Light At the End of The Tunnel

IMG_0289There is something up ahead, no, no it can’t be, it is, is, that is light. There is light at the end of this damn tunnel.

It is still a long ways away, but by golly gumdrops (I didn’t want to go too sailor on everyone) –  I see that freaking light in the distance!!!!!

Today is the toughest workout I have been able to ACHIEVE since before May 3rd!!!!

I might be getting older, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t heal, can’t push my ass harder and get back to where I want to be – I just have to be a little patient about it.

Today some of that patience started to pay off!

Yes, I am wiped, yes I am tired, yes I am sore right, yes I am ecstatic, yes I did run and yes I will be sore tomorrow! I don’t really care though, this was the confidence building, breakthrough day that I have needed so badly, just for my own mental health.

Did I do too much mmmmm

NO!

So what did I do?

Strength Training

The workout started out with an upper body workout where I upped all of my weights by 10 pounds, not really a big deal, but for someone with chicken wings, well you get the idea, it was huge, especially when I am purposely not going heavy. I am not crazy out lifting weights, but know that they do help.

Running

I ran on the treadmill, yes I know, I should have run outside, it was so gorgeous, but I had to be ready for physical therapy in a half hour, so I ran for 30:00 minutes.

5:00 @6.5 mph – h/r 147

5:00 @7.0 mph – h/r 154

5:00 @7.3 mph – h/r 157

13:00 @7.6 mph – h/r 163

2:00 @8.1 mph h/r 167

for a total of 3.68 miles in 30:00 minutes

5:00 minute cool-down

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I felt really strong throughout and even though the heart rate is a little faster than it was before I was injured, it wasn’t absolutely wacked out and had incremental increases as I went faster. Within 3:00 minutes when I stopped running, I was back under 120 bpm and feeling good.

Yes I definitely worked up a helluva sweat, but I never felt out of control or stressed about how hard I was working, it just felt good and my Achilles wasn’t bothering hardly at all, which just felt good.

Skechers GoRun2

The surprising part was that I used my Skechers GoRun2’s and they perform flawlessly, I didn’t feel as though I needed to heel strike, everything felt smooth and comfortable, no problems with my tailor’s bunnionette – nothing.

I actually stopped thinking about the shoes and about how I was running and feeling, which is all I want from a pair of running shoes. Are they perfect – no, but they are working very well for me right now and are as good or better than any of the other shoes I have run in this year.

It gets better

My physical therapist came out and watched me run to check my form, so under supervision I went through the paces, increasing my speed from 6.5 to 7.0 to 7.5 to 8.2 and finally I got up to my old race speed of 9.2 mph.

NOTHING BROKE!!!!

My heart rate hit 174 bpm, yes I was breathing hard, but not out of control and I felt like I was RUNNING again, no I didn’t hold it for very long, but by damn, I got up there hand held it for almost a minute. She got a chance to see that I wasn’t all hot air and actually did run pretty fast for an old fart, and got good display of stride at various speeds (when I was fatigued) and making different comments, that I didn’t really listen to, because I was too excited to be running!

I ended with a helluva grin on my face and was all yechy, stinky and sweaty for the PT session. She didn’t seem to mind that too much, but gave me a towel to dry off a little bit to help turn-off the waterfall.

How is my Running Form?

  • I don’t pronate, if anything my right foot supinates slightly, more than like because I do have a leg length discrepancy
  • I don’t heel strike, she is a firm believer in running with a heel strike and we agreed to disagree on that issue and move on.
  • I have tight hips, hamstrings, calves and my glutes and periformis are tight (these are all areas I have complained about in the past)
  • My right foot flares out and a lot of my issues are on the right side of my body, not the left.
  • My hips don’t lie – they don’t swivel like they should when I run.

I will be honest, I don’t remember everything that she said, I was too excited about running so freely for the first time in a long time. The Achilles is still causing a little change in my gait, but as I am getting more motion in that leg, it is getting to be less of a problem (she watched me quickly one day before a different session).

After the cool-down and the my gait analysis at a bunch of different speeds, I had 50:00 minutes and 4.87 miles done!!!!

Physical Therapy Session

This gait analysis gave her a LOT to work on and will give me a lot to work on.

While she didn’t say that my gait is “f$%@ked up, she said that she could tell that I had been injured more than once and I had several areas that I have compensated for that are making me asymmetrical (unbalanced, but I knew that – I keep telling everyone that I am at least a half to a full bubble off level).

She worked correcting the leg length, which we have worked on before, loosened up the hip flexors and then went to work on the Achilles tendon some more.

