Sunday, August 2, 2020

Training 07-27 - 08-02

Wrap Up: 64.1 miles on 7 days and 10 runs. ....(Strava numbers). 

Better week numbers-wise.  Back to back weeks without missing a day.  Not too many longer runs other than a couple of 9+ milers at the start, and a broken 11 miler on Friday.  But it's an improvement from last week.  I continue to neglect everything else and spend most of my time w/ the girls at the beach.  Thank god for the beach this year.  With everything else relatively risky and suspect (even though things are open), the local town beach remains a spot we can count on for the most part to be safe and secure.  The girls have their schoolmates and friends there every day (same groups of people) to play with and it's been a blessing for sure.  I still can't dive though but my tan is coming along great.

As far as July goes, I actually ran 263 miles with only 2 days of zeros.  I actually laced up the shoes 40 separate times (technically) for runs.  One was the split run so maybe it was more like 39.  Either way, it's progress.

08-02 - Sunday: 5.1 miles (roads) - Neighborhood wandering at lunch before some treasure hunting.

08-01 - Saturday: 5.1 miles (roads/trails) Solo from beach.  
Then later: 6.2 miles (roads) from beach w/ Darin. Neighborhoods. Spent entire day at the beach.

07-31 - Friday: 5.1 miles (roads/trails) solo from beach.  Neigborhoods + snomo trails.
Then almost immediately after (only 10 min rest): 6.2 miles (roads) from beach w/ Darin. Neighborhoods. Relatively hard run.  Lake after.  Basically an 11.3 mile run with a 10 min gap in hte middle.

07-30 - Thursday: 6.2miles (roads/trails). From beach w/ Darin. Tamworth neighborhood + snowmo trails.  Beach after.

07-29 - Wednesday: 5 miles (roads/dirt roads) solo from house.  Forrest Pines / Railroad tracks.
Then after work: 6.2 miles (roads) with Darin from beach.  Beach after.

07-28 - Tuesday: 9.7 miles (roads/trails) solo from Beach.  Snowmo trails and neighborhood loops.  Again kept tempo up despite the hot and humid temps. Beach after.

07-27 - Monday: 9.3 miles (roads / trails) solo from Beach.  Scooted over to White Lake and out to Depot Rd. and back.  Very hot and humid but kept the pace honest.  Beach after.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Training 07-20 - 07-26

Wrap Up: 57.7 miles 
on 7 days and 9 runs. ....(Strava numbers). 

A little lower than what I wanted but got out every day (technically).  Almost missed Monday but got out. Have been feeling OK despite a little discomfort in the lung here and there.  Felt good enough to do a controlled High St. loop on Wednesday without issues.  One 8 miler and the rest lower 5s and 6s. The girls are getting great in the water this year.  They are swimming out and back to the raft without vests.  They are both swimming around underwater now and diving down.  Only Morgan so far is brazen enough to jump from the raft.  Tabby will follow suit hopefully soon (as she always does).

07-26 - Sunday: 6 miles (roads) - Out and back from house (113/41). Entire day at beach after.

07-25 - Saturday: 6 miles (roads) early (solo) out and back on 113/41. Spent most of the day at the beach.

07-24 - Friday: 6 miles (roads) out and back at lunch (113/41) solo.
Then after work: 6.6 miles (roads) from beach w/ Darin. Lake after.

07-23 - Thursday: 8 miles (roads). Solo from house. 113/41 w/ Kingswood Loop. Beach later on obviously.

07-22 - Wednesday: 11 miles (roads/dirt roads) solo from house. High St. Loop. Felt pretty good. 

07-21 - Tuesday: 5 miles (roads) at lunch. Solo. Out and back on 113/41. 
Then after work: 6 miles (trails) easy from beach w/ Darin. Lake after.

07-20 - Monday: 3 miles (roads) easy late in the day (solo).  Almost took a zero.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Training 07-13 - 07-19

Wrap Up: 60.3 miles on 6 days and 9 runs. ....(Strava details).

Unfortunately on Friday I had a flare up of my infarction site on my left lung and it was nearly  knocking me to the ground.  As I type this on Monday morning (July 20), it is still 'there' and I can tell it's not quite right.  It was so bad on Friday that I had to stop work at around 1 and take some heavy narcotics which I hate to do. It affects me for days.  I was essentially junk the rest of the day.  I had to take more at bedtime and throughout the night I basically spent the time laying there hallucinating and staring at the clock as I was completely tingling and numb from head to toe.  But at least the pain was gone. I was exhausted on Saturday though.  The good  news is that I had very little 'pain' the rest of the weekend.  I just had some occasional discomfort in that area.   I have heard it is most likely adhesion of the lung tissue that has scarred up and sticking to things it shouldn't stick to...then pull away occasionally.  It is some of the worst pain I've experienced short of my issues in October and surgery complications in February.  I have had it crop up a couple times here and there and it is not pretty. I teeter on going to the ER when it happens.  In this pandemic the last thing I want to do is roll up into the hospital.  On the running side, I continued on my pace of about 10 miles per day average.  I didn't hit 70 because of the unexpected miss on Friday.  I wasn't planning on back filling too many miles on Saturday/Sunday but rather just wanted to hit an average of about 10 per day on the days I'm able to run.

07-19 - Sunday: 8 miles (roads) - Out and back 'earlier in the day from the beach. Moderate pace. Felt surprisingly good despite the heat and humidity.  Beach all day.  Multiple cannonballs and dives from the raft.
Later on: 6 miles (roads) - Out and back again from the beach w/ Darin for first 3 miles.  Then turned and headed back 3 solo.  Very hot and humid still. More beaching after.

07-18 - Saturday: 6 miles (roads/trails) with Darin from the beach.  Spent most of the day at the beach.

07-17 - Friday: zero. Chest pain and meds most of the day.

07-16 - Thursday: 8.5 miles (roads/snowmo trails). Solo JV 'Lake Bang' from the beach.  Hit the snomobile trail off of Lead Mine to cut down on the distance.  I haven't run in there in a while.  Very grown in.  Deer flies were horrible.  Amazingly no ticks on me when I popped out the other side.  Beach after.

07-15 - Wednesday: 5.3 miles (roads/trails) Solo from house at lunch.  Explored the new conditions of the main powerline swath that runs up through the center of Madison.  It still doesn't have a crossable bridge up north of Forest Pines Rd.  But it looks great. If they ever fix that bridge, it will make that a great run north/south.
Later: 7.2 miles (dirt roads/trails) with Ryan Welts from Great Hill.  Hemenway State Forest + the climb up to the top of Great Hill Firetower at the end.

07-14 - Tuesday: 6 miles (roads) at lunch. Solo. Out and back on 113/41. Quicker than usual after a relaxed first mile.  Temps were a lot cooler.
Then after work: 5 miles (roads) easy up and back on E.Madison Rd.

