Starting-more like a continuum

Around the middle of July my journey back to running distance began anew with my fiancé in Palos Park Trail system in Illinois. Wolf Rd Woods’ Orange Trail.

It has been literally over a decade since I’ve run distances longer than two miles. A quick question for you out there. How many have gotten really hurt or injured while running? I’d wager to say over 50% of the population has experienced a big running injury since starting but have gotten back into it one way or another.

Well a bit of a flash back and history. I used to run pretty much every day, race, and have on occasion been a bandit runner on a marathon or 10k.

I enjoyed it very much, but it was cut short by an avid cyclist at the lakeshore running trail in Chicago’s famous lakefront trail. I coached many new, and advanced runners for short to long distance races.

This beauty of late summer season run happened to be a short (lol) nine miler. Well on our loop back I happened to be their rabbit since it was a fast finish run. The trail happened to be under construction at that time so there was a shared bike/pedestrian section by The Theater by the lake. Fullerton point is what most chicagoans refer to it as.

I see it like it was just yesterday when this happened. I was speeding up since my spidy senses were tingling in a slight incline. Why I felt like there was something wrong I didn’t know but I started to run much faster than expected. Hugging a fence blocking the far right side of the trail that was under construction. No sooner than I had started to speed up that I felt a jarring hot sensation on my right hip/leg that I was shot up and forward from the impact of the cyclist that was going so fast he slid another six feet from my landing position

The impact was hard, and I landed bent knees and bent over. I tried to stand upright. Well I did try to no avail. The cyclist and his buddy came by and began to yell at me accusing me of cutting in front of them. Well, what I didn’t mention was when I started to feel something was wrong around fifty feet from my location in front of me two ladies in bikinis walked across the trail and I began to have the hair in the back of my neck stand on end. Sixth sense kinda stuff.

My runners arrived at the same time the cyclists were yelling at me and accusing me of causing the accident. Well, my runners were quick to point out that they were goose necking at the ‘girls with bikinis’ that they didn’t see me at all when one impacted me going mighty fast. So fast the handlebars of the perp‘s bike was twisted to the other direction at the time of impact.

They fled the scene before I or my runners could take any of their information down. I ended up walking back to our starting location which was over 1.25 miles away. That same week on the same path just a mile away two more runners were hit by cyclists, both incurring head injuries. Never a good thing trying to dodge bikes, pedestrians, roller blades and other runners while people really have no care for others and just do what they want as if they owned he path(s) they’re on. Selfish.

The injury didn’t seem that big of a deal since I had run a 5k race with it but the pain kept getting more and more excruciating. After a Dr. appointment, and subsequent MRI it showed that I incurred a fracture and spent almost a year in PT, and chiro care for quite some time learning to squat, and walk properly. On an MRI it didn’t look to be that big but the crush injury caused nerve problems also. Happy me for sure.

Since that time I’ve not run on that path ever again, and have only returned there to ruck it but not run it.

Getting my running legs back has been a mental game to say the least, but having been a habitual runner to not running more than a mile for any time at all with pain on and off has made it a big mental game.

So I’ve spent plenty of years getting my body stronger, with shorter runs not longer than two miles, and biting at the bit wanting more but pulling back when this nerve pain kicks in. It comes and goes when it does show up uninvited.

Roll forward to the present day, and my new running adventure. I’ve started training runners once more, and loving it. Imparting knowledge and the love I have for it. In doing so I’ve started running longer and feeling my legs take me to distances I had forgotten I used to run. It feels so good.

So, if you’re out there contemplating coming back after an injury, do yourself a favor and learn a technique to run, and strength train! It is a life saver. If it wasn’t for my strength training while I was in my running prime I’d have been screwed for sure. Although it took this long to get back to distance running I can tell you it is well worth it.

Hope to see you out on the trails people.

Yours,

G

Planning and executing

I’ve spent the past two weeks prepping, doodling, writing, and finalizing a 12 week running program. Of course it’s nothing too detailed since it’s going to be presented as an outline for the participants at the gym for those that want a goal race after the 12 wk program runs its course

The focus of the program is really how to teach/instruct clients on the basics of running technique. I teach clients to improve their hip strength, hamstring pull, and make less noise while running. This is not a Big deal for veteran runners unless they themselves have some chronic pain, or need to improve their running technique where I am asked to assess/evaluate then proceed to have them work on re-learning how to move with one skill at a time.

Getting outside and running is a great release for many involved, and stress relief if you’re not training for a coming race is something they look forward to. There are times when a direct correlation of following a plan reduces the stress involved as to what distance, or focus points one should cover is not something they have to worry about. They just follow the plan, execute the drill and are non to displeased to find themselves running better and finding that there is enjoyment to be had.

What do you look forward to when you train, whether it be in the gym, or outdoors? Is it the physical aspect of doing something, or a mental release that you actually look forward to when you participate in such endeavours?

