Posts Tagged ‘injury’

The sad story that is my attempt to run continues, one demoralizing chapter at a time. Right foot: bone spurs and steroid injections directly into my ankle and sole with 3 inch needles. Left foot: bone spurs and plantar fasciitis. And most recently, not to be left lonely and unnoticed, my left knee has developed an intense pain and tenderness directly beneath the kneecap.

But hey, this blog isn’t about feeling sorry for myself, so let’s get to the good news. I am still young and handsome, after all. What’s that? Oh, damn! Never mind.

I took an anti-inflammatory, Celebra, for three days when the knee pain appeared last week. And I’ve adjusted my schedule by reducing my total runs to 4 over the past two weeks. The Celebra eliminated the pain and I did not run while medicating, hoping to bounce back and not look back. Unfortunately things didn’t work out that way, and yesterday after two more days of rest the pain reappeared while walking up the stairs.

On Sunday of this week I am scheduled to run in the City Tour 10k. My performance and preparation are going to be suspect, at best. But that’s life. You do what you can, when you can, and the rest is the randomness of living on a planet that rotates on its axis at roughly 1000 miles per hour.

I received an update from the race organizers stating that due to safety and security concerns the route for the 10k had to be slightly altered. So it looks like we will be running 9.5k instead, which equates to 5.9 miles. That should help me accomplish my goal of a sub 1:00:00 finishing time, but over an incomplete distance.

And now, for those of you who demand to be entertained by a real runner, a guy who is out there running marathons, ultra-marathons and sprinting up Pike’s Peak, I bring you Mr. Sage Canaday of Vo2Max Productions, who recently filmed an adventure run in the Grand Canyon: Rim to Rim to Rim.

Enjoy, and may you have the best run of your life each and every time you lace up your shoes.

 

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Every once in a while during your training it’s recommended that you back off of the mileage and or intensity in order for your body to adapt to the recent stresses and recover properly before pushing it to new limits again.  Somewhat more by necessity than by design, I am taking this week to do that.

Two weeks ago I doubled my longest run ever and in a single run hit my long term goal of 13.1 miles.  There were a few walk breaks mixed in here and there, but mentally I was so relieved to get that distance out of the way.  Instead of thinking ahead, planning and being smart, which would have required me to reduce the mileage the following week so as not to blow myself up, I replaced the mileage with several days of interval training.

In retrospect, I believe it would have been ok if my intervals were limited to mile repeats and 800s, but the 400s were a bad idea.  My technique, experience and fitness level right now don’t call for 400s, and the increased impact from those almost out of control sprints really took its toll on my body. While nothing felt injured, my shins and knees were definitely a bit tender and I took two consecutive days off to make sure everything was working properly.

Yesterday was my first run of the week, an easy pace for 4 miles, to shake out any cobwebs and get back into the swing of things.  During the first mile I could feel a strange, dull ache on the outside of my left foot’s arch. Nothing debilitating mind you, but a new and unwelcome visitor to the house of pain.  All day yesterday after the run, while walking around the house and grocery store the pain remained.  My foot is not sensitive to the touch. I can rub and squeeze it, as well as stretch my foot and calf without duplicating the sensation. But the act of walking or running immediately brings it back.

So strange and untimely.

Thursday I am going to run an easy 5k.  If I add any surges or not will completely depend on my foot.

Saturday is the ECORUN 10k which I am running with my wife.  That may turn into a survival course instead of a fitness test.

For one reason or another this week’s training  is significantly reduced in mileage and effort.  Let’s see how it plays out.

 

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photo credit

 

Patience, Day 1

Let me start by saying that I realize many people are suffering and enduring circumstances far worse than I can probably imagine.  Even within my extended family there are crises in progress that far outweigh in importance the petty and self-indulgent complaining in which I am about the begin. Having said that, this is my blog and it’s officially time to schedule a little self pity.

Yesterday, while out on a 5k run my right Achilles tendon began to tighten and become stiff and painful. I debated the wisdom of continuing as the pain became progressively worse and ultimately decided to walk the final half mile home. By the time I reached my front door there was no debating the fact that I was injured, and climbing the stairs to shower proved quite difficult.

 Let’s backtrack twenty or so years ago to explain why this seemingly tedious injury is bothering me so much.

 I served briefly in the U.S. military and was exposed to running on a routine basis for the first time. I played baseball and a little soccer in my youth but never had I run six days a week, every week.  During this training my 2 mile run times were sub 12:30 and I even managed to once rocket through a 1 mile session in less than 5:30. These aren’t impressive times by any real runner’s standards, I know. But they were my pinnacle, and was, and am, proud of them.

 After exiting military service I was sporadic with my fitness attempts. A few months of weight training here and there. Several months of martial arts training. And attempts to run that would inevitably lead to knee pain and swelling so severe that within a few weeks I was hobbled. This cycle of nonsense carried on for more years than I care to admit or contemplate.

 For just over a decade, every attempt I made to include running as part of my fitness regimen ended with injury or pain that I was unable to endure, compensate for, or eliminate.

 Approximately four months ago I began researching online information regarding common running injuries, their causes, remedies and of course, how to avoid them in the first place. This lead me to Christopher McDougall’s national bestseller, Born to Run, which in turn enticed me to read several articles by Dr. Lieberman of Harvard University regarding studies that compared traditional heel strikers to those runners who made contact with their mid foot or the balls of their feet. Once this trickle of information began to seep in, the floodgates opened and I was researching everything I could about natural running, barefoot running, minimalist running, Danny Dreyer’s Chi running and Dr. Romanov’s POSE Method.

 I began very conservatively by walking barefoot on a treadmill for 30 minutes, three times per week. After two weeks, I transitioned to a barefoot, walk-jog session on the treadmill for 30 minutes in duration, three times per week. After two weeks I began running barefoot on the treadmill three times per week, building my aerobic capacity, as well as my foot, ankle and tendon strength to a level in which I could sustain 30 minutes of continuous running.

 Feeling confident, I began a commonly referred to Couch to 5k training regimen on the treadmill. It wasn’t as easy as pie, but my preparation made it manageable and I felt no pain or discomfort while running. Only the normal post work out soreness of muscles and lactic acid.

 Inspired by my progress I moved on to a 10k training plan designed by the same company and also moved one of my weekly runs to the roads. I was aware that the impact and forces of road running would be significantly different than the treadmill, and had no intention of pushing the envelope in regards to injury.

 Yesterday was Day 1 of the fourth week of 10k training.  I had completed an 8k run on Monday and yesterday was to be a slow, comfortable 5k recovery run. I was also going to begin running two sessions per week on the road.  My Achilles disagreed.

 So now I am sidelined. In no man’s land. Waiting. Brooding. Sulking. Thinking. Analyzing. Asking questions. Did this happen because:

  • Every route I run outdoors has numerous hills, over taxing my Achilles?
  • Am I over pronating and causing excessive torque on my Achilles?
  • Are my calves severely tight and stretching my Achilles unnecessarily?
  • Am I landing properly or too much on the balls of my feet, adding undue stress?
  • Am I running too fast? (highly unlikely)
  • Are my joints and tendons simply responding to an accumulated work load to which they are unaccustomed?

So many variables. So many possibilities. And with only my limited abilities at self perception available to offer feedback during training sessions my fear is that I will begin a new cycle of injuries and ailments. Maybe no longer my knees, but simply a migration to a neighboring joint, tendon or socket of anatomical and bio-mechanical failures.

 Today is Day 1 of recovery.

 RICE. Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation.

 Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

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