The PT did say that because I am a midfoot/forefoot striker that I would have work at mobilizing my feet and Achilles for the rest of my life, because I put more strain on those areas and would be at more risk for injury. We discussed heel striking in running again and agreed to leave me as a midfoot runner.

She twisted me around like a pretzel and popped things that haven’t been popped, judging from the snapping and cracking going on – in years. I have heard of pretzel logic before, but today I was the pretzel and didn’t enjoy the logic all that much. I don’t bend and stretch those ways all that well, being as flexible as a 2×4.

Now I have a lot of home work and stuff to do 3 x times a day, but it is stuff that I have been wanting to do, but in trying to be smart I have not been working on that stuff until I got clearance. Now that I have the go ahead to do this – I will.

Yes I still have to ice after a run, stretch 3xday and a bunch of other things, but it is progress.

Don’t do TOO MUCH

The biggest thing she warned me is NOT to do too much and hurt myself, stay conservative, but still push – a little, just not a lot. Okay Harold the Barbarian, you are not in attack mode.

Not that a little old fart like me would ever do something like that.

Keep the strategy defensive for a little while longer Winking smile

The reality is that

this workout was something that I needed so badly, just to prove to myself that I am making progress and that I can get back to where I was – or better.

Does this mean that I am going right out and do this workout again tomorrow – no that would be stupid! I may not always act the smartest and maybe an idiot when it comes to running, but I am not stupid. Tomorrow will be a light/slow 20:00 minute run and I already know that I will be sore, so it will be more for getting out there to get things moving than do anything else.

Just a little excited today

Oh could you tell that I am just a little excited about what I did today. On the overall scope of things, doing this workout doesn’t approach world peace or anything, but it damn sure made me feel a lot better about MY recovery process.

Because the truth be told, I was starting to get pretty damn frustrated.

I know that there are going to be more setbacks, but I can come back to this post and read it again hear the excitement in my voice and know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

The light is there, but it just isn’t real bright yet Smile, but at least I see the damn thing!

By the way, I wore my idiots running club singlet today and it worked, I ran like an idiot, grinned like an idiot when I finished running and am smiling like an idiot as I write this post. It is amazing what a good run will do for you!

The power of the IRC Singlet!!!

How about you have you ever had one of those break through workouts, where you know that after it is done, you know that there is light at the end of the tunnel?

RunLog 7-24-14

Relieved and Moving On

IMG_0366Sometimes we just get too tired to do a blog post and that was how I felt last night. After getting back from volunteering at the Quarry Road Trail Race Series 4.0 miler and then working to get the photos I took posted to the Facebook page.

Doing a quick post on my run yesterday, just didn’t seem a priority and I needed to relax more than I need to force myself to write. That is why I am writing it this morning.

Honestly, I wasn’t even sure that if I wanted to run yesterday morning it wasn’t just raining it was pouring and at this point, in the recovery process it wasn’t worth the risk of re-injuring myself or just being completely miserable running in those conditions.

I waited until the afternoon to see how I felt then, luckily the downpours went away and turned to light right, which I actually find to run in. My foot was feeling good, but my Achilles tendon was sore for some reason.

Based on that I decided to walk a half mile first to see how my body felt after that. When I finished my warm-up I felt pretty good, so I decided to go down-back.

Brooks PureFlow2 7-23-13Something I have found out running down back and as much as I like my Skechers GR2’s, they are not the optimal choice for running on rocky dirt roads, so I ran in my Brooks PureFlow2’s and they did GREAT down back. They have a different feel and I have to focus on how I am running in them, instead of just running, but they did exactly what I wanted.

They have enough cushioning to protect my feet from the rocks and uneven spots and then when I hit tar roads again, they are a very quiet shoe, which is something that I am looking for in my running shoes.

If my running shoes are slapping or clunking on the heel, it means that I am not running efficiently in those shoes and I can definitely tell the difference.

Overall the run was a nice run, the rain felt good, I slowed myself down a few times, because I was purposely running slow yesterday and working to keep my pace over 9:00 minutes. I

The 30:00 minute run felt comfortable and I definitely could have kept going. Which is the important thing!

You don’t know how relieved I am that what happened last week was nothing serious. I was very scared that I had developed a stress fracture in my left 5th metatarsal area, it still does not feel quite right, but there is not pain and no increase in the symptoms. The black and blue is going away and looking better.

I do know that I ready to start running regularly – again and  get back to normal for me training.

RunLog 7-23-13