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Is Boston in the cards?

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Is Boston in the cards?

Post  Tim C on Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:28 pm

So here I am, 12 full months after being on a real high having run a BQ time and I have been able to run VERY few miles since.  A measly total of 229 miles thus far this year, none at all between February and August.  (Geez, I had months where I ran more than 230 miles last year…)  A 4th knee surgery in March set me back and doc sent me pictures of where I am bone on bone – osteoarthritis he calls it.  He told me the day after surgery that long distance running was not in my future but I told him I had one more marathon that I planned on running.  Started running a bit but got sidelined with terrible calf cramping which I assume results from favoring the left leg.  I tried all kinds of things but then it was suggested I try a local ART practitioner who works with the Anaheim Ducks and other professional athletes.  ART = Active Release Therapy.  I’ve tried it before and it hurts like hell but I had nothing to lose.
 
Amazing the improvement he made on my leg.  Today I was able to run 3 miles completely pain free, something I haven’t been able to do for months.  So here is my dilemma:  Come Monday I have exactly 17 weeks until Boston – 119 days.  I have zero illusions about running anywhere near a PR in Boston but I want to do this bad as I know I will never be able to qualify again.  What concerns me is that I am essentially starting from scratch and I have no idea if I have already passed the point that it is just not possible to train to complete 26.2 miles in the short time left.
 
I ran 3:49 in Sacramento and if I have to take 4:30 to run Boston that would be fine.  But I don’t want to go if I have to walk the course – I want to be able to run it. 
 
   
I know most of you haven’t had the same issues I’ve had but I would appreciate any suggestions you may have.  I need to go from almost zero miles to being able to finish 26.2 in Boston and I don’t have a lot of time left between now and then.  Am I past the point where it even makes sense to try???
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Re: Is Boston in the cards?

Post  KBFitz on Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:58 am

No, you are not past the point of even trying. You can certainly train to complete 26.2 in 17 weeks at a leisurely pace. But if you have pain while training, cut back and consider asking for a deferment until next year - if possible. It is not worth further injury. Good luck.
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Re: Is Boston in the cards?

Post  Tim C on Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:15 am

No deferments allowed under any circumstances - they are very clear about this.
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Re: Is Boston in the cards?

Post  Tim C on Sun Dec 18, 2016 2:02 pm

4 easy miles this morning with no issues.  Fingers crossed...
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Re: Is Boston in the cards?

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:54 pm

It is definitely possible and I kind of started from scratch for the 2013 race since I missed all summer of 2012 with achilles issue and then had surgery right after Thanksgiving.  Although I didn't finish (not my fault), I was on track to run a very easy 4:10-4:15 and it wasn't that bad at all.  I stopped to talk to my Mom and my daughter or I might have made it across, but no walking at least until I was forced to.

You can certainly do this and with the right attitude, it will be a pleasant rather than unpleasant experience - I promise.
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Re: Is Boston in the cards?

Post  nkrichards on Sun Dec 18, 2016 5:52 pm

I can't speak to your ability to train to run Boston at this point but I would encourage you to go no matter what.  Pick up your bib.  You've earned it.  Go to the expo.  Go to the pasta dinner.  Take in the Boston experience even if you can't run the race at a satisfying pace.  You won't regret it!

Two weeks ago I'm not sure I would have advised you to run unless you were prepared...that's the attitude that I had then.  I have a different attitude today.  You never know what will happen in life especially on race day.  So...prepare as well as you can and start the race.  Then adjust to whatever happens out there.  If it means you have to walk a bit then swallow your pride and enjoy the sights and sounds.  I wasn't able to do that in Boston...or earlier this month in Sacramento.  I let my desire to finish well at Sacramento ruin what could have...in hindsight...been a good day.  A different day than I wanted and dreamed of but still a good day.

At our age we can't waste an opportunity when we have one.  I understand your goals...I've been there...but don't let this opportunity slip away by putting to many restrictions on the definition of a good experience.  You qualified...you earned it...enjoy it!!!!!

I'll be thinking of you as you prepare...physically and mentally...for Boston.  Good luck.
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Re: Is Boston in the cards?

