Feeling Froggy Today and Did 2.0 Miles

A Visitor 🙂

I just had to run today and did a very controlled treadmill run.
Let’s back up a little bit.

Last Monday my physical therapists asked me to not run until my appointment on Monday to give my Achilles tendon a little more time to heal.

So I have been doing the stretching and self-mobilization exercises conscientiously all week and while my leg is no where near 100%, it felt good enough for me go to the gym and attempt to do 20-30 minutes on the elliptical and then lift weights

Originally I didn’t plan to run, but I felt really good on the elliptical, so after 2.0 miles I decided to do some walking on the treadmill. I did a 1/4 mile and felt really good, then I decided to run a 1/4 mile @ 6.5 mph and see how I felt. At the end of that, I slowed back down to a walk.

There was no pain, just a little tightness, which was promising, so after walking for another 1/4 mile, I ran at 6.5 mph and then about half way through that quarter, something snapped in my ankle area and it felt a LOT better. So I decided to keep going and see how it went.

As I ran I really focused on my running efficiently and relaxing, instead of focusing so much on how my legs were feeling and thinking about every little tweak that I was feeling.

I had felt very clumsy running during the first two running quarters and as I got to the 1/2 mile mark this time, I started to finally relax and feel comfortable about how I was running.

When I got to the 3/4 mile mark I decided go for it and sped up to 7.0 mph. When I did that my stride really smoothed out and for the first time since May, I felt like I was actually RUNNING!!!!

I felt as though I could have gone a farther – a LOT farther, but I didn’t want to overdo it and I stopped at the 2.0 mile mark, with a HUGE grin on my face!!!

Nothing felt out of sorts, but best of all, I didn’t feel any pain when I finished running. After I finished the run, I did a quick strength workout, which felt good too.

When I got home I iced my foot, while sitting here now about 4 hours later, it doesn’t hurt and I have just a little tightness. If my leg doesn’t bother me, I am planning to run 1-2 miles a day for a few days – on the treadmill, to see how I feel, before moving outside and getting back to what I love.

Now to see how it is in the morning 🙂

All I know is that I will be so happy to finally write a post that I don’t feel that I have to add the Injury label to my post and can just take running for granted again.

How Injuries Have Effected My 2013 Goals

IMG_0188This Achilles tendon injury and all the down-time has really given me time to sit down and look at what I want to achieve as a runner and what running means to me.

As part of this reflection process, I have been writing about my future as a runner:

  • What are my motivations to run?
  • What I want to achieve as a runner?
  • How my goals fit my current limits – long and short term?
  • How will I train to meet my goals?
  • Racing – how does it fit into my running life?
  • What running gear will I be using – most importantly what shoes?

Next up is how my current injury/limitations are affecting or going to affect my long and short term goals. Now reviewing my goals at the end of June is something that I do every year, so this is timely.

Here is the link to My Running Goals for 2013 post.

1. Keep running fun – It is not a job.

Running is something that I love to do. Focus more on what I enjoy about running.

Not too good, I let my focus on preparing for the Marine Corps Marathon consume my love for running, it got to the point where I felt I “had” to do this or I “had” to do that to prepare for MCM.

Prior to my injury I was running longer and faster than I had in a long time and had delusions of grandeur about what I might be able to accomplish. Which was the problem that I developed back in the mid 1980’s and developed some serious race anxiety issues.

In a way and as much as I hate to admit it, the running injury has forced me to take a look at my running and how I plan to approach it.

Action. Stop worrying so much about the time goal at the Marine Corps Marathon and enjoy the joy of running and training in preparation for it. Also remember running is fun and not your job.

2. Listen to the words of advice in my old tagline.

Be positive, be strong and keep smiling = great things can happen :-).

Very good. Even though I have been injured and not able to train for almost 2 months, I have maintained a very positive attitude towards my recovery and not allowed setbacks that I have had along the way in my running recovery program (along with some personal stuff) to throw me for a loop and go into a bad funk – which is what used to happen.

Action. Keep moving forward and smiling, one step at a time.

3. Be Me.

At times we all sometimes lose track of who we are and what is important to us – at least I know I have.

Fair. I was becoming Harold the over-achiever again and racing to run faster and faster was starting to weigh pretty heavily on my mind. I am still comfortable with who I am, but sometimes my Type “A” personality gets in the way of truly enjoying life. The injuries have forced me to slow down and look at the direction I was going and to make a small course correction to get back to where I want to be.

Harold the great master’s runner isn’t gonna happen any time soon – it is okay to dream, but not to be consumed by it.

Action. Think about where I want/need to be in 30 years not the next 6 months and remember who you are and what you really want from life.

4. I will not sweat the small stuff

Life is full of little annoyances that are more a pain in the butt than anything. I plan to use the “will it matter a year from now?” attitude a lot more often.

Good

Action. Keep doing what I am doing.

5. I will control my social media presence

This is one of those things that has become a recurrent issue for me ever since 2008 and I whined about it again just last week.

Good. Doing a lot better, I still check Facebook and Twitter a little too much, but it is not overboard.

Action. Keep doing what I am doing.

