Monday, April 23, 2012
It's official. I will *not* be running, or even walking, the half marathon next Sunday.
Today was the first day of packet pickup. As planned, I went and got my expensive technical shirt. It's rather nice looking, but not worth $50, LOL. The staff at the local running store all agreed that a HM would be unwise at my stage of recovery, so I traded down to participation in the associated 5K. It's still an expensive 5K, but at least I get something out of my entry fee.
I let the staff try to sell me some shoes, and maybe learned a little about my running gait, at least on a treadmill. Hmm. The video camera says I pronate a little. The tread wear on my old running shoes says I supinate a bit. I don't know whether to think I run differently for real on the streets than on a treadmill, or to think that my running form has changed with injury. The recommended shoes probably won't hurt me, and I might buy them . . . when the tread on my current shoes gets worn down.
So next Sunday I'm running a 5K. That means I shouldn't run on Saturday, which in turns allow my only real run between now and then to be tomorrow, Wednesday, or Thursday. We'll see what the confluence of weather and workload offers me in the way of opportunities.
And now I'm looking at the brochure for the Rochester Marathon in September. There's no way I'm training for a marathon this year, with work being as it is; but perhaps the associated half marathon would be possible. I'll defer that decision for a while, possibly into early June; I have a 5K to run on Sunday, and 3.5 mile to run at the end of May. By then, I should know more about how well I'm coming back as a runner.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
It's been a tough week. I missed getting to bed on time twice in a row, breaking a 36 week streak of being in bed on time at least 6 days. As a result, yesterday I was quite tired in the morning and ended up skipping some of my usual exercises. This weekend I need to do a lot of sedentary stuff for my paid job. This has been worrisome.
So this morning, I set out as planned for a run. I had no great confidence, as I had a failed run on Wednesday following a run cut short on Sunday. But my bad foot seemed good enough to try, and my tight left soleus wasn't speaking up in the up and down the hall jogging, so it was a morning to run.
I looked out the window, and it was raining. I thought about bagging the run. Then I thought, that's non-runner thinking. A runner knows there is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. Check the weather. 45° F (7° C) and raining, with 9 mph winds from the north. The weather site said heavy rain, but it looked more medium to me. I decided on normal running shorts, but a long sleeved shirt. Then I set out to run the route I had originally planned for Sunday.
It was cold at first, and I wondered whether I should have worn tights. But soon enough, I warmed up and the shorts were fine. For much of the run, I wished I'd worn gloves; maybe next time I run in the rain below 50° I'll try that.
A few minutes into the run, my left calf began to complain. It wasn't as sharp as Wednesday, so I went a ways to run through this. I consciously slowed down, and for most of the run it felt much like the right calf had felt when I was coming back from that soleus strain. Okay, I've been there. I can deal with this.
Ran the little hill, got to where I'd decided to cut the run short on Sunday. The calf is manageable. The foot is okay. What was going on Sunday? Oh, yeah, the blisters. That part of my feet wasn't complaining. Some combination of applying petroleum jelly to the right parts of my feet and development of runner's calluses is working.
Along about the 3 mile mark, I noticed I wasn't missing my gloves as much. Okay, I can do this, even if my legs feel a bit heavy. Which they did. Tried to pick the pace back up a bit, don't know if I did before the home stretch where I sprinted (such as I could) the last 100 meters or so.
The need for gloves began to speak to me again during the walking cooldown, but that's okay. Because of the rain, I went inside for my stretching. The left calf is manageable. The bad foot isn't 100%, but isn't demanding ice and ibuprofen either. That's livable.
The run mapped out to 3.67 miles in 26:41, for a 7:16 pace per mile. Huh. I thought I was running slow for most of it, and it came out to a perfectly ordinary training pace.
It would still be premature to attempt to run two days in a row. I'll see how I feel next week, and hopefully get a run in on Tuesday or Wednesday. Being able to run again on Monday would be major progress, and I don't know that I'm brave enough to attempt that.
The half marathon a week from Sunday is definitely out. Even if I can run, I'm not up to running that far. Packet pickup starts Monday, and I might ask about downgrading to the 5K; then again, it might not be very smart to put myself into a race environment that soon. I'll have to think about whether I want to attempt that 5K (assuming I can downgrade) or just bag the whole date.
For now, I'm happy that I was able to complete a run as planned. Next goal, be able to run twice a week. I'm almost there.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
It's been a long Wednesday. The weather was gorgeous, high near 50° F and sunny; the one good thing about scheduling was that I could fit a run in on my lunch hour. Well, almost.
Got a few minutes into the run, and my left calf began to ache. The ache got sharper. Been there with the right calf; the first time past, I ran through this and came up lame, interrupting training for 9 days.
This time I picked a mappable point and slowed to a walk, then walked back to the gym. Total running time, 4:45 for 0.68 miles. Added some walking to make 16 minutes, and did my full set of running stretches afterward. The stretches confirm that it's my soleus that hurts.
