Sunday, February 24, 2008


This week in running was somewhat disappointing. I did manage 3 runs for a total of 14 miles, however, had to abandon a run and really don't feel as if I am making any great headway. The knee still hurts and the issue does not seem to be resolving itself to any great degree.

Oddly enough, I truly find myself missing long runs. I used to typically do a 12+ miler on Sunday's. I found that a run that takes me over 90 minutes invariably gets me to a zone where I can clear my brain. As well, it was a great way to catch podcasts I don't otherwise have the opportunity to listen to. I find it to be particularly galling on a day like today, as it is 0 degrees, with no wind and not a cloud in the sky - perfect running conditions for this time of year.

Slowly creeping up on me is the marathon I was planning to run this Spring. Today marks the date in which I had told myself if I was not training seriously that I would put the idea of running the race to bed. Sleep tight - maybe next year. With 12 weeks left until the race, I don't foresee being able to pull off the training I wish to do. Last Fall, I trained for the Valley Harvest Marathon in about 8 weeks - my first marathon. Finishing the race, however, I vowed to have more respect for the distance, and for that matter my body in the future. With that in mind, I set out a 16 week training program for a Spring marathon. With 12 weeks to go, I refuse to chop off any more of the training regimen. I really have no desire to look as I do in the picture above again.

Looks like it is a Fall race this year.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Patience, or is that patients is a virtue???

Not much to report. I was hoping, by this time, to be writing on different types and durations of training runs in my training plan, but alas, things are not going as I had envisioned.

All things considered, I didn't have a bad week last week. I ran four times for a grand total of 19 miles. This represents about 1/2 the mileage I would like to be running at this time and does not even begin to address the pace issues I am facing. For the most part, I have been running at a pretty pedestrian pace - approximately 7 mph on average. What continues to be disconcerting is that there does not appear to be a great change in my knee. I am not getting any big stabs of pain, which is good, however, the constant dull ache remains and does not appear to be getting any better, which is bad.

That said, I did go for a five-mile run this morning and stepped it up a little bit to 8 mph for an extended period (15 min) and did not suffer any ill effects above and beyond those previously noted.

One source of irritation is my reliance on a treadmill at the moment. I am sticking to running indoors as to lessen the pressure on my knee, as a treadmill provides more cushion than the road does. While I am sure my knee appreciates this, my mind is finding it difficult to deal with the boredom of running while stationary.

So, I guess, the message is to stay patient, which I am finding difficult as time ticks on. Each passing day reminds me that the likelihood of running a Spring marathon is getting slimmer.

On the positive front, at the suggestion of my physiotherapist, I have switched to a cushioning shoe and just purchased the Adidas Adistar Cushion 6. I must say that so far I really like them. Once I get some more miles on them I may post a review or something, but my initial impression of them is quite favorable.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What is this blog about?

For a blog purported to be about running, there have been precious few posts about the intended purpose. Hopefully, that is about to change. I ran 4 miles yesterday morning and again today. Both runs were at a rather pedestrian 9 min/mile pace but the good news is that I didn't suffer any great discomfort in either. I have quickly come to the conclusion that I have lost some fitness in the last month, but it just feels great to be back at it. I followed up my run this morning with a visit to the physiotherapist's office and received the "go-ahead" from her to begin some longer runs. I'll let you know how that goes.

Speaking of being back at it. Would anyone have a good recommendation for a neutral running shoe for a 180 lb man with flat feet? Input would be appreciated.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Cautious Optimism - Neutral Outlook

I ran three miles on the treadmill yesterday. It was the first time since my most recent debacle in which I struggled to get to an equal distance. Things have changed for the better it seems as I finished the short distance without much in the way of pain.

So what was the difference? At my last physio appointment, the physiotherapist and her intrepid orthodic fitter took a look at my foot structure in relationship to the "support" running shoes I have traditionally worn. I have extremely low arches, which are typically the hallmark of an individual that needs "stability" or "motion control" shoes to control pronation (the rolling over of the foot during a running stride). Well, it appears that I may be an anomaly. After inspecting my feet, they came to the conclusion that, despite my low arches, I appear to have a "neutral" foot strike - one that does not need assistance from a shoe or orthotic shoe insert. When a guy who sells orthotics for a living tells you that you do not need them, you tend to take it as a reasonable position.

During my short run yesterday I wore a pair of "neutral" shoes and ran relatively comfortably - I say relatively as I had some lingering pain from this past Tuesday when I started the run. So while I was not completely without pain, I felt great overall in coparison to my previous outing.

So am I cured? I am not sure yet, however, I must say that the progress compared to my last outing has led me to be cautiously optimistic.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Kneejerk Reaction

Well, the initial excitement has been resoundingly squished. As my physiotherapist mentioned that I could begin to run again in a limited fashion (4-5 miles), I set out to do just that ASAP. Buoyed by the news, I began a four mile run on my treadmill yesterday morning. I was only about 1/2 a mile in when the pain started to come back and I had to shut things down after 3 miles.

Hindsight being 20/20, I should have shut things down after the first pain, but for some inane reason tried to run through it. Yesterday, for the remainder of the day, the pain was agonizing at times and is still causing me difficulties today. Oh well, another lesson learned - listen to your body stupid.

Back to physio tomorrow and I'll update the state of my knee afterwards.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Physio - tight strings and a weak arse!

I had my first physio appointment today and things are looking up. Essentially, my IT Band problem appears to be a manifestation of two other issues. Essentially, my hamstrings in both legs are far too tight and my gluteus minimus on my right side (arse to you) is weak and needs strengthening. In describing the lack of flexibility in my hamstrings, she actually referred to me as "pathetic" in ability. I don't know if I have ever been referred to in that way for anything... however, it is the truth.

I have been given a series of exercises to complete in conjunction with treatments I will go under for the next little while.

The great news is that I can begin running again!!! I have to keep it below 5 miles per workout initially, but at least I am going to be out there. Whooo hooo! Blue Nose, here I come!!!

Friday, February 1, 2008

And the verdict is in.....

Well, not surprisingly, my Doctor has diagnosed me with "IT Band Friction Syndrome".

I like my Doc and I like her approach. She immediately suggested I go to physio, and rely on the physiotherapist to make a determination as to when I can run again. As she said, diagnosis, not rehabilitation is her game. So, beginning on Tuesday morning, I will be going to my first physio appointment to address this and hopefully return to the roads before long.

In the meantime, I am itching to get going. I have now missed a week of marathon training and figure I only have about a 2-3 week window in which to get back at it if I hope to run a Spring marathon. The more I look at it, the less likely it seems it will happen. Oh well, much worse things could happen in life.

Johnny Cochrane said, "if the glove don't fit, you must acquit".

Today I say, "If the knee's in pain, from the road you must refrain".

Have a great weekend!!

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