Technical Difficulties

August 8, 2006

I’m not running right now. The leg did not improve after a zero and a 1.5 mile day, so I have been hitting the bike. Yesterday was 45 minutes of something like a fartlek run. Definitely some high aerobic/low anaerobic work in there. And this morning was 55 minutes at what I would call an easy effort. Not laying back, but not cranking hard either. I also threw in a couple of parking ramp laps, just for fun.

My ass hurts the whole time, and I’m kind of jumpy about traffic, so I can’t wait to get off the bike. That and I’d like to get back to training during the most important six weeks of my race preparation. I figure this will take five to seven days to clear up, and just like with the earlier episode in the pool, I expect to come out the other side stronger, so although I am pissed off about this, I won’t waste too much time thinking about it. I just have to get through the week and move on.

I’m going to become a believer in cross-training in the future. Not a lot of cross-training, but just enough to stay balanced. I’m starting to feel like Dick Beardsley with all of these injuries.


13 Responses to “Technical Difficulties”

  1. I haven’t been following your progress that well, but I think you should give thought as to why your body appears to be so brittle. The workouts that I have read seem to point to quite a lot of very fast-paced runs/tempo/races (lots of stress to the system).I’m not sure where your base-building occurred or if your plan allowed you to construct a solid foundation and maintained it during your speedwork(doing lots of 7:00-7:30 miles). It’s just food for thought. You may have run a ton of slow miles in the past, but usually brittleness indicates that you are loading 5:30-pace reinforced concrete columns onto an uncured foundation. My 2 cents. BTW: cross-training is a great idea.

  2. Eric Says:

    Thanks for the comments Duncan. I’ll be posting some factor analysis up here in the near future with regard to the injuries. Hopefully it will be instructive as well as charty-graphy…

  3. Fatboy Says:

    7 minute miles get you in shape to run 7 minute miles. Treadmill running gets you in great treadmill shape. Running the same workouts for 7 months, then throwing in race pace efforts in the last six weeks of training gets you hurt.

    I think it’s underestimated how athletic you need to be to excel in running. It’s a hyperspecific sport, and highly specific training is necessary to achieve a particular result. However, it is the rare (and usually only the young) runner who can survive without supplemental training to improve agility, flexibility, core and stabilizer strength. (Remember Mike’s mockery of my suggestion you try some gymnastic/plometric training?) Lydiard’s concept of long, slow distance has been so grossly misinterpreted; it’s not just happyfunjogtime.

    Throw away “Once a Runner;” it’s aerobic masturbation. A balanced approach to base-building which incorporates all but the final pH-altering anaerobic stuff, is critical throughout the period.

    Well, you’ve got 6 weeks left; what can you do now? I don’t quite understand the nature of your injury. Can you run at all? Where is it sore? Does it hurt more the longer you go? Can you do plyometric/range of motion work?

    Looks like the key is to get that leg working again. Depending on the injury, the biking, while helpful to the cardio system, will not do much in the way of leg rehab.

    Get the leg strong and just enjoy your first marathon.

  4. Eric Says:

    I lifted my share of a big ass tv, rested it on my quad for a better grip twice, and squatted it once, all about two hours after running a 5k. The pain is high on the front of the hip, midway down the inside of the thigh and high in the hamstring, all on the right leg. The hammie feels better now, just tight. The pain is the worst when starting the run, for about a quarter mile, then it turns to a dull ache for 45 minutes to an hour, then goes away until 2-3 hours after the run.

    What I am concerned about is that it causes me to limp badly for the first full quarter mile, then limp slightly for the next six or eight miles. I’m concerned, number 1, that I will make it worse by continuing to run on it, and then be another week closer to the marathon and forced to take a break. Number 2, I’m concerned about an actual overuse injury from compensating for the limp. That could be a show stopper.

    In my estimation, it just isn’t worth it to chance running on a painful injury. It’s not overuse. It’s not too much speed, too fast. I haven’t even started speedwork yet! I just did something stupid, trying to be helpful, and strained a muscle.

    The next build up, I will be doing plyo, high-rep weights, and pace variation throughout the base phase. And you won’t be hearing any more of this whiny shit from me. =)

  5. Fatboy Says:

    Do you have access to a gym or rec center to do some strengthening of the injured area? Some low-weight stuff could really stretch and strengthen.

