Thursday, May 5, 2016


After several  days of dead rest starting last Friday, I got the knee checked out yesterday and nothing is broken- but the doc confirmed its a bad bruise ("pre-fracture") and said it would likely take 4-6 weeks to heal (with rest).  The swelling and crepitus he says is likely due to fluid from the injury and will take more time to abate.   Last night and this morning I stretched the knee -  quad stretches with bent knee had been quite painful since last week's fall so I'd been skipping that from my routine; so I did these stretches  quite gingerly and while it was a uncomfortable it did seem to feel better afterwords.  Today  I took an 8 mile walk and pushed it - its surprising what a clip one can achieve with more of a race walking gait.  It felt great to get out and cover some ground on the Sawpit wash.

This workout didn't seem to aggravate the knee.  Walking directly down stairs still hurts but I'm going to continue daily walking now, and try some running -  I'll focus on shortening up my  stride and we'll see how it goes.  I checked with the SD100 race director and its  too late for another runner to take my spot at SD100 so:  I'll give it a shot and see if I am able to get some significant miles in.  If I can, I'll race.

I've also been working the hip circuit and have transitioned to a shorter, but twice-daily routine with glute bridges, clamshells,    "figure-4"  piriformis isometric exercises  and piriformis stretches (top piriformis exercises).      The piriformis routine plus tennis ball massage of that area is to address some glute pain I've been experiencing in recent weeks.  Doc says that indeed, the piriformis had been cut to access the acetabulum and that the piriformis runs directly over the plates put in in 2014 to splint the fracture, so maybe this is the reason.  In any event the stretches and piriformis exerises seem to be helping.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

May 1, 2016: Resting a bruised knee

One week ago on a 27 miler I caught a toe running fast down a fireroad and bruised my right knee badly landing on rocks.  I also evidently lightly strained the muscles in my right hip area in that fall, as the hip flexors were sore immediately after that fall as well.

I iced the knee on and off that day and decided I'd take a few days off from running and walk instead.  Between Monday and Thursday I walked 26 miles, and while the knee was OK during these walks, I still had to limp down stairs at work.  By Thursday night the knee was still swollen and not able to bear weight when bent.  I decided to back off even further and rested completely Friday through Sunday.  Now Sunday, after this rest, its still tender to the touch and stiff.

I went through my journals to the last time I banged my knee cap hard-  in May 1997 I did something similar and it took about 7 weeks to get back into training.  The good news then was that I was able to get back quickly and ran a 6:46 50 miler at the McKenzie River Trail run later that summer.

I need to decide what to do about SD100 as the race is in 5 weeks.  I need to decide whether to get checked out by a doc as well.

This morning I caught up on some chores and did a core and hip workout:
  • 27 +20 pull ups/45 pushups/200 sit ups
  • SLRs, 3x10
  •  1-leg glute bridges, 3x10
  • RDLs, 3x20
  • Lateral leg lifts, 3x20
  • clamshells, 3x10
  • Standing leg lifts at 45 degree angles (6 directions, 20 each)
  • Stretch routine including piriformis stretches

I stumbled across a poem while internet surfing about ultra running last night.  It was attributed to Rub White by the poster:

              The Runner's Paradox

            I seek the finish, I crave the finish, the finish is my friend
           And yet the black dog waits for me, for finish means the end.

           © Rob White 2015

This was posted in a comment on an extraordinary video about ultra running that captures how I am feeling about now pretty well:

Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday walk & hip circuit

Due to the swelling of my right knee from  the trail crash yesterday I walked 5 miles as a recovery workout, then iced it.

Tonight I did the truncated hip circuit below, involving those exercises that don't involve weight bearing on a bent knee:

Fire hydrant with extension-  right only, 3x20
SLRs, 3 x20, knee locked
Lateral leg lifts, lying on side, 3x20
Clamshells with band, 3 x20
Reverse clamshells (band tied to heavy chair leg), 3x20
Hip adductors with band, 3 x20
Kickouts 20 each at 45 degree angles
Hip hikes, 3x20

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Why I wear long pants while trail running

I woke up this morning at 5am to head out for a long run, feeling rested and ready to run  having taken yesterday off to juggle kid's sports (one of my kids having had a tournament yesterday).

I decided to run out of Millard to Mt Wilson to avoid the crowds  on the Sam Merrill Trail.  It was a beautiful crisp morning and I made the summit (11.8 miles) in 2:24.  I headed down the Toll Rd to add a few miles and came back up to the summit via the single track- 15 miles in 3:00.  Re-filling my bottles I charged down the Mt Wilson Road to Eaton Saddle at a 7 min pace, hit the trail and and flew down to the Mt Lowe railway-  so great to be out there!  I stopped to snap a couple photos, it was just so pretty:

I continued on, pushing the pace.  My left knee which had been a little sore lately seemed to feel better if I pushed, as opposed to slogging and breaking.  I just felt terrific.

