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Archive for the ‘injury’ Category

Running Again

I started the long road back to running this week – 3.5 miles of run walk combination completed in 38:40 for an average of a 12:54 mile. It was slow, it was boring, but it was running, pain free running and it has been a long, long time since I have run without pain.
At the beginning of 2012 I though I had recovered from my last set of injuries (groin, ankle). I started to build up the miles again little by little. I thought I was doing it slowly, but clearly it wasn’t slow enough. On March 17th I wrote this in my running journal after a ten miler:

Felt strong through the first six or so then the left PF/achilles started acting weird. Always something.

After that I spent a couple of weeks barely able to walk. Hobbling around New York, wincing in pain every time I had to walk anywhere. I tried running again three weeks later. It was too early. Then more time off, with little improvement. Finally I made a doctor’s appointment, started physical therapy, and a commitment to stretching, icing, and the strengthening exercises the PT prescribed. Three months after the injury, I think I am on the mend for real. Pain is almost entirely gone and Wednesday run was entirely pain free.

I plan on heading out there again today for a very slow run/walk of 4.5 miles. I’m going to keep it at that for a while. Two days a week, 9 sad little miles. I’ll supplement with all the other activities I’ve been doing to not get fat, biking, rowing, rock climbing, lifting, bodyweight stuff. Then, maybe a month from now, if all goes well, I’ll add a little more. 2012 is clearly a bust running-wise. I won’t be racing anything, but if I do this right, if I take it really slow, and keep up the exercises and strengthening work, I might after two years of shit running, actually be back in the game by the fall 2013.

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Injury Report

The injuries persist and they are starting to really piss me off. The ankle isn’t getting any better. I tested it last week at the gym and after half a mile, the pain came back. The groin is also still tender. I’ve made an appointment with the doctor to look into both of these, but that appointment isn’t going to happen until after the first of the year. I’m worried he is going to say stress fracture and that I need to stay off of it for a long time.

I am hating life right now. I miss running terribly, and, while I am getting to the gym, and doing the concept2 holiday challenge, I’d really like to be back out on the roads. That may not happen for quite some time. I need to face up to that. What to do in the meantime? Get in other types of cardio, that’s for sure – the erg, for now, though it’s boring as hell, and the elliptical. Maybe I’ll even take a spin class or something. Fitness, for now, is going to involve a lot more time in the gym and a lot less time on the roads. I just need to keep relatively aerobically fit and not make the mistake of thinking I can run through these injuries again.

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RECAP: Last week was another week in crap city. Whatever, it’s behind me and winter is half over. I had a halfway decent run on Thursday, but besides that, it just sucked. The ankle/PF was killing me, and the roads were awful, so I decided to take the rest of the week off. Monday however was my birthday, and it felt like a good time to get back at it. This week is already shaping up to be a much better.

Summary

Run Streak: 0

Average Weight – 176

Running Miles: 15 in 2:21:13

Bike Miles:0

Body Weight Work: 0

Total exercise time: ~2 hours

Daily Breakdown:

Monday – 1 in 10:00

Tuesday – off

Wednesday – 0

Thursday – 8 in 1:17:40

Friday – 0

Saturday – 0

Sunday – 0

Goals for Last Week:

  1. Body weight work and drills at least three times – FAILED
  2. Ice heel and do foot strengthening exercises – FAILED
  3. Get bike fixed – FAILED
  4. Run everyday – FAILED
  5. Run at least 35 miles for the week – FAILED

Goals for Next Week:

  1. Run everyday
  2. Get bike fixed
  3. Run at least 35 miles

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Running is an odd sport. It ranks among the most popular physical endeavors for adults in the United States, but unlike work softball leagues or pick up soccer, most of us, me included, are out there, alone, in the dark. I don’t have a coach, I do have a club, but scheduling issues means I don’t get to run with them very much. The most feedback I get from running is on the internet from people I have never met.

 

I am an experiment of one. The solitary nature of running, and the fact that most of us are un-coached, leads to problems. No one looking over my shoulder to correct my form, tell me to speed up or slow down, or give me work outs.

 

Amongst the issues I struggle with is dealing with injuries. When I started running, I was a wimp. Every time I felt the littlest tweak, I would take a day off. That didn’t work. I was never able to get a decent base together because the dirty little secret of running is that sometimes it is just going to hurt.

