Tuesday, September 27, 2011

September 15th thru 22nd – 13.09 Miles Total

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

My last four runs were for maintenance, just to get the miles in and enjoy the last few weeks of Daylight Savings. Soon the sun will be setting when I get off work and I’ll either be running in the dark or before work.

I would love to be one of those disciplined creatures who are so addicted to the endorphins that my body can’t rest when it needs a fix. As it is, I do find myself craving the rush of the run and the feel of lungs that are expanded to full capacity but I can’t say that I am addicted to the run. At least not enough to drag my bones outta bed at O dark thirty.

Speaking of addiction: I have a few questions regarding pain relief.

My running focus is basically “Just Do it Regularly” and "Try to beat Last Month's Mileage". As long as I am getting regular exercise, I’m pretty happy. I don’t have to break records, place in my age group or take home any cash prizes. While I do enjoy collecting racing bibs and the occasional finisher’s medal, for me racing is just a competition with myself and a motivation to train.

I usually take it easy and work more on endurance and less on speed because it has been my experience that when I focus on speed, I end up hurting myself and I often get robbed of the joy that running gives me.

Because of my Easy-Does-It attitude, I typically don’t suffer with shin splints, plantar fasciitis, sciatic pain, tendonitis, bone fractures or any of the typical ailments that runners tend to be afflicted with.

However, as with any exercise regimen, I do feel stiffness, soreness and at times, pain. Most frequently, I have AT issues, which are most prevalent in the morning and usually work themselves out with a bit of stretching. I also feel tightness in my lower back at times, the occasional ache in my knees and stiffness in my neck and shoulders.

Typically, I try to relax and stretch. It often does the trick but sometimes it doesn’t.

With that in mind, I’m just curious about what other runners do when they feel pain and what their psych rotation is when they do something about it.

When I’m having any kind of discomfort the first thing I try to do is assess the pain and isolate the problem. If it’s the result of a run, I usually just stretch it out and try to massage it away. If that doesn’t work, I usually just work through it and keep going on with my day. If it’s stress, prayer almost always works.

If I am running after work, I try not to run too much more than 3.5 miles because I’ve found that I have trouble sleeping when I run longer distances and then have to go to bed for the night 2 hours later.

However, there are times when I do get 4 or 5 miles in at the end of the day and I find that if I take one Advil before bed, I sleep much sounder.

Curious…. Very curious.

I am *so* hyper-sensitive about becoming addicted to pain relievers. Not the substance itself, but the idea that I should pop a pill anytime I’m the least bit uncomfortable or when I want to get a good night’s sleep. So much so, that I tend to allow myself to be in pain when a single dose of Advil would set it right.

So my question is: When you have muscle aches and pains, do you work through it and tough it out? Do you take a warm bath? Do you talk your spouse into doing the back rub in exchange for “favors”? Or do you just go ahead and pop the pills? Have you ever taken Advil or even NyQuil just to get to sleep after a run?

Running Log:
September 15th – 3.01 Mile Run
September 18th – 3.55 Mile Run
September 19th – 3.06 Mile Run
September 22nd – 3.47 Mile Run


  1. You definitely run a lot more than I do. I have been cutting back quite a bit (doing mostly 5K on two weekdays and a long run on the weekends). I am like you, I run and race for bragging rights, for medals and collect race bibs. But I do have knee troubles and hence, I have been trying to scale back.

    Have you tried rolling the sore spots? I have a bottle of water freezing in the freezer right now and I am gonna use it to roll on my sore/stiff spots later tonight.

  2. You had me a "a dash of salt."

    Thanks for the recipe!!!
    I will try it!!

  3. Thanks for the tip on rolling muscles. I will have to try that!

    Are they water bottles or 2 liter soda bottles?

  4. Hope you don't mind I've writen far to much!!!

    I would never feel right if I just went for a easy run every day or every other day, I need to train, I love sessions!!! I go on holiday and I find myself running hills and reps. I've walked a 10 day hiking trail and at the huts have put my bag down and gone for a run often a hill session.

    But that is me, it doesn't have to be you, you have to run the way it works for you, so keep up the 3-4 milers after all we still want to be running when we are 90!!!!

    Just one thing which might help your speed (because we still like to run PR's) try and do a couple of strides / run throughs no longer than 50-100m and when you run then it's not about being Usain Bolt, but aim at running at the fastest pace you will run at in your race...

    So maybe sometime between the half way mark of your run and the end find a nice spot. Stop and then take it from say the lamp pole to the stop sign... 1st time slow, 30 sec rest, then a little quicker, till you at the pace you run the last 100m of a race at (you know the pace to pick it up to to pass the 7 year old or the fat old man...) All you are trying to do is get your body use to running at that pace. 5 times is plenty then finish your run.

    If you have a field / track, great, if you use the road great, you don't need to run back and forth, when warming up for a race I go on a short warm up and then I pick the pace up for 5-10 sec and then slow down. I don't stop, just keep running the 30 sec later I do it again, about 5ish times then I jog to the start line. All I am trying to do is getting my legs use to the speed of the start.

    remember don't try and kill yourself just up to fast race pace...

    OK this was way to long, sorry!!!

    Good luck

    Oh and any bottle you feel comfortable rolling with will work...

  5. Thanks for the advice Coach!!! I'll run more drills. I only tend to do that when I'm training for a race and I want to PR. I always get little lumps on my ATs (Both of them!) when I run drills, though. Any advice for that?

    I too, always find myself looking for a trail or a nice stretch of road when I visit or vacation anywhere! The run is in my blood, but I'm not sick with it like my heroes.

  6. I just use regular bottles. Not the litre kinds.
    That chocolate milk was delicious - best I have had home-made!!!

  7. Thanks! Glad you liked the Chocolate milk. It's may favorite way to have it!

  8. Yes drills are good, and I understand that the body start to break down when you 'train' hard, so what I'm saying is: when you run faster than normal I bet your style changes a bit and that is where the pains come from!!! So it's not so much drills I want you to do but short (5-10sec) fartleks, and not fast, just up to 5km race pace.

    So if you are (sorry if I talk in km for now) running 5km home you might aim at running them in 35min now in a race you aim at 30min, and maybe even start out at 27:30 pace. Well that is the pace I want you to do your short farleks at... and when running them imagine you are leading the race and the TV cameras are on you!!! (So try and look good)


  9. I am always so grateful for your advice, Coach! Thank you so much!!!

    I am doing my regular course tonight and it's almost exactly 5km and I will try short Fartleks. I do enjoy those. I don't typically time them though. It's usually "Run at 90% to... that pole", but I will start actaully timing them like you say. I'll let you know how it goes.

    And I *love* the "TV cameras on you advice"! I'm all over that! Thanks again!