FedEx St Jude Classic Fairway 5K

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Today was supposed to be the day that I tried not to become a zombie, but since the Run For Your Lives event in Nashville got postponed until November, I had availability today.  And since I was injured, it looked like today was going to remain as an open date.  But, I started to heal, and was finally able to start running a little bit in the last two weeks.  Sadly, all of the progress I had made in my training for the Germantown Half Marathon had subsided, so I am building from scratch once again.  Of course, this isn’t the worst thing in the world since I tend to push myself and if I could have, I probably would have run more than I should have with my injured foot/ankle.  The cautious approach led me wait much longer than I normally do to register for a race.  I wanted to make sure I could complete the race pain-free before committing to it.  I waited until Wednesday night of this week to register, and I am very glad that I did.

First, the event was for St. Jude, which is always a worthwhile event in my book.  Second, today’s weather, after a nippy start to the morning, has been incredible.  It has been sunny all day with temps creeping into the lower 70’s.  Third, running around TPC Southwind is very scenic.  Fourth, the race was organized very well, with a simple shirt and medal design that I liked very much.  Fifth, I was able to run the entire race pain-free, so now I feel that I am back on the right track!  And sixth, a St. Jude patient sang the National Anthem before the event, and did an excellent job.  She even hitting the high notes.  It was great when someone from the charity you are helping is at these events.

Swag: Shirt, medal, bib, & 1 day pass to FedExSt Jude Classic

Swag: Shirt, medal, bib, & 1 day pass to FedEx St Jude Classic

I was able to run the entire race without stopping or walking, so at least a 5K is a baseline for my running once again.  I finished with a time of 30:17, which is honestly better than I was expecting.  But more importantly, my foot did not bother me once during the run and I have remained pain-free thus far all day.  As of last night, 868 people had registered for the event, and I am certain that more were added to the list during this morning’s pre-race registration.  That is a great turnout considering that today was the inaugural running of this event.  Several people set PR’s today on the fast course, so that is promising for next year.  If my schedule permits, I will definitely signup for this race again.

FedEx St Jude 5k Race Medal

FedEx St Jude 5k Race Medal

Swag: A: Any 5K that gives out a medal will get a high grade from me.  Throw in a long sleeve Zorrel Dri-Balance shirt, a one day pass to the FedEx St. Jude Classic golf tournament, throw in your  usual assortment of local coupons and samples, and you have some very solid swag.

Course: A-: You ran through residential streets as well as the cart paths around the 17th and 18th holes.  Everyone thought that the course was fast, and really flat.  I can only think of one hill, and it was a short, steep one on the golf course.

Overall: A: This may be the best 5K experience I have had.  This is in part due to the great weather, lots of swag, scenic course, and great event management.  Wrangling 800+ people through cart paths on a golf course is not an easy task.  Also, the post race Bloody Mary stand may have helped as well!

End of Week Update

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This has been a busy week and I haven’t had a chance to update the blog very much, so this will serve has a good catch up on what has happened this week.

This is the week that I have finally been cleared to begin running again, albeit not at full speed yet.  Tuesday I jogged lightly on the treadmill for a mile pain free.  My doctor was rather emphatic that I needed to take it slow, and advised that as I begin running again, I should add speed or distance to each run, but not both at the same time.  This being said, I ran the same speed for two miles on Wednesday, and it was still pain free, so that was very positive.  I didn’t run Thursday or Friday, and yesterday I ran on the streets for the first time in over a month. I finished two and a half miles at a 10:40 pace, which is slower than I was before my injury, but was a little aggressive for my rehab.  I only felt a slight twinge of pain while stretching after my run, but it did not last long.  I am going to run at about the same speed again today for hopefully a 5K distance so maybe I can gauge where I am at physically.  If today goes well, I am going to register for the FedEx St. Jude Classic Fairway 5K next Saturday.  I will not be pushing for a PR, but getting out there for a race where I can actually run/jog will feel good.

In case you missed it earlier this week, I have officially registered for my first full marathon this week.  I will be attempting the Walt Disney World Marathon on January 12, 2014.