6. Improve my running form.

Good. I am less concerned about my running form – specifically whether I heel strike or land wherever on my foot, instead, I have been working more on simply running more efficiently with my feet landing under my bent knee and running tall. If I do those things, I think that my form will take care of itself.

My injury didn’t have anything to do with my form, it was a chain reaction set in place by my Tailor’s Bunionette hurting so much during longer runs that I changed my gait, which affected my hip, which in turned caused issues for my Achilles tendon, when I ran beyond my current conditioning at the Miles for Mills 5K on Memorial Day.

Action. Keep working on running efficiently and don’t worry about what part of my foot hits the ground first.

7. Continue to participate in the social aspects of running.

Good. While I have taken control of my participation online and brought it to a more healthy level, I still “talk” with other runners online and participate in the chats.

I have volunteered to be a part of the Quarry Road Trail Race series and have worked the events instead of only being a runner. I have gotten to meet a lot of great people and have enjoyed the social side of the races immensely

Action. Keep doing what I am doing.

My measurable 2013 Goals

  • Run at least 2,013 miles in 2013.
    Due to missing almost 2 months of running this goal probably is not achievable, I currently have 824.91 miles for the year. I am not going to get caught up in I have to make up the miles that I have missed once I get back to running. To make this goal more realistic for the time it is going to take me to get back into shape when I do resume training normally.

Action. I am reducing it to 1,500 miles

  • Run at least 300 days in 2013.
    Not happening.Action. Run at least 250 times in 2013
  • Run a sub 20:00 5K at the Joseph’s 5K in Fairfield in April
    I ran a 21:24, but had a 19:59 treadmill 5K in April.Action. None missed the goal by 1:24
  • Run a 10K sub 45:00.
    I have not run a 10K yet this year.Action. After resuming training, run a 10K
  • Run a sub 1:35:00 at the Rail Trail Half Marathon in Augusta in June
    Deferred the race registration due to injury until 2014. Will try to accomplish at the Maine Half Marathon. I had a 1:39:43 on the treadmill.Action. Achieve goal at Maine Half Marathon
  • Run a sub 3:30:00 at the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. in October.
    This goal really has me up in the air, I know that I can not achieve the sub 3:30:00 due to my lack of base training over the last 2 months while injured. Also I will be hard pressed to properly develop the endurance for this event, if I am unable to start running by the middle of July.If I have not gotten clearance from the doctor to resume full training or if my Achilles is still bothering me at that point, I will make the tough decision to not run MCM or any other Marathon this year. Instead I will focus on preparing for 2  half marathons – probably the Maine Half Marathon and Runner’s World Half in October.Action. Determine if I can train properly for the marathon and change my time goals to :

    • A – sub 3:40:00 which would be a Boston Marathon qualifying time
    • B – sub 3:48:04 which would break my marathon PR set back in 1983
    • C – sub 4:00:00
    • D – Finish

If I don’t get clearance or if my injuries are going to delay when I can start training properly for the marathon past the middle of July, make the decision to not run a marathon this year and focus on running a fast half at the Maine Half Marathon or Runner’s World.This is a big, no make that huge deal and one that I am sweating what the outcome will be.I really want to run MCM, but I am not going to jeopardize my long-term running health to accomplish this short-term goal.

  • Run at least 13 races in 2012. I have run 5 races so far and once I get healed up and resume training will make the 13 races.

Action. Run 8 more races.

  • Stay under 150 pounds all year.
    Already missed this one, I got up to 156 a few weeks ago, because I did a little too much emotional eating and not enough exercise. I am past that now and working on getting back under 150. Now if they just didn’t make ice cream, whoopie pies, potato chips and pizza – I would be just fine.Action. Get back under 145 and stay there.

The reality is that

I have done pretty well on most of my goals, but that I still have a ways to go on others. Some of o my original goals I know that I will not achieve and some I have had to modify/change as a result of my injuries.

That is just part of life and we need to be willing to adapt to changing situations and look at these setbacks as opportunities and keep looking the long term goals we have, instead of focusing on accomplishing short term goals that might not be in our best interest in the long run.

I really believe that I will be able to train for the Marine Corps Marathon, but at the same time, due to the amount of time it is taking for my Achilles tendon to heal properly, I want to have a plan B in place, just in case I can not run it.

My injuries have definitely affected my 2013 goals, but they have not impacted my positive attitude towards running (yes I had a couple of bad days – I am still human). The best I can do is to keep smiling, putting one foot in front of the other and be thankful for what I can do.

I learned a lot at the Miles for Mills 5K and it put a lot of things into a different perspective for me.

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If he can do it, _________ fill in the blank.

Keep Smiling and GREAT Things can happen. You just have to work hard to get them.

Have you looked at your 2013 Goals that you made at the start of the year – how are you doing?

Quick Updates On What Is Going On

I just wanted to do a quick update on what is going here and with my running.

AVR Theme Change

First you will notice that I have made a few changes to A Veteran Runnah’s Theme! I didn’t like the previous versions and have been hunting for one that meets my like for garish colors, but was muted enough not to annoy too many people.

New AVR Theme Screenshot 6-25-13

I hope that this one found that balance.

It is about 90% of where I want it, but I still have some tweaking to do.

What do you think?

