Sunday, January 27, 2008

What to do now?

So what do you do if you are injured and unable to run? If you are me, you look for alternatives to try and keep somewhat shape.

I have really stepped up the abdominal work and am doing a lot of stretching to try and loosen up the IT Band if, indeed, that is my issue. I have an appointment with my doctor this Friday to start the process of determining exactly what is wrong.

As well, I have started exercising on a Nordic Track machine like the one pictured to try and keep some measure of fitness. I have been very careful and stepping up my times on the machine slowly as I do not want to re-injure myself, however, after my first workout I felt fine. We'll see what today brings.

Speaking of today, it was supposed to start the beginning of my training for the Blue Nose Marathon. This is not really the way I had planned on ushering it in. Oh well, you have to deal with reality and, hopefully, I will be back on the road soon and this will only be a setback as opposed to the end of the hopes for a Spring marathon.

The following is a promo link for the Blue Nose Marathon:

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

One Freaking Mile

I am slowly degenerating physically. I got up for my morning run this morning and after one mile had to admit that it wasn't going to happen, that the pain in the knee was too strong to continue. So I put my time to good use and did an abdominal workout.

One year ago, the very thought of getting up at 5:00 am would have seemed like a silly endeavor to be avoided at all costs. I have reached the point where I warmly embrace this ritual, at least most mornings, and am already missing it as it has been three weeks now since I last ran in the manner I like.

Officially, my training for a Spring marathon was supposed to begin this weekend and I had promised that I would train properly this time as opposed to the 8 weeks that I put in for my first one. Looks like I may have to begin changing my approach and looking towards a fall marathon as I think the next month or two may be about recovery as opposed to training.

The really frustrating aspect to all of this is the new focus I will have to place on my diet in an effort to not gain weight.... just when I was starting to see some gains in this area after a period of frustration. Arrgghhh!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Mixed Bag

I was out of town on business last week and went for a 6 mile run on a treadmill at the hotel. The run went pretty well, with no real sign of pain and I was feeling optimistic about recovering from my injury and taking on a longer run thinking I was over the hump.

On Saturday, I decided to take on a 13 miler and for the first 7 miles it seemed doable, however, the IT band or whatever it is that is bothering me, returned in spades to the point I couldn't go on after 11 miles. At least walking is not an issue as I had to do just that for the final two miles back to my house.

I just finished booking an appointment with my Doc for next week as it is high time to get to the bottom of this.

In the meantime, I have to reconsider my first major goal for 2008, the running of the Blue Nose Marathon as I will not be running it if I cannot train properly.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


By now many of you will have seen the new Garmin 405 watch that was unveiled at the recent CES show. GPS, heart-rate monitor all in a sleek traditional watch like form-factor.

I noticed today that Runners World has posted a new video of it. You can see the video by clicking here. The watch is actually smaller in size than I had anticipated. I was a little suspicious prior to seeing this video as to the overall size of the watch as all prior videos have not shown it on someone's wrist. However, in this video it does appear to be a reasonable size to be used as an everyday watch.

I am still curious as to how long the battery life is on this thing. What I mean here is how long the rechargeable battery will last before it dies and needs to be replaced. That said, it does seem to be pretty cool... especially for a self-professed techno geek.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

IT Band

I went for a 5 mile run on the treadmill this morning as we had overnight snow followed by freezing rain and the wimp in me said that going outside wasn't an option as a result.

No improvement to report in the knee, nor is it getting worse. I have been doing a little bit of research and am coming to the conclusion that I am having an issue with my Iliotibial (IT) band. The pain is on the outside of the knee and is not terrible, however, it becomes more pronounced when running up, or particularly, down hills. As well, I do, from time to time, have some pain in the buttocks, as opposed to being one.

I have begun to incorporate some IT Band specific stretching into my life as it can't hurt if my self diagnosis is incorrect. Anyone out there have an IT Band issue in the past? What helped you get through it? I am thinking about seeing my doc and, potentially, a physiotherapist in the near future to confirm/disprove my thoughts and provide measures to correct the current situation.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Eternal Frustration of the Injured Knee

Well I decided to go for a little longer run today to see if I could get back on track after missing the better part of a week with an injured knee. I wasn't quite sure how far I would go and was going to rely on my body for feedback.