Go out, find what makes you happy while being in the moment to find release in the physical realm, or a mental check. Emotionally, I believe both the psyche and physical exertion work on releasing such toxicity at times that I look forward to the iron game and really let out my anger, or sadness during and intess bout of lifting/CF.

While running, I entertain my past running career. Racing both in road/trail races and how they both are similar in a small way and differ greatly depending on distance and location of course. Who can beat a trail race with great scenery? While running along the Chicago lakefront really is a fantastic treat as long as you’re not being run down by the idiot bike riders!

Go out, train, have fun both in the box or outdoors.

My Prio shoes.  Excellent zero drop shoes I've run with, and have even grabbed for my HIIT/CF WOD's

See you soon,

G

Never too cold to run

As I say this, the thermostat is at 30F, and balmy. Some people still consider it shorts weather. I used to be in that category when I was *cough younger *cough, but I see the light and wear the appropriate three layers to stave off the chill.

Layer one, hair. Layer two, wool. Layer three, shell. See, I am a veteran athlete that doesn’t shy away from the cold, but my digits don’t like it since I had a few episodes of frost nip in my twenties. Fingers get pretty cold, and only moving fast will I be able to stay warm and retain warmth. Heck, my water bottle froze during a 5k while in my late 30’s and I wasn’t the worst for wear.

Since it’s balmy outside let’s get this workout done, no!? Today we’re at the Hill in Westchester Woods, Westchester, IL.

For time and a medicine ball (mb) 20/14#

  • 50 x wb
  • 200m run
    • 50 x mb lunges
  • 200m run
    • 25 x wb
  • 200m run
    • 25 x cousins
  • 200m run
    • 50 x leg levers
    • 50 x butt biters
  • 400m run
  • Not a beach day

    Running around in the cold, getting sand all over you it would be great if it had anything to do with enjoying the waterfront at the beach, or a warm day at the beach lounging. Nope, not in my line of work. Today at Mayfair Park we’re starting out with a sandbag 400m run. You can hold it anyway you like, as long as it doesn’t touch the floor.

    Ideally you’ll be running, but you can walk it if need be. It’s cool, you have the meat and potatoes coming right up after the run anyways, so enjoy the fast pace of things to come. Hopefully you’ll get this done fairly quick since it’s warmer today than the past few mornings that were around 24dg.

    For time:

  • 1 x lap track (400m) w/sb
    • 10 x sb thrusters
    • 10 x kb snatches/ arm
    • 20 x cossaks
    • 20 x sb cl & j
    • 30 x kb renegade-rows
    • 30 x alt sb lunges
    • 20 x sb burpee

    Quick, but deadly

    Just described what you’ll feel like once you complete this very quick, low rep workout. Just remember to breath it all in.

    Focus today on your ability to not red-line, or burn yourself out on the first running loop. It’ll benefit you to be fast, but steady.

    Park loop x 1 (1 mile)

    • 30 x burpees
    • 30 x bj
    • 30 x dips
    • 30 x leg levers
    • 30 x mb sit ups
    • 30 x mb cleans
    • 30 x mb ball slams

    Park loop x 1 (1 mile)

    Skillz in foot work

    Spent this Sunday programming, eating, and running errands while also sitting and watching runners reach their goal of finishing the Chicago Marathon 2018! Testament of mental and physical endurance. Well done finishers! They put in he work to run that distance and they persevered.

    Along those lines I was also really blown away by the efficiency of the elite runners in a sub 2:10:0.0 finishing time for the marathon. Holy cow! Yes, they worked their butts off year round to maintain that Skillset of power, endurance, mental focus for the entire time running, not jogging but truly running very fast!

    Skillset must be trained, not a hit in the dark if you want to truly succeed. You must put in the work of leg speed, turnover and strengthening the muscles that maintain your body whilst you go fast or faster during the training periods and tapering periods of the training schedule you maintain.

    Hence there is the racing schedule you must take into account also. There is a lot going on in he realm of injury prevention, nutrition and improving time(s) during the races. Everyone wants to be on the podium, don’t lie or deny it. I know I do, but reality sinks in extremely fast when you look at your training log and notice the lack of time spent putting in the work to acquire, and hone such skill to even consider being close enough to finish fast, or faster than the last race you ran.

    This week there will be plenty of running, but today we’ll work not on speed, but on foot landing, followed by a pull, and a pose. Technique takes time to learn, and it should be practiced very often to get the connective tissue stronger especially if you’re not strong enough for a lot of endurance foot work. Injury prevention is job one.

    Today we’re at Mayfair Park, Westchester, IL

    Soccer field x 1 lap

    1. Slow run x 100m
    2. High knees x 100m
    3. Med run x 100m
    4. Heels to butt x 100m
    5. Fast run x 100m
    6. Soccer field x 1
    • 20 x leg levers
    • 20 x superman
    • 100 x mountain climbers
    • 50m bear crawl
    • 50m crab walk
    • 50m lunges