Sunday, January 25, 2009

Boston Buildup 15k - January 25, 2009 - Ridgefield

I was surprised to see such a good turn out for the 15k since the new postponed date conflicted with the Winter Wonderland 5 Miler in Milford and the Manhattan half.

It was a very cold morning, which always seems to be the case with this race so we were all prepared for it. I hung out with Sean, Ikuko, Jill, Joe, Jeanette, Brian and Roy a little before the race started and then stood next to Jill, Joe and Jeanette at the start line.

Jill and I ran the entire race together with Joe close by for the first few miles. Neither Jill or Joe had been able to run throughout the week so they knew that they would be a little rusty. Joe was tempted to call it quits after 2 miles, but ended up toughing it out and running the entire race. Jeanette is only 2 weeks out from running the Disney marathon also so she was happy taking it easy also. It was a difficult race with many hills. The last two miles before the halfway turn around seemed to be all uphill, but the two miles after the turn around didn't seem to be downhill. Go figure! Jill and I like the out and back course design in this race because it gives us the opportunity too see the front runners come by on their way back from the turn around and to see some of our other friends as we came back from the turn around. We had a nice time running and chatting together and cheering for other runners as we passed by each other.

On the injury front - my knee hurt a little, but nothing significant so it was a good day!

Race Results:

Kate, Jill and Joe

Roy, Jill and Joe

Anton with Icicles


Maria (in green)



Tony giving Ikuko a massage

Jeanette, Joe and Jill

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wind chill temperature of about 3 degrees - January 21, 2009

I am so happy to report that my knee felt really good throughout the day yesterday. It also felt great for volleyball last night. I planned to do my usual mid-week run this morning and with my knee feeling so good I was really excited about it. I turned on the travel and weather channel to find out that the temperature was about 3 degrees with the wind chill. Brrrrhhhh! I put on 2 pairs of gloves, but other than that I just had my usual winter running attire. With a short sleeved Under Armour shirt and a regular long-sleeved running shirt my torso was pretty warm, except for a slight chill on my tummy. My quads were pretty cold for most of the run and my fingers kept getting cold so I pulled them out of the fingers of my gloves and made a fist inside the glove to warm them up. Overall, I felt pretty good about the temperature considering. I wasn't sure how far to run, but selected a route that could be 3.75 miles or about 5.5 miles. As luck would have it I felt a slight twinge in both knees right at the time I needed to decide which route to take so I opted for the short one. However, within a minute or two my knees felt totally fine. Instead of running the basic 3.75 mile route I figured out a way to make another turn further along to increase it up to 5 miles. I finished the 5 mile run in just under 45 minutes and felt great!

I usually do some stretching on my front steps after my run, but with it being so cold I figured I'd do all my stretching inside. However, I immediately got a little distracted and forget to do so. I did remember after my shower and did some stretching at that point. My leg still felt really good so I wasn't too worried. I think the worst thing about this morning's run was trying to warm-up after my shower. I sat on my bed in a robe while eating breakfast and watching the Australian Open (tennis) as I shivered. I couldn't stop shaking for about 20 minutes. Now that I have thoroughly warmed up everything feels good.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Injury update - January 20th, 2009

My last report was a very happy one that came about from completing a 10 mile training run with very little pain on Friday January 9th.

Monday night is Westport volleyball night for me and I'm usually one of the first ones to arrive at the field house. In order to kill some time I generally spend a significant amount of time stretching my knee, quads and ITB. However, on Monday the 12th I got to there a little later than usual and started to warm up with my team right away. I found that my knee wasn't feeling so good every time I had to run and then stop short so I stepped away from my team and did some stretches. The stretching didn't help at this point, but I'm not sure if it was due to me stretching too late or because my knee was wasn't up for feeling good that day no matter how I went about stretching it. I played with entire game with some pain and discomfort.

My knee continued to feel pretty tender throughout the day on Tuesday just with walking around the office and the few times I had to go up and down stairs. I got up on Wednesday morning to go for my short run, but barely made it beyond a 1/4 of a mile before I gave it up. My knee was really sore and it felt as if something was going to tear if I continued to run. Since I'd done a warm up walk before my run I now had to walk over half a mile in the cold in order to get home and I was dressed for running, not walking. I tried to pick up my walking pace to get home quicker, but this just made my knee hurt more and made me limp. On Wednesday night I played volleyball with my knee still hurting me.

I had PT on Thursday evening and was hoping that this would fix everything. I received some massage around my knee and ITB and did some stretching, and had stim and an ice pack. Francesco also taped my knee again. However, when I left there I could still feel the same pain. I was starting to wonder if I was now back to where I was in December and would have to stop running again.

