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Everything posted by Clem

  1. Clem

    RR - Cypress Run 5K

    Thank you all for your encouraging words. I forgot to mention that I felt so good after the race that I went for a run the next day. I achieved my first sub-10-minute training mile since I restarted my running program. It just happened. Crazy stuff. Maybe I need to just stop thinking when it comes to running.
  2. Clem

    RR - Cypress Run 5K

    Yay, it's 2016! More about that later, in this Race Report on the Cypress Run 5K. I'm an old dude, so this bloop is not going to help anybody learn to run faster. However, it might serve as a data point in the endless flow of data we sift through, in trying to answer the question, "What the hell is going on!?!?" I was out with serious illness, and invasive treatment for the last half of 2017. Before that, I was able to run a 10K in 52:35, for a pace of 8:27. The Age-Performance grade is 63.94%. I also ran a 5K earlier in the year in 25:35. That's an Age-Performance grade of 62.07%. I was happy with my progress as a runner, but I didn't really feel like I deserved an attaboy until I reached 70%. My longest training run was 10 miles. In mid-January of this year, I started running again. I had hoped that my legs and lungs would still hold some of that strength from the first half of 2017, but I wasn't quite feeling it. So, I went back to the beginning, and started with Week 1 of the Couch 2 5K program. I would try to ramp up the miles and speed as quickly as possible. I would use the Galloway approach, and walk for 60 seconds every half mile, to protect myself from injury. Maybe, I could leapfrog over the weeks, or jump to an Intermediate program, if the training went well. I was shocked and dismayed to find that starting back at the beginning seemed to suit me. Can you really lose that much in just 6 months of illness? In April, the Donate Life 5K came up, and I decided to run it with my daughter (the subject of a previous bloop). I hadn't quite finished the Couch 2 5K program yet, and I didn't seem to be getting up to any speed with it. So, I wasn't ready yet for the 5K race, but we both believe in the cause of this race, so we did it. I ran it in 34:37. Yikes! My first 5K ever was in 2016 (Donate Life), and I ran it in 30:08. Had my body actually regressed more than two years....back to 2015? Or worse? That was a shock. Then, I experienced more frustration in training runs. I think my legs were happy to get out there again. And my lungs seemed fine. But I just felt tired. I didn't feel the lactic acid effect in my legs. My lungs never burned. I just seemed to get tired. And my training times were terrible. I couldn't break 10 minutes per mile, and rarely came close. I remember the woman on the Loop who knew what everyone's race pace should be, and her advice to new runners, "Slow the !#?%!@#! down!" I was at peace with that. But, one of the wonderful moments in training comes when you accidentally peel off a great time. Nope. Wasn't happening. I had moved on to the Intermediate 5K training program. It felt burdensome. Then, I failed on a 5-mile fartlek. No lactic acid, really. No burning lungs. Just tired. And I stopped, and walked two miles back to my home. It sure felt like defeat. So, I decided I'd switch over to the Beginners 10K training program. 5 days of running, not 6. In the meantime, I wanted to run another 5K to verify that I was truly at pre-2016 levels. I chose the Cypress Run 5K. In seeking another way to answer my question, I ran a fast mile a week before the race. I did break 10 minutes. But the calculator predicted a 5K time of 34 minutes. Jeez! I arrived at the Cypress race hoping to at least get into 31 minutes. It was a fun event. Well-organized. I ran it with both my son and daughter, and had a great time. I decided at the last minute to run it without stopping. My legs actually seemed grateful to just keep pumping away. I felt good and strong through the first two miles. In the third mile, there was at least one episode of 'bouncing,' which looks like you're running, sorta-kinda, but you're sure not moving forward much. I needed to catch my breath with bouncing for about 60 seconds. My son took off at the two-mile mark, and disappeared. My daughter and I kicked it a bit in the last .1 mile, and passed two people on the way to the finish line. A nice surprise to have some energy left. My time? 29:47. Yes, I was at least back to 2016! I had not trusted my training. I forgot the magic power of a taper week. And there's the weird, fun energy you get from running with a bunch of people. I feel like I'm back in the ballgame now. I'll just have to be patient in getting back to 2017. I'm not good at patience, but maybe I'm supposed to learn. Running is mental.
  3. What a grand adventure....in just 3.1 miles! And the photo of Mom running ahead of daughter is a wonderful example of how the world has changed for the better in my lifetime. Yay!
  4. Clem

    I'm marathon training again!

