Shutdown

July 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

I got about a week head-start from the rest of the State of Minnesota and shutdown my running a week before July 1st.

 

Following Bjorklund, my calf was still hurting.  I eased my way through a 2-miler two days after the race and then a 3-miler after that.  Six days after the race, I went for a four-miler on the horse trails at  Carver Park Reserve and things didn’t go so well.  I think my legs were still vulnerable and the uneven footing ate up my legs.  Later that night while dealing with our dog, I ended up twisting my sore right knee and Ouch!

Since then, I haven’t run.  I’ve rested it, I’ve iced it. It actually feels a lot better so far today (although I’ve spent most of today composing this post).  I have an appointment in 5 days at an orthopediatrician and hopefully it will be mostly heeled by then.

For now, I rest.  Kind of–still have a ton of yard work I’ll hobble through (not smart).

So far, I have not gotten too nutty from not running–I had planned to take two easy weeks after Bjorklund anyhow. so I’m not feeling like I’m losing training. 

 We’ve had some end-of-fiscal-year projects due (I do work for the state of Minnesota but am not laid off due to the shutdown) that needed some extra attention this past week so I’ve thrown some extra energy into those and that has helped my sanity.

I had a passing thought about running another half on the 4th to  redeem myself a bit but I threw that idea out when I tweaked my knee.  There is a 5k in my small town a week from today that I haven’t completely ruled out.

But for now, I’m just hoping to heal.  Not going to run until I can at least walk without worrying about hurting myself.

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When railings attack…

May 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

During the tempo part of my run yesterday, this railing leaped out with stunning quickness and struck me in the hip.

It hurt.

Not so bad I had to stop or cut the tempo part of my run.

But I do have a bruise today and think it is prudent to take today off.

I am vulnerable to the Public Works’ booby traps because I tend to run on the dirt next to sidewalks as much as possible–usually I escape damage by playing chicken with the obstacle and veer off only after it flinches–this time it failed to flinch.  Like my mother allegedly said about me, “If he had a brain, he would be dangerous”.

The Public Works in some cities want to cull the herd so much that they have resorted to desperate measures–an obstacle like the hydrant  in this picture should not get many runners.

But if you–especially if you share a good portion of my genes–are running in a pack, it would be easy to run into it.

Everyone be safe out there–it is not  just cars that want to get you.

My New Achilles Support System

May 12, 2011 § 4 Comments

Notice anything different?

Yep, that’s right, I got new shoes.

Not only a new pair of shoes, but a new brand (New Balance), a new model (860s)  and a new type (stability).

When I saw Dr. Paul Langer, the Running Podiatrist, several weeks ago for chronically tender Achilles tendons, he prescribed three things to try first:

    • Heel Drops.  I was already doing a variation of these–stand on a stair, hang your heels off the edge, and lift up onto the toes.  Then slowly lower your heels down below the top of the stair you are standing on.  Dr. Langer, however, recommended a variation where you still lift with both legs but then lower yourself back down with just one leg.  The problem I’m having with these is that I’m not coordinated enough to switch from having two feet on the stair to only one with any sense of rhythm.  So not only am I failing to do them the way he recommended, I have also stopped doing them the way I was originally doing them.  Shame!
    • Using a pair of Orange Superfeet Insoles.  Took some searching to find a dealer with the orange ones but I found a pair within a week and have worn them on every run since then.  Not sure that I’ve seen a change but seems like they should do something.  Might not be able to tell from the picture but the insoles that came with my shoes (the top two) are an 1/8th inch  of light-weight foam.  Not good for much.  The orange insoles have a hard plastic piece that runs through the back two-thirds.

  • Switch to Stability Shoes.  I’ve run in Nike Pegasus for over 15 years–there were a couple pairs of Nike Icarus, a pair of Nike Zoom Extras (Cross Country spikes), a pair of Nike Zoom II racing flats, and a brand-forgotten pair that lasted a week.  But for the most part, I’ve worn Pegasus.  And for the most part, when I start a new pair I feel good but after some miles my Achilles get sore again.  I figured that it wasn’t the shoes’ fault since the pain subsides when I start wearing a new pair.  Dr. Langer decided that I slightly over-pronate and shoes try shoes that provide more stability than the Pegasus–gulp!  It was a bit traumatic to buy something totally new but I’m giving them a try.  I tried on the Asics 2160 which also felt good but the New Balance 860s that I bought had a bit more room in the toe-box and has a less aggressive heel counter.

I waited until after running Lake Minnetonka before trying out the new shoes in case I have trouble in them.   But I’ve had them out of the box and been running in them for the last two weeks.  I won’t know for a while what I really think but I have not noticed any dramatic change.  The first thing I noticed is that the heel seems loose–my heel feels like is going to come out at times, especially at the beginning of a run.  Perhaps a different lacing pattern will help.

