Monday, January 31, 2011

Weekend Update

Things got a bit busy for me last week and I didn't have a chance to update the blog but here is a recap of last week.

I made an appointment to see a physical therapist who specialized in A.R.T. (Active Release Technique) which is a soft tissue/movement based massage technique to treat muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. I arrived and Dr. Nagar took me through a few tests to check my gait and dorsi flexion. He then began to massage my calves will stretching some of the muscles. He then worked on my ankles to increase the dorsi flexion. What I really liked about him, was that he explained everything he was doing, why he was doing it, and what the expected result would be. He then showed me a few stretches that he wanted me to do before running. He then suggested that I try the Kinesiology tape on the right calf for my next 2 runs. I have always been a bit skeptical about the K Tape but I agreed to try it.

I did my first run in 2 weeks on Thursday night. We did our usual 5 mile loop, at a very easy pace, actually a bit slower than I wanted but that was OK, I didn't want to re injure myself. Saturday morning was to be the big test, I had 11 miles on the schedule with the Mt Gleason Runners. We set out at easy pace, but picked up a bit on the downhill section. We made it to the turn around and started to head back. As we approached the 7 mile mark, I was a bit nervous as that was the point 2 weeks ago where I started to feel pain in my foot. We crossed the 7 mile mark and continued on, pain free. We also tried a strategy that we will use during the LA Marathon. We ran until the garmin beeped at the mile, then we walked for 2 minutes. We continued this for the remaining 4 miles and it worked fairly well. We finished 10.69 miles and the foot/calves didnt bother me one bit.

I had planned a bike ride with my neighbor for Sunday, but at 8am he sent a text saying it was too cold and the weather was too crappy to ride, so he was going to bail on me. I decided that with pending rain, riding was probably not such a good thing, so I put on my running gear and headed out for 6 "easy" miles. About 1 mile into the run, I was feeling so good, I decided to push the pace a bit. When it was all said and done, I turned the easy run into a tempo run...but again, completely pain free. So was it the A.R.T. therapy or was it the K tape or a combination of both? I don't know, but when I see Dr. Nagar this week, I will have him tape me up for next weeks Students Run LA Friendship Run (18 miles).

Here is what week #12 looks like:

Week 12:
Monday: 4 miles
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 6 miles
Thursday: 8.25 mi, 7 x 800
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: 18 mile SRLA Friendship Run

Today's weight: 207.2 Dropped another pound this week. I've really been watching what I am easting and keeping the beer down to a minimum. Looking for 200 lbs on Marathon Day (March 20)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Workin' on the Water Stop Gang

(Hooh! aah!) (hooh! aah!)
(Hooh! aah!) (hooh! aah!)

All day long they're singin', mm
My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my, my work(out) is so hard
Give me water, I'm thirsty
My work(out) is so hard
~ "Chain Gang" ~ Sam Cooke

Since I am rehabbing my foot injury, I decided to work a water stop for Craig Moss and his Mt Gleason Runners this past Saturday. When I run with the group, I notice that it is always the same parents out there volunteering their time working the water stops for the kids. Tony, Jenny and I worked the second water stop, we had water, Gatorade, and gummy worms and snacks, along with band aids, tissue and moral support. The route for Saturday was a 5 mile loop done 3 times, so we got to see quite a bit of the kids. Each time they came around, they looked a little more worn out than the last, but we offered them words of encouragement, they thanked us and pressed on. After the last of the kids came by, we packed up and headed back to Mc Donald's to drop off the supplies. I really enjoyed seeing the kids from the other side of water stop, and getting to know some of the parent volunteers.

LA Marathon Training Week # 9 and #10

The last 2 weeks, training has been limited to the pool and the bike trainer, although I did get a 17 mile bike ride in on Sunday. It was a very tough ride as I was faced with 30-40 mph sustained wind and gusts up to 60 fun when riding a bike. I wondered why I didn't see more cyclist out on Sunday...they were smart and stayed home! 

