A Solution to the Problem

So here I sit almost four weeks post marathon without a solution.  I took one whole week off from running immediately after the race.  The second week was a slow return to running and I put in 25 miles.  But something was still not right.   Those adductors never felt perfect.   Maybe I strained them and so another full two weeks off.   This past Sunday, I ran 5 miles and that same soreness is still there.   There has also been some soreness right along in my pelvic area that should have been gone by now if it was a muscle pull.   Keep in mind at no point is there any pain.  Just a general soreness.

So I’ve been to the internet and back a few times to see if I can self-diagnosis this thing.  Any strains should have been healed by now.   It does not hurt to stand, climb stairs, walk or jump.   There is no pain when I run, just soreness.  What I really think this might be is a hip stress fracture or stress reaction.   Bottom line: I have given up the hope that this will go away on it’s own.   And since the Boston Marathon looms in April I need to get this resolved…NOW!  

There is a really good article from Methodist Hospital in Houston which makes me think I’m right.  They cite, “Research suggests that most athletes who develop stress fractures have been training for at least two years, six or more times a week. A stress fracture is more likely to occur after an increase in how far, how often, and how hard a person goes.”  Guilty as charged.  But that also describes almost every other marathoner I know.

What is the possible good news:  “One of your doctor’s main goals will be to determine if other problems, such as muscle or tendon injuries, are causing some or all of your pain.”   I would much rather have this diagnosis since hip stress fractures are slower to heal.  

The solution starts with a diagnosis.  I’ve scheduled an appointment with a sports medicine physical therapist.   I’ll start there and not really sure what they can tell me.  I may have to go see my ortho at some point.  Boring deep water pool running may be in my near future.

I would have never run Milwaukee if I had even suspected this injury.   Maybe running a 3:37 marathon with a hip stress fracture proves I’m not as soft as I appeared during the race. 



Two Races and Return to Blogger

Here is an attempt at getting my blog up to speed.   Think of it as a lazy way to get back into the present.

Chicago Monster Dash – Half Marathon
Result:  1:43:19 (7:53 pace) 11th out of 78 in AG

I actually signed up for this race at the Chicago Marathon expo.   My injury was healed and I was just getting back into fitness again.   It was my motivation after running half of the Chicago marathon.  I was only able to get in two weeks of 34 miles before the race but I was healthy enough to push the pace.

The weather was warm as we ran along the southern portion of the lakefront path.   Who could not love this view of the city?

I ran pretty well and the fact that many people were in costume made it fun.  Fitness improved almost 7 mins over the Chicago marathon half time.  Here was the bling:

The jacket makes me look tougher than I really am.

North Shore Turkey Trot 10k
Result:  44:07 (7:05 pace) 7th out of 86 in AG

Four weeks of mid-40’s run since the Monster Dash.  I hadn’t done any speedwork since late August.   So the thought of coughing up a lung crossed my mind.   My goal entering the race was to attempt a 6:55 pace.   But a 20mph wind heading south and numerous rolling hills probably was the difference in me not getting a PR.   I ran hard and noticed a considerable improvement in fitness.   The best part was knowing I could enjoy Thanksgiving after this effort.

For you stat geeks:

Garmin recap of the race

Free PIE after the race!!

Current Training
My goal for 2012 is to get to 2000 miles for the year.  Despite running zero marathons and two small bouts of injury, it is still possible.   Since the Monster Dash, I have eight straight weeks of around 45 miles.  The long run on Sunday was usually around 15 miles.   It’s been consistently solid and will be a great base for the next marathon cycle.

Stupid Injury Time
I’m known for stupid non-running injuries and here is the latest.  While taking out the garbage yesterday, a piece of broken glass from a Christmas decoration was sticking out of the bag.  It scraped my leg while I was in my running shorts.  If I had been in a pair of jeans, I might not have even felt it.   Instead, I bled and couldn’t get it to stop.   My wife took me to the immediate care center and eight stitches later I had this:

The doc said I need to avoid running for two weeks.  My sister-in-law said she can get me some hospital grade super glue made for skin that could probably cut that time in half.  I’m skipping my 8k this weekend because  it’s not worth opening up the stitches.  But it puts my 2000 miles in doubt.

I don’t want to tempt a May 26.2 race that might be too warm.  I’m taking suggestions for an April marathon. 

Half Madness Race Disaster

I’m a bit frustrated and angry right now. My half was a bust.    It was much warmer than anticipated. 71F and 74% humidity, but nothing I haven’t run in all summer.

