Get Ready for Rock’tober

You know that feeling when you register for a race you’ve never run before?
You wonder what the course is like, the shirt, the atmosphere, the people, and of course, will I place in my age group?

Yeah, that’s how I’m feeling right now. I haven’t ever run the Racing for Recovery Rock’tober 10k, 5k +1 Mile Walk before and I’m intrigued by it. Racing for Recovery is a local non profit that offers individuals and their families with the opportunity to participate in one-on-one or group counseling, free support group meetings that are open to anyone affected by addiction, online community support system, fitness gatherings, and Team Racing for Recovery.

Todd Crandell, LPCC LICDC, started Racing for Recovery in 2001 when he found that traditional recovery programs weren’t always enough to help people refocus their lives after addiction. Todd struggled with drugs for 13 years and nearly destroyed his life. Since 1993, he has been clean and sober. During his recovery, he focused on his fitness and decided to train for an Ironman Triathalon. Since that first Ironman, he has completed 28 more and he isn’t slowing down at all.

Supporting such an amazing organization that helps so many affected by addition is one of the best feelings. To think that you can do that by simply running a race? If you want to donate directly to Racing for Recovery, visit this page.

October 22 is almost here and I better get training to hit a great 10k time!

 

2017 Ohio Michigan 8k

It’s done. I registered us for the Ohio Michigan 8k.
This will be the longest race that Chad has ever run and my fourth or fifth time running this race.

It is always hot and humid and while I want to hate it, I love this race SO much. Since I started running six+ years ago I have always made a point to fit this race in my calendar. While the scenery is typical Ohio Michigan farmland-type action, the after party is what makes the evening truly fun.

I couldn’t run the race last year due to only being 2 months post-op, but I’m back this year and ready to PR. I haven’t run this race since I started my new heart medication in December of 2016 and started running around two minutes per mile faster, so I have no clue what I’ll be able to accomplish. Of course, I have a goal finish time in mind and I’m going to do everything I can to hit it.

Do you have certain races you love to run every year?

The Power of the Schwartz – Knee Surgery #6 Status Report

One year ago today was knee surgery #6 (all on the same knee). It is always a struggle to get back to pre-surgery shape with that leg and this post-op experience was no different. The biggest pain in the ass is strengthening my quad since I lost 3″ in it right after the surgery. It happens within the first 24-28 hours and it is a huge obstacle to overcome every time. Please google quad atrophy after knee surgery and read up on why this happens so drastically and quickly. There are a lot of big words that explain it and ain’t nobody got time for that in a post.

Here is a bad ass picture of the issue with my knee last year. I thought it was my tibia chipping off in that area, but it was only a meniscus tear.


This is where it gets fun
. My femur had tiny cracks in it when I first injured it at 15 years old and it was smoothed out and essentially as good as new. Then it started to chip during marathon #1 in 2012 and it was smoothed out again. It needed to be smoothed out yet again one year ago today. It is normal wear and tear for a knee like mine and will essentially continue to be normal for me.
I think these pictures are amazing and I love to see the issues that are fixed. Maybe it comes from a family with a strong medical background? Maybe it comes from a fascination with the inside of my knee? Who knows.

One year later I am still running and lifting. I am building my quad muscle and have gained around 1.5″ back, which isn’t too shabby I thnk. I have work to do, but I always will.

I will continue to need maintenance surgeries over the years to come, eventually leading to a total/partial knee. I am putting that off as long as possible of course.

Sometimes Things are Both Physically & Mentally Painful

I tend to eat better and exercise more often/with more intensity when I have an end goal. Sure, being healthy is a great end goal but blah blah blah. I need a ‘tangible’ end goal. When I trained for my bodybuilding competition in 2014, I had an end goal, one that put me up in front of a lot of people in a tiny competition suit. That was all the motivation I needed. I don’t have an end goal right now and my mind doesn’t kick into beast mode without one. I am running the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon in just over two months, but I am confident that I’ll be fine for the race. I am struggling with my weight and with the injuries that are taking their toll on my body. I need an end goal. I need motivation. Most of all, I need my body to cooperate with me.

In 2016 I battled a sixth knee surgery and with my heart condition. I slowly made a return to running over the fall and as of November I felt ready to take on a full running program to train for a half. Then it happened. I was sleeping and woke up with back spasms from the disc I slipped in early 2014. The best part is how I initially slipped the disc…by losing 40 pounds. Yeah, losing weight hurt my back. The short story, my back was used to being ‘hugged’ by my excess weight and when I lost it, my spine wasn’t ready for it.


Three weeks later and I’m still sidelined with this back injury. I ran twice and both times I could feel my disc, but didn’t feel pain from it. I lifted once with light weights and it strained my back as well. I am relatively in shape (but overweight for my height and body type) and I try to take care of myself, but I can’t get around the injuries that are never going away. My knee will always have issues. My heart will always have issues. My back is stupid and will have issues (unless I have surgery). I am not comfortable in my body when I look like this or feel like this. Changes are on the horizon.

