Sunday, June 1, 2008

Come What May

May has been quite a unique month for me. There was no single big "event" but rather a lot of changes and adjustments.

Injury Recovery
Instead of my traditional "running" training, I have been training for overall fitness this month. My main focus has been injury recovery and prevention.
Injury recovery (from patellar tendonitis) has involved cutting way back on my mileage and slowing down the speed of my runs. Additionally, I have been icing my knee several times a day and going to physical therapy weekly. As for prevention, I have been stretching every day, and doing a lot of strengthening exercise. It's possible that weak quad muscles caused my injury, so I have been doing a lot of exercises for my quads.  My recovery is coming along well. I would say that my knee is about 90% healed, with some days being better than others.

Strength Training
To prevent other kinds of injuries, I have also been doing a lot of lower body strengthing, with a major focus on the abs, lower back, glutes, inner/outter thighs, calves, and hamstrings. After a month of hard work, I think I have established the strength needed to begin marathon training in June. My hope is that my strength training will also result in the ability to run faster. It will be a challenge to maintain this strength as a pack on the miles, mainly because I only have a limited number of hours in the day to dedicate towards working out-- but I need to make it a priority.

Cardio/Endurance Training
On top of all of this, I have been swimming and biking (stationery bike). Due to "plica" I discovered during last summer's bike ride in Italy, I know that my maximum bike ride is about 20 minutes. Otherwise, the inside of my knee hurts. I have mainly been using biking to warm up prior to my stretching and strengthening. The bulk of my cardio has come from swimming. It was amazing to see myself improve so quickly with the swimming! Back in April, I could only swim for about 15-20 minutes before I needed to stop and take a break. And now I can go for nearly 45 minutes non-stop. I've also increased swimming speed. My waterproof iPod case and headphones have really helped make swimming more enjoyable, as well. Here are the monthly totals:

Miles Swum: 14.7
Miles Biked: 33
Miles Run: 39.2
Strength training sessions: 17

It's been disheartening to watch my mileage go from 91 in March, down to 66 in April, and now 39 in May. My monthly totals for last year were all well above 100! (I typically average around 150).  Anyway, I do feel really good about what I have accomplished this month in terms of balancing my workouts. I really, really hope my knee is ready for the rigorous training program I have planned for it. I guess that all serious runners need some down time and these past three months have been mine. True-- I did run two marathons. But only one of them was at full effort, and my monthly mileage has been an all-time low. 

June, here I come!

1 comment:

  1. Knee tendonitis. I only experienced this one (yes this feels weird because you write this and if I responded back when you wrote this I couldn't relate but reading this blog is great because I feel like I can share some of my running history/stories and injuries with you. I' mention the race so you can go to my Athlinks if you care too.)

    So the knee issue for me goes back to 2013... So one of the things I would do in training was do a workout and then I'd stop at one mile from my residence. I'd then run a mile backwards and would time it because by doing a mile backwards I'd feel a little burn in my hamstrings and I wanted to work other areas because me and the gym just never happen (there's a bit of an ego issue with my scrawny body and not wanting to be in a gym where maybe the females are lifting more than me and it makes me feel like well, you know.) Yes I'll admit I'm very self conscious and yes this is public and others can see it too but maybe it's good for all to know that not every man acts all macho and we get self conscious about things too.

    AS for the knee, it began as a foot issue. I was doing backwards miles and there's one short part that's slightly downhill and I felt this awful twinge.. It hurt too. I was doing a 6 mile run ahead of the Crossroads of Woodbridge 0K where I'd still go despite my deceased grandmother (it's why I went in the first place in 2007) and I made a running buddy there so it was my excuse to take the 65 minute drive there and do the race. I was actually fine for the race and it never was an issue on race day but then the next time I ran it was again. My next run it bugged me a little at mile 8 and 9 of a 9 mile run and I skipped out on running for 4 days and tried again (I'd feel awesome today running 57:38 on my 9 mile route but back then it was different. So I waited than then I went out and did anotehr run and after three miles the foot started bothering me. So much so that the 9th mile was 11:12 and the 8th mile was 9:25 as the first three were all under 6:30. I took 5 weeks off. Stili wanted to do Philly Marathon. Spent hours and hours on the exercise bike to try and keep some time of cardio. I did two runs, one of 8 and the next of 9 miles. I felt out of shape but nothing else. Ai I alowed dramatically but that was it

    Woke up the next morning, couldn't bend my knee. I limped around all day and it reminded me of lyme disease in 2006 (I had a tick bite over the summer too so that thought was in my head too.) I dropped out of Philly and it was the last yr they did deferrals. My doc made one for me and so I was paid for 2014 already thankfully , as much as I was disappointed with that one as you know the story already. But after 5 weeks and the immense knee pain, I self diagnosed it as in latin (pes anserine bursitis) which basically means I was trying to do too much too fast and my knee said F-you.

    I took 8 weeks off and then ran a personal best (still to this day) in Boston 2014. It's why those shoes I wore aren't going anywhere except hopefully in my casket (if whomever buries me remembers to put them in there.) Much more blog to ready but I'll try not to repeat my injury gigs or stories if there's repeats. BTW, I think you're awesome!!