Yesterday, Susan, my in-laws, her sister, Nannie, and her sister’s friend met at Local on the Square for lunch.  We got there earlier enough to enjoy the brunch menu, so I took the opportunity to enjoy their take on chicken and waffles.  It was a pecan crusted spicy chicken with a sweet potato waffle, topped with blueberries and a blueberry, bourbon, and red chili syrup.  It was an outstanding dish, and despite it being a filling meal, I wanted another order because it was so good.  It was a great compliment to the homemade Bloody Mary that I had with the meal.  The last time I went to Local I had the John Hughes Club, which consisted of a fried egg, bacon, cheddar, tomato jam, avocado, and chipotle aioli on toasted brioche, which was another strong meal.

Local's take on chicken & waffles is very tasty

Local’s take on chicken & waffles is very tasty

In last night’s Braves game, something happened that has never happened in MLB before.  Going into the ninth inning, the Braves trailed the Cubs 5-4 with the top of the order coming up.  Enter Chicago’s shaky closer (well, not anymore…) Carlos Marmol.  The first batter he faces was BJ Upton, and when given a fastball down the middle on a 3-1 count, he did not miss it.  BJ drilled the game-tying homerun to dead center and Turner Field was rocking.  After a Jason Heyward flyout to left, Justin Upton, BJ’s younger brother strolled to the plate.  And on a 1-2 count, Justin crushed a fastball to center for a walkoff homerun!  At this point, Turner Field was shaky so much that it was registering on the Richter Scale!  Last night marked the first time in MLB history that brothers homered to tie and then win a game in the same inning.  And this was just the fifth time in MLB history that brothers have ever homered in the same inning.  Also, this is the first time brothers homered in the same game with one being a walkoff since 1962 when for the Milwaukee Braves, Tommie Aaron homered and then later Hank Aaron hit a grand slam to win the game.  It was quite an exciting moment, and hopefully a sign of things to come.

Post game celebration for the Uptons

Post game celebration for the Uptons

Both Final Four games were fantastic yesterday, but unfortunately, as has happened all year, the officiating was the story.  Poor Wichita State’s upset bid was derailed by a very questionable jump ball call and Syracuse’s comeback bid was halted by a controversial charge/block call.  All in all, the best two teams did win, but you hate to have a call to point to that potentially cost you a national title.

I’m still liking the new gym, but I am having trouble adjusting to the new schedule that the gym requires due to the heavy influx of people directly after work.  Once I am back on my 100% running schedule, I’m sure this won’t be as glaring.  And since the pool will be closed this week, being able to begin my running program this week has been very important.

Quick Injury Update

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I went back to the orthopedist today for my follow up about my peroneal tendonitis, and got some good news.  The doctor was encouraged by my progress and moved me from the boot to an ankle brace.  This was a week ahead of my original prognosis and according to the doctor today, I am very fortunate.  She said that usually she has people wear the boot for a couple of months, so I’m happy that isn’t me.  I need to wear the ankle brace for a couple of weeks, and while working out after that.  I have to wait at least another week before I can start a running program again.  And even then, I’ll have to take it slow.  I will start with a light jog for a mile to see how my tendons react, and if all goes well, I will add speed or distance each subsequent run/jog.  Hopefully I will have no setbacks so I can run well for Warrior Dash on the 20th.

Yes, those are dinosaurs

Yes, those are dinosaurs

Races I Can’t Run This Year

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I got a Facebook update yesterday from the Navy Ten Nautical Miler stating that this year’s race is a causality of the Sequestration.  That means a very well received race in the Memphis area is no more, at least for this year, and any early registrants will have their registration fees refunded to them.  It is sad news, but honestly, I wasn’t going to be able to run the race this year anyway, but hopefully it will return next June.  But this got me to thinking about races I wanted to run this year but could not due to injury or scheduling conflicts.  The following is some of those races:

  • Germantown Half Marathon: peroneal tendonitis sidelined me for this, I might run it next year
  • Oak Barrel Half Marathon: peroneal tendonitis sidelined me for this one as well, but it would have been difficult to run it anyway since I was hoping to be one of the final 100 registrants for the race and those slots were sold in under one minute!  I will do my best to add this to next year’s itinerary.
  • Flying Pig Half Marathon: big race in Cincinnati, OH that I couldn’t financially swing this year.
  • Navy Ten Nautical Miler: travel schedule and the Sequestration eliminated it this year.
  • Hero Rush: fireman themed obstacle race with various locations around the country, but the one in Tennessee is the same day that I will be running the Warrior Dash in Jackson, MS.  Maybe next year.
  • Key East Half Marathon: Susan and I went to Key West on a part of our honeymoon and the town was a blast, so any excuse to return is a good one to me.  Maybe 2015 (WDW Marathon will be in January 2014).
  • Spartan Race: another obstacle race that I would like to do, but they don’t have any near Memphis, and traveling to one this year is not going to happen.  They offer three different distances (not at each location though) for different levels of competitors, which is a good idea.

There are a couple races not mentioned above, but it is no certainty that I run them this year.  Susan is a little skeptical about me running in either of these events, but I want to try both eventually.  They are as follows:

  • Tough Mudder: this seems to be the biggest and baddest of the obstacle runs out there, and even requires you to sign a death waiver!  Now the waiver is probably a mix of hype for the race as well as a preventative measure in case something does happen.  The problem is the three closest locations are at least five hours away, and the Georgia and Kentucky events pose scheduling conflicts for me.
  • Tupelo 14.2 Miler: Labor Day weekend this year, so the timing works, but it is very hot on September 1 in this area, even at 5 in the morning, and the training prior to the event will occur in even hotter temperatures.  However, I will be two months into my marathon training, so maybe working this in will be a little easier.

Just writing this post has got me itching to get this boot off even more and get back to training at 100% capacity.  I am exactly one month away from running my first Warrior Dash, and I don’t want to embarrass myself on the course.

Study Break

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Tomorrow is the day that I will finally take the GRE, whether I’m ready or not.  I spent the last weekend visiting my parents, and since I didn’t really have an option to do much in the way of a workout, so I mostly did was GRE test prep and played catch up with my family.  Studying has been quite nerve racking, and it would have been beneficial to be able to go for a run to relieve the stress, but I am adapting.  The test will be at 12:30 pm, and hopefully by 5:00 pm, I will have a good hunch if I will have to go through this hell another time or if I should start prepping for classes in the fall.  I’m taking a break from reviewing my notes right now, watching The Following, and I will probably review for another hour or so afterwards.  Prior to the test tomorrow, I’ll work through some sample problems to keep sharp.

Today, I finally did return to the gym, in hopes of doing as complete of a workout as possible. I was planning on rowing and then doing a modified Warrior Dash circuit.  The problem was that my gym no longer has rowing machines outside of the rowing room, and on Monday nights, there is no access without being signed up for one of the classes.  So, that means it will be at least one more day until I get in a full cardio routine.  I did, however, complete my :30 exercise, :30 second rest warrior circuit routine, consisting of the following:

  • DB Bench
  • DB Row (:30 on each side)
  • Bicep Curls
  • Pulldowns
  • Russian Twists
  • Plate Crunches
  • Chair Dips
  • DB Military Press
  • Bicycle
  • Wipers

It felt good to finally get in a workout after my injury, even if it was an abbreviated one.  I really need to figure out a reliable option or two for cardio while I can’t run.  Rowing or swimming would be ideal, but my gym doesn’t have a pool, and my usual gym time is during the peak class times, so I guess I need to get on the list for rowing later in the week.  Memphis did recently open a new facility called the Kroc Center, which has a fitness center, pool, aquatics center, basketball gym, fitness classes, chapel, and auditorium.  The facility has not been open very long, and is state of the art, but the place was at capacity when I toured it at 6:30 pm tonight.  From the reviews that I have read, there is a wait for most machines and a thirty minute time limit on the machines.  Also, I’m not sure on the pool schedule, but tonight, no one could swim because there was some sort of water basketball going on.  I may go check it out one morning this week, to see what the crowds are like before work versus after work.

