Part of the Solution – At Least I Hope

Okay, most of you have heard me whine a little about this minor injury that is plaguing me this time.

You know, a little thing called a stress fracture in the left tibia. Not a big deal in the overall scheme of things, but enough to put way too many DNR “Did Not Run” entries my running log until at least mid-July, but more likely into Early August.

Yeah, that sounds like forever at this point…but it gives me time to figure a few things out.

First up is what part did my running shoes play in this injury.

Let’s be real though, this post is more for me to get stuff out of my head, think about what part my running shoes did play (probably a very small part) and document my thought processes over the last week while I was deciding the direction I would go next with my running shoes.

Background

I have run pretty much major injury-free since October 2018 in Adidas Tempo 9, New Balance Beacon v1, and Nike Epic React v1. Yes, a few minor niggles here or there, but nothing serious. However, when I started wearing a pair of Nike Zoom Fly quite a bit over the last month because I was running great in them, it was then that I got injured.

It might only be a coincidence, but the Zoom Fly is the only running shoe that has changed that my normal gait that I can remember, which in turn allowed me to run faster with less effort. As evidenced by the Milestone App graph of the changes from a fairly consistent middle leg swing to one that was much higher.

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While changing my leg swing was not a bad thing. The resulting change to my gait/leg swing probably changed how I land/take-off just enough to make me feel great about my running prowess, but it came with a price. Feeling that great encouraged me to run too fast, too often, without enough recovery in between runs (that training stoopid thing that I do all too often).

Those factors subjected my left tibia to stresses that it was not used to or ready for.

Resulting in the stress fracture.

It doesn’t mean that I am going to throw out the two pair of Zoom Fly (V1 and SP) that I have, but it does mean that I will be a lot more selective about when and how much I run in them going forward.

After I heal up and get the legs back in shape to run in them.

Even though the other running shoes I have had in my rotation have worked very well for me. Unfortunately, each of them had something I wasn’t completely satisfied with and that kept me searching for something different to replace them. Which meant that this time I needed to search for something that was a bit more supportive, but still not a lead weight or dead feeling for when I am able to get back to running.

I also wanted to get the running shoes now to have them available when my body tells me that I can start running and can get them broke in before then.

When I started my research about which shoes I needed, I went to my usual go-to running blogs, especially Sam Winebaum’s – Road, Trail, Run, who has what I consider some of the best and most in-depth running shoe reviews on the web.

What was I looking for:

Actually, my preferences haven’t changed all that much, other than being more supportive and a touch firmer midsole, since I wrote a blog post last year, so instead of making this any longer than it needs to be, you can read the rest of my running shoe preferences in my I Can Dream – Yeah It’s About Running Shoes post.

What did I find?

  • Salomon Sonic RA Max v1 – size 8.0

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From everything that I read the Salomon Sonic RA Max line seemed to check off most if not all of the things that I am looking for in a pair of running shoes.

Most of the reviews that I read gave the RA Max v1 and V2 positive comments and yes, they pointed out some areas of concern as well. Like the potential heel slippage/blisters from the pods in the heel pocket in V1 and some higher than usual wear on the outsole on both, which concerned me a little, but not enough to stop me from getting the shoes.

Probably the biggest thing that made up my mind to go with the RA Max was the Vibe technology that supposedly dampens the amount of vibration in the tibial area of the leg.

This dampening of the vibration to the lower leg is very important to me since I am and will be rehabbing a stress fracture in my left tibia. You can read more about the Vibe technology in this Road, Trail, Run Review that gives a really good and down-to-earth explanation of what it is supposed to do.

Next was finding the best price for a pair of new RA Max. The newest version (V2) lists for $130, which is about what a decent running shoe goes for, but it was above the budget that I have for an experimental pair of running shoes.

Which meant I needed to find a pair of Version 1 on closeout at a decent price. After searching several sites, I ended up buying a pair of new RA Max v1 for $69 through a seller on eBay in the colorway that I wanted. There were cheaper offerings, but based on prior experiences on eBay, I believed that this was the best deal I could find.

They came in the other day and I have worn the RA Max around the house, done a long walk and did a gym workout in them. I took a chance on the size 8s and am very happy that I stayed true to size, the length and toe box fit is just right.

