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I'm Going To Do it, but How? Help?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Okay, so my last half marathon I ran was when I ran two races in two days on April 21 & 22. In the 8 weeks since that race, I've missed a lot of runs.

April 22 - 28 - Sun (13.1), W (2), Th (3)
April 28 - May 5 - NONE
May 6 - 12 - M (4), T (2), W (3), Th (4), Sat (3)
May 13 - 19 - T (4)
May 20 - 26 - T (4), W (2), Th (4)
May 27 - Jun 2 - Sun (7), T (5), W (5)
Jun 3 - 9 - Sun (6), T (3), W (3)
Jun 10 - 16 - NONE
Jun 17 - 23 - None so far

After typing this up, I see I've run a little more than I thought, but there are are bunch of incomplete weeks and at two full rest weeks, plus I haven't done any runs since my race over 7 miles. I've done only four runs of 5 miles or more and they were all between May 27 and June 3.

I haven't run at all since I hurt my back which means I haven't run at all since Wed Jun 6.

But, this is my last half marathon I have scheduled for the year. After this I am going to back off and make sure I get my back healthy and focus on strength training and shorter speed work and skip races in favor of doing some other activities like hiking and the possibly the Tough Mudder in Oct and maybe a Ragnar in Nov or next year.

That being said, I want to do this race on Saturday. It'll be the fourth race I'll have done in a year and I'll be completing the Calico "Half Slam" (which this is the only race that I can use to complete), so I really want to finish it. But, with my current state of fitness I know I should plan to not to run the whole thing. It's got rolling hills and the weather will start out around 85 degrees at the 6:30am start time and probably peak in the 100's by the time I finish. I will be wearing my 70oz camelbak for this race.

So, I'm thinking I should try some sort of Galloway type of run/walk ratio. My usual training pace is around 9:30-10 min/miles. I was thinking of running the race in mile increments; running for 9 minutes and then walking for 2, or something like that. I'm sure my base fitness level from the last 2 years of running should mean I'm still capable of finishing this race despite my lack or recent running. However, I'm not sure how my back will hold up. It tends to tighten up when I stop running and start walking. I'm hoping I'm past that point by Saturday so that I will at least be able to transition from running to walking and back without any back issues. If I do have issues, then I'll end up having to walk the whole thing in 100 degree heat which does NOT sound like fun. (yet, somehow, running in 100 degree hit sounds okay?)

Anyway, any suggestions on how I can make this work would be much appreciated. I usually run all my races with no walk breaks, or at the most I walk the water stations while drinking, so I don't have any real experience with run-walking. If this wasn't my last race and I didn't have a "Half Slam" at stake, I would be more likely to consider not running it.

Thanks, all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNNER12COM 6/21/2012 12:52PM

    If a full walk tightens up the back, what about a slow jog? You would still be working many of the same muscles but with less demand on the body than y0ur normal run.

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PICKLESWART 6/19/2012 1:55PM

    You can do it! emoticon

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Been a Little too Quiet

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

So, this is really the first time in my two years of training that I've fallen to such a low point. Not a low point as is losing weight. A low point as in being injured and unable to exercise so that I'm frustrated to the point of shutting down.

In March I hurt my back the week before I had a scheduled half marathon. I had to skip it and took a full two weeks before I was feeling better and resumed training. My back has been fine ever since then, until recently.

I got a gift of two weeks with a personal trainer and decided it was a great opportunity to get in the strength training I have been skipping. However, in the back of my head, I kept telling myself to be careful not to hurt my back again because I had another race coming up.

So, what happened? Within 2 days, my back was already getting stiff, and after 3 it was very tight, and after 4 I was practically an invalid who couldn't even lean forward or tie his shoes. Yes, I wore my shoes untied for the next 5 days.

It's been almost two weeks since I last ran, and I've seen 3 chiropractors in two states. My back is getting better, but it's still not quite to the point where I feel I'm able to run without re-injuring it.

To make things worse, after my races at the end of April, I lost a lot of sleep and a lot of motivation. So, I'm running on fumes at this point. I've been running for so long that my base training will probably still get me through this race on Saturday, if I choose to still run it.

And most likely, I will run it. Or at least walk it. I'm scared to run it, but I'm also scared to walk for 13.1 miles in the heat. I'm also scared to run-walk because that's how I really toasted my back in March; every time I stopped to walk and then run again, by back would tighten up, until I got to the point where I couldn't barely even stand up.

So, I've still be logging into SparkPeople almost every day, but I've been frustrated and angry at my injury. And every time I start to blog about it, my frustration boils over into me deciding to not even bother.

Well, this week is put up or shut up time, so my mind is getting more determined for this weekend and it appears my determination is overcoming my frustration. So, with continued rest and stretching and hopefully one more chiropractor visit, I hope my body will let me at least give this race a shot. It's likely my last of the year, either way. My back needs some rest and then some strengthening and some TLC.

And then hopefully it'll still be healthy for that hike I'm organizing in July to the top of Mt Charleston.

