November 28, 2012

Ramping it back up

Last time I blogged anything about running, it was to pull the plug on the 2012 racing season. It wasn't an easy decision to make, but now as we head into December and I'm about to embark on my next marathon training cycle, I'm glad I did it. My hamstring feels strong and I can run fast on it without worrying about pulling it again.

The last 3 weeks have looked like this as I've started ramping it back up...

I like to use a Google Doc with a "calendar" view to look at big chunks of my training at once. I find it a lot more useful than simply looking at a week view. Big picture thinking is always best! [Day by day log for November is here]

The next couple weeks I'll blend together a variety of workouts and do a couple long runs - basically, get myself back into the workout routine and touch most of the paces / systems. I know that a handful of the early workouts will feel a lot harder than I'll want them to, but that's part of the training process. The goal is to be back in the groove by Christmas, and start hitting some good sessions around the holidays. If that happens, I'll be where I want/need to be.

In terms of races, I'm probably going to run the Phoenix Marathon on March 2nd. And since I usually like to get in a good half-marathon 5-6 weeks before a target marathon, PF Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Half-Marathon looks to be my likely destination. Locally, I'll run the SLC Track Club Winter Series. I know I probably should go run the USA XC Championships... but I am having a hard time convincing myself its a good idea to book a plane ticket to St. Louis in February. Why can't the championships just be in San Diego every year? :-)

Beyond that, I'm not planning much. Hopefully in a few days we'll know the Olympic Trials qualifying standards and time window for 2016. That will heavily influence what I'll be doing going forward... but barring any unforeseen circumstances, I'll likely focus my spring/summer around the USA Half-Marathon Championships, which will be back in Duluth next June. Andrea and I both ran pretty well there last year and really enjoyed the whole weekend in Duluth.

Speaking of Andrea - since writing her "still on the sidelines" blog, she's been making slow but steady progress... running 3-4 miles every other day without any major adverse side effects. Keep your fingers crossed for her!

November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving in Connecticut

I headed back East last week for the annual Thanksgiving "Event" at my Aunt's house in Connecticut. I say "event" because its like a 3-4 day affair. It was great to see my family and spend a couple of really fun days with everyone.

I also jumped into the local turkey trot, using the 5K as my first harder workout of the new training cycle [Race Recap]. My hamstring seems to be healed up, so I'm excited to be ramping up the training again. I got in some great runs during the trip and then did a 20 miler on Sunday after flying back to SLC, so I'd say things are looking good.

One of the highlights of the trip was finishing the 5K, then looping back and running in the last half-mile w/ my Dad.

With my Dad after the Turkey Trot

Big Bailey
Immediate family

Dead after dinner

Chloe looking for a bite
Outdoor music night

November 16, 2012

Still on the Sidelines...

This post was written by Andrea...

I hate injuries. Especially the ones that put me on the sidelines for 3 months... with no end in sight. Without having a specific diagnosis, it's really hard to know how to treat my current issues. The short rundown is that my right iliopsoas and glutes are irritated constantly and sometimes my distal hamstring and IT band hurt.

-I've had two MRIs and two X-Rays.
-I've seen three physical therapists, two massage therapists, and one orthopedic surgeon.
-I've tried no running, only cross training, minimal running, backwards running, pool running, walking, yoga, strength training, and strengthening exercises. 
-I've taken two regimens of oral steroids and had an nerve-block injection into my back. 
-I now own an E-Stim machine, inversion table, and all kinds of rolling devices.

The living room is a PT clinic
You would think that something would work or give me a better indication for how to make some progress. Maybe I'm just not doing all the different combinations in the right order. I don't know, but it's very frustrating! This is definitely the longest I have ever been out of running. And its not just the lack of running that makes this injury a bummer - I can't do most "fun" things that I can think of - hiking, backpacking, skiing, cycling, walking, rollerblading, etc. 

I know it's not the end of the world. It's merely an injury, not some life-threatening disease or anything (I hope, at least! Luckily I didn't get meningitis from the spinal injection.).

I am super thankful that I have a great life with awesome friends and family. I just wish I could do something with them besides eat! :) 

Hopefully, there will be a light at the end of the tunnel soon...

November 12, 2012

Tennessee Mountain Wedding

Our friends Nate and Nora got hitched in Tennessee over the weekend. We went down for 3 days and had a heck of a good time. Perfect place to have a wedding and fun weekend in the mountains (outside of Gaitlinburg TN), and the weather cooperated nicely - sunny and 70 degrees every day!

Since they hire professionals to walk around w/ camera at weddings, we didn't take too many pictures, but did snap a handful...

A few that I stole from my buddy Sean...

Still some fall colors left in the Smoky Mountains...

And this is what we returned to in Utah... 50 inches of snow in the mountains over 2 days... I guess we'll be skiing soon! :-)

November 5, 2012

Sweet 26

Andrea turned the big two-six over the weekend. 

Hard to believe a year has passed since that 2:49 marathon debut! :-)

Some pics from the last 12 months reveal that 1) Andrea wears a lot of pink and 2) Despite some injury setbacks, she still tears it up at the game of life.

I'm a lucky guy.

Happy Birthday Andrea!!!