Thursday, November 29, 2007
Got up and did 100 min on the elliptical. There's nothing to say about 100 min on the elliptical. I slowly got my heart rate up to 140 over the first 30 minutes, then up to ~145 by the end, averaging 140 bpm. I didn't run across any deer. I didn't twist my ankle in a pothole. I just used the elliptical for 100 minutes and got off. How boring. (Oh, I did the same core routine.)
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I don't think I've mentioned it but I've added some core exercises about every other day. 10-15 each of regular, left/right oblique, and reverse crunches; 3x30sec superman; and 3x20sec easy planks (knees on floor).
Sunday, November 25, 2007
We: elliptical 100 min - back to the elliptical where I belong
Th: elliptical 60 min
Fr: elliptical 100 min
Sa: 4.4 miles in 39 min on grass - less painful, but not good. Used very short strides. Heart rate pretty high.
Su: elliptical 94 min, bike 6 min - a little discomfort on the inside of my left knee and I moved to the bike
I tried running twice, but it was probably premature. I had swelling later in the day. I also have that disturbing sensation of friction between the tendon and ligament as I plantar- and dorsi-flex my foot. I'm about 90% sure I have tibialis anterior sheath inflammation. I'm not going to run a step this week. Hopefully I can mix in some runs the next week. It's hard to be patient. I can't decide whether or not I should use the referral for an MRI I have. He said to get the MRI if it still hurt after a week (which it does), but on the other hand it's improved a lot and I'm sure the treatment will be the same regardless of what it says.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
What to do from here? Do I keep up the elliptical or just get lazy for a while? I'll probably do the former. I'm not sure what kind of training strategy do use after this. I'm considering either something complicated or something simple.
The complicated approach involves core exercises, cross-training, working on power/speed (through hills and intervals) and gunning to get faster before building up fatigue resistance. A lot of this stuff is in Matt Fitzgerald's "Brain Training for Runner's." While I think his justification is weak and informercialish (to invent a word), the recommendations make some sense to me. He starts with speed/power and builds to more race pace specific quality training a la Renato Canova. He recommends doubling several days a week with running and cross-training, which is something I've thought of doing before to bump up the volume without the injury risk. He also recommends core conditioning, which is something I believe I sorely need. (This speaks for itself.)
The simple approach involves just running -- a lot. Run home and to work twice a week (total 42 miles), a long run on the weekend (14-18), and a fill in run or two (5-10) to get to about 70 miles (preferably in 6 days). Something like Mo - off, Tu- 5 am/10.5 pm, We - 10.5 am, Th - 10.5 pm, Fr - 10.5 am, Sa - 5 am, Su - 18 for 70 miles. I like to talk big when I can't even run 10 miles right now! I felt like I improved a lot this summer even though it didn't materialize in any big PRs (I PR'd the half at the end of a big week, but it was equivalent to the 10 mile time). In restrospect, I think it was mainly the mileage and doing 4 10+ mile days per week rather than three. I've done the pm then am thing before and together it's almost like another long run. I'd be getting three pseudo long runs a week (if I survived).
An advantage of the run a lot approach is avoiding the headache of 4 out of 10 commutes a week. I'd save maybe $8 in gas, but the self-righteousness I'd earn would be priceless. The dollars per mile is pretty close on shoes versus gas in the car -- about $0.20 per mile. I figure I probably break even in car service and depreciation costs versus medical co-pays and future knee replacement :-)
Monday, November 19, 2007
If this were football, I'd be on the doubtful list. With the loss in fitness, it seems much more likely I'll injure myself than qualify.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Tu - 33 min stationary bike/140 bpm; my hips were so sore after this!
We - 120 min elliptical/143 bpm
Th - Rest, saw orthopedist - x-ray neg, prescription for MRI to use in a week if I still have pain
Fr - 60 min elliptical/forgot HRM
Sa - 121 min elliptical/145 bpm
Su - Rest
My poor "wattage" on the elliptical on Wed and Fri for the same heart rate was mainly due, I think, to the fact they turn the heat down on holidays (vet's day) and weekends. Still Monday seemed considerably better than Saturday.
My shin is feeling a lot better than it was, but it's still swollen compared to the left and I can't do foot circles without pain. The creepy "creaking" sensations as my flex my foot isn't as pronounced though. I'm considering testing it with a short run tomorrow. Maybe I should try the treadmill and then hop on the elliptical if it doesn't work out. If I run at home, I'll do laps on the crushed gravel track to avoid hills. Only 6 days left.
Week: 0.18 miles running, 7h52m elliptical, 33 min bike, 144 bpm avg hr
Friday, November 16, 2007
My leg has continued to improve and I must be optimistic because I found myself checking the marathon weather: high 54, low 44, and 60% chance of rain. The temps are perfect but rain wouldn't be fun. While it's a very flat marathon, it is a "trail marathon" and I'd be a little worried about the footing. There's lots of crushed limestone sections that would be unaffected, but the packed dirt section might be slick in spots.
I can't believe I'm even considering this. MRI prescription dated 15 November. Marathon on 24 November. Hmmm.
Today was 60 minutes on the elliptical. I had a fantastic 2h50m elliptical at level 3.7-3.8 at 77-78 rpm on Monday. I've stunk since then. Today was eventually level 3.0 and ~80 rpm. I left my HRM at home by accident, but I know I was probably about 150 bpm. How could I sustain level 3.8 for nearly 3 hours on Monday and today not be able to sustain it for an hour? Have I lost that much fitness?
Hoping for a miracle...
