Sunday, March 28, 2010

Notes on Progress

Healing of the sprained foot has been going slow, but I'm happy to say I'm seeing genuine improvement. Over the past week or so, I'd experience periods where the pain was minimal, but the sprain feeling would also come back. However, lately those good periods have been more frequent, staying around longer, and involving less discomfort.

Today has been the best day so far. I woke up feeling the usual discomfort, but by mid-morning a good period entered and has stuck around into the evening. As I type this, I'd say the foot feels 90%.

Based on the past two runs with the injury, running on this isn't smart until the pain is totally gone. That could be by this weekend, or not much past that at this rate. But I've been through these kinds of things enough to also know to not get my hopes up too high and accept whatever happens, and adjust.

I have an appointment with Dr. Jamie later this week. That should also help. He's awesome when it comes to soft tissue injuries.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

DL - Sprained Foot

I usually write my posts immediately after a run, if possible. Yesterday, if I had wrote it four or five hours later, it would have been different.

The run clearly aggravated the sprain in the foot. The good news is that while one never knows for sure until they see a doctor (and even then...), I don't have any doubt now that this is just a foot sprain (extensor tendon on top of foot). And with proper rest, they apparently do heal nicely.

The bad news is that I'll probably have to take a couple of weeks off. Frustrating, especially with the spring weather, but last week I saw dramatic improvement after four days off. Had I have waited a bit longer I probably would have had it healed up by now. But runners do stupid things with injuries and yesterday wasn't too smart, but keeping the glass half full it did provide good information and helped to clearly set the course on what to do next.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

First Barefoot Run of the Season

Mid-upper 50s, sunny, and a low tide in the afternoon... No brainer where to run today! Parked at Pine Point, took off the shoes and ran barefoot on the beach for the first time the season.

Great run, but the concern was with my foot. It did hurt some, but just in that sprain kind of way. I think it's safe to run on it but I need to just chill out and be careful until it's healed. Run today was a confidence builder in that aspect, so that's good.

So back to the run... it otherwise went great. There were a couple sections of beach where hundreds of huge quahogs had washed up on shore (probably a result from the storm and still lingering large surf). Most were intact and alive, and the seagulls were having a hay day with them.

Water was warm enough to occasionally splash through when the waves pushed the shoreline up. I even soaked my feet in the ocean for a few minutes at the turn around point. So nice to run barefoot again!

Ran 8.1 miles @ 8:35/mile pace.
Beach with packed sand.
Very flat.
Mid-upper 50s, sunny.
Barefoot, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Foot and Shoulder

What the heck?! I woke up this morning and both the foot and shoulder/neck felt like they were back to square one.

The foot is the biggest worry. I'm pretty sure it's just a pulled muscle in the foot, and if that's the case, probably not that big of a deal. But, it's been almost a week now. It felt fine during yesterday's run (and four days off from running) but this morning it hurt a bit. Pain is on the top of the foot, in the fleshy area between the first and second metatarsals, but NOT on the metatarsals themselves.

I'm self-diagnosing myself as having pulled or bruised the extensor muscle/tendons in the foot, since the pain is not on the bone and clearly in that fleshy part. If so, this is much better than a stress fracture (or so I would think).

I hit the indoor rock climbing gym with Lily today (crappy weather out) and the foot wasn't a bother at all then. In fact, it seemed to help the foot. My shoulder however, was an issue. I had pulled the muscle there last week and while it seemed to be healing nicely all week, I woke up this morning and apparently had slept on it wrong and reaggravated it. Pain extends up into the neck. It bothered me on some climbing routes more than others, depending on what was involved.

So, that's what's up. Been icing the foot and taking Vitamin I. Will try a run again tomorrow for information gathering purposes, and will take it easy.

I'll see a doc or my sports chiro guy if things are still troublesome after another week, but in the meantime, any advice and suggestions are welcome.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Return to Pineland Farms

Ah, a true harbinger of spring: The changeover of weekend runs from Bradbury to Pineland. Nice. Trails still had some icy sections, but most of them were easily skirted around. Lily, Ian, Chuck, Blaine, Jim, Erik and Al were in attendance.

Felt quite energetic today due to taking the past four days off from running. First two days were to rest my foot (result of stepping on rocks wrong) and shoulder (pulled it pretty badly from sleeping on it wrong, I think). Both are fine now. Foot still hurts just a little, but today's run didn't aggravate it so that's a good sign.

And the last two days were taken off so I could help out with a school competition (SkillsUSA) up in Bangor. I had students in both media competitions, and both teams took home the gold!!! I am super proud of them!!!

Ran 8.3 miles @ 8:47/mile pace.
Trails, some icy sections, some frost heaves on the trails.
Very hilly.
Upper 30s to mid-40s, partly cloudy.
Asics Trail Attacks, shorts, short sleeved shirt, windbreaker (shed after first mile), cap.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Small Rocks of Death

Another gorgeous day out, albeit a windy one. After work, I strapped on the Vibram Five Fingers and hit the converted railroad bed for a trail run.

The good news was there was less snow/ice than expected. I'd say around 90% of the trail was bare. The bad news was I forgot how many small, jagged rocks there were in some sections. You see, the trail itself can be very well packed, so these rocks don't have much give at all when stepped upon. A few hurt a little, but overall it still wasn't too bad.

Seven to eight mile runs seems to be the norm lately. That's fine, as another 50k run is planned for next weekend. Good spacing between that and the one we did two weeks ago, so good to keep the mileage in the lower-mid range for now.

Ran 8.1 miles @ 9:02/mile pace.
Trails, sections of mud and some ice/snow.
Slightly hilly.
Mid 50s, sunny, windy.
VFF Sprints, shorts, short sleeved shirt, Moeben sleeves.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Spring Trail Running in the Vibrams

Yet another really warm day today. Given how fast the snow is melting, I thought I'd try a trail run in the Vibram Five Fingers since there is now a lot of bare ground out there.

As expected, the lesser traveled trails and sections with ample sunlight were devoid of snow and ice, but trails that had seen greater snowmobile traffic still had some stretches. However, these were still quite runnable in the VFFs.

Still, the combination of the mud, snow and ice, navigating around some flooded sections along with my with my inexperience in technical trail running in the VFFs made for some pretty slow going. However, it was a lot of fun. Trail running in the VFFs is definitely a lot easier on the trails than the roads. My calves do not feel tight at all. Good sign.

Ran 8.2 miles @ 11:07/mile pace.
Technical trails with mud, snow, ice. Several flooded sections.
Very hilly.
Mid 40s to lower 50s, sunny.
VFF Sprints, shorts, short sleeved shirt, Moeben sleeves.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Snow Makes Way for Spring

Fun group run today with Ian, Lily, Jim D. and Randy at Bradbury Mountain. Stephen and his buddy Jim G. were also there but they got an early start and we missed them. We were pretty surprised others didn't show up today, given how awesome the weather was.

Another notable aspect of this run was the lack of snow. Warmer temps have really been melting things off quickly. Definitely more on the packed down snowmobile sections, but we were mostly on the single track today and bare ground was by far the most prominent.

We kept the pace slow today, but the trails had more twists than a Dan Brown novel and they were pretty technical to boot, so that also contributed.

Ran 7.2 miles @ 10:27/mile pace.
Technical trails, mostly single track. Some patches of ice and snow.
Very hilly.
Upper 30s to upper 40s, sunny.
Asics Trail Attacks, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Short Run on a Sunny Day

Busy afternoon, so I just did a short 5K run with a co-worker at his pace. Gorgeous day out! Looking forward to getting in some longer running in similar weather this weekend with the Trail Monster clan.

Ran 3.1 miles @ 8:51/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Mid-upper 40s, sunny, breezy.
VFF Sprints, shorts, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, cap.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Cross Training: Quads

Cross trained today on the elliptical. Did 10 minutes forward and five minutes backward two times. This really blasts the quads, which I suspect have been getting stronger. Followed it up with a cool down on the stationary bike.

Blasted M83 on the iPod while I worked out. If large blocks from outer space were to visit earth like in this video, I would hope they would drop something other than confetti, which is only adding to our litter problems:

Elliptical: 6.4 miles in 30 minutes. 10 min. forward, 5 min. backward. Level 10 of 16. Random hill setting.
Stat bike: 15 minutes as a cooldown.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Couple of Laps Around the Back Cove

Met up with Lily for a couple of laps around the Back Cove in Portland. Run went well. As usual, Lily and I have a tendency to push one another on the pace. However, a few miles in the pace was starting to get really fast, and Lily was kicking my ass and I begged for us to slow it down we mutually decided it would be better to take it down a notch so it would fit in better with the rest of the week's training.

Worth noting it was super windy out, especially at the beginning of the run. As twilight started to approach, it started to calm down a bit.

Ran 7.4 miles @ 7:37/mile pace.
Packed trails.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 30s, overcast, windy.
Asics Trail Attacks, long pants, short sleeved shirt, windbreaker, beanie.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Ramping the Vibram Running Up a Notch

More spring-like weather today, so it made for a perfect opportunity to ramp up the training in the Vibram Five Fingers. As an added bonus, it was so warm out I was also able to run comfortably in just shorts and a short sleeved shirt.

My previously longest road run in the VFF's was just a little over five miles. Today I thought I'd try a route that's just a tad over seven miles, but is also hilly enough to earn my "very hilly" classification. This simply means it has hills you look at and think "holy sh--" and they also put an appreciable dent in your pace.

It went very well. I was able to do it very comfortably but the true test will be when I wake up tomorrow and see how my calves feel. I suspect they'll be a little sore but still fine. All worth it though. I already like how my stride has adjusted for the better even when wearing clunky regular running shoes. Looking forward to more runs in the VFFs though as spring continues to arrive.

Ran 7.1 miles @ 8:29/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Mid 40s, partly cloudy.
VFF Sprints, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap.