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Ship to Wreck

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it has been far too long since I put some words together and wrote a blog. I’ve had some highs and lows since my last entry. I also thought it would be a good chance to tell you where I’m going to race this fall.

Let’s start with where it all went wrong (I’ll keep it short):

I have to take you all the way back to the first week of February. I had just run a race the week before (Twosome Race – Kingston Ontario). We decided to make it a fun workout (5k warm up, 5k tempo, 5km race tempo, 5km cool down – PM E run) It was a good day. However, the following Sunday was a different story. It was icy and very cold so I took my session onto the treadmill. After the first hour running easy, I progressed to marathon effort for an hour. With 15min left in the session, I felt my left quad tighten. I didn’t pay it any mind. I figured it was just I didn’t fuel well and I that I wouldn’t notice it after stretching.

The next week was brutal. I could hardly hit paces and my leg just felt tight. We decided to use the elliptical for a couple of weeks to let things settle themselves, then get back into running. Boring, Boring, Boring… I ended up doing a long elliptical session that lasted 2.5h. That is something I don’t wish on anyone.

After the couple of weeks on the elliptical, we started running again. I was back up to the 170km+ weeks but didn’t have any power and my stride was very right leg dominant. I was like Zoolander, I wasn’t an ambiturner. I was unable to turn right. I couldn’t produce much power with my left leg because of the strained satorius muscle. I continued the build because I’m a stubborn person. I trained in full right up until 4 weeks before the Hamburg marathon. It was a shin splint that made me throw in the white towel. The kinetic chain and all of the stabilizer muscles had worked too hard for too long. They needed a break.

After conceding defeat, I took 2 weeks off everything: no running, no elliptical, no biking, no weights… still did some yoga, but just relaxed. It was stressful flirting with the idea of not finishing the race, going all that way just to come back broken hearted. But, it was a good learning experience. The recovery process was 5 weeks with very limited running.  I give thanks to Kurtis Marlow (RMT to a number of runners in Kingston) who saw me once a week maybe more during the tough times. He never gave up on the idea of me beating this injury and getting better. And, thanks to Steve Boyd for believing in the dream. I am sure you had to read a few unwelcoming emails! We realized that I couldn’t run fast at the time, but I still had the lungs and heart to run a pretty solid marathon. So, we played on my strengths and not on my injury.

The Comeback:

After taking time off and recharging physically and mentally, I came back fully recovered and eager to run again. We gradually built my mileage back up. I started back with an 18km week, bumped it up to 90km, then up to 110 (with the Limestone Half Marathon). I am going to give it to you straight, that 1:11:40ish half marathon was a pretty tough race. The last 8km felt like the end of a marathon. I guess my thinking “fresh off the couch” doesn’t hold true for half marathons.

After that, I hopped into the Kingston Beat Beethoven. I had been having some pretty solid workouts and knew I was going to be right around 24:20-30 for the 8km. The course displays downtown Kingston really well but makes it tough to get in a rhythm. I ended up running 24:32. And, it was a fun race!

Since then I have been making strides to improve fitness. Steve and I have things dialed back in. We would both agree I am the fittest I have ever been going into a marathon build.

The Fall:

Since the body is feeling good and my quad is fully recovered, we decided that a fall marathon would be a great thing to focus on this summer. I had a few different options and places I wanted to race. After some thought and some emailing, I selected the Chicago marathon to be the fall 42.2km. I really like the city and the caliber of runner will be right where I think it needs to run a great race.

I will be tuning up in Flint Michigan for the 10mile (Crim) in August. I think 10 mile races are a great way to look at fitness without shredding the legs like you would during a half. So to Michigan we go!

Thanks for the read and hope to see you on the road!

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Thank You

I am sure most readers have seen the Canadian Tire commercial with Jonathan Toews thanking everyone for their support over the years.  It’s a heart melting commercial.  If you haven’t seen it, here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXUXGE7solM

It is always important to give thanks for what has been given to you.  I think we sometimes get too busy to give thanks and feel it is something people just sort of get and understand.  Bump that, I am a huge believer in thanks and giving thanks.  This easily could have been my first blog post but thought it had to be posted in the first five.

Gotta give a big thanks to my mom.  She has been there and supported me during the tough times (early parts of traumatic brain injury rehabilitation – this is still on going = talk about this more next week), even during my party years when all I really accomplished was a bit of a beer belly and a few good stories.  She listened to some of the rants i had when I was thinking about giving up this running thing because, god dammit I couldn’t seem to hit my spits and was always injured. Driving me to races, hockey and everything else sports related when I was growing up. Thanks, Mom!

My aunt is another person that is always on my team win or lose.  She has gone to loads of my races all over North America to cheer me on and add some wit and a smile to the experience. All she could do was laugh when I insisted i NEEDED a physio ball in Boston to do my stretches the day before the race. I laugh because of how foolish I was!  She works hard to promote my name in the Ottawa area and thanks a heap for all that you have done!