Physical Therapy News

The other news is that my physical therapist recommended that I not run until AFTER next Monday’s PT session. After doing some deep digging yesterday, she found the place where my Achilles tendon hurt the most and told me she could tell that I had probably had a partial tear, since it felt different than the rest of the tendon. Based on what she had felt and that I was still experiencing some swelling and tenderness – recommended the extra week off.

I do know this – she dug into places on my legs and feet that no one has ever dug into before. Yes I was sore and yes I felt better.

I was pretty bummed about her recommendation, but after she explained to me what she had found, what could happen and how I had felt during the session – I agreed with her recommendation. Still it sucks – BAAADDD!

However, it is better to be safe than sorry.

So I am back to riding the stationary bike and walking as long as it doesn’t hurt. I am not supposed to do twisting and turning type activities, keep up the ice regimen, stretching  and self-mobilization until then.

The damn thing is getting better, but just a whole hell of a lot slower than I want it to.

Patience grasshopper, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, it just isn’t as close as you want – yet.

What I Learned This Week – 6/23/13

Today, I am more than a little down in the dumps, this morning I was supposed to be running one of my goal races for the year – The Rail Trail ½ Marathon.

The race started at 7:30 and I was writing this damn post – instead I am sitting here writing my first weekly summary in a long time.

Which do you think I would rather be doing?

Last night when I went to down to get my number and t-shirt – just to do it and talk with some of the other runners that I knew that would be, so I could gab a little bit about running.

While I was there, I got to talk with the race director – Sarah and she gave me a deferral until next year’s race because of my injury and told me to keep this year’s shirt as well, since I did so much training leading up to it. I really appreciate that she was willing to do that, but at the same time, I would still rather have been out there on the course this morning.

I am doing physical therapy twice a week and using Bruce Wilk’s – The Running Injury Recovery Program the remaining days of the week, along with a lot of research on Achilles Tendonitis and Tendonopathy – there is a difference.

Once thing that I am finding is that The Wilk program is not an easy one to do and that there is a definite learning curve that has to be learned in order implement and follow it. Over the course of the years, I have learned that sometimes, easier or simpler is not always the right way to do things.

However, I have noticed positive results for the parts that I have used so far. This week I plan to go back re-read the book and manual and figure out the “how to” incorporate this more into my recovery routine. I plan to do an initial review of my thoughts on this program some during the next week.

I definitely am in his Phase 2 with complex injuries and multiple red flags, along with a couple of pre-existing conditions that affect my running gait. I still don’t know if I will follow his program completely, because I am impatient and once I get to feeling better (even though I shouldn’t) will start training sooner rather than later.

That is as long as I do not have to make a very difficult decision over the course of the next month regarding my marathon plans due to my leg not responding as quickly as I need it to. However, I plan to follow it either in conjunction with my marathon training or for as long as it seems to be helping me recover.

The not knowing if my body will heal enough for me to start my marathon training, for me is the hardest part of this journey. Once the decision is made, I will accept it whichever way I have to go and move on, but the toughest part is that I am running out of time and the decision might be made for me, if my left Achilles doesn’t improve significantly over the next couple of weeks.

What did I learn this week?

  • That my left Achilles is healing, even though it is at a LOT slower pace than I want – it is healing.
  • That my doc doesn’t think that I will rehab properly and believes that I probably will be seeing him with an injury worse than the first one.
  • That physical therapy is helping, is painful, but needs to have recovery time in between sessions.
  • That my legs and feet, have a close resemblance to 2×4’s when it comes to flexibility.
  • That I will run the Rail Trail ½ Marathon in 2014
  • That I am not superman and have my highs and lows during this recovery process, just like everyone does when they are battling an injury.
  • That even running 1.0 mile is an accomplishment when you are in recovery mode.

Personal

That many things are more important than my being able to run or blog about it. Sometimes things happen that put things in their proper perspective.

Training

So what did I do this week:

 

  • Monday – Doctor appointment and first physical therapy appointment. I walked a total of 3.3 miles with minimal discomfort in my left foot.
  • Tuesday – Second physical therapy appointment. Walked 3.3 miles total again, the discomfort in the left foot Achilles region is more after the beating it received today. Therapist had to use elbows to get into my calves. Volunteered as race course spotter and photographer for the Quarry Road Trail Series.
  • Wednesday – My 23 day No Run Streak came to an end! I ran a mile and felt a big sense of accomplishment. However there was a LOT of rust that needs to be shaken off. The Achilles felt tight and there was some discomfort while running, but no sharp or searing pain during or after the run. I also started doing the mobilization exercises in Wilk’s program.
  • Thursday – I took the day off – my body needed it after all the poking, prodding and stretching that it had done the previous 3 days.
  • Friday – Okay I was stupid this day, but I had to know. I ran a mile and the leg felt about the same as Wednesday – tight and some discomfort. I wanted to know if this would get or not, if I ran a little farther. I ran another mile, 10 minutes after the first run. The tightness and discomfort, did not increase. I also started doing the stretches in Wilk’s program.
  • Saturday – I did a lot of walking and did my mile run. Did the Wilk’s mobilization and stretching. I don’t know if I am doing too much or not, but the Achilles area the more that I touch it do these exercises the more it seems to bother, especially when I first get up in the morning.
  • Sunday – I decided to take a day off from running and reduce the amount of walking – then I will still do the Wilk’s program to see if the poking and prodding I am doing is what is bothering or if it is the running/walking that is too much.