Oh, well. I can still walk. I was able to run a short distance later in the 16 minutes, but a sustained run won't work today. I'll test it again on Saturday, and if it isn't enough better I'll turn that test into a walk instead of a run.
Forgoing a run isn't much fun, but it beats not being able to walk for exercise.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Sunday morning, and there is no choir at church. I have plenty of time. My foot feels better than Saturday, though still not 100%. I decide to run before church. The plan is to run the standard 5K route, plus a leg that adds a smaller hill segment. The weather is 54° F (12° C) with a light fog, tee shirt and shorts weather for running.
I got out, and it felt pretty good. The hill was more effort than pre-injury, but not as daunting as the first time I ran it. Along about 2 miles into the run, I began to feel the bad foot. Hmm. Discretion would say that I should cut the 5K route short and go home the short way.
I turn back the short way, and by then the foot is feeling better. I think about adding a twist to the short way home. Then the spots where I raised blisters on Thursday remind me that they're still there, and pounding them a whole lot probably wouldn't be a good idea. I bypass the extra segment.
On the final leg, my left calf begins to complain. It's not a loud complaint, just a reminder that I haven't been doing this regularly. So instead of trying to sprint for the final 100 meters or so, I just keep running steadily till I get home. Then I take a walking cooldown that is longer than I usually would need for such a short run, because walking has always helped my calves after running.
This is tricky stuff. I know to be careful about the healing foot, but I'm finding other aches telling me not to push too hard now. I guess Mom was right when she said growing old is not for sissies.
The run mapped out to 2.96 miles in 21:28, for a 7:15 pace per mile. That's a reasonable training pace for a short run like that. I didn't raise new blisters, so I think this will be part of the normal process of re-developing my runner's calluses. And my left calf spoke up from time to time through the remainder of the day; I gave it a 3 mile walk in the late afternoon, which seemed to help.
This is progress. The bad foot still isn't 100%, but it's getting better over time. Going to church in shoes with lousy arch support didn't bother it. It didn't complain loudly enough to remind me to take ibuprofen every 4 hours.
But, this is *slow* progress. I think right now I can run twice a week, if I space the runs out far enough. Tomorrow has to be a non-running day, and i really want to get a run in on Tuesday or Wednesday, so I can be in running shape again by Saturday.
And I'm pretty sure I need to bail on the half marathon two weeks from today. There's no way I'll be in shape to run 13 miles by then. I might be in shape to walk that far; but reality is that an organized race environment will get me to run. And I'm likely to run further than I ought to, and walk further than I should after I admit I need to stop running.
And I need to write this to remind myself of how it is. I'll pick up my expensive technical shirt, but I really shouldn't second guess myself and push through a 13 mile course in two weeks. It's more important to build toward being able to run four days a week.
That makes my next race goal the Chase Corporate Challenge on Thursday, May 31. By then, I should be able to push to run 3.5 miles fast; but not if I aggravate the bad foot and possibly create other problems trying to run too much, too soon.
Goal Number One: Avoid injury. Okay, I missed that one earlier. I need to work on meeting it going forward.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Coming back from the foot injury, I ran on Saturday. Then I waited a week, and ran the following Saturday. By the following Tuesday, the foot felt good enough to run again; but I didn't find the time till Thursday noon. The plan was to run twice this week, with the second time being Saturday morning.
This morning I did some test jogging up and down my hallway, and felt the injured foot. It was kinda sorta okay, and maybe I could have run on it; but I felt it more than in past days. I made the executive decision that running three miles on that foot was too likely to aggravate it, and walked those miles instead.
I'll see if the foot is enough better tomorrow that I'm willing to try a run. I hope so, as I really want to get back to running regularly. But it appears that this will be a slow process. I am now 80% sure that I'll bail on the half marathon two weeks from tomorrow. I'd certainly bail if it were tomorrow; I don't think my foot is in shape to tolerate 13 miles of run-walk, and maybe not even 13 miles of continual walking.
It's possible that the foot will improve enough to convince me to run-walk the HM route in two weeks; but that's not my current expectation. So right now, my sights are set on continuing the rehab, and getting back to where I can ultimately run 4 days a week. If I don't do anything stupid, I should be in good shape to run the 3.5 mile Chase Corporate Challenge at the end of May. Yesterday's effort convinces me that I'll have a decent shot of making my stretch goal of 24 minutes for the CCC.
Probably the fact that work is busy right now is a Good Thing for my foot rehab. It gives me something to do when I shouldn't be overdoing the running. Too bad that situation is likely to last longer than my need to limit running will last.
One step at a time. Right now, I'm looking forward to being able to run twice a week. I think I'm there, physically; but I didn't manage to space the runs out appropriately to work that in this week. I'll have to give it another shot next week.
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