August 2012 Running Commentary

Once a month I clear out the content on my Running Commentary page and place it here on the main page to make room for fresh content on that page. This is the August 2012 Running Commentary. Enjoy!


This month: 140.86 miles. Longest run: 10.9 miles (August 12th) Shortest run: 3.8 miles (August 26th, 27th and 31st) 22 runs in 31 days during the month. Average run distance for the month: 6.402 miles

2012 Mileage total: 1370.39 miles Longest run of the year: 15.2 miles (March 11th, April 1st, May 4th) Shortest run of the year: 3.8 miles (February 6th, May 22nd, August 26th, 27th, 31st). 186 runs on the year. Average run distance: 7.367 miles


Things were going so well until I hit that spot on the 17th where my left calf/ hamstring/ knee really became an issue.  Whether it was because of the new sneakers, the older ones finally catching up with me, or the fact that I’m just a fragile human being I know not.  What I do know is that the entire area around the back of my left knee is a serious issue.  There is at this point (9/1/12) a smallish lump at the back of the knee just at the very top of my calf, and there is also soreness in the hamstring.

And on top of that the damn knee is stiff and feels unstable.

I am running on it, regardless.  Not far and by and large not fast, but I am running on it.  Because the issues that are there while daunting, are not in fact that major, and the pain is minor when it is there at all.  So because of that I am not taking a hiatus from running.  I think… hope is maybe a better word, that I can run through this injury.

I was just coming back from feeling the effects of an injury, just getting to a point where I felt comfortable running longer again. I am deeply disappointed that I was not able to run longer this month because my body decided to fail me.  I am going to be fine.  I am going to be a runner, long distance runner eventually.  It will happen, even if my body does have a propensity to try and make me sit down and get fat.

Exercising was cut off at the end of the month, and will begin again sometime at the beginning of September.

The hope is to try to get up to around 200 miles on the month for September, though with the knee as it is makes that a bit of a stretch.  One can hope.  As long as the legs can get me out the door and I can get my head to the place past the doubts about my slowly aging body and to where running starts, it is possible.


Wed., August 1st:  Ran 5.82 miles in 43:10.78, a 7:25.15 m/m pace.  74 degrees, cloudy, breezy, humid.  7:25 pm.  Starting my post work hill runs early this year.  Last 2 years I haven’t done it till around mid to late September.  Hills are good, they make me strong, and they make me faster.  Which is why I’m especially happy with my first one being sub 7:30.  My knee was wobbly early, but it stopped bothering me and I flew around the hills.  Felt good.  200 knuckle push-ups.

Thur., August 2nd:  Ran 5.82 miles in 42:02.69, a 7:13.45 m/m pace.  88 degrees, cloudy, humid.  7:30 pm.  Second day of hill runs in a row, and I pushed as hard as I could early.  Didn’t realize I was pushing quite so hard until I hit my first uphill mile split and hit a 7:25.  That’s pretty damn good, as far as I’m concerned.  Twenty two second negative split as well.  Nice.  110 chin-ups.

Fri., August 3rd:  Ran 5.82 miles in 42:38.08, a 7:19.53 m/m pace.  85 degrees, cloudy, breezy, humid.  7:35 pm.  Went out today thinking that I’d take it easy.  And it kinda felt like I was early, but I hit the first marker at nearly the same time that I had the day before.  I didn’t want to go all out, so I reigned it in just a hair after that.  Went for it near the end of the run just to do it, just because it felt like the right thing to do.  Good run.  250 knuckle push-ups.

Sat, August 4th:  Ran 8.7 miles in 1:05:42.29, a 7:33.13 m/m pace.  81 degrees, partly cloudy, humid.  6:50 pm.  Hills and humidity beat my ass on this run.  I was initially going to run the 2.02 mile up and back from Royal oak to Martling and Clove 4 times.  Altered before I began, ran the 2.44 mile up and back to Broadway twice, then ran a longer up and back on the same initial track but took it to clove and victory. I was pretty consistent through the run.  120 chin-ups.

Sun., August 5th:  Ran 9.62 miles in 1:14:29.81, a  7:44.63 m/m pace.  91 degrees, mostly sunny, breezy, humid.  12:20pm.  Was thinking of going longer but heat and humidity shortened it.  Initially thinking 11.4 miles minimum, but after 3 laps I had nearly nothing left, so I did one more lap(7.6 miles total.)  Then I walked to a spot near the exit of the park and ran hills (2.02 miles) from there home.  I was slow on the hills(7:58.24), but I was beat, and frankly I’m fine with it.  300 knuckle push-ups.

