Can you do a Friday Five on Wednesday? Normally I don't think it is good form, but for obvious reasons, I'll be a little bit busy tomorrow and Friday, so let's just call this an early gift from me to you!
1) Humerus watch. See what I did there? I had a bit of a setback in my recovery timetable last week after having an EMG test. That is a test that has two parts to it: the first involves finding a nerve and sending an electric shock through it to see how well it responds. The second part uses a long, flexible needle that goes into the muscle and checks the kind of signal it gets from the nerve.
The electric shock part of it was pretty painful, but thankfully the needle test wasn't so bad. But the person administering the test discovered that my radial nerve (which controls a lot of hand functions) isn't working and that I have a considerable amount of nerve damage in my upper left arm, including in my tricep muscle, which for the most part isn't firing.
The guy who administered the test called the findings "baffling" and couldn't really tell me if it would be permanent or how long it would take to come back. No one knows, honestly, but I'll have a deeper discussion about it with Dr. Chhadia on Jan. 11.
It's a bummer, sure, but I realized that if I had to live the rest of my life with my arm and hand in this condition it would change the game a little but I'd be OK with it. I've contended since the beginning I'm thankful the accident wasn't worse than it was, and so I am at peace with whatever I have to deal with in the future.
Plus, after I saw this video of Florida guard Zack Hodskins last night, I'll never complain again!
So whatever happens, happens, and I'll learn to adapt.
2) Coach Vince. I've gone running with my new running coach three times in the last couple of weeks. Friday we went for a 4-mile run and then got some dinner at Chipotle, where he showed me a basic overview of what he thinks my training should look like, and we got into some more detail about the first four months of the year leading to the Indy Mini.
A lot of the concepts we talked about weren't new to me, but his explanation of the hows and whys of when things were done was a big help. I want to learn how to structure my training so that it maximizes performance. For example, where do, say 400 or 800 repeats work best? How do I find the balance between strength training and running? That kind of stuff.
I told Vince one of my goals was to run through a distance as opposed to to a distance. I want to be able to race a half-marathon, not run 10 miles and hang on for the last 3.1. At 10 miles I want to be able to up the pace if I'm feeling good. That's where PRs come from!
In the end I have been enjoying my running a lot more as of late, and that's really my first goal. If I achieve that, the rest of the good stuff will follow.
3) Podcast! If you have some driving or gift wrapping to do, it would be a great time to catch a couple episodes of the podcast. Last week I got a little long-winded (again) but in the last half spoke about something I feel kind of strongly about, and how it should be a goal for all of us in 2016.
As great and inclusive as the running community is, we are also a bit "tribal" at times too. You know what I'm talking about...the "real runners" vs. the "hobby joggers" -- for the record if you put on shoes and run you are a runner in my book -- for example, or the "Penguins" vs. the "Legends in their Own Minds".
It goes on and on, but if you look at it in written form, it sounds so high schoolish! My take: next year make it a point to reach out to someone in a tribe you might have looked down at or with a little bit of disdain, find out what they do or why they run...if you want to break 30 minutes for a 5K, go up to the guy or girl who won and ask for a word or two of advice. I guarantee what happens will be a lot different than you think.
Here is this week's episode.
You can also find other episodes on iTunes or my SoundCloud page!
4) Holidays! Over the last couple of years I've been fortunate to have had some experiences that have made me a little more of an enlightened guy (or at least I hope). Whatever your faith or outlook on life, I hope you are having a great holiday season and that you are enjoying the spirit of the season, as well as time with your families.
More than ever, we need more peace and friendship in this world. Instead of focusing on our differences, we should celebrate what brings us together. I don't care if you tell me "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays", so long as you say it, because you are being nice to me, and that is what matters.
Mean people suck, and there are lots of mean people in this world. But I say this...screw them. Control what you can control, and be kind to the people you encounter in your life, because like I mentioned in the previous point...we are more alike than we think, and deep down we all want the same things and dream about the same things.
Is this world perfect? No, and it never has been. But the people who have made the most positive impacts in this world are the people who have focused on the good in others and tried their best to spread hope, kindness and love. Try to be one of those people, not only during this week but all the time!
5) My Top posts! Next week will be a big one for the blog and podcast as I look back at 2015 and talk about my goals for next year. Here are few of my fave blog posts of 2015:
* My first run in Dubai was an amazing experience!
* I ran my first half marathon in several years and had a blast.
*(Tie) The Bastille Day 5K is my favorite race and I won my first ever age group award.
* Crewing for my friend Noah at the Leadville 100.
* (Another tie) Running in Milan and Running in Rome!
* Another run in Central Park, NYC.
Thanks to everyone who has read my blog this year, I greatly appreciate your support. Have a great finish to 2015 and a wonderful 2016!