BACK AT IT…

 

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Shooting for a 10…

I’ve read numerous articles about how quickly you start to lose your cardio conditioning when you’re not working out. It’s kind of scary how you can start to regress if you’re inactive for as little as two weeks.

 

Now, if you’re suffering from a serious injury or certain kinds of illnesses, working out is simply out of the equation. You need to rest and recover or you can make things even worse.

As for me, I’ve been nursing this nasty cough for two weeks (since the Hot Chocolate 15K on Feb. 4th). Just read my prior post (“Hackety Hack”) if you want more of the deets. I’m cranky when I miss a regularly scheduled workout… and being on the sideline for over a week was really making me bonkers.

Fortunately, this week the cough started lightening up. It was still there mind you, but not as nasty as it had been and much better during the daytime.

 

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We’re feeling better.

On Tuesday I hit the treadmill at the gym, walking for a bit and then trying a very slow 5K. It was my litmus test to see how my body would react. Would I feel okay or would the exercise send me spiraling back into hardcore hacking fits? I got through relatively cough-free and it also felt nice to get the sweat going. So far, so good.

 

On Thursday I upped the ante a tad and did a slow (and slightly hilly) 4-mile jaunt outside. It’s been raining a lot here lately and I was fortunate to find a several hour window where the sky was clear. I certainly didn’t want to tempt fate and go right back to running in the rain. If I did that I think my lungs would have staged a mutiny. But while my pace was pretty slow, my hacking again was minimal.

So time to really give those lungs a workout. I’ve got the Atlanta Half Marathon in four weeks and to get “sorta” back on schedule, I needed to run 10-miles this weekend. On Saturday morning, it was, of course, raining outside so I had to bump 24 hours for a break in the weather.

 

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It seems that things are a “go.”

As I got to the Chattahoochee River early Sunday, I made a promise to myself not to push it if things went awry. While I was hoping to run 10 miles, I would have settled for less if my body complained. And the goal for the day was distance and not speed. Log the miles and see how the body holds up.

 

Thankfully, the run went better than expected. A little hacking in the first quarter mile, but that was all (I equated it to starting up your car on a cold morning). As the miles started adding up, I think I felt even stronger and picked up the pace just a bit in the last mile or two.

Not a memorable run otherwise… with the big takeaway being that all systems seem to be “go” to get back to my regular workout schedule. I’ll be hitting the pool (after two weeks off) tomorrow morning for some lap work and then maintenance runs this week with 11-miles scheduled for the weekend.

The only wildcard right now is the weather. The temperature is heating up a bit in the ATL this week (thankfully), but with rain currently in the forecast for both Saturday and Sunday, I might have to move my long run up to Friday. But I’ll adjust. Right now I’m just happy to be back at it.

Ditch the cough… and Run on!

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HACKETY HACK…

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Did not see where they hid the cough.

Last week I ran the Hot Chocolate 15K in the freezing rain… or as I called it “The Slog.” Well, it seems that in addition to my tech top and finisher’s medal, I picked up an additional bit of bling. An unwanted bit of bling.

A nasty cough.

Once I got home and showered in preparation for some Super Bowl snacking,  I started hacking. And I pretty much haven’t stopped.

I coughed through four fun quarters of football and commercials on Super Bowl Sunday. And that hacking kept on steadily through the night and intensified into Monday (as I rested my legs). By Monday night I was a tad bit concerned. My dad has been recovering from pneumonia for the past few weeks and the news (and social media) have been overflowing with reports of this year’s uber-nasty flu bug.

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Been eating these things like popcorn.

So I made a doctor’s appointment for last Tuesday afternoon and skipped my planned Tuesday morning run (which made me cranky). Come midday, I went to the doctor’s office and they slapped a flu mask on me as soon as I walked through the door (as a precaution). The nurse and then the doctor poked and prodded me and listened to my lungs. On the upside, I had no fever, my lungs were clear and I showed no signs of pneumonia or flu. I just had a bit of a cold and a nasty cough, due to the dry winter air…oh, and running a race in a freezing rain storm.

The doc recommended that I take it easy while I was hacking and feeling heavy in the chest. So for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, I was on the sidelines, just coughing and resting. I think I’ll go out for a short run on Tuesday as I’m finally starting to feel better.

On the downside, a full week off from running and exercise has done nothing to help my already less-than-peak conditioning. But better to err on the side of caution than run too soon and risk getting something that will sideline me even longer. I’ve got five weeks until my next race (Atlanta Half Maraton on March 18th) so I should still be able to get myself in a semblance of shape by then.

And on the upside, I have had a chance to read a book or two, clean up my e-mail inbox and binge watch a couple of Netflix series that I’m behind on. So it’s not a total loss. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go see what hijinks Eleven and those boys from Hawkins are up to.

Hack up, avoid the Demogorgon… and Run on!

Have you been sidelined at all with an illness this Winter? And what’s your favorite current “binge” show?

