Thursday, March 26, 2009

kayry - signing off

Some rambles of the past few years: 6942 miles in over 2005-2009 (nearly the diameter of the planet) with 2939 miles in this last year - about 18 pairs of shoes, 1 racing flat and 1 spikes and one I call the alligator shoes - two treadmills with over 500 miles on each. 7x 5k's, 2x 8ks, 4x 10ks, 2x 10M, 7x 1/2 marathons, 3x 30ks, and 10 Marathons + 2 relays and 3 track meets (one win over Exxon and one Loss) with at least one T-Shirt for each race. Two Pedometers, One Nike Triax with HRM, One Garmin 305 with HRM - two strap replacements. Tracking Computer Programs by Forerunner, MotionBased, Topofusion and Sportstracks (my favorite and my "official" log). Spreadsheet studies on Speed vs Heartrate, changes over time, changes day to day and trying to identify every possible variable that controls it (heat, sickness, coffee, hydration level, road vs trail vs treadmill, wind, am vs pm, time since a meal, how recovered from prior workout - I've studied and correlated every possible variable :) ). Lab result said 64 VO2max (2:35 marathoner for VDOT) when my best marathon was 3:01 - I nearly got my VDOT to match that lab result since then - 4-5 minutes to go. Other spreadsheets to size up the competition - tracking local Masters and how they do in races - rank ordering them and seeing where I rank - watching for the once just ahead of me when I get to races. Family support along the way including my daughter (and sometimes my son too) riding her bike next to nearly every mile I ran leading up to my first marathon. Cheering squads at races nearly always including my wife and kids but also with some extraordinarily extra effort by my sister and nieces cheering me at two Bostons, NYC and Houston and my brother at NYC and San Diego and my Dad at San Diego and Boston and some extended family also coming out to Boston. The race of great embarrassment to me at my first San Diego with my wife, two kids, brother and wife, parents and even inlaws all out to San Diego with my Marathon cornerstone event of the trip - and I get a DNF because of a stomach bug (I think that gave me a major kick in the butt to be better). Some incredible running experiences along the way - wildlife discoveries (Banana spiders make thick webs, possum can be snuck up on at night by accident, bats like to swoop down into my headlight at night, deer are always a pleasant thing to come across, a full grown Moose will let you run right in front of its nose and doesn't charge, its a creepy feeling to run the back trails in Alaska and see all the evidence of Bears and Moose - got me a little nervous) - best running surfaces - Golf Courses (until you get kicked off) and 1-2" of freshly fallen snow. Best running time - after everyone has gone to sleep at night - very peaceful. Running while travelling - Alaska, Maui, Lake Tahoe, Anacortes-WA, Auburn-CA (along the trails of Western States Race), Seattle thru U of W out to Greenlake and back (where I grew up thru elementry school), San Diego thru my college (UCSD), Denver, Central Park, Times Square, Wellseley College - Boston, Contra Costa-CA, Near Seattle Airport, New Orleans, Hot Springs Arkansas (Where I had to get my VO2max workout in and drove all around looking for a highschool at about midnight - found one and snuck onto the track and had what seemed to the the hardest and most fabulous VO2max workout ever). Sad runs thru destruction's of Lake Tahoe Fires - charred homes. Local running including many miles of fallen trees and damaged houses following the destruction of Hurricane Ike. Hot, humid, winds up to tropical storm strength (no I didn't get out for a Hurricane Ike run although I kinda wanted to), downpours of rain (I got excited to run in the rain - heavier the better), thunderstorms, thru muddy and flooded areas. Wonderfully shaded trails that network all around my house, East End Park a couple miles away with a few miles of dirt trails (great fun in the rain but had to bring old shoes), the local middle school at 4 am with no lights - recall many interval worksouts on a crisp morning looking up to a full moon - once I was surprised to catch an unexpected eclipse on one of those. Setbacks along the way with runner knee early on, Plantar Fasccitis hanging with me for 6 months or so - both feet for some of that time, Achilles soreness (curiously still a bit tender even though I haven't run in months), pulled abductor muscles. Many lost toe-nails - always the mortors toe - btw my toes look pretty nice now all grown back :). Races with mountain top experiences and agony of poor performances - First Boston was the experience of a lifetime - can never be topped I think although many other moments came much closer than I thought could be possible - the surprising unexpected massive 16 minute PR in Houston last year still floors me - Anchorage all on my own running thru hills in a beautiful place I'd never been to before with perfect weather and perfect pacing to leave me with power to the end, San Antonio - finally getting my sub 2:40 I felt was within for the prior 4 races but just couldn't get on the clock - what a perfect weather day and the perfect finishing photo and quickest time from finishline to beer (gotta love VIP). Friends along the way too many to count from online running forums that gave virtual "kin" when I knew no runners to the Local running clubs to fellow relayers in team competitions to other runners at my work to runner commodore among competitors when I see them at races to bloggers to people I don't know me but somehow know me - "oh that hypertechnical blogger guy". The non-runners that really have no interest in my running and hear only blah blah blah with anything I say about it but pretend to be interested - and the ones that actually are interested. The very interesting discussion along the way - debates about using heartrate or perceived effort for racing. The fine tuning of all variables to make the perfect marathon - never really cared about any other distance except as tune up races for the real race - discoveries along the way - Turbo Charge - which I have yet to find any serious runner do more than shake there head and roll there eyes at me about (but I swear - it works!!!).

