Thursday, June 30, 2011

9 Days to go...

Finished teaching for the summer today and made a B-Line for Grouse's BCMC. Felt terrific going up and most of the way down. It took me 43 smooth minutes to go up and 26 quad-pounding minutes to come down. My Suunto t6d tells me the ascent was 792m and the descent was 789m. Not sure how that's possible unless the mountain moved, but it happened. Total time was 1:09. The technical descent can be pretty sketchy, but it sure keeps you focused.

Got tomorrows alarm set for another 6am run up Capilano Canyon and thinking about booking a massage. Anything to make me feel I am prepared for this thing. I keep on with the rolling and the feet up in relax mode.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Test of Metal to Now

On a 5:30 run through the streets and trails of North Vancouver this morning I started taking stock of what is...not what will be. With Knee Knacker 11 days away there isn't much I can do to change the training that I have missed or will miss. As I said in my previous post, I've been on a 7-week taper. All I can do now is...
  • Be grateful for the runs and rides I've had
  • Eat well
  • Rest well
  • Keep running care-free and for enjoyment
  • Keep loose and limber
  • Start an early morning running routine
  • Look forward to a fun, snow-filled run in the mountains with good people.

I must say, I am grateful that my injury has forced me back onto the bike. I'm loving the mountain bike.
The Plunge - Test of Metal 2011

I'll try to keep people posted on the days leading up to Knee Knacker. If nothing else it may be interesting for me to look over the days leading up to race day in the future - especially if it goes particularly badly or well.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Painfree or Carefree?

The typical running injury doesn't involve blood or band aids. If it were we'd be a lot happier in light of the fact that we're still able to run. The sight of blood doesn't usually elicit that "Oh crap, how will this effect my running plans?" response, like you may have seen in Gary Robbins Hawaii video. The pain in that guys voice is not based on actual pain as much as it is on an instantaneous awareness that a summer filled with running and racing was gone.

Like that flashing red light on the dashboard of our cars injuries tell us our running machines have had enough. Perhaps the machine is out of gas or oil, too tired, too old, or maybe even unmotivated.

Recently I've had a small red light flashing in my calf. Specifically my soleus. When it first flared up during Iron Knee I was able to run through it, but still had that moment of panic regarding Knee Knacker, the race I 've scheduled to peak for. At first I was mad, sad, upset, confused, and I tried to rationalize the pain away.

As the time went on I came to terms with it and started doing more and more cycling. I'm even doing my interval workouts on the bike. It's fun and feels less like work.

There it felt less like work. Getting out for a run was feeling like work.

Is this burn out?

I was injured. Running felt like work. All I thought about was my training schedule, I was wasted tired and never recovering well.

The past 6 weeks have been wonderful - once I accepted my situation, that is. Not being able to run has allowed me to let go of the pressure I placed upon myself for Knee Knacker and enjoy other things. Riding the Test of Metal last weekend was a hoot even in the mud and wet. And I rolled off a 3:36. Not bad for a "runner".

This all really hit me yesterday when I was able to run for a solid hour without pain in my soleus. The birds were singing, the wind was blowing branches down around me, I jumped over a garter snake, and I was smiling in a large way even after I gashed my knee. Since having A.R.T. runs had been about achieving a pain free sensation in my soleus and I had gotten there a few weeks back in doing a few 40 minute sessions. But something still wasn't right. I was apprehensive to do certain moves, my body was tight and I wasn't enjoying myself. It felt like work. Yesterday I wasn't just pain free - I was care free too.

After injury forced me into a 7 week Ultra taper, I've naturally let go of my 5:30 Knee Knacker goal. I really am running for fun again now and if I am unable to start Knee Knacker I won't be looking for a rope to hang myself with. It is what it is.

Pain free running is one thing, but care free running is essential. All my regimented training had me focused on the future and not on Running Now. I should have known better.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Go Ahead to Ride

In the past three days I've seen Moveo's Jenn Turner and my coach/trainer, Curb Ivanic. They've both given me brilliant advice. Some I didn't want to hear, but some I was glad to hear. In particular "go ahead and ride". If it doesn't elicit a pain response, get out there. Perhaps I'm not on my feet like I need to be for Knee Knacker and I haven't run in 12 days, but I'm certainly getting in the aerobic workout I need...and crave.

The bad news is that I have to skip this weekends 5 Peaks, but it means I can try my running legs out on Monday again. Can't wait.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Test of Two

After a late night phone call from my brother-in-law saying he was puking and wasn't going to make our morning ride of the Test of Metal course, it would've been easy to pack it in and do nothing. I couldn't do it though, so I packed the car and drove up to Squamish to ride the Test course and test out my soleus. After Moveo's Jenn Turner worked on it yesterday it felt much better and certainly held through todays ride. It feels a bit tight now, but all in all much improved. A bit of ice and rolling time tonight and another A.R.T. appointment tomorrow and hopefully a short run Tuesday.

Check out my workout below.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Wanted: Soleus in Good Condition

(About midway and 27 minutes from the soleus strain - Photo courtesy of Mat Curry)
Since last Sundays Iron Knee I have felt calf pain like never before. After cresting the top of the Power Line climb I began my descent with some minor cramping, or at least I thought so. Adrenaline kicked in with the inflammatory process and I finished the race with some minor pain in 1:57. I was happy but hurting so I hit the ocean for a soak and had a quick massage from Leah @ Moveo, who happened to be in the tent at Panorma Park.

Since then I've had another massage at Moveo, with Christie this time, and the tension in my calf persists. I'm pretty sure I'm dealing with a grade 1 or 2 strain of soleus, but another few appointments with massage and maybe physio should get me a diagnosis that I didn't make up from the web. We're all web doctors afterall.

With Test of Metal in two weeks and Knee Knacker in five, I am VERY concerned. My anxiety levels are at an all time high and I'm hanging onto anything in hopes of a miracle.

Lots of rolling and Ice, no running...and I'm not sure about biking. Grrrr! I might be reduced to pool running.