While walking in the RA Max and riding on the stationary bike they felt very comfortable.

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I also was very surprised at how little they weighed. At 8.6 ounces for my size 8.0 they are quite a bit lighter than I expected, which I think is phenomenal in a shoe with this much cushioning and support.

How they will work as running shoes is still to be determined, but at least the fit feels right and they were comfortable for an extended wearing around the gym. A good test of the Vibe technology will be this weekend when I wear them while wandering around the Acadia National Park carriage roads, and spending time with D2 and her husband.

The reality is that

I don’t really know if my running shoes were part of the problem or not, but I have a sneaking suspicion that they did play a part in a cascade of events that lead to me having a stress fracture in my left tibia.

Although, I am pretty certain that training plunders on my part were the biggest culprit and I have no one to blame but myself for not being able to run. More on those blunders in a different post.

Only time will tell if the Salomon Sonic RA Max v1s are part of the solution, but the initial impression is pretty good.

 

Stress Fracture Update #1 – RunLog 6/12/19

Okay, it has been a week since I hurt myself running and I thought that I would do an update on how things have been going, what I have been doing and most importantly what I have been thinking about.

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Other than not running – which sucks donkey balls…of course.

Things have been pretty positive and I haven’t gone into a deep, dark depression about not being able to run, just because I know that I can’t. No amount of whining, pissing or moaning about it will change that fact, so I have accepted it as the way it is.

The other good news is that the wife has not kicked me out of the house as yet, the dog still wants to be around me and the activities of daily life continue on, despite my inability to run.

I know that I am very lucky the stress fracture was not severe enough that I am not able to walk on it or else I am so used to things hurting that it is just another damn thing to ignore. I can’t tell which sometimes, but at least I didn’t have to get out the big plastic walking boot and skip around in that for a couple of weeks. Phew!!!

The doc knows me too well, when I called on Monday, yeah I did this last Wednesday, the office staff asked if I was still walking on my leg, when I told them I had mowed the lawn and chipped wood despite the leg hurting a bit, they just chuckled – like I said they know me. When I explained what happened and how the leg felt, the doc asked a bunch more questions (which I answered honestly) and she agreed with my self-diagnosis.

At that point, the doc basically told me that if it started to hurt more to call back to come into the office or if they couldn’t get me in in a timely manner to go to their express care in Waterville.

She did tell me:

  • that if I tried to run now I would be risking a total break, so don’t run, jump or twist. When it starts to hurt – stop.
  • Expect it to become a dull ache that just doesn’t go away for a while – she was right
  • that X-Rays would be a waste of time since they wouldn’t show anything at this time
  • it would be at least 6-8 weeks before I should even think about running – in other words, let the damn thing heal

So really I am very lucky – I can still walk on my leg, be somewhat active and the sharp pain that was so evident last Wednesday through Friday has subsided into a dull ache when I am good and increases the more I misbehave. I also have a great and very unsympathetic warning system in place that is working to keep me from being too stoopid.

My ice pack has gotten a lot of use, but I have been able to stay away from aspirin or other pain killers since if it doesn’t hurt a little I would be tempted to overdo it too much.

Since I hurt the leg, I have allowed myself to rest more than usual, not worry about what I put down the pie-hole and just relax a bit. In other words not stress-out about not being able to run and dealing with the dull ache that is a part of recovering from a stress fracture.

However, I have been busy thinking about what happened, how I ended up with a stress fracture in my tibia, how I can prevent it from happening again, yet keep running. I won’t bore you with all that stuff in this post but will write about it later.

I am fairly certain that more than a little of the reasons for the injury had to do with my training, ramping up my speed too much and the style of shoes I was wearing.

So I have been:

  • thinking more about what I want from running going forward
  • reading about what I need to do to recover from a tibial stress fracture
  • been re-reading my training books to figure out the direction I will be going after I can start running
  • looking closely at my training logs
  • got a new pair of running shoes that have a bit more structure and are supposed to dampen the vibration on the tibial region. Getting them now will give me a chance to walk a bit in them to get them broke in for when I am ready to actually start running again.
  • eat better
  • not run.