I'm incredibly proud of what I've accomplished in 2008 and will cherish several claims to fame including:

  • Three of the best four marathon times for a Master Texan on in 2008*.
  • 2 Masters Wins at semi-major marathons (Houston, San Antonio).
  • 2nd and 4th place at a couple smaller races (Seabrook, Anchorage).
  • Fastest time for a Master Texan at the Boston Marathon for this last decade (where I beat Lance Armstrong by a mile).
  • A whole page article in the Inside Texas Running Magazine
  • Youngest winner of the Moose Mug Challenge with sub 2 hr + Age.

*Yeah - I know my co-worker Wilmer should be #1 not #3 - San Antonio adjusted his CHIP time out of the money due to his late start - an outrageous thing to do imo. But at least I get to have some fun with him at work for beating him even though he has me so outclassed its not even close (First marathon ever a 2:37 then a follow up 2:32 in Houston - an incredible master runner).

What a year it was, what a few years it was and I just love this image at the end of it all - a high flying moment.


Now its time to step away......I thought I was on my way back from injury - ran a few times then tried for 5 miles yesterday. As has been true for the last 3-4 months in running - as I get above 2-3 miles - a pain in the butt develops kinda like a piriformis syndrome which I've come to associated with the stress fracture in the Sacrum (ala) that showed up on an MRI back in January. About 7 weeks ago on my last run over 3 miles I felt it, 5 weeks prior to that before I got my MRI I had similar things going on. So - well - its apparently NOT healed up yet again and in fact I fear I've aggravated it in that run yesterday possibly restarting the healing clock yet again. Very frustrating to say the least.

I just can't run and haven't been able to for 4+ months. My running fitness is gone - and I've got to let this damn stress fracture heal which now after that run feels worse than it ever did even when not running. Once it does heal up then I'm still not a runner yet as I have to test out some running to see if I need to do anything about the other ailment from my MRI - the Sports Hernia - which may need to be fixed by one of two doctors in the country by operation which I'm certainly not going to do until I know I have. Unfortunately I can't know if I have to until I'm actually running again to see the extent of discomfort/pain from it.

So - I feel like I just need to close this chapter down - I'm frankly not a runner any more for a while - no longer kayry - running engineer. I'm dropping that handle. When I pick the sport back up for my 3rd running life - whenever that might be - 2, 4, 6 months away or more - I'll choose a new handle and start over.

In the mean time I am enjoying cycling (well - I will again once the pain in the butt stops) - although I don't see how to make that into more than a weekend recreational kinda thing. It's not practical to ride during the week with a job (guess I could get a trainer). Also not very portable for travelling like running. But I enjoy the long bike rides especially with the local cycling group so I'll keep doing that. I really don't think that is aggravating my SFX as there is no pain with it.

I'm most definitely NOT enjoying swimming although I do think I've gotten a lot better. Open water I think I could probably enjoy but this back and forth in a pool and smelling like chlorine all day is for the birds.

Anyway - signing off for now - looking forward to the next chapter whenever it might be.


..........kayry (no more)



Steeeve said...

Hey young fella, sez here you'll be healing and coming back at the right time stronger than ever. Good call taking down time with no back end to heal completely. Cheers!

Sean said...

I started following your blog when I used to post on the RT boards. I understand where you're coming from with all the injury stuff. I've been struggling to shake off injuries (hip pain turning into back pain, then shoulder pain) since last May. It's real frustrating when the injury isn't easy to pin down and treat. Keep trying whatever you can to recover, good luck.

kayry said...

Hey Steeeve - I do think your right - just a matter of time.....patience is the name of the game right now.

Congrats to your kitten btw!!! Awesome to take 2nd place at TIR with only 6 runners. That would have been a neat claim to fame if I could have been a part of it. You guys should be very proud.

kayry said...

Sean - thanks!

