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Archive for August, 2008

So I decided to finally go to see a doctor about my Achilles tendon. For the most part it has been feeling better, but two things were concerning me. First, I am still unable to run without pain, and second that my tendon is “crackling,” which I can feel both internally and externally, with my hand.

Luckily I was able to get an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon right away. Not that I needed a surgeon, but because my only choices to search for were orthopedic surgeons or podiatrists – I thought I’d try an orthopedic surgeon first.

The appointment went well. The short of it is that I have overuse injuries that are manifesting themselves in different body parts due to an imbalance between the right and left side of my body. The left side of my body is weaker than my right, so I will need to perform exercises to strengthen it. So he prescribed me 2 weeks of physical therapy twice a week, and anti-inflammatories.

Oh and in case your wondering, the “crackling” sound is due to the swelling in my tendon. It’s kind of like bubblewrap and when I flex extend my ankle it squeezes the interstitial fluid around. Neat huh?

The best news is that he doesn’t believe this should stop me from my race in November. Hopefully this physical therapy will help me not to injure myself anymore. We can only hope…

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On the mend

So I have been taking it very easy this past week. I took both Monday and Tuesday off completely because it hurt to even walk and focused the rest of my time on walking and biking. I would say my tendon is at about 90% right now. Walking is fine, and I even stepped out for a 4 mile run/walk yesterday. I would say I ran almost 2 miles of it (not continiously). It was sore/fatigued at the end of my time out and was sore for most of the day. So my plan for this next week is to do short distances and focus on a run/walk pattern. If I am still having problems at the end of the week I think I will seek professional help, but as of now I think I am doing everything I can for a speedy recovery.

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Week Wrap-up

So I was pretty busy this last week. Tried out another new pilates class on Wednesday night. It was ok, but I would say it was a yogalates class and not pure Pilates. She was very impressed with my breathing because, according to her, “no one breathes like that here” (I breath in a traditional Pilates way where you make a “Shhhhh” sound to contract your abdominals more completely during exercises). So I think I will probably go back, but the class is not ideal.

As a recap I logged 18 miles last week: On Tuesday I ran 4 miles and finished in 37:54. On Thursday I ran 3 miles in 27:24 – unfortunately I was supposed to do a 4 mile run, but I didn’t look at my training schedule. On Saturday I ran the 4 mile run instead of the planned 3 mile one to make-up for Thursday and finished in 36:28.

On Sunday I headed out for my first 8 mile run. There were a couple big mistakes I made. First we got home at midnight on Saturday so I got out WAY TOO LATE on Sunday, about 9:00 am, the sun was high and it was hot. Second was that I ran on the gravel for a little while and I think I hurt my achilles tendon doing so. And I don’t even like running on gravel, but I was trying to get a few minutes of shade. If it hadn’t been so hot it would of actually been a nice route even though it was hilly.

So I am taking it easy today, and perhaps the rest of this week depending on how my achilles tendon is feeling. Good thing is that my next long run is not until the 31st since next week is a mileage scale-back week. I commented to the boy that maybe my body is just not cut out for running yesterday, and perhaps its not, but it will run damn it.

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She’s like the wind…

So this weekend was very nice, especially after the week o’crap. We watched the opening ceremony for the Olympics and it was simply amazing. And like Susan, the olymics are the only time I watch sports – my TV has been almost exclusively tuned into channel 4 since Friday.

While I didn’t break any world or olympic records I did beat my personal record on my 3 mile run on Saturday. the boy and I walked to the trail together and then I went to the right and he went to the left (he was walking, I was running). Often I play out these little competitions in my head, trying to beat this person or that person on the trail – Saturday was no different. I kept thinking that I could beat him to Elden then no, I could beat him to Ferndale. I actually got one street further than that before I passed him. On the last 1/2 mile I made sure that my pace was in the 8s or lower. I finished in 26:36 – the first time I have made it under a 9 minute mile.

