Friday, January 29, 2016

The Best Laid Plans Foiled by a Pair Shoes

Training for the Mississippi Blues Marathon was going very well for about 10 weeks. I was increasing mileage properly and feeling pretty good about my effort. Somewhere around late October, when the weather was beginning to change, the problem started. It had been raining and I was walking to work in a pair of worn but still serviceable dress shoes. There is really no tread to speak of whatsoever on these shoes and I slipped. My left foot slipped forward in an attempt to put me into the splits but I managed to find purchase and stop the slide. Unfortunately, it was a very abrupt stop and I felt something in my lower left quad pinch. I didn't think much of it. As a matter of fact, I forgot about it. I continued on with my day, continued running, and continued teaching Body Pump. The leg felt sore but that is pretty much par for the course when you are training for a marathon. It wasn't until I slipped again (same shoes, same slip and catch) that I felt the muscle pull a little bit, reminding me how this first started.
By the middle of November, I was up to a 15 mile long run. For whatever reason, I didn't get the run in on a Saturday like normal so I decided that I would get up a couple hours earlier than normal on Monday and get as much of it done as possible and finish the rest after work. My alarm went off at 3:00 am, I rolled out of bed, and got out the door. I managed to get 10 miles in by 5:30 when I had to be home getting ready for the day. I felt fine - a little sore but happy that I had managed to get the miles in. Five miles after work would be no problem. The day progressed like usual and by 5 pm I was out the door again; this time with Michelle. By the end of the first mile, I was feeling my quad worse than I ever had. By mile 1.5 I was walking more than running and by mile 2 I was limping and knew that something was wrong. Michelle was kind enough to turn around and run home to get the car. I walked almost another mile before she made it back to pick me up. How frustrating. I knew that I was going to have to rest more than I wanted. I was worried about how I was going to make up the missed training. First, I stopped doing squats and lunges - at least with a weighted bar. The pain started to subside but every time I would try to do more or run a little bit, I would feel enough pain to make me stop. I had no interest in getting seriously injured so I began to tape my quad and go to ART at Adair Chiropractic. I am not sure ART did much but it was better than doing nothing. By the beginning of December, I was feeling better and tried to get back on track for the marathon. The first Saturday in December, I went out for a 14 miler but pulled up at mile 11 barely able to walk. Now I am really frustrated. My quad wasn't as bad as it had been during my last long run but now my ankles were on fire. As I have tried to analyze why that was the case, I dismissed the idea that I needed new shoes - mine had less than 120 miles on them. The only thing I can think of was that I had unwittingly changed my running gait due to an increasingly painful bunionette on my right foot. I didn't get it look at because I had heard that you needed surgery to remove them and I didn't want to be out of commission for an extended period of time (not necessarily true by the way). When I got home and finished feeling sorry for myself, I told Michelle that I didn't think there was anyway I could run a marathon. She suggested that I change my registration to the half marathon which I did after some hesitation. Part of me wanted to push on and do the marathon but another part of me wanted to hang up my running shoes and just be done with it. Since I was pretty much trained up for a half at this point in time, I decided to go ahead and do it. My feet continued to hurt although my quad was responding fairly well to being constantly taped and a reduced running schedule.
Race day finally approached. January 9th dawned rainy but the temps were in the upper 50's to lower 60's. Thunder storms were forecast so I was a little worried that the race might be delayed or even worse, cancelled. Jackson is, after all, and 11 hour drive from Iowa City. Start time came with a drizzle and no lightning so we were off. I tossed by cheapo disposable rain jacket by about the half mile mark the rain stopped altogether by mile 2. There was only one hill in the first three miles and it wasn't too bad. However, by mile 4, the hills started coming and didn't really stop for the rest of the race. I was impressed by the organization of the race. The course, other than being hilly, was well thought out and carefully monitored by a bunch of volunteers. I finished about 30 minutes slower than my PR but considering all the problems I had been having which led to a breakdown in training, I couldn't be too upset. One of the big things I will not be doing next time is taping my ankles. I apparently didn't tape them correctly and my feet ached the entire race. Actually, my feet ached for nearly a week afterward.
The rain nearly held off for Michelle. She was at mile 18 when a thunderstorm hit with torrential rain. Thankfully, it moved off quickly and by the time she hit mile 24, it was sunny and warming up nicely.
I finally got the bunionette removed last week and was pleasantly surprised at how easy and painless the procedure was. I have been walking pain free all week for the first time in months. Time to strap the running shoes back on and get back out there.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Doing it again - it's her fault

