Archive for September, 2010

12 Miles

It was suppose to be a confidence boost.

It was suppose to be about trying something new.

It was suppose to be my last chance to get things together.

But, it went horribly wrong.

Let me start over. I decided to run the 12 miler without my knee braces on. They had been causing me serious cramps in my calves and shins. I brought them with me and thought I could just throw them on if I had issues with my IT bands.

I started the run and things felt fine. I was a little sluggish, but no big deal. After about a mile my shins started to get really sore. By mile 2 I was in so much shin pain I thought that maybe I would turn around. I could barely even walk. I don’t know where this was coming from. I walked at my next walk interval (I’m still running 4 minutes and walking 1) but the pain was incredible. I tried to stretch the shin muscles but it hurt, it was just unbearable. I decided to walk for 5 minutes and try to shake it off. After the 5 minute walk I went back to my normal schedule. The pain lasted for the next 4 miles, slowly slipping away, until after mile 6 of the run. I finally felt like I had some rhythm. All the pain was gone and I felt strong.

That lasted until about mile 8 or so. Then I had a steep downhill. I just jogged it, nice and easy, but I could feel my IT bands twinging. It wasn’t painful, just a reminder that I needed to watch out. About 1.4 mile later I started feeling the tell-tale IT band burning. I stopped under a tree and put my knee braces on. Unfortunately, the knee braces just seemed to aggravate the injury. At mile 9 I threw in the towel. I called my wife and had her pick me up. I just didn’t want to risk injuring my IT band.

I’m really disappointed, and scared of what this marathon, just two weeks away, is going to do to me. I hope I can make the cutoff, I hope my shins are ok.

The last hurrah

This is my last big push. After this week I taper. My wife and I have modified our original plan to run Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, to running Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

We did this because we had plans for a good part of Sunday that would require us to 1, be awake, and 2, have functioning bodies.

Having said that, our individual day volume is increased over the original plan and I found myself running 6 miles tonight. I have been struggling with IT band pain most of my training. As my volume went up the IT bands punished me. I have been wearing knee braces and they have helped tremendously. There is one issue though. As I start to get into a groove, my calf muscles swell (probably from being engorged with blood) and tighten the knee braces around my leg. Within a few minutes my calves and my shins are cramped up.

This happened tonight. After about 10 minutes of straight running I felt like my shins were going to explode. I pushed through it but when I got to my house after a first 3 mile loop, I decided to take the knee braces off before continuing the last 3 miles.

It was risky, what if my IT band flared up again? I figured I had time to recover before the race so I just went for it. As I started to run I felt lighter than air. It’s amazing how constricting knee braces can be. I mean, I guess that’s the point, but running without them felt almost like cheating.

There was good and bad news however. The bad news is that my calves and shins were too far gone to fully recover. Although I didn’t feel as much pain without the braces, the damage had been done, and I couldn’t keep up the 9min/mile pace I had the first 3 miles. The good news is that I had no IT band issues at all! I finished the run with a 9:43 pace. A new record for me.

I’m not sure where this leaves me. Do I run the half with or without the braces? Should I do this weekend’s 12 miles without the braces? Maybe I can bring them with me in case I need them? Ugh, decisions, decisions.

10 Mile run

This weekend I managed to put together a 10 mile run. I wore knee braces and the run was beautiful, but uneventful. I actually took only 5 minutes longer to run the 10 miles than the 9 miler I did last week.

My knees and legs held up really well.

Because of where I live, I always end up with a triple set of hills in the last half mile of the run. I was feeling amazing …until the dreaded triple dip!!! That was just an awful way to end a great run. Ugh. I wore compression pants the rest of the day, and that night I felt just great.

The one thing I am concerned with is if I am going too fast on my runs. The long runs are supposed to be easy, but I think I am running near 9:30 miles during the run. I know that isn’t fast for most, but for me it is way above my normal pace. My average HR is still low, but I think that has to do with my walk segments which drop my HR average down. So I’m not sure if what I am doing is right or not. Having said that, I am not going to change things now. I am going to continue plugging away.

I am considering doing a 5K race today. I’m hoping for a good time so that I can get a seeded start in the Manchester Road Race in November. I’ll post more when I know for sure.

Wow, I’m all over the place with these posts, sheesh.

9 Miles!

9 miles! Saturday morning I did my 9 mile run. I was pretty nervous about it considering my IT band issues, but I was wearing my knee brace and hoping for the best.

The night before I prepared some homemade Gu based on a recipe I found online. I knew I was going to need something if I was going to run that long, and I didn’t have any Gu’s at home. I’ll post the recipe in a bit.

At any rate, I did the 4 minute run, 1 minute walk thing. Apparently, when I ran, I ran pretty hard (for me anyway) because I made it back with just over ten minute miles! More importantly, I made it with no knee pain in my right knee.

I did have a little soreness in my left leg in the muscle just above the knee. It felt like it might have been IT band related too. I’m elated. The run was pretty tough too. There were quite a few hills, one of which was about 200 feet of elevation over maybe half a mile. The other side of that hill was a 10 percent grade so I actually walked all the way down the other side.

The homemade gu was yummy, and it really seemed to help. I ran out of it at around mile 6, and I’m thinking that is why mile 9 was sooooo miserable. Having said that, I ran the race on pace for a 10 minute mile. Which would have me finishing the half marathon at a respectable (for me) 2:10 or so. I would be thrilled to break the 2 hour mark, but I will take just finishing.

More on my race strategy as I get closer to race day, mostly because I have no idea yet.

6 Miler

Did my 6 mile run last night. Wow I need to get a headlamp. It is getting dark earlier now and it was pitch black at times during last night’s run. I had to modify my route in the middle because I wasn’t going to do a second loop in such a dark area.

At any rate, I managed to finish the 6 miles with no knee pain. Either the brace or the exercises seem to be working. I’m not planning on figuring out which it is because I don’t dare run without the knee brace until after the half marathon next month.

Did I just say next month? Gulp! Tomorrow is a 9 miler and that will be the real test. If I can make the long run with no pain I will be thrilled.

Today I feel pretty good. My glutes are sore, which I think is a good thing. It shows that they are now “firing.” I guess?! My knees feel a little something today too. I wouldn’t say pain or soreness though. More like they are tired. Well, lets see what tomorrow brings.

  • The Narcissist Section (a.k.a. Me Me Me)

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