I have been quite sedentary the last week and a half. I mentioned in an earlier post that I am a terrible cross trainer and I am out to prove it once again. The hassle of getting a bag together the night before work and heading out earlier to work, the fitness center I would go to is at the medical center where I work, just doesn't appeal to me.
The one, and most important, benefit of taking this time off is that my achilles feel great. I have been doing the eccentric calf work and maybe that has helped me recoup as well. I am taking some "extra" time off and hoping that once I resume training I can build with no achilles pain.
Grandma's Marathon came and went as quick as the squalls that poured on the post marathon crowd. My wife and I put in a pretty decent effort being good spectators and setting up camp near Sir Ben's at the 23.5 mile mark of the marathon. I had good positioning for pictures, but screwed up the aperture. I will attempt to post a few soon. The weekend was great and I met a few new people that have some interesting ties to the running world.
I would like to think that as we get older or "seasoned" we make better decisions. By taking most of last week away from running, a move that was very difficult to do since I wasn't feeling "that bad", my lower legs and feet feel MUCH better. I read an article regarding "acute" versus "chronic" achilles tendinitis and it was looking like I was heading towards the chronic type which sounded like a definite wrong move. Time off now should help get me up an running sooner and hopefully keep the achilles issues away.The massage I got on Tuesday was amazing and I should get another this week. I had such a strong urge to run yesterday it was killing me to sit yet another day. I'm glad I did.
This morning I crawled out of bed to make it to the early morning swim at UMD. The first couple laps felt pretty bad but soon I was in a good groove and the time passed very quickly and I actually ended feeling better than when I started. Overall, a good day of cross training in the pool.
Now, having said that there could be a couple variables that may sway that statement. First off, I don't have a very nice bike. Maybe the seat is not adjusted right, maybe the frame doesn't fit me, or just maybe biking sucks. Second, Kari and I went for a ride while I was towing Lucas in the trailer. Yeah, I haven't biked all season and my first ride is pulling my 3 year old. Lastly, maybe if I kept at it for a few weeks things would eventually get better and biking may not turn out to be so bad. At any rate, we got in a really good hour loop that gave my quads, glutes and lower legs got a good challenge and it made my "scrunt" hurt like I have felt it before. (I had new $60.00 bike shorts on so don't tell me to go and buy a pair) Yup, biking sucks.
My first option for decent cross training this morning was to swim. It is close to the house, and I suck at it so I get a super cardio workout. I didn't aqua jog but I am going to dig out the Pete Fitz. workouts and start to do that a few days a week. My main concern is once a week or so getting in a long aerobic workout. It might have to be the bike! YUK!
A medical term for "range of motion". That's what I didn't have in my ankle/foot. I saw a massage therapist today and after sharing with him my story regarding my achilles and lower leg he decided to "dig in there and see what I can find..." It was about two minutes into the massage and he figured out one major problem. No ROM in the medial (inner) part of my ankle. After rolling (spraining) my ankle to the lateral (outside) several times the muscles, tendons, ligaments were completely locked up on the medial side to compensate for the weakness and attempt to keep the foot stable. After a bit of ambulating this would tighten and pull on my achilles.
After 45 minutes or so of working on my lower left leg, and many times coming close to crying like a little boy (you DON'T say uncle to your massage therapist) I could tell he was on to something. I need to make another appointment and get some more kinks worked out. The good news is, he is on to something and I think it will work.
What this does mean is I am taking some serious time away from running and going to be cross training and get this thing healed for good.
No running today... will cross train as much as possible in the weeks to come.
Yup. The title says it all. I did an easy cemetery loop and after twenty minutes, my left achilles started to feel a tugging sensation again and was soon forcing me to walk. No calf tightness this time. I think this is all related to the ankle sprains at the trail 25K. I just can't figure out what the mechanism is that is causing the "pull" on the achilles. As soon as I can sit and massage the lateral-posterior ankle area it loosens up and I can walk pain free for a bit, then it "spasms" again and pulls on the achilles. Tomorrow I have a massage appointment. If I have no luck with this, it may call for a trip to the sports medicine doc's.
Monday: After a decent week of running and a wonderful weekend of back to backs I figured I would take it easy this morning and do a nice out and back on west skyline for a recovery run. About 15 minutes into the run I hit a small (very) pothole and twisted my left ankle. (this is the one I rolled 4 times during the SHT 25K) It didn't really register that I twisted it but after another five or ten minutes of running my lower calf and achilles started to tighten, and soon started to hurt. I made it home before things got too bad and did a routine of strengthening exercises before heading out to work. At work, it continued to get tight and the achilles felt like it was being "tugged" by something that made it quite difficult to ambulate. This would be a quick end to what I thought would be a building week.
Totals: 42:00 5.5 miles
no running. just easy stretching and icing. by Friday I was feeling near "normal" and was willing to run, but decided to take an extra day off and hope for a good weekend.
a good run out to vermilion and back taking it "easy". even though the pace was feeling relaxed, I did the loop feeling pretty snappy.
Totals: 28:00 4+ miles
An article in Sunday's paper regarding a Hartley trail re-route made me curious. I knew it would be near the "guard rail loop" by description, I just needed to know which section it was on. In the end, it was not that big of a deal, but the redirect of traffic was absolutely ridiculous. Some land (lot) owner, that I can almost bet my life on, has no fitness sense, recreation ideals, or any thought for the outdoors, one day decides that he/she doesn't want a single track trail running through their "corner" of their lot. Anybody that skis, walks, runs, moutain bikes would pay huge to live on that lot and open the trail for all. It would be considered an honor to have a trail so close to your back door. Crazy!
Anywho... my run was muddy, wet and very comfortable. I wore a heart rate monitor to keep the pace easy and managed to average a HR of 134 for the duration. It would seem that I am on the mend, once again, and look forward to the next week to build up again.
I woke up feeling very good and was planning on at least an hour run and more depending on the legs. I made my way through Hartley again on the SHT and checked on the status of one of my running buddies that lives on the other side of the park... not to be, I question a late night by the sites at the front door. Off I went, back into the park and made my way back to Rock Hill where I knew there would be a few folks doing loops to make up their long run. I soon joined the group and ran for two loop before calling it a morning and made my way home. Feel Great! Legs have definitely taken a turn for the better.