October 2010 Archives

Running with the Pumpkins...

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...well not really, but it definitely is pumpkin season as you can see by my grandson Alex's first encounter with pumpkin carving.

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As the days get shorter and the runs darker I find myself enjoying the end of race season. Usually around this time of year I start climbing the walls and impatiently await the New Year when I can start training again. But this time is different, next year I am taking a break, limiting myself to a couple favourite marathons, including maybe a 50K, but that's it. After 5 years of ever increasing the quantity and distance of the races that I run, I find that it is time to take a step back and catch up on the rest of my life. My good friend RB has been hinting to me that I might be doing too much, yes I have been listening. Of course my wife has been telling me this for years, ahem...

In any case I have been busy catching up on "Honey-do" (Honey, can you do this for me?) jobs around the house and am planning some renovation projects for next year - anyone who owns a house knows there is always something to do.

I am still running, currently twice a week with my running club. I have also started doing some Crossfit-style workouts consisting of a variety of weight training, gymnastic and stretching exercises. My first priority is to try to strengthen my lower back, which will hopefully correct the lingering problem I have with a pinched nerve.

This weekend we are headed to Fuerth by Nuremberg, my wife's aunt lost her battle with cancer and tomorrow is her funeral. She was in a lot of pain the last couple month's, now she finally can sleep in peace...we are going to miss her a lot though.

Rest, Vacation in NY, Plan for next Year

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I have been enjoying my end-of-race-season rest period, a time of recuperation and dreaming about the next race season. I spent a week in Upstate New York visiting my father, a pleasant reunion, it was nice to see that, at age 89, my father is still relatively spry and has not lost the joy of life. Since the death of my mother two years ago he has successfully relied on his faith in God to carry him through.

While in New York I also had a chance to visit two out of three of my children, I miss so much of their lives living so far away, it makes my time with them all the more precious. I was honored to attend the birthday party of my youngest grandchild Alex, at 2 he is at an age where he is daily exploring the world around him, a fun time to share with a child.

Caught in the act:

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Last, but not least, I had a chance to meet Running Further Blogger Lara for lunch, the time passed quickly as we caught up on each other's lives. My only regret was that Chocolate Jon couldn't join us this time, for some reason he thought running the Hartford Marathon, that he had been training for all year was more important than lunch with us...the nerve...by the way congratulations again on your new personal best!

I left my running shoes home during my short stay in New York, I think my body thanked me for the rest. I have run once with my running club since returning last Friday, but plan on continuing my rest and recovery phase for another month or two. For the most part I will limit my running to the twice a week runs with my running club and/or friends. I also want to start up a Crossfit-type workout with concentration on strengthening my upper body, especially my back which has given me problems this year.

After five intensive years of running marathons (24) and ultra-marathons (15), I decided (with the help of my wife) to (gasp) take a year off. Well almost, I will still run a couple marathons, but just for fun. That is the plan at this point, my wife is waiting to see if I can really follow through with this or not - she has her doubts. Actually I do to...

Photo of the Week: Ouch!

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My friend Bernd caught a good picture of me experiencing a severe muscle cramp in my foot as I was changing my socks during the 100 Mile trail race last week. The first picture captures the event, with Birgit looking on. The second is a close-up.

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It only hurt for a minute or so, then I was able to finish putting my shoe on and we were able to continue.

Going into Hibernation Mode

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Life seems to be going in slow motion at the moment, the aunt my wife has been taking care is losing quickly against the cancer she has been fighting, it's only a question of when now. In a couple days I will be flying to my dad in Upstate New York, but the visit will be clouded by my concern at home. I offered to wait until next year to travel, but my father is advanced in the years and my wife said I should go now. I cut my visit down from two weeks to one, I hope the aunt holds on so long.

On the positive side the concerns in life have not left time for the normal post-race depression that I usually suffer at the end of race season.

Next year I plan on reducing my training and racing to give my body a chance to recover. I have been pushing it hard for five years and I think my back pain this year was a sign to slow down. I also need to make it a wife year, spending a little extra time doing what she wants to do, working on the repairs and renovations that I have neglected at home, and so on.

So for now I am switching to hibernation mode, reducing my running to 2-3 short runs a week, and starting up my winter crossfit, swimming and other cross-training. My emphasis will be on strengthening the back and reducing fat, I'm curious how that is going to work out. But first a week of rest and relaxation in NY, a quick pause before the storm of life blows with all its furry.

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This page is an archive of entries from October 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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