By the way, I've started reading Mircea Bogdan's blog. He's a Romanian steeplechaser training for the 2008 Olympics.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I saw the doctor and it went down like I thought it would. First, I'll say I liked the doctor. He was probably about my age (I'm getting older) and I'd bet money he was a runner based mainly on how thin he was. He also didn't bat an eye at things like 60 miles per week and speeding up on the downhills to work on turnover ("sure, sure"). I told him I was taking 600 mg 3 times a day and icing. "Perfect" he said, although he did say I could go to 800 mg.
So I got an x-ray and he didn't see anything although he did look puzzled and asked me if I ever had a stress fracture or problems with my shins before. "No," I said. He said I had unusually thick leg bones along the front. He thought it might be from running but wasn't sure and said it was pretty unlikely I'd break my leg. That's nice I guess.
The plan is to see if it still hurts in a week. If it does, then I should go for an MRI and follow up with him. If it doesn't then I should slowly mix running back in with the elliptical. Is 26.2 a week from Saturday slow enough? I didn't ask that. I did get one answer I wanted: "If it's not painful then you're not hurting yourself." The plan is vitamin I, elliptical, and ice and hope that I don't feel any pain in a week. I'll have to run some by late next week before I'd attempt a marathon. I'm not sure how many miles I'd need to be confident though. A lot of braggadocio from a guy who's walking with a limp!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
My hips were incredibly sore after only 33 minutes on the bike yesterday. I notice my quads were a little sore when I started the elliptical this morning.
I have a working theory that sugar is evil. After feeling kind of fried a week after the marathon I switched to slow running and looked to reduce other stress-inducers. I switched to the classical station in the car and stopped pounding the Halloween candy. The runs in the couple of days after I swore off sugar were noticeably better, but not enough to conclude anything. The other thing that happened was I slept through the night rather than waking up at 3am feeling hot, sweaty, and wide awake. Of course, I took my renewed health and blew it on a 13 mile progression run, 8 miles with strides, and 6 "easy" with some faster downhill stuff, which led to my current situation.
Last night we had "homemade" pizza (made from Trader Joe's dough) , which is basically like eating a loaf of wonderbread for dinner. I woke up again at 3am. This is starting to be a trend. My elliptical session much "slower" than Monday also. On Monday I did 2h50m at level 3.7-3.8 and 76-78 rpm, which put the watts in the low 80's. Today at the same heart rates I started at 3.8 and quickly went down to 3.0 at about 75-78 bpm, generating 65-70 watts. What a dramatic difference. I wonder if it could have been hotter in the gym.
Anyway, the results today were 2h0m on the elliptical and an appointment with the orthopedist (I see him tomorrow). I guess I want to rule a ruptured tendon or anything crazy. I know what will happen though (at least this is what I'm hoping for). x-ray negative. MRI says stuff is swollen (ya think?) and you ought not run. Rest, ice, and vitamin I.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Anyway, my shin is still killing me. It hurts to walk. Pointing my toes is excruciating. The swelling has gone down some and there's actually bruising on the surface of my shin in a couple of places. What the hell did I do? It's not like I had shin splints that I was ignoring. This just came out of nowhere. My guess is that I pulled/strained something. I'd go to the doctor, but I'm 99% sure it's not a stress fracture. All he would do is x-ray (negative), MRI (gee some stuff is swollen), and tell me to rest, ice, compress, and elevate.
The plan is to alternate between the elliptical and the bike until I feel better. Hopefully that will be well before the marathon. If not, I'll just bag it. I wish I knew now if I wasn't going to make it though, because I'd just take a couple of weeks completely off.
Monday, November 12, 2007
My shin is so bad that I've taken to walking backwards downhill. It's hard to imagine how I'll be recovered in 12 days, but since I believe it's a muscle (and not a tendon), I think it's a possibility. I'm planning to elliptical until I can walk without pain.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Tu - 8.2 (9:18/136)
We - 4.6 (8:53/140) - HRM messed up first mile, more like 138 avg
Th - 13.3 (8:19/151) - progression run, 6 ez then 7:59, 7:47, 7:34, 7:29, 7:15, 7:39, 8:18
Fr - 8.2 (9:06/142) - w/ 10 strides
Sa - 5.8 (8:53/142) - hurt right shin, very painful to walk home
Su - planned long run, but off for injury
Things were going pretty well until yesterday. I was trying to work on my turnover a little on the downhills on saturday and that, combined with the strides the day before, is what I think caused me to hurt my shin. I think I was overstriding on the strides and downhill running and the breaking action strained my shin muscle (tibialis anterior). The marathon is two weeks away and I was hoping to do a long run this weekend (say 18 miles). I only did 13 last week (the week after marine corps). I might be rationalizing, but I think running might be less painful than walking. The other option I can think of is trying to use the elliptical for a long run, but I can't imagine hours on that thing.
week 48 miles, 7h14m, 8:57 avg, 142 bpm avg
Sunday, November 04, 2007
(last Sunday was MCM)
M, Tu, We - Rest
Th - 6.6 (9:13mm/138bpm)
Fr - 8.2 (8:59/139)
Sa - 4.2 (9:30/139) - I'm always much slower on the treadmill
Su - 13.6 (8:42/150)
My pace/heart rate was bad all week. Hopefully it's just recovery. I feel like I lost my mojo and I'd like it back. I have the dumbest thing bothering me now: a blister/callus thingy on my right pinky toe. Ouchy.
32.6 miles, 4h53m, 8:58 avg pace, 143 bpm avg hr
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Above is some from advice from an internet board. I've come to most of these conclusions on my own, but have yet to reach others. The 12 w/7 @ tempo just seems impossible for someone of my limited speed and I've never figured out how to "carbo load appropriately" or "fuel pre race morning."