The reality is that

I am lucky.

Very lucky.

I am still able to walk and do most of the things that I need to do around the house despite having a stress fracture in my lower left leg. It is a more a question of pain tolerance and management.

No walking boot, no questioning the doc’s diagnosis, no non-compliance issues to speak of and knowing that I cannot run make the no running fact that much easier and a lot less stressful for me.

Sometimes things happen for a reason and this injury has forced me to actually stop, be realistic about my running versus the usual lip service that I tend to give it and then go on to do exactly what I have always done before. You know that do the same things and expect different results.

That definition that I tend to exemplify all too much.

My body is changing as I am getting older and as much as I don’t want to change my running all that much, if I want to keep running for the next 20 years or more, I will have to change a few things.

So I have taken steps to figure out why and what I need to do to make sure that I don’t repeat the injury again.

Now to just do it.

Well This Sucks – RunLog 6/9/19

This will be my last runlog update for 6-8 weeks if things are what they seem.

What did you do this time Harold?

Last Wednesday I was supposed to be having an easy recovery run, after a nice run on Tuesday. So, of course, I screwed up and turned it into a nice progression run where I ran pretty hard the last three miles of a 5.0-mile run.

At about 3.5 miles…

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I had just turned around and played in traffic to cross Outer Civic Center Drive up by the Commerce Center lights and suddenly I felt a sharp pain in my left lower leg. I slowed down for a few steps and while the discomfort was still there it wasn’t anything unusual. At my age, I seem to have to these unexplained twinges during runs and they usually go away without any issues.

Plus I wanted to see if I could get down to my half marathon race pace for the last mile.

Mmmmm Houston we have a problem, that discomfort while not debilitating ain’t going away. Shut-up and finish the mile is what I told myself and did (yeah, I got down to the pace), but the discomfort wasn’t getting any better during that last mile. So I shut down the run when I got to 5.0 miles and just cruised it back to Planet Fitness to finish things up.

I haven’t run since.

The rest of the day Wednesday and all-day Thursday the leg talked to me about how stoopid I am. I don’t usually take anything for pain, but Wednesday afternoon I did take a couple of Aspirin, which helped and couple more on Thursday morning. The discomfort seemed to fade a bit by the afternoon, so I was thinking that it wasn’t anything serious.

Friday things felt good enough that I was able to do some work around the house, you know using the chainsaw to cut up a few trees, drag brush and chip what I could. With Saturday being a day to finish up what I didn’t get done the day before.

Yep, the leg hurt a bit, but not enough to stop me from getting stuff done.

Which meant that I hadn’t broken anything yet, but I had a pretty good idea that I probably had all the classic signs of a lower leg stress fracture, probably in the fibula since the discomfort is located more on the outside of the leg. I tested the theory by putting the buffer on the leg yesterday afternoon and immediately knew the answer.

So I will get to go to the doctor’s office at some point this week and might even listen to their advice for a change (this is the stuff they are good at), but either way for at least the next 6-8 weeks my runlog entries ain’t gonna be about me running.

There are going to posts about me whining, pissing and bitching about not running, all the crazy crap that I will be doing to attempt to speed up the healing process and how I am driving everyone including myself batshit crazy about not being able to run. 😉

Actually, I have a feeling that it will give the legs a chance to heal all the niggles that were accumulating, give me a reason to actually work out with weights at the gym and use the stationary bike for my cardio fix. Who knows I might even get my old mountain bike out and see how the leg feels on that in a week or two.

I have accepted the no running part as best as I can and the body is definitely telling me that running ain’t gonna happen for a while. Walking is enough of a challenge at this point. I just have to remember that I am not going to run again (unless there is a miracle of some sort) until sometime around August 1st and stick with that idea.

Which in the overall scheme of things is not that far away, now to let the body rest a bit, heal a lot and start working on my rehab routine, versus simply going out and trashing the old body again. It also means that I will have to look a LOT closer at what goes down the pie-hole if I do not have the benefit of running to cover-up some of my bad eating habits.

Now, what is the doctor’s number so I can call them tomorrow first thing and have them tell me what is actually going on with the old leg.

Yeah, it kind of sucks, but it just another day in the life of Harold being Harold.