I feel like I’m being cheated out of the fun parts of my spare time. Instead of run with my running family or spend time at the gym, I couch. My couch and I are pretty good friends now, but I need this friendship to take a break. I am antsy and I am feeling angry about these constant setbacks. Mentally, I am defeated and I won’t feel much better until I can run and lift again. I feel broken and none of this is fair. But, life isn’t fair so I can’t complain much.


Yes, I can get through this.
Yes, I can overcome anything.
Yes, I am strong-willed.
Yes, I know this will all pass and I’ll be even stronger after it ends.
Even though I stumble, I will not fall, but these damn setbacks are KILLING me.

Registered & Ready to PR

Turns out that I was certain that I registered for the Owens Corning Half Marathon, but after looking into it, I hadn’t registered at all! I had to remedy that right away naturally. Now I am officially running the half on April 23 and pretty damn excited about it.HalfMarathonRegistrationMy race training has hit a few speed bumps this month, but I still have plenty of time to get into PR shape for the Owens Corning Half Marathon. If I hit my goal time then it will be around a 20 minute PR.

Register before the end of the day on February 15 before the next price increase!
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Mercy Health Glass City Marathon Training Fail

Training?
What is this word…training?

Someone needs to give me the definition because my body isn’t cooperating with what I think training consists of.
Small things have kept me from training for the Owens Corning Half Marathon in the way that I should be. 14222187_10157363894880335_2494141829670239866_nI have had to miss some of my favorite parts of race training so far and I just hate it. The race is still three months away so I don’t feel like I’ve fallen behind, but it is still hard falling behind the group. The Dave’s Running Shop Marathon In Training group provides a fantastic program to train for the half marathon or the marathon. I have a fun group of people to train with and I don’t want to be left behind in a sense because my body is stupid af.

My most recent ailment is an oldie but a goodie. When I lost 40# a few years ago, my spine was used to being ‘hugged’ by the excess weight. When I lost it, my back wasn’t strong enough and I slipped a disc in my lower back. I have worked HARD to strengthen my back and avoid the movements that easily slip my disc again. I have made great strides, but sometimes the smallest things set it off. What made my disc angry this time? I was rolling over in my sleep. I would love to pretend that it was my side job as a ninja, but I’m a badass and haven’t ever been hurt as a ninja.

I have had two good nights and three good days with my back and I’m going to get back to race training tonight. Just think lovely thoughts (name that movie) for me that running won’t hurt! I have a lofty PR goal for this half Marathon and I need to keep my head in the game.
I am excited to get back in the gym, but I know that I need to wait a few more days for that. Holding any additional weight would surely anger my back at this moment and I’ve been spasm-free and I want to keep it that way.

If I’m thinking as an adult, I know that I need to let my body heal fully so I can keep doing the things that I want to do and the things I need to do.
Fingers crossed.

My 2017 Race Calendar

As most runners do, I like to plan all of my races far in advance.
Here are a few of the more obvious reasons:
1. Race entry fees can be expensive and I like to budget for the year
2. So I have races to look forward to and give me motivation
3. Training takes a lot of planning because you have to work that into your daily life
4. Running kicks ass and I get too excited to not plan my races in advance
5. I have a new running partner in crime that I want to keep motivated

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So far I have the following mapped out for 2017:
*1.1 – Hangover Classic 5k
*1.7 – Kiwanis Adventure Run 5k (Florida)
*2.4 – Blizzard Breakfast 7-Miler
*3.18 – Blarney Shamrockin’ Shuffle 3-Miler
*4.23 – Mercy Health Glass City Marathon
*5.27 – WTOL River Run 10k
*6.17 – Muddy Mini 1/2 Marathon & 1/4 Marathon
*7.13 – Ohio Michigan 8k
*8.19 – Shades of Grey 5k
*9.2 – Boy Scout Half Marathon
*10.8 – MacQueen’s Run For Your Life 10k
*11.23 – Dave’s Turkey Chase 5k
*12.3 – Miracle on Main Street 5k

Looks like it is essentially one race a month. I like to start off ambitious and then see how it goes from there I guess. lol

I’m not going over the half marathon distance this year. I need to ease back into distance for whenever I decide to take my third stab at a successful full.

I am running my first out of state race the first weekend in January and I’m intrigued to see how well run it is and I’ll be judging it accordingly. The main thing that threw me off was that you don’t select a shirt size when you register online, you get to select one when you check in. I actually emailed the race director to see if I had missed the area to pick a shirt size when I registered. The great thing about this race? It’s at Honeymoon Island State Park, where I visit every time I am in town. Check me out, killing two birds with one stone like a boss.

What do you have on your race calendar for 2017?