I went to work on Friday still feeling the discomfort, but I knew that I needed to run a little if I was going to be able to run the 15k on Sunday. After much thought I deliberation I finally decided to give it a shot at lunch time. I started out running on the snow on a trail behind my office. I was running very slowly due to the conditions and so that I could take it easy on my knee. It started out hurting a little through the first 1/2 mile or so, but the pain wasn't bad and nothing felt like it would snap. After that the pain started to ease up and I could feel that my leg was loosening up. I ended up running two small loops that was 3.5 miles. I was thrilled.

The 15k was postponed on Sunday so I opted to try for a long run in the snow. I knew that there was a good chance that I couldn't do the distance, but figured it was worth a shot. I would have planned to run more than 10 miles since I ran 10 last time, but the roads were pretty slick with the snow so I knew that it would be a great workout even if I didn't put in the distance. Sure enough, I found that it was a much more significant effort to run, especially uphill, in those conditions. I could feel my muscles working hard in order to move forward on the slippery surface. At one point my calves felt really tired and I wondered if I could even make it 5 miles, but they soon got used to it and things started to feel really good. Luckily, the huge hill on Farm Rd in New Canaan had a sidewalk with almost no snow on it so that piece wasn't as difficult as I had expected. I ended up running 10 miles in 1:44 on the same route that took me 1:34 when I ran it the previous week. So even though I didn't increase the miles I did increase the effort by running for longer and having to work harder with each stride. I was still tempted to run an extra mile or two at the end, but my hips were starting to hurt and that could then lead to knee pain so I opted to stop at that point.

Shortly after I got home I made arrangements to meet Tom part way from his house to mine and walk back with him. I ended up putting on a pair of trail shoes that I'd bought about a year ago and never had a chance to try out. I ran in them for a mile to meet up with Tom and then walked back home with him from there. So, I managed to run 11 miles for the day - even though I got to take a break before the last mile.

On Monday I went to the gym and did 20 minutes on the elliptical machine, went to spin class and then hit a weight machine for my quads and glutes. My knee did ache a little, but feels really good today.

Let's see how things go in volleyball tonight and with my next run.

UConn vs Syracuse - The Good and the Bad - Jan 17 2009

Historic Day for Huskies:

Sophomore Maya Moore scored a career-high 40 points to become the fastest player in UConn history to reach the 1,000-point milestone in 55 games, surpassing Svetlana Abrosimova’s previous record of 63 games, as the No. 1/1 University of Connecticut women’s basketball team defeated Syracuse University 107-53.

Moore finished the afternoon shooting 14-of-23 from the floor with 10 three-point field goals, a program-best as well as a new BIG EAST record, as she picked up her 18th consecutive game with double-figure points. Her 13 rebounds also marked her team-leading eighth double-double of the season and 19th of her career.

Moore’s 40-point tally made her only the second UConn player to score 40 or more points in a game, joining Nykesha Sales who registered 46 points vs. Stanford on Dec. 21, 1997. Her 10 three-pointers also broke the UConn single-game record surpassing Wendy Davis’ previous mark of eight vs. Florida on Dec. 8, 1991.

The Huskies’ 18 three-pointers broke the program single-game record of 14, which was accomplished on three previous occasions. The mark also ties the BIG EAST Conference single-game record.

Caroline Doty went down with a knee injury at the end of the first half.

The game was very physical at times with the Syracuse players taking several cheap shots. However, UConn was up for the challenge, especially Caroline Doty who stood up to them every time they got overly aggessive.

It was a very exciting game with so many great plays and shots made by the Huskies. It was a historic day with all the 3-pointers by Maya Moore and the entire team, but it was also very sad to see Caroline go down. She had torn her ACL playing soccer in high school that left her unable to play basketball in her senior year. When she went down to the ground grabbing at her knee and yelling in pain we knew that it was probably another tear. I played back those moments on DVR when I got home and to see it all happen and hear her shouts of anguish were just devastating.

Tom and James

Caroline Doty

Monday, January 12, 2009

Friday January 9th, 2009 - The perfect ending to a stressful week

I had a pretty stressful week at work last week. My duties included month-end, quarter-end, year-end and year-begin items. Thursday and Friday I had to make sure that all employees' open enrollment selections were put into the payroll system correctly. As usual, there were issues that had to be addressed and things to be clarified so I was getting a little crazy. I finalized the payroll at about 3pm on Friday afternoon, processed some journal entries and then headed home at about 4:30pm. I certainly had enough work to keep me there much later, but felt burnt out from the week and needed to cut my losses in order to come back fresh on Monday morning.

