Seebo's Run

A running commentary on my training and whatever else emerges from that.

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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Chilly today, the remnants of freezing rain yesterday are still on the streets and sidewalks, giving me another excuse not to run today or yesterday. I did 7.5 on Monday but that is old news.

And that is the point. The fire is not there to run right now and the fire is not there to blog either. After 1000+ entries on this blog I'm finding other things to do in the time that I could make for keeping this up to date, instead of vice versa.

All this signals that its time for a change. Not sure yet what that change is going to be, but I'm taking a leave of absence from blogging. As others before me, I may find myself coming back to this site renewed and refreshed, or I may go off and do other things. Kind of making things up as I go along.

If feels like the right thing to do.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Heading to the Glue Factory

Not blogging as regular as I once was. Not running as regular either. 11 on Tuesday, 7.5 on Wednesday, two days off, and then 10.5 today.

Its too early to say if this is a long-term thing, but the fire isn't there right now. I got up on Thursday knowing that I was due for a long run and also that there was a bunch of work on my plate that day. I chose to get an early jump on the latter. I went back and forth, and the fact that it was under 20 out with snowy/icy streets tilted things towards that as well. Still, the difference is that a year or two or three ago I would have been out there on a morning with the same circumstances. Similarly, that I have a marathon looming two months away doesn't have the urgency that it once did. I'll definitely run it, and shoot to better my last Boston time, but I've dropped any notion of ramping it up and going for a really fast marathon.

Its hard to explain. Its not a choice as much as a feeling. Things change, time passes and I'm feeling other priorities. I see myself running, but not as competitively. It's too early to tell if that is something long-term, its too early to tell if I'm actually having a harder time with this transition than I'm letting myself think. But for right now, I'm allowing myself to just run and see what happens.

That was the spirit of this morning's run. I just felt like going out and running. I made a new route over familiar terrain, heading out to Wynnefield and then into Overbrook and back around through West Philly. 10.5 miles. No watch, no iPod. In contrast to recent runs, I looked forward to this one and felt relaxed. And it helped that the recent cold weather has thawed a bit.

And then there is the last reason for my lackadaisical running of late. I have written about some groin pain that I suspected was adductor problems. That hasn't gone away and has manifested itself, in the form of a very low-grade pain, during non-running times for no specific reason. This concerned me enough to see my doc, who couldn't see anything wrong but nonetheless referred me for a testicular ultrasound. Yeah, not a lot of fun but ruled out the scary problems. That was yesterday. Today the pain was back, but much more like an overuse injury, appearing just as I was heading towards Market St. on 63rd, about 8 miles into my run. The pain came from the right perineal area, but again there wasn't any apparent muscle actions associated with the pain.

So before I started that last paragraph I did another round of googling for diagnoses. This change of perception in my symptomology gave me more focus on my search, and I descended into the world of sports injuries in the groin area. The best overview I found was in an article from American Family Physician. The gist of the article is that groin pains like I have are difficult to diagnose and differentiate, and its not unusual for multiple conditions to co-occur. They describe the "big three" injuries - adductor strain, osteitis pubis, and sports hernias, and I read through descriptions of all three and thought that sounds like what I have. But then each of them is not an exact fit either. But its encouraging, in the sense that I'm on the right track to a diagnosis, to read that symptoms are radial pain around the perineal and testicular area.

So what to do? This is one more of a line of problems I've had since last summer, which are low-grade but nagging. I can say that this is because I identify and address them early, but it also leaves me feeling wimpy because it puts me in a position where I can run through them but choose to ease up. If I had, say, a fracture or something then the choice not to run would be clear. But while I feel the pain, it is nowhere near bad enough to limit my movement or exercise. In fact, it may be a good thing to let it get a little worse so that the symptoms will be a bit clearer. So I imagine I'll take the middle path and run some, follow up with my doc and see if I can get a referral to a good sports medicine guy to help me figure out what exactly I'm looking at.

So this has turned out to be quite the long, meandering post. From loss of focus to medical maladies. All which point to that it's a good thing I'm not a horse, or I'd be heading to the glue factory.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I'm Back

I'm okay, mostly I've been away from running and my blog for the past week.