07-13 - Monday: 8 miles (roads) with Darin after work from the beach.  Very easy out and back on Ossipee Lake Rd.  Swimming after.  Only 1 cannonball off the raft but got in a couple sailor dives to keep the danger levels high.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Training 07-06 - 07-12

Sunset view almost daily during the summer for us (weather permitting).
Wrap Up: 70.7 miles on 7 days and 10 runs. .... Zero days off. First full week of running since I cannot remember when....although it felt mostly like a step in the wrong direction at times.  I had a call with my doctor (scheduled check-in that was put on my calendar months ago) to discuss how I have been doing since my blood clots and post-op recovery.  I asked about possibly feeling adverse affects from my now daily routine (since October) of a blood thinner.  I have felt brutally tired this week with the heat.  He wasn't really sure whether or not the blood thinners would make me more fatigued than normal but tended not to think so. So I guess I just have to see what happens as the summer stretches out.  Glad to have hit 70 miles though... which is probably the number I'll try to shoot for for now. If you don't see any more updates from me after this one for a while, you know I've quit again.

07-12 - Sunday: 10 miles (roads) with Darin at noon from the beach. Very hot. Out and back on Ossipee Lake Rd.  Led Darin through first few and then he drifted back a bit. I yo-yo'd with him for a few miles trying to pull him along and then just rolled back the last couple miles.  Last mile was 6:20 and I felt nice and smooth surprisingly. 67 minutes.  Lived in the lake the rest of the day.  Probably about 30 cannonballs off the raft.

07-11 - Saturday: 10 miles (roads) solo later in the day between (and partially during) thunderstorms. Another hot-as-hell day and I tried to wait until the rain cooled things down but it really didn't.  It was still super hot and humid.  Went up and over Conway Rd. down to Rt. 16 in Albany and then turned and headed back. Wanted to stop at 4. Felt really flat again (my body, not the elevation).

07-10 - Friday: 8 miles (roads) at lunch solo from house. Again, very hot and humid. Out and back on 41/113 + Kingswood loop.  Ossipee Lake after.  Found 28 coins in the water. Private summer camp that has been operating since the 1920s.

07-09 - Thursday: 5 miles (roads) at lunch solo from house.  VERY hot. Up to the top of E.Madison Rd. and back down. Felt flat. Deer flies are out.
Then another 5.6 miles (roads) from the beach w/ Darin. Very easy. Balls hot out. Swimming after.

07-08 - Wednesday: 10 miles from home at lunch. Solo. 113 to High St. / Washington Hill / McGregor Hill / Deer Hill and back. Stopped at 10 and walked last mile home. Very hot, nothing to eat yet, very little water, and a lot of climbing....all coupled with being out of shape... tough run.  Still managed 7:16s overall with 1100 feet of climbing on a very hot day.  Lake after.

07-07 - Tuesday: 5 miles (roads) at lunch solo from house.  Pretty hot. Same ole' back and forth on 113/41. Lots of vacation traffic still.
Then another 6 miles (roads) w/ Darin Brown from the beach.  Swimming after.

07-06 - Monday: 5 miles (roads) at lunch solo from house.  Relatively easy out and back on 113/41. Then another 6 miles (roads) after work w/  Darin Brown and 7th grader Patrick Laughland who is now running under Tim Livingston and training w/ the high schoolers at camp this summer.  11 miles total.  Swimming after.

Earlier this week I saw this article on about Harris' Pelham Inn closing because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lengthy shutdown it had to endure.  I was very sad to see this. I used to run around this place weekly when I lived in Salem. It was part of a very enjoyable 11.2 mile loop that I did all the time from my house in Salem.  There was a really nice climb up and around the back side of it on Ledge Rd. that I used to 'simulate' my Mt. Washington road race strategy on (which was basically just trying not to stop and walk).  I do miss some of those runs down there, but mostly because I was in way better shape then... and so much younger...

Rainbow appearance above the house on Saturday...

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

June Wrap Up

Yes....this is a wrap up for June's 'running' (and I use that term loosely).   Now that June is a wrap, I can actually do some analysis to figure out just how big of a bag of crap I have become physically... During the last couple months, I've been running 'most' days during the week and hardly any weekend days because of multiple reasons...the biggest is laziness....but mostly because I'm just enjoying the summer w/ the girls and keeping busy with everything else.  In May I managed 20 runs but took 14 days off (including a stretch of 6 days off in a row for reasons I can't even remember).  In June I managed 25 runs but took 9 days off (including all 8 weekend days and only 1 day during the week).  So things are 'improving' a little.

I'm not sure how my body is adjusting exactly, with regards to the loss of about 10% of my lung. The pulmonologist told me I probably wouldn't notice.  My doctor thinks I will.  Darin is convinced I will but by how much, it's hard to tell.  A couple other runners I've talked to who went through what I went through have told me they've never been the same.  I guess time will tell.  I have noticed that running in the heat seems a lot worse this year for me.  I usually didn't have problems in the heat.  Granted I'm out of shape and heavier by a bit, but I'm not 100% sure my health issues over the last 8 months have anything to do with it just yet. I think I just need more consistency and volume before I can accurately say for sure whether or not I'm just going to be a 'weekday warrior' from now on.

June 29 [Monday] - PM: 8.3 miles solo roads. 113/41/Kingswood neighborhood loop. Pouring rain and slightly cool... decided to go out and run a 'big boy' distance for a change...late in the day.  Most of my runs have been 5-6 miles lately.  Kept it steady and controlled and felt great until 1 mile to go. Then it seemed like work all of the sudden.  Still happy with the effort. Relatively flat runs will do that to you.

June 30 [Tuesday] - PM: 8 miles  roads w/ Darin from the house.  Talked about his strategies moving forward, for beating Dave Dunham in 5Ks.

Monday, May 4, 2020

May 4 [Monday]

May 4 [Monday] - Like an idiot...2 runs.  Probably a mistake at this point considering my state of physicality...

AM: 3 miles solo roads.

PM: 6 miles with Darin Brown from the beach. Snowmobile trails/railroad tracks.  Everyone and their dog (literally) is outside walking / biking/ jogging.  I guess it takes a global pandemic to get people (including me) to go outside and move their bodies.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

May 3 [Sunday]

May 3 [Sunday] - No running although it was a glorious day out.  Worked all day in the yard.  Busted my hump with heavy lifting....mostly granite cobbles and dirt.

Latest projects...

gigantic sandbox... 85 bags of far.  Still not even close to being filled.

start of a circular garden...ran out of bricks...more on order.

removing top layer of grass is brutal.

first delivery of some new color for the front yard.... since Sunday this has been added to.  

Saturday, May 2, 2020

May 2 [Saturday]

May 2 [Saturday] - 3.7 miles solo. Worked in the yard all day... Heavy lifting.  Went out for a late afternoon run and bonked almost immediately.  Turned and burned for home.  I'm a mess.