Post  Mark B on Fri Dec 23, 2016 3:06 pm

I think you're getting some great advice in these previous posts. I'll add only that it's far too soon to cash it in. Success isn't 100% guaranteed for any of us for any race, no matter how well prepared we are, so don't focus on what may go wrong and do whatever you can to make things go right.

You can do this.

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Re: Is Boston in the cards?

Post  Tim C on Sat Dec 24, 2016 3:49 pm

Thanks for the thoughts and encouragement.  I know I don't have to tell you how badly I want to do this and I've been horribly disappointed in how things have gone up to now.  I must say that my calf is doing much better and I've been able to complete my last 6 runs with no issues so I am cautiously optimistic.

4 easy miles this morning and all was well.  I've mapped out a plan utilizing Hansons method albeit at a much slower pace than I ran at Sacramento.  (Thinking 4:15 right now).  I am also not planning on doing the mid-week runs as long as is suggested because I have to make it to the starting line if I hope to reach the finish line.  So, instead of say six 1-mile repeats plus warm-up and cool-down, maybe I'll do 3 or 4 repeats plus w/u and cool down. 

I feel the knee pretty much every step but it often gets better as the run goes along.  Will have to see how it feels when the runs get longer.  But that pain is at least tolerable.  When the calf impingement kicks in, I can't run at all - heck walking is tough.  So for now I'm being religious about the stretching routine I've been given so I don't get sidelined by that again.

Merry Christmas!
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Re: Is Boston in the cards?

Post  Tim C on Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:29 pm

Quick update.  While the calf still scares me, no issues to report and I haven't been forced to cut any runs short.  19 miles last week looking for 21-22 this week.  Legs feel kind of ok but the cardio just sucks.  I can't believe how winded I am after 2-3 miles at a pedestrian 10:00 pace.  Oh well.

I will be attempting some up-tempo runs week after next and that will be the real test - that and getting to double digit long runs, something I haven't done in a year.  Only 103 days to Boston (per the email I got today from BAA - those emails are pretty cool!).  I have a really long ways to go to get ready but still being cautious as any setbacks at this point will be devastating.

Probably need to start looking at airfare pretty soon...
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Re: Is Boston in the cards?

Post  Mark B on Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:30 am

Good news, Tim! That's great.

If the slower paces are working for you, I don't know how eager you should be to start hammering away at a higher intensity. You might want to consider keeping up the aerobic work as you extend the distance more than picking up the pace. Less chance of reinjury that way.

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Re: Is Boston in the cards?

Post  Tim C on Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:02 pm

Mark B wrote:Good news, Tim! That's great.

If the slower paces are working for you, I don't know how eager you should be to start hammering away at a higher intensity. You might want to consider keeping up the aerobic work as you extend the distance more than picking up the pace. Less chance of reinjury that way.

Trust me Mark, I'm not going to be pushing the pace at all.  I'm thinking a 4:15-4:20 time right now is what I may shoot for and that equates to 8:55 speed work and 9:44 MP - hardly up-tempo...

So yesterday was to be my first speed work after nothing but slow miles.  I decided to shake things up and do it on a treadmill at the gym for a multitude of reasons:

1- My knee hurts somewhat every step running so I thought I'd see what the cushioning of the 'mill would feel like.
2- We are supposed to have non-stop heavy rain here for the next few days so I wanted to trying running inside again to see if I could handle it.
3- Hitting correct paces on the 'mill is easy.

So - good news / bad news.  My gym is about 1 mile from the house.  Elected to run there at 5am yesterday for a warm-up, duck inside to do some 400 meter intervals and run an easy mile back home after.  Hansons calls for 12x400 but I've already made up my mind to back off for a bit so I planned on doing 6 instead.  Ran a slow mile to the gym, pulled off the outer layer and jumped on the treadmill... and found that I could run totally pain free.  Damn - I REALLY hate to run on treadmills but the little bit of cushioning it provided was wonderful.  I know I'm twisted but I was kind of hoping it would feel no different because I REALLY hate treadmills.

So today was an off day and tomorrow is 5 or so at MP and it is supposed to be pouring rain so I'll try running inside again.  Problem is, I simply go crazy running on a treadmill and the intervals yesterday at least allowed me to mix it up every couple of minutes.  Tomorrow will be nearly 50 minutes at a steady pace and I WILL be looking at the screen every 15-20 seconds or so...

