Monday, May 21, 2018

Running Log - "Calf Sleeves" Any Good?

Hello again fellow runners.

Well, this week was my "planned" cut-back week on mileage and intensity.  I think it was a good idea.  As I build my mileage back up to what it was last year "pre-injury" I'm being super vigilant about how I'm feeling.

So, for a cut-back week - I run 5 days instead of 6; no workout, and no long run.  The last 3 weeks have been around 40 mpw.  This week totaled 28.

On the injury front - another reason this was a good week for cutting back - I've developed a "tightness" in my right calf (outside of calf, 4" down from the back of my knee joint).  Left calf is also sensitive, but not nearly as bad.  I can still run without much discomfort, but it's still "there".

I think part of this is due to ramping my mileage / intensity up too fast and / or my new(er) running posture.  I've found that with my new posture (feet landing more underneath me, more upright torso) that I'm using more calves/glutes and less quads/hamstrings.  I think the new posture overall is better, I just need to build up the strength / stamina.

I've been doing trigger point / rolling / stretching twice a day on the calf and it's starting to calm down.

Question to anyone reading this:  Have you ever tried calf sleeves or compression socks while running?  Did it help with the calf strain I've noted above? I'm thinking about getting a pair, but any feedback would be great.

Overall, the week went well and it ended with me feeling refreshed and ready to get at again next week.

Mileage:  28
Workout:  N/A
Long Run: N/A (longest run was 7.5 miles on Saturday)
Weight:  Dunno

 Carry on fellow Runners.  Carry on.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Running Log - Week Ending May 13

Hello Fellow Runners,

Another week down, another small step back to fitness.

As I build back fitness, I'm pretty much doing some kind of workout on Tuesday and LR on Saturday.  Add in easy mileage four other days of the week, and do LOTS of strength and mobility work and that's pretty much it.

I'm not concerned about paces, more focused on how each run feels - being super vigilant about taking the progress slowly and scaling back on mileage as needed.  Every little tiny niggle gets immediate attention.

Sunday is usually my "off" day - I normally just of a 2-3 mile walk just so my legs get moving and help recovery from Saturday's LR.  The last couple weeks I've added a few drills at the end of the walk (A and B skips, high knees, karaoke, etc.  Then, I finish by putting in a few minutes on TM barefoot.  I figure this will help with form and foot strength.

Mileage:          42
Tue Workout:  2 x 20' Tempo (Tempo pace around 6:57 - 7:00 / 1' standing recovery)
Sat LR:           11 (no speeding up....legs are more fatigued than they should be)
Weight:          143 (holding at this weight for a few weeks now).

Tuesday's workout - was supposed to be a Progression run (20' steady / 10' faster / 10' faster / 5' fastest).  The idea is to learn how to pace myself based on feel since I'm not yet back into shape and I don't know what my "paces" should be.  Well, I took it out too fast.  After the first 20' section, I had to give myself a quick "breather" and stood on the side of the trail for about a minute.  So, I changed the workout to 2 sets of 20' tempo work.  I ended up running all 40' just under 7:00 pace, so that's good (for reference 6:50 was my MP last Summer) - I am getting back into shape.  I still need realize where my fitness is, and reacquaint myself with the "feeling" of how hard I'm working.  Last year, 7:00 pace would have been about right for the first 20' of this progression....but not early May 2018.  Live and learn.

Also - my left ITB got "tight" at the end of the workout.  I had trouble with the left ITB a few years ago, so this is the "check engine" light coming on.  Time to back off some / do some extra ancillary work to make sure it doesn't actually become something.  No reason to push it.

For Saturday's Long Run - my legs were tired right from the beginning.  The run went fine.  No major issues, but it took more effort than it should have.  So...I would consider this the second "warning light".  

The two "warning lights" are enough for me to take a step back and plan lower mileage next week along with no workouts.  Once I made this decision Saturday night, I felt a little "relief" come over me, which also tells me it's time to take a "cut back" week.

Looking back - I've made significant progress in my fitness.  Last 3 weeks have been about 40 mpw.  Just 6 weeks ago, I was having trouble running 30 minutes without pain.  Good progress.  Time for a "breather".


Sunday, May 6, 2018

Running Log - Week Ending May 6

Hello Fellow Runners.

Breaking News:  Today Rupp ran the Prague marathon in 2:06, and I gotta admit I'm a little excited about it.  It's fun to have an American mixing it up with the East Africans.  He's done well in Championship type races - now he has a fast time to go with the medals.

Now on to less exciting things, like my weekly running....

____________ far, so good this week.... I'm still on the "getting fitness back" train.  This week I extended my Tuesday workout and was able to pick up the pace at the end of my 10 mi. Long Run.

I'm trying to "let the fitness come to me", or "sneak up on me", or whatever the saying is.  I'm already starting to feel the tug of doing LESS prehab work (strength and mobility) as the miles pile up, only because of time/sleep constraints.  So far, I'm sticking to it, but it's a "re-commitment" almost daily.

