Friday, May 28, 2010

Training: Weeks of May 9 and May 16, 2010

Week of May 9

Total mileage: 51
Races: none

Sun - Evening 7m up and down Fisher's Peak   Total - 7

Mon - Lunch 4m @~8.45;  Evening 6m @7.34   Total - 10

Tue - Evening 5m up and down Fisher's Peak(turned ankle again)   Total - 5

Wed - Morning 3m @~8.30; Evening 7m @6.51   Total - 10

Thu - Morning 2 1/2 @8.00; Evening 5m @7.31   Total -  7 1/2  

Fri - Morning 11 1/2 up and down mountains in Devotion   Total - 11 1/2

Sat - Off

Week of May 16

Total mileage: 37
Races: Jemez Trail Half-Marathon  5th  1:44.00

Sun - Morning 4 1/2 with work   Total - 4 1/2

Mon - Off

Tue - Evening 6m - 3m Tempo Run Avg. 5.51   Total - 6

Wed - Lunch 2 1/2m   Total - 2 1/2

Thu - Morning 3m at Bluff Mountain   Total - 3

Fri - Morning 4m @~8.00 in the Sandia foothills by Albuquerque   Total - 4

Sat - Morning 17m - Jemez Half-Marathon  5th  1:44.00

What to say?  There is still a knife in my ass that hurts on really every run.  The best thing about Jemez was finding that my glute is not working.  Again I believe that is from my back.  Ryan Woods, the winner at Jemez, is a chiropractor and he looked at me after the race.  He found that my SI joint was jammed/stuck, which I knew.  He got that freed up some which felt good.  Ryan did some muscle test and found my right glute was blown out, not working at all.  It was good to finally have a pinpoint on the current problem.  I saw him in Boone, NC on Tuesday so hopefully I'm headed in the right direction.  I think the glute issue is a nerve issue, I could be wrong.  But on Tuesday, Ryan said all the other muscles in the area, including hip flexors were strong.  Plus when I do the exercises he gave me, it is often hard to do the first couple of repeats.  The last few are the easiest.  At least I know something to do that feels productive.  It is good to know something other than, "I can't make my legs go."  That made me sound like a mental case.  I may be a mental case, but not in that way.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Life is Good, Even if Running is a Mess

If you read my training blog, you noticed my running is a mess.  Persistent back problems continue to nag me.  My right leg seems to be rotting off.  List of right leg problems, pirformis, popliteus, hamstring, ankle, calve.  And life is pretty good.  Last Sunday, I felt okay.  Some things were hurting, but nothing too bad that day.  So with all the screwed up training and hurting, I thought what should I do, POLE VAULT.  I used to pole vault some, but rarely ever do any now.  I was coaching a practice with some kids Sunday and thought I'd have some fun.  It was fun to launch one's self wildly upside down into the sky.  What's the point if being alive, if you're not alive.

Coaching has been a lot of fun this spring.  I am a distance runner who coaches the pole vault?  Yea.  I have a mostly untalented, freshman girl who has been a true joy to coach.  She has done basically everything I've asked her to do.  She may not have the talent of many other high school girls, but she kills most's work ethic.  She also vaults much more correctly than most, which is required to be competitive if you're lacking talent.  She finished 3rd at our regional yesterday, so gets to go the our State Meet next Saturday.

This past Monday was pretty cool as well.  I got a call from a former high school runner around lunch.  They had a situation that they wanted my advice on.  They said as they were trying to decide what to do, they thought I would be the perfect person to ask for input.  That was cool and rewarding.  Then at practice my girl did about three drills.  She was tired from her workout and distracted, so we sat on the pits and talk for about an hour.  It was just some typical, high school, mean girl stupidity.  She just needed some reassurance on what and who is really important.  High school can be a tough place to learn to just be yourself.  It was a great practice.  I enjoy working with the high schoolers on a level beyond just how to run, throw, jump, or pole vault.  I see that as a true privilege.  I hope athletics is just a tool to enjoy life and learn lessons about yourself and life.

Alison threw out another funny comment recently.  We had a couple over and later I commented how she looked nice in the shirt she was wearing.  Her reply, "Thanks, it's one that I got out of the trash."  She got it from the dumpster when she was at UNC in Chapel Hill.  Someone had thrown out a whole bag of clothes that were just Alison's size.  I think she misses that dumpster and sorting through other people's trash.  It was better than a thrift store since it was free.  The end of each school year was always best as college students will throw anything way.  I was reminded of couple of years ago when she brought me a piece of cake home from her work.  She had pulled it from the trash can there as someone had tossed it at the end of the day.  Yep, I ate it.  We're a great couple aren't we?