About three months ago, I was in bed, trying to go to sleep, with Michelle next to me attempting to plan another marathon. She has been marathon crazy this year. Yesterday was her 6th marathon since June. I had been resisting her attempts to get me to sign up for another marathon. Partly because I hurt my right knee sometime around last Christmas and hadn't done much running since then. Actually, the furthest I had run was about three miles all year. However, I had also gained a lot of weight (about 20 pounds) and knew I needed to get it off. As I laid there listening to Michelle bubble on about all these cool races, I told her okay. If for nothing else to get her to let me go to sleep. So she quickly signed me up for the Mississippi Blues Marathon on January 6th, 2016. I actually had fallen asleep before she finished filling out the online entry form but she woke me up to click the Okay icon so that she could say that she didn't sign me up. I disagree. I was asleep and clicked the button under duress.
I decided to actually try to train the right way this time and gave myself five months to train. August was easy until school started and I had to get up even earlier to get my runs in. I don't run well in the heat and humidity of the late Iowa summer. With school comes seminary. That means that I am in the classroom teaching at 6:30 am. I have been getting up at 4:30 (or at least close to it) to get the shorter runs in. Due to my training schedule, I had only run an eight miler before the Park to Park Half Marathon so I decided not to run it this year and instead ran a 10 mile training run while Michelle ran the race. The next weekend was the Air Force Half Marathon in Dayton, OH. However, the week leading up to the race, I got sick and spent two days in bed. I decided to do the race anyway and came away with my worst finish in a half marathon ever. Also, I realized that the Nike Structures I have been running in for the past year or two are no longer the shoes I need to be running in. As my running stride has changed, so have my shoe needs. I found the Nike Odyssey and haven't had any foot or ankle pain since. After Air Force, I took a little bit of a break from long runs but got back into it at the beginning of October.
The nice thing about October in Iowa is that it begins to cool down. Running in the afternoon or evening is bearable. Still, I have been getting up early to get the runs out of the way. I have found that if I leave the run until after work, I just won't do it. I am too tired from the day. 
Yesterday, I had a 12 mile training run to do. I planned on getting up early and getting it out of the way but didn't. I actually didn't get out of the door until almost 9 am even though I had been up since 6:30. I managed to get nearly 4 miles in before I had to drive over to Williamsburg to help a friend. When I got back I got ready to go out and run the remaining 8 miles. I decided to run down Mormon Trek Blvd, up the strip to IHOP, hit the Clear Creek Trail to Camp Cardinal, Camp Cardinal to Melrose, and Melrose back to Mormon Trek and home. I got about half way down the strip when I started to feel light headed. It felt like I was both dehydrated and under caloried. I walked for about a block and decided to run up to Running Wild to get some water and maybe buy a Gu packet. The water helped tremendously and I decided against the Gu. The run progressed just fine until the first Camp Cardinal hill. This hill is loooong. I ran almost all the way up the hill be about 50 meters from the top, I had to walk. From this point on, I just couldn't find a good running rhythm. The toes on my right foot kept slamming into the front of my shoe on the down hills so I stopped to re-tie my shoe. When I  knelt down, I was about knocked over with a severe hamstring cramp. Thought I was going to die. I finally made it Melrose and knew that I was only about 1.5 miles from home. It was a slow slog but I made it. 
I am pretty sore today but not too bad. Next Saturday I have a 13 miler. The easy runs are over. Now, as it starts to get cold, my runs start to get really long. I hope I can stay healthy and motivated. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

What's Next?

5 weeks have passed since the race and I have yet to get that "Oh, it wasn't so bad. Let's do it again," feeling.  Since the marathon, I have run a 5K, a 10K, and a sprint triathlon.  The triathlon is by far and away my favorite.  This last weekend's race was my 10th triathlon.  I placed fourth in my division but I was disappointed in my race.  It was nearly 4 minutes slower than last year's race.  My big problem was, oddly enough, the bike portion.  Nearly all 4 minutes were lost on the bike this year.  Part of that is probably due to the fact that I am about 10 pounds heavier than last year.  I just can't seem to lose the weight this year.  Oh well.  The season is not over yet.  I have a 10K planned for this coming weekend and the Park to Park half marathon is coming up in September.  Once that is over, whatever else I run will be fairly short.