Mon., August 6th:  Ran 5.82 miles in 43:12.80, a 7:25.49 m/m pace.  82 degrees, clear.  7:45 pm.  Finished after dark, making this (technically) the first night run I’ve done in at least 6 months (I think, maybe more maybe less.)  I took it easy early and the effort got greater and greater as the run went on.  Had a bit of a tension headache from work. I dunno that it had much of an effect on the run, but I felt it the whole run.  120 chin-ups, done 10 at a time, every few minutes.

Tues., August 7th:  Ran 9.5 miles in 1:12:06.22, a 7:35.39 m/m pace.  81 degrees, partly cloudy. 11:05 am.  I had no idea walking out the door how long I would run, nor how fast I would try to run.  Usually I have some idea.  Not today.   Didn’t change much pace wise, or any other way, just went out without a plan.  Pretty quickly realized this was going to be a 5 lap run.  The number felt right, so I went for it.  250 knuckle push-ups, done 25 at a time, every 3 minutes.  Done in 27 minutes.

Wed., August 8th:  Ran 5.82 miles in 42:59.30, a 7:23.17 m/m pace.  82 degrees, cloudy, humid.  7:25 pm.  This run felt like a hard slough through rough terrain.  It just beat my ass into the dirt.  Doesn’t matter, I was still pretty damn fast, and I’m happy about it.  This was close to maximum effort, and was as much as I could give on this day.  Back of my left knee felt funny for a second out there.  It’s done that a few times.  No idea why, it bears watching.  120 chin-ups, done same as last time.

Thur., August 9th:  Ran 5.82 miles in 42:46.75, a 7:21:02 m/m pace.  80 degrees, cloudy, humid.  7:45 pm.  Stopped twice for traffic, both stops lasting about 3 seconds, and once because I had a stitch that would not go away.  That lasted a minute, and happened at the 36:28 mark at 4.93 miles.  The time would have probably been slower without the stops.  I was busting my ass up the hill on my second run up it, 20 seconds faster than the first run up. Kicked my ass.  275 knuckle push-ups, 11 sets of 25 kpu’s in 30 minutes.

Fri., August 10th: Ran 9 miles in 1:07:58.54, a 7:33.17 m/m pace.  81 degrees, cloudy, breezy, humid, light drizzle near end of run.  10:05 am.  Tried keeping my feet as fast as I could today, and stretched my stride whenever possible.   Wasn’t sure I’d be able to hold the pace, legs felt kinda tired early, but that went away as the run went on.  Passed the 1300 mile mark on the year today, my 45th birthday.  Nice.  120 chin-ups.

Sat., August 11th:  Ran 7.6 miles in 57:25.35, a 7:33.33 m/m pace.  83 degrees, partly cloudy, humid.  6:30 pm.  Ran with new sneakers today.  Those sneakers, the Asics Gel-Scram, weren’t too bad.  My feet were kinda sore at the end of the run, dunno what that was about.  I was fastest on the last lap, a 7:23.  Longest run week since the end of April.  Nice.  200 knuckle push-ups.

Sun., August 12th:  Ran 10.9 miles in 1:22:58.22, a 7:36.71 m/m pace.  82 degrees, sunny.  9:35 am.  I did not push for speed today, as I wanted to see how the new sneakers would hold up on a longish run.  Not too bad to be honest.  Feet are again sore, but I can add extra cushioning.  These things are light, feel more like racing flats than regular run shoes.  Nice morning for a run, felt good to run in the sun without too much humidity for once.  200 knuckle push-ups.

Mon., August 13th:  Ran 5.82 miles in 42:31.63, a 7:18.42 m/m pace.  83 degrees, partly sunny, breezy.  7:30 pm.  Monday evening hills felt good this time around.  Less humidity made the running easier.  New lighter shoes I think made a few seconds difference.  That could be in my head, we’ll see in a few weeks after I’ve been running in them regular for a while.  110 chin-ups.  Shortened the time between sets and cut one set out.

Tues., August 14th:  Ran 5.82 miles in 42:37.04, a 7:19.35 m/m pace.  78 degrees, cloudy, humid.  7:25 pm.  Busted my butt out there.  Worked harder today than yesterday, the humidity made it more difficult going.  I was faster on the second half than the first, 39 seconds  negative split.  Pretty happy about that.  No exercise, no time for it today, dammit.

Wed., August 15th: NO RUN, NO EXERCISE.  Thunderstorms and lightning (and my wife’s insistence) kept me home.

Thur., August 16th:  Ran 7.66 miles in 56:28.35, a 7:22.34 m/m pace.  82 degrees, clear.  7:35 pm.  Had one stop at the 3 minute mark, traffic stop.  I enjoyed pushing myself today, pushed as hard today as I do most everyday.  Thought as I ran “I have to stop saying I pushed hard today.  I push this hard every day.”  And I do.  But I feel like I have to say it.  Because it’s true.  250 knuckle push-ups, most done while making dinner.

