Thursday, April 16, 2009

Patience, and Pain

Running was going so well this year! Improvement kept coming my way, and I loved pushing my limits at the track and during my longer runs. I had a few great half marathons early on. I couldn't wait to mimic those races in the run portion of a half ironman.

But, as you can see from my previous posting I've been nursing what I now know is a soft tissue injury in my lower leg. Thanks to acupuncture and a few trips to Brian Kildow for a.r.t. I hope to get this thing behind me ASAP. I still feel tightness from a nagging injury to the paronial tendon. And that happened at some point during the Clearwater70.3 race back in 2007. That lead to 4 months w/o running and I do not want to go through that again! I now sleep with compression socks. It helps. With this added tension in the lower right leg I woke up every day last week thinking "maybe I should take the day...or week totally off! This is awful." But each morning I'd walk it off and continue with the prescribed training.

After Cali70.3 I was in a lot of pain. By Monday I could indeed hardly walk. I took the week off from running, and tried again on Sunday. I was stupid and went out to run with the sunday group run. Who can start with a group and then say "ahhhh, this hurts. Think I'll turn back!?!?!" Not me. Nope, I didn't have that kind of patience last weekend. But now I must demand that from myself!
So step one: avoid anyone who might ask me to run with them, and stay far far away from my weekly group run workouts.

Step 2: learn how to aqua jog my heart out! I spent over 2 hours in the pool monday. 30mins of aqua jogging and then swim practice. I tried using the boyancy belt, but I couldn't work hard enough w/ it on. I did a lot of reading on aqua jogging form and workouts. I decided today I'd return without the belt, and get in some intervals. Almost any article or internet posting about aqua jogging says to bring a partner. Thing is, no one that can run will volunteer to aqua jog with you! But then there's Katya! She is an animal...and is always up for another workout. Little did I know she too wanted to do some aqua jogging intervals today. She's battling a little achilles issue, so we jumped on our bikes (she just got her new Orbea ride. Snazy!!) and rode to the pool.
Ok 45mins of water running. Here we go. In the middle we busted out some intervals. We sure weren't moving fast from end to end, but we were working hard (and focusing on form. He couch should be proud ;) !!). The articles I read said to bring a friend so you could chat and pass the time away. We were not chatting! Instead we were huffing and puffing our way from one end of the pool to the other. Without the belt I was able to work a lot harder, and my body position in the water was much more efficient (efficient as in mimicing running, not efficient as in moving faster).

And so I will be patient. I believe this whole intense aqua jogging won't be too bad (if it doesn't have to last that long). Tomorrow I return to Brian, then a weekend without running. What will I do when the alarm goes off on Sunday! I love the ranch run :( But I know if I go, I'll do a "test run" of 11.3 miles. Not smart. Instead, I'll remain patient. Return to Brian on Tuesday and then give her a go. I hope by then things have worked their way out and I can bring that new pair of Brooks out of the closet and pick up where I left off.

Yesterday I enjoyed riding with Katya during the heart wrenching Wed Swamii's ride through Camp Pendelton. This workout kills me. It is my attempt to re-define my pain threshold on the bike! I believe this ride is harder than the Sat rides. At least in the Sat ride there is a second group that forms as they get dropped by the first group. On this ride, everyone is so strong (I mean it's Wed at 8am... clearly these people are strong because they are able to do this ride at 8am on a weekday!)
Yesterday we were fortunate to have strong strong on-shore winds. So many found this to be an excuse to stay in bed. However, after racing in Kona twice last year I know these days are what will make me strong. The higher the wind, the harder the embrace it! Hell, people live on the Big Island and deal with that crazy wind all the time! Time to toughen up.
We rode onto the military base and the pace picked up. Time to hold on for dear life. I just wanted to get up each hill with the group and then work hard to hang on at the top of each. I was up the first two, and my heart was about to leap out of my chest. I had to make it up hill number 3 and out of the base. When I found myself a good pocket within the group and felt a strong draft I took a second to check out my heart race. Ahhhh, 179. Yeah Baby! This HURTS! But I tried to hold on. I felt a bit like I was doing my VO2 tests. As they increase the intensity the person running the test keeps asking "can you go 30 more seconds?" "30more?" I was asking myself "can I make it 1 more minute" ok I did it, "one more?" THIS REALLY HURTS!
As we made a sharp right turn (those that raced Cali70.3 know this is the turn right after you leave the base before hitting the path) I fell off the back with 3 others. We looked at each other (no one could talk, as we needed all the oxygen we could get) and gave ourselves 30secs to somewhat catch our breath, and then it was back at it (I could have used about 5minutes to catch my breath . We cycled through a pace line and kept the intensity up. Into the wind we rode. My legs were on fire! I think I might re-join this group on Sat for their weekend pain extravaganza! If I can't run, I mis-well ride hard.

Oh and the NHL post-season is under way. As I write this posting I'm watching the first game: Detroit vs. Columbus. Yes I know people in San Diego know nothing about the game of hockey, but that isn't the case where I'm from! Hell the city is referred to as "Hockey Town." I grew up playing street hockey w/ the neighborhood kids on a daily basis. So Hockey Town get ready!!! let the chants begin!
LETS GO WINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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