So what do I do now? The reason for this blog was to catalog my progress toward my first marathon.  Now that it is over, I need to set a new goal.  I am not sure exactly what I am going to go after this next year but I am considering a half ironman distance triathlon. I will continue to think about it. Once I decide what to do, I will use this blog as a means to talk about my progress.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Well, I did it. I finished.  First, let me back up and fill in a few things from the past couple of weeks.  After Dam to Dam, I was worried at how much pain I experienced in my ankles and feet.  We had run 4 miles before the race and then the 13.1 miles of the race itself.  By the time I finished Dam to Dam, I was miserable.  I thought that perhaps it was because I wore my calf compression sleeves instead of my full compression sock.  I think that I may have taken too many electrolyte pills and was therefore retaining too much water, leading to edema around my feet and ankles.  The week after Dam to Dam, I did a four mile run and then later that week, a 10 miler.  The 10 miler was horrible.  I just couldn't get into a rhythm and the heat was killing me.  Even stopping for water a couple of times didn't do much good.  At this point, I decided to continue working out until the marathon but to give running a break and trust in my fitness.
We left for Cedar Falls to stay with Kyle and Lisa on Thursday night.  I was remarkably calm.  No pre-race jitters like usual.  Friday morning, we met up with Casey and drove up to Duluth, MN.  When we left Cedar Falls, it was in the 70's.  In Duluth, it was in the low 50's with fog and a cold wind.  Now I began to get a little worried.  I like running in cooler temperatures but not when it is wet and windy.  I hadn't brought any rain gear with me so if I got wet on the course and if the temps remained relatively cold, I figured that I might be in trouble. 
After getting settled in our hotel, we headed over to the Running Expo being held in the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center (DECC, pronounced by the locals "the Deck").   The first thing we did was to get our race packets and have our race bibs/timing chips scanned to ensure that they were working.  Next, we wondered around looking at all the running gear.  In reality, this was Michelle's chance to score free stuff.  I had decided to run the second half of the race with music but had forgotten earbuds.  So I spent more time than I wanted looking for a pair of earbuds that wouldn't fall our of my ears.  Everything was so expensive but eventually I got a pair that were fitted to my ears.  It is probably about the closest thing I will get to a customized pair.  We carb loaded (I have my doubts that carb loading is really effective but whatever) at the spaghetti dinner at the expo and went back to our hotel. It was still misty and cold. I was a bit worried.
Saturday morning "dawned" foggy and cold.  It was 46 degrees.  We got dressed - this time I wore my full compression socks - and headed out the door to meet the shuttle across the street at the Comfort Inn.  The ride up to Two Harbors (the start line) seemed to last forever. Luckily, we were one of the first buses there so there were no lines at the porta-potties. However, we had an hour to wait for the start of the race.  It was interesting to see so many people pouring out of buses and even the train in order to run 26.2 miles. While waiting, I saw a guy wearing a hat that said Wasatch Running Club or something like that.  I asked him if he was from Utah.  He said he was and we started talking.  He was there with his son and his father.  It turns out his son is a dental student here at the University of Iowa and is the roommate of one of my former institute students.  It is a small world.
Finally, we (all 6,000+ of us) lined up in the starting chute.  Finally, I was getting warm from all the body heat.  We still waited for an additional 10 minutes until the starting gun or whatever it was they used to start the race.  I was so far back that I didn't hear anything.  I just moved with the crowd.  I felt pretty good as we got started and was maintaining a good pace.  Michelle kept falling back but remained in sight.  I realized that although I had emptied my bladder before the race, I had to do so again.  At the first mile mark, there were some porta-potties so I got in line figuring it was better to stand still early in the race rather than later when I would be sore.  Unfortunately, the wait was at least 5 minutes.  Michelle didn't have to go so she kept running.  While I waited, it seemed like the entire race passed me by including the guy juggling while running.  I finally got going again, managing to catch the juggler and finally Michelle.  We ran together for a few minutes at mile 5 but she decided to hang back a bit and I continued on.  I still felt pretty good although I was feeling my left foot starting to act up.  By mile 11, my hip flexors were starting to tighten up and both of my ankles were starting to hurt like they did at Dam to Dam.  At mile 14, I walked for a bit trying to loosen things up but realized that it was not going to help. The next few miles were a blur.  I tried to focus on other things besides how badly I was starting to feel but it was no use.  I was running very slowly and it was reflected in my splits.  My half split was slower than I have ever run a half marathon by a significant amount.  I crossed the 20 mile mark at 4:16.  Here's where I really began to hit the wall. I only had a 10K left to run but it seemed like forever.  I ran/walked through mile 20 and as I crossed the mile 21 mark, Michelle called me telling me that she needed some help.  Her IT band had tightened so badly that she was having trouble running.  She was actually only about 5 minutes behind me so I told her that I would walk until she caught up with me.  I could see the mile 22 markers when she caught me and we tried to run.  At mile 22 comes the only real hill on the course.  It is called Lemon Drop hill. I managed to run up the entire hill albeit very slowly. At the top, I slowed to a walk to allow Michelle to catch up again.  She had a fast walk going but I couldn't walk as fast as she could.  It just hurt too much.  I was limping pretty badly due to my left heel.  I told her that she could continue walking but that I would have to run.  So, for the next couple of miles, I would run until I got about 25 yards or so ahead of her and then start my slow walk until she caught up and passed me.  I would then start running again and we would repeat the process over again.  At mile 23, Michelle really hit her wall and told me that she just couldn't finish.  She started to cry both from the pain in her IT band and from the frustration at having trained for 6 months only to have what in her mind was a disappointing run. I reminded her of all the work she had done and that we had come so far.  We only had a 5K left. Somehow, she found the strength to continue on.  At this point in the race, the streets started to be lined with people. They did a great job cheering us on.  I unfortunately was too miserable to enjoy the crowds.  I just wanted to be done. The last mile of the race takes several turns, each one more frustrating than the last because you just want to see the finish line.  At the last turn there was a guy on the course waving us on telling us that there was only 400 meters to go. Finally, we could see the balloon arch that signified the finish line. With about 100 meters to go, the announcer called our names, we grasped each other's hand and run to the finish line. Michelle started to cry and I just wanted to never do that again.
I was too concentrated on my pain to really notice anything going on around me.  I just wanted to stop moving and get something to eat.  My ankles and feet hurt so badly that I could barely move.  If someone had told me that I had to run another 100 meters in order to save my life I would have been able to do so.  I hobbled around for a few minutes and made a few lame attempts at stretching.  It just wasn't going to happen.  My ankles were swollen making it hard to have any mobility. Just stepping up a curb was immensely painful. Stepping down was even worse.  In spite of the pain, I knew I needed to continue walking.  After getting some food, we went looking for the shuttles back to the hotel.  Once we found the correct shuttle and got seated, I removed my shoes and tried to move my ankles around.  The shuttle driver was kind enough to drop us off at our hotel rather than the original pick up spot.  He suggested going down the bus stairs backward. I took his suggestion and found that it was much easier on the legs.
After going out to Pizza Luce for an early dinner with Michelle and Casey, we all spent some time in the hot tub.  That was probably one of the best things I could have done other than the time I spent with my feet and ankles immersed in the coldest water I could stand in the tub.  My feet, hamstrings, and adductors kept cramping throughout the rest of the day but by Sunday morning, I was moving much better.  My ankles were still swollen but I could at least walk without wanting to have my lower body amputated.
Now, three days after the race, I have a little residual soreness in my quads and ankles but my walking gait is completely normal and I even ran a little (a very little) last night.  I still have no plans to ever do a marathon again but I am glad I did it.  It was a good experience and I am glad that I proved to myself that I could do it.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Less than three weeks to go

