Cavalier 39 year old vs. TRAX station concrete sidewalk (I ran 4 miles, also)

Screen Shot 2014-05-31 at 1.19.08 AMThis morning, I ran 4 miles at a 7:53 pace.  It was a good run.  Not my fastest, but definitely signs I’m improving.  This victory was short-lived.  Here’s why…

After a rather pleasant commute to SLC on the Frontrunner and TRAX, I hopped off the Blue Line (TRAX) and prepared my Razor scooter for my usual 1/2 mile long ride down 21st South.

The entire ride lasted approximately ten seconds.  I picked up a slightly more-than-normal speed as I banked a hard right onto 21st.  It was too much inertia to hold my intended line.  The wheels immediately slid out from underneath me and I dropped much faster than I could imagine, to the ground.

Four point of contact between my body and the sidewalk immediately met:  Both of my knees, my left shoulder and my chin.  My chin bounced one time and that was the end of the accident.

I took stock:  I hurt.  My immediate priority was to get off of the ground before too many people noticed my embarrassing folly.  As far as I could tell, only one person noticed.  He was kind enough to take his headphone out of an ear and inquire as to my ok-ness.  I reported (lying) that I was fine and tried to walk away, scooter in tow.

However it became hard to feign decent health, because blood was gushing out of my chin and on to the concrete below.  As a Nelson, I have the presence of mind to do amazing things, when in this kind of situation.  I took great care to keep my head over the ground and not my shirt, so that the blood would not stain my clothing.  This is the kind of quality effort you can expect from a Nelson when he’s bleeding a gallon a minute.

Stopping, I tried to figure out what one does in this type of scenario.  Do I walk (or scoot?) the rest of the way to work, bleeding as I go?  No.  I needed to stop the blood.  So I walked over to a bus (which actually turned out to be the 21st south bus, which would take me within a block of my work) and inquired as to the availability of paper towels.

The bus driver admitted he had what I needed, but when I stepped on his bus, he immediately shooed me away and told me that he’d bring me the towels, outside of his (clean?) bus.  I spent the next two minutes placing towel after towel on my face to control the flow, all the while trying to look ride-worthy.  He finally let me on the bus, where I one-handedly started going through my wallet for my UTA pass (It’s important to note that my theory was right all along:  Even if you are bleeding to death, you will need to show your UTA pass to get a ride to safely or shelter).  Once I showed him the pass, he drove me along 21st, until he let me off at Main.

I spend a lot of time teaching my children that if they fall down, I expect them to get up and continue doing what they’re doing, unless they are physically unable.  In my condition, I found it important to open up my Razor scooter again and scoot- left hand on the scooter handle and my right hand holding a multitude of bloody towels to my once-beautiful chin.

I made it in to my work and fumbled for my work badge.  The security person guarding the south entrance noticed my condition and immediately set to helping me to get a temporary badge, so that I could go take care of myself in the bathroom.  It should be noted at this point, that I have now had to procure two sets of ID to get medical help, regardless of the fact that I am a bloody mess.  (It should also be noted that I sort of think this is funny and hold no resentment.)

I walked slowly up the stairs to my desk to see if I could find a friend to take me to a doctor.  Amazingly, no one was at their desks.  Not my IT coworkers, near where I work.  Not my friends upstairs.  So I stood helplessly, bleeding in the bathroom, obtaining more paper towels, which are immediately soaked in red, so that I can continue my journey and search for that special someone, who doesn’t mind driving me to get fixed up.

And then my friends appeared.  All of them had been in meetings and all of them agreed.  “Nathan, you need stitches.”  Fine.  So my good friend, Jason, was kind enough to drive me to Riverton, which is about 25 minutes away from where I work, so that I could get some proper help.

It has now been about 30 minutes since I split my chin in half and, by the way, sort of hurt my shoulder.  Man, my shoulder was really starting to hurt!  And my knees!  Is there anything that doesn’t hurt, I wondered (Answer:  Yes- my left ankle was feeling pretty strong.)

