran 40 minutes on Tuesday, an hour on Wednesday, and 50 minutes on actual trails on Thursday. After taking it easy Friday, I ran 9 flat miles on Saturday, and 13 miles on trails today. The knee / IT Band felt great! Everything else sort've feels terrible though - I shouldn't be this sore after 13 miles! But I'm pretty happy to be doing some "real" running again, finally.

During the down-time from running, I did manage to do lots of mountain biking, which I used to do a lot of, but hadn't much this year with all the running. It's been fun, and we always seem to have a blast on our rides, despite the increase in bruises and scrapes that seem to appear after these rides. And of course, the big creepy eye...