I'll leave you with one of my favorite Alisonisms.  She said it a couple of years ago while were we talking about life.  In general, we feel we've lived good one.  She commented that she seems to always get whatever she wants.  Then she worded it perfectly.

"If you are always happy with what you get, you always get what you want."

Training: Weeks of April 18, April 25, and May 2, 2010

Week of April 18

Total mileage: 50 1/2
Races: none

Sun - Lunch 9m @7.30   Total - 9

Mon - Evening 11 1/2m at FRP trails - 5 x 5 min./2 min. Fartlek   Total - 11 1/2

Tue - Evening 12m @7.55 with strides   Total - 12

Wed - Morning 11m @~8.00 at Tanglewood Park; Evening 1m - Right popliteus hurt   Total - 12

Thu - Lunch 3m - Sprained ankle running down Pilot Mtn.  Total - 3

Fri - Off  Ankle is sore.

Sat - Evening 3m @7.53   Ankle okay, but weak  Total - 3

Week of April 25

Total mileage: 30
Races: Owl's Roost Trail Half-Marathon  3rd  1:25.

Sun - Morning 17m - Owl's Roost Trail Half-Marathon - 2m warmup and cooldown   Total - 17

Mon - Off

Tue - Off

Wed - Morning 3m at Kerr Scott Dam trails - Turned right ankle again, laid on ground 
            and howled, limped out of woods.   Total - 12

Thu - Afternoon  Bike 8m @18.9 mph  

Fri - Lunch 5m with work up and down mountains   Total - 5

Sat - Lunch 5m with work up and down mountains   Total - 5

Week of May 2

Total mileage: 44 1/2
Races: none

Sun - Morning 14+m at Stone Mtn. working plus some really tough hiking   Total - 14

Mon - Evening  Bike 10m @20.1 mph   Total - Bike 10

Tue - Morning 1m;  Evening  Bike 16m @20.1 mph   Total - Run 1, Bike 16

Wed - Lunch 8m with work, more big climbs and descents   Total - 8

Thu - Morning 10m at Basin Creek trails - 5 x 5 min. Fartlek with small backpack 
          while working   Total - 10

Fri - Lunch 11 1/2m with work at Buffalo Cove, more harsh climbs

Sat - Off

Just as you can see, my running has been a mess lately.  Oh well.  My training log is filled with more notes on injuries and aches than running notes.  My back has been quite bothersome of late and has been screwing up my right leg.  Maybe that's why I turned my right ankle.  Or maybe if you run technical, rocky trails enough, sprained ankles will happen.  Regardless, my right leg and low back are hurting often.  I keep saying the pain in my right leg is not real.  It appears and disappears, day to day.  I think the back is the problem, but then again I am not a doctor.  But like many runners, I like to think I'm as qualified as a doctor to diagnose myself.  Real pain or not, the hurting is getting old, so I have not been forcing the running.

My gypsy moth trapping job has kept me running.  I have taken on a huge load of working with that this year and am working 7 days a week most weeks.  I am working some new areas and it has been tougher than I had estimated it would be.  I have done a lot of running, bushwhacking, and hiking in some tough mountains.  I do see some beautiful places and places few people go.  I found about a 60 foot waterfall on the side of mountain with no trails anywhere near it.  I've done some nice runs on some great trails.  I've done some runs just straight through the woods, no trails.  I've taken 10-15 minutes to climb/bushwhack/hike 1/4 mile.  The folks I spoke with about going on the property doubted I could make it up the mountain.  They were impressed how quickly I made it in and out.  Some climbs/descents have been 40% grades or more.  I ran straight off the side of a mountain forest last Sunday.  I would guess it was 1/4 mile at ~20%, no trail but strangely wide open and clear.  That was fun.  It made me think of fell running in England.  I have been burning my legs up on all the harsh climbs and descent.   So hopefully work is helping keep me fit.  I try to get permission before roaming off onto someone's  property and have gotten lots of warnings of snakes, bear, coyotes, terrain, and gun carrying landowners.  I often can't locate the property owner, thus I say I am part professional trespasser.  Work my be tough, but at least it's interesting.  Hopefully running will get back to normal sometime.