Sunday, June 4, 2017

June 2017 update

I have not written in the blog in some time. I last wrote in February at  a time where I was increasing my mileage in preparation for the summer racing season, focussing on SD100,  but encountering niggling little strains, and achilles issues.

I worked though the strains but really hurt my achilles on a run at the end of February.  I had to stop running altogether as it hurt quite a bit just to walk.  I let it rest and did a lot of heel drop exercises in March, and then some little runs, but it was still painful.  So I dropped from SD100 realizing that there was no way that I could get the proper mileage in to run SD100 right,  given the injury.

Mid-April I did a hike/jog around the Burton loop with my pal Greg.  It seemed to make the achilles feel better for a few days.  I repeated this a few times, doing hike/runs of up to 20 miles:  hike the ups, run the downs (slowly).  No daily runs, just these long hike/runs on the weekends.

Meanwhile, Greg entered the SD100  shortly after I pulled out.  Its great that Scotty keeps a wait list.  I think Greg got my spot!  So we decided I should  pace him.  Greg and I went to the SD course a couple of weeks ago and ran the Noble canyon section of the course out of Pioneer Mail, a 20 mile loop to Penny Pines and back.  Greg barely broke a sweat but I was worked!    I decided I had better increase my mileage.  So: Last weekend I ran 24 honest miles  up Mt. Wilson via the Sam Merrill and My Lowe railway, an old standby.  I did this routinely in just over 4 hours in 2015.  It took me 5 hours that day.  Today I did the same route but added a 2 mile out and back down the Toll road at the top to bring the miles to 28.   I felt fine up to the turnaround, file 14.    Heading back to the top of Wilson, I just couldn't get my breath. I walked the upper part, very steep, and refilled my bottles at the top.   Drank 3 bottles and sat for a while to collect myself.  The bad thing about  an Out and Back courses is that what goes out must come back!  Very committing.  So with no choice really and feeling like scat, I headed  down.  The run back was progressively more unpleasant as the heat and smog built up.  Ultimately I walked the last mile and a half as I was feeling dizzy and nauseous.  A good reminder that its good to actually TRAIN before running 28 milers in the mountains.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Crossing the "surf-zone" from rest to high mileage running

I've found that the most dangerous time for me with respect to running injury is while  transitioning from a rest phase to high mileage training.  Resting doesn't entail injury, and when I'm running high mileage I rarely get injured, but in the ramp transition  I have to be careful and watch for signs of incipient muscle strains, knee soreness, tendonitis etc.  I've come to think of this transition as the "crossing the surf-zone": Once I get the milage up above 50 miles/week I'm in "deep water" so to speak  and I don't get tossed on my ass by the breakers.  The body seems to have accelerated healing and strength which keeps injury at bay.

My mileage log since the start of the year shows this.  I've learned to back off when problems flair up and I've gotten in a few weeks in the 4-50 miles per week range...  with occasional rest days or a pair of rest days thrown in when hot spots develop.   I am just about out of the surf zone now,  but not quite.  The latest issue has been a flair up of my achilles of the left leg, which last bothered me after I got off crutches after my accident in 2014.  Lat week I ran in to my Pal Joe on the trail on my lunchtime run;  we added a few miles and ran a bit faster than I've been used to in my "surf-zone" training ramp.  Toward the end of the run the achilles let me know it was unhappy.  That evening it was sore and so I took a couple days off.  It was still iffy on Friday so I walked on Saturday;  this morning I elected to do a long walk up/ run down workout on the Mt. Wilson Toll Road to get some mileage in without overly stressing the tendon.   It seems to have worked, the achilles has felt fine all day since.

It does help to have various tools for the job at hand.  For todays run I donned a pair  of Hokas leftover from my 2015 season.  "I don't always heel strike, but when I do, I wear Hoka's".