Monthly Archives: November 2016

Late “November Rain”

November 29th and 30th


 Feeling a bit wimpy for backing off outdoor workouts on these rainy, mild, late-November days.  But I did an hour of hard work inside to compensate on Tuesday evening.  That consisted of 20 minutes of treadmill at 12:00 pace,  20 minutes swimming my three strokes nonstop, and 20 minutes of solid upper body work.

 Left out core work today because of soreness/tightness in the lower back.  I have been doing all my leg drills without holding on for balance for a week now with the goal to tighten up the core.  I read an article recently that included the quote, “All running is done on one leg.”  The point was to stress that it is important to do leg drills on one leg to develop the strength, stamina and balance needed to run distance with proper form and efficency.   I have always believed in the importance of proper form and efficiency. I am reminded of Bob McGivney’s poster from 35 years ago. “Grace of motion is a function of power.”  But I have to admit that the concept of running as a one-legged activity is new to me. But I think it serves to stress an important point in a clear manner.  Anyway that is why I think my core is sore right now.


Pretty sore and tight today. These extended indoor workouts  sessions seem to take more out of me than I anticipate. I’m always feeling the effects 24 hours later to a greater degree than I thought I would. So I took a day to recover.

Also, I had a complete medical check-up today in preparation for an eye operation I am having on December 15th. From all that I can learn this cataract procedure  is relatively simple and quite common.  Only takes 15 minutes in office.


Steady progress

November  26th & 27th


Saturday – Rested from running and did core work at home.

Sunday – Today I  warmed up at home with leg drills and lunges before driving to the cinder track.  On arrival I was able to begin my run immediately.   I ran three consecutive miles in 36:00.  As I ran, each mile was quicker and more comfortable .   That is surely the strongest run in about two months.  Could have gone faster but resisted.  Refueled with chocolate milk and peanut butter. The body is feeling a bit fatigued tonight, and I think will  be achy on the morrow .  Trying to slowly push the envelope.



I-MAD = .5


a.m.HR = 54BPM

WEIGHT  = #154


Week in review

November 25th , Friday @ 5:00 p.m.

Tuesday – A good day of work at the clubhouse. Ran for 20 minutes on the treadmill. Did upper body and core and leg drills for 30 minutes in the gym. Then swam for 15 minutes and took a relaxing hot whirlpool for 15 minutes.

Wednesday and Thursday were to rest and be thankful. There is a really good possibility that my Achilles tendon injury has finally resolved itself!

Friday – Ran 3 steady miles today on the cinders  with some occasional stops for extra work (ala -Jim Ryan)  at the exercise station. The last two miles were continuous. Total time in motion was 50 minutes. Longest run so far with no Achilles tendon issues.Very thankful!   I am still proceeding with an abundance of caution. Will remain at three miles for at least a week, maybe two.


I-Mad = .5   Tight but not sore in the a.m.

Weight =  #154.5  Today, not bad after Thanksgiving dinner

Sleep =  Average of 9 hours




November 20th and 21st

Proceeding with an abundance of caution…

SUNDAY – Resting after longest run so far yesterday.

Giants win.  Go to 7- 3

Monday – The long-running summer has finally come to an end it seems. Today was the coldest and most bitter day so far this year. So I went indoors to the clubhouse and did a Non-Stop 30 minute pretty intensive workout at the gym that included upper body, core and leg drills. Once again I was pleasantly exhausted at the end. Got to 12 push-ups today.

 Stats –

I-Mad = 1.5

Weight = 154

Sleep = 10 hours

Workout = Solid gym set, 30 minutes  Continue reading Proceeding/Recovering

2.5+ on the Cinders

November 18th & 19th

Friday –   Just a one mile jog on the cinders to  keep the consistency going.  A.T.  OK

Saturday –   was  unseasonably warm and  sunny. It was a beautiful day for a Meet of Champions in the morning and a workout on the cinders in the late afternoon.

   64*at 3:45 p.m.                                                                                                 My workout consisted of two and a half miles of running at 12 minute pace stopping on each half mile lap for 3 minutes  to do leg drills,core and arms.   Since I am only running at 12 minute pace, it is not aerobically taxing. So the additional work keeps my heart rate elevated a little higher. The entire workout consumed 45 minutes in motion. And happy to add no uncomfortable or painful sensations in my Achilles tendon. That has been for 4 consecutive days of pain-free running on cinders in a row. I am a happy me!

  Let me add that after four consecutive days of happy running,  I heard myself saying to myself on the track this afternoon, “Swimming and biking are recreational activities, but running is serious shit.”


I-Mad – 1…!

Sleep- 7 hours

AMHR- 55 Better

Weight- #151.8 after workout!  Lowest in weeks .

Workout – As above



Steady progress

November 16th and 17th

Wednesday and Thursday

I have really  missed the simple joy of running  the cinders on a crisp afternoon without pain.

Wednesday was a total of 55 minutes covering 2 1/2 miles in motion with 1 mile jog.and leg drills and core. Today was 2 miles running very slowly with leg drills and core work. So far I have resisted the temptation to increase speed.  I continue to wear the foot splint to sleep and have been ice bathing the Achilles tendon after each effort. Generally my Achilles tendon has been feeling a lot less tender and  painless both during the day and on my gentle runs this week.



