Welp, I did it again! I got my monthly goal of 100+ miles in a month… and it feels awesome. It might seem like I’m going backward, but October I’m going to reel things back and reduce my mileage.
And here’s why.
As you can imagine, after increasing my average monthly mileage from 70 to 100 miles, I was bound to find new injuries along the way. Calm down Uncle Jim, my knees are fine – what I did discover:
I was having issues with tenderness in my plantar fascia. Plantar fasciitis is a fairly common ailment among runners and easily treatable. I won’t go into all of the details (Google is your friend), but I found my heels and arches were often sore following a long run. After a quick YouTube search, I was able to pinpoint that the issue is in the calf-muscles and not properly stretching AFTER my runs.
I found that giving myself a somewhat painful and deep tissue massage along my calves and plantar fascia, I was able to reduce and relieve the pain. Also, foam rolling after runs has helped drastically reduce soreness and tenderness.
Second, I’ve been experiencing some tenderness in my lower left shin, almost like a wicked bruise that won’t go away. I’m not sure if this is a stress fracture on my lower leg, or if a tendon is just bruised and needs to heal. Either way, I’m taking it easy to hopefully not exacerbate any injuries, I don’t want to take any chances. Also, I don’t know how to describe exactly what I’m feeling other than the pain is similar to a bruise. I don’t experience pain when I walk or put weight on my leg, so it doesn’t seem like a fracture is an issue, again just soreness.
The Hershey Half Marathon next weekend, and for the most part, I have only logged 18 miles in the last 11 days. This upcoming week (before the half marathon) I’m not going to run at all, maybe a slight jog around the neighborhood – like I said, I just want to take it easy.
The course has rolling hills, and traverses the Hershey area- you’ll take in sites of the theme park (as you run through it) onto the cozy side streets that make up the town, and right through the Milton Hershey School dorms where the students cheer you on with nothing but positive amped up energy.
Trust me, it’s an amazing experience- plus the medals and swag each year are pretty awesome.
Training has already begun- ish. Basically, the plan of attack is this:
1. Increase monthly mileage throughout August and September (which I’m on track as far as that goes). The goal is to just get in more running time on my feet and follow this up with…
2. Incorporate one 13+ mile long per week by mid-September into October.
I’m trying to condition my body to run 4 miles every day and then sneak in a Half Marathon once a week to prepare for the distance. Every year I end up sabotaging myself by not getting in those long runs and conditioning myself for the 2 hours I’ll be on my feet.
I’ll do this up to the week before the race, rest for a day or two, maybe run some low mileage runs but give myself a little break before the race.
The goal this year is to finish right at 2 hours, or less. As long as I beat my previous years, I’ll be happy with that.
This month (August) I embarked on a major milestone – running 100 miles in 30 days! For some, this may be mere child’s play, but ever since I started running I would typically cap out around 60-70 monthly miles. I know I have more fuel in the tank, so I set out on this new journey to see what heights I can achieve.
Do I consider myself a runner? Obviously, the answer is: Yes! I mean, why would I go through the trouble of blogging and sharing my passion on social media? The real question is, do I feel like a runner? I know this may seem trivial, but the more of a presence I have on social media, the more I can’t help but notice there are some serious runners out there. So serious, that I almost feel silly at times posting much of anything. Maybe that’s why I set this 100-mile goal?
A wonderful thing I noticed about running is that I don’t seem to catch a sense of elitism from other runners (at least from my perspective), just profound respect. That profound respect is earned through your reputation and your accomplishments. Not saying there aren’t elite runners, but I rarely catch us runners looking down on other runners.
In fact, in articles from the elite runners, they are just like you and me – they set goals, they train, they have ups and downs, but they just keep showing up and the reward pays them in dividends.
“Some days it just flows and I feel like I’m born to do this, other days it feels like I’m trudging through hell. Every day I make the choice to show up and see what I’ve got, and to try and be better.
My advice: keep showing up” – Desiree Linden
Regardless of distance run, or pace, (for me personally) I think what matters most is getting out and giving it your best effort.