Not What I Expected – RunLog 7-12-14

Yesterday, I had a couple of good runs which was the good news, but the big event of the day was something that was very unexpected and not anything that I wanted to have happen.

Yeah I was sore and a little tired from haying the day before, but not nearly as bad as I thought that I would be. In other words I wasn’t completely wiped.

I made sure that both of the runs were slow recovery runs that totaled just over 5.0 miles, the body wasn’t up to or into doing a lot more.

My neighbor was still haying and had even less help than the day before, so I lent a hand again. About half-way through the field, we were on the 3rd tier, so the stack was about even with my chest and I was having to pick up the bales and then toss them on the trailer.

6 Tiers of hay
The dual axle trailer

As a part of this tossing motion, I step forward with my right foot.

Yeah this isn’t going to be good.

Wellll, as I was tossing a bale on the trailer, my foot went forward as usual, unfortunately at the same time the first tire of the trailer was about to occupy that same spot. This was the double axle heavy-duty trailer pictured above – luckily it was only half full of hay.

Really not good.

With peripheral vision, I saw the tire beginning to go over my foot and the tire wasn’t stopping. At that point I felt a sudden pressure on the outside of my foot and couldn’t move it (believe me – I tried).

As I looked down.

There was nothing I could do, but watch the friggin tire run over my foot.

Yes time does slow down, when something like this happens. It seemed like it took forever for that wheel to get done going over my foot.

It was kind of surreal, the tire going over my foot, there was a squishing sensation, sharp pain and then relief as the wheel rolled off my foot.

Then I had to move it quickly, so that the second axle’s tire didn’t have a chance for a repeat performance.

Yep, it hurt like a son of bitch!

All of I could think of right then was, there goes my running the rest of this summer and beyond.

Continue reading “Not What I Expected – RunLog 7-12-14”

Humbled and Just a Little Scared

cropped-miles-for-mills2.jpgOkay this is one of those posts, where I am going talk about one of my greatest fears in running. And no, I am not whining or complaining this time, I don’t need Karma to be such a Bitch.

It is something that all athletes (no matter how great or humble) face at some point in their athletic careers.

Think of the many athletes (whether they are 30, 40, 50 or older), have an injury and they just are not the same afterwards.

Now I am not my any stretch of my imagination or any thing else all that a great runner, but I am still competitive, if only in my own mind and with myself. Okay, once in a while in my own age group too.

Right now I am scared to death, that I will not be able to return to running at the same or even close to the level of running that I was able to do, just a couple of months ago.

Yeah we all have our highs and lows, when we rehabbing from an injury, but this time it feels different.

Continue reading “Humbled and Just a Little Scared”

On The Shelf Until Next Monday

IMG_20140523_094648_138I went to my Chiropractor today and while he understands runners and our “need” to run – he just happens to be married to one.

However, based on everything that I told him, along what he did and noticed during our 1/2 hour pain-filled and teeth gnawing extravaganza this morning, I am on the shelf until at least next Monday.

Wah, Wah, Wah, I can either piss, moan, groan about not running for the next week or I can suck it up, do what I need to do to keep rehabbing my hamstring and other parts of my legs that need the work.

Knowing me, I will be whining by the end of the week about how much not running sucks and how much I just want to go for a run.

Yeah I know me pretty well, but at the same time, I also know that I will bust my ass to do this rehab correctly, because I do want to run sooner, rather than later, with a repeat performance happening within the next couple of months.

In other words, I will trust that Dr. Lawton’s judgement about what I need to allow my body to heal, is better than my own – after all that is why I am paying him as a medical professional and my track record is less than stellar. 🙂

That and the fact, that I know that I have to clean my act up and do it right this time. Continue reading “On The Shelf Until Next Monday”

Frustration Level At 9/10

Whine Alert!!!

Frustrated!

Frustrated!!

Frustrated!!!

This trying to stay positive crap is just that crap, even when I know that I have to be.

It keeps getting harder and harder, when all you want to do is run and you can’t.

