The Long Run

Well there you go, it's all about focus. After entering the IM Hawaii lottery, I went and read Simon Lessings retirement interview on Slowtwitch. I only managed to grab a quick word with Simon at the Longhorn race, but it was great to see him again. Hopefully he'll show up with Lisa and the kids again at Galveston for the Lonestar race and I'll get to spend time with him there. Back in 2007, Simon sent me all his Tri Dubai kit to auction off for charity.

In response to one of the Slowtwicth questions, Simon said "I am tired of the monotony of doing the same thing year after year. I never took a break. In hindsight maybe I needed that. I'm going to be 38 in February and I am not getting any younger. The guys I'm racing now are 15-18 years younger and are extremely motivated. They are living for one thing alone – to do the best they could on the triathlon stage. I’m very familiar with that mindset." - That resonated with me. Not the bit about the younger guys, although if alkaloids was a bit more focussed it might be ;-) - Used to race to be the best I could be. Now I race for the fun. I'm tired of the monotony of doing the same thing. For which there is an easy fix, do something different.

And so I did and I will. I'm going to join Pure Austin and make working out a core part of my life again, instead of something I fit in. Good news is mstoonces  got a bunch of us from the meetup group a great deal.

So tonight I decided to go out and do a long run. I figured 7.5-miles. First that would thrash my legs so I'd have an excuse for not catching or beating the afore mentioned mstoonces  at Saturday afternoons Skirtchaser 5k. Secondly, I'm going to do the TX State Tri on the 18th, and having not run much near 10k this year, I decided I've got two shots before then. As it truned out, I ran 9.8-miles, my longest ever run in Austin, and the furthest I've run since I got here. I took it easy going down S 1st, over the bridge and alongside the north side of the trail. I still got to Mopac bridge in 27:49, faster than I thought.

Turns out that just past the Footbridge, I was overtaken by a tall woman, late 30's I'd figure, black short hair, running fractionally faster than me. We passed and re-passed each other along the north side of the trail just as I was getting tired. On the south side, just past Barton Springs she overtook me again and that was the last I saw of her. I think I need to join a training group or at least find a partner to run with. I've pretty much never done this and always run alone.

The first 5-miles were done at a steady 9.15-minute mile pace, although in the 80% range. It's hard for me to run slower, it would be little more than a jog, maybe I should use my HRM to pace myself instead of just creating a historical record. Nows theres an idea.

Just on the hour though I could feel my right knee significantly tightening as the joint swelled up, my pace dropped to a sendentary jog over the next 5-miles, ending in 10:23 pace, giving a 10:40'ish pace for the last 5-miles. Which corelates to about as 4:40 marathon, assuming I didn't walk(which might be faster ;-)) - So I have a way to go.
 
The real problem isn't the pace, as I found at the end of my first IM Distance race. It's that my knees get so stiff towards the end, and certainly afterwards and for the next few days, I can barely bend them. This has the result during running of often scraping my right foot along the floor and almost tripping, and stumbling. So I guess if I'm serious about a run at IM in 2009, I need to find a decent knee doctor to help me work out what I can do, rather than one who'll tell me what I can't do.
  • Current Location: Austin, TX
  • Current Music: Deadmau5 - The Essential Mix
(Anonymous)
I found that some basic strengthening exercises were what it took to keep my knees from swelling when I started running longer. Simple leg lifts from lying down, gradually building up to using a bag of rice over my ankle as a weight.