Very sorry about the hip issues you've been struggling with since May - that's an extremely long time - best wishes with the recovery.

I suspect most - especially non-runners - would think it's no big deal - just go do something else - but its tough to not be able to do something that you love doing...

Stew said...

Hey Kayry
Been following your blog for awhile. Really sorry to hear about the injury. Some injuries just heal in there on time.
I'm going through the same injury for the past 4 weeks. Had to cancel my first Boston Marathon. MRI is scheduled for next week, hope it's minor and just needs rest. Good luck with the biking and swimming if you attach it like you did running you’ll be in front of the pack in no time.


Jonsson said...

You might think I'm crazy . . . I started running 32 years ago with several injuries under my belt . . . I started a Bikram Yoga class 4 months ago . . . done in a 105 degree room with 26 postures over 90 minutes . . . it is very intense . . . seriously it has helped my running and all others aspects of my life . . . there is a studio on Fountainview (by the Galleria), South Blvd (just off Kirby), there is also one in The Woodlands . . . Moni Butler (Jim Butler's wife)

kayry said...

Stew - I certainly hope your injury is NOT the same as mine. Hope your MRI gives you answers. The hip is sure a complicated place to have an injury I've found.

Biking has been fun - I've been riding with the B group but last time out I was able to stay with the A group by drafting most all the way - it will take some time before I can do more of my share of the pulling thru the wind but I'll get there :).

Your fellow benched runner - tell you what - there are a lot of us out there. Makes you wonder if this running thing is good for us :-).


kayry said...

Hi Moni - Very nice of you to stop by!!!

So your one of THOSE people eh :).

I've heard a few comments about Bikram Yoga - sounds masochistic :).

Actually I've heard very little except what a workout it is - I'm sure there are lots of other perks in doing it that I have no idea about. A quick scan of your blog and it looks like your almost done - congrats on sticking thru a couple months of it!

One guy I know thought he'd wear a heartrate monitor thru a session to see how it compared to running as a workout - I thought that was interesting - as I recall the HR didn't get near as high as he thought it would. Although several runners have said not to plan a hard workout the next day as it is a hard workout.

It's a shame there's not closer options.

I don't find I can focus on more than one sport at a time - at least at the learning stages and right now my focus is on the bike. Bikram Yoga will have to wait I'm afraid - for now - but thanks for planting the thought - I certainly was not thinking in that direction but it does sound like a great way to get the HR up.

btw - I don't recall if I've seen you since but huge congrats on Sub2hours!!!

http://jonsson said...

Agreed, it does look like your schedule is a bit full to add another thing . . . we have a prof. football player rehab. in Bikram from ACL knee surgery . . . I'm trying to get Butler to join in the fun and sweat! I just started in December but didn't start the 60 day challenge until February . . . Moni

Day Dreamer said...

Sorry to see an injury taking you down for a while, but we'll be looking forward to when you can make it back out there.

Neeraj Rohilla said...

Ah, it is so tragic. I started *stalking* your blog just after my half marathon last year and learned many tricks of the trade from it.

You have to keep writing about running so that I can come back and brag about my little improvements. Your comments are always encouraging for beginner runners like me.

I wish you very best in your recovery.

kayry said...

I went looking for some Bikram feedback for runners - found a decent discussion here...

Bikram Yoga Discussion

I'd give it a go especially while I'm not running much...but the logistics of an across town thing might be a bit difficult - maybe if I could convince my wife it could be a weekend "date" kinda thing - I'll work on that :)...

kayry said...

Sam ---- man I just scanned your workouts lately - amazing - you are so going to blow away that 3:02 PR at Boston. Good luck - save a little for the finish - there is nothing like running down the hill from heartbreak to the finish with gas in the tank to push it flying by hoards of people - you'll never have a race running sub3 hours with so many people near you at the end of the race as you will at Boston.....My first Boston was like that and it rates at the top of the many mountain top experiences I've had in this sport...Have a great time out there!!

kayry said...

Neeraj Rohilla

Keep the PR's coming!!!

I may post something from time to time - I started this blog because I thought the quick transformation from a mid-packer to a front of the packer was kinda generally interesting and it gave me a place to dump my thoughts about whatever running related.

Now I'm tranforming into a recreational athlete working thru a long haul injury - trying to adapt to a low calorie burn lifestyle - not really all that interesting. But if I think I've got something interesting to say I'll get back on and post something....

Good luck on your continued success - you've come a long way dude - keep it up!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey John

That is a clever phylosophy - you had some running chapters during your high school days, now you added this brilliant KAYRY chapter... More will follow after "Runner's Block" is over...! :o)
Well, that KAYRY wave sure carried you long and far! Make sure you pick as good handle/wave for the next chapter...
Anyway summer running in Houston sucks, so you are not missing out on anything...
Another "good" thing is that you should have a great piece of mind now - now you know that you did push yourself all the way to the limit...
And - just think for a sec: aren't you blessed that this injury happened only AFTER San Antonio?!