This is what recovery is all about to me, pushing the limits, finding them, then backing off, doing a little rest/recovery and then start the process over again.

Top 10 posts this week:

  1. Recovering From An Injury Is NOT A Straight Line!
  2. New Service At Optimal Run & Giveaway
  3. Mizuno Wave Rider 16–Initial Review
  4. Which Running Shoe–Post Injury?
  5. 23 Day No Running Streak is OVER!
  6. Injury Update & Physical Therapy Started
  7. Altra Superior – 50 Mile Review
  8. My Modified for Me Hanson Method Half Training Plan
  9. 25th Annual Joseph’s 5K Race Report – 5/27/13
  10. Altra Instinct 1.5 – 50 Mile Review

Gear of Note:

I used the Mizuno Wave Rider 16’s for all of my walking and running this week, so far I have liked them very much. There have even been a couple of positive comments from the neighbors about how great a looking pair of shoes they were and where in the local area they could get them.

The reality is that

this has been a very good week where I have been making progress towards coming back to running and had a total of 4.0 miles, which I think is great. It has also been a very frustrating week, where I have had some pretty good lows about not being able to run the way that I want to and how slowly my leg is progressing, especially since I couldn’t run in my goal race today.

The hard part is that I am coming down to crunch time as far as when I have to make a decision on my Marathon training plans and the doubts of whether my body will be ready to start the training at that time or not are definitely creeping in.

I know that I learned a lot this week and still have so much left to learn.

What did you learn about yourself and your running this week.

Recovering From An Injury Is NOT A Straight Line!

IMG_0175I have been injured before and unfortunately, in all likelihood will be injured again (whether it is running related or not) and things that I have to re-learn every time.

That during the recovery process:

  • it will take longer than I want
  • that I have to be patient and
  • accept the FACT that I will not see improvements every day.

There will also be setbacks and days that for lack of a better word – suck.

However, I also know from experience that better days are coming and as long as I am fairly smart about how I train, that I will get back to where I want to be.

Unfortunately, yesterday was one of those days that simply SUCKED!!!

What Caused It?

It was the culmination of Monday and Tuesday’s physical therapy sessions. Anyone who tells you that you don’t need recovery time from physical therapy and all the hate and discontent they cause in your body – is nuts! The PT’s definitely are getting rid of all the scar tissue that has built up in my legs, but at the same time I need to remember that I need a little recovery time from all the digging and prodding they do.

Wednesday probably did not help; I started the mobilization techniques in Bruce Wilk’s “The Running Injury Recovery Program, which was basically more physical therapy and self-manipulation with a golf ball, tennis ball and The Stick. I added in my foam roller and Thera-bands for good measure.

Then I made the mistake of wearing my compression ankle brace overnight on Wednesday, through noon yesterday. While this compression brace was great while I had significant swelling, now that the swelling is gone, all it does is dig into the exact spot on my Achilles tendon that hurts. Not good.

I had planned to run a great 1.0 miler yesterday, but the way that my leg was feeling, I decided to bag the run – probably the hardest thing that I did all day, because I really, really wanted to run.

Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.

Smahter

Since my left leg was really bothering me, yesterday became a rest day – believe it or not I actually listened to my body. No mobilization work, no stretching, no running, no yard work and only a few easy walks with Bennie.

Sometimes, the body just needs a day of rest to consolidate the gains it is making. Yesterday was that day for me.

Learning

What did I learn or remember because of a day that sucked in the recovery process:

  • That our bodies need recovery time after physical therapy
  • That I cannot do 3 days in a row of PT and mobilization work
  • That wearing an ankle compression brace is not a good thing when it presses directly on what hurts
  • That I can be smahter once in a while
  • That during the recovery process will have good days and bad days, but that the good days will outnumber the bad and that the bad ones do suck.
  • That The Running Injury Recovery Program is difficult to follow, but worth the effort and I have learned a lot of information that is and will help me recover better than I have in the past.
  • Sometimes we just have to remember that the best therapy – is simply to rest.

The reality is that

Bad days suck, but when coming back from an injury we all will have them.

The important thing is to stay focused on the long-term goal of letting and helping the injury heal  – without doing so much that we re-injure it (instead of doing too much on during a single day or week, while trying to make up for lost time i.e. gotta start that marathon training today, even when I can’t run a pain-free mile yet).

Remaining positive and knowing that there will be many more good days than bad will help us through those periods of self-doubt and the days that suck.

Recovery from injuries does not happen overnight and we have to remember that recovery from them do not happen in a straight line.

Just the same – Ah hell, I just want the damn thing to heal so that I can get back to normal running for me!!!!

Patience grasshopper it will happen, only not as fast as you want it to.

What do you do when you are having a day that really, really sucks while you are recovering from an injury?

Mizuno Wave Rider 16–Initial Review

Last Thursday, I bought a new pair of running shoes – it seems that I always seem to be getting new running shoes, they are my biggest vice according to TheWife. Me – well I just think trying out lots of new shoes is part of being a runner – the expensive part though!

