Friday, September 22, 2017

The morning after the rest day

Yesterday was a semi-scheduled rest day.  One of those “I’ll run if I ‘need’ to, if I have too much energy and have to burn it off, but don’t want to and probably shouldn’t” days.  It was an insane day filled with all the stress.  I probably should have whipped off a half mile, at least.


But I didn’t.


I did ice my Achilles tendon as a preventative measure.

And helped my son with his homework.



But whatever…   Tonight I’ll whip off between a mile and a mile and a half. Then tomorrow (or Sunday) I’ll blow out a nice, long 3 miler.  That’ll give me between 5 and 6 miles for the week (1.5, .5 – 1.5, 3) which should fall squarely within the “not overdoing it” category.


There was some minor tenderness in the tendon this morning and I’m hopeful that it’s not going to become a thing.  Ice, stretching, compression…  easy does it old man.  You’re not 28 any more.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Trial of Miles BEGINS!!

Last night the first 1.5 miles of my 90 mile quest was logged.

It wasn’t great:  18:11 for an 11:30 pace.

But it wasn’t bad, either.


My biggest concern following the Kemah 10k was my left leg in general.  That peg has had a twisted ankle, plantar fasciitis, plantar fasciosis, Achilles tendonitis, patellar tendonitis (though I think this was a misdiagnosis), a torn meniscus, arthroscopic surgery, shin splints, and a strained groin.  And it all started with that twisted ankle way back in the day that derailed my marathon training.


Specifically I was worried about Achilles tendonitis, but that has been pretty subdued.


The diagnostics aren’t completely clear—there’s a little bit of soreness on the front of the ankle/low shin/top of the foot.  The interwebs say that’s extensor tendonitis and can be treated easily enough with stretching, strengthening, ice, and compression.  So I’m doing that.  Easy peasy.

So I feel good.  And that’s what’s important right now.


I haven’t done this stuff in years.  Last time I tried to run any significant distance was 2014, and that was mostly a “fall out of bed and do a 10k” type of idiocy.  Frankly the tendonitis was an excellent excuse to back out of the half marathon. I’d have liked a less painful excuse, but it is what it is. The last time I put in REAL miles for REAL training was probably 2012 when I ran my last for-real half marathon. I think that was the Houston Aramco course.  I can’t remember just now.


Anyway, that’s where it’s at.  1.5 miles in to a 90 mile journey that ends in a 13 mile run and a .1 mile dash to the finish line.


I’m itching with excitement.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Post run diagnostics

48 Hour Post Run Diagnostic:  optimistic

No major aches or pains, and certainly no “bad” pain.  That’s a good thing!

There is a minor issue on the left foot (again), the extensor tendon is a little bit tender.  That’s the one on TOP of the foot that lifts the toes when you’re stretching out your calf.  There’s a little bit of tendonitis there, and maybe a touch on the heel.  But a little bit of ice and a nice wrap at night should take care of that. It’s not a sharp pain, it’s more like an ache.  Like …  like a bruise. Or the way a muscle feels after a REALLY bad cramp.  I should be good to go in a day or so and then I’ll be right back out there. Over the next month I’m going to focus on short runs of about a mile and punctuate them with 2 or 3 mile long runs on the weekends. This should count as “not overdoing it” while still putting in enough miles to qualify as “taking it seriously”.  Eh, whatever.  I’ll do fine for the next 10k in Galveston.  The one I’m really worried about is the La Porte Half marathon.


Time target for Galveston:  1:14:00

That will put me at 2:45 total for the first 2 runs and leave me with 2:22 to run the half marathon.  I should be able to pull that off.  Maybe.


Oh yea, about that.


In 2014 I attempted the Texas Bridge Series (Kemah 10k, Galveston 10k, La Port Half Marathon) which crosses 3 iconic bridges in the Houston area—the Kemah causeway bridge which is roughly 1 mile long, the Galveston causeway bridge which is roughly 2 miles long, and the Fred G Hartman bridge, roughly 3 miles long.  After the Kemah run I had a bit of acute Achilles tendonitis that took about a week to get right before I could comfortably walk.  Then after Galveston that pain was just as sharp and took 2 weeks before I could walk.  So, after that I backed out of the La Porte run.  Well, my brother ran all 3.  In 2015 I decided to have a hurt knee and didn’t run any significant distance.  Finally in 2016 I got my knee cut on and going in to 2017 I’m FINALLY feeling right enough to attempt to do dumb things (like running over 3 bridges) again.  When considering this series my brother said “bet you a dollar you can’t beat my cumulative time”.  That time was 5:07.  I can totally beat that.  Probably. And besides, I’m not motivated by his stupid taunting and childish challenge to beat his time.  I’m a fucking grown up.