Oh well, it did feel really nice to (1) pick the pace up just a little and (2) literally run pain free for a couple of miles.  If the knee continues feeling good on the 'mill, I may need to try and figure out how to not go nuts running in place....


Last edited by Tim C on Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:09 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Re: Is Boston in the cards?

Post  nkrichards on Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:18 pm

I'm with you on the mill Tim but if it works...

Good to hear you're still making progress!
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Re: Is Boston in the cards?

Post  Tim C on Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:28 pm

4 miles on the 'dreadmill' today... was planned for 5 but I simply couldn't wait to get off the damn thing!  How anyone could do a long run indoors is beyond me.  

So I may have learned something interesting today.  This last Tuesday I planned some up-tempo work so I ran my warm-up and cool-down mile each way to the gym and run the intervals on the 'mill.  My knee felt SO much better on the 'mill I assumed it was the cushioning of the 'mill itself.  It may still be but I have some doubts after today.

Today it was pouring so I decided to drive to the gym, run an easy mile and then was to do a few miles at MP.  Got on the mill and the knee felt no better than when I'm running outdoors.  Lo and behold, once I sped up a bit, the knee felt way better again.  Now I've been doing almost all of my miles very slow and easy trying to regain some semblance of an aerobic base.  (I'm learning to embrace the 10:00 - 10:30 mile).  While I try to keep my turnover up it's pretty difficult to do and such an easy pace.  Tuesday I ran some 8:55 intervals and today was  steady at about 9:30 but the knee feels so much better at even those paces.  I'm thinking my turnover increases slightly when I run a little faster and that spells relief for my knee.  The test will be picking it up out on the road and seeing what it feels like.  

I also purchased a pair of Hoka Bondi 5 shoes.  They may be the ugliest shoe I've ever seen but I've read that with their high level of cushioning that runners with bad knees get a lot of relief.  I'm a member at Roadrunnersports so I have 90 days to return if I don't like them and given I had a 25% off coupon I had to give them a try.  I'll be anxious to give them a shot over the weekend.

Going to shoot for a long run of 10 miles on Sunday, which would be the first of that length in over 12 months...  Fingers crossed...
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Re: Is Boston in the cards?

Post  nkrichards on Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:14 pm

Fingers crossed...
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Re: Is Boston in the cards?

Post  Tim C on Sat Jan 21, 2017 5:24 pm

Quick check-in.  Laced up the ugly Hoka's for the first time this morning and headed out on a beautiful, clear, cool morning.  Lo and behold knee discomfort was almost nonexistent - never in a million years would I have expected a change in shoe would make that dramatic of a change.  Hope it wasn't just a 1-time deal.  Did 9 miles (most at one time in a year) and it felt pretty good, although my legs right now feel like I went a LOT further than that.  

Supposed to be an even bigger storm tomorrow than the deluge we had yesterday.  Hoping to get a few miles outdoors tomorrow between showers...
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Re: Is Boston in the cards?

Post  Tim C on Sun Jan 22, 2017 12:48 pm

Got 5 in this morning in the rain, not coming down hard but soaked thru just the same.  Hoka's felt good - not as good as yesterday - but definitely easier on the knee than my regular shoes.  I'll continue running in them for now.
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Re: Is Boston in the cards?

Post  Mark B on Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:52 pm

I love to make fun of Hokas, but if they work for you, I'll take it all back.

Good job on the runs, and congrats for finally getting some real rain. I remember living down there and how delightful -- yet catastrophic -- those rains can be.

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Re: Is Boston in the cards?

Post  Tim C on Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:09 pm

29 miles this week, including a hilly 6 mile run yesterday and 10 pretty flat miles today.  Yesterday I felt pretty good but today was tough on the legs.  Not going to do 2 back to back runs like that again soon as today was a real struggle.

Still in the Hokas and the knee is holding up pretty well.  I think it's a combination of the shoes, the leg strengthening I'm doing along with the fact that I've been able to get a few miles in that the leg muscles are getting stronger so the knee is more stable.