    It will be fun to follow your journey. It sure looks all dialed in. Best of luck on the PR!
  5. I don't remember ever starting up with something new and regretting it, although it sure can be daunting at the beginning (In my first effort at beginning a running program back in 2012, I don't think I could complete a lap around the local high school track). And I wish I had a nearby trail that lush and green!
  6. Clem

    Summer Update

    Love the concept of the Baker's dozen, and the fact that someone can be at that level of fitness for an entire 12 months. It's a marvel to me.
  7. Clem

    Knee 4, Dave 1

    Every last half mile is tough going on a run for me. But not running is tougher. Hang in there.
  8. Thanks for sharing the plan. I filed it away, and made sure to name it after you. In my daydreams, the plan seems doable. I just don't know if my calves would be able to handle the long distances on the hills. I would just have to get them ready in advance, I guess. Good luck!
  9. Clem

    July in Review

    Truly inspiring. I ran four miles this morning, but this bloop made me want to lace up and get some more miles in.
  10. "Before I knew it, I reached the final few miles." I've read a lot of marathon accounts, and I don't remember seeing this phrase before. Wow. I love the concept of happiness in sport. I know there's a ton of miles and more behind this epic weekend, but I really admire how you seem to run happy. You make it look like a speed secret! One of my favorite race reports ever.
  11. It's not easy. Frustrating. I've been fortunate to have a little voice in my head in tough times, "It could be worse." And that has helped me many times. You'll get there. I've just never seen a fast way to get fast.
  12. Clem

    Well. Hello, Monday.

    Sorry to hear about the inflammation. Hang in there. I wish there more great movies about running to watch when we hit down time like this.
  13. It's amazing to me, a non-marathoner, that one could be stuck with a boot, frustrated at the lack of marathon training. I love this attitude, and I sure hope you're out there getting your miles soon. Those miles belong to you!
  14. There was a scene in the movie, "Conan the Barbarian," where Ahnold started work as a slave boy pushing this bar the size of a beam in circles with 50 other people as part of some sort of machine. Time passed, and the slave boy eventually took the shape of Conan, because pushing that bar in circles added muscles every day for years. He was all by himself at the end, and he had dug a trench in the ground where he had walked all those years, pushing the bar in circles. I've had so many circles at my local high school track in recent years, I've imaged the possibility of a trench. Sounds like you're right there, putting in the laps, digging the trench. It did a lot for Conan.
  15. Right after college, I got a job with the Daily News Tribune as a newspaper reporter. Except for the pay (I could read want-ads for motel maids that offered more money), it was a dream come true. Eventually, I found out that about a year before I got there the Daily News Tribune had been responsible for what may still be the second funniest thing I've ever seen in the media in regards to the sport of running. The Editor was a great guy, and loved to run. It was only a couple years after the publication of "The Complete Book of Running," by Jim Fixx, so running as a pastime was still a bit new to the general public (In fact, it was this 10K that first gave me the bug to maybe one day run a race). The Daily News Tribune came up with a great idea: let's sponsor a 10K race. It was new and exciting and well attended. The Daily News Tribune was very proud of its first Daily News Tribune 10K, held in the city of Fullerton. Except, when it came to news for the next day's coverage, there had also been a gas leak the very same day in another part of town that actually caused many people to be evacuated for their safety. Big news. So, across the entire front page, in dramatically big type at the top, was the headline: Gas Leak; Thousands Evacuate. And to the far right, was one column below the headline that told the story of the gas leak. However, the Daily News Tribune was very proud of its 10K race. For a long time, they had been picturing this front page, with the 10K prominently featured. They were so happy to put a photo above the fold that was three or four columns across, and 10 inches or more deep. Huge. It showed off the big crowd of runners in flight, with a caption below it about the success of the race. Only the editors of the Daily News Tribune saw the front page as a sensible presentation of the previous day's news. The rest of the world saw the headline, "Gas Leak; Thousands Evacuate" above a big photo of hundreds of people running through the streets of Fullerton. It looked like the fastest and best mass public evacuation in history. And everyone had the good sense to change into their running clothes in order to evacuate as rapidly as possible! It took well over a year before local newspaper people stopped laughing about it. Well, like me, they're probably laughing about it still.
  16. I've never trained with heartbeat data, but maybe some day. Thanks for sharing. I file these kind of training stories away for possible future use. It's really interesting that you could tell yourself to "relax," and it had an effect on your heartbeat. That's the best 'data point' for me, I think.
  17. I love first marathon stories. Marathons are scary to me, and that first time approaching the beast makes for some extraordinary human experiences. It's one of those places on Earth where the edge lives. Congratulations on getting it done, and thanks for reposting.
  18. Clem


