A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of leading a couple of group runs with Boston and NY Marathon legend Bill Rodgers. Bill won both marathons 4 times from 1975 to 1980, breaking the American record twice with a best time of 2:09:27.
I also had the pleasure of having dinner with him and 4 others one evening before the Clearwater Distance Classic race in which Bill was running the 5 mile event. He’s a super guy, very laid back, easy going, shy, and just a normal guy that anyone can relate to. It was a please meeting him and running with him. I was due to run the half marathon but pulled out due to my hip having some issues, see my new year’s resolutions below. I did however ride my ElliptiGo bike on the course and met Bill along the way and rode alongside him, we had a very cold windy day that day but Bill (68) still won his age group with a very respectable 40:00:07.
Last weekend I also had the opportunity to reconnect with Ben Slimani, who came second in last year’s Miami marathon and went on to win this year’s marathon in 2:24:56, 17 minutes ahead of the second place finisher in a cold, very windy course. His PR is 2:13:46 and he’s a really nice person, after doing a small victory run along the finish line he stopped to chat with me. Last year I ran with him and 4 others for an 8 mile run but this year I’m taking it easy trying to recover from my hip/heel injury and he also stayed outside town. I can’t believe I’ve had the privilege to run with 2 giants from the marathon world, I’m super honored to have been given this opportunity after my hip replacement.
This year I’ve set different goals for 2016, 3 years ago I set myself many different time goals (which I met this year) but I think they contributed to my injury that kept me out of running for over a year. Leading up to the end of 2015 I was over reaching to a goal of 2,000 miles for the year and ran too many races (7 in 10 weeks) that caused my hip to start feeling the same pains that kept me from running for a year. Those goals are
- Enjoy rest/recovery days, too many times after a tough race/workout, I’ back working hard the following day. It’s vital that you take time off and have easy days after a tough run.
- Continue to eat healthy, this year I’ve changed my diet considerably and I’m still learning about nutrition. I’m eating a lot more fruits and vegetables, pretty much cut out all processed foods and reduced many others that are not optimal.
- After meeting Tom in Spokane to run the half, I’m committed to enjoying more destination races. The world is a big place with many great places and I’m going to take the opportunity to combine running and vacation to explore more of them.
- Do not set a mileage goal, it was a big mistake last year. Junk miles are just that, junk. If your body needs rest, then give it rest. Being part of several Strava and Garmin groups it does put pressure on you to run faster and more miles than you should. Put yourself as #1 and listen to your body,
- Continue to cross train, ElliptiGo bike rides, yoga, boot camps, swimming etc, all very important for you running.
- Listen to your body. Last year in December I ran 3 races none of which I should have ran. The first was a 5K I ran after running 8 miles before it but almost pulling out as my hip was so bad and then went on to run it around 19:30. The following week as my hip was still bad I ran a 1:28:54 half and injured my heel as I had to change my cadence due to my hip. The following week I ran a 39:50 10K even though my hip and heel were both bad. I ended up stopping running on Dec 24th just a few miles short of 2,000 miles to give my body a 9 day rest to try to get ready for my January races. In the end it didn’t help and I smartly pulled out of both half marathons. I hated doing it but it was definitely the right call to get ready for my next race in March.
- Don’t schedule too many races. Determine what’s important and set those goals, if you can fit other races in go ahead but don’t get in the position where you’re racing too much and doing damage.
The last 5 weeks or so I’ve taken it a lot easier. If my hip started hurting I’ve backed off and on other days I’ve only gone out and ran at 80% level. This weekend I felt good so decided to see where I was at and ran a 6 mile run blind (without looking at my watch) in 43:04. I was hoping a could run around 45 minutes so this was great. I’m going back to easy mode for another couple of weeks and will then try to pick it up for my March races. Today we enjoyed our weekly triathlon including an open water swim in 58 degree water with no wet suits, ice baths are good for the hip.
I’m still not sure what my goals are for 2016, apart from qualifying for Boston 2017, but know I’m going to listen to my body so I can continue running. I hope you all meet your goals and look forward to reading you accomplishments.