Friday, May 1, 2020

May 1 [Friday]

May 1 [Friday] - 8 miles with Darin and Nick Brown from the beach.  Big boy run for me.  Roads, snowmobile trail, single track, railroad tracks.  Out to Rt 16 in Ossipee and then back.   #noGainzRunning.  I need running shoes.

Monday, March 16, 2020


Just a quick (and maybe final update) for people who have reached out (some on here and a lot offline) after my last blog post.

I had a follow up CT scan in February (after having the PET scan which identified a couple of concerning spots in my chest between my lungs).  Initially the cardio-thoracic surgeons wanted to wait a couple of months before having another scan. They wanted to see if whatever was showing up on the PET scan was or was not due to my pulmonary emboli in October.  The scan came back with no change unfortunately. If anything, what was there was getting bigger.

I had a consult again with the pulmonologist in Portland and she got me right into the surgeon's office again in Scarborough (on the same day). They reviewed my scans going back 5-7 years and could track the growths in and around my thymus area which were steadily getting larger. They suggested I needed to have a thymectomy and remove the entire gland and all the fatty tissue and growths that were happening. Then, they could biopsy them without the danger of spreading if it was cancerous.

I went in for surgery on 2/26. They used the 'davinci robot' method of going in the side of my chest with 3 smaller incisions (rather than cracking through my ribs in the middle of my chest which would have been a much more invasive surgery). They put in a camera and two arms of the robot and took everything out. There were 2 tumors in there. One was attached to the pericardium (membrane around my heart) and one was attaching to my diaphragm. They took the entire thing out (the thymus, which in my case never went away and got larger as I got older), all the fatty tissue, both notes that were of concern, and a small piece of my pericardium (which the surgeon promised me I 'wouldn't miss').

I spent the rest of Wednesday into Thursday afternoon in recovery at Maine Med. The worst part aside from the deep chest pain was the drainage tube that was hooked into my side and up into my chest. Pulling that out the next day was awful.

I had Kristin and my dad come and get me and drive me home. 90 minutes of bumpy roads made for an uncomfortable trip. I also couldn't cough or god forbid, sneeze without serious pain. Later in the afternoon (once home), I was sitting in a chair and started to get really sore. I was on heavy meds and it wasn't working any longer. The local was wearing off and I was starting to realize that no matter how I was sitting, laying, walking around, etc. I couldn't resolve any of the pain. The pain was intensifying and going straight through my chest and into my back. It started to remind me of the exact pain I was having when I had my blood clots in October. By about 9 or 10pm I could no longer stand it. The oxycodone was having no effect at all. I had Kristin round up the girls and we hit the ER again.

In the ER at Memorial, I had the doctor who initially triaged me in the ER back in October for my clots. They got me hooked up to some IV and I got a dose of medicine to calm it down just enough for me to be comfortable. They put me through another CT scan. This time, it showed some CO2 in my chest and lower abdomen. This was from when they were deflating/inflating my lungs to do the surgery. Typically that wears off by walking around, etc. in recovery. But because I didn't get a room and was left in the recovery area all night (hospital was full), I didn't get out of bed for about 13 hours. I was literally discharged without having had any of that CO2 worked off (or as much as would have been needed). At this point, another doctor came in and he was the one who was assigned to me when I was in the ICU in October. He got on the phone with the surgeon to talk about the situation. He was reluctant to have me stay in the hospital. He confirmed the presence of the CO2 but indicated that the surgeon wasn't really all that concerned about the amount that was still present and said it should wear off. He also confirmed from the new CT scan that I had no new clots (as I thought I might have had due to coming off the blood thinners for surgery). He basically told me that because they didn't have an 'expert' on staff to deal with me and what I just had for the surgery, that they didn't feel comfortable holding me for 'pain management'. He wanted to get rid of me so I was basically discharged and told to just take more pain meds and maybe use a heating pad. I was kind of surprised but I really had other course to take.  They did offer that they could 'transfer' me to Maine Med, back where I had the surgery.  That would have been a nice ambulance ride that my insurance company would have loved to see.  I opted out.

So we came back home about midnight. It's funny that the hospital doesn't have an 'expert' on staff that specializes in what I was going through...but neither does my house.  Last I checked, I don't have a doctor living with me. So they rather would have me go home, then help me any further with my pain in the hospital. I was a bit disappointed to say the least and by the time I got home, all I could do was sit and stare at the floor in a chair and try not to think about some of the worst pain I have ever had to sit through. The only pain that I've ever had that was worse was when I had the clots in the hospital.

By about 6am I started to feel better. I started taking extra meds and it started to work. The surgeon also called in some dilaudid for me which really helped. That stuff is pretty strong. By Monday (so 5 days after surgery) I was able to completely stop the pain medicine all together and haven't had to take any since.

I had a follow up with my doctor and the surgeon a couple weeks ago (a week after the surgery) and the surgeon told me (with a slight grin) that quote 'that second doctor in the ER wanted nothing to do with you'. Pretty disappointing because I swear I was one of the only ones in the ER when I was there and I have inside insight into the operations over there. The amount of people that go into the ER (in the pre-COVID-19 days) was not overwhelming by means. I would have been better off in the hospital than home, that's for sure. And all the documentation I took home indicated to go to the hospital if I was having complications. Full disclosure but I DID call the surgeon's office before going to the ER. They paged the surgeon and he called me to discuss. He suggested that if I felt ANY worse than I did when I was in recovery, then I needed to go to the ER. Since I felt 1000x worse, I followed his advice.  He was great to work with and I'm glad to have had the surgery with him and his team.  The doctors at Memorial were also great for the most part and that team over there literally saved my life in October (for which I'm forever grateful).  I was just a bit disappointed that they really didn't want anything to do with me literally hours after I got home from surgery at their sister hospital.  At the very least, I could have gotten enough of an IV to try to get some sleep.  They could have wheeled me into the hallway.  I wouldn't have cared.  There was no one there.   But instead, I had to sit at home in excruciating pain for another 6 hours.  The transfer over to Maine Med. was unrealistic.

My primary care doctor did tell me that in his 38 years of practice, he's never had someone get their entire thymus removed. So that made me feel special. The surgeon told me that they do about 40 per year at Maine Med.

The best news since then was that the biopsies came back negative. Everything was benign. But it's good that they removed them now, otherwise I would have been in trouble later. I kind of got lucky that they found this in the scans because it was completely unrelated to my clots.

So now I'm done, at least for the time being. I don't have another doctor's visit until the summer (at least for now).

Hopefully this is the last time I'll have to do any sort of updates like this. I appreciate everyone's concern and kind words that reached out either on here or text/email, etc.  Since I didn't close the loop on here, I figured I would do so and let everyone know who didn't already ask me about an update.