I might have had to ease on an all out PR pace.  I’ve logged more miles than in the past so I thought I would let the race come to me.    I was cruising along through 11 miles at a 7:24 pace. The last three miles are slightly downhill (total course has 155ft gain).  I really love this course.   Running along the Fox River or tackling hills in the neighborhoods   About mile 11.5 I got a sharp pain on the inside arch of my right foot.  There was a huge gap between me and the runners behind me before all went south. Top 10 in AG was assured until I got hurt.   Really too painful to run and I shut it down. I hobbled and walked the rest of the way to finish 1:47:03. I was audibly swearing when no one was around and took the walk of shame back to the finish.  The weirdest part of the whole day was runners going by me saying encouraging stuff like,  “You can do it” or “Almost there” was the LAST thing I wanted to hear.  You mean if I wasn’t in searing pain I could.   Runners are too nice.  I skipped the post race beer got into my car and headed home straight from the finish line.  I must have been upset to pass up free Sam Adams.

 I was having some slight PF issues with that foot earlier in the week. But I was wearing my night splint and did not have any stiffness or soreness the past couple of days. My foot felt normal all day until the sharp pain suddenly appeared.

I was able to get in to see my doctor on Monday during lunch. Always reassuring to walk into her office and see running bibs all over the wall. Quite calming knowing your race future is at stake.  She knows her stuff relative to us runners. She thinks it might be a small tear in the plantar fascia. If I press on the area there is no pain.  Only when I push off.   X-rays were negative but no surprise there since I know this is soft tissue. It still hurts to walk on it but she thinks it will heal very quickly. I was given a soft brace and an anti-inflammatory prescription. I can run in the brace if things don’t hurt. She thinks I could even run later this week.  Three days later and I can’t walk normally.  Ultrasound, cortisone and physical therapy could be future steps. Bottom line is that the marathon is still very much in play in her estimation.   So now it’s wait and see.

We are GO for launch

My test run was a success today.   I guess the power of prayer and being smart with the injury has paid off.  I was really anxious this morning because I had no idea how I would feel.  The temps were a chilly 42 degrees and called for the first use of my running gloves this fall.   It felt like I was breathing a little hard at first, but I’ve had no hard cardiovascular work in nine days.  Walking 22 1/2 miles this week doesn’t really get the lungs working hard.    The first mile was in 8:35.  I literally said out loud , “Yes”.

I was glad it was not a slower pace that felt harder.   The run continued and I found myself running faster.   The first ten miles were at at an 8:08 average pace.  Marathon pace for my Boston qualifier is 8:02.8.  Good to know my speed did not disappear.  My legs felt great.  I think my lungs needed this run more than anything.  The rest of the shorter runs this week will get them where they need to be. 

My runs for the race week are as follows:
Tuesday 6m recovery
Wednesday  Dress rehearsal 7m w/ 2m @ marathon race pace
Friday  5m w/ 6 x 100 strides
Saturday 4m recovery

My excitement has returned and all systems are GO.

3 weeks to go…not this again

I am officially into taper.   But I might be injured and my hopes might be dashed for the second year in a row.   Honestly, I think I am nervously assuming a worst case scenario.  Only time will tell.

Let me rewind.  Friday night I am on my way home from work and pick up a couple of bottles of wine for some company we were having that night.   There is construction going on at our front door so I attempt to enter the house from the rear deck.   I was walking on the side slope and stepped on some small rocks that caused my feet to go out from under me.  I fell pretty hard and the bottom of the wine bottles connected with my ribs.  Before you ask, I had not had a sip of wine yet and the bottles did not break.   Right away I was sore but no bruising or bleeding. I thought my last long run of 20 miles was in danger.

I decide to test it out with a short four miler on Saturday.  While I was sore there was nothing preventing me from running.  On Sunday, I hooked up with two other runners and we ran the supported CARA Ready to Run 20 miler.    They send you off in large groups every 30 seconds and they have water stops and port-o-lets along the run from Montrose Beach to the South Shore Cultural Center.   I ran with Tom most of the way.   Tom is trying to break 4 hours in his fifth attempt and we settle into a 9 minute pace for about 13-14 miles.   I feel great.   I run ahead of Tom and post the next mile in 7:58.  I varied my pace for the remainder.  I never felt pain and it was probably the easiest 20 miles I’ve ever done.   Every runner gets some free food samples at the end plus two free beers.    I’ve dodged a bullet after the fall.

Until I wake up in pain on Monday morning.  I cannot cough or sneeze without screaming the word ouch.   I cannot sleep or sit in certain positions.   It hurts too much.   I better not be injured to the point where I cannot run my race!   Obviously, the 20 miler aggravated my injury.   But it can’t be that serious if I can run 20 miles without a hint of pain right?   I refuse to spend money at a doctor because there is not a lot they can do for a fractured rib if that is what it is.   Those injuries heal themselves with rest.   They do not even treat that injury with taping or wrapping anymore.   So now what do I do?

The good news is that I have three weeks to heal up.   I have skipped two runs of 8 and 5 miles.  I shouldn’t lose too much fitness.   I will continue to take the NSAID to help with the pain.   It has improved but not exactly perfect.   How in the world can I run 20 miles without pain and have it get worse the next day?   Must be a soft tissue problem?   I am shutting it down temporarily.   I’ll give it a few more days…and pray