    A charming bloop. I admire parents who run with a stroller. I always think that there's a kid who's off to a great start in life.
  19. Clem

    racing but not running

    Looks like great fun to me. And I can sure see the exercise value of working that canoe....both in and out of the water. What a great day!
  20. Having never run a marathon, I can't begin to imagine what those last 10 miles were like. I'm a virtual bystander to your race, and I found it an amazing statement about human will. Of course, that's the last thing you probably want to demonstrate in a marathon. But you did, and I do believe it's a muscle that will be of value your entire life. Congratulations on getting there. Out in the non-runner world, completing a marathon is a moonshot kind of thing. Congratulations.
  21. Congratulations on finishing the race despite everything. That's a lot of mental discipline, and guts, in play. Impressive.
  22. Love the way you describe your upcoming "first" three mile run and your planning of a marathon. That's quite a first sentence! I think runners are doers, who dream during the day, and they sure can dream mighty big. That's quite a journey ahead, and I look forward to following it.
  23. Clem

    RR - Donate Life 5K

    OCRunnerGirl, I'm very sorry to hear that your husband, you and your family had to go through this experience. I hope he got safely to the other side, and is able to manage the remaining side effects OK. It's a hard road.
  24. Clem

    RR - Donate Life 5K

    Thank you all for your generous comments. And for me, getting a Baconator from Dave is like receiving an Academy Award from Meryl Streep. A big moment, indeed.
  25. Clem