I hope everyone is doing well now and your families are all safe and sound in this rather strange time  we are now in.  I wouldn't want to be in the hospital now. I think the timing of all this was spot on for me.  By the time I went back in for the followups, the masks and sanitizers were in full effect.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Back From the Dead, Hopefully

I’m not sure who is still out there that cares enough to check into this dark corner internet but I figured I’d work on a post to see if I can kickstart some sort of motivation to ‘blog’. Blogs seem a little old school nowadays but that’s probably why I have always liked having this space to rant and rave about things that only I deem to be important.... place I can post what I want and not have to deal with making it into a discussion thread or a back and forth.  A place where I can put a bunch of thoughts all together separated by three 'dots'... like that... and think that's an acceptable way to write.

As far as 2019 went, it was a great year for my family life.  I had a great summer with the girls (all 3 of them). The two youngest ones are turning into fine young ladies. The third is my lovely wife of 9 + years and who I've been with now for half my life.  I’ve seen a lot of growth with the kids this year. We had a great summer at the beach (most days) and hitting up events and the kids’ favorite ‘theme parks’ from the seacoast to northern NH. As far as ‘running’ goes, I had an ‘OK’ Spring of just running volume with little to no workouts (my usual approach over the last 6 or 7 years). I started racing regularly for a month and a half or so and started progressing very slowly in the right direction but it ended up being more trouble than it was worth for me. As a wise man told me, with running it’s all about balance. I had no real balance with the running/racing and family/work, etc. ….aka real life. I was forcing the running and was stressing (for really no reason) when I couldn’t balance it with my real-life duties. I wasn’t enjoying myself as I used to, and trying to maintain a racing schedule became more of a hassle than something I really wanted to do. It all came to a head in May when I tried to go to the Concord Rock n’ Race 5k midweek and ended up not even making it to Rt. 93 because of traffic. I had to turn around after 90 minutes in the car and head home because I wouldn't have made it in time. That was kind of it. I stopped running for a while after that. It just came to the point where I’d almost rather be doing anything else…literally anything else.

I ran sporadically in June/July/August/September when the opportunity hit me.  I was meeting up with Darin Brown for runs here and there but never more than a few times a week and usually at the last minute if I saw him pull into the beach parking lot when we were there and I just happened to have my running shoes and shorts with me.

In late September/October I started to get the itch again to get out there. I ran some trails and roads more consistently as the girls went back to school. In late October on a run up in the higher parts of town, I had to stop for a bit.  It was weird.  I felt a bit off and things weren’t exactly right. I thought at first I was just tired that day or maybe still out of shape. But I had been running with some consistency by that time, and had some previous good hilly runs that weren’t as bad, so it was certainly concerning.  I cut the run short and turned for home. A day or two later (not sure as I wasn’t keeping track of runs that closely) I met up with Darin for some road miles and felt horrible right away. I remember apologizing to him for the pace during the first quarter mile. We hit trails and I was pretty quiet. I was struggling to keep my breathing under control at a pretty slow pace. I was also noticing that deep breaths were starting to really hurt. It wasn’t that cold out so I was a little unsure as to why I was having this problem. The next day, I met Darin again from my house and we hit an 8 mile loop (the previous day had been also about 8 miles) and we hit a 7 min mile in some flat trail sections in the middle. I was feeling like it was sub 6. I really had to focus on the pace to keep with Darin which usually I don’t have to do on normal runs like this. At this point my breathing was an issue even when I wasn’t running. Deep breaths (especially through my nose) were painful in my lungs.

The next 2 days I didn’t run. I also didn’t sleep….at all. I could no longer lay down. Even on my back, sitting up in a sitting position in bed was not doable. I started to have severe pain in my sides and chest. It was unbearable. When I got through the first of the two sleepless nights, I managed to get through the day at work. When I was sitting in a chair and up and awake, it was manageable but once I started to get tired, it was miserable. I couldn’t relax at all in any position. I couldn’t put any pressure on my chest, back, or sides.

That second day after 2 sleepless nights (it was a Thursday), I went into the ER. By this point, I was basically in tears sitting in the room waiting for the doctor. They took blood. They came back in and the first thing the doctor said is that he wanted to get me right into a CT scan and that it was a ‘good thing’ I came in today. When I was in the CT scan, I had to lay down. I was literally screaming n pain. I had to put my arms above my head while in the machine. I was crying like a baby while trying to stay on the table. The woman doing the CT scan was trying to calm me down the whole time but there really was nothing she could do. Once it was finished, I basically collapsed off the table and onto the floor. They scraped me up and wheeled me back to the room.

While waiting in the room, tears streaming down my face and still unable to breathe without severe pain, Kristin came in. She knew I went to the ER but was trying to get ahold of me and couldn’t. I had my phone in my jacket and wasn’t able to get to it. She found me and came in right before the doctor came back. He came in and broke the news to me that my lungs were full of blood clots and I was extremely lucky I came in when I did. He gave me the rundown on what they were going to do but basically broke the news to me that this was life threatening and I had to be admitted. I had suffered a pulmonary embolism (or emboli because I had more clots than they could count). Once the dust cleared on that a bit, Kristin broke the news to me that at the exact time I went the ER, my brother had a heart attack and was awaiting transport to Mass General.  What a day.

 I was then taken down and admitted. I was hooked up to a blood thinner IV and placed in a room where all I could do is sit in a chair and take shallow breaths and focus on not stirring up the pain any more than it already was. They started giving me morphine and other pain killers. It was a mess. It didn’t seem like any of the pain medicines (even the morphine drip) was helping. It would take a small bit of the edge off, but that was it. I had moments sitting in that room on Thursday, where the pain would subside enough where I could talk to my parents and Kristin on the phone, etc. I would feel slightly better and then it would hit me like a truck again.

That first night, I had to ‘sleep’ (because I was exhausted by this point) sitting in a chair, hunched over, with my head on a small table (the wheeled table you eat off of). So I was sitting with my head almost in my lap but on a table…sort of how you’d sleep on an airplane sometimes. It sucked. I would drift off for a bit but wake up continuously throughout the night.  I had to keep getting serious pain killers regularly so I wasn't screaming in pain when I breathed.

In the morning, shortly after eating, it happened. Out of nowhere, I had the worst pains of my life start up in my left side next to my heart.  I stood up, still attached to the IV blood thinner, and couldn’t even communicate at this point because I couldn’t breathe.  I felt my eyes well up and I was frozen in the middle of the room.  Fortunately right at that point, the woman who was coming in to collect the food tray saw me and asked me if I was OK. All I could do was shake my head. She ran out and got the nurse.  The next thing I knew, there were no fewer than 7 or 8 people (nurses, doctors, etc) in the room. All gathered around me and all hands on deck. I was screaming in pain and couldn’t take any air in at this point. Every breath was excruciating. It literally felt like someone was taking a huge fork and jabbing me in my ribs as hard and as deep as they could stick it, and just tearing me open. I had people holding me down, while another nurse had a breathing device ready to put on me (it was right under my nose/mouth but I remember the doctor told her not to put it on me yet). I had another nurse with an O2 meeter in my face showing me the numbers. Usually I’m around 98-99 for oxygen saturation. I was in the 70s and it was dropping. They were basically screaming at me to focus on breathing and bring the numbers up. I got to the point where I couldn’t take even a sliver of air in my nose or mouth without the worst pain of my life. Breathing = excruciating pain. It was the scariest moment of my life to say the least. Not to be outdone I heard one of the nurses talking to the doctor about my ‘advanced directive’ and then I was asked about my ‘living will situation’. What a nightmare.  All I could do was look around the room and think about who was going to be the last person I was ever going to see. I wanted to talk but couldn’t. I wanted to tell someone to tell my kids I loved them. I wanted to say their names. I couldn’t. Being overexcited obviously wasn’t helping.