Til then, I'm at least going to wait until next week to sign up for Tough Mudder. I want so see just how cooperative my back is going to be.

Did I mention it's supposed to be between 100-110 all week? Yep, summer has finally hit Las Vegas. One more demotivater. As if I needed any more.

So, i'm praying that I will at least be able to finish this race without re-injuring my back, or at the very least without making it worse. If I can manage that, it will be a huge step forward in many respects.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNNER12COM 6/21/2012 1:01PM

    Hang in there, buddy. You have seen me go through this and come out the other side, so we both know it can be done. You'll find a way, I know it.

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VETTRANGER 6/19/2012 12:57AM

    These kind of frustrating times seem to go on forever while we're living through them. As long as your back does heal, in a few months this will be a distant memory.

I've never particularly had a back injury, but I have had sore shoulders that kept me from doing things I'd like to have. The most frustrating was one time I bent over to pull a big week out of the ground. The weed won, and I felt a pop in my shoulder. It was sore for months, and I could feel it for two years when doing bench presses. I'm not one for running off to the doctor for aches and pains, so I gutted it out. LOL

Don't go back to that personal trainer. He should know better than to let you get into positions where you'll unduly strain your back!

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Trouble is Back

Friday, June 08, 2012

And that trouble is my back. Again.

If you remember, 3 months ago, my back tightened up and it took two weeks to recover which kept me from running the 6 Tunnels to Hoover Dam half marathon.

Well, I have two weeks to try out a personal trainer at our local gym and I started this past Monday. 3 days into it and my lower back has stiffened up almost as much as it did in March.

After my races in April, I had fallen into a hole and taken too much time off from my half marathon training. I just started to get back into it last week because I knew I had to be ready for my race on June 23.

I made sure to tell my trainer about my previous shoulder and back trouble, but even still, I didn't realize my own apparent fragile state. He pushed me as good trainers do and I didn't stop even when I started to feel a few twinges.

So, now, I'll have to stop training and hope and pray that my back will recover enough in time for my race.

So, lots of ibuprofin and ice and rest.

...and finger crossing.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THENEWMANDA 6/12/2012 5:34PM

    That sucks! I understand completely though. Have suffered with back stuff for years.. it's a nightmare! Good luck.

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-POLEDANCEGIRL- 6/12/2012 4:56PM

    Hugs!!! Injuries are horrible! Take care of yourself though

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MARATHONDAD 6/8/2012 1:02PM

    go to physio buddy

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I Love the Smell of Speed in the Morning

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

It was good weather: 68 degrees and the sun didn't come up until just as I was finishing. I needed to get to work early, so when I started my run 5 minutes late I knew I had to either cut my run to 3 miles, or do the full 4 miles in 35 minutes or less. I started out slow, but quickly picked up my speed and chose to see how fast I could do my 4 miles. I hadn't run far or hard in a while, so my legs felt rested and energetic as I gradually increased my speed with each mile. I started to tire around the 2.5-3 mile mark, but still pushed myself to a 7:40 final mile split and the fastest mile of my run. Felt good to push myself to one of my fastest 4 mile times in quite a while. Also feels nice to think that I could've pushed myself harder and that I have more potential left in me for the near future. Thinking that after my next half I might spend more time working on speed instead of endurance.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUTTERFLY-1976 5/16/2012 1:26PM

    WooHoo!! That's awesome! I'm hoping to work on my speed this summer.

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MARATHONDAD 5/15/2012 7:16PM

    ya speed training is very helpful that is what helped me beat my pb and it is something different to break up the long runs

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IMSMILEY88 5/15/2012 6:15PM

    Love it! I've decided to work on speed through the summer. It's better than long runs during those hot months! emoticon

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ABSOLUTZER0 5/15/2012 5:03PM

    I see you speedy! You are rocking it, bro!

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More Running Stuff!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I love to wear my Zensah compression sleeves...

but I often wonder if compression socks would work better. However, I have yet to find a reasonably priced pair of compression socks. Zensah sells them for $50 a pair and I just can't buy a pair of socks that cost $50.I had a nice gift card for Sports Authority from my birthday, but they didn't carry any.

Then, I got an e-mail last week with a 50% off code from PRO Compression for compression socks! $50 was too much, but $25 with free shipping and no sales tax was too good to pass up. So, I bought two pairs: one black, one white.

I bought them last Thursday and they arrived in the mail, today! I had to try them on.

I guess I should wash them first, tho...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JMANDA86 9/7/2012 3:25AM

    Would you recommend the socks over just the sleeves? I have major calf cramping issues when I run and think they may help me. I have huge calf muscles (teammates in HS and college called them Cows!) and they get tight so quick. I partially tore my right one in Feb while taking an adult tumbling class...bad idea to do back tucks at the weight I was at, but I could still do them! The right leg also has a super bum ankle that swells every time I run, only mildly painful, mostly annoying (old gym injury). Maybe the socks would be best to combat both.

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