So off to Riverton IHC Instacare, where I filled out several sheets of information for the nice lady at the window, who was probably unaware that she was only the third person who stood as a sentinel between me and professional help.  But no matter.  I was finally admitted and made my way to the room where my blood pressure was taken, ears checked and finally my chin looked at.

When the doctor saw my chin, my friends’ diagnosis was validated and he immediately set about getting my prepped for stitches.  First a shot for numbing, right into my chin.  Then another.  And another.  Maybe 5-8 pokes total.  Not too bad, but not my sensation of choice, either.  At the same time a nurse gave me a tetanus shot into my left arm.  The Works, I guess.

Soon after I was numb and Dr. Stitches started sewing me back together.  It took about 15 minutes, but eventually eight stitches were performed and I was ready to roll.  They didn’t have the typical blue stitches material (a new order had been placed, however), so I got the clear ones.  Which means I don’t look nearly as bad-ace (if you will) as I should after having 8 stitches.

Once I was all put back together, my friend Jason and I started talking about lunch.  He offered to take me home, but I knew that I needed to go back to work.  After all- when Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks gets hit with a puck in his face, does he go home after a game?  No.  He’s stitched up, then sent back out on the ice.  It’s a character thing.

So we rolled into work, where I showed my friends my new stitches, plus a sling the doctor had placed my arm in, to keep my shoulder still, because he’d noticed on X-Ray that I’d separated it (Did I not mention all of this, already?)  Then, in a show of solidarity, Jason offered to buy me lunch.  We went down to Curry in a Hurry, on State Street, then walked back to work.

At this point, I decided that I was really cut out for hockey.  My other reliable and helpful friend, Jazmine, protested that I shouldn’t take TRAX to go home (maybe she felt I’d already sort of run out of luck with that line) and offered to drop me off at the Frontrunner station.  Which was sort of too bad.  It would have been the one time I actually LOOKED like I belonged on TRAX.

Once at Frontrunner, I finally relaxed and caught the southbound train for Lehi.  Soon after I arrived, Wendy drove in and picked me up.  She gave me a look of love and disgust (this is why I married her, folks) and I entertained my children with answers to question upon question as to how my face got this way.

It’s been a long day.  I’m not sure how tomorrow’s run is going to go.  I think I’m going to give it a shot, even if I need to run in a sling.  I’ve done so well in my training and really can’t afford to fall off the program.

We’ll see how it goes…

Guess who ran 8 miles, today, and is no longer "overweight"

Who runs eight miles on a Wednesday?  I do.  It’s all part of the new program that is trying to kill me.  I have a long run on Saturdays and a medium run on Wednesdays.

When I woke up, I still felt a little sore from Monday’s 6 mile run.  But I headed out (because- The Program) and new I was a little tired.  I had done some core last night, but can’t say for sure it was the culprit of my slight exhaustion.

At about 4 miles in (halfway), I turned around and tried to pick up my pace to my marathon goal pace (I’m using 8 minute miles for this, for now).

But by mile 6 I was running 0:8:30’s.  So it was short lived.  All in all, it was an 0:8:40 pace, which I’m not angry about.  Wish I’d been able to keep an 8, but if it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be.

I’m at work, now.  Tired.

I checked me BMI and fat %, today.  BMI is 24.7 and my fat % is 19.5.  This is great.  I’m finally not being categorized as “overweight”, by Adolphe Quetelet.

A tired, six mile, Memorial Day run

Within a mile of my run, yesterday, I could feel the residual effects from Saturday’s 10 mile, 0:9:35 pace around Provo.  My calves have been having a hard time feeling normal (completely healed) after runs.  They are always good enough, but never fresh.

I ran down to The Lake (Utah) and partway up the north jetty until my watches’ distance hit ‘3’.  I turned around and spent the last half of the run, trying to keep as close to a 0:8:00 minute pace.  I ended up falling back to around 0:8:15’s, but the end result was that I kept an 0:8:10.  Not bad.  Not great, but not bad.

