Sunday, July 31, 2011

Maintain But No Progress

The last week was one with minimal gains and maybe a bit more loss. I have been able to maintain fitness but I am not getting any faster by the training I'm doing. I managed to get a Chiro adjustment and do some self massaging with the Stick and my right calf seems to be at ease. In the meantime I have woken up some old left Achilles tendonitis which I am very aggressively treating. (been down that road and wish to never get as bad as I was in 2007-2008!) Once I get the green light on the Achilles I may just find myself in decent shape this fall. I always like racing in the fall season so I guess that is a good thing. I remain to swear off all marathons this year but I got the bug to train for one now. Maybe 2012 will be a marathon year for me. Now I'm getting too far ahead of myself, but for now I need to get healthy and be ready to help my Ragnar Relay team in three weeks.

Here is a brief summary of the last week.

Monday: I ran an easy road loop up past old Pig's and home via Vermillion. Legs are feeling decent. No calf issues.
52:00 6.5 miles
Tuesday: Out and back on Skyline. Feeling much better and had to keep things under control.
1:00:00 8.3 miles
Wednesday: no go. i was tired and took the 8+ hours of sleep
0 miles
Thursday: Kenwood and UMD area. left achilles minor twinge.
55:37 7.7 miles
Friday: Out and back via Cemetery loop. Left achilles has me concerned. I don't want to go down this path of 2007-2008 agian.
30:57 4 miles (exercises and ice achilles)
Saturday: Achilles felt better but I hiked a bunch of miles at the Voyageur 50 Miler taking pictures in the backwoods. Felt good.
3-4 miles hiking
Sunday: I managed to get out in the hottest part of the day. 86F when I ran and I felt great! I managed to stay in the woods on trails by UMD and Chester Bowl and take a little dip in Chester Creek mid run. Both calf and Achilles felt fair and no major pulls to be concerned with. Just need to keep rehabing and exercises.
1:01:04 7.3 miles trails

Weeks Total: 34 miles *5 runs + one hike and one rest day
Years Total: 1371.7 miles

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fickle Calf

I have had my share of ups and downs with this calf issue. I know I didn't strain it. The damn thing decides to tighten when ever it wants out of the blue and very quickly. I have a feeling it is related to tight IT Band in the hip or possibly a lower back/SI alignment. I will see the Chiro this week and keep at my stretches and massage. My hopes are that this is behind me, but I felt like that last week and it came back very quickly. So, I hope to have a nice stretch of running this week and hopefully soon get back to some workouts.

I was able to run through last weekend and Monday and Tuesday of last week, then my calf gave me shit on Tuesday and required me to jog home. After taking Wednesday and Thursday off I ran a light run on Friday but a bit of tightness remained. I took off Saturday and ran this afternoon and had a wonderful run. PLEASE let this be behind me!

1:00:00 trails

Monday: easy, slow 4.5 miles 35:00

Tuesday: 7 miles with calf tightening.

Wed/Thur: 0 miles

Friday: 5 miles easy (slight tightening)

Saturday: 0 miles

Sunday: 50:00 5+ miles on singletrack trails in Lester with Tony.
Felt great!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Purple Donuts

I managed to get a quick appointment and sign up for a hour massage with my usual therapist. Yeah! To start the session she always asks me, "why are you here today?" I like that about her. She always is interested and ready to tackle whatever issue I may have going. I told her about my calf and the fact I was a bit stumped as to why it reared its ugly head in the first place. She had some ideas and we got underway.

To save you the boredom of the whole hour, let me tell you she found "the spot" within 10 minutes and really focused on "breaking up the adhesions". Just let me tell you one thing. If a therapist ever utters those words, get ready for the hurt-locker. It's what needs to be done and very crucial, AND a good therapist knows when to back off during the session. We have that kind of relationship and it works wonders. I was at that point when the adhesions were being "torn off" that I did all I could to stay relaxed and breathe easy. Not so easy to do, but an essential part of a massage. I had my eyes closed and I was doing all I could not to kick my leg and then I saw one. Then two. Then many more to follow. No kidding. I had my eyes closed and I saw little purple donuts floating through my visual field. At first I thought I was crazy, but I opened and closed my eyes again and they were still there. Wow! I asked her. "Is it normal to see purple donuts with my eyes closed?" She laughed a bit and got back to work.

I said many "mama-mea's" and made it through the hour. What a great hour of work it was. I got my $ worth that's for sure.

This morning I hooked up with the two Dave's, Grant and a new couple to the area. We showed them the trails at Rock Hill and Hartely and had a wonderful easy trail run. I was a bit concerned of the calf but it warmed nicely and stayed loose the entire loop. I almost added to run 90 minutes but opted out. Probably the smart thing to do at this point. It's nice to be back and I am loving every minute of it. To make matters so much better my lovely wife has been back at the miles and seems to be making progress. Something she hasn't been able to say for quite some time.

Total: 1:07:30 ~8 miles

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Forced Break

Last week I had some stellar training underway. I felt like I had made the recovery from the GB-Half and I had the green light to start the push for my next race. I had planned a week of strength work and light speed secession with the usual long effort on the weekend. The week went great and on Saturday I ran my long run with Nic again and we started nice and early so we could tend to our own responsibilities after. The last half hour of the long run I had my right lateral calf muscle begin to tighten. With a mile and half to get home I had to stop and attempt to stretch my calf. I managed to run a bit more but quickly realized I could do some serious damage if I kept running on it so I stopped once again and made the rest of the journey a walk home. I am not too sure yet what the root of the problem is but I have my own theory. On my Thursday workout on the track I felt my lower leg get a little fatigued and at the end of my last interval it was a bit tight. My low back was tight as well. I never gave it much thought as that seems to be quite normal. The following easy day I was very fatigued but no soreness or pain to deal with. Then the Saturday long run came and the rest is history.

It is now the following Thursday and I have not run but once since last Saturday. I tried to jog on Tuesday and lasted a little over a mile and I was reduced to a walk again. It is feeling better and I can stretch it out a bit from my hip stretches I do. That is why I think it is referred pain from tight hips/glutes/low back. I am a bit taken back with this, since I don't truly know what the hell is going on and I hope to have it licked by the weekend. I'm just a bit worried about starting too soon and being back at square one. I have pushed all racing thoughts out of my mind until the Ragnar Relay in mid/late August. If things improve sooner I may jump in a local 5 or 10K just to test the waters. So that is my last two weeks. Here are the details.

Week 4th-10th

Monday: another easy hour just to shake things out a bit.
56:40 8 miles

Tuesday: Hills, 4 x hills at UMD with 30 second strider on top
56:56 7.8 miles

Wednesday: Easy loop through Kenwood area and Skyline.
54:21 7.4 miles

Thursday: Track session at UMD 4 X 1000 meters
3:14, 3:12, 3:08, 3:12
56:08 8.1 miles

Friday: Morley Park neighborhood run. Snively home
44:33 6.1 miles

Saturday: Started in downpour rain, out to Stebner, Morris Thomas, Piedmont, Skyline home.
2:00:25 16.5 miles (0.5 mile walk)

Sunday: OFF *calf issue

Weeks Total: 54 miles
Years Total: 1301.4 miles

So far this week I have attempted to jog a bit on Tuesday with failure. I felt decent to start and after the one mile mark I could feel the calf tightening very quickly so I immediately turned the jog into a walk and made my way home.

I have been doing a series of stretches and things are improving but I am still quite apprehensive to try running as I can still feel some tightness when walking stairs. I hope to get back at it by next week but right now it's day by day.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Time To Restart The Engines- Progress

I woke up and really had a difficult time getting motivated to run, much less a run with some sort of intervals. I really came close to staying in bed but something told me to get up and at least give it a try.
As I hit the road and started making my way to Chester Bowl I really was doubting my legs. At 2.5 miles I threw in a strider and realized I was that far off and indeed my legs would turn over if I asked them to. So I decided on "near" tempo run pace for three minute intervals.
The first felt fair and the rest felt great! I was clicking off 5:25 pace like nothing. The last interval was up a slight incline so that one didn't feel the best but I finished very satisfied.

Total: 57:29. 8.4 miles 5 x 3 min at 5:25 pace

I ran an easy loop out to the SHT and ran it doe to Hawks Ridge before making my way home via Sively.
A decent run and finally nailed a great morning run as far as weather goes.

Total: 54:55. 7 miles

Feeling fatigue and just not willing to listen to the alarm this moening. I stayed in bed a bit and then got up and went to work early.

Total: o miles rest day.

I finally connected with Nic again and we made our way out to Park Point and back for our early morning long run. The morning was already approaching 70F and we had plenty of sunlight as company. I was surprised how good I felt as this was my first longer effort since late May. My legs really didn't get too fatigued and the energy was there at the end. A nice surprise.

Total: 1:59:06. 15.8 miles

After my wife ran her long run I took to the woods of Hartley and did a loop before doing a small loop in Rock Hill. I am always bummed out in the summer after attempting to run in Hartley. The mud, rocks, and roots are ever so apparent as compared to the smooth surface of winter running. There are times when I enjoy the slow slog, not that often, and today wasn't one of them. I tripped and fell the last time I ran in there and I guess I was still tasting sour apples because I kept the pace very pedestrian and eventually made the loop.

Hartley is such an interesting place. I love the fact that it is 4 minutes from our house but the terrain is just blah. My take on it is it's good for recovery but that is about it. There are a lot of hard working individuals that work to maintain the trail but I believe its work that is appreciated by a small group of users. There have been more re-routes in the last three or four years and I can see many more in the near future. The re-routes get hammered by the bikers who dont respect the wet trails and soon the new path is beat to shit and now more re-routes are needed. I guess I will bid my time and wait til the leaves fall and once again they will be covered in snow. But let's hope that is FAR to the future.

Total: 1:06:30. 7.4 miles easy

Weeks Total: 54 miles
Years Total: 1247.5miles