Ready for March

In February my goal was to run at least three times a week without any pressure to meet time or distance goals. This is not easy because I tend to be competitive with myself, always trying to go a little faster or farther. So, I used the training option on my Garmin to make sure I didn’t go over 5K or 3 miles. I also allowed myself to walk when necessary. I turned off my watch as soon as I heard the alert without looking at the data. I only missed the alert once and somehow ended going a bit longer than planned.

Then for my second last run in February I decided to do an early morning run and increase the distance to four miles. The other outings are late afternoon runs after a day of work or weekend chores – grocery shopping, laundry, and housework. I didn’t look at my Garmin data until this morning to see how I did.


Overall, I seemed to be slower as the month progressed but I am very pleased with my four mile run on Friday. However, I can’t explain why my pace for my long run was considerably faster than the shorter ones. Perhaps the slower pace might have something to do with the increasing temperatures or additional work duties in the second half of the month. Additionally, the weather was much cooler so maybe I was able to go a bit faster without realizing this.

Now, I feel ready for March. I will continue with the same strategy – no time pressure, walking breaks when necessary and  a  5K (3.1miles) run two or three times a week. The only difference will be   a four mile (6.4K) run every Friday. I am also going to record the afternoon temperatures when I head out for my runs to see how this data impacts my pace. On the non-running days I will do 45 minutes of yoga, stretching, or swimming and if time permits I will do a brisk thirty minute walk in the evening.

Goal for 2015 – Start Running Again

February is here and I still have not set any goals for 2015. Last year I failed miserably with my New Year’s Resolutions and running goals. It was a tough year that saw little success and several setbacks. For every step forward I seemed to take two backwards.

The only event I participated in was the Muscat 10K around this time last year. Then in the summer I injured my leg and couldn’t train for several weeks and was unable to take part in any summer races. By late fall, after returning to Oman, I started to run again but lacked the necessary motivation to work out regularly. Basically, a few runs here and there but no real commitment.

Presently, my schedule is not ideal (split shifts) and most evenings after a long, exhausting day at work I am too tired to venture out for a run and opt for a long walk – so much easier than running. I can walk miles without aches and pains whereas running stretches my muscles, tires my legs and has me huffing and puffing. While walking I listen to stories and reports from NPR (National Public Radio) that I download at work and copy to my mp3 player. These informative reports keep me on top of what is happening in the United States and around the world. After listening to “Study: Running May Help You Live Longer”  I realize that I need to move faster. Time to get back into running. Walking  90 minutes or longer every evening after work is good but running 30 to 45 minutes would be better.

So, my main goal for 2015 is to start running again. No more sitting around feeling tired and grumpy because I have a full workload and a less than ideal schedule.  This is not an excuse to neglect my health and to give up an enjoyable activity.

Running Break

Life is unpredictable and unforeseen obstacles can appear out of thin air to put a damper on the best plans. I returned home to Canada for the summer with great expectations of improving my 10K time, getting lots of exercise, working in the garden, and completing several unfinished projects. The biggest roadblock was time – just not enough to do all the things on my “to-do” list.

My plan to do two 10Ks over the summer break did not happen due to a couple of unexpected events due to carelessness on my part. First, while cleaning the garage walls, I stepped up on a steel cabinet with small wheels on the bottom. The tiny, cheap wheels were not made to support a heavy load. They broke and I took a nasty tumble to the cement floor, bruising my arm and shoulder, resulting in a week of no training.

It should be easy to remove this.

Then, on August the fourth, the day before the New Brunswick Day 10K Race, I decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and tear off the ugly platform that was on the side of the house and replace it with a small, neat step with a railing.

The job is almost done.

This seemed like an easy job that could be done in a day or two. It may be possible for a strong, skilled carpenter to remove this in a day but it proved a challenge for me. It was a much bigger job than anticipated and in a rush to get it done I dropped a 14 foot 6×2 plank with a spike that slashed open my lower leg, just missing my foot, as it slammed to the ground.

Nothing serious!

Nothing serious!

It didn’t really hurt or bleed a lot so it seemed like just a minor scratch. (I was even able to take a photograph.) I stopped working and called for Florian who helped me put a bandage on the wound. Then, I went to bed, optimistic that by morning, it would be fine and I would be able to take part in the New Brunswick Day race.

When I woke up my bandage was soaked with blood and my leg ached as I hobbled to the kitchen for breakfast. I could barely walk. I was disappointed that I could not participate in the race but hopeful that it was just a minor setback and that I would be able to enter a different event in a week or two.

Thanks Florian.

Thanks Florian.

A few days later, Florian finished removing the platform and helped me complete the job. Although my leg was sore I could walk and do some small jobs as long as I didn’t put too much pressure on it. It was also painfully clear that I would not be running in any summer races.

After seven weeks of limited movement the wound is healed and I have an unsightly scar as a reminder of my mishap. (I hope it fades over time.) The break from running has been tough but I am determined to rebuild slowly. I will start by walking, building up to three miles, and then move on to light jogging, working up to a mile,  before I start running again in a few weeks.