I knew I hadn't been keeping up with this as well as I intended but I didn't realize that it had been 5 weeks since I last wrote.
The last month has been up and down.  Two of the last five weeks have seen no running at all but the other three weeks have been productive.  In spite of not running for two of the weeks (foot problems), I did manage to keep up my teaching schedule so that I at least got some resistance and cardio training during that time.  My foot still hurts but I have decided to just ignore it and do the best I can.  I am apparently not doing any harm by continuing to run on the foot; it's just painful.
Ignoring the two non-running weeks, I have been fairly successful since I last wrote.  I have run two half marathons and hit an all time weekly running record.  The first half I ran was the Marion Arts Festival Half.  It was my favorite kind of day to run - cold and sunny.  The race started out with temps in the 40's and I underdressed on purpose.  I tend to run faster when I can keep my core body temp down (no kidding, right?).  I was a little concerned at the start of the race because I had run 9.2 miles just a couple of days before the race and my calves were extremely sore.  Having torn my right calf about a year and a half ago, I am very aware of my calves.  I have historically been a heel striker when I run but with as much pain in my heel as I have had the last 6 months, I have slowly been training myself to be a more midfoot striker.  This has put a lot of stress on my calves - especiallly when I run more than 5 miles.  As the race began, the only way to lessen the calf pain was to land further back in my foot. I found that after a couple of miles, I wasn't feeling the heel pain as much as usual so I was able heel strike more than I should to alleviate the calf pain.  Anyway, Michelle was running with me and we felt great.  With her staying with me, she was able to get her fastest 10K split ever. Our first real challenge came at mile 7.  There was a 1/2 mile long hill that seemed much longer than just a half mile.  We made it to the top but did so slowly.  The next 2.5 miles went fairly well but Michelle started to have some calf pain so we slowed down a bit.  However, we were still going fast enough for her to PR her 10 mile split.  We were about 10 minutes too slow for me to hit my 10 mile PR.  Not a big deal to me because I was treating this like a training run.  By mile 11, I was starting to get sore.  Historically, this has happened to me at this point in every half marathon I have run (this was my fifth).  I was disappointed because I hoped that I had trained enough to prevent my muscles from tightening this early in a race.  We both made it through although Michelle was really hurting the last 0.2 of a mile.  We finished in 2:09:04 which was a PR for both of us.  For Michelle it was a 7 minute PR and for me, about a one minute PR.
I was pretty sore after the race but managed to keep moving.  Several hours later, after we got home, Michelle and I walked an additional 2 miles.  I think the walking helped me to recover a little quicker than normal.  That week was a 24 mile week for me.  My highest mileage to date.  I have friends who are running 70-80 miles in a week so my mileage pales in comparison but for me it is significant.
Two weeks after the Marion race, was the Dam to Dam Half Marathon in Des Moines.  This was the 35th anniversary of the race but my first time running it.  We caught the bus to the starting line at 5:30 am.  It was already in the 70's with humidity running over 80%.  This really worried me.  I am a big guy and don't do well in humid conditions.  I hoped that with with race starting at 7 am we would finish before it got to hot.  Again, I treated this race as a training run.  The starting line was at the west end of Saylorville Dam.  Before the race, Michelle and I ran 4 miles.  Unlike at Marion, my heel pain wouldn't go away.  Oh, well.  Time to put my big boy pants on and deal with it.  This is a huge race with over 9,000 participants.  Being so large, it took us 7 minutes to get to the starting line after the gun went off.  Thank heavens for chip timing.  The first part of the race was downhill from the dam.  I was very impressed by the number of people who were out cheering us on even out at the starting line.  Unlike at Marion, I knew by mile 2 that I was going to have a hard race.  Michelle was having a very difficult time keeping with me even though I was running a 10:50 pace.  However, as the race continued, she seemed to get stronger and probably could have beat me if she had wanted to do so.  I expected to feel the leg pain kick in around mile 10 again but instead, it was foot and ankle pain.  My ankles felt swollen and tender.  I think the difference was that I was only wearing compression calf sleeves rather than my compression socks.  I am going to do a little experiment today and tomorrow to see if this plays out.  Today I will run 9 miles with my sleeves on and tomorrow I plan on running 10 miles with my socks.  I will see if I can replicate the ankle problems.  Better to figure this out now than try to deal with it on race day.  Back to the race.  When we finally finished (it was my second slowest half marathon), I was barely hobbling around.  My quads felt great though.  The race ended in downtown Des Moines near a park.  There was a water feature in the park so I took off my shoes and socks and soaked my feet for about 20 minutes while talking to friends.
By the time we got home that evening, I felt better than I have ever felt after finishing a half marathon - especiallly for having run 4 miles before the race.  On Sunday, there was little residual soreness. I could feel it going up and down stairs but not enough to change the way I moved while taking the stairs.  That is very gratifying.
I am not worried so much about my finishing time for the marathon but I do worry about finishing.  I know I will finish but I want to finish well.  My goals for the remaining time until the race is to run this combination run today and tomorrow then begin to taper for the remaining two weeks in the hopes that my feet will be able to deal with 26.2.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Another week closer...

