A beautiful start to another day in Montana.
Alright, everyone is dying to know how this leg of mine is doing so here is the latest. As I mentioned before, after 4 days off last week, I started back running nice and slow with a couple of three milers. Each one of those started off pretty sorely but at least I was able to run. After about two miles, the pain in my thigh seemed to improve significantly. I did that for four days and avoided the indoor track at all times. I even resorted to hobbling on the treadmill some.
After an unexpected day off thanks to a flat tire, on an airplane, I put in a 7-8 mile test run with some hills. Again, I had pretty significant tenderness during the first two miles. After that, things seemed to gradually loosen up. Unfortunately, my Garmin didn’t pick up reception for the entire run so all I have is the time data. I would guess that I was moving around 8:00-8:30 pace. I felt moderately sore after that and I dared to let my optimism build some.
After another day off, the potential coup de grace came: the long run. Before the first winter storm in Montana could come roaring in with 50mph gusts, I donned my tights and shoes (my old Saucony Kinvara 3’s mind you) and headed out into the frigid temps.
At first, moving my legs was like churning butter outside in Antarctica. I was extremely stiff and my leg killed me. Honestly, during that first 1.5 miles, I was already starting to think my marathon adventure was over. Yet, I just kept going, trying to focus more on making my gait normal (at least for me), rather than speed. Slowly but surely, the pain started to subside more and more, and I began to ease into my form.
Mid way through my anticipated 13 miles, I strived for getting up to marathon pace, after which I planned to back down. Here’s the data:
During the middle miles, I was able to get close to pace, and it felt decent. Not anything like before, but tolerable. I think I was on pace as for most of the mile as I was slowing down big time in the turn arounds (2 per mile) as I find turning while running, especially to the right, kills my leg. I also reversed the direction of my run every three miles (I was running around my development), to mix up the turns some. I got some good stretching in after wards, and so far, I don’t feel too sore. Actually, my calves and ankles feel sorer than my thigh.
Based on today, I feel that there is a slight chance I can run Seattle in moderately good fashion as long as I don’t do anything stupid between now and the race. I am certainly not going to try to play “catch up” on my missed long runs. I will probably put in two more long runs of somewhere between 13-18 and then taper down. I’ll keep those much slower than before. I will still keep my tempo and hill sessions in the middle of the week to keep my legs used to 8:00 pace. Also, when I run recovery days, I will just “jog” those, concentrating only on a relaxed form.
Diagnosis wise, I think I am dealing more with an iliopsoas injury rather than a vastus medialis injury. The pain I am getting in my knee is likely referred pain . Most of the aches are coming from my proximal/medial thigh just inferior to the inguinal ligament. I’ll be hitting that with some ice and Biofreeze later.
Time will tell what this December holds for me. But I’m not ready to hang up the shoes quite yet.