So About That Foot Pain

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After work today, I agreed to meet Susan and Beau at the dog park before going to the gym, and it probably is a good thing that I did.  During the course of my half an hour there, the pain in my foot continued to grow.  My pain was noticeable, so Susan called her mom, the nurse, and it was decided that I needed to go to the after hours orthopedic services at Campbell’s Clinic.  My x-rays didn’t show anything out of the ordinary, but the doctor still feared that I had a stress fracture.  After a few tests and considerable pain, the doctor determined that I more than likely have peroneal tendonitis and this means that I will not be running for at least a month.  Goodbye Germantown Half Marathon and don’t even bother attempting to be one of the last 100 registrants for the Oak Barrel Half Marathon.  To help my foot heal quicker, the doctor ordered me to wear a walking boot and prescribed me a steroid pack so maybe I can return to running in early April.  I’m rather bummed that this is happening and it sucks that I can’t complete my goal of a race each month in 2013, but if I can get the problem remedied, it is probably for the best.

This is going to take some getting used to.

This is going to take some getting used to.

And the part that is the most depressing to me is that I can’t really do any cardio for the month.  I am more than a little worried about how much weight I may gain during this prolonged period of inactivity.  If anyone knows of any good workouts a one legged man can do, please pass them along.  And hopefully, I can make a triumphant return on April 20 at the Warrior Dash in Jackson, MS.

Mid-Week Update

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So it has been a couple of days since I have updated my training progress and thought now would be as a good of a time as ever to do so.  After Sunday’s long run, Monday was a scheduled off day, and I was very thankful for that.  During the course of the day Monday, I started to have an intense pain in my right foot.  It felt like someone had stabbed me in the side of the foot and putting pressure on it only intensified the pain.  I have no clue what happened, but it just started hurting.  I wasn’t walking with a limp or anything, and when I wasn’t on the foot, it did not hurt, so I just kind of ignored it.  Yesterday, my foot was still hurting while I was at work, but in a boneheaded move, I decided to try going for a run.  It did not go well to say the least.  My foot hurt the entire time and the pain got so unbearable that I had to stop my run.  I managed to finish one mile at a 9:40 pace.  I was noticeably limping when I came back to the house and immediately started to ice down my foot.  I still have no clue what the issue is, but plantar fasciitis seems to be everyone’s suggestion.  I am going to rest my foot for a day or two and see if it improves.  This is not what I want to endure eleven days before the Germantown Half Marathon, especially a week after being sick, but it is a part of the process I suppose.  I am currently planning on on going to the gym tonight and do some exercises that don’t place too much stress on my foot.  And of course, if the pain persists, I will visit my doctor, but I have already noticed some improvement in how my foot feels today.  We shall see.

In non-running news, Susan and I tried a new pizza place here in Memphis on Monday night.  The restaurant is called Rock ‘N Dough Pizza and originally started as a food truck that had enough success to warrant the opening of the brick and mortar store in addtion to the food truck.  The owner worked at another fantastic local Memphis eatery, Trolley Stop Market.  We went at 7:00 pm on a Monday, not exactly a prime dinner slot, yet the place was steadily busy the entire time we were there.  There is several pizza options and we decided to try the Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza since it satisfied both Susan and I’s varied tastes.  Service was much quicker at Rock ‘N Dough when compared to Trolley Stop, which is a major plus.  Provided on the table in addition to your pizzeria standards of Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes was local honey, sriracha, and Tabasco Jalapeno sauce!  We decided on a medium pizza since we were hungry, but a small would have been plenty.  Every pizza we saw leave the kitchen looked fantastic and gigantic!  Our pizza was so big that we both ate until we were full for dinner and the following day at lunch.  I would say that the $21 we spent on the pizza was a great value.  Anyone in Memphis, especially East Memphis, would be well served to give this place a shot.  I know Susan and I will be repeat customers.

This was our monster pizza

This was our monster pizza

I take the GRE in six days and I am feeling woefully unprepared.  I have been studying, but it is quite a wealth of knowledge that I need to grasp for the test.  I kinda feel that I’m a week away from running a marathon after only running a 5K previously.  It has been seven years since I graduated from college and eight since I have had a meaningful class, so I’m a little rusty.  Susan registered me with an IXL account to practice my math, so I guess I will get off of here for now so I can get in some work.