Last week was a pretty good week.  I didn't run as much as the week before but I got more swimming and group ex classes in.  I'd rather be running more but with my teaching schedule, I just can't do more than I am.  I am not worried about the cardio aspect of the race at all.  What worries me is the pounding my joints and muscles will have to endure. 
Last week I ran four miles on Wednesday - two of them in the rain and then I ran 7 miles on Saturday.  Saturday morning, I taught both Body Pump and Body Step but instead of going immediately out and running, I went home, put some calories into my body and rested for a few hours.  When I started my run, I was looking for every excuse not to run - my legs felt heavy, my heel hurt (a lot), etc...  It took me almost a mile to get into the groove a bit.  Michelle had already been running for about 30 minutes and called me when she was 2.5 miles out to let me know she had stashed water near Weber Elementary School if I needed it.  I didn't.  I was wearing my running belt with water.  We met on Rohret Road about a mile later going opposite directions.  She asked me how far I was planning on running and I said a total of about 5 but maybe six.  She continued back toward home and I kept going out.  By the time I hit the 2.5 mile mark (which is at the crest of Rohret hill #1) I was feeling pretty good and decided to run the hill.  Rohret hill is huge.  I made it down without any problems but going up was slow.  I managed to run the whole thing but my legs were on fire by the time I got to the top.  Right before the 3.5 mile point (my turn around point), a man working in his front lawn nodded at me and asked me how I was doing.  I told him that I was fine and just about to head back.  A couple of minutes later, as I passed him again, he notice me drinking from my water bottle and asked if I was okay with water.  I told him thanks but I was fine.  This is one reason I love living in Iowa.  People generally really are concerned about each other.
It was also about this time that I realized that I was chaffing rather badly under my right arm where my arm was rubbing against my tank top.  This has happened before - most notably at the Lake Geode Challenge when I finished the race with my arms held out from my sides.  However, I hadn't worn this tank in months and had forgotten about this problem.  I had remembered to put Body Glide everywhere else but not my arms.  I managed to get hold of Michelle about a mile later and asked her to meet me with some diaper cream.  Thankfully, she got to me by mile five of my run and I slathered on the anti-rash cream.  The last two miles of the run went fairly well once I wasn't obsessing on the pain caused by the rash.  Post run I felt pretty good but even though I stretched well, I had some mobility problems with my ankles and my heel was not happy either.  By yesterday, I felt great. There was no residual pain from the run. 
If I manage to leave work before it rains today, I will try to get a few miles in.  If it rains, I will at least swim.  The forecast for this week is pretty wet and gray.  Since I will be teaching three classes on Saturday, I am going to try to get my long run (at least 10 miles) in on Thursday.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Not a bad week over all