The rest of the day I did yard work and could feel the run all day long.  In fact, I almost crashed around lunch time.  I’d forgotten to drink 8 oz of chocolate milk within an hour after finishing my run.  I’ve got to get into this habit.  I always feel better after I’ve had chocolate milk.  Sort of a magical drink after a run.

Today is a rest day, but tomorrow calls for an 8 mile run before work.  Seriously?  These.  Miles.

The 10 pm sin (and why I've decided to stop eating)

I hate it when people create totally alarming headlines or blog post articles, that barely have any truth to them.  And yet this post.

For as long as I can remember (which may not be that long, depending on who you ask) I have eaten up until I fell asleep, which was sometimes as late as 1 or 2 am.

This hasn’t really been a problem, except for the last 20 years of my life (I’ve been really putting on the weight.)  But after hearing, reading and finally accepting the idea, I’ve decided to give my appetite a curfew.

My sister has joined me in this effort.  We’re making 10 pm the cutoff time for food.  Drinking water or whatever is good.  No curfew for water or fluids.  There’s a catch, though.  After this first week, the curfew moves to 9:30 pm.  We move the curfew by 30 minutes each week until we reach 8 pm.

This is my goal cutoff time for food.  I think that it will help to curb my appetite and encourage some more weight loss.

This started on Monday and so far, I haven’t eaten anything after 10 pm.  What’s interesting is that I haven’t really felt like I’m starving when I wake up.  I’m hungry, but I’m not desperate, or anything.

In a couple of days (Monday), we move to 9:30 pm.



7 mile run (On a Wednesday!)

Yesterday, I woke up feeling a bit sore from Saturday and Monday.  I had a rest day on Tuesday, but it didn’t “take”.  But, remaining true to the program, I headed out on a run.  I kept about an 0:9:14 pace through the whole thing, but it wasn’t the most comfortable run.  As the run progressed, however, I think the pain subsided (which would be a good thing, I think).

I don’t have much to report on this run, except that it was fun to come across familiar little landmarks that I normally see on a long run day.  This program has me running much longer than I would, normally, on a Wednesdays.  The theory is that it’s better to put in some longer runs and have rest days in between, than it is to pile on mileage through the week without giving adequate time for recovery.

It’s not a new idea, but it’s something I’ve never given a chance.

An appointment with the Running Lab, in SLC (scheduled)

For years I’ve sort of been winging it.  I’ve been training by word of mouth, Google searches, Runner’s World articles, and firsthand experience.  I started running at the age of 26 (in 2002) and within a couple of years started to notice common injuries.

I would work through these injuries either one of two ways:  Either I’d just train through the pain, or I’d quit running for months at a time, until it didn’t hurt any more.  Then I’d start training again or run a marathon until the injuries came back.

I’ve gotten to where I train smarter, now.  I try not to run through harsh pain.  For the last couple of months I’ve incorporated core strength training, almost every night.  Some things have gotten better, but other things have sort of fallen apart.  For instance, my IT Band issue seems to have cleared up to a degree (we’ll see, once I really start piling on the mileage).  But now I deal with some dull hip and pelvic pain on runs.

Further (and trust me, I’m going somewhere with all this), I’m 39 years old.  This is not a big deal in my mind, except that I’d really like to lay down some fast times and PR in a few events, so that I leave my personal mark for my children to either strive for, or smash.

In my mind, I need external help.  I can read book after book (and trust me, I’ve read a LOT of books on running, running form, nutrition, etc.), but at some point I need someone to help put all of this together and make sense of my history, my current condition and my running future.  Again- in my mind I think this might take some professional help.

I’ve gone as far as I know how to go in my running career.  I’ve dropped 20 pounds (down from 201), started strengthening my core, quit drinking soda and have even started following an actual running schedule.

So here I am, at the end of my running rope, looking for some solid answers.  I’m going to be dropping by the Running Clinic in SLC to see what they can do for me.  In the meantime I’ll keep training as smart as I know how, and continue to be dedicated to getting into the best shape I can.

