Monday, April 26, 2010

A Train?

Sometimes you really have to wonder if the light at the end of the tunnel is actually a light or is it quite possibly a train? Sometimes it is damned hard to tell the difference until it is too late.

To be honest with everyone I have to say that pretty much for the past few weeks the tunnel has been dark without any light to speak of.

Okay... it hasn't been THAT bleak but it has been touch and go the last few weeks. While I have known all along that I would get better and I would get back to running the question was always when?

Walking. I've walked a lot and that has been invaluable for boosting my morale. While it wasn't ideal it still allowed me to get the miles in, around 50 a week, and at the same time allowed me a sense of accomplishment to know that I was still working. I could walk many miles in a day and not have any pain during my walks and what was even more special, no pain after or the following morning. Logic would dictate that if I could walk without significant pain, then eventually I'd be able to run without pain as well.

So last week my coach gave me the yellow light to proceed with caution and start doing some running again. The stern warning being that if I got silly, I could completely undo the previous weeks of babying the injury in five minutes or less of carelessly running harder than I should. My orders were to walk/run pretty much every other day last week and I did and it worked out beautifully.

Of course I'm not running nearly as strong as I'd like to be but I'm doing okay just the same. I did a 13.5 mile run/walk on Saturday without any issues, well, besides the damn wind, then on Sunday did another 8 mile run/walk, again without any adverse affects.

The light at the end of the tunnel... nope, it's not a train, it's the actual light and in the later part of Sunday' s run I got the sense, finally,that everything was going to be okay. Having the feeling that the worst part of this episode is behind me was such a relief. I can not express how wonderful it felt and still feels to have hope again and that I can continue training and that all is not lost.

I have to say though, thank god for my coach, Coach Weber who has been invaluable in working through this injury. He's been supportive but also realistic in regards to what I should or should not and or could or could not be doing. The biggest benefit of having a coach in this situation is that he has basically protected me from myself. (Yes, I am learning to be more cautious, conservative and smart. Albeit slowly... ) :)

So things are coming back on line. I have my crew pretty much picked out and an idea how that is going to run and I have a great pacer who has ran the race before and who knows the course. The weather is getting better so running conditions will be getting better. It just feels like it is all coming together.

I am not out of the woods yet with this injury but we can deal with it at this point. I get a rest week this week of only forty miles and I am looking forward to them. I am going to make them smart miles and not go out and blow it this week and get hurt all over again. But more important than being able to run again right now is the return of hope, some confidence and just an overall sense of optimism. It is nice to once again believe that, "I can do this." ;)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Plan A.5

Plan A.5, or A and half if you will. I don't think that Plan B is going to be necessary. Yesterday I had a great conversation with my coach and the future just looks a litter brighter and optimistic. The bottom line is this, on some days I can run without any issue, other days I can't. Whatever is going on is not consistent and while it is probably still healing, the running is not helping it.

But we know that I can still run some. I can walk without any issues at all so for the next week to keep or get my miles up to 50 miles for a week, the plan is to walk seven miles a day for the next seven days. So basically looking at this as training for the second half of the Leadville 100 course while at the same time allowing my left leg a little more time to rest without the stress of running. I'll be lifting a lot too.

I am super excited about this plan because it keeps me moving for one thing. It will allow me to get my mileage up without stressing the injury which is awesome. The downside is that it will take a lot of time to walk the miles every day but I think it will be fine. After last nights short running workout with the Incline Club, I also know that I still have a little strength and a little speed left to work with. Okay, maybe a little bit more than a little. ;)

Lastly the piece of evidence which gives me a lot of hope is that when I got hurt last year it cost me some time in the spring. After that injury healed I bounced back rather quickly. Looking at the time line from last year and where I am this year, I have a few weeks yet before I need be really concerned about making any drastic changes in plans. Those few weeks plus this 7x7 schedule I believe will be the silver bullet to get me out of this mess.

So for the next week, walk my ass off, lift a lot and then next Thursday test the leg and see how it does. I've got a good feeling about this, a really good feeling.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Plan B

This will be a short update. I am guessing that things are still getting better, but the progression seems to be slower now. Sure I can do a lot more than I could three weeks ago but barely any more than I did last week for certain.

Some days are good, some are bad. Yesterday I ran three miles relatively pain free and I mean "pain free," as in what I would feel on a normal day. Today my left knee was hurting as bad as it was last week after a hard run. To make matters worse, the location of the pain seemed to have moved as well.

I am still waiting on the custom inserts for my shoes and I am hoping they will make a difference. Anything at this point to get past this injury: inserts, tiger balm, snake oil, sacrificial chickens! Anything.

After much thought today I am going to try my old running shoes tomorrow and see if that makes any difference. I have half a theory that because I changed to two new pairs and a new model a month before Salida, the possibility is there that something in those shoes may have caused me issues or caused something to weaken to the point where it may have caused me to be more vulnerable to an injury than I would have been otherwise. At this point it sure can't hurt.

My goal was to be 99.9% pain free by the end of this week. After today's run I just don't see that as being possible. The idea of Plan B did enter my mind during the run today. Maybe I should just take break, give myself some time to heal and maybe after that just look at this year as a building year. Look at Leadville as a 2011 option, not 2010. Plan B.

On a good note, the wind was not so bad this evening and that made the run so much more comfortable. The Incline Club starts their Thursday night workouts tomorrow night and I plan to go to that. The weather is getting slightly warmer and it seems that while everyone else is now starting to succumb to allergies mine have passed for the season already.

Next week I will have a more clear picture one way or the other I think in regards to the rest of the season. Anyway... that's all I have for now.