Saturday, October 25, 2008

Back in the Saddle ... Almost

So, I am pretty positive that the pain was anterior tibialis tendonitis because I have no more pain and the x-rays came back negative. I have been doing a couple new PT drills to increase the strength and balance in my lower legs, specifically the shins. I have not run in over two weeks, although I have been to the gym to hit the elliptical trainer and weights a couple times this week. On Monday I thankfully start the long journey to my first marathon next fall and get to start running again. I really need it both mentally and physically. I am not going to sweat it, but I have probably put on 5 pounds in the past two weeks because it is hard to go from 110 miles/week to zippo and adjust your eating accordingly. I am still eating for at least 90 miles/week and I have let myself have a couple beers here and there, which I do not generally do while training. I think that I am going to start out slow with about 50-60 miles/week in the beginning and jump about 10 miles each week. I plan on doing a 90, 100, 110, 120+ miles/week pattern each month to give myself a rest every four weeks. If I can hit 90 miles the first week in December I should be in good shape.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

News from the Doctor

I went to see the doctor about my leg today mainly to determine whether it is a stress fracture or not.  I had an x-ray of my lower leg and knee and the doctor said it was negative for tendinitis and stress fractures.  Now, I am not a doctor but I am not so sure that an x-ray would show any information about soft tissue damage or a stress fracture only 6 days after the injury.  I was under the impression that they had to do a bone scan for stress fractures and an MRI for tendinitis.  A stress fracture only shows up in an x-ray after it has started to heal.  The diagnosis was that I have Osgood-Schlatter's Syndrome.  What!?!?  That is not even the right part of the leg - Osgood-Schlatters is in the upper anterior part of the lower leg, just below the knew cap.  My pain is on the lower anterior portion, basically the shin.  I don't doubt that I had OSS when I was younger since I have a noticeable bump in my leg just below the knee cap, but I have not had any pain there since high school.  I am beginning to think that the injury is anterior tibialis tendinitis based on this website.  I definitely feel the "creaking" they talk about and it only hurts when I pull my foot/toes up.

After pestering them a couple times on the phone my PCP got a second opinion from another doctor and they are going to refer me to an orthopaedist.  The other doctor said that he noticed some "early degenerative changes of the knee joint" and wants me to have blood work done to rule out an iron deficiency, thyroid problems, etc...  The word "degenerative" does not sound good though.  I have no pain in my knees so I am not sure what this means.  I will be 36 tomorrow and hope to run (and walk) for many more years.  I guess that we will see in the next couple of days and weeks.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

There is no new progress on the injury - it still hurts and I am still icing, taking Advil and doing some light stretching and PT drills. I may get back to running, but I am not holding my breath for it. I will probably be out for 2-3 weeks and then start the spring training.

I figured that in the mean time I would fill in the blanks in my training for this season. I started on Monday, June 2nd from zero and fought with injuries until the end of August trying to build my mileage. The key to dealing with my injuries, all of which were due to over-pronation, was to get a pair of Sole inserts. I also tried the Superfeet inserts and like the Sole inserts better because my right arch is high and my left arch is low and the Sole inserts are cusomizeable. I was able to supercharge my mileage at that point from somewhere in the 70-80 miles per week range to well above 100 miles per week. Here is my mileage progression:

Mileage: 41, 47, 57, 59, 65, 46, 72, 20, 85, 85, 97, 61, 120, 100, 109, 102, 111, 94, 66 (last week of four days)

In the last week I was targeting 115 miles and then I was supposed to start cutting mileage to hopefully peak the first week of November. So close ...

The 20 mile week was due to an injury. The 61 miles in the 12th week was intentional to give my body some rest after the big mileage ramp and before the speed work started. I got the Sole inserts during the consecutive 85 mile weeks. My highest 7 day mileage total was 127 miles and I was REALLY tired that week. I found that once I broke 100 miles/week I had to increase the number of hours I slept each night from 7-8 hours to probably 9-10 hours.

Mileage by month:
June = 214 miles
July = 133 miles
August = 387 miles
September = 445 miles
October = 135 miles (9 days)

August, September and the first part of October were very good. I probably should have spent more time lifting, cross-training and doing core work to stave off injuries. Either way this goes, this training should be a great base for the spring training.

Friday, October 10, 2008

My shin feels a bit better today than it did yesterday, but I am not even going to attempt to run today. I have been taking ibuprofen throughout the day and icing every hour or two and trying to do some basic stretches (very easy, I do not want to make it worse than it already is) and drills. It is actually a bit odd not running - this is the first morning since probably June or July than I did not have to get up at 5:30AM to get ready to head out the door for a run. Maybe the rest will do me some good. I have to find the positive in this or I will get really depressed with all the other crap going down in the world lately. If I get desperate, I may head to the gym and do a little work on the elliptical trainer.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

AM: 11 (1:24:33) It was pretty darn difficult to get out of bed this morning to run, but it was just a slow regeneration run. Weighed in at 159lbs this morning, which is the first time below 160lbs in a long time. I am getting close to my goal weight of 155lbs.

PM: 5.9 (40:22) This run started out like any other run - I felt a bit tired at the start but I started feeling pretty good 2-3 miles into the run. At around mile 4 I felt a little discomfort in my right shin so I stopped to stretch a bit. By mile 5 the mild discomfort had ballooned into full-fledged pain and I nearly had to walk the rest of the way. I am not 100% sure yet, but I think that this is the same injury that sidelined me in January for 4-5 weeks after the alumni meet. I have not changed anything, increased mileage or increased intensity so I am not sure how this happened. I guess that I am going to take it easy and ice for a couple days to see if things clear up enough to get back to business. If it looks like it is going to take more than a week to recover I may just bag the rest of the season so that I do not jeopardize the spring season. This just figures that it happens the day after I start a training blog. AAARRRRRRGH!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

First post

Well, I figure that I have to enter the 21st century here and start a training blog. I have been working hard over the last year or so to get back into shape and run some acceptable times. I keep track of my training in my personal running logs, but I have been asked to share what I am up to. I added the first two entries for this week so that this week's training will be complete.

AM: 5.2 (36:50) - Easy run to shake out the legs this morning before the track workout tonight. This is the first day that my legs are not sore.

PM: Plan: 5x1600 @ 10k pace (~5:10) w/2min rest.

I ended up running a bit quicker and taking a little more rest than I planned because the first one was quicker than I planned and Dan Moriarty asked me to pace him through an even 4:56 mile (his PR).

2.2 mile warm-up (14:59)
5x1600m in 5:03, 5:02, 5:02, 5:01, 4:54 with 2:20 rest between repeats. The first quarter split was 74 seconds and felt easy so I knew that I was feeling good tonight. I felt incredibly smooth and in control throughout the entire workout and felt like I could have done several more repeats. The rest seemed to be too long in the end, but I wanted to make sure that I could pull Dan through even 74's. By, the way, Dan ran 4:55.
2.2 mile cool-down (17:20)
I finished up with 5x100m strides.
Total: 10.4 miles

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

AM: 11 (1:18:35) It was freakin' cold this morning - about 34 degrees. Easy run to try to work out the stiffness and soreness. First 1/2 mile was miserable.

PM: 6 (41:10) Legs a bit stiff and sore still, but getting better.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Applefest Half Marathon

I ran the Applefest Half Marathon in Hollis, NH on Saturday (10/4) in 74:09 (5:40/mile average) and placed 3rd overall (results). I actually got some press for the effort! It was my first race of the season, my first half marathon ever and a very challenging course so I am not disappointed with the time, but I am not pleased either. I was expecting to run closer to 72 minutes based on workouts, but you have to see the race profile to really appreciate the course (downloaded from my Suunto T6):

Each of the red dots at the bottom of the figure are the mile splits (and 20km split). The splits were: 5:24, 5:53, 5:30, 5:29, 5:39, 5:32, 5:33, 5:40, 5:27, 5:59, 5:48, 5:38, 5:53, 0:37. I went through 5 miles in 27:57, 10 miles in 56:10 and 20km in 1:09:59. Based on the 6 mile split, 10km was probably around 34:52 so the second 10km was not too bad (~35:07). I did not sleep well the three nights before the race because of nerves. I was not anxious about the competition, rather it was racing for over 13 miles and knowing what kind of hills lay in wait for us. I could feel that my legs were a bit sluggish in the warm-up, so I figured that I would take a fairly conservative approach to the first half of the race. I felt really good through mile 7 or 8 before my legs started to feel heavy and I started to lose touch with the leaders. I now know that the down hills pounded the crap out of my quads and pretty much set me up for a miserable last 3-4 miles. Overall, it was a good learning experience and I now know that I have to exercise much more patience for these longer races. I have to lose the miler mentality.

On Sunday (10/5) I ran 21 miles in 2:27:20 and my quads were VERY sore. This is when I realized that the down hills were what did me in.

10.1 (1:09:48) Very sore quads this morning so just going easy to work it out.

PM: 6 (41:51) My quads are still stiff and sore, but they feel a lot better in the afternoon than they do in the morning.