About a  mile down from Markham Saddle I was flying along ...caught my right toe and  the next thing I knew I was on the ground:  Hands were OK since I was holding hand bottles, but both knees were cut through my long pants and the right knee was bashed pretty hard on a rock.  I got up and started limping down;  after a dozen or so paces I started running as I still had to get down 8 miles farther to my car.  The right knee hurt but I was able to make reasonable time.  When I reached the Cape of Good Hope I decided to take the paved road down instead of the Sunset Trail-  right knee really wasn't liking this downhill so I opted for the slightly shorter   non-technical route.

Here is what it looked like after I cleaned it off at home:
This is why I wear long pants!

I am icing the knee now and hope it settles down quickly as this week my plan is to start the mileage ramp-up for the SD100.  The plan going forward is:

Week of  May 1:  85 miles
Week of May 8: 100 miles
Week of May 15: 100 miles
Week of May 22:  100 miles
Week of May 29:  80 miles
Race week-light mileage-  race Day June 3

As it is I may have to ease up this week as the right knee is bit swollen from the impact.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


Light run, 6.2 mile "runch".  Good heat training.   Reclaimed shoes worked  great.

Hip routines this week:

M:  SRLs, glute bridges, kickouts
T:    Clamshells, RDLs, kee ups, sitting knee ups
W   Stair step ups; dynamic lunges;  pullups, pushups, situps

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Shoe repair- midsole compression fixed with a caulking gun

I have a collection of shoes with lightly worn outsoles whose midsoles are compressed at the ball of my foot.  This is a problem since when this happens I get  joint pain on the second and third toes of my right foot.  This compression typically occurs between 200-300 miles-  earlier in shoes with a softer EVA foam- and considering the cost of running shoes this is no good!

I decided to try fixing it by applying some silicone caulk to fill in the dent in the midsole.  The idea is to use caulk to repair the midsole from the inside -  as opposed to the old "Shoe-Goo" repairs we used to try to do on our outsoles.

The procedure is to apply a puddle of caulk in the depression, lay an old credit card over it, press down to flatten the silicone, then slide the card off from the side, lifting it out and using it like a putty knife to restore a flat surface in the shoe.  Cure 1 day, reinstall the insole and try it.

Here are the first two reclaimed pairs:
Today I ran 10 miles in one of these pairs and it felt great.  Tonight I "caulked" two more  pairs of Hokas, a pair of Ascend gloves, and another Trailroc 255 in the same manner.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Wuhan China, rest week

Last week I had business in Wuhan, China.  I flew out on Friday the 8th of April- that day I ran up Brown Mountain Road and down the Ken Burton Trail to get a few miles in before my midnight flight out. It was a nice run although my left knee was bothering me a bit on the downhill return.  The knee has been acting up lately and I think its probably due to compensation for the sore hip muscles on the right.

It was good timing for a rest week and not simply because I was signed up for Leona Divide the following weekend.  

When I got to Wuhan on Sunday morning I was pretty stiff so I spent the afternoon and early evening walking all over the area around my hotel, probably 4 hours of walking which I logged as 10 miles.

I was up early on Monday and then off to work;  after work  I walked over to a park near the hotel and did a hard hip circuit:

  • Stair step ups, 3x20
  • Dynamic lunges, 6x17
  • kickouts at 45 degree angles, sets of 20
  • hip hikes, 3 x 20
  • 1-leg glue bridges 3 x15
  • Clamshells 3x20
  • situps, 140
  • pushups, 45

The dynamic lunges are deceptively easy but actually are the most effective exercise of the glutes, quads and hamstrings.  This exercise, involving taking 10 or 15 strides with each step ending in a deep lunge, entails very little perceived effort but 3 out and backs of 10 or 15 steps always leave me quite sore for a couple of days.  The reason I think is that the exercise eccentrically loads  the quads, glutes, and hamstrings, and the effort is not perceived because its reflexive:  The muscles fire to keep you from hitting the ground.  No effort required!

Tuesday I took an easy run from my hotel to Nanhu Lake.  It was cool in morning and the lake was lovely:

I posted some of these pictures to Facebook.  Interesting how polarized the comments were. Some saw a beautiful morning at the lake (like I had);  others saw pollution and provided unsolicited advice that running in such bad air is dangerous.  We find what we look for I guess.

Wednesday I walked 4 miles in the morning as a recovery workout.

Thursday I walked couple miles.

Friday I flew home-  door to door, it was a 20 hour trip.

Saturday I was entered into the Leona Diovide 50.  I bagged it.  I was exhausted from the trip and furthermore, it was my son's birthday. Why the heck had I even signed up for this race?  I simply wasn't thinking, or rather, was thinking only of myself.  Instead I  slept in to 9:30am- eleven hours of sleep-  then woke and took the family go-cart racing and then berry picking out in Simi Valley.  I slept hard again last night, from 10 pm to 10am, and bagged my original plan to run to the Ken Burton to do trail work.  My sons need my time more than I needed to run or to do additional trail work.

We spent the mid day climbing the front elm tree with climbing ropes and prussic knots.  Now we are taking a rest break and will have some lunch.