Sunday, October 5, 2014

Injured?? How could *I* be injured??

...Um, because I'm dumb and overreached.  

A rant:

After 5 years of injury-free running (5 years being the extent of my running ‘career’).  Starting in 2009 at age 39.  Ffwd to Spring 2014, running ~50-60mpw with 10-14k feet of elevation.  Mostly 70-90min runs at lunch time up into technical trails.  

Took a MAF test (fix heart rate to 180-(your age) and run 4 miles after warm up, record your average pace) on the only flat land around my neighborhood. I was clicking off 6:50-7:15 pace.  

Mid June broke my second toe (on business travel, tripped on a flat non-technical trail in Boston, ironic) and took 5.5 weeks off - cold turkey.  I cancelled a few summer races (reluctantly).  By mid July I was running again.  I tried to match pace and distance from before injury.  I had one more trail marathon I wanted to do in mid August.  With a month of training, I could regain the fitness I had.  no?  

I did a MAF test and noticed 8:45-9:15 min/mile!  Very sad I’d slowed so much with 5 week break.  

In my runs before the race, I was sore after my lunchtime runs.  Felt nice to be sore, but this made me abandon long runs on the weekends to adequately recover.  *Never run so sore that it affects your form!  

The marathon came, I had no expectations.  I ran it pretty well, but was limping the end of it.  The second half was all downhill and I found myself walking parts of it.  Just felt like I couldn’t handle that much time on my feet.  My longest training run was ~12miles since the toe break.  

I took the day off after the race felt good!  Just little aches and pains.  That Tuesday I decided to take a little recovery run.  Just to see how I felt.  I was 2-3 miles in and I was loose and feeling fine.  I ran some decent miles expanding my planned route.  Then I felt the pains that made me walk in the race.  I slowed then walked, then limped.  Nothing traumatic, just right leg seized up in many places.  *I am horrible at self diagnosing injury, level of pain, etc.  All I know is I couldn’t swing my legs correctly.  Reminds me of the sad image of when an animal gets hit by a car then tries to run away and seems surprised that their limps don't move the way they expect :'(. 

I took 4-5 days off.  Every day seemed to hurt more, limping while walking.  I tried a lunch time run, three miles out, then limped back.  Then repeat (4-5 days off, try, limp).  
Very unscientifically I threw a lot of things at it: NKT, ART, x-ray (no stress fracture), wraps, splints, acupuncture.  Actual diagnosis was soft tissue damage along fibula 2-3 inches above ankle.  This was the opposite leg from toe-break.  Probably some compensation issues and maybe rolled my ankle one too many times coming down a mountain.  

Late September, after a cortisone shot and a little bravery, I ran very slowly.  Every step hurt the same amount, but I felt my form was somewhat in tact.  That night and the next morning I noted that I felt much better.  I could walk without a limp.  I ran again, just 50mins this time, same slow pace.  Hurt during, but better after!  Repeat all week.  My MAF pace at this point was 11:30 min/mile.  Very depressing, but I’m so happy to be out there moving!  Part of this slow MAF pace is my form isn’t right, I’m purposely shuffling.  

The injury still prevents me from lifting my body weight (one foot’ed calf raise) on my right foot.  I can not jump rope, or launch off a rock with right foot.  I give runners advice all the time NOT to run if they can't do these movements.  But I think I'm being ginger enough.  I am closely tracking my runs limiting them to (180-44)bpm and only 4miles.  I have 2 routes I'm running, one hilly and one flat.  I will do these for 6 weeks (1 week down, 5 to go).  

HR fixed to 135 BPM
Course 2miles out, two miles back (Skunk trail)
Hilly course130313:4713:2914:0614:22
avg = 12:53avg = 12:41avg = 12:10avg = 12:59
HR fixed to 135 BPM
Course 2miles out, two miles back (at home, flat)
Flat course1-1610:5611:15
avg = 11:25avg 11:44

Still a work in progress.  Will post an update, and turn this into a 'part one'.