Mileage:     40 (highest mpw so far....)
Long Run:  10 (Last 2 @ 7:15 and 6:40)
Workout:    6 x (5' tempo by feel / 2' E)  Tempo pace turned out to 6:50 - 7:05
Weight:      143 (avg for the week - first thing in the morning)

Tuesday's Workout:  was good.  Way back, before I got hurt, the workout tempo pace I did this week was my MP.  I held back some to make sure I was able to keep the effort on the last rep the same as the first rep.  Feel good about it.  I "feel" the fitness coming back.

Saturday's Long Run:  10 miles didn't feel as far this week as it did last week - so, that's good.  I was huffing and puffing pretty good to get the last mile around 6:40.  The first 8 miles was around 7:50 pace, which is about right for the shape I'm in right now.

Weight:  is more something I notice than trying to get to a specific number.  Last year, when I ran consistently my weight was about 140.  My diet is much better now than it was last year.  Not sure yet if that will affect my weight - it's more about "healthy food" than "calorie restriction".  But, I have noticed I've dropped a few lbs since my weekly mileage has gotten above 35 for a few weeks in a row now.

Nothing else too exciting to report....

Carry on fellow runners......

Monday, April 30, 2018

Starting to Build It Back Up - Running Blog - April 30 2018

Hello Runners.

Kipchoge - Dude's incredible, another marathon win in London.  I liked his comment in the press room after the London marathon.  He said "In marathon you don't have to drop other runners, the pace will drop them" (I think I got that, right).  I'm sure his quote is true when your pace is 4:45 / mile.  Reminds me of watching the 10k US Olympic trials when Molly Huddle ran exact even splits every 400 until there was nobody around her at the end...."the pace dropped them".

As for me.....

So - for me this week I'm continuing to slowly add mileage and speed work as I get back in shape from my long injury hiatus.   After cutting back some last week, I'm pretty much picking up where I left off - which means a "workout" on Tuesday and longer run on Saturday.  I've also added strides to a couple of my easy days.

The fitness is coming around.  But really, I'm just happy to be able to run without any pain.  Having no races in the near future also "allows" me to relax and let the fitness come to me whenever it happens.  Sometime in January, when I had a "set back" I decided "I shalt not schedule a race in the Spring".  And, I'm forcing myself to stick to that plan.  It's quite "freeing" in that competitive, Type A, runner, kind of way.

Tuesday's Workout: This week was my first workout on the roads.  All prior have been on a TM to "control" my pace and keep a sure footing.  Also, if something doesn't "feel right" I can just step off and evaluate - no need for a long walk back.  So...this week I ventured out for a 40' Progression Run (60' total run including wu and cd).  The idea was to progress in pace - 20 minutes steady; 10' faster; 5' faster; 5' faster still.  All paces by feel.  Good workout - but a reminder that I need to "re-learn" how to run by feel.  Went out too fast for the first part of the first 20' section, had to re-adjust.  But, after that it went okay.  Felt really good to get my heart and legs really going and really do some work.  The best part - my legs are feeling where they are "supposed to", no pain from the injuries.

Saturday Long Run:  Ran 10 miles this week.  First time running in the "double digits" in 9 months.  Felt good - but I "over-cooked" it on the pace.  I got excited about feeling good, and just went out too fast.  I was "feeling it" for the rest of the day Saturday and some on Sunday as well. My overall pace was 7:35 which is about the pace of LR's last year.  I'm not back in that shape yet.....

Mileage:  Ran 38 miles this week in 6 runs (all runs except Tuesday and Saturday above were "easy").  After a "down" of 30 miles.  That's the highest mileage so far.  Still feeling good.

Metabolism: Something happened at the end of the week.  In the last couple of days I lost 4 lbs.  I'm sure some of it is water - but still - I had been "stuck" for weeks at about 5 lbs more than I weighted "pre-injury".  My body has decided (I guess) that I'm running again.  The increased hunger occured around the same time :).   I'm going to call it a "sign" that fitness is improving.

Next week:  Keep the mileage about the same.  Tuesday's workout will be some kind of "on / off" repeats.  Go out slower in the LR, and see if I pick up the pace the last few miles.

First priority is still "prehab", and being ever-vigilant to any niggle or tweak...


Monday, April 23, 2018

Kinda' Back Into "Training" Mode

Hello Runners!

First - man is Des tough or what?!  Taking down Boston for the US.  That's two in a row for the US women (Shalane in NY).

Now on to more boring MY running is going.....

For the first time since August I've been able to put in a couple weeks of consistent running and I'm not feeling ANY pain in the pelvic floor / psoas / hip flexor area.  It's kind of weird, actually, to have no pain.  It's been so long, I got used to it.  I'm now going to officially call all the ancillary work "prehab" instead of "rehab".

This can be a dangerous time for me.  Because....I have the tendency to ramp my running volume back up too quickly and add workouts too soon.  I also have the tendency to stop doing what helped me recover from my injuries; namely specific strength exercises and lots of stretching / yoga type work EVERY day.

Keeping up with the stretching and other ancillary work will get more difficult as my mileage goes up, but I don't always allow enough time in my day to run increase the duration and do all the "prehab" work.  I need to make the conscious decision every day to prioritize the prehab and cut the runs short as needed instead of the other way around.

So far, I've kept the mileage increases to only a few miles a week.  My weekly mileage progression the last month has been 23 / 27 / 30 / 35.  This week I noticed my Friday Easy run wasn't feeling so....easy.  So, I skipped the Saturday Long Run and did an easy run on Sunday, my mileage dropped to about 30 for the week.   Building in these "cut back" weeks is also a new part of my training.  It's difficult for me to cut back when I don't "feel" like I need it....but I think it will help keep me healthy going forward.

From a workout perspective, I've been doing progression runs by feel once a week for a few weeks.  This week I did a workout of 5 x (5' @ 7:00 pace / 3' @ 8:15 pace) as part of a 7 mile run.  It felt good to get the legs moving, heart thumping, and the feeling of lactic acid building up.  My paces are way down from what they were last year at this time, but that will come around as long as I can continue to slowly build my fitness back up.

I'm also moving more and more of my runs from the TM to outside.  I'm "stable" enough now that I can handle the undulations / uneven surfaces without causing any pain.  I'm also pretty sure a small slip on mud / water here or there won't set me back.

All in all.....feeling good about this "running" thing again.  Still keeping my mindset at "cautiously optimistic" lest I fall back into my old habits.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Recovering With Pelvic Floor Exercises

Hello fellow Runners.


Long time since I posted here....

Well....finally feel like I'm recovering from my injuries.  Looks like the "root cause" is pelvic floor tightness / injury.  I've gone from PT to urologist to PT....and finally to a pelvic floor PT specialist that is a runner.  I've finally received treatment that is working...and working pretty quickly.  To the point that now my runs are limited to aerobic fitness, not pain in all the wrong places. 

I won't go into specifics here on what pelvic floor tightness / injury means exactly.  Most people don't discuss it, except women after childbirth (Gwen Jorgensen recently mentioned pelvic floor exercises / strength contributing to her fast recovery from childbirth).  Men NEVER talk about it....and I get it.  Men - if you have pain below the belt line and it's not your hip flexors, and your PT is stumped, find a specialist.  I've been told by this PT that it's common in older men (I'm 50) that are athletic to have my issues (I'll take it a compliment).

I've been steadily progressing with my running.  25 and 27 miles last couple of weeks and planned 30 miles this week...woo hoo!  I've even been able to do some "progression" runs, and might even try a proper workout in the next week or two.  I've gotten my "long run" up to about 8 miles as well. 

I'm doing specific pelvic floor exercises (including "how" I breathe and my "non-running" posture), and stretching twice a day.  But, if that's what it takes, then that's what I'll do.  I'm scared to death that I'm going to slip on a wet or uneven surface, and re-injure most of my runs are on a treadmill, only running outside in perfect conditions.

My running form is quite different now than it was last September when I started this long journey of injury and false recovery.  A running gate analysis from September and now shows I'm much more upright, hips farther forward, arms lower and back, and landing my foot more under my body.  All good things, I've been told.  But this change also means I'm using muscles differently - my calves in particular are more sore, I think because I'm landing now somewhere between mid-foot and the balls of my feet (is that the same thing?) instead of a slight heel strike.  Another reason to TAKE IT SLOW on building mileage and adding speed work.


Monday, February 5, 2018

Running With No "Walk Breaks" - Woohoo!

Hello Runners.

Another week down; another week making progress on my injury recovery.

About a month ago - after three months of no running, my PT "allowed" my first "run".  That run was 8 repeats of (30 seconds of running with 30 second walk breaks).  Every other day since then, I've VERY gradually increased the running part of that formula while keeping the walk breaks to 30 seconds.

Tuesday this week I did 3 repeats of 15:00 running with 30 second walk breaks, and then FINALLY on Thursday I ran 40:00 straight.  Two things I noticed after my 40 minute run.  #1 - my injuries held up (some minor "soreness", but stretching/rolling afterward solved it).  #2 - I'm out of shape.  Not complaining at all.  I can actually run now - that's the most important thing - but I hadn't realized how much those short walk breaks were me out aerobically.

Second "achievement" this week.  I ran TWO days in a row (Saturday AND Sunday).  I cut the Saturday run down to 30 minutes, then did 50 minutes on Sunday, for my "long run".

Still stretching and rolling every day, and doing hip and core strength following every run.

Next week's plan is to run Tu / Th / Sa / Su again.  As always, as soon as I feel any setback in the injuries I stop and re-evaluate.  All runs still on the treadmill....the consistent footing and no incline/decline is what I need right now.  Plus, on the treadmill I'm MUCH more likely to STOP as soon as any of the wrong kind of pain pops up.  If I were on the road, I might still try to "run home" no matter how much I had left...I don't trust myself to walk it in if I needed to.

This week I ran about 20 miles on 4 runs.  A long way from my prior 60 miles weeks.  But, also a long way from 0 miles in all of December.

Not out of the woods with my injury yet, but feeling cautiously more confident that I will be soon.

- Onward