one Man of a Certain Age's journey to a healthier lifestyle

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Welcome to my fitness blog. I started running in early 2012, having set my sights on the Walt Disney World Half Marathon which I ran in January 2013. (You can read about that in my other blog). I intend to update this blog weekly with training progress and run reports. Please follow and join this blog (links below) for updates. If you want to share please feel free to, there are links to share via Facebook or Twitter below as well. You can also follow me on twitter. And please comment letting me know what you think!

My upcoming races: My recent races:
NYCRuns Central Park Half Marathon February 23, 2014 2013 Year in Review
Rock 'n' Roll USA Marathon - DC March 15, 2014  

My Blogs Thompson Family Web (Travel, Disney and fun) The Runner of a Certain Age Blog

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Running man of a certain age

Welcome to my new blog. I have been blogging about Travel, Disney and other various things at my family blog for about 15 years, and I started training for my first half marathon, which I ran in January, about 10 months ago. I won't go into details here, but I wrote about my decision to start running here and I kept a training journal here (Thanks to +The DIS ).

Now I have decided to set myself a couple of goals:

  • For this year I want to run about a half marathon a month. I am already signed up for the Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon in March and I am planning to run the Unite Half Marathon at Rutgers in April.
  • By the end of the year I hope to run a full marathon. I have my eye on Philadelphia.
  • Finally - I am looking to run the 10th anniversary Goofy's Challenge at the Walt Disney World marathon weekend (the half marathon followed by the full marathon).
I'm a bit worried about the the Sleepy Hollow race. It's only my second half marathon and I've heard it's a challenging course. My chiropractor, who is also a runner, did the race a few years ago and told me it is really hilly. The organizers changed the course this year and published the it on their website. I looked at the course on google maps. It's hard to tell how hilly it is - especially since a good deal of the course in on trails instead of roads. On top of that the race has a strict 3 hour and 30 minute time limit. My time for my first was 3:27 - but that race was a bit slow because of distractions and it was very crowded. The Sleepy Hollow race should only be about 1000 runners.

So, in preparation I'm doing a bit of a more challenging training routine. I decided to make sure that I used courses with hills for my practice runs. Luckily just such a course exists right outside my door. I live in a neighborhood that is on a lake, and the road that goes around the lake has quite a few hills. The distance is a bit under 2 miles, and last Sunday I did 6 laps - a bit over 11 miles - in 2 hours and 50 minutes. I plan to do one more long run before the race - I'll do 7 laps (which should be about 13 miles) and I hope to complete it in about 3:15. If I can do that I'll feel good about the race.

As a "man of a certain age" (I'm 55) I have had to deal with a few aches and pains. What I've come to realize is that if I listen to the professionals who know what they're talking about and head their advice, then I can stay on top of the aches and pains and (hopefully) avoid injury. Here ia a short history of the issues I've dealt with and how I've been dealing with them:
  1. I had pretty major issues with my Achilles tendon. This was basically making it impossible for me to do any distance running - especially on hills. I started working on this quite a while ago - doing stretching and strengthening exercises recommended by my physical therapist. This completely alleviated the issue. After my run last Sunday I did feel a bit of tightness, but it was not a big issue.
  2. I started having trouble with my knee. My chiropractor recommended using The Stick. I use it after all my runs and I have not been having any knee issues. I am also going to start exercises to strengthen my thighs which will help protect my knees. Unfortunately I keep forgetting to do this - but I will starting tomorrow, honest.
  3. I have weak ankles, and I have been doing dome strengthening exercises on my ankles. I also started wearing a brace on my left ankle which is the most problematic. So far so good.
  4. My most recent issue has been foot pain - especially my left foot (hey! sounds like a good movie title!). I started dealing with this by buying some orthotic inserts (Lynco Orthotics). This worked pretty well, but they were not perfect. I saw a podiatrist who told me I could get custom orthortics but they are expensive and not covered by insurance. He suggested I look into orthotics made by New Balance. I have very wide feet and have only worn NB shoes for many years. I got the NB orthotics after I ran the marathon in January and they seem to work very well.
I keep to a pretty regular training schedule. I do 2 short (30 minute) runs during the week and a long run on the weekends. the length of my long run varies from week to week. I'm looking to maintain a regular schedule of 4-8 miles on my weekend runs with a longer run of over 10 miles thrown in at least once a month. I hope to do the long runs as races. On the days that I run I also do my stretching and strengthening exercises. I also to weight lifting and core training 3 days a week on days I don't run. One day a week I don't work out, although once the weather gets nicer I'll go on long walks.

Very soon I will officially start training for a full marathon. I am having a physical next month and I promised my wife I would clear it with my doctor first - but I'm sure he won't have a problem with it.
OK, I will try to update this blog once a week. I'll keep updates on my training progress and I'll also post run reports after I do races. Please leave feedback and comments.

1 comment:

  1. Way to go! I love your running goals for this year! You might want to consider doing your Long Runs in a 3-run series of 6, 8, & 10 miles. So that every three weeks you cut back to 6 miles. Then your race days could fall on the days you were planning on running the 10Miler. As for knee pain, I would also recommend strengthening your glutes and hips as they help to ease the pressure off the knee.

    It looks like you are going to have a fun year! Keep going!