I haven’t run since last Thursday, then today I jogged around the parking lot at the Rail Trail Run Shop to check out a couple of different kind of Skechers to (more about a little later in a different post)

My hamstring didn’t feel too bad, so when I got back to the house, I decided to go for an easy run. The plan was to do a: Continue reading “Frustration Level At 9/10”

Where Do I Go From Here – Goals for the Rest of 2014

Bennie Looking at my rehab tools
Bennie Looking at my rehab tools

I am still in the rehab process for my hamstring injury, I have a feeling that if I am realistic, not pessimistic or optimistic, I am still 2-3 weeks away from actually running mostly pain-free from my current injury. 

Something I read recently said it can take 21 to 72 days to properly heal a hamstring injury, I guess I got the 72 day variety.

I am not going to start training for anything until July, even though I will be running before then. Why not? 

I know that I am loosing conditioning with the sporadic amount of running I have done all of May and I need to re-build my base during June, to get my confidence back, so that I can do the things I expect from my body while in a training plan.

While this is frustrating as all hell for me, actually it F*&%$*g sucks, because the weather has been just about perfect for running around here. However, I gotta stay positive and this injury time has given me yet another chance to re-invent myself as a runner or at least to look at the things I need to do.

Especially, if I want to run with less pain and a more efficient gait, which I hope will result in drum roll please — less pain.

Yeah, I am kind of centered around pain, for now. No, not the severe, oh I can’t stand it kind of pain that gets all the headlines, instead it is that persistent pain in the ass stuff that never really goes away and is there, especially when I run or if I step wrong.

The kind of low-level pain you can run through and do most other things, but sticks around and says “hello” like a meddlesome, nosy neighbor, comes around when you least expect or want the interruption.

Like that kind of neighbor, I just want it to go away. Continue reading “Where Do I Go From Here – Goals for the Rest of 2014”

I Did Not Realize How Much I Have Been Injured

Take the bad with the good :-)
Take the bad with the good, last year’s Achilles tendon injury

The other day, I wrote a post where I discussed the things I need to do to Clean-up this Ramshackle Runnah.

While there are a LOT of things that I need to do, the biggest thing is to get as healthy as I can and figure out the underlying causes for me getting injured as often as I have.

When I started to list out the injuries (both running and otherwise) that I have had over the years, I was shocked. I didn’t think that I was that injury prone.

Yes, I know that some of my problems are training mistakes that I make, but other injuries seem to recur all too often to be simply training issues.

Right now, I am doing many parts of Bruce Wilks – The Running Injury Recovery Book and while a week is not enough time to make any judgement on how effective the his program/process is. However it is giving me a program that I can use as a guideline to help me with mobility, tightness and strengthening weak areas or creating more symmetry, until I get something better.

Unfortunately, simply reading a book and attempting to interpret the author’s intent, process and then attempting to do the exercises and workouts correctly is tough.

Accepting Advice

I got to talking with Seth (one of the better local runners) down at the Rail Trail Run Shop yesterday. Among other things we discussed my hamstring and multiple injury issues and he strongly stated that he thought it would be better to go see his Chiropractor – Dr. Lawson, to see if he could help me find the underlying issues for my injuries, versus just going to a massage therapist to treat the symptoms.

Continue reading “I Did Not Realize How Much I Have Been Injured”

Day 5 – Setting the Groundwork – RunLog 5-15-14

Bond Brook
Bond Brook

I got a LOT done today! Unfortunately no running – again.

I probably will not until next Tuesday – more on that later.

As usual I did our first thing Bennie walk, almost a mile.

Then around 8:30 did my The Running injury Recovery Program stuff (mobilization, stretching and closed-chain exercises). I am still a little sore in my hamstring, but not nearly as much as I was.

Some of the closed chain exercises are tough and I can see the benefit of each one. However, I don’t have ankle weights so, I skip those ones.

After re-reading the chapters on fitness walking and gliding, I got to thinking about if I actually toe-off or not. When I went for my first walk this morning, I saw that I wasn’t, so I focused on going through a full foot stride cycle finishing with the toe-off, along with keeping my feet straight, instead duck walking, especially with my right foot.

Needless to say, I know now haven’t been doing toe-off when running either that and it is something I am going to work on, every walk and when I start running again, it will be a point of focus.

Continue reading “Day 5 – Setting the Groundwork – RunLog 5-15-14”