THE SLOG…

Slog: A long laborious walk or march.

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Bib-tastic.

I’ve run races in the cold before. I’ve run races in the rain before.

But before this weekend, I had never run a race in the cold cold cold rain. Unlike a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, rain and cold are not two great tastes that go great together.

On Sunday, I ran the Atlanta Hot Chocolate 15K (that’s 9.32 miles to you and me) in a downpour while the weather at the start was rather nippy. Needless to say, it was an experience I’ll remember. Or as I like to refer to it… a slog.

All week I had been monitoring the forecast for the race, checking my weather app almost hourly. Rain had been predicted for days, but I hoped that maybe the conditions would shift and we’d be spared from getting dumped on. Read the rest of this entry

WHEN THE WEATHER OUTSIDE IS FRIGHTFUL…

 

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Dressed for running success.

Running outside in cold winter weather kinda sucks. There, I said it. 

On Saturday I did a 10-mile long run down near the Chattahoochee River as the temperature had finally climbed into the 40s. It was the first time I’d run outside in over two weeks. Thanks to the rather chilly and windy conditions here in Atlanta, I’d been doing all of my running workouts on the treadmill (or “Dreadmill” as one of my friends says).

While I prefer running outside to plodding along on that never-ending rubber loop, the treadmill is certainly a good option when the alternative is pounding frozen pavement while reminiscing about the joys of having feeling in your extremities.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been rather spoiled running the last 9 years in Los Angeles. While most of the country has the standard four seasons (spring, summer, winter & fall), LA’s weather seems to pretty much consist of one lone 365-day season that I like to call “very nice.” Read the rest of this entry

TIME TO TRIP AGAIN…

Hey Trippers,

I know it’s been a while… okay, a long while… but I’m finally back. Actually, I never went totally away but without a post in several months, I’m sure many of you wondered if I’d tripped my last Kenyan.

Nope.

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Thumbs once again are up!

And as you probably gathered from past posts, 2017 was a huge year of transition for me. Pretty much everything in my life has changed and mostly for the better. For starters, I’ve relocated from Los Angeles to Atlanta (for several reasons.) While I still love LA, over the last few years, the ATL has become a very viable film market and presents me with some great new opportunities. I do still plan to spend time in LA whenever possible (looking to hopefully be bicoastal) but Atlanta will be my homebase (the place where I hang my hat) for the foreseeable future. And my whole family lives in Atlanta, so that’s a huge bonus.

In addition, I’ve gone from being stuck in a less-than-satisfying longterm relationship to once again being a happy single guy. I’ve also got a new ride (out with the old SUV in with the new) and many many other changes. Read the rest of this entry

UPDATE AT THE CROSSROADS…

CrossroadsHey Trippers.

Remember the end of the movie CAST AWAY, where Tom Hanks’ character is literally standing at the crossroads, trying to decide which way to go next in his life.

That’s kind of where I am at this moment.

For the past six weeks I’ve been navigating some unexpected waters in my life and I’m finally starting to come out the other side. I’ve been focusing solely on the day-to-day things, hence the reason “Tripping The Kenyans” has been unexpectedly dark.

During this turbulent time, I haven’t been running my normal amount (nowhere close actually) and I know my fitness has slipped. On the plus side, I have run a pair of races in the last month: The REVEL Mt. Charleston Half Marathon in Las Vegas and the Memorial Day 10K in Atlanta. Both were a lot of fun. Read the rest of this entry

LOST & FOUND…

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Hollywood Half-ing it.

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks (hence the lack of posts). But since I last posted, following the LA Marathon, I’ve run the Hollywood Half Marathon for the 6th time (which was a bit of a redemption run). And I also recently had a freakout moment.

Let me ‘splain.

This past week I had to fly to Georgia for business. It was also a chance to see my family during the trip (a sweet bonus). As I packed, still recovering from the H’wood Half, I wondered whether or not to bring my running gear on the trip. I was vacillating back and forth between taking a four day break (I’ve been training hard this year and could certainly use a breather) or bringing along some gear and doing a short run if the opportunity presented itself. Which to do? Read the rest of this entry

PAYING IT FORWARD…

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LA Marathon Expo ’17

As I sit here with my tired legs still recovering from last Sunday’s Los Angeles Marathon, my mind keeps drifting back to the race. I had grand plans, including the hopes of a marathon PR. Unfortunately, it was not one of my better running days. All my best laid plans (of mice and men) went very much awry.

But rather than focus on why the wheels came off during my marathon, I’d rather highlight how a friend helped me and how I was able to pass that help along.

I had started feeling fatigued way too early in the marathon, around mile 7 (not a good sign) and by mile 12 I knew my day was in the midst of going completely south. All strategy and game plans I had made went right out the window. I was in survival mode (relegated to power walking) with only one goal in mind: finish. Read the rest of this entry

THE END OF AN ERA…

This past Sunday morning I donned my T2 shirt and cap in preparation to run the Los Angeles Marathon as a proud member of the Team To End AIDS. It was my 8th time running this great race with T2. Unfortunately, it’s also the last time I will be running a marathon with them.