I didn't get to run as often as I wanted (or needed to) but I did manage to get in a long run of 9 miles on Saturday.  I have been very worried the last few weeks that I have not been able to get a long run in due to the pain in my foot from PF.  However, this last Saturday, I just told myself to deal with it.  I taught Body Step at 9:30 am and then left from the gym to do the run immediately following class.  I run north on Hwy 1 to Newport Road, turned west on Newport for about a half mile and then turned around and came back.  It took me 1:37 to do the run but I was not going for speed.  Indeed, I averaged about a 10:50 min/mile pace.  The way out was predominately uphill but the wind was at my back.  I felt pretty good considering I had only eaten an apple before class.  I walked for 0.1 miles at mile three and then again for another 0.1 miles at the turn around point.  At mile 6 and 7 I did the same thing.  It was just enough of a break to keep me moving.  I began to feel the effects of not having enough calories  by mile 7.5.  At mile 8 I was literally asking myself out loud what I was thinking.  I began to have serious doubts as to whether I could run this marathon.  The only thing that kept me somewhat positive was that I knew I was feeling this way because I hadn't eaten and not because I wasn't able to go the distance.  Also, teaching a one hour cardio class before the run was probably not the smartest thing to have done at this point in training.

  I ran with compression socks for the first time and noticed a huge improvement in recovery.  I am barely sore.  I will be running with those socks for each and every long run I do.

As it was the first real sunny and warm day in which I have run so far this year, I also forgot to put on sunblock.  I got my first and hopefully last sunburn of the year.  Last lesson learned from Saturday's run: wear anti-chafe cream.  I was a bit chaffed in some awkward places.

I would have liked to have had one more short run in for the week but that is just the way things worked out.  I ran 4 miles on Thursday and the 9 miles on Saturday.  I also got in 1000 yards at the pool and taught 4 classes - 2 Body Pump, 1 Body Attack, and 1 Body Step.

This week I have 5 classes scheduled.  I would also like to get at least 2000 yards in at the pool and three runs - 2 four milers and one 9 or 10 miler.  I will have to do my long run on Friday since I teach both Body Pump and Body Step back to back on Saturday.
Lastly, I have managed to lose about 3 pounds.  I have a long way to go but it's a start.