All Hallow’s Eve

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Just a quick post to tell all parties happy all hallow’s eve.  Hope everyone has a safe and Happy Halloween.   We will be trick or treating with the boys tonight.  They decided to be ninjas.  They carved their own pumpkins, and will complete the night with lots of candy for mom and dad..I mean for them.

I’ve got a quick 8 mile run tomorrow, one week out from my marathon.  Feeling pretty good about it.  What are you guys doing tonight and this weekend?   I’d love to know. And I hope no one sees………..

Vollmer

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Down the Stretch…..

Here we are at 2/3 thru the college football season. My Clemson Tigers have performed as expected…..beating everyone but Georgia and Florida State. Clemson should have won the FSU game, but completely choked. I knew it was coming and it was so painful to watch. I’m sure all you college football fans can relate, especially you Clemson fans. This is nothing new. Clemson has blown leads and games that nobody should lose. Not only in football either. But as we progress through this season, I just hope Clemson gets it’s mojo back, it’s starting QB back, and returns to form and runs the table and finishes strong.

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And now the first ever college football playoff top 4 has been announced.  Do you know how much arguing and complaining I have already heard, and it’s barely been 12 hours?  My team deserves better, and this team should be up a few more spots, and this other team doesn’t deserve 5th…blah blah blah.  Does everyone not realize that this will change every week for the next 6 to 8 weeks until the final, official, last final 4 is decided and released?  No need to get your panties in a wad about it in October.  Worry yourself thru thanksgiving dinner, not halloween.

Who is your team? Have you seen epic chokes? Are you a fair weather fan and stick by your team thru good or bad?

Rocked It!!

Just completed my last long run (10+ miles) yesterday for my marathon training. On to full taper with less than 2 weeks from my first full marathon.  Making the final arrangements for the trip to Savannah, GA, as well as planning meals and such for the big event.  I’m actually a little nervous today looking over all the paperwork and thinking about it.  I’ve done two 20 mile runs, but there was no pressure, no race atmosphere, just me and some friends running.   This will be a bigger deal.  But, more to come on that later.

I really want to just give a big shout out and congratulations to my wife, Kelli, who completed an awesome half iron distance triathlon this weekend.  It was her first, but she totally rocked it (and it won’t be her last).  I am so proud of her and what she accomplished, and am anxiously awaiting (no really, anxiously) her next adventure beyond her next marathon.  2015 will probably bring something bigger than what 2014 has brought.

Kelli showing off her well deserved bling.

Kelli showing off her well deserved bling.

So again, congrats to my wife, who rocked it out.   You are awesome.

That scared the sh&t out of me….

So it’s October, and we all know the stories that come out in October.  Mine is a pretty simple story, nothing real scary, other than it scared me.   I was out for a normal 5am 5 mile run through my neighborhood.  We live in a simple neighborhood, asphalt streets, not really many curbs on the street, just asphalt ending in people’s yards.  Street lights are randomly scattered along the streets, so there are dark spots along the way. I was at a crossing street to continue my mileage.  Focusing hard on the roadway, as it is not the most even pavement.  BAM!   Out of the blue (or black of darkness), I hear “Good Morning”. As if right on top of me. Then I heard the footsteps. It took me about 5 seconds to muster up the “morning” response.  My body had jumped at least 6 inches off the ground, may have been a foot.  Adrenaline running strong through my body.   Took me about another 1/2 mile before I calmed back down.   I never saw the other running coming. Never heard him.  I think I spotted an all black clothed figure passing me right about the time the words I heard came out, but I can’t be for certain.  I just know I was scared silly.

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And then I heard (actually read) a story from a fellow runner in the area.  This individual was out running early one morning.  He  indicated he believes he heard voices on a dark and quiet road behind him, not necessarily getting closer, but could hear them.   Then he approached a curve in the road, and saw a faded white figure, just hovering around the road.  It then vanished.  He was immediately spooked, but hasn’t seen it since.  The story of this “ghost” can be found here.