Anyway, I totally took the bet (and the bait) and signed up for the entire series having run a cumulative total of 7.5 miles prior to the Kemah 10k over the course of 2 years.

So, there.  Take that.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Time to step back in to the mix

It has been over 4 years since posting in this forum.  In that time I’ve attempted to run the Bridge Series (Kemah and Galveston in 2014, backed out of La Porte), suffered achilles tendonitis (that prevented me from running La Porte), rehabbed that at the end of 2014, started running again in the middle of 2015, pulled up lame with a gimpy knee, tried to rest and rehab that, went to a doctor for a cortizone shot, tore the meniscus in March 2016, got surgery to fix THAT in September 2016, and started back on the bike in March 2017 and now have stepped back into running over summer 2017.


Holy crap, what a journey.


So that’s basically from December 2012 to Winter 2016 of some kind of pain somewhere in my left leg that limited my level of activity.


I’m a physical wreck.


I logged 7.5 miles in Strava since the beginning of August and just completed the Toughest 10k – Kemah in a respectable 1:31 (considering the relative wrecked-ness of my body).


I’m enjoying reading my old posts.  Enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would.  But now it’s time to start a new chapter.  It’s time to start running again.


I’m one race into the Bridge Series for 2017.  The greatest challenge is going to be that half marathon, and it’s 60 days away. I’m 24 hours past that first 10k and the diagnostics look promising. No “bad” pain. A few troublesome aches in the left ankle.  The mantra is “take it easy, take it easy, don’t over do it.”  I’m sticking with that.

I’ll give a recap for the 10k soon.  But the next thing on the agenda is an ice bath for the feet and one more day of rest, then a series of 1 mile runs over the next several days. Moving in to the last week of September and the first couple of weeks in October I’ll supplement the 1 mile runs with 3 mile weekend long runs leading in to the Galveston 10k.  After that, preparations for the La Porte by the Bay half marathon.


I’m back, baby!!!

I am strong!

I am mighty!



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

So, here's the thing.  The folks who run the BCS Marathon (in Bryan College Station) had this idea that today runners should wear blue and gold (the colors of the Boston Athletic Association that hosts the Boston Marathon) and do what runners do--run.  There's this story and their facebook page here. So I grabbed my blue shirt and did what runners do--I ran.  I ran 4.09 miles, because that was the number on the clock when the bomb went off.

I'm under no delusions that I changed the world out there by staggering through 4+ miles (very slowly, I might add, 12 minute miles, sheesh).  The world is still a generally decent place full of generally decent people with a few scattered assholes who are just hell bent on shitting on everything good and decent because that's what assholes do.  No money was raised.  No hearts were healed.  No bodies were mended.  No fuckwad terrorists were caught.  It could be fairly interpreted as a meaningless, empty, symbolic gesture devoid of any real meaning or substance.

But something did happen today.

Runners went out and did what runners do--they ran.  They lived their lives.  They picked 'em up and put 'em down.  One after another.  Again and again.  It's what runners do.  And no terrorist can take that away.

Not.  Ever.

And we also wore blue.  In a kind of show of solidarity that said instantly "yea, we're with you, Boston.  You may not have been allowed to finish, but here's a few more miles for your runners."  (And, according to the BAA twitter feed there's a replica finish line for runners to cross when they come to pick up their bag, so there's that.)

But there's more.

The thing about this that pisses me off most, I think, is that it wasn't just a bomb in an office tower or bus stop or hotel lobby.  Don't get me wrong, that sucks, too.  But this was different.  This is like that uncle who gets drunk and ruins your wedding.  Or a hurricane that destroys the chapel where you were going to get married next week, except the hurricane is a dick with a bomb and the chapel is the finish line of the Boston-fucking-Marathon and the wedding is you crossing that finish line.

It wasn't just another day.  It was a day that these people trained for over the course of MONTHS.  They had to qualify for this race, so they had to train and prepare for THAT one first.  Then they had to train and prepare for this one.  It's a big commitment.  Their families were there waiting for them or rooting them on remotely.  And then some fucker comes and blows up a pressure cooker and just takes all that away from them.
Well, fuck him.  He can't take that away.  I'm with you, Boston.  Here's an extra 4 miles for your runners.  And, God willing, if I ever figure out how to drag my fat ass through a race fast enough to qualify I'll come up there and be with you in person.  No fucking terrorist will take that from us.  None.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

On the mend

So, I told that podiatrist to go pound sand.

I did get used to wearing the splint, but that didn't help.  I went out and got a new pair of shoes--new brand and everything.  That seemed to help, some.  I even went out for a run--barefoot.  That didn't hurt a lot, just a little.