I’m still in the feeling-out stage with my new companions–there is a lot of excitement and anticipation that maybe these will “solve all my problems” as the shoe dude said although I remain skeptical.  But at least I’m slowly working my way through Dr. Langer’s recommendations and things aren’t getting worse.

The Week That Was 4/4/2011-4/10/2011

April 11, 2011 § 2 Comments

This was the second of three planned weeks of phase II of my half-marathon training for the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon in June.  While I completed every work-out, I didn’t dominate them so I’m thinking that I may extend this phase a week.

Looking at this week, on Tuesday, I did a repetition/hill workout and did OK but not great.  I really struggled with my tempo run on Tuesday.  The ideal tempo workout would be 20 minutes at my tempo pace (currently 7:17) but I managed only to do one mile and then a second half mile.  Now, to be fair, this was my first tempo work since last fall so maybe I shouldn’t be too hard on myself but I really struggled with this workout.  My third work-out was a 10 mile long run which I actually over-ran–suppose to do 8:40s but ended up with a 8:28 average.

So overall, I had one bad workout, one so-so workout, and one good workout.  Looking at the schedule, though, Tempo work continues through the rest of the schedule so extending Phase II by a week would really just give me one more rep/hill workout so I’m not sure.  My left hip really bothered me during the disastrous Tempo run.

The good thing is, though, is since getting my Superfeet inserts, I’ve used only my oldest pair of Pegasus and really haven’t noticed an improvement–if anything, they have gotten sorer.  For my long run on Sunday, however, I wore a newer pair and today my Achilles tendons actually feel better than they did Sunday when I work up.  I’ve come up with the theory that new Pegasus provide enough motion-control for me but, as a cushioned shoe, they lose that control more rapidly than a true motion-control shoe.  And as they lose whatever control capabilities my Achilles take the brunt.

That would explain why I get short-term relief from new shoes but it doesn’t last long.  So hopefully switching to a true motion-control shoe will help–maybe I’ll make that more of a priority.  I still have a fresh pair of Pegasus with 0 miles on them that I was going to use before trying something new but maybe that will need to change.

Jenna Boren, Keep on running

March 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

A blogger I follow pointed out a new blog, Jenna Boren, Keep on running that looks promising.  Jenna is a runner (ha! that’s an understatement, she is a RUNNER, having run in the 2008 Olympic Marathon trails) , a chiropractor, and, perhaps best of all, another Packer fan living in the Twin Cities.  Boren’s first post, Ouch….why does my butt (ha, ha, butt) hurt every winter? takes a general look at what causes injuries, especially if you’re running on snow & ice throughout the winter or making Defensive Player-of-the-Year type plays during the Super Bowl.

And the Doctor says…

March 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’ve had a bit of soreness and tenderness in both Achilles tendons for years.  As I ramp up the mileage, up goes the discomfort.  Nothing that has hampered my running too much–mostly general soreness in the morning.

But now, with access to more runner-friendly doctors, I decided I might at well talk to someone with actual medical training about them.

Yesterday, I spent an hour getting poked & prodded, X-rayed, and examined by a podiatrist.  Found out I have restricted range of motion in my big toes and my arches have some tendency to collapse (my interpretation of doctor-speak).

The first round of treatment is simple: doing toe-raises, an off-the-shelf insert and switching to a stability running shoe.

He recommended a different method to doing toe-raises than I am use to.  Traditionally, I have done both the raising and lowering with both legs at once.  He instructed me to use both legs to raise up and then switching to one leg to slowly lower myself down.

The inserts and stability shoes are designed to provide more support for my arches.

Physical therapy and/or cross-friction massage are the next steps if the problems persist after a couple weeks.

The X-rays showed some minor heel-spurs and, after paying closer attention this morning, I realized that my heels are a bit sore too.  So add that to my watch-list.

That’s more like it.

March 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

The next 10 day weather forecast is exciting:

The temperature is supposed to get above freezing every single day for the next 10 days.

This has been a long, tough winter for running. We received a lot of snow early and while not horribly cold, the temperature was cold enough that the snow has stayed and stayed and stayed. So we still have snow banks and ice patches. The footing has been tough and it has been slow going so I’m looking forward to a melt-off and clear running. Not to mention discarding a few layers.

Boy was it tough getting up at 4:45 today after running long and switching back to Daylight Savings Time. Right ankle is a bit sore from yesterday’s run, as are both Achilles tendons but that is typical. Plan for an easy 3 this afternoon for a purely recovery run.

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