This week, I will attempt 5 miles on Thursday night and if all goes well, I will try and get in 11 miles on Saturday. I was given some advice from Leigh at Athletes Treating Athletes in regards to my situation with the Peroneal Tendonitis. She suggested seeing an A.R.T./Graston Technique person to help speed up the recover process. I have sought advice and recommendations from twitter and hope to find someone good here this week.

Monday, January 17, 2011

15 Miles Forward, 2 Steps Back

Things seemed to be going very well this week in regards to the "Peroneal Tendonitits" in my right foot. I have gone 10 days without any discomfort and felt that the healing process was moving along well. I did an easy 5 mile run on Thursday night that was pain free. My schedule called for 12 miles on Saturday, but since I was running with the Mount Gleason Runners and their schedule called for 15 miles, that is what I did. About 7 miles into the run, I started to noticed a bit of discomfort in my right foot. I slowed up the pace and walked a bit. I made it to the second water stop and knew I only had 5 miles left and I could make it back. What I hadn't planned for was that the route back was a dirt and grass trail that is used by horses in the area and most of the trail was very uneven. I spent a lot of mental energy trying to focus on where to place my feet as to not twist an ankle or trip. At that point, I was hot, tired and in I decided to walk the rest of the way back. At one point, I did something I have never done before....I wanted to give up! I thought about crossing the road and seeing if I could hitch hike back to the McDonald's parking lot. I decided that A) I have never quit anything, and I'm not about to start now and B) it was not a good example for these kids, so I HTFU and kept walking. I did end up running about another 1/2 mile on the way back to the parking lot. When it was all said and done...15.4 miles in 2:57:50 Not great by any stretch of the imagination, but considering the pain and terrain...I'll take it.

Immediately upon returning to the parking lot, I soaked my foot in the ice bath for 10 minutes before heading home. I spent Sunday, icing, stretching and staying off of my feet as much as possible.

Now comes the hard part....waiting for my foot to heal. How long will that take? Who knows, but I did stay off of it for 2 weeks and it didn't completely heal.  I will swim and bike most of the week and evaluate how I feel later in the week before attempting another run (short run).

I want to give a shout out to all of the parent volunteers of the Mt Gleason Runners. Every week they are there manning the water stops in all weather conditions (rain, cold and heat) and providing much needed support for hours on end. Thank you very much! I appreciate it and I know the kids do as well.

Monday, January 10, 2011

LA Marathon Training Week #8 and What I learned This Week...

Week #8 was spent either in the pool or on the bike, no running what so ever. The peroneal tendonitis kept me off my feet so to speak, but I was able to keep up with some training by swimming and biking. I am hoping to resume running on Thursday night with a short, easy run and get back on track for the LA Marathon.

Here's how this week looked: (Actual)

Week 8:
Monday: 3 miles (Rode 30 min on bike trainer)
Tuesday: Rest (1200 yd swim)
Wednesday: 8 Miles  ( Rode 30 min on bike trainer)
Thursday: 6.75 mi 5 x 800 (Swim 1500 yds, Rode 30 min on bike trainer)
Friday: Rest (Rest)
Saturday: 17 miles long  (25 mi bike ride)
Sunday: 8 miles (marathon pace)  (Rest)

Here is what week #9 looks like:

Week 9:
Monday: 3 miles
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 9 miles
Thursday: 7.5 mi , 6 x 800
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 12 miles long
Sunday: 9 miles Marathon Pace

Today's weight: 210  Not sure why I keep going the opposite direction, I need to be diligent about what I am eating.

The first week of 2011 has not started off all that great, not only am I dealing with an injury, but I lost a friend unexpectedly on Thursday. This week taught me some valuable lessons...this is what I learned this week...

Our bodies are probably the most technologically and complicated pieces of machinery on earth. With that being said, they are susceptible to breakdowns now and again and sometimes for no clear reason even though we maintain and properly lubricate them. We have to accept that and let them heal...even if we don't like it.

Our time on this earth is limited and life can end at any moment, most of the time, without notice. Cherish the time you have with people and tell them that you love them, don't assume they know it.

I leave you with this quote from a dear friend...

