Monday, February 26, 2007

Out of Commission

Stacy checked my ankle again last night. She told me that it has been healing much more quickly than she would have anticipated, but a look of concern crossed her face while she was poking around and asking me whether each poke hurt. When I asked her about it, she told me that now that the swelling has subsided it is becoming more evident that the places I am having pain are over the bone (which suggests to me it might be a fracture after all, although she did not say as much). Still, it's in a number of different places and she thinks it would be more localized if it really were a fracture. Plus, the pain is almost completely gone now (except when prodded). This morning it was still feeling a little bruised from last night's prodding, and so I have an icepack on as I type this. We have both agreed that I won't try running for another few days, and even then I'll just walk my route and see how that feels first. I'll go in for an X-Ray if and when she thinks its needed.

I haven't really been posting about it much, but in addition to my running I've sporadically been using the Bowflex weights I picked up a while back at Sports Authority. I'm going to use this little break to really get into the weight training. I want to work on my abs, pecs, shoulders, and biceps especially, and I should be able to do that without involving my ankle.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Recuperation Day

No running for me this morning - I'm giving my ankle more time to heal. It still hurts when I try to walk around, although when I am seated it now feels pretty normal. Hopefully, by Sunday I'll be recovered enough to get a weekend run in. In the meanwhile, I'll keep icing it.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Out of the Frying Pan

Stacy took a look at my leg last night and diagnosed me as having a sprained ankle rather than a stress fracture. So that's good news. But it still means I'll be out of commission while it heals up. I just recovered from my cold enough to begin running again, and now this! The frustrating part is that I can't recall when I might have sprained it. I don't remember tripping, stumbling, over-extending, or doing anything that might have caused it. Oh, well. Looks like I'm on a RICE diet for the next couple of days.

Rest: Injuries heal faster if you rest. Continued use of a moderate or severely sprained ankle can delay healing, increase pain, or worsen the injury. With a mild sprain, activity as tolerated after 1 to 2 days of rest can be helpful.

Ice: Wrap your ankle with a wet cloth. Apply an ice pack over the cloth (held in place with an elastic bandage) for 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours during the first 48 to 72 hours. Remove the ice when your skin begins to feel numb.

Compression: Remove the ice pack and wrap a u-shaped cloth around the ankle knob (held in place with an elastic bandage). Compression squeezes fluid from the injury site and limits swelling.

Elevate: Raise your ankle above your heart for the first 24 hours, to minimize swelling and limit internal bleeding. The less swelling present, the faster an injury will heal.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

One Hour Runner: Week 1, Day 2 (x2)

One Hour Runner: Week 1, Day 2 (x2) - Okay, I'm off my soapbox and back on the pavement. This morning's run was very nice, despite getting a face full of sulfur-smelling sprinkler-water right near the end. The area above my left ankle is hurting a bit now (it was yesterday, too). It doesn't really feel like a shin splint, but it is tender to the touch. I hope its not the beginning of a stress fracture - one of my worries since I'm always running on concrete. It didn't hurt enough to stop me from running this morning, but I'll baby it today and tomorrow and see how it is doing when I run next on Friday morning.

The workout: 5 minute warmup brisk walk, 30 minute run, 10 minute cooldown walk.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Court Day

My blog is devoted to running, but today's post is not related to running at all. Well, maybe tangentially: I wasn't able to get in my morning run because I had to leave home early for a hearing in Broward. Today's post is devoted to my experience at the Broward County Courthouse this morning.

If you've been following the news at all, you may recognize that the Broward County Courthouse is where all of the Anna Nicole Smith madness is being adjudicated. I have appeared before Judge Seidlin, the presiding judge, on many occasions in the past. My hearing this morning was not before Judge Seidlin. It was, however, in the same division (probate/guardianship), in the courtroom right next to his. Today is the day that Judge Seidlin had ordered every interested party in the Anna Nicole matter to appear before him, so I knew that the courthouse was likely to be a media zoo. I arrived at the courthouse by 7:00 AM in an effort to avoid some of the insanity. Even at that early hour, media representatives from around the nation were setting up their rigs. CourtTV was there. CNN was there. You name it, they were there. I don't live in a small backwater town, and I've seen the 'media circus' in person before, but never to this extent.

As it turned out, what I saw in the morning was NOTHING compared to how many people were swarming at the courthouse when I left at about 8:30. By that time, there were helicopters overhead and the street outside the courthouse had basically been turned into a high-tech village. Instead of thatched huts, there were multiple awnings under which sat banks of computer and video equipment. In the center of each awning, news reporters preened while their little worker drones teched the tech until the tech was just right. The sidewalk for a whole block was peppered with these makeshift booths. Inside the courthouse, I saw the media scrambling to get their press passes in order as the courthouse employees resignedly readied themselves for a day of orchestrated chaos. I was pretty impressed by the procedures put into place by the court, although it reminded me a bit of preparing for a hurricane - after all is said and done, there is only so much you can do.

At one point, while I was waiting for my hearing and they were waiting for theirs, the courthouse general emergency alarm started going off. Somebody probably had just opened a door they shouldn't have. Our hearings were on the eighth floor. I immediately found the stairs and made my way down to the ground level, where I got my first glimpse of the tech village that had sprung up while I was inside. I checked with the guards and made sure it was a false alarm, and then I made my way back upstairs. I must have been one of the only people to have evacuated. When I returned back upstairs I saw that none of the media had budged. It was as if the blaring alarm in the courthouse was just a hazard to be endured for the sake of the job.

As I waited for my hearing, I became increasingly disgusted as I listened to the media talking amongst themselves. There was an air of conviviality that was disconcerting to me. I imagine the atmosphere at Roman coloseums was similar. Somewhere, lost in the midst of all the flashing lights and tech, is a little baby girl, too young to understand that she has lost her mother. Too young to understand that the people claiming to be her father may not be doing so out of love for her or to protect her best interest, but rather for their own selfish purposes. Of course, I didn't see the baby. I doubt she was there. I hope she wasn't there. But even if she was, even though I was standing right there, I doubt I would have been able to spot her in the middle of the media feeding frenzy. What disturbed me most is that the frenzy was to feed us. We, the consumers of Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood. We, the consumers of CNN and CourtTV. Often as not, my family has Xtra or Access Hollywood or one of those pop culture shows on and playing on the kitchen television in the background as we eat dinner. No more, though. I've had my fill, and the last bite was rancid.

Monday, February 19, 2007

One Hour Runner: Week 1, Day 1 (x2)

OHR - Week 1, Day 1(x2) - Last Night, an hour after dinner, I got back on the road again! Zoe and Stacy were watching "Cheaper By the Dozen" on TV, David was content, and Lila already was asleep upstairs. I was feeling relatively well, and when I walked Teddy outside I realized it didn't seem all THAT cold. So I geared up and went out for a run. I was a little apprehensive because I've heard people comment about how they feel slow when running after a meal, but it wasn't an issue for me at all. It felt great to be back out there! Among other things, for the first time in a week I was able to breathe through both nostrils at the same time. While it was cold out there at first, as soon as I got beyond the warmup walk stopped feeling the cold. It helped that I was wearing, for the first time, my long-sleeve running shirt and long running pants. I also wore my reflective vest thingy for the first time.

The vest, plus my headlamp, plus my red flashing left-arm LED, plus my solid neon red right-arm LED, plus the reflective surface of my left-arm cellphone holder, plus my reflective anklets, had me lit up like a Christmas tree. (One neighbor shouted "It's an alien! It's a UFO!" as I ran passed, in a voice that sounded just like Barney from The Simpsons).

This was a great run, maybe my best yet. Not particularly in terms of time, but just in terms of how I felt while doing it. I felt like I was outrunning my cold. Listening to great music, feet pounding the pavement, I quickly got into the zone and forgot all about feeling under the weather. I.Will.Not.Be.Defeated! (De-feeted?) As an extra bonus, when I weighed myself this morning I discovered that I was down more than a pound from the last time I checked. Yesterday, one neighbor told me that it looked like I am melting away. I'm almost at my goal, now, which is to be right in the middle of the yellow "healthy weight" range on the BMI chart on the right.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Enough Already!

Tomorrow will be one week since the last time I ran. I'd very much like to hit the pavement again, but this head and chest cold still has me in its grasp. The fact that we're in the middle of unusually cold weather here in Florida isn't helping my motivation, either. Tomorrow it is supposed to be in the mid-thirties in the morning. I know that for many other runners that's balmy for this time of year, but for me it is frigid. I guess it's good that my cold has coincided with the cold weather - maybe by the time I'm feeling better it will be more pleasant outside.

My safety vest arrived in the mail, and I have some new music loaded up on my nano, so I'm raring to go. Maybe tomorrow? I'm off work for President's Day, so I could even get in a daylight run provided I feel up to it.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Hiatus Continues

No running again this morning. Just wasn't feeling up to it. I hope this cold passes quickly.

I ordered a reflective vest thingy, and hopefully it will help spark my motivation to get back on the road. When I do start running again (tomorrow, hopefully), I plan on restarting One Hour Runner from W1D1.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Mind vs. Body: Excuses, Excuses

No running for me this morning - I woke up feeling that my head cold had migrated into my chest overnight. The general rule in running is "cold in your chest, stay home and rest" (or something like that). So I reset the alarm and crawled back into bed for an hour. Now that I'm more awake I realize that my cold is still really pretty much confined to my head, which was playing head-games with me this morning to steal an extra hour of sleep.

Monday, February 12, 2007

One Hour Runner: Week 1, Day 3

Week 1, Day 3: Today it was especially tough to drag myself out of bed, but I did it and I'm glad I did. It rained through the night but by 5AM there was just a cool misty drizzle and it was perfect running weather. Occasionally small frogs jumped out of my path as I approached. I'm not sure if they were scared away by the thudding of my footfalls or by the light from my headlamp. Either way, it made for a fun distraction while running.

The Workout: 5 minute warmup brisk walk, 30 minute run, 5 minute cooldown walk.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

One Hour Runner: Week 1, Day 2

Week 1, Day 2
: I decided to run this morning despite still feeling a bit under the weather. I'm glad I did - by the time I was fully awake and outdoors I was feeling much better, and I would have hated missing the opportunity for a rare daylight run. I did my standard through-the-park-and-back route. I didn't see many people since it was still early, but just as I was passing the canal on Pinehurst I did spot a bright red cardinal sitting on the chainlink fence. I didn't get a great look at him since he flew off as I approached, but I'm pretty sure it was a Malula. A pretty rare sighting for South Florida.

When I finished up my run I came back home, showered up, and crawled back into bed. Zoe and Lila made me breakfast in bed for my birthday. A perfect start to the day!

The Workout
: 5 minute warmup walk, 30 minute run, 5 minute cooldown walk.

PM Update
: It turned out to be such a beautiful day today that we all decided to walk to the park. We left home at about 5:15, spent some time at the park playground, and then followed the lake-route back home again. We arrived back home at almost 7:00 PM. I enjoyed being able to show everyone the route that I run. It was a nice leisurely walk, but I bet I'll feel it tomorrow because I had Lila on my shoulders the whole way home.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Sick as a Dog

No running for me this morning, unfortunately - I woke up feeling under the weather. Apparently, the winter cold that has been making the rounds in my family has found its way over to me. I'm now dayquil-ized and feeling much better, though, so maybe I'll try an evening run after work.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

One Hour Runner: Week 1, Day 1

Back in the saddle again. This was my first "official" run for the One Hour Runner program. I'm not counting the treadmill run I did in Disney. For this morning's run, I did my typical run up Pinehurst and back. It was colder than normal so my eyes were tearing almost the entire time. I find that I really like running to my own music, but I need to weed out some of the slower tempo songs.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Skipping today

No, not that type of skipping. Since we got home so late last night from Disney, and since my step total yesterday was 17,000 (and the day before was 26,000), I decided to take today as a day of rest. Tomorrow, then, begins "One Hour Runner" in earnest.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Vacation Run

Today was my first post-C25k run, and it happened to take place away from home. We met up with my wife's college roommate and family in DisneyWorld. It was the first time we had seen them in about 7 years, and we all had a blast. Even though I knew I would be doing a lot of walking in the park, I still wanted to get a morning run in, and so at 6 AM I started my day in the hotel's fitness center on their treadmill. This was my first attempt at using a treadmill, and my feeling about it is mixed. On the one hand, it definitely was easier on my legs and knees. I wound up running for about 55 minutes (!) and I feel like I could have done more. The reason I ran so long was because I decided to go for distance instead of time, and it took me that long to go 5k. I'm not sure why my treadmill running was so much slower than my outdoor running, yet felt the same while I was on the machine. On the other hand, it was much more boring. Still, since this was my first run post-C25k podcast, it was the first time I got to listen to my own running mix, and that part was enjoyable. After my morning run, I had just enough time to shower up and get dressed and then we headed to the park. By the end of the day I had 25,607 steps (256% of my daily goal!). I tried to eat healthy while at the park, so hopefully I didn't lose much of my forward momentum. Since today was so unusual, I've decided not to consider it as W1D1 of the "One Hour Runner." Instead, I'll start that this week.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Couch to 5k: Week 9, Day 3 - GRADUATION!

Week 9, Day 3 - graduation!

This morning's run was fantastic. I kept a reasonably steady pace throughout, the weather was perfect, and I feel like I got a good workout. It was my typical early morning run route, which took me up Pinehurst, this time all the way passed the entrance to Freedom Park and to the school driveway.

My workout: 5 minute warmup brisk walk, 30 minute run, 5 minute cooldown walk.

I wasn't able to run yesterday, so instead I did a little weight training last night. Not too much, though - and probably not enough to make any difference: I'm not sore at all from it. Still, it's a start.

Since this was my final c25k run, I wanted to take a look back at my blog and see how I've progressed. I am amazed. Since I started:

(1) I have lost about 22 pounds (I started at 197. Now I'm 175.4);
(2) I have had to move my belt in two notches (I'm now on the tightest one and will soon need a new belt). I haven't gone shopping for pants or measured my waist, but I expect I've gone from a size 38 to probably a 34;
(3) I have gone back to wearing my dress shirts with size 16 collars (I had been wearing size 17);
(4) I no longer keep adjusting the house thermostat to make it colder, and I no longer sweat profusely in the morning while getting ready for work, two things that suggest to me that my blood pressure probably is lower now then it was when I started;
(5) My calves (actually my upper legs now, too) have some nice definition;
(6) And finally: When I started I could only run for 60 seconds with difficulty, and now I can run for 30 minutes straight.

All in all, I'd say my new workout and eat healthy routine has been a resounding success. I've designed and ordered a "c25k graduate" shirt from - I plan on wearing it with pride. One hour runner, here I come!