However, what I was looking for was very different from what I have run in lately.

I was looking for a light-weight trainer with a more traditional drop, so I that I can work through my Achilles/left foot issues. The other major consideration was getting a shoe that didn’t bother my Tailor’s Bunionette on longer runs.

While I was talking with the salesperson at the Maine Running Company about what I wanted in a running shoe, he discussed that if I was having any Achilles/calf issues after running in zero drop shoes for as long as I had been, at 50+ miles per week, (even though I did not injure myself in zero drops shoes). That I should really look at a higher drop shoe especially while I was recovering from my Achilles/foot issues and then if I chose to, slowly return to lower drop shoes.

Over the course of the next hour or so I ended up trying on at least eight pair of running shoes, you can read more about it here.

After all that I decided to buy – Drumroll please!

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The Mizuno Wave Rider 16

Stats

The stats from the Running Warehouse for the Wave Rider 16’s:

  • Weight: 10.0 oz. (size 9)
  • Stack Height: Heel (28mm), Forefoot (16mm)
  • Drop: 12mm

Appearance

I was a little disappointed that they only had the Navy Blue model. Personally, I prefer the bright yellows, blues, reds and oranges for my running shoe colors. However, I was looking for function over appearance and wanted to get them that day, so other than the color how do they look.

IMG_20130614_101229_348

I like them and think that they are a good-looking running shoe with very few overlays to detract their appearance.

Sole

IMG_20130614_101529_493The Rider 16’s have a very nice multi-purpose sole that will wear well past the life of the foam for me. I expect to have a nice ride on multiple surfaces (tar, concrete, dirt roads, shoulders, etc.).

They have been very comfortable for walking down back on a very rocky dirt road, with the only issue being that occasionally a rock gets stuck in the gap in the heel unit.

I would not hesitate to run on most of the trails around here, when they are dry. However, I have a feeling that the Rider 16’s might flounder a bit in wet grass, slick rock or muddy trail conditions, which is not what is designed for.

After all they are supposed to be a road shoe, not a true trail shoe.

Fit/Comfort

I was surprised at how different the shoe felt in an size 8.5, my last three pair of Mizuno’s were size 8.0 and my toes always felt a little squished and eventually my right foot would bother me. Moving up just the half size seemed to make all of the difference in the how the shoe fit, even though it seems just a tad long.

 

 

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The mid-foot felt fine and the narrow heel counter fit the way I wanted, except on the outside of my right foot, where it pushed a little into my foot right under the ankle. I got out my trusty Leatherman and did some bending of the heel counter and no more problem, but it will be something that I keep an eye on.

Other than that minor adjustment, the Rider 16’s are very comfortable and I have not had any hotspots on either foot.

My overall first impressions.

My first run was not really a fair appraisal of the Wave Rider 16’s, I could not get comfortable with my form – after not having run in 23 days – the rust was definitely showing. However, the Riders did what I wanted, felt good on my feet and did not have any hotspots.

IMG_20130614_101938_114

One thing that I did notice was that the shoe was a little “slappy” and “noisier” than I remember my Elixir’s being, so that is something that I will have to keep an eye on, but have a feeling that this will go away as I get rid of the rust, get used to a higher drop shoe and my form returns to normal.

The reality is that

Initially, the Mizuno Wave Rider 16 appears to be a solid, dependable road shoe that will last. They are light enough for speed work, definitely could be my marathon or below running shoes, although I think my Ekidon’s would be a better choice as a 5K race shoe.

Also they could do some easy trail running without too many problems. Which is something I think is important, since I end up running trails on the spur of the moment or even mid-run.

I am expecting that they will serve me well, as I use them during my rehab program for my Achilles tendon/left foot issues and hopefully beyond. It seems that moving up that half size is at least part the solution for my Tailor’s Bunionette issue and that when I am able to start doing longer runs, I hope that it does not bother me while running in the Rider 16’s.

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I am looking forward to seeing how well the Wave Rider 16’s perform compared to my trusty Elixir 7’s and the variety zero drop and lower drop shoes that I have been running in most of this year.

23 Day No Running Streak is OVER!

I did it I ran a mile!

It didn’t feel great and it wasn’t a great run, by any stretch of the imagination, but I ran 1.0 freaking mile and stopped my no running streak at 23 days. If you have to run a mile to maintain a running streak, I guess you have to be able to run a mile to stop a non-running streak.

I have done it and that damn streak is over.

During the run, nothing felt smooth,my gait was way off, everything felt tight and my body was telling me that “hey I thought we didn’t have to do this any more.” But seriously, it felt good to be running and I made it the entire distance – no problem, but definitely need to get the rust off over the next couple of weeks.

My left foot/achilles/ankle or whatever felt tight and a little uncomfortable the whole way, but no pain and yes I could have gone further without any problems, but I am attempting to be smarter than usual, so I stopped when my Garmin hit the 1.0 mark and walked back to the house.

Garmin 6-19-13

 

I thought I did a good job of staying pretty steady with my pace, except for a couple of spots and I didn’t try to purposely pick it up. Actually when I felt myself going a little too fast for what I planned I slowed down.

Maybe this wasn’t the farthest or fastest mile I have run this year, but I have a feeling that it is one of the most important.