Things did not begin well - within a quarter of a mile I was having a real bite in my knee.. to the extent that I was about to shut things down. Then suddenly things felt better, especially as long as I kept the pace down. I managed to get to one of my turnaround points (4.5 miles) on a trail I run quite frequently. The second half presented several points in which the knee started to bother me again. Anyway, I managed to finish 9 miles with an overall pace of 8:20 / mile. The pace was not really of any concern, however, the pain is. The odd thing about this is that as long as I am not running I do not feel any pain.

Anyway, the next scheduled run on Tuesday will be interesting. Did today's venture inflame things? I am hoping not. I must admit to being somewhat frustrated that the week off did not present me with any real improvement. I had been hoping that today would represent the beginning of my return to my base mileage. It may have represented the beginning of a prolonged period of rest. Arrrghh!!!

Wait Weight... Don't Tell Me

I was listening to an interview with Lance Armstrong after he had finished this year's NY Marathon explaining his large improvement from his previous entry. He went through a bunch of things including better training, however, he did also mention the loss of 7 pounds. He then went on to say that it is no secret why most of the elite male marathoners are in the 130 - 140 pound range.

Not that any of this is rocket science, but in my endeavor to be competitive with my childhood friend the next time we run a marathon together, I am endeavoring to take off some weight. During my first marathon I was 195 lbs.... hardly a light-weight at 5' 10". Since that race in October I have managed to take off about 10 lbs. I read somewhere that 1 lb lost equates to almost 1 minute over the duration of a marathon. I will hopefully be successfully putting that to the test this Spring. I have close to 20 minutes to make up so I am hoping better training and some conservative weight loss will help me get there.

Heads up Keith, there is a skinnier version of the old me in your rear view mirror.


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Watching Progress

Up until this point in time I have relied solely on a standard running watch to monitor my running progress. I do find, however, that I would like to have a better understanding of my pace during a run. I am curious if any of the estimated 2 - 3 people that read this blog have had any experience with either the GPS or Footpod enabled watches. I have taken a look at both the Forerunner 50 and the Polar RS200sd. I am just curious as to whether anyone has anything negative or positive to say about either.

My wants are something that would allow me to monitor my current and overall pace while running and provide me with an easy way to monitor more detailed information post-run. I guess the other aspect of this would be if anyone recommends a GPS watch over the ones mentioned above and the rationale as to why.

Note: I am going to test out my knee in about an hour... wish me luck. I'll let you know how it went.

Update: I ran for 1/2 hour this afternoon easily. Good and bad news. First the bad; there has been no improvement in the knee in the past week. I still have a dull ache while running... though not otherwise. The good news is that while running for the 30 minutes the pain didn't get any worse. I think I will stretch things out a little distance wise tomorrow to test it further... unless, of course, things tighten up overnight.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Whoa Nelly!!!

I woke up this morning at 5:00 am, my normal run time, all bright and chipper to begin my run. My knee felt good, and as a result, I was looking forward to continuing my base training. However, as soon as I took my first stride I knew my scheduled run was in jeopardy. I felt the same dull twinge that I felt on my last run. Nothing too intense, but I now know to shut things down when things feel amiss. So I am disappointed - I was bouyed when I woke up this morning and didn't feel any discomfort in my knee as I got dressed to run. However, those first tentative strides told me that it just wasn't going to happen today.

Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise. Since August, I have been training at a pretty steady pace. Maybe my body is just telling me to take a rest prior to beginning training for a marathon in the Spring. Who knows. Anyway, I am going to do my best to take it easy over the next few days and I think I will start to use my Ski Machine to cross train. I have been meaning to start using it... so perhaps this is the impetus I need to get started.

Time to rest, rest, rest ........

Monday, January 7, 2008


I went for a easy 6.5 mile run yesterday after having run 12.5 the day previously. All was going well, however, mid-run I began to feel a twinge in my right knee. In an attempt to be prudent, I shut things down about 1/2 mile after feeling the twinge and noticing that it wasn't going away. Today, I can feel the same dull ache so tomorrows run may be in jeopardy. That said, it isn't the end of the world. I am still about 20 week's away from the marathon I am planning on entering and I just plan on taking it a little easy for the next while until the knee feels good again. I may go out tomorrow if all feels well in the morning, however, if things don't feel OK, I will take some more time to rest.

I guess the message here is to listen to your body. If it is telling you not to run you probably shouldn't. To try and continue on is likely going to cause more harm than good. So... here is hoping that all feels fine tomorrow, and if not tomorrow then sometime soon.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year to one and all!!! For a little bit of inspiration I give you the following:

We all wish we could have a kick like Haile.

Thanks Keith for sending me the link.

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