Live life to the fullest, be happy and have no regrets!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The January Curse Strikes Again!

One year ago today I was boarding a plane bound for Orlando to run the Walt Disney World Half Marathon followed by a 7 day Caribbean cruise with some new friends. We ran the WDW Half in less than stellar conditions (Race Report) and then headed out on the cruise. We had a great time and I spent a ton of time on one of my favorite things...the Flow Rider. Day 6 of the cruise, on my very last ride of the trip, I injured myself...pretty badly. I had pulled a muscle in my groin called the "adductor longus" and it was quite painful.  Of course, this came at a very bad time as I was preparing to run my first marathon about 8 weeks later. I took a few weeks off of running an focused on swimming to try and keep my level of fitness up and did run the LA Marathon on March 21, very much under trained.

This year, I have been working out with Craig Moss and his Mount Gleason Runners since November and was preparing to set a new PR at the LA Marathon this year. Training has been going very well and have stayed injury free. Last Friday, I ran my scheduled 16 miles without incident, and other than being a bit tired toward the end, I felt pretty good. Spent a nice New Year's Eve at home with my wife and went to bed fairly early. On New Year's Day, my wife and I decided to go for a long walk to start the new year out right. About 1 mile into the walk, I noticed some discomfort in my right foot. As we continued walking, the pain got progressively worse. We stopped at Starbucks for a cup of coffee and I massaged it for a bit, but I could tell something was wrong. We made it back home and I immediately started searching the Internet for possible problems. I didn't feel it was urgent enough to go to the ER, but I did stay off of it until Monday. I was able to find information and it was confirmed by my massage therapist to be "Peroneal Tendonitis". Reading up on it, I found the treatment to be R.I.C.E., so after my massage on Sunday morning, I stayed on the couch all day long and iced it several times. It was very painful to walk, especially in bare feet. Upon reading further, I found that it can take several weeks to heal before you can resume activity. At that point, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach...the LA Marathon is just 11 weeks away, am I going to be able to run the race?

I got very depressed thinking about it and ever time I took a step and it was painful, I got more depressed. I guess for me, I just can't point to a specific point when the injury occurred, and that bothers me, although it can be an overuse injury and the onset can be over time. I sought advice from twitter and I got a referral to a good foot doctor here in LA, some good information on aqua jogging and a PT that has a lot of good info on her site, Athletes Training Athletes 
I have spent this week, icing and doing stretches on both the foot and the calf in hope of loosening things up a bit. I rode the bike on the trainer twice this week and got in the pool to not only swim, but try aqua jogging. I have to say that I think this program is working as I am no longer in any pain while walking. I will keep riding the bike, swimming and aqua jogging for the next few days. I may try an easy run late next week, but I don't want to push it right now.

So back to the it just a coincidence that I get injured in January, or is it that the "running Gods" don't want me to run the LA Marathon?? I don't know, but as I write this, I am more confident that I will be running the LA Marathon and return to training in the near future. I found this quote and I thought I would share it...

“I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter. With the laughs, comes the tears…” – Walt Disney.

Monday, January 3, 2011

LA Marathon Training Week #7

Week #7 went fairly well, I was able to get back into the pool twice this week and managed a 16 mile long run on Friday and a 6.5 mile walk with my wife on New Year's Day.

Here's how this week looked: (Actual)

Week 7:
Monday: 3 miles (Rode 30 min on bike trainer)
Tuesday: Rest (1200 yd swim)
Wednesday: 8 Miles  (1200 yd swim, Rode 30 min on bike trainer)
Thursday: 6.75 mi 5 x 800 (Rest)
Friday: Rest (16 mi long )
Saturday: 16 miles long  (6.5 mi walk)
Sunday: 8 miles (marathon pace)  (Rest/injured)

Here is what week #8 looks like:

Week 8:
Monday: 3 miles
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 8 miles
Thursday: 4 mi Tempo
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 17 miles long
Sunday: 8 miles Marathon Pace

Today's weight: 209.2 Up a bit this week, I am a bit surprised, but now that the holidays are over, it's time to get serious about the weight loss.