RunLog  6-19-13

Hey by the way did I tell you that I ran a whole mile!!!!

Injury Update and Physical Therapy Started

I saw the Ortho on Monday, who at first seemed almost disappointed that my leg had gotten so much better in such a short time – no surgery and fun for him here. The doc wasn’t all that upset about when I stopped wearing the aircast – he just muttered “I didn’t think you would wear it until today.”  It was nice to not hear any grief from him about that.

He “ordered” 4 weeks of physical therapy 2 x week and a brace to wear, which I can’t get locally, so I am not worried about it. We talked for a couple of minutes with the requisite warnings about:

  1. Don’t do too much too quickly.
  2. Do less than you think you can, at first.
  3. Don’t do anything to make the injury worse.
  4. Do what the Physical Therapist tells you to do.
  5. Come back in three weeks without any new problems.

These are the usual warnings that I hear from all the good doctors I have had say about how I need to return from my injuries – nothing new here.

Then he started to ask me about my how fast I ran a 5K before being injured, because a friend of his was doing one this weekend. When told him, he said, “Wow you are a lot faster than he is, that probably also means that you are pretty competitive in your age group.”

I told him I did all right locally and after he asked, told where I have placed in races this year.

His comment back, was “so you are a competitive runner”.

I told him “Yeah, you could say that.” with a chuckle – now you guys know that I am not all that competitive (sarcasm).

Smile with tongue out

 

At which point he said “Competitive runners like you scare me as a doctor, you guys push yourself way too hard and sooner or later, you end up seeing me with a lot worse injuries, than the original one, I have a feeling you might be in this group”. Along with a few more comments along this line, which I stopped listening too.

Although looking back with 20/20 hindsight that he might be right – at that moment I mumbled back – “I don’t plan on seeing you again, except for our appointment in 3 weeks”.

I feel that he either purposely or inadvertently challenged me – either way, the doc seems to think that I will come back too soon and push too much, then really have some problems. I plan to show him that he is wrong.

However, to his credit he never said I should not go back to running like my last Ortho strongly recommended or should I say told me, this one seemed resigned that I wouldn’t listen to advice or orders like that any way. Which I would not have.

Going to be Conservative

I had planned to come back from this injury a lot more carefully than I have in the past and the doc’s challenge, just makes me want to prove him wrong – you know that competitiveness that I have about be challenged and proving people wrong. I would love to be able to go back in 3 weeks and offer to go for a run with the doc and see what kind of shape we are both in.

As part of this plan to be smarter about my recovery, I have bought and read The Running Injury Recovery Program and workbook by Bruce R. Wilk, I listened the most recent Runner Academy podcast where Mr. Wilk talked about his book and philosophies which helped me understand better some of the stuff in the books.

While I might not agree with everything that he writes and says, he does this recovery from injury stuff for a living and for the most part, it really seems to go well with many of the philosophies that I am developing towards my running. Including some of my evolving opinions and observations about minimalist running shoes and whether they work for me or not.

I plan to use parts of Wilk’s program in addition or should I say in conjunction with my physical therapy sessions.

Speaking of Physical Therapy, I was lucky!!!!

I went back to my old physical therapist, who is also a runner, on Monday (right after the doctor appointment) and they had a cancellation for 1:00 PM, so I got in right away and then I had the second visit yesterday. I think having those two session that close together was the kick start that my body needed and was really helpful, while I am sore today, my legs also feel better.

During the initial examination, which I felt was much more complete than the doctor’s. I found out that both of legs from the knees down, are about as flexible as 2×4’s on a good day. That my right foot does not come close to zero on the bend it up test, my Tailor’s Bunionette was pretty minor.

However, there is a ligament on the bottom of my right foot that is inflamed, which is probably more of an issue than the T/B and is most likely causing the majority of my gait change on that side.

My left foot barely makes it to zero and that there is lots and lots of scar tissue in both legs. In addition, my hips are slightly out of alignment and my calves are so tight, that for her to even make a dent in them, she had to use her elbows, pushing in with the other arm and body weight. Yes there was pain involved while she was doing that.

The good news is that I have above average strength in both feet/calves and surprisingly my hamstrings are not as tight as my lower legs, because I had decent flexibility on the leg lift, going a little past vertical.

So to put in the technical terms that the PT used, while she was laughing at me (remember she has beat on me before) – “Harold your legs are a mess and even worse than the last time I saw you!”

I have a feeling that she was thinking of using a different word in front of mess, but was attempting to be somewhat professional, so I said it for her and she just laughed and said yep.

During the treatment part of the visits, I know that they definitely found some major scar tissue in my left leg (which hurt like hell for them to find, but definitely feels better now), trying to unkink my calves with elbow magic and all the other torture devices that they are using to get me back to better than I was before.

I think that for my next appointment on Monday, I am going to bring a stick or a chunk of leather to bite down on, so that I don’t scream quite so much, loud grunting is okay! ;-).

The reality is that

I have no restrictions and can do as much as my tolerance for discomfort allows, which means I can do most everything that I want. However, I am still a little sore after physical therapy visits and this amount of soreness is letting me know that I need to still be careful.