KEEP SHOWING UP.
Now, I’m not downplaying pace or miles – after all, that’s how I measure my own accomplishments, but it doesn’t have to be just distance or pace. I respect other runners who log daily miles, carry on a run streak, set goals and work for their achievements, and embrace the overall sense of community running brings.
I guess the question is: What do you feel makes someone a runner?
By the way, I hit those 100 miles.
110 miles to be exact.
This week we tackle the hidden secrets of SUGAR, and how you can be a better-informed food label detective. We talk about running and increasing mileage, and recent running gear purchases. We announced our “Run with Us” series where we want to feature you! Share with us your running story! And so much more!
Also, you can now find us on Spotify! (As well as other fine podcast platforms).
A recent Facebook poll on my favorite Running group asked if we preferred double, or single knots on our running shoes. The results are a mixed bag, with a few write-ins for Velcro (I’m not sure if they are serious), Lace-locks, and bungees.
I’m a little torn b/c I’m an in-between kinda guy, maybe not in the Velcro. Okay, I realize that was joke, but still. Allow me to explain- it all boils down to the shoe laces.
**SCIENCE ALERT! What follows is a highly scientific and comprehensive review, I am a professional, do not try this at home, results will vary!**
My Brooks Launch 4’s laces are perfect for a single knot, they are semi-round /oval, soft with reinforced ridged edges. The laces don’t stretch or flex very much, but there’s enough give that they hold a knot very well. When tied correctly, a single knot will suffice for all activities.
Using my extensive and highly scientific methods of measurement we see that the shoelace has approximately a 5/16″ stretch for every 6″ of shoelace. This is not sponsored or endorsed by Lowes.
My Hoka Bondi 4’s laces are complete garbage (sorry Hoka) I would double knot those bad boys only to have them fall apart – even when tied correctly! I gave up on those solid ridged laces and replaced them with iBungee laces. The bungee laces have treated me very well and I actually feel like my feet breath a little better.
No stretch test- it’s bungee folks. Don’t get carried away.
My Merrell Agility’s are a double knot kinda of shoe. The laces are flat with no hard ridges, single knots seem to slip up too easily because they stretch a fair amount while running. Plus, when it comes to trail running, I’ll take the added assurance of a double knot.
Again, utilizing extensive and highly scientific methods of measurement we see that the shoelace has approximately a 13/16″ stretch for every 6″ of shoelace.
My Mizuno Wave Rider’s laces are round, super soft, super stretchy, and yet hold a perfect knot. I have these tied in a lace lock fashion, so I’m sure that is an added bonus.
Using my extensive method of measurement we see that the shoelace has approximately a 1-3/8″ stretch for every 6″ of shoelace.
My New Balance 880’s have a flat shoelace with a center reinforced stitch. These laces hold a single knot extremely well, and have very little to no stretch. No stretch has its drawbacks especially if you tie them too tight.
Finally, using my highly scientific method of measurement we see that the shoelace has approximately a 1/4″ stretch for every 6″ of shoelace.
Let me clear the air for those of you looking for the nitty-gritty details. Here it is: Download the Charity Miles App – record your miles and raise money for charity or your choice. Seems pretty easy, right?
For me, not so much. A few months ago I was getting frustrated with always having to run with a cell phone or iPod for my music. I dabbled in fancy headphones and running belts to try to suit my needs, but just found myself wasting time trying to make it all work. So I ditched the phone, the belt, and the headphones and run with no music or distractions. I’m forced to listen to myself breathe and hear nothing but my feet hitting the ground beneath me.
Needless to say, I downloaded this app months ago and never logged in. After guilt getting the better of me, I decided to open the app, sign-in, and start raising funds. The interface is simple to use, and you can select between indoor or outdoor walking or running, as well as outdoor biking. While I’m not 100% sure how comfortable I feel running with my phone again, I have been logging in almost daily to record my morning and afternoon walks – and knowing that I’m helping raise funds for a charity of my choice is pretty rewarding.
Question: What are some of your favorite running apps?