And with the history of this great city, Wilmington, NC, and the ghosts of past and shipwrecks and travelers, this month will bring lots of old and new stories alike.  The new television series “Sleepy Hollow” is filmed here in Wilmington, NC, and if anyone has seen this show, it can bring thoughts of evil and scary.  During some of my morning runs, I travel through the dark areas of the neighborhood, and I think I hear things, or see things, but then they aren’t there.   I think about Sleepy Hollow and the tales of Ichabod Crane, and an eerie feeling comes across me and I run just a little bit faster.

What have you experienced on one of your runs?  Anything spooky? Haunted?  Hope everyone has a safe, and hopefully non-ghostly, October.

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Painfully Quick Update

So as you know, I have been dealing with a calf muscle pain that has bothered me for a couple weeks now.  I took a few days off from running last week, and even cut some mileage in order to try and “quickly” get my calf healed. I rolled and I iced.  I iced and I rolled.  So I went out last Thursday and ran a quick 3 miles.  When I say quick, I’m not talking fast or in a short time period. I’m referring to it was only 3 miles, so it didn’t take 3 hours like our long training runs.  My calf felt good. A little bit of tightness, but nothing too bad.  So I took my normal Friday off, rolled and iced.  I then set out on Saturday morning for a 5 to 8 mile run, whatever felt best.  I got to mile 3 and my calf hurt.  I could feel it worse than it was a week ago.  So I cut my run off at 5 miles, and really started worrying about my scheduled 20 miler the next day. How in the hell am I going to do that?

I did go on Friday night and purchase a compression sleeve for my calf.  I bought an XL based on the salespersons recommendation, due to my calf size.  I tried on the L and the XL, and the L felt really tight, the XL not so tight. But I went with the XL anyways.   Well, I wore it on my Saturday run, and it felt like just a sock around my leg.  It did nothing other than grab some weeds and cut the cool air from hitting my leg.  So, later in the day Saturday, I went back to the store and bought the L size.

I set out on Sunday morning at 6 am for my 20 mile long run. My LAST long run before I enter taper and hit the homestretch of my marathon training.  Completed it.  ALL 20 miles.  No real issues. I could feel a slight bit of pain, but the new size compression sleeve worked wonders.  I’ll probably wear it for the balance of my training and the race, whether I need it or not.

I sat around on Sunday afternoon relaxing and watching some football (and quickly turned the Panthers game off as they blew chunks against the Packers), I felt a pain on the top of my left foot. I just figured it was from a long running day, just an ache. No biggie.  Well, Monday came, and it felt worse. Hurt with every step.  So I decided to take off from my 5 miler today to give it one more day of rest, see how it goes.  My wife thinks it’s just one of those “pains” you get in taper.

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We shall see.  Hopefully she’s right (but I won’t give her the enjoyment of it by telling her).

Ain’t Got No Time for That!

So last week brought a reality check to my already down to earth life.  I did a 20 mile training run last Sunday. My longest run ever, and I felt really good. I finished in good time, was not overly sore, could walk and talk and carry on normally for the rest of the day, and was pleasantly surprised.  Monday brought slight soreness, but I stretched and rolled and I felt good.   I was finally confident I could complete the full Savannah Rock-n-Roll Marathon on November 8.  Bring it on.

Normal training runs this past week on Tuesday and Wednesday, just 5 miles per day.  Easy.  Thursday morning comes around.  Easy 5 mile run, prepping for a shorter weekend of rebuilding.  3 miles in to my 5 miles, my calf begins to feel a sharp pain.  I’ve felt this before, and it feels as if I have a muscle stretching too far and tearing.  Hurts to walk.  I shut down my run at 3.4 miles.  I’m okay with that as I have an 8 and a 12 mile weekend coming up.  Focus on the big picture.

Thursday night comes around.  Sitting at my 8 year old son’s football practice, I start goofing around with my 12 year old on the sidelines.  I pick him up, toss him around a bit….and ouch..my back hurts.   Now my back and my calf hurt.  I’m falling apart.  Less than 6 months from my 40th birthday, and I’m slowly falling apart.

