Back Cove Run–Hot and Fun

A quick update on the progress my rehab. At yesterday’s PT session, I was cleared to do body weight squats and flat toe raises (assigned to do multiple sets a day of each) and I did.

Usually the day after PT I am sore – she digs in and really breaks up the scar tissue and today was no different, but while the heel area feels tight, the PT also says it is strong enough to work a little harder. So I am making slow, but sure progress back from that partially torn Achilles.

Today was a good test my rehab progress and way to measure of my current conditioning.

Back Cove Map

I was in Portland and had time to run Back Cove, one of my favorite all-time runs, even with the construction on Baxter Blvd.  I was scheduled to do a 30:00 minute run today and I have run a single lap anywhere from 27:00 to 35:00 minutes, so I figured that running it in 31:00 to 33:00 minutes would be a good goal for today.

It was almost 80 degree F and the heat did bother me a little the last mile, but overall, I felt pretty strong and my left heel area didn’t feel too bad.

Back Cove is flat and fast and I could feel my muscle memory coming back a little on the path, I didn’t purposely push the pace, but I did run comfortably harder than I have for a while and I felt good doing it.

Garmin Stats 7-11-13

One thing though – I just couldn’t find a consistent stride, the PF2’s felt well just okay, but I just never felt “right” during the run. My gait just felt off the entire run and I never got comfortable going a little faster than I have since I started to run again.

Maybe it is just a little rust that I need shake off, but is something that I have to keep my eye on, hopefully, it is just one of those things that I have to go through during my comeback.

By the time I hit the bridge, I was starting to get tired, the heat and the faster pace did take it toll and the last mile I slowed down a bit.

When I saw that I had an 8:32 pace for the whole run, I was very, very happy and the idea that I finished under 31:00 was a big deal and gave me a lot of hope that I am in better shape than I had hoped.

However, the bad part was that my heel area was a little more sore than when I started and I wasn’t able to ice it for 3 hours after I finished running and definitely could tell that I needed to ice the heel/Achilles area.

Overall, I was happy with, hell I was ecstatic with this run!

RunLog 7-11-13

Questions to Ask Ourselves

I was reading this post from the Hybrid Athlete How We Help Clients Reach Goals and Make Progress and they ask questions that they believe coaches should ask their runners.


I believe that we as runners – whether we are coach or self-coach need to be able to answer those questions honestly both to ourselves and to a coach if you have one.

  • What do you want to achieve? Why?

The biggest thing that I want to achieve is to be running 20-30 years from now, but my short-term goals are still to run competitively in my age group locally. I want to be able to run on demand distances up to the half marathon, while focusing my racing more on the 5K.

Why? I love to run, but have found that when I start getting over the half marathon training distances, my body seems to break down too much.

  • What are you doing now that will enable you to achieve that goal?

I am rehabbing my Achilles tendon injury and reviewing my training methods and plans, to see what needs to be changed or even better what I am doing that needs to stay as a part of my plan.

I have a positive mind-set, am very self-motivated and believe that I can do more than others think I can, until it is proved to me that I can’t. I am realistic about my abilities, even though I tend to dream big.

  • What are you doing now that will prevent you from achieving that goal?

Injuries and aging.

I tend to push my limits in training and racing, which means that sooner or later, I will have a running related injury. It is just part of being a recreationally competitive runner, who is trying to do as much as he can.

I am stubborn and will try to run through tweaks, until they become injuries.

Sometimes I forget that I am 55+ and try to run/train like I am still 25.

I am impatient will try to do more than I should be doing, especially during the rehab process.

  • What have you done in the past that worked?

Until May I was running 40-50+ mile weeks and was learning to use race pace training to achieve my goals, while actually slowing down for my recovery runs, instead of always running at the “no gain” zone, that I used to do.

  • What have you done in the past that didn’t work?

I was using the 3 key workouts a week plan with (long run, track and race pace tempo runs) and found that doing that many tough workouts in a 7-day cycle left my body too beat up to actually maintain that kind of schedule. I also found that a tough track workout every week, left me flat for too many days after.

Constantly, trying out the newest and “greatest” shoes, instead of finding what works and sticking with that style of running shoe.

Racing too seriously, when I get feeling too full of myself and start experiencing some success when racing, my expectations become to big and I start to get too anxious about upcoming races – that race anxiety thing that stopped me from racing for almost 25 years.

The reality is that

These are great questions that I think all runners should be able to answer about their running, whether they have a coach or not. I had an advantage in that I had just recently done a complete review of my reasons for running in these posts.

  • What are my motivations for running?
  • What I want to achieve as a runner?
  • Which Running Shoe – Post Injury?
  • How Injuries Have Effected my 2013 Goals.
  • Racing Versus Going to a Race
  • Re-Thinking How I Train

I really believe that this review and reflection was important for me to do and provided me with many answers to why I run and what I really want to achieve. It is something that I believe all runners should stop and do – sit down and take an hour or so and really look at your running and the questions from the Hybrid Athlete’s post are a great place to start.

When was the last time you sat down and really looked at your running and what you want to achieve as a runner?