I-Mad = 1.5

Weight – 153.5   It’s hard to believe  and very reassuring that I have not gained a single pound during this 9 week running.hiatus .

AmHR = 60     This is a little concerning  since it has been high for a few days. But I have not been very consistent in recording my morning heart rate.

Sleep -8 hours +

Workout – Just easy jogging and non-weight-bearing leg drills and core

Positive day!

November 15th ,  Tuesday

Let’s catch up.

Today I am recapping two and a half months of trying to train through an injury in order to put my current fitness level in perspective.

Today I jogged  very slowly on the cinders for one and a quarter miles and did non-weight-bearing leg drills in addition.   My Achilles tendon exhibited no signs of soreness or tenderness.   It was a very good sign of progress.

I just reviewed all of my posts since September 1st.   On that day, 10 days before my scheduled competition at the New Jersey Senior Games,  I ran a very strong workout  of fast pickups at the Jackson Liberty track.   It was a beautiful afternoon, and I was very excited about my condition level and my upcoming race.   It is also pretty obvious to me that I injured my Achilles tendon that afternoon.   I limped my way through the competition and qualified  for the National Senior Games in the 800m and 1500m races.   Confident that I had plenty of time to prepare for the Nationals in June, I planned to allow my Achilles tendon to heal for a few weeks while I did some base training and strength and core work in exercise room.  Throughout the next 10 weeks I have engaged in fits and starts of various types non of which have allowed my Achilles tendon to heal properly.  I have been jogging,  biking, swimming, water running, treadmilling, ellipticaling, weight lifting and core exercising during this period.   All that work has kept me pretty fit and perhaps made me a little stronger.   I even attempted a regimen of eccentric  exercises which, to my dismay, caused increased pain in my tendon.  So my Achilles tendon was still sore.           Well, today I ran a mile and quarter, I should say a jogged very slowly, without Achilles  discomfort.   There are two variables that could have influenced this positive result. First, is the fact that I have virtually eliminated all foot-stress activities for the past 7 days with only a couple of weight sessions this week. (One thing that I’ve noticed is that days without a workout seem longer and a little bit empty and provide me with nothing to write about on my daily blog . So my recent posts have been rather intermittent.) Second,  I have worn my foot splint to sleep for the last two nights. I purchased this splint a few months back when I was having trouble with my plantar fascia. While searching the internet a few days back looking for some advice about persistent Achilles tendon issues, I found  a running discussion site where someone asked that question. Someone responded that after a few years of consistent Achilles tendon problems, he began using this foot splint each night and the result was a total cure for the problem.  Since I already have the device on hand, I decided to try it;  and the first morning I had almost no Achilles pain when I awoke. On the second morning, which was also day 7 of my for resting plan, I felt as though my Achilles tendon was cured. So today I ventured to the cinder track and had a positive experience.   I plan to continue this splint experiment indefinitely, or at least  as long as my Achilles tendon does not hurt.

So where do I stand right now with six and a half months left to train for Nationals?   Healthy but definitely not race fit.  I will have to remember to stay slow for at least another month.   The quote below was recently chosen in an on line contest by the National Senior Games Association in which they requested submissions to give advice to seniors who are beginning a training program for any sport.   I submitted the following;

“Start slowly to avoid injury. Self-inflicted injury is the enemy of progress.”

Rich Refi constantly tells me to follow my own advice. I will!



Two more days

November 10th and 11th

Thursday –  Walk and gym session

Today Arlene and I walked a two-mile wooded trail at Allaire State Park. We have been threatening to do that for a few weeks now and finally got around to it today.  When I returned home, I went to the gym for a pretty extensive upper body and core workout with a good set of leg strengthening drills.   Left there feeling pretty drained and content.  Day 4 of Achilles tendon rest  plan.

Friday – Total rest day

So, the Achilles tendon was a little bit temperamental today, probably as a result of walking for 3 miles yesterday.  The upper body is a little tight but that is to be expected after a serious weight room session.  So I took the day completely off.

Holding pattern…

November 5th and 6th

Saturday –   Well, today I spent about 2 hours walking and jogging around at Thompson Park while watching Hillsborough girls win the Central Jersey Group IV Championship and the Liberty boys have a pretty good run with Dan Duffy qualifying for Groups.   The girls pulled off a two-point upset victory.   This performance is another testament to the quality of coaching that Rich Refi  and Tierra Hicks Gourdine  bring to the Hillsborough  XC  program year after year.                                                                                                                My Achilles tendon progress seems to be stalled in place.  It is not bad.  Not noticeable at all while walking. But clearly there in a.m. and annoying any time I start to even jog.  So I am considering taking the advice of my poker friend, Matt, and just suspend all activities related to the legs for one week. No jog, no swim, no bike, no aggressive walking!   While considering this approach I have asked myself, “What do I do for that week? How do I spend my time?”   A daily workout has  become so much a part of my routine that I seem to be lost without one.   My conclusion is that I will spend an hour at least every other day in the weight room just getting BIG!

Sunday-   Arlene and I enjoyed a leisurely three-hour walk through the Grounds for Sculpture today surrounded by endless, fabulous, artistic stimulation. Then I watched the DVR of the Giants taking down  the Eagles.  A perfect autumn afternoon!