Then after about 2 weeks and 4 runs of about 2.5 miles each, I went to a new podiatrist and filled him in on the whole story going all the way back to July.  The new diagnosis:  plantar fasciosis.  It's the chronic version of the fascitis and basically is what happens when that goes untreated for too long.

Treatment:  platelet rich plasma therapy.  In 2 weeks.

So, I have 2 weeks to play.  I go get a pair of Vibrams and started using them around the house and office.  I could actually feel the difference in the way they made my feet work when I was wearing them.  Parts of my legs were sore in ways they hadn't been sore in ages.  I took that as a good sign.

I even started running again.  Because I figured if it hurt when I didn't run, and it hurt when I did run, then I might as well run.

Interestingly enough, the pain wasn't that bad.  At first.  After a couple of days, though...  YOWZA!  Yea, I definitely still needed the treatment.

So, 2 weeks later (just last Friday), I went in for the treatment.  And what can I say?  It hurt like a mother.  I couldn't put any pressure on my foot for a full day and the thing throbbed relentlessly for another day.  But I'm several days on the other side of it and I dare say that I'm mostly pain free.  Not entirely, mind you.  But this morning I woke up with zero pain.  The proof in this particular pudding will be when I string together several days with no pain.  I'm not allowed to run before Friday, and I may take the weekend off just to be safe, but if I can get through a run that's pain free, that'll be fantastic!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ok, here's the story

A lot has happened since June.

A lot.

Not the least of which I bought a house and moved.  That put a kink in everything.  I also lost my means of measuring progress, which means I lost interest in making progress.  Which means I not only quit making progress, but I actually gave up hard fought ground.

But now almost all of the dust has settled.  We've settled into the house.  Much of the "happenings" have stopped happening.  I've gotten a new scale.  I've even seen a podiatrist about this nagging foot injury...
About that injury.

Last July I twisted my ankle.  That led to a change in my gait which caused a retro calcaneal spur and inflammation of my Achilles tendon.  Consequently I scaled back my marathon training and "only" ran a half marathon.  I hung up the shoes until March when I took a short run, which turned out to be a big mistake.  It revealed that my Achilles still was a bit tender, but I had also developed an ache on the bottom of my foot.  I decided to rest through the summer and let it get right.  The Achilles feels fine, but that pain in the bottom of my foot nagged and nagged and nagged.  It was a kind of slow, dull, aching pain, like a bruise.  I accommodated the pain and ignored it, but it didn't go away.  Finally I decided to do something about it.  I looked into various foot ailments, and sure enough, even though I've heard plantar fascaitis described as sharp, hot, needle-like pain in the bottom of the foot, this, too, fit the bill.  I take it to the primary doc who suggests the typical physical stuff that we all know to do--stretch, ice, rest, massage--and it wasn't getting better.  In fact, on some days it was worse.  A month goes by and I take it back, and she sends me to a podiatrist.

The same podiatrist that wanted to put me in orthotics when the Achilles thing was acting up.  The same podiatrist that I had told that I didn't want orthotics then and I still don't want orthotics now.  But it was a different ailment, I figured it'd be a different treatment.


Dude asks me to describe the pain on a scale of 1 to 10.  I tell him that it's not unbearable, but there are mornings when I can't put any weight on the foot for a couple of steps.  Then it stretches out and relaxes and I can go about my business until after about 5 or so steps and it pretty much goes away.

"Well, we don't give shots until the pain is a 7 or more."

What??!!!???  You base you decision to give shots to take away the pain on a subjective description of pain?  

"Take this night splint, and come back if it doesn't go away, and we'll fit you with some orthotics."

"Doc, I don't want orthotics.  I want my feet to WORK PROPERLY!  I don't need orthotics for the right foot, it's fine.  I want the left foot to be fine, too.  Just make the pain go away so I can walk normally again.  Is that too much to ask?"

Apparently it is too much to ask.  But I shouldn't be surprised.  You go to a hammer store, they try to sell you hammers.

So, I'm going to promptly, and naturally, ignore him.  I tried using the splint and it was SUCH a pain in the ass.  I could barely sleep and it came off after about an hour.  We'll see if it gets much more use.

Meanwhile, I'm going to work on the old mechanics, strengthening and stretching the muscles and tendons of the lower leg and foot to try and get this thing working right.  Worst case scenario the pain doesn't go away and I tell the doc "it's a 8" on the magical subjective pain scale.  Best case scenario is that my feet and legs get back to working like feet and legs have evolved to work and I can call the doc and tell him to stuff his magic shoes up his ass.
There was an error in this gadget