They finally picked me up and wheeled me, kicking and screaming, to the ICU. I was in critical condition for the next 3 days.  I had to do the same sleeping situation with my head on a table every night.  It was a nightmare.

I’m not exactly sure how, but slowly it started to get better (most likely due to the pain meds and blood thinners). My O2 got better and they pumped me full of morphine, oxycodone, and something else (at one point I heard it was the 'strongest stuff they had'). I was hooked up to that same IV and went through many bags of Heparin (funny enough the same blood thinner that my brother was hooked up to, 3 hours south in Boston). The next 3 nights I was in the ICU. In and out of it due to all the pain meds. My family came in to visit and I don’t remember much of it. Even on the morphine drip and pills, etc I was still doubling over in pain from time to time and it really took a toll on Kristin and my family who went in to see me during that time.

By late Monday afternoon I was feeling good enough (although my feet and legs were swollen pretty bad from having to sit in the same position every night) to come off of the IV and start what is now a lifetime on a pill-based blood thinner (Eliquis). I was so afraid of them pulling that IV off me because I know that is what saved my life. I was able to carefully shave (God forbid I cut myself) and wash and felt slightly human again. Kristin brought me home on Monday and my life changed dramatically at that point. But I need to keep reminding myself that I was extremely lucky.

The bad news is basically no one knows how I got to this point. I have seen multiple specialists, had scans, blood tests, etc. All genetic testing came back negative for a disorder. I had zero indication that I had a clot in my leg or lower abdomen short of one seemingly small calf pain I had in the weeks leading up to this (which seemed to come and go out of nowhere but it was very sore). Most doctors tell me that what I experienced in my calf most likely wasn’t the cause. The pulmonologist I see now  seems to think it could have been that.  But because we don’t know, they said that if I was to come off blood thinners its more risky than being on them. If it happens again, it could be it. The consensus is that I had one big clot, it went up through my heart and was soft enough where it shattered into many smaller clots and they all got lodged up in my lungs and grew.  The blood thinners helped stop new clots from forming and allowed the existing clots to dissolve on their own.  Needless to say, I blew through my 'out of pocket maximum' very quickly by being in the hospital for 4+ days.

The worse news is that I suffered a pulmonary infarction and had about 10% of lung tissue die due to the lack of blood flow to that area. The infarction is right next to my heart on the left side and is where most of the pain was. So now that will scar up over time and will be absorbed by the body apparently. The healing on these takes on average 3-6 months.

Even worse than that was that I had a small mass on my lung that was concerning to the radiologist. They suggested to have it followed up on in a few months. That was initially when I was in the hospital. Unexplained clots can be caused by lung cancer so that has not sat well with me.

About a week after I went home, I had a flare up of the same pain again. I was back in the hospital. I had more scans done and this time the radiologist was concerned enough about the mass to suggest I have a PET scan. The pain I was experiencing was just the infarct. I wasn’t having more clots.

Fast forward to the PET scan. I went over to Scarborough, Maine to Maine Med for a PET scan and the good news was that the mass they saw on the previous 2 CT scans didn’t light up. The bad news is that a few other things did, including two masses in the middle of my chest. They suggested from here that I have a biopsy done on them.

My doctor scheduled a biopsy to be done at Maine Med with a cardio-thoracic surgeon. But shortly after that, they reviewed it and thought it was best to wait a bit because it ‘could’ be inflammation which usually comes with a Pulmonary Embolism. So now I’m currently in waiting mode for that and have another CT scan set for February.

I have recurring appointments now with my Pulmonologist and have another echo cardiogram slated for this week. I had mild heart strain with the embolism and they want to keep an eye on it to see how much if any damage was done.

At this point, I am taking 2 pills a day (Eliquis). I cannot miss. My energy level is coming back slowly but I have no doubt that it's affected my energy. I’m not over the fear of ‘bleeding’ excessively quite yet. I am still very careful of what I do. I haven’t had a nosebleed yet but when I do, I’ll probably be a wreck emotionally.

I have run only a small handful of times. 3-5 miles at a time. I ran on the 2 month anniversary of my going into the hospital. I ran 3 days last week, all in a row, and took a few days off. I spun yesterday on the bike.  7:xx pace for a mile seems a bit hard at this point but I was able do a 5 mile run in under 8 min pace the other day. It felt a lot faster but it is what it is. I was able to finish a run on the Kanc last week with a sub 7 mile at the very end but  I was maxed out cardio-wise.  I gained about 15-20 pounds in the 2 + months I couldn’t do anything physically. The doctors stressed that I take it easy for a while and treat this very much like a ‘damaged organ’.  I still have uncomfortable feeling and pressure in my lungs and especially in the area where my infarction is. But that will slowly go over time. It takes a long time for these to 'heal'. I am hoping at this point to just be able to get back to running and activity as I normally did. I’m not looking to be able to do any PR-type of effort anymore (not that I physically could anyways) but I don’t want to give up. I'll already be now at a disadvantage 'lung-capacity-wise'.  This thing really knocked me on my butt hard. For some weeks afterwards, when I was still having to take strong pain medication at night so I wasn’t jumping out of bed with intense bursts of pain, I was pretty much convincing myself that I was permanently slowed down and that my days were numbered. I’m starting to think I have a chance again but this time I’m taking my time and balancing the important things in my life better.

Which brings me back to my family. My wife and kids and parents and everyone else who came to me when I needed them. Kristin has a sign hanging on the wall in our downstairs bathroom that I have to look at every time I take a wee.  It says simply ‘Enjoy the little things in life for some day you will realize they were the big things’. As I’ve had to think about my own mortality up close, the only thing in the forefront of my mind is my kids and my wife and their wellbeing. And how they’d get on without me. That was the scariest thing of all to me. Thinking of my kids growing up without their dad…maybe not even really remembering me all that well when they got older (they are still only 5 and 7). I’ve always realized my kids were my world. I feel like I’ve always prioritized their health and happiness. But after the last few months, I am more in tune with how every waking minute and every experience with them, no matter how small and seemingly ordinary, is priceless. Being able to take the first couple walks around the yard when I got home from the hospital was overwhelming for me. I realize how lucky I am to have a second chance and to have my family around me who loves and supports me unconditionally. I’ve certainly had my ups and downs. I had very dark days sitting here the last couple months, thinking about what these tests are going to reveal in the upcoming month or so. I guess I won’t completely move on from that until it’s all said and done and I get an all clear. If I don’t get an all clear, I’ll have to start making the appropriate plans and do what I need to do. For now, I’m going to try to get back into the normal routine as much as I can. Kristin has been incredibly loving and supportive and I cannot think of where I would be without her.  I love her and the girls more than ever and I’m more motivated now than ever to be around for them as long as possible.  I may be a grouch here and there, but they’ve learned by now to deal with that pretty well :).