That being said, both the doc and PT have said I can start running when I want to, as long as I go slowly. So today, I am going to run/walk a mile and start using The Running Injury Recovery Program as part of my recovery.

Wish me luck or is that smart training.

  • How do you usually plan your return to running after an injury?
  • Do you just start running again and not worry about the how part?

Which Running Shoe–Post Injury?

IMG_20130617_064319_439I have reverted to being “Harold being Harold” and decided I have had enough of that damn aircast.

It is where it needs to be – OFF MY FOOT!

That independent old coot came out in me; after all, I have to live up to what my wife calls me – “Harold the Barbarian

Although the Ortho told me to stay in it and off my foot until he sees me again, I chose to disobey the good doctor – as usual. I just could not deal with it anymore, the aircast was bothering my Achilles and hips more than not wearing it, so it was time for it to go.

I just am not good with doctors and their “orders”. A problem doctors always complain about to me.

However, I have been mostly good – I have been listening closely to what my body is telling me and no, I have not tried to run. I am icing it 3-4 times a day; when it starts to get sore or tired, I stop and sit down to rest it.

This also means that I still have a lot of downtime to think about my future as a runner.

  • What are my motivations to run?
  • What I want to achieve as a runner?
  • How my goals fit my current limits – long and short term?
  • How will I train to meet my goals?
  • Racing – how does it fit into my running life?
  • What running gear will I be using – most importantly what shoes?

Since I decided to can the aircast, it significantly accelerated the need for me to decide on what running shoes I am going to use during my rehab period

Research Time

Since I am attempting be somewhat smart (well…sort of) about rehabilitating these injuries, I have been doing a LOT of research on the direction I want to go with my rehab.

For my Tailor’s Bunionette, which seems to be the root cause of my recent injuries, I needed to find out what are the options that I have other than surgery, which was mentioned far too often, for an initial visit/diagnosis.

First, I have to take care of the Achilles/left foot issues that are stopping me from running right now. My research indicated that for an injury in the Achilles tendon area, that using a running shoe with a higher drop might be better to use during my rehab period and was the direction I decided to go, based on what I had read.

This was a problem – I got rid of all my old 12MM drop shoes, when I purged my shoe collection last month, so I needed to figure out which brand/style I was going to do my post-injury rehab and running in. Which turned out to be a tough decision for me to make.

Optimal Run Recommendation

Patton at Optimal Run did a great shoe recommendation video for me and made two running shoe suggestions for me to look more closely at.

The first was the Pearl Izumi N2, a shoe that as I researched more, really intrigued, got me excited about the shoe and I wanted to try them – but there were a couple of problems.

  1. I have never worn Pearl Izumi before, there isn’t anyone who sells them locally (so I could try them on) and some of the reviews I read indicated that they were not as wide as other models I have worn, so moving to a completely new brand that I have never tried on was more than a couple of steps outside of my comfort zone.
  2. The timing, which drastically changes my outlook and willingness towards experimenting with a new shoe brand/style right now

I am coming back from almost 2 months of injured reserve and have only 2 weeks before I am supposed to start my marathon training. Running and finishing the Marine Corps Marathon in October is very important to me, so I decided that I am going to stay conservative and use a brand that has worked for me before.

Patton’s second recommendation was the Mizuno Evo Cursoris, which is a running shoe that I plan to try out at some point in the future. However, it is in the same category as several other shoes that I own and decided not to keep using – because they are also zero drop.

So while I liked Patton’s recommendations, they just happened at the wrong time for me, but I have a feeling that I will be in one or both of these shoes at some point and time this year.

Maine Running Company – Portland

I had to go to Portland last week and while I was there; I stopped into the Maine Running Company. The salesperson listened to my litany of problems, asked many questions, and used the “walk and does he pronate” method of selecting which shoe I should be wearing. He initially recommended the Mizuno Elixir 8, Brooks Ravenna and the ASICS 2200 for me to try.

What Shoe Size????? When we measured my foot on the measuring device, it came up just over a size 7.0 American, which is the smallest my feet have ever measured – I must be shrinking – hmmmmm, if only the scale agreed?

When the salesperson came back out with size 7.5 and 8.0’s for me to try (based on his measurements), they were all too small. Unfortunately, my size was out of stock in those models and I hate the response “we can order it for you”, which is what he said. If I am shopping in a physical store and want to buy a pair of running shoes, I want to walk out with them that day.

So I tried on the Ghost, Cumulus, Pegasus and the Wave Rider. It finally came down to the Brooks Ghost or the Mizuno Wave Rider. After a lot of walking around and thinking about it I walked out of the Maine Running Company with a pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 16’s, in size 8.5 under my arm, since they did not seem to irritate my Tailor’s Bunionette.

The reality is that

I hadn’t expected to need to buy a pair of shoes for at least couple of weeks! During that, time I would have done a lot more research, looked at many more shoe options, done more in-store shopping and had more of a plan in place for when I went shopping for the shoes that I would wear post-injury than I did.

However, once I decided to stop wearing the aircast, from the research I had already done, I knew that I needed to get the running shoes I would be wearing during my post injury recovery sooner rather than later.

The problem for me is there are so many great running shoes out there that I really want to try. Like they say so many shoes, not enough money, and definitely not enough time to try them all out.

