Sunday, July 30, 2017

Breaking3Project Philly - Week 2 (And Already Injured...F*@k)

Hello Runners.

Week 2 of my 18 week plan following Pfitz "Advanced Marathoning" which maxes out at 70 mpw.

Last week started off with an LT run.  This week I don't have any "faster paced" runs, but do have a 12 miler mid week and 16 mile LR with 8 @ MP on Saturday. 

I came into the week feeling pretty much recovered from last Saturday's LR, and ready to roll.  The temps are still pretty high, so I have to remind myself to keep the paces on the higher end of the least not at the fastest end (like I did last week).  And then.....I got hurt.

So....I'm only on week 2, and ALREADY hurt.  Damn it!  Now I'm second guessing if I was ready for the Pfitz 70 mpw plan.....but this is probably more frustration talking than anything else.  I've done this mileage before...

 Injury Details Blow by Blow

At the end of Tuesday's MLR, my left calf started to hurt some - in a new spot from prior "hurts", not bad, but also NOT right.  (Last Fall the came calf had a strain high on the outside - this is more in the "belly" of the calf muscle where the larger part of the muscle tapers down to the smaller part).

Then, about 3 miles into my easy run on Wednesday it started to hurt again.

Last Fall I waited WAY too long to have it worked on, and it took quite a while to get it resolved.  This time, I'm heading in right away to see if I can "Nip in the bud" (as Barney Fife would say.)  So, went to see physio Wednesday afternoon, he grinded away on it (ART), and did some STEM.  Calf felt better (which is usually the case after a treatment), but I'm thinking that's as much psychological as physiological...

Thursday, I went for the planned 9 mi GA run.  About 1.5 miles in calf started hurting again, kind or worse, and a "sharper" pain.  Feels like in the main "belly" of the muscle.  I walked back to the car, and scheduled another appointment Thursday afternoon with the physio and got some "dry needling" done.

Dry needling did the trick last Fall, so I'm hoping this will give me some relief.  If you've never had dry needling, you're missing a "treat".  Using acupuncture needles, the therapist tries to find the spot that is hurting and jabs needles right into it.  This is supposed to "break up / relieve" the inflammation / impingement, etc.  I know when he hits the right spot, because it hurts.  If he hits a spot that is not injured, it doesn't hurt.  Well....he hit a couple "good" spots.  (It actually looks worse than it feels).  Then, some STEM, cold pack, and go home.

Saturday treatment like Wednesday....ART, STEM, cold pack.  Doc says "try running on it tomorrow to see if / how we're progressing".

Sunday - I "try" to run.  Still hurts.  I do about 1/2 mile of jogging / walking and call it a day.  Damn it!

The physio I go to is interesting - he told me last year he NEVER tells runners to NOT run.  His experience is, once he says this to runners he never sees them again.  So, I can't really ask him "should I run".  I think he's good at what he does, but he's not a "runner specialist".  Last time, when I was hurt I tried to run through it, and I'm sure that prolonged the injury.  So, this time I forcing myself to NOT run Friday thru Sunday.  Don't care if it "feels pretty good" while I'm laying on the couch, I'm still NOT running.  The way I can enforce this rule is to tell my wife "I'm not running this weekend cause my calf hurts" - this way I KNOW I'll get "the look" as soon as I put my running shoes on.  "The look" is enough to keep me from heading out.

I have some comfort from Pfitz regarding missing a few workouts - to paraphrase his Advanced Marathoner book "If you miss 2 1/2 weeks and you have 14 weeks to the race, it's no big deal".  By taking Friday - Sunday off, I'm "only" missing one workout, which was scheduled for Saturday.  That workout is a biggie - "16 w / 8 @ MP".  But, better to skip that and get back to pain free running sooner....

Hopefully I can get back to running this week.  But, right now it ain't looking good....

I'm TRYING to stay positive and NOT be a total ass to those around me - you runners know what I mean.  My wife has already put me on "attitude warning".  She is great about my running, when I'm not running is when I'm harder to live with. (and even then, she is great).

Spent too much time Sunday obsessively reading about how much conditioning runners lose from long periods off due to injury.  Doesn't really matter, because if I can't run pain-free, I can't run....nothing I can do about it except "aggressively" try to solve it.  It will heal when it does.  This is one of those times when being an older runner is a real disadvantage...we just heal slower.

Weekly Mileage: 23
Long Run: N/A
Weight:  ?

Every run: Leg swings / Lunge matrix before and foam rolling / dynamic stretching after.
  • Monday:  GA - 8.2 mi. with 7 x 100m strides (I was supposed to do 10 strides, but just got kinda tired and cut them short).  Found a new route, nice.  Pace = 8:05.  Feeling "recovered" from last Saturday's LR.
  •  Tuesday: MLR 12 miles on WOD.  Avg pace = 7:32.  Still a little too fast, I think...but felt okay.  Temps are better this morning.  Strength work including kettle bell swings and leg curls emphasizing the eccentric phase...maybe I can "fix" hamstring cramps late in a marathon?  Left calf started to hurt toward the end of the run....
  • Wednesday: Recovery - 5 mi EASY.  8:23 pace.  Left calf started to hurt again about 3 miles in.   Got in to see the PT grinding on it and then STEM.
  • Thursday: GA - 9 mi.  Calf started hurting around 1.5 miles in.  Stopped immediately and walked back.  PT - dry needling.
  • Friday: Recovery - OFF.  Resting leg. 
  • Saturday: LR - 16 w / 8 @ MP.   Strength / ITB work.  Heat got to me, feeling pretty beat the rest of the day.  Physio visit.  ART / STEM.
  • Sunday: Recovery walk.  Light core work.  Foam rolling and stretching.

Stay tuned...comments welcome.


  1. Ugh, I'm sorry.

    a) can you pool-run? That will preserve a LOT of your fitness.
    b) someone told me once that if you complete 85% of the scheduled workouts on a marathon training plan, you're doing fine. I hope that's reassuring.
    c) IMHO, it's very early to start training for Philly. So this may be a blessing in disguise, and keep you from peaking early.

  2. Thx Cris for your comments - good notes. I don't really have a place to pool run that's convenient, I do some cycling as cross training, but not as specific. I'm banking on having time to recover and get back on plan (18 week plan). I was able to run again today - so total of 5 days off with no running. Hopefully 3-4 easy days to get going again and back to it - with extra attention on how my calf feels.