Oh…and my brother is doing great now…he’s on some lifetime meds now and had a procedure (stint) and is back to his old self again. I always joked up until this year that he was my ‘canary in the coal mine’ because he’s 10 years older than I am. I figured when/if he had an issue, that would be a good indictor for me.  Our father had his first heart attack at 42. I’m almost 43. My brother is 52. Things are getting real now to say the least.

Anyways, for now, I look forward.  I have been blessed with a great Christmas with the girls and we're getting on with the  winter months now here in the Mount Washington Valley.  Here’s to a wonderful new year for everyone. I hope everyone is happy and healthy as we begin a new decade.

Some January far....

Probably shouldn't be doing this but.....

Monday, May 13, 2019

Training Week: May 06 - May 12 - Canterbury Village XC

Sandu and myself coming across together.
Week of May 06 - May 12

05 06 - [Monday] - 10 miles Ossipee/Tamworth roads w/ Darin.
05-07 - [Tuesday] - 10.1 miles total as:
     lunch: 4.1 miles  easy Madison roads solo.
     pm: 6 miles easy Madison roads with Darin.
05-08 - [Wednesday] -  13 miles total as:
     lunch: 5 miles solo bangs around Burke Field(s) on the grass.
     pm: 8 miles easy Madison roads with Darin.
05-09 - [Thursday] - 14 miles total as:
     lunch: 5.8 miles solo trails/roads in the Madison highlands.
     pm: 8.2 miles easy Madison roads with Darin.
05-10 - [Friday] - 5 miles easy Madison roads with Darin.
05-11 - [Saturday] - 9.2 miles total as:
     am: 3.1 miles warmup before race in Canterbury, NH with Dave Dunham and Scotty Clark.
     am: 3.1 miles race - Canterbury Village XC (results) - 2nd OA. 17:32.
     am: 3.1 miles cooldown on roads with Louis Saviano III and Drew Tuttle.
05-12 - [Sunday] - off. Travelling for Mother's Day and the weather was brutal. Giving the achilles one more rest day.

Weekly Summary:  61.2 miles

Another Sunday off, but it was probably for the best.  Legs have been a little beat so it was fitting to give the body a break on Sunday as the weather was brutal and we were down in southern MA for Mother's Day.

The 4th C.A.R.S. series race was held down in Canterbury, NH so Darin and I headed down there for his least favorite of the bunch (but probably my favorite one).  The race can be (and was) muddy and wet in spots, and is pretty hilly.  There are a couple of big nice grassy / dirt path climbs and some nice single track.  He hates it. I look forward to it because it's about pure racing and less about time.  With road 5ks a lot of times I just get caught up too much in the micromanaging of the pace and time. Every quarter mile is micromanaged. I'm looking at my watch constantly, worried about the mile splits, etc.  With the XC race, it's about just running hard and trying to beat your rivals... but then again, some sportsmanship comes into it from time to time.

Getting right into the race, I took it out for a change with Drew Tuttle, Sandu Rebenciuc, and Louis Saviano right behind me.  I didn't want to wait and let anyone else dictate the early pace.  The grass was thick and wet in the first couple fields.  It was standing water in places, making it relatively slow for the first mile.  It 'looked' like grass until you started to splash through it.  At one point, both my shoes almost got sucked right off my feet in consecutive steps. 

 I led until just before the single track section.  Then Drew went by me, eager to lead us through the woods.  I was OK with that at first but then realized that it was tough to see where I was landing when I was right behind him. I had to give him a little more space in the trail that I would have liked. Sandu sat right behind me and we all just followed the leader through the single track which was pretty dry but is rocky and constantly winding back and forth and up and down.  When we hit the end of that stretch, I took the lead back for the last bit of fields and grass before dumping out onto the dirt road.  I think at that point, Louis Saviano was still hanging behind us but I was only seeing Sandu on my direct shoulder.

When we hit the road, both Drew and Sandu past me like I was standing still. It was kind of demoralizing.  There's one climb on that dirt road up to the main field and I was dropped back quite a ways.  On the big grass climb (the biggest/longest climb of the race), I caught them back but then Sandu started to stretch out his lead on the last bit of the upper part of the climb.  He's a strong XC guy and just moved away from us at the top.  Drew looked and sounded like he was struggling a bit but ended up staying ahead of me with surges when I'd try to move past. 

After the big downhill reprieve on the grass, Drew was really working hard but I went by him, sensing him slow just a bit.  I figured I'd try and see what happened. Sandu kept 3-4 seconds ahead of me no matter what I did though.  On the last uphill through the crowd of people and then up around the cow pasture, he was 3-4 seconds ahead of me and I wasn't closing at all.  When we came out through the wall at the top and took that left in that last little field section, the places looked to be wrapped up with Sandu holding me off and myself safely in front of Drew... but then at the very end, when you go through the last break in the wall section that takes you to the dirt driveway, Sandu  banged a right (which is the wrong way).  He put his arms up and was obviously not sure where to go.  There was no sign or anyone standing there (but I remember the course from 2 years ago).  I immediately yelled ‘left!’.  He stopped and turned around and looked at me and I was taking the left and he was running towards the paved main road.  He just threw his hand up and kind of waved it off as if he was done and was totally going to let me take the last 100 yards to the finish.  I looked behind me and saw I had enough on Drew so I just slowed up (almost stopped) and waved him up and told him to come on with me.  I did it a couple times and turned towards him waving him on quickly....he ran back over to me and when he got up to me we fist pumped and he said ‘lets finish together’ so we did.  We ran in the last 100+ yards or so together. I’m glad they gave him the win at the race because he was going to win anyways and he would have been easily 3-5 seconds ahead of me if he didn't take that last wrong turn.

That's now 2 C.A.R.S series races in a row that the leader took a wrong turn right at the end!  Although this race is a great race and is one of my favorites of the series, it does lack a bit in signage in multiple places (multiple important places).

It's a good thing Sandu isn't in the C.A.R.S series.  Even though I was just able to squeak ahead of Drew, he's still got me but a couple of points in the series standings overall.  I won't be able to make the next C.A.R.S. series race so I'll have to throw that one out (it's best 5 of 8).  He'll just be extending his lead at that point.