Reason was a confluence of things. The first week of classes was last week, and I'm teaching three this semester. This means things will be busy, and particularly so last week in getting things together for the semester. It was also cold. And this weekend was busy with various things. Finally, that low-grade adductor/groin pain hasn't gone away, even though it got some rest.

So that should be enough excuses.

That bags any momentum I carried into the start of the year. Now its two weeks on, one week off. And time to put out an "on" week again. While all this was going on, I was wondering if I am starting to lose the fire. The same time I wasn't running last week I was more motivated than usual with my work. Particularly with one of the classes I'm teaching, where I'm taking a group of USP undergraduates into one of the local jails and holding class with them and an equal number of "inside" students. I'm glad, its where my passion should be, and I wonder if its at the expense of running, if its time to, so to say, move on to other stuff. Or maybe it was a slow running week.

Either way I'll be around and, as always, thinking too much.

8 miles this morning on the USP treadmill, untimed, due to snowy streets.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Today and Yesterday

Don't really feel in much of a writing mood. Gray, bleary Saturday with the threat of snow/rain hanging in the low clouds. Made it out this morning with a little nudge by John Dubs, together we covered a good bit of Philadelphia in 16 miles, after which he turned back to the Art Museum and I ran another 2 miles home. As usual with John, conversation rolled easy and the pace was steady. When we were all the way out west, we turned down Girard Ave, which I'd never run down that far west, but the street was narrow and there were many lights. The other item to note is that I noticed some adductor pain on my right side. I've been having little bouts of it for a few weeks, it comes during a run and then goes. Today was the first day I noticed it when I wasn't running. I'll run tomorrow and continue to monitor it, and hope it doesn't get worse.

Today was 18.2 total in 2:31:10 along this route.

Yesterday was an easy five with Jody and Erin on this route.

After getting home today I showered, ate and napped. The only civilized post-long run thing to do. So why don't I do it more often?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Ice Breaking

The best thing about my run was that I made it out today. My legs have been sore from hitting it too hard on the treadmill on my easy days, and I've been getting to bed too late and getting up too early. It's late enough in the week now to where all this is taking its toll.

Slept in (relatively speaking) and planned to go run at 1. It was almost 4 before I got out. Just kept finding other things I needed to do. I really dislike running on a winter in the afternoon, as the traffic is heavy, its getting dark, its cold, and I feel like I'm playing catch up. But I made it out.

Made it all the way out to MLK and took those four miles at tempo speed. Mile splits were 6:10; 6:03; 5:53; 5:55 for a total of 24:01. As is the pattern, this was a considerable improvement over last week but I really would have liked to have gotten 2 seconds more off that time. I then chugged up the bloody nipple, I didn't have it today to keep up the tempo. But I did go up it, and hopefully next week it will be for time. Ice breaking.

Once on the Belmont Plateau I started to lose my energy. And it got dark. And rush hour got into full swing. A good formula for a slog back. Slow and just about impossible to sustain a rhythm.

Although the weather is drier it still feels like a bleak day. Probably due to all the stuff I got to do before classes start on Monday. The run felt bleak as well, though the tempo miles picked me up.

12.5 miles on a shorter BN loop in 1:40:11.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


Cold, rainy week. Lots to do to get ready for classes next week. And I'm driving Tony to school all week. This really cramps my running. So I'm continuing to run indoors on the hamster wheel.

In past posts I've complained long and loud about various aspects of the treadmills at USP, and one of my loudest complaints was that the machines max out at a 6 minute pace. I feel like a dog barking at the end of its leash, knowing I could talk a good game as long as I'm tethered up.

But now I'm unleashed. USP got two treadmills now that will go down to a 5 minute pace. That means nothing's holding me back from some hard tempo stuff. It also means I better put up. So yesterday I ran a 4 mile loop around Franklin Field in the early morning and then did a second lunchtime workout on the TM where I warmed up a mile, did 4 miles in 23:23, and cooled down a sixth mile. In the tempo part of that run, I took it down to 5:40 pace at my fastest, and never went over 6. It didn't feel too hard. So now I just gotta take my game out MLK and do that kind of pace. Maybe tomorrow.