    RR - Donate Life 5K

    This blog entry is about my experience in the Donate Life 5K in Fullerton, CA, last April. It's a bit of a long story, with a slow time logged for the race. Still, I had to consider it a victory. I've been a lurker for a couple of years, and I learned 80% of what I know technically about running from The Loop. I owe you all some sharing of my experiences, but I felt I was only just beginning to become a real runner when I was diagnosed with neck cancer the summer of 2017. My petscan on January 12, 2018, showed no remaining cancer, so my treatment worked. Thank you all for sharing your experiences and insights. I got motivated and remotivated and remotivated....from reading Loop entries. I was working on a half-marathon program in the summer of 2017, and running six days a week, up to 10 miles, when I was diagnosed. I actually think all the running helped keep me relatively calm. There's a lot of fairly dramatic thoughts you can get when you get diagnosed with cancer, and I had a few of those. But, I tended to drift back to my athletic experience. I would just get up for the big game. I'd execute everything the doctors told me to the best of my ability. No moaning or groaning. Just play to win. As I was sitting around with cancer, and waiting for treatment to begin, I decided to get one last race into the books. I ran a 10K along the beach, and got into 52 minutes, which was my longtime dream goal. It's not blazing speed, but I was given an award for my age group. I had gas in the tank all the way, which makes it real fun. There were about 350 participants in the Tiki Beach 10K, and I finished in the top 15%. For old runners, I have to say frankly there's great pleasure in watching all those in their 40s, 30s and 20s finish behind me. However, I do find it funny to get the Age Group medal. I outran a bunch of old men in their 60s...how hard can that be for anyone?!?! But, as you all know, there are some fast oldsters out there. I've always enjoyed it when Loopsters describe a badass moment. It sorta felt that way in the Tiki 10K, when I was outrunning a lot of folks, knowing I had Stage IV cancer. I felt great. It was one of those magical moments when the training program had worked its voodoo, and I could summon sources of energy I never experienced before. A young woman came up to me at about Mile 5 and said, "I've been trying to catch you for the last two miles." We talked a bit. Then, I had my first glimpse of the finish line. I flipped the switch, and was pretty amazed to find I had some jets. Left her far behind. Great day running. I got through chemo pretty good (three sessions). Just some fatigue. No nauseousness, really. Radiation for neck cancer requires that they create a mask so they can secure it over your face to bolt your head to the table in order to make sure they are radiating with great precision your areas of cancer. I had it at the base of my tongue, and a lymph node or two on both sides of my neck. I got a feeding tube in preparation for the time when I couldn't eat normally due to the pain (If you ever get in this predicament, a feeding tube is no big deal). I had 33 blasts of radiation...every weekday for over six weeks. Fortunately, I maintained my ability to swallow. Although treatment was finished on October 20, 2017, you still allow for more 'burning' to take place for another week or two. Sitting around, wondering what to do next during the beginning of recovery, I just naturally thought, "I wonder when I can start running again?" Five weeks after treatment ended, I went to the local high school track and logged a quarter-mile jog just to see if I could do it. Yep. Got it done. I didn't want to push things too much, too fast, though. So, I walked. The week after my lap around the track, I walked 18 miles, two to four miles at a time. I kept it up through the beginning of January. Then, I got my petscan results saying the treatment had worked, and there was no remaining signs of cancer. That's a good day. A second shot at life. Wow. The next week, I tried to start all over again when it came to running...Couch 2 5K. For some reason, my adductor muscles were very tight and I had to stop my first day of the program. I didn't even know what these muscles were called. I had to look them up. I have no idea what the problem was. I waited a week, did some stretching, then started again. It worked. I was very slow, but I was able to keep up the program. I shaved my stomach and taped the feeding tube in place so it wasn't a problem. The treatment knocked out my saliva glands, so I have pretty severe dry mouth. I strap on a hydropack now for my runs. The treatment left me with peripheral neuropathy, so my feet are half frozen, but what the heck....beats having cancer. I wasn't quite ready to run the Donate Life 5K in April, a terrific event on behalf of organ donors. A flat course, except for one small hill, and 529 participants. My children have a friend who died young in a car crash, but her organs essentially saved the lives of several people. So, we participate in the event in honor of her. I run the 5K with my daughter. I didn't want to skip it. I was pretty sure I'd get a junk time, so that dampened my enthusiasm for the race. I planned to Galloway the race, walking for 60 seconds every half mile. Also, I figured I'd need about 220 yards of walking at about mile 2. I actually held up pretty good. The excitement of running with everybody brought me energy. I stuck to my plan, even though I was feeling pretty good at Mile 2. At the moment I crossed the finish line, I just had the feeling of getting it done. I knew my time would be bad (It ended up being 34:37. 320 overall finish. 28 out of 39 Age Group finish.). I did think that running with a feeding tube on half-frozen feet with no saliva might count as a badass moment. Then, about 30 yards past the finish line, it dawned on me: I didn't know if I'd ever run one of these ever again. This thought had never occurred to me. I didn't see it coming. I teared up, and was overtaken with a lot of emotion. Shit, man, it was so awesome just to be here again, never mind the time! I'm up to 5 miles now in my long runs. Still slow and labored. In my head, I'm the runner I was in 2017, so it's frustrating. I may be the runner I was in 2016 (when I ran my first race ever), but maybe even 2015. People regularly express their amazement that I'm out there running every day after some pretty gnarly cancer treatment. Here, in The Loop, I can't imagine any of you would have had a different response. JFR. Thank you all for inspiring me so much over the years.
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