Trying not to overdo it but todays struggle to finish 10 reminds me just how much fitness I've lost and how far I still have to go.  11 weeks left to get ready....
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Re: Is Boston in the cards?

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:09 pm

Keep it going and listen, listen, listen (to your body that is).
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Re: Is Boston in the cards?

Post  Mark B on Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:05 pm

Keep at it! Don't worry about the struggle at 10. Steady progress is going to get you there.

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Re: Is Boston in the cards?

Post  Tim C on Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:31 pm

So I returned the Hokas as they weren't the greatest thing since sliced bread after all.  Had a couple of real hot spots with them, they were big and heavy and thus I found it impossible to get and keep my cadence where I wanted it.  Also, on my last few runs in my regular shoes I found the knee felt about the same.  I really think building a little muscle in the legs is helping the knee.

Did 12 today and 31 for the week - both highs for me in over a year.  The 12 today was MUCH better than last weeks 10, so much so that I actually picked it up a bit the last couple of miles and felt strong.  Of course, 'picking it up' is very relative right now.  Right now I am targeting about 4:15 for the race or 9:45 miles, about 1 minute per mile slower than CIM.  So I'm running my long runs at 10:30 pace which is super slow but I'm resigned to doing what I need to do to both start AND finish the event.

3 short stops today to take a gel, but since I plan on running, not racing Boston, I don't need to worry about eating gels on the fly and getting that sticky stuff all over my fingers...

71 days to go!
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Re: Is Boston in the cards?

Post  nkrichards on Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:00 pm

Looks like you're making progress and have a great attitude about it all!

Keep it up...
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Re: Is Boston in the cards?

Post  Tim C on Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:46 pm

33 miles last week with a long run of 14.  Again, both highs for me in over 12 months.  I continue to be encouraged as to how my knee feels.  Yes it's weak and yes, I feel it every step but it is a very tolerable pain right now - probably 1-2 on a scale of 10.  Cardio and leg strength are not where I would like them to be but they too are improving every week.

I'm trying to be very conservative and just log some miles but running a little up-tempo at times feels really good.  My knee actually feels better the faster I run, probably because my turnover increases as well.  Still, I am not going to push things.  Today I ran 1 mile to the gym and then jumped on the treadmill for some slightly quicker 1200 meter intervals and then ran back home.  5 miles total with a goal of around 36 this week.  I have 42 on tap next week with a long of 16 miles.

Counting down the days to Boston and I'm excited as we booked our airfare last week.  Spending a full week with friends in Wayland and have tickets for Fenway Saturday afternoon!  I am a HUGE baseball fan and am really pumped to catch a Sox game in that stadium.  

62 days but who's counting...
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Re: Is Boston in the cards?

Post  nkrichards on Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:09 pm

Tim C wrote:33 miles last week with a long run of 14.  Again, both highs for me in over 12 months.  I continue to be encouraged as to how my knee feels.  Yes it's weak and yes, I feel it every step but it is a very tolerable pain right now - probably 1-2 on a scale of 10.  Cardio and leg strength are not where I would like them to be but they too are improving every week.

I'm trying to be very conservative and just log some miles but running a little up-tempo at times feels really good.  My knee actually feels better the faster I run, probably because my turnover increases as well.  Still, I am not going to push things.  Today I ran 1 mile to the gym and then jumped on the treadmill for some slightly quicker 1200 meter intervals and then ran back home.  5 miles total with a goal of around 36 this week.  I have 42 on tap next week with a long of 16 miles.

Counting down the days to Boston and I'm excited as we booked our airfare last week.  Spending a full week with friends in Wayland and have tickets for Fenway Saturday afternoon!  I am a HUGE baseball fan and am really pumped to catch a Sox game in that stadium.  

62 days but who's counting...

I'm counting and I'm not even running!!

Enjoy the process and the event.
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Re: Is Boston in the cards?

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:45 pm

Woohoo - sounds like it is going well.  Wayland was the childhood home of Alberto Salazar - I used to see him running a lot with the likes of Bill Rodgers and others since Natick (miles 9-12) is the next town over and I same at the local community pool in Wayland.  Wayland is a beautiful New England town.  See you soon.
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