Newport Liberty Half – still time to sign up

If you’ve thought about running a half marathon, or perhaps have worked up to running at least 8 or 9 miles and haven’t thought about it yet, there’s still time to register for the Newport Liberty Half Marathon taking place on September 17. I know this because someone I met through the Raritan Valley Road Runners just signed up.

One of the benefits of being a blog partner of the Newport races is a free entry, which I would typically use myself. Unfortunately when I run about 4 miles or so my calf/ankle/hip (take your pick because it could be any one or more of those on any given day) rudely let me know that I need to stop, so I decided that someone else should use it.

Manil is getting back into running after a 10 month break due to patellar tendinitis. Before the injury Manil was able to run 13 miles so is working back towards that goal. His longest run in the past month was 9 miles but he’s confident he will be able to finish and has a goal of less than 2 hours 30 minutes. This will be his first race too so I’m looking forward to cheering him on and hearing about his experience after the race (there will be a follow-up on this blog).

Good luck Manil!

Back to the Halfbike

Running appeared to be going well, but a 4 mile run on Thursday aggravated my ankle and hip again, so rather than the planned long run on Saturday I decided it was time to bring out the Halfbike again.

If you haven’t read my previous posts on the Halfbike, it’s effectively a standing bike with a larger front wheel and two small rear wheels – balance is key to riding and steering. I am a Halfbike ambassador and have coupon codes for 5% off. I do get a commission for codes used, but as I’ve noted before this does not affect my reviews.

As part of the original sales campaign on Kickstarter, Halfbike was supposed to come with fenders – a year and a half after getting the Halfbike, the fenders finally arrived after a myriad of design and production problems.

I put the fenders on this week, not expecting to ride for a while, but luckily (I guess) it rained overnight so there were puddles on the ground for my Saturday ride.

Attaching the fenders was simple, but putting the pieces together for the rear fenders was not at all. In the end I used a rubber mallet to force the pieces together. The fit was a bit tight.

I wasn’t too bothered by not having fenders as I use it for exercise and don’t care how muddy and wet I get when riding, but I have to admit to not having used it in the rain and I did wonder how far up the front wheel would fling the water, so I no longer have to worry about getting a mouthful.

They seemed to work well – I deliberately rode through the puddles – but I did still get a slight spatter on my ankle so they don’t fully protect you.

My ride was about 10.5 miles and by the end my calves were definitely feeling it.

Building up, and the Newport Half

Since my last post I have started to build up my mileage. That doesn’t mean my issues are gone. The Achilles Tendonitis is still there but improving, so much so that it is not felt during a run (well… mostly). My right ankle still swells up, but the stresses that cause that seem to not be running related (I started going to Bodypump again and that seems to cause it). My right hip does hurt a bit during longer runs, but massage is helping with that it seems.

So, now we’re up to date, it’s time to look ahead.

The Newport Liberty Half is coming up on September 17. I love that race and have done it every year since I started running more than just 5ks.

This year I’m not sure I’ll be able to run. I’m lucky enough to once again be a blog partner for the race and I will definitely be there, but more than likely it will be with my camera and not my running shoes.

Sign up for the race, and let the organizers know where you found out about it. Read some of my previous posts about the race here!

St Ives 10k in England

It seems to be pretty normal for me to look for races when travelling, and this trip included a 10k on Sunday. In my last post I mentioned that I may fill my blog with my runs in England, but after that post my Achilles was pretty bad, and being on vacation I decided to take a break instead. There was plenty of walking during the vacation so I was at least active.

So, after 9 days without a run I went along to the St Ives 10k unsure of how it would work out. The morning started with a 3k fun run that my kids entered. They had a lot of fun and got a medal (not at all bad for the very reasonable entry fee).

The 10k started at 10:30am. I didn’t know anything about the course and thought I would take it easy to start to see how my ankle would hold up. Of course, I failed. It seems that racing brings out a need to push myself. At first it felt easy but I knew I would need to ease back a little on the initial pace because I have only run 6 miles a couple of times in recent months.

Soon after the start the course turned up a gentle hill towards an airfield. A left turn took us into a strong headwind and a long straight with a slight uphill grade (I’m glad I didn’t know how long that section would be – sometimes it’s better not to know the course). Of course, we had the tailwind on the way back, but I knew how long that straight section was and psychologically it was tough.

By around 5 miles I was suffering – this photo at the finish shows that. Despite that I managed to finish in 45:32. It’s a long way off my times from even last year.

As for the Achilles, that was painful at the finish but not noticed during the run. The worse problem was the next day (and the day after), my calf, quads, everything were incredibly tight. I haven’t felt like this after a run outside of running marathons.

Delayed update

So much for more regular updates to my blog on my progress. This is mostly because I don’t really feel like I’ve made much progress. Right after my last post I had an issue that I hadn’t had for a few months – a swollen right ankle (not the ankle affected by the Achilles tendonitis). No real damage and it disappeared after a couple of days, but it gave me enough of a scare to slow down a bit.

The good news is that I’m able to run between 4 and 6 miles without too much pain (I definitely feel it in the Achilles, so progress on recovery is slow), but I’m only running 3 days a week.

I’m visiting a Sports Medicine doctor on the 24th to check in on progress and see what needs to happen next, but in the meantime I’ll be running on vacation in England so will hopefully post about some scenic runs.