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Friday was my off day, so I rested, stretched and rolled my calf.  Did a good 4 1/2 miles at a 9:45 pace Saturday morning….BAM! Calf stretches again.  This time not as bad, just felt like a stiff muscle.  I ran a little bit more thru it, and then cut the run short at 5 miles. I knew I had a 12 miler I needed to get in on Sunday, so I was playing it safe. Plus, my wife advised me it’s the “Longer Runs” that are really important right now.  So I rolled, stretched and even iced my calf…and I provided some liquid strength Friday afternoon to accelerate the healing (Spaten Oktoberfest was good!).

My Sunday running group came around quick. I got through a good 4 1/2 miles before my calf really started hurting again.  I knew I needed the mileage, so I kept pushing through it (and where we run, once you go out 4-5 miles, it’s pretty much 4-5 miles back so there really was no choice but to continue).  I cut the run short at 11 miles from the scheduled 12, thinking I’d still be okay.  But, now in my head, my calf hurts.  It hurts today, not as bad.  Teasing me with feeling better.

So what do I do?  Take a few days off this week from running, try something else (like swimming as my wife suggests).  Do I keep running through it, making sure I get my 20 miler in this weekend?

And now I’m feeling older….more like what a 40 year old should feel like.  More aches and pains, and easy muscle pulls.  I don’t like, but I’m learning to deal with it.  So I’m aiming towards a speedy recovery and will fight through what I need to fight through in order to finish this marathon.

Hope your running/workout weekend was more of a success than mine.  I know my wife’s was a great success, with an awesome finish in the “Swim the Loop” swim race.  Let me know what you did.

 

Marathon Training Update

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Just wanted to drop a quick note letting everyone know of where I’m at in my marathon training (Savannah Rock n Roll), some of my thoughts, my fears and what is yet to come.  I officially started my training on July 6 with a whopping 0 miles.   Then I had a rest day.  What a great start to my training.  But, since then, I’ve been putting down some mileage, keeping to my training.  I haven’t missed a workout, and only adjusted my schedule a little bit to deal with travel and other obligations, including my wife’s workout plan for the B2B Half Ironman Race on October 25, 2014.  Here is a summary of mileage I have run since I started:

July – 90.3 miles

August – 149.1 miles

September – 159.2 miles

And I just finished one of my 2 longest runs, 20 miles, on Sunday.   And the shocking thing about it…it felt good.  I wasn’t really that sore when I finished, and wasn’t that sore when I got up on Monday morning.  Maybe I’m not running fast enough. Maybe I need to push myself harder.  Or maybe I just continue on and enjoy  myself.  I’m sure I’ll be sore when the actual marathon is over.  I will probably get caught up in the atmosphere, the start, the other runners, the adrenaline, and end up going a 9 minute mile pace the first mile.  I sure hope my training will keep me from doing that, as I’ve been training my mind to keep me at my pace, not getting caught up in the runners around me.  It has worked for the most part in all my training runs, as I have done the majority of my long runs (12+ miles) on the weekend, and with a group (Wilmington RoadRunners Club).  This group has runners of every pace…from fast (8 minute/mile +), to my speed (10 to 11 minute/mile pace).  We just do our thing, grouped together accordingly, get lost together, talk, find our way back, and encourage each other.  I never thought I would need running with a group as much as I do now.  I actually enjoy it, and look forward to it on a weekly basis.  I’ve even told my wife, shocking to me better yet her, that I would like to continue my weekend group long runs once my marathon is over.  Crazy, huh?  Especially coming from a guy who still doesn’t really consider himself a “runner”.

So, I am now embarking on my final 5 weeks of training, one last 20 mile long run in a couple of weeks, and then taper.  I look forward to the marathon, and I look forward to it being over so I can get my Sunday morning coffee and newspaper time back, as I’ve missed it so.  And I’ll post again soon what October brings me running.

What have you been training for? What will October bring you?