 

But how much should it hurt? When do you take time off and when do you power through? This is something I am still trying to work out. I have developed two pretty hard and fast rules for this:

1. If the pain feels better after a mile or so, I continue to run.

2. If the pain is acute and constant, when I am running and when I am not running, I don’t run.

 

What about everything in between? I still have no idea. I am beginning to sense the difference between the sharp serious pain of a real injury and the aches and pains that are all too common in running, but I am not there yet in terms of knowing when to stop and when to push through.

 

When I do stop, I then have to figure out when to restart. With this latest injury, I took essentially a full week off (I did a couple of days of stupid one mile runs, but those don’t count for anything). After four days I tried an easy run, but the pain was just too intense, so I stayed off it for another three days. Last night I did 4.5 around the park. The heel was uncomfortable, but did it “hurt”? Define hurt. It didn’t feel good, but it also didn’t make me want to cry or stop. So I kept going, and I think I’ll keep going again tonight.

 

The plan is easy miles, no work outs, and nothing over 15 miles in a day for a while. Until I am at a month of comfortable 50 mpw+, I am not going to push the pace at all. Getting in the miles and staying healthy is the goal for now. Not sure how long it is going to take to get better, but I’ll get there.

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RECAP: Not the world’s best week, people. I came off last week’s marathon excited about how much my running has progressed in the last six months and basically ran right into an injury. Since the marathon, I’ve been having some pain in my left ankle whenever I run, sometimes its pretty bad, sometimes it is just annoying. Yesterday, it was bad and is still kind of aching today. I don’t know what to do about it. I really, really, don’t want to take time off, but I also don’t want to be stupid. I’m going to do really light mileage for a couple of days and see if it gets any better, if it doesn’t, I’ll have to reassess.

In other news, because I am very smart indeed, I am signed up for a 10K race this weekend, the Lawyers have a Heart 10k. Seemed appropriate since I am a lawyer, and I have a heart. This will be my first 10K and I have no idea what to expect for time. McMillian calculator says I should be able to do it in around 47:00, but with my ankle being wonky, who knows.

Summary

Work out streak: 158 days; (229 to go)

Run Streak: 110 Days

Average Weight – 182 (same as last week)

Running Miles: 18.5 miles in  2:57:43 for an average pace of 9:47 pace

Row Meters: 0

Bike Miles: 0

Swim Miles: 0

Body weight exercises and balance work: 1:00:00

Total exercise time: ~4:00 hours

Weekly Data:

Monday – Ran 1 in 12:00

Tuesday – Ran 3 in 30:30; Body weight work (various stretches, abs, etc) in 30:00

Wednesday – Ran 4 in 34:59; Bodyweight work (56 push ups, stretches) in 20:00

Thursday – Ran 4 in 38:47; Body weight work (various stretches, abs, etc) in 20:00

Friday – Ran 1 in 8:45

Saturday – Ran 1 in 10:00

Sunday – Ran 4.5 in 46:42

Goals for Last Week:

1. Resist the urge to immediately jump back into serious running – DONE

2. Stretch every day – FAIL

3. Assess where you’re at and begin planning for the summer. – DONE

4. Register for Philly! – DONE!!!

Goals for Next Week:

1. Pay attention to this ankle and determine whether or not it is a serious problem

2. Watch what I eat and try and lose a pound

3.  Run the Lawyers Have a Heart 10k

4. Make a concerted effort to find time for bodyweight work at least three times.

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Dear Internet,

I am going insane. Also everything hurt. I’ve been told that it isn’t uncommon to get all kinds of aches and pains during the taper period, but man, this is ridiculous. My shins have been aching, my foot is aching and, well, I just feel like I am falling apart. I’m getting out there and running everyday, but it hasn’t been fun. I really can’t wait for this damn race.

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On the road again…

Today was finally the day when I was able to get back on the road. I did three miles in slower than molasses time of 28:55. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t feel pretty awful, a lot of weird aches and pains in my hip, in my shin and a little in the foot where I have been suffering from tendinitis. But, none of them were all that bad. I’m going to take tomorrow off and then if nothing is hurting, do another three on Friday.

My plan from here on out is to really slowly build back up the miles, sticking religiously to the 10 percent rule. If all goes well I should be back up to my pre bar exam mileage in a couple of months and then I can start considering where I want to go from there. Watch this space for the fascinating details of my recovery!

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