As far as the Mizuno Wave Rider 16’s – I will plan to do an initial review of them sometime next week.

New Service At Optimal Run & Giveaway

FTC Disclaimer – I am an Optimal Run affiliate, if you click on their link in my sidebar and then buy something, I get a percentage of the sale and no it does not mean I am planning to get rich quick this way.

Winking smile

It does mean that I like and believe in how Optimal Run does things, and that occasionally I get sneak peaks at stuff they are doing and maybe a few other perks. Another great thing is as an Optimal Run affiliate – Patton is going to let me do a give-away every so often, like the one I will talk about at the end of this post.

Optimal Run Image

Yes, the name changed fairly recently (they were The Natural Running Store); however, I think that their new name Optimal Run describes their company much better and the direction they are going.

I do a lot of my shopping for running gear online, I live 45-60 minutes from the nearest specialty running store, so it is inconvenient (to say the least) to travel or go to the local big box store that doesn’t usually have what I am looking for, whenever I need a new pair of running shoes, which for me is a lot. In case you haven’t noticed I love to try new and different running shoes – even if my body doesn’t always agree with me.

New Service

The part of Optimal Run that I believe sets them apart from other companies is their continuing focus on customer service and satisfaction. Therefore, when Patton (the owner of Optimal Run) approached me to participate in their new Footwear Recommendation Service, I jumped at the opportunity – I like to see what others think I should be running in.

This shoe recommendation service is a new service that Optimal Run is offering to all runners who want to participate. The process is quick and easy – you can start by clicking on the below link:

http://www.optimalrun.com/recommendation

Answer the questions in the Google Form and Patton or one of the other Optimal Run shoe gurus look at your responses and figures out the optimal shoe recommendation for you, from the shoe lines that they carry.

The really cool part is that they provide answers to your questions with a video, in addition to an email, explaining why they believe that the shoe or shoes they recommend for you are the one(s) that might work well for you. Yeah the recommendation is based on the information you provided to them, the better the info, that you give them, the better the recommendation)

Here is the shoe recommendation video that Patton did for me.

http://mailvu.com/msg/m3590ef8749c446a680c33ec882304d1d

The recommendations were spot-on. One of the shoes was one that I almost bought last time and the other was one that I already wanted to look at closer. These recommendations were important since I will be returning to running after an injury.

Which is requiring me to look at all aspects of my running – especially the running shoes that I will be running in initially post-injury.

These are definitely shoes that I have and will be looking at as possible shoe to wear in the future. Whether or not they become my next shoe remains to be seen, but they were GREAT recommendations and after doing more research on them both, I was even more intrigued by what Patton recommended.

The service is free and there is no obligation that you have to buy what they recommend or that you even buy from them. I think this quote from Patton when I was getting some background information for this post, really says a lot about their focus on providing a great service to the running community:

“Truth be told, we really want to empower people who use this service.  Not everyone who submits their info makes a purchase and that is totally cool.  My hope is that we give people a level of knowledge and support so that if they were to buy some where else that can make super sure they are getting the right thing and lots of bang for their buck.”

Patton’s statement says it all. His and Optimal Run’s focus on being there to help runners is the primary reason that I chose to become an Optimal Run Affiliate.

Video

Beyond the new shoe recommendation service, I really like the way that Patton and the staff use video to make their commitment to their customers more personal – to me it shows that purchasing something from Optimal Run is more than – yet another online purchase.

Their use of video to communicate more directly with the customer is something that I have found to be unique among the online retailers that I have used. Enough gushing about how great Patton and Optimal Run are – even though they are, let’s get to the part of the post about giving you something.

Giveaway

Optimal Run will provide the winner of this give-away a $50.00 gift certificate to use on their site.

How to Enter

I want to keep this simple – all you have to do is:

  • Tell me you want to enter the contest in the comments section of this post.

That is the only requirement – easy peasey.

It would be great if you went to OptimalRun.com and checked it out, there is lots of great information about their products and the company, along with some other service and information you might be interested in. So go take a look! In addition, here are the links to like or follow Optimal Run:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+

If you want to like or follow A Veteran Runnah, go to the top of my sidebar and click the appropriate icons.

Contest Rules

  • It is only for U.S. shipping addresses.
  • One entry per person, duplicate entries will be deleted.
  • This contest will close 11:00 A.M. EST on Friday, June 23, 2013, comments/entries received after that time/date will not be eligible for the drawing.
  • I will select one comment/entry by means of a random number generator within 24 hours. This means that you have to put your email address in the space that asks for it when completing your comment (no I will not give them to anyone else), so I can notify you if you are selected.
  • If selected you will have 24 hours to contact me after I send the email notifying you that you have won. If I do not contact me via email within that period, I will randomly select a different comment to win the give-away..
  • After you contact me back, I will email the winner’s name and contact information to Optimal Run, who will then provide the $50.00 gift certificate to the winner.

I would also really appreciate it if you would like or share this contest with others using Twitter, Facebook, Google + or other social networks you use.

FTC Disclaimer: I received a gift certificate from Optimal Run and as I said at the start of the post, I am an Optimal Run affiliate. However, all comments and opinions are my own and receiving free gift certificate does not change how I have or will write about a product or company.