Sunday, May 31, 2015

And There Goes May

I haven't written anything running related in a bit probably because I have been more concerned about running (and being able to run) rather than writing about it.

This has been the strangest May that I can remember when it comes to weather. I know part of it is that I don't live on the Front Range anymore but even taking that into consideration it has been weird. Today, Sunday the 31st, is the first day, well the morning anyway, that it actually felt WARM when I went outside. Aspen gets 2.1 inches of rain on average in May but this year for May we got 4.0.

Still working around that injury/tendon thing in my leg but I think I have it figured out and it is feeling better and better each day. I did a speed workout on Thursday (hill repeats) and after that it seemed to finally let go and loosen up and has felt great ever since. I have also switched back to the Stinsons and that seems to be helping a lot. I guess for some reason the Mafates just don't work for me.

But even with the weather and injury management this month I still had a good quality month I believe. 238 miles running with an additional 11 hours on the bike.

Three weeks and six days until the Aspen Backcountry Marathon. I still maintain that it is not as tough of a race as Salida but I think given the nature of some of the trails, it might be slower, at least for me... We'll see.

A treat of a view yesterday morning up in Van Horn Park. Looking SW. The bells are just left of center.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

No Rain... No Rainbows...

A surprise rainbow Saturday night when I took Asia out.
No Rain... No Rainbows.... which is all fine and good unless it rains all the damned time in which case you are just screwed.... and wet… and not in the happy fun way either. Lots of rain here this week if you haven’t figure that out yet.

So... to come clean... I had a great mileage week two weeks ago and pushed through many things to make it happen. What I failed to mention is that I was also trying to push though what was becoming a nasty tendonitis issue in my left leg or shin to be more accurate. If I ran, the tendon would warm up and feel fine, but after it cooled off, normal motion was uncomfortable. Since it wasn't getting any better, I decided to play it super-safe so the week of April 20 was a total rest week with zero mileage.

Since things were not feeling a whole lot better at the beginning of this week but not wanting to have another zero week I decided to fall back to walking. What that means is instead of running on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I walked instead; Six, Eight, and Six miles respectively. Saturday morning I saw a PT first thing, he “worked” on it, and the leg felt great afterwards.

I got the usual lecture about how I am older and I need to do more “stuff” after my runs, etc… get massages… etc… and so on. You know, all of the things that I have neither the money nor the time for right now, or really, ever.

Anyway… went for a nice ride on Saturday after spending some time tweaking and tuning the bike. I have not ridden since the end of October on a day that was right before the weather turned. Honestly, I had no idea how I would feel on the bike and I was quite surprised that once I started riding that it felt as if I had been away from it only days rather than months. Even my technical skills seemed to be intact which I found to be strange to say the least. Turned out to have a nice 26 mile ride up to the Maroon Bells and back and only got caught in one little rain storm on the way up.

I need to embrace the bike. It kept me healthy for two years. So maybe now riding is more mandatory than optional if I am wanting to stay "in the game."
The PT that I worked with suggested that I run today so I got out for an easy, flat (for around here) run on all dirt path. I took it easy to warm up the first mile and then maintained a MAF effort for the next five. A rainstorm and wind moved in the last two miles and made it cold… hence my rain references above.  I “guess” it felt okay and it doesn’t seem like I lost a lot of fitness but I was sore again in that same spot when I got home. I worked on the pissed-off tendon as the PT showed me how and as if by magic the damned thing loosened up again and felt fine.

Even with taking that last full week off in April, it turned out to be a 203-mile month of running. Of course, I count those miles of walking those three days into the equation.

What is next?  I don’t know. I have already had to reboot my training plans 2x for the Aspen Backcountry Marathon and am not sure right now how I am going to proceed for the next few weeks leading up to that. If I had to describe my course of action it will be to train for a Marathon as if I were only training for a Marathon instead of training for a Marathon while still trying to build a solid ultra-base at the same time.

The other thing that I am going to have to do which I have been ignoring is to incorporate the bike in more. Actually when things started feeling funny two-three weeks ago, I should have stopped running and picked up the bike then instead of being a typical bull-headed runner trying to run through an injury. Of course, THAT thought didn’t occur to me until half-way through yesterday’s ride. Hindsight… I know…  But in my defense, the conditions around here to ride have not been favorable until the past few days and the thought of going and riding inside never really occurred to me.

This is a super busy week so time to do anything is going to be precious. I plan to ride tomorrow in hopes of keeping that calf and tendon loose and then run three days, ride Friday, run Saturday, and then ride on Sunday, and just pray that I can keep it all together this week. No real mileage goal yet as I want to wait and see how things play out the next several hours after today’s run.

There is hardly a more miserable creature than the injured runner who is not able to run and the past two weeks I have proven that. The disturbing thing is that I have no specific idea what may have caused this injury but I have identified about ten irritating factors that may have come into play. It probably was not one single one but a combination of 2-3 or maybe more, I don’t know. For now, I am just left to deal with it and hope that I am on the mend, and have faith in the same.

It could have been mid-injury, delusional thinking but I did get a crazy idea last weekend. I am supposed to run the Power of Four 50K in July. The day before that is the Aspen Valley Marathon which is a Boston qualifying race. I don’t and I never plan on ever going to Boston to run but the idea of having a qualifying time I do find appealing. So, back to that delusional thing… I might see if I can run the Marathon on Saturday, get a qualifying time of 3:25 or less, and then to the Power of Four the next day.

It would definitely make for a weekend of exceptional volume… We’ll see…