Friends. I have truly been blessed to have met such an outstanding group of people. These fellas are incredibly supportive of my, what has become a little more boring life- style over the last year and a bit.  They come to races all over Ontario.  For my first marathon (first road race?), a group of them piled in my buddy’s 1993 Honda Civic (amazing year for the Civic, they don’t make them like they use to!) and headed to Ottawa.  The race wasn’t much to talk about but their drive home was.  After the race, and on their drive back to Kingston, it starts raining overweight cats and dogs.  As fate would have it, the wind shield wiper breaks down, and, wouldn’t you know it, being Canadian and all, there are a pair of hockey skates and a hockey stick.  The boys jimmy up a manual powered wiper system and just get on their way like it was page 12 of yesterdays newspaper.  God bless them! The same group came up to watch the STWM a couple of months ago… I didn’t hear of any problems with the wipers this time! Thanks, be to the boys!

The trainers and coaches.  I had a larger training staff in my early years.  The people that started this all,you people rocked and have been a key to my injury free training.  All of the early trainers and coach (Shane Lakins) put a large emphasis on my fundamental movements and developed my stride so that I won’t have as much wear and tear.  Having a set muscular balance is important for any sport, all of you people really helped that out.  To my current coach, Steve Boyd.  Thanks dude.  You have always been very positive with my development. Steve is a great guy that sees the big picture. He is easy to work with and makes the experience fun. Also, has to deal with some straight up dumb stuff I say and do at times.  Example… last week, I am in a training session where i am running, say, 50 lap workout broken down over different intervals.  I hit my splits damn near perfectly on 47 of those and complain about how i was off my mark by a second on the odd lap nearing the end of the session and need to improve.  Sorry, Steve!

To my sponsors; The Running Room and Kurtis Marlow (RMT).  Both of you have been extremely kind to me.  The Running Room (a store that I work at) took me on when I wasn’t much to talk about – still not much – but trying to get there. They keep me in fresh kicks and sharp apparel (the RRX gear is nice!).  Kurtis is an extremely warm-hearted person.  I have been getting regular massages since the summer and it has made a huge different in terms of my recovery rates and ability to go hard in training.  Folks, get massages regularly!

I think the music is starting up and the hook is getting taken off it’s holder! I just am so thankful for all of the support that has been given to me over the years.  Thank you for reading this blogs. After next week’s TBI post, I will try and get more into training and stuff….

Thank you and you and YOU

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In View

To runners of all ages and abilities, let it be stated that when running a race in the wonderful City of Kingston there are two things we will never seem to escape. They are the inevitable, which are hills and wind.  If you have ever trained in this scenic city, you know what I am talking about! This city’s rugged conditions have produced athletes like Simon Whitfield and Dylan Wykes, just to name a couple.  It takes a certain grit to train on these windy streets (fun fact: the winds are so good that Kingston was the host site for the 1976 Olympic sailing). There are beautiful limestone buildings before, after and along side of some  delicious rolling hills.  It’s a pretty sweet place to run.

Today, I, and 70ish people, took on the “new year, new you” idea and ran the KRRA Resolution Run.  Diggity darn, these KRRA events are fun and well put together.  They have chili, friendly volunteers -along with welcoming runners, and great prizes for a local race! Here is how it went:

I am always nervous before any race, test, life situations,  so my thinking was the same for this one; do your best and believe.  I went in with no real plan, just run and try to stay focussed.  It should be noted that I have not run a tempo workout in 3 months so I truly was running blind.  This was either going to be a flush or a bust (it turned out average).  Ran the race 8km (hilly with poor footing at times) in a time of 25:08. I was a minute or so a head of second place Rob Asselstine. This guy is going to have a strong 2014 season. With 400m to go in the race, someone from the crowd yells “you might as well walk it in from here.”  My reaction to situations like this are simple; I don’t understand. I don’t know how to take it easy.  It hit me at that moment that I am an A to B runner.  I try and get there as fast as I can (of course, following coach’s- Steve Boyd’s – guidelines).  Live and learn, right.

Thanks again to all the reads and positive reviews.  You people rock and make this running experience fun!

Gotta giddy up and go to a pm running session!!

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Merry Christmas

Hi there readers! I would like to formally introduce myself. I’m Kevin Coffey (incase you clicked on the wrong blog now is a great time exit… or stay for a read?).  This will not be a blog on arts and craft the subjects that will likely be discussed are: running, nutrition, lifestyle and leisure, tbi and of course some rants.

It’s the holiday season so lots of good energy.  I have bumped into some folks I haven’t seen in many years.  It’s nice to chat with people about what has developed in their lives over the last decade! I always find it absolutely fascinating.  One question I always get asked: do you still jog?  – I always giggle a little inside.  first because the word jog is a funny one and second because at times it can feel like that’s all i do! And that is meant in a very positive way.  I am so lucky/blessed to be able to “jog” as much and as often as I do.  In 2013, I was able to run 5km in 15:01, 10km in 30:16, 21.1km in 1:08:29, 30km in 1:39:24 and a marathon (oh baby those suckers hurt the legs and emotions like no other beast!) in 2:26:40.  I won’t dwell on the marathon!

Focussed training will started up again in the second week of January and really looking forward to that.  I am a huge fan of higher milage weeks because lets be honest running  100 mile weeks a lone is a sweet way to get to know yourself. And ya know battle the ol’ demons eh!

Had a little extracurricular fun the other night December 23.  Fellas (12 of them um bois) got together for a BNO (boys night out) little bit of dinner and drinks, then on to bowling (5pin of course) and drinks, things ended up at Santa Slam.  Hilariousness/competitiveness were the themes of the night.  Got a little banged up… but anyways…

Hope it was an alright first entry. I will try to get one posted every couple of weeks and remember: stable ships are meant to weather storms.