I had originally planned to run on Saturday morning and always prefer running in the morning, but I had many errands to run on Saturday and had to bake something for a party that I was supposed to attend that evening. I didn't want to cut my run short or be stressed out about getting everything done in time so I decided to run Friday night instead. I also needed a way to de-stress from my work week and figured that running right after work would be the perfect way to do so.

I headed out with a little flashing light clipped to the ipod strap on my arm and had some reflective strips on my hat, gloves and running pants. I was lucky to have a clear night with a moon that was almost full. However, many roads didn't have street lights and lights of the cars coming towards me threw off a glare that made it difficult to see. I almost tripped twice by not seeing obstacles on the side of the road until the last possible second. However, I managed my entire run without any incident. This run accomplished my two major goals and then some! Just being out on the road running helped me to feel much happier and took away my stress. I also managed to put in the miles that I needed to feel comfortable for my upcoming 15k race. I would usually have at least one 10-12 mile long run under my belt before a 15K race, but this year would be happy to get 7-8 miles due to my injury. I started out with a standard route that could be 4-5 miles, but with a simple turn here or there could be made a few miles longer. I had been to physical therapy on Thursday evening and Francesco had put some tape on my knee. I was amazed that with my knee taped I was not feeling the usual knee pain so when I got to the end of Nursery I opted for my longer route that goes into New Canaan and Darien. I headed up the big hill on Farm road and then down Route 124 past Waveny Park and still felt no knee pain. As I got to Stephen Mather I finally started to feel a little pain, but it wasn't too bad at all. The pain didn't get any worse and at one point moved a little from my inner knee to the outer knee. By the time I got back to my complex I was at about 9 and a half miles so I ran beyond my place to make it to an even 10!!! Yahoo!! My cool down walk is when my hip and knee usually start to hurt really badly so I was very happy to find out that there was no pain when I walked. I did some stretching on the steps outside my place and then went inside for some further stretching.

I am so amazed that I pulled off 10 miles. It's the first run over 6.2 miles since the NY marathon in the beginning of November. I do have some pain and tightness in my hip/knee and ITB since Friday's run, but nothing more than I have experienced over the past few months. I feel really good about this run and am now feeling much more confident about the upcoming race. I still keep hoping for a miracle cure that will allow my knee to get back to tracking correctly, but until then I will keep stretching my quads, hips and ITB and be happy that I can run at all.

As it turned out - my plans were cancelled for Saturday evening due to the snow storm, but I was happy to have already done my long run so that I could get my errands completed early in the day.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Boston Buildup 10K - January 4th 2009 - Norwalk

I was happy to be able to run in this year's 10k. Last year I ran this race, but was not able to run the rest of the series due to an injury. I'm starting out in a similar situation this year, but hope that I can run through the injury. I am only running 2 days a week so I hope this will allow my knee to heal.

It was great to see such a big turn out for this race. The temperature was pretty good with it being in the 30s. There was some ice on the ground in the parking lot, which made for slow going at the start and finish, but the rest of the course was pretty dry.

I got to run a little with Jill, which always makes the race much more enjoyable. It was nice to see Jeanette, who I hadn't seen for a month or so. I'd like to wish her luck in the Disney Marathon, which she will be running on Sunday.

Joe, Jill, Jeanette and Kate

Joe, John, Jill, John and John

(I wasn't allowed in this picture since my name doesn't start with a 'J'. However, we should have found Jeanette and had her join this group.)

Frank and I

Me and Emmy (One of these days we'll get Emmy to pay attention when we're trying to take a picture!)

PsychoMagnet at Georgetown Saloon - January 2nd 2009

Tom and I headed out to the Georgetown Saloon to checkout Rob's band, PsychoMagnet, on Friday night. We were thrilled to see Ed and Joyce pull up to park as we were heading in. We got there shortly after 9:30pm and were shocked to see that they had already started to play. Most nights we go to see a band they don't start until after 10pm. The dinner crowd was still there and some of them were dancing. We loved watching the little kids dancing with their parents. The band played appropriate music for this crowd for the first set and then switched to more of their usual rock songs in the next two sets.

We had a great evening out. The band was awesome and it was wonderful to hang out with Ed and Joyce.


Scott and Johnny 'Thunder'

Ed and Tom


Johnny Thunder


New Balance - the Official Footwear of the band?

Kate the groupie!