Sunday, March 4, 2012

Weekly Training Wrap - 2/27 - 3/4

My road to recovery continues. Unfortunately, that road is very vague at the moment. What I know is that I can run in controlled situations (level, well groomed paths) with minimal pain. The ice and ibuprofen treatment seems to have made only a minimal difference, but I keep doing most of it anyway. Rest days seem to helping and I took an extra one this week. With a little web search, I managed to find some PT exercises that also help a little. Playing Internet Doctor for a few days this week, I came up with two potential diagnosis: Posterior Tibial Tendonitis ("post-tib") and a Sprained Ankle. A fellow blogger has dealt with a case of post-tib and we exchanged a few emails this week. I can say definitively that our symptoms are not the same and the pain he described is not even close to my pain level. Reading the examination steps on-line does not lead me to believe that my injury post-tib, or at least anything more than a very mild case. That leaves me with a plain old case of inflammation or a sprained ankle. After several conversations with my friend (and PT) Jen (and some reading on-line), it is most likely a very mild form of either. That means I should be able to continue to run as long as I am smart and don't push through pain or obvious signs that it is getting worse. The tough part is the unknown recovery time. The next step is to continue with decreased mileage and make an appointment with a foot and ankle specialist to ensure my self-diagnosis is a good one and rule out more severe injuries.

I love to laugh at this situation by watching this video.  While he is not addressing running specifically, he accurately captures some of the emotions that a runner goes through -- particularly thinking about age and the balancing act to get healthy.  And, he also captures how absurd people find taking such high levels of Ibuprofen.  I find that bit particularly funny because I about fell over the first time it was recommended to me.  And hey, if we can't laugh at ourselves...

The toughest part of being injured is the mental games you play with yourself (and others). One day I feel optimistic and that I have a plan to manage through it. The next day I get frustrated and want to just throw in the towel. The truth is that I don't even know what I am doing each day. The relatively low level of pain that I am experiencing makes me feel like a wuss. Many runners would probably just push through this without even thinking twice about. But I am so used to running injury free that it is kind of foreign to me. What's more, the spot that it landed in training leaves me unsure about whether it is smarter to shut down or push through. If it were close to my goal race, I think the answer would be more obvious. It was also be more obvious if the pain level were higher.

The highlight of the week was a "long run" with my wife on Saturday. First of all, the day was GORGEOUS, the first obvious sign of Spring. Secondly, the flat trail we ran was easy on my ankle and I was able to complete the run without trouble. And, of course, it is kind of fun to impart all the running wisdom (ha, I wish!) on my wife and help her training stay on track.  The low light of the week was the continued decrease in mileage.

I will attempt to start following my LT100 training plan, which begins this week. While I hoped to exceed the relatively minimal mileage in the first six weeks, the lower bar does provide me some time to train and heal. Any kind of good performance at the Colorado Marathon seems to be slipping away with each lost training day. That certainly doesn't make me happy, but it's not the worst thing either. Honestly, an injury with my goal race 6 months away isn't so bad -- much better than smack in the middle of training.

Day Miles Notes
Monday Rest
Tuesday 8 Mile repeats @ 6:30 w 3 min recovery
Wednesday6 Recovery
Thursday RestUnscheduled rest day
Saturday 12 Long Run with my wife
Sunday 5 Hill workout .5 @ 0, .5 @ 5%, .5 @ 7%, .5 @ 9%, .5 @ 11%, .5 @ 13%, 2 @ 5%
Total 31 About 2700 vertical feet

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