Monday, October 20, 2008

October colors

This is one of my favorite times of year in New England. The weather is very good for running - temperate and often dry. The trees are at their peak. It's been over a decade since I've seen the fall colors, and they're even better then I remember. I've made a concerted effort to get outdoors on the weekend to see the sights.

The last two weeks have seen encouraging progress on the running front. I'm doing walk/runs three morning a week, twice on roads and once on trails. I start with a walking warmup for ten minutes, then run a short distance several times with an equal walking recovery. I'm actually running for time, not distance, e.g. 1 min run, 1 min walk, repeat, or run 90 seconds, walk 90 seconds, run 90 seconds, etc. I conclude with a walk of ten minutes or more depending on how much time I have. In the morning before work, not much. My lungs are not where they were this spring, and I really feel the hills, though I'm doing minimal running on them to ease my Achilles back into running shape. One exception is that I am doing a little bit of downhill running to maintain, and improve, my ability to make use of gravity on the downhills. In retrospect I see that long running layoffs in Florida, and running mostly on flats, left me unable to cope with running down big or steep hills - my shins would get overwhelmed. I want to work towards preventing that. There are two sides to hills and you really need to train on both I think - uphills to strengthen legs and lungs, downhills to strengthen shins and allow one to use gravity instead of braking.

My weekly trail "run" is generally on fairly firm surfaces - I want to avoid the loose sands that may have contributed to my Achilles injury in Florida this past spring. Most of the trails in Connecticut are much firmer and can be quite rocky depending on the trail.

The trails at Bluff Point State Park are hardly a state secret - they seem to get a fair amount of use. They are wide and relatively smooth and can accommodate bikes, walkers and runners. I tried to get a few pictures of the fall colors but it was early in the morning and still shady.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

In honor of Wordless Wednesday

Anne at Run DMZ has this terrific concept. Every Wednesday she posts a photo under the caption "Wordless Wednesday" and lets the photo speak for itself.

Under the idea that imitation is the sincerest flattery (except for photo quality - I'm not even going to try to match Anne in that category), here is an entry that captures a little bit of summer in CT. Oops - couldn't resist a few words.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Hanging in there

For those of you who haven't given up on me or this blog, thanks. I am hoping to slowly resume a little running this week, on top of doing more walking. This has been a pretty long layoff for me - 4+ months with essentially no running except for short tests to see how the Achilles was doing. Until late September, it was not ready. Now, perhaps it is.

My hope now is to steadily rebuild the fitness I've lost. It's going to be slow going, as I could not do all of the cross training I would have liked to, and I also did not do perhaps all that I could have, even given my injury limitations. It's funny how your world shrinks sometimes, and you feel that even walking a few blocks is too much because it's uphill. I felt sort of closed in after the move from Florida because I was suddenly in hillier terrain, and I did not want to strain my Achilles further on the hills, even though I wanted to build my strength up. It's been frustrating.

I'm still doing some pushups but not as consistently lately. If I can regain some consistency I can resume my quest for 50 straight.