Sunday, May 24, 2015

State of the Train Address

What up??
Hello my bloggees, this post is long overdue.  All is well.  It seems that my nagging injuries are pretty much behind me.  About time. I have concluded that I had a severe case of shin splints.  Never saw a doctor for it but managed to run through the pain while fulfilling my pacing duties for the Dallas Running Club’s Spring 2015 season.  Thank goodness I had a strong group and a stronger co-pacer to carry the group when I couldn't.  Thanks Omar.  More than likely running thru pain only resulted in prolonging the healing.  In the meantime, running only twice per week and sometimes once per week and less than 20 miles per week decreased my fitness level, made me fat and slow.  I seem to be snapping back to normal
quicker than I expected.  I don’t know what I would do without my running famly for encouragement, in particular my running sister Jamie who lots of times pushed me to do things in which I had become too lazy to do, but knew that I should.  My diet, fallen off.  Started eating lots of junk, gained some 10-12 lbs which I am struggling to lose now despite all of the running I have done in the past few weeks.  Even though I was not running on a regular schedule, I made sure to sign up and run a few races, even though I knew I would struggle through them and run in pain.  Afraid I would lose interest in running, I just wanted to stay in the mix and in the middle of things.   I usually have a race report after every race.  I know I've been slacking lately.  Here is a summary:

1/1/15 Day One Trail Run: The brief moment I wasn't injured, ran my 2nd fastest 5k.  Hilly very rainy, race was ran on the paved road because the dirt trail was closed.

1/10/15 Frigid 10K. Signed up, but skipped it to work instead.  I know. Bad Clay..

3/1/15 Cowtown 50K.  Cancelled race due to ice, bumped everyone to the 13.1 for safety reasons.  I was never so happy.  There was NO WAY I could have even run beyond 13.1 in the condition I was in.  And that was about all I had in the tank that day

3/21/15 Grasslands 13.1.  Sucked. So much mud.  Hurt the whole time, took forever to finish. It generated a good Facebook/Dailymile profile picture though.

4/12/15 Big D Marathon.  I sucked.  I was assigned to pace that day.  Didn't finish.  Thank God for co-pacers.  I love you Lisbeth.

5/16/15 Whispering Pines 20 mi.  Became afraid of 'Claying out' pulled out after 10 miles.  May have been a good decision, I don't know.  I felt good and was well hydrated and electrolit up.  But conditions out there were rather crazy as I watched others Clay out.

Running at one point this past spring had become not fun and had become a chore.  I figured though, that the injuries and lack of a consistent schedule had a lot to do with it.  And I was right.   Now healthy, last week I put together a pretty good string of workouts.  I have been having that ‘tingly’ feeling after runs that make me want to run more.  It’s on like popcorn now.

I’m not training for anything specific right now, just trying to get myself into shape.  I was recently approached by Vishal, the DRC’s training director and presented with a coaching opportunity for the fall training season.  In February, I took the RRCA coaching certification course and am now a certified running coach.  Funny, I would have never thought in a million years that would happen.  But I guess that is why I am here.  I’m not the fastest or most competitive runner, but I feel that I can help others become that.  Consequently, I am trying to get my ass in shape before the fall season starts (in July) where I can run with the 3:50 marathon training group, the fastest group in which I will be responsible for on a regular basis.

Fall 2015
I am signed up for two races in the fall.  Both redemption races for me.  The Ragnar Relay 50k in which I was short 4 miles of finishing and the Williams Route 66 Marathon in which I was exactly one minute shy of beating my personal record 4:13.  This P.R. believe it or not has stood since my first marathon.  It will take some consistency and persistency to get there.  I can’t be half-assing it anymore.  There will probably be other races along the way which I will use as training runs or pace.  Probably those which Jamie has twisted my arm into running :)

Work has had an influence on my running in two different ways.  First is that after receiving a promotion and change in job duties AND also having to learn to work on a brand new claim system, it had required me to dedicate lots of hours to my desk.  This as you would expect took away from hours usually set aside to train or just had me too tired at the end of the day to crank out run mileage.  Many days I turned down running to work instead.  The minor injuries I had made it that much easier too.  I have made some adjustments recently and forced time in for run workouts.   The other way it has influenced my running recently is rather positive.  Some of you may wonder what I do at work.  I basically review claims that employees for different companies submit for time off work where they have become ill or had an injury and determine if they meet the definition of disability based on what they do at their job.  AKA, Short Term Disability.  All of the claims I am assigned are musculoskeletal claims.  Shoulders, knees, back issues, etc.  Talking to these folks and managing their claims reminds me to keep my ass active.  The common ailments I see are deteriorated discs, ruptured rotator cuffs, worn out knees.  Most end up with joint replacements, disc replacements and some end up headed toward permanent disability.  When I started this job, I was really surprised on how many people have back issues.  Probably 3 out of every 5 claims I receive today are for employees with disc issues.  Back issues scare me to death and from what I see, once you get them, they almost never go away.  The other thing I see is many of my claimants are overweight, don’t exercise and have poor diet which from the physician notes I read, is what causes their joint issues.  I have one account which I manage, a health club which a lot of you are familiar with, but I won’t name on here.  As you can imagine, their employees are in great shape physically.  Every claim I have received from them they return to work before expected.  These claims are usually from an injury like falling or twisting an ankle.  Minor stuff. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see why they heal quicker.  So this has motivated me to get even stronger, stay active and encourage my family members to do the same.   Hips, shoulders, knees and toes, use them or lose them.  So keep it movin’.  I surely am.


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