That was a great offer from a great man. But that's not the way to do it. To get the full Boston experience, you need to QUALIFY for Boston. And that's how 2014 started. The goal was to begin the mission to qualify for Boston. I hired a coach who corrected my form and instructed me on cadence, and I started too fast by focusing on the wrong thing, straining my hips in the process.
Then I worked with my current coach who instructed me to start slow, which I did for awhile. I was to keep my pace conversational, which I thought I was doing. I guess it's tough to tell if you're running on your own. I'd test myself by talking to myself on occasion, convinced I was doing as instructed.
Along the way, the right Achilles began to tighten. I would run easy and try to plow through it. It didn't loosen. September included an overdue visit to a doc who prescribed PT. My PT guy works with athletes of all kinds, including baseball, football and track athletes. When I first visited, he said he hasn't seen many Achilles as tight as mine. So the reset button was hit and started Round 2 of Project: Boston Qualifier yesterday.
Where do things stand today? I'm not running yet, but the right Achilles is getting looser and my right leg is getting stronger. I visit Matt for PT two to three times a week with a focus on strength through decentric calf raises - standing and via leg press machine, stretches and other lower body strength work.
I've also been working with a personal trainer on strength and overall fitness since the beginning of December focusing on three areas: (1) strength; (2) mobility; and (3) nutrition which all lead to overall fitness. Since working with her, I've seen big improvements in overall fitness.
In addition to PT and training, I'll be adding aerobic work to the week, along with movement throughout the day. My coach recommended a heart rate formula which allows me to get work in while minimizing impact on the Achilles. The formula is (max HR - resting HR) x .6 + resting HR. Right now, that puts me at 128bpm, and I hit that with a fast walk. Yesterday was Day 1, and hit 6.91 miles at a 14:16/mi. pace.
For Christmas, my family gave me a Garmin Forerunner. Now I have more data than I know what to do with, but most importantly a tool to measure heart rate and my route. Here's where things stand on January 5, 2015:
- 26% body fat
- Unable to run more than 1 mi. without tightness in Achilles
- Getting stronger, but not strong
- Right leg is weaker than left leg
- Walk consistently with tightness in Achilles (due to my focused attention on it)
- Balance and mobility are limited due to living the last 25 years sitting down most of the time.
The goals for 2015 are as follows:
- 20% body fat by 1/31 - and continue with strength and mobility focus throughout year.
- Run pain free for 5 miles by 1/31
- Old Man PR in 5K by 2/28
- Complete Battlefrog 15K Obstacle Race on 3/14
- 10K at 3:50:00 marathon pace by 4/30 (8:47/mi pace)
- Run a marathon under 3:50:00 by 12/31/2015
And the key to all this is consistency. Every. Single. Day. And throughout the day.
Now, time for bed.