“Good morning T2!”

Sadly, 2017 is the last year of the Team To End AIDS endurance training charity program.

Granted, the entire team knew this bitter fact when we started our training for the 2017 race back in October. We vowed to have one helluva final season. But now that the training is over and the race has been run, the harsh reality has finally hit me.

I’ve been involved with charities before, all of them worthwhile, but T2 wasn’t just another cause I supported. I looked forward to seeing the T2 gang on Saturday the way you look forward to meeting up with your best buddies and hanging out. They were an important part of my life. They were my running family. Read the rest of this entry

THE WEEK OF…

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It’s on!

Race week is finally upon us. On Sunday March 19th, myself and approximately 24,999 other pavement pounders will be lacing ’em up for the annual Los Angeles Marathon to trek the 26.2 miles from Dodgers Stadium all the way to the Santa Monica Pier.

For those of you who don’t know about the LA Marathon and its scenic “stadium to the sea” route, you should check it out. It really is quite a sight. Think of it as a running tour of the city.

Okay, actually think of it as a multi-hour sweaty, trying not to heave up your lungs and crash to the ground ending up in the fetal position, running tour of the city. As you question your worth as a human being, you’ll pass by: Dodger Stadium, Disney Hall, The Chinese Theater, Sunset Blvd., Rodeo Drive, the lovely Pacific Ocean and many other sights. Here’s the course map. Read the rest of this entry

MY FIFTY FIRST DRAGON…

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Click above.

There’s a short story I remember from my childhood called “The Fifty First Dragon” by Heywood Broun. Click on the picture to the right to give it a read.

It tells the story of a nervous knight named Gawaine le Cœur-Hardy and how he found confidence thanks to the magic word “Rumplesnitz” given to him by the headmaster.  Gawaine went on to slay more dragons than anyone.

Click on the picture to the right to give it a read.

Good story, isn’t it.

It’s kind of funny because my original running coach, Scott Boliver, used to talk about “slaying the dragon” when it came to running… and in life. As for Coach Scott, he truly was a dragonslayer.

As I mentioned in a recent post, I completed my 50th half marathon (aka slayed 50 dragons) back in December. So the half marathon I ran this past Sunday was my own 51st dragon. Read the rest of this entry

FAST FRIDAY…

Hi Everybody,

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Just keep moving.

Been swamped the past few weeks. But real life can keep you running ragged (that’s a different type of marathon). So just time for a quick update today.

My Los Angeles Marathon training is going full tilt boogie as my running coach is doing his best to see if he can make my legs explode. Between speed work and hill training, I’m definitely putting my man gams through some serious workouts. Here’s hoping all of the hard work pays off.

I’ve got the Surf City Half Marathon next Sunday (my first race of 2017). Now I wasn’t originally planning on running Surf City this year, but my coach wants me to use this race as a gauge to see what I should realistically be shooting for with the LA Marathon. So he wants me to run Surf City… hard. Real hard. Hell yeah!

And tomorrow morning our T2 team will be gathering pre-dawn as we log 21 glorious miles running all over Burbank and Glendale. It’s the second longest training run of the season (the 23 mile monster is in 3 weeks) and should be a fun four-hour jaunt. Read the rest of this entry

PHASE 2…

phase2I hope everyone had a great holiday season and that your 2017 is off to a rousing start complete with an exciting list of “New Year’s resolutions.”

For those dawdlers who have yet to start on your resolutions, worry not. This is really the first full week of 2017… Jan. 1 falling on a Sunday and the “official” holiday being on a Monday kinda made the whole week feel a tad wonky. So pick this week as your starting point.

As for me, my Los Angeles marathon training got a resolution-sized kick in the pants this past week courtesy of my running coach. We’re just past the halfway point in our 5-month training prep and James informed myself and the rest of the T2 gang that we are now entering “Phase 2.” Read the rest of this entry

…HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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2016 RESOLUTED…

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Run run Rudolph!

A week ago I ran my last race of 2016, the Santa Monica-Venice Christmas Run 10K. Clad in holiday colors and matching reindeer antlers (of course), I lumbered through the streets of (you guessed it) Santa Monica and Venice. I had a really good time and also finished with a pretty good time (58:41), my fastest 10K for the year.

Now that I’ve placed my last piece of 2016 race bling upon the wall (time to get another medal hanger too), it’s time to take quick glance back at the running year that was.

Back in December of 2015 I stated that my overall plan for 2016 was to “take it as it comes.” Meaning simply that I wouldn’t obsess over obtaining goals, but rather just go forward and have fun. In hindsight, that plan seems to have worked out pretty well. Read the rest of this entry

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