Monday, May 14, 2012

Stuff that hurts.

I don't usually complain about things that hurt, well at least not publicly, but that's changing with this post.  I've got a number of nagging aches and pains that may end up derailing my Leadville 100 race day, and have to play into my LT100 race plan.

Rotator Cuff
I'm going to start with the oldest first and work forward chronologically from there - the oldest injury that seems to affect my running performance.

I crashed my bicycle during a crit in 1998 (I think).  I was fourth wheel in a 4 man break away and we were getting ready to lap the field.  I was in with a good shot to win the race but the idiot leading the break decided that he'd slam on his brakes because of a manhole cover.  That caused the 2 guys behind them to do the same with wheel 3 adding a swerve left into the mix.  His back wheel washed out my front one and I hit the deck going the better part of 30 miles per hour.  Strained rotator cuff.  I haven't even really thought about that injury for quite some time, but it's recently been bugging me on my longer runs - to the point where I just let my right arm hang limp at my side for a while.  I'm doing some strengthening exercises for it...

The Knee
In 2010 I ran the 25 mile race on Saturday and the 10 mile race on Sunday at the Desert RATS Trail Festival.  During the 10 mile race, I remember ticking through pretty good, even having one guy complement my pace.  Unfortunately, that came to an end during the second climb.  My knee started killing me and I had to drop to a walk.  I got some Vitamin I from an aid station worker and was able to grit out a finish, but ever since then I've had recurring flare ups in my knee.  Sometimes it's a very sharp pain, other times it's a dull long lasting ache.

I have no idea what the injury is, just that it comes and goes.  It's currently "on" in a dull long lasting ache form, but it also seems to be in a "waning" part of its life cycle.  It was much worse a few weeks ago.

The Ache-illes
I've also been dealing with Achilles pain for quite some time.  I don't remember specifically when it started, but I do believe I know what caused it.

Good running form is kind of like the dude in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy who figured out how to fly by falling and missing the ground.  You kind of want to lean forward to the point where you lose your balance and have to step forward to catch yourself.  With a bit of angular momentum in the upper body, all that's required to maintain forward motion is alternating knee lifts.  I have a habit where I push off with the balls of my feet and grip with my toes for a little extra speed and that messes me up.  I go through periods where I improve, but then fade back into my bad habits and have to start over.

It doesn't really bother me while I'm running, just before and after, but I'm nervous that'll change.  Right now I'm enjoying a "relearning" phase.  Ache-illes is aching.

The Lower Abdomen - Hip Flexor - Groin
This is my most recent injury.  I initially blamed Deneb because of a game which we (used to?) play called, "Deneb jump Papa." I now think it may have happened while defending myself from one of my bad dog friends.  The injury really flares when I try to kick a dog (I never in my life expected I'd write those words, but there it is).
This injury really makes it difficult for me to get started on a run.  Once started, it fades into the background, but it never quite goes away.  I think it's improving, but 2 weeks ago it was only the Lower Abdomen.  Then again, I had to kick a dog on Friday.  Ugh...

With the exception of the shoulder injury, all of these injuries are on my left side.  Fun.
Anyway.  This is the stuff that hurts, here's hoping it gets better.

Thanks for reading and lift up, don't push off...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Quick Checklist

This is just a brief list so that I can organize my upcoming posts.  I've got a whole bunch of ideas, but they're all over the place and therefore find it a bit overwhelming to sit down and write one thing at a time.  Anyway here's the list...

  • Priority Posts, these might be grouped together.
    • Stuff that hurts
    • Leadville Plan
    • People who died, and what that means to me
    • Continued ruminations of being a stay at home dad and the guilt associated with leaving my son with the maid while I head out for 2-3 hour long runs.
    • Shoe reviews:  
      • Brooks Pure Connect
      • New Balance MT110
  • Secondary Posts
    • Stuff about the local geology.  Lots of people think Bolivia is mountains - where I live it's flaaaat...
    • Heat adaptation, cold tolerance
    • RPE vs. HR for untrained athletes.
Now I'm committed to 6 or 7 notes in the next couple of weeks.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy your time outside.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Aaaand we're back.

Hopefully for a while.

Back in early March, my laptop died.  Motherboard fried by electrical short.  Not a happy ending, but it was probably time - I think it was 4 years old. My hard disks survived and are installed in my new desktop PC so the only thing I really lost is some software, and it was getting time to upgrade that anyway.

Running wise, the last 2 months have been a real mixed bag.  I got sick while my Mom was visiting (back in early March when my laptop took a crap) and all semblance of consistency disappeared from my training.  I've still logged some decent miles, but not the steady progression that my training program called for.  It's caused me to reassess some things in re: Leadville.

I briefly considered my first ever "DNS", but after a quick perusal of 50s in the temporal neighborhood of Aug 18 and the geographical neighborhood of CO, I realized that tacking on an extra entry fee onto my already $300 ticket made no sense whatsoever.  So, baring serious injury, I'm going to take the start at the ungodly hour of 4am August 18 and see how far I can go.  Beating my Steamboat time to Winfield would make my race, and after that I'll see how far I can go.

I still have hope that I can finish the race, but that's going to be a bottom tier goal for me as far as the Leadville 100 is concerned.  I need to let finishing the race be of lesser importance than enjoying the experience that is the journey to the start line.  In the coming days, I'll fill in a bunch of the blanks.

Anyway, Thanks for reading and may your computers always have adequate surge protection...
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