On Sunday I headed out for a 7 mile run. I plotted my course on mapmyrun.com. The site has this cool feature that you can see the elevation of the route you map. Next time I will pay closer attention to this feature. I ran out towards Sterling then cut to the right and headed back towards Herndon on Drainsville. Well… Drainsville going this way is essentially uphill the whole way – about 3 miles. I’m happy to say theat I made it though and even if I was approaching 12 min miles at a few points I never dropped out of the run. I finished in 1:08:42 – very happy with that.

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So it has been one crappy week.

I did short runs this week, still ramping my mileage back up. I DID make it to Pilates on Monday night. The instructor isn’t Adriana, but I think she’ll do. Plus I REALLY NEED to practice Pilates – it is the only thing that keeps back pain at bay.

So, on Tuesday I got about .75 miles into my run and I was approaching this man and his dog. I was trying to make some noise with my feet so they would hear me, but I was not very successful. Anyhow the just jumped around an bit me. Yes I’m fine. Yes the dog is current on his shots. But this did result in 2 days worth of headache. AND worst of all I finished my 4 miles in over 40 minutes. I have a good excuse, but still! 😉

I took Wednesday as a rest day. I was waiting to talk to Animal Control in the morning and then the boy’s laptop was acting up at night and we headed down to the Apple store to see if they could fix it. Oh and my new neighbors hacked half of my bush off without even talking to us. So now the front of my house looks like crap.

I did a 3 mile run on Thursday and took the route the boy usually takes. It was nice to not do an out and back on the trail, and it had a little bit more hill action. I finished in 28:48.

So I am digging the Pace feature of the watch/footpod after all. I like seeing the 7 min mile pace as I head down hills. Now – to run mostly in the 8 min mile area….

I went out for a bike ride this morning. About 9 miles up Drainsville Rd, Rt 7 to Fairfax Co. Pkwy, then down to Baron Cameron and back home. The route was very hilly and I think it will be a nice run in a few weeks.

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The foot pod

I finally tried out my new Polar foot pod that I got for my birthday. It works with my RS200 heart rate monitor to determine my distance and pace. I’ve let it sit for so long because I needed to calabrate it on a highschool track. On Sunday I decided that I would just see how accurate it was on my long run. It turns out that it is extrememly accurate right out of the box. It clocked my first 1/2 mile at .499. The pace function is very interesting, but I’m not sure how useful it is. It displays your pace in real time, not over the length of the run. So I guess it would be useful for seeing how fast you are going. I’m not sure yet. Perhaps I can use it on some tempo runs.

On Saturday I did a 4 mile run and finished in 38:33. On Sunday my long run was 6 miles and I finished in 1:00:54. Both days I headed out a little late (7am) so it was a little warmer than I like.

Today is a rest day, but I am hoping to get to Pilates tonight – my back really needs it.

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Perspective

I was reflecting back on the past couple months yesterday and realized that I have gotten 2 x-rays in that time – both caused by running, but never anything serious. Then I started looking at my training schedule again. Then I started tweaking it. I scaled back my weekly mileage to not exceed a 10% increase from week to week. I have heard that anything more than 10% you risk injury, and I believe that is probably true for me given the past few months. I also started to take supplements for joint health, so maybe that will help as well. In many ways I do not believe my body was meant for running, but that is what pushes me.

So how hard did I push this week? Well, not hard at all. I was still doing some recovery runs, settling into it slowly. My knee feels completely better so I think I did everything right. I did a three mile run on both Wednesday and Thursday, it was hot and muggy and I could care less. It was so wonderful to be back out on the trail. I guess a week off really put things into perspective for me. I never knew how much I had come to like running.

It’s funny, the boy started running last week and while I was so happy for him I was also SOOOOOO jealous at the same time. I wanted to be out there running, not shlepping my stuff to the gym or heading out on my bike. I am so proud of him though, today when I was heading out on my bike ride (it’s a crosstraining day) he was heading back to the house and told me he finished his 3 mile run in 36 minutes – simply fabulous! I couldn’t be happier for him. Yes, had this happened last week I may have been slightly bitter :).

So anyway, on Wednesday I finished in 29:36 and on Thursday I finished in 28:48. Not too shabby for the heat and humidity.

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