Good luck with your recovery and new endeavors!


PS Consider doing yoga - I may finally decide to try it only after it gets thumbs-up from you...! :o)

kayry said...

Runner's Block - yeah - that's what I've got - I like that.

Hey Predrag - its funny - I ran the idea of yoga by my wife - the 100+ temps kinda was a show stopper - but the yoga itself part she was interested in so who knows - maybe I'll do the less hard-core version - getting flexible wouldn't hurt :).

Don't really know if injury happen AFTER San Antonio or during San Antonio but regardless - it was great to end on a very high PR note at San Antonio - great way to end the chapter.

Good luck in the "Mind over Master"'ing this year at Beach to Bay - you guys are getting pretty fast - don't need a ringer this year - or do you get him back again this year :).

Jonsson said...

The Bikram South Boulevard Location is right on your way to work - 6 - 7:30 a.m. - shower there and you will be to work by 8:00 :) Other class times during the week - Mornings 6 - 8 - 10 Afternoons 12:00 - 4:30 - 6:30 - 8:15 The weekend schedule - 8, 10, 12, 4:30, 6:30

Seriously you will get use to the heat. I had done an Iyengar Yoga Class for 3 years before this class and this class goes much deeper. Clearly we need to get Butler into this class . . . he enjoys sweating so much . . .

Michael said...

Hi John,
Man I am so sorry to hear about this but as always, you are approaching this phase of life with logic and good sense. I read about your possible move to CA and that sounds exciting. I hope that works out for you.
I know what you mean about being tired of fighting this injury thing. I have been fighting a soreness in my right adductor region, which is accompanied by tightness in my groin/abdomen (which "hurts" when I cough). I rested two weeks after running Phoenix in January and have been mostly better but off and on sore. Tuesday it was really tight in the abdomen and I was waaay slow. I have taken a few days off and am not certain how to proceed. I am tired of running and not feeling 100%. Like you, running is really my love but when it is uncertain and painful it makes one prone to re-evaluate things. Anyway, hopefully mine will be OK but who knows. I periodically think it is a sfx but it isn't really painful at all, just tight and a bit sore.
Anyway, I really just wanted to wish you good luck and let you know that I am thinking of you and wishing you the best. I know how you long for running but remember, there are other things to be thankful for.
For me, I am more concerned about having been layed off from work a few months ago than the running thing. Sounds like work is good for you, so just hang in there and hopefully things will get better on the athletic front.
Stay well and good luck and thanks for all the good advice.

kayry said...


re CA - shhhhhh - :)...

I sure hope it's not Sports Hernia - that's been the kiss of death to many runners - hopefully not me.

I've got a zillion links on this stuff if you need - here's a couple that are pretty brief and to the point:

RT Article

Post Article

In case you want to compare to my symptoms - I went ahead and posted this:

So What Happen Anyway


Michael said...

John, sorry about that. Oops. Anyway, I will look at the stuff you sent. I don't think mine is serious as it is not what I would call pain at all, more like discomfort. I will read the description of your symptoms but what I have read from others is that their pain is so bad they can't sleep or walk well.
Hang in there. I really believe you will get back to running if that is your goal. It just might take more time than you like.
I am thinking of digging out my road bike today and either riding outside or using the indoor trainer. I also have a LifeFitness Stationary Bike which is helpful. I just don't know if cycling is good or bad for resting a strained Adductor, which is what I think I have.
Thinking back on it I think there was an acute event which caused it. Earlier in 2008 I started going to core strengthening classes at my gym and one time I strained it where I felt it tear or pop as it happened and I was in pain right away. I probably never rested it enough after that. I should have known the class was to advanced as it was mostly young women with incredibly flat stomaches. I really believe that every time I try to strengthen my core, I get into trouble. Anyway, hand in there and do post on the blog your progress in general. Running is only one aspect of life, and I do wish you the best. You are truly a champion in all ways and you have helped many of us with great insight and advice.

kayry said...

Michael - glad to hear its not serious - I've just read so much about this Sport Hernia stuff that I guess I just see the symptoms everywhere when they are many other explanations for it.

I'm really very sorry about the job situation - seems to be a ramped problem for many that I hate hearing about.

I'm holding off on anything right now (biking and even yoga :) ) because the irritation I created a couple weeks ago from the short run is still there even walking so I'm going to let that little pain die down to nothing before I do anything.