Friday, December 21, 2007

off the schneid!

I tried a short treadmill run on Wednesday night which was, to reuse a term from a few months ago, craptacular. My shin never loosened up and kinda hurt. I was about to bag after a half mile or so, but it got a little better as it warmed up, so I stuck it out for 2 miles at 10mm. It hurt after, it was sore in the morning and I was po'd.

But what a difference 24 hours makes! by lunchtime Thursday it felt great, so I got back on the treadmill Thursday night and only felt the slightest bit of tightness. And after a half mile, not even that. Just 3 miles of nice easy pain-free running at 9:30 pace. Best 3 miles I've run in a long time! Schweet!

Now I just need to work on not being so stupid!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Big Progress

So there's nothing to report on the running front, but my shin is feeling better by leaps and bounds. Today there really is no pain, and I've got great range of motion, and only a little soreness when I stretch it. I've started doing some ankle flexibility and motion exercises, and some balance ones as well, and it's really feeling good, although I still do get some swelling by the end of the day.

I may do a few short treadmill runs in the near future just to keep from going completely crazy, but things are looking up. Woohoo!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Still on ice

Well that's a bad pun.

The shin is progressing well and I'm now over a full week off. I thought it might feel good enough for some short runs this weekend, but I am playing it safe. Soon enough.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

X-Ray negative, that's a positive!

So I finally heard from the doctor's office, the x-ray was negative. I had pretty much assumed that to be the case, but it was nice to get the info. I was feeling good enough last night for what passes for XT - an hour or so of raking in the front lawn. This got my shin warmed up and it was a little sore afterwards, but it is feeling good today. I'm planning to take this whole week off, and if the shin is pain-free this weekend, try some light jogging. If not, I'll give it a bit more time.

It's been a year since I've taken a whole week off from running, and to be honest, it feels really weird.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Visit the doc & an x-ray

So I saw my doc last night. He and I are cautiously optimistic that it is just soft tissue damage, but I got an x-ray this morning just to be safe. The doctor wrote on my prescription "runs 50-70 miles / week". This caused quite a bit of discussion in radiology as to whether or not such a thing was even possible, whether that was 5 or 7 miles per day (hope you are not the one running the controls on the x-ray!), etc.

Less swelling, no redness, more flexibility, but a little more pain today.

Thanks for the ideas on the last post. I think pointing the finger at not cutting back the weeks after the marathon is probably as good a guess as any.

Monday, December 10, 2007

And then ACK! I killed my leg!

So last week was going pretty swimmingly according to the log. I ran 58.5, with a 17 mile long run on Saturday, and was going to make it about 70 on Sunday. The beginning of the week was fine:

Mon: 8 ez
Tue: 8 ez
Wed: group run 9.5 with the middle 7 around 6:30-6:45 in the snow
Thu: 8 ez
Fri: 8 ez
Sat: 17 falling apart

Friday I noticed that my right shin was little tight. It really wasn't anything notable, any more or any less than any other ache that you get running. I didn't even write in my log, where otherwise I sound like a whiny hypochondriac.

Then on Saturday, I went out in the late afternoon for my long run. I remember that both of my shins were tight fairly early on, but this is pretty common for me. Especially in the winter here, it's a tough balance between starting out too fast or being overdressed later on. Both were fine by mile 5 or so though. Around 6.5 I remember looking for a place to stretch my right shin because it had started to tighten up again.

I stretched it, and in hindsight, this should have been the warning, it just felt worse. Usually that sort of in-run stretching helps me out.

After another 2 miles or so the hurting got more intense and I realized the run was doomed. Unfortunately I had planned an out and back, so I was about 8.5 miles from my car. Carp!

Again in retrospect, I should have called my wife to load the kids up and come down and pick me up, but that idea never really dawned on me.

The trip back to the car was bad, and getting darker by the minute. The last 5 was especially bad and I was wincing every time my right foot hit the ground.

I did make it back, and then discovered in the car that this is also the gas-pedal muscle, and I drive a standard, so that was tough.

The reaction was pretty bad. I had a lot of swelling, and a bright red patch (maybe 3x4 inches) on my right shin. It was very stiff and I couldn't put any weight on it. Through Sunday, ice seemed to help a little with the swelling, but Advil didn't seem to be doing much, and didn't really help with the pain. By Sunday night it was sausage-swollen.

This morning it seems maybe a little better. The swelling has gone down a bit, but considering I had it up in bed all night, that would make sense. The redness is gone. It is still very stiff and sore and I have limited movement. I have no pain wiggling my toes, or raising my foot slightly, but a good amount if I point my toes.

So all the signs point to a good muscle or tendon sprain. I am trying to get into my doc for a confirmation, but I'm pretty sure the prescription will be RICE.

This one is definitely more serious than some of my previous dings and dents, so I am not running until I have clear signs that this is healed.

What's mystifying to me right now - beyond how long this will take to heal so I can run again :) - is how it happened. It didn't pop dramatically like a hamstring pull, and I don't think I had the warning signs going in like with most overtraining.

I think I have been very conservative building my weekly mileage since my calf was injured in the fall, and that injury was in the other leg. I have had no problems of note with this leg.

Here are my weekly totals since then:


Maybe the week of 11-12 should have been a 50, but that was the week I jogged the marathon and I had been running 50s and some 60s all summer. But maybe jumping up to that, then not taking some down weeks after built up some fatigue?

I haven't been doing any fast paced work, nothing much faster than 6:30 pace, except a couple miles in a progression a few weeks back, not tempos, no intervals, no races.

It's possible that I tweaked something on my Wed night group run, we were running decently fast in the snow. But I don't remember feeling it.

It's possible that I've put in a few too many TM miles - I was running all outdoors until the wintery mix started, and I did one on the TM last week, then 4 this week. Usually the TM is kinder to my legs than the road.

Or maybe too long without a day off? My last 0 was 11/26. I've been fatigued, but that's generally how I feel when building up some miles.

Not enough stretching? I've probably been a little lax with it - I've been running more in the morning and with the time pressure of getting out to work it's tough to do.

Obviously I misread badly how it was on Friday and should have cut the Saturday run of. But I'm really surprised by this one coming out of nowhere.

If either of you loyal readers see anything above that points to this, or have ideas on where I went wrong please let me know.

And apologies to Seebo, who I had to bag on a scheduled Sunday run via email since the only way I could have accompanied him would have been leaning out the window of my car.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Another good week. Got gloves?

Another good week getting in some winter miles here. I cut back a little from last week, and ran 56 miles this week in:

Mon: 0
Tue: 5 easy
Wed: 13.5, hilly, 6:45 to 7 pace
Thu:6+ easy
Fri: 6+ easy
Sat: 17 in 1:54, good hard run as the sun went down on the Wissahickon path, steady, just under 6:45 pace, felt very strong
Sun: 8 easy in dicey weather

The Saturday run was a great one, I felt very strong and just kept rolling, just me and the ipod. Probably a little out of whack with the rest of the mileage.

I am in search of new gloves though. For whatever reason I have become more of a cold weather wuss this season and my cold hands have been killing me. Last year I was fine with some cheap fleece gloves that I bought from Campmor. This year they aren't cutting it.

I picked up a pair of Asics Thermopolis gloves last week, but they aren't warm enough. Sunday was sleety, and even covered with waterproof mittens my hands were still freezing and my fingers were turning white. Does anyone have any glove solutions they like?