Fri., August 17th:  Ran 6.66 miles in 49:54.00, a 7:29.54 m/m pace.  86 degrees, clear.  7:45 pm.  Happy hill run.  Enjoyed running in the twilight and darkness tonight.  Ran in the older sneakers today, and my feet did feel more comfortable at the end of the run, less sore today than yesterday.  That tells me that the new sneakers are good for shorter runs, but not for longer ones.  No worries. 125 knuckle push-ups, 50 chin-ups.  I only had a few minutes to play with.  This workout only takes a few minutes.  Works for me.

Sat., August 18th:  NO RUN, NO EXERCISE.

Sun., August 19th: NO RUN, NO EXERCISE.

Mon., August 20th: NO RUN, NO EXERCISE.  I find this entire thing troubling.  I was out for the two days prior with tightness in my left knee.  Today the knee issue had nearly cleared up.  I went out to run, and my right calf which had been tight all day, cramped on me, and I found I could not move well or fast.  I don’t need to move fast, but I need to be able to run without discomfort.  Can’t do that now.

Worst of all I had no problem with not being able to run.  I was fine with walking home without running.  THAT bothers me more than any damned injury.  I am a runner, I’ve prided myself on that for years.  I don’t want to even begin to think that I’ve lost the will to run.  Running is how I’ve kept myself sane through all the insanity the world has thrown at me over the years.  Dunno what I’d do without it.

Tue., August 21st: NO RUN, NO EXERCISE.

Wed., August 22nd: NO RUN, NO EXERCISE.

Thur., August 23rd: NO RUN, NO EXERCISE.

Fri., August 24th: NO RUN, NO EXERCISE.

Sat., August 25th: NO RUN, NO EXERCISE.

Sun., August 26th:  Ran 3.8 miles in 29:54.32, a 7:52.18 m/m pace.  81 degrees, sunny.  2:30 pm.  First run in over a week, since the 17th.  One stop at the halfway point.  The left knee was sore, and the back of that knee felt tight, so whatever I did to this damn thing is not fully healed.  It is however good enough to run on.  At least short distances, and at least as slow as I ran today.  I thought about pushing to see what I could do, but I don’t want to aggravate whatever the injury is, so slow and steady until this thing is healed.  No exercise.

Mon., August 27th:  Ran 3.8 miles in 29:30.17, a 7:45.83 m/m pace.  80 degrees, mostly sunny humid.  9:25 am.  One stop at halfway point.  Early non work day run, same distance as yesterday.  The stop was more to measure how I felt than me having any actual need for a break.  The knee gives me problems when I push off.  If I don’t watch when I push off the knee feels like it hyper-extends backwards and that is what hurts, what causes the pain on the inside of the left knee.  No exercise.

Tues., August 28th:  Ran 4.42 miles in 34:52.86, a 7:53.49 m/m pace.  82 degrees, clear.  7:40 pm.  Night run, one lap in the park +the 1.26 mile run down and back.  I wanted to see how well the knee would stand up to the hills on the up and back.  Not too bad I think.  It was sore but clearly I’m doing better.  Had fun out there except for the guy riding his bike in the dark in the park with a flashing headlight.  Blinded me, made it impossible for me to see where the hell the road was and where I was going.  Good otherwise.  60 chin-ups.  Bare bones minimum exercise, dunno if I even broke a sweat. That sucks.  Gotta work harder.

Wed., August 29th:  Ran 4.42 miles in 33:43.32, a 7:37.76 m/m pace.  77 degrees, clear. 7:40 pm.  Pushed harder and faster today.  I wanted to see how the leg and the knee would respond to some extra speed.   The left hamstring tightened up on me, but not so bad that I had to stop or anything.  I did run in the park faster than expected, but I guess the hills slowed me down a bit, as I was sub 7:30 in the park.  No worries.  Speed will come as the knee gets better.  No exercise.

Thur., August 30th:  Ran 4.42 miles in 33:44.69, a 7:38.07 m/m pace.  82 degrees, clear.  7:25 pm.  I wasn’t pushing for speed like I did yesterday.  Still ran about as fast as I did yesterday.  Kinda surprising.  My left knee itself is feels tight, and the left hammy is sore, as is the left calf.  The entire rear left muscle chain is a mess right now.  Sore when walking, the knee just feels wrong.  But it worked fine, pain free throughout the run.  I don’t get it, but I won’t complain.  No exercise until the beginning of the month.  Taking a break.

Fri., August 31st:  Ran 3.8 miles in 28:26.82, a 7:29.16 m/m pace.  87 degrees, clear.  5:40 pm.  One stop.  I felt a twinge in the back of my left knee during the second lap of a scheduled 3 laps run and cut the run short.  The one thing I want to do is run, but the one thing I don’t want to do is injure myself by pushing myself too hard.  So better to back off and just heal up.


That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

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