Today I did another of the workouts I did on Monday. Run no more than 60 minutes, and try to get in 8.5 miles. Got the desired distance in 59:54.

So I'm getting my workouts in this week.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Doing Time

Didn't have all the time I wanted today, so I limited my run to 60 minutes on the treadmill over a late lunch.

First part of the run I listened to a short story reading from the podcast of Selected Shorts. Interesting story about suffering and the effects of the lack thereof on the ability to live life. A theme that got me thinking as I ran in place on this hamster wheel pushing the pace ever faster in a futile attempt to make time go faster as well. When the story was over I put the iPod on shuffle and just listened to songs that involved suffering. I felt trapped by time, consigned to wait as the seconds ticked. And wondering if this is what I have to do to feel alive...

But the run ended, it always does. I got in 8.5 in just under 60 minutes. Not all all out workout but probably a bit harder than the easy Monday it was meant to be. One nice thing about a treadmill workout is that you don't have to map it.

Oh yeah, I also did 10.5 (in an easy 92:44) on an extended Sycamore loop yesterday. That gave me 76 miles for last week.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Light Enough to Travel

Long run this morning. A bit late getting out the door. As I had no human company this morning I loaded up my iPod with fresh music. The only times I get a chance to really listen to music these days is either while driving, running or cooking. So I imagined this run to be 2 1/2 hours of listening time - something I'd never otherwise allow myself the luxury of. The new music was somewhat haphazard: I was listening to Pandora last night and heard a band called the "Do Good Tanyas" do a good cover of TVZ's "Waiting Around to Die", so I downloaded 9 of their songs. Then I saw that 2 Cow Garage, a "cowpunk" band that, with the Supersuckers, is about as thrashy as I get these days, had a relatively new album out and downloaded that. And I had a collection of various blues songs from artists I wasn't familiar with to sample.

Listened to the music in that order as I did a familiar long route up to Manayunk, over the 3 Bears hills of northern Belmont Ave., and around the northern part of West Philly. The music did do me well and the shifts in style served to perk up my pace when needed. Weather was chilly but I got warmed up as the sun gathered strength. The only other thing noteworthy was, in a bit of serendipity, I turned onto 65th St. at Haverford Ave. to avoid stopping at a light and passed a most beautiful library building, the Haddington branch of the Phila Free Library.

Todays numbers were 18.5 miles in 2:36:40. Yesterday was a Landowne Sycamore loop - 10 miles in an easy 89:36.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year

The day where everything is new again.

Same old cold, same old wind, however.

Despite the temptation to use the cold as an excuse, I went ahead with my planned workout - the 3.5 mile tempo run along MLK plus the warmup/cooldown of getting there and back. I had last run this on November 25 and had some other tempo runs that led me to think I was ready to graduate to the BN loop, but given the last few weeks of irregular running I thought I better go with SMB for one more time.

I had to alter this route due to the South Street Bridge closure, which ended up cutting a half mile off of it. I also relaxed my expectations for the tempo run, given the conditions.

Going into the tempo run I just didn't feel that I had it. The wind wasn't so bad and if anything I was overdressed against the cold. The first half mile split came in at 3:15, which was slower than the pace I thought I was capable of. But I felt like I did at Boston last spring, I was going slower than I wanted to but I still didn't see me holding this pace for the entire 3.5 miles. So I made it bite-sized, saying that I'd go a half-mile at a time and re-evaluate. At the one-mile mark I saw to my pleasant surprise that I was able to maintain pace and from there I gathered momentum, with each mile getting faster and the 3.5 mile stretch coming in at 22:04 - a 6:18 pace and faster than what I ran it a month ago.

I came away from that philosophical. It was a workout against myself, and I was proud that I resolved to hang in there and ended up exceeding my expectations of what I was capable of. On the other hand, ideally I was capable of doing this faster. Ultimately, the former won out and I feel good about the workout.

I was overheated to the point where, after the tempo part, I pulled off my hoodie, gloves and hat and just ran in shorts and threadbare G5K shirt. Ran that way for about 3 miles, it felt great, as I was warm and could bask in the sun's weak rays. I imagined a force field around me to keep out the cold.

A good run to start off the new year. 11 miles in 88:10.