Standard plank PR

At work a friend of mine and me got to talking about planking.  He told me that he couldn’t even do one for 30 seconds.  This is how these stupid things begin…

So he gave it a shot and actually held on for about 2:30.  Pretty freaking impressive.

He timed me and I made it to 3:44.  I guess all the core at night is starting to pay off.  I wonder how much longer until I can make it to five minutes.  I think that five minutes is plenty for my goals.

My first intervals (4 mi with 8 x 100's)

I woke up and immediately decided that today’s run wasn’t going to happen.  After all, I still felt pain from Saturday’s 9 miles and plus our newborn hadn’t really let either myself or Wendy sleep well.  I even worked on an excuse from running that involved such wisdom as when sleep might be more valuable than a workout, etc…

But Wendy asked me if I was going to go for a run and that was the end of it.

I slid off the bed, put my clothes on, walked outside and started up my Suunto.  I started off as slow as I could (a 0:9:30 pace) for a half a mile.  Then I did my first official burst of speedwork in my running career (anything to speak of, anyway).  I ran a 0:6:06 for about 20 seconds (or .06 miles, which should be 100 meters…ish).  I then dropped down to a 0:9:00 minute pace and felt fine.  The following intervals were 0:6:06, 0:6:06, 0:6:45, 0:6:23, 0:5:22, 0:5:52, 0:5:37, 0:5:42, 0:5:58.  We’re only talking about 15-20 second intervals, here.  Let’s not get too excited.

Anyway, I did notice more pelvic and hip discomfort on this run, but fortunately my schedule calls for a day off, tomorrow, before I hit it hard for a 7 miles on Wednesday.

It’s exciting that I can even keep a pace of 5:22 for a few seconds.  I’m not sure how this is supposed to work, but I can see that if I can get better at these types of workouts (sans injury), I should be able to get to the point in a couple of years, where I can qualify for Boston.

We shall see.

Saturday's long run (Spoiler Alert: It sucked)

Cutting to the chase- it was a disaster.  I’m modeling my training after a program from a book that I’m reading, called Advanced Marathoning (Second Ed).  This book is by Peter Pfitzinger and  Scott Douglas.  It makes a compelling argument that most age-groupers (like me) don’t train properly and that most marathon training programs are not well constructed or thought out.

So after reading about 18 percent of the book, I decided to try to model some of my training (if not all) after the 55 mile program they provide.  It called for me to start slowly for a couple of miles, then to work into my projected marathon pace.  These numbers are sort of a crapshoot at this point, because I don’t know what I’m going to race St George at, yet.  I’d be thrilled with an 8 minute pace, but might have to settle for an 8:30 (or more!)  But for now I’m being optimistic, so on Saturday I thought I’d go for an 8 minute per mile pace.

Except that I broke from the plan, immediately.  After all- last week had gone so well (eight miles at an 8:08 pace), that I figured my start at 7:30 wasn’t totally out of control.

But it was.  Within two miles I regretted straying from the plan.  It was foolish and a move driven by ego.  After blowing energy at the start, things started to crumble.  Even within four miles I knew I wasn’t “on”.  I hoped that maybe if I pushed through, things would turn out ok.

They did not.  It got worse.  At one point, I was so frustrated and broken (we’re talking about six miles in- ridiculous), that I walked almost a mile.  To my credit I spent that mile promising myself that my next long run would be by the book.  No more “I feel good enough to…”

I finished up 9 miles in 1:23:24, for a pace of 0:9:15.  That would be fine for me, last year, but this year, I can do better.

Also I need to disclose that my pelvic and hip pain sort of came back and hit me at a “5”.  I’ve rested today (Sunday) and am hoping to hit it with five miles with 8-10 100’s.  If that doesn’t work, I’ll have to go back to the drawing board.

I noticed that IHC has a Running Lab that might be worth checking into.  They can do a full analysis of my running and maybe be a good resource for when things don’t go terribly right.  I’m still looking for that go-to guy for coaching.  Could use some general advice.  Might look into the SLC Running Company, or other.