Overall, I was happy with the effort.  Being able to hold off Drew and Louis (who have both beaten me this Spring in a series race) was a positive.  They are far faster than I am on the roads.  This type of course helps me a bit and evens out the playing field a little.  With losing a couple seconds at the end with that wrong turn snafu, I ended up with a 17:32 which was 15 seconds slower than my winning time at Canterbury 2 years ago, but it was 'bone' dry (Dave Dunham giggles when I say that) then.  It was pretty wet this weekend so I'll consider this a pretty good effort considering the slight deltas.

Hopefully I can get more miles in this week and get focused again.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Training Week: April 29 - May 05 - Children's Museum 5k

Milton Three Ponds dam in Milton, NH

Week of April 29 - May 05

04-29- [Monday] - 12 miles total as:
     lunch: 5 miles  easy Madison roads solo.
     pm: 7 miles easy Madison roads w/ Darin
04-30 - [Tuesday] - 12 miles total as:
     lunch: 6 miles  easy Madison roads solo.
     pm: 6 miles easy Madison roads solo.
05-01 - [Wednesday] -  6 miles easy roads.
05-02 - [Thursday] - 10.1 miles Ossipee roads solo.
05-03 - [Friday] - 5 miles easy Madison roads solo.
05-04 - [Saturday] - 7.65 miles total as:
     am: 3.2 miles warmup before race in Dover, NH with Matt Sawyer and Darin Brown.
     am: 3.1 miles race - Children's Museum 5k (results) - 4th OA. 16:26.
     am: 1.3 miles cooldown - short cooldown to get back in time for the kids obstacle course race. Tabby and Morgan both raced multiple times.
05-05 - [Sunday] - off. Achilles and foot killing me.  Could barely walk around.

Weekly Summary:  52.9 miles

 Had to cut a couple days short this week and then I ran into another achilles issue.  I could barely walk on Sunday.  My achilles was super tight to the point where I had no ability to really flex my left foot. It also swelled up pretty bad.  The pain wrapped around the top of my foot and I had trouble sleeping with the nagging pain.  Straightening out my foot or pushing off was almost impossible.

On the flip side, the race in Dover was fairly positive all things considered.  This was the kickoff of the 2019 Seacoast Road Race Series.  It kind of feels like the start of the 'summer' season starts with this race...or at the very least, the start of the spring season (considering the weather in NH this year).

It wasn't my slowest time (I actually ran a slower time at this race 2 years ago and WON it).  I ran basically 2 other times as slow (by a second or so) or slower.   It was also my fastest (so far) 5k of the season.  Considering the course is a little on the slow side and it's a legit certified 5k, I'll take the 16:26 (chip) time for sure.  I was a bit disappointed in not 'racing' slightly better up front, but I'm just not there yet. I have to be pleased with a season PR so far...

The race got out to a normal type of start.  Myself and my Runners' Alley teammates Vojta Ripa and Chris Dunn went out with fellow 'Seacoast Long Run' member Shiloh Shulte and Whirlaway's Neal Darmody for the first 400 meters or so.  It was there that I decided to pull back slightly.  I was starting to quickly feel that the pace was a little hot for my fitness.  I had what sounded like a pretty healthy group behind me and knew my Runner's Alley teammate Matt Sawyer and others were lurking back there (along with Nate Jenkins pushing a baby stroller, which is obviously still dangerous considering the shape I'm in) but I didn't want to look.

The pack really broke away from me up to the mile mark.  The first mile is almost entirely uphill and slightly flat in one stretch.  It's usually a very slow first mile for me.  The second mile isn't any better but feels faster because of a big downhill just as you go past the 2 mile mark.  I was 5:17 and 5:18 (half marathon pace back in 2011 for me) through the first two miles.  I didn't look at my watch at all so I wasn't aware, but in hindsight I am pleased with that effort for this course.  Although I got broken by the top 4 guys early, I hung tough and kept the rest of the people behind me but it was Matt Sawyer who had caught me basically in the neighborhood loop at about 1.5 miles in.  I never looked back other than a quick glance out of the corner of my eye to make out the singlet color but knew it was him.  I was waiting for him to go by me but it never happened thank God. Matt will surely beat me soon enough, but not on this day.  I held him off one more week at least...

As I came up out of the neighborhood I was still hanging tough and my eyes set focus on Chris Dunn who had broken off the back of the front pack.  I came up on Chris right at the 2 mile mark on the downhill and he surged right before I could pass him, knowing I was there.  By the time the bottom of the hill came and the road flattened out, I finally went by.  Matt Sawyer was right behind and it seemed like those two guys hitched up for the last .75 miles when Matt pulled up on him.  It kept me going as I surged forward and set my sights on Vojta, who was also slowing up a bit or so it seemed.   Neal was long gone and Shiloh was in 2nd in a comfortable spot.  I was pretty sure I was going to get Vojta and kept plugging away up that final little kicker before making the turn towards the park.

As I made my way over the bridge and down into the park, I closed the gap on Vojta but it seemed like as soon as he heard my steps, he turned on the jets for one final push and pulled away from me for good.  He has very good track speed and is 'under 30' so I had no chance even if I had pulled up along side him.  I ended up 4th and just held off a surging Matt Sawyer and Chris Dunn who came in together.   I ended up running a 5:07 last mile which is a really good sign.  I think the combination of pulling in Chris and Vojta, plus having Matt just behind me, allowed me to hang tough in that last mile.  4th place is my worst finish in this race in the 10 years I ran it, but I cannot be disappointed with the effort, considering I have basically no workouts in my weekly schedule just yet. The field was also deep.  Usually this race doesn't have this many runners under 17 so it was actually a more competitive field than usual (considering I have won the race with a slower time than I actually ran this year, for 4th place).

Oh yeah, I have now officially beaten Nate Jenkins twice in a race.  Once was in a 10K mountain race with awful footing in VT. He was at that race just doing it for the All Terrain Series that year.  And now this one, where he was pushing a baby carriage with his adorable 8 month old.  If he continues to give me some out-of-the gate advantages like wearing a heavy/hot costume or juggling bowling pins or wearing dress shoes or doing it backwards, etc. I may have a shot of beating him again.  If he just shows up and runs normally, I'll be staring at that 'CMS' on the back of his singlet through a telescope by mile 2.

Crossing the line with Chris Dunn and Matt Sawyer WAY BACK

My Children's Museum 5k History is below. And this is where it will stay, as this year marked the 34th and last annual race.  The Children's Museum of NH has decided not to continue the event. It's too bad.  The race was actually a great place to bring kids, especially this year.  They have a brand new playground there at the museum, which is great. We spent an hour there (at least) after the race, with a lot of other runners and their kids hanging around.  The kids race was also great.  This year it was a big obstacle course. It was the best kids race I've ever seen at a race so far (since paying attention to them only in the last handful of years).   They went all out this year and it was unfortunately the last.

Children's Museum of NH 5k

2019 16:26 4th
2017 16:33 1st
2016 16:10 1st
2015 15:49 1st
2014 16:25 1st
2012 16:13 3rd
2011 15:46 1st
2010 15:53 3rd
2009 16:13 3rd
2008* 15:56 2nd

*In 2008 it was in Portsmouth (the last year it was held there but the only time I ran it there).  Sam Wood, fresh out of Keene State, kicked my butt.

I missed it twice since starting up racing again...Once in 2013 (good thing, as Eric Couture broke my CR by a lot) and again last year in 2018 (good thing, as Derrick Hamel ran a swift time as well for the win).

I 'think' it's currently my most raced race in the last 12 years of post-collegiate racing.  When (if) I toe the line at Market Square this year, that will also be my 10th race at MSD so that will tie it.

Tabby and I

The girls after their race(s)

Future hurdle star

Morgan showing her technique...kind of reminiscent of Dave Dunham's stride.

The girls showing off their finisher's ribbons

The girls watching their dad collect his age group award.

Tabby and Morgan a day or so before Tabby decided to cut Morgan's bangs when no one was looking.  Not good.

The fam at the dam on the 'long' way home.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Training Week: April 22 - April 28

Week of April 22 - April 28

04-22- [Monday] - 10 miles - track workout at K.H.S. with Darin. 12 x 400m with 100m in between each. 400 meters in between each set of 4 + warmup and cooldown on track and around school area.
04-23 - [Tuesday] - 16 miles total as:
     lunch: 8 miles  easy Madison roads solo.
     pm: 8 miles Madison roads with Darin to celebrate my 42nd birthday.
04-24 - [Wednesday] 8 miles roads. Hard run from  Rt. 16 in Albany, back home and then up E. Madison rd. and back.  Worked the hills hard.
04-25 - [Thursday] - 16 miles total as:
     lunch: 8 miles  Madison roads solo.
     pm: 8 miles Madison roads with Darin.
04-26 - [Friday] - 5 miles total as:
     lunch: 5 miles  easy Madison roads solo.  Was going to get out later but the weather was ass.
04-27 - [Saturday] - 20 miles total as:
     lunch: 10 miles - Marshall Conservation Area and Mineral Site trails in Conway. Solo.  3 miles up the snowmobile trail and road, I was post holing in knee deep snow. Had to turn around and then add on over the mountain biking trails which were mostly all clear.  Woke up with really bad achilles pain.  Very limited flexibility in that foot right now.
     pm:  10 miles - easy Madison roads solo.  Achilles really sore.
04-28 - [Sunday] - off.  Achilles was just too bad to risk it. Ended up taking the day off to rest, ice, stretch, etc. 

Weekly Summary:  75 miles

Had to scale back a bit this week at the end because of a very sore achilles near the end of the week.  I had already had a couple of single days with low volume so I knew I'd be scaling back a little but 75-85 is going to feel pretty good as a landing spot for now I think.  I'll be happy with anything in that ballpark for a normal weekly mileage number now that there's suddenly other stuff I can do outside other than run.  The track workout with new flats most likely attributed to the foot pain this week. 

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Training Week: April 15 - April 21

Happy to be done...horrified at the same time.

Week of April 15 - April 21

04-15- [Monday] - 16.2 miles total as:
     lunch: 8 miles  easy Madison roads solo.
     pm: 8.2 miles easy Madison roads w/ Darin
04-16 - [Tuesday] - 10 miles solo Madison / Chocorua roads late in the day.
04-17 - [Wednesday] -  16 miles total as:
     lunch: 6 miles  easy Madison roads solo.
     pm: 10 miles Madison roads. First 6 with Darin, then last 4 solo
04-18 - [Thursday] - 13 miles total as:
     lunch: 8 miles  Madison roads.
     pm: 5 miles easy Madison roads with Darin.
04-19 - [Friday] - 13.4 miles total as:
     am: 4.1 miles  easy Madison roads solo.
     evening: 4 miles w/up before race
     evening: 3.1+ mile race - SEA 5k - 4th OA.
     evening: 2.1 mile cooldown.
04-20 - [Saturday] - 16 miles total as:
     lunch: 8 miles solo Madison roads.
     pm: 8 miles solo Madison roads.
04-21 - [Sunday] 16 miles total as:
     am: x miles solo Madison, Tamworth, Ossipee roads.

Weekly Summary:  100.7 miles

Tried to keep up the miles once again this week and hit the 3rd CARS Series race (SEA 5k)(resultswithout too many problems.  The run on Sunday was rough because I had to get it in early and all at once before heading south for the day for Easter.  The race on Friday was a borderline letdown for sure.  The race 'looked' like there was a pretty stout field at the start but as the gun went off, it was clear there was about 5 people up front that would be battling it out for the top spots.  I started the race off with a side stitch (I do not remember ever having this happen before) that I got on the warmup. Not a good sign.  Also, although about 75 or so degrees, it was windy as hell in spots.  There were a couple stretches moving south along the course where the wind was really strong.  I figured the race would be tactical because of this and I was right.   The pace was pedestrian and I was right in the mix because unlike the last couple races, it didn't go out at 5 flat pace.  It was shoulder to shoulder for most of the first mile +.  Except spots where the wind was a factor, we were all together and I was finding myself at times, leading the way. When the wind hit, we'd shift around and start drafting off one another.  I felt OK because the pace was relatively relaxed.  I was right with the leaders until 2 miles and then they opened up a gap on me when we turned with the wind.  Aiden Cox and Drew Tuttle and soon-to-be 50 year old (former CMS guy) Sandu Rebenciuc pulled away and left Kerpal Demian and myself in limbo.  I started to get another side stich just after 2 miles and fell back of Kerpal to the point of 'no-man's land'.  We were both in our own no-man's land for the entire last half mile into the wind.  I gave no fight and actually didn't remember he was in the series.  I didn't find out until after the race that he was the guy right behind me in the series and now, with his 1000 points for being the first series guy across the line, he's even closer to me than he was before.  He got the 1000 points of course because Drew Tuttle (who was en route to win the race), ran right past the last turn to the finish and started running the loop again, in the midst of all the lapped runners and walkers.  So Aiden and Sandu were able to take over the lead right at the last turn and battle it out for the win.  Drew had to turn once he realized his mistake and ended up 24 seconds behind me, instead of about 17 seconds ahead of me.  I ended up 4th instead of 5th.  The entire race was 'slow' for the lead group but I should have been able to handle a 16:41 on this course. I should have been with those guys after 2. I just mentally shut it down and had no fight.  In hindsight I should have just taken the lead when I was up there and pushed it at my own discretion and see what happened.  I haven't been racing like how I used to race.  I also need to work on my speed so my effort translates into a stronger last part of the race.   I'll be working on that hopefully soon.

Year Time Place Notes
2019 16:57 4th Slowest time and worst place
2017 16:31 1st 4 days after 2:40 at Boston Marathon
2015 15:31 2nd Lost to Justin Freeman
2011 15:18 2nd Lost to Justin Freeman
2008 15:42 1st Was new course record at the time