  6. Evan Says:

    An injury from moving a TV is unfortunate. An injury from moving a TV a second time, well, that would be careless. Don’t do it again!

    Since we can now diagnose running injuries over the internet I’ll join in with a contrary opinion to your other doctors. You hurt yourself moving a TV. That doesn’t say anything about the specificity of your running training.

    Now, I’m sure that like everyone else, you have somewhat the feeling that injuries that stop you running that weren’t sustained while running shouldn’t stop you running. But they do stop you running. It sounds like you’re being sensible, and letting this injury heal before stepping back into actual running.

  7. Why is a novel about a kick-ass miler in the 1970s “aerobic masturbation?” I don’t get it. That aside, to Evan, my brittle comment has nothing to do with moving a TV and everything to do with a range of injuries that I’ve read about since I started following the blog. I’m not sure I was out to be a ‘doctor’ and make a diagnosis on anything other than following clues that lead to “this sucks, I can’t run” postings. You lost me on that one, dude.

  8. Benny Says:

    Keep your chin up,

    Are you nervous?

    Do you feel like you won’t meet your goals?

    Are you getting too much into detail about the injury?

    Try to relax your mind and body… don’t over analyze your injury.

    Is it swollen? If it is make sure you ice three times a day for 15 to 20 mins a session. Don’t stretch the quad because that will tear back the fibers that are trying to be fix.

    If it’s not swollen… Use heat on it.

    If your limping or changing strides to make yourself unlimp, you need to quit running, because unfortunately your putting more stress on other parts of the body and risk other complications.

    Best of luck to you, but don’t rush into this marathon. See a Dr.

    B Rodriguez

  9. Evan Says:

    Duncan, sorry, my comment was not directed at you; As I composed it, I intended it more to depreciate the value of my own comments. But that’s not how it read. A case of typing too quickly to convey what I meant.

  10. Lawrence Says:

    “My ass hurts the whole time”– I feel the same way when I’m on a bike.

  11. Mike Says:

    I still blame the treadmill. I’m kidding. I unloaded my wife’s step-dad’s U-Haul the week of my marathon, this stuff is just unavoidable and always comes up at the wrong times. You would think the skinny, baby bird-like physique we end up with after all this running would keep people from asking us to move heavy crap for them.

  12. Eric Says:

    Thank you Mike and Lawrence for adding some much needed levity to the comments.

    Benny, thanks for the comments. I’m not nervous at all. This will clear up in a few days and I’ll be on track. I am limping some, which is why I am taking several days off from running to cross train and do some light weights. By the book rectus femoris rehab.

    Evan, I always appreciate your insights. For me, it doesn’t matter how the injury gets there, if it changes my form, I’m not running until it’s substantially healed. Otherwise, like you, I, and Benny mentioned, a vicious cycle of re-injury occurs.

    Fatboy, I concur with your ideas about strength training, plyo, etc. You had me at hello. And if 60×400 is aerobic masturbation, then Duncan is a ‘people guy’.

    And Duncan, I didn’t mean to imply that I wasn’t going to give any thought to why I have another injury. What I was saying is that I know why I have this problem. It was an accident, so there’s not a lot to consider (other than my own stupidity). The problem with my calves was a true overuse injury with a basis in poor training choices. I have given a lot of thought to that, and you can read through the archives if you like to catch up on that debacle.

    Whew…thanks for the feedback everyone. Don’t write me off yet. Nothing a beer, a shot of whiskey, and a couple of testosterone patches can’t take care of. Cheers!

  13. trophycase Says:

    Hey, I like your blog. Your stats are interesting. I am 5’10” and 185lbs, work in construction and lift heavy things all the time. I also pull different muscles all the time. Most of the guys I work with are in one kind of pain or another. When you carry something heavy with another guy you realize how many muscles you never use. Welcome to the world of physical labour.

    I also run a few times each week, oddly enough, I think it helps with my back pain.

    I cross train quite a bit. I can’t run every day or I’d cripple myself. So I kayak, which I love, and I ride a bike. I see you ride 45 and 55 minutes. Did I read right, you have kids? If they’re